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Wednesday, 18 July

05:48

Yes, Nikon Designs Its Own Sensors PetaPixel

Sony has been receiving attention and praise in recent years for the quality of its sensors and the fact that it produces sensors for other heavyweight camera companies, including Nikon. But even though some of Nikons CMOS sensors may be manufactured in Sony factories, Nikon actually spends a considerable amount of resources designing those high-end sensors.

Dave Etchells of Imaging Resource was recently given a rare behind-the-scenes look at Nikons secretive sensor design operations for a Nikon-sponsored in-depth report.

The Nikon D5s sensor.

Ive known for some time that Nikon actually designs their own sensors, to a fairly minute level of detail, Etchells writes. I think this is almost unknown in the photo community; most people just assume that design in Nikons case simply consists of ordering-up different combinations of specs from sensor manufacturers, picking a feature from column A, another from column B and so on, like a Chinese restaurant menu.

In actuality, they have a full staff of sensor engineers who design cutting-edge sensors like those in the D5 and D850 from the ground up, optimizing their designs to work optimally with NIKKOR lenses and Nikons EXPEED image-processor architecture.

Responsible for determining the layout of devices on the CMOS sensor, Nikons sensor designers (assembled in teams that work on sensors for specific cameras) work to create an optimal combination of light-gathering efficiency, noise levels, readout speeds, power consumption, and more.

...

04:37

Watch a Model Pose with a Crocodile in an Underwater Photo Shoot PetaPixel

Heres a photo shoot you probably shouldnt attempt yourself: photographer Ken Kiefer recently took his wife (underwater model Kimber Kiefer) and two other models into the crocodile-infested waters of the Chinchorro Banks in Mexico for a photo shoot. The goal was to shoot underwater glamour photos of the models right next to the fearsome reptiles.

The New York Post reports that lionfish were used to lure the crocodiles toward the models.

...

03:58

Is Lens Compression Fact or Fiction? PetaPixel

Photography can be confusing. I get it. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Because of this, at times it helps us to actually put some of these theories and myths to the test. One of these myths is the concept of compression and, with it, parallax.

This gets confusing to me as I am sure it does for some of you. Of course, there will always be the joker that knows everything and needs to let you know he knows everything. So this post is for the average, humble photographer that cant seem to get their head wrapped around this concept of compression, distortion, and parallax. Lets test this out.

But first, lets define some terms.

Lens compression is the idea that when you use a telephoto lens things in the background of the image will appear larger and compressed closer to the foreground. Its a bit like the warning of your side view mirrors on your car. An example would be if you have a row of pillars coming towards the camera. The pillars will not only appear larger but the distance between these pillars will seem to be more compressed when using a larger focal length lens.

Parallax is the apparent displacement of the position of the foreground with the background in an image. As an example, to use our line of pillars, the pillars in the background in relation to the pillars in the foreground shifts to become visible. So the question would be: when you shoot an image with a telephoto lens and then change to a wide angle lens, will the parallax effect be seen?

These two concepts are linked. To the point, you really cant talk about one without talking about the other. So, lets look at parallax first before we move onto compression.

To test parallax I went out to my friendly neighborhood fishing village and made a series of photos of the Floating Mosque (it really isnt floating, it rests on pillars over the sea). I stood in one location and shot a series of photos of the mosque focusing on the same spot in each photo.

To make the photos I used two lenses, the Fuji XF 50-140mm and my...

03:07

These Surreal Photos Were All Created Without Photoshop PetaPixel

Photographer John Dykstra says he believes in the power of perspective. His surreal photo style is created entirely with practical effects and simple ingredients things like paint, chalk, and glass rather than digital image manipulation techniques.

My goal is to create photographs that dabble between abstract truths and concrete reality, Dykstra says. By drawing connections between illusions of realism and the subjectivity of human experience, my work lingers between daylight and daydream.

Heres his account of how his first anamorphic illusion (shown above) came about:

My first idea came to me when I thought about how our perspective can trap us, and how so many of our boundaries in life are self-imposed and illusionary. Combining that thought with anamorphic illusions lead me to the idea for Penalty Box, a self-portrait that depicts me as drawing the illusion of a box around myself in chalk. At first I tried drawing the illusion on paper, but that didnt work at all. Then I remembered the work of John Chervinsky, who I discovered a month earlier just after his passing. He was using chalk on chalkboard to create these very interesting photographs, and I knew I had found the solution to creating my piece. I quickly built a small 8 x 8 x 4 plywood stage in my parents garageGod bless them for letting me use that spacecovered it with a pint of chalkboard paint, set up my camera, and then the magic happened.

Here are some more of Dykstras photos:

Heres a photo next to a behind-the-scenes view showing how the illusion was created using c...

02:46

The Ways of Zen Photography PetaPixel

When most people think of the word Zen, a meditating monk in a monastery comes to mind, a practice of enlightenment, a person being in the present or someone without attachments. When I think of Zen, I think of a lifestyle that has profoundly influenced my photography practice. I would like to dive into the ways of zen photography and how it might enlighten your creative practice.

The word Zen is from the Japanese interpretation of the word Chan which has ties to the Indian practice of meditation. Zen originated as a school in China, influenced by Buddhism.

It later found its way into Vietnam, Korea and then Japan where Zen is currently known today. Zen practices take from Buddha nature and sitting meditation known as Zazen. There are two-forms of Zen teachings: Rinzai and Soto. I could write a whole book on the subject, but lets move on.

In short, all you need to remember is that Zen can be a state of mind. Stillness, simplicity, looking inwards, beginners mind and finding the beauty in all things. Take these words into consideration when engaging in your photography practice. Remember that Zen photography can be more about your mindset than the subject matter youre capturing.

A leaf falling in autumn is Zen. A river flowing around a rock is Zen. A cup of coffee is Zen. A homeless man yelling at you is Zen, confusing I know. But for now just focus on yourself as a human being, instead of a human doing when it comes to your photography practice. What I mean by this is have an open mind, maybe think about trying walking meditation or sitting on a park bench being present in the moment.

The trick is to be open to your thoughts bei...

02:36

Kandao Raw+ Helps You Make Cleaner Low-Light Photos with Burst Shots PetaPixel

The 360-degree VR camera company Kandao Technology has announced Kandao Raw+, a new software tool that helps you create better low-light photos by shooting and combining burst shots rather than capturing single exposures.

Kandao Raw+ uses computation photography to turn a set of RAW photos captured in burst mode into a single photo with increased detail, dynamic range, and less noise.

Instead of shooting a longer exposure using a tripod, you can capture a burst of shorter exposures (up to 16 frames) while shooting handheld. The shots are aligned automatically and information from multiple photos are merged.

The software doesnt just simply stack the exposures, which would often result in motion blur and/or the ghosting of moving objects. Instead, you select a reference photo that will serve as the image that will be optimized using the info gleaned from the other exposures.

For high-contrast scenes, Kandao Raw+ lets you create photos with higher dynamic range without having to do exposure bracketing (i.e. capturing a set of photos, each with a different exposure value). Instead, you shoot a set of images with the same exposure and the recovery of details in the highlights and shadows will be automatically handled by the program.

Here are some images showing what Kandao Raw+ can do:

Kandao points out that smartphones are alread...

02:20

(unexciting) Amazon Prime Deals ending at midnight. eBay coupon deal lets you save $25 on all items. mirrorlessrumors

From a pure photographic point of view the Mega Super Massively advertised Amazon Prime deals Day is a disappointment. There are no special or hot deal on Mirrorles Cameras and Lenses in the USA. The dre are few deals on

The post (unexciting) Amazon Prime Deals ending at midnight. eBay coupon deal lets you save $25 on all items. appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.

01:50

Photos of Intense Lightning Storms in Volcanic Eruptions PetaPixel

Francisco Negroni is a Chilean freelance photographer has spent years pointing his camera at volcanic eruptions. Over time, he has captured a series of incredible photos showing the lightning of dirty thunderstorms that are found in massive volcanic plumes.

Dirty thunderstorms occur when ash, rock, and other ejecta collide and create static electricity in the plume of volcanic eruptions. Researchers estimate that about 35% of volcanic eruptions are accompanied by lightning.

Colossal writes that Negroni travels light in the Chilean backcountry as he travels to eruptions, bringing only a backpack, laptop, camera, tripod, and three lenses in his car.

...

00:41

Huawei Launches First Photo Contest Co-Judged by a Phone AI PetaPixel

Huawei has announced the worlds photography competition to be co-judged by artificial intelligence on a phone. Its called the Spark a RenAIssance Photo Challenge.

In addition to being evaluated by a professional Leica photographer, every photo is first judged by the Huawei P20 aPro smartphone. When the P20 Pro was announced back in March 2018, Huawei touted the phones Master AI that provides a host of AI-driven photo features, including AI-Assisted Composition.

This Master AI is now being tasked with analyzing submitted contest photos for aesthetic quality, determining a beauty score for each image.

There will be 5 challenges as part of the contest series: the A New RenAIssance challenge, After Dark challenge, Deep in Detail challenge, Moment in Time challenge, and Wide-Eyed World challenge. The first one to open is the A New RenAIssance challenge, which asks photographers to capture a photo inspired by the Renaissance.

If your photo impresses the Huawei P20 Pro phone AI and the Leica photographer enough, you could win one of the $1,100 smartphones and a Leica Masterclass in Florence.

Want to see what the AI is a fan of? Theres a gallery on the Huawei contest website showing its latest top-rat...

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Tuesday, 17 July

16:46

And soalso the Nikon FF might NOT be announced next week mirrorlessrumors

Yes Nikon give me that classic Full Frame mirrorless style!!! #nikon #nikonistas #nikonmirrorless #nikonphoto #nikongear A post shared by NikonMirrorless (@nikon_mirrorless) on Jul 16, 2018 at 4:33am PDT Nikonrumors now highlighted that the new Nikon FF might NOT be

The post And soalso the Nikon FF might NOT be announced next week appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.

04:27

Ethical Exif (EE) for Wildlife Photos PetaPixel

One of my least favorite shots from Sani lodge now serves as a constant reminder of poor practice to me. This subject was one of many subjects collected by Tropical Herping working on a photographic field manual of Herps in Ecuador. This parrot snake (Leptophis ahaetulla) was played with.

It was grabbed by the tail and gently swirled in circles. Then it was gently batted about the head, to engage in defensive gaping (an open-mouthed threat display). This occurs naturally to a certain extent, but with more stress, the defensive gape is held for longer.

There were more than 30 different individuals, each experiencing greater or lesser amounts of abuse, and all held in sub-standard conditions over the course of days. Held in plastic or cloth bags, they were stressed out, mishandled, at least one died to my knowledge, and at the end, they were translocated beyond where they were caught.

Although I wasnt involved in the project (the guidebook) or capture, I still photographed some of the species and offered my logistical help to them on where they could find other species. Its one of those unfortunate incidents which was an eye-opener for me, and really forced me to look at my own practices and question them, even small actions and arthropod subjects. They may appear small or insignificant, but it speaks to an overall respect for nature, and it can be a slippery slope into poorer and poorer practice.

The tacit approval I gave amounted to an endorsement and I consider myself as much to blame as those doing the collecting and abuse. These practices are rife within macrophotography, and one should not expect experience, professionalism or status to be an indicator of a persons ethical standards. Always question whether something needs to be done and if it doesnt, dont support it and if it continues, speak up. These experiences helped mold and form my concept of Ethical Exif.

The respect with which we treat wildlife whether it is a charismatic and emblematic species like the Jaguar, the common or under-appreciated backyard denizens, or even vilified pest species our treatment is a reflection of us and our values. Nature, though wild, is a looking glass through which we can gaze upon our own humanity, a mirror to our human nature.

Ethics is a contentious and complicated subject, full of pitfalls and paradoxes, logical fallacies and fabrications. The right course of action is often mutable, subject to situation and current social mores which not only differ from cou...

04:02

Kodak Bitcoin Mining Scam Killed by SEC PetaPixel

Back in January, the tech world balked when a Kodak-branded Bitcoin miner called the Kodak KashMiner was unveiled at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. It seems that photography and cryptocurrency enthusiasts werent the only ones that balked: the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) actually blocked the KashMiner from moving forward.

BBC News reports that the Kodak KashMiner scheme collapsed after critics called the product a scam and the SEC responded by halting its sale.

The Kodak KashMiner was to cost customers $3,400 up front for a 2-year rental period and provide them with a cut of profits from Bitcoins that were mined. Customers would reportedly earn profits of $375 a month over the course of the contract, generating profits of about $5,600.

But critics crunched the numbers and concluded that Bitcoin would need to maintain an average price of $28,000 per coin over the period to make the scheme pay out according to plan. Since January, Bitcoins price has plummeted to its current price of around $14,000 to less than $7,000 today.

The scheme was killed off by regulators so quickly that the company didnt even finish the KashMiner website some pages contained placeholder text instead of actual content.

Screenshot via BBC News.

Spotlite says its planning to run its own private mining operation now rather than rent out Kodak-branded miners to the public.

(via BBC News via...

03:38

That Weird Symbol on Your Camera is the Film Plane Indicator PetaPixel

If you use an interchangeable-lens camera, your camera probably has a weird symbol that looks like a circle with a line through it. If youve never learned what this symbol is, heres a 2-minute video by ZY Productions that explains the film/sensor plane indicator.

The film plane indicator symbol on a camera. Photo by bwDraco and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The symbol is a visual reference for where the plane of the sensor (or film) in your camera is, allowing you to measure focus. Focusing distance is measured from the surface of the sensor or film, not the front or back of the lens a common misunderstanding. Thus, to accurately measure focusing distance, you need a marking on the body to tell you exactly where to measure from.

This isnt as useful for still photographers its much more used in the filmmaking world but its still a good thing to know to have a better grasp of how your camera works.

(via ZY Productions via...

03:05

10 Photos That Show the Extreme Drought on the Dutch Coastlines PetaPixel

This year has been a year of extremes in the Netherlands. We had an extremely cold winter with all of the country frozen, including the Amsterdam canals which almost never happens. I took the chance to document the extreme cold of the Netherlands earlier this year. Now, what followed was an extremely hot spring that has now transitioned into summer.

Similar to the unusual cold, this heat is unusual. Last time it was this dry with lack of rain was more than 40 years ago in 1976! With the heat comes a long period of no rain and dryness. You can basically see the lack of rain everywhere, especially on the grass that is normally green but is now yellow.

This weekend I took a drive to the Dutch coastlines. I took these photos all the way up north but there are a lot of coastal areas in the country that look similar. Mud patterns forming from the dry soil is something that is really photogenic. Here are 10 photos showing the effect of the dry weather on the Dutch coast.

With the tide going up and down you can see the water coming into the mud cracks, but the area where the tide is highest will still keep its textures in the soil. Something that we dont see a lot and it kind of reminded me of the deserts in the US.

...

02:54

Mars is So Bright Right Now You Can Shoot Its Reflection in the Ocean PetaPixel

Mars is closer to Earth and brighter than its been since back in 2003. Its so bright that photographer Abdul Dremali managed to capture this photo of the planet casting a bright reflection on the ocean as it rose into the night sky.

Dremali captured the photo last Friday from Rhode Island.

Mars will be the closest to Earth later this month itll appear about 1.8 times brighter than Jupiter in the sky and it wont be this close to Earth or this bright in the sky again until 2035.

The 2018 Perihelic Apparition of Mars will prove to be one of the most favorable since the 2003 apparition when the Red Planet came closest to Earth in 59,635 years (the year 57,617 B.C.), ALPO writes. Of the 56 oppositions of Mars from February 22, 1901 through July 27, 2018, only 15 can be considered as favorable apparitions.

So if youd like to try your hand at capturing photos of an ultra-bright Mars in night-sky photos, you have a short window to do so over the next several days. Good luck!


Image credits: Photographs by Abdul Dremali and used with permission

02:10

FIFA to Broadcasters: Stop Zooming In on Hot Women PetaPixel

The 2018 World Cup came to an end yesterday, but FIFA has a warning for broadcasters and their camera operators moving forward: stop zooming in on hot women in the stands during soccer matches.

BBC Sport reports that the warning was issued by Federico Addiechi, the diversity boss of soccers world governing body, in an effort to combat sexism.

Weve done it with individual broadcasters. Weve done it with our host broadcast services, Addiechi tells BBC Sport. He says that cracking down on cutaway shots of attractive female fans will be something FIFA will do as part of its normal evolution.

Zooming in on conventionally attractive female fans is known as the honey shot, BBC News writes. Its often credited to American sports TV director Andy Sidaris, who once said: Once youve seen one huddle youve seen them all. So you either look at the popcorn, the guys, or the ladies. The choice is clear to me.

FIFAs warning comes less than a month after Getty Images sparked controversy by publishing a photo gallery of the sexiest [female] fans at the World Cup. The company quickly took down the set, saying it regret[s] the error and that the photos did not meet [its] editorial standards.

(via...

01:26

Nikon Working on Finger Sensors That Can Read Your Emotions PetaPixel

Canon is known to be working on fingerprint sensors for cameras and lenses, but Nikon is apparently going a step further: its developing biometric sensors for cameras and lenses that can detect biological information as well as your mood when shooting a photo.

The patent (JP2017-143581), first discovered and and covered by New Camera, describes sensors that are built into the sides of lenses and the front and backs of DSLRs sensors that can read your thumb and fingers on both hands when shooting.

According to the filing, the sensors can detect things like heart rate, blood flow, blood pressure, perspiration, body temperature, and even how hard youre gripping your gear (i.e. pressure).

Nikon says that oftentimes photographers feel strong emotions when capturing photos, but these feelings are sometimes unable to be conveyed through the photos themselves. And since viewers may be able to appreciate photos more if they knew the photographers state of mind at the time of exposure, biometric sensors could add a layer of depth of photography.

Using the detect biometric data, the camera then uses algorithms to interpret what the photographers emotions are it can label photos with things like normal, joy, love, shame, impatience, pain, surprised, confused, indifferent, sadness, anger, and despair.

...

00:17

Fujifilm Launches Provia 100F-Flavored Instant Noodles PetaPixel

Fujifilm has launched its latest Film Simulation product: this time, theyre instant noodles. And no, its not a photo filter look thats named instant noodles Fujifilm literally released some real instant noodles.

The instant noodles are being released by Fujifilm Korea as part of a promotional giveaway.

The outside of each limited edition instant noodle cup has a design that makes it look like a roll of Fujifilm Provia 100F film. The noodles inside are actually hot and tangy kimchi flavored.

Thankfully, water is used to prepare the noodles, not film development chemicals.

If youre based in South Korea, head over to the promotional page if youd like to get your hands on some Fujifilm noodles.

(via Fujifilm Korea via Fuji Rumors)

Monday, 16 July

18:54

Canon FF mirrorless might NOT be announced in 2018 mirrorlessrumors

Canonrumors is rolling back from their previous CR3 rumor saying the FF mirrorless would be announced in 2018: A couple of other sources Id consider better have both cautioned me that they dont think an official announcement for a full

The post Canon FF mirrorless might NOT be announced in 2018 appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.

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