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12 June 2024

In this recurring column, we highlight a few items we've run across that don't merit a full story of their own but are interesting enough to bring to your attention. This time we look at West Bank midwives, Drone Photo Awards, Joanne Coates, Dolley Madison, the hidden laws of probable outcome, focus curvature and The Traveling Photographer’s Manifesto.

  • West Bank Midwives Are Facing a Maternal Health Crisis reports Lynzy Billing in both words and pictures. "Since Oct. 7, Israel has dramatically increased the number of new checkpoints and road closures," she writes, obliging midwives to abandon their cars for buses and taxis to get to work. Curfews prevent women in labor "from reaching a hospital in time to give birth, resulting in a considerable increase of childbirth at home." And even when they do, families immediately "begin discussing the safest way to get the baby home."
  • Nominees for the Drone Photo Awards have been named. The winning image in the category will be announced at the Siena Awards ceremony on Sept. 28.
  • Joanne Coates describes her shot of Farmer Annie and her prize-winning sheep as her best photograph. "My aim is to get people to ask questions, whether about gender in agriculture, rural life or working-class people," she writes. "I hope this photo can change the stereotypes around who a farmer can be. This is a young woman who cares about the land, the place and the people."
  • Sotheby's is offering a recently surfaced 1846 daguerreotype of Dolley Madison (gift link), who is credited with inventing the role of first lady. It was taken by the photographer John Plumbe Jr. who took the earliest known photographs of the U.S. Capitol. He also invented the "Plumbeotype" to reproduce his daguerreotypes.
  • In Photography, AI and the Hidden Laws of Probable Outcome, Paul Melcher contrasts a photographer's "a sixth sense for probability" with AI's approach of predicting and generating elements of an image "with astonishing accuracy."
  • Jim Kasson tests the Focus Curvature of the Hasselblad XCD 55V using Roger Cicala's method. "To show the in-focus area, I brought the image into Photoshop and selected Filter>Stylize>Sharpen Edges," he writes, which clearly shows the area in focus.
  • In I've Been Working on Something, Strobist David Hobby introduces his new book, The Traveling Photographer’s Manifesto. "It's essentially a year's worth of blog posts, but set in hardcover," he writes. "Or paperback. Or Kindle." He also links to a five-minute summary of the book and a 27-page visual supplement for readers of the text. Both free.

More to come! Meanwhile, here's a look back. And please support our efforts...

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