The Phoblographer: Let’s Talk About the Gender Gap in Art and Photography

https://www.thephoblographer.com/2018/10/09/gender-gap-art-photography/

“… These numbers reinforce the long-standing notion that male photographers receive better deals overall: including, but not limited to, assignments, wages, positions, and exposure. And it’s not even that women don’t make the effort. As the same study found, they do, in fact, do so more than their male peers: more of them are university educated, more engaged in social media, more versatile in terms of technology used, and more digitally savvy.

Which is why it can get irritating and exhausting every time news like a prominent camera brand announcing not one, not two, but 32 brand ambassadors, with literally all of them being male photographers comes out….”

Image of Migrant Mother by renowned female photographer Dorothea Lange sourced from the Library of Congress’ Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC).

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Bluecoat Press: Elswick Kids, Kickstarter Campaign for Latest Book of Photographs by the Great British Documentary Photographer Tish Murtha

Tish Murtha, one of Magnum photojournalist David Hurn’s first students at the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales, in the 1970s, was one of the finest documentary photographers of her generation but, in the all-too-usual manner, was ignored by the photography establishment until recently thanks to the tireless efforts of her daughter Ella Murtha, The Photographers’ Gallery, Bluecoat Press, Café Royal Books and others. 

Commentary

The course at The School of Documentary Photography was unique in Britain at the time and produced many fine photographers, a couple of whom later moved to Australia.

Others went on to fame and fortune, while Tish Murtha seemed to have disappeared into the background after initial early successes and commissions, dying prematurely in 2013.

Given the way female photographers have tended to be ignored and forgotten, it is wonderful to see that Tish Murtha is finally receiving the recognition that she deserved so much in her lifetime.

Photograph from “Elswick Kids’ by the late, great British documentary photographer Tish Murtha.

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The Guardian: The high-fliers club: how Susan Wood captured the original rebel girls

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/sep/28/the-high-fliers-club-how-susan-wood-captured-the-original-rebel-girls

“There’s Jayne Mansfield, striding through New York in a tight dress. There’s fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, reclining on a flight with a notepad on her lap. There’s lifestyle icon Martha Stewart, leading ducks round her property dressed in a denim romper suit. They’re all here, along with Susan Sontag, Nora Ephron and countless other celebrities, intellectuals and icons of the 20th century – and all of them women.

Susan Wood, the celebrated photographer who took these shots, found that her subjects all shared certain characteristics. “The first thing is intelligence,” she says. “The second is responsiveness. And they all had tremendous energy, joie de vivre, openness. They could understand things that weren’t quite said.”…”

Women: Portraits 1960-2000, by Susan Wood, published by Pointed Leaf Press, 2018.

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British Journal of Photography: How We See: Photobooks by Women

http://www.bjp-online.com/2018/09/how-we-see-photobooks-by-women/

“History confirms it – the first photobook was made by a woman, with British photographer Anna Atkins publishing Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in 1843, a year before Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature. Still, many historians, including Allan Porter in his introduction to The Photobook: A History, dismiss Atkins’ work as “photographic prints” rather than photography.

“Unfortunately, this is far too often emblematic of the uphill battle women photobook-makers still encounter when we talk about their history,” says Russet Lederman, co-founder of 10×10 Photobooks. “As we conducted research for the How We See project, we discovered that although women photographers produce relatively equal numbers of photobooks to men, their representation in the higher-profile sectors was, and still is, disappointing.”…”

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Vox: Photojournalism needs to face its #MeToo moment

https://www.vox.com/2018/9/7/17761458/me-too-photojournalism-sexual-harassment-vii

“Late Monday evening, VII (pronounced “seven”), one of the world’s premier photojournalism agencies, discreetly posted a terse, two-sentence statement on its website announcing that Antonin Kratochvil, the famed photographer and one of the organization’s founding members, had resigned. Any further inquiries, the agency said, “should be directed to Mr. Kratochvil.”

Kratochvil’s quiet resignation came on the heels of a bombshell report in the Columbia Journalism Review by Kristen Chick, in which several women accused him of groping and intimidating a number of female colleagues. (Kratochvil continues to deny all allegations.)…

… There were stories about the toxic culture of photojournalism before Chick’s reporting, including recent articles that brought down the famed sports photographer Bill Frakes and National Geographic editor Patrick Witty. But nothing was as comprehensive and pointed as Chick’s piece. After witnessing a wave wash over Hollywood, the media, politics, and corporate America, Chick’s story should have hastened our industry’s own #MeToo moment. That hasn’t happened — and the reason is bigger than a few bad actors….”

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Sony Launches ‘Be Alpha’ Campaign on World Photo Day in New York City; We are Looking Forward to the Launch of Sony’s ‘Alpha Female’ Project

Today, Sunday August 19, 2018, in New York City, Sony’s Alpha Universe launched its ‘Be Alpha’ campaign in an event described by Sony Artisan of Imaging Katrin Eismann as “fabulous”. 

I am hoping there will be an equally fabulous launch event for Sony’s coming ‘Alpha Female’ project sometime soon. 

Meanwhile, here is information and some links about Ms Eismann…

katrin_eismann_sony_2018_01_1350px
Images created entirely in-camera by Katrin Eismann for Sony.

Links

  • Alpha UniverseKatrin Eismann
  • InstagramKatrin Eismann
  • Katrin Eismann
  • School of Visual ArtsKatrin Eismann
  • World Photo Day – This day, also referred to as World Photography Day, “the worlds largest photography celebration started as an idea in the bedroom of Korske Ara, a young photographer in Canberra, Australia. Passionate about connecting people, telling their stories and inspiring positive change in the world, Korske started on an epic journey to change the world through photography.”

What is in Katrin Eismann’s camera bag

Image Credits

Image Moonbase Alpha concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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sony_g_gm_3-zoom_kit_35mm_01_1024px_80pc
The 3-zoom lens kit has long been a staple of photojournalists and especially newspaper photographers for some years now. Add a fast prime lens and you can handle just about anything.

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  • Sony 128GB M Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Kit (2-Pack)B&H
  • Sony Alpha α7R III Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony E-Mount mirrorless lensesB&H

Sony USA: Sony Celebrates No. 1 Overall Position in U.S. Full-frame Cameras with Launch of Historic ‘Be Alpha’ Campaign

https://alphauniverse.com/stories/sony-takes-over-as-no-1-in-u-s–full-frame-cameras–launches-historic–be-alpha–campaign/

“… The ‘Be Alpha’ campaign will also feature programs that are designed to foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals, the most notable of which being the flagship ‘Alpha Female’ program. This multi-tiered, female exclusive program is Sony’s thoughtful response to the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges. It will include a variety of grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers, as well as the production of several large-scale industry events. Additional details to be released soon….”

sony_alpha_a9_01_1024px_80pc
Sony Alpha a9 mirrorless digital camera with Sony VG-C3EM vertical grip and Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS zoom lens.

Commentary

Details about Sony’s coming ‘Alpha Female’ program thread of the ‘Be Alpha’ campaign have yet to appear online but this is the very first time to my knowledge that any camera maker has done anything to address the huge imbalance in opportunities for and representation of female photographers and moviemakers.

It is likely that concrete information about the ‘Alpha Female’ program and the ‘Alpha Female’ photographers and moviemakers involved in it will begin appearing during the ‘Be Alpha’ campaign launch event on August 19th, World Photography Day, in New York City. 

I hope that the ‘Alpha Female’ program will be a beacon to all aspiring and established female photographers and moviemakers everywhere, not just limited to the USA, and inspire all camera and other hardware manufacturing companies to make a real change for the better.

sony_lens_collection_2017_01_16x9_1920px_80pc
“Not enough lenses”? Sony A-Mount and E-Mount lenses in 35mm and APS-C sensor formats as of 2017.

Coverage of Sony products, as well as those by Canon and Nikon, has been sporadic here at ‘Untitled’ but Sony’s ‘Alpha Female’ program as well as the other two camera makers’ coming high-end mirrorless cameras are incentive to try to persuade all three brands to assist us in writing about their products with firsthand experience.

Another such incentive is Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming’s creation of Sony and Canon inclusive Leeming LUT Pro, “the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table (LUT) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading”.

“Multi-camera shoots are now much easier, because you are starting with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading. Once all your cameras have been corrected, you can optionally use the specially matched Leeming LUT Quickies™ for a one-touch creative grade designed to work seamlessly with the common baseline of Leeming LUT Pro™ corrected footage.”

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sony_fe_55mm_f1.8_za_sonnar_t-_01_1024px_80pc
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Sonnar prime lens for Sony E-Mount cameras with 35mm sensors. Photojournalist David Burnett describes it as “the sharpest, crispest 50mm lens I have ever used”.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Sigma Art Lenses for Sony E-Mount camerasB&H
  • Sony 128GB M Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Kit (2-Pack)B&H
  • Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Alpha a7S II Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Alpha a99 II DSLR Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI Digital CameraB&H
  • Sony E-Mount mirrorless lensesB&H
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  • Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA LensB&H

The Guardian: Royal Photographic Society seeks ‘hundred heroines’ for special award

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/aug/02/royal-photographic-society-seeks-hundred-heroines-for-special-award

“Women such as Julia Margaret Cameron were among the pioneers of photography and the earliest members of the Royal Photographic Society. However, the society is concerned that despite a few superstars such as the American photographer Annie Leibovitz, the importance of the work of contemporary female photographers is being overlooked in a male-dominated profession.

The society is launching an international campaign, Hundred Heroines, to find and honour outstanding contemporary female photographers, and is inviting both members of the public and professionals to put forward names to join the ranks….”

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The New York Times: This Working Class Photographer Documented Her Community in Industrial England [Article behind paywall though limited free reading is available.]

The great British documentary photographer Tish Murtha.
The late Tish Murtha, British documentary photographer. Photographs reproduced here under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.

“Tish Murtha’s relentless vision can be characterized by a single trait: empathy. She unflinchingly investigated forsaken communities crippled by ineffective government policies and bleak living conditions.

Despite her notable output — powered by an active home darkroom — her work went underrecognized throughout her life and after her sudden death in 2013. Last year, her daughter Ella spearheaded an online campaign to publish a limited-edition book based on Murtha’s series “Youth Unemployment.” She is now having her first retrospective, “Tish Murtha: Works 1976-1991,” on view at The Photographers’ Gallery in London through October 14….

… Gordon MacDonald, the exhibit’s co-curator, deemed Ella the “driving force behind the rediscovery of her work and archive” (Ella herself was blunt as to why her mother had been overlooked for so long: “Because she didn’t have a penis”). This was, Mr. MacDonald said, “a very direct and plausible argument to explain this historic lack of visibility for Tish, and many other female artists and photographers.”… “

Commentary

“Because she didn’t have a penis” is an apt comment from Tish Murtha’s daughter Ella Murtha explaining why her mother had been so overlooked as a great British documentary photographer for so long.

Yet Ms Murtha was not always overlooked, given her commission to photograph for the London by Night show by The Photographers’ Gallery in London, in 1983.

Three other great British photographers also worked on that show – Bill Brandt, Brian Griffin and Peter Marlow – all of whom were already widely acclaimed and successful documentary photographers or if not at the time of that show went on to be so shortly afterwards.

Except for Tish Murtha.

It is rewarding, then, to see that Tish Murtha is finally starting to receive her due but tragic that it is occurring only after her untimely death at the age of 56 in 2013.

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