Posts Published in April 2010

Clever Canon AE-1 Program Digital Mod

Ken Rockwell posted some links to photos of a Canon AE-1 Program Digital a couple days ago, and photo-enthusiasts around the web have been discussing whether or not it’s a real camera.

From the photos and videos showing the camera, it’s pretty clear that it’s fake, and that someone with a lot of time on their hands hollowed out a Canon AE-1 Program camera and lens, put in a PowerShot SD 870 IS, and got the thing working.

It’s pretty amazing that the AE-1 was modified so that all of the controls on the PowerShot are still accessible. Here’s a video posted to YouTube showing that the camera actually works:

There’s also a separate video on YouTube with a few more still photographs of the mod. Addition photographs posted by Rockwell are here, here, and here.

Anyone know how they were able to get an “AE-1 Program Digital” logo on the point-and-shoot?

(via Canon Rumors)

Short Film Shot on Canon DSLRs Fuses Fiction and Documentary

Filmmaker Kevin Shahinian of Pacific Pictures has a knack for unconventional wedding videos. In the past, he’s turned one wedding flick into a thriller, starring the newlyweds.

Key to his films is the idea that the stories are somehow universal; the plot extends beyond the individual love story that he is documenting. Though he is covering the personal stories of a single wedding party, he crafts a storyline that even strangers can appreciate.

For his most recent film, “City of Lakes,” he’s masterminded a fantastic conceptual short film by fusing live footage from a wedding and a scripted love story he created.

Though the film runs just under 30 minutes, it’s definitely worth a watch.

As an added plus, all the filming was done exclusively with Canon DSLRs, the 5D Mark II and the 7D, outfitted with L-series lenses.

The hybrid feature film was shot over the course of nine days, on location at Udaipur, India. Shahinian said that he was working with a skeleton crew that he usually works with to shoot live wedding events. Shahinian wrote on his Vimeo production page:

…it would become an unprecedented attempt to combine a fully scripted, produced film with Melissa & Samir’s real, live wedding into one, seamless film…“CITY OF LAKES” is as much a documentary about what it means to return to the birthplace of one’s ancestors, as it is an exploration of the Hindu faith, and the rituals of a Hindu marriage.

The resulting film is a colorful cultural portrait, a beautiful love story, and an engaging wedding video with a touch of Bollywood-style lightheartedness.

Expose Photo-Paper with a Computer Screen to Create Laptopograms

Laptopograms give “taking a screenshot” a new meaning. These are images made by pressing photosensitive paper to a computer screen, exposing the paper with an image on the screen for a period of time, and then developing the paper. The process is similar to making contact prints or photograms.

While any computer monitor would work, a laptop would probably be easiest, since you can do the exposing in the darkroom where you’ll be developing the paper. You’ll probably burn through quite a few sheets before figuring out how long you need to expose the paper for.

Aditya Mandayam coined the term, and uses a *nix shell script to turn the monitor on and then off after a certain amount of time:

sudo vbetool dpms on ; sleep 2.0; sudo vbetool dpms off

There you have it, a way to shoot “new-school” and print “old-school”.

As always, if you do try out this project, be sure to report back with your results!

Laptopogram (via Wired)

Every Painting in the MoMA in Two Minutes

Fine art now comes in concentrate. This video, created by graphic design student Chris Peck, shows every painting in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as they were on April 10, 2010.

If you’re wondering, the song in the background is Mad Rush by Philip Glass. The video and the music remind me of Noah Kalina’s everyday project.

(via Laughing Squid)

Padding Your Rear Lens Cap for Stacking

If you have multiple lenses and not enough space in your camera bag, carrying an extra lens might require you to stack a lens on top of another in a single lens compartment. The problem is that the bottom of one lens might rub against and scratch the lens below.

Derrick Story over at The Digital Story has a simple do-it-yourself solution to this problem: a Rear Lens Cap Pad. Cutting out a piece of adhesive, padded material and attaching it to the rear lens cap allowed him to rest his 50mm lens on top of a 70-200mm lying horizontally below.

If you’re working with smaller primes, another tip is to attach the rear lens caps of two lenses together, allowing you to securely transport two lenses together. The downside of this method is that your lenses won’t be able to travel separately.

Do you have your own tips or tricks for saving space when hauling your glass around?

Rear Lens Cap Pad for Stacking in Camera Bag (via Wired)

Image credit: Photograph by Derrick Story

Sneak Peek at Lens Correction Feature in Lightroom and Camera Raw

Tom Hogarty, the Lightroom product manager over at Adobe, has posted a sneak peek at the automatic lens correction technology that will be included in Lightroom 3 and Adobe Camera Raw 6 (included in CS5).

Using profiles for lenses that are either included or added by the user, the feature can automatically correct the distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting characteristics of particular lenses, helping you to “normalize” how your work looks across your various lenses.

John Ncak, the Photoshop product manager, writes on his blog:

With the introduction of killer new noise reduction, demosaicing algorithms, and sharpening plus sophisticated lens correction, the Lightroom/Camera Raw duo put even more distance between themselves and the competition, and I’d expect them to keep mopping the floor with Aperture among pro photographers.

As you can see from this quote and from recent events, Adobe and Apple absolutely love each other.

Here’s a pretty interesting sneak peek video showing you the lens correction technology in action:

News Wire Allegedly Steals Iconic Haiti Photo, Then Sues Photographer

Photojournalist Daniel Morel shot an iconic image of a shocked woman looking out from the rubble moments after last January’s earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti. Within an hour, Morel jumped on Twitter to share 13 high resolution images he had uploaded on Twitpic. By the next day, the photo of the woman was picked up by Agence France Presse (AFP) and Getty Images, was run on the cover of several publications and websites.

But Morel said he never authorized the news wires to distribute his images. In fact, several of his images were credited to another person, Lisandro Suero of the Dominican Republic, who reportedly has no photographic background. However, Suero tweeted Morel’s images without the photographer’s permission, and claimed copyright as his own:

And so began a legal storm.

Now Morel is being sued by AFP after he sent them cease and desist letters that the agency calls an “antagonistic assertion of rights.”

According to court documents, AFP claims that they did not infringe on Morel’s copyright and is suing Morel for “commercial disparagement,” as well as “demanding exorbitant payment.” AFP says that Twitter’s Terms of Service allowed for them to use, copy and distribute the image, and that Morel did not specify limits on how the photo should be credited.

Morel responded, saying that he was not familiar with Twitter’s TOS, and maintains that the images were stolen from his account without his permission, distributed and sold by the agency, which then “induced” other publications to violate Morel’s copyright. In a counterclaim to the agency’s complaint, Morel’s lawyer, Barbara Hoffman wrote:

To the extent that under the circumstances a specific intent in posting the images on Twitter can be attributed to Mr. Morel given the circumstances, … he posted his images online and advertised them on Twitter in the hopes that his images would span the globe to inform the world of the disaster, and that he would also receive compensation and credit as a professional photographer for breaking news of the earthquake before the news and wire services.

Some publications, including The Wall Street Journal, NBC, and the Associated Press contacted Morel to exchange compensation for his permission to publish. Others did not.

In order to enforce his copyright, Morel sent several cease and desist notices to several publications.

It seems that the case really boils down to the semantics of the Twitter TOS.

What might be worth noting is that the court documents from AFP frequently cite Twitter’s TOS, which mostly regards the text in Tweets, and does not extend to content linked to (otherwise, entire sites’ content might be considered royalty-free). Morel uploaded on TwitPic, which has a separate Terms, and is an entirely separate entity from Twitter.

Media Nation blogger Dan Kennedy posted PDFs of AFP’s complaint against Morel and Morel’s answer.

Whatever the verdict, this suit may change the manner in which photographers and journalists transmit their data via social media, even in difficult emergency situations like post-quake Haiti.

Do you have legal insight, experience with copyright infringement, or any thoughts about social media and the TOS?

“Battlefield” Pinhole Camera Shoots with Three Rolls of Film

Steven Monteau is a French photographer who creates wild do-it-yourself cameras, including “the Jaw” and “the Guillotine”. His latest creation, the Battlefield pinhole camera, uses 3 rolls of 35mm film and exposes them simultaneously to capture unique looking images.

Here’s an example of what the Battlefield camera can do. It’s a photograph taken by Monteau titled “Meriadeck under attack !!!”:

The best part is, you can make one of these things yourself! The complete do-it-yourself tutorial for this extensive project is posted over at, but be warned: the project likely requires countless hours, loads of patience, and existing skill with your hands.

If you do end up making one of these bad boys, don’t forget to leave a comment sharing your resulting photographs!

Image credits: Photographs by Steven Monteau

Cookbook of Recipes by Famous Photogs

The graduating class of the BA photography program at the University College Falmouth needed to raise money for their end of the year show, so they decided to make and sell a cookbook. What’s neat is that each of the recipes was submitted by a famous contemporary photographer.

The resulting full color 100-page book is titled “Say Cheese?“, and features recipes from such notable photographers as Elina Brotherus, Richard Misrach, Alec Soth, Rineke Dijkstra, Tierney Gearon, Joachim Schmidt, Martin Parr, and Susan Derges.

If ordering from within the UK, the price is £9.95 (~$15) with shipping and handling included, and if you’re outside, the price is £14.95 (~$23).

Given how low the price is, this might make a great photography gift or collectible item. Imagine if we had a cookbook with recipes from famous historical photographers!

Say Cheese? (via PDNPulse)

Canon Busts Out Jackie Chan Edition DSLR for the Chinese Market

Okay, so Polaroid partnered with Lady Gaga, and Sony has teamed up with Taylor Swift. How about Canon? Well, they’ve just gone a step further by releasing a Jackie Chan-branded version of the Canon Rebel T2i (AKA 550D).

The “EOS 550D Jackie Chan Eye of Dragon” special edition kit comes with an EF-S 18-135mm lens, camera case, strap, and special photo album. Everything except the lens is branded with Jackie’s logo. Only 2010 of these kits will be made, and each costs a whopping ¥10,000, or roughly $1465.

Any guesses as to which random celebrity Nikon is planning to team up with?

(via Engadget)