90s Icon Tasha Tilberg Returns in Acne F/W
For its Fall/Winter campaign, Acne captured fashion model and 90s riot grrrl Tasha Tilberg in her element—which, these days, is lounging in the British Columbian countryside with her wife and kids. The campaign, shot by Craig McDean, is the second in the label’s “modern family” series, following last year’s that featured erstwhile dream couple Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony. Dressed in striped Acne pullovers, Tilberg and talent agent wife Laura Wilson are joined by their six-year-old…
Licensed or Not? A Closer Look at the Fox News Flood Imagery Fiasco
In the face of breaking news, smartphones have made everyone a frontline reporter, and social media has allowed users to become self-publishers. However, with rare exceptions, most news content still relies on traditional media for mass distribution. Junior producers at large news-gathering organizations often attempt to obtain licensing rights directly from individuals via social media for photo and video that might not be available through wire services like AP, Reuters, and AFP.
Warning: There’s some strong language below.
Fox News uses @foxnewsdesk for obtaining permission for user generated content.
As previously reported, Max Robinson was trapped in the torrential flooding that swamped parts of Endicott City, MD. His eyewitness photos, videos, and accounts on Twitter quickly went viral and Robinson was soon inundated with media requests, including one from Fox News on May 27, 2018, at 5:23 pm ET.
Robinson explicitly denied their request via tweet one minute later.
Does the tweet hold any legal weight? Attorney Leslie Burns says, “[W]ithout having seen the actual tweet, I think that one could argue that a tweet like that would be a license to anyone but Fox News. Licenses can be in writing, oral, or even implied.”
In the meantime, the AP contacted Robinson via Twitter to obtain distribution rights on his behalf. Lauren Easton, AP’s Director of Media Relations, told me that “AP reached out to Mr. Robinson via Twitter and he gave us explicit permission to use his content, both photos and video.” Unbeknownst to Robinson, Fox News subscribes to the AP Television News (APTN), a video news agency operated by the Associated Press.
At 9:06 pm, Robinson’s video appeared in a montage on @FoxNews.
A Fox News spokesperson told PetaPixel via email that they used “APTN as the source for the images on all our coverage over the weekend – including the photo in question. We licensed the footage through AP’s licensing service, APTN, who made this material available to all their subscribers.”
A Fox News representative explained that it’s common in many newsrooms for multiple producers from multiple departments to simultaneously source first-person material for breaking news. One producer might have heeded Robinson’s request to not use the material, while another might have used the AP wire subscription a few hours later and found the video without knowing what had previously transpired. The representative couldn’t comment on the exact sequence of events in this particular case.
Max Robinson confirmed that he granted rights to the AP, but had “no idea that that allowed [Fox News] to obtain it.”
Many stock photography vendors have so-called “moral rights” clauses in their licensing terms that prohibit the use of an image to promote things like tobacco use, alcohol, pornography, etc without explicit consent. For editorial content, it’s common to see “MANDATORY CREDIT” call-outs in the metadata of news images along with restrictions regarding image size, duration of use and geographic distribution. The AP does allow contributors to place restrictions on content, but Easton said, “There were no restrictions on this occasion.”
Robinson subsequently requested removal of the content from AP’s network, and the AP has “withdrawn the video from customers and advised them they cannot use it.” Fox subsequently deleted the tweet with the montaged video.
The rapid unfolding of events has been discombobulating for Robinson. “This entire area of the law seems very vague and case by case. Especially when these usage questions are usually being pitched during high-stress situations.” It’s unclear whether his tweet denying Fox News the right to use his video would be superseded by the ATPN subscriber agreement.
Robinson’s political persuasion undeniably influenced how he reacted to the events of the day. His hometown has been hit with two “1,000-year floods” in the past two years – a confluence of factors including topography, hydrology, and the town’s historic designation – and he remains unapologetic for taking a stand on the distribution and use of his photos and video.
“Obviously what’s going on in my community is more important than Fox News using a video against my wishes but I hope this shows them that people are fed up with their dishonest behavior and tactics,” said Robinson. “I would feel personally responsible if footage I took was used in a segment to discredit climate change or attack my friends and neighbors, very real possibilities given Fox’s history as a network.”
As for any future legal actions, Robinson says, “Right now I’m focused on the recovery effort and helping as much as I can.”
About the author: Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter, which regularly publishes resources for photographers. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Allen is a graduate of Yale University, and flosses daily. This article was also published here.
Beware: Amazon Still Sells Counterfeit Memory Cards
Photographer and Nikon Ambassador Charmi Patel Peña ordered four $60 128GB SanDisk SDXC memory cards from Amazon last month. Things seemed fine… until the cards started constantly stopping her camera. Peña then examined the cards more closely and realized that all of the cards were counterfeit.
“When you get cards, look at the color of [the] switch (should be grey, not yellow) and look at the label,” Peña says. “Sandisk’s label is matte, the counterfeit cards have a shiny metallic label.”
Thankfully, Amazon did refund Peña for all four cards so that she could try her hand at buying genuine ones again.
“Fulfilled by Amazon” only means that the product is being shipped from an Amazon warehouse to you after being sold by a third-party seller. It’s not a guarantee that the seller is trustworthy or that the product is genuine.
To be more confident of your purchase, you should check to make sure that your product is labeled “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com,” which means Amazon is directly selling a product without a third-party seller involved.
Counterfeit products can be found across Amazon these days. Engadget reports that two years ago, Apple purchased 100 Lightning cables and chargers marked “Fulfilled by Amazon” over 9 months and found that roughly 90% of the cables it received were counterfeit.
“Ultimately, if Amazon doesn’t want counterfeit goods to be a widespread issue, it will need to be more transparent about its efforts to combat it,” writes Engadget. “And, most importantly, it will need to start taking more responsibility for third-party sales through its FBA service.”
Image credits: Header photo by Charmi Patel Peña and used with permission
The company decided to point the digital monster at one of the few remaining Ross HK-7 aerial cameras, which was one of Hasselblad’s earliest creations. Here’s the backstory, as told by the Swedish (and Chinese owned) camera company:
The story starts amidst the toils of World War II with an aerial camera recovered from the German army. Victor Hasselblad, whose name had been established as an optical and photographic expert thanks to the family’s distribution business, was approached by the Swedish government to replicate the captured camera. Faced with the task of reverse-engineering the device, Victor simply responded, “No, but I can make a better one.” Shortly thereafter in the spring of 1940, he established a workshop in the shed of an automobile factory and set forth on what would become the world’s most recognized professional camera system.
RAW photos captured with the H6D-400c weigh in at upwards of 755MB each, and each full-res JPEG measures at 23200×17400 and weighs upwards of 200MB. Here are three of the new photos (click them to view them in full resolution):
Just to give you an idea of how much detail the camera captures, here’s a 100% crop of the red screw found in the first photo above:
Maggie Rogers Returns With Stunning “Fallingwater” Video
Maggie Rogers has released the video for her latest single “Fallingwater”, a slow-burning gospel-esque number co-produced with Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij that puts her distinct vocals at the forefront. The clip, directed by longtime collaborator Zia Anger and filmed at the Imperial Sand Dunes in California, sees her floating across the sprawling desert, a fitting setting for the equally sprawling track, and serving joyous choreography. As the track works toward a soft yet intense…
Review: The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Art is a Macro Lens Worthy of Your Bag
The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Art Macro is the first prime macro lens to sport Sigma’s “ART” badge. Unlike most of the Art lineup, the size is closer to the Contemporary lineup of lenses. Sigma themselves say that this lens is designed with optical quality as a priority over autofocus speed.
Sigma’s old 70mm macro came out back in 2006, was discontinued in 2014, and was loved by many macro shooters. Can the new 70mm Macro Art make the cut? Sigma sent us a sample of this lens (in Canon EF Mount) for a few days to try out. Read on to see what we thought.
Design & Specs
13 elements in 10 groups
9 aperture blades
Aperture range f/2.8-f/22
Minimum Focusing Distance – 10.2” from sensor
49mm filter size
4.2” long collapsed
Available in Canon EF/Sony E/Sigma Mounts
Focus by wire
Compatible with Sigma Teleconverters (N/A for Sony E)
Compatible with Canon Lens Aberration Correction
At first look, the Sigma 70mm Macro is quite small compared to most of the Art lenses. Weighing in at just over 18oz, it’s only 4oz heavier than Sigma’s 16mm f/1.4 Contemporary for Sony E/M43 mount. This makes hand holding the lens an easy task compared to some of the macro lenses on the market.
Unlike Sigma’s 105mm macro, the 70mm does not have built-in stabilization but is also about half a pound lighter. Also, unlike the 105 (and the old 70mm), the 70mm Art uses a focus by wire system, a first for the Art lineup (DN lenses excluded). While it takes some time to get used to it, after a bit of toying around, it does make fine tuning the focus point manually a bit easier and more precise.
There are 2 sets of switches on the lens – one for AF/MF, and a focus limiter. The lens mount features a rubber gasket to provide some weather and dust sealing, but with the extending barrel, I’m not sure I’d be using it in the rain or snow.
The focusing ring is smooth and has a long throw due to its focus by wire system. This ends up being a double-edged sword. It’s great for fine tuning the focus point without overdoing it, but if you want to go to 1:1 magnification, it does take some time having to twist the barrel. Unfortunately setting the focus limiter does not make the lens automatically extend to that range – maybe this is something that Sigma can incorporate with a future firmware update?
When Sigma said that their main focus was resolution/quality vs AF speed, there were concerns that this lens would be slow or inconsistent when focusing. While it’s no speed demon, it’s also no slouch. Having used macro lenses from Sigma/Tamron/Nikon/Canon/Fuji/Sony in the past, the AF speed/accuracy is pretty average. The closer you get to 1:1, the more it begins to hunt.
There were a few instances where it seemed to get lost and wouldn’t focus (90% of the time it was when the limiter was on full), but most people using this lens will throw it into manual focus, go to 1:1 and move their way in towards the subject until it’s in focus, or at the very least use the focus limiter which helps the lens lock down focus faster.
When autofocusing, the AF motor is fairly quiet. There are quieter lenses out there, and there are louder lenses out there (the first lens that comes to mind is the noisy Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro). If you’re using the lens for video in a silent setting, there’s a good chance you’ll hear the AF motor, but when using it outside it’s not likely to scare off any creatures you choose to photograph.
Like most of the Art lenses, the 70mm is designed to be sharp throughout the entire aperture range. Even though the DoF is extremely thin at f/2.8, the in-focus area is nice and crisp.
The following images were taken with a Canon 80D and Canon 6D Mark II. Other tools used while shooting were: LED Macro Ring Light, Focusing Rail & AF Extension Tubes (from ProMaster), a Westcott Ice Light 2, and a Savage Edge Lit Pro Video light.
Stabilized Photos (Tripod/Macro Rail)
Sigma Macro + 12mm Extension Tube
Initially, I was on the fence about this lens – partly due to the focus by wire system, and partly due to the shorter focal length (my personal favorite macros are the Sigma 150mm, Canon 100mm, and Sigma 105). After using it for a few days and getting used to the way it works, it had changed my mind.
With its smaller weight, carrying this lens around through a field of flowers or a garden for a few hours is easy to do. The image quality of this lens is great. Even in higher contrast situations, there wasn’t much (if any) chromatic aberration. The bokeh is smooth and doesn’t distract, the AF speed is acceptable when using the focus limiter, and the price is reasonable at $569 – oddly enough, the same price as the Sigma 105mm Macro after instant rebate.
If you’re looking to add a new macro lens to your arsenal or looking to get into macro photography, the 70mm f/2.8 Art Macro is definitely worth a look once it hits store shelves.
The Canon mount is expected to ship mid-June (pre-order here), the Sony FE mount release date is TBD (pre-order here).
About the author: Ihor Balaban is a photographer and store manager of the camera store Pixel Connection in Avon, Ohio. To learn more about the store, head over to the Pixel Connection website. This post was also published here.
Bøen purchased his Hähnel HLX-EL15HP battery and charger back on March 19th. Hähnel bills itself as one of the “leading manufacturers of power products” for digital cameras.
Once home, Bøen plugged the charger into a USB wall socket and began charging the battery for the first time. About an hour later, the battery suddenly burst into flames.
“Luckily, I was in the same room and after 30 seconds the unit was carried outside the house,” Bøen tells PetaPixel. “No major damage was made except for a lot of smoke and some fragments to be cleaned.”
Here’s what the battery and charger looked like in the aftermath:
Bøen then brought the charred battery and charger back to his local store, which got in touch with Hähnel, which requested that he ship the burned equipment to its headquarters in Ireland for investigation. That was at the end of March.
This week, Hähnel’s findings were finally delivered to Bøen. The company concluded that the charger was definitely not the cause of the failure, placing the blame solely on the battery.
“The battery failure in this case is classified as a ‘field failure’, which because of best practice at all stages in the manufacturing process, are very rare, but also are not predictable and not detectable through quality control procedures,” Bøen tells PetaPixel. “New technologies and techniques are constantly being researched but these ‘field failure’ mechanisms are inherent in all lithium-ion batteries.”
Here’s the official conclusion from Hähnel’s investigation:
One cell in the HLX-EL15HP short circuited internally and went into thermal runaway. This is very rare, but inherent, failure mode in all lithium-ion batteries.
So basically, the company is saying that every lithium-ion camera battery out there, including those manufactured by Nikon itself, could have failed in exactly the same way.
“We should be careful during the first charging process,” Bøen says. “The most important message when using new equipment related to charging is:
Do not leave it alone.”
Hähnel provided Bøen with a free Pro Cube 2 charger and two replacement batteries as a gesture of goodwill, but Bøen says that he also received a Nikon brand battery from the store after the incident.
The EU has a new data protection law, the so-called GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, or as we Germans like to call it: “Datenschutzgrundverordnung” (Gesundheit!). The rules took effect on May 25th and so far it’s pretty chaotic: in the EU we cannot reach some newspapers in the outside world because they cannot comply with the new rules.
If you’re a professional, then you will need to fix your customer relationship management, your website, your data security, and much more. Just don’t email those stupid GDPR emails if you run a newsletter — chances are, you’ll just make things worse. If in doubt, ask a lawyer. And there will be doubts.
If you’re just a mom or pop shooting pictures of your family, you should be fine. The GDPR does not apply to data processing “in the course of a purely personal or household activity.” But beware: if you have a million Instagram followers, your kid’s birthday party is probably not a “household activity” anymore.
If you’re a photo enthusiast, then things get tricky.
See, the GDPR sees photography as something even the first Terminator could do: processing personal data. Yes, your dreamy picture of that girl in the sunflower field is the “collection and sharing of personal data” in the eyes of a data protection officer. Many things in a photo are personal data: her face, the location, the time and date, and everything that is tied to her identity.
The legal consequence: you need to provide some kind of justification to take that picture and to put it on your hard disk or — god forbid — to share it on Instagram. If you’re a pro, you have a model release. If you’re just a friend, it’s out of the scope of the GDPR (again, “personal or household activity”). But an enthusiast sits uncomfortably in the middle.
Are you ready to comply with your data duties? To wipe out personal data of someone who files a complaint, years after you took his or her photo? Are you ready to find each photo you ever made for your Flickr portfolio and delete it upon request?
Street photography especially becomes a legal nightmare. You cannot get consent before you take the shot because that would usually destroy the moment. According to the data protection law, you’re not allowed to only ask for it afterward. If you take a picture as an event photographer, you might argue that taking pictures of visitors at a conference is “necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests” (Art. 6 lit f GDPR). You don’t need consent then.
But can you do that if you shoot that amazing shot of an elegant business guy in a light cone on the street? Probably not. And you certainly cannot do it when a child is in your picture. That “legitimate interests”-argument does not apply “where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child”.
Of course, there were laws for photography before. Germany has had a law for photography dating back to 1907, when the Bundesrepublik was still a “Kaiserreich”: The Kunsturhebergesetz. You could be sentenced if you circulated pictures of people without their consent. It’s a reaction to the world’s first paparazzi: two photographers had taken a shot of the deceased Otto von Bismarck on his deathbed. Thank you, Willy Wilcke and Max Priester! People like you are the reason why we cannot have nice things anymore.
Over the years, our courts had found an acceptable balance between privacy rights and photography freedom. Very recently, the German Constitutional Court even ruled that street photography is protected by the constitution because it is “art”! Hear, hear!
That fair balance is at peril with the GDPR. The nature of an EU regulation is brutal and relentless: these laws come into force in every country and the courts have to ignore all national laws that contravene.
There is some hope though: some lawyers argue that the good old law from 1907 persists despite the GDPR. They cite Art. 85, a provision that deals with “Processing and freedom of expression and information”. It calls for Member States “to reconcile the right to the protection of personal data pursuant to this Regulation with the right to freedom of expression and information” — also for “artistic expression”, read: street photography.
Sweden seems to have such a law. Many other EU countries don’t, including Germany. Some argue that the old law from 1907 simply is such a reconciling law. But nobody knows for sure, and that’s the biggest problem: the legal uncertainty alone drives many photographers up the walls, especially in Germany.
The current situation is tragic: Germany should welcome street photography. While it may not be the birthplace of street photography, at least a German developed the tool for some of the most famous photography artists: Leica cameras! Also, in Heinrich Zille we had one of the first photographers who captured everyday scenes instead of posed pictures. As early as 1900 he showed Berlin of the Kaiserreich as it is. (Probably. There are people who doubt that it was really him who pressed the button.)
Don’t get me wrong. It is okay to learn from history. The EU has traditionally had a thing for data protection. We’ve had quite an impressive history with dictators and devilish intelligence agencies (e.g. Gestapo, Stasi), so we’re keen not to allow anyone to know too much about us. No wonder it was a German guy from the Green Party who pushed for the GDPR.
It’s also okay to look for a legal answer to mass surveillance and mighty Internet companies like Facebook and Google.
Still, it makes you wonder: are we doing the right thing when the outcome of a law is paralyzing legal uncertainty and, at least for photographers, not more liberty but less?
About the author: Hendrik Wieduwilt is an amateur photographer, journalist, and legal affairs correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and Twitter. This article was also published here.
Kiiara’s Gearing Up to Release New Music
Singer Kiiara burst onto the scene so quickly, I’d nearly forgotten she wasn’t always there. That was until I checked my Gmail and found, to my surprise, a request I’d sent out to interview her over two years ago. She’d just released her debut track “Gold” and wasn’t yet doing features (which is both typical and smart of brand new artists). The song went from viral internet sensation—a term that’s overused but actually appropriate in this case—to nationwide hit, peaking at number 13 on the…
Sony Unveils EVF with 1.6x Resolution Increase and 240fps Refresh Rate
Sony has announced a new OLED electronic viewfinder display with a huge increase in resolution thanks to the world’s smallest pixel pitch of 6.3µm. The viewfinders in Sony mirrorless cameras will soon be both sharper and faster.
The ECX339A OLED Microdisplay is a 0.5-inch display with UXGA resolution (1600×1200), the highest in class for its size. Thanks to its world’s smallest pixel pitch, the display has 160% the resolution of Sony’s previous model, the Sony ECX337A, a 0.5-inch display with QVGA resolution (1280×960).
Here’s a comparison of how much more resolution Sony’s new EVF display has compared to its previous one:
A new drive circuit design in the display also uses half the voltage, allowing the ECX339A to use the same power consumption level as its predecessor despite its hefty increase in resolution.
The new display also has a refresh rate of 240fps, double what its predecessor offers.
“This [faster frame rate] has made it possible to capture fast-moving subjects in the viewfinder with higher accuracy, so users will not miss a photo opportunity, delivering a more comfortable shooting experience,” Sony says.
“OLED Microdisplays are widely used in digital camera electronic viewfinders (EVF) for their superior high contrast, high color gamut, and high-speed responsiveness,” Sony says. “Sony, having achieved this high resolution and high frame rate, now offers even more realistic image display and accurate capture of subjects for use in high-end cameras that demand extremely high image quality.”
Sony is planning to ship ECX339A OLED Microdisplay starting in November 2018 with a price tag of 50,000 JPY ($460) before tax. No word on when we’ll be seeing the display in a Sony mirrorless camera viewfinder, but it seems likely that it’ll be appearing in 2019.