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Tuesday, 20 January 2009


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Great project. What an incredible mix of people, a great sampling of the human race. My question is, did he get them all to sign a model release? Most faces are clearly distinguishable.

In most countries you don't need model releases for art or reportage. Only for commercial use, for instance in advertisements. (And no, selling artwork does not constitute commercial use.)

Mike J.

I really like this. I think it's a relatively unusual example of the sheer scale of a piece of work actually contributing to it, rather than just amplifying the banality as with some excessively large work that has appeared in recent years.

A lot of so-called street photography bores me utterly but here the variety of characters and the isolation of the subjects created by the perspective is somehow very effective.

Thanks for posting this Mike.


Fantastic. I was also a fan of Hoegsberg's Thought Project from a couple of years ago.

After checking out his website, I think this is among the least interesting of his projects. It's not nearly as interesting as his New York Faces project. To me it's 100 meters of snapshots. Street photography can be very exciting to look at, but many times we are presented snapshots and not art.

Mike, is that true in Germany? I had a run-in with a German construction worker a little over a year ago in Germany. He told me very irately that in Germany I needed permission to take anyone's photograph. I know this is an exaggeration, but I looked it up later and from what I remember the rules appear more strict than they are in the US and Canada. I'm just not sure if there's still that distinction between photography for commerce and photography for art.

Naturally, I didn't even take the photograph. He saw me when I held the camera up to my eye, and put down the jackhammer while I was zooming with my feet. His crew was very clearly not German, and I suspect they may not have been entirely legal--he asked me pretty pointedly if I was working for the police or some other organization.

And Joe's comment pretty much made my day. I should add that I liked that much, much more than I thought I would have. "The Longest Photograph in the World" says "gimmick" to me, but that wasn't the impression I had from the image itself.

Re: model releases.

As Mr. Johnston points out, even most states in the US which have strict ROP laws make some exceptions for reportage and fine art. For instance, IL's law, one of the strictest I know, has an absolute exemption for a single work of the fine arts. Since I doubt he'll be making two of those, he'd be golden even here. :)

However, it should be pointed out that calling it "fine art" does not automatically exempt you. Running an edition and advertising it would be considered an infringing use under the IL law, for instance.


Most of his work is pretty damn amazing... but how can he be sure about the title?

I suspect the photographer's location was near an aeroport. However it is not so much the moving throngs, rather thinking each one of these humans, was produced by two other of opposites. And overtime these reproductions in some ways may also do so likewise with one of their opposites. Noting that these human all will also occupy at some time in the future (at least for many of them) a place in the ground either in a box or in a retort to be reduced to fit in a much smaller box. Each of these of the throng are one-offs as much as a dog or a cat is a one off. Each one of those pictured at some time were loved and nurtured. Some still may be such as the person on the bicycle sporting a wedding ring. Being somewhat of an old fart I looked not at the faces, rather for the breasts of a woman or the location of the testicles on a male. The care or lack of each person as to dress also contributes in part to how we view these moving objects.

Perhaps if all of these on the bridge were unclothed would we view them differently? Also noted the facial expressions, and the local being that these were not a North American face rather a long, sallow object more akin to those of the new Europe as opposed to those who might have been born say, in the UK or Ireland.

I'm glad he fit Jack Nicholson into that photo. I agree with mwg wholeheartedly in that I thought it was a gimmick, but actually seeing it gave me a different impression.

Very impressive. Not just this but all of his work.

Man I need a project.

I've just had a quick look through his site and find the "Private and Public" project extraordinarily resonant. The variety and visual intensity of the emotions on display are really quite remarkable for candid street images. A new bookmark for me I think!

I think the scrolling web version of this works really really well...there's lots of little things to "discover". The man with a sandwich watching a couple kiss... the woman yawning in the background... the woman who appears to be taking a picture of the approching flight (terrorist!! :)... someone carrying an empty picture frame... the man wearing a "my sister went to London" shirt... Jack Nicholson... and finally not one, but TWO people flipping off the camera (one of which is much more subtle than the other)...

Yes, the title screams "gimmick" and it does look like a stream of snapshots. But quantity has a quality of its own and if you're any kind of people-watcher at all, it's an extremely interesting photo.

For instance, what happened to that man and woman who both have dressings on their right eyes? Or to that guy giving the V-sign with a bandaged hand?

"but how can he be sure about the title?"

Because it's *really* hard to get photographic paper in rolls longer than 100 meters (328 feet for those in Burma, Liberia and the U.S.)

"but how can he be sure about the title?"

Er, I don't see any mention about that in his website; I think the title may have been bestowed by Mike.

On another note, I tried to count how many "screens" the online image could be partitioned into, and came up with an estimated width of 65K pixels.

The picture is long, but not the longest.
Here you see a really long picture (1,4km):


Uwe E

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