Owner of Instagram Testifies to Congress

April 11th, 2018
In a world where more than half a billion people share photographs every single day on Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg's influence, and dare say, ownership of the future of photography cannot be underestimated.


In the office yesterday (and this morning) we listened to Mr. Zuckerberg's testimony, waiting to hear a mention of an ad-free, algorithm-free version of the InstaFace universe, where users could "see what they want to see," rather than receiving the ad-infused, chronologically-disordered feeds we're all currently being served on Instagram and Facebook.

While over time, Facebook has become a pay-to-play space that makes it increasingly difficult for small businesses and non-profits to reach audiences who've already declared their preference to receive our posts, there's no doubt that the power of Mr. Zuckerberg's tools will continue to influence arts & culture (and arts & culture organizations) well into the future.

(For more about how small arts non-profits are dealing with the current capriciousness of Facebook's algorithms, please see Steve Lambert's revealing and impassioned "Why Facebook is a Waste of Time - and Money - for Arts Nonprofits.")

Beyond Instagram and Facebook's photo-sharing, it was fascinating to see working photographers at the hearing, elbow-to-elbow, awaiting his arrival, and getting their pics before Grassley's gavel began banging.

Here's a crop of Leah Mills' photo for Reuters:

And here's Andrew Harnick, photographing for AP during Mr. Zuckerberg's arrival:

But one of the most interesting visual representations of the testimony was Harnick's photograph of Mr. Zuckerberg's notes. The original, below, followed by a cropped, rotated version.

I was going to follow-up with an update from Wednesday's testimony, specifically a passage where Mr. Zuckerberg was discussing how a particular use case of "sharing a photograph" affects the ownership of that photograph. When transcripts are available (testimony is still happening at the moment) I'll update this post with that information.

- MDM 20180411

Link Round-up & Calls for Entry

February 21st, 2017
Here's a long post that gathers links and notices from our twitter and facebook in recent days. Enjoy!

SCAD graduate, former Atlantan, and current Ph.D candidate at UC San Diego, Tara-Lynne Pixley has a piece for Newsweek's photolab about inequities in photojournalism, and the "corrective collectives" that are inspiring change.

"Lauded photojournalism organization World Press Photo (WPP) released its second “State of News Photography” report in November 2016, a document that addressed many key issues affecting contemporary photojournalists. Most striking was the fact that of the nearly 2,000 news photographers surveyed internationally, a mere 15 percent were female. Also concerning was the revelation that 65 percent were from Western nations, specifically Europe, the United States and Australia. These two statistics reveal that the vast majority of news images are produced by Western-born men. This is the dominant point of view through which the entire world continues to see and understand itself."
Atlanta-based photographer Sarah Hobbs has work currently on view at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and here's a write-up about the exhibition: "Obsession permeates artist Sarah Hobbs' distressing habitats.

Jerry Siegel has work on view at the Mobile Museum of Art in a show curated by 2013 ACP portfolio reviewer Richard McCabe.

Sheila Pree Bright gave a talk last week for ATL Photo Night, a Facebook-led effort from Kevin D. Liles and Raymond McCrea Jones, hosting "free monthly talks by local photographers and artists." Definitely follow them on Facebook for details of their next event on March 23rd.

photo by John E. Ramspott

Atlanta Magazine has a piece about "How to buy and collect photography in Atlanta" that features some great advice from area experts.

Atlanta School of Photography starts classes on March 6th!

There are three days until the deadline for the Hambidge Creative Hive Project.

"For three months this spring, The Hambidge Center will re-imagine Atlanta’s bustling city center into a creative enclave of working studios, installations and experimental projects. With a major renovation planned later in the year, Colony Square has partnered with the Hambidge Center to provide inspired artists and thinkers a unique opportunity to explore and share their work."
Also due on the 23rd is this call for entries for Atlanta Jazz Festival & Chastain Arts Center.

The call for entries for THE FENCE 2017 is currently open, and the first deadline is March 14th.

"The William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts was established in 2001 in honor of William H. Johnson, an American artist known primarily for his Scandinavian landscapes and his witty and poignant depictions of African-American daily life.

Recognizing that minority artists often need economic assistance, the foundation seeks to encourage artists early in their careers by offering financial grants. To that end, the foundation is accepting applications for the 2017 William H. Johnson Prize.

The prize is awarded annually to an early-career African-American artist working in the area of painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and/or a new genre. For award purposes, "early career" is a flexible term that should be interpreted liberally to include artists who have finished their academic work within twelve years from the year the prize is awarded. Age is not determinative, and artists who have not earned BFAs or MFAs are still eligible, so long as they have not been working as an artist for more than twelve years.

The 2017 prize recipient will receive $25,000. The winner will be announced in December 2017. RFP is here with a Nov. 16th deadline."
Our friends at Atlanta Photography Group have a call for entries: Where Are We? that's looking at "the constant changes in both the social and physical landscape of today’s world, including environmental and climate change issues, and political and social movements such as gentrification and immigration." Juror for the show is Alan Rothschild of the Do Good Fund.

Unconventional Political Convention Photography

July 25th, 2016
A few minutes ago, while the DNC was warming-up in Philly, a photographer took the "official DNC photo" with an antique camera on a step-ladder. His name is Abbas Shirmohammadi, and he's been making panoramic photographs of political conventions (and inaugurations) for years.

There was something charming about a guy standing on a ladder, asking for everyone to stay still while his camera swiveled around the arena. The audio (and video) is a bit shaky on this clip, but it's worth checking out.

Larry Towell is on the move

July 20th, 2016
Photographer Larry Towell recently performed at "Cortona on the Move", a photography festival in Cortona, Italy. Larry writes his own poetry and songs, and I thought it'd be useful to share this clip, via Lynsey Addario's Instagram -- in that it shows how a photographer can extend their talent(s) beyond the frame, so to speak.

ACP at Look3

June 20th, 2016
Great to see all the posts and tweets from Atlantans who made the journey to Look3 in Charlottesville this past week. Here's ACP Board member Mary Stanley, ACP Executive Director Amy Miller, ACP 2013 Lecture Series presenter Alison Wright, and ACP Board President Barbara Griffin.


And here's Atlanta-based photographer (and ACP board member) Sheila Pree Bright receiving a standing-ovation, while onstage with Deborah Willis.


JR’s Louvre Wrap

May 25th, 2016
20160525_JR_Louvre AP- Francois Mori
Great to see photographic public art provocateur JR's latest installation, an intervention wrap of I.M. Pei's iconic pyramid at the Louvre. You might recall JR's work right here in the Old 4th Ward, from 2013, where he installed three murals.

Here's a look from October 3rd of last year, at the location of the furthest west mural, on Edgewood, where the piece looked to be living its last days.


And here it is now via Street View, permanently gone (though parts of the other two murals may still remain!)

Billy Weeks’ TED Talk at TEDxChattanooga

April 27th, 2016
Here's Georgia photographer (and baseball fan) Billy Weeks, talking about his path into and through photography, via TEDxChattanooga.

Who’s the Photographer in Lemonade?

April 27th, 2016
Quick question, internet; who is this photographer in this screengrab from Beyonce's "visual album" Lemonade? (Or is she an actress playing a photographer?) Nice 8x10!


Update: Fantastic! Our friends at Spelman Museum of Fine Art confirmed that this is actress Amandla Stenberg.

Thanks, Spelman!

Here's Ms. Stenberg's Instagram where she shared the same picture a few days ago.


A photo posted by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on

(As always, if you're receiving the email version of this post, the embedded Instagram photo won't render. Try this!)

Documenting the KKK this past weekend in Rome

April 25th, 2016
Intrepid Atlanta photographer John Ramspott was on the scene for this weekend's KKK/NSM rally in Rome, Georgia. The event was scheduled for the same time as a rally that occurred at Stone Mountain on Saturday.

John didn't head home after the rally, he followed the Klan back to their bar, and photographed that evening's cross (and swastika) burning. For more info, please read the description ("show more") on John's flickr album.

A disclaimer from John:
"This set of photographs is NOT an endorsement of the KKK, the National Socialist Movement or any other hate group. I do not agree with anything they say. These images are documents of what happened in Rome, GA and later in Temple, GA on Saturday, April 23, 2016. This is a photo essay describing the events of the day. I am a social documentary photographer and not a member of any of these groups."


Las Vegas photo-installation from Marilyn Suriani

April 25th, 2016
Local photographer Marilyn Suriani has made a watery 54-foot triptych for a development in Las Vegas:

"One Las Vegas, a twin tower condominium high-rise on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard, recently completed a $2 million remodeling project to enrich the community through art, design and lifestyle. This included the commission and installation of a massive, 54-foot custom photographic installation, “Water Way,” that now heralds entrance into the main tower, creating a beautiful feeling of calm and peace via an artful depiction of water and its movement. The masterpiece is the work of critically acclaimed artist and photographer Marilyn Suriani."

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