NYC’s New Vessel Landmark Has a Big Photo Copyright Grab

Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the United States (by square footage) just opened to the public in New York City, and the centerpiece of the Yards is a permanent art installation and giant public structure called Vessel. It’s a 16-story landmark with 154 flights of stairs that visitors can climb, but beware: by buying a ticket to Vessel, you hand over rights to photos shot within.

We’ve received several tips from sharp-eyed readers who noticed the following section in Vessel’s Terms and Conditions, which you agree to by buying a ticket:

“If I create, upload, post or send any photographs, audio recordings, or video footage depicting or relating to the Vessel,” the document reads, “I grant to Company and its affiliates the irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable right and license to use, display, reproduce, perform, modify, transmit, publish, and distribute such photographs, audio recordings, or video footage for any purpose whatsoever in any and all media (in either case, now known or developed later).”

In other words, shoot a photo inside the structure, and the operator of Vessel will be able to use your photos for free, forever, anywhere, and for any reason.

And while you’re not allowed to use your photos for any commercial purpose, Vessel’s operator will even be able to send your photos to third parties for marketing.

“I further authorize Company to store such images on a database and transfer such images to third parties in conjunction with security and marketing procedures undertaken by the Vessel,” the document says.

These terms are found inside the 2,700-word document that you by default agree to when buying a ticket to Vessel, which is aiming to be a major landmark and tourist attraction in Manhattan. So now you know what you’re agree to if you decide to enter “the new heart of New York.”

Image credits: Header photographs by Rhododendrites and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0



Nikon Now Includes the $250 FTZ Lens Adapter for Free with the Z6 and Z7

If you shoot with a Nikon full-frame DSLR and have been considering a jump to the new Z Series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, it’s now easier on your wallet to bring your existing lens collection over with you. Nikon is now bundling the $250 FTZ (F-mount to Z-mount) lens adapter for free with the Z6 and Z7.

The FTZ adapter allows over 360 F-mount NIKKOR lenses to be used on Z Series mirrorless cameras with no change in image quality, and it guarantees full compatibility with over 90 NIKKOR lenses. F-mount lenses mounted via the adapter can make use of Z camera features such as Hybrid-AF and 3-axis in-camera Vibration Reduction (VR).

The lens adapter was previously available for $100 off when bundled with a camera, but now it’s included for free with the $1,997 Z6 and $3,397 Z7. The bundle can be found across all retailers (here’s B&H, Adorama, and Amazon for the Z6 and B&H, Adorama, and Amazon for the Z7).

Canon also bundles the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R for free with the $1,299 EOS RP and $2,299 EOS R, but that adapter retails for $99.

(via Adorama via Nikon Rumors)


F1 Superstar Lewis Hamilton Thanks the Photographers Who Cover Him

Here’s a neat gesture from one of the world’s greatest athletes. British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton, widely considered one of the best F1 drivers ever, took a moment this weekend to pose with Formula One photographers to thank them for their work.

After qualifying for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Hamilton gathered together all the photographers who have been documenting his races over his career for a group photo. He then shared the photo to social media with a message thanking them for their work.


“I took this picture after qualifying with all the photographers that have photographed me for the last 12 years,” Hamilton writes. “I just wanted to take this moment with them as life is precious and can sometimes fly by.

“I know I’m not always easy to work with photo wise but I do appreciate you guys, thank you”


These Polaroid Sneakers Are Inspired by Classic Instant Cameras

Polaroid announced a partnership with the sportswear brand Puma back in April 2018, and the first Puma x Polaroid sneakers landed in September 2018. If you love both photography and sneaker culture, you may want to look into the two Polaroid sneakers that have arrived so far.

Designed as a celebration of Polaroid’s 80-year anniversary, the two sneakers are part of Puma’s reboot of its classic Running System (RS) line from the 1980s.

“‘Instant photography’ has taken on new meaning since Polaroid first introduced the instant camera in the 1940s,” PUMA writes. “We now have cameras that can fit in our pockets, cameras that fly, and more places to view these photos than ever before. The reinvention of photography has changed the way we travel, share stories, interact with our friends, and capture moments.

“The PUMA x Polaroid collaboration celebrates this story of reinvention of both industry giants.”

The RS-0 Polaroid sneaker is inspired by the Polaroid OneStep instant camera. It features a premium white leather upper, micro perf vents, 6mm flat reflective laces, a Polaroid Color Spectrum logo on the heel, and the Polaroid Color Spectrum graphic on the tongue.

The RS-100 Polaroid sneaker features an “OG silhouette” that keeps true to the retro style of the original 1980s RS-100 sneaker. It features suede and leather overlays, Polaroid hues, reflective detailing, and a Polaroid Color Spectrum rainbow on both the outsole and the tongue.

Both sneakers also feature a miniature Polaroid instant photo frame as a hangtag.

The RS-0 Polaroid has a price tag of $120 but is currently sold out on Puma’s website. The RS-100 Polaroid can be purchased for $100 through retailers such as Foot Locker and Urban Outfitters.


Why I Share My Contact Sheets

One of the major shortcomings of sharing work online, especially on social media, is that it is often a highlight reel of incredible work. That’s not a bad thing if your only goal is to enjoy work, but for people looking to learn, it can offer some unrealistic expectations.

One of the reasons I think so many photographers have been able to inspire their audience on platforms like YouTube is because it allows them to share more than just their images; it allows keepers, outtakes, and their process/techniques/advice/anecdotes to flow in a way that their portfolio or Instagram may not allow.

This kind of content is valuable and in short supply, as many photographers may feel nervous about showing work they aren’t necessarily happy with. However, I think that every image a photographer makes represents a step in their progress, and sharing that progress can be just as rewarding as sharing a solitary exemplary image.

I shoot only stills and would not be as comfortable in front of the camera as someone who can record themselves both shooting and discussing their work afterward. The solution for me has been to share my contact sheets — on my blog where I discuss all aspects of my work, on my Instagram stories when I want to draw attention to a specific image, and occasionally alongside a specific image when sharing it to show just a few frames of context around it.

In film, a contact sheet can be used to view a roll of negatives as positive for better curating and selecting for final enlargement prints. As I have been shooting the majority of my images on film since towards the end of 2018, I have been able to show “real” sheets for these images. For my digital images, I was able to do something a little different, recording a short “BTS” clip on my phone, showing both the scene conditions and the result on the back of my camera.

When I know I spent some time and multiple shots/angles to produce a single image, I will take a screenshot of these slides when I export them to Lightroom. Once I’ve culled the “work in progress” shots and finessed down to the keeper I’ll indicate this on that digital contact sheet. I’ve used these to document my process and progress, and have really enjoyed discussing the decisions behind each image when it’s clear the result is a result of trial and error.

It can also help the editing and curating process itself, seeing all of the images in one spread and easily marking off any with defects without needing to go through each individually.

The contact sheet behind Alberto Korda’s iconic photograph of Che Guevara

When I’m looking at other peoples work, for enjoyment or inspiration, it is always fantastic when I discover a new source of other photographers contact sheets. I especially enjoy the contact sheets of famous images, even iconic ones, and learn that even when on film these images took trial and error to produce. I think some people have the idea that film should be shot frugally, one and done, but sheets like this show the work that went into that single iconic frame.

The contact sheet behind Diane Arbus’ famous 1962 photo “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park.”

Two of my favourite books for inspiration through contact sheets are Contact High, which contains work from the world of hip-hop, and Magnum Contact Sheets, which I really recommend to anyone interested in photography and “the greats.” Some of these read like a sketchbook of efforts to achieve something specific, others demonstrate a one-and-done spontaneous moment; all of which provide insight into the mind of the artist. Seeing the outtakes, even failures of the greats can be a fantastic learning tool.

When it comes to sharing my own contact sheets I do so both for myself and for my audience. For myself to keep track of my work, to look back and understand the decisions I made, and for my audience to understand my approach to work, the way I shoot, and to inspire those members of the film community who are interested in doing anything similar to the way I work. I can also easily track progress in the way I shoot, the efficiency by which I use film, and the kind of film that has rewarded me the most.

It can also be useful to see a physical representation of the amount of work that goes into images, as digital quantities can be a bit abstract. For example, this is the folder containing all 35mm sheets from every roll of film I have shot since 2016. It is moderately thick but is nothing in comparison to the tens of thousands of digital frames I’ve shot. Also to note is that this folder only contains fifty or so “true” keepers — nothing close to a lifetimes work… yet.

As I mentioned earlier, I also don’t think that enough photographers share this kind of insight into their work, but I would love to see more of it. Part of sharing anything that I share is an effort to lead by example; hopefully more photographers will feel more comfortable sharing their own contact sheets and methodology if they see others doing so first.

About the author: Simon King is a London based photographer and photojournalist, currently working on a number of long-term documentary and street photography projects. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can follow his work on Instagram and you can read more of his thoughts on photography day-to-day over on his personal blog. Simon also teaches a short course in Street Photography at UAL, which can be read about here.


The Winning Photo of the $120K HIPA Prize Was Apparently Staged

The prestigious Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced its 2019 winners, and Malaysian photographer Edwin Ong Wee Kee won the $120,000 Grand Prize with a photo shot in Vietnam showing a mother carrying two children. But the win is proving controversial today after a behind-the-scenes photo revealed that the shot was apparently staged.

The theme of this year’s HIPA contest was “Hope,” and the winners were unveiled on March 12th. Here’s the image that was used to announce Kee’s winning photo:

“[H]is photo documented an intense humanitarian moment,” HIPA writes. “The feelings of a Vietnamese mother whose speech disorder did not prevent her from feeling hopeful and evoking a sense of strength for her children.”

And it seems that Kee has been promoting his photo as being the result of an unexpected and “unplanned” moment:

“In the world’s biggest single contest prize open to the global photography community, Malaysian Edwin hit big with his single image taken from a recent photo trip to Vietnam,” PDNPulse writes. “Although he describes himself as a keen enthusiast, his full time profession is as a traditional Chinese medicine physician. His roadside shot of a Vietnamese woman and child was not planned and came about due to an unforeseen stop.”

But the photo seems to have been a lot more “planned” than Kee describes. Photographer and Street Photo BD Magazine founder Ab Rashid shared a behind-the-scenes photo today that seems to have been taken at around the same time as the winning photo.

As you can see, a crowd of photographers was apparently gathered around the mother at the same time as Kee, meaning his photo was just one of a large number of nearly identical photos that emerged from the portrait session.

“Another classic photo of a photography tour group gathered around one subject, shooting the same image from almost the same angle,” writes picsofasia. “The woman seems to pose for them, probably an organized staged model for the photographers who don’t want to have to work very hard for their pictures.”

Is this type of staged photo worthy of a prestigious photo prize?

It’s important to note that HIPA is a general photography award and not a photojournalism contest, so there isn’t any rule that was broken in this case. But it’s the fact that one of several similar photos won a prestigious $120,000 cash prize that seems to be leaving a sour taste in many photographers’ mouths.

“Staging a photo and winning a competition, is THE fastest way to reach this stage,” picsofasia continues. “This is the fastest shortcut you can take to obtain fame. Fame that will of course make you become very rich. Because we all know that once you have won a competition, it rains money and National Geographic just can’t get enough of you for their exotic assignments around the world.

“It is sad, very sad…”

P.S. We’ve reached out to Kee for comment but have yet to hear back. We will update this article if/when we receive a response from him.


Ep. 316: Don’t Mess With Profoto ‘Round Here – and more

Episode 316 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
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Photographer and Author, Gary Hershorn, opens the show.  Thanks Gary!

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Premium lighting maker, Profoto, takes on Godox. (#)

CFexpress comes in three sizes. (#)

The costs of being in various camera systems. (#)

Flickr saves Creative Commons photos and debuts In Memoriam status. (#)

Polarr takes more funding and expands its tech offerings. (#)

The $3,000 lens that sadly wasn’t…and what’s now changing. (#)

Flickr purges the login requirement from a once-great player. (#)

Another way to fry your camera’s sensor. (#)

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