Jessica Lum

Articles by Jessica Lum

Dirkon: The Vintage DIY Pinhole Camera Made of Paper

The Dirkon pinhole 35mm camera is made entirely from paper cut from a template by designers Martin Pilný, Mirek Kolář and Richard Vyškovský. The three published the template in a 1979 issue of Czechoslovakian magazine ABC mladých techniků a přírodovědců (translated as An ABC of Young Technicians and Natural Scientists). While original prints of the magazine are rare, the Dirkon gained cult popularity in Chzechoslovakia.

YouTube Offers Face Blurring Technology

YouTube just announced a useful new feature: an easy face blur option. The announcement says the feature is aimed for news and human rights agencies to protect privacy and identities especially if posting images of activists who may need to remain anonymous or if minors are present in the videos and privacy is a concern.

Is the World Ready for Wearable Cameras (Or Cyborgs)?

Professor and self-proclaimed cyborg Steve Mann created an eye and memory-aid device he calls the EyeTap Digital Glass. The EyeTap, worn by Mann above on the left, is a wearable device that is similar to Google Eye, pictured right, but he's been making them at home since the 1980s. The goal of his project is to use images to aid memory, or even to augment the memories of people with Alzheimer's Disease or who simply want to preserve their memories more permanently. However, a recent misunderstanding over Mann's technology allegedly caused a confrontation between Mann and several employees at a Paris McDonald's restaurant.

Actor Matthew Fox’s Photography From the Set of ‘Lost’

During the filming of ABC's television show "Lost," lead actor Matthew Fox, who played Jack Shephard on the show, decided to create a photo book with some behind-the-scenes images of the show's set in Oahu.

Fox's collection is a lo-fi mix of black and white photographs and color medium format photos taken with a Holga toy camera. He features lesser-seen images taken during the making of the pilot: actress Evangeline Lilly listening to music, Josh Holloway joking around with fellow cast members and J.J. Abrams rapt in concentration on set.

Instagram Allegedly Downplays Security Vulnerability

Sebastian Guerrero, an independent researcher in Barcelona says he's discovered a way to force friendship with any Instagram user -- private or public -- by exploiting an Instagram server-side vulnerability. In one case, Guerrerro forced Mark Zuckerberg to follow his test account. Then Guerrerro sent him a message through a photo post, which would show up in Zuckerberg's photo feed of people he follows. Guerrero also used a test account to follow a private user without the required approval from the private user.

Augmented Reality App Puts Virtual Images on Physical Walls

LZRTAG is a free Android app that lets you generate QR codes associated with uploaded images -- mostly animated .gif images. The codes can be printed out and placed on walls and other surfaces. When scanned with the Android app, the codes call up the associated image and display it in an augmented reality on your phone.

Long Lost Photos from China’s Past

It's nearly impossible to find a photograph in China taken before 1970 -- most images were destroyed or removed to other countries during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution.

A professor at Bristol University in the UK is running a project in search of these lost images, the BBC reports:

Such photographs are exceptionally rare in China. The turbulent history of the 20th Century meant that many archives were destroyed by war, invasion and revolution. Mao Zedong's government regarded the past as a "black" time, to be erased in favour of the New China. The Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s finished the job.

"If you were at all savvy," says (Professor Robert) Bickers, "you realised early on that you had to destroy your own private family records, before the Red Guards came and found evidence of your bourgeois, counter-revolutionary past, when you might have drunk coffee in a café bar, à la mode."

Photojournalist Julian Cardona on Documenting the Evolution of Juarez

Mexican photojournalist Julian Cardona has lived in Ciudad Juarez since 1960 and began documenting the city in the early 1990s as a photojournalist for the local newspaper, El Diario. He says he's seen Juarez shift from an idyllic postcard-worthy border town to the city known as the homicide capital of the world.

Nikon Expected to Announce New 800mm Lens, the Longest in Lineup

Based on some patents filed by Nikon, the company is expected to announce an updated 800mm lens, which will be the largest lens in the current lineup, according to Nikon Rumors. As of now, the 600mm f/4G ED VR is the longest lens Nikon is offering, though Sigma and Canon both have 800mm f/5.6 lenses in their lineups.

Botched Fireworks Display Makes For Glorious Photos of Fireballs

The 4th of July fireworks show in San Diego malfunctioned yesterday, resulting in an entire show's 20-minutes worth of fireworks released in 15 seconds that the Port of San Diego attributed to a corrupted computer file.

But for some prepared photographers, the display resulted in some singular photos of the large fireballs.

Getty Images Auction Draw Bids of $4 Billion

Photo agency Getty Images is on the auction block, in a second round of bids that are climbing towards $4 billion for a potential sale. Investment firm KKR & Co. and private equity investment firm TPG are on the list of at least five interested bidders, the Wall Street Journal reports.

An Unexpected ‘Kiss’ in Canon Rebel T4i EXIF Data

If you've noticed an unexpected "Kiss" in your Canon Rebel T4i EXIF data, there's no need to panic (or blush!).

In certain applications that show EXIF data, the camera name may show up as the EOS Kiss X6i -- the Japanese market name of the same camera model. Additionally the Camera Settings / Remote Shooting screens of EOS Utility (EU) also shows “EOS Kiss X6i," according to a Canon product advisory.