Another sign of the times (and bad news for film-photography enthusiasts): one of the most prestigious photo competitions in the world no longer accepts film photographs. Earlier this week Nikon published a “call for entries” for its 34th Nikon Photo Contest. Here’s what the entry guidelines say about “Eligible Works”:
Image data files created with digital cameras (including medium- and large-format cameras). Images that have been retouched using software or by other means will be accepted. Both color and monochrome images will be accepted. (Scans of photographs taken with film cameras are not eligible.)
The contest has been held since 1969 to “provide an opportunity for photographers around the world to communicate and to enrich photographic culture for professionals and amateurs alike.” Read more…
Did you know that LCD screens and live view didn’t arrive until a number of years after digital cameras hit the market? The first consumer digital camera that featured those technologies was the Casio QV-10 (seen above), which hit store shelves in 1995. However, the screen was purely for framing shots, not for eyeballing exposure, and it took roughly 10 years for live view as we know it to become ubiquitous.
The first prosumer camera to use live view for both exposure control and preview framing was the fixed-lens Canon PowerShot G1 from 2000, although this was still in the line of compact cameras.
The first DSLR to use live view for framing preview only was the fixed-lens Olympus E-10 from 2000. The first interchangeable-lens DSLR to use a live preview was the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, which was launched in October 2004. Its “Live Image” mode could display a live, black-and-white preview of the subject that could be magnified for manual focusing purposes, although the preview was limited to a duration of thirty seconds. [...] The first general-use interchangeable-lens DSLR with live view for framing preview only was the Olympus E-330 of 2006. The first general-use interchangeable-lens DSLRs with live view for both exposure simulated preview and framing preview were the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and Canon EOS 40D of 2007.
Just in case you were wondering, the terms “live view” and “live preview” are interchangeable.
The photography industry isn’t the only one transitioning away from film and into digital; Hollywood’s undergoing the exact same thing. Side by Side is an upcoming documentary film produced by Keanu Reeves that offers a look into this major transition that’s underway
For almost one hundred years there was only one way to make a movie — with film. Movies were shot, edited and projected using photochemical film. But over the last two decades a digital process has emerged to challenge photochemical filmmaking.
SIDE BY SIDE, a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves, takes an in-depth look at this revolution. Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologists, editors, and exhibitors, SIDE BY SIDE examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, SIDE BY SIDE explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.
PIX magazine is a newly launched digital magazine that has women photographers in mind.
But the writers at Jezebel — and at least one female photojournalist who wrote in with a tip about the magazine — are a bit miffed over the content, which they say is “full of lady stereotypes”. Read more…
Had an interesting conversation the other evening with the delightful Raina Kirn, the “Raina” half of the famed Raina + Wilson photo team (Wilson – worry not, you’re delightful too). The occasion was a west-end Toronto photographer’s pub night, and we were bemoaning the loathsomeness of sorting and organizing images digitally, the endless toil and drudgery of file management, the indentured servitude photographers must now endure as pawns in the palm of the evil god that is Computer. We glumly agreed that there’s really no way to avoid it. You just have to grit your teeth and slog away, like wading through mud — completely unpleasant, but necessary if you want to escape. Read more…
If you’re a fan of learning things through Khan Academy, then you might enjoy learning about how ISO works in this similar-styled tutorial by Dylan Bennett. Bennett might not have Salman Khan’s soothing voice, but he does his best to break down the magic of digital camera sensors into easy to understand ideas. For a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of how things work, check out Cambridge in Colour’s excellent tutorials.
Here’s a video that’s fascinating in light of Kodak’s bankruptcy announcement today. It was created back in 2006 for the company by partners+napier, and was shown at the All Things Digital Conference in California before Kodak CEO Antonio Perez took the stage to talk about the company’s digital transformation. The predictions made in the video are seemingly prophetic, accurately describing the current landscape of digital and mobile photography. It’s too bad that Kodak couldn’t right its ship, even though it had a good idea of where things were headed.
The Economist has a fascinating piece looking at the similarities and differences between Kodak and Fujifilm, two juggernauts of film photography that took different paths when digital photography came around:
While Kodak suffers, its long-time rival Fujifilm is doing rather well. The two firms have much in common. Both enjoyed lucrative near-monopolies of their home markets: Kodak selling film in America, Fujifilm in Japan. A good deal of the trade friction during the 1990s between America and Japan sprang from Kodak’s desire to keep cheap Japanese film off its patch.
Both firms saw their traditional business rendered obsolete. But whereas Kodak has so far failed to adapt adequately, Fujifilm has transformed itself into a solidly profitable business, with a market capitalisation, even after a rough year, of some $12.6 billion to Kodak’s $220m. Why did these two firms fare so differently?
It seems like everyone has access to some kind of camera these days, but will the digital images captured survive long enough to become part of the historical record of our time for future generations? John Naughton at The Guardian writes,
[...] while digital technology has generally been very good for photography as a mass medium, it has also made the resulting imagery much more fragile and impermanent. Of the billions of photographs taken every year, the vast majority exist only as digital files on camera memory cards or on the hard drives of PCs and servers in the internet “cloud”. In theory – given the right back-up regimes and long-term organisational arrangements – this means that they could, theoretically, endure for a long time. In practice, given the vulnerability of storage technology (all hard disks fail, eventually), the pace at which computing kit becomes obsolete and storage formats change, and the fact that most people’s Facebook accounts die with them, the likelihood is that most of those billions of photographs will not long survive those who took them.
That’s a startling thought — while it’s true that digital photos can last for quite some time if you’re tech-savvy enough to preserve them well, how many people in the general population actually do so? For the ordinary photo-taker, making a print will likely last much longer than their haphazard — or non-existant — backups.
Here’s a fun blast from the not-so-distant past: the video above is a short clip from the TV show “Call For Help” that originally aired back in September 2003. In it, tech broadcaster Leo Laporte chats with digital photography pioneer Mikkel Aaland — who, by the way, was introduced to digital cameras by Ansel Adams — about the evolution of digital cameras up to that point. It’s an interesting glimpse into a time when the Nikon D100 was the state of the art.