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What Makes One Photo Worth $2.9 Million?

[Checking the news this past December 12, I learned from Forbes that “On December 9 PRNewswire announced that Australian photographer Peter Lik sold a photograph entitled ‘Phantom’ for a record-setting $6.5 million. ‘Phantom,’ now the world’s most expensive photograph ever sold, was shot in a subterranean cavern in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon.” (See Rachel Hennessey’s report, “A […]

Film the Police (2)

My new policy: Film the police anytime I see them interacting confrontationally with members of the public. I recommend you do the same. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. The price of freedom from a police state is constant surveillance by the citizenry of those who benefit most directly from the creation of a police state — the police. […]

Film the Police (1)

We’d know nothing of the truth about the death of Eric Garner if bystander Ramsey Orta hadn’t made and immediately posted a video. That video of the Staten Island police beatdown on Garner, and still images derived therefrom, plus other documentation by other concerned citizens, have gone globally viral. So this is about images. […]

Year-End Ends and Odds

Kim Kardashian, intent on extending her 15 minutes of fame indefinitely (or at least milking it for all it’s worth), will release a book of selfies next April. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “vanity publishing.” Titled “Selfish,” priced at $19.95, under the prestigious imprint of Rizzoli International Publications, it will run 352 pages and include more than 1,000 selfies — surely as redundant an act as one could conceive for someone whose image has become inescapable. […]

The Photographer as Citizen (4)

We — not we in the U.S., nor we in the west, but we as a species — need those among us willing not just to watch but to witness, and sometimes to bear witness. We do not encourage and support them by insisting that, beyond that commitment, they have some vague moral obligation to intervene as well, or to second-guess their quick decisions on that score in fraught and dangerous situations. […]