Just in case you’ve always been wondering what it would look like to record footage with a camera attached to a spinning electric drill, French product designer Oscar Lhermitte did just that. The resulting footage is quite trippy, and would be a pretty unique way of capturing abstract photographs — as long as you don’t mind the risk of disintegrating your camera.
This looks like a screenshot of a satirical article by The Onion, but it’s actually an actual story over on the Salt Lake Tribune. Turns out Utah is the latest state to introduce Florida-esque legislation that would make it a crime to photograph or videotape agricultural operations without permission from owners. Like in Florida, the bill’s intent is to stop activist groups such as PETA from capturing covert imagery that allegedly show animal abuse.
Photoshop CS6 will have a new Iris Blur tool that lets you quickly add blur to an image that fakes a shallow depth of field. It’s a one tool-process that eschews the traditional methods of using masks, layers or depth maps.
Adam Dachis over at Lifehacker offers a simple method for correcting underexposed photo with any image editor that supports layers, inversion, and Overlay blending mode. Simply create a duplicate later, invert it, set the blending mode to Overlay, and then adjust the opacity to suit your taste. While it’s certainly not a pro photography trick — other techniques including adjusting the curves and levels may be better — it’s a quick and easy tip that may be good to know.
When Los Angeles resident Hector Siliezar visited the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza with his family in 2009, he used his iPhone to snap some photos of a pyramid called El Castillo. After snagging a lightning strike in the third shot, Siliezar was surprised to see that he had also captured what appeared to be a beam of light shooting up from the pyramid towards the heavens. Jonathon Hill, a researcher who works with NASA’s mars imagery, tells MSNBC that it’s probably the result of an iPhone glitch:
He says the “light beam” in the Mayan temple photo is a classic case of [image artifacts and equipment errors] — a distortion in an image that arises from the way cameras bounce around incoming light.
It is no mere coincidence, Hill said, that “of the three images, the ‘light beam’ only occurs in the image with a lightning bolt in the background. The intensity of the lightning flash likely caused the camera’s CCD sensor to behave in an unusual way, either causing an entire column of pixels to offset their values or causing an internal reflection (off the) camera lens that was recorded by the sensor.” In either case, extra brightness would have been added to the pixels in that column in addition to the light hitting them directly from the scene.
In an interview with Earthfiles, Siliezar notes that none of the people present actually saw any beam of light when the image was captured, which supports Hill’s explanation that it was simply a camera glitch.
Instant is a newly launched Mac application that brings an Instagram-esque, Polaroid-faking app to your desktop. It allows you to turn any digital photograph into a Polaroid picture look-alike, and offers 28 different filters for giving your images vintage looks (8 of which are designed to look like Polaroid films). You can even add classic Polaroid frames to images and jot notes onto them. The app costs $7 and is available from the Mac App Store.
CNN published an opinion piece yesterday by photojournalist Nick Stern, who has some pretty harsh things to say about the spread of Instagram-style “fake images” in the news:
The app photographer hasn’t spent years learning his or her trade, imagining the scene, waiting for the light to fall just right, swapping lenses and switching angles. They haven’t spent hours in the dark room, leaning over trays of noxious chemicals until the early hours of the morning.
Nor did they have to spend a huge chunk of their income on the latest digital equipment ($5,999 of my hard-earned cash just went on ordering a new Nikon D4) to ensure they stay on top of their game.
The app photographer merely has to click a software button and 10 seconds later is rewarded with a masterpiece.
Stern also states that “Any news photographer worth his or her salt will tell you that the best camera is one that lets you take the photo unencumbered by the technicalities of the process.”
Here’s an interesting video tutorial by Destin of Smarter Every Day that shows how you can capture amazing photos of guns being fired and their muzzle flashes. Here’s the “basic” idea: he uses a piezoelectric transducer to convert acoustical energy into an electrical pulse, which he sends through a pulse generator. The pulse from the pulse generator is used to trigger a flash and an high-speed exposure. This allows him to photograph guns at the moment they’re fired in the same way many people photograph lightning. Read more…
Street photographer Eric Kim and DigitalRev host Kai Wong recently got together to do some street photography on the streets of Hong Kong. Kim and Wong have personalities that go well together (and look like brothers), making for some pretty humorous photographic entertainment.
The New York Times has launched a new Tumblr site called “The Lively Morgue” to breathe new life into items in the newspaper’s photo archive (nicknamed “The Morgue”). Each week they’ll be sharing several historical photographs found in massive collection. Just how massive?
We don’t know. Our best guess is five million to six million prints and contact sheets (each sheet, of course, representing many discrete images) and 300,000 sacks of negatives, ranging in format size from 35 millimeter to 5 by 7 inches — at least 10 million frames in all. The picture archive also includes 13,500 DVDs, each storing about 4.7 gigabytes worth of imagery. When the Museum of Modern Art set out to exhibit the highlights of the Times archive in 1996, it dispatched four curators. They spent nine months poring over 3,000 subjects, working with two Times editors, one of whom spent a year on the project. In the end, they estimated that they’d seen only one-quarter of the total. [#]
To make the project even more interesting, they’re also publishing an image of the reverse side of each print. This often reveals information such as how often the image was used, notes by the photographer, and the original caption that was chosen.