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What We Learned This Week: Shutterstock Gets Real With Apes

By David Schonauer   Thursday January 11, 2018


Shutterstock has said no to unnatural acts. 

At least when it comes of apes and monkeys.

Shutterstock recently announced that is will ban photos showing the animals in environments outside their natural habitats, noted PetaPixel. The ban includes pictures of the animals wearing clothing or accessories, being shown in a studio setting or human environment, exhibiting trained or unnatural behavior, or engaging in unnatural interactions with humans, such as holding hands or being held, explained DIY Photography.

Digitally modified photos that place apes and chimpanzees into these “unnatural situations” are also banned from Shutterstock, added PetaPixel. You can still upload photos of apes and monkeys in zoos or living free in Asian cities.

The move comes after an appeal from the animal-rights group PETA, which said that that photos of monkeys and apes in unnatural settings does harm to conservation efforts while boosting the illegal wildlife trade.

“Great apes used in these images are typically torn away from their mothers shortly after birth, causing lifelong psychological trauma to both mother and infant,” PETA said. “When they reach adolescence, trainers often discard them in substandard facilities where they may be kept alone in small cages for decades.”

PETA praised the stock agency’s decision, noting that it reflects “evolving industry standards, as well as a sea change in public opinion.”

“Consumers are more aware than ever of the suffering that wild animals endure when they’re used for any form of entertainment. The vast majority of ad agencies—including BBDO, McCann, J. Walter Thompson, Droga5, Grey Group, and DDB—have pledged never to use great apes in their ad campaigns,” noted PETA in a statement.

Not every blogger covering the new saw Shutterstock's move as an unalloyed positive. At Fstoppers, U.K.-based photographer Jack Alexander expressed a tone of irritation, declaring that “PETA have once again found themselves dictating animal-related photo laws and regulations after their intervention with Shutterstock.” You can share your opinions at the PPD Facebook page.

Here are some of the other photo stories we spotlighted this week:
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1. Shooting a Stealth Plane, From Above, at the Rose Bowl

“The first thought that comes to mind staring at the photograph above is: This has got to be fake,” wrote Alexis C, Madrigal in The Atlantic, describing photographer Mark Holtzman’s shot of a B-2 stealth bomber flying over the Rose Bowl on New Years Day. What’s astonishing is that Holtzman photographed the airplane from above, “literally half-hanging out the window of his plane, his Canon 5D Mark III fitted with a 70–200mm lens, working the rudder pedals on his craft to put himself in position.”


2. Telling the Rohingya's Stories


Over half a million Rohingya men, women and children have fled their homes in Myanmar since August, pouring into Bangladesh and an uncertain future. Photographers are telling their stories: We recently spotlighted Agence France-Presse photographer Ed Jones’s series  on the toys Rohingya children have picked up along the journey; this week Feature Shoot talked with London-based photojournalist Adib Chowdhury about his project “Letters From Arakan,” which combines his images with hand-written letters from refugees telling of what he calls “individual stories of loss, anger and hope.”


3. Joel Meyerowitz Inside Cezanne's Studio


Joel Meyerowitz is known for his street photography, his portraits of redheads, his beautiful images of Cape Cod light, and his pictures of lower Manhattan after 9/11. “So it may come as something of a surprise to learn that Meyerowitz recently headed indoors, to chase the ghost of another master of color and light, the French post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne,” noted The New Yorker. The images in his new book Cézanne’s Objects  were taken inside the artist’s studio in Aix-en-Provence, France.


4. Balenciaga Opts for Kitschy Mall Photography


Like clunky geriatric sneakers and bold-shouldered blazers, kitschy mall photography is now an unlikely fashion trend, noted Vogue, which reported that Balenciaga hired Portland, Oregon-based photographer Robbie Augspurger, who specializes in reviving the art of throwback portraiture, to shoot its Men’s Spring 2018 campaign. Raised in the 1980s, Augspurger recalls sitting for family portraits during the heyday of cheesy mall photography, noted Wired  in a 2014 profile of the photographer previously featured at PPD.


5. Roberto Guerra Covers the Barcelona Soccer Team — The One In Ecuador


It's the most famous soccer team in the nation. But it's not the one in Spain. The Barcelona Sporting Club of Ecuador was founded some 90 years ago in Guayaquil, the country's largest city, by Catalans. And within Ecuador, its fortunes resonate mightily. In 2016, The New York Times profiled the team and turned to Los Angeles-based photographer Roberto "Bear" Guerra, who was formerly based in Quito, to provide photographs for the story. His images, we noted, have since earned him a spot among the winners of the Latin American Fotografia 6 competition.
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At top: From Joel Meyerowitz

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