Il campo della fotografia è straordinariamente esteso, includendo fra gli altri aspetti artistici, storici, tecnici, legali, commerciali. Comunicare a livello visuale implica sempre un certo grado di discrezionalità da parte di chi produce l’immagine. In questa sezione si parla di fotografia in senso lato, ma si darà particolare attenzione a elementi importanti quali la composizione fotografica e alcune tecniche di postproduzione quali HDR (High Dynamic Range), con l’ausilio di guide e tutorial.

EU GDPR e fotografia di strada

Save Street Photography from EU’s GDPR! Sign the petition

Street photography is at risk with the new EU’s GDPR, in force starting from the 25th May 2018.

Your dreamy picture of that girl in the sunflower field is the “collection and sharing of personal data” in the eyes of a data protection officer and eurocrats. Many things in a photo are personal data: her face, the location, the time and date, and everything that is tied to her identity.

The legal consequence: you need to provide some kind of justification to take that picture and to put it on your hard disk or — much worse — to share it on Instagram or elsewhere. If you’re a pro, you have a model release. If you’re just a friend, it’s out of the scope of the GDPR (again, “personal or household activity”). But an enthusiast sits uncomfortably in the middle.

Street photography especially becomes a legal nightmare. You cannot get consent before you take the shot because that would usually destroy the moment. According to the data protection law, you’re not allowed to only ask for it afterward. If you take a picture as an event photographer, you might argue that taking pictures of visitors at a conference is “necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests” (Art. 6 lit f GDPR). You don’t need consent then.

But can you do that if you shoot that amazing shot of an elegant business guy in a light cone on the street? Probably not. And you certainly cannot do it when a child is in your picture. That “legitimate interests”-argument does not apply “where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child”.

Of course, there were laws for photography before. Germany has had a law for photography dating back to 1907 (!), when the Bundesrepublik was still a “Kaiserreich”: The Kunsturhebergesetz. You could be sentenced if you circulated pictures of people without their consent. It’s a reaction to the world’s first paparazzi: two photographers had taken a shot of the deceased Otto von Bismarck on his deathbed.

Over the years, our courts had found an acceptable balance between privacy rights and photography freedom. Very recently, the German Constitutional Court even ruled that street photography is protected by the constitution because it is “art”! Hear, hear!

That fair balance is at peril with the GDPR. The nature of an EU regulation is brutal and relentless (like many of the crazy EU regulations and directives): these laws come into force in every country and the courts have to ignore all national laws that contravene.

millenium bridge, london, uk

There is some hope though: some lawyers argue that the good old law from 1907 persists despite the GDPR. They cite Art. 85, a provision that deals with “Processing and freedom of expression and information”. It calls for Member States “to reconcile the right to the protection of personal data pursuant to this Regulation with the right to freedom of expression and information” — also for “artistic expression”, read: street photography.

The current situation is tragic: Germany should welcome street photography. While it may not be the birthplace of street photography, at least a German developed the tool for some of the most famous photography artists: Leica cameras!

The EU has traditionally had a thing for data protection. No wonder it was a German guy from the Green Party who pushed for the GDPR…

Source
: PetaPixel

Not a surprise considering that Germany does not even allow Google Street View differently than other countries. Let’s keep privacy-freaks away from policy-making. Their obsession with privacy is killing art and freedom of expression and business.

We need to start civil disobedience campaign against the EU monster regulations and bureaucracy that are affecting in particular small-medium enterprises, now burdened with extra costs and procedures. Nobody has ever felt the need to apply such rules to street photo therefore now there is a petition to claim an exception.

Unsplash: free do-whatever-you-want hi-res stock photos

Unsplash free photos

In the era of copyleft and open source, there are still many cases when people steal images for their private purpose with no quoting, no link (or not followed link), no request for permission not to mention economic contributions.

If not the ultimate solution it seems an excellent resource for anyone looking for great, catchy, free, high-resolution images for posting. The risk is that some of them might get very popular at the end, reaching an iconic status, but it worth trying unsplash.com, as I did here.

Here is their “legal stuff”:

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

free image stock

 

Flickr reloaded: new look for the (former) most popular photo sharing platform

Flickr in 2004

The first UI of Flickr when launched in 2004 by Ludicorp, before the acquisition by Yahoo!

On 21st May 2013 one of the most – if not the most – photo sharing site has been completely revolutionised on its appearance and few more aspects. After almost 10 years keeping more or less the same style, something new has just been revealed: think that until few hours ago Flickr seemed an extract of web archive!

Flickr was founded by Ludicorp, a Canadian software house, in 2004. It was just a small web tool aimed at putting in touch players of a Ludicorp online multiplayer game (GNE) that eventually failed. It basically had a chatroom and a real time image exchange service.

Ludicorp, founder and former owner of Flickr announced Flickr launches on 20 February 2004After the game was dismantled, the service was kept alive and, later, sold to Yahoo! that focused on its photosharing capabilities, adding a strong link with cameras and their producers. Ludicorp website has not been updated since, it’s still visible the last post dated 25th March 2005 where it’s announced Flickr acquisition by Yahoo!.

Flickr kept the fashionable “beta” mention close to its logo for years (it’s been cool for many earlier 2.0 websites) and moved to gamma only in 2007.

Here’s a screenshot of Flickr in 2004, you can see that it was owned by Ludicorp at that time… (find more about Flickr history)

Recently it has been suffered of being invaded by mobile shots published through Instagram. Twitter kept away Instagram, but Flickr found on that service a way to repopulate its store rooms that recently, with growth of mobile devices, suffered from having less traffic than usual. Few months ago, Flickr launched and strongly pushed a powerful mobile app to fight Instagram rising market share.

It’s important to notice that on the same day that the new Flickr appeared, its owner Yahoo! confirmed recent rumors about Tumblr acquisition. Well Tumblr is not just about images, but is a bit overlapping Flickr on some points, like Instagram, acquired by Facebook, was overlapping the most popular social medium. Here’s how they present the new release on the official blog:

In the beginning, Flickr innovated the way people share and discover photos. Today, we are shifting the photo-sharing landscape again. We’re releasing a Flickr that’s more spectacular, much bigger, and one you can take anywhere.

Biggr. A free terabyte of space

At Flickr, we believe you should share all your images in full resolution, so life’s moments can be relived in their original quality. No limited pixels, no cramped formats, no memories that fall flat. We’re giving your photos room to breathe, and you the space to upload a dizzying number of photos and videos, for free. Just how big is a terabyte? Well, you could take a photo every hour for forty years without filling one.

And yep, you heard us. It’s free.

Spectaculr. A new, beautiful experience for your photos

We want Flickr to be the most amazing community and place for you to share your photos. So, we’re also revealing a beautiful new design that puts photos at the heart of your Flickr experience, where they should always be. Whether it’s a sweeping landscape or a family portrait, we want every photo to be at its most spectacular.

Your homepage is now a gateway to everything you care about, and all the photos Flickr has to offer. Our new Activity Feed combines your friends’ recent uploads with activity on your own photos, and all in a beautiful design that lets you share and interact right on the page.

(…) posted on 20th May on blog.flickr.net

OK it’s mostly about graphic appearance. The only relavant news for non-pro users is the free TB of space which is enough to store a lot of photos. Before the change, the limit used to be maximum 200 photos for non-pro user. Some parts still remain as they were before though (e.g. personal profiles). Prehistoric tools like badges are not linked anymore but still indexed by Google.

Finally, what is going to happen with the magic interestingness thing, a kind of Flickr-Pagerank that used to determine ranking on the Explore page, giving a lot of visits and visibility to photographers? No news about such algorithm for years, but there’s still a way to determine the two criteria for classifying photos that are “relevance” and “interestingness” (the former closer to real meaning of the image and the latter closer to its name, title, tags, imaginative value).

I’m on Flickr since December 2005 and it gave me a lot in terms of great friends, photo techniques, inspiration, unexpectable achievements (about 2 million photos seen, not including stolen ones…) and, not least, a few business opportunity in the world of digital photography. Here’s my Flickr profile where very nice memories are stored: flickr.com/paolomargari