Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I'm in New York to take part in Fred Ricthin's "What Matters Now" but I didn't need to come all this way, in fact I didn't even need to be invited to take part - and neither do you...
You have reached an experiment, an attempt to ask each other What Matters Now? We hope to be able to provide enough important answers to the question so as to create, in effect, Proposals for a New Front Page. 
Why a new front page? Because with the enormous amount of information on the Web, with the billions of images available, it is hard to focus on what is important. There are few filters (curators, editors, advisors, consultants) to suggest what we should be looking at beyond what is left of the conventional media in order to better understand the world we live in. If these filters do exist they tend to be very imperfect algorithms (aka Google), not people. 
If your house were on fire, would you depend upon a search engine to tell you what to do?

Friday, 8 July 2011

How the Power of Open can benefit photographers

My article for the Telegraph -

"If the lessons learned from free and instantaneous modes of delivery teach us anything, it’s not that photographers of the future will be hosing down decisive moments by the terabyte. It tells us that the decisive digital moment will be when the subject takes ownership of their story in real-time and engages in dialogue with the audience and the creator. The decisive convergence that technology is driving toward is not one of stills vs moving capture, but one of traditional content supplier vs mediated authorship and direct engagement with the audience....."

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Power of Open: Stories of creators sharing knowledge, art, & data using Creative Commons

I'm super excited to be a part of this and looking forward  to talking at the London launch .

Jane Park, June 24th, 2011 
Since last fall, we’ve been talking at length to various creators about their CC stories—the impact Creative Commons has had on their lives and in their respective fields, whether that’s in art, education, science, or industry. We are thrilled to announce that we have cultivated the most compelling of these stories and woven them together into a book calledThe Power of Open. The stories in The Power of Open demonstrate the breadth of CC uses across fields and the creativity of the individuals and organizations that have chosen to share their work via Creative Commons licenses and tools.The Power of Open is available for free download at http://thepowerofopen.org under the CC Attribution license. It is available in several languages, with more translated versions to come. You can also order hard copies from Lulu

We hope that it inspires you to examine and embrace the practice of open licensing so that your contributions to the global intellectual commons can provide their greatest benefit to all people.We could not have produced this work without the support of all of our creators, many of whom began telling their stories at our Case Studies wiki project, which we encourage you to contribute to—as your story may also be highlighted in publications like The Power of Open!

We would also like to extend deepest thanks to our sponsors, without which this book would just be a bunch of undeveloped stories sitting on a wiki. Thanks to Google, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Mozilla, JISC, PLoS (Public Library of Science), Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations, the New America Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, MacMillan, Wellcome Trust, ict Qatar, loftwork, FGV Direito Rio, faberNovel, and Silicon Sentier!

For the full list of events taking place in Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Paris, head on over to the http://thepowerofopen.org.

Keep up-to-date on the launch events by using the tag #powerofopen on social media.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Some notes on "Burke and Norfolk: Photographs From The War In Afghanistan"

I took one of my photography classes to meet Simon Norfolk this week at the Tate Modern and it reminded me of something that Fred Ritchin says in 'In our own image'. Early in the book he doubts that

"photographs could again be perceived as powerfully as they were during the Vietnam war when they helped instigate and fuel furious debate" .

Simon's talks are delivered with a brutal and uncompromising honesty. If you get chance to visit the exhibition then do as the images are beautiful artefacts to behold in their own right, but if you don't listen to his story along the way then you'll miss out on a much richer appreciation. He's an impassioned story teller and as you listen, the images are loaded with a great deal of political freight, as he says; 'beauty just happens to be a convenient and effective vehicle'.

Although the Ritchin's quote is referring to the erosion of trust in analogue's trace qualities brought about by the digital, it ultimately brings into question the photographer's status as credible witness. It's clear that what Norfolk has done by stepping aside from what he describes as the 'cracked sewer-pipe of modern photo journalism' is to establish himself as a credible witness whose provocative, slow-journalistic story telling provides a great deal of fuel for the furious .

Addendum: Don't miss David Campbell's post here.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Tim Hetherington 1970-2011.

I've been throwing all of my time of late into the open classes and writing a new open MA course for Coventry University so this blog has been left largely and regretfully untended, however as you've passed by I'd urge you on this occasion to pass on through straight to David Campbell's tribute to Tim Hetherington .

I owe a great debt to Tim whom I only spoke to briefly on a few occasions. I won't claim to have known him but he still taught me a great deal. So much so that the MA I've been writing makes numerous references to Post-Photography, and Post-Photographers and constantly sites his practice as being pivotal, I regret enormously that I'll no longer be able to look across at what he's doing for inspiration and direction. The world is definitely a darker place for photography and photographers this morning.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Cory Doctorow at work (composite)

It's a whopper and it's on sale alongside images from Jonathan Shaw, Paul Smith and Elly Clark so the shrewd investor might want to grab a bargain. There are also investment opportunities in images by tomorrow's stars from last years Open Undergraduate Photography classes #phonar and #picbod, all going for a snip.


.... the full story for this image follows:

In 2009 I made a piece of work with the author Cory Doctorow. It involved making a series of portraits which I then sold along with pages from his (then) unpublished novel "For the Win".

The prints were scaled in value, numbered 1 - 111, you can read all about it here. The most expensive of these pieces was a composite image (more than one image assembled into one print) that printed out to about 140 x 100cm (4 1/2" x 3 1/2").

There were three signed edition prints - one for Cory, one for me and one was shipped out to a buyer in Australia (tips hat). I also had to make a colour proof (usually referred to by artists as 'Artist's proof') these are unsigned test prints and for the buyer are a great way of owning the artwork at a much discounted price (canny artists will often make several and stash them away).

I made one. And I'm donating it to my photography students at Coventry University. They will put the proceeds from this sale towards their degree show.

Portrait by Jonathan Worth 1, credit Jonathan Worth, link to http://jonathanworth.com

The composite is made up from contact sheet images, you can see one of them super annotated here

Monday, 21 February 2011

New App for Open Undergrad Photography Classes

We've just launched an app for one of the open classes that I teach at Coventry University. This beta version is a fairly straight forward aggregator of the various feeds but future full and paid for versions will enable active class-engagement.

Thanks and credit to Pete Woodbridge (@loftysbridge) for this. You can download it from the Apple store for free.

Moonbug selected for World premiere at Houston International Film Festival

Nicola Bruce's movie "Moonbug" has been nominated for a Remi Award in the feature film category. The film features Steve Pyke photographing astronauts and members of the NASA communities involved in the Apollo, Mercury and Saturn missions, but is most notable for it's snippets of a 25 year old Jonathan Worth assisting Steve. ;-}

There's more at Steve's blog and Nicola's website.

Friday, 7 January 2011

"Turn on, tune in, drop in."

"Jonathan Worth is a freelance photographer whose client list includes among others, the New York Times, Vogue and GQ. For the past two years he has taught a class on the BA photography degree course at Coventry University called Phonar that encourages photography students to use digital media to find and build audiences to allow them to make a living.

The ethos of the course, which can be accessed online by non-attending students and observers, has drawn widespread attention and even been discussed in the European Parliament. Here he talks to Eleanor O’Kane about his revolutionary approach to training the next generation of photographers."

Next Open Class can be found at http://www.picbod.org