Is it cheating to appropriate Google Street View images as photojournalism?
The Google Street View car is like the ultimate street photographer, a robo Cartier-Bresson methodically scouring the streets and documenting what it sees. But most people use GSV for practical purposes, and they view any drama or comedy captured by the roving 360-degree camera as accidents.
A few photographers are now looking for these ‘accidents’ intentionally. Instead of walking out on the street to find interesting scenes and people, they are simply curating the pre-documented streets from the comfort of their desk at home.
Michael Wolf, for example, uses a camera to photograph scenes from Google Street View open on his computer’s browser. In February, his honorable mention in the Contemporary Issues category at the World Press Photo Awards for A Series of Unfortunate Events ignited a storm of debate. Some balked at the idea that Wolf’s project was photojournalism, while others embraced the decision and called for more conceptual leaps and redefinitions of photojournalism in the digital age.
Meanwhile two women in Cincinnati are testing privacy ethics by selling reproductions of 1955 police mug shots.
On another mobile front: For those who prefer their art fresh rather than refried, tablet drawing is getting more sophisticated, as on this recent release by the same company that created AutoCAD:
SketchBook Pro, essentially a digital canvas and brush set, allows you to use both your fingers and aftermarket styluses to create illustrations and designs. Included are over 60 different brush tools, the ability to create up to six different layers for one file, as well as the ability to export files to Photoshop.
The app was previously available on iPhone, iPad and Android phone devices, as well as in an expanded desktop version. This is the first version of the app that will run on Android’s tablet-optimized software, a.k.a. Honeycomb.
Of course, just because you drew it on an iPad doesn’t mean you won’t be a kitschy derivative of other works–as demonstrated by a recent exhibition that showed off the iPad’s artsy side:
What would Leonardo do?