40% of All Camera Sensors Sold in 2014 Were Made by Sony

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Sony may not make the world’s most popular smartphones or cameras, but it’s playing a bigger role in those industries than what meets the eye: the company’s image sensor business has been booming in recent years. In 2014, Sony was the company that made 40% of all the sensors sold across the globe.

The Wall Street Journal has published a fascinating look at how Sony is banking on image sensor manufacturing as one of the core pillars of the company. Instead of focusing on selling Sony-branded electronics, as the company did in past decades, Sony is now working at getting its technologies inside other companies’ hit products.

For example, every iPhone 6 contains two camera sensors made by Sony, and every sale of the phone generates up to $20 for the company, according to the WSJ report.

The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones both contain Sony camera sensors.

The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones both contain Sony camera sensors.

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AirMap Lets You Look Up Where You Can Legally Fly Your Camera Drone

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If you’re getting into drone photography, it’s important to know where you can and can’t fly — otherwise you could find your activities in the news for all the wrong reasons. AirMap is a new free, comprehensive, and interactive digital map that’s designed specifically to help drone users find safe and legal airspace around them.

“Airspace rules are complex,” the service says. “AirMap removes barriers to compliance by providing the low altitude airspace information that unmanned aircraft operators need.”

The initial beta version of the site, which is live now, shows data for US-based drone operators, but an international version of the map is launching in the near future.

Unlike most other airspace maps, which were created for manned aviation, AirMap is designed purely for drone operators by drone operators. It focuses on airspace information from ground level up to 500 feet — the space in which drones can

There may be more restricted airspace near you than you realize.
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Are Photographers Destroying Nature?

As nature photography has grown, so has its critics. Wardens, legislators, and police officers have begun to push for laws that would better protect animals in nature and create more concrete boundaries by which a potential shooter would follow. Are we, as photographers, the new law-breaching intruders, à la poachers? Are we destroying nature?

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Start Your Weekend Off Right with This Beautiful Aerial Footage of Antarctica

There are some places that very few of us will ever get to see in-person. Antarctica is one of them. The next best thing is, of course, beautiful aerial footage. On a 16-day boat trip through antarctic waters, filmmaker Kalle Ljung captured some truly stunning aerial shots of the arctic landscapes and aquatic wildlife. All of these shots come from a DJI Phantom 2 and GoPro HERO3+ Black.

So happy Friday, NFS readers! Let this gorgeous footage inspire you to spend the upcoming weekend shooting beautiful things and writing great stories and any other general filmmaking awesomeness that you can conjure.

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Searching for Two Sisters I Photographed in Nepal

Yesterday I shared the before-and-after photos above. The image on the left was taken on the 22nd April, 2009, almost exactly six years and one week before the image on the right. They show the same street in Bhaktapur, one of Nepal’s most historic cities, before and after last Saturday’s earthquake.

In 2009, whilst photographing for a magazine feature, I spent a while photographing these two sisters on their way home from school. One of the images appeared in my first exhibition.

Returning to Nepal this week under less happy circumstances, I found myself, by complete coincidence, at the same spot. Recalling the time spent at the end of that narrow alleyway in 2009 was bitter-sweet in the face of the damage and destruction. I wondered what had happened to those charming, cheerful, carefree young girls.

So many people have lost their lives in Nepal this week. So many more

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Geotaggers’ World Atlas: Photo Spots Reveal the Most Interesting Places on Earth

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It was five years ago that we first covered Eric Fischer’s Geotaggers’ World Atlas project. His goal was to gain insight into the world’s most interesting places and routes by gathering vast amounts of geotag data from Flickr photos.

At the time, Fischer released his findings as a set of maps showing heat maps of popular photo spots in a number of major cities.

Since that time, technology has allowed Fischer to turn the map into an interactive experience. This week, he launched a fully interactive map of the Geotaggers’ World Atlas that includes every city on Earth. You can now browse to any location you wish to see how photos are captured in that location.

When you zoom all the way in, you’ll see that the 10 years worth of data is visualized in large numbers of colored lines.

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The lines indicate the paths between subsequent photos taken by

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5 Simple Ways to Become a Better Photographer

As professional photographers and videographers, we are constantly striving to stay ahead of the game doing the best we can and give our clients the best possible product. We are constantly looking at new gear and techniques, improving our post-production skills, and putting in long hours studying and editing. While hard work, solid equipment, and good business skills are a must, here are a few simple tips that can help open doors, bring in new clients, and help give you the confidence to make important decisions.

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5 DIY Lighting Setups You Can Make At Home

Want to play around with studio lighting from the comfort of your own home without dropping any money on actual lighting equipment? Here’s a 10-minute video by DigitalRev TV with 5 different lighting setups you can create using things found around a house. Kai and Lok cover using lamps as hot lights, creating makeshift diffusers with photo frames, using a Pringles can as a snoot, turning a home organizer into a soft box, and crafting a beauty dish from a round aluminum pan.

There Are Only 190 One-Hour Photo Shops Left in the United States

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There’s a critically endangered species in the world of photography businesses: the one-hour photo shop. With the decline of film developing and photo printing, the one-hour photo niche has become the single fastest-dying business in the United States.

How bad is it? There are only 190 of the shops still open in the whole country.

Bloomberg reports that new Census data published by the government has revealed that no other business has faded as much in the past 15 years as the one-hour photo store.

While the Census counted 3,066 of the stores back in 1998, by 2013 that number had plummeted to 190 (it may be even fewer now that another two years have passed). That’s a staggering 94% drop in just one-and-a-half decades. By comparison, newsstands decreased by 50% and video rental stores dropped by 85%.

After years as one of the pillars of the consumer photo industry,

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HTC One M9 Can Now Shoot RAW with Latest Camera App Update

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HTC is doing a lot to beef up the camera in its One M9 smartphone after the initial release was somewhat underwhelming. Less than a month after improving image quality with a software update, the company has released a new version of the phone’s camera app that adds RAW functionality.

The latest version of the HTC Camera app on Google Play allows the One M9 to capture DNG files with a new Raw Camera mode. These image files can then be loaded into programs like Lightroom or Photoshop and edited with much more flexibility than JPEG images.

Two major flagship smartphones offer RAW support now: the HTC One M9 and the new LG G4. Since the camera front is where much of the smartphone war is being fought, we’re guessing we’ll see other major manufacturers follow suit and add RAW features into their phones as well to avoid falling behind

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Cinematographer Eve Hazelton Explains the Five Pillars of Exposure

Photographers and filmmakers alike need to understand the basics of controlling the exposure of an image. It’s one of the foundations of their crafts. Cinematographer Eve Hazelton does a wonderful job of explaining the five ways to expose an image in this short video where she also details the unique creative side effects that come along with each method. Newbies and seasoned professionals will both enjoy this simple and straightforward, yet inspired visual tutorial.

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Leica Officially Announces New M Monochrom Type 246 Camera

The legendary photography company Leica has announced the new M Monochom (type 246) camera, a follow up to the M Monochrome black-and-white shooting rangefinder. The new digital camera boasts a faster Maestro image processor, 2 GB buffer memory, 24-megapixel black-and-white full-frame sensor, live-view zoom, focus peaking, and 1080p Full-HD video.

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MESSENGER Slammed Into Mercury with Over 1,000 Photos Onboard

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NASA’s MESSENGER mission came to an end yesterday after the space probe slammed into Mercury’s surface at about 8,750 mph. The photo above is the last photo that was sent back to scientists on Earth before impact.

Here’s an interesting fact: thousands of photos were still on the MESSENGER when it was destroyed — images that we will never get a chance to lay eyes on.

MESSENGER was originally scheduled to orbit Mercury for one year, but it ended up enduring for over four years and 4,105 orbits.

An artist's rendering of MESSENGER orbiting Mercury.

An artist’s rendering of MESSENGER orbiting Mercury.

During that time, it managed to shoot and send back roughly 278,000 photos, giving scientists an unprecedented look at the surface of the planet closest to the Sun.

The onboard Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) with two CCD cameras (wide and telephoto).

The onboard Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) with two CCD cameras (wide and telephoto).

In the days leading up to the MESSENGER’s scheduled crash ending, NASA revealed

The first high-resolution photo of Mercury transmitted by MESSENGER.
The first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit over Mercury.
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A Photo Shoot with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao Before Their Historic Fight

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Boxing superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are set to engage in a historic match tomorrow dubbed “The Fight of the Century” that’s expected to be the highest grossing fight in the history of the sport. Photographer Alexis Cuarezma was recently tasked with doing a portrait shoot of the two fighters for HBO.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes video in which Cuarezma offers a glimpse into the shoot and the personality of the two boxers:

“HBO has been a client I’ve always wanted to work with,” Cuarezma tells PetaPixel. “I love all the shows and programs they produce. I’ve been visiting them for the past two years showing them my book/work and building a working relationship with them.”

“I recently got asked to cover the press and the promo shoots for the fight. The relationship I’ve build over the years with both SHOWTIME and HBO helped bring this come about.”

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Video: Boost your SEO – 8 Tips To Get You Started

We get it: Search Engine Optimization can seem complicated, and you probably want to throw in the towel on the whole thing if you’ve tried time and again to start showing up on the first page of Google search results. Fortunately, for those who feel a little lost we’ve broken down easy tips and tricks you can do to build your SEO in our recent guide, SEO for Photographers, and here, you can watch a live webinar with tips from it, along with examples and more thorough explanations. In this live Google Hangout, Allen Murabayashi shows photographer websites with good SEO practice, the inner workings of Google Analytics, how to create a free Google Business listing and more.

In this hour Allen covers:

This Week In Photography Books: Christopher Williams

by Jonathan Blaustein

The strangest thing happened to me yesterday. I was chatting with a neighbor while photographing his Apache sweat lodge. (Long story.) We’d met for the first time the day before, so I was making small talk about our little valley.

I asked him if he’d seen the pair of golden eagles that lived around here, and often roosted in the tall cottonwoods near the stream.

He said he had no idea there were a pair of golden eagles around here. His tone was dubious. Then he mentioned that there WERE a couple of red-tailed hawks living in the canyon, but of course that was something else entirely.

It was the third time in as many weeks that someone had told me my eagles were hawks. The first two times, I shrugged it of as misinformation. But yesterday? I realized I might have been the one mistaken.

So I ran home and hit up my trusty friend Google. My heart sank. My favorite birds, the one’s from whom I’d learned so much, were not eagles… but hawks.

Should it matter?

The birds are no less beautiful. Or majestic. Their hunting prowess no flimsier, nor their stupefying ability to soar through the air without seeming to move at all.

So what was the problem? In my mind, they were eagles: rarer and more special than common hawks. I identified with them as being the kings of the sky. That they lived in my yard made me feel special. I told many people about my eagles.

But they were never eagles. At least, not outside my own mind. They nested inside my expectations, and laid eggs that gave me courage and confidence.

And now?

Now, I have to get over myself. I’m still freakishly lucky to live in a

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This Website Will Guess Your Age and Gender Based on a Photo

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How Old Do I Look? is a simple demo website created by Microsoft engineers who are working on information management and machine learning. Given any photo showing a face, the system will do its best to guess the age and gender of the people in the shot.

The engineers write that they had originally created the website to test out Microsoft’s newly released Face detection APIs, and had sent out the invite to several hundred people for testing and feedback.

Within hours of that email, tens of thousands of users were visiting the page from all over the world, uploading their photos to see how old a computer thinks they are (half the tested images were uploaded, the engineers say).

The main page of the website invites users to either use a pre-chosen photo or to upload one themselves:

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Once selected, the machine will analyze the photo, pick out all

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