The Office :

Re: Honorarfreie Bildnutzung auf

(10. Januar)

Recht schnell nachdem ich meine letzte E-Mail an Zeit-online hier veröffentlichte rief mich sowohl der Redakteur in Frage als auch Karsten Polke-Majewski, stellvertretender Chefredakteur, an und bemühten sich in Schadensbegrenzung. Im Zuge wurde auf ein Missverständnis verwiesen und mir schlussendlich ein Honorar angeboten. Im Zweifel für den Angeklagten Partner in einem Geschäft.

Der gleiche Kampf wird (mit anderen Gegnern) sicherlich noch öfter gekämpft werden müssen. Und auch ein fahler Nachgeschmack bleibt.

Im Folgenden die (abgesprochene) Veröffentlichung einer Stellungnahme von Karsten Polke-Majewski sowie der ursprüngliche Post.


let's talk about art :

The Story Behind (the Landing of the Adventurers)

One of the most iconic images of my upcoming ‘Socotra’ book is the Landing of the Adventurers. I summons the whole objective of the project, the character of islands, the idea of travel, and the nature of exploration in one single photograph. I would like to share with you how I took that photograph.

It was during my second stay on Socotra that I met two German travellers. Actually, we first met at the airport in Sana’a already – and then again by chance on the beach of Di Hamri the next day. We got along well and they offered to go along with them for couple of days. One evening I invited them over to my hut and cooked pasta with shrimps for them and I generously shared the little wine I had brought along.

The next day, the next day, they planned to go to the beautiful lagoon of Sho’ab. It is quite remote and only reachable by foot or boat. They asked me along. The currents were strong that day and we were all glad to reach shore after an exhausting hour in the waves. Usually, tourists are brought to the far end of the beach, away from the hamlet of Qabahan. I planned to stay in the village for some days to photograph and to create a genealogy so our boatman directly headed for the settlement. Immediately, all the children gathered on the beach to welcome us. I was the first one to get out of the boat and looked back to take pictures of the others wading through the water. On the spur of a moment, one of the local boys saluted my travel companion. I snapped the photograph.


Postcard from Brussels from :

Schock am Montag (I): Der Spiegel & The Barbarian Arabs

The current Spiegel Geschichte, Der Spiegel’s bi-monthly history special, is all about “Caliphs, War, and Struggle for Freedom”. And it has a cover of the worst kind: orientalist, chauvinist, and most of all depicting Arabs as barbaric and chaotic. It makes me want to choke.

Linda Steet, in her excellent book “Vails and Daggers, wrote that “What signifies the best of the Arab world, as we have so often seen, was the period of the Arabian Nights and what conjured up within Orientalism.” The fairy tales of Thousand and One Nights draw the positive image of the Arab: romantic and beautiful women, depicted in the Spiegel Geschichte cover as a magnificent arch and young women. Everything else about the Arab world is -in the White Christian Male (WCM) depiction which Der Spiegel follows- barbaric and reactionary, well summarized in one of the article’s title: “The Muslim is not modern.” Consequently, the cover is full of a dark collage of slaughter, veiled women, yelling, revolution – and even a flying axe. As if there is nothing bright, nice, and postive to say about Arabs.

The particular dangerous about this (and similar) illustrations is their claim to be objective and scientific. Der Spiegel Geschichte is published by a respected (though notorious) publisher and creates credibilty by (pop-)scientific self-conception and the prominent placement of a story about “What Europe learned of the Arabs” on the front page. I haven’t read most of the articles in the magazine but I am honestly not motivated to spend time with gibberish teased with “The French wanted to turn Arabs and Berbers into “Modern Humans”.” (about the Algerian War of Independence), “League of the Lame” (about the Arab League), “a World Going To Pieces: Backward Orientated, Divided, Suppressed – for Centuries the Arab Countries are lagging.” (about the Arab Spring).

The magazine’s cover collage says it all; this publication is yet another example for the visual language that sub-consciously reconfirms negative stereo-types about Muslims and Arabs in the West. ‘Slaughtering with axes, veiling and suppressing women – The Arab can’t be anything but a primitive’ is the unequivocal message this illustration conveys. It is yet another brick for the construction of the WCM-world view in continuously-colonial, chauvinistic tradition. Thank you Spiegel-Geschichte Team. I ward you the first Schock am Montag award for your sincere efforts in promoting the clash of culture.


Postcard from Brussels from :

New Google Application: Google Reality

Google announce today that they will start a new Google application called Google Reality. This new feature is largely based on Google Street View. However, Google Reality extends further as included locations Such are New York City are monitored 24/7 and in still photo quality. Google hires 50 experienced photographers to search the material for news worthy moments and edit them to achieve printable quality.


Postcard from Brussels from :

Too much Photoshop? I judged myself.

It is a case of ‘photoshopping‘ which i want to talk about today. Actually it is much more a story about how normal digital editing routines can be misunderstood as photoshopping.

Klavs Bo Christensen, a Danish photographer was nominated the Picture of the Year Denmark price was actually dismissed because of the use of photoshop (The original article about this case with example pictures). First of all, he did not photoshop in the classical sense since no parts of the pictures were altered or manipulated. Instead, he used the functions of the raw converter excessively. Which difference does this make? A big one, in my opinion.