Shoot, Process and Publish: The Impact of iPhone Photography on the Media

– My name’s Katrin Eismann, I’m the chair of the Masters in Digital
Photography program here at the school of visual arts. (whoop from audience) One student in the audience.
(laughter) I’ll change that grade tomorrow. Alright, it’s a pleasure. I’m gonna introduce the panel in a moment, but before we get
started with our evening, Shoot, Process and Publish, how the iPhone has impacted the media, I have a little bit of housekeeping. And as you would assume, your cell phones, please leave them on. Well, I assume they have
cameras in them, right? Set them to vibrate, but if you wanna take
pictures, go right ahead, make sure to use the hashtag #SVAlecture. Okay, we might trend.
(chuckling) And that’s probably the first lecture where someone’s asked you
to leave your phone on. Okay, in about two weeks, this panel and actually all of our
lectures, we have a handout, all of our lectures are
featured on iTunes U, and so if, you know, your
friends weren’t able to make it, they could watch it here. And due to our production
and excellent content, this week in the Collections Art and Architecture, we are number two. That is a big deal. I cannot beat National Geographic. (clapping)
– No one can. – Last week we beat Yale. My husband went to Yale, that was good. Ah, no, I wouldn’t take that personally. Anyway, so we have a
list of all our lectures, you can go and view them for free whenever the TV’s on repeat. Okay, so, being a photographer and having studied photography, we know that photography, the
aesthetics and the practice are influenced by changes in technology. And the way I see it, there’s
been four main changes in the technology of photography, and those shifts are
when photography changed from wet plate to rollfilm, and then black and white to color, and what I call instamatic to digital. And the change that we’re in right now and that we’re here to
discuss this evening is mobile to social. And personally I think
it’s a fantastic time to be involved in photography, ’cause we’re really at
a historical moment. Don’t worry, there’s not
gonna be too much history of photography, and there
will be no quiz at the end. So here’s, as you’ve probably
learned in your photo classes, here’s the first picture
that was ever taken, 1926, by Joseph Niepce,
an eight-hour exposure. If it hadn’t been so dark, you probably could have shot, processed, and published a picture
in about eight seconds. So that’s how photography started. And then in 1855, this
was your portable camera. The, Roger Fenton in the Crimean War. So thing have changed,
and things have improved. Now, what’s going on now? Of course, more and more pictures are being produced every year. I don’t even know what 380
billion of anything really is. And I’m not quite sure
who’s counting them, but that’s the known number. That’s a lot of photographs. And it’s because, of course
more people are photographing, we’re carrying our cameras with us, and because photography is so important because, how photography
works with our memory. And as you know, well, you might not know this, there’s a billion photos in Instagram, making it the largest
repository of photography. And every day, between 250 million and 300 million photos
are uploaded to Facebook. What’s even more shocking is, those 300 million are only 20% of all photos taken every day, which is a good thing, ’cause
that would be a lot of cats. (laughter) There’s enough cats on Facebook. So in a way, these are some of the issues we want to address tonight, from the point of view,
from photojournalism, fine art, design, photo
editors, et cetera. Now I’m going to introduce our panel, who will be speaking one at a time, but I’m gonna introduce them all at once so I don’t have to keep jumping up, so I can enjoy the evening myself. Our first panelist, Steph Goralnick, is a New York-based
photographer and designer, and she gets most excited
about exploring faraway places, documenting events that
involve a little bit of mayhem, and sharing stories of daily life with her mobile photography. Her work has been published on, in PDN, Adbusters magazine,
the Village Voice, Pictory Mag, and Rolling Stone online. Steph has over 340,000
followers on Instagram, so I, yeah, I know. So I highly recommend that you follow her, because I noticed this week,
she was a little too early in the studio, so what does she do? She went and she took
pictures in the good light. So it was sort of nice to see. So obviously she still loves photography. Now, Stephen Mayes is
the managing director of the VII Photo Agency, and he has 25 years of experience in the field of photography,
art, and journalism. He has also served as the director for World Press Photo competition, and as the creative
director of Getty Images, Photonica,, Art
+ Commerce Image Archive, and amana New York. What I recommend you
do, is you go to Google and Google Mayes and Wired, and you’re gonna find a
fabulous interview with Stephen on how photographs are no longer things, they are experiences. And it was based on that interview that I really wanted you on this panel. So, we could just all read it. No, we like having you live. Okay, now, Kira Pollack is TIME Magazine’s director of photography, and she oversees the
photographic vision of TIME,, and TIME on the iPad. TIME, of course, has won numerous awards, including Overseas
Press Club, World Press, SPD, and American Photography. Previously, Kira was
the deputy photo editor for The New York Times Magazine, and during her 11-year tenure
she helped launch Play, The Times’ sports magazine. What’s interesting is, most
recently, in Hurricane Sandy, how Kira worked closely
with top photojournalists to really have them cover Hurricane Sandy via the Intagram feed. And I recommend that you
follow Kira and TIME LightBox on Twitter, because that means
every day you’re gonna see among the best photojournalism
work being done. And now, Stephen Wilkes. Stephen is an award-winning editorial, commercial, and fine-art photographer who has been widely recognized for his fine-art and commercial work. He has numerous awards and honors, as well as five major exhibitions
in the last five years that have left a truly
meaningful impression on the world of photography. Stephen’s photography’s been
featured in Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, TIME, LIFE magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and a few of his honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt award
for magazine photography, Photographer of the Year in Ad magazine, and awards in Graphis Magazine
in communication arts. Now, we all think that
photographers are gearheads. Stephen qualifies, because in his toolkit it’s everything from a
helicopter to an iPhone, the helicopter being today, ’cause today he was above 28th street, photographing. So you’ve met our panel, I’m going to– Oh, and then there’s me. I forgot I had a slide on myself. Well, I’m an artist, I’m
an author, and an educator, and I’ve been working in
digital photography since 1989, meaning I’ve been working with Photoshop before some of my students were born. Yes, which makes me feel very old. Okay, so on that note,
after each panelist presents we will open it up for Q&A, and I hope we all enjoy an
inspiring and insightful evening. So Steph, you want to come up and show us, talk to us about Instagram? – Hello. My name is Steph Goralnick,
and I have a terrible memory. And that’s partially a catalyst for how I ended up
speaking to you guys today. A large part of photography, for me, is a very personal thing. I just wanted a way to kind of capture what I was up to, the places I’ve been, the things I’ve seen, or people I’ve met, as a way to be able to look back and say, “Wow, that was a really incredible year.” And posting photos online became
the perfect way to do that. And so I started with Flickr and Tumblr, and to my surprise, strangers, people I didn’t know
began to follow along, and it really became kind of a delight. So I began to record this log on Flickr, and just keep track of all the things that were going on in daily life. And then came the iPhone, and Instagram, and the community grew and grew, and it became this way
to, although it never, you know, replaced proper SLR, kind of an unshackling. We were talking about it earlier, to kind of steal Stephen’s
words, almost therapeutic to just be so casual, to
just capture the things that I loved, and were interesting to me and to put them up and share. And I began posting these photos, without really much
explanation or commentary, and was really surprised
at the reactions of people, you know, people really became
engaged, and were saying, you know, it either was very warm, fuzzy, nostalgia, childhood, you
know, ruralness to them, or people were saying, “It
looks like a creepy horror show, “these empty places and these landscapes.” So it really became a place
to engage with a community and talk to people, and
connect with people. And I also began to use it as a tool to just keep up with the skill
of approaching strangers, and I started a hashtag called #TodayIMet, where I would just, you
know, talk to people that seemed interesting,
and kind of record a little bit of their story, and people on Instagram began to join in and made it into their own project. It also became a great way to connect with other photographers,
kind of expanded and broadened the network of photographers
around the world, and like-minded type people, which just really became a great thing for collaborations,
and different projects. And then a funny thing happened, where it started out as being
this very personal thing, and as the audience grew and grew, companies and brands noticed also. So this was a hashtag
called #FromWhereIStand, and shoe brands started to
notice and get in touch with me, and that kind of started the adventures in social media commercial photography. I shot a New York Rangers game
from Madison Square Garden, did some social media content for Evian, did a special event for Delta, and was brought to Israel
to shoot for ten days by the Ministry of Tourism. And it went from a personal thing to engagement with community,
to commercial projects, to something that kind of sets me apart from my esteemed panelists. I don’t consider myself a photojournalist, but when Hurricane Sandy
happened, I think a lot of us had different experiences with it, and part of my experience
was being really torn about not being able to go rush and help and having to go to work, having a responsibility to my job. And so I would go and
volunteer on the weekends, and during the week I would post pictures and share my experiences, and was really surprised
that it turned into thousands of people from
all around the world asking questions, and
saying, “Well, I’m in Ohio, “what could I do,” or, “I’m in
Paris,” or London, or Tokyo, “is there some way I can help?” Or, “I can get to New
York, do you know a way “that I can go volunteer,
and what should I do?” So it became this amazing way to kind of disseminate information, and
there were a lot of people talking about their
experiences with Katrina, or in disasters in other
places around the world, their experiences with the Red Cross, or other places to donate
money, and that it, maybe it’s a better idea to
donate here rather than there, and so it became this ongoing, kind of collaborative discussion, which was really interesting. So it ended up being a type
of citizen photojournalism without really meaning to be. So that’s all I have to share with you, but just wanted to say that it’s been an incredible experience for me, having this thing that grew from, kind of very personal,
inward conversation, you know, through this tool
of, especially being able to shoot, edit, and put
information out into this world, seamlessly, all with one
device, in such an easy way, grew into this incredible journey. (applause) – I have no visuals, I’m afraid, so we’re gonna have to imagine
what I’m talking about. I just want to, I manage photojournalists so there’s a very practical
edge to all of this, in that, you know, we’re
struggling to maintain a business in a very changing environment, so we’re trying to match
what’s happening in culture and in publishing, and
in imagery technology, all these things, with
actually earning dollars, so there’s a very hard edge to this as we’re trying to
apply these technologies in very practical ways, to earn money. And so there’s a certain
day-to-day scramble to make that happen. But actually I don’t want
to talk about that tonight, I want to talk about, sort
of, the bigger picture of where I see this going, and
where I think the tools are, that we’re developing,
which we can now begin to apply in different ways. And it’s partly because we haven’t really begun to understand what it is that we’re handling
here, with the cellphone, and a lot of what I see
happening with the smartphone is people essentially
replicating what used to happen with cameras, and with what
was known as photography. And I do believe that we’re
into a different world with this, I think it’s it’s
a totally transformative tool, and it’s a word I use cautiously, ’cause people talk about
“transformative” a lot and sometimes it’s just a little
bit different or exciting. I think this is genuinely transformative, and I want to talk a little bit about why. And in understanding that,
how it’s so transformative, I think it then brings is back into then, how do we begin to apply it. But there are a number of very distinctive characteristics of the smartphone which make it a very unique camera, and the combination of
these characteristics are just extraordinary,
the portability of it, you know, it’s, I’ve
got one right on me now, it’s in my pocket. The invisibility it allows a photographer, that if you are on a
street, in a conflict zone, in somebody’s house, you
know, wherever you are, pulling out a cellphone doesn’t
particularly distinguish you in the way that pulling out a, you know, a digital SLR or one of the
big monster cameras does. You know, people notice it these days in a way that they didn’t,
even two years ago, people expect you to be taking pictures, so they will be guarded. I think some of my royal
family (mumbles) that. But essentially, when
you pull out a cellphone as a journalist, you are invisible, you’re one of many who
are wielding cellphones. And that’s quite remarkable, that separation has caused
some, that lack of separation has caused some concern
amongst my colleagues, one of whom found himself
in a conflict zone surrounded by guys with
guns and cellphones, and here was, mingling
as though one of them, where previously you would
have had that other role defined by the camera, the
object setting him aside, and suddenly he’s just,
essentially, one of the protagonists and what does that mean,
where does that leave him ethically, how does that
change his field practice, and all of that changes. There’s an immediacy to the cellphone, you know, there are zoom lenses
and you can zoom in and out but essentially it’s a close-up tool. You know, people use
it for landscapes too, but essentially it’s, really where it wins is it is totally intimate. And it’s intimate in a number of ways. First of all, generally you’re
holding it close to people, you’re involved with them,
it’s generally a signal that you are actually involved with them. And again, that distance that
you had with the larger camera is gone, you are really
shoulder to shoulder, you’re mingling, you’re
sharing the experience. It’s also an incredibly intimate
tool for the photographer, in that, you know, we have
our cellphones passworded, locked, because there’s stuff in there which is personal to us, and
we want to keep personal to us. You know, this instrument,
which is, on the one hand, a gateway out to the wide world, is incredibly intimate,
it carries stuff about us which, you know, we
might not want to share. And so there’s just something
about the tool itself which talks about intimacy,
both for the photographer, the subject, and how
we read it, of course. And when we see cellphone
pictures, we tend to regard it as a personal experience,
and Stephanie’s example was a great example of that. She wasn’t off documenting other lives or other people, even the
project you were talking about, meeting people, it was your experience of meeting people, became the thing. So the tool itself is about the intimate. And of course the connectivity, the fact that you’re online,
and the picture is out there. All of these things
change the field practice. They’re all fairly radical. But I don’t think those are
the transformative elements. Oh, I do want to say one other thing about the connectivity, of course what the connectivity leads into is, essentially, publishing. I have to say, I’m in awe
of anyone with over 300,000 followers on Instagram,
but you are a publisher. And, you know, it’s one of the shifts that I’m going through in
talking with my colleagues, is shifting the thinking from
being one of a photographer to actually being a publisher. And with being a publisher,
several things happen. It does totally redefine the product, and what is it that we
are actually selling, what is it that is valuable, that we have. And it’s less and less about the object that is the photograph, whether, you know, anyone describes a photograph
as an object these days, but you know, it’s less and less that unit of intellectual property. It’s more about how one
puts it into the world, and I think your stories about, you know, the value you have
because of your audience rather than, you’re not
actually licensing pictures in that story, you’re not
doing the old-form thing of, “Here’s a picture,
you can use for one week “inside a magazine, and maybe online “if you pay a little bit extra.” Those days are really evaporating, and the value is moving
into something else, and that was one classic example of it. Audience changes, that
one begins to be able to define your audience. You know, if you think of
yourself as a publisher rather than a photographer,
photographers, after all, were only ever suppliers, a few notches up from
stationery suppliers, essentially you were making something and then offering it to somebody to use, whether it be an advertiser, a magazine, or all the other people,
you know, the catalog, the other people who used photography. You were supplying material, and your job was done when
the material was supplied. If you think of yourself as a publisher, that’s not the case. You’re doing a lot more than supplying. You’re actually engaging,
you’re choosing your audience, you’re choosing how to address them, your tone of voice, everything shifts when you think of yourself as a publisher. And, I think very critically, your choice of subject matter changes. And that’s been really, really
key in the last few years, ’cause until very recently,
the voices that defined what was represented in the world were the voices of magazines. And they had were the gateway to reach the world, and
to reach the viewership. So the stories that the
magazines chose to run, the stories that were deemed “newsworthy” in whatever culture, in whatever magazine, were the stories that we saw, and we saw them in the
manner that was prescribed. That is no longer true, and it’s just extraordinary,
I’m seeing this huge growth of knowledge, and my own
knowledge is growing enormous because people are choosing
their own subjects, and they’re bringing the
subjects straight to me. I’m no longer reliant on an editor or, you know, a publisher
telling me what’s interesting. That continues, it’s not lost, it’s absolutely there, it’s very relevant, but in addition to that, we
have all this other stuff coming at us, and as photographers
or publishers ourselves, we have that choice of,
what do we talk about. And that is really huge. Now, the transformative thing, to me, is the element of time. And that’s what the cellphone does which no other camera really has done, that the camera as we used to know it, the photograph as it was, was essentially this
discrete slice of time, taken, preserved, published
wherever you put it, you could repurpose it across time, but it was essentially that static moment which was taken, and would live and you could change the caption, you could change the color, you could do all these different things with it, but it was that little lump
of time that was extracted and that was it, it was static. What we have with the cellphone is, we have a stream of imagery. It’s not really about making
the definitive photograph. It’s about creating an experience, it’s about creating a
participatory process where stories unfold across time, and when you follow
somebody’s feed on Facebook, you know, from all the statistics I gather that people don’t
particularly use the timeline to go back, as an archive, they don’t use that as a
means of investigating history in the way that one would
with a photo archive, they go there for what’s up today. I liked what I saw yesterday,
I don’t want to see that again, I want to see what
this person’s doing today. It becomes this evolving story. And that, to me, is really the key thing, and it’s not only Facebook
but all the social media, it’s about streaming, it’s
about the continuing experience. It’s that immediacy of
what’s happening now, what’s most occupying the
people I’m interested in, who’s interesting,
what’s grabbing at them, what are they showing me now? And you’re not going back
and leafing through it and saying, “Well, I quite fancy seeing “what this person was doing a year ago.” I mean, you can, but it’s not
really the function of it. And that, to me, is the
transformative element. And that’s where I think we’re
having a lot of difficulty of letting go, certainly as photographers, ’cause we still tend to think of, we’re just making more and more pictures. And the statistics that
we were hearing earlier about, you know, what is it,
a billion photographs a day going up, is, I think,
somewhat misleading, ’cause if you think about a billion– And that’s why people have this panic when you talk about the
volumes of pictures, like, “Oh my god, that’s too much imagery, “there’s so much rubbish out there,” that we’re terrified of all these images, ’cause we’re thinking
of them as photographs. It’s like, somehow you’ve
got to leaf through them all and understand them, and
get to know what that means. It’s not the point. It’s this flow, when you think of a river you don’t think of the number
of gallons of water in it, unless you’re an engineer. You know, you experience the flow. You don’t have to savor every drop, you don’t have to worry
about what’s at the bottom or the top, it’s just like, you take the river for what you want, you can use it for boating, swimming, fishing, whatever, or for looking at. And you take on that, you take from that and use if for what you want. And so that thing of the
image is just becoming, is less and less about the
unit, that individual thing, it’s about the experience
of the imagery overall. And when I was thinking about this, I was trying to find parallels in the history of photography,
and I kept coming back to David Hockney and his joiner pictures. And if you remember those, from the 1980s, when he would do a portrait or a landscape using a camera, he
would, a Polaroid camera initially, but he used various cameras, where he would just
record a scene in blocks, you know, click click click, he’d just track across and track across. And the result was that the
start of the picture over here could be, sometimes,
several hours, or even days from the end of the picture down there. And what he encapsulated was an image that was a composite, across time. And it was the first
example I can think of, and I’m interested to know if
you can maybe think of others, it’s the first time I can
think of of a photographer really using time as an
element in the final image. Which was of course, in
itself, a Cubist concept, this notion of taking multiple visions. And I think that what the Cubists started a hundred years ago, or
nearly a hundred years ago, is, in a way, finding its form now, where the experience
we have of photography is absolutely about drawing
on these multiple visions from which we construct another whole, rather than photography
as this stack of units which you then have to, you know, manage, and edit, and order, and sequence, and– But you’re managing single images. It is essentially, I
think we’re coming back to a very Cubist way of
experiencing the world, which is all these multiple visions, spread out across time,
which are then compressed into what we choose to draw from it. And that’s another transformative thing, is that we as viewers are choosing in a much greater way than we ever did. So I think that that’s the
transformative edge of it, and that is the bit I don’t think we’ve really understood yet. And in, the old analogy being
of the horseless carriage, you know, when the
automobile was first invented there was no vocabulary
for it, “What is it? “It looks like a carriage,
it’s got four wheels, “it goes from A to B,
it must be a carriage, “but it’s got no horse.” And of course it’s not, you know, it’s very far from a carriage, it’s got similar
characteristics, it can mimic the role of a carriage, but it’s not. And I think that’s where
we are with the image at this point, is that we’re
trying to understand it, of course, naturally, in
terms of what went before it, and that’s the limitation,
and the excitement has to be about letting
go of all those knowledges and just thinking about it
in a very different paradigm. And the bit after that is then, how on earth do we make
a business out of that. But I’m gonna hand over
now to the next speaker. (applause) – Thank you. I just want to start, Stephen was talking about
the role of the publisher and I was thinking about how the role, as photo editors, how much it’s changed so quickly, very recently, from– What we do is we assign photography, we assign photographers
to go out, cover a story, we assign a certain photographer to achieve a certain vision,
and then we publish it, and for the history of magazines, it’s published in the magazine. Then it’s published online. Now it’s, you know, what
we’ve developed and built is LifeBox, which is this
fantastic, really great place where we showcase great work,
and some of that’s assigned. And now we’re looking at all social media. And from where we are, it’s kind of like, how do all these things connect, because there’s so many different ways that people can penetrate the brand, you know, some people just
follow it on Instagram, some people are Twitter followers, some people subscribe to the magazine, some people are just
looking at it on, some people just follow LifeBox, so all those things have to connect. So this is actually,
we’re talking tonight, it’s, we’ve just been having
a lot of meetings recently about, what is our Instagram
feed, and how can we– Because we, you know, it’s
great, like Steph and Stephen, as photographers, have
this certain personality of what they want their pictures to be, and I think it’s great for
individual photographers to have Instagram feeds,
because it’s really, this is what you wanna
share, this is who you are, this is how people are
looking at your work. As a brand, it’s like, we cover everything from, you know, breaking
news to portraiture to culture, you know,
international stories. And so we’re really trying to figure out how our Instagram feed,
how we can keep that really exciting and strong,
and it’s a very interesting, you know, it’s a whole other platform, and I think it’s interesting, it’s from a different point of view. So I just want to take you through the coverage that we
did for Hurricane Sandy, and this was just, you know, we came in Monday morning,
this huge storm was coming, we knew this was gonna be massive news. There were a couple of us
in the office, it was me and Patrick Witty, the
international picture editor, and Paul Moakley, the deputy photo editor. I mean, I think there were a
couple of other people too, but I just remember, we were like, “How are we gonna cover this story?” Because you didn’t really
know how bad it was gonna be, you know, whether it was,
we would send people out. But we decided this would
be a great opportunity for our Instagram feed, we can cover breaking news with our Instagram feed. And so what with did, we
called five great photographers that were in the region, three regions. New Jersey, we called Ed
Cashey and Andrew Quilty, New York, Ben Lowy,
Michael Christopher Brown, and Connecticut, the great Stephen Wilkes. And what was exciting was what Stephen Mayes just
said, it’s about timeliness. And, you know, these pictures are coming straight from the photographer. That is a picture that
Michael Christopher Brown took in, you know, Alphabet C, and we’re all like, “You’ve
gotta be kidding me, “that is what it looks like right now.” And it is instantaneous. So the way that we
could report this story, it is revolutionary, there’s just no way that you could ever show something that quickly to a huge audience. And it was very exciting,
because we were covering it, you know, five people really covered it in all different points of view. And also, I think the other thing it shows is how the technology has changed. Look at those pictures, those are made in the middle of the night with no light. I mean, and no light
because there’s no power because he’s in the East Village,
right where the, you know. So the kind of quality that he can take with his camera phone, this is again Michael Christopher Brown, is pretty exceptional, and
I think that’s another thing that’s just changed,
it’s changed so quickly. Ed Cashey, this is Stephen Wilkes, we love this picture,
and I’m gonna show you how we ran it in the magazine. But we really, we noticed there was just massive
engagement with this, and we grew our Instagram
audience in a huge way, and we were able to, Vaughn Wallis, our LightBox producer, he’s here, he was able to really get
all these up on LightBox, so we also were able
to show these pictures, and so, some, the people
that don’t subscribe to our Instagram feed saw them on LightBox and again, we had a huge
increase in traffic. There is a desire to see news pictures in a breaking news situation. It’s not about cats, it’s
about content, you know? And I think that is
something that we feel, you know, like, okay, Ben
Lowy, he’s in Brooklyn here but we’re seeing these
all at the same moments and they’re just coming in. What was sort of, this
is the Battery tunnel, I love it, I think this
picture is so scary. But, you know, what’s exciting about this and scary about it, is that we basically, this is Stephen Wilkes
in Westport, Connecticut, and I grew up in the town next to it I’m like, “That’s Westport.” You know, I couldn’t believe that, that’s right near Compo
Beach, if you know that area. But what’s really
exciting about this to us was that we handed over our keys. We said to these photographers,
“You’ve got our password, “we trust you, upload your pictures.” It did not go through
any screening process. We got cut out of the equation. Now that is revolutionary,
because, you know, we’re giving the photographer the control. Now, it’s about picking
the right photographers, you know, it’s not like– I think these are all
very, you know, have been– These photographers are great journalists, we have relationships with them, we know what they do,
we know how they think, we know what their journalistic chops are, but, you know, it was a
very interesting experiment. But it was very exciting for us. And ultimately, we did
48-hour assignments, these guys were on for 48 hours, and they made amazing
pictures, this is Ben Lowy. And they covered all the regions, and we saw it in a great, incredible way. And we did get so many
comments, so many people. But even writing captions, all that, you know, that gets vetted. So some of that, that all
just went through these guys, and under really tough,
tough circumstances they were filing these things. So, oh, that’s another example of, like, in the middle of the night, that’s a picture that Michael
Christopher Brown took and I think that’s just incredible, what a cellphone caamera can do. So these are, you know, this
is kind of how he covered it. This one I showed, but I can’t– This was Ed Cashey, and this was a picture
that he made, and he, I can’t read it from here,
but the caption is like, “This guy was rolling a joint.” And he writes this in the caption, and I mean, if you just looked at that, if you look at how
people responded to that, it was like, “Okay,
well, that’s published.” (laughter)
You know, like, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s like, “Sorry, I don’t
know what to say about it.” I didn’t really know that
he was rolling a joint, and we didn’t, but we didn’t
even have the opportunity to see it, because he uploaded it. And he’s, I mean, he’s the
greatest documentary photog– You know, comes from— But he was really saying
what the guy was doing, like, “This is what it is,” but it, maybe we would have written it in a different way, maybe we might have not published that picture, I don’t know. But that’s the kind of like,
danger factor of, you know. So, and this is, we covered the election so Brooks Kraft was
photographing, also, you know, with his camera phone
but also with his SLR, and he was covering Obama and Christopher Morris
was covering Romney. And again, this was just a really great, we just saw the numbers, the engagement, people loved seeing these,
and they were coming in when these photographers were filing them. And Chris Morris was, these are Chris’, black and white, really artful. And I think it’s challenging
for some of these, you know, for Chris, I think, he’s got a great sensibility
and a great point of view, this is a whole other thing. We were like, “Please, can
you do the Instagram feed?” You know, ’cause we just wanted, he was already there doing it, and I think it was interesting for him, and I think the photographers
that have tried that have really found that there’s
something exciting about it. So these are just some examples. This is a picture that Bobby Ghosh, one of our great senior
reporters, took in Tahrir Square, and he just took it when he
was on an assignment there, and it went crazy, it was like
Instagram sort of blessed it, and it just went, you know, viral. It was, it got so many
likes and so many, it was– So it’s also about how
things get picked up and how these images
are being communicated, at what time, by who, who’s,
you know, blessing it. And then this picture is a picture that we just
assigned last weekend, by Michael Christopher Brown, and that, you know, it’s not Brooklyn, but it is, as you know, Central Park. So I also just wanted to show you how we publish them in the magazine. And one of the pictures that Ben Lowy made was, it ran on our cover. And so, you know, the news cycle is, it’s Monday, Tuesday, the storm hits, and that’s when, and
then the aftermath is, Wednesday we close our magazine. So that morning, the editor in chief wanted to do a Northeast cover that was, you know, related to Sandy. And we had these incredible pictures. And so we published one of Ben
Lowy’s pictures on the cover. It’s like, this painterly,
timeless, incredible picture from Coney Island, it’s beautiful. And we had, we were not
trying to make a point, publishing an Instagram picture, but we had all these pictures
that we could choose from but it was the right moment, and it was the way that
we covered that story. So that was really, and we
got a lot of attention for it. And we started a real dialogue, I think, about photojournalism and, you know, what is the role of
Instagram in photojournalism. But I just wanted to say
also, these photographers covered the story on
Instagram as a platform, as a way to get their
pictures out, but they also, like, you know, Stephen
made incredible pictures with his “real camera,”
his SLR, and we ran them as double truck pictures
in the magazine that week. So we were able to run
an eight-page photo essay using the work from the
Instagram assignment, and we were also able to have our feed, and we were also able
to run them on LightBox. So it was like, a way that we
could connect all those dots. And in that case, it was very successful because it was just kind of exciting and I think, you know,
when breaking news happens it’s a very visual story,
people want to see pictures, they want to see pictures. And this was just an
interesting way to do it. So that’s my– But now you get to talk to Stephen Wilkes, who will show you more
pictures from the Sandy. (applause) – Thank you, Kira, that was terrific. I think everyone has spoken so eloquently about what’s happening. I’d just like to add what
an incredibly exciting time I think it is, really, to
be a photographer today. And I think what’s really
happening, in a sense, is the visual language is changing at a speed that’s never
really been measured in any way, in terms of
what’s happening right now. My work, for the most
part, as a fine artist, I do these incredibly complex photographs, this is a series I’ve been
working on called Day to Night, and I photographed, basically this picture was 17 hours, 1700 images so on and so forth, four
months of post-work, that’s how I make my art. So when I started to pick up
an iPhone for the first time, it was really revelatory, and I think, just totally uninhibiting in terms of, and liberating, for me, technically. I love the idea that you could go out and just see something and take a picture, you always had a camera with you. And so at the beginning I would shoot, you know, just anything
that was around me, and of course my dog,
Cody, I had to shoot him. But, and then I started to realize as I started doing it that I
started to build an audience, and something else started happening, I started to really get into the whole look of what was happening. And I think, in a strange
way, there’s this idea, I think, that Stephen
very eloquently described, is the river, and that you’re
in a stream of consciousness. Photographically, it begins
to feel that way too, and for me, I started to just allow myself to just shoot everything
that I loved to see, anything that attracts me, it’s really about looking,
it’s about seeing. And that’s all photography
really has ever been to me. And one of the beauties, I
think, of this technology is that we all have the same camera now. You know, we can all go out and take pictures with the same camera. It’s not about the
technology, it’s about seeing. And that’s the beauty, to
me, of mobile photography. And being able to share it, and for me to be able to see other people’s work in real time is extraordinary. So this is kind of how I started to evolve with the iPhone a little bit. And then I really remember vividly when I got a phone call from Kira on the storm, which I’m gonna
approach in a moment here. This is from Jerusalem, as I travel I just found myself, frankly, I like shooting with
the iPhone so much now that I do find myself leaving
my 35 behind, occasionally. There is something about
the ability to be invisible, as Stephen has mentioned also, the idea that, as photographers, we’re, suddenly people are not self-conscious because they don’t feel threatened that we’re taking a picture
of them immediately. So there is the intimacy, there is that engagement, in a way. And I just think it’s
really, really amazing, there’s so many times you say, “If I only had my camera with
me, I had this great picture.” Well, guess what, you have
your camera with you now. So that brings me to Superstorm Sandy, and I remember vividly when Kira called and said, “What are you doing,” and I said, (laughs) “Well,
I’m trying to figure out “how my house is gonna survive
this storm,” and she says, “Well, we really want
you to cover this story.” And I go, “Fantastic, I’m game, “I’m totally up for it,” ’cause, yeah, “We want you to do it on
this thing called Instagram,” and I go, “Yeah, I know
the Instagram, I got it.” And I have to say, Kira,
that that was just such a, it really was a revolutionary approach. I don’t know of, at that time, I think a lot of editors and
people in the mainstream media really didn’t recognize,
I think, the power and the potential of this medium. And the ability for us to be able to, and for me personally, for
you to give me the trust to say, “Go out, make
photographs, write a caption, “upload it in real time, I trust you, “I know you’re gonna do it right,” it was an incredible thing, it was really an amazing experience on
a multitude of levels. And there were so many things that happen, when you’re trying to
photograph a hurricane. So this is when I was in Bridgeport and basically, I had
police officers chasing me because they wouldn’t let
me get close to the water. And this was in Milford,
this was a rectory that Kira had talked about, that– This is at, actually,
the lowest tide possible, if you can believe that. And that last one were kids who actually were having
a hurricane party. (laughter) So what was astounding
was, we all had no power, everything was complete
Armageddon, and I mean Armageddon. So this was a typical thing,
it was as if everybody, I would get out on the
road, and the adventure was “How do I get from
Point A to Point B,” because essentially
every major thoroughfare was blocked by downed trees. And while I was sitting in a car waiting for a downed tree to be moved, I ended up walking, and
discovering this gentleman who told me, “You should come
by and check out my house “’cause I have a hole in it now.” And so, what was amazing was, things just started
happening, and the ability to sort of get into these
places, and then, again, to get to a Starbucks where
I could upload something was virtually impossible, so, you know, the
cellphone became, really, it was my everything. And the fact that I could look at so many of the other
great photographers’ work, what was going on in New York City, what was going on in New Jersey, this really inspired me as a journalist to share our side of the story, and it was really powerful and potent. And I do think it was a seminal moment in photography, I think as we go forward, historically, I do think this is gonna– This was a game-changer, being able to cover
this story in real time. So this is just, now, as I’ve continued to evolve with the
camera, I just, you know, find myself drawn to any subject that really just catches my eye. This is something recently, I did a Day to Night of the inauguration, so this was before the people got there and this is, of course,
during the inauguration. One of the things that’s so beautiful about, I find, technically about this, the medium now, when I
photograph with this camera, there are images that
begin, to me, resonate with really early
Pictorialist photography. You know, if you guys
look at some of the work that Stieglitz or Steichen did, you can almost begin to
have a sensation, visually, that the photographs are
starting to feel that way. So I started doing a series
of pictures like this of New York during the Christmas lights. And there’s just something
kind of magic that, you know, film doesn’t
really give me that look, and so it’s fun to explore it. I also do find that you tend
to put yourself in a situation and take pictures you might
never put a camera before, so that’s the other thing
that I love about the iPhone. And of course, you get out of a cab and you’ve got your camera. And there’s this sense that, you know, you really are invisible. I think that’s the fun thing for me. So from a young photographer’s standpoint, I think it’s really great to be able to shoot street
photography with this camera, because I think it really develops, you don’t have to have that conflict that so many of us had
to sort of grow up in. And this is just one I just did recently, in Madison Square Garden. So that’s it. Thank you.
(applause) – That was inspiring. We want to be able to open it up to a Q&A, and since I have the
microphone, I’m gonna start. I think it was fascinating
how you addressed that it’s about seeing, it’s about trust, it’s about being the publisher and then really grabbing that
opportunity that you created by taking pictures of
things that you love. And in a way, that sort of contradicts what a lot of people are
talking about Instagram, you know, I shouldn’t say this on tape. Like, shitty little
pictures with bad filters. And I think it was interesting that there’s this whole movement now of, you see “no filters” as a hashtag, and Stephen, I was wondering
if you could address that from a photojournalist’s point of view, is there discussion about that? Or Kira, like, “no filters,”
how do you see that? ‘Cause it is a part of it. – Well, there is discussion about it, and I was fascinated
by an interview I read with Kevin Systrom, who’s one
of the founders of Instagram, I think two years ago already,
in the New York Times, where he talked about, they designed Instagram very deliberately, they said, “Why is it that
people don’t take pictures, “what are they afraid of,
they’re afraid of the mistakes, “and what we’re gonna do, is
we’re gonna build something “which solves that problem.” And that’s exactly what
they did, it’s brilliant. I heard a critic refer to it as the Auto-Tune, the visual Auto-Tune, and that’s exactly what Instagram does, it’s brilliant for that. So I have no criticism
of the Instagram filters, I think they’re actually
inspiring, and it’s released people into this world of making
imagery, without the fear. And journalism, it is a discussion, Ben Lowy, of course, is
working with Hipstamatic to develop his lens, I
think it is developed now, and it’s very pure. It’s, you know, there are, of
course, some modifications, it is some toning and some adjustments, but it’s essentially, you know, I hesitate to use the word “pure,” I don’t know what the
vocabulary is, but it’s, there’s not much distortion
imposed deliberately. But I don’t think journalists
are afraid of the filters, they’ll use it if
there’s a purpose for it. – [Katrin] Now, Kira, are
there any type of rules at, like, TIME in that regard? – This is, you know, the
heart of the discussion in the photojournalism world, the toning versus the not toning, it’s,
you know, the discussion that goes on through the
history of photojournalism. I mean, if look at
black and white printing there’s burning and dodging. – Exactly.
– And when you look at, you know, shooting with
certain kind of, chrome film, what’s, you know, Velvia, like, all the films from
the history of photography has different tonalities,
and you would choose different films to do different things. Well, that was perfectly acceptable, but now it’s like, the toning is, I think it’s an important
discussion, I’m not saying that– It’s absolutely relevant, and it should continue to be discussed. But I think, and we’ve talked
at length about this at TIME, that it’s really, you
know, we are comfortable with the amount of toning, or, you know, we are not publishing anything that we’re not comfortable
with the toning, but we are not gonna publish
raw files on our pages or on our website, that’s just
not the way photography is. And so there is, you know,
you have to be comfortable with that, and in terms of
the filters, same thing. I mean, those pictures were
not altered, they were not, you know, they were shot in the dark and uploaded with capt– You know, it’s incredible
how pure they were, in a way, if you wanna
think about it that way. So yes, I think it’s a very good question, it’s something that people
are very divided about, but that’s where I stand on it. – [Katrin] That’s good. – Yeah, I agree with you, Kira. I think, frankly, that, you know, when you really study the
history of photography, and people like Eugene Smith, who was one of the
greatest photojournalists and he would spend two
weeks making one print, and, you know, I think the ability– People have to realize, digital capture is really like a color negative
that’s not printed properly and there’s no black
point that exists in it, and so what these filters
are doing, essentially, is what all the, the guys who shot, the analog guys did, the great
masters, did in a darkroom. And it’s making those choices for us, but it’s doing it electronically. And so I just think it, you know, it’s not like we’re talking
about putting a sky into here and doing that kind of stuff. I think when you’re talking about a look you’re talking about, what
grade paper do you print on, you know, what’s your
developer that you’re using, so those are all choices that every great analog
photojournalist made and it’s just, this is a
modern version of that. – [Katrin] Now, Steph, I
think everybody wants to know, “I wanna be sent to Israel.” (laughter)
Right? And it’s sort of interesting, so you go on these trips,
or you did the shoe things, like you show up with your iPhone, and, like, are art
directors okay with that? Or they’re, like, going,
“Where’s your gear, “where’s your assistant?” – Well, I show up with my gear and they say, “What are you
doing with all that stuff?” (Stephen laughs) So, I shoot with other cameras for myself, but no, I think that, you know, whether it’s tourism departments
or brands or publishers are all really interested in this, kind of multifaceted approach, similar to what TIME is doing, and how do we, you know,
develop an audience around different touchpoints. So they’re looking specifically
to be shot with an iPhone, I mean, when I spoke to Evian they wanted content developed, you know, so that they could post it on
their social media networks, and I said, “Great,
I’ll go out with my DSLR “and get some beautiful stuff,”
and they said “no, no, no, “we only want iPhone, we want
that look, we want that thing, “we wanna remain consistent
with the medium.” So that’s really what they’re looking for. – There’s, I think
what’s really interesting about this whole social media thing is, there’s now data that backs this up. So companies that have Facebook pages whose likeability goes up one month, actually, they have a
direct correlation to sales, based on likeability. So this, the cat’s out of the bag, it’s not gonna go away, and it’s real. And so your ability to, I think, and I think the magazines, and Kira, you guys jumping on it when you did, you see where it’s going. It’s, this is how companies
are gonna build brands, and, you know, it’s much more
than just a sideshow, I think. And eventually it’s gonna be everything. So I think it’s important
that you, you know, harness it, and recognize
the power of the medium because like I said, I don’t
think it’s going anywhere. – [Katrin] Now, Stephen, I had a question. Sometimes when I go shoot, you know, I’ll have two cameras with me. And how do the people that,
you know, shoot for VII, you know, John or (mumbles),
how do they decide when, which one? – Some of it is very practical, it’s just how much can you carry or how much battery power do
you want to have with you. Some of it is aesthetic. I’ll say one of the most
extraordinary pieces I’ve seen in a long time was
a piece of work by Ron Haviv from the siege of Tripoli,
battle of Tripoli, where, he was in a stairwell where there were guns being fired, and a man was shot right in front of him, I mean, within arm’s reach
of him, there’s all chaos going on in this
incredibly enclosed space. And the sequence of images is made partly on video, partly on stills, and partly on the cellphone,
and he’s switching between all three in
this extraordinary mayhem and concocting this
amazingly visceral picture of what was happening in that stairwell. So think the decisions
are, it becomes fluid, I mean, you can see in that
example, when you looked at it, it’s seamless, and at
some point he’s choosing to decide to put one
down, pick up the other, push the videos, do the still. But it becomes seamless, ’cause you become fluid
with your technology, and I think this is true
of any great practice, in a way you have to forget
about the technology. You just have to feel it, and then it’s there for you when you need it. – [Katrin] Exactly, good. So we’d like to be able
to open the questions to the audience, we have a microphone for the tape, does anybody
have any questions? Okay, Marco, right here, he’s got the mic? Right there, right– – [Audience Member] Well,
it was really great to hear such a positive view about
the influx of photography, because I think it is
an anxiety of a sort, at least, for me it certainly is. And, you know, my first
question is really, like, what is your prediction
about the future of digital photography, and where do
you think it’s really going, and will this influx or
this flow be maximized or do you think it will,
there will be a reaction, like in art history there’s
usually a counter-movement, or, you know, is it possible that all the production
photography will cease to exist due to this huge mass of files
that is archived somewhere? And, you know, that’s one
thing, and another is that, well, just about the intimacy of engaging with, I suppose, your equipment and then, I suppose also
the illusion of privacy that you have with your
phone, Instagram or whatever, by I don’t really think that
it’s that private anyway. So if there is any, like your
data could be accessed easily. So, and then there’s an
interesting aspect of it, because it is known, it’s a known fact, you know, it is private,
but it’s also public and so there’s also this tension, And in a way, I feel like it is becoming a very democratizing medium, in the sense that you, even though you
relate it to something personal, you are ready to share, and
it’s sort of implied that, you know, it can be easily accessed whether you make it private or not. Yeah, so I’m just wondering
what each of you thinks about the possible future,
or the perspectives that are being opened by this progression. – [Katrin] That’s what we all wanna know. (laughter)
Right? Yeah, where is it going, and
how can we be part of it? – Well, I think you’re asking
the wrong people, because, (laughter)
– Okay. – It’s, it’s not about what
we decide, where it’s going, it’s actually about everyone in this room, where you decide where it’s going. And I think the answer to your question is in yourself, that,
you have the tools now to take it where you want it to go. – [Audience Member] Well,
also, but I’m just asking, sort of from your, I suppose more informed and more practiced perspective, and, you know, just from your experience, how do you foresee the future
of photography in general, this being a stepping stone. And I don’t mean in the
next couple of years but perhaps in the next– – If I could jump in for a second, there’s, it’s an evolution, you know, and if you look at it, study
the history of photography, in particularly painting, actually, when the Pictorialist movement started, abstract expressionism, actually, really that’s where it took hold. And the reason painting changed
was because photographers started making photographs
that looked like paintings. And so when there’s enough going on in one direction, there’s
always gonna be a shift, there’ll always be that change, somebody’s gonna wanna do something else. You know, I mean, there are
paradigms that are created in photography, whether it’s, when, you know, the stroboscopic,
Edward Muybridge created film, you know, when, these are moments where they changed the
way we perceive the world, and then we, as photographers,
entered into those paradigms and suddenly we began to use those tools in a different and creative way. And I think that’s, personally, where I think this is
all gonna go eventually. There’s gonna be outgrowths,
and it’s gonna be exciting but I think what Stephen said is so true, I mean, it’s really,
it’s you, it’s all of us, we’re all part of this thing, we don’t really know where it’s going but it’s gonna be a hell of a ride. – [Katrin] And I think where you see, part of that is the
idea, as photographers, as artists, is to say
yes to these changes, to say, “Yes, I’m gonna try it, “yes, I’m gonna be a part of it.” I practice the iPhone every
day, no matter where I am, I say, “I can take a picture here.” And it’s, you can, if you can see. And that’s really helped with the seeing, versus the old argument,
“How does it compare “to 8×10″ film,”
(laughter) You know, I mean, it’s not gonna work. So I think, in a way,
we wanna be positive, say yes, and be part of
it, I think that’s great. Does anybody have any other questions? (conversation off mic) – [Audience Member]
Yeah, my name’s Schechter and I’m a photographer of sorts, I’m doing it for a long
time, but my whole, about five years ago I
started taking pictures with this, I have maybe 20,000 images, and this thing about photography now that changed for me, is that
photography is no longer a thing, as you talked
about, it’s an experience. I don’t look at photographs
or keep them anymore, I just wanna do them and move on. And even if I wanted to, I
couldn’t, it’s too overwhelming. Now what that brings me back
to, photography as an object is no longer important
to me, not as a thing. It’s coming back to the idea of memory, that existed before photography, the language that existed before writing. In a funny way, digital is
taking us back to the beginning, because we can’t possibly
handle the thing anymore so it’s completely disposable and not. And I think the end of our lives, the photograph as a thing
is gonna be irrelevant, the only physical thing we’ll
really have is the memory, and I think that’s where it’s taking us. – Ah, that’s really well said. You know, I just wanted to
say that I’ve always felt, I mean, again, history, Eddie Adams, great photograph of the execution, there was a film shot at that same time. Nobody remembers the video, you only remember that photograph. Still images burn in your mind forever, you’re right, that is gonna be our memory. And it is interesting to
hear you make that analogy that it is in fact this river,
Stephen, of memories now that we are gonna be left with. I don’t know, I guess for me personally I still, I take thousands
upon thousands of photographs but when I, whether I discover
it in a hard drive now or in an old box, it still
touches me, in a way. So I hope I never lose
that, I hope I don’t become that desensitized to the image. – I think that great
pictures are very important and will always be very important. I think it’s, yeah, there are are– I mean, this one line that
just keeps haunting me that, in the history of photography, last year, 10 million pictures were made last year, and in the whole history
of photography, like it’s– Or, I’m sorry, I’m getting
the whole quote wrong. (laughter) 10% of all the pictures
ever made in the history of photography were made
last year, it’s crazy. And I know, that is just an insane quote, but the best pictures
are the best pictures and they’re really important, and still photography is really important, everyone thought, “Oh, it’s
gonna be all about video now, “and everyone has to shoot video,” no, video’s important,
so is still photography. I don’t think, I think
that what’s interesting about technology is that it’s much faster, and what we’re talking about,
it’s not about photography, we’re talking about technology. I mean, Instagram is a platform for delivering information very
quickly, that’s what it is. The information is photographic,
that’s what’s new about it. You know, so I think that’s
an interesting point, because it’s like, when you
think, and when I think about my career as a photo
editor, and what it was like when we covered Bosnia, by Ron Haviv, he sent chromes from Bosnia. And remember, on my LightBox, it was a terribly haunting
story that he photographed, and it was like, unedited chromes. That was not that long ago. And 9/11, film, no one shot digital at 9/11, 10 years ago, 11 years ago. I mean, when you think about
how quickly it’s changed, now we’re talking about
covering Instagram, in an instant, you’re covering a storm. There’s something exciting about that. I don’t think, and I mean, I totally hear your point
and I think you’re right. And almost like, Stephen was
like, “Oh, I’ve gotta remember “to bring my camera,”
because you get carried away, but those great pictures
are always great pictures, and they–
– Well, I’m not demeaning– (crosstalk drowns out speaker) – Sure, and I totally hear you, yeah, no, I think you’re absolutely right, but I think it’s important to continue to celebrate those still images and try to keep them alive, and you know, find the gems in the 10 million– It’s not, it’s like, “Yeah,
there are a million people, “everyone has a cameraphone,
so does my mom,” you know, but the photographers
are photographers, and the great pictures are great pictures. So I think that’s something
that’s worth remembering. I think there’s just too many of them, but, you know, it’s
still, great pictures are, they can really change the world still, and I think that’s important. – [Katrin] Let’s get the mic to you. – [Audience Member] When you were saying that photography now, today,
was like creating a story instead of taking a picture, I believe it, I mean,
I’ve been shooting for, since I was nine years old,
and I can still remember what was going on around,
if I pull out a negative, I look at it, I go, “I
remember what was going on “around the picture,” more than I know of the camera I was shooting with. So I think the memories– Steichen and the rest of them, they were, I think they were capturing a memory, the story, the entire story. The thing that I find with digital and with Instagram and everything else is that everybody that’s taking pictures are allowed to edit. And I still shoot black and white film and I’ve got 36 frames,
I have all 36 frames. So I’ve gone back into negatives
that I shot in the 60’s and I’ve found wonderful images that I wasn’t seeing back then. – That’s great.
– Today, I look at the back of my camera, and I go, “Oh, I can get rid of this, get–” Well, maybe there was an old train in that that 30 years from now,
nobody’s gonna have a picture of the old train. – That’s why you don’t delete. – [Audience Member] I know, but what I’m- – That’s exactly, no, and
I think it’s a great point. – [Audience Member] The
professional photographers, I think, are not deleting, but
the people with their phones are sitting there, “Well,
I don’t need that picture, “I don’t need that,”
well, there goes history. – That’s a really interesting point about how your perspective
to a photograph changes, you know, 20 years later. – [Katrin] I wonder if, in 50 years, someone’s gonna find the
Vivian Maiers of digital. – Yeah.
(laughter) – [Katrin] Right, ’cause someone
bought 100,000 negatives. – Yeah, a zip drive.
– Dusty hard drives. – [Katrin] A zip drive, they’ll
never be able to open it. – They’ll never be able
to open it. (laughs) That’s the problem. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion. (laughter)
– Exactly. So we have a question here, Sharon? And then we’ll run it over to that side. – [Audience Member] Hi, my question is pretty much mostly for Kira. We’ve been talking about how you can make an artful photograph, like,
I don’t care the medium, a good photograph is a good
photograph, as you said. My question is mostly from
the publishing perspective, like I’ve been editing online
for the past five years and I’ve definitely seen the world change, and as Instagram has become more popular, I really love the idea that
you assigned photographers to go shoot Sandy using their phones and put it into your feed, but say you didn’t do that, and say you were like, “Oh god, we don’t have
anybody covering this,” and you’re looking at
social media for the photos, but you’re like, “Okay, I
wanna get this up fast,” how are you getting in
touch with those people, how are you licensing these images? Like basically, how can
photographers make money using this medium,
because really, you know, I feel like that’s one problem
that photographers face, is yeah, they’re shooting
these great pictures, but it’s on media, and it’s
out there already, like how– – [Katrin] How do you pay for your iPhone? – [Audience Member] Yeah, exactly, I mean, where do you see it
going, do you see yourself using more of these types
of pictures in print, and with the immediacy that
is needed with some things that can only be recorded
right at that moment and it’s gotta get out there, you know, how are you gonna get those
photos, as a publisher? – Well, we pay for all of
the photographs that we use– – [Audience Member] Right,
but do you do it in, prior to posting them, or– – Well, you know, have a communication with the photographer, wherever they are, and you tell them that
you’re gonna, you ask if you can publish it,
you ask if you can credit, you get all the information,
and then we pay for them. – [Audience Member] Right,
but say that they just, this went out five minutes ago and you’re wanting to
put it on your blog– – We don’t do that. (laughs) – [Audience Member] You don’t
do it, you just don’t do it? – No, we don’t, but a lot of people do, and I mean, I think it’s
a very important question and that is the, that’s a
whole other panel discussion, I mean really, you know, it’s– Beyond getting paid, it’s
the rights, it’s the credits, I mean, you know, these
pictures are flying and at the very least, just
to write to the photographer, to get the permission and the credit, but to get paid, absolutely, and I think that you’ve gotta, I mean, we had a situation with one of Michael
Christopher Brown’s pictures that was on Instagram, that we assigned, it ended up in a European magazine as, like a huge picture,
with no credit on it. – [Audience Member] Yeah,
well that’s what I’m seeing– – Is that right, they lifted
it right off the feed? – They lifted if off of
Instagram, published it in a very major, reputable magazine, and, I mean, it was Paris MATCH. And it was like, nothing, no credit, no– And it was, they were very cool about it, he talked to them, they
paid him money for it and everything, but it was like– You know, so it’s scary, – Wow, that’s incredible.
– Because the resolution is good enough for people
to do that, and if, I think it’s very
important for major brands, like major publications,
to have a standard on that. And we do have a standard on that, and I think it’s important
that everyone follows that. Because they fly around
anyway, you know, but to have them published by other
big companies is not right. – [Audience Member] My hope
is that there’s some sort of partnership or something,
like what Flickr does with Getty, where you can
license your images through them and then you have a rep, right there– – You’ve gotta, I think you’ve gotta know that if you’re using
social, I hate to say it, but it’s just, like–
– It’s the nature of the– – It’s like the Wild West out there. (laughter) – Free is a lousy business model. – There’s another dynamic to
this which is very important, which I don’t think gets discussed much, which is the concerns
about the subject, as well. That, you know, it’s
very common to talk about what’s the role of the
publisher, and the photographer, and the audience, but
who is being photographed and what are their rights in all of this? And it’s also one of the
dynamic elements of it, where the subject of the
picture can very often become part of the dialogue, so it’s no longer a passive role, of being in the photograph and
published, you know, being– So there’s this whole area of– – And it’s quite nebulous, actually, the way it stands right now. – Well, there, the worst
thing is for a picture to be used out of context, and
that’s happening all the time. I mean, there are a
lot of negative aspects to digital photography too, you know, I mean, I think that as a photographer you have to just be, as much
as you can, be on top of that. And people just don’t realize
they need to credit pictures or they need to, you know,
this it what happened in the music industry, 10 years ago, and it’s really hitting
photography now, I think. Like it has, in the last couple of years, but it’s a sort of scary moment. As much as it’s exciting, it’s, you know, you’ve gotta be mindful of that. – Yeah, and photographers,
you have to think like a client, almost, you have to be– – But like, watermarking your
images is a good idea, right? – You have to wear a business head, like, “Wait a second, if I was TIME magazine, “would I be publishing
this picture, without,” you know, you have to think about that. Am I showing somebody in a negative light? Could that be misconstrued,
those kind of things– – But also, pictures are
popping up for breaking news and they’re not about the
news that you’re looking at. And they look like they’re
about the news that they’re– Like, you have to vet
everything as an editor now, ’cause it’s, it would be very
easy to publish something that’s off something that’s trending, ’cause things start getting pushed around. It’s like, and it’s all about speed now. So it’s about, how fast
can we get these things up and, you know, and you’ve gotta have– I have the most incredible
staff, and all of them are super, you know,
so thoughtful and smart about what they’re looking at,
and reporting out a picture. But mistakes could happen very quickly, because these pictures just,
you know, and that’s scary too. – It’s almost like the data, this idea of these privacy concerns, you know, privacy issues, literally, of data, is being rewritten as
we speak, in real time. So you have to, I mean,
there are all kinds of things going on right now, I just read recently, a fine artist did some pictures,
and you know, suddenly, they’re people in windows, and guess what, there are people saying,
“You violated privacy rights “of these people who are in the windows.” – Oh, yeah.
– And it’s not, he’s not necessarily, I
don’t think they’re in any kind of, you know,
salacious position or anything, but the bottom line is
that that’s that area, it’s very, very murky, and
it’s gonna become more defined as we go forward, but
you guys have to be smart in terms of what you’re doing. – But also, the other flip
side of that too is that, we’ve had a number of pictures
that have become memes, this year, it’s like a
new word in my vocabulary but now I know what it means.
(laughter) So what, it’s like a
picture that’s super viral that people start, you know,
putting other things on and taking things out,
and it just goes crazy. We, I’m sure you remember
this cover we did this year, it was about a woman who was
breastfeeding a four-year-old. You know, that picture went viral, and it was a crazy, crazy meme. And same thing with this, the
first one that it happened to was Diana Walker’s
picture of Hillary Clinton with the black sunglasses
on, and she’s texting, it’s like, this amazing
picture that Diana Walker made, the kind of, phenomenal
White House photographer who has been on contract
with TIME for years and years and years, has covered every White House, she went out with Hillary Clinton. And, you know, over the
ocean, she made this picture in the middle of the night, and Hillary Clinton had her sunglasses on ’cause she had a prescription in them and she was texting,
and so she could see it, but she was on her phone, whatever. So these guys, that made
this very clever meme, Texts from Hillary, which
I’m sure you all know, but, you know, went viral. And that was a very
interesting moment, I think, because personally, I was
totally offended by it, I was like, “I cannot
believe this picture.” But, you know, it’s, there’s
no credit to Diana Walker, this picture was all
over the place, it was, you know, and she was not
totally happy about it, but as it started happening, I kind of, I have to say I changed my
perspective a little bit. I can’t even believe I’m
publicly admitting that. But because, the audience
grew for the image. And these guys, Stacy Lamb and Adam Smith, they’ve credited her right away, as soon they knew it was her picture, we wrote to them, they
credited it, it was fine. You know, did she get paid, no, did she– But it was, did Diana Walker think when she made that picture that it was gonna go to
this kind of broad audience, that picture became
iconic because of that, not because we published
it in TIME, I know that. You know, it’s an excellent
picture, but it was, it became huge for that reason. And if Diana Walker could
have covered, you know, four White Houses, decades of presidents, and if she introduces herself right now and she’s like, “Well, I was the person “that made the Texts
from Hillary picture,” I would be like, “Oh yeah,
I know that picture.” You know, so I think
that’s interesting too, that there’s, that’s
the flip side of it too that sometimes there is
a whole other audience and a whole other point of view that, it’s you know, from a picture because, how fast it speeds through light in whatever that cycle is. – [Katrin] Alright, so– And all the captions that
got added to that picture. (Kira laughs)
Now, as a good schoolteacher, does anybody on this side
of the room have a question? And then we’re gonna wrap up. Oh, Ben and Sharon. Okay, last two. – [Audience Member] Mine’s two-part. One was, when there was all the outrage about the terms and
conditions of Instagram, and I know people who just
deleted their accounts, I wondered how that affected Instagram. And, Instagram is huge, but
are there other platforms and avenues for iPhone
photography besides just Instagram for photojournalism, you
know, what is up and coming, what are other options? – Well, I can speak to that
a little, at least for me. I think that when Instagram
was bought by Facebook, you know, we all knew a
little bit what was coming. And it came, and I know
for a lot of people and for me, it made me
rethink a little bit how I’m going to be using this, and what exactly I’m
gonna be publishing on it. Where else can we go,
where else can we post, and there’s that double-edged sword of, this is where the audience is. And you can post in other places, but you might just be posting to an echo. So it’s kind of the cost-benefit ratio of, you know, having half a
million people see something and paying the cost for, is it questionable rights, or whatnot. There is, you know, one idea is to, especially if you have
amazing fine-art photography like Stephen, you know,
you post your fine art on your own website, where
you have total control of what all the rights
are, and where it goes and everything, but maybe use Instagram to tell the story around that. I mean, were you there for 24, 25 hours, how did you go to the bathroom? (Stephen laughs)
Was there, like, a pile of coffee cups, you know,
did he mark off his tripod, and you could use use Instagram
to kind of tell that story and wrap it around, and
have it be this multifaceted touchpoint thing of your own. – No, that’s a great point, Steph. Yeah, I mean, I feel the same way, I do think that, in the
end, and I think legally and with all the ramifications
to a lot of the language, from the people I’ve spoken to legally, a lot of it dealt with their ability to move images to remote
servers, and so on and so forth. So a lot of that language, I think, was unfortunately misunderstood. But the bottom line is now, I
think it probably makes sense for anybody, if you’re
gonna post, to put your, try to get a copyright
notice on your image. If you do things on Facebook, we do, like fractional, we try to use fractional portions of images,
and then I use it as bait, I describe it, you know,
make ’em click on my link, drive ’em to my website. And so you just have to be
a little creative about it and recognize that, I mean– And listen, in the end, this thing is– It is so Wild West out
there in the internet that no matter what you do, I, every other week I find
that some other person has one of my images on
their, like, Facebook– You know what I mean, and
there’s no credit or anything. If I click on the images,
then my name comes up, but, you know, so it’s– You know, people can screengrab
whatever they want today. And so if you wanna live in that world, I think you just have to be
able to sort of recognize that yeah, there’s this
real bad stuff that goes on but man, look at the audience, look at the way you’re affecting people and that, how many people
know who you are now. I mean, that’s really the power of it. And I think you have to make decisions, if you can’t live with it then, you know, you can’t play in that sandbox. But it’s, from my perspective I think it’s a mistake not to be in it. – Yeah, and just being aware, I mean, it’s worth always
keeping at top of mind the adage that if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product, and can you live with that,
and how do you live with that, and just make sure, you know,
to always think about it. – [Katrin] Alright, think we’ll wrap up with one last question, Ben? And then we’re gonna all go out and take pictures in the dark.
(laughter) – [Ben] Hi, I’m Ben, I teach here at SVA and I have one question
about, maybe how anybody, maybe particularly our
TIME magazine editor, feels about a trend I’m sort of seeing, which is that, I saw an article, I think it was in December,
in the New York times, where they took the
story of a snow avalanche and it kind of really
became a documentary. But it, and it incorporated everything, from 911 calls to the
video from the skiers– – That was a cool piece. – [Ben] Took while they were moving, so if you were jumping into
the flow here, literally, of photography, are you also producing, maybe six months later or a year later, a whole multimedia experience,
type product, later? Is that something that you–
– That was like, I mean, that was an extraordinary piece, and you should all see it if you haven’t, “Avalanche,” right?
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– It was amazing. – But that’s, like, a team of
people at the New York Times, you know what I mean, (laughs) this is not, like, expected that you– But look, I mean, I think you
have to follow your passions. I mean, I think that if
you’re interested in video, you do video, if you– You know, I don’t think that– You can’t do several
things well, you can’t. Sound, all that, there’s too many aspects. But I think multimedia is very exciting, and from my perspective,
like at TIME, I would love to do those kinds of
interactive pieces, because– But they take a lot of
developers, a lot of designers, you know, like the infrastructure of it and then also the actual material of it. You need the right kind of story. We did a piece a couple
of years ago on 9/11, we interviewed 40 different people for the 10-year
anniversary, and it was all, you know, you could do videos, and that was really exciting for us. But yeah, there are people that
are doing that really well. One company that’s doing
really interesting work, I think, is the Film Board of Canada, we’ve just been kind
of obsessed with them. They do, they work for
the Canadian government and it’s like, this incredible team of video editors, and like, gamers and just all these different kinds of interesting points of view on content, and then they’re putting it together on very Canadian themes, you
know, for certain things, but they’re just doing
really interesting work, and I feel like that’s multimedia. Like what “Avalanche” was, that not like, “Oh, it’s an audio
slideshow, it’s multimedia.” It’s like, this is multimedia. It’s like this very
deep, you kind of find it and that’s very exciting, I think. – [Ben] Just wondering about that, because also with the meteor, in Russia, so much of what we’re seeing
is really massive corrobs from all different kinds of– (crosstalk drowns speakers)
being reconstituted– – That so many people got video of that– – Yeah.
– It, you know, and actually from a scientific
standpoint it’s fascinating because I believe with GPS coordinates they can determine, you know, exactly, based on all those videos,
where that thing came down. You know, it’s like
they can triangulate it. It’s really an amazing thing, in terms of what technology’s
allowing us to do. – But that will take like
a year to do. (laughs) It takes so long– – Not with the right app.
– To do it well. (laughter)
Yeah, that’s true, right. – [Katrin] So on that note
of amazing things blowing up, I’d like to invite you
to our future lectures, we have photojournalists,
fashion photographers, fine artists, every other Tuesday night. Please feel free to take a schedule, I hope to see you there. I’d like to thank our
panel, it was fabulous. (applause)

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