Reuters Banned from Olympic Opening Ceremony for Leaked Photos
Reuters photographers and reporters have been banned from the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea, next month after the international news agency leaked photos of the rehearsal.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports that on Sunday, Reuters filed several photos of the Olympic cauldron being lit with fire during a rehearsal at the Olympic Main Stadium. There are strict media embargoes that are designed to prevent these details from being published, and Reuters violated them by publishing the photos without permission. Reuters then reportedly took the photos down after both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the PyeongChang organizing committed protested the publishing of the pictures.
To punish Reuters for violating the embargo and leaking the photos, the IOC “disapproved the issuing of passes towards Reuters in reporting and photographing the opening ceremony,” announcing the decision in a statement today. What’s more, the Reuters photographer behind the photos has been stripped of their media accreditation for the games.
In a statement, PyeongChang organizing committed writes that it will “enforce strong penalties on media companies and their reporters who disobey embargoes of the opening and closing ceremonies as requested by the IOC and the organizing committee,” according to Yonhap.
For the upcoming Lightroom Classic 7.2 update, Adobe partnered with Intel to work on “key performance issues” that cause photographers pain. CPU and memory usage will both be more optimized in Lightroom Classic 7.2.
Once you’ve downloaded 7.2, you should see noticeable speed increases in import and preview generation, walking of images in Loupe View, rendering of adjustments in Develop, batch merge operations of HDR/Panoramas, and exporting.
Adobe did some benchmark tests on heavy-duty Mac and Windows computers and reports that exporting 100 RAW photos was at least 29% faster:
On one machine, exporting 100 RAW files as DNGs took 36 seconds instead of 102s, a time savings of about 65%. Adobe does note that subsequent runs of this export “would take progressively longer on Windows”. But with this update, “Lightroom will not slow down over the course of a long editing session, particularly on Windows machines,” Adobe says.
Note that Adobe did its tests on powerhouse machines with 8+ cores and 32GB+ RAM. DPReview did its own test on a 2-core machine and only found performance gains of 11.3%, so it remains to be seen how much the update will benefit the average photographer’s workflow.
Another caveat is that the upcoming update will be geared toward multi-core machines with large amounts of memory. You’ll need to have at least 12GB of RAM to see any benefits.
“[T]he majority of Lightroom Classic CC users have at least 12GB of RAM, so this release will deliver a significant performance impact for most users,” Adobe says.
“[W]hile we’re really pleased with these performance improvements, we’re far from done,” Adobe tells PetaPixel. “We have more performance optimizations and improvements planned and customers will see those in future releases.”
Adobe has yet to announce the exact date Lightroom Classic CC 7.2 will be released, but the company promises that it’s “coming soon.”
Rally Car Hits Photographer Standing on Outside of Corner
Photographer David LeClair was photographing rally car racing at Sno*Drift Rally in Michigan last Friday when one of the rally cars lost control, slid off the road, and violently slammed into LeClair, sending the photographer flying. The whole incident was caught on camera (warning: the video shows an injury accident).
Here’s another video that shows the same accident from a different perspective (warning: disturbing video):
Media members were warned prior to the event not to stand on the outside of turns and that these dangerous areas were also cordoned off using red tape, according to Jalopnik.
The rally stage was canceled after the accident and LeClair was taken to a local hospital. He later posted a message on Facebook, asking for prayers and stating that he had broken both scapulas (shoulder blades) and lacerated his liver.
This accident shows why rally photographers should never stand outside of a corner of the track — if a car loses control and naturally slides outward, you could find yourself directly in harm’s way. Luckily for LeClair, he escaped with his life and will be able to shoot another day.
Throughout his decades-spanning career, Shore has left an indelible mark on photography and fine art. To celebrate his exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern art, Shore takes you on a guided tour through the Met, highlighting some of the thinking behind his most important work.
In one particular portion of the Met exhibit, he walks through a recreation of his “American Surfaces” show and discusses how, at random moments, he would force himself to become “aware of his field of vision” to help him “take pictures that felt like seeing.”
Thank you for listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast! Connect with me, Sharky James on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (all @LensShark) as we build this community.
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I often hear: “I really like your photos. You must own an amazing and super duper expensive camera!” My reply to these people is: “If you own Tiger Woods’ golf club, would you be able to play at his level?” In Woods’ case, it all comes down to years of practice and a healthy dose of raw talent.
It is true that — most of the time — more expensive cameras yield better image quality, but it doesn’t automatically come with image beauty. Just as in golf, the best results are achieved by spending a lot of time behind the camera, looking at other photos as a form of inspiration, and eventually adding your own touch/style to your photography.
Each photo that I’ve ever taken is the result of a creative process. Sadly, there are no rules or laws that prescribe this process. However, I can walk you through one specific example. I will describe step by step why I made certain decisions leading to this final result:
Before we start:
1. The following photos have not been post-processed.
2. This is not a beer advertisement. The beer is only available in a small part of Belgium.
A friend of mine started brewing beers and asked me if I could take some ‘original photos’ in return for a lifetime of free beers. As an insect and travel photographer, I’ve never photographed beer. Luckily, I love challenges (and beer), so I accepted the offer.
I started by placing the glass in a self-build mini studio:
The idea of a mini-studio is that the light coming from the flashgun bounces against all the sides. Like this, the inside of the box becomes a large light source resulting in soft light on your subject. Not knowing how to photograph a glass, my first photo looked like this:
Not great… I’m glad I never lived in the analogous era where every photo had to be good. So, let’s move on! Some more flash power could help, no? Yes:
Better, but nothing special, right? As I had problems focussing (due to a lack of light), I decided to point a flashlight towards the glass. The setup now looked like this:
Adding the light came with a special phenomenon that people call a shadow! This is a tip I can mention: Don’t only focus on your subject: Most of the time, a photo will contain more surrounding elements than just the subject.
From this point on I knew I wanted to work with the accidentally discovered shadow. The first test came out like this:
With every photo shoot, be it of insects or people, I always look at my display after taking a photo. My brain quickly processes the strong and weak points of the image and uses them in the next shot. In this specific case, I really liked the shadow, but the blurry glass destroyed the final image. I decided to take the glass out of the mini studio and brought it into the kitchen. This new environment provided me with more space. The setup now looked like this:
First kitchen result, featuring only the shadow:
From this moment, a conversation between brain and set-up took place.
Brain: “Too boring, let’s add something.”
Set-up: “Ok, let’s try it with a bottle!”
Brain: “Not completely convinced. I miss a foreground that adds a feeling of depth to the photo.”
Set-up: “Let’s bring the glass back in view, maybe it works this time!”
Brain: “Sorry set-up, but this is not it. I admit: the shadow looks nice, but the beer doesn’t stand out. We have to make it more attractive.”
Set-up: “Maybe we can add a flashgun coming from behind the glass. This will create a back-lit effect in the beer.”
Brain: “That’s a good first step. However, the shadow is too bright and we should show the whole glass, not only the top. Now it looks like a photo of a person in which you crop a leg just below the knee. It’s an unwritten rule — you don’t do that.”
Set-up: “Alrighty, let’s move the camera further away from the subject. We still have some space in the kitchen.”
Brain: “Yeah, but no. We need a bigger surface to support the glass. Also, the point of view should be lower.”
Set-up: “I have an idea! Remember, last week you sweat your ass off to remove the wooden floor? We still have some big wooden plates laying around somewhere, let’s use one of these!”
Brain: “Woah, cool! I like the color in the shadow of the bottle, but the bottle itself needs some more light from the left side. The label isn’t popping out now.”
Set-up: “Luckily, we have a second flashgun. In total, I will have a flashlight pointing from the front to create the shadows and two flashguns pointing from the back-right and back-left sides to illuminate the beer and the bottle. Ok?”
Brain: “Yeah, let’s do this!”
Brain: “Much better. The shadow is too bright, but that’s just some minor tweaking of flash power. To my feeling, the overall image is too flat. We’re missing contrast.”
Set-up: “Lucky you, you live in Belgium! I can provide you with freshly wet-rained sand and leaves.”
Brain: “Mmmm, I don’t know. Maybe it’s not enough?”
Set-up: “It’s just a word!”
Brain: “Maybe it’s not spread enough?”
Set-up: “One second!”
Brain: “Nah, I don’t like it. I don’t know where to look. It ruins the image. BUT: I like the darker color.”
Set-up: “Agreed. You know that you control two hands? Use them to rub the whole plate with sand to maintain the color without having to keep the sand and the leaves.”
Brain: “Pffff, ok.”
Set-up: “I now look like this:”
Set-up: “And this is the result:”
Brain: “I’m satisfied! Let’s add some new beer because this looks like 2-day old piss.”
Set-up: “Ok, cool”
Brain: “Perfect. In this shot, the shadow is in focus, but the bottle and glass are not. Let’s take a second image where those two are in focus and focus-stack it with this shot.”
Set-up: “Ok, that’s the last thing I’ll do for you!”
Thus far the conversation between brain and set-up. In this specific case, I chose to underexpose the image such that the shadow is most defined. It’s easier to add brightness and keep details than the other way around. In post-production, I thus focus stacked two images, increased exposure, added some more contrast and vibrance, reduced noise, increased sharpness and straightened the bottle and glass. I also locally increased the brightness in some places of the shadows and the bottle. Let’s show the final result one more time!
What do I want to achieve by sharing this?
1. Although I do own a second-hand reflex camera, some lenses, and two flashes (which are all over 7 years old), I’m not the most technical person. I just follow what my brain tells me. That’s what I want you to do as well. Don’t focus on material or technical excellence. In the end, it’s all about the feeling that comes with your photo. And this feeling has nothing to do with the price of your camera. Combining subject and surrounding and playing with light are most important. Fundamentally, a photo is a capture of light and you’re the captor. The trap is your camera, but you decide what you want to trap.
2. From start to finish, this creative process took me around two hours — and three beers. Just like any form of art, it takes time to achieve a good result. Don’t give up on the first try. Scroll back up and look at my first try. It was awful. Learn from each shot and make the next one better.
3. Not a lot of photographers share their creative processes. I hereby want to open a door to offer a peek into my brain. Almost all photos I‘ve ever taken evolve like this. The photo you see is always preceded by hundreds of ‘failures’. Failures may not be the right word because all of these shape the final result. But it’s just these failures that are rarely shared. I wanted to change that!
About the author: Maxim Piessen is a self taught macro- and travel photographer. Maxim started keeping exotic insects at the age of 10. He shared his knowledge on various insect forums. In order to give his posts more body he decided to photograph his insects using a cheap compact camera and magnifying glasses. After some time the visual part became more important to him than the written part. By not having the money to buy expensive gear, Maxim had to use creative camera and DIY lighting setups. These setups resulted in a unique style represented in his photography. You can connect with him through his website or Instagram. This article was also published here.
Google’s Clips AI Camera Was Trained in Photography by Pro Photographers
In October 2017, Google announced Clips, a small hands-free AI-powered camera that’s designed to capture your life’s memories without much human intervention. The camera isn’t on store shelves yet, but Google is revealing some new interesting details about it. One such detail is that the camera was trained with the help of real professional photographers.
Clips uses artificial intelligence to automatically capture memorable moments in your life, so Google needed to teach it to recognize photos worth keeping while ignoring throwaway snapshots. The goal is to allow people to enjoy moments more while trusting Google Clip to preserve memories for them, instead of being so absorbed in capturing photos that you miss out on experiences.
“This year, people will take about a trillion photos, and for many of us, that means a digital photo gallery filled with images that we won’t actually look at,” Google writes. “This is especially true with new parents, whose day-to-day experience is full of firsts.
“During moments that can feel precious and fleeting, users are drawn to their smartphone cameras in hopes of capturing and preserving memories for their future selves. As a result, they often end up viewing the world through a tiny screen instead of interacting using all their senses.”
To train Clips in photography, Google turned to a strategy called “human-centered machine learning.” The company put out ambiguous job listings for photographers and ended up hiring a documentary photographer, a photojournalist, and a fine arts photographer. The group then began gathering footage from Clips team members and attempted to answer the question: “What makes a memorable moment?”
“We had romanticized conversations about depth of field, rule of thirds, dramatic lighting, match cuts, storytelling … but what I learned was that we should never underestimate the profound human capability to wield common sense,” writes Clips UX designer Josh Lovejoy. “Basically, we’re trying to teach English to a two-year-old by reading Shakespeare instead of Go, Dog. Go!.”
To establish and improve a baseline of quality, Google trained its AI on what bad photos looked like: objects blocking the shot, blurry images, photos from inside pockets and purses, etc.
Google then trained the AI on things like composition (e.g. stability, sharpness, and framing), recognizing social norms (detecting social cues and people who are consenting to photos), editing (picking out special photos instead of mundane ones), and more.
“Success with Clips isn’t just about keeps, deletes, clicks, and edits (though those are important), it’s about authorship, co-learning, and adaptation over time,” Google says. “We really hope users go out and play with it.”
Google Clips will cost $249 and will be available soon through the Google website (where you can currently put your email on the waitlist).
Jessica Simpson Sued for Posting Paparazzi Pic of Herself on Instagram
Jessica Simpson recently shared a photo of herself leaving a hotel on Instagram and Twitter. Problem was, it was a paparazzi photo and she didn’t have permission to use the photo. The 37-year-old singer is now being sued for copyright infringement.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that the rights to the photo were being handled by Splash News, which licensed the photos of Simpson leaving the Bowery Hotel in New York to The Daily Mail. After the Mail‘s story was published on August 9th, 2017, a copy of one of the photos was posted to Simpson’s social media accounts.
In addition to the photo being shared without Splash’s approval, the image reportedly had the Copyright Management Information (CMI) removed, stripping away details about the copyright owner.
In its complaint filed this week in a California federal court, Splash argues that Simpson’s Instagram post harmed its ability to profit from the photo.
“Simpson’s Instagram post and Twitter tweet made the Photograph immediately available to her nearly 11.5 million followers and others, consumers of entertainment news — and especially news and images of Simpson herself, as evidenced by their status as followers of her — who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the Photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers,” writes lawyer Peter E. Perkowski.
This Photo of an Icy Niagara Falls Looks like It’s of a Different Planet
Toronto-based photographer Adam Klekotka visited Niagara Falls earlier this month in freezing temperatures and was amazed by the look of the falls, which were illuminated by color lights that made the scene look like “fire and ice” on a different planet.
“What you can see in the picture is an observation deck on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls,” Klekotka tells PetaPixel. “There were two weeks of the extreme cold weather lately. According to the news, Canada was colder than Antarctica and even colder than the surface of Mars.
“I thought it was a good idea to see Niagara Falls for the first time during the winter and the first time at night. When I arrived there, I was amazed by the big icicles around the falls. Additionally, the whole place is illuminated at night.
“The light show, combined with ice, gave a perception of being on a different planet. A very cold planet.”
Here are a couple of other photos by Klekotka that show what the same scene looks like when zoomed out a bit:
V’s Class of 2018: Betsy
From her voice alone, Betsy is a force to be reckoned with. The bleach blonde vixen broke off from the fashion world (she had a job at Balenciaga!) and dived headfirst into her music career, with a booming and soulful voice that’s drawn comparisons to legends like Cher. The release of her debut album last year makes the rising artist an easy pick for our Class of 2018. Read on as Betsy answers our questions about success, challenges, and her wild dream collaboration.