The British Journal of Photography is reporting today that Geoffrey Crawley — the world-renowned photographer who debunked the Cottingley Fairies hoax in the 1980′s — has died. The hoax began in 1917 when two cousins named Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths (aged 16 and 10, respectively) claimed to have discovered fairies and, after borrowing a camera, produced photos to prove it. The controversial photographs captured the world’s attention for decades and even deceived Sir Arthur Conan Doyle before finally being debunked by Crawley in a series of articles published in the early ’80s. In 1983 the cousins admitted that the photos were faked using cardboard cutouts.
It’s interesting seeing how little it took to fool people with photographs in the early days of photography. Read more…
Certain higher end flashes have a strobe (AKA repeating flash) mode that can flash repeatedly, freezing a moving subject in various positions in a single exposure. This tutorial will teach you how to create a similar effect using light painting techniques, resulting in the above photo. Read more…
Remember the controversy last year surrounding the use of a captive wolf in an award-winning wildlife photograph? Turns out this kind of deception might be common practice in the world of wildlife filmmaking.
Chris Palmer — the producer and director of quite a few notable wildlife films — has written a new book titled Shooting in the Wild in which he exposes many of the “dirty secrets” of nature documentaries.
The above video is an ABC Nightline segment in which Palmer discusses many of the tricks used in the business, including using trained animals, dragging dead animal carcasses to locations, digging fake dens, and even telling outright lies in the narration. One shocking example is found in the Academy Award winning documentary White Wilderness: a scene that seems to show lemming suicide was actually created by pushing lemmings off a cliff using a rotating platform.
Palmer also reflects on the question: does the positive good these faked scenes do justify the dishonest tricks used to create them? What do you think?
Update: Seems like the Hulu video above isn’t accessible to those outside the US. Here are a couple more links you can try: ABC News and Link TV.
Who needs an uber-expensive Phantom camera or fancy slow-mo software when you can fake the effect with dance? This doesn’t have anything to do with photo gear or software, but we found it interesting since we’ve been sharing a lot of slow motion work lately. These are music videos for songs from retired MMA-fighter Genki Sudo‘s album “World Order”. The name of the dance group is “World Order” as well. Read more…
If you don’t have the $2,500 needed to rent a Phantom camera for a day but would like to have super slow motion in your videos, you can fake the effect using special software designed for the task. The above video by Oton Bačar was recorded on a Canon 7D at 60 frames per second, but was slowed down to mimic 1000fps in After Effects with Twixtor, a plugin that allows you to speed up or slow down footage smoothly. It uses warping and interpolation to provide smooth results, avoiding the choppiness that you see when you play normal video back in “slow motion”.
Too bad Twixtor is still pretty pricey — a license will set you back a few hundred bucks. Does anyone know of any cheaper alternatives?
If you were reading PetaPixel earlier this year, you probably remember the jaw-dropping CGI animation titled “The Third & The Seventh“. Here’s another extremely realistic and detailed computer-generated animation that simulates a camera traveling through a classroom (with lens flares and all). It was created by Israel-based Studio Aiko.
The scene was modeled using 3D Max and rendered with V-Ray, and was created over a period of 6 months. Read more…
HBO posted this interesting behind-the-scenes video that gives a glimpse into the kind of special effects that went into filming the popular miniseries John Adams. It’s pretty crazy how they construct entire realities around the actors using CGI.
Police in England recently raided a Bowdon house to find 22,000 fake camera cases worth an estimated £500,000.
Messenger Newspapers reports that the cases were branded as Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax and Kodak. A 40-year-old man at the residence was also taken into custody.
His downfall came when Canon discovered the counterfeit bags being sold online and conducted a number of “sting” purchases, passing on the information they discovered to authorities.
Something else that caught our eye about this story was that the police also discovered counterfeit camera lenses at the residence. All of us have obviously heard of fake bags before, but counterfeit lenses? I’d like to see one of those.
Lori Nix is a photographer that works with miniatures and models for surreal scenes and landscapes. Her work reminds us of the photographs by Matthew Albanese that we featured a while back. Her project “The City” depicts eerie abandoned buildings in an apocalyptic world:
Recently I came across the Demb flash diffuser while reading a review of the best flash diffuser over at photo-tips-online.com. After seeing the Demb diffuser at the top of the list, I went to Amazon to see how much it costs and, to my surprise, found that Amazon, Adorama and B&H don’t sell it. The only way to purchase it is from Joe Demb’s site. I then decided to try my hand at making this diffuser myself. The total cost of mine is $0, while the real thing costs about $40. Read more…