‘Film is Still Alive’ is a Mini-Doc About the Love of Analog Photography

Just as vinyl records have made a comeback as of late, film photography has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Film is Still Alive is a 10-minute miniature documentary that explores why film photographers these days are still in love with their medium despite the camera industry moving to digital. The documentary was made by Canadian photographer Take Kayo and filmmaker Ryan Savella, who spoke to a number of amateur and professional film photographers to hear their thoughts. “Film photography never died, it was dormant,” the duo writes. “Now it’s alive and thriving.” The duo is aiming
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I Photographed Cherry Blossoms… in Amsterdam

I’ve been seeing lots of cherry blossom photos from many friends who are visiting Japan or Korea for their beautiful and famous cherry blossoms. I’m sitting here at home in the Netherlands for a change and figured I’d show how I don’t need to travel halfway across the globe to get these shots. Here’s a photo series from a forest called ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ (bos means forest). Take that! Disclaimer: This is meant to be for lighthearted fun. Obviously we don’t have the beautiful Japanese or Korean temples. A bit of info about this place: This little area in the
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This Tour of Kodak’s Factory Shows How 35mm Film is Made

The folks over at Negative Feedback recently paid a visit to one of the hallowed grounds of film photography: Kodak’s sprawling headquarters and film factory in Rochester, New York. In the 12.5-minute video above, photographer George Muncey and his crew take us along on the private tour they were given. We get to see both the outside and inside of Kodak’s facilities, including glimpses into various steps of the film manufacturing process, from bins of base materials to finished rolls of camera film popping out the end of the assembly line. The factory has the capability of producing 50,000
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Why Bad Photographers Think They’re Good

Did you know that the worse you are at photography, the more likely it is that you think you’re great at it? It’s a cognitive bias in psychology called the Dunning–Kruger effect. Here’s an inspiring 9-minute video by photographer Jamie Windsor on how you can avoid falling into this common mental trap and actually become a better photographer. In their 1999 study, social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger found that people who have virtually no skill in something often rate themselves as near experts because they simply don’t understand how much they actually still have to learn. “If you’re
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Canon Said ‘Challenge Accepted,’ and This $70K 50-1000mm Lens Was Born

Back in 2010, Canon was challenged by German wildlife filmmaker Ivo Norenberg create an extreme, “impossible” lens. Canon accepted the challenge, and this 7-minute video is the fascinating story of how the $70,000 Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF-mount cinema lens came to be. Norenberg had detailed specifications in mind for his “wildlife dream lens” — a combination of features and specs that seemed ridiculous at the time. He wanted to be able to full frame a subject 4 to 5 feet in height (like many wild animals) from a distance of 300 to 350 feet. Canon decided this
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What is ‘Middle Gray’? Here’s a Short and Sweet Explanation

If you’ve never learned the technical details of what “middle gray” and “18% gray” are, check out this 6-minute video by Filmmaker IQ. John Hess shares the math and science behind the concepts to demystify them. Middle gray is simply the halfway point between white and black to us perceptually. Our perception of color and lightness isn’t linear, and due to its history of use in printing with black ink on white paper, “middle gray” has been typically defined in photography and photo printing as a gray that reflects 18% of the light that hits it. “Most scenes reflect just
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How I Photographed the Double Diamond Fuji

As a spiritual symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji is one of only three sacred mountains of the country and its tallest at 3,776 meters. Its designation as a UNESCO world heritage site further exemplifies its importance to not only the people of Japan but to the world as well. When my wife and I went to Japan in the Spring of 2017, I had the opportunity to capture a widely known event called diamond Fuji — the time when the sun rises behind the apex of Mt. Fuji, creating a sparkle on top, much like a diamond would on top
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The Crazy Shots You Can Do with a Camera Robot

Marques Brownlee (AKA MKBHD) recently paid a visit to the company Motorized Precision in Portland, Oregon, to check out the company’s high-speed camera robots. In this 8.5-minute video, Brownlee shares the beautiful camera moves that are made possible by this “dope” technology. The company’s main robot is called Kira. It’s a fully-metal device that has a couple of fully-articulating axes and can extend up to 9 feet tall. It can also move up to 9 feet per second in any direction while carrying a camera weighing up to 40 pounds. The robot can be controlled in a preset
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This ‘Secret Code’ Shows if Your Nikon Gear is Refurbished

If you’re ever buying a Nikon camera or lens and the seller tells you they purchased it brand new, there’s a very easy way to see at a glance whether it was actually factory refurbished. Simply glance at the serial number and look for a “secret code.” Photographer Paul Eichengrun writes that Nikon physically marks every piece of equipment that it refurbishes. If your lens, camera, or flash was previously returned to Nikon, examined, and then resold, then it will have two pin prick circular indentations on the sides of the serial number. Here’s what the pin pricks look
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Do YOU Look Through the Viewfinder with Your Dominant Eye?

Just as people are right- or left-handed, everyone generally prefers the input of one particular eye, something called “ocular dominance” or “eyedness.” Most people rely on their dominant eye for things like aiming, and a person’s dominant eye actually has more neural connections to the brain than the other eye. So here’s a question: do you look through your camera’s viewfinder using your dominant eye? You may assume that you do, but that might not be the case. If you’re not sure which of your eyes is dominant, there’s a simple way to find out that’s called the “Miles
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The Science of Exposure and Metering: Light’s Pathway from Scene to Sensor

You’ve probably learned about the exposure triangle countless times by now. If you want a deeper understanding of the science of exposure, though, check out this 30-minute video by Filmmaker IQ. “I wanted to take a bit of a different approach to exposure and think of it as a pathway of light,” founder John P. Hess tells PetaPixel. “In doing so I found some new revelations about the relationship between light and metering that don’t really get answered with the exposure triangle.” Hess examines the pathway light takes to get from scene to sensor, a four-phase journey that includes
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Why Selfies Make Your Nose Look 30% Bigger

The rise of smartphone selfies is causing big changes in how people see themselves. Here’s a 2-minute video by Vox that explains why selfies usually make our noses look bigger. The reason is perspective distortiona new study has found that a selfie shot at a distance of 1 foot away from your face will show your nose 30% wider at the base and 7% larger in the tip than in a portrait shot at 5 feet. And this distortion is making a big impact in how people perceive themselves and make decisions about their bodies: in 2017, 55%
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The iPhone’s Shutter Sound is a Canon

Here’s an interesting little factoid: did you know that the iPhone’s shutter sound was originally recorded from a Canon camera? Whenever you snap an iPhone photo (with your volume on) or capture a screenshot on a Mac, that shutter sound you hear is actually a Canon AE-1 film SLR camera manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s thanks to a man named Jim Reekes, who worked as a sound engineer at Apple in the late 1980s. Reekes is actually behind a number of Apple’s most iconic sounds, and he was recently featured in this short segment by CNBC:
In
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Remove a Stuck Lens Filter by Tapping It Lightly With Your Finger

Here’s a strange photography hack that may sound stupid and unbelievable… but it can actually work: if you have a filter that’s hopelessly stuck to the front of your camera lens, try lightly tapping it with your finger. The Koldunov Brothers show how it’s done in the 1-minute video above. When a filter is frozen to your lens, you may naturally think that more force is what’s needed to free it. Even Canon recommends busting out a hammer and hacksaw for the most stubborn filters. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes what you actually need is some gentle coaxing. Try
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A Look Into the Viewfinder of the Sony a7 III

Want to see what it looks like to stare through the viewfinder of the new Sony a7 III? Photographer Manny Ortiz made this 5-minute video that shows viewfinder views of an urban photo shoot he did. Ortiz is impressed by the camera’s Eye AF feature, which can track your subject’s eyes even in AF-C continuous autofocus mode that’s engaged while you’re holding your shutter button halfway down. “The tracking is unbelievable,” he says. Ortiz settled on using Eye AF throughout his shoot because he found it to be so consistent in locking onto his wife’s face. Ortiz was also a
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Why One Photographer Moved From Full Frame to Crop and Back

Trying to choose between a full frame camera and a crop sensor one? Here’s a 10-minute video by photographer Sheldon Evans, who talks about the differences between the two and shares why he went from full frame to crop and then back again. As an illustration of how you can capture high-quality images on a wide range of sensor formats, Evans showed three photos — one shot with crop sensor, one shot on full frame, and one shot on medium format. Can you tell which is which? (The answers are at the end of this post). “In the end,
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What Should You Charge for Your Pro Photography?

Figuring out how much to charge clients is a struggle shared by many photographers, particularly if you’re trying live off the fruits of your craft. In this 30-minute episode of their Picture This Podcast, photographers Tony and Chelsea Northrup spend half an hour discussing this topic and sharing advice. “It’s REALLY hard to decide what to charge for your professional photography business,” the Northrups write. “We dig deep into different portrait photography pricing models, discuss the benefits of both low and high price points, and show you how to calculate what you need to make a real living wage
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Flash Battle: Profoto B1X vs Godox AD600 Pro vs Broncolor Siros 800 L

In 2016, I made a video comparing the Profoto B1 and Godox AD600. Since then both models have had an updated release and Broncolor has also released the Siros 800 and 400. I decided to put all three models head to head to help people decide which is the best option. I compare these 3 models because they are very high powered lights that feature an attached battery, remote power control, and all of the features that photographers look for in a strobe designed for location-based work.

Power

I metered all 3 lights in the same indirect softbox (A Cheetah
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How to Clone a Photo by Shredding It

Here’s a curious little 43-second video by Japanese artist Kensuke Koike that’s going viral. Titled “Top Breeder,” it shows how you can duplicate a photo of a dog by putting the print through a pasta cutter and distributing the slices into new photos. One picture can “magically” turn into four. “What is shown […] is actually a form of simple down-sampling where every other row and column are selected from an input image,” writes programmer Alexander Booth. “In computer vision the original image is usually blurred before performing this kind of down-sampling so that the resulting smaller images do not
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What’s With All the Poor Negative Film Reviews?

I don’t usually go the negative Nellie with anything photo related, sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth firmly shut. But I’m not going to take it anymore, I’m as mad as hell, and I’m going to lean right out the window and shout it to the world, enough, I’m done with rubbish samples of film technology on the Web. The samples I have in this article are not what I’d class as fine art, but I hope they demonstrate a few points along the way.

Backstory For These Pics

A few years ago I decided to take a series
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