Cameras Capture What It’s Like to Fly Into the Eye of Hurricane Irma
Want to see what it’s like to fly into the eye of one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded? After Hurricane Irma developed into a Category 5 storm yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew airplanes directly into the hurricane to gather weather data. Cameras on the planes captured videos and photos of the experience.
Here are a couple of videos showing what flying through Irma’s 185mph (~298kmh) winds was like. This first one is by Nick Underwood of NOAA and shows the fierceness of the storm:
Here are some still photos by CDR Kibbey of NOAA from inside the eye:
Hurricane Irma is now recognised as the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. And in case you’re wondering: airplanes are better at flying through hurricanes than thunderstorms because they can easily deal with horizontal winds but struggle with vertical winds.
Pixelmator Pro to Feature AI-Powered Photo Editing Features
Pixelmator is an image editor for macOS that launched back in 2007 and has since grown into a formidable alternative to Adobe Photoshop in a previously untouchable domain. Now the company has just announced a Pro version of its software, which is set to be released this fall.
On the surface, Pixelmator Pro has a completely redesigned interface that aims to reduce the clutter. The company says it is “designed exclusively for working with images”, and it puts the image front-and-center, eschewing the floating windows of its predecessor for a streamlined and unified display.
Unlike Photoshop, Pixelmator Pro is fully native to macOS, meaning you get all of the niceties that the operating system brings: built-in versioning, split view, iCloud support, native tabs, touch bar support, and trackpad force touch.
The team has taken advantage of macOS’ Metal 2 to improve GPU utilization, and Apple’s CoreML framework to introduce AI machine learning features to the software. This enables things like automatic layer naming based on content, automatic horizon straightening, more intelligent selections and a Repair tool to remove and replace sections of your image (think Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill).
Pixelmator Pro allows full RAW editing and adjustments with nondestructive edits, but it lacks the library management tools of Lightroom. It also includes what the company calls a “cutting-edge painting engine”, allowing for brush painting that is “staggeringly responsive, fluid, and natural”.
The software will be available this fall, with the price yet to be announced. It’s not clear whether the original Pixelmator will run alongside the advanced Pro version, but the former is currently priced at $30 on macOS. Pixelmator Pro will also be released on the iPad sometime after the macOS launch and will be competing heavily with Affinity Photo for the iOS photo editing crown.
The Best Hotels To Retreat To During NYFW
With NYFW just around the bend, the glitterati are flocking to the city in droves. But with hundreds of hotels to choose from (and the ever-expanding Airbnb lists) it can be difficult to figure out where to stay. Luckily for you, V has rounded up the best hotels across the city (and even one in Brooklyn!) to suit whatever your fancy is this Fashion Week. Read on for our top 5 picks.
Uptown Glamour: The Surrey
One of New York City’s most glamorous stays is boutique hotel The Surrey, an Uppe…
I Gave My 3-Year-Old Daughter a DSLR, and Here’s What Happened
My 3-year-old daughter is at that phase in which she wants to do everything that daddy does. Apparently photography is not immune to this phase and seeing this as a potentially huge win (it’s not easy to coax her into driving 6 hours to go shoot some waterfall) I dug out my old Canon 40D DSLR and a 50mm prime lens that I had lying around and let the experiment begin!
I started her out on AV at f/2.0 with 400 ISO thinking this would cover both indoor and outdoor shooting. Yes, I realize that effectively accomplished the same point-and-shoot functionality of the “green” button, but it just seemed a stretch too far to actually use it; a man must have principles, d**nit.
And so then with all the technical details sorted I told her “just put [the subject] in the middle square and press click!”
Believe it or not, she was fine with the technicals and real struggle was actually to lift the camera up to her face (DSLRs are heavier than you think and she’s 3, so I am sure it weighed a ton for her) but she got the hang of it pretty quickly and we were off to the races!
These photos are presented in order-shot over the course of a couple days and are largely unedited — I delete duplicates and then gave a genetic Lightroom treatment of +vibrance +highlights -shadows +whites.
Here are the 67 pictures she took:
Here’s what I learned:
1) She shoots what she loves. Lots of pictures of her mom, dad and toys… and even three of that white Amazon Echo (if you knew how tight she was with Alexa, it would be no surprise the device made three appearances).
2) She shoots without asking and shoots as-is; she doesn’t setup the shot — she just shoots and a few of her shots are legitimately emotive and interesting.
3) She had an absolute blast. This experiment reminded me that photography can be fun even without Instagram and VSCO likes.
About the author: Jason Porter is a photography enthusiast and Amazon software engineer based in Seattle, Washington. He has been shooting since he was 9 years old, and his first camera was a film Canon Rebel SLR. Porter shoots landscapes and portraits. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and Facebook. This article was also published here.
Comparing Canon and Sony Full Frame Cameras That Cost Under ,000
Photographers now have a number of options for full-frame camera bodies that can be had for less than $2,000, but how do they stack up? This video from The Slanted Lens compares three of them: the Sony a7 II, the Canon 6D Mark II, and a used Canon 5D Mark III. They’re all brilliant cameras, but which comes out on top in terms of quality?
The Sony is the cheapest at around $1,500 new, the Canon 6D II is $2,000, and the 5D III can be found at around $1,800 used (or $2,300 new). These cameras differ significantly in feature set, but for these tests, Jay P. Morgan and Kenneth Merrill wanted to compare the image quality in everyday situations.
The pair ran an ISO test, testing the contrast in a film noir style shoot, quality under natural lighting conditions, and finally in open shade.
The ISO tests saw the cameras coming in pretty evenly until around the 12800 mark, where the a7 II’s exposure lagged behind notably and the images it produced contained the most noise. The 6D II was the cleanest of the lot, besting the 5D III likely because of the DIGIC 7 processor, which is 2 generations newer than that of the 5D.
The 6D II looked to have stronger contrast in the film noir shoot, with the shadows appearing much darker than the other two cameras. In this and the natural light tests, the Sony has more of a yellow tint, while the 6D II held a lot of magenta, especially in the open shade tests.
Overall, the pair concluded that the picture quality from the 3 cameras is so close that the only way to make a decision on which to buy is based on the feature set and which ecosystem you want to buy in to.
As Morgan says, the Sony lineup is generally packed with features, and with the a7 II coming in at $500 less than the 6D II, it’s hard to resist. The choice is difficult, but the great news is that with a budget of $2,000 you’ll get an excellent full-frame sensor no matter which camera you choose.
It’s also important to note that Morgan omitted Nikon from the shootout, as he’s not as familiar with Nikon’s ecosystem. You can, however, find cameras like the highly-regarding Nikon D810 for under $2,000 used.
Before and After: Why Animal Shelters Need Good Photographers
Florida’s Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) just broke a 48-year-old adoption record last month, and it says photography played a huge role in that. The organization has released a series of before-and-after photos showing what a difference good photos can make.
In the past, shelters would often use poorly lit snapshots of dogs and cats in cold and unfriendly environments, often shot immediately after the animal arrives. In recent years, however, OCAS and other shelters across the country have begun to recognize the value of using high-quality portraits to show the warm and loving side of animals that need homes.
“In the past, intake photos (which are taken immediately upon the seizure of the animal) might be the only image a person sees,” OCAS tells PetaPixel. “But those pics are mainly for documentation, and identification for lost owners — they are not quality images.
“Often the animal is frightened, injured, and overall doesn’t connect with a prospective family. For a long time, this was the only or primary means of photography some shelters had, including us. A quality image makes the difference in motivating someone to come meet an animal in person — especially in rural communities.”
“Amazing photography, coupled with social reach, have helped us take adoptions to new levels,” OCAS says. “Photography originally came to our shelter through the help of dedicated volunteers – some were professionals, amateurs, and some enthusiasts – but all loved animals.”
Last year, after seeing how much of an impact photography can make, OCAS decided to hire one of its former photography volunteers, Albert Harris, to directly support adoptions.
“The results have truly paid off,” the organization says.
The photos you see here are “intake photos” that were previously used to show animals (on left) compared to the new high-quality portraits that are now being shot (on right).
“Nothing compares to a captivating image,” OCAS says. “We find that people are connecting in a way with shelter animals that we’ve not seen before. Photography allows a family to see the dog’s personality, playfulness and of course – complete adorableness.
OCAS says it’s hoping that its success story with photography may inspire other shelters to improve their photography as well.
Fake War Photographer Gets Exposed After Fooling the World
Right now, a conflict photographer named Eduardo Martins is supposedly driving around in a van somewhere in the Australian outback. And you probably won’t see any new work from him anytime soon: he’s in hiding after pulling off one of the craziest cons in the history of photojournalism.
Martins is a blond and handsome 32-year-old documentary photographer from Brazil who’s also an avid surfer in his free time. He won a battle with childhood leukemia while growing up, and eventually landed a mid-level position working for the United Nations. Traveling to locations filled with death and despair gave him the opportunity to take compelling photos, which he published on his Instagram account. Some of his photos were also delivered to renowned photo agencies, including NurPhoto, for distribution.
His presence on Instagram not only gave him a massive fan base of over 120,000 followers, but it led to his work being published around the world. From smaller publications such as SouthFront to prestigious publications like the The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, and The Telegraph, articles were illustrated with what everyone thought was Martins’ own work.
The Brazilian edition of VICE soon followed suit with an extensive photo essay titled “On the front with the Peshmerga.”
In early July, BBC Brazil featured Martins’ work as well.
And if it weren’t for some mistakes by Martins and an attentive BBC journalist named Natasha Ribeiro, Martins’ amazing life and photography career would likely still be enjoying its meteoric rise. But Ribeiro became suspicious of Martins after learning about his life and work, and she became even more suspicious when she dug deeper and couldn’t find a single person who had ever met him.
Not a single Brazilian journalist in Iraq, where Martins had supposedly been covering extensively. Not any of the authorities who would have had dealings with Martins. Not any members of the NGOs he said he was a part of.
Martins had given a story and photos to VICE about the battle in Peshmerga, but two other Brazilian correspondents who were there at the same time said they had never met this newly famous photographer — something that is nearly impossible given how tight-knit the community of conflict journalists is.
Martins had told BBC Brazil through a WhatsApp chat that he was working for the United Nations, saying: “I am a humanitarian (volunteer) in the United Nations field and I work in the organization of refugee camps.” But an investigation revealed that there was no record of Martins having ever worked for the UN Refugee Agency, which the organization’s press chief, Adrian Edwards, confirmed to the BBC.
The investigation into Martins soon revealed other oddities, BBC Brazil reports. Martins had developed relationships with at least 6 young, beautiful, and successful women through social networks, and then used each one to relay information to journalists. BBC Brazil found that none of the girlfriends had ever met Martins in real life.
Recently, the well-known DOC Galeria in São Paulo was planning to exhibit Martins’ work in an exhibition about Brazilian photographers in conflict zones. Veteran photographer and DOC Galeria member Fernando Costa Netto got in touch with Martins, who said he was in Iraq.
“I was organizing an exhibition of photos of Brazilians in a conflict area and I was in contact with him. Now he disappeared for more than a week,” Netto tells BBC Brazil. “I thought he had been kidnapped by the Islamic State, so I contacted his Brazilian colleagues in Iraq. When we started this search movement for him, he reappeared saying he had a small problem with his Internet connection.”
After learning of the BBC’s suspicions and the ongoing investigation, Netto made Martins aware that there were questions surrounding the authenticity of his work. Martins immediately deleted his Instagram account and sent one last WhatsApp message from a since deactivated number:
“I’m in Australia, I made the decision to spend a year in a van running the world. I’ll cut everything, including internet, [and also] the IG (Instagram). Thanks, I’ll delete the zap here, stay with God.”
And just like that, the true identity of the young man who claimed to be a worldwide conflict photographer may now never be discovered.
BBC Brazil just published the results of its investigation, resulting in news and photo editors around the world scrambling to pull photos taken by this faux photographer.
“Faced with the suspicions and the risk of copyright infringement, the original content has been taken off the air,” BBC Brazil writes. “We apologize to our readers for their mistake. The case will strengthen our verification procedures.”
Today in photojournalism scandals— a widely published photog who not only stole images, but may not exist at all https://t.co/PFH73K5ZOL
At least some of Martins work was stolen from American photographer Daniel C. Britt. Martins not only lifted the photos and republished them as his own, but he went to great lengths to alter the images to make them hard to identify through reverse image searches — many of the images were cropped and mirrored.
One thing that helped Martins weave his fictitious career was the use of prior publications as references for new publications. He placed not only placed tear sheets from prestigious publications such as the Wall Street Journal on social media, but he mailed them to editors when he pitched stories. This helped reduce suspicions, because surely large and prestigious news outlets would vet journalists prior to publishing stories, right?
Of course they did… so why go through the effort of doing it yourself?
About the author: Jan A. Nicolas is a press photographer with experience in conflict zones from Central America to Syria and Ukraine. You can follow him on Twitter at @phoyager
This ‘Little Planet’ Solar Eclipse Photo Combines Day and Night
Here’s a different perspective of the Great American Eclipse by photographer Stephane Vetter. It’s a “little planet” photo that beautifully combines the solar eclipse with star trails.
Vetter visited Magone Lake in Oregon and found a perfect spot near a Douglas fir tree (seen at the center of the frame). During the night before the eclipse, Vetter spent 4 hours capturing the image of star trails circling the celestial north pole. This became the bottom half of the “little planet” photo.
The next day, Vetter shot a photo every 15 minutes from sunrise to sunset, including during the total solar eclipse (seen on the left side). A composited version of these photos was used for the top half of the “little planet” photo. And that’s how this “360×180 panorama” was made.
The Return of Lil Peep
This article originally appeared in V109, on newsstands now. Order your copy here.
Shortly after we’ve sat down for an hour-long interview in New York City, Lil Peep spots a small spider on the floor by his foot. “I don’t want to kill you, spider,” he whispers to the ground as he notices the creature crawling dangerously close to his Adidas sneakers. “But I will if I have to.” These are exactly the kind of ominous words we’ve come to expect from Peep in his brief career. The art…