Back in July, after witnessing what essentially amounted to a high-speed car chase down the 101 between paparazzi and Justin Bieber, city councilman Dennis Zine predicted that these practices were “a tragedy waiting to happen.” In an attempt to prevent similar incidents in the future, one of the photogs involved was even taken to court, charged under a new anti-paparazzi law.
But unfortunately, the message doesn’t seem to have gotten across. Yesterday, while trying to get a closer look at what he believed to be Justin Bieber pulled over by a highway patrolman, a paparazzo was struck by an oncoming vehicle, passing away from his injuries shortly after. Read more…
Less than a week removed from the train photographer tragedy in Sacramento, California, another sad story has made its way across our desks. A 23-year-old man named Nicholas Wieme died in the pursuit of a “rooftopping” photograph yesterday after he fell into a building’s smokestack in Chicago.
This past Friday wasn’t a good day for photographers. On the same day that one wedding photographer saw his client drown in a freak accident during a trash the dress shoot, a man hiking in Alaska was mauled to death by a grizzly bear after getting too close to it with his camera.
Photographers are supposed to document news rather than make it, but a clumsy German photographer had the ill fortune of doing the latter in the most horrible way this past Wednesday. The photographer was shooting at a media event at the Limbach-Oderfrohna zoo in Eastern Germany when he stepped backward and onto a three-week-old earless bunny named Til, instantly killing the little guy. Zoo officials had expected Til to join Germany’s growing list of international animal celebrities — a list that includes Knut the polar bear and Paul the octopus. The story offers a reminder for photographers everywhere: be aware of your surroundings when shooting.
Image credits: Photograph by Uwe Dempewolf/Limbach-Oberfrohna Zoo
Kodak announced today that it has decided to discontinue its color reversal (AKA slide) films due to a steady decrease in sales and usage. The films discontinued are Ektachrome E100G/E100VS and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100. The company estimates that based on current sales pace, you’ll still be able to purchase the discontinued films for about six to nine months. If you were a loyal Kodak slide film shooter, it’ll soon be time to switch over to negative film or to Fujifilm color reversal films.
(via Kodak via PhotographyBLOG)
Image credit: Kodak Slide Film – 1967 by Nesster
Shocking news: Kodak, the company that invented the first digital camera back in 1975, announced today that it is pulling out of the camera market entirely. The phasing out of digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames will likely happen by the end of June. Instead, the company will be focusing on licensing out its patents and brand name (much like Polaroid does), and on inkjet photo printing. Although Kodak wasn’t a big player in the digital camera space, it was once a dominant camera maker in the days of film. The original Kodak Brownie helped popularize consumer photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot.
(via Kodak via CNET)
Image credit: Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak Camera by Capt Kodak, Anniversary Kodak Camera by Capt Kodak, First Digital Camera by Brett Jordan, Kodak EasyShare C533 Digital Camera by Capt Kodak
It’s not just big tech companies engaged in patent wars: Luma Labs has discontinued their Luma Loop and Luma LoopIt camera straps after Black Rapid was awarded a patent for camera slings with sliding connections on November 1st. In an open letter to customers, the company writes,
We did our research, consulted our lawyers, and found more than enough prior art related to this concept.
[...] the idea of a sliding camera sling isn’t an amazing new invention. It’s just a really good idea that’s been around for a while and which has been iteratively developed. Neither we nor our lawyers believed that the USPTO would grant a patent for the claims related to this concept. It was a surprise, then, when our competitor was granted a patent covering the concept on November 1st, 2011. To say that we’re disappointed that the USPTO couldn’t find the prior art around the idea is an understatement.
Not wanting to engage in a costly legal battle, Luma Labs has decided to killed off their main products. Despite this setback, the company is planning on sticking around: it’s working on a new strap concept that will be released in December.
An open letter to our customers, past and future [Luma Labs]
Thanks for the tip, Kim!
Well, that was fast. Just a week after opening up its Photovine photo sharing app to the public, Google is now planning to kill it off, along with its second — and not-yet-launched — app Pool Party. Google is planning to focus its photo-sharing efforts on Google+, and will be shutting down Slide, the company behind the apps, which Google acquired last August for $200 million. The Slide employees were developing the apps independently, which explains why they were being made for iOS initially and not Google’s Android. If you’ve already begun using Photovine, you’ll have a few months to preserve your data from the service before it’s shuttered.
Image credit: Trash bin by Omarukai
Goodbye Flip Video camera. Cisco announced today that they’re killing off the camera line in an attempt to refocus their consumer electronics business. They purchased the company behind the camera, Pure Digital Technologies, back in 2009. Flip Video cameras have long held the bestselling spots for camcorders on websites like Amazon by offering both HD video recording and convenient transferring with a built-in USB connection, but competition from rival camcorders and the introduction of HD video in smartphones (e.g the iPhone) has eaten into Cisco’s market share.
With the rate camera technologies are progressing on phones, makers of compact cameras are being forced to innovate lest their cameras go the way of the Flip. Perhaps that’s why manufacturers are moving into large sensor cameras as phones invade the compact camera market.
Image credit: Flip Cameras by rhondda.p
Perpignan, France is known in the photography world for the international photojournalism festival (Visa pour l’Image) it hosts every year, but recently it made photo-related news for quite a different reason — earlier this week a mentally-ill 47-year-old woman murdered her sister… with a tripod. Yikes…
Image credit: Image based on Vintage Clue game cards (weapons) by OnFoot4now