Friday, April 28, 2006

R.I.P. Aperture?

Could this be the end of Apple's Aperture software?

Think Secret is reporting that Apple has fired its entire Aperture engineering team. The Aperture project was characterized as a "mess."

There's some concern that Apple will drop Aperture altogether. But there's also talk that a new team will be brought in to revamp the software.

Let's hope it's the latter and not the former. Aperture 1.1 was pretty good. Not great, riddled with bugs, but nothing that couldn't be improved on. Let's hope Apple finds a team to rework the software and make it ready for prime time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ah, Nostalgia

If you yearn for the good 'ole days of film photography. Specifically Kodak film photography, then check out this article on the Christian Science Monitor's online site.

It offers a look at some web sites that feature the glory days of Kodak. Web sites included in the article feature Kodak Brownie cameras, old ads and other great Kodak stuff.

It's a good read. And you'll probably find yourself spending hours going through the web sites.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Et Tu Mamiya?

Say it ain't so, Mamiya.

Endgadget is reporting that Mamiya is getting out of the medium format camera business. Apparently it's digital business has not been doing so well (not surprising considering how long it took to get the ZD out).

Anyone want to buy an excellent condition Mamiya 645 Pro TL with a bunch of lenses?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Pulitzer in Dallas

The photography staff of the Dallas Morning News in Texas was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Check out some of the photos here and here.

Congratulations to the DMN staff. Well done!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Homage or Ripoff? You Decide.

On of my favorite photographers, Annie Leibovitz, is in a bit of hot water over her recent Vanity Fair cover shoot.

According to Women's Wear Daily, the May 2006 issue of Vanity Fair (dubbed the "Green Issue" even though it does not use recycled paper!) features a Leibovitz cover that is very reminiscent of a 1948 shot by Irving Penn called "Ballet Society." The Vanity Fair cover features Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Al Gore, Julia Roberts, and George Clooney and has a series of articles about the environment (thus the "Green" designation).

Critics claim that Leibovitz ripped off the Penn shot for the cover. It does look like an exact duplicate of the Penn shot. But, Leibovitz says the cover shot was "inspired" by Penn, not a ripoff.

Here's how Woman's Wear Daily described the cover:

Although there's no mention anywhere in the magazine of the connection, the composition of the two photos is virtually identical, down to the leafy garland on Roberts' head.

WWD points out that while Leibovitz may have liberally borrowed from Penn for the shot, she is not very forgiving of others borrowing her work. In 1991 she sued a movie studio for using one of her shots (the famous cover shot of a naked, pregnant Demi Moore) in an ad campaign. The studio replaced the head of her subject with the head of the lead actor in the movie. The court ruled the ad was a parody.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Point and Shoot Indeed!

This one is a bit over the top.

A print ad is running in Thailand (and probably other Asian countries) for the Nikon Coolpix S4 that shows a soldier shooting a rifle, with the S4 as the gun's site. The photo depicts the soldier in a war, with burning buildings in the distance.

Obviously, Nikon couldn't get away with running such an ad in the U.S. Particularly these days. But one has to wonder what they were thinking with this ad.

Some of the blogs attribute the ad to JWT Thailand, but Nikon is not listed as one of the clients on their web site. Whichever agency put together this ad should not have their contract renewed. Nikon should rethink this campaign.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Going Off the Rails on a Crazy Train

The extreme right-wingnuts are at it again. This time the object of their affection is Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia Cynthia McKinney.

Head wingnut Matt Drudge over at the Drudge Report has a lead photo that shows the Congresswoman looking like a psychotic mental ward escapee, which he copped from here. She apparently was having a bad hair day. But the right-wingnuts took the opportunity to pounce and hooked it to her recent scrape with Capitol Hill police.

By using such an unflattering photograph, the right-wingnuts are sending the (subtle as a sledgehammer) message that Rep. McKinney is crazy and probably guilty of hitting that cop. The fact that she's a Democrat and an African-American is all the more reason they must be right (or so they think).

The Drudge Report photo links to a story on that has a photo also (still taken on the same bad hair day, but not nearly as unflattering as the one Drudge dredged up).

Then there's right-wingnut talk radio dunce Neal Boortz, who said on the air that he thinks Rep. McKinney's hairdo makes her look like a "ghetto slut."

This is typical behavior from the right-wingnuts, who are running scared these days because of a number of factors, not the least of which is that most of their shenanigans are starting to unravel before their eyes. Like eight-years-olds, they resort to name calling, and showing their true, prejudiced, selves to everyone who cares to look. They really have no ammunition against the Democrats, so they fall back on their tried-and-true tactic of calling them names.

Photos are very powerful weapons. In the wrong hands they can do great harm. But most intelligent people will see through this ruse as they do all the others.

By the way, some people are calling for Boortz to be suspended for his comments. I think he should be fired for this and other racist diatribes on the public airwaves. I'm all for freedom of speech, and Boortz is certainly entitled to his, but this goes beyond free speech and is just racist stupidity. And it should not be tolerated by anyone, particularly someone with access to the public airwaves.