Every photographer at some point deals with copyright infringement. It is an unpleasant reality of putting your images on the web. That said, it will never cease to surprise me as I scan through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to find one of my images staring back at me with no clue how it got there.
It happened today. Scanning my social media I came across this image of Lionel Lepine, an amazing AFCN activist and friend, headlining an article on Neil Young’s upcoming benefit tour on the CBC News site. The CBC is a respected outlet in Canada and I was especially surprised to see that they had credited the image to one ‘Richard van Waarden’.
After allowing myself sufficient time to process the annoyance, it was a question of finding a solution. This time it was easy. I called another photographer credited in the article and got the email of the producer. I sent an email highlighting my concerns and my fee and within minutes, yes minutes, the producer was on the phone. They apologized, admitted they had screwed up, changed the credit immediately and asked for an invoice.
It is never pleasant to have to deal with copyright infringement, either from a photographer side or from a producer side. However in my experience if dealt with intelligently a solution can usually be found that is acceptable to both parties. See the updated article here.
Over 300 people gathered today to rally in support of action on climate change, social justice and environmental justice at Oka, Quebec in Canada. The rally was part of a national day of action organized by a group of organizations in Canada called Defend Our Climate. The purpose of the rallies was to draw attention to the worsening climate situation and the increased fossil fuel activity in Canada.
It was a beautiful day to be out photographing and capturing these moments.
15 Years ago the spark of photography was awakened in my eye by a small experimental program in Banff, Alberta. At the time, well-known photographer, Phil Borges, was presenting an exhibit at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies called Faces of Tibet. The Whyte Museum decided to run a small program with several High School students to compliment Borges’ exhibit and they called it Faces of the Bow Valley.
At the time I was already displaying an interest in photography and I was selected for this program. The 3 – 4 months of Black and White photography, darkroom work and ensuing exhibit stuck with me and I still credit that course with helping to get me on my way as a photographer today.
Image: Shizuka Shiono
The program was a great success. It continued the next year as Through the Lens and has been running with high school students from the Bow Valley and Morley for 15 years. This year, the Whyte Museum has put on a retrospective exhibit of the work and produced an amazing book.
I was invited along with 4 other photographers to present new work for the current exhibit. I selected images from my Force series on wind energy and they are on display at the Whyte now.
The opening in February in Banff, Alberta was packed and it seemed like the whole community showed up. There were over 600 people at the opening and I had to return a couple of days later just to see the exhibit.
Craig Richards and the team at the Whyte Museum have done a wonderful job. Not only have they helped build a photographic history of life in the Bow Valley, but more importantly, provided many young people with an opportunity to use photography as a creative outlet.
The following article was published in the September 2011 issue of PhotoED magazine. A leading photography education magazine based in Canada. It is an interview about my work in the climate change and environmental realms of photography.
I have teamed up with Canadian author Jeff Gailus for his Tar Sands talk, Little Black Lies, tomorrow night in Calgary, Canada. During Jeff’s talk my photographs from the Tar Sands will be playing in the background.
If you are in Calgary tomorrow, join Jeff Gailus as he explores the intersection of two of the most salient features of the early twenty-first century: the explosion of tar sands development and the ubiquity of hogwash. The two, he posits, are companions of sorts, each engaged in a symbiotic dance that allows them both to thrive—to the detriment of our moral and social well being.
Jeff is the author of the Grizzly Manifesto and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers. I am very happy to join forces with him as he exposes the ridiculous ‘ethical oil’ argument put forward by the government. Join him tomorrow at the Calgary Chapter of The Council of Canadians, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 7, Unitarian Church – 1703 1st St. N.W.
The project I am working on with Dutch/Nepali artist Shiva Rimal, Climate Oxide, was recently mentioned in Weesper Nieuws (a local dutch newspaper). This project is a focus on climate change and identity in Nepal, Canada and the Netherlands. Marieke van Veen wrote a beautiful story on Climate Oxide & Shiva Rimal in a page long interview. This interview is in Dutch,for those interested, click on the image below or click here to go to the pdf file to read the full story.
Nepali/Dutch artist Shiva Rimal and I are off to work on our collaborative art project Climate Oxide. It is a documentation of climate change impacts around the world using photography, steel and rust. We will visit various climate adaptation projects, trek in the Himalayas and take part in the Moving Planet action in Kathmandu on September 24.
About the Project
Robert van Waarden and Shiva Rimal create items of visual art using the mediums of photography, steel, and rust. Their current project, Climate Oxide, uses this art form to symbolize how climate change is impacting our world. Reflecting on their heritage, Nepali and Canadian born artists with Dutch nationality, they will personalize the climate issue to the viewer by visualizing the impacts on their individual environments.
The combination of this aesthetic art form and story is unique and is interesting for a wide audience. Publications and galleries/outlets are invited to contact the artists for more information and to explore opportunities to display the resulting body of work.
Stay tuned for more. I will return in the first week of October.
I come from Prince Edward Island, a tiny island on the East Coast of Canada. I have been lucky to live all over Canada and now base myself in the Netherlands, but, I am still proud to call myself an Islander. Thus, I was very excited when the architect for a new New York restaurant called requesting to license two large Panorama prints from PEI. Christine Restaino from CR + DZ Architects had found my images online while searching for PEI Panoramas. We spent the next few weeks emailing back and forth, confirming images sizes, shipping proofs to New York and operating under a tight deadline for the restaurant opening.
Chrisine and her clients, Bobby and Alex Shapiro from FLEX Mussels, settled on two images that were created one cloudy and windy day near Cavendish. The above images of the Covehead lighthouse truly capture the spirit of Prince Edward Island, right down to the lobster trap on the beach. Now, these images are featured at the new Flex Mussels Restaurant (at 154 West 13th Street). The first (blue) is a HUGE 16 foot print done in a lightbox style (printed by Duggal). By all accounts, absolutely beautiful and you should check it out. (That is 5.33 meters for those of us in the 21st century.)
The restaurant opens this Wednesday, so, next time you are hungry in New York, stop by for some Island fare and enjoy the view.
In September of 2008 I joined the British Council of Canada as their photographer on the Cape Farewell Expedition 2008. Our goal was to take an international group of 20+ students into the Arctic to teach them about Climate Change and how to use Art to communicate the message effectively.
“The expedition sailed around the southern tip of Greenland to Iqaluit on Canada’s Baffin Island. As ambassadors of their schools and communities, the student voyagers observed and interpreted the effects of climate change in the Arctic. What they saw and experienced inspired them, their fellow students and communities to seek social and technological solutions to this huge global problem.” British Council Website
The images have been exhibited in a variety of countries world wide, including the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and 9 other provincial governments, the Canadian Embassy in Trafalgar Square, the British Embassy in Washington, in Cairo, Mexico, India, the list goes on. They have also been published in CNN, Canadian Geographic and numerous publications and outlets across the globe. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.