Posts Published in November 2009

Rethinking the Design of DSLR Cameras

Every few generations, the design of camera bodies change with shifts in technology. From the early days of plate and large format cameras, through rangefinder and single lens reflex cameras, new camera designs regularly spring forth and some go on to become mainstream. One might therefore ask, “what’s next?”


Designer Erin Fong has an interesting answer: the Nova DSLR camera.


This conceptual design is born out of a realization that photographers use cameras in all sorts of different angles and positions, and aims to address the most common of these uses. This includes self portraits, shots above crowds, stabilizing with two hands, etc…


I can imagine there being some difficulty when being used with large and heavy lenses, and it’s not very clear how the camera would be used with a tripod. However, it’s definitely a very interesting idea and cool concept.

What do you think of this design?

Nova DSLR Camera (via @AmazingPics)

Image credits: Erin Fong

Awesome Photo Prank at the Louvre

Paris Photo is an annual international photography fair held at the Louvre, with attendance in the tens of thousands. At Paris Photo 2009 this year, photography Fabien Breuvart decided to make things a little more interesting.

Enlisting the help of numerous friends, Breuvart dumped trash bags filled with thousands of vintage photographs into a giant heap at the entrance of the fair, offering them to the fair’s visitors for free.


Attendees were thus torn between viewing the “works of art” inside the fair and getting on their hands and knees to sift through the mass of photographs lying before them.


It became quite a chaotic scene, and an interesting dichotomy. Priceless photographs versus photographs with no price. Strolling and quiet viewing versus crawling and hoarding. Breuvart also filmed a documentation of what happened:

To find out more about this, you can visit its official website or check out photographs of the event.

(via lensculture)

Image credits: Still images are from screen captures of the YouTube video.

The Black Friday Giveaway Winners


Thanks to everyone who participated in our giveaway on black friday. In response to the question “what are you most thankful for?”, we received 80 comments and 33 tweets for 113 entries total.

Here are the randomly selected winners:

The winner of a Trade Secret Card Pack:

#108: headedforhades (@headedforhades)

I’m thankful for Petapixel’s tweets! ;o)

The three winners of Digital Photography School‘s new book The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography:

#2: Corey Russell (@MeatJacket)

I’m pretty thankful for living in one of the nicest parts of Canada , wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else.

#107: thedudeabides67 (@thedudeabides67)

I am thankful for the rich colours of life.

#109: matiassingers (@matiassingers):

I am thankful for @punkpolkadots, @ashwinpande and all other friends who make the next day worth looking forward to

Congratulations! Please contact [email protected] to claim your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who participated. We have some pretty massive giveaways lined up, so keep your eyes peeled!

Image credit: Giraffe kindergarten by Focx.

Black Friday Giveaway! Yay!

Update: This giveaway is now over. The winners were randomly selected and posted here.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving (for those of you in the US). Today’s black friday, and we’ve decide to do a giveaway with some neat prizes! Here they are:

1 x Trade Secret Card pack


Trade Secret Cards feature photographs by top professional photographs on the front side, and a description and diagram of how the photograph was taken on the back side.

One winner will receive both the Chase Jarvis and Strobist card sets with cases, worth $45.90. It will be shipped to you free of charge regardless of where you live in the world.

3 x The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography


This is the ebook that was just released by Digital Photography School. The main 78 pages teach you all the secrets of portraiture, while the remaining bonus 17 pages feature interviews with great portrait photographers. The book costs $19.95, but is currently discounted to $14.95 if you order before December 1st, 2009.

Easy as Pumpkin Pie

This giveaway will have 4 different winners selected randomly using All you have to do to enter this contest is to answer the following question:

What are you most thankful for?

There are two super easy ways to send your answer to us. Feel free to use both methods for two entries in the contest!

  1. Post your answer as a comment on this post
  2. Tweet your response on Twitter, and include the following link to this post anywhere in the tweet:

    As long as the link appears anywhere in the tweet, our elves will find it and you will be entered in this giveaway.

The deadline for this giveaway is in two days, on Sunday, November 29th, 2009. We’ll be announcing the 4 winners in a post on Sunday evening.

Good luck, and happy black friday!

Happy Turkey Day! 5 Portraits of our Feathered Friends

We wanted to take a photo family moment to honor our favorite (though not prettiest) feathered friends this Thanksgiving. Turkey Day wouldn’t be the same without them, after all!

4101184201_0f2ff96480Galewood Farms Thanksgiving Turkey by carl.lacey2

This fine fellow is all classed up with soft directional light and a clean black background. How regal!

2436576444_9cb6e93700Woodstock Animal Sanctuary 6a by twinxamot

Wow, this is a unique shot. It’s up close and personal.

2436577490_0e5f7dd0b2Woodstock Animal Sanctuary 43 by twinxamot

Another great shot by twinxamot, a macro shot of the bird’s feathers.

3618930897_c33dfe4ff8Close encounters by ibm4381

Here’s a fantastic profile portrait of a wild turkey, with a great background contrast.

2449425839_ffbede4515Turkey struts away by tibchris

And that’s all for now! Have a good holiday for those of you in the States.

Check out more awesome turkey photos:

McDonald’s Viral Time Lapse Coffee Ad

Here’s an interesting advertisement created for McDonald’s free coffee promotion that’s running from November 16-29 in Canada. It was shot using three Canon 5D Mark II cameras and took 660 liters (~175 gallons) of coffee.

This reminded me of the Mona Lisa recreation done for the The Rocks Aroma Festival in Sydney, Australia. That display took 3,604 cups (~225 gallons) of coffee, and 564 pints of milk.


Here’s a stop-motion video of the Mona Lisa display’s “making-of”:

What’s with using coffee for art these days?

Coffee Art: It’s Causing Quite A Stir (via planet5d)

This is the second time-lapse video we’ve posted on this week. Sorry for the onslaught of time-lapse videos!

Image credit: Aroma festival by Halans

11 Munny Makers’ Photos We Love

Toymaker Kid Robot has a line of DIY toys called MUNNYs. They’re pretty much cute humanoid-looking blobs that can be drawn, painted, and customized.

There are a couple of fun Flickr groups dedicated to these decorated darlings. We found some gems that deserve some love and attention–photographing a MUNNY can get a little funny. It’s like photographing artwork, a product, and an environmental portrait, all in one!

Here are some of our faves:

CMYKCMYK Munny Series by Connor Keller |

A clever nod to color modes, this CMYK Munny is simple but vibrantly sweet.

gorilla munnyGorilla Munny by Aiden O’Sullivan

Flickr photog Aiden O’Sullivan captured this fierce Gorilla Munny in his natural environment.

cavalerajpgMunny Calavera by Kitt Walker

We’ve never seen such a suave skeleton. This Munny was inspired by the Grim Fandango PC game character, Munny Calavera.

3255974082_758e112509Custom “Brain” Mini Munny by Aidan O’Sullivan

Munny AND brains, you say? This Munny is a little creepy, and brings to mind (haha) Syler from Heroes. Or Hannibal Lecter. In either case, weird, but kind of rad.

3907705445_fcefa7e8b0Munnys by benwatts

A Tron Munny! With better special effects than the early 1980s!

3907711443_8c1752a527Munnys by benwatts

Here’s another Munny by Flickr Munny maker benwatts. It’s reminiscent of the Borg from Star Trek, but a bit more organic. It’s almost as if he raided both my grandma’s couches for that fabric. We like how he has a Minolta lens as an eye. He must have a photographic memory.

3319391839_d4f7178897TK-22 Makes a New Friend by chanchan222

Domo-kun Munny and his pal meet Star Wars — it’s like a collision of fandom imagination.

3118666987_0a17a35285Munny by Derek Purdy

This Munny looks like a guy who can take care of himself. Though he’s only adorned with a classy fedora, this Munny photo has a film noir ambiance.

4097120923_a13c121f64week_04_03 by O*GE InteractiveGallery – Gaston

Here’s a monster Munny  that looks like the abominable snowman, but less abominable. I mean, look at that wittle paws and those itty bitty teeth!

rorschach munnyMU001 by De Tuesday

This Rorschach Munny is based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel, Watchmen. While he’s not the cutest of the bunch, he definitely captures the raw, nihilistic spirit of the character!

2618663998_2eced6974cBlu Spy Munny by Dan Diemer

Based off the video game, Team Fortress 2, this spy Munny is dressed to kill.

To see more, check out these Munny Flickr pools:

Do you have a favorite Munny picture? Send us a link!

Interview with Aaron Johnson of What The Duck

Aaron Johnson is the cartoonist behind What The Duck.


PetaPixel: Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?

Aaron Johnson: I’m the creator of the syndicated comic strip, What the Duck.

PP: What is What The Duck?

AJ: What the Duck is a photo-centric comic that I started, on a whim, in July of 2006. It originated as a joke and was meant to be a “blog-filler” for my band’s web site, at the time. What began as a five day joke quickly evolved into something much bigger. Three plus years later, the strip is now featured in magazines and newspapers internationally.


PP: Do you ever feel constrained by the fact that your strip is “photo-centric”?

AJ: Although the strip is photo-centric in nature, the comic is really about the lives and trials of creative professionals. That provides a lot of shared experiences, and material, and represents a voice that isn’t always heard.

PP: How widely is your strip syndicated?

AJ: The strip is featured in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada, and Malaysia. For three years the comic has been a regular read in magazines in the UK, Canada, South Africa, and the States. Obviously, it largest and broadest audience is on the web.


PP: How many people are involved in producing What The Duck? Is it just you?

AJ: Just me.

PP: What is your own background in photography?

AJ: My interest in photography both started and ended at an early age. I saved a long time to buy my first 110 camera not realizing the money pit of film, processing, batteries, more film, that would follow. So I laid low for 18 years and got back in the game when digital was more standard and around the time my son was born.

I majored in motion picture film (concentration in animation) and I’ve had a career that works closely to commercial advertising, but I am by no means a photographer. There are only so many hours in the day.


PP: Do you work full-time on What The Duck?

AJ: The strip has become a second career. I love my “day job” and have no interest in giving that up.

PP: What do you do for a living?

AJ: By day I’m an animator and graphic artist.


PP: How often do you draw new strips? How much time does it take?

AJ: Being a daily strip, I try to keep it on a daily schedule. It’s hard to determine how much time any particular strip takes because the process is often drawn out and not all done in one sitting. Most of the time is spent whittling down an idea to its most concise and direct form.

PP: I noticed you sell What The Duck merchandise. What are your best selling items?

AJ: Plush toys, books, and shirts like “Photoshop: Helping the Ugly Since 1988″ are always popular.


PP: What is your favorite kind of photography?

AJ: I’m a sucker for really great photojournalism.

PP: What kind of camera do you shoot with?

AJ: I’ve acquired an arsenal of pro gear for the soul purpose of taking pictures of my kids. However I think I’m going to gaffer’s tape all the logos until I get my endorsement deal : )


PP: What are your favorite comic strips?

AJ: The one and only strip I read growing up was Bloom County. It had an huge impact on me. As a working cartoonist, there not enough time to follow a lot of strips and there’s always that risk of subconsciously ripping off someone else’s gag.

PP: What advice do you have for someone starting their own comic?

AJ: Make the kind of comic strip that YOU would like to read (and see). Make the kind of comic strip that if no one else read it, you’d still love to make it.


PP: Is there anything you wish you had done differently early on?

AJ: I should have made the WTD plush toys earlier. They look great and fans have really responded to them.

PP: How do you make What the Duck plush toys?

AJ: I worked closely with a plush toy manufacture on the initial design. At any given time, I usually have a few hundred plush ducks, in the house, ready to go.


PP: Do you animate and narrate the animated comic strips posted to your YouTube channel?

AJ: The animated strips are entirely a one man show. Animation was my first love so they’re fun to make, when time permits.

PP: Do you always carry around a notebook to write ideas that pop into your head?

AJ: I always carry a digital recorder with me. Sometimes I use it.


PP: At any given time, how many ideas do you have queued and ready to be drawn?

AJ: I’m usually two months ahead of schedule.

PP: What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of running What the Duck?

AJ: Most enjoyable: Hearing from fans.

Least enjoyable: Dealing with web site technical issues.


PP: Anything else you’d like to say to PetaPixel readers?

AJ: Thank you for supporting the strip and for taking the time to “listen” to me babble.

Time Lapse Video of a Pearl Jam Concert

I’m a sucker for time-lapse videos, especially ones that are edited well. This following video of a Pearl Jam concert last month took a whopping 10,000 photographs to make. One photograph was taken every six seconds between 9:09AM and 11:29PM (Wowzers!).

It’s almost like a fast-forwarded behind-the-scenes video.

Time Lapse of Pearl Jam performing at Austin City Limits TV Taping (via donewaiting)

The Chilling Effects of the Fashion World

AORTA shot a series of photographs for 125 magazine telling the story of a young lady returning home from working as a fashion model for a year. The images are chilling and beautiful at the same time:






I love how these images have a surreal quality to them. For the rest of the images in the series you can either check out their portfolio, or visit the project page oh Behance: