Archive for September 2006

San Francisco’s NOPA District

Criticism as InspirationCriticism as Inspiration Hosted on Zooomr

I shot the NOPA (North of Panhandle) District for the current issue of San Francisco Magazine on stands now. Usually when I shoot for San Francisco Magazine I give them 50 to 100 images and they use maybe 4 or 5 for the shoot. The image above is the one they selected for the current issue. All of the images including all of the outtakes can be seen in this SmartSet here.

Frisco Texas Art Teacher Fired for Field Trip to the Dallas Museum of Art?

Our Love is Just a MemorySculpture, Oakland Museum of California Hosted on Zooomr – Education – Art Teacher Loses Job After Kids See Nude Sculpture

“I wanna tell you all a story ’bout a Harper Valley widowed wife,
who had a teenage daughter who attended Harper Valley Junior High,
well her daughter came home one afternoon and didn’t even stop to play,
And she said.”Mom I got a note here from the Harper Valley PTA.”

Tom T. Hall

So apparently in Frisco, Texas (not to be confused with ‘Frisco, California) the Frisco school board has voted not to renew a reprimanded art teacher, Sydney McGee’s, contract after 28 years of service. This teacher apparently was honored two years ago with a Star Teacher Award. Her crime? Allegedly taking 89 Fisher Elementary School fifth-graders to the Dallas Museum of Art where one of her students apparently saw a nude sculpture.

Gasp, the horror.

Parents repoortedly had signed permission slips allowing the trip.

So here I present to a photo of the school board who fired this poor teacher.

Frisco ISD Board of TrusteesFrisco ISD Board of Trustees Hosted on Zooomr

Yep, that’s them. Renee Ehmke, Buddy Minett, Brenda Polk, Dan Mossakowski, good old Dick Beaver, Cindy DePaolantonio and Laura Ellison.

Now I’m not going to call these guys a bunch of assholes or pricks just yet because there could be more to this story. In fact, I was able to dig up this rebutal apparently written by someone named Shana Mckay-Wortham from the Frisco School District who seems to dispute this teacher’s version of why she is not being renewed, but still, this smells awfully bad. Also, The New York Times probably has the best coverage I’ve seen on this yet but they do confirm that this teacher was taken to task over the field trip in a memo from the school:

“Although the tour had been approved by the principal, and the 89 students were accompanied by 4 other teachers, at least 12 parents and a museum docent, Ms. McGee said, she was called to the principal the next day and “bashed.”

She later received a memorandum in which the principal, Nancy Lawson, wrote: “During a study trip that you planned for fifth graders, students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations.” It cited additional complaints, which Ms. McGee has challenged.”

I will say that if in fact this teacher has been fired for taking kids to a museum this sucks pretty bad. Kids ought to be exposed to art and I find it very difficult to see what might be objectionable in nude statues. I take my kids to the Oakland Museum of California all the time where the nude above is on display and I don’t really see anything wrong with it. If anything I would think that the nude might prompt a healthy conversation about our bodies.

Certainly some art probably can be too extreme for young children. When I took my son Jack to the MOMA a few years back I decided that we would skip Larry Sultan’s photographic showing of “The Valley,” a behind the scenes photo exhibition of the porn business in the San Fernando Valley. I do think Sultan’s photography is pretty incredible, but still, probably not the best thing for my four year old to see.

But I don’t think that most nude sculpture that I’ve ever seen would be too much for fifth-graders and I suspect that this school board may have taken this one a bit far. It’s unfortunate that this is how art is viewed in Frisco Texas.

Thanks for the heads up on this story Steve Gobeil.

Replace the Pain With Sin

Replace the Pain With SinReplace the Pain With Sin Hosted on Zooomr

Check out Scott Beale’s Fantastic Beck Photos From Yahoo! Hack Day

Beck at Yahoo! Hack Day, originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.

Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Check out the fantastic Beck photos that Scott Beale got at Yahoo! Hack Day. Great stuff!

Can YouTube Keep the Hollywood Attornies Away by Claiming Significant Non-Infringing Use

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Mark Cuban loves YouTube Don Dodge has written a post in response Mark Cuban’s quote that only a moron would buy YouTube suggesting that YouTube may not have the copyright infringement problem that some think they do. Earlier this month Cuban wrote a post entitled “The Coming Dramatic Decline of YouTube” where he cited copyrighted music and video on YouTube as a major potential problem for the company.

According to Dodge, however, who was a VP at Napster back in the day, YouTube has a very viable defense by claiming significant non-infringing use:

“Mark said YouTube will be “sued into oblivion”, and isn’t worth anything. He is wrong, but it does make for a lively conference speech, and good headlines. I was a VP at Napster when we were being sued by the record labels, so I know a little about copyright infringement. YouTube has “significant non-infringing use” which is a proven legal defense against copyright lawsuits. The Sony BetaMax case was won on the basis that video recorders were used for many other legal purposes that demonstrated significant non-infringing use. Sony could not be held liable for the misdeeds of some of its users. It is the responsibility of the copyright owner to identify infringing material and take action to protect it.”

So Dodge is saying that if the copyright owners really care about their copyrighted stuff that they would need to sue the individual users posting the stuff and not YouTube.

I’m not an attorney, but I do hope that YouTube survives. I think that offering up all of this great content to people is great. But then again, I thought Napster was pretty great too.

The New York Times chimes in here.

Copyright Issues for Photographers

The Law for Photographers / Travel Photography Law / Legal Issues of Taking Photos Copyright attorney Dianne Brinson has written up an informative Q and A with regards to copyright issues involved when shooting public buildings, monuments, sculptures, public art, people in public, celebrities, etc.

Worth a read.

Thanks for tip John

Did a Major Advertising Agency, DDB Berlin, Steal a Flickr User’s Image and Refuse to Pay

Do You Know This Woman? (Part II) on Flickr – Photo Sharing! Lorenzodom, one of the more popular photographers on Flickr has successfully been building a reputation as a top notch photographer. Recently he in fact set up a cafe press account called lorenzoshop to try and actually make some money off of his photography.

But apparently he is now in a dispute with mega advertising agency DDB, Berlin over what he considers theft of his images from his Flickrstream.

“All my images and photos are copyrighted. Yet, they still took a screenshot and lifted one of my photos right off of flickr and used them for business purposes, as mocked up above.
It’s one thing for an individual to blog someone else’s photo with a link directly back to the page or to publicize it in a magazine after you’ve asked permission, but it is really another to manipulate it and then to ask, after the fact. “

Although it does not appear that the agency actually published Lorenzodom’s image it would appear that he has a problem with them using it at all, even internally.

I’m not sure what the legal internal use only rules are with regards to all rights reserved images but this seems to be the crux of the issue. Apparently they wanted to get permission from Lorenzodom after the fact to use his photo in an advertising campaign without paying him any money.

Lorenzodom puts it this way:

“I suppose I should be grateful that they liked it enough to use commercially, albeit “internally,” and that they subsequently asked me to use it for advertising purposes. Yet, at the same time I feel, somewhat, taken advantage of.

Many photographers get paid lots of money for their photos, yet these guys weren’t willing to pay anything. In fact, last year $822,400 was paid each for Dorothea Lange’s “White Angel Bread Line”and Edward Weston’s platinum print of “The Breast” from 1921. That’s a little less than a million dollars for a single photograph.

And DDB is one of the world’s most successful, richest (i.e. according to Advertising Age’s February 27, 2006 4th Annual Guide to Advertising and Marketing, DDB Worldwide Communications boasts over a billion dollars of worldwide revenue, a 14% increase over last year) and highly visible advertising agency networks, in the world. Thus, they can readily afford to buy stock photos.”

In interesting debate about what is only going to be a more and more complicated conversation as marketers increasingly try to interact with the rich libraries of images that are accumulating on the various socially networked photo playgrounds.

What’s your opinon? Has the company violated copyright law by using his image for a campaign, even internally, and then presenting it to him? Or is this probably ok as they never actually used his image in an external published campaign?

Check out Andy Goetze’s article on the issue for lots more information and links.

Well I’ve Finally Gotten Around to Joining Facebook

facebookfacebook Hosted on Zooomr

Facebook | Thomas Hawk Well I tried to get on Facebook once before but since I didn’t have a college or high school email address I could never get it to work. So now I’m officially on. My profile is here.

The process was relatively painless although it did involve giving them my cell phone number and being text messaged for confirmation. The same thing I went through the other day when I joined GoogleTalk.

Not sure how much I’ll use Facebook. We will see.

Update: Ok, so I’m starting to see the power of Facebook. I think the biggest power is that it lets you see friends of friends easily. This is something that we are actually trying to do on Zooomr with our recent “friends of friends” feature where one degree of seperation people are shown on your profile page. Very interesting. I’ll have to dig more into Facebook.

Thinking Small: The “False Illusion” In Contemporary Photography

She's Leaving HomeShe’s Leaving Home Hosted on Zooomr

Think In Pictures: Adventures in Visual Education: Thinking Small: The “False Illusion” In Contemporary PhotographyJeremiah McNichols has some of the best and most insightful writing that I’ve seen about art and photography on the web. He’s used a couple of my shots for an essay he’s entitled “Thinking Small: the ‘False Illusion’ In Contemporary Photography.” It’s definitely worth a read and talks a lot about some of the role that scale can play in the world of digital photography and digital manipulation of photography.

Check it out.

More Scoblewalking with Thomas Hawk

Scoble and His ToolsScoble and His Tools Hosted on Zooomr

Photowalking with Thomas Hawk, Part IV (Urban Photography) | ScobleShow: Videoblog about geeks, technology, and developers Scoble has episodes 2, 3, and 4 of our recent photo walk up at the Scoble Show now. There are some good comments up on Robert’s post on this series here. We had a really great time shooting these.

Thanks to all of you who sent the nice comments about the first episode.

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4