Things to Watch

Photographer Captures the Beauty of Bioluminescent Plankton

Photographer Captures the Beauty of Bioluminescent Plankton

There are certain kinds of plankton that glow when they’re disturbed by movement. Photographer Kris Williams recently went out to a shore in Wales and captured a set of photos and videos showing the beauty of this bioluminescent plankton.

Williams is a landscape and nightscape photographer based on Anglesey, an island on the north coast of Wales. He has found that his local beach (Penmon Point) is always a good spot to find bioluminescent plankton, as it gets caught in the bay instead of getting swept out in the current.

Since the plankton emit light when they’re disturbed, they turn waves washing onto shore into sparkling blue light shows. Wading into the water, stirring water with your hand, and throwing rocks into the ocean also cause mesmerizing light displays to appear.

“You can scoop the water up in your hands and see the plankton covering your fingers like tiny stars, or swim in the water and watch as the waves light up where you swim through them,” Williams tells PetaPixel. “It really is something magical to see and experience!”

Here’s a 5-minute video Williams made with a compilation of clips showing the glowing plankton in real-time:

Everything you see was shot with a Sony a7S camera and a Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 lens.

You can find more of Williams’ work on his Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.


Image credits: Photographs and video by Kris Williams and used with permission


Source: PetaPixel

Photographer Captures the Beauty of Bioluminescent Plankton

This Instant Camera Takes Pictures and Prints Them as Cartoons

This Instant Camera Takes Pictures and Prints Them as Cartoons

How accurately do you expect your camera to be in representing the real world? If your answer is “not very,” then Draw This is an instant camera designed for you. It snaps pictures and prints them as cartoon drawings.

The camera was created by Dan Macnish, an engineer and visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia.

“There is something eternally amusing about a physical, unique image, that is uniquely different to digital,” Macnish writes. “Playing with neural networks for object recognition one day, I wondered if I could take the concept of a Polaroid one step further, and ask the camera to re-interpret the image, printing out a cartoon instead of a faithful photograph.”

After the camera snaps a photo with its digital camera, it uses a neural network and Google data for object recognition. Once the objects in a photo are determined, the camera uses “The Quick, Draw! Dataset” from Google (50 million user-submitted sketches in 345 categories from a game).

Sketches from The Quick, Draw! Dataset

The Raspberry Pi-based camera then prints out its cartoon-ified version of the photo using a thermal printer.

“One of the fun things about this re-imagined polaroid is that you never get to see the original image,” Macnish says. “You point, and shoot – and out pops a cartoon; the camera’s best interpretation of what it saw.

“The result is always a surprise. A food selfie of a healthy salad might turn into an enormous hot dog, or a photo with friends might be photobombed by a goat.”

If you’d like to create your own version of the Draw This camera, Macnish has shared his code and instructions through GitHub.

(via Dan Macnish via Gizmodo)


Image credits: Photographs by Dan Macnish and used with permission


Source: PetaPixel

This Instant Camera Takes Pictures and Prints Them as Cartoons

Songs For Summer: K-Pop Edition

Songs For Summer: K-Pop Edition
With so many incredible artists currently saturating the American music scene, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that an entire world of amazing music exists just outside our borders. From smash hits sung in Spanish to artists all over Asia, it’s hard to find airtime for everyone (although we ought to). Today, we’re spotlighting some of K-Pop’s most major songs that you might not have heard of yet. Forget Gangnam Style, that’s so 2012. The South Korean entertainment industry has…

Keep on reading: Songs For Summer: K-Pop Edition
Source: V Magazine

Songs For Summer: K-Pop Edition

3 Legged Thing’s New Trent Monopod is One of the World’s Tallest

3 Legged Thing’s New Trent Monopod is One of the World’s Tallest

The British tripod maker 3 Legged Thing has announced a new monopod called Trent. With a fully-extended height of 80 inches (6.66ft/2m), Trent is one of the tallest monopods available on the market today.

The Trent was named after Trent Reznor, the lead singer of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It’s formed of aircraft-grade magnesium alloy, giving it both vertical (e.g. supporting a heavy camera kit) and lateral strength (e.g. using the monopod as a boom). The Trent has a maximum load capacity of 66lbs (30kg), and with a weight of 1.4lbs (0.63kg), it has a load-to-weight ratio of 50-to-1.

Trent uses 3 Legged Thing’s Bubble Grip technology on its leg locks and column grip, allowing photographers to make adjustments to the monopod even in difficult weather conditions.

Both ends of Trent feature dual 1/4”-20 and 3/8”-16 threads, giving you a variety of options for mounting gear and accessories.

The rubber foot that comes with the Trent can be detached, allowing you to replace it with other 3 Legged Thing “footwear” products.

When collapsed, the Trent measures 24 inches (2ft/0.61m) long.

Here’s a short video showing Trent (the monopod) in action:

Trent will be available starting August 1st, 2018 with a price tag of $80. Pre-orders can now be placed through the company’s website and with authorized retailers around the world.

(via 3 Legged Thing via DPReview)


P.S. In addition to Trent, 3 Legged Thing has also announced a smaller rugged carbon fiber monopod called Alan and a new rugged foot stabilizer called Docz.


Source: PetaPixel

3 Legged Thing’s New Trent Monopod is One of the World’s Tallest

10 Tips for Taking Your Vlogging to the Next Level

10 Tips for Taking Your Vlogging to the Next Level

In our recent ​Creative Hustle video series, ​PetaPixel​ challenged two photographers, ​Steven John Irby​ and ​Nate Luebbe​, to vlog their way through 24-hour photo challenges. This meant the photographers needed to not only be the star of the show, but also the directors and producers too. For photographers interested in giving vlogging a whirl and becoming the next Peter McKinnon, here are 10 things we learned from the Creative Hustle vlogging experience…

#1. Learn classical narrative structure

If you can tell a good story, you’ll be able to create a good vlog. Generally speaking, classical narrative structure involves a beginning (a hero sets off on a quest); a middle (the hero suffers setbacks) and an ending (a dramatic conclusion where the hero overcomes the odds and achieves victory). If you can adopt this structure into your vlogs, you will create winners.

#2. Give yourself a quest

Giving yourself a creative photo challenge is the perfect ‘quest’. It positions you as the hero and all the problems you encounter will only serve to heighten the drama. In Nate’s vlog, he states his desire to shoot the northern lights early on but he is at the mercy of the bad weather. At the end of the vlog, the weather clears, and he managed to get the shot in a dramatic conclusion.

#3. Shoot, shoot, shoot

The more you shoot, the more options you’ll have for when you’re cutting the video. Whether it’s b-roll or a seemingly unimportant detail – you’ll be grateful for the options in post. But don’t worry, with experience you’ll soon develop an instinct for shooting the right stuff.

#4. Timelapses

Timelapses are a tool you can use to transport between scenes or locations. Don’t just throw these in randomly, it’ll ruin the flow – rather use them strategically to move the story along.

#5. Find fun ways to tell your stories

Little editing tricks can make all the difference. Whether it’s clapping to ‘magically’ add clothes, appearing twice in one frame or teleporting from one side of the frame to the other – there are plenty of fun editing tricks that your audience will appreciate.

#6. Gear

Sony hooked us up with the Sony RX100V and it was superb. After our experience, we agreed the 4 key criteria for a good vlogging camera would be: a flip screen; speedy autofocus; 4k footage and as light as possible. The RX100V checked all these boxes and even in freezing conditions in Norway, never gave us a problem.

#7. Tripod

Although holding the camera selfie-style has its place, it’s a tough watch for a whole vlog. A light tripod and one of those GorillaPods are essential for giving you the freedom to move around.

#8. Forget perfection

Perfection is not realistic when vlogging – there will be rough edges. Just do your best to nail the shot and cut down on “fixing it in post” as much as possible — top vloggers pump out multiple videos a week. So focus on developing a workflow that is not too draining and find the right line between quality and quantity.

#9. Find your thing

You need to consider what value you are offering. Are you a naturally funny person or do you have lots of tips to share? Are you aiming for a blend of ‘Edutainment’? Experiment to see what works with your personality and look to build your vlogging game around that.

#10. Personality and energy

Perhaps the hardest part of the whole game: your on-screen persona. This will get easier with experience and you will begin to feel more comfortable in front of the camera. However, again this is really up to you to find the right energy that your audience can connect with and let your true personality show.


In case you missed them the first time around, here are the two videos we made:

A big thanks to the Sony Alpha Collective for sponsoring the Creative Hustle challenge and to Nate Luebbe and Steven John Irby for participating!


About the author: Matthew Rycroft is a filmmaker and content creator based in Salzburg, Austria. You can find more of his work on his website and Twitter.


Source: PetaPixel

10 Tips for Taking Your Vlogging to the Next Level

Dear Newbie Wedding Photographer, Here’s Some Honest Advice…

Dear Newbie Wedding Photographer, Here’s Some Honest Advice…

Last week I received an email from a local wife-and-husband team of wedding photographers. Here’s what it said…

We hope your wedding season is going well and you are enjoying this beautiful weather!

We are a husband and wife photography team based out of [a Wisconsin area] who still have dates available to book for weddings this year and next. We would love to be able to coordinate with you on dates that you may already have booked but are getting inquiries from prospective couples.

As part of this collaboration, we would like to offer you $50 for each booked wedding package that you refer to us upon completion of the wedding.

Our portfolio and packages, starting at $900, are available on our website www.example.com to view. Since we work together for each wedding, we have the advantage of being able to shoot multiple angles and styles for each moment of their big day.

We look forward to hearing from you and collaborating with you in the future!

[The Wife and Husband Photographers]

I have been thinking about that email over the weekend. I felt I had to say something. I didn’t want to talk about their $900 wedding package. Nor did I want to ask them why the boy in the first image I see on their website is out of focus. I wanted to talk about something else: wedding photography ethics.

So today, I sat down, put together and emailed them my response:


Dear Wife and Husband photographers,

Thank you so much for the generic email you’ve sent out last Friday. I’ve talked to a few of my colleagues and it seems like we all got the same copy/paste version.

Bravo for doing your homework and making it very much personal!

Now, I don’t want to sound like a complete a**hole, but let me tell you few things here.

I know you’re just starting. I know, because I see “under construction” message on your About Us page. “This site was designed with the Wix.com website builder.” banner beautifully sitting right above your website navigation says so. And 4 posts in your Instagram account is pointing at it.

And let’s be honest: your pictures say so as well.

And it’s OK.

And I’ve been in your shoes.

We all started from the scratch.

But I never took shortcuts.

And that’s exactly what your email is.

A lousy shortcut.

A shortcut, that won’t take you anywhere. In fact, it will make quite a few wedding photographers you’ve emailed mad. Or at least it should.

And there are a few reasons for that.

First of all, we’ve never met. I don’t know who you are. You don’t know who I am. And you didn’t even bother to learn my name and put it in your email.

Why I should pay attention to anything you have to say if your email looks like the rest of the emails that go to my Spam folder: “Dear Sir or Madam?”

Second of all, your wedding photography style is not what I offer to my clients.

As a wedding photographer, I have one job: to give my client what they want and do my best while doing it. So by default, if I am booked, I will try to match a couple with someone who’s wedding photography style is closest to what I offer.

Thirdly, (and that’s a biggie) if I refer a wedding couple another photographer, it will be someone who I trust. Someone who will push through the day no matter what. Someone, who will do their absolute best. Because if my recommendation fails, I fail as well.

Finally, the whole idea of paying someone for a referral in the wedding photography industry is disgusting. Because if I would accept your offer, unless I’m really sending a client the next best recommendation available, I’m simply would be serving my own interest.

And that’s not how a client and wedding photographer relationship should be.

So, thanks for offering me $50, but no thanks!

I hope you still have a real job and didn’t jump into full-time photographer’s career yet.

Because on your path as a full-time photographer there will be a lot of homework to do and a lot of inner demons to face.

And for sure it won’t happen overnight.

Or over a year.

Or five.

And the formula is really simple: Be nice. Work Hard. Care about people. Repeat.

It’s simple, but it’s not an easy formula to follow.

And shortcuts won’t take you anywhere.

And maybe you know it already, but from your email, it doesn’t look like it.

I won’t explain to you how and where to begin.

You’ll have to figure it out yourself. It’s really not that difficult if you push hard enough for long enough.

And if you do, you’ll be rewarded.

Also, I can tell you right away, while exciting, this journey won’t be easy. And it definitely isn’t for everyone.

I hope you’ve read all the way to this line.

I wish you the best of luck.

Paulius Musteikis


About the author: Paulius Musteikis is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Madison, Wisconsin. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Musteikis’ work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.


Source: PetaPixel

Dear Newbie Wedding Photographer, Here’s Some Honest Advice…

Karl Lagerfeld Enlists Penelope Cruz As Chanel’s Next Ambassador

Karl Lagerfeld Enlists Penelope Cruz As Chanel’s Next Ambassador
Penelope Cruz has officially joined the star-studded roster of Chanel brand ambassadors. The Oscar-winning actress, selected personally by Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, will appear in the brand’s upcoming cruise campaign.

Cruz celebrated her new partnership by attending Chanel’s Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/19 show at Le Grand Palais in Paris earlier today. She was photographed with Lagerfeld wearing a Chanel pink-and-white button-down tweed dress and beret. Cruz has been a fan of Chane…

Keep on reading: Karl Lagerfeld Enlists Penelope Cruz As Chanel’s Next Ambassador
Source: V Magazine

Karl Lagerfeld Enlists Penelope Cruz As Chanel’s Next Ambassador

This is the First Confirmed Picture of a Newborn Planet

This is the First Confirmed Picture of a Newborn Planet

Behold: this is the first confirmed image of a planet being born. The image was captured by SPHERE, a planet-hunting instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope.

The planet is seen as the glowing spot to the right of the black circle, which was caused by scientists using a coronagraph to blot out the light from the star at the center of the frame — without the coronagraph, the star’s blinding light would have prevented scientists from imaging the fainter disc and baby planet surrounding it.

“This glimpse of the dust-shrouded birth of a planet was only possible thanks to the impressive technological capabilities of ESO’s SPHERE instrument, which studies exoplanets and discs around nearby stars using a technique known as high-contrast imaging — a challenging feat,” ESO writes. “Even when blocking the light from a star with a coronagraph, SPHERE still has to use cleverly devised observing strategies and data processing techniques to filter out the signal of the faint planetary companions around bright young stars at multiple wavelengths and epochs.”

ESO scientists say the planet is in the process of being formed from the dusty disc surrounding the young star (PDS 70), and that the atmosphere of the newborn planet is cloudy. Despite being so close to the star in the photo, the planet is actually located about 3 billion kilometers (~1.86B miles) away from the star in space.

The Very Large Telescope was also responsible for the most detailed photo of a non-Sun star in 2017.


Source: PetaPixel

This is the First Confirmed Picture of a Newborn Planet

The Life and Work of Atlanta Hip-Hop Photographer Zach Wolfe

The Life and Work of Atlanta Hip-Hop Photographer Zach Wolfe

Here’s a 7-minute video by Adobe Create about the life and work of Atlanta hip-hop photographer Zach Wolfe. (Warning: the video contains strong language and mature themes).

Wolfe says his career journey began back when he was 18 years old when he listened to the debut album of the Atlanta-based hip-hop duo OutKast for the first time.

“I don’t know what’s going on in Atlanta, but I have to go there,” he thought.

So, Wolfe picked up and moved to Atlanta with zero connections and began working to build a name for himself in the photo industry there. Initially, things were difficult since Wolfe had no access to the industry, but one day he caught the big break he needed.

While chatting with a neighbor, Wolfe learned that the person was the secretary of a then-lesser-known rapper named Lil Jon. Wolfe shot some photos for Lil Jon, and the chance encounter helped launch the photographer’s career. He has since photographed many of the music industry’s biggest names.

“I was young and hungry, just like these [rappers],” Wolfe tells Adobe Create. “My passion to make it as a hip-hop photographer matched the passion of these guys wanting to be nationally known as rappers. There was this common bond. I adopted a similar intensity as some of the artists that I shot.

“I’m not motivated by fame, but by that tingly feeling I get when I get the shot. That’s why I do this.”


Credits: Video produced by ALCHEMYcreative


Source: PetaPixel

The Life and Work of Atlanta Hip-Hop Photographer Zach Wolfe

500px Founder Joins Skylum to Grow Its Software in Asia

500px Founder Joins Skylum to Grow Its Software in Asia

500px founder Evgeny Tchebotarev is joining Skylum, becoming the new VP of Growth in Asia of the photography software company (formerly known as Macphun) that’s behind Luminar and Aurora HDR.

Tchebotarev originally founded 500px back in 2004 as a community for photographers before bringing co-founder Oleg Gutsol on board in 2009 and relaunching the service. 500px then rose in prominence as photographers viewed it as an independent alternative to Flickr, which was then owned by Yahoo (and now Smugmug).

Gutsol was ousted from 500px back in 2004 while Tchebotarev remained, and 500px was acquired by the Chinese stock photo company VCG in February 2018. (Tchbotarev says he has been “perplexed” by decisions made at 500px over the past few years).

In the 14 years he was with 500px, Tchebotarev helped grow the photo-sharing service to 13 million photographers at the time of its acquisition. Through his work, Tchebotarev has developed significant experience in the Asia-Pacific market, which is what Skylum hopes to tap into by adding Tchebotarev to its team.

“I have always been inspired by what Evgeny has done for the community,” says Skylum CEO Alex Tsepko. “He has created the most innovative and user-friendly social platform for photographers. I believe that as a part of the Skylum team, Evgeny can do even more for creators around the globe. We have revolutionary plans, and it’s an honor to have such team players on board.”

“What’s important to me, is Skylum’s complete dedication to building great software, and providing exceptional value to photographers, all while building a real community of passionate photographers,” Tchebotarev says. “This strongly resonates with my personal and professional ambitions and being able to do so in a highly competitive, fast paced, and unique market, such as Asia, is an additional challenge that I’m excited to take head on.”

Skylum Luminar 2018.

At Skylum, Tchebotarev will be tasked with building up Skylum’s presence in Asia and building a “strong photography community” in order to bring the company’s software to more people in that part of the world.

“Evgeny will take his knowledge of photography, product development, and the Asia-Pacific market to expand Skylum’s presence, both online and on the street, by organizing events including photo walks, community meetups, and contests across the region,” Skylum says.


Source: PetaPixel

500px Founder Joins Skylum to Grow Its Software in Asia