The San Diego Police Department is in hot water with photographers and First Amendment rights advocates everywhere this week over the way two of their officers handled a situation this last Saturday.
The story and the video that goes with it — which went viral after being shared by the website Photography is Not a Crime — shows one of the officers violently arresting a man for exercising his right to record the officer during the course of his duties. Read more…
Needing a way to test the speed of memory cards, Jaroslav of Crazy Lab realized that camera shutter sounds can do the trick. By recording the sound of his Canon 600D snapping away in continuous burst mode and then viewing them audio file, he was able to visualize the card’s speed and compare them against each other. He also learned some things about burst speed and ISO/format:
As you can see, the burst length is getting shorter with rising ISO. The time camera needs to write the buffer to the card is also significantly grown. The reason is the noise. On higher ISO settings we getting more noise in picture and noisy pictures are not good for compression. The RAW-File size (black picture shouted with closed lens cap) varies from 19MB @ ISO100 to 32MB @ ISO12800.
Also interesting is the comparsion of burst speed shooting in RAW versus JPEG. While the burst length with JPEG files is virtually infinite (with fast sd-card), the burst speed is slightly lower.
You don’t need anything fancy to do this experiement: Jaroslav used a webcam mic and the free audio program Audacity.
Indiana university historian Patrick Feaster recently discovered a record featuring the voice of Emile Berliner — inventor of the phonograph. Created in 1889, the record is likely the oldest in the world. What’s interesting, however, is how Feaster managed to obtain it: through a photograph. That’s right, Feaster discovered an image of the disc preserved in an old 1890 German magazine from the same year and then was able to recreate it by scanning and analyzing the photo. Read more…
Want to see how the world’s most expensive camera was auctioned this past Saturday? The video above shows the 1923 Leica O-Series going up at the WestLicht Photographica Auction and being sold at the record-breaking price of $2.79 million after auction fees and tax. WestLicht points out that these cameras have been appreciating like crazy in recent years: the first sold in 2007 for $440K and a second sold in 2011 for $1.9M before this most recent auction. Each of the auctions set a new world record for “most expensive camera”.
Yes, that camera you see sitting on the table is the actual camera being auction. The model at the end is holding a very expensive piece of metal and glass in her hands.
After being arrested on October 1, 2007 for using his cell phone to film officers making an arrest, Boston lawyer Simon Glik sued the city for violating his civil rights. Late last year the court denied a motion to have the case dismissed, and just yesterday it was announced that the City of Boston had come to a settlement with Glik, agreeing to pay him $170,000 for damages and legal fees. The decision last year and the settlement yesterday both reaffirm that the First Amendment protects the right to photograph and film police officers carrying out their duties in a public place.
Three years ago, an Illinois man named Michael Allison was arrested for videotaping police in public in accordance with the state’s extremely strict wiretapping laws. He faced up to 75 years in prison for his crime, but a few months ago an Illinois judge ruled that the laws were unconstitutional and threw out the case. However, the State of Illinois is now appealing to the Supreme Court to have the dismissal overturned.
Terrorists aren’t the only people photographers are being mistaken for in the UK — upscale shopping area Multrees Walk in Edinburgh has begun targeting photographers after a string of thefts by ram raiders, or burglars who drive large vehicles through the front of stores and then loot them. The above video shows a confrontation with security that occurred after a guy and his friend snapped a photo of a shop window.
Though the street is privately-owned, stopping photographers in such areas often sparks outrage, as these locations are considered by many as public spaces.
AP understands that retailers were concerned that photographs could be used to identify security-sensitive information, such as the location of CCTV cameras or the type and make of shutter used to protect a shop front.
The spokesman confirmed that there are no signs at Multrees Walk to warn photographers against picture-taking.
Too bad there’s no wait to prove you’re not a photographer by day and ram raider by night.
Here’s an interesting video by Take Zero Productions that compares the footage of the same scene recorded by both an iPhone 4 and a Canon 7D. You can also head on over to the Vimeo page to compare the footage in HD, since HD is disabled in this embedding.
Note that in the description, they write,
I was mainly focusing on the iPhone video here and didn’t have intentions of making this a comparison video so some of the 7D shots aren’t properly exposed and some aren’t even focused. But here it is regardless.
What do you think of the iPhone’s video capabilities compared to the Canon 7D?
The above video was recorded by Shawn Nee for Discarted, a blog that fights for photographers’ rights to shoot in public locations. It shows Nee getting into a verbal exchange with a police officer over whether or not he can legally photograph the officer.
Opinion over this video — created in February but just released yesterday — is extremely divided. Photography blogger Thomas Hawk thanks Nee for “continuing to fight for photographer’s rights”:
Our ability as citizens to document the police is extremely important. Historically, citizen photography has been instrumental in documenting police abuse cases from Rodney King to the recent shooting death of Oscar Grant. To wear a badge and a gun in our society is a privilege and ought to only be afforded to those willing to enforce actual laws and not intimidate citizens by making up illegal photography rules of their own.
On the other hand, comments left in various places regarding the video argue that Nee was intentionally provoking the officer, “stirring the pot” for the purpose of producing this video. A commenter at the LAist writes,
Who is harassing who in this video? Clearly, the guy taking the video wanted this to happen. He had a video camera set up, to video himself taking picture of an officer making a traffic stop? The cop tells him to stop at the beginning, and that the the guy on the bike is making him nervous. The officer is making a traffic stop. Lord knows how tense a traffic stop can be. Then you have this kid pull up behind up, and stop, and start taking pictures.