A couple of weeks ago, we shared the sad story of how one hiker was killed after venturing within 50 yards of a grizzly bear to snap photographs. One of the biggest rules for photographing wildlife is to make sure you’re a safe distance from the wild animals. This distance varies depending on the animal you’re photographing. For grizzly bears, you’re supposed to stay at least a quarter of a mile away.
We’re not sure what the safe distance is for wild bison, but one thing we do know: it’s way farther than what we see in the video above. In it, a tourist family visiting Yellowstone National Park come across a bison standing next to the trail they’re on. Instead of finding a safe way around, the people somehow come to the conclusion that walking straight up to the horned animal with outstretched cameras is a good idea. They quickly learn what a bad idea it is. Luckily, no one gets hurt and everyone ends up having a chuckle, but it’s startling to see how much our culture of online photo sharing has eroded common sense in some people.
If you want to protect your pricey camera gear from burglars, one of the safest places in your house (besides a safe, of course) is one that might not be very obvious to you: your kid’s room. The Readers Digest published a simple slideshow containing home-proofing tips gleaned from the minds of convicted burglars. One interesting tip is that burglars generally don’t go into children’s rooms when hunting for valuables to steal. Read more…
Are you the once-proud owner of a Canon Rebel T4i DSLR? Has your camera’s grip changed from black to white? Have you developed a rash from touching the white grip? Apparently there’s at least one of you out there, because Canon has issued a voluntary recall on nearly 68,200 of its T4i DSLRs. As we first reported last month, some of the DSLRs were loaded with too much “rubber accelerator”, which can lead to a chemical reaction that causes allergic reactions.
The company issued an advisory at the time and offered free repairs, but is now cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in issuing the recall — despite the fact that it has only received a single report of a “minor rash”. Read more…
This may be a rare case in which a $695 class might actually save your life: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is offering a safety course for journalists who cover war, conflict and disaster zones. Read more…
As the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but why not make it better? That’s probably the attitude Ricoh is approaching their newest patent with, because they’re making modifications to one of the few pieces of camera equipment that hasn’t changed since the early days — the lens cap.
The patent isn’t anything revolutionary (i.e. a lens cap with air bags… there’s an idea) but the diagram does include an impact zone with small springs on either side that should add some shock-absorbency so that dropping your lens doesn’t always have to spell disaster. It’s certainly not the be-all-end-all in lens protection, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Earlier this month the US Army published an article warning its soldiers that the ubiquitousness of geotagged photographs these days can present a serious security risk, citing a real-world example of something that happened back in 2007:
When a new fleet of helicopters arrived with an aviation unit at a base in Iraq, some Soldiers took pictures on the flightline, he said. From the photos that were uploaded to the Internet, the enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches.
Officer Kent Grosshans recommends disabling the geotagging feature on your phone (or camera) and double-checking your social media settings to see who you’re sharing location-based info with, regardless of whether you’re an enlisted soldier or a civilian.
The beautiful light painting photo you see here was created using steel wool (here’s a tutorial on the technique). Basically, you fix some steel wool on the end of a rope, set it on fire by rubbing a 9V battery against it, and then swing it around to fling sparks all over the place. While it’s becoming a pretty common photo project, it can also be hazardous to your lens’ — and your body’s — health. Jon Beard, the photographer behind this photo, learned the hard way. See that thick yellow line in the upper right hand corner? That’s one of the bits of burning metal striking his $2,000 Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G lens. Read more…
Earlier this month we shared some advice from an anonymous airline baggage handler, who revealed that hard-sided “spinners” suitcases are safest if you must transport valuables (e.g. camera gear) in checked baggage. To see why, check out the video above by Delta Airlines. They drilled holes into a hardcase and installed six outward-facing cameras to document what a bag goes through after it disappears behind those black rubber flaps and before it emerges onto the conveyor belt in the baggage claim area. The video doesn’t show any abuse, but there’s a number of points along the journey where careless handlers have the opportunity to mishandle bags.
You probably already know that it’s not a good idea to include your expensive camera gear with check in luggage, but what if you have no choice? If you must, then putting your gear inside a hard-sided “spinner” suitcase with four wheels is your best bet. The Huffington Post has published an interesting interview with an anonymous baggage handler, who gives the following advice:
Hard-sided suitcases will get less damage, but also look for well-designed handles that are attached with rivets and some sort of protection around the wheels. Speaking of wheels, the best bags to get are the “spinners” with four wheels on the bottom. We like these because we don’t have to throw them when loading. We just roll them down the belly of the plane so your bag and its contents will suffer much less damage.
The handler reveals that bags are commonly subjected to all kinds of abuse due to the strict schedules the handlers must abide by.