Category Archives: News

Just five more days to the Day in the World project…

I know I’ve posted this before…but it’s worth a reminder. May 15th 2012 is the day of the Day in the World project

In five days this project will become reality. Be a part of it along with thousands of other photographers across the globe, documenting your world in what is probably the largest project of its kind ever attempted. On this one single day we ask you to pick up your camera and help us photograph daily life. What is close to you? What matters to you? We will connect your images to those of millions of others around the world, creating a unique online experience where photographs will be shared, compared and explored. Your view on life will be preserved to inspire generations to come.

But why?

Our mission is to use the power of photography to create, share and inspire perspectives on daily life – today and tomorrow.

And who are you?

This project is initiated by the Swedish non-profit foundation Expressions of Humankind and supported by a highly respected global advisory council and a special scientific council.

Who can join?

Professionals, amateurs, school children, farmers, social media fans, astronauts, office workers and you. Cell phone camera, Hasselblad, home-made or borrowed. We are looking for the perspective of everyone who enjoys photography.

What will happen to the photos?

All images will be displayed online for you and everyone to explore. Some of them will be selected for a book, A Day In the World, to be published in November 2012, others shown in digital exhibitions. Every single one will be saved for future research and inspiration. The photos will never be used for commercial purposes. They will always be treated with care and respect. Should your photo be selected to feature in a book, we will try to contact you beforehand.

Why should I join?

Because you love photography. Because you have something to say. Because your life matters. Because the idea of doing something together with millions of others is thrilling. Because you like the thought of saving a little something of yourself for generations to come. Because your take on daily life is part of a much bigger picture.

Come on! Sign up! Be a part of this history making record! To find out more about this exciting project, go here: www.aday.org

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Filed under art, documentary photography, News, Photography, Photojournalism

The new iPad as camera…

Having bought the new iPad for its dazzling display qualities, I finally got round to checking out what its improved camera could do. Now, with a brace of Nikon DSLRs and a Canon G11, I’m not especially in need of another camera, but driven by curiosity I decided to give it a run. Perhaps I should issue a warning here that this is not a serious review because the iPad camera is not a serious camera.

First up, its handling characteristics  make you look like an idiot, 50 years of working as a pro photographer has long ago inured me to what people think of me while I’m shooting pictures. The Ipad’s screen in bright conditions is practically unusable. This problem prompted me to drag out my old large format dark cloth. It was a great improvement, but stopping the cloth from falling over the lens was difficult. Now I look like a complete idiot, but at least I could now compose a picture effectively.

Using a dark cloth to view the new iPad screen. I call this my iBurka. © Rob Walls 2012

A quick candid shot. I guess one advantage with holding up an iPad is that most subjects, even those familiar with picture taking with a phone, are unaware that you are taking pictures. © Rob Walls 2012

The Cascade Brewery near my home. A picture I took while out for a walk a few hours ago. The iPad screen grid is useful for architectural shots. © Rob Walls 2012

As far as colour rendition is concerned, the new iPad suits my penchant for vivid colour.

To sum up: as a camera it will do in a pinch. The pictures are as sharp as one could expect from a device such as this. Great for taking pictures for a blog, but it’s handling is about as responsive as that big ship in the minutes before it collided with that chunk of ice 100 years ago (couldn’t resist working in a reference to the Titanic). No design changes I can foresee are ever likely to make the iPad into a decent camera, but then again, that’s not what I bought it for. I don’t think, I’ve ever owned a device that has given me more pleasure while contributing so much to my productivity.

Shooting from beneath my iBurka it occurred to me that a fun iPad accessory would be a clip-on dummy set of bellows with a fake tilt shift lens panel and a tripod mount that would make the iPad look like a conventional 10×8 view camera. After all, there is already a cover that disguises the iPhone as a Leica. (please note I am stamping this idea with my ownership right here:-))

Now the truly great thing about photography with the new Ipad is that with picture sharing via Twitter, the iPad camera brings back to my photography much of the playfulness that I used to experience when shooting with the Polaroid SX70. This sense of play is enhanced by the fact that pictures on the iPad are costing me nothing. I used to get free film from Polaroid, so it was the same with the SX70. Being able to shoot oblivious to cost and unhampered by the limitations imposed by knowing that the pictures don’t need to meet a certain quality standard for publication, is a truly liberating experience.

(Now I’d like to explore it’s video possibilities. With the addition of a Movie Mount it actually might even have reasonable handling capabilities. The new iPad mount is expected to be available in a month or so.)

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Filed under Australian, Digital photography, News, Opinion, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, Rob Walls

A Day in the World…

In that wonderful way that the internet has of making and re-making connections, I recently linked up with the Swedish photographer, Rolf Adlercreutz. I knew Rolf when we worked together on Fleet Street in the late 60s.Last week he contacted me to ask whether I would consider becoming a “connector” in a project he is involved in called, “A Day in the World”. Ever the enthusiast for projects that link people through photography, I was delighted to become a part of the project.

So what is Day in the World? As the website explains:

Capture daily life on May 15th 2012

On this one single day we ask you to pick up your camera and help us photograph daily life. What is close to you? What matters to you? We will connect your images to those of millions of others around the world, creating a unique online experience where photographs will be shared, compared and explored. Your view on life will be preserved to inspire generations to come.

But why?

Our mission is to use the power of photography to create, share and inspire perspectives on daily life – today and tomorrow.

And who are you?

This project is initiated by the Swedish non-profit foundation Expressions of Humankind and supported by a highly respected global advisory council and a special scientific council.

Who can join?

Professionals, amateurs, school children, farmers, social media fans, astronauts, office workers and you. Cell phone camera, Hasselblad, home made or borrowed. We are looking for the perspective of everyone who enjoys photography.

What will happen to the photos?

All images will be displayed online for you and everyone to explore. Some of them will be selected for a book, A Day In the World, to be published in November 2012, others shown in digital exhibitions. Every single one will be saved for future research and inspiration. The photos will never be used for commercial purposes. They will always be treated with care and respect. Should your photo be selected to feature in a book, we will try to contact you beforehand.

Why should I join?

Because you love photography. Because you have something to say. Because your life matters. Because the idea of doing something together with millions of others is thrilling. Because you like the thought of saving a little something of yourself for generations to come. Because your take on daily life is part of a much bigger picture.

To find out more about this exciting project, go here: www.aday.org

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Filed under art, documentary photography, News, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism

ABC and Organic Gardener, trying it on…

This week I received a “deed of copyright” from the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s Organic Gardener, a publication I have on a few occasions contributed to. I was at first puzzled as it is nearly two years since I’ve had anything published in that fine magazine. Now, I’m all for contracts when it comes to publishing, but this particular deed I was being asked to sign, wanted me to grant them a fixed re-use price for my photographs of $20 per use, plus the use of my work “on any website owned or controlled by the ABC…for an unlimited time gratis”.

The specific clauses in the ABC Copyright Licence Deed

Normally I would just ignore a rights grab like that, but in this case I felt compelled to respond. I wrote to the ABC as follows:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

 Dear Ms White,

 I am puzzled by the request to sign a deed of copyright related to my material previously published in Organic Gardener.

 While I respect the need for contracts within publishing, I will not sign overarching deeds of copyright related to material already published, that gives the ABC retrospective re-use rights at rates so low.

 Organic Gardener is entirely free to re-use my material whenever they choose, at a rate negotiated with me at the time. I am sure your experience is the same as mine, but I have yet to encounter any supplier of goods or services that will allow me to decide what I want to pay. As the author and licensee of my photographs, it is my prerogative to decide the rates they are offered at. If you disagree with what I ask, it is your right to say negotiate or say no.

 I have forwarded copies of your deed of copyright to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the Australian Commercial and Media Photographers.

 Yours sincerely,

I’ll let you know if there is any follow-up….

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Filed under Australia, Australian, Digital photography, News, Opinion, Photographer, Photographers' rights, Rob Walls, Stock photography

Gay marriage in Australia?

OK, this is not about photography, but then I never promised this blog would be entirely about that subject. Just felt I had to share this news.

With man mountain, world champion, Tasmanian axeman coming out in support: gay marriage in Australia? A done deal!

http://www.theage.com.au/national/world-champ-axeman-backs-gay-marriage-20110909-1k11r.html

David Foster, world champion, Tasmanian axeman comes out in support of gay marriage.  © The Age

Oh, how my late and sadly missed friend, Richard Beckett (aka Sam Orr), author of “Axemen, Stand By Your Logs”, a history of woodchopping in Australia, would have delighted in the delicious irony of this.

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Filed under Australia, Australian, News, Tasmania

Photo education – a new level…

My good friend and colleague, Simon Cowling, has, I believe, taken photo education in Australia to a new level with the launching of Shoot , a new photo studies workshop in Perth.  With the backing of Camera Electronic Pty Ltd, Simon, has created the ideal venue for photographers ambitious to master their cameras and acquire a high level of skill, to learn in a small, class environment.

Now, their promotional material claims that Shoot is “Perth’s premier photographic teaching workshop”. I’d not argue with this, except to say that this could be somewhat of an understatement. I’ve known and taught alongside Simon for 30 years or more. When it comes to photography and the teaching of the craft, Simon Cowling is someone who makes your average perfectionist look downright careless. When it comes to the creation of an environment in which to learn, Shoot is perfect.

Statement of vested interest: later this year, I’ ll be teaching a two day seminar on stock photography at Shoot. I’m really looking forward to it…

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Filed under art, Australia, Australian, Digital photography, News, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism

A marvellous Melbourne Sunday…

Sunday, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011

Sunday, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011

Kat Macaulay, bartender at The Gypsy Bar, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011

His first protest; Climate Action rally, Melbourne June 5 2011 © Rob Walls 2011

Exuberance personified at the Climate Action rally in Melbourne © Rob Walls 2001

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy © Rob Walls 2011

 

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Filed under Australia, Australian, Digital photography, documentary photography, News, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, Stock photography, travel