Google Dennis Rito | Blog: July 2008

29 July 2008


'Despite all the critics who have claimed photos are “a grammar,” images are more like a half-language (as John Berger, the critic who wrote Ways of Seeing, said), always both objective and freighted with meanings that even the photographer and her audience only sometimes understand. Good photography somehow can tell more, with its pulp and its present-ness. That combination of directness and mysteriousness that is part of being a half-language must be preserved into the future. If we are to keep this history alive, we need to find ways to support professional photojournalists outside of the magazine and newspaper industry.'

Read story  here.

28 July 2008

Thanks, Jo

Jo Avila has been organizing an EB for his former Volunteer Assistants/ Students for several years now but this year is my first time to attend. I've never been an 'official student' of Jo except for a lighting workshop (where photojournalist Bobby Timonera was one of my 'classmates') and as a 'sit-in student' in his summer class in Ateneo many years back. I felt lucky  to have been selected from many PhPhotonians vying for the limited slot then. I also had the privilege to assist Jo several times in his various photo shoot together with other VA's and Mang Jun. Jo's multi-tasking driver, barista & lighting assistant rolled into one who's presence I missed at the EB.  

One of the things that I looked forward to in this years EB was the photo exchange wherein every attendee was required to bring a signed and framed 5R print of his/her photo (original work). I got Brett Medel's pastel hued photo of boats at dusk (thanks, Brett) - while mine was a print from my series titled 'Organized Chaos' which I shot for the workshop on Urban Manila with Peter Bialobrzeski which is scheduled to be on exhibit at Goethe Institut-Manila within the year (will post the details here once schedule was finalized). 

EB for me has always been an opportunity to meet and touch base with friends, both old and new - Brett Medel, Daniel, Willie De Vera, Fernando Martirez III, Erick Lirios, Mike Alcid, Michelle Morelos, Gen Perez, and Misterkodaker himself - Jo Avila!   

Thank you all!

See more photos here.

23 July 2008

Urban Facelift

Metro Gwapo (na ba?)

16 July 2008

Things You Need to Know About Rights-Grab Photo Contests

It seem that contest photo organizers/ sponsors had found a 'cheap and economical way' to 'harvest' a great deal of creative work, usually images for absolutley nothing - a library of FREE images. These are rampant nowadays not just in the Philippines (from private companies to government agencies) but even abroad. A clever ploy targetting photographers especially the amateurs who are naive and do not understand their rights and the potential value of their work. This, in a way, can 'harm' photography in general because when sponsors/ contest organizers get a collection of free images, they are less likely to buy nor hire/commission a photographer to shoot photos for commercial application - somewhere, a photographer loses a sale.

Yet, no matter how clever their mechanics/ contest rules may be, there will always be loopholes and gray areas which you can detect if you examine the contest mechanics very closely. When joining a (photo) contest, please take sometime to read carefully and understand the specific clauses particularly on the following:

Copyright Ownership/ Policy

As authors of original works, photographer entrants should own copyright of their entries, irregardless of winning and non-winning entries. Think twice if you see any of the following clause explicitly expressed in the rules:"All photos submitted as entries to the photo contest shall be owned by ...."; "..... shall retain the copyright of the photographs."; "All entries shall automatically become exclusive property of .... and may be used, copied, reproduced and/or reprinted by.... into any size or medium for exhibition, advertising, promotion or whatever purpose." (see: ownership of copyright & derivative works)

File Submission

Photographer's entries are submitted independently of the digital files or film negatives except in the case of winners, where the sponsors/ organizers may request high resolution file/ digital scans of the winning photographs for verification purposes. Contest organizers has the prerogative in disposing non-winning prints. These maybe returned (via mail by enclosing self-stamped envelope) or destroyed if unclaimed. It is also understood that mere possession of unreturned/ unclaimed entries, both print/ digital files (low resolution) does not transfer authors copyright to the organizer/s (see: transfer or assignment of copyright). Please be warned should you read the clause "Original negatives and data files should be submitted together with the entry" or "All photos submitted as entries to the photo contest shall be owned by ...."

Terms of Use

Organizers has the right to use the winning photographs for marketing and promotional purposes directly related to the photo competition. It is also the duty of the organizers to give appropriate citation/credit to photographers of winning entries. Please be watchful though for a clause such as this: ".... you hereby grant ...., its subsidiaries and branch offices the perpetual right to exclusively, royalty-free and without limitation freely use, modify, edit, copy, reproduce, distribute, translate, create derivate works from, alter and publicly display or publish such content, for whatever purposes, in any form or medium, either on this web-site or elsewhere, whether promotional or in other activities or events arranged by .... or any of the above stated parties, whether locally or world-wide."


Being the author of creative work, you have the right to require that the authorship be attributed to you, the right to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification, or derogatory action which would be prejudicial to your name and reputation (see moral rights).

What photographers lose in joining these contests?

Photographers loose all their rights, including economic and moral rights and also future income generated from licensing, etc. (see details on copyright/ economic rights and moral rights).

In conclusion, make sure that all rules and guidelines are clear, fair and justified. Should you encounter unclear and misleading guidelines similar to the clauses stated above, better think twice - it's not worth your time and effort. You may as well join IPR-Photo should you be interested in issues such as these.

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10 July 2008

Filipino Photographer VJ Villafranca bags coveted Ian Parry Award

Photo: © VJ Villafranca

I've been reading a lot in the PCP egroup about VJ's winning the Ian Parry Grant and had tried searching the net for the official result including the Ian Parry website a couple of days back to confirm and finally: (from PDN):

Photographer Vicente Jaime "VJ" Villafranca has won the 2008 Ian Parry Scholarship. 

The prize awards £3,000 ($5,900) to a photographer attending a full-time photographic course or under the age of 24. Villafranca plans to use the award to fund a project in Myanmar.

Villafranca, 26, is a freelance photographer in Manila, Philippines and a former student at the Asian Center for Journalism, Ateneo De Manila University. His portfolio includes portraits of gang members who live in downtown Manila.

Runners up for the prize include Gianni Cipriano (highly commended), Matt Eich (commended) and Gratiane de Moustier (commended).

The scholarship is given in memory of Ian Parry, who died in 1989 at age 26 while on assignment for The Sunday Times during the Romanian revolution. The Sunday Times Magazine publishes the work of all the finalists.

The work will also be on view at the Getty Images Gallery in London from for two weeks beginning August 7.

Previous Ian Parry Scholarship winners include Ivor Prickett, Irina Werning, Arantxa Cedillo, David Høgsholt, Leonie Purchas, Jonas Bendiksen and Zijah Gafic.

Related posts:

See VJ's winning photos here.

Congrats, VeeJay!