Author Mark E. Johnson

The Constitution Under Attack in Arkansas

Once again, the Constitution is under attack, this time by State Senator Jon Woods (R) of Arkansas.

Here’s the thing, though … it’s a redundant law. The courts have already ruled on most of what is in here – that an individual person has the right to control how their image is used for commercial purposes, but not for journalistic/editorial purposes.

Here’s where it gets nasty, in the way this bill defines a “person:”

(B) “Person” includes:
(i) A partnership, a corporation, a company, an
association, or any other business entity;
(ii) A not-for-profit corporation or association;
(iii) An educational or religious institution;
(iv) A political party; and
(v) A community, civic, or other organization;

Yep, the State or Arkansas is about to give inanimate objects the same rights as individual people. This is a furthering of the Citizens United decision that is stripping away the rights of actual, individual people by diluting the definition of what a “person” is.

I’m off to fume a little …

Out of This World Images

Great piece on NPR about astronaut Reid Wiseman’s photographs … whoa.

The Disappearing Art of the Print

Over at The New York Times’ Lens blog, Rena Silverman talks with master printer Chuck Kelton about the shrinking number of photographers who need a custom printer.

I have, at home, a very nice larger format Canon printer that is capable of making stunning prints. And I rarely print … which is a shame, because studying an image that you hold in your hand is a very different experience than looking at it on a screen.

(Thanks to Dr. Alan Campbell for the link.)

New York Police Opening Up Photographic Records

This isn’t journalism, but it’s a fun way to look at how a type of documentary photography has changed over time as the New York City Police Department has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to digitize and publish 30,000 crime scene photos.

What you see on modern cop shows is nothing like how it was done years ago.

Steve McCurry Exhibit Opens in Italy

Not much of a chance I’ll see this there, but I hope it comes to the States … an exhibition of Steve McCurry’s work is up, looking at more than three decades of his images from around the world. CNN’s story has a great interview with him where he talks about the importance of his work, how it has come to be and it is loaded with great advice.

To take a good picture, you need to spend time with people until they trust you and forget that you’re there to photograph them.

Getty Images Editorial Grants

Applications open on April 1 and will be accepted through May 13 for five, $10,000 grants from Getty Images for photojournalists, “pursuing projects of personal and journalistic significance.”

Got a great idea? Go ahead and pitch it, but read the terms and conditions closely.

Did You See the Eclipse Photo From the Space Station?

If you did, then you were lied to.

The Power of the Norman

KPBS video journalist Katie Schoolov has just returned from a week at the 55th annual News Video a Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma – and it was more than she imagined.

For those local to Athens, we will have our annual Bluejeans Workshop on Saturday, March 28 – a day talking about video storytelling.

Blocking Photojournalists Physically and Virtually

A lot has been written about Texas Representative Jason Villalba’s proposed state legislation that would make it a crime to photograph or video record a police office from within 25 feet of them. But it’s risen to a new level of silliness as a photojournalism student asked him a question via Twitter and the response was to block her.

Transparency and accountability are two of the foundation stones of our government, Rep. Villalba.

(Thanks to David Schick for the link.)

The Image, Deconstructed Workshop

Just a couple of weeks before TID Workshop kicks off up at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This is on my bucket list – have always heard grand things about it.