Posts Tagged 'San Francisco'

Photography Link Roundup

Photo: Smithsonian Institution

•  A Smithsonian volunteer has uncovered what seems to be the first true color photographs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake — as well as the first true color photos ever taken of the city. [Newser]

•  Life magazine has released rare images of Hitler’s number one lady, Eva Braun, from her own personal collection. Love the one of Hitler’s portrait in her living room. [Life]

•  It’s a bummer when your Big Day coincides with a protest by anti-fascist demonstrators because then your photos are all messed up. [Daily Mail]

•  Dogtography, New York’s first-ever photo exhibit shot by dogs, is opening today. They took the photos with collar cams, if you’re wondering.  [Gothamist]

•  To celebrate Women’s History Month, NPR is calling for photos of inspiring women in any size, shape or form. To submit, tag your Flickr photos #nprwomen. [The Picture Show]

Videographer Attacked by Plainclothes Cops

Have you ever wondered who are the ones watching the watchmen?

Well, it’s people like Jacob Crawford of CopWatch in San Francisco, who learn the hard way that the watchmen do not like being watched and will do anything to blind your prying eyes.

Such as this unidentified female officer who attacked and unlawfully detained Crawford for videotaping her and asking questions that she refused to respond to but is legally obligated to answer. The officer also claimed, “You can’t film people who don’t want to be filmed,” after Crawford was handcuffed, lying face-down in the street, and surrounded by other cops.

Just so you know, former undercover officer, we can film you—and people like Jacob Crawford are going to continue watching you with their cameras. So get used to your newfound viral glory because our cameras are everywhere—actually protecting and serving the public.

More important, your actions were criminal, and if you weren’t a cop, you would be spending the night in jail with the other criminals.

Here’s Crawford’s account of what happened:

“On November 18th I was assaulted by Plain Clothes Officers. We started off our shift at 16th in Mission in Sf by seeing several strange people. I assumed them to be plain clothes officers because I could see vests under their shirts. When they refused to identify themselves I wondered whether indeed these were “on the job” cops. Many cities around the country are known for having rogue units that take the “law” into their own hands, or are involved in organized crime. As I questioned a woman on her involvement she grabbed my camera and ran at me. From all directions came men who neither identified themselves as cops or gave orders. I assumed I was getting attacked, and I was unsure of by who. As I ran into 16th street two cops cars pulled up with lights on, it was at that point that I stopped and let the arriving officers take me down. Within seconds they could see that the move was faulty, and they released me with no charge[.]”

Mutual Slump

Photo by Justin.Beck

Armed But Not Dangerous

Photo by Justin.Beck

Wouldn’t it be a shame if pictures like this weren’t possible because of ignorant security guards? The photographer of this shot at the Transamerica Building in San Francisco was harassed by a guard who was “concerned” by his presence — on the public sidewalk — and made a point of bringing a camera out to take photos of him. (The subject of the photo is another member of the security staff.)

In a recent post, the New America Foundation’s Media Policy Initiative blog cautions about the dangers of letting fear and security concerns, however real or imagined, overshadow First Amendment protections.

But in the modern information society, the camera is not a weapon; on the contrary, it’s increasingly the main tool of citizen journalists in their effort to spread information. The easiest way that an average person can contribute to the news ecosystem—one of the prime opportunities for civic engagement—might be to take just one picture.

More Bay Area Police Wearing Cameras

Calling it an “unstoppable” trend, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that police in the Bay Area have jumped on board the wearable camera wagon. (We’ve posted on Vievus before – they’re devices you can clip to your bag or shirt to capture your perspective for four hours.) Law enforcement have come to see the devices as protection — a way they can “show their side” in a “YouTube society,” as Officer Ronnie Lopez of the San Jose Police Department put it.

I agree. Ain’t nothing wrong with both sides having video evidence of what went down during an incident.

There are considerations though. On the suspect’s (or “person of interest”) side, can the police be trusted not to delete or alter footage? And on the officers’ side, will the use of video inhibit them or make them apprehensive about using force even when it’s necessary? (See Seattle cop punching jaywalker and all the uproar that provoked.)

As Brentwood (CA) Officer George Aguirre said:

“I’d rather you see what I did than hear accusations,” said Aguirre, who does traffic enforcement on a motorcycle and commercial vehicle enforcement in a truck. “When you do everything you’re supposed to do and someone challenges you, there’s nothing better than being able to show the video to them or my supervisors.”

Article from San Francisco Chronicle

Shield Law Photographer Outs Himself

Hunters Point, San Francisco 2008 Photo by Alex Welsh

A former San Francisco State student whose photo of a dead man thrust him into the middle of a shield law controversy has outed himself – by winning a national photojournalism contest.

SF Weekly reports that Alex Welsh, 23, won first place in the 2009 College Photographer of the Year awards in the documentary category. In 2008 Welsh was photographing Hunters Point, the last predominantly black neighborhood in San Francisco, when a dice game turned deadly for one of his subjects, Norris Bennett. That photo, of Bennett’s bloodied body being attended to by a police officer, is included in the series, along with every major theme of poverty-stricken neighborhoods: a funeral, fire, tattoos, dog fighting. But they’re gritty and real and deserving of the award nonetheless.

The police tried to get a search warrant for the photos, which Welsh successfully fought using the shield law. Shield laws protect journalists from having to testify or disclose sensitive information to law enforcement. Welsh’s name was redacted from all court documents and not released by police or journalists during the controversy so he was able to remain anonymous. Welsh was apparently worried for his safety, but no longer. I guess it helps that he lives in Brooklyn now.   

Interestingly, seeing the photos in the contest, the San Francisco police detectives have renewed their interest in pursuing Welsh to get him to cooperate. He probably doesn’t have much to worry about though.

See Welsh’s winning photos series, Hunters Point – “We Out Here,” here.

Article via SF Weekly

I’d Hate to Be This Guy’s Lawyer

Photo by Jeremy Brooks

This is from an old post on flickr, but still great.

Photographer Jeremy Brooks came upon this angry guy yelling at a homeless man on a corner in San Francisco. He went over to investigate, camera in hand, and the angry man soon turned on him. Mr. Angry Overreaction Man, as Brooks dubbed him, screamed and yelled, threatened him, bumped him with his chest, and told him if the picture ended up on the internet he’d call his lawyer. Brooks stood his ground and got this shot, which fittingly, is now on the internet. 

Brooks says: 

So, Mr. Angry Overreaction Man, your photo is now on the internet. Call your lawyer. Tell him somebody on a public sidewalk took your photo while you were on a public sidewalk. Then tell him you physically assaulted the photographer. See what he says.

Read the whole post on Jeremy Brooks’ flickr page.

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