The next time you’re walking around with a DSLR around your neck and a stranger asks you for directions, you might want to keep a hand on your lens. Yesterday BBC’s “The Real Hustle” included a short segment in which they demonstrated how easy it is to steal a lens on the street. The con artists simply detach and pocket the camera lens of an unsuspecting photographer while pretending to ask for directions. Apparently this is a real con that thieves are using these days…
Here’s another public service announcement for those of you who travel often (see our warning on zippered bags): the safes in hotel rooms may not be as secure as you think. YouTube user skyrangerpro recently discovered that the safe in his room could be opened with “000000″ regardless of what passcode he chose. This is presumably the “master password” the hotel uses when you’ve forgotten the one you’ve chosen, but the fact that some hotels leave this on factory default settings is cause for concern.
The next time you think about leaving some pricey camera gear in a hotel safe, makes sure all zeros isn’t a working passcode.
A neat way to reuse film canisters is to poke holes in the lids and turn them into salt shakers, but some people argue that this may expose you to the harmful chemicals that leak out of film and into the plastic of the canister. It’s actually a question that Kodak has received a lot over the years, and they say it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you wash it out first:
To protect the film from contamination, Kodak quality standards require that the insides of the containers must be exceptionally clean. No “toxic” materials leach out or offgas from the containers themselves.
[...] Newspaper and magazine articles have mentioned “toxic residues” in the containers which might come from the film. There are none. The chemicals in a roll of film are embedded in the gelatin emulsion layers (about as thick as a human hair) and do not rub off the plastic film base.
[...] In summary: There are no “toxic residues” in Kodak film containers [...] if a customer chooses to use a Kodak film container for other than film storage, the container first should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.
They also state that if you (or your pet) accidentally eat some film itself, the main concern would be the film cutting your innards rather than chemical poisoning.
Mother Jones reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on glymes — chemicals linked to health problems that can be found in many products we regularly come in contact with, including digital cameras:
Did you print a piece of paper today? Or use a digital camera? If so, it could have exposed you to glymes, a clear liquid class of chemicals used as solvents in printer ink, carpet cleaners and other household products. For a decade, the EPA has known about studies that link glymes to health problems including miscarriages, developmental damage, and gene mutation. And yet only now is the agency beginning to regulate them. This July, the EPA announced that it plans to clamp down on glymes, which may join the ranks of the 360 chemicals subject to the EPA’s “significant new use rule.” This means that any time a company wants to use glymes, it would have to ask the EPA first.
When viewing other people’s photographs online, more often than not there’s a way to comment and share your thoughts. While photo-sharing sites seem to have nicer commenters than a site like YouTube, there are still plenty of people who seem intent on putting people down and filling the Interwebs with vitriol. If that’s you, then here’s a video you definitely need to see.
Here’s yet another painful-to-watch example of what the powerful lasers used at concerts can do to your camera’s sensor. This poor soul brought their Canon 5D Mark II to capture some footage, and left with the camera having a new feature: white “framing lines”! Too bad they can’t be turned off…
On August 4, 2006, AOL published a text file containing 20 million searches done by 650,000 users over a 3-month period for research purposes. Although the company anonymized the data by showing the users as numerical IDs, people soon realized that many people searched for personally identifiable information (e.g. their names), allowing real names to be put to unique IDs, thus revealing the search history of that individual. After the media caught wind of this, the whole thing was known as the AOL search data scandal. Read more…
It’s estimated that 8 million people in the US struggle with an eating disorder, with 95% of them between the ages of 12 and 25, and one of the big reasons may be the aberrant use of Photoshop by the ad industry. The American Health Organization updated its policies earlier this week urging the ad industry to stop the “altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.” Board member Barbara L. McAneny states,
The appearance of advertisements with extremely altered models can create unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image. In one image, a model’s waist was slimmed so severely, her head appeared to be wider than her waist. We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software.
Photographer Nasim Mansurov’s friend recently ordered Canon 5D Mark II from online camera store AjRichard for just $2,350, but was then called by a sales rep and told that the battery and charger weren’t included. The final order came out to $2,629, which included some unneeded accessories and 3-day shipping. When the order finally arrived in 2 weeks, he found that it was a 5D Mark II + 24-120mm kit box with the lens removed. Read more…
One sad truth about the photo industry is that there’s a ton of counterfeit products floating around, and unless you buy directly from a reputable source, it can be difficult to know for sure whether you’re getting the real thing. Last month we posted on how up to 1/3 of memory cards labeled “SanDisk” are actually counterfeit. Over on Nikon’s website, there’s a support page that shows photographs of counterfeit Nikon accessories next to genuine ones, with many of them almost indistinguishable from each other. Some of the counterfeit products are so real-looking that the only difference is a slightly different screw, or a slightly brighter logo. Read more…