Posts Published in October 2012

Hyperscope: A Custom-Built Cylindrical Pinhole Camera for Roll Film

In the Star Wars universe, Lightsabers are hand-built as part of their wielders’ training, and each one is as unique as the person who made it. Photographer Matt Abelson seems to have the same idea about cameras: he builds high-quality one-of-a-kind pinhole cameras based on his own designs.

The Hyperscope (shown above) is one of his creations. It’s a cylindrical can camera that takes medium-format roll film, and is crafted out of chunks of aluminum.
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BTS: How National Geographic Captured a Cheetah Running at Full Speed

Back in June, a National Geographic crew was given the task of filming and photographing a cheetah running at full speed. While there are plenty of videos and photos out there showing this, the magazine wanted to track alongside the cheetah as it ran (rather than simply capture it from a fixed location). The short behind-the-scenes video above shows how they went about doing this.
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Olympus OM-D EM-5′s Art Filter Works Nicely as a Focus Peaking Feature

For those of you who are desperate for Olympus to release a focus peaking feature for the OM-D EM-5, did you know that there’s a trick you can use for “ghetto focus peaking”?

A French photographer named Nicolas recently found that the camera’s “Key Line” Art Filter actually works quite well as a focus peaking feature. Simply turn on the filter, set your camera to shoot RAW+JPEG, and focus/shoot away. You can throw away the artsy-filtered JPEG files afterward, but the RAW photographs will be precisely focused thanks to the clever “hack”!
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This Mind-blowing Photo of the Milky Way Shows 84 Million Stars in 9 Billion Pixels

Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have released a breathtaking new photograph showing the central area of our Milky Way galaxy. The photograph shows a whopping 84 million stars in an image measuring 108500×81500, which contains nearly 9 billion pixels.
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Creative Photos of Kids Enjoying Make-Believe Activities at Home

British advertising photographer Tim MacPherson has a wonderful series of photographs showing children having fun in imaginary worlds created out of ordinary objects. Kids are seen couch surfing, skiing down stairs, and horseback riding on shelves. The project is titled, “Kids at Home and Play.”
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Apple OS X Now Plays Nice with RAW Files of Nikon D600, Newer Cameras

Apple has released a new OS X update that provides system-level compatibility with the RAW photos of a number of newer cameras that were launched over the past year, including the Nikon D600 and Canon EOS M. It’s called the Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.01, and allows newer RAW files to be viewed and edited in programs like Preview, Aperture, and iPhoto.
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‘Shopped? Don’t Sweat the Ingredients and Preparation, Just Enjoy the Meal

Recently, a friend and photographer Ben Jacobsen of Ben Jacobsen Photo got his work into a third gallery. One of the gallery owners asked him “Is your work Photoshopped?” This is also a popular question often asked at Art Fairs and Photography exhibits. Why is this question relevant to some viewers? If you are asking this, do you know what Photoshopping means? Better yet, What does that word mean to you, and what is it that you are asking?
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Camera Sales Falling Around the World as Smartphoneography Erodes Demand

Businessweek writes that Canon has lowered its sales estimates across all its camera lines, saying that smartphones are drinking its milkshake — and it’s not just Canon:

Global camera sales are expected to fall 4.3 percent this year to 115.2 million units, according to market researcher IHS. Industrywide camera shipments fell 25 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association in Tokyo.

By comparison, global sales of smartphones [...] rose 32 percent to 146.1 million units in the second quarter, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.

“We lowered our camera sales projection because of slower economic growth and an increasing use of smartphones that’s eroding demand,” [Canon] Chief Financial Officer Toshizo Tanaka told reporters in Tokyo today.

This year, compact cameras are projected to have the worst demand since 2009. Who would have thought that digital cameras would be struggling as digital photography booms?

Canon Reduces Forecasts as Smartphones Start Replacing Cameras [Businessweek]


Update: Canon has announced its latest quarterly results. Revenue is down 13% and profit is down 42%.


Image credit: Fotógrafo / Photographer by ajgelado

BTS: Shooting Beautiful Fine Art Studio Portraits of Wild Animals

Santa Fe, New Mexico-based photographer Brad Wilson decided last year that he wanted to photograph something “a little less predictable,” so he decided to shoot fine art studio portraits of wild animals using all the things he has learned through years of shooting human portraiture.
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Google Takes Street View Photography into the Wild with Camera Backpacks

Google has already photographed quite a bit of our world using a fleet of cars, submarine-style cameras, tricycles, and snowmobiles, so what else is there to include in Street View? Places where vehicles can’t go, of course. The company has begun capturing 360-degree imagery using the Trekker — a special backpack with a Street View camera rig sticking up from the top.
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