Prize Winning AP Photographer Jailed in Iraq

“We believe Bilal’s crime was taking photographs the U.S. government did not want its citizens to see. That he was part of a team of AP photographers who had just won a Pulitzer Prize for work in Iraq may have made Bilal even more of a marked man.”

Bilal has been imprisoned by the U.S. military in Iraq since he was picked up April 12, 2006, in Ramadi, a violent town in a turbulent province where few Western journalists dared go. The military claimed then that he had suspicious links to insurgents. This week, Editor & Publisher magazine reported the military has amended that to say he is, in fact, a “terrorist” who had “infiltrated the AP.”

read more | digg story


Seattle man jailed for taking photos of police arrest awarded $8,000

An amateur photographer who was taken into custody last year after shooting pictures of two Seattle police officers making an arrest on a public street received an $8,000 settlement this week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington announced Thursday.

read more | digg story

Also, consider this post on 5 Things Photographers Should Do When Confronted by the Police.

3 Great Lighting Tutorials

Bert Stephani is a professional photographer based out of Zaventem, Belgium. His work consists of portraiture, kids, weddings and corporate photography. Fortunately, for you and me, he’s videotaped one of his shoots and then walked back through it teaching his techniques and observations along the way. If you’ve not come accross Mr. Stephani yet, then take a few minutes, sit back and learn something.

1. Lighting Right at High Noon

2. Backgrounds and Light

3. Light Leftovers

Check out more of Bert’s photos and musings on his blog.

[tags]lighting, tutorial, how to, diy, photography, flash, off-camera[/tags]

2007 WERA Grand National Finals

The 2007 WERA Grand National Finals were held at Road Atlanta on October 13. I took a trip down there with my cousin Joe, who’s an avid motorcycle enthusiast. This was my second year of watching and shooting the WERA GNF. I took my trusty Canon Rebel XT and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8. While this setup performed quite well at Road Atlanta, due to the track setup, I could’ve used a longer lens and/or more megapixels. 200mm wasn’t quite long enough to reach out on some of the corners. I would like to have had a EF 100-400mm L or something longer to really get in tight. Unfortunately, those weren’t an option for me and I was limited to cropping in on some of those shots that were way out there, which is where more megapixels could’ve come in handy.

That said, here’s a few of my keepers from the day:


Race start coming out of Turn 1.


Close in on Turn 1.


More from Turn 1. Seeing a pattern here? Turn one was the one place that I really had close access to and the light was on the face of the riders coming at me.


Coming out of a deep lean on Turn 1.


Showing off a bit out of Turn 10B.

If you dig these, you can see more on my Smugmug page. Also, you can check out Steve Beck’s photos from Road Atlanta. I met Steve at Road Atlanta this year. He had a great setup for shooting bikes at Road Atlanta – Canon 1D Mark III and a 500mm f/4 L, which enabled him to really get in tight.

Photographer vs. Soccer Mom

Here’s one worth a read. A poster over at was “testing” his equipment at kids’ soccer games and was confronted by a soccer mom. This is his account:

Went to soccer games testing my equipment. When I finished one field moving to another one, one mom asked me if I have permit to shoot, I said no. So she wanted me to give her all my images and leave. I told her no way. They want my business card, I don’t want them to harrass me so I said no. I’m not sure if her husband shoots soccer and don’t want any completition. I told them I am a pro sports shooter and just here to test my equipment. I told them I know the vendor that shoots their league and I don’t want to mess up his business so I won’t give them the images. She said if I don’t they’ll call the police. I said go ahead and they called the police. I heard the father trying to explain the serious this could be. I stayed there until he finished his call. The father at this point change his attitude trying to explain they were just trying to protect their kids. I went on to shoot the other team until the police tapped on my shoulder.

The police asked why I shoot, I told them I’m here to test my equipment. He ask to see my images, after reviewed 300+ images he said no problem. He asked me for a business card so I gave him one. He then asked if I want to call it a day. I said not right now I don’t want to give them the impression I was escorted out. I also told the police to tell the moms to cool off not to over-reacting and harrass me by asking my images with bad attitude. So I stayed there for another hour shooting away.

After the first game I met the father calling the police, he was much nicer, no problem any more. Later I gave it a thought, maybe I should show the parents some great shots I took of their kids, but I doubt it will make any difference.

Any suggestions?

Things get interesting after this. There’s a lot of differing opinions over there – some were glad he stood his ground and others would have cold-cocked him. Check these links out and tell me what you would have done.

This is a probably a good time to plug my post: 5 Things You Should Do When Confronted By Police.

[tags]photography, photographer, police, rights[/tags]