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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.

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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.
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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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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.”

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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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