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This is How Much Diamond is Extracted from Massive Diamond Mines

In the world of diamond mining, huge open pits are dug into the Earth in order to find and extract a relatively small amount of usable diamonds. For his new set of images in his ongoing For What It's Worth project, photographer Dillon Marsh created a series of photos showing this dramatic comparison.

Recreating the Incredibly Accurate CGI Black Hole in Interstellar with In-Camera Elements

The black hole in the highly-anticipated Christopher Nolan blockbuster Interstellar has already made headlines. Put together with some serious mathematical help from astrophysicist Kip Thorne, it was so accurate he's actually going to get a few academic papers out of it.

It is, however, 100% CGI and as such outside of our purview as photographers... until now. Just a few days away from the movie's debut, Shanks FX and PBS decided to recreate the effect using all in-camera elements they've shown you how to create before.

Conceptual Ad Photo Shoot Opts for Thousands of Balloons Over Photoshop Trickery

In a day and age when it’s almost always more time- and cost-effective to use CGI for more complex photoshoots, it’s refreshing to come across amazing work that was done almost entirely in-camera and by hand.

Such is the case with the above photo series created by Getty Images Art Director Lauren Catten and photographer Martin Barraud, who teamed up for these wonderful conceptual photos.

Check Out These Computer Generated 3D Renderings of DSLR Cameras

Back in March, we shared about how realistic computer generated images has been encroaching on the commercial product photography industry and killing photography jobs. More and more of the product photos you see in advertisements and press releases these days did not involve an actual camera and photographer at all, but rather artist, a computer, and 3D rendering software.

For example, the Nikon D60 product "photo" seen above was created entirely in Keyshot, a powerful 3D rendering program.

Extremely Realistic Computer Generated Imagery is Killing Photography Jobs

One half of the face above is a photograph, and the other half is a highly detailed computer generated rendering created using a program called KeyShot by Luxion. Can you tell which is which? If you can't tell, why should we? (Okay, to be honest, we're not sure either).

Joseph Flaherty over at Wired writes that KeyShot and other programs that can generate photorealistic renders are being widely used for product photos these days, and are quickly killing off jobs that were once held by photographers.

How Photography Was Used to Re-Create New York for The Avengers Movie

Here's a short but fascinating glimpse into the world of CGI, and how photography was used to help digitally build New York from the ground up for The Avengers movie. As it turns out, creating a digital world into which you can insert these actors takes, not only an insane amount of CGI and attention to detail, but a whole lot of photos to lay the groundwork.

Grounded: An Eye-Popping Sci-Fi Short Filmed Using Canon DSLRs

It's mind-blowing what can be created these days using ordinary DSLRs, a small team of people, and a whole lotta skill with visual effects. The short film above, titled "Grounded", was emailed in to us by its creator Kevin Margo, who works as the visual effects supervisor at Blur Studios. He says that it was inspired by his father, who passed away from cancer. Here's the synopsis:

One astronaut's journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop.

It was shot using a Canon 5D Mark II for 24fps footage, a Canon 7D for 60fps footage, and the Canon 24mm, 50mm, and 135mm prime lenses. The software used in post include Vegas, PFtrack, Zbrush/Vray/Max, Fusion, and AE/MagicBullet.

IKEA Slowly Shedding Photography in Favor of Computer Renders

Of the two images above, one of them is a computer render and one of them is an actual photograph. Can you tell which is which? If you can't, why should IKEA?

The Wall Street Journal reports that IKEA is slowly moving away from using photography in its catalogs in favor of CGI for its online and print publications.

Photographers: You’re Being Replaced by Software

The image above is one-hundred percent fake. It has no connection whatsoever to the world of things. I created the bolts, lights, textures, and everything else in a free, open-source, relatively easy-to-use software package called Blender. It's easy enough that even a novice user like me is able to make a pretty convincing image. If you are a photographer that makes a living shooting still-life photos, this should scare you.

“Modern Times” Points to Future Times

"Modern Times" is a short film that offers a glimpse of the future in both the story that it tells and the way it was made -- it's a low/no budget film created entirely against a green screen with friends as actors. Maybe in the future shooting at real locations (or with real people) will be less and less necessary as CGI continues to become more and more mind-boggling.