jump to navigation

Australia Day 2020 Photos from Birak Concert Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images January 27, 2020

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

Elder Herbert Bropho at Birak Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Australia Day is under siege yet people still want to celebrate it. The Birak Concert in Supreme Court Gardens provided a voice for Aboriginal rappers like Sam Bennell and Little Mase on conscience issues (like changing the date of the day on the grounds of reconciliation and national healing) was well attended and celebrated by both black and white citizens of this country, and the Perth Fireworks visual spectacular attracted hundreds of thousands.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

A thumbs up from Josh at the Birak Concert Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Changing history by rewriting it unfortunately has a poor track record. Russia, or the political system that was called the Soviet Union, introduced us to the rewriting of history. Each year its encyclopaedias were rewritten as  scapegoats for political mistakes were dispatched to Siberian gulags for their crimes. They became non persona. The Soviet system collapsed in the 1990′s and the countries within returned to tribalism and nationalism in a twentieth century solution to humanity’s problems.

First time rapper Sam Bennell with a message Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Messengers at Birak Photo Bohdan Warchomij

A more meaningful solution is to progress the Uluru Statement – the recognition  of indigenous Australians in the Constitution  and the creation of a First Nations Voice, an advisory body to help guide the Federal Parliament on indigenous issues. This is creating history, and not rewriting it, a process which only becomes divisive and counter productive.

Aborigines like elder Herbert Bropho, at the Birak Concert with an aborigine flag draped over his shoulders, only want to be recognised and to belong to a valid and civilised process.

A view of the Australia Day Fireworks from Elizabeth Quay Photo Bohdan Warchomij


Perth Photographers at Rotterdam Photo 2020 January 26, 2020

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

Photo Darren Smith

Photo Darren Smith

Photo Darren Smith

Perth Photographers Adrian Lambert and Darren Smith are selected to exhibit at Rotterdam Photo 2020 as part of their theme, TRANSITIONS. They have both lived and worked in Western Australia before departing for separate lives in Europe, and their work explores their creative response to life in the UK and The Netherlands, respectively. 

Photo Darren Smith

Their project “We leave behind that which we cannot carry” explores the concept of frame of reference through the photographers’ shared history and geography; and presents two distinct bodies of work, which reveal interconnectedness and contrasts.

Photo Adrian Lambert

Adrian Lambert (b. 1972) is a British photographer from a disconnected Northern town in England. In 1996 he left to live in Perth, and has returned after 16 years to the town of his childhood, with his family. He set out documenting the closure and relocation of his old high school – a chaotic process set against a backdrop of unchanged surfaces, familiar to several generations of occupants. The work speaks to the idea of perseverance amidst upheaval, and the lasting impact that even mundane spaces have on our psyche. 

Photo Adrian Lambert

Photo Adrian Lambert

Photo Adrian Lambert

After pursuing a career since 1989 centred on commercial architectural documentation and portraiture, he is now focussed on the human response to the built environment. His career began as an accident that resulted from a job as a van driver for a commercial studio, to his being established as one of Australia’s most sought after Architectural photographers. Recent commissions include documenting the transitioning culture and environment in and around NOMA, a recently demarcated district of Manchester as it transitions from its Co-Operative Wholesale Society roots to a new 20 acre modern neighbourhood.  

American-born photographer Darren Smith (b. 1984) has a signature style, combining classical influences with a touch of rock and roll, and strong personalities. He attended Edith Cowan University and lived in Perth from 2003, until departing for Amsterdam in 2016. Darren reflects on his first four years in The Netherlands, as a creative and personal journey. 

Since transitioning to Amsterdam, he has embarked on a creative exploration traveling to electronic music festivals and nightclubs around Europe, where he captures ethereal performers and personalities in his ‘pop up studio’.

His work focuses on capturing the authenticity of the people he portrays, using the rich, otherworldly environments to create a special atmosphere where people become the ‘best idealised versions of themselves’. In a world that is increasingly disconnected, Darren uses photography as a tool to connect people. His move to The Netherlands represents a creative catalyst that has allowed him to be inspired, and to inspire others with the humanity of those he photographs.

‘We leave behind that which we cannot carry’ is exhibited February 6-9 at Rotterdam Photo 2020 in Deliplein, Rotterdam, and their work will be presented at Rotterdam Photo Talks at Nederlands Fotomueseum on February 8th from 20:00.


Iran admission of guilt after shooting down of Ukrainian Airliner: January 12, 2020

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, New York Times , comments closed

KYIV, Ukraine — Iran’s stunning admission that its forces errantly downed a Ukrainian jetliner — reversing three days of denial — did little to quell growing fury inside the country and beyond on Saturday as the deadly tragedy turned into a volatile political crisis for Tehran’s leaders and overshadowed their struggle with the United States.

Ukrainian officials criticized Iran’s conduct, suggesting that the Iranians would not have admitted responsibility if investigators from Ukraine had not found evidence of a missile strike in the wreckage of the crash, which killed all 176 people aboard.

Protests erupted in Tehran and other Iranian cities as dumbfounded citizens found a new reason to mistrust Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, and other officials. Protest videos even showed some shouting “Khamenei is a murderer!” and anti-riot police tear-gassing violent demonstrators.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in his first reaction to Iran’s announcement, said his country would “insist on a full admission of guilt” by Tehran. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, home to many of those aboard the destroyed jetliner, demanded a “full and complete investigation” and said “Iran must take full responsibility.” Both spoke by phone with Mr. Rouhani.

Contradictions and miscues complicated Iran’s message even as it took responsibility. Iran’s military, in its initial admission early Saturday, said the flight’s crew had taken a sharp, unexpected turn that brought it near a sensitive military base — an assertion that was immediately disputed by the Ukrainians.

Within Iran, as citizens vented anger toward their government, officials offered a mix of contrition and an insistence that Iran was not solely to blame. Mr. Rouhani called the error an “unforgivable mistake.” General Hajizadeh, whose forces were responsible, said he had wished death upon himself because of the blunder.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wrote in an apology posted on Twitter: “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”

Some protest images posted on Iranian social media even showed torn photos of General Suleimani.

“Death to liars!” and “Death to the dictator!” shouted Iranians gathered in squares in the capital Tehran, videos shared on social media showed. “You have no shame!” shouted several young men, and the crowd joined in a chorus.

In another tense spillover from the protests, the Iranian authorities briefly seized Britain’s Tehran ambassador, Rob Macaire, for what news accounts in Iran called his “involvement in provoking suspicious acts” at a protest. Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, denounced the seizure as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Many protesters carried candles and placed flowers at the gates of the universities and other public places in Tehran. Conservatives and supporters of the government accused the authorities of having intentionally misled the public about what had brought down the plane. Its passengers included many young Iranians on their way to Canada for graduate study.

The criticism of Iran over the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, a Boeing 737-800, now threatens to eclipse whatever international sympathy Iran has garnered in its escalating confrontation with the Trump administration, which has faced widespread criticism over stoking a violent confrontation with Iran’s leaders.

For three days after the crash, Iranian officials not only denied their military forces were responsible but blamed what they called the aircraft’s mechanical problems and said suggestions of Iranian culpability were American propaganda. Satellite surveillance and video clips of the plane strongly suggested Iran’s own air defense missile system blasted the plane out of the sky.

The Iranians reversed themselves early Saturday.

The newly critical language by Ukrainian officials in the aftermath of Iran’s admission stood in sharp contrast to more cautious statements in recent days. It partly reflected the frustrations in a country that had been thrust in the middle of the conflict between the United States and Iran.

Mr. Danilov, the Ukrainian security official, said Iran had been forced into conceding its military had brought down the jet because the evidence of a missile strike had become overwhelmingly clear to international investigators.

He said Ukrainian experts on the ground in Iran had gathered such evidence since their arrival on Thursday despite apparent Iranian efforts to complicate the investigation, including by sweeping debris into piles rather than carefully documenting it.

“When a catastrophe happens, everything is supposed to stay in its place,” he said. “Every element is described, every element is photographed, every element is fixed in terms of its location and coordinates. To our great regret, this was not done.”

Mr. Zelensky’s office posted on Facebook photos of plane wreckage and a Canadian man’s passport showing small piercings — consistent with the hypothesis that shrapnel from a surface-to-air missile hit the plane.

“We expect Iran to assure its readiness for a full and open investigation, to bring those responsible to justice, to return the bodies of the victims, to pay compensation, and to make official apologies through diplomatic channels,” Mr. Zelensky said in a post on his Facebook page. “We hope that the investigation will continue without artificial delays and obstacles.”

Countdown 2020 January 1, 2020

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

New Years’s Eve 2020 kicked off in Sydney and Auckland as a swathe of cities followed suit across the time lines of the world with fireworks and celebrations to bring the New Year in. In Perth Rotary held a new year’s countdown with Amy Manford, star of the Phantom of the Opera, the attraction of the show.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij


Red Bull Leighton to Lighthouse Winner Oliver Bridge Time 21:08.9 Photos Bohdan Warchomij December 9, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Oliver Bridge, the three-time Men’s European Champion and seven-time Under 21 World Champion won the race in 2014 and 2017 and has won the title back from his brother Guy Bridge who continues to hold the race record of 18 minutes, 49 seconds for the 19km crossing.

The slower speed of the crossing in today’s race was reflected in the high winds of over 20 knots, making the ocean notably choppy for the 138 starters.

Olly, aged 22, said it was one of the toughest Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton races he’s competed in.

“It was the most amount of seaweed I’ve ever seen in the channel, so it was about jumping, getting seaweed off, but trying to go fast at the same time and not crash and it was nice and windy at least. Yeah, a good race,” – Olly Bridge

21-year-old Jean de Falbaire from Mauritius came in 2nd fastest at 23:11, and the fastest West Australian competitor was Lincoln Sullivan in a time of 23:22.

Crunch Time for Getty Images: The Seattle Times December 5, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, Seattle Times , comments closed

Craig Peters is the chief executive officer of Getty Images, an international photography agency based in Seattle. A big part of its business is stock images, and Getty’s new pricing policy for them has drawn criticism. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

With its vast archive of more than 350 million images, a stable of award-winning photojournalists, and annual revenues of nearly $1 billion, Seattle-based Getty Images may be the most dominant player in the picture business.

It is also, arguably, the most controversial.

Getty has been criticized for selling the rights to photos that are freely available in the public domain. It was infamous for an aggressive copyright strategy that until recently included cease-and-desist orders and debt collections against anyone, even churches and small organizations, that used its images without permission.

And, critics say, Getty can be tough on the people who make those images in the first place.

Just over half of Getty’s revenues, according to industry estimates, come from distributing “stock” photos — images of generic subjects, such as “house” or “orange juice” or “corporate executive,” that a commercial client might use in brochures, websites or advertisements.

The stock photo business is highly competitive, with Getty and its rivals, such as Adobe and Shutterstock, steadily cutting prices to keep market share. Last month, for example, Getty announced plans to move entirely to a “royalty-free” pricing model that would make stock images even cheaper for clients.

But if lower prices have benefited Getty’s customers, they’ve also meant less money for stock photographers, who have seen their earnings steadily fall — in some cases to as low as a few pennies per image.

Craig Peters, the new CEO of Getty Images, is unrepentant. He says Getty’s pricing simply acknowledges that the stock business is no longer dominated, as it was 20 years ago, by “a small group of photographers supplying a small number of customers at relatively high price points.”

To the contrary, as megapixel smartphone cameras and inexpensive broadband have saturated the market with ever-better, ever-cheaper images, Peters says, older business models have fallen aside, as have players who depend on them.

He points to Corbis Images, Getty’s one-time crosstown rival, which Getty acquired parts of in 2016 and which, Peters notes, was tenaciously sticking to an outdated pricing model “right up until the end.”

Others are less matter-of-fact about the industry’s changes.

It’s “race to the bottom,” says Francis Zera, a Seattle-area commercial and architectural photographer who sells stock images through Getty and other agencies. (He actually shot Getty’s Seattle offices, in the Chinatown International District, for the company in 2013.)

Getty’s new pricing strategy, Zera says, simply encourages customers to expect stock photography for next to nothing. “It’s the old joke, ‘Why buy the cow when the milk is free?’”

Jim Pickerell, a veteran stock photographer and industry critic, agrees. Getty’s latest move, he says, can only accelerate the slide of the stock business toward “a strictly low-income, part-time, amateur endeavor.”

Critics also note that Getty, for all its forward-looking rhetoric, hasn’t entirely escaped its own past — not least the 2008 decision by founders Mark Getty (grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty), and Jonathan Klein to sell out to a private equity firm, which saddled Getty with more than $2 billion debt.

Last year, in what was widely seen as a turnaround effort, the Getty family acquired a controlling share in the company, promoted Peters to CEO and raised $600 million in outside capital for much needed investment.

But the turnaround has been slow. Although as a privately held company it doesn’t publish financial data, industry insiders say Getty’s earnings before taxes, interest and other expenses in the first half 2019 were up barely 3 percent over the same period in 2018.

That points to Getty’s larger challenge: The supply of new photographs and videos is exponentially outpacing what producers or distributors can charge for each one.

Peters says that, since the late 1990s, the volume of licensed images Getty distributes annually has probably grown by a factor of between 30 and 60, while company revenues have roughly tripled.

“The amount of imagery that you need to  provide [today] — the economics of that have completely shifted,” he says.

In some respects, Getty Images is suffering from its own success.

Getty and Klein founded Getty Images in 1995 in London when the stock photography business was an inefficient but lucrative seller’s market, with small agencies selling premium images for hundreds and even thousands of dollars and splitting the proceeds with photographers.

But early on, Getty and Klein saw how digital technologies were disrupting the photo business. In 1997, they acquired Seattle-based PhotoDisc, a pioneer in web-based photos, and two years later, relocated their business to Seattle, which was emerging as a center of digital image technologies.

Over the next decade, as Getty snapped up stock firms and archival collections and built out an “editorial” operation to supply news, sports, and entertainment images to media outlets, the company embedded these assets in a digital platform that made it cheaper and faster to get images from producers to clients.

By 2006, Getty had 2,000 employees, large offices in New York and London, and profits of more than a $130 million.

But the digital-image market Getty had helped launch was now moving beyond its control. “Microstock” agencies such as iStockphoto were stealing market share with lower-end, often amateur-produced images that sold for $15 or less. Even after Getty bought iStockphoto in 2006, growth was becoming harder to sustain.

In 2008, Getty and Klein sold the business for $2.4 billion to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, the first of Getty’s two private equity owners; the second, Carlyle Group, bought Getty in 2014 for $3.3 billion.

The private-equity era would bring more ambitious acquisitions, including Corbis’s image assets, in 2016. But it would also bring some critical missteps.

Getty’s private-equity owners had financed the purchase of Getty with massive debt — $2.6 billion in the case of Carlyle — which became Getty’s debt. With much of Getty’s cash flow now going to service debt and pay dividends to private equity investors, the company struggled to invest in new technology. That posed a potential problem in “a business where you’re being disrupted by new technology and new competition,” says Gregory Fraser, a senior analyst with Moody’s Investors Service.

At the same time, to generate more needed cash, Getty tried to raise prices on its midmarket, or “midstock,” images. But that ill-timed move, coming just as cheap micro-stock was flooding the market, hurt Getty’s business and lost it $100 million in annual revenues by 2016, according to Moody’s.

Some of that damage has been reversed since the Getty family came on board last fall. The firm had already begun introducing more competitive pricing, including monthly subscriptions.

It has also rolled out a host of new technology initiatives. The company is beefing up its distribution platforms, and now needs less than a minute to get news, sports, entertainment, and other editorial images from photographers’ cameras to its news media clients, who still make up 30 percent of Getty’s total revenues, according to Moody’s.

On its commercial side, Getty is using AI-assisted technologies to help clients more efficiently search Getty’s vast portfolio. Getty even has an initiative to algorithmically adjust clients’ image searches so that historically underrepresented stock subjects — such as “female physicians” — turn up more often.

Yet whether these initiatives will deliver the results Getty Images needs is still uncertain. The company’s debt, though reduced, remains substantial.

As technology and competition continue to drive down the costs of making and distributing images, customers will expect to pay even less. To compensate, Getty and its rivals have little choice but to keep boosting volumes while keeping costs down.

Industry experts say that means Getty Images and its rivals will continue pushing down the prices paid to stock photographers.

Pickerell, for example, estimates that the average price for a stock image today has fallen to around $29. John Harrington, a Washington, D.C.-based photographer and expert on the photo industry, thinks it’s even less — in “the sub-$10 range,” and that some stock photographers are getting per-image royalties of fractions of pennies.

Peters, while declining to discuss average photo prices, acknowledges that with more competition and a larger base of photographers working today, the stream of total royalty payments has “become more diffused, and so certain individuals have seen their individual pieces going down.”

None of which is encouraging for stock photographers themselves. Zera, the Seattle-area photographer, says the downward price spiral has made stock photography all but untenable for professionals like him.

“Everybody wants pretty pictures — as long as they don’t cost anything,” he says. “And that’s not a very solid business model.”

MH17 Photo near Torres Ukraine by Bohdan Warchomij METAPHOR IMAGES PERTH


Paul Roberts:  proberts@seattletimes.com;  on Twitter: @Pauledroberts.

World Birds: British Photographer Tim Flach December 2, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, Petapixel , comments closed

British photographer Tim Flach has spent years scouring the globe for the world’s most striking and endangered birds, shooting highly-controlled portraits of them.

Some of the photos are shot in a studio while others are shot in the birds’ natural environment. Some of the birds are critically endangered while others are more plentiful on Earth, but all are incredibly beautiful.


Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

Photo Emmanuel Angelicas

Fashions come and go in photography, but Emmanuel Angelicas remains a constant. With an extraordinary mix of in-your-face documentation and dark fantasy, leavened with images showing genuine affection for family and friends, Angelicas celebrates fifty years of photography in Sydney’s Marrickville. From film to digital, Angelicas roamed the streets on his doorstep with the confidence of a local and the passion of a provocateur. There are some classics, but this black and white exhibition is bursting with startling new images from his previously unseen archive. The ‘bad boy of photography’ in Sydney doesn’t disappoint!

MH17 Telephone Links to Moscow Leadership Bohdan Warchomij November 15, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

Photo Bohdan Warchomij METAPHOR IMAGES

An international investigation into the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlinesflight MH17 has released a series of phone intercepts, including one between a top aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin and pro-Russian rebels accused in the crash.

Calls between officials in Moscow and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukrainemostly took place via secure telephones provided by the Russian security service, and intensified ahead of the disaster in the first half of July 2014, the Joint Investigation Team (Jit) said.

“The indications for close ties between leaders of the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and Russian government officials raise questions about their possible involvement in the deployment of the (missile), which brought down flight MH17 on 17 July 2014,” the Jit said.

MH17 was shot out of the sky over territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 on board died.

The Dutch-led team said the intercepts showed two leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), who were charged with murder in June, had been in contact with Vladislav Surkov, a senior Putin aide, and Sergey Aksyonov, a Russian-appointed leader in Russian-annexed Crimea.

The Russian government, which has denied involvement in the plane’s destruction, said on Thursday it could not verify the authenticity of the intercepts.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing in Moscow that the intercepts followed a wave of “fake news” on the subject and should be regarded with scepticism.

The Kremlin and Mr Surkov did not respond to requests for comment.

The investigation team published the telephone call intercepts on its website and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

In a conversation on July 3rd, 2014, prosecutors said Mr Surkov indicated reinforcements would be coming from Russia: “On Saturday they are already departing for the south to be combat ready.”

There were calls between rebel forces and authorities in Moscow “on a daily basis to discuss administrative, financial and military matters in the DPR”. The Jit released a series of phone numbers, asking witnesses to help identify the callers.

Investigators have previously found that the missile that hit the airplane originated from Russia’s Kursk military base, not far from the Ukrainian border. In June, the Jit charged three Russians and a Ukrainian with 298 murders.

The rebels and Moscow have denied involvement in the downing of MH17. Russia also denies Western accusations that it sent ground troops, weapons and funding to the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The four suspects are due to go on trial in absentia in a Dutch court on March 9th next year.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij METAPHOR IMAGES

Venice Underwater: The Highest Tide in 50 Years November 14, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, The Atlantic , comments closed

Venice Underwater: The Highest Tide in 50 Years

The Atlantic: Story Alan Taylor


Yesterday, strong winds and rainstorms pushed water levels in Venice, Italy, to the second highest levels ever recorded. The high water mark hit 74 inches (187 centimetres), just short of the record set in 1966. This exceptional acqua Alta has flooded businesses and historic structures, sank boats, and been blamed for one death so far.