#731. Photography’s week links (2 June 2018) – And kind of a Monday Post too !

By pascaljappy | Monday Post

Jun 02

Well, GDPR is going predictably wrong. I’m all for protecting the individual against the evil giants but laws that no one understands or relates to probably aren’t the best way to go about it. First of all, the evil giants don’t give a damn about the law. After Yucky Zucky was aked to explain himself at congress (about the Cambridge Analytica data theft) Facebook posted it’s strongest ever quarter. Volkswagen became #1 after the epic Dieselgate fun fair of evil. Those guys dig deep into our egos to fuel their empires and laws just don’t hold a candle to that. Secondly, I’m a marketer by trade and find it hard to describe what needs to be done to really be in phase with GDPR. And, if stats are to be believed, so do most others in the business. Trust a bloated political committee to produce bloated unfathomable laws, one could cliché hastily 😉 I’m not the only one taking notice : econsultancy lament the confusion and chaos, John Batelle laments the cost to the innovation economy, Silicon Republic ask whether GDPR could be used to the advantage of cyber-criminals, PetaPixel ask how bad GDPR is for photographers, Quartz explain how GDPR makes large companies enforce the rules on the small ones (nice touch, that …)

It’s a big shame, really. Promoting the idea of personal data as a social asset that belongs to the individual, not to those who collect it, is both very noble and very intelligent. But it goes against the financial tides that are moving today’s unethical world and comes late in the day, as a global package that will do some damage before it does good. Instead of being agile and on the watch, bucking unhealthy trends as they arose, the 7 principles of GDPR are born late, as a lump, into a world unprepared for them and (financially) unwilling to adopt them. And, as always when two tectonic plates collide … earthquakes follow.


Privacy ? What privacy ? Only those at the top have it.


Why mention this here? Because it’s made the curation process behind these Photographic Week Links a whole lot less tractable, that’s why. Oh, I find the links OK but, more often than not, clicking on them now produces this:


No news at all is the way to go !


So, yeah, now that a vast portion of smaller websites are too scared by the legal implications of not being compliant with GDPR and have chosen self-censorship over being charged with high treason, I feel a lot more protected! No independent news from small websites is the way to go! Turns out you don’t need a Bond villain dictator type to switch off the lights of independent reporting, a well-meaning bureaucracy is plenty good enough.

All this to say that finding interesting links that aren’t from the usual suspects (BBC, Guardian, NYT …) has gotten a whole lot more … ahem … challenging. You probably don’t need me to point out the news from the world’s largest websites, or the most obvious photo e-joints, do you? But the show must go on and here’s a pick nonetheless. By the way, your contributions and their network effect have that much more importance now that straightforward methods have been squandered. Keep’em coming, gals & guys 🙂

Anyway … (<earlyMondayPost /><photographicWeekLinks>)





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Could the two be related ?


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  • Steve says:

    Pascal, Another great digest.

    Emilia Dragon thingy – so Alan Partridge, brilliant.
    Wanna snap Snowdonia – go in winter.
    Six grand for a drone to film me doing stuff? wtf.
    “remember the sun is at its highest point midday” – no sh!t Sherlock.
    Soham Gupta – wow indeed.

    I spent a day in Bath with Valda and Doug partaking of their iPhone expertise and creativity. Truly inspiring and top folk to boot.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thanks Steve! About Valda and Doug, if you still have contacts with them, do you think they might agree to an interview? Cheers

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    How much privacy do we have, strolling the streets of London? How much privacy do we have, when government agencies can force disclosure to them of private information without reference to the people concerned? How much privacy does anyone have when passing through an airport?

    What Zuckerbub’s outfit did with Cambridge Analytica and Trump’s election, was appalling. But short of banning computers and the internet, how can any government really stop that kind of thing? Venturing onto the internet is a bit like the idiots who post selfies of themselves having sex with someone – and then want to complain later that the posting has gone viral. It’s “in your face”, all the time – Google something and Google trawls your actions, converts it to data it sells to marketing agencies, and uses it to wreck the value its own search engine might otherwise have. But no matter how much we all complain about it, we’re the mugs who volunteer the information in the first place – and complaining that the people we gave it to used it for their own purposes is a bit hypocritical, since we were normally in there taking advantage of some kind of information service that was “free to air” because that sale process on the other side was funding it.

    And if we DID pay for what we use on the internet, would that stop the other side from on-selling our information? I don’t think so.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Well, there’s that old saying “If you’re not paying, you’re not the user, you are the product”. If we paid for the service we would have more ground to complain, I guess. Plus it would stop teens spending their days on those websites.

  • Adrian says:

    As with most things created by a bloated and mostly unaccountable political institution, GDPR is a prime example of something created by a committee of mostly white, mostly middle class, mostly men who don’t allow themselves to have an opinion, so “consensus” just leads to banality and indifference. The central European members who are most keen on the club can be proud of another “achievement”. If individuals and law-makers actually cared about privacy and exploitation, Facebook and Google would have been a couple of great places to start. Instead we get a mish-mash of compromise created by a cast of thousands that the public don’t seem to care about and large organisations just pay lip-service to.

    I’ve read several articles in the mainstream media in the UK condemning the destructive tyranny of Instagram and bucket lists, whilst at the same time writing other articles about bucket lists and places you and everyone else really must see before you die. It’s the kind of schizophrenia that would make that European club proud – only last week I saw something on TV about 6 months work to write a report that eating meat was bad for the environment that had to be approved by moving thousands of people and thousands of tons of documents from one country to another to be voted on. Be green and do what we tell you. Don’t have a bucket list, but you simply have to go to these places.

    If we are honest, all this sudden concern for the planet and the places on it isn’t really altruistic – it’s just because we are selfish and want to keep the place the way we like it. We are obsessed with keeping the status quo, and ignore the fact that if the Taj Mahal crumbles to dust or the planet ices over it really doesn’t matter. We may perish, but the planet will go on. Just ask the dinosaurs.

    Which brings us back to photography, and all those Canon and Nikon users in constant denial about the evolution of the camera whilst clinging to their DSLRs with near religious fervour.

    • pascaljappy says:

      We live in an area full of bee keepers. Except some of them lost 80% of their bees, just last year. Turns out they have been using weaker queens that lay more eggs but produce weak bees. We create our own problems. The same goes for the Internet. Whatever the context, “me me me” rarely leads to a good outcome for “us us us”. I think the idea behind GDPR is a good one. We need laws to define what social data is, who it belongs to … As Pete writes below, people posting sex tapes can’t really complain about the backlash but the more “innocent” should be protected and at least have a better idea of what’s what. But bureaucracies just can’t help delivering huge bundles of laws that no one can fathom or apply. We need agile government 😉

      • jean pierre {pete} guaron says:

        That’s a VERY good point, Pascal. I spent some years working for the Government, in an area where I was responsible for advice on legislative amendment. It was perfectly obvious to me that a lot of the laws the Government wanted were perfectly ridiculous.

        Politicians seem to suffer from some kind of delusional belief in their power over other people. As a result of that misconception, they think that merely passing a law somehow miraculously changes human behaviour. It doesn’t. It may attach consequences to human behaviour – eg, make something illegal. But it doesn’t stop it.

        Because I had limited resources at my disposal for law enforcement, I had to engage in a three-pronged approach. First, takes out the vast majority of the people out there who didn’t set out to make trouble – help them to understand what they had to do, what they needed to be aware of, and encourage them to co-operate. Second, rattle the bars of the cage at the people in the middle – the ones who’d behave if they didn’t think they could get away with non-compliance, and wouldn’t behave if they DID think they could get away with it. And finally, clean up the clowns who won’t behave unless you bash them in the teeth with a baseball bat.

        By the time I left the Government, there was peace on Earth, in my third of Australia and alarming breaches of the same laws on the eastern side of the country.

        Unfortunately, for Australia, during the past three decades those areas of law have been vested in Federal agencies who seem to sit there and do nothing. As a result, the past 10-15 years have seen an upsurge in “bad behaviour” in corporations in Australia which has now surfaced in some of the largest and supposedly most respectable companies in the country – and in recent months, it’s been appearing regularly in the headlines in the papers, described as “illegal” behaviour.

        And all that the regulatory authorities have been doing is talking to these companies – telling them to stop misbehaving – asking them to voluntarily enter into “enforceable undertakings” not to do it again. It’s complete rubbish. It hasn’t stopped anything. Penalties? – just the occasional fine, paid by the company (not by the individuals who are causing the breaches and benefiting from them), so that shareholders are penalised and nobody else is punished. In any case, the fines are peanuts, compared to the money these guys have been making out of their breaches of the law.

        And this crap is not confined to Australia. It’s what lies behind the constant fights in America over regulation of the banks and other big guys in Wall Street (remember 1929, and the Great Depression? – or more recently, the Global Financial Crisis of 2008?) – and with the GOP in charge, Trump is determined to dismantle whatever regulations Obama added, to stop it or something worse happening all over again.

        I think the UE is more likely to be tough about it than America ever will. Americans suffer from some delusional belief in laissez-faire, which they have been brainwashed into believing is the only alternative to communism and therefore “good”. Americans also believe the Chicago school of economics, but that’s a whole other story. The UE will have a hard time curtailing the behaviour of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and so on (where’s that baseball bat? – how are they going to strike? – what’s the point of financial penalties, like fines on the companies, which is about as far as it’ll get?). And all the little guys will be wetting their pants, scared stiff by this new GDPR initiative.

        On days like this, being old doesn’t seem so bad after all. I don’t have to put up with such rubbish for too many more years. And I can smile sweetly as I pass the can on to Gen-X, Gen-Y, the Naughties and Gen-Z. Let’s see how THEY feel about it, and the damage it does to their lives.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Instagram? – people all want to photograph the same thing, then post it in the middle of billions of other photographs, and after all that, they want to complain because nobody notices their photos? AAAAARRRGHH !!!!! This stuff makes my head hurt! Reading the previous articles about Gorgoni and landscape photography suddenly take on a whole new significance. Anyway, when I saw La Gioconda (AKA the Mona Lisa), I had a private viewing – I deliberately went late, just in time to see it before the Louvre close, and there was nobody there at all, apart from me. And over the years I’ve taken any number of shots of the Tour Eiffel with nobody in the picture, or nobody that matters (even when there are some). With Gaudi’s masterpiece, I accept that it’s a tourist drawcard – and I treat that as a tribute to his genius – a hundred years on, and their presence surrounding La Sagrada Familia is like silent clapping. Pascal, somewhere I have an article on the “problems” involved in photographing the Taj Mahal – that’s decidedly worse than any of these icons.

    I’m going to pass on the Instagram tips – I’m still shuddering after the opening salvo about Instagram. I don’t even understand Instagram. Because I take my photos for my own personal amusement. I couldn’t care less if NOBODY else ever saw any of them – apart from a few close friends, who have a common interest in them. When I was “de-cluttering” to leave my previous house, I gave most of them to a friend of mine on the other side of the planet, and he occasionally tells me I am now famous, because he’s been sharing them with people from all over the place. I don’t even want to know about it. And what he didn’t want, I pitched out most of it. I only have about a dozen photos left, from before my marriage some 20 odd years ago. I guess I don’t have a “look at me – look at me” gene in my body, and I’ve always been a rather reclusive individual, shunning the public eye, so the whole culture behind Instagram is completely alien to me.

    As for what the people with an unbridled sense of “self” and delusions of their own superiority do, to get away from the “hoi polloi” and have fun that nobody else can share – the further away the better! I don’t care what they get up to, so long as they don’t do it near me. I don’t suffer from the sense of inadequacy or inferiority that underlies that kind of human behaviour and the best I can say about their antics is that it’s sad.

    Smartphones? Noted – I gave you another reason for having them, a day or so ago – and photographers out of their home base can also make use of APPs on them, to access information in the field that they need to get the shot they’ve been planning. Oh – and some people use them to take photos, too! Of course it’s all part of a world wide conspiracy, to prevent Kodak from selling Instamatics ever again!

    I love Charlie Waite’s article. While there’s always the risk of imitating others when you drown yourself in their views, this guy is refreshingly different and well worth the read. Are you suggesting that you’re not a serious photographer? – and that it’s Charlie’s fault?

    I guess you’re right about the preponderance of males in photography – what I find, as I move around, is a large number of women who are taking photographs – and taking photography very seriously – and taking very good photos. One impressed me so much that I gave her a complete kit of Pentax 35mm gear, because she wanted to get into analogue and couldn’t afford another set of gear. She’s gone from complete raw beginner to the point where she can provide valuable tips and comments, in the space of a couple of years. And I’m seeing increasing numbers of them in photography clubs, at photo shoots, in high end camera stores, and wherever I go, taking photos. Also having their own exhibitions.

    National Geographic raised the bar decades ago. Getting a shot on the front cover is so prestigious that photographers around the world bust themselves, trying to get their photography printed ANYWHERE in a copy of NG. And the results of this have enriched the world of photography so very, very much. I imagine their competitions are a sort of “entry” into the world of NG. The work on display in these competitions is so outstanding that it’s well worth keeping an eye out for the images on display.

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    The two “blockchain” links seem to be broken.
    – – –

    # “landmarks are difficult to photograph”
    Buy a postcard instead.
    Then go photograph something interesting.
    Or come back at night (+tripod) or _very_ early (good for you).

    # “iconic tourist spots are disappointing”
    That’s why I seldom look for them when travelling…
    ( When I was 10 in 1957 travelling with my parents, neither Stonehenge (fascinating) nor Wells cathedral (lovely) or… were crowded, the times they are a-changin’…)

    NEXT: Good photo spots will be within secluded areas you will have to pay to enter!

    # “one company that will allow the rich to stand out from the hoi polloi on social media”
    I’d rather experience than (have) document(ed).
    ( When I’ve photographed much, my memories tend to be less alive…)

    # “7 Tips For Taking Great Instagram Photos This Summer”
    I prefer to read this as (mostly) satire.

    An even better – and somewhat similar – satire (in broadcasting – for a change) is

    “Murke’s Collected Silences” (Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen) by Heinrich Böll.

    And he DOES collect silences … snippets of (but that’s not the main point…).

    # “a strict adherence to these 4 colours”
    I tried to tweak the colours in my cam’, but I couldn’t find the settings in the menu.

    # “Ones to Watch: Soham Gupta”

    # “The Guardian monthly photo contest”
    And a worthy winning photo!
    – – –

    # “http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-43782267”
    Also a bit of a humorist, I believe, which isn’t too common in photography.

    # Otus lenses, “a history of how they were developed”
    One corner stone:
    “A major breakthrough happened in 2009 when ZEISS developed new image simulation software.”
    Just wait till the others catch up on that!
    ( Provided they have the material knowhow.)
    – – –

    # “Sad: Nihilistic penguin”
    Not too unlike some human behaviour, me thinks.

    # “Erm … quirky? Illusion exists now”
    Erm, yes, most certainly Erm.
    – – –

    That last Photo.
    Very Nice!

  • philberphoto says:

    What a treasure trove! Educational, inspirational, whatever!
    Of course, being me, I read the whole story of the design of the Zeiss Otus. It includes a (superb) portrait of Dr Vladan Blahnik by Michael Ankenbrand. I had thought of Blahnik as being superb stilettos, and of Vlads as being the impaling kind, and here I stand corrected. He actually looks like my impression of Mephistopheles, making Marguerite look incredible beautiful with his….lenses 🙂 But still, I have to ask myself: would you buy a lens from this man? Looking at him, well, just maybe rather not. And then looking at the results of his work, a resounding “YEEESSSS”. I thought until now I had sold my soul to Zeiss. Now I know I did, and I have a picture of the buyer.
    That is photography!

  • Adam Bonn says:

    I think the photography grey area of GDPR will be sharing the pictures

    As understand it, the laws governing the right to take pictures haven’t changed.

    The problem becomes what happens with the picture and how the internet is classified

    There’s no drama is shooting street. There’s no problem with making a print and hanging it on your wall.

    I suspect the provision within GDPR for art even allows for physical gallery usage

    But where do the internet hosting sites fit into this?

    And what are the repercussions?

    As you can request google/etc to make data about you unavailable, I’d like to think that street etc subjects could ask for photos containing their image to be taken down. But it’s a scary notion that nobody subjects might have a green light to sue nobody hobby photographers because they saw themselves on an Instagram feed.

    The irony will be that the first person who gets a court case off the back of that will face a lot of publicity and their image will be actually become public property under the GDPR exemption for public interest photo journalism

    Of course one could argue that it’s the responsibility of the sites (Facebook/IG/Flickr/500px/etc) to ensure that the content THEY’RE making money from is GDPR compliant… but something tells me that won’t pan out like that… expect to see changes re legal responsibility to your T&Cs coming to a login splash screen near you soon.

    And I right in thinking that GDPR is retro applicable?

    Massive pay day ahoy then if you just happened to be a child in a HCB shot and it turns out that ol’ Henri was just a little to busy with the decisive moment for the rather more decisive model release form ;-D

    • pascaljappy says:

      Scary indeed !!!

    • NMc says:

      It is going to come down to how much longer the social media operators google and others are going to be able to get away with calling themselves a platform not a service. Acting like they are only providing the virtual paper for others to print onto; its absolute bollocks of course. They are directly selling information and distributing content for their own means and ends.

      The biggest potential problem for Google and Facebook would be losing the money they make from selling advertising. Currently most large advertisers have no idea what they are paying for, and most of the claims for service are false, fraudulent or a best misleading. If there was an advertisers strike the net worth of internet companies becomes zero. A strike won’t happen of course, most CEO’s and directors of multinationals are spineless (though very good as self-promotion and greasy pole climbing).

      The first person to be successfully prossecuted will most probably be some grandma who incidentally shared an image of their grandchild’s friend. SNAFU again.

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