Microstock did a lot of damage by turning traditional stock photography on its head, but now a company called Stipple is trying to give microstock a taste of its own medicine. The company, which offers technology for tagging people and objects in photos, has launched its new Image Marketplace website for publishers who want to use photographs without having to pay for them. Instead of publishers paying the photographers or agencies for licenses, brands step into the equation by paying money to advertise through the photos. The photographer then collects money based on the number of clicks and hovers their photographs receive.
Update: Looks like the video was taken down due to a copyright claim. You can watch it here.
This is more related to filmmaking than photography, but it’s so creative that I just had to share: Gatorade recently released this 5 minute commercial featuring professional skateboarder Chaz Ortiz. What’s mind-blowing is that it captures the passing of a school day in one take. Any mistakes (e.g. Ortiz failing to land a trick) would have ruined the entire shot. You can find a behind-the-scenes video showing how it was made here.
Here’s an inspiring video in which photographer and speaker Dewitt Jones talks about how he looks for “right answers” when he was doing assignments for National Geographic. Rather than specific tips or techniques, he mostly talks about high level ideas while showing off some of his stunning photographs.
Light painting is sometimes called light graffiti, but who does graffiti with flashlights? Halo is a neat light-painting tool designed by Aïssa Logerot that makes painting with light feel much more natural for people accustomed to creating… less-legal forms of art. Shaped like an aerosol can of spray paint, the tool includes interchangeable LED lights for painting in different colors and a battery inside that recharges when the can is shaken. Read more…
Buying large frames for displaying your prints can be expensive. For those of you who are rich in time but short on money, Oh Happy Day has an awesome tutorial on how you can create nice-looking picture frames for just $5. The main ingredients are plexiglass, mat board, cardboard, and paper tape. Buying all the supplies will set you back around $50, but you should have enough material for around 10 frames.
Here’s a fun photo project you can do with any small kid (preferably not a stranger’s): spinning shots. All you have to do is set the self timer on your camera to automatically take a shot while it’s hanging around your neck. While it’s counting down, grab the child by the arms and spin them around. If luck is on your side, the photograph will show a clear subject, happy face, and motion-blurred background. Read more…
We’re now one step closer to being able to take photographs with our minds. Scientists at UC Berkeley have come up with a way to reconstruct what the human brain sees:
[Subjects] watched two separate sets of Hollywood movie trailers
[...] brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity.
Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject.
Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie. [#]
Unlike the cat brain research video we shared a while back, the resulting imagery in this project isn’t directly generated from brain signals but is instead reconstructed from YouTube clips similar to what the person is thinking. They’re still calling it a “major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery” though. In the future this technology might be used to record not just our visual memories, but even our dreams!
“The City” is a beautiful time-lapse video that gives you a taste of what San Francisco is like. Between June 2010 and August 2011, photographer Wesley Townsend Kitten visited various locations in the city, capturing 85 different shots comprising roughly 28,000 photographs. He used a Canon 5D, Canon 5D Mark II, 15mm fisheye, 16-35mm, and 70-200mm for the shots, which were subsequently tweaked in Lightroom. Everything was then brought together into this time-lapse video using Final Cut Pro.
Ex-Magnum and current National Geographic photographer Michael Nichols first launched his website back in 2001 but left it untouched until last year, when he finally decided to update it with new work. After spending a considerable about of energy towards the update, he suddenly decided to change course:
I spent months updating it: new galleries, new captions, stories and videos. It was an incredible amount of work. Right before I hit publish on the site, I realized that I just couldn’t give it away anymore, I had poured my soul and time into it and while I don’t care about making money off of it, I needed to be sure people would value it. I wanted to be the guinea pig for the rest of the photographers out there. So I scaled back the content on my website and decided to embrace the new technology of the iPad and build an app. This way, the audience views the photo essays with my voice behind them. [#]
His paywall experiment seems to be well-received so far — the app currently has a 4.5/5 star rating in the iTunes Store. It’ll be interesting to see if more photographers follow his lead.
Some photographers prefer using ordinary bags with padded inserts to carry their camera gear, both for aesthetic reason and to prevent theft. Instead of buying an insert, you can also make a custom one with some foam, fabric, and velcro. Abi over at vanilla & lace made one to turn her purse into a camera bag after finding that purse-style camera bags can cost up to $300. She also wrote up a helpful tutorial on how you can do the same.