Posts Published in April 2010

Photoshopped Campaign Banner Sparks Controversy

A banner on Andrew Romanoff’s Senate campaign website provoked a bit of an outrage from a minority group when people realized that it was digitally manipulated.

The original photo shows Romanoff, the Democratic candidate from Colorado, at a campaign kickoff.

The photo for the banner was tinted blue, and then had several people from other images spliced into it, presumably in order to make Romanoff look like he was surrounded by more followers. Some of the added people include an African American woman to the right of Romanoff, as well as a Latino American man towards the center of the banner. The photo changes caused some minorities to believe Romanoff was trying to appear like his supporters were more diverse.

The Photoshopped African American woman, Andrea Mosby, told reporters that she has no problem with the photo-tweak, since she supports Romanoff and was at the same rally.

Others disagree on principle. According to the Denver Post, Colorado minority leaders wrote to Romanoff’s campaign, expressing that they were “shocked, disturbed and outraged” that the campaign felt the need to manipulate an image to appear like he had more minority supporters. Some 25 people signed the letter that called the candidate’s integrity into question, saying:

“We are NOT random people to be moved around for aesthetic reasons…We are NOT political pawns to be used when convenient nor do we accept being manipulated and repositioned when it serves one’s political motives…The Photoshopping in of minorities is not acceptable and falls far short of the integrity we expect of candidates running for the US Senate.”

Romanoff’s campaign said that the banner was intended as a photo collage or montage of the event, designed by a volunteer to reflect the overall attendance at the campaign event.

Romanoff later removed the image from the site and issued an apology:

This decision and a description of it have caused offense. I regret that and have removed the montage from our website. I take offense at any suggestion that our campaign attempted to deceive anyone. That’s outrageous and false. I bring a lifetime of commitment to equality and opportunity, and I reject these attacks on my character. I am very proud of the diverse support we’ve already received and continue to earn every day.

(via Denver Post)

“So Long & Farewell” by Neville Black Wins Adorama iPhone Contest

Adorama announced today that “So Long & Farewell” by Neville Black was picked as the grand prize winner of the first annual iPhone Photo Contest, which comes with a $1,000 gift certificate as the prize.

Black tells us,

I’m a photographer based in Ottawa Ontario Canada (moved from Vancouver BC recently) and I’m still in awe at some of the architecture in the capital. I’ve shot most of it all before with my SLR but when I picked up the iPhone 3Gs to add to my camera collection, it was like rediscovering photography. The iPhone is in a world of its own, its amazing. I created this photo with TiltShift, DXP (blurry shampoo bottles made the sky) and my favorite app I pretty much use for all my shots, Lo-Mob.

The photograph was selected from more than 17,000 submissions by the team of seven judges.

To see the other photographs picked by the judges, check out the list of prize winners. Congrats Neville!

Image credit: Photograph by Neville Black and used with permission

Nikon Chief Believes Digital Camera Market Nearly Saturated

Nikon’s new president Makoto Kimura believes that the explosive growth of the digital camera market is ending, and that the market is near its saturation point.

Kimura was previously the head of Nikon’s imaging business and instrumental in leading the company from its film photography business to the new world of digital.

At a news conference in Tokyo today, Kimura stated,

Nikon’s imaging business has been expanding quite steadily over the past 10 years. ‘But can it enjoy the same stable growth for the next 10 years? The answer is no,’ Growth for existing digital camera products will inevitably slow and they are set to move into a phase of saturation. I intend to keep dialogue open for everyone to decide what we should do to achieve further growth despite this trend.

Digital photography exploded between 2000 and 2010, with compact cameras being widely adopted and DSLRs becoming more and more accessible to ordinary consumers. Kimura believes that camera companies will now need to look for new directions to grow besides introducing digital cameras to new users.

What do you think will characterize this next decade in digital photography?

The Making of a Canon 500mm f/4L Lens

Here’s an interesting behind the scenes video that shows the creation of a Canon 500mm f/4.0L IS lens. It’s a neat look at the guts of glass, and an opportunity to see how exactly the various components of a lens are created and put together.

You get to see the entire process, starting with raw materials and ending with the finished, $6,000 lens.

Seeing how fine-tuned many of the steps in the process have to be, it’s no wonder these lenses can end up costing as much as a car.

(via Nerd Vibe)

4G iPhone Boasts Front Camera and Flash

The big news in the tech/gadget world is that an Apple iPhone 4G prototype was found lost in a Redwood City, California bar, disguised in a plastic case to look exactly like an iPhone 3Gs.

It found its way to gadget blog Gizmodo, who then proceeded to photograph it and disassemble it. Their conclusion? It’s real.

What’s neat is that Apple has introduced quite a few new photography features in the yet-to-be-announced iPhone. It boasts a front-facing camera, an improved rear facing camera with a larger lens, and a built in flash on the back of the phone.

The camera also has a larger sensor, and new physical volume buttons that suggest the camera can be controlled with a physical shutter button. It’s pretty clear Apple realizes that the iPhone has replaced compact cameras for many people, and is therefore delivering features people expect in a camera for casual use.

For more on the non-photography related developments, go read the post on Gizmodo.

What do you think of these new features?

Stabilize Your Camera with Some PVC Pipe

When Instructables member bertus52x11 had his cast removed after breaking his arm, he found that his arm was too weak to handle his DSLR camera. Realizing that those less fortunate might have similar problems with handling heavy equipment, he created a do-it-yourself camera support using PVC pipe that transfers the weight of your camera to your chest.

In addition to allowing people to more easily handle heavy cameras, the chest support also acts as a stabilizer, reducing camera shake in situations where you don’t have a tripod. He writes,

This device can help people with a weak arm or hand, but it can be helpful to people with Parkinson to stabilise the camera. Naturally it can be used for stabilising pocket cameras as well. You can then slim down the design by using smaller (copper) tubing. Once you have chosen for copper, a Steampunk design is never far away. I would like to see that!

If you’re interested in creating such a support for yourself or someone you know, check out the easy-to-follow tutorial on Instructables:

Supporting a dSLR camera on your chest (via Lifehacker)

Picsean Similar to Pictory, Except with Cash Prizes for Chosen Photos

Picsean is a new travel magazine that resembles Laura Brunow Miner‘s Pictory. Photographers submit their best photographs and stories to themes, and the best submissions are selected and featured.

However, unlike Pictory, Picsean will publish a magazine separate from the website featuring the work, and pays photographers based on how many pages the work spans in the magazine at the rate of $100 per page.

While there haven’t been any magazines released yet, there’s a number of existing themes that are currently accepting submissions.

Doxie Scans Photo Prints Directly to Flickr

Doxie is a portable, USB-powered scanner for scanning things on the go. It scans documents and photographs at 600dpi in JPEG or PNG, and has the ability to scan directly to the cloud, sending your files to a large number of web apps. What’s neat is that in addition to documents, photographers can use it to easily scan and then share their prints online:

Scan and share your photos in brilliant color. Doxie automatically straightens and crops your paper photos, then drops them right into iPhoto, Picasa, or Lightroom – just like a digital camera. Put in your favorite photos – Doxie keeps up with fast, stunningly crisp scanning. And Doxie can post your photos directly to Flickr and Picnik, for instant sharing and easy editing.

Weighing in at about half a pound, it’s light enough to be carried around with your laptop if scanning is something you need to do often. Doxie costs $129, and can be ordered directly from the official website.

(via Wired)

Octopus Steals Man’s Point-and-Shoot

Octopuses are known to be the most intelligent invertebrate, and this clever guy also seems to have an eye for pricey camera gear and a playful sense of humor.

Diver Victor Huang was exploring off the coast of Wellington, New Zealand, when he happened upon the octopus. Like something out of a horror movie, a tentacled arm reached out and seized his own arm, and then carried off his bright blue Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2. The camera was still recording video in 720p.

Huang wrote in his YouTube description:

While trying to get video of a wild octopus, it suddenly dashed towards me and rips my shiny new camera from out of my hands, then swims off, all while the camera is recording! he swam away very quickly like a naughty shoplifter. after a 5 minute chase, I placed my speargun underneath him and he quickly and curiously grabbed hold of the gun as well, giving me enough time to reach in and grab the camera from out of his mouth. I didn’t feel threatened at all during the whole ordeal. he seemed to be fixated on the shiny metallic blue digital camera. the only confusing behavior was how he dashed off with it like a thief…

Huang said the “cheeky” octopus finally returned his camera, albeit reluctantly.


Touching Strangers by Richard Renaldi

Richard Renaldi has an interesting approach to street photography: he asks complete strangers to touch one another. The resulting interactions are documented in his project Touching Strangers.

Renaldi tells us,

I am a New York city based photographer who began a life long relationship with photography back in high school in 1984. I few years ago I became interested in the dynamics of group portraiture and this led me to the project you see here. The premise of this work is simple: I meet two or more people on the street who are strangers to each other, and to me. I ask them if they will pose for a photograph together with the stipulation that they must touch each other in some manner. Frequently, I instruct or coach the subjects how to touch. Just as often, I let their tentative physical exploration play out before my camera with no interference. Though these situations involve orchestrated collaborations between subject and photographer, the emotions captured are both genuine and honest. Touching Strangers encourages viewers to think about how we relate physically to one another, and to entertain the possibility that there is unlimited potential for new relationships with almost everybody passing by.

To see more of Renaldi’s work, check out his website.

(via Photojojo)

Image credits: Photographs by Richard Renaldi and used with permission