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Friday, 25 August


Ep: 205: The Nikon D850 Is Here! Is It One of Nikons Best? and more PetaPixel

Episode 205 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
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Featured: BlackRapid Founder, Ron Henry

In This Episode

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to...


Lightning Strikes Feet Away from Man While His Camera is Rolling PetaPixel

A man in Norway has captured what its like to have a lightning bolt strike just feet away. Watch the 1.5-minute video above to see the terrifying experience from his perspective (warning: turn your speakers down because its extremely loud).

TV 2 reports that on Monday, 38-year-old Daniel Modl was standing on his terrace in Gjerstad, Aust-Agder, and shooting lightning flashing in the horizon. Without warning, there was a deafening crack as a lightning bolt struck less than 20 feet away on the other side of the terrace.

While the bolt itself wasnt caught on camera, we do see rocks and dirt flying through the air and a smoldering spot piece of ground.

Modl wisely decided that he wouldnt stay outside to see if he could catch a second close strike on camera. He immediately headed for cover indoors, where he found his ceiling fan off and burn marks around an electrical outlet where his modem was.


First images of the new Canon EOS-M100 mirrorlessrumors

These are the first images and full specs of the new Canon EOS-M100 that will be announced within the next few days: Number of effective pixels: 24.2 million pixels Dual pixel CMOS AF Video engine: DIGIC 7 ISO sensitivity: 100-25600

The post First images of the new Canon EOS-M100 appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.


Nikon D850 Has Same Image Quality at Double the ISO as the D810: Report PetaPixel

The Nikon D850 has generated a considerable amount of excitement among photographers today after its announcement, and heres a new fact that will add even more fuel to the frenzy: Nikon says the D850 should have the same image quality at double the ISO as the D810.

Thats what Imaging Resource learned after meeting with top Nikon personnel at the companys headquarters in Japan.

Nikon told us that the D850 should produce the same image quality (both JPEG and RAW) at twice the ISOs as the D810, a full-stop improvement, Imaging Resource writes. That is, the D850 at its top native ISO of 25,600 should deliver the same image quality as the D810 did at ISO 12,800. If true, thats a pretty significant improvement.

Nikon says dynamic range will be as good or better than that of the D810, despite the higher pixel count.

Only tests will be able to determine if these claims are true, but if they are, this is a huge boon for photographers who often work in low-light environments.

Nikon also revealed to Imaging Resource that the new backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor design in the D850 the first in a Nikon DSLR isnt primarily for low-light performance but rather for speedier shooting speed by providing more flexibility in the chips wiring.

And if youve been wondering about the origins of this new sensor, youll be interested to know that Nikon designed it themselves rather than use an off-the-shelf sensor from a sensor manufacturer (e.g. Sony).

While Nikon contracts with a silicon foundry to actually manufacture the chips, Nikon confirmed that the D850s sensor is entirely their own design, Imaging Resource reports.


Photo Studio Polyboards and Thrifty Alternatives PetaPixel

Nearly every professional studio Ive ever used has these polyboards and youve probably even seen them yourself but may not have known what theyre used for. Polyboards are polystyrene boards that usually measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet high and are normally 2 inches thick. One of the other defining characteristics is that they are often white on one side and black on the other.

This dual color is very important as this gives them two key uses. The white side is used for bouncing light back into the shadows of an image, for example, a light would be placed on one side of the model and a white polyboard on the other side of them. The light would illuminate one side and the polyboard would fill in the shadows from the other side providing a very beautifying light.

The black side is used for the opposite reason, to reduce the bounce of light. In certain situations in a big white studio, your lighting can bounce around and result in the lighting on the model looking quite flat and uninteresting. By placing black polybords either side of your subject can help sculpt shape and form by adding shadows where there was none before.

Using polyboards, whether that be in a studio or on location, can be a great way to control your lighting. Here Im using the black sides of the polyboards to create shadow on the side of the models face when using a softer light source.

For your reference, polyboards can be purchased under the name of polystyrene sheets from DIY and hardware stores under the insulation section. An 8-by-4-foot board is 2400mm by 1200mm. You also want to watch out for the thickness. Well be using them for a purpose that they arent intended for so you need to purchase a thickness that is substantial enough to hold its own weight when upright. I recommend a 2-inch-thick sheet and that translates to 50mm.

Making it Stand Up

Polyboards are primarily used in the construction industry for insulation, as a result, theyre relatively cheap to buy. When you buy them, they normally arrive bright white on both sides so the first step is to paint one side black. But the biggest issue with them is not painting them but getting them to stand up. Normally this is quite costly as purpose built metal stands need to be purchased. But heres a far cheaper hack that works perfectly: a simple bike stand.



Facebooks Mobile Apps Can Now Take 360 Photos PetaPixel

Facebook has updated its mobile app for both iOS and Android with support for capturing and sharing 360 photos without any extra hardware required.

It has been possible to upload and view 360 photos since May last year using images created on other devices, but now the Facebook app can handle the 360 capture itself.

The update brings a new 360 Photo option to the share section at the top of the app. Tapping it will launch an interface similar that seen when shooting a panorama on your phone. Youll be instructed to hold your phone steady as you spin around, keeping the graphic centered on-screen.

When youre done, you will be able to select a start point for the first frame of your image, before sharing it on your timeline or saving it as your cover photo. You will also be able to tag your friends as with a regular photo.

Facebook says that the feature has already begun rolling out worldwide, so you should start seeing it on your devices shortly.

(via Darrell Etherington via Engadget)


The Nikon D850 Doubles as a 45.7MP Film Scanner PetaPixel

Nikons new D850 is more than a fast and powerful full-frame DSLR it can double as a 45.7-megapixel film scanner as well. Its the first Nikon camera to feature a new built-in Negative Digitizing feature. To use it, youll also need the new Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter.

Announced alongside the D850, the ES-2 helps film photographers convert analog to digital.

First, youll need to mount a macro lens Nikon suggests the Nikon AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED to the D850. Next, attach the ES-2 adapter and some 35mm film. If youre scanning strips of negatives, youll need the FH-4 Strip Film Holder. If youre working with positive slides, youll need the FH-5 Slide Mount Holder.

Whats special about the D850 is that it features a special Negative Digitizer mode thats specifically designed for film scanning. After capturing a 45.7-megapixel image of the negative, the D850 can convert them in-camera into high-resolution positive digital JPEG photos.



These Aerial Photos Show Why Iceland is So Popular for Movies PetaPixel

Everyone knows the classic images of Iceland. The famous Skogafoss, The Black Beach, The Blue Lagoon, you name it. On a recent trip to Iceland, we decided we wanted to shoot something a little bit different.

While the Iceland Highlands is a popular area as well, it is much easier to get unique vantage points on a plane. For this series, we ew over the highlands for a couple of hours with varied conditions that Iceland is known for. We ended up with a set of images of both wide landscapes and alien textures straight down to show Icelands amazing landscapes.

It is no wonder that a lot of movies and series were recorded in this area, one of them being Game of Thrones.



This Solar Eclipse Time-Lapse is Being Made with Crowdsourced Photos PetaPixel

Google and UC Berkeley researchers have teamed up on a project called the Eclipse Megamovie 2017. Theyre taking crowdsourced photos of totality during the Great American Eclipse and turning them into one long timelapse of the eclipse passing over the United States.

The 2.5-minute video above was created with the help of over 1,000 volunteer photographers along the total solar eclipses path on August 21st, 2017.

After gathering together the photos of totality, researchers used an algorithm to automatically line up the photos and stitch them together into the video based on the time and location data in the photo. The EXIF data allows the video to be an accurate time-based representation of what the sun looked like from the ground as it crossed the country.

As youll see, there are gaps in the video in which certain photos are shown for longer periods of time than others while there are no new images to show. If you were able to capture totality, you can help fill in the gaps by contributing your photos to the project.

As more and more photos are added, new versions of the video will be generated and shared through the website, providing a more and more complete timelapse of totalitys journey.

(via Eclipse Megamovie 2017 via...


Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS Leaked With 3 New Tilt-Shift Macro Lenses PetaPixel

A new 85mm lens from Canon has been rumored since early 2017, and today we have our first look at it thanks to a photo and spec leak. This is the upcoming Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS.

The Japanese site Nokishita Camera published the leak and reports that the Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS will feature a 9-blade circular aperture, Air Sphere Coating (ASC) for reducing flaring and ghosting, Fluorine coating for repelling dust/grease/water/dirt, 14 elements in 10 groups (with one aspherical lens), a minimum focusing distance of 85cm (~2.8ft), a 77mm filter diameter, dimensions of 88.6105.4mm (~3.494.15in), a weight of 950g (~2.09lbs), 4 stops of image stabilization, and ring type USM.

Three other tilt-shift macro lenses were also leaked at the same time: the Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro, and TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro.

All three lenses feature 9-blade circular apertures, a maximum magnification of 0.5x, and fluorine coating.

The Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro will have 11 elements in 7 groups, Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) for suppressing reflections, a minimum focusing distance of 48.6cm (~1.59ft), and a filter diameter of 82mm.

The Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro has 9 elements in 9 groups, ASC coating, a minimum focusing distance of 39cm (1.28ft), and a 77mm filter diameter.

Finally, the TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro (not pictured) has 12 elements in 9 groups, SWS and ACS coatings, a minimum focusing distance of 27.3 cm (~0.9ft), and a filter diameter of 77mm.

An official announcement for these lenses should be arriving in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Thursday, 24 August


Whats going to be announced soon: Olympus E-M10III, Fuji X-E3 and Canon EOS-M100 mirrorlessrumors

Its going to be very busy the upcoming days. We expect three cameras to be announced: 1) Canon EOS-M100 within the next few days 2) Olympus E-M10III on August 31 3) Fuji X-E3 in early September There will be nothing

The post Whats going to be announced soon: Olympus E-M10III, Fuji X-E3 and Canon EOS-M100 appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.


Nikon D850 Announced: First 45.7MP BSI Sensor, 4K Video, $3,300 PetaPixel

Nikon has just officially announced the new Nikon D850, a powerful new full-frame DSLR that takes Nikons high-end camera lineup to lofty new heights.

Inside the camera is the first back-side illuminated (BSI) full-frame CMOS sensor in a Nikon DSLR, supported by Nikons EXPEED 5 image processing engine. It offers a whopping 45.7 megapixels of resolution for stills and can shoot 4K UHD video as well. The ISO range is 64-25600 (expandable to 32-102400)

The Nikon D850 is the new benchmark in DSLR image quality, with an unprecedented combination of resolution, dynamic range, ISO and processing power, Nikon says. The 45.7-megapixel CMOS sensor approaches medium format-level resolution [] This is also Nikons first DSLR to incorporate a BSI CMOS sensor, which captures light more efficiently, resulting in a wider dynamic range and low-noise image capture.

Photographers will be able to choose between 3 different RAW sizes: 45.4 megapixel Large photos, 25.6MP Medium photos, and 11.4MP Small shots. After capturing RAW photos, you can use an in-camera batch RAW processor to quickly convert a large number of shots.

Despite having such high resolution, the camera is quite speedy: it can shoot up to 7 frames per second normally or up to 9 frames per second if you use a battery grip and a EN-EL18a/b battery. The buffer can hold 51 photos if youre shooting 14-bit lossless RAW or 170 shots if youre shooting 12-bit lossless.

Nikon has also left out an optical low pass filter, giving up moir pattern reduction for maximizing sharpness in photos.

For autofocu...


This Guy Shot the Solar Eclipse with a Game Boy Camera PetaPixel

During the Great American Eclipse, while most photographers worried about camera settings and solar filters, Redditor zhx decided to bust out a Game Boy Camera, which was introduced in 1998 and features a 128128 pixel CMOS sensor.

Heres the photo, captured from Portland, Oregon:

The solar eclipse actually takes up a very small portion of the frame, and the dark circle is a halo effect from the corona around the moon.

Heres a photo of the camera kit zhx used:

The camera is so old that working with the resulting files isnt exactly easy and straightforward. Heres zhxs explanation for how he got the photo off his Game Boy Camera:

I shot it on my backlit DMG [Game Boy], then I use the Interact Mega Memory card on my Pocket (the camera doesnt fit in the DMG with the Mega Memory) and back the SAV file up to the Mega Memory. Then I plug my USB 64M cart into the MM and restore the file to that, which I can then plug into my computer and retrieve (I use EMS-Qart for that part). Then I can open the SAV file in either GBCamera Dump or this site which provides a pretty drag-and-drop front end for this task. I then typically enlarge the BMPs in Photoshop and export to PNG.

When it was released in 1998, the Game Boy Camera was actually the worlds smallest digital camera. Earlier this year, astrophotographer Alexander Pietrow became the first person to ever photograph the Moon and Jupiter using the device.

Image credits: Photographs by...


Shutterstocks Randomized Watermark Protects Photos from Googles AI PetaPixel

Google recently published a paper showing how easy it is for a computer to detect an identical watermark from a large collection of photos and then cleanly remove that watermark from each photo. Shutterstock has responded to Googles AI by developing a new randomized watermark that counters it.

Googles research found that many common stock watermarks can be removed since they appear identically across a huge number of online photos.

Shutterstock was actually notified about the research before the paper was published, and its engineers began working on a way to fix the flaws that Google researchers uncovered. Googles conclusion was that to prevent computers from being able to easily isolate a watermark, you need to introduce random variations to your watermark. Thats exactly what Shutterstock decided to do.

The challenge was protecting images without degrading the image quality, Shutterstock CTO Martin Brodbeck says. Changing the opacity and location of a watermark does not make it more secure, however changing the geometry does.

Engineers developed a new watermark randomizer that results in no two Shutterstock watermarks ever being exactly the same now.

The shapes vary per image and include contributor names, Brodbeck says. By creating a completely different watermark for each image, it makes it hard to truly identify the shape.

Heres what the standard Shutterstock watermark looked like prior to this new technology being rolled out:

And heres what the new watermark looks like:

This new random watermark has been rolled out to all of Shutterstocks 150 million+ photos and images. Google engineers already tested the new watermarks and found that they successfully foil Googles watermark removal AI system.



This Eclipse Photo Shows the Power of Shooting RAW PetaPixel

Heres an eye-opening example that shows the power of shooting RAW. Photographer Dan Plucinski captured a beautiful photo of the solar eclipse yesterday, and this is the before-and-after comparison showing the straight-out-of-camera image (on left) compared to the edited one (on right).

Plucinski got to the location in Oregon at 6am and set up for his shot. During totality, Plucinski shot exposure bracketed photos using his Nikon D750. This photo was captured without a filter at f/2.8, 1/8s, and ISO 100:

But this photo didnt accurately capture what the human eye could see. To correct that, Plucinski did some minimal editing on the shot to bring out details in the shadows. Since he was working with a RAW file, there was quite a bit of detail to be recovered. Heres what his photo looked like after the exposure tweak:

The fog is actually from the French and Whitewater wild fires, Plucinski tells PetaPixel. I bracketed my shots with the intention of using HDR, but after seeing how many recomposed images went viral, I just loved the authenticity of a single exposure like this.

Its unbelievable, but thats how it actually looked in person.

Having this degree of flexibility for exposure adjustments is a huge benefit of shooting RAW over JPEG. At the same time, the Nikon D750 is a camera known for having a fantastic dynamic range.

And just in case youre wondering, heres what the details in the shadowy landscape look like if you try to recover them from the JPEG photo:



How to Shoot Magical Portraits in the Pouring Rain PetaPixel

When it starts pouring outside, most photographers may run for cover and hide from the rain. For photographer Ilko Allexandroff, heavy rain becomes an opportunity to shoot stunning backlit portraits of subjects. Heres a 20-minute video in which Allexandroff discusses his methods, helpful tips, and 6 types of lighting setups he uses.

Here are the 6 scenarios and some beautiful example photos for each one:

#1. Backlight for Silhouettes

A single light will illuminate raindrops and turn your subject into a silhouette.

#2. Backlight Plus Reflected Light

If youd like your subjects face illuminated with a single light from behind, you can place your subject next to a wall or other structure that can bounce some light back onto them.

#3. Backlight Plus a Light Source

Placing your subject near another light source such as a store window can illuminate their features while the single flash in the back illuminates the rain.

#4. Backlight and RAW Editing

Allexandroff sometimes uses a single flash behind the subject and then increases exposure on the subjects face and features during post-processing.



OIympus OM-D E-M10 III Photos and Specs Leaked PetaPixel

Olympus announced its OM-D E-M10 II entry-level mirrorless camera back in August 2015, so its time for a refresh, and that refresh is nearly upon us. The upcoming Olympus E-M10 III has just been outed with leaked photos and specs.

43 Rumors published the images and info, which reveal that the camera will be outwardly very similar to its predecessor and will be available in both black and silver.

The E-M10 III will reportedly have a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, a touchscreen, 4K video recording, 121 contrast autofocus points, an electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots, UHS-II support, and a microphone input. The announcement date for this camera and 4 new lenses may happen on August 31st. Stay tuned.


CrashPlan is Ditching Consumers: Time to Move Your Photo Backups PetaPixel

If you use the popular CrashPlan for Home as your cloud photo backup service, heres some bad news: youre going to have to start paying more or move your photo archive elsewhere. Code42 just announced that CrashPlan for Home is being discontinued.

Code42 says its transitioning out of the consumer backup market and shifting its strategic focus to serve business and education customers. Starting now, CrashPlan for Home is no longer being offered to new customers. The entire service is also being wound down over the coming months until its completely killed off on October 23rd, 2018.

If youre an existing customer, heres what this change means for you: Code42 is giving you a free additional 60 days to your current subscription and two different options.

The first option is to upgrade to the CrashPlan for Small Business service, which costs $10 per device per month for unlimited storage. Youll also get a 75% discount for your first year.

The second route you can take is to stop using CrashPlan and to move all your data elsewhere. CrashPlan now has an exclusive partnership with the competing cloud storage service Carbonite, which will be offering discounted prices exclusively to existing CrashPlan customers who switch to its $60/year ($5/month) service.

If youd like to move your data to a service other than Carbonite, you may want to wait until your current subscription with CrashPlan expires, as the money youve already paid is non-refundable.

It seems that after years of offering free and extremely cheap options for cloud data storage, companies in the industry are beginning to tighten their belts or die off. shuttered its cloud storage se...


800-Year-Old Coffin Damaged After Museum Visitor Lifts Kid in for Photo PetaPixel

An 800-year-old stone coffin in a UK museum was damaged earlier this month when parents decided to lift their child into it to pose for a photo.

The Guardian reports that the ancient artifact was on display at the Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, Essex, on August 4th when the kid was lifted past the protective barrier and placed into the coffin. The coffin then fell off its stand, breaking a chunk out of it.

Security camera footage shows that the family quickly left the area without reporting the damage to museum staff, who discovered it and then found out what happened through recorded CCTV video.

The sandstone casket was an extremely rare piece that was discovered back in 1921 at the priory, which was founded in the 13th century. While damage to such an artifact cannot be fully fixed, its estimated that the necessary repairs will only cost less than 100.

The coffin prior to the incident. The family caused more damage to an already damaged section of the coffin.

The care of our collections is of paramount importance to us and this isolated incident has been upsetting for the museums service, whose staff strive to protect Southends heritage within our historic sites, museum conservator Claire Reed tells the Press Association. You can put all the risk assessments in place but you really dont expect people to try to get into the artefacts.

Due to the actions of the careless family, future museum-goers wont have as nice of a view of the coffin: the museum is planning to fully enclose the coffin now to prevent any future damage.

Image credits: Photographs by the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council


How to Shoot a Dancer Coming Out of a Wall Mirror PetaPixel

Los Angeles-based photographer Daniel DeArco recently shot a series of inverted room photos of a dancer and a mirror on a wall. To turn the idea into reality, DeArco and his team spent days building a sideways room.

Heres a 3D rendering showing the set that was built:

A standing pool of water on the ground was the mirror on the wall, and the sidewall had furniture fixed to it to serve as the ground in the photo.

The team spent 5 days building the set but ended up having only 2 hours to shoot on it. Here are some photos DeArco captured over 90 minutes:



How to Try Out Infrared Photography Without Modifying Your Camera PetaPixel

Digital cameras usually have infrared filters on the sensor that work to block out almost all of the infrared information reaching it. To shoot infrared photos, photographers often have their camera converted to capture infrared light by removing this filter, but in turn the camera loses its ability to capture normal images. If youd like to dabble with IR photography, theres an easier alternative.

If youre new to the world of infrared photography, altering a camera and restricting it to one narrow genre is probably not an attractive prospect. After all, what if you decide its not for you?

In the 12-minute video above from e6 Vlogs, learn about the alternative way to try it out: by using specialized filters.

These filters screw onto the end of your lens and block all visible wavelengths of light. The small amount of infrared light that does manage to reach the sensor, despite the blocking filters, is then the only light available. Consequently, this means using very long exposures to create an image, but its a cheaper alternative than making a camera sacrifice.

Remember, if you do this youll need to compose and focus your shot before putting on the filter, otherwise youll just see a black screen. Some cameras offer a Live View boost mode that brightens it up enough, but not all do.

(via e6 Vlogs via Fstoppers)

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