Bob Adelman 1931-2016
Commitment above all: Bob Adelman was found dead last Saturday in his apartment in Miami Beach. The funeral was Wednesday. The police are investigating because he had a head wound when he was found, but there were no other signs of foul play and he might have died of old age at 85. The obituary to read about Bob, who was one of the great photographers of the Civil Rights movement in America, is David Walker's at PDN. The quintessential reporter with a cause, Bob Adelman "had unusual access to Civil Rights insiders and events because he covered the struggle from its beginnings in the 1950s," writes Walker, "and approached the movement as an activist first, and a journalist second...'his subjects knew which side he was on. And he stayed the course.'"
Nik Software is free, uh-oh: Google has announced that it is giving away Nik software plugins for free. Nik, which was founded in 1995 by Nils Kokemohr and includes the sharpening protocols developed by the late Bruce Fraser, was bought by Google in 2012 to help lure photographers to Google+. Google dropped the price from $500 to $150, and development slowed and support slackened. Now, as Kevin Purcell writes, there are "many questions, but the big one is 'will this software ever be updated again?' (Just to keep it going on future Windows and Mac operating systems.) Or is this a step towards discontinuation? Has tech support ended too? It's starting to look dead. Google hasn't responded to the many questions or put up a FAQ." Maybe orphaned software is the 21st century version of a discontinued but much loved and needed film or paper: different category, but I still miss WriteNow, the lean-and-mean word processor that was architecture-specific to 680x0 and died when the newer chips came in. Still the best WP I've ever used.
Digital color book: In our discussions of color photography recently, a book surfaced that has gotten glowing reviews from people who've read it. It's an e-book by Russian photographer Pavel Kosenko called LIFELIKE: A Book on Color in Digital Photography. As far as I know it's only available as a download; here's the page. Sounds like it might be a good one if you're engaged with improving your relationship with color. We've heard good things.
How successful are Kickstarter photography books? Overall, photobooks on Kickstarter have been an astonishing success. "Here's an interesting statistic: The top 100 photo book campaigns raised a total of $5.7 million dollars. That's an average of $56,708 per campaign. But—the total raised by these 100 campaigns is more than one-quarter of all dollars raised by the 8,599 photo book campaigns that have been successful so far. This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'one-percenter,' since this 1% of successful photographers raised 26% of all of the money raised for photobooks." The quote is from Tim Greyhavens' recent article "Top 100 Kickstarter Photobooks." Tim pressed all the data and extracted all the juice. Number one, if you're curious, was British art photographer Kirsty Mitchell's The Wonderland Book, which raised a whopping $464,496 from a goal of $97,300. Very interesting article if you either like photobooks or would like to get one crowdfunded.
Shocking: Nikon and Canon are ending new product development. Every day is April 1st at New Camera News.
(Thanks to Kevin Purcell, Tom Kwas, and Oren Grad)
TOP is off on Saturdays. See you on Sunday for a new 'Open Mike.'
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Featured Comments from:
David Cope: "I've just downloaded Nik Collection and it's awesome. Totally making me rethink my digital approach (from toe dipping to hey! come on in, the water's fine!). I love Silver Effects Pro's darkroom-inspired methods, and control points are to die for as is Zone mapping. The collection can be used standalone too, so even if Nik is longer developed then that, for me, future proofs them against incompatible host applications. I use the 'Edit with...' option in Capture One and that works fine, giving me a variant after external editing in Nik. I'm going to test sending out B&W files to Ilford's Photo Lab for printing onto real silver paper (RC) and also exploring using that process for paper negatives for alternative and contact printing/toning on to fiber paper."