Image forensics company Fourandsix set up an interesting page called “Photo Tampering throughout History“. It’s an interesting timeline of famous photo manipulations, going as far back as the 1860s — the above left image of General Grant was found by the Library of Congress to actually be a composite of three separate photos! Pretty good for not having access to Photoshop, eh?
Millions of people know Instagram as a fun way to share photographs, but get popular enough on the service and it can be a profitable one as well. Keepsy, a startup that helps people quickly create albums from Instagram and Facebook photos, has launched a new curated gallery featuring top Instagram artists. Fans can purchase photobooks from the site at a price set by the artist, and profits are split 50/50 between the service and the photographer. While only about 20 users are represented currently, they’re planning to slowly add more based on merit.
The gallery is also a good place to find people to follow for fresh inspiration.
When we shared the practice of “rooftopping” (climbing to the tops of skyscrapers and taking pictures from the edge) a couple days ago, some commenters pointed out that accidentally dropping your camera could kill someone on the ground. Well, Reuters photographer Mark Blinch had a “rooftopping” adventure of his own recently at the CN Tower in Toronto, which just launched an attraction called “EdgeWalk” that lets you walk hands free 356m (1,168ft) off the ground. Blinch describes how the crew secured his gear:
The morning started when the tower’s safety personnel attached all manner of clips and cables to my cameras so they could fasten them securely to the bright red jumpsuit they gave us to wear. I brought up a Canon 5d Mark II with a 16-35 wide zoom, and a Nikon D3s with a 24-70. The memory card slots, eyepiece, and battery doors of both cameras were all taped down to make sure nothing fell off. I have dropped a camera maybe once or twice in my life, and I knew this wouldn’t be the time to have an accident.
If you’re planning on doing any kind of photography where butterfingers could kill more than your camera, you might want to try this method of tape, clips, and cables.
Free stuff is always nice, and free photo stuff is even nicer. Canon and Ilford have teamed up for a new promotion called Try My Photo through which anyone can upload a photograph and have an 8×10 print made and sent to their residence free of charge. The promo will last until the end of August 2011.
Update: This is only available to US residents, sorry.
Artificial lens flare is an important part of making certain computer generated scenes look realistic, but up to this point creating realistic lens flare has been a task that requires a good deal of processing power. Now, researchers have come up with a way to simulating lens flare quickly and accurately, taking into account a large number of physical factors that cause the phenomenon:
The underlying model covers many components that are important for realism, such as imperfections, chromatic and geometric lens aberrations, and antireflective lens coatings.
The video above discusses how the technology works, and also touches on the science behind lens flares. The method is patent-pending, and will be presented later this year at SIGGRAPH 2011.
Advertising Standards Authority, the ad industry watchdog in the UK, has banned an advertisement by Lancome featuring Julia Roberts for being misleading, stating that the flawless skin seen in the photo was too good to be true. Parliament member Jo Swinson first brought the ads to the authority’s attention, and later told the BBC:
This ruling demonstrates that the advertising regulator is acknowledging the dishonest and misleading nature of excessive retouching. Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don’t reflect reality.
This comes about a month after the American Medical Association called upon ad agencies to stop the “altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image”.
Some photographers try to make miniatures look like the real world, while others aim to make the real world look like a miniature. “The Village” is a charming portrait of a tiny Portuguese town, made to look like a miniature via tilt-shift and time-lapse.
Leica offers a funky $200 lens holder accessory for its M system film rangefinders that screws into the tripod mount and lets you store an extra lens on the bottom of the camera. Here’s the description found on the site:
[...] the second lens also serves as a handle when it’s inserted into its bayonet mount, helping to provide additional stability when shooting handheld at long exposure times. The setup could even be used as a miniature tripod.
Makes sense. As we all know, the first thing a Leica shooter thinks when they drop big bucks on a new lens is, “Hmm. I’ll bet this lens would also work well as a mini-tripod!”.
For their music video for the song “Bright Siren“, Japanese band androp created a mind-blowing giant display using Canon 60D DSLRs and strobes as the individual pixels. They used 250 separate cameras and flash units, and controlled each one individually using a computer program. Every single light used was real, and no computer-generated trickery was used. You can also check out the behind-the-scenes video they made.
Here’s a fun weekend project: create a tiny keychain photo album with your favorite photos! Simply print out your photographs as little circles on photo paper or card stock, laminate it, cut them out, and punch the holes. It’s a neat way to keep some tiny snapshots with you, and also makes for an awesome gift. To get started, head on over to the tutorial by Happy to Create.