July 11, 2012

The Crazy Zoom of a 1700mm Nikon Lens

Check out Nikon’s 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P lens

Nikon launched a prototype of the lens in 1990 for newspaper photographers covering baseball in Japan. The sample photos above show the lens’ ridiculous reach. A standard 50mm FoV can be seen on the left, while the right photo shows what the same scene looks like at 1700mm.

July 10, 2012

UC pays to settle photographer's suit over arrest

The University of California has agreed to dish out a $162,500 settlement to David Morse, a 43-year-old photographer who was arrested back in 2009 while covering a student protest. The SF Chronicle writes,

[The suit] an officer told Morse, “We want your camera. We believe your camera contains evidence of a crime.”

The officers ignored his press pass and arrested him and seven others on suspicion of rioting, threatening an education official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, the suit said.

Morse spent the night in jail. Prosecutors declined to file charges.

But police obtained a search warrant and used several of his photos in brochures and online in hopes that the public could identify individuals.

As part of the settlement, the police department has also agreed to modify its procedures regarding seeking materials from journalists and will be conducting training sessions teaching its officers about media rights.

UC pays to settle photographer’s suit over arrest (via PDN Pulse)

July 9, 2012

ACLU-NJ Releases Police Accountability Smartphone App

Android app allows citizens to record and store video and audio of police encounters, includes guide to citizens’ rights.

Citizens can hold police accountable in the palms of their hands with “Police Tape,” a smartphone application from the ACLU of New Jersey that allows people to securely and discreetly record and store interactions with police, as well as provide legal information about citizens’ rights when interacting with the police. Thanks to the generosity of app developer OpenWatch, the ACLU-NJ is providing Police Tape to the public free of charge.

July 6, 2012

NYPD Publishes Poster of "Professional Agitators," aka Citizens who Record Cops

The New York City Police Department issued a notice to officers to be aware of a pair of “professional agitators” who like to video record police performing their duties.

It was the agitators themselves who discovered the flyer when they walked inside the 30th Precinct for a community board meeting.

This is how Christina Gonzalez Nysid, who captured the flyer on video, described it on Youtube:

Walked into the monthly 30th Precinct community board meeting to discover our own faces hanging on the podium. It reads
Be aware that the subjects are known professional agitators that live at [our address posted on poster]. Above subjects mo is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on youtube. Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too deter officers from conducting there responsibilities. Above subjects also deter officers from being safe and tactical by causing unnecessary distractions. Do not feed into subjects propaganda.

July 5, 2012

Getty Draws Initial Bids in Auction of $4 Billion

Getty Images has received around $4 billion in initial bids related to a potential sale as it progresses to the second round of an auction, people close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The Seattle-based photo agency holds an archive of tens of millions of photographs, including those taken of Lyndon Johnson when he was being sworn in following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

On its web site, Getty says its archive photos collection cover "America from its birth to present day," including "an array of photos, maps, fine art and engravings from legendary sources like Pictorial Parade, FPG and George Eastman House.”

The agency distributes its photos and videos to media and other organizations.

Buyout company Hellman & Friedman took Getty private in 2008 in a leveraged buyout that valued the photo agency at $2.4 billion. A group of investors, including Getty’s co-founder, Mark Getty, that together hold a minority stake in the company, are expected to roll over their investment and strike a new deal with the incoming private equity owner,

Getty’s owners had also been considering an initial public offering, however people close to the matter told the newspaper that those plans are on the back burner.

July 3, 2012

Alec Baldwin's Daughter Blames Paparazzi Clash on Wedding Stress

Alec Baldwin was suffering from "wedding stress" when he clashed with members of the paparazzi on the eve of his nuptials on Friday (29Jun12), according to his teenage daughter.

The 30 Rock star hit the headlines last week when he approached a snapper who had been camped outside his New York apartment complex and grabbed his arm in a bid to escort the photographer away from the building.

In video footage of the incident, a visibly-upset Baldwin can be heard telling the paparazzo, "I want you to shut the f**k up and get outta here", before heading back into his home.

It was the 54 year old's second recent bust-up with the media - he is currently under investigation over claims he attacked a New York Daily News staffer outside a courthouse after obtaining a marriage licence last month (Jun12).

However, Baldwin's daughter Ireland, from his first marriage to actress Kim Basinger, has come to her father's defence over the public tirades, insisting her dad lost his temper as a result of the stress of planning his wedding to yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas.

Speaking to the New York Post before the nuptials, Ireland said, "(He is) actually a very mellow guy, and since he changed his diet, he's been doing so much better... This is all just wedding stress".

The actor exchanged vows with Thomas, 28, on Saturday (30Jun12) at Manhattan's St.

Patrick's Old Cathedral, in front of guests including the groom's brothers Stephen and Billy, his 30 Rock co-star Tina Fey and director Woody Allen.

Baldwin's security team were on high alert at the event and made it clear the paparazzi were unwelcome outside the wedding venue - one photographer was forcefully removed from the area as he tried to snap images of the bridal party arriving at the church.