These are the World’s First Photos of Lightning


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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In the 1880s, photographer William Jennings set out to prove that lightning was a far more varied and volatile thing than a simple zig zag in the sky. After some trial and error, he ultimately succeeded, capturing what is often shared online as “the world’s first photograph of lightning.”

The story of Jennings’ achievement begins with painting. According to a 1939 article in Popular Science, the photographer set out to photograph lightning with his 4×5 plate camera because he was suspicious that “lightning bolts were not of the zig-zag form pictured by artists.”

Jennings’ first few attempts

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This Guy Put a GoPro Inside a Car Tire to See What it Looks Like While Driving


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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What does the inside of a car tire look like while it’s being driven on? That strange question was just answered by engineer Matt Mikka of Warped Perception, who mounted a GoPro inside a tire and then took it for a spin.

In the 9-minute video above, created in response to a viewer request, Mikka spends the first 4 minutes showing how he got the camera set up in the tire before showing the results of the experiment starting at 04:05.

“One of the main reasons I came to YouTube in the first place ways to open up people’s

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Here’s a Photo of Saturn Peeking Out from Behind the Moon


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Want an astrophotography challenge that doesn’t come around very often? Try photographing Saturn peeking out from behind the Moon.

Amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Paul Stewart of Timaru, New Zealand, managed to create the beautiful photo of just that back in 2014.

The photo is a composite of three photos. Stewart first captured a base photo of Saturn emerging from behind the Moon. Stewart then exposed Saturn and the Moon separately in subsequent photos. Finally, he composited the properly exposed objects onto the base frame to bring out the details of each.

“It is a bit of a cheat but because

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The Business of Deepfakes, Cheapfakes, and Misleading Manipulated Media


This post is by Paul Melcher from PetaPixel


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Some speculate that overall fake news could cost the economy $39 billion a year. Quite a market to grab for a savvy tech startup, even at 1%! But while fake news and in particular deep fakes have been accused of wreaking havoc on minds and economy, there is surprisingly only a minimal amount of companies offering tools to combat them.

The reason?

Cost

The most important, probably, is the challenge of the task. Deepfakes are notoriously extremely hard to detect and are evolving very quickly. Since they employ the same AI as used to identify them, any innovation in detecting

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How Ansel Adams Revolutionized Landscape Photography


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Billions of photos are being snapped and shared on the Internet every day. There are more cameras than people in the world nowadays. Photography is something we take for granted; something we can easily do whenever we want. But it wasn’t always like this.

On April 10th, 1927, a photographer climbing to the Diving Board in Yosemite reaches the destination to photograph Half Dome. After the all-day-long hike with his heavy tripod and camera, he only has two glass plates left to take exactly two shots to capture what he sees. He carefully composes and takes the shot. But then

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This Video Explains Exactly How Lens IS and IBIS Work in Modern Cameras


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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Most photographers know the basics of lens-based image stabilization (Lens IS) and in-body image stabilization (IBIS), but if you’ve ever wanted a technical deep-dive that explains exactly how these systems work to generate 4, 5, or even 7 stops of stabilization, this video from Imaging Resource is here to answer that call.

At the most basic level, most people understand that Lens IS offers only two axes of stabilization (pitch and yaw) while IBIS offers 5-axis stabilization (pitch, yaw, roll, X and Y). Most people also know that this is done using floating lens elements (Lens IS) or a sensor

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Photo Printing 101: How to Preview and Fix Your Print Colors in Photoshop


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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If you’re new to photo printing, the most recent video from Sid at StyleMyPic should be required watching. In it, he covers what it means for a color in Photoshop to be “out of gamut,” and how to use Photoshop’s Proof Colors and Gamut Warning views to get your prints looking just right.

As any experienced photographer will tell you, the brightest and most saturated colors available to you on a monitor are considered “out of gamut” for the standard CMYK color space used for printing; in other words: the printer can’t create those colors and trying to print them

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RAW vs JPEG: Explaining the Difference with a Box of Cereal


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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In running my photography channel, I get a lot of questions about RAW files vs. JPEG, and some people not fully grasping exactly what RAW files really are. So, I figured a box of cereal may simplify things. Read on.

Most mirrorless and DSLR cameras allow you to shoot either JPEG files, RAW files, or both at the same time. I think part of the confusion from newer photographers is not quite understanding how the file format fits into the post-production process.

JPEG

A JPEG file is a completely finished image that your camera fully develops and processes the

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Using Water to Explain the Properties of Light and the Exposure Triangle


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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Photographer Robert Hall recently released a simple-yet-brilliant explainer that uses water to illustrate the properties of light and explain a few concepts that frequently confuse beginners, including: what is a “stop” of light, how do you use the exposure triangle, and how do various flashes and flash modifiers affect your image.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard someone use water as a proxy for light when trying to explain how light works, but it’s the most comprehensive and simple explainer we’ve seen yet. Hall calls it “a modified analogy of the Exposure triangle [that] gives a clear visual demonstration

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Take a 40-Minute Tour Through the History of Photography


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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Great Britain’s Royal Institution has put together a fascinating “tour through the history of photography.” Using his own camera collection as a jumping off point, chemist Andrew Szydlo takes you through a sort of “crash course” on the history of photography in 41 minutes.

Many of our readers will already know most (if not all) of the history described and explained in this lecture, but for newbies, history buffs, or photo enthusiasts who haven’t ever dived into the subject, Sydlo covers a lot of ground in a (relatively) short time.

In the first 30 minutes, he covers:

Zooming Video Shows How Impressive the First Black Hole Photo Was


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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In 2019, researchers made international headlines by releasing the world’s first photo of a black hole. Here’s a 1-minute video that zooms from the night sky into that black hole image to show how impressive the achievement was.

“The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole,” writes the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which released the video. “This zoom video starts with a view of ALMA and zooms in on the heart of M87, showing successively more detailed observations and culminating

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Commercial Photographer Explains Why You Shouldn’t Use a Light Meter


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Commercial photographer and educator Karl Taylor is a working pro with an impressive portfolio to his name and major brands on his CV. So it came as a surprise when he declared recently that he hasn’t used a light meter in 15 years… and explained why you shouldn’t be using one either.

Taylor’s advice is bound to raise some eyebrows, but if you’re willing to keep an open mind, he lays out two big reasons why he thinks that light meters are a bad idea if you’re shooting digital.

In the video, he explains how he abruptly stopped using a

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How Scratch-Proof is a Camera Sensor?


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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Photographer and YouTuber Arthur R recently received several comments from viewers about how he didn’t use a body cap to protect his camera sensor from dust. In response, he decided to do some tests to find out how durable and scratch-proof sensors actually are.

No, Arthur didn’t put one of his own working cameras in harm’s way. Instead, he purchased a Sony a6000 sensor as a spare part to experiment on.

After separating the sensor into four zones with tape, Arthur dirtied the sensor with dust (from his vacuum), dirt (from his yard), and oils (from his finger) before using

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An Introduction to Light in Outdoor Photography


This post is by Barry O Carroll from PetaPixel


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Photography is all about light. To be more precise, photography is all about the quality of the light. This can be a particular challenge for outdoor/landscape photographers.

A photographer photographing a model in a studio has complete control over the lighting conditions. Studio lights can be easily adjusted depending on the desired result. This is not the case for us outdoor photographers. We regularly find ourselves at the mercy of the weather and lighting conditions on any given day.

Coming from Ireland, where the weather can change by the minute, I understand this challenge only too well. I once came

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Testing the Impact of Scratches, Dust and Fingerprints on Image Quality


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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Jordan Drake and Chris Niccolls over at DPReview TV recently published a follow-up to their lens cleaning video, where they tested something that we’ve all wondered: how much do scratches, dust, water droplets, and fingerprints on your lens really impact image quality?

In the video, Drake and Niccolls cover the gamut of schmutz and damage that you could do to your front element. From fingerprints, to mist and water droplets, to shallow scratches, to deep gouges (ouch…), each potential bit of damage or dirt was tested both wide open and stopped down, and then compared to a control lens

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Calculating the Distance of Wildlife in a Telephoto Shot


This post is by Alexandr Pospech from PetaPixel


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While enjoying a calm and misty morning at the pier in Malibu, California, I spotted dolphins. After observing them for a while, I noticed that their swimming was synchronized. There was a natural explanation for their circling: a feast had begun, quickly attracting sea lions, pelicans, and seagulls.

After shooting a few photos from a distance of almost 1km (~0.62mi), I switched to 4K video. Having a Nikon D850 with a Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF, and 1.4TC III, the 4K DX mode helped to give me the extra reach. This short movie was taken with a

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The Power of the Camera in Recording and Shaping Social Movements


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


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PBS NewsHour aired this 7-minute Race Matters segment on the camera’s role over the past decades in not only documenting social movements but also shaping and shifting public perception. (Warning: This video contains violent and disturbing images.)

“I see the camera as a visual diary,” NYU photography historian and curator Deborah Willis tells PBS reporter Jeffrey Brown. “It is recording the voices and the images of people who want to make a change. How do we make a change? We have to show the evidence of what’s going on in the community.

“Evidence through different kinds of

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4 Lens Filters That Are Still Relevant in Our Modern Digital Age


This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




While digital photography and post-processing have done away with the need for certain types of lens filters, there are still a number of filters that can’t be replaced by Photoshop. Here’s a 8.5-minute video by DPReview on which filters you should still consider keeping in your camera bag.

The four filters introduced by host Chris Nichols are the circular polarizer (CPL), neutral density (ND), ultraviolet (UV), and graduated neutral density (GND) filters.

CPL filters help reduce unwanted glare from reflected surfaces (e.g. water) by selectively absorbing or passing light depending its polarization.

ND filters block some of the

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Speedlights vs Strobes: A Guide for Beginners


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


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Portrait photographer Miguel Quiles is tackling one of the most common beginner questions out there: should I invest in speedlights or strobes? In this video, he covers the pros and cons of both, and which you should go with depending on your needs and shooting style.

As with almost any gear comparison, the answer is “it depends,” which is why Miguel focuses most of the video on the pros and cons of each light, so that you can decide which option fits your specific shooting needs.

Speedlights

Pros

Diffraction Explained: Why Your Lens is Worse at f/22 than f/8


This post is by DL Cade from PetaPixel


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It’s common knowledge that most lenses are at their best (i.e. sharpest) between f/5.6 and f/8, depending on the lens. But why is that? Why does stopping down further actually make the image softer? This is what YouTuber ZY Productions explains in the video above.

As many photographers will already know, the reason a lens is softer at f/22 than it is at f/8 is due to a phenomenon called diffraction. But even if you know that—and use it out in the field—there’s a chance you’ve never actually dived into the subject so you could understand what’s happening

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