Replacement Instagram

September 12th, 2019

In light of Instagram mistakenly disabling our @acpfest account which we've used and loved for many years, we had to fire-up an alternate account to share the word about all the incredible photo-related events & exhibitions during #acpfest.

We're currently @acpfest.2019 and there's no way of knowing if it's a permanent home or a temporary "burner" account. We wish we knew!

If you don't think the same can happen to you -- ACP's a non-profit photography festival that was prevented from accessing our audience on the world's largest platform (for photography) without warning, reason, or notification.

If it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.

ACPFEST – Across the Socials

January 30th, 2019

We just updated our social accounts in order to make following-along with ACP easier than ever:

ACP New Social Accounts

Instagram: @acpfest
Facebook: @acpfest
Twitter: @acpfest

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

ACP 2016 Festival Guide iPhone App is LIVE!

September 15th, 2016
(Photo illustration of unattributed photo via Look, is in no way a celebrity endorsement.)

The #acpfest iPhone app is here!

We're excited to launch the ACP 2016 iPhone app today, and are eager to hear how it works for you. You can save events to your calendar, share them across your social networks, and browse by date, by artist, by image, by type, and by map to stay up-to-date with the nearly 150 photography events and exhibitions taking place in October (and some now!)


Huge thanks to our development partners at MotionMobs, who brought this app to life and have been a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended! ; )


2016 ACP Festival Guide PDF

September 1st, 2016

While we prepare to launch the online ACP Festival Guide, we wanted you to have the ACP 2016 Festival Guide as a PDF. Keep in mind, this version is exactly as printed - and because our print deadlines are early in the summer, a few dates and times have shifted around since then.

As you plan on attending events, it's always best to call ahead, or even better, visit the ACP 2016 Festival Guide online for all the latest info. (It's not launched yet, but will soon, we promise!) And did we mention the iPhone app? It's on its way, too!

The Facebook-ification of Instagram

March 16th, 2016
If you're an Instagram user who enjoys checking-in with your feed and seeing all the photos from people you're following, in reverse chronological order (date descending), you'll want to keep your eye on Facebook's desire to change that experience, and make Instagram more like Facebook.

Algorithm-based changes to timelines are generally viewed as a great disruptor to faithful, long-term users, but Facebook has successfully weathered this storm before. If your fever for photos is schooled in the feedways of Instagram (date-descending) and Twitter (date-descending), you might shiver at the idea of a machine deigning to show you what it thinks is important.

What's important, to all of these platforms, isn't necessarily keeping their users happy, it's leveraging their huge audience (you) to sell advertising and keep you around by showing "popular" posts, rather than posts from people and entities you'd prefer to see. In order to serve you the photos that Instagram (or Facebook) wants you to see, they have to change the date-descending timelines, which will keep you from seeing all the latest cat pics from your Aunt.

"I like how I can open the app and see what my stepsister Ashley is doing today with my niece and nephew, right in that very moment,” she said. “I want to judge what’s important, not have some algorithm tell me what it thinks is important." - NYT
There was a Twitter kerfuffle on this same issue earlier this year, and Twitter said you'll have the opportunity to opt-out. Generally, an algorithmic timeline is the biggest difference between Twitter and Facebook. Facebook was $mart enough in 2009 to make a business decision that prioritized advertising & popularity over maintaining a familiar user experience. And Twitter's resisted the changeover as long as possible.

But it's fascinating to see recent rumbles across the Instagram world (more than 400 million users in Sept. 2015) including complaints about the persistence of ads watering-down the familiarity (and love) of hyper-curated personal feeds. If both Twitter & Instagram give users the opportunity to opt-out, they'll quell the disruption, but the echo just might inspire the Next Great Photo Sharing Service to come along and steal the show.

Update: It might be useful to offer-up a solution to the great "I missed all these photos while I was asleep" complaint that Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger mentioned in the Times piece, which sounds like a way to fuel common-sense logic in support of his service's change. But the problem might not be that Krieger's missing important photos, it's that he's following too many people in his "show me everything" timeline.

While most of us have created our own recipes and behavior modifications for keeping-up with the data deluge from which Krieger (and co-founder Kevin Systrom) are seeking relief, I thought I'd share mine, in that it's proven to be a successful (and sane) way to stay engaged. I follow 104 people on my personal Twitter account, and I try to keep it right around 100. The tweets from those 104 are updates I don't want to miss, and I definitely don't want them filtered by a machine. They're my primary "show me everything" bucket (or timeline).

To complement that selection, I maintain a private list of over a thousand people (an underutilized Twitter feature, currently unavailable on Instagram) of folks from whom I'd like to see updates, but not necessarily everything. I check-in there if I'm looking for more noise.

It's antithetical to all of these services to show users how to sanely follow fewer people. But Kevin Systrom is "missing photos" while he's sleeping because he's trying to keep-up with 600+ users, spread across time-zones. Keeping-up with 100 (or so) is totally manageable, whichever service you're on. If Instagram gave its users the chance to select a subset of their primary timeline, and say, "always show me everything from these folks", it would be a smart way forward.

Speaking of algorithms, I thought I'd try and use Google's reverse image search to learn more about the photograph on the wall in the Time's accompanying portrait of Instagram's two co-founders, photographed by Jason Henry.

instagram_jason-henry_2© Jason Henry

Google's algorithm was able to detect the lighting and color of the piece, but that's about it. Then again, Instagram's site has never been super-friendly to the open Web and Google search results. When was the last time you Google'd something and ended-up with an Instagram-based result?


800 Apple Employees Working on the iPhone Camera

December 23rd, 2015
If you caught the 60 Minutes story on Apple on Sunday, you might have shook your head in disbelief when you heard that 800 people are working on the iPhone's camera (also known as the world's most popular camera).

MacBreak Weekly discuss that fact and more (below) as did The Verge.

Note to Self – Managing Your Photos

October 28th, 2015
From professional shooters to amateur enthusiasts, photographers of all kinds have a similar challenge; to organize, backup, categorize, save and search tens of thousands of photos. The excellent podcast "Note to Self" (did you catch their "Bored & Brilliant" project from earlier this year?) has tackled this with the help of an editor from Lifehacker; "It's Time to Deal With Your Photo Clutter. The episode is good, but the write-up is even better. Have a listen, it might be just what you need.

Chasing Attribution: Following the Debunkers of “Panorama Taken While Rolling Down a Hill”

May 27th, 2015
Attribution in the age of the internet is a fickle thing, and it's fascinating to stumble across an unattributed photograph online and try to trace it back to its original source.

If your photo renders on a website, it's copyable, and while photographers naturally like to control how their images are copied, remixed, used, (re)presented and even sold, the social-media & copy/paste culture can do a number on your original image.

On the front lines of the fight for correct attribution is Paulo Ordoveza, the man behind the "PicPedant" twitter account, who consistently fights for proper attribution and against faked, photoshopped images presented as the real thing. He calls himself a "punctilious internet killjoy at the forefront of the New Debunkonomy" which just about sums it up.

PicPedant is metaphorically running up the hill of Erik Kessels' "24 hours of Photos" installation; for each debunked or correctly attributed photo, thousands are sliding beneath his feet.

Erik Kessels' installation at FOAM
I've enjoyed watching PicPedant fight-the-fight for the last year or so, and today, came across an extraordinary photograph (of dubious origins) that was being widely shared. I figured I'd take my own stab at debunking (and uncovering) the real source.

On Monday, Tim Brannigan, a writer from Ireland, tweeted a photo:

I saw the photo over on a "fave-aggregator" kind of place, and the caption caught my eye - surely it was in jest, but many of Brannigan's followers were reposting the photo with the same caption, and while it's a great photo, I've never seen a mobile panorama taken with such clarity and seamlessness.

Randy Scott Slavin's digital composite - not Panorama Taken While Rolling Down a Hill
Spoiler: click to reveal original source!
In a follow-up, Brannigan declared it wasn't his photo, but didn't provide any further info to its source.

From here, I clicked-through Brannigan's tweet to reveal the location of the embedded jpg. I copied its location: and pasted-it into (reverse) Google Image search. If you mouse-over the camera at the right of the Google Images search box, you have the option for Google to search for pictures on the internet that resemble a picture from your hard drive, or pictures on the internet that resemble each other.

The search yielded lots of links talking about "a panorama made while rolling down a hill" and "rabbit holes" and such. There was a link to a reddit discussion of the photo, and buried in the thread was a comment from seymour47 that said: "Shouldn't the note about the title be changed from 'Misleading title' to stolen from someone's website with no credit given?"

seymour47 linked to the original source, "an award-winning director and surrealist photographer based in New York City" named Randy Scott Slavin who has an entire project of these circular views called "Alternate Perspectives".

Thanks, seymour47, picpedant (who was hot on this exact same case yesterday), Oscar Bartos (who alerted Brannigan to the original source 12 hrs ago), and big thanks to Randy Scott Slavin for his stirring digital composite!

(All of this came to mind in large part thanks to Rob Fee's brilliant look last week at joke stealing on twitter, and the latest Richard Prince Instagram kerfuffle...)

Slimstagram – A Svelte, Pictures-Only View of Instagram

April 21st, 2015
When are pictures (just) pictures? If you enjoy Instagram, you might want to experiment with this small hack for the Chrome browser -- it slims your Instagram feed into an all-about-the-photos scroll, free from likes, comments, descriptions, chatter, and attribution. You might be surprised how it changes your perception about what makes a great photo and what makes photos great. Check out the video below, and you'll need this little bit of CSS, too.

And follow ACP @atlantacelebratesphotography!

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