Tag Archive: twitter

Following breaking news – iWitness shows tweets from specific time and geography

iWitness - Boston bombings tweets

iWitness – Boston bombings tweets

It’s always tough following breaking news as rumors start to fly. Yesterday in Boston was no exception. One particular tool jumped out at me as I was following the news: Adaptive Path’s iWitness twitter search. The service, which only works on webkit browsers such as Chrome or Safari, allows to view tweets from specific geography and time. To wit, here are all geo-tagged tweets from Boylston Street bombing locations sent between 2:45pm and 3:15pm. It’s a fascinating look at news unfolding in real time by the people who were there. (found via Metafilter)

A few more links on the subject of the bombings:

  • Reddit users have once again provided a comprehensive and continually updated feed of developments in the story, starting before major news outlets had published anything. Threads 1, 2, 3, 4. Boston.com also has a very good feed of news as it unfolds.
  • The Atlantic and Time Lightbox were quick to post images from the scene. Lightbox features an interview with Globe photographer John Tlumacki, whose images I believe will come to define the event. The Atlantic features a particularly gruesome image (#8, you’ve been warned), which when I first saw it was uncensored but not has blurred the face of the victim. That’s a very interesting move, and I think it dehumanizes the news. I am surprised that they blurred the face and hope that this is not a trend. The Boston Globe has a particularly moving front page image today, and I think the emotional impact rests partly on being able to see who was involved in this terrible tragedy.
  • In image #8 linked above, a man in a cowboy hat is holding the victim’s vein closed with his hand. He can be seen other news videos and photos rushing to help. His name is Carlos Arredondo, an immigrant from Costa Rica whose life had been upended after losing one son in Iraq. Mother Jones has some information about him, and here is a video of him, visibly shaking, describing the events soon after they happened.
  • The situation is still unfolding, and much of the area around Copley Square remains closed off to the public. Some young Boston journalists, connected to Tufts I believe, have created BostonSituation.org as a no-nonsense gathering of information for those affected. Built on Google Drive, it’s a brilliant way to use web tools to spread vital information when other methods of communication might be down.
  • The website is getting hammered, but if you can get through, BagNewsNotes has been looking at specific images from the coverage. On That Iconic Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombings and War and Terror: What Shocks Me Most About the Bloody Marathon Bombing Pictures (GRAPHIC)

Judge rejects AFP’s claim to Morel’s Haiti Twitpic photos


“[B]y their express language, Twitter’s terms grant a license to use content only to Twitter and its partners. Similarly, Twitpic’s terms grant a license to use photographs only to Twitpic.com or affiliated sites. . . . the provision that Twitter ‘encourage[s] and permit[s] broad re-use of Content’ does not clearly confer a right on others to re-use copyrighted postings” -Agence France Presse v. Morel, 10 Civ. 2730 (WHP) (S.D.N.Y.; Dec. 23, 2010)

You may remember Daniel Morel’s copyright fight with Agence France-Presse over photos Morel posted to Twitpic in the early hours of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake. AFP claimed they could use and license the photos through explicit permission granted in Twitter and Twitpic’s terms of use. Morel filed lawsuits claiming that he maintained copyright on the images, that AFP knowingly infringed his copyright, and that AFP, in not properly crediting Morel, violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Now, a court’s decision on the case may prove beneficial to all content creators in the internet age.

A judge has ruled that Twitter and Twitpic’s licensing terms do not extend to third parties, that Morel has a valid copyright infringement claim, and that any information identifying the copyright holder (so-called “copyright management information”) must be distributed alongside copyrighted material. All three of these rulings are a boon to photographers and other content creators and should have influence well outside the bounds of Twitter and Twitpic. Eric Goldman’s blog has the best analysis of the ruling that I’ve found, though the New York Observer’s “Hands of my blizzard Twitpics” gets an honorable mention. The court’s full ruling is available here.

BJP chronicles the Morel/Twitter/Visa Pour l’Image/AFP/duckrabbit flap

It’s been hard to keep up with, but thankfully BJP has done a concise and cogent roundup of the recent flareup in the Morel/Twitter/AFP debate as JF Leroy, co-founder of Visa Pour l’Image, and duckrabbit have entered the mix. In true duckrabbit style, the rhetoric is elevated, but the central point remains valid. A photographer’s work was posted to twitpic, AFP took the images and sold them without compensating the photographer. Now, Leroy has come in to defend AFP (or at least, to blame the photographer), and the debate rages on. The best place to get caught up to speed is over at BJP’s coverage, AFP v. Morel: The Debate Rages On.

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Reporting from Bangkok, on Twitter

There are a lot of photographs and even more information flowing out of Bangkok these days but I wanted to share some of what I’ve come across. While much has been said about the “power of twitter” in the wake of recent big events (Iran, Kyrgyzstan, etc.) I must say that it is proving itself useful time and again for me to keep up with ‘developing’ stories.

Leading the charge in my consumption of Thai news this week has been the indomitable Yumi Goto, who clued me into the tweets of (terrific) photographers Agnes Dherbeys (see her website) and my friend Kosuke Okahara (see his website). Also providing a barrage of harrowing front-line reporting is journalist Andrew Marshall who is tweeting as Journotopia. While complete (more or less) news accounts in newspapers are essential to understanding more of the story on any given day, the short bursts of information that come from multiple sources on the ground at the same time is fascinating and enlightening.

(c) Agnes Dherbeys for The New York Times

Though these tweets I found this first hand account of photographing a group of red shirts being shot at by government troops by photographer Nick Nostitz. He said of the battle he photographed yesterday: “Sitting here at home, I wonder if this day, the 15th of May, has been real, or just a terrible nightmare. Never in my whole life have I been so scared. I thought that I am going to die today.” Nostitz’s report is another incredible story of being very close to violence and war, I definitely recommend reading whether or not you think you’ll ever be in a similar situation.

I hope everyone reporting from Thailand this week stays safe, I’ll keep my eye out for your photographs and reports. There have already been injured and wounded journalists and reports of targeting of journos. I wish them a speedy recovery.

Like moths to a flame – so many cameras in Haiti

This picture:

BBC In Pictures - Search for Haiti Survivors

BBC In Pictures - Search for Haiti Survivors

Reminds me of this pack of war paparazzi. I’m well aware that coverage of disasters is chaotic and involves a huge crowd of reporters. Photojournalism isn’t just one photographer out in the middle of nowhere sending back photos, but it shouldn’t be a pack of hungry wolves descending on the latest victim to emerge from the rubble. The world needs to know about disaster and it takes an army of reporters to do that. The pictures from Haiti have likely been the a driving force behind the private and public relief donations. But… I can only imagine how much worse the woman’s disorientation and confusion was made by so many lenses stuck in her face. I get so depressed every time I see a goat fuck. (via Conscientious Redux)

From the sounds of it now, Haiti needs money more than it needs more people on the ground. I’ve read fresh water is running out. Lightstalkers has a bit more info from the ground. Thankfully, text message donations have raised over US$10 million.

Word now comes that (no surprise here) photographers in Haiti face shortages of fuel, water, housing, and food. Here’s an enlightening perspective on untrained volunteers coming to help in Sarajevo during the war and the undue burden they placed on the people they were trying to help.

The very first thing I thought of when seeing this picture was of course Alex Webb’s work in Haiti in 1994, which has multiple levels of importance for this discussion and shows the long oft-complicated relationship between the media and Haiti. Links to Magnum stories don’t seem to persist very well; go to the search page and pick Webb in the “include photographer” section and type “haiti” in as a keyword. Here’s one such photo:

HAITI. 1994. A photographer takes an exposure reading to shoot a photo of killed Aristide supporter. Alex Webb/Magnum Photos

HAITI. 1994. A photographer takes an exposure reading to shoot a photo of killed Aristide supporter. Alex Webb/Magnum Photos

I’m left wondering if there is a difference of context between photographs/photographing man-made disaster (i.e. war) and natural disaster? In some sense I’m less pissed off by this photograph above than similar images from wars, but I’m not sure why. I think it feels less like the photographers are over-inflating the importance of an event (turning something into a press conference) or setting up this scene (or that something is a show being performed for their lenses). It still turns my gut as a journalist (beyond the human level which is most queasy, though I think we sometimes need to repress this as journalists) that there is pack activity like this happening in such a horrible zone. As much as I understand it (these photographers are doing their jobs in my opinion) I still don’t like seeing the sausage being made, probably because I’ve been there myself.

Simply, this is another expression of age-old contradictions and discontents of journalism itself.

This also brings me to some interesting things happening on twitter expressing much the same emotions. Time Magazine’s Jay Newton-Small is sending out wrenching tweets while she is reporting in Port-au-Prince, including:

Haitians are furious w/ Americans & the West. They yell “fuck you” and “put down your camera & dig” when u drive by. (link)

2late, 2late, they say. I tell myself that i’m doing more good writing than digging, but it’s hard not to agree w/them. Heart wrenching (link)

@ dinner tonite yucky drunken US expats grilling steak & drinking beer, watching 100s of homeless victims sing their pain.THIS IS NOT A SHOW (link)

There will be much more to talk about on the issue of media coverage of this horrible disaster but I think we should wait until we are closer to a conclusion, there is too much more to be done right now. I wish all the photographers heading there (I hear from more everyday; and check out the #haitiphoto) the best and implore them to do honest and compassionate work.

(dual post by Matt and Scott)

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Tomas van Houtryve Sneaks into North Korea

Panos Pictures’ twitter feed actually alerted me to this very interesting body of work by Tomas van Houtryve in North Korea (timely, eh). “Secrets and Lies”. Beyond the fascinating pictures the back story is incredible too.

A woman carries a bouquet of yellow flowers down the escalator into a Pyongyang metro subway. (c) Tomas van Houtryve

A woman carries a bouquet of yellow flowers down the escalator into a Pyongyang metro subway. (c) Tomas van Houtryve

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Adopting the persona of a Belgian chocolate magnate, complete with disguise and funny accent, Tomas van Houtryve made his second trip to North Korea in February 2008. Despite his credentials as a foreign businessman keen to invest in the country, he faced hours of interrogation, was threatened by apparatchiks, and at one point was almost exposed as a journalist. His bold tactics gave him access to factories, hospitals and government offices, some of which had never before been seen by a Western photographer. He was also able to catch a fleeting glimpse of the lives of ordinary people.


Though the pictures were shot in February 2008, they might just be being released now? Curious, I’ll have to look in to this, but wanted to share first.

(Instant Update! I read on Tomas’ blog and newsletter that these images are currently being exhibited in Spain (through July 7) and were recently published in the great Foreign Policy Magazine which I think is on newsstands now. It seems the images have been out, at least for a few months, but this is the first time I’ve seen them… terrific stuff)

Many things I’ve been looking at (Pt. 2)

Here is part two of the list of things I’ve been reading the last few days week or more that I found interesting enough to share. This edition with more analysis!

First, this should be required reading daily: Foreign Policy’s Morning Brief post every morning on the Passport Blog. Yes, we get most of this from international newspaper front pages but here it is all together, and always has interesting and important updates to world stories that you just don’t see often anywhere else. More news breaks for me here than anywhere else..

There was a minor controversy this last week in Washington, for two reasons I guess. Washingtonian Magazine ran a cover that reused a wire (paparazzi?) image of Obama walking shirtless in Hawaii. So, I guess controversy for putting a shirtless President on the cover of a features magazine (with a tagline of “Reason #2: Our New Neighbor is Hot”, referring to the cover story of ’26 reasons to love living living here’), but they also photoshopped his swimsuit to red (from black). The Huffington Post wrote about this in a post called Media Literacy 101: The Ethics of Photoshopping a Shirtless Obama and then PDN picked it up with Washingtonian’s Shirtless Obama Cover: You Call This a Scandal? which gives a complete rundown and argument. I agree that this isn’t something on the level of the Time OJ Simpson cover, and mostly just want to say that this all is very weird. Having a “hot President” is a new concept for me, and maybe this is an adjustment we’ll need to get used to. I am reminded of the deservedly-lauded New York Magazine cover of McCain and Obama on the beach, which is great. Finally last word: BagnewsNotes has the analysis on this cover-controversy along with December 08 analysis of the original photo when it came out.

And a little interlude/soundtrack for this post. My favorite Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy with a new song from his new album Beware… “I Am Goodbye”.

There is not that much more I can say more than I am impressed over and over again by the Burnetts’ amazing blog We’re Just Sayin’ which blends family, photography and general useful knowledge about living. Cheers to them.

Over at Burn Magazine there is an interesting and difficult essay playing by Jukka Onnela titled “A Kind of Error”. As Bob Black, who apparently curated this essay, says in the comments, “there are knods to Clarke and Richards and Moriyama and Peterson for sure, d’agata looms large too..” (sic)

One thing appears to be going right for photojournalism: Livebooks (which powers my site) announces a hosting plan for photojournalists (PDN story with the scoop) that is significantly cheaper than their normal sites. Direct link to Livebooks Photojournalism, which costs $44/mo all inclusive. A good plan for them I think, since their normal plans really aren’t priced for most budget minded photojournalists (in fact I know of at least one who dropped the service because of cost). Luckily I’m on the EDU plan..

In keeping with the breaking news, here is Andrew Sullivan’s ‘picture of the day’ for 4/26:

A couple kisses at the Historic Center, in Mexico City, on April 25, 2009. An outbreak of deadly swine flu in Mexico and the United States has raised the specter of a new virus against which much of humanity would have little or no immunity. The outbreak of the new multi-strain swine flu virus transmitted from human to human that has killed up to 60 people in Mexico is a 'serious situation' with a 'pandemic potential', the head of the World Health Organization stated. By Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images.

A couple kisses at the Historic Center, in Mexico City, on April 25, 2009. An outbreak of deadly swine flu in Mexico and the United States has raised the specter of a new virus against which much of humanity would have little or no immunity. The outbreak of the new multi-strain swine flu virus transmitted from human to human that has killed up to 60 people in Mexico is a 'serious situation' with a 'pandemic potential', the head of the World Health Organization stated. By Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images.

Along the same lines, the Serbian Government issued a press release on their English language website that announces that:

The statement adds that in order to establish existing capabilities and assess the necessary resources for a timely diagnosis of this disease in pigs, the Veterinary Directorate carried out a control of veterinary laboratories on April 25.

The Veterinary Directorate formed special teams for rooting out infectious diseases in animals, trained and equipped to dispose of diseased animals if the need arises.

Apart from a ban on the import of pigs and stricter veterinary inspection on borders, the Veterinary Directorate will examine the heath condition of pigs and poultry farmed in Serbia.

I appreciate the action Serbia, especially since I’m living here and will benefit from your preventative measures but I’m afraid you don’t quite understand that the issue is that the disease is infecting humans at present and is killing some of them.

Here is an interview on the Design Notes by Michael Surtees blog with the designer/creator of iPhone photography applications. I’ve only read part but it could be of interest. It also deals with the ‘nature’ of toy photography, and why Takayuki Fukatsu wanted to add this ‘ability’ to an expensive gadget like the iphone.

Daryl Lang at PDN takes a stand with his post Coverage of Dignified Transfers at Dover Dwindles when he says “doesn’t this seem cold? The lack of coverage at Dover ought to cause some soul-searching among assignment editors and, especially, TV producers.” While I’m very sympathetic to the power and importance of photographing events like this I do not see this as an issue. These transfers are being documented by the AP, with at least (for now) a photographer and a writer present. And frankly this ‘photo op’ (harsh) is not anywhere close to the real story and issue. That would be the combat death and the impact on families (ignoring for a moment the larger issue of the wars and their much larger ‘footprints’ overseas). Frankly I think it is odd to suggest that a full press retinue is as necessary for proper respect of a person, their death or the story of their death as an honor guard.

From Andy Levin’s blog 100eyes I was alerted to Kenneth Jarecke’s blog where he rants about modern photojournalism in a post titled “Lets Be Honest – Part 3″. It is roughly, as I can decipher, about taking ‘style’ too far in photojournalism and what causes photographers to do it. Part 2 makes more sense but I still am inclined to disagree. His main point is that all of this “sizzle” added to images, good or bad images, weakens (cheapens?) them. I just want images to evoke something, say something, in however way the photographer wants to. All of us can and will react to the voice and ‘language’ that they’re using. I think Jarecke is confusing his dislike with a certain picture using a ‘technique’ with a whole swath of other things, ultimately generalizing about the photographer himself and a coming generation. Images can be good or bad, and yes they can be either because of the ‘style’ put in to them. Just disagree with a particular picture or series, and let people experiment. It either works or it doesn’t, and as he says, the essence of photography is “I saw this. I found it interesting. What do you think?” . I do agree that people can be pushed in bad directions (over cooking images in photoshop or even setting up images) by the economics of the photo market (i.e. that is the crap that tends to get published, and sometimes rewarded). I feel it myself, we all do. We see the winners of World Press or what work is getting published and the thought ‘I gotta make work that looks like that’ crosses our minds. But it is each photographers’ choice to make and their decision to present their photographs in the way that they do. So I’ll reserve those judgments for each individual photographer and their work. Or maybe blame the editors.

(c) Stephen Voss

(c) Stephen Voss

Stephen Voss just posted some insane and striking images from abandoned schools in Detroit. Have a look.

Scott Strazzante has a touching post about optimism, his friends, mentors and layoffs in American newspapers on his blog Shooting From The Hip.

Speaking of newspapers (and layoffs) The Recovering Journalist has an interesting post about Inventing The Future in Iowa following the innovative exploits of The Gazette newspaper in Eastern Iowa. Interesting write up but frankly, after a few minutes poking around the website, I don’t see what is new or what the fuss is about.

Via The Click I saw this update about the ‘The Polaroid Kidd’ Mike Brodie on the Feature Shoot site. There are many more pictures and images from the 2007 exhibition on this page. I remember when these pictures first hit the ground a year or two ago, I think I saw them first in some sort of photo chain email. I loved them then and still do, very very much. So personal and really genius. Have a look, and remember he did it all with no training no fancy gear and at the age of 18. Kind of devastated me when I first heard that :)

(c) Mike Brodie

(c) Mike Brodie

Ok, one more slightly-wonkish Foreign Policy blog link: How NOT to dismantle the U.N. by Mark Leon Goldberg about issues within UN peacekeeping missions and accountability, and how this intrudes on the effectiveness of missions and local support. Very applicable, in my interest, to Kosovo and Bosnia of course.

Conscientious has one of his more interesting posts for me in a long while while highlighting Anna Shteynshleyger, specifically her intriguing work from Siberia and the sites of Gulags. It is made even better by this really interesting analysis/critique by Pete Brook at Prison Photography (which I hadn’t known till now, but is now rss’d). And here is the crux for me that Colberg teases out, which I’d love to explore later: “It indicates that there are no photographic conventions established, yet, for how to deal with the Gulag – which might reflect that the discussion (or actually amount of discussion) is still very much in flux. In fact, now that Russia has descended into a sort of authoritarian quasi-democracy, the Gulag there seems to be evolving into a non-topic…” . I don’t entirely agree, and neither would many in Russia I’d venture, but I too haven’t seen any photography that comes anywhere close to written accounts. My favorite of which is Ryszard Kapuscinski’s Imperium which I recommend with pleasure and passion.

A friend of mine sent me this very intriguing visual-blog (?) on the New York Times called And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman. I’ve only had the pleasure of reading her latest post May It Please The Court so far, but I look forward to reading back. Kalman also has a cool looking book.

I’ve seen everyone posting about the New York Times article about Danny Lyon and his two new books, but I two quotes struck me and bear repeating:
“You put a camera in my hand, I want to get close to people,” he said. “Not just physically close, emotionally close, all of it. It’s part of the process.” And, “It’s a very weird thing being a photographer.” Ooh, I agree.

Oh, and as evidence of my insanity and need to spike a few dozen of my rss feeds … this is what my computer looked like while I was preparing these posts…

Too many windows in Firefox

Too many windows in Firefox

Lastly, and I say this reluctantly, I am now on twitter. So join me if you want smaller versions of this kind of post and my musical ramblings.