Posts Published in July 2011

Why You Should Shoot Photos in RAW

Shooting in JPG mode is convenient because you instantly have a file you can throw onto the Internet, but if you’re serious about photography, you might want to think about shooting in RAW if you aren’t already. The reason is that only shooting JPG is the equivalent of letting the camera make a print for you and then tossing the negative — something film photographers would never do. Here’s a simple diagram by Haje Jan Kamps and Reddit user jannne to help you understand the differences.

Shooting a Big-Budget Hollywood Film with Canon DSLR Gear

Filmmaker Philip Bloom recently helped Lucasfilm shoot parts of their upcoming film Red Tails. The behind-the-scenes video above gives an interesting glimpse into what it looks like when pretty ordinary DSLR gear meets the big budget world of Hollywood filmmaking. The cameras are hooked up to some pretty serious equipment.

You can check out a trailer for the movie here — Blooms says that a number of his shots can be seen in it, but is keeping mum about which ones.

Jowling: Photos of Violently Shaking Heads at Fast Shutter Speeds

Yesterday we shared some fun portraits of dogs taken while they shook of water, but you can take similar portraits of people too. It’s called “jowling”, and is far less adorable. Here how Urban Dictionary defines “jowling”:

The violent shaking of one’s head side-to-side in order to obtain a photograph of one’s face distorted from the intense side-to-side motion.

One useful thing you can do with this technique is to simulate a heavy punch to the face.
Read more…

Instagram Founder Kevin Systrom on Revolutionizing Photo Sharing

FastCompany paid a visit to the Instagram offices in San Francisco recently to chat with founder Kevin Systrom:

CEO Kevin Systrom and the Instagram team are exactly what you picture when thinking of scrappy startup entrepreneurs: four guys in a room. Literally, there are only four people at Instagram. And they’re working in a corner of a shared tech office in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood.

Some interesting facts mentioned in the interview: the service is growing at a rate of 1.3-1.4 million users per month, they’re planning an Android version, they haven’t spent a dime on marketing, and the current app is only the “tip of the iceberg” in their plans to change how we take and share photos.

Kevin Systrom Says Instagram Is More Than Just A Pretty Picture [FastCompany]

US Gov Working on Geotagging Photos Using Only the Background

Facial recognition technology has become ubiquitous in recent years, being found in everything from the latest compact camera to websites like Facebook. The same may soon be said about location recognition. Through a new project called “Finder“, the US government military research division IARPA is looking into how to quickly and automatically identify where a photograph was taken without any geotag data. The goal is to use only the identifying features found in the background of scenes to determine the location — kinda like facial recognition except for landscapes.

(via Wired via PopPhoto)


Image credit: 090920-A-2794B-004 by isafmedia

World’s First Stop-Motion Animation Done with Fake Fingernails

It’s not a microscope stop-motion animation, but this stop-motion ad Kia created for its 2012 Picanto is pretty incredible. Over the course of 25 days and nights, they used 1200 bottles of nail polish to paint 900 individual fake fingernails. Each nail took a whopping 2 hours to paint.

To get something to go viral these days you need to go big, like spend six-months building a Rube Goldberg machine or assemble 250 DSLRs and flashes into an “LED” display.

(via Laughing Squid)

MIOPS: Smartphone Controllable High Speed Camera Trigger

MIOPS is a new smartphone-controlled camera trigger that combines all of the features photographers want in a high-speed camera trigger into one convenient device.

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The “Scary-sounding” Contracts of Social Media Sites

There has been a lot of discussion regarding social media sites and their scary-sounding terms of services that always sound like rights-grabs. Here’s what Photoshop guru Scott Kelby had to say after trying out Google+:

Of course, when it comes to posting photos on any social media site, the discussion always turns to copyright issues, and honestly I don’t personally have any problems with Google+’s terms. I don’t think Google is going to steal all my photos and use them for their own evil purposes (in fact, I’ve never read a single story about some big photo-sharing site misappropriating a photographer’s photos, or anything along those lines, so I just don’t sweat it. I know, I know….I’m totally naive—the big corporations are actually secretly out to get…..[wait for it...wait for it]…free photography).

Here’s what I do know: any time lawyers get involved in stuff like this, you’re going to have a lengthy legalese document that makes it sound like Google+ (or Facebook, or Twitter) is going to grab all your rights for now and eternity, when all they’re actually trying to do is keep their client (Google+ in this case) from getting sued.

Scott also writes that the magazine he publishes (Photoshop User) has similar scary-sounding terms that his lawyers tell him are needed to avoid “getting sued into oblivion”.

I’m Kind of Digging Google+ [Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider]

How NASA Modifies the Nikon D2Xs DSLR for Space

Ever wonder what the bulky white coverings NASA uses on its DSLRs is for? Popular Photography sent the agency some questions regarding its use of the Nikon D2Xs, and found out some interesting details about astronaut photo gear:

The equipment under the thermal blanket is a Nikon SB-800 flash in a custom housing that is used during a spacewalk (EVA). The flash needed a special housing because it will not work properly in the vacuum of space. The housing holds air pressure so that the flash will function properly. There is also a bracket on the bottom (covered with a white thermal blanket) that the camera and flash mount to.

[...] The D2Xs used for flight has the same firmware modifications and a lubricant modification. Other than that it is the same as buying it from the store.

They also state that because of the damage inflicted on the camera sensors by the radiation in space, sometimes the cameras are only used on one mission before too many pixels are destroyed for them to be used again.

How Does NASA Get a Nikon D2Xs DSLR Ready to Go to Space? [PopPhoto]

Photog Who Lost Legs to Land Mine Back to Work and Front Page of NYTimes

After Bang-Bang Club photographer Joao Silva lost his legs to a land mine in Afghanistan in October of last year, NYTimes executive editor Bill Keller stated, “He will be missed until — as I have no doubt he will — he returns to action, cameras blazing.” Keller predicted correctly — Silva has returned to work less than a year after suffering his horrific injuries:

[...] as the Times correspondent Sabrina Tavernise rushed uphill on Wednesday to cover the closing ceremony at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, she spotted a very familiar face in the crowd. Mr. Silva, wearing a T-shirt with the exclamation “Pow!” written across the front, was already on the scene. He was smiling. He was walking on his prosthetic legs. And he was taking pictures.

One of those photos, of soldiers and visitors watching a parachute demonstration during the ceremony, was chosen for Page 1 of The Times on Thursday. [#]

Silva tells the NYTimes, “It was a matter of making the best of what I had. There will come a time when I can run, but now I can walk.”

Back in Action and Back on Page 1 [NYTimes]

Portraits of Dogs as They Shake Off Water

For her series “Shake“, pet photographer Carli Davidson photographed curious portraits of dogs shaking off water. Use a fast shutter speed and you can capture all kinds of strange expressions on your dog’s face.
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