Friday, December 20, 2013

Think Tank Photo: Holiday Giveaways, Specials & More...

Did you know...Think Tank Photo literally started in a garage surrounded by sewing machines, cutting tables and bolts of industrial strength fabric. From those humble roots, we've grown to serve the needs of pro and serious photographers around the globe. And yet, many are surprised that Think Tank remains a small (under 15 employees), intimate company. As a boutique photography equipment design firm, we remain committed to our guiding philosophy: We listen directly to photographers to create products based on their input.

So, thank you for sharing your insights with us. As we hope you've experienced, all input is valued. You truly have a voice in how we run Think Tank.

In 2014, we'll be introducing many exciting new concepts. In fact, we are putting the finishing touches on several products right now. As a grassroots company, we feel very grateful that you let others know about our innovations and about us. Your personal recommendations contribute greatly to Think Tank's ability to do great things.

On behalf of all of us here, we wish you a peaceful holiday and a wonderful New Year.

The Think Tank Founders:

Kurt Rogers, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm 

Holiday Giveaways!

FOUR DAYS. That's when Think Tank Photo will choose a winner to walk away with a Sony A7R with e Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens, BRIAN from 3 Legged Thing and a set of Capture, Cuff and Leash from Peak Design ....FOUR DAYS! GET SHARING, ENTERING and WINNING.
Be the very first to use it.
To celebrate our sister company MindShift Gear's release of the mind-blowing rotation180° Panorama backpack in early 2014, we've created a few hand-crafted pre-release editions. 

We will give one away to one lucky person in a random drawing. 

The Panorama is the world's first rotating day hiker backpack. Designed for hikers who carry cameras, binoculars, GPS devices, nature identification books, maps, iPads, and more, the rotation180° Panorama's beltpack rotates to the front for quick gear access, without having to take off the backpack or even stop hiking.  To enter, click on the "Enter Now" link below, enter your email and click on the "Get Notified" link on the Panorama product page. Enter Here

About A Photograph - Ben Lowy #Sandy

About A Photograph talks to Ben Lowy, A New York City photojournalist represented by Getty. About A Photograph - Ben Lowy #Sandy from Think Tank Photo on Vimeo.
As the wrath of Hurricane Sandy descended on the East Coast of the United States, I found myself tasked with documenting its destructive and violent visitation while using social media platforms for Time Magazine and Tumblr to instantly update the public. In fact, web statistics show that there were 10 images uploaded every second to Instagram with the #sandy marker.
Get a $50 rebate on any RollingCamera Bag -or -
Get a $100 rebate on any Rolling Camera Bag + any Urban Disguise Shoulder Bag 
Plus, get Free Shipping on your entire purchase of Think Tank Photo gear, as always.
Perfect for holiday travel, these renowned rolling carry-ons make it easier to 
navigate crowded airports and keep your valuable gear with you 
Order a roller through my affiliate link and get the rebate, the free gift, and receive free shipping!

Photojournalist Joe Rimkus Jr. Reflects On His 40-Year Career At The Miami Herald

For the first time since the Miami Dolphins have started playing football, there won't be a Joe Rimkus on the sidelines.
By Joe Rimkus Jr.
My father worked as a photographer at the evening newspaper, The Miami News, covering everything from John F. Kennedy to the Miami Dolphins. I followed in his footsteps and started work at the Miami Herald in 1973 while still attending Florida International University. At first I worked in the photo lab developing and printing reporters film from all the Miami Herald bureaus all over the State, gradually working my way up to staff photographer. I’m now retiring after 40 years photographing history.

I mainly worked in the Broward County bureau of the Herald, but I often covered news and sports in Miami including the Dolphins, Florida Marlins, several Super Bowls, college championships, the University of Miami football team and traveling to Omaha with UM for the College World Series.

Some of my most memorable assignments were covering the Olympics for Knight-Ridder and then McClatchy newspapers. The best time was the Torino Olympics. Based in the Italian Alps in a ski condo with Alan Greth of the Contra Costa Times, I learned fast how to cover sports I’ve never heard of like snowboard cross competition. Living in South Florida I never had much experience covering luge, bobsled, ski jumping, halfpipe and curling. Alan and I had a good time working during the day and eating "anti-stress spaghetti" in a family run great Italian restaurant in this 500 year-old town.
One of my stories I often tell was the time I was covering the NFC Championship game at Soldier field with the wind chill at minus 30 degrees. For a Florida boy it was quite the education on how not to shoot in cold weather. Besides my film getting brittle and tearing from the cold, my Canon T90's viewfinder flashed HELP then died. Frozen up!

For now, my time will be split time between Sunrise and Vero Beach where I have my "retirement" home. I’m hoping to catch more fish, reduce my golf handicap, take art classes at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, do some freelance and finally take it easy.

It’s been a whirlwind ride and a great experience working with some of the greatest photographers and journalists anywhere. I've learned an awful lot about photography and life from our staff and I will never forget that.....



Related Stories: 

Dolphins rout Jets in Joe's final game.
Doug Flutie celebrates win

Joey Marino

Saturday, December 14, 2013

THE ART OF ROCK N’ ROLL: Larry Marano, December 14 and 15

Blue Gallery Contemporary Art Presents “THE ART OF ROCK N’ ROLL,” a Larger-Than-Life Photographic Collection from Larry Marano, December 14 and 15

December 5, 2013  
Blue Gallery Contemporary Art presents “THE ART OF ROCK N’ ROLL,” a photographic collection of rare and iconic entertainment images by esteemed photographer Larry Marano, on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15.  The exhibit is co-sponsored by Getty Images and Calumet Photographic Ft. Lauderdale. A wine reception on December 14 will take place at 6 p.m. in Blue Gallery located at 713A East Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.   

“THE ART OF ROCK N’ ROLL” is comprised of a collection of larger-than-life images capturing the unbridled spirit and sheer electricity of classic rock’s most revered artists including Freddie Mercury of Queen; Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley of KISS; Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth of Van Halen; Ian Astbury of The Cult, Kid Rock; James Hetfield of Metallica and Jon Bon Jovi, among others.

Larry Marano has been honing his photographic art for over 30 years. Originally from New York City, Marano has been skillfully capturing the worldwide entertainment industry’s biggest and brightest celebrities since 1976. A dedicated fan of hard rock and heavy metal music, Marano began his career photographing artists at prestigious venues including Madison Square Garden, the Palladium, the Cat Club, the Ritz, CBGBs, L’Amour – the Rock Capital of Brooklyn and the Club Sundance.

“Growing up, I was always intrigued by the way these rockers looked on stage – their proud swagger and inimitable wild stage presence - they were inspiring,” said Marano. “Then, as I became interested in photography, the camera led me back to the concerts that I loved going to. It was a natural path for me to embrace what I loved most and so I focused my career on capturing these rock ‘n’ roll icons on film.”

For the past 15 years, Marano has lived and worked in South Florida, most notably for Getty Images. His work on behalf of Getty Images has appeared internationally in publications such as Rolling Stone and Spin magazines and on websites for The Guardian UK, The Daily Beast, Ocean Drive, InStyle, USA Today, Fox News, The New York Post and Forbes, to name just a few.

Eddie Van Halen, Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1984
© Larry Marano Photography

Monday, December 9, 2013

PHOTOS: Miami Dolphins vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers Antonio Brown steps out of bounds as he is pursued by the Dolphins Chris Clemons in the final seconds of the game as the Miami Dolphins defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

To view the entire Miami Herald photo gallery go HERE

Wild win for Miami Dolphins over Steelers in snowy Pittsburgh

The Dolphins won their second in a row for the first time since their 3-0 start to the season and kept themselves in contention for a final playoff spot.


Dolphins-Steelers had more plot lines than Game of Thrones, but none more encouraging for Miami fans than this:
Just miles from the neighborhood where Dan Marino spent his formative years, Ryan Tannehill delivered some legacy-building late-game heroics of his own Sunday afternoon.
Playing in snow for the first time, Tannehill connected with Charles Clay on a 12-yard game-winning touchdown pass to lift the Dolphins past Pittsburgh 34-28 in a game rich with playoff implications.
Read more HERE

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The Real Cost Of Copyright Theft For Agence France Presse And Getty Images: $9M And Trashed Reputations

New York, USA, 22/11/2013. The winning team in the willful copyright infringement case between photojournalist Daniel Morel and AFP and Getty Images. L-R: Attorney Joseph Baio, Daniel Morel, photographer Phyllis Galembo and attorney Emma James.
Winners: Daniel Morel with attorney Joseph Baio, photographer Phyllis Galembo and attorney Emma James. Photo © Jeremy Nicholl

The first thing one sees upon entering the New York Southern District Federal Court in Manhattan is a large circular plaque of the man who gives the courthouse its name. “Thurgood Marshall”, reads the inscription, “American Hero.”
Just before 2pm last Friday another hero walked down the courthouse steps. Almost four years after two of the biggest names in the photography business stole eight of his images of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, then used all their legal resources to try to crush him, photographer Daniel Morel emerged triumphant. After a week of drama and humiliation in court, Agence France Presse and Getty Images had been ordered to pay Morel $1.22m damages for wilful copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
It’s hard to overstate the calamity that has befallen AFP and Getty. The $1.22m damages — the maximum possible — awarded to Morel are what garnered the headlines, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg that ripped through the AFP and Getty edifice last Friday afternoon. For one thing the financial costs will be far higher. Nobody knows for sure what the meter is running at, but informed legal sources put the total so far at around $9m: that includes the damages, Morel’s legal defence costs, and those of AFP and Getty. As the losing defendants the agencies will almost certainly be expected to pick up the entire tab.
But — really — it’s not all about the money. Far more serious to AFP and Getty than any financial cost is the damage done to their professional reputations. They now inhabit a unique position in the history of the photography business: the only major digital licensors to have been found liable in a Federal court for the wilful violation of a photojournalist’s copyrights in his own works.
AFP and Getty lost for three reasons. First, they were guilty as sin: the evidence showed that. But of course guilt doesn’t necessarily mean you lose in court, especially when you’ve got the best law money can buy sitting on your side of the courtroom.
Which leads to the second reason: the agencies had invested heavily in legal firepower, but not wisely. How heavily? Both Getty and AFP had four US attorneys in court, and the French agency supplemented their team with a further three lawyers from Paris: a total of eleven lawyers in all. Then there were the paralegals, assistants and witnesses: the defence teams occupied the entire left hand well of the court and spilled over into the public gallery. Taken as a whole, the entire defence all but outnumbered the rest of the court, including the Morel team, the judge, the courtroom staff and the jury.

New York, USA, 22/11/2013. Agence France Presse lawyers including lead attorney Joshua Kaufman [right] outside the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse after losing their willful copyright infringement case against photojournalist Daniel Morel.
Losers: AFP lawyers including lead attorney Joshua Kaufman [right] outside court after the Morel trial verdict. Photo © Jeremy Nicholl
But quantity can’t replace quality, and in the latter respect the defence was simply woeful. To be fair, the material the defence lawyers had to work with was, especially in the case of AFP, extremely weak. But these were not cheap corner shop lawyers. Between them AFP and Getty were burning through an estimated $10,000 an hour in court: for that kind of money you expect lawyers who can produce legal silk from even the most unpromising sow’s ear. Instead the defence were outclassed and steamrollered at every turn by the Morel duo of Joseph Baio and Emma James. Baio’s closing speech in particular was a bravura performance. Picking through the evidence, alternately mocking and outraged at the defence, he turned to the jury and declared: “I’m going to show the testimony, and you will be the judge.” By the time he sat down after 80 minutes the jury had little alternative but to find the agencies liable and throw the book at them. So impressive was Baio’s performance throughout the trial that the Litigation Daily gave him theirLitigator of the Week award. Yes, really: this is America after all. Think of it like the Dodge City Gunslinger of the Week award.
And then there was the third reason: that jury. The tiny band of Morel supporters in court fretted over this. The photo business was complicated. So was copyright. The jury knew nothing about either. And they all looked a bit…ordinary. Working class even. Perhaps they wouldn’t understand all this really hard stuff. But those Morel supporters were wrong: the jury was perfect for Morel for all the reasons his supporters thought they weren’t. They looked at Morel and saw an ordinary Joe just like them who’d been dumped on by multi-billion corporations run by the 1%; then they looked across the court and saw the 1%.
Seated on the far right of the court, facing the serried AFP and Getty ranks on the far left, the jury was as physically distant from the defence as could be. If that gulf between defence and jury could be summed up in a single sentence, Getty lead counsel Marcia Paul provided that sentence in her opening address: “He’s asking you to make him the best paid news photographer on the planet ever.” The jury — that mix of middle class and blue collar — looked across at the soccer team of $1,000 an hour defence attorneys strutting in their designer suits and thought: “Know what Marcia? That’s a great idea.”
Daily reports from the court revealed much of the defence testimony as pure comedy gold. Getty Images Senior Director of Photography News and Sports Pancho Bernasconi served up 57 varieties of “I cannot recall” when questioned by Baio, then promptly demonstrated total recall of the same events when questioned by his own attorney. AFP Photo Desk Chief for Europe and Africa Benjamin Fathers found himself explaining that he’d managed to spend a fortnight in Haiti without delivering promised equipment to Morel from his agent Corbis: even though Morel and AFP were living in the same hotel. AFP Marketing and Sales Director Gilles Tarot attempted to explain to Morel attorney Emma James that cheap sales were all part of the agency’s charity approach: it was their mission to make information available to everyone, so naturally they charged less in developing countries. “There’s a five euro sale here in Austria,” observed James innocently. Then, biting her lip so as not to laugh: “Is Austria a developing country, Mr Tarot?”

The front page haul from the Amalvy heist.
And then there was Vincent Amalvy, the heist merchant himself. Nobody could genuinely describe the AFP editor’s performance as comic. Guilty though he was, it’s just not that funny watching someone skewered as expertly as Amalvy was by Baio. Before the trial Morel’s attorney had expected to spend about four hours on Amalvy: in the end he spent almost eight hours over two days. Understandably Baio just couldn’t let Amalvy go, for the AFP editor was a cross-examining attorney’s dream witness: the gift that kept on giving.
Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect was that none of these witnesses were called by Morel’s lawyers. These were defence witnesses: these were the people that AFP and Getty actually thought would help them win. In his closing arguments lead AFP counselJoshua Kaufman pointed the jury to the fact that the Morel team had only produced one witness, the photographer himself. But doing so only showed that Kaufman had misunderstood the events of the previous seven days. The Morel team didn’t need to provide their own stream of witnesses because the defence provided all the dirt needed.
And so to the inevitable appeal. Inevitable because although common sense says that AFP and Getty should have abandoned this fight long ago, it’s clear that common sense is in short supply at the two agencies. Inevitable because like two punch-drunk brawlers, the agencies not only don’t know when to stop, they can’t even remember how. But most of all inevitable because legally they have little choice: having fought bitterly to avoid being found liable for wilful infringement, they will desperately feel the need to have the verdict overturned.
That’s because the rules inside court bear only a passing resemblance to the logic of the outside world. What can appear outside as relevant information critical to the case — like the origins of the dispute in question, or the prior history of the opposing parties — can be made to simply disappear inside the legal system. The Morel trial had a shining example of this phenomenon: although the trial had its genesis in AFP’s attempt to sue the photographer, the jury weren’t allowed to know that. In a pre-trial conference the judge accepted AFP’s argument that such knowledge would unfairly prejudice the jury against the defendants. The jury was therefore under the impression that it was Morel, not AFP, that fired the first legal bullet.
Now, as things stand today, were AFP or Getty to face another claim for infringement from a different photographer, defence would be even more difficult than in the Morel case, for any jury could be told of the Morel verdict: the defendants would be presented as serial infringers. But if AFP and Getty can have the Morel verdict overturned, that verdict would for all practical terms in a future courtroom cease to exist: the defendants would appear to have no prior infringing history. The appeal gamble will probably not pay off, and will be more wasted money, but what’s another million or so when you’re already $9m in the hole?

AFP & Getty executives try to apportion blame. Photo © Jeremy Nicholl
But first there will be some bloodletting. Nobody – even a $3.3bn company like Getty – likes to get stuck with a share of a $9m legal bill, especially when they feel they’ve done no wrong. There was a fair amount of finger pointing in court, with each agency blaming the other for the debacle, but the two sides were constrained by court protocol. Now, away from the glare of publicity, they have no reason for restraint: somewhere in a corporate conference room gloves will be removed, knuckle-dusters donned, knives produced. Getty will point to a clause in their suppliers’ contract that indemnifies them against legal costs resulting from suppliers’ actions. AFP will respond that they trained Getty staff in how to monitor, and if necessary correct or remove AFP material from Getty’s systems. There is no common ground here and currently little love lost between the two partners, so both will be quite prepared to spend more legal dollars slugging it out. This will of course be kept as quiet as possible. If there’s one thing the two media giants can definitely agree on, it’s that public and press will be excluded from the next stage of the Morel saga.
AFP have already gone silent, but in their fury Getty have been unable to avoid a further public relations blunder by saying what they really think about the Morel verdict. In court the agency’s lawyers were eager to appear contrite, but with defeat all pretence disappeared . Speaking to the British Journal of Photography, Getty general counsel John Lapham claimed that Morel had merely been seeking “notoriety” rather than justice. Stay classy, Getty.
And finally, what about all those photo industry experts? The friends of photography? The ones who were so sure that AFP and Getty had done no wrong? Most are maintaining an undignified silence, but at least one has been foolish enough to side with John “notorious” Lapham. Perhaps it’s time for such people to step back, take a deep breath and admit the truth: that a seven person jury, with no connection to or experience of the photography business, understood that business and photographers’ copyright better than the self-appointed experts.
UPDATE 30/11/2103. AFP Photo Director Responds To Trial Defeat, Suffers Total Memory Loss
Apparently amnesia is infectious: who knew? Agence France Presse have published a responseto the Morel verdict from Francis Kohn, and it appears that the AFP Photo Director has been struck down by the same memory loss that afflicted Getty witness Pancho Bernasconi in court. Kohn’s article is so riddled with errors and omissions of fact it’s hard to know where to begin, but here are just a few of the highlights:
  • “Morel sues AFP. All efforts at reconciliation fail.” In fact it was AFP who first sued Morel, seeking punitive damages from the photographer, not the other way round.
  • Kohn implies that AFP tried to settle with Morel soon after heisting the images. AFP made no offer to settle before attempting to sue the photographer.
  • “The in-house rules at AFP for using social networks lacked precision. A lot of journalists had, at the time, only the vaguest notion of copyright when it came to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.” In fact AFP had very clear guidelines on social networks in place at the time, and these were shown in court. Amalvy admitted under cross-examination that he had simply ignored the guidelines.
  • “He [Amalvy] comes across some very good photos on the TwitPic account of a certain Lisandro Suero, who is unknown to AFP. As it turns out, Suero is a very young person from the Dominican Republic who appropriated Morel’s images and posted them on his own account under his name. Amalvy is unable to get hold of Suero.” In court Amalvy made the unlikely claim that he had seen the images on Suero’s TwitPic account, yet had not seen Suero’s associated Twitter account that made plain Suero was in the Dominican Republic and therefore could not be the Haiti photographer. Neither the cross-examining lawyer nor the jury believed him.
  • “The credit on the images is changed, with Morel’s name substituted.” AFP never replaced Suero’s name with Morel’s. They simply re-transmitted the images with a new credit line, resulting in multiple copies with differing credit lines in circulation.
  • “At that point [two days after the earthquake], AFP withdraws the pictures from its image bank, and informs its clients of its action.” AFP never issued a kill notice for the Suero credited images. It was to be almost two months before AFP began contacting individual clients regarding the infringing images.
Publishing such a false account of events on the agency’s own website merely serves to call into question AFP’s credibility as a news organisation and toxify the brand. For AFP reporters in the field who have to deal with inconvenient things like facts, Kohn’s fictionalised account of the Morel events must be a cringeworthy embarrassment. Fortunately the post is open to comments from anyone who wants to help refresh Kohn’s memory.
The Full Story Of The AFP & Getty $9M Road To Defeat:
Agence France Presse unveil an avant-garde new business model: steal news photos, then sue the photographer when he objects.
The founder of the Visa Pour L’Image photojournalism festival expresses some surprising opinions on the case.
J-F Leroy attempts to clarify his defence of the behaviour of the agencies that coincidentally happen to finance his photo festival.
It’s important that a business strategy be consistent: AFP get caught in another photo heist.
In the absence of courtroom action a website provocatively heists some Visa Pour L’Image photos – much internet rioting ensues.
In which a photo business expert proves his inability to understand some straightforward legal terms.
“We shall prevail” announce the AFP lawyers at their first court appearance – and promptly lose.
An AFP editor finally states the obvious: but only to her colleagues in internal agency emails.
A pattern emerges as the case reaches its next courtroom stage – and AFP lose again.
It’s only days to disaster now, but despite all the signs AFP and Getty fail to see what is about to befall them.
Previously on this blog.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Outdoor & Photo Gear Brands Unite For 8 Crazy Nights Giveaway

Peak Design, makers of innovative gear for DSLR and POV camera owners, is giving away over $7500 worth of products in a promotion titled “8 Crazy Nights with Peak Design.” The giveaway is the first of it’s kind – it includes photography products as well as general outdoor gear, and targets a quickly growing group of active, outdoor camera users.
Giveaway entry and rules can be found at the 8 Crazy Nights landing page:
A wide range of brands are participating in the giveaway – from camera bag companies to makers of solar charging gear. But they have one thing in common: they’re companies who are leading the innovation curve in their respective product categories...
GoalZero (portable solar charging equipment) 
SmugMug (photo websites)
GORUCK (usa-made tactical packs and bags) 
3 Legged Thing (innovative tripods) 
Think Tank Photo (professional camera bags)
Cinetics (DSLR filming dollies and sliders) 
F-Stop Gear (adventure camera backpacks)
Triggertrap (innovative triggering devices)
Tether Tools (photography workstation gear) 
CRYO LED Systems (LED studio lighting) 
UNDFIND (versatile urban camera bags)
SLR Lounge (leading online photography resource) 
Fortified Bicycle Alliance (durable bike lighting) 
Nite Ize (innovative tech & outdoor products)
page1image15312 page1image15472 page1image15632 page1image15792 page1image15952 page1image16112 page1image16272 page1image16432 page1image16592 page1image16752 page1image16912 Giveaway Details
  • Full contest rules are posted on the 8 Crazy Nights landing page:
  • Participants need only enter once, and can increase their chances of winning by inviting others.
  • 8 prize packages will be given away – 1 prize package per night for 8 nights
  • The first winner will be announced Friday, December 6th at 5pm Central Time.
  • The final grand prize winner will be announced Friday, December 13th at 5pm Central Time.
  • The average retail value of each prize package is over $800, with a $1750 grand prize.
About Peak Design
Peak Design is a professional-grade camera accessory brand dedicated to engineering thoughtful solutions to improve the way photographers transport and manage their cameras. During a six-month international travel sabbatical, company founder Peter Dering became frustrated by the lack of elegant solutions to holster his SLR camera in the field. Upon return to the US, Peter founded Peak Design with the vision to create intuitive and innovative camera solutions for demanding environments. For more information visit