Posts Tagged ‘African Photo Entrepreneur Programme’

Above: Two woman await a tram in a shelter advertising an exhibition of Richard Avedon pictures which was on at the Foam_Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam while we were there.

In February I was in Holland, together with our Product Manager, Ian Blackburn, and Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux, to work on a joint project with four Dutch organisations, World Press Photo, FreeVoice, lokaalmondiaal and the Tropen Museum. What has brought our five organisations together is a very exciting project centred around the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Together, the five organisations, headed by World Press Photo and FreeVoice, have been awarded over €2.2 million by the Dutch Postcode Lottery to carry out the project.

Above: Africa Media Online’s Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux (left), together with colleagues from Dutch partner, lokaalmondiaal at a pub in Arnhem, a town outside Amsterdam, Holland.

The aim of the project is to bring an African perspective to the reporting on the soccer World Cup, which will be held in Africa for the first time in history – in South Africa in June and July 2010. In the latter half of this year (2009) World Press Photo and FreeVoice will be training photojournalists, radio journalists, and text journalists at a number of venues around the continent. The journalists will then report from their various nations on the lead up to the event and that content will be distributed by Africa Media Online to African and global publishers. It will also be published on lokaalmondiaal’s web site for the Dutch Public. The best of the content will also be curated to form part of a major exhibition in the main exhibition hall at the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam which will be launched just before the staging of the World Cup itself.

Then in 2010, the best of the qualifying journalists will be invited to South Africa where they will cover the 2010 Fifa World Cup on the ground. There will be three teams, two based in Gauteng province but traveling to the games, and one traveling down the coast to finish up in Cape Town at the semi-final due to be held there. The teams will not just be reporting on sports, but rather on every aspect of life that is impacted in any way by the soccer fantasia.

Throughout, Africa Media Online will be distributing the content to publications all over Africa and the World. As part of this we will have created the application web site and upgraded our MEMAT system to facilitate seamless distribution.

After the event, a select group of photographers will qualify for the 2010 African Photo Entrepreneur Programme to be run by Africa Media Online, and lokaalmondiaal will be putting together a book with the best of what was produced. There will also be a traveling exhibition in South Africa.
Above: From left to right: Project Manager for the “Twenty Ten: African media on the road to 2010 (and beyond)” project, Ruth De Vries, from World Press Photo with her colleague Katusha Sol, Africa Media Online’s Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux and Product Manager, Ian Blackburn, and a representative of the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam view the main exhibition hall of the museum where the project exhibition will be staged just before the 2010 Fifa World Cup next year.

So it is all very exciting and it starts right here with you and or those you can encourage signing up to:
*Make application to be one of the journalists to cover the event (the closing date for registering to receive a username and password is 4 May 2009). If you want to be considered for APEP next year, please sign up to participate in this project.
*Sign Up to receive information about the project and, if you are an African publication out side of South Africa, to receive free content.



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Above: A fragment of “Cassarinas at Dawn, Maputo, Mozambique” by David Larsen, is one of the images that forms part of the IZWE de Africa exhibition that has travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina as part of a cultural exchange programme.

Clare Louise Thomas writes to participating photographers from Buenos Aires:

So, we opened the exhibition on Thursday evening and it was a roaring success. The space looked amazing and the feedback was just magnificent. Every single one (I love this) of the photographers were singled out as someone’s favourite and people were just thrilled to be seeing the work that was coming out of South Africa. The cultural TV channel (Canal A) came and did an interview and I made a speech about what an honour it has been to work on this project and how valuable it is for emerging South African photographers work to be getting out there.

Africa Media Online exhibition organiser and photographer, Clare Louise Thomas being interviewed by Canal A at the opening of the “IZWE: Desde Africa” exhibition as part of the Proyecto 34˚S cultural exchange between Cape Town and Buenos Aires. PHOTO: Clare Louise Thomas

The Economic, Political and Cultural Counceller from the South African Embassy Vicor Rambau was there and showed great interest in the exhibition. I will be meeting with him next week to see what future possibilities may hold, as well as with the director of the Borges. Marta Camponara is a well respected African Art Collector here who is touring her exhibition of African sculptures around Argentina and we are looking into our exhibition travelling with hers… The options are looking good, but even if it just stays as is where it is now. it is a great thing. The pictures look incredible and as a collection really work wonderfully together. I can’t wait till we can bring it back home and show the people there… 🙂

Members of the public browse the exhibition at the opening in the prestigious Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires, Argentina. PHOTO: Clare Louise Thomas

Watch the media for information about the exhibition as it filters out bit by bit. The Cape Argus featured something this weekend with their own selection of photos and quotes from the information provided. So check that out and I will keep you updated on more as it happens.

Again, congratulations. I am so thrilled at the outcome of this experience.

Clare in Buenos Aires
(Africa Media Online)

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Last night saw the opening of the IZWE de Africa exhibition featuring the works of South African photographers in a prestigious venue in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A collaboration between Africa Media Online and Proyecto 34°S, this six-week exhibition provides a mix of emerging and established photographers with the chance to share their views on Contemporary African Culture.

Proyecto 34°S is an artistic exchange between Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Cape Town, South Africa. Its primary objective is to promote and facilitate the exchange of African and Latin American performing arts, culture, heritage and literature. Curated by Nadia Strier, the Izwe de Africa exhibition features as part of the South African Embassy’s heritage showcase at the Centro Cultural Borges, as well as online at Africa Media Online, where buyers will be able to select and purchase art prints.

Above: Jeremy Jowell’s image of Seychellois fishermen is one of 23 photographs by Africa Media Online photographers featuring in a prestigious exhibition in Argentina which also serves to launch our new print-on-demand service

Each of the photographers was asked to describe how their photographs reflect their views on the theme. Tammy Gardner, whose image is of a young man striding with his briefcase before the crumbling façade of The Empire building in Muizenberg, on the False Bay coastline, sums up the overall tone of the exhibition in her commentary:

“The obvious statement of crumbling Empire in Africa, the dilapidated building still showing its beautiful design form, the optimistic morning light, the purposeful stride of the black man with his shabby clothes and briefcase. A perfect metaphor for the complexities of African life as we know it today – not so shiny, not so picture perfect, but hopeful, working with what we have.”

Africa Media Online is a South African organization that specializes in giving African photographers a voice and an opportunity to compete on equal footing in international markets. “A balanced view of Africa and her rich heritage cannot exist unless we as Africans are able to consistently tell Africa’s story from our perspective in the global information economy,” explains David Larsen, Director of Africa Media Online.

Larsen refers to Africa Media Online’s role as the provision of a ‘digital trade route’ – this includes training, the provision of online systems and an image library that markets content directly to editors and publishers, curators and art directors around the world. Now this exhibition launches yet another platform that the company will be providing: the opportunity for international buyers to select African images online and have art prints delivered to their door.

The exhibiting photographers are:
Sean Wilson, Marinda Louw, Kim Thunder, Christine Nesbitt, Simone Scholtz, David Larsen, Jeremy Jowell, Karin Duthie, Craig Urquhart, Chris Kirchhoff, Nikki Rixon, Tammy Gardner, Clare Louise Thomas and Toni Jade Efune.

Six of these fourteen photographers were a part of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme run by Africa Media Online in 2008, which was focused on growing photo entrepreneurs to compete on the global stage in terms of photo production and market savvy.

Right Click to download PDF slide show of the exhibition

For further information please contact the Media Manager, Dominique le Roux: +27 21 788 6261 or +27 82 823 0460 dominique@africamediaonline.com

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Winner of the “Tudor Sigma African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for 2008, Karen Agenbag (centre) with Africa Media Online’s Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux (left) and Africa Media Online’s Managing Director, David Larsen (right). PHOTO: Alan Nambiar

The 2008 African Photo Entrepreneur of Year Awards
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: November 12, 2008

A Johannesburg photographer and Kenyan photographer based in Johannesburg took top honours in the first African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Awards which were presented by Africa Media Online at a gala dinner at the Ascot Conference Centre in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday November 12. Twenty-seven professional photographers stood to win prizes in six categories, with women photographers taking four of the six awards.

One of the images from Karen Agenbag’s winning assignment for the “Tudor Sigma African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award.” Karen scored consistently high with every one of her 17 top images.
The 27 photographers were all participants in Africa Media Online’s Global Competitiveness Masterclass, the final stage of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme aimed at ensuring that African photographers are globally competitive ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Close to 150 photographers applied to the programme in June this year and 40 were selected to attend Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus in August where they were trained in working with digital images at the standard required by global markets. At the end of that week the professional photographers were given an assignment to “capture the essence of the proud, stylish and technologically-savvy African of today.” Of the 40, 27 photographers completed the assignment to the required standard and were invited to attend the Global Competitiveness Masterclass in Pietermaritzburg being run this week from November 9 to 13. Africa Media Online’s African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is the culmination of the whole process.

A prestigious panel of award winning photographers and photo editors was gathered to judge the awards. These included Pulitzer Prize winning photographers Greg Marinovich from South Africa and Rick Gershon from the US. Gershon is a multimedia specialist at Getty Images in New York. Marinovich’s wife, Leonie an acclaimed photographer in her own right, was also joined by former picture editor at the Associated Press, Katherine van Acker, and professional commercial photographer and Microsoft Icons of Imaging member, Peter Krogh. The judges gave scores to each image from the assignments of each photographer. The scores from the top 17 images in each assignment were calculated to give the results in each category. There were four class awards and two regional awards. No one photographer could win more than one class award.

Johannesburg photographer Karen Agenbag was the winner of the top award, the “Tudor Sigma African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” awarded for the best overall assignment. Tudor Photographic (Pty) Ltd., South African agents for Sigma, presented the top-of-the-range Sigma SD14 professional digital SLR camera and Sigma 24-135 f2.8-4.5 lens. The 14 Megapixel camera uses a unique Foveon x3 sensor which, unlike most digital cameras, captures red, green and blue light on different layers of sensors, somewhat like film used to do.


Above: Anthony Kaminju, winner of the “Adobe Best Picture of the Year Award” poses with Africa Media Online’s Managing Director, David Larsen, after receiving his award at the Gala Dinner of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme held in Pietermarizburg, South Africa on Wednesday evening November 12, 2008. PHOTO: Alan Nambiar

The “Adobe Best Picture of the Year”, awarded for the image that the judges consider is the best image of the year, went to Kenyan-born photographer Antony Kaminju, who received Adobe’s latest version of the award winning professional imaging programme Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Rich black south africans

In the hard fought over “Adobe Best Picture of the Year Award,” this picture from Kenyan born Anthony Kaminju won out from a series of images on Rock Soweto.

The “FotoFinder Award” was given for the best assignment from a photographer outside South Africa. Kenyan photographer Felix Masi received airtickets to fly to South Africa, courtesy of FotoFinder GmbH, an image portal in Germany (http://www.fotofinder.com).

Mobile Banking Revolution

Kenyan photographer, Felix Masi, took top honours in the “FotoFinder Award” for the best assignment from a photographer outside of South Africa for his images of the emerging middle class in Kenya.

Johannesburg-based Toni Jade Efune won the “Microsoft Woman Photo Entrepreneur Award”, presented by Microsoft’s Professional Photography division. As part of this award, Africa Media Online will be digitising the top 300 images from this photographer including scanning on a prepress scanner, retouching the images so that they are market ready, and associating keywords with them so that they can be found on an online search. Microsoft presented a Crumpler laptop bag, Microsoft Vista Ultimate, Microsoft Office 2007 and their professional imaging software Capture One 4 not only to the winner of this award, but also to all the other award winners.


Johannesburg photographer, Toni Efune took honours in the “Microsoft Woman Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award”.

The “Tudor Sigma Documentary Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award” is given for the best assignment from a photographer who took a documentary approach. This could include environmental portraits. This went to Cape Town based South African photographer Nikki Rixon. Tudor Photography (Pty) Ltd. presented her with the Sigma DP1 14 Megapixel compact camera. This camera has all the power of a digital SLR in an unobtrusive package ideal for documentary work.

Simon & Birds

Cape Town based photographer, Nikki Rixon won the “The Tudor Sigma Documentary Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for her series of environmental portraits.

The “Africa Media Online KZN Photographer of the Year Award” honours the top photograper from KwaZulu Natal province where Africa Media Online is based. Africa Media Online will also be digitising the top 300 images from the collection of winner Anwen Evans.

Distant Shores

Anwen Evans took top honours in the “Africa Media Online KZN Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for her KZN lifestyle shoots.

Find out more about the 2008 African Photo Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
Find out more about the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme


This project is supported by the European Union

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Picture Above: Africa Media Online staff and participants in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme in the pub at the Ascot Conference Centre during the Pietermaritzburg Digital Campus. From left to right: Maryann Shaw (APEP participant – South Africa), Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi (APEP participant – Zimbabwe) Lungile Kunene (Sales Assistant, AMO), Julius Mwelu (APEP participant – Kenya), Felix Masi (APEP participant – Kenya), Antony Kaminju (APEP participant – Kenya/South Africa), Sue Hadcroft (Business Manager, AMO), Peter Krogh (The DAM Trainer!)

Welcome to the ninth edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.

In this blog:

1. Adobe Backs African Photo Entrepreneurs with Lightroom 2.0
2. What You Said About Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus
3. All 40 African Photo Entrepreneur Programme Participants Complete Stage One
4. Africa Media Online Launches Model Released Multiple-Use Collection
5. Photographers Gatherings in Cape Town and Johannesburg

1. Adobe Backs African Photo Entrepreneurs with Lightroom 2.0

One of the world’s foremost imaging companies, Adobe, has put their impetus behind the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme (APEP) with the sponsorship of the recently launched software package for photographers, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0. All of the APEP participants who complete the prestigious programme, will receive a license for the cutting edge software package.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 is an essential element in a best practice RAW workflow for digital photographers. The programme enables high productivity in the bulk adjustment of images, enabling photographers to turn around work speedily and at standard

All 40 African photo entrepreneurs who are participating in the programme have already received training in its use during the Digital Campus phase. They had the privilege of practicing the use of the software programme under the supervision of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom alpha tester, Peter Krogh.

Before they can qualify for their copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0, however, the 40 photo entrepreneurs still have to complete the other phases of APEP. Currently they are working on assignments in collaboration with Africa Media Online’s media manager, Dominique Le Roux. Those who successfully complete this stage will be invited to the Global Competitiveness Masterclass to be held in Pietermaritzburg in November. There, participants will gain exposure to local and international experts in marketing imagery and engage with the future of professional imaging.

“We are thrilled with Adobe’s input into this programme,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 is a massive leap forward into the future of digital imaging – an integrated RAW workflow. Adobe’s commitment to open standards means that the photo entrepreneurs who will be utilizing the programme can be certain that they are building an archive that will be accessible for generations to come. This is something we really emphasized during the first training block of APEP. Professional photographic entrepreneurs have to realise they are building an asset for the long term and if they can be using the right tools and the right standards now, the value they will reap down the line will be tremendous. Adobe is making that possible by not tying photographers in to proprietary systems. This means that their pictures, and the information about the pictures will always be accessible, even if there comes a time where Lightroom is no longer in use and there are other systems in place.”

Liberian photographer, Ahmed Jallazo gets to grips with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 at the Johannesburg Digital Campus

“We faced a dilemma in the first training block,” said Larsen. “Here we were training photographers to use the best systems available, aware at the same time that many of them could not afford to invest in these systems. We consoled ourselves with the knowledge that at least they were getting exposure to the principles and could see the potential. Adobe’s donation has significantly changed that scenario and the photographers will be able to take the opportunity with both hands.”

“We are really grateful to Peter Krogh who came out here, believed in what we are doing and saw the need, and so engaged with Addy Roff and Frederick Johnson of Adobe. And we are grateful to Addy and Frederick who caught the vision and made it all happen.”

Adobe’s donation of software follows on the heels of an investment by Microsoft in the photo entrepreneurs of 40 copies of Expression Media 2.0. Together these packages provide the backbone of best practice digital asset management for photographers.

2. What You Said About Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus

Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus came to a conclusion in Johannesburg on Friday August 22 wrapping up three hectic weeks for the AMO team and our two lecturers, Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh. As a participant, you gave us some great feedback.

On the evaluation form at the conclusion of each masterclass you were asked to give comments and an overall score out of 10. These were the average scores and some comments given. As participants the vast majority of you were working professionally with images: designers, professional photographers, museums professionals, scanner operators and others:

Digital Imaging Essentials one day masterclass with Graeme Cookson
Pietermaritzburg: 8.9; Cape Town 9.1; Johannesburg 8.7

Graeme Cookson teaches the Digital Imaging Essentials masterclass at the Cape Town School of Photography (left) and Museum Africa in Johannesburg (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“This course was extremely professionally presented”
“Graeme’s use of analogies very useful!”
“Detailed info that could not be found in books”
“Understanding what pixels are and how they work”
“Learnt a lot more about levels and curves”
“The order in which to edit an image & the tools to use”
“Colour management – learnt some great rules so I don’t need to rely on eye”
“Better understanding in detecting & fixing image quality problems”
“Being able to identify an image good enough for international market”
“Better understanding of what submission standards I must insist on”

Digital Imaging Ecosystem evening masterclass with Peter Krogh
Pietermaritzburg: 8.6; Cape Town: 9.1; Johannesburg 9.0

Peter Krogh teaches the Digital Imaging Ecosystem masterclass at iKhaya Conference Centre in Cape Town (left) and Wits University’s Hofmeyr House (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“I realised how unorganised and dangerous my back-up system is!”
“To treat an image with more respect”
“A major reality check & what to do about where I am at now”
“Made how I need to store my library very clear”
“Library based collection management was a real benefit to me”
“Understanding how a system of storage can work & increase productivity”
“Knowledge of brilliant system that changes the potential of data/catalogue”
“Workflow will definitely improve”
“A whole new world was opened up to me”
“Great speaker, awesome content, just overwhelming. Thank you!”

Practical Digital Workflow 2-day masterclass with Graeme Cookson
Pietermaritzburg: 9.0; Cape Town 9.0; Johannesburg 8.9

Graeme Cookson gives in-depth instruction at the Practical Digital Workflow masterclass at Ascot Conference Centre in Pietermaritzburg (left) and Market Photo Workshop (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“Understanding image anatomy to bit level”
“In-depth knowledge of digital landscape”
“Image cleaning, sharpening, greyscale, use of highlights & shadows”
“Understanding of specific PS functions: curves, hue, saturation”
“Better use of histogram, channel, layers for colour profiles”
“Discovery of image faults & precise techniques to fix them”
“A bigger confidence in working images & awareness of what damages them”
“I can now enhance my images much better”
“A logical framework to approach problem solving”
“Can go back to thousands of images I thought were bad, correct & enjoy them”
“The way Graeme teaches – a master!!!”
“Stupendous! You need to add a column in front of ‘Very Well'”
“AWESOME lecturer!”

Get Your DAM Stuff Together 2-day masterclass with Peter Krogh
Pietermaritzburg 9.1; Cape Town 9.7; Johannesburg 9.4

Peter Krogh instructs participants during the “Get Your DAM Stuff Together” masterclass at the Cape Town School of Photography (left) and participants Toni Efune and Leonie Marinovich get to grips with digital workflow during the masterclass at Museum Africa in Johannesburg (right)

What were the major benefits gained from the training
“Wake-up call on backups”
“In-depth evaluation of software”
“Cataloging & DNG”
“Better understanding of DNG, Espression Media & Lightroom”
“Much greater understanding in file management and back-up”
“Understanding a clear system in moving files through production”
“A complete understanding of the whole workflow using the best of different softwares”
“A vision of what I should be doing in managing my own archive”
“It is going to make a huge difference to the potential & accessibility of my data”
“Helped me create a positive, logical direction to begin a critical task”
“Peter has a great ability to impart immense knowledge & encourage change of current data management systems in a reassuring, clear and concise manner”
“Peter’s approach to organisation is quite radical compared ton the way I have been working – creates a faster, more effective workflow”

Participants at the Pietermaritzburg Digital Campus take a welcome break (left) and participants at the Digital Campus in Cape Town get in on a group photo (right)

You also made some general comments:
“I feel very privileged to be a part of this because it has taken me beyond what I always thought I had or could achieve”
“Awesome opportunity to network with others in the industry”
“I would like to thank AMO for this opportunity. I wish there could be more of this”
“The speakers certainly knew their stuff”
“Thank you for the notes!”
“Please come back and do this again!”
“Very inspiring”
“I think the AMO team is great. Thank you guys for enabling me to participate & be among a group of inspiring photographers whose work mesmerised & motivated me”
“Peter and Graeme are both amazing and I want to thank you two gentle men for tolerating & giving us the kind of helpful knowledge in the craft we practise in our everyday lives”
“AMO – keep doing what you are doing!”
“It is a marvellous course that overwhelmes one, but leaves one feeling empowered. Thank you!”

Top Left: Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen and Graeme Cookson at Digital Campus Pietermaritzburg; Top Right: Head of Training at World Press Photo Maarten Koets and South African documentary photographer Paul Weinberg at a social gathering during Digital Campus Cape Town; Bottom Left: Cape Town based photographer Nikki Rixon and Kunle Ajayi from Lago, Nigeria during a break in Cape Town. Bottom Right: Chief photographer for the Sunday Independent, TJ Lemon forces Johannesburg based photographer, Caroline Suzman into the camera frame during Digital Campus Johannesburg

3. All 40 African Photo Entrepreneur Programme Participants Complete Stage One

At the close of the 2008 Digital Campus in Johannesburg on August 22, all 40 APEP participants had made it through the first stage of the programme. The final week was hosted in Newtown in Johannesburg by Museum Africa and Market Photo Workshop and at Wits University’s Hofmyer House.

Click here to see who made it to APEP Johannesburg

“Stage one, was participation in the Digital Campus which provided a brilliant technical foundation in digital imaging for the photographers,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “The participants could hardly have had better tutors than Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh.”

Neo Ntsoma

Neo Ntsoma

“This programme exceeded my expectations,” said Cape Town based photographer, Willem Foster. “I am glad I got to experience it, not only for everything I’ve learned form Graeme and Peter, but for everything I’ve learned from the other participants. I never thought we would learn so much from each other. The programme was well organised and set out and the material was all relevant.”

“Awesome! It was such an eye opener,” said Johannesburg based Neo Ntsoma. “Both the instructors are master in their fields and they have a marvellous way of helping you see your work in a new light. Peter Krogh has his own special way of making everyone feel comfortable and valued.”

Tammy Gardner

Tammy Gardner

“Amazing quality and depth of knowledge of the lecturers,” said Tammy Gardener who attended the Pietermaritzburg training block. “Phenomenal practical learning opportunity. Good authentic networking opportunity.”

“I feel immensely grateful to have found a training course so appropriate to my needs,” said Cape Town participant Ed Suter.

Fati Moalusi

Fati Moalusi

“It was amazing for me to be taught by some of the world’s best tutors in the photography digital system,” said Mandla Mnyakama also from Cape Town.

“I have learned a lot of things that I overlooked as a photographer. The week was just empowering!” said Fati Moalusi who participated in the Johannesburg Digital Campus.

“Changed my life photographic-wise,” said Durban based Wade Howard. “I am self-taught and this has changed the way I will be doing things. Good networking too. Exciting!”

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

“It was a fully packed week filled with fun, highly educating seminars which opened up my mind to new ways of dealing with digital images and how to take care of them” said Zimbabwean photographer, Tsvangirayi Mukhwazi.

Rafs Mayet

Rafs Mayet

“It’s a great way to get on the digital highway, avoid becoming a dinosaur and get up to speed with experts in their fields,” said Durban based Rafs Mayet. “If you are serious about photography, then this is the best way to go.”

“It’s a must-attend for any serious photographer on the continent,” said Kenyan photographer, Antony Kaminju.

“It was a very fulfilling experience for me,” said Pretoria based Phil Magakoe. “I learnt a lot and was privileged to have met everyone, especially my African brothers form over our borders. I strongly feel that there will be positive outcomes that will bear much fruit.”

Antony Kaminju

Antony Kaminju

“A turning point!” said Kenyan photographer, Felix Masi.

The photographers are now in stage two, working on an assignment where they have to put into practice what they have learnt. Dominique Le Roux, Africa Media Online’s Media Manager was present at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Digital Campus’ and has been overseeing the assignment stage. “I was really impressed. There were so many people so eager to learn… Just like sponges, every one of them, soaking up as much of the knowledge and information available. Since then, as I’ve interacted and tried my best to partner with them as they work on their assignments, I’ve both despaired and celebrated as I’ve seen this new band of photographers getting to grips with both the science and the art of it all.”


This project is supported by the European Union

4. Africa Media Online Launches Model-Released Multiple-Use Collection

Africa Media Online has again come up with a home-grown solution to the media market’s imaging needs. The company has launched the first of its multiple usage CDs: collections of images that can be used multiple times in multiple ways for an upfront, once-off fee.

The launch CD, in what will be a series of multiple use collections focussed on all things African, highlights Africans in the business environment. Called africa@the office, it showcases a variety of predominantly corporate business scenarios, from boardroom meetings, to interviews, desk and computer scenes, and of course the trials and jubilations so typical of the real business world – all portrayed by a truly African array of faces and cultural demographics.

While the concept of a CD of such images, traditionally referred to as ‘royalty-free’, is not a new one, the company has gone a step further than most: not only are all images model-released, but many of the models share in the proceeds from the sale of the images. And of course all the photographers involved are Africans too. This philosophy of sustainable profit sharing is very much at the heart of what Africa Media Online as an organization is all about.

“A balanced view of Africa and her rich heritage cannot exist unless we as Africans are able to consistently tell Africa’s story from our perspective in the global information economy,” explains David Larsen, Director of Africa Media Online.

The africa@the office CD, like all those that will be launched in the coming months, is available as an actual physical CD, or as a downloadable collection from Africa Media Online’s image library at http://www.africanpictures.net, and includes high, medium and low-resolution versions of each image. The retail price for the entire CD/Collection of 80 images is R3 490 (excl VAT), while those buyers wanting only a specific image can buy it on a royalty-free licence based on size:
High res (+A4/22-36MB@300dpi): R1450 (excl VAT)
Medium res (A5/10MB@300dpi): R650 (excl VAT)
Low res (A7/2MB@72dpi): R400 (excl VAT)

To view the images, go to www.africanpictures.net.
To order contact: pictures@africanpictures.net.

5. Photographers Gatherings in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Africa Media Online took the opportunity afforded by the Digital Campus to touch base with a number of its contributing photographers in the Western Cape and Gauteng areas. In Cape Town photographers gathered at on Tuesday August 12 at the authentic Ethiopian restaurant “Addis In Cape ” in Church Street, central Cape Town. In Johannesburg photographers gathered at the iconic “Gramadoelas” restaurant in Newtown for healthy debate around issues of copyright and model releases over wonderful South African and African cuisine.

TJ Lemon (left) and Greg and Leonie Marinovich (right) engage in vigorous debate at the first gathering of africanpictures.net contributing photographers held in Johannesburg

“I really felt that we all walked in the door as business colleagues and clients and walked out as friends,” said Dominique Le Roux, Africa Media Online’s Media Manager who organised the events. “How great to get to know each other in an informal and relaxed way. We might have known about each other beforehand; we might have known each others’ work well; now we got to know each other’s hearts. I loved seeing the passion, hearing the frustrations, and sharing in the common commitment to go forward proudly telling African’s story – and making money while doing so!”

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Picture Above: Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus is being run in Joburg this week after a brilliant week at the Cape Town School of Photography in Cape Town. The team at the Cape Town School of Photography did a wonderful job of hosting the Digital Campus. This week, Museum Africa and the Market Photo Workshop are our hosts

In this blog:

1. Peter Krogh masterclasses meeting the need in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town
2. World Press Photo adds value to African Photo Entrepreneur Programme
3. Microsoft gives photo entrepreneurs a kick-start with Expression Media donation
4. FotoFinder makes a way for photographer from Liberia

1. Peter Krogh masterclasses meeting the need in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town

Peter Krogh’s digital asset management courses have been receiving rave reviews around the country. This is the first time these masterclasses are being run in South Africa and if the comments in the evaluation forms are anything to go by they certainly do seem to be meeting a need in the market.

Peter Krogh demonstrating how Google Maps pinpoints exactly where he took a photograph after he matched his GPS tracker log with the time stamp on the image

What were the major benefits that you gained from the training?

“It was awesome! It gave me: 1. A major reality check 2. What to do about where I am at” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“Understanding how a system of storage/cataloguing can work and increase productivity” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“I realised how unorganised and dangerous my back-up system is” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“Respect! To treat images with respect.” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“A complete understanding of the whole workflow using the best of various software environment and a clear system to move files through production into an archive that is fully backed up and secure. This will help me manage and preserve my digital archive for years to come. Thank you so much! Also really cool insights into the future of imaging” – Pietermaritzburg Professional Photographer

“Unbelievable knowledge that can take me into the future and allow me to manage my data in an effective and efficient and long lasting and scalable manner. It’s gonna make a huge difference to the potential and accessibility of my data…” – Cape Town Professional Photographer

“Peter’s approach to organisation is quite radical compared to the way I have been working. He makes use of software to create faster, more efficient workflow. I gained a good understanding of DAM in general and information on backup systems, hard drives etc” – Cape Town Professional Photographic Trainer

2. World Press Photo adds value to African Photo Entrepreneur Programme

The Cape Town leg of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme was enriched by the presence of Maarten Koets, head of education at World Press Photo. World Press Photo is an independent not-for-profit organisation based in Holland which is best known for organising the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest which becomes a traveling exhibition annually that is visited by over two million people in some 45 countries worldwide.

Maarten presented a slide show of images from Africa that have featured in the World Press Photo competition over recent years. The hard hitting imagery proved an inspiration to all present last Thursday evening (August 14). At the end of the evening participant Clare Thomas expressed her gratitude saying, “I’m feeling quite emotional, I hardly have words. I am so grateful for all that we have been exposed to and how it is lifting our vision.”

At the end of the week of masterclasses the participants had got together to present gifts of prints of their work to the trainers and AMO staff, a gesture much appreciated by all on the receiving end.

The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme has been partially supported by the European Union through Gijima KZN and by Africa Media Online.

Click here to see who made it to APEP Cape Town

3. Microsoft gives photo entrepreneurs a kick-start with Expression Media donation

Microsoft corporation in Redmond, Washington has come to the support of African photo entrepreneurs in donating a copy of Microsoft Expression Media to each of the 40 photographers participating in the African Photo Entrepreneur programme.

What used to be called iView Media Pro, Microsoft’s Expression Media has been recommended by Africa Media Online to photographers and archives for several years as the best commercially available programme for organising and managing an image collection. As seen here, the Mac version of the product is still supported by Microsoft

Peter Krogh, author of “The DAM Book,” who has been in South Africa running digital masterclasses as part of Africa Media Online’s “Digital Campus,” opened the door for the donation. He was so inspired by meeting many of the participants in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme on the Pietermaritzburg “Digital Campus” that he emailed Jeff Greene in Microsoft’s Rich Media Group in Redmond, Washington DC, USA telling him about the programme. Within 24 hours Geoff had come back saying 40 copies of Expression Media are ready to ship.

“We are really grateful for Microsoft’s support of the photographer’s on the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. Africa Media Online has had a long relationship with the Expression Media product which used to be called iView Media Pro, having recommended the software in the South African market for a few years. “Having researched various options I was convinced it was the best of all the systems available,” said David. “The great thing is that with Microsoft taking over, the PC version of the programme is now on a par with the original Mac version which is good news for the photographers on PC. Expression Media is currently the best programme on the market for a photographer to manage a database of images and it is a great kick start for African photo entrepreneurs starting to grapple with managing a digital library.”

4. FotoFinder makes a way for photographer from Liberia

Ahmed Jallazo from Monrovia, Liberia, arrives at Museum Africa where several of the Johannesburg Digital Campus masterclasses are being run

Germany based picture library, Fotofinder GmbH came to the rescue of photographer, Ahmed Jallazo from Liberia in West Africa this month. Ahmed had been selected for inclusion in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme but did not have the funds to get to South Africa and manage his living costs for the programme. Ali Packzensky, Director of the German based organisation, had met Africa Media Online’s Director of International Sales at CEPIC in May and had been inspired by the vision of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme. When there seemed no way for Ahmed to make it, a telephone conversation between Ali and Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen, resulted in Ali putting up the finances for Ahmed’s travel while Africa Media Online undertook to provide accommodation and board.

Ahmed was discovered a number of years ago by South African photographer Nic Bothma during the Liberian civil war working as a street photographer. Nic was working with EPA and Ahmed worked alongside him during the war learning the skill of a press photographer. In the past few years he has continued to string for EPA in West Africa.

In November, Ali is expected to be a part of the final stage of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme, the Global Competitiveness Masterclass, which aims at giving the participating photographers insight in to the global imaging industry and the means to compete on the global stage.

Although the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme was geared at participants in southern Africa in 2008, Africa Media Online had applications from all over the continent and seven photographers were accepted from other parts of Africa. Most of these photographers made their own way to South Africa to participate in the programme. To see participants from other parts of Africa click here

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Dusk in Cape Town with Table Mountain and Lion’s head to the right of it. Africa Media Online’s Digital Campus moves to the “Mother City” next week after a wonderful week in Pietermaritzburg.

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Digital Picture Library Manager blog designed to add value to the management of your picture and media collections as well as to keep you up to date with developments at Africa Media Online and the world of digital imaging that could be of benefit you.
A. Bookings for the digital masterclasses with Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh in Cape Town will close this Friday August 8. For Johannesburg the bookings will close the following Friday August 15. Further information and booking forms can be found at this link: Digital Campus
B. If you want to take advantage of the final intake for 70% funding for digitisation under the African Image Pipeline project, you need to have signed the necessary paperwork by Friday August 29.For further information please visit this link: Grant Funding for Digitisation of Image Collections

In this edition:

1. Peter Krogh wow’s masterclass participants with geostamping images
2. Graeme Cookson’s two day class sells out countrywide
3. African Photo Entrepreneur Programme gathers photographers from around the country and continent
4. Building an Archive that will last: Resolution and how it works

1. Peter Krogh wow’s masterclass participants with geostamping images

Peter Krogh demonstrating the ideal workflow using the best of various software programmes to ensure the most efficient and secure way of handling thousands of images to build and archive which you won’t lose and you can get the most from

Peter Krogh wowed participants at the Digital Photography Ecosystem masterclass with a demonstration of how photographers can geostamp their images and at the click of a button in the image metadata to link through to the location where the image was shot on Google Maps. US based digital imaging expert, Krogh was delivering his first session at Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus in Pietermaritzburg.

Geostamping wasn’t the only wow factor in the session as Krogh demonstrated an overview of an ideal Raw workflow which uses the best of Microsoft’s Expression Media 2, Adobe Bridge and a new programme called Image Ingestor Pro 3. As an Alpha tester for Adobe, Krogh also demonstrated some of the new functionality in Lightroom 2, launched last week internationally by Adobe.

Krogh’s primary emphasis is on managing thousands of images in the most efficient way possible using the best of the various software programmes available, and ensuring that photographers do not lose the files they have put so much work into. Referring to the efficiency of one’s digital workflow Krogh said, “Time is not just money, it is economic survival these days. If the guy down the road is turning work around faster than you, you are going to lose out.” He brings to photographers a highly ordered process which ensures files move through to being archived on one hand and available to markets on the other ensuring photographers are leveraging the most economic return out of their pictures.

Peter Krogh will be teaching digital workflow in Cape Town next week (August 11-15) starting with an evening class on Monday 11 and followed by two in-depth two-day classes where participants are at computers working through the ideal workflow. The masterclasses then move to Johannesburg during the week of August 18-22. To find out more information or download a booking form please go to Digital Campus or call David Larsen on 082-829-7959 or Aneesa on 033-345-9445.

2. Graeme Cookson’s two-day masterclass sells out countrywide

Several weeks before the start of the Digital Campus in Pietermaritzburg, Graeme Cookson’s two-day digital masterclasses, known as “Practical Digital Workflow,” were sold out countrywide.

“It is a testament to the quality of Graeme’s teaching that every year people who have done Graeme’s one day course rush to fill his two day course the following year,” said Africa Media Online’s Director, David Larsen. “Graeme has an amazing ability to make complex matters of digital imaging crystal clear. He is able to impart a highly productive way of bringing the best out of images.”

Graeme Cookson demonstrating the concept of resolution to participants in the Digital Imaging Essentials masterclass in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Coming from a prepress and photography background, Graeme brings to imaging professionals and organisations a productive digital darkroom. “When people really understand what is under the hood of digital images,” said Cookson, “then they can become highly productive rather than wasting lots of time going tweek, tweek, tweek.”

The kind of information Graeme imparts quickly makes a significant difference to the productivity of a production team, whether in a design studio, museum or media organisation. “That quickly translates into lots of money saved,” said Larsen. “It really is a no brainer as far as the investment is concerned, even for a cash strapped photographer. Between them Graeme and Peter are going to make you many times over what you spend on the opportunity to learn from them. This is really the point as far as Africa Media Online is concerned as we are all about enabling Africans to compete on the global stage.

The Ascot Conference Centre, where the Pietermaritzburg Digital Campus is being hosted, has proved to be a wonderfully relaxed environment in which to learn.

3. African Photo Entrepreneur Programme gathers photographers from around the country and continent

Participants in the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme socialise with Africa Media Online staff at the launch of the programme in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

Photographers gathered from all over South Africa and the African continent on Sunday at the launch of the Pietermaritzburg leg of the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme. Photographers traveled to Pietermaritzburg from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Harare and Nairobi to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the unique programme.

The African Photo Entrepreneur Programme has been established to provide a catalyst for the development of photo entrepreneurs in Africa – photographers who have the technical skills and market savvy to compete on a global stage.

“Although the 2008 programme was aimed at photographers in southern Africa, we had applications from all over the continent,” said Africa Media Online’s director, David Larsen. “It really has shown us that we are hitting the nail on the head as far as the need out there among African photographers goes.”

“Although we have enjoyed some funding from the European Union as part of our African Image Pipeline, project we were seriously short of funds in running this programme, so were limited in the amount of support we could provide for transport and living costs. It has been amazing to me, however, that almost all of these photographers have made their own way here, some coming as far afield as East Africa and West Africa.”

“We can really see the entrepreneurial spirit in the extent to which many of these photographers are risking their own resources to reach out and take this opportunity. And it is not just those from other parts of Africa. Participants have traveled from Joburg and Cape Town and we have two participants from Durban who make their way by catching lifts and hitch-hiking every morning long before dawn to make it here in time.”

Sixteen APEP participants are spending this week learning technical digital workflow skills from Graeme Cookson and Peter Krogh as part of Africa Media Online’s 2008 Digital Campus. Next week (August 11-15) 12 APEP participants will do the same in Cape Town and the week after (August 18-22) a further 12 will undertake the training in Johannesburg. At the end of each week the participants will be given a project to complete over the next month, and upon successful completion of that, they will be invited back to Pietermaritzburg in November for the Global Competitiveness Masterclass. There they will be given the inside track on market access by experts from around the world who are on the cutting edge of the global picture industry.

Click here to see who made it to APEP Pietermaritzburg.

3. Building an Archive that will last: Resolution and how it works

Zooming in to an image one sees that it is composed of thousands of colour squares. These are pixels, seen here in the close up of a human eye.

We have been working through the submission standards that africanpictures.net sets for images being submitted to its picture library. We have done file size, interpolation and bit depth and now we come to resolution. For images submitted to africanpictures.net the resolution must be set to 300 dpi. It might sound strange to hear me say this, but africanpictures.net asks for this more for the sake of the clients receiving the images, than for the sake of image quality. It is the file size that determines image quality, not the resolution setting. Let’s explain.

If you look at a picture in a magazine with a magnifying glass you will see it is composed of thousands of tiny dots each of a single colour, often different from the one next door to it. Digital images are similar in their make-up, only the tiny dots are square and are called pixels (picture elements). Each pixel is a digital facsimile of a particular tiny point on a picture. There is actually nothing in a pixel except a set of digits that tells it what colour it should be. While pixels vary greatly in colour from one pixel to another, each pixel in itself is a solid single colour.

Resolution is the measure of the number of pixels used to represent an image. So if an image is 500 pixels long and 400 high the total number of pixels is 200,000 (500 x 400). Resolution is usually measured in dpi which stands for dots per inch. Although everyone tends to speak about dpi, when it comes to digital imaging it is actually more correct to speak about ppi or pixels per inch. Common usage, however, has become dpi so let’s stick to that. Either way, what we are measuring when we speak about dpi or ppi, is the density of pixels, or how many pixels are found in every inch of a picture.

Because the only information that pixels have in them is a set of digits that determines its colour, a pixel will expand to fill any space you give it. So if you have an image with 200,000 pixels in it, it is quite possible for you to set it at 300 pixels per inch and every inch will have 300 pixels along one side. It is also quite possible to set that same image to 1 dot per inch and the pixels will expand until each one is one square inch in size. The amount of information, however, has not changed at all. The file size will remain constant, it is just that you have spread that information over a larger area. It is like taking a can of paint and painting many coats over a smaller area, or taking the whole can and spreading it over a larger area. The volume of paint does not change at all but the area covered does. In the same way the file size of the image does not change but the resolution does.

The standard for printing images in a book or magazine has become 300 dpi even though many printers only print at 150 dpi. There are good reasons for this, which we won’t discuss here. As a result people tend to speak of a 300 dpi image. But it is no good saying, “a 300 dpi image is a quality image,” without giving the dimensions of the image. That is like saying the distance between Johannesburg and Pretoria is 100 km/hour. You still want to know, “how many hours?”

To say an image is 300 dpi only tells you the density (how many coats of paint), not how many pixels you have (how much paint you have). To take the paint analogy further, if you are needing to paint a large wall with three coats to ensure quality and discover you have run out of paint after one coat, the wall will not look great. In the same way if you try and spread an image that has enough pixels to cover an A5 page at 300 dpi over an A3 page, your quality will not be great.

The 300 dpi standard, then is simply a convention to make designers feel they are in familiar territory. So yes, set your images at 300 dpi, but the real question is “300 dpi over what area? An image that is 2 cm wide and 1 cm high at 300 dpi is not going to be of sufficient quality to print well if you stretch it over an A4 page (close to 20 cm x 30 cm).

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