Adam Griffith

Articles by Adam Griffith

Cameras Don’t Break Rules, People Break Rules

A portrait session that results in the death of the subject should be called a failure.

As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, a group of photographers and onlookers experienced precisely that level of catastrophic botchery last week in Grand Teton National Park when crowding too close to a moose (not a good idea).

The moose, already agitated by the presence of a nearby bull moose, was scared by the approaching park-visitors and bolted before stumbling over a picnic table and landing on a fire grate. With its hoof caught in the grate, the half-ton animal collapsed and broke its leg so badly that park rangers were forced to put it down.

Please Don’t Be the One to Get Drones Banned

Photography drones are facing a perilous atmosphere of distrust and legal chaos. In these circumstances, even small mistakes can have big consequences. A shift in public sentiment against private drone usage could easily result in the application of restrictive regulations, or perhaps even conditional bans.

Why Polaroid’s Cube Action Cam is Special

Shopping for an action camera is like shopping for adhesive bandages: you either buy Band-Aids ... or you pick up something  called "Aid Plus Bandages" because they're on sale. And when you bring them home, you just call them Band-Aids anyway.

Why Lomography Loves Kickstarter

Last week, Lomography announced their first instant film camera: the Lomo'Instant (a quirky name to match a quirky camera). And rather than outright launching the product, or even just announcing a shipping date, they chose to introduce the new camera through a Kickstarter campaign.

This isn't Lomography's first attempt at crowdfunding. They did the same thing when launching their Petzval Lens and their Smartphone Film Scanner last year. Given the trend, we're likely to see more of their future launches taking the form of Kickstarter campaigns as well. But why?

Alpha Dog: How Sony Created the Most Innovative Camera Brand in Under a Decade

Using the bones of a dying giant and a healthy dose of innovation, Sony built one of the most forward thinking lines of high-end cameras available in recent memory.

When they entered the serious photography market following their acquisition of the struggling Konica Minolta camera business, Sony brought the coffers and clout of an international conglomerate as well as the fresh eyes of a newcomer. Using those tools, they've pushed the technological envelope in a way that few others were willing or capable of doing and, now, are setting the benchmark for where others ought to be aiming. Oh, and they did it all in just eight years.

Dude, Who Took My Photograph? Curating Automated Photography

A slew of new technologies are making it possible (even easy) to document everything around you without much effort or input. Wearable, automated cameras represent the most extreme end of this spectrum - devices like Autographer and the Narrative Clip record your daily life with a mind of their own.

Should Photographers Care About 4K?

If you had to summarize this year's NAB Show in Las Vegas in one word, it would probably be "4K."

The NAB (Which stands for National Association of Broadcasters) Show is the world's largest Electronic Media show, and deals largely in video. But, this year, at least one of the announcements had interesting implications for the still photography market.

Should Photographers Accept Bitcoin as Payment?

Enthusiasts of bitcoin, the electronic cryptocurrency, have more ways than ever to spend their digital cash. But should professional photographers try to take advantage of the growing popularity of bitcoin and similar systems by accepting it as payment for their work?

A few photographers say so, but first, what is bitcoin and how does it work?

The X-Factor: How the Fujifilm X-Series Changed a Company and an Industry

There's a good chance you're sick of reading about Fujifilm this week. But with the fever-pitch buzz surrounding the release of the X-T1, it's not often that we consider the business behind these popular cameras.

Let's take a moment to reflect on the unique history of the Fujifilm X-Series, and the ways in which it reinvigorated both the company that created it and the camera industry as a whole.

Crowd Sourcing Innovation: The Polaroid Socialmatic Story

From a design concept to a crowd-funding campaign to a product backed by a major brand, the Polaroid Socialmatic represents an alternative to traditional product development methods. Is crowd-sourced innovation the shakeup that the photography industry needs?

Out with the Old: Three Ways You Can Put Your Old and Extra Gear to Good Use

The holidays are a great time for gift giving, which also normally means they're a time for cleaning out closets and camera bags. Every year, I find myself needing to get rid of old stuff that has been replaced; or dealing with the thoughtful but odd and/or useless gifts given to me by well-meaning family and friends.

But what to do with that redundant lens or knitted camera cozy? The simplest answer is to return or re-sell it, but sometimes there's no gift receipt to be found or the gizmo in question is too beaten up to be sold for any real value. Fortunately, there's plenty of ways to find a use for your used gear.

Crunching the Numbers: Four Insights We Can Glean from Camera Sales Data

With every passing year, the digital camera sales dataset offered by the Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) grows more comprehensive. These records are made available to the public by this coalition of camera manufacturers which includes Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm, Sony, Sigma, Ricoh, Olympus, and dozens of other recognizable brands. Since 2002, they've been improving and increasing the scale of their database, which now separates digital cameras into fixed-lens, mirrorless and DSLR categories, and reports sales figures for different regions.

It sometimes seems that commentators are primarily interested in the CIPA data to prove just how far up a creek camera manufacturers are so far this decade. But these depressing pronouncements are just scratching the surface. Here's some other things the data shows:

Chicago Sun-Times Concessions are Not a Victory for Photographers

News broke yesterday that four of the photographers fired in last May's mass-layoff instituted at the Chicago Sun-Times may soon be rehired, while others will see restitution payments, thanks to a new agreement reached by the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Under the agreement, four photographers would get their jobs back and some of the rest will see one-time payments of $2,000.

Some may be inclined to call that a victory for photojournalism, at least a small one, but they should reconsider.

New Technology is Making it More Difficult to Conceptualize Photography

A few weeks ago, I found myself wandering around a local career fair -- the type of event I normally find pretty loathsome, or at least overcrowded an unhelpful. This time though, a fun surprise: representatives from Snapchat and Shutterfly stood at booths right next to each other.

Oh boy! I couldn't turn down the chance to chat with some folks more or less connected to the photo industry.

The Other Action Camera

It’s 2004, and a group of young entrepreneurs is working on a wearable camera geared towards action sports.  Their experimentation results in a multi-million dollar company that launches a series of versatile waterproof cameras that can be attached to a person or vehicle in any number of ways. Their products have been used to film everything from spear fishing to paintball battles. Oh, by the way, I’m not talking about GoPro.

Rumor Has It: On the Rumor Mill and the Photo Industry

Rumors, leaks, and sneak peaks dominate headlines in photo gear news. More often than not, the appearance, specs and even price of a new piece of gear (this applies particularly to cameras) is known well before its manufacturer announces it themselves -- a fact that should come as no surprise to frequent PetaPixel readers.

Overdosing on Hype: The Danger of Uncontrolled Expectations

A Bohemian-looking man stands in a picturesque Scottish glen. Wild grasses sway in the wind, green hills loom to either side and moody, dark clouds drift along above. The man takes in the scene and fiddles with a camera around his neck. We hear satisfying mechanical clicks as he sets the aperture and shutter speed.

The shot cuts to a wide view of the man in the landscape, and we see him lift the camera to his eye, although it is still obscured from view. Another satisfying snap as he trips the shutter, and the screen fades to black. Then a brief flash of the front of a lens, and the words "Pure Photography" in dainty, white lettering.

The Sony A7 and Camera Development: Progress or Diversification?

It's hard to look at  the spec sheet on the upcoming Sony A7 and A7r mirrorless compacts and not be impressed. With a 36 MP full-frame sensor (on the A7r), compact body, interchangeable lens system, and a price tag that undercuts most full-frame DSLR's by a good margin, some will be tempted to call it the perfect camera on its expected announcement date of October 16th.

A few might agree with that sentiment, but a better way to look at Sony's newest wunderkind is as a manifestation of the trend towards diversification in the digital camera market.

Attention Camera Marketing Departments: Tell Me About the Sensor

Since its spec sheet leaked on Monday, there's been plenty of buzz surrounding Pentax's newly-released K-3 APS-C DSLR. Many are particularly atwitter about the K-3's unique anti-aliasing system, which relies on a vibrating sensor to remove moire-effects. Because it's not filter-based, the effect can be turned off.

Therefore, the K-3 offers the moire-eliminating effect of an anti-aliasing filter when it's needed, and the greater sharpness of a filterless sensor when it's not. Not only do people care about this innovation, but for many it was a cardinal feature of the camera.