12 Inspiring Talks by Photographers at Google

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Talks at Google” is a program in which notable people in various industries are brought to Google to talk about their work. Over the years, a large number of notable photographers have participated to share their stories and images. Over the past several years, over 40 photographers have given hour-long lectures for Photographers at Google. Subjects have ranged from the artistic side of photography to discussing specific photo projects that reveal something about our world. Here’s a selection of 12 of our favorite photography talks at Google so far: #1: Art Wolfe on “The Art of the Image”
#2: Vincent Versace on “The Lens is the Brush”
#3: Christopher Bonanos on “Instant:The Story of Polaroid”
#4: Eric Cheng on “Underwater Photography”
#5: Tamara Lackey on “Embracing Self-Consciousness”
#6: Moose Peterson on “Captured”
#7: Rick Sammon on “Travel Photography”
#8: Trey Ratcliff on HDR Photography
#9: Joe McNally on
Continue reading "12 Inspiring Talks by Photographers at Google"

Sony to Launch a Wireless Flash Control System Of Its Own

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Sony today announced that it’s planning to launch a new wireless lighting control system for professional Sony shooters. A prototype of the new system is on display at the WPPI 2016 conference and trade show in Las Vegas. The system will include two main components: a FA-WRC1M wireless radio commander and a FA-WRR1 wireless radio receiver. The devices have a maximum range of 30m (~98 feet) and a flash sync speed of 1/250s (with high speed sync support as well). Photographers will be able to control up to 15 separate flash units assigned to 5 different groups. The exposure of connected flashes can be controlled both automatically and manually. Sony will be announcing the full specifications, pricing, and availability later on, but for now the company is saying that the Wireless Lighting Control system will be available through retailers starting in the summer of 2016. So if you’re a Sony
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These Mesmerizing Photos Show Tall Buildings Framing the Sky

Fok Cheong Building In Hong Kong by Andy Yeung-X3

For his project titled “Always Look Up,” Hong Kong-based photographer Andy Yeung visited particular tall buildings around the world and pointed his camera straight up at the sky. The photo above, titled “Compact City,” shows the Fok Cheong Building in Hong Kong. The photo was awarded 1st place in the 2015 Oneshot “Home” contest by the International Photography Awards. Here are some other photos from the series:
The Choi Wan Estate in Hong Kong
The Choi Wan Estate in Hong Kong
Shenzhen, China
Shenzhen, China
Central Hong Kong
Central Hong Kong
Macau
Macau
Four Seasons hotel in Guangzhou, China
Four Seasons hotel in Guangzhou, China
Ping Shek Estate in Hong Kong
Ping Shek Estate in Hong Kong
Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Office buildings in Hong Kong
Office buildings in Hong Kong
Fok Cheong building in Hong Kong.
Fok Cheong building in Hong Kong.
You can find more of Yeung’s work on his website. He created a wonderful series of photos of Hong Kong from above as well.
Image credits: Photographs by Andy Yeung and used with permission

How I Learned to Love Photography (Again)

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Dear Photography, You have been around long before I ever picked up a camera, and you will undoubtedly be around long after I fire off my last exposure. Photos resonate with people, which is why I, like so many others, love your craft. But this essay isn’t about why I love photography, or how I honed my art form, or how I discovered myself through the moments I captured. It is about how a fell out of love with you. I downloaded Instagram in 2011 amidst a string of medical problems that forced me to be bed ridden. At that time, with no prior knowledge of what constituted a good photo, I used Instagram as a creative outlet for sharing quick snaps off my camera roll with an audience that was mostly a few friends and family members. I didn’t have exposure to photos other than my own, so I
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Continue reading "How I Learned to Love Photography (Again)"

Profoto Reboots Its Beauty Dish as a Lightweight Collapsible Tool

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Profoto today announced a reboot of its classic Beauty Dish from the 1980s. The new version of this classic tool is both lightweight and collapsible. “When the Profoto Softlight Reflector was released in 1980, fashion photographers soon nicknamed it ‘The Beauty Dish’ due to its unique ability to bring out the beauty of the model,” Profoto writes. “Since then it has grown to become one of the most iconic tools for creating a creamy yet crisp light, often referred to as a ‘beauty light’.”

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The new OCF Beauty Dish is designed for the Profoto B1 and B2 flashes (it can’t be used on other models due to “heat issues”). Rather than a metal build, the new version uses durable fabrics that allow it to be collapsed and carried in a small bag that fits inside any small backpack.

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Mounting the OCF Beauty Dish involves using a patent-pending design that
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Continue reading "Profoto Reboots Its Beauty Dish as a Lightweight Collapsible Tool"

Sony HX80: A Compact Camera with a 30x Zoom and a Retractable EVF

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Sony today announced the HX80, a new compact camera with a 30x zoom lens and a built-in retractable electronic viewfinder. According to Sony, the DSC-HX80 is the world’s smallest 30x optical zoom camera (with a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens), as well as the first high-zoom compact camera with a retractable EVF (an OLED Tru-Finder that pops up from the top). Inside the camera is a 18.2 MP2 Exmor R CMOS sensor that can shoot both still images and Full HD videos. On the back is a 921K-dot, 3-inch LCD screen that can tilt 180 degrees.

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Other specs and features include Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity, Optical SteadyShot with 5-axis image stabilization, and a pop-up flash unit. The Sony HX80 will be available in April 2016 with a price tag of $350.

The Darkest Material on Earth is Now Even Darker

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When the darkest material on Earth was announced back in 2014, photographers suggested that it could be used for everything from the ultimate non-reflective black backdrop to an art gallery in which the photos “pop.” Well, that darkest material just got even darker. The material, called Vantablack, is still being developed by the UK-based company Surrey NanoSystems. While the original Vantablack could already absorb 99.96% of light that hits it, Surrey NanoSystems decided to do better. The latest version of the Vantablack doesn’t even have a percentage figure for its light absorption. Why? Because it absorbs so much light now that the company’s spectrometers can’t measure it anymore.
A Vantablack sheet of aluminum foil next to a Canon lens cap. Photo by Engineering & Technology
A Vantablack sheet of aluminum foil next to a Canon lens cap. Photo by Engineering & Technology
This is what it looks like when a laser pointer’s red dot is passed across the surface:
Vantablack is made up
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Continue reading "The Darkest Material on Earth is Now Even Darker"

These Photos Take Us Inside B&H Warehouses in NYC

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The camera gear retail giant B&H is working to defend itself this month after the US government filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company — allegations B&H calls “inaccurate” and “bizarre.” In an effort to clear its name, B&H is offering the public a glimpse inside its NYC warehouses. B&H is one of the largest camera gear retailers on Earth, so these warehouses serve as a central hub of the latest and greatest photo equipment as they move from manufacturing into the hands of photographers. New York City-based photographer and educator Katrin Eismann was invited a week ago to pay an unannounced visit to B&H’s warehouse in Manhattan to document what she saw. Here are her images and captions:
"Warehouse hallway build to legal standards. 36 inches wide and nothing may be stacked within 20 inches of th efire water sprinklers."
“Warehouse hallway build to legal standards. 36 inches wide and nothing may be stacked within 20 inches of th efire water sprinklers.”
Break room.
Break room.
Calender shwoing 17 hoilidays and vacations.
Calender shwoing 17 hoilidays and
Hostile Work Notice
Free Language classes offered.
Warehouse shot - notice the slip of paper that is your order.
Get the product.
Place product in green bin and off it goes to the store.
Restroom area.
Nikon lenses
Canon equipment.
Sony equipment.
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One of several refreshment areas
Merchandise being packed for customer orders
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One of numerous clearly marked easily accessible exits
Orders queued to be shipped
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Continue reading "These Photos Take Us Inside B&H Warehouses in NYC"

The Winning Photos of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016

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The winning photos have just been announced for the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016 contest. The grand prize was awarded to Italian photographer Davide Lopresti for his image “Gold,” a portrait of a spiny seahorse. “Over the years the Mediterranean’s population of seahorses has drastically reduced,” writes Lopresti. “Their numbers have only recovered thanks to public awareness and a significant restocking campaign.” “Areas of the sea have now been set aside, protected from harmful fishing methods, like trawling. This has allowed vulnerable and delicate creatures, like sea horses, to return. This is what I hoped to celebrate with this image.” For his prize-winning shot, he used a long exposure and camera panning to add some blur to the portrait. The seahorse was frozen with a beam of light from his strobe. “My aim was to give the scene a sense of grace and strength simultaneously,” he says.
"Catshark Supernova." Dan Bolt/UPY 2016
"Underwater fisherman." Mike Korostelev/UPY 2016
"Beach Guardians". Alejandro Prieto/UPA 2016
"Pilot Whales." Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2016
"Icebreaker." Tobias Friedrich/UPY 2016
"A Family Affair." Thomas Heckmann/UPY 2016
"USS Kittiwake and Diver." Christian Vizl/UPY 2016
"USS Kittiwake Shipwreck." Susannah H. Snowden-Smith/UPY 2016
"Turtle Eating Jellyfish." Richard Carey/UPY 2016
"What Feeds Beneath." Alejandro Prieto/UPY 2016
"Millions of Crabs." Rui Guerra/UPY 2016
"Battle at the Nine." Ralph Pace/UPY 2016
"Bass." Oliver Anlauf/UPY 2016
"Friend or Foe?" Dan Bolt/UPY 2016
Continue reading "The Winning Photos of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016"

An Interview with Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel of the NPPA

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Mickey H. Osterreicher is a lawyer who has served as General Counsel of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) since 2006. We had a chat with Osterreicher about his life and the state of photographers’ rights. PetaPixel: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? Mickey Osterreicher: I was born and grew up in the Bronx, New York and left to go to college in Buffalo at 16. Although I wasn’t consciously aware of it I always was the one taking the family photos. I began working for the school newspaper at SUNY Buffalo in my sophomore year and covered many news stories including the anti-Vietnam war protests in Washington and the Democratic National Convention in 1972 in Miami. I found I loved photojournalism and began stringing for AP and the NY Times. I was part of the first graduating class of “special majors,” receiving my Bachelor
Continue reading "An Interview with Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel of the NPPA"

Apollo the Great Dane: Photos from the Life of a Gentle Giant

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“Once Upon a Dane” is an ongoing photo project that documents the “life and tales” of a Great Dane named Apollo. It’s “an ongoing journey to learn the customs and traditions of this proud race of gentle giants,” photographer Benjamin Peniche tells us. By day, Peniche is the founder and CCO of an architectural firm called Arkham Projects in Merida Yucatan, Mexico. In his free time, Peniche is a photographer that likes to focus on his beloved puppy.
"Daydreaming..."
“Daydreaming…”
Peniche and his wife got Apollo as a puppy 2 years ago. Shortly after, he began creating a photographic record of Apollo’s life after realizing that they hadn’t taken a single photo of their precious dog.
"Centerpiece dane is a very useful accessory for getting the remotes without having to reach for it.... the only problem is the occasional disappearance of snacks and drool on the remotes..."
“Centerpiece dane is a very useful accessory for getting the remotes without having to reach for it…. the only problem is the occasional disappearance of snacks and drool on the remotes…”
Peniche then started an
"Apollo hiding in the tall grass like a lion waiting for his prey... only slower, whiter , clumsier, cuter and lovable..."
"The little cocker was yelling about there being another dog. Apollo ignored him, not wanting to explain the complexity's of light and reflection all over again... Danes are wise"
"Here we can find Apollo in a minimalistic landscape one of his favorite surroundings."
"Really long day at the beach. We took some great photos."
"Team work. Nice right? Nope. The reality is that as soon as Apollo gets to the shore, Hotch will go directly to the neck to get that coconut."
"You got a friend in me. Hotch and Apollo are always together. Hotch takes care of his huge little brother, even if he has to defend him against a pit bull in the park."
"The original purpose of a bird fountain was for great Danes. But as their numbers decline in the wild, birds start using it."
"Danes love to play in tall grass. It makes them feel small again."
"You wake up in a little box one day, and that's all your world until one day you feel to big for your little world and decided to explore. And outside there is a huge new world and suddenly you don't feel that big anymore... Apollo's thoughts when he realized he has a new little brother to take care of."
"Did you know that Danes are great babysitters? This is the definition of a gentle giant"
"Once upon a Dane, there was this big dog that refused to grow he wanted to stay a pup, he would bark to the second star to the right, until the morning"
"Danes are often hard to spot, as they tend to blend into their surroundings"
"Not longer able to fit on a chairs, danes slowly move up the hierarchy until they claim the throne. A clumsy and awkward game of thrones"
"Young danes often take a year to meditate in solitude in the mountains to get wiser. Unfortunately they don't allow cameras up there, maybe to cover up the fact that all they do is sleep."
Continue reading "Apollo the Great Dane: Photos from the Life of a Gentle Giant"

How to Take Good Photos at a ‘Bad’ Time of Day

What do you do when you find a good location to photograph, but the time of day isn’t right due to strong sunlight and harsh shadows? That’s the subject of this 12-minute tutorial by photographer Mike Browne. Browne demonstrates how you can overcome less-than-ideal lighting by moving your feet, adjusting your camera settings, and looking for compositions that use the situation to your advantage.

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Back in 2014, we shared another video tutorial in which Browne shares how he finds interesting photographs when stuck in “boring” locations.

Ep. 53: Photography…Maybe It’s Not for You

Here’s episode 53 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast. You can also download the MP3 directly and subscribe via iTunes or RSS!

Leave a comment in this post, or use our voicemail widget for feedback/questions for the show.

In This Episode

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to rate and review us and help us move up in the rankings so others interested in photography may find us.

Celebrity wedding and portrait photographer Robert Evans opens the show. Thanks Robert!

Two photographers are accused of shattering 70 bus shelters. (#)

MagMod announces it’s MagBeam which is two devices in one. (#)

Polaroid announces a much cheaper alternative to the Ice Light. (#)

Lightroom for iOS v2.2 can now handle full-resolution photos. (#)

French authorities warn parents about sharing their kids’ photos and there’s the potential for

Continue reading "Ep. 53: Photography…Maybe It’s Not for You"

A Photographer Shares What It’s Like to Swim with Humpback Whales

Here’s a beautiful 2-minute video by Great Big Story in which photographer Anuar Patjane talks about what it’s like to swim with and photograph whales in the ocean. If anyone has the qualifications to discuss this type of magical photo, it’s Patjane. While diving near Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, Patjane and a group of divers encountered a humpback whale and her newborn calf. Here’s one of the photos he made:

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That photo was selected from over 18,000 submissions and awarded the grand prize in the prestigious 2015 National Geographic Traveler photo contest. It also won 2nd place for Nature singles in the prestigious 2016 World Press Photo competition. Here are a couple of other photos he has captured while diving with whales, dolphins, and other sea life:

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Patjane has been diving for over 17 years now, and his portfolio is remarkable. You can find galleries of his
Continue reading "A Photographer Shares What It’s Like to Swim with Humpback Whales"

These Drone Photos Show the Density of High-Rises in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong is a densely populated city where high-rises are crammed close together and where an estimated 100,000+ people live in 40-square-foot cubicle apartments. Photographer Andy Yeung used a drone to capture this density for his project Urban Jungle. The photo above of the Sheung Wan area of the city was selected as a 500px.com Editors’ Choice.

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You can find more of Yeung’s work on his website.
Image credits: Photographs by Andy Yeung and used with permission

Canon Rebel T6 Photos and Specs Leaked

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Wondering where Canon is headed with its most basic entry-level DSLR? Wonder no more: photos and specs of the soon-to-be-announced Canon Rebel T6 (AKA 1300D) have leaked. Digicame-info reports that the DSLR will pack an APS-C-sized (22.3×14.9mm) 18MP CMOS sensor and a DIGIC4+ image processing engine. ISO range will be 100 to 6400 (expandable to 12800).

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Other specs and features mentioned so far include Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity, Full HD video recording, a video snapshot feature, Scene Intelligent Auto, Creative Filters, a continuous shooting speed of 3fps, a 3-inch LCD screen, a size of 129×101.3×77.6mm, an da weight of 485g.

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While an exact announcement date hasn’t been leaked yet, it’s expected to be close at hand. There’s also no word yet on pricing and availability, but we’re guessing it’ll be in the ballpark of $500 with a kit lens like the T5 was.

I Shot Portraits of Mongolian Eagle Hunters

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My name is Sasha Leahovcenco, and I’m a photographer based in Los Angeles. Last year, my friend (and project producer) Cale Glendening and I traveled to Mongolia to meet an eagle hunter and spend a week documenting his story. His name is Konki, and he lives near Deluun Village in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia. Originally a herder, he decided to take up the profession of hunting with eagles after his father’s passing 2 years ago. Eagle hunting is a heritage passed from father to son, generation after generation by the beautiful people of the Altai mountains and Mongolian hills.

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Each day, we woke up at 6am, and had breakfast together with Konki and his cousin. At 7:30am, another 2 eagle hunters would arrive from the other parts of the mountain where they live, and together our group would go hunting.

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As we traveled around the land with
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Continue reading "I Shot Portraits of Mongolian Eagle Hunters"

This Bazooka Takes Down Drones by Firing Net Rockets

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It looks like the future is going to be full of scary-looking weapons that are designed to take down rogue drones. The latest one: a shoulder-mounted anti-drone bazooka. The defensive weapon is called the SkyWall100, and it’s a “man portable drone defense” system being developed by a UK company called OpenWorks Engineering.

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It’s not as fancy as that futuristic energy weapon that brings down drones with radio waves, but it may be quite effective nonetheless. The SkyWall100 can be used by a single person and is light enough (~10kg/22lbs) to be carried around. It uses compressed air to shoot the projectile, so it’s nearly silent and can be used in public without causing people to panic.

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Once the projectile is fired at the drone with an advanced targeting system, a net inside emerges to capture the vehicle. A parachute is then automatically deployed to safely lower the drone to
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Continue reading "This Bazooka Takes Down Drones by Firing Net Rockets"

Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-Pro2: Which Camera Should You Buy?

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I personally own the Fujifilm X-T10, but I became curious recently: is the new X-Pro2 worth the upgrade, or is the X-T1 enough of an upgrade from the X-T10? I already did some tests shots on the X-Pro2 for a recent post, and it performed extremely well. But I was still curious on how the two higher-tier cameras compare. So, I borrowed the X-T1 from a friend and did some comparison tests with the X-Pro2, which was lent to me by Fujifilm. I wanted to make the tests as fair as possible so I shot almost all of them inside my studio, as the lighting and conditions don’t change. All shots were taken using same lens, the Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4.

Side By Side

Below is a side by side comparison of the two cameras. For me, the X-Pro2 feels more sturdy, it’s like I’m holding a small version of a full
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RAW TEST
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Continue reading "Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-Pro2: Which Camera Should You Buy?"

VSCO Academy Offers Free Bi-Weekly Video Lessons on Photography

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VSCO has launched a new project called VSCO Academy, a bi-weekly series of free video tutorials on the ins and outs of photography.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, the academy will post a new video about a different topic in photography. Subjects range from photographing people to finding beauty in every things, and formats include tips, interviews, and video lessons with the hosts, Katy and Max.

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If you use VSCO to share photos and would like to share your progress from the lessons, you can upload them to the service with the tag #ACADEMY. Student images will be featured on a daily basis. Here are the first two lesson videos that kick off the new academy. They’re about photographing people:
You can start following along with the academy through its website and new YouTube playlist.