Nikon is a Japanese company, and the Japanese pronunciation (NEE-koh with a very silent n at the end) sounds different than both the American and British versions:
Johnston’s conclusion is that people in different places can have different pronunciations that are all correct. A reader named Eamon who used to work for Nikon confirmed Johnston’s conclusion.
“There is no debate,” Eamon tells TOP. “It’s settled. Zero room for disagreement. Nikon Corporation (that’s Nikon Japan) officially and consciously blesses all regional pronunciations of their company name.
“This is policy, agreed upon decades ago—likely in the 1950s—in some meeting room somewhere in Tokyo. Nee’kon is correct. Neye-kon is correct. Nick-on is correct. Many others are correct.”
Since “Nikon” is a made-up brand name in the Japanese language that doesn’t actually mean anything, Nikon gets to make the rules for how it’s pronounced, Eamon says. And Nikon’s rule is that all regional pronunciations around the world are equally correct.
This Guy Turned a Broken Camera Into a Working ‘Watch’ Camera
Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami had a broken vintage Chinese Seagull TLR camera on his hands, and he recently decided to get creative with it by turning the lens into a working wristwatch-style camera.
Rostami extracted the lens and shutter mechanism from the camera and mounted them to a black leather watch strap.
Custom-cut circular pieces of film are loaded into the back of the camera.
Here’s what the resulting camera looks like when worn on the wrist like a watch:
Lauryn Hill Vamped in Woolrich to Kick Off NYFW
A brand that has been serving up a reliable, somewhat utilitarian product for nearly 200 years would be forgiven for sitting out fashion week. But Woolrich, the country’s oldest outerwear manufacturer, is remarkably spry for its age. Last night, the makers of flannel-driven gear kicked off fashion week with a packed performance by Lauryn Hill, star of its much buzzed-about American Soul campaign.
Ms. Hill, who is on tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of her iconic album The Mis-Education…
Victorian Prisoner Mugshots Brought to Life with Color and Motion
I’m Nick Harris, a photo restorer and colourizer at Photo Restoration Services. I take immense pride in my work and the preservation of memories for future generations. I’d love to share a recent project of mine, of colorized Victorian prisoner mugshots.
They’re fascinating, particularly the method of using a mirror to reveal the prisoners’ side profiles and hands all in a single photo. People are enamored by old photos and I believe these stories and historical photos really deserve to be seen.
Photos post-1890 utilize a shoulder mirror, cleverly positioned to capture the prisoners’ full face and profile in a single shot. They showed their hands to reveal any distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, birthmarks or even missing fingers, like the unfortunate Joseph Wildsmith.
Cane comes alive in the below motion photo, giving a real engaging insight in moments leading up to his mugshot being taken.
I’ve been saying it for years; all the easy pictures have been taken. But there are still some stupid and crazy ones left out there. I came up with the bright idea to travel north with at least one of them in mind. I went looking for the polar bear of my dreams.
Not a zoo bear, not some hanging-around-the-town-dump bear, and certainly not a Tundra Buggy tourist bear. I went searching for a polar bear living unafraid and standing unchallenged at the very top of the food chain. I planned to photograph that bear living, hunting, and swimming among the melting Arctic sea ice.
I’d been making noise for years about going up to Hudson Bay to photograph polar bears. The town of Churchill, Manitoba is one of the easiest and most accessible places to see the bears. But everyone and their dog has already been there, riding around in a Tundra Buggy to photograph bears. I didn’t see much point in spending thousands of dollars to do that, so I tried to come up with a plan to get there and explore on my own.
My idea led to a string of solitary northern journeys that began as a sort of lark: I wondered if could I step out my front door in Seattle and travel overland to the shores of a cold and mysterious sea, then head off by boat to see wild animals and have some adventures. As to whether any of this was possible, let alone wise, safe or remotely advisable, I never thought to ask.
I wanted to go solo, and I figured out pretty quick this was going to be a BYOB (bring your own boat) job. The funny thing is, at the time at least, I hated boats. I hated the smell of them. I hated the cloying dampness, the sea-sickening bobbing-cork lurch, the musty, cramped spaces and the uncanny correlation between time on the high seas and extreme personality disorder.
After I bought my first boat, a 22-foot long weekend fishing boat named, appropriately enough, C-Sick, I quickly learned that boating exists in a gray zone between life as an unemployed grad school dropout and formally joining the ranks of the homeless. I might not bathe for a week. I crapped in a bucket, slept on a fold-out sofa, drank alone and to excess, and compulsively talked to myself for months on end. She was small enough—eight-and-a-half feet wide, and twenty-two feet long—to haul on a trailer, but came equipped with a rudimentary bed, table, and kitchen. She reminded me of my old VW camper.
I eventually decided to haul C-Sick nearly 2,000 miles on her trailer, up to where the road ends in the middle of Canada’s north woods near a town called Gillam, Manitoba. Then I backed her into the Nelson River and motored 75 miles downriver to Hudson Bay. From there, the plan was to make a left turn, motor across nearly a thousand miles of sparsely inhabited coast, and arrive at the Arctic Circle.
On paper, it sounded pretty simple, but the reality was anything but. I hadn’t gone more than four or five hours before I grounded my boat in the river’s shallows. I wound up unloading half a ton of fuel and gear into my inflatable dinghy, then pushed and dragged her while wading in the ice cold water. After that, I spent weeks struggling to cover the rocky and wild coast of western Hudson Bay.
There are only six small towns and settlements scattered across more than 500 miles of coastline, and I had to carry ample fuel and food to keep moving for hundreds of miles on my own. Each night, I had to find a sheltered spot to anchor the boat, then I’d heat up some canned soup, download the day’s images and start scribbling in my journal about the day’s adventures and disasters.
I wish I could say I was the Bear Whisperer, that I possessed a secret communion with polar bears—some Zen mastery that allowed me to see the bear even before I saw the bear. Or that I could send a whisper out upon the wind, carried from my chapped lips to fuzzy ursine ears. If there is a secret to finding a white bear in an infinite field of white ice, nobody has shared it with me.
I heard a helicopter and a suitcase full of National Geographic cash helps. Out on the water and amidst the drifting ice, it was simply a matter of grim determination: scanning every stinking piece of ice for hour after hour with heavy, overpriced binoculars glued to my eye sockets. Most of the time; nothing.
And even when I did find a bear, it was often difficult to get close enough to photograph them properly. It was nearly three weeks until I found my first polar bear, asleep on the rocky shore. I set up as close as I could get, then waited. It might have been an hour before the bear finally woke, yawned, and had a luxurious stretch on the rocks. Then he sat up and began walking toward me.
It was not a fast walk, but it wasn’t exactly a slow one, either. And he was not at all deterred by any of the array of gentle persuasions I had learned in three summers of working around Alaska’s coastal grizzly bears. I could have waved my hands overhead and yelled “Hey, Bear,” until my arms fell off; this guy was having none of it.
I clutched my bear-banger pen and carefully began a backward stumble-walk over the wet and uneven rocks, never turning to let the bear out of my sight. I retraced my steps back toward the dinghy, struggling to feel my way over the rocks through thick rubber boots and barely noticed the half gallon of cold water spilling over my boot tops when I finally scrambled back aboard.
Over the course of four summers, I photographed dozens of polar bears and a host of other animals near the Arctic Circle, at the northern reaches of Hudson Bay. I spent endless hours watching the bears as they moved along the melting sea ice and on shore.
There were times when the bears relaxed completely, and I was able to show them staring through the boat’s window at me, or swimming through the water, hunting on the ice.
There were also a few times when they took a more active, even culinary interest in my presence, which was another matter entirely. But the funny thing is, the bears didn’t scare me half as much as the Bay did. The Bay itself might be better described as a vast inland sea, six hundred miles long and up to four hundred miles across. When the wind blew, there wasn’t a tree or hill in half a thousand miles to stop it. The coast is only poorly mapped, and I constantly struggled to keep C-Sick off the rocks and out of the ice.
I gave my poor wife a heart attack one day when I left one of those ‘lost climber on Everest bidding sad farewell’ messages on her voicemail. The pack ice is constantly drifting on the currents and tides up near the Arctic Circle, and when I found myself cut off by a wall of icebergs, I drove C-Sick onto the rocky shore to avoid being trapped or crushed.
I couldn’t think of what else to do, so I called her on my satellite phone, gave her my GPS coordinates, then asked if she could look up the numbers for the boat insurance policy. It took 10 or 12 hours, but the tide eventually loosened up the ice and I floated back off the beach and away to safety.
I wanted to show polar bears in a new way, and I was willing to try almost anything. Along with a couple cases of my dinged-up Canon SLRs and attendant long telephotos, I brought along remote camera traps, an Aqua-Tech underwater camera housing, even a DJI Phantom 3 drone that seemed obsessed with thoughts of suicide.
In the end, I shot more than 100,000 images and covered more than 6,000 miles of wandering across the northern Bay. And some of those photographs did generate a modest amount of notoriety, including a first place award at the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2013, Grand Prize in the National Geographic Photo of the Year contest in 2013 and a First Prize in the 2014 Big Picture Competition.
I never set out to write a book. Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, A Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear has its origins in the journals and notes I kept during those four summers between 2012 and 2015. It was the voice in my head, scribbled down longhand at the end of each day’s solitary travels. I turned some of them into posts for my blog, which caught the eye of Mountaineers Books here in Seattle. They offered me a book contract, a small advance, and a chance to try something entirely new; staying home and writing for months at a stretch.
For a guy who had spent the past 15 years traveling five or six months a year, it was a big change, but a welcome one. The writing forced me to use a whole different set of muscles, and made me think in new ways about photography and bearing witness to the world, as well as allowing me to explore the history of the places I’d visited.
I’m already thinking about my next expedition project. I sold my beloved C-Sick to a nice man who seemed less inclined to drag her back to the ice, after buying a 43-foot steel motorsailer in Nova Scotia sight unseen, on the Internet. I took her north during the summer of 2017, covering more than 3,000 miles, from Halifax to Newfoundland and on to the northern tip of Labrador. Next summer, I hope to take her further north still.
About the author: Paul Souders is a photographer who travels the world for photos. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website and find out more about his book here.
Popular Child Photographer Under Fire for Sexualizing Young Girls
Well-known child photographer Meg Bitton has sparked a firestorm of controversy over the manner in which she photographs young, underage girls who model for her portraits and workshops. Bitton is accused of sexualizing the children and putting them in inappropriate scenes that suggest things such as prostitution and drug use.
Bitton exploded back into the public eye back in 2016 thanks to this photo and post that went viral:
BoycottMegBitton accuses Bitton of attracting attention to her work by posting controversial photos, waiting for the images to “hit a fever pitch,” and then removing the “click bait” photos from her online record. Over the years, Bitton has amassed over 300,000 followers on Facebook alone.
While many of her controversial photos have been deleted from social media, the images that remain continue to show a pattern of photographing young made-up girls in suggestive outfits and poses.
Her Facebook gallery continues to contain a promotional image she posted for a “Wild Child” workshop:
But it’s the photos that have been wiped from the Web that have people calling for a boycott of Bitton’s work and workshops.
One controversial photo showed a young girl in a skimpy outfit sitting behind a steering wheel with a cigarette.
(2) She defends 11 yr olds walking streets in stripper boots & booty shorts, hanging onto older men & calls it art. Um, no! This is soft core kiddie porn. Meg Bitton should be blacklisted, & why’s she been awarded blue check from FB? Get busy, my friends!https://t.co/clIyrapV8G
“They’re wearing knee high boots and platforms,” BoycottMegBitton writes. “I’m pretty sure that’s a reflection of water in the background. And that man is older than them. And has a walkie talkie in his back pocket. That’s a pimp. These girls ware working a dock.”
Some of the controversial themes and photos were reportedly part of workshops that Bitton held to teach other photographers her ways.
Bitton has had strong words (and bans) for people who have criticized her practices on social media.
“Too young for what?,” Bitton replied on Facebook in response to one critic. “To be embracing each other in shorts and tops? Too young to be out at night? Too young to explore? Too young to feel? What are they too young for? What is disgusting?”
In another response, Bitton told her followers that her photos tell a story of New York City and her childhood in the 1970s.
While many of Bitton’s fans have come to her defense on social media, Bitton is receiving widespread criticism and condemnation for her work. An ongoing online petition started by a “Concerned Citizen” has received over 6,000 supporters who are calling to have Bitton removed from Facebook and Instagram (where her account is now private).
“If a middle aged man shot these photos, we would be having a very different discussion,” BoycottMegBitton writes.
We reached out to Bitton for comment and she has yet to provide answers to questions we posed in writing. Bitton did say that she is dealing with her mental health at the moment, presumably as a result of the controversy and outrage her work has created (outrage that allegedly may even have included death threats made against Bitton).
V Can’t Over Nicki Minaj’s Made In America Performance
This past holiday weekend, Jay Z brought the American people the festival of all music festivals, Made In America, back to Philadelphia. An strong lineup of acts including Janelle Monae, Post Malone, Meek Mill, and many, many more delivered what some may call, the freshest musical performances of the summer.
The obvious standout and deservedly high-anticipated performance is owned by none other than the Queen of Rap herself, Nicki Minaj. Showing up to Philly with a brightly-neon hair style an…
Getty Images to be Fully Controlled by the Getty Family Once Again
The stock photo powerhouse Getty Images is now once again owned by the Getty family from which it received its name. The company announced that the family has acquired a majority stake in the company and will take full control.
Getty Images was founded in 1997 by family member Mark Getty and CEO Jonathan Klein after the duo merged their company (Getty Communications) with a company called PhotoDisc. After a decade of strong growth in the stock photo industry, Getty Images was acquired in 2008 for $2.4 billion by the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. Four years later, Hellman & Friedman put the company up for sale and ended up selling it for $3.3 billion to the private equity firm The Carlyle Group in 2012.
Now the company is being bought back by the Getty family, completing its full circle. The family is acquiring all of Carlyle’s ownership in Getty Images in exchange for cash as well as “ongoing financial interest in the future growth” of the company.
“The Getty family is thrilled to resume control of Getty Images, a business that bears our name and one we strongly believe in,” says Mark Getty, who led the transaction on the family’s behalf. “Getty Images is one of the world’s great media brands and the company has delivered a significant repositioning in the past few years, investing in its products and people to capitalize on favorable sector dynamics and build on its industry-leading position.”
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2018.
Flickr Revamps Galleries with a Fresh Look and New Tools
Flickr has announced a major new update to its photo galleries that brings a redesign and new tools for helping you “tell your visual stories with new tools to facilitate your creativity.”
“Flickr’s galleries have long been one of the tools available to our community for visual storytelling, though they have gotten dusty over time as the rest of the site progresses,” Flickr says.
The new galleries design helps showcase photos and videos through a much larger layout that’s geared toward modern screen sizes and resolutions.
Flickr, now owned by SmugMug, is also increasing the maximum number of photos in galleries tenfold from 50 to 500. There’s a new model that helps you work with large numbers of photos by batch adding them directly from your Faves.
“By explicitly connecting Faves to gallery creation, we’re making your workflow simpler when you’re curating your favorite works from other Flickr members,” Flickr says.
The galleries list page has been redesigned to show a triptych of photos (the cover photo and the two most recently added images). Each card also displays some gallery metadata.
Aside from the redesign and new features, most of what galleries offered before is still sticking around.
“You can update your cover photo at any time by selecting an image from the gallery,” Flickr says. “You can edit your Title and Description at any time. You can reorder the images in your galleries as often as you like. You can share galleries outside of Flickr with an intuitive share sheet that will improve the presentation of your galleries on other social networks.”
Why Canon Shooters (Still) Need to Consider Sony Cameras
When it comes to architecture and interior photography, it’s generally best practice to shoot using a tripod. There are several obvious reasons why, mostly due to being able to shoot effectively with slower shutter speeds and to compose your images more precisely.
Many landscape photographers will more than likely agree with the idea of using a tripod too. Unfortunately, there are certain scenarios where shooting with a tripod is simply not feasible. Take for instance a recent contract I received from a construction company that wanted one of their staircases photographed. The location itself does allow you to photograph the interior without any permits or permissions, however, tripods are not allowed due to it being a potential tripping hazard. I obviously wanted to ensure I produce high-quality images for the client and submitted a request to the location to use a tripod.
The back and forth ensued and the time it took to receive replies was eating into the time I had to complete the shoot. Not to mention the amount of paperwork required, suffice it to say there was a lot of red tape. Conscious of my deadlines I decided to shoot the location without a tripod and I’m very pleased with the results.
The equipment I used for this was without a doubt the lightest setup I’ve ever used on any interior shoot. My choice of camera was the Sony a7R III and the lens I decided on was the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero Distortion lens. I decided on the Laowa lens because of the wider aperture and the working space available to shoot.
Always remember to scout your locations as much as possible as it will help you to decide what equipment will be best for the job.
There are several reasons the a7R III was a better choice compared to any current Canon camera on the market.
The Laowa 12mm lens is completely manual and therefore autofocus was out of the question. Considering the lack of light, I decided to shoot wide open at f/2.8. The great thing about the 12mm lens is that even wide open you get a great degree of depth of field and it was sufficient for this particular location.
Shooting handheld in low light with a manual focus lens brings in a number of challenges. Fortunately, a good EVF will negate many of these issues. For one, looking through the viewfinder as opposed to using the back screen offers more stability in the way you hold the camera. Focus peaking and being able to punch in to check focus through the viewfinder meant that I never had to use the back of the screen. Although the 12mm lens does produce a relatively deep depth of field, some effort did need to go into making sure I was focusing correctly.
Canon and Nikon have announced their mirrorless cameras too but it’s not as though you can go out and buy one as I write this. Sony has been the only full-frame manufacturer offering a good EVF for a while now, making them a fantastic option.
In-Body Image Stabilization
Sony is still the only company on the market that offers a full frame camera with IBIS rated up to 5.5 stops. Even the newly announced cameras from Nikon don’t offer IBIS to this degree (it provides 5 stops). Canon, on the other hand, isn’t even competing in this area — the new Canon EOS R lacks it.
IBIS is extremely useful and without it, I doubt I would have been able to produce high-quality images. Due to the lighting, even when shooting at f/2.8 I had to shoot at shutter speeds as slow as 1/15th of second. Had I have picked my Canon 5DS R, as I do normally, I wouldn’t have been able to shoot at shutter speeds that slow and produced detailed images.
It seems Canon still believe that in-lens image stabilization is a better option. I recently demonstrated how this is not true and IBIS performs either about the same or better than IS. Even with adapting the Laowa lens, IBIS proved to be invaluable.
Other Compelling Reasons to Consider Sony
We are now three generations into Sony mirrorless cameras and currently they are the only manufacturer that offers a proper well-rounded system. Yes, Canon and Nikon have announced their mirrorless systems and although they do look pretty good as a first edition, they’re far from perfect. Above I discuss a real-world scenario where Sony was by far the best option for the job. There are, however, several other very compelling reasons Canon and even Nikon shooters should consider Sony cameras.
Not only does Sony have a large selection of native lenses on the market already, they continue to develop more and more. Not to mention the vast options available if you choose to adapt lenses. Sony E-mount cameras have adapters available for pretty much all the major lens mounts. From its own Sony A-mount to Canon EF, Nikon F, and even Leica M mount lenses can be adapted.
Heck, you can even adapt some medium format lenses, making it the most adaptable lens mount currently on the market. To add to this, Sigma has recently joined Sony making native lenses for E-mount cameras. Having options like the 105mm f/1.4 and the 14mm f/1.8 make Sony cameras an even better option than ever before.
Most importantly for me and many architectural photographers is the fact that you can effectively adapt tilt-shift lenses to Sony cameras. Once again, all these lenses are going to be stabilized due to IBIS, something that Canon still does not offer. Sony is by far in the best position when it comes to available lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras.
The Sony a9 was the first mirrorless camera that really showed what a properly developed mirrorless camera can do. The zero blackout EVF and incredible focusing and tracking ability of this camera made it the first proper option for many professionals.
Focusing from the sensor is not only more accurate than conventional systems in DSLRs but allows for more interesting and useful features. Take eye detect autofocus, for example: this feature individually makes Sony cameras a much better option than a lot of what else is available on the market. For some time, this feature was seen as a bit of a gimmick due to its ineffectiveness, but cameras like the a7R III have completely changed this perspective. If you’ve ever used eye detect in the latest Sony cameras, you’ll know just how good it is.
I can’t stress enough how incredible this feature is. Shooting portraits is so much easier because you’re not having to constantly move your focus point every time you slightly change your composition. It frees you to be able to concentrate on composing the shot and not compromise that point.
On several occasions with a DSLR camera, I’ve found I had to adjust the composition to ensure the image is in focus. The alternative was to use focus recompose, but, this is not a great solution especially when shooting with wider aperture lenses. Ultimately the autofocus systems in the latest Sony cameras are simply brilliant.
Although Nikon has only recently stepped up its game when it comes to video, Canon is still seemingly crippling its video features. The newly announced EOS R camera offers 4K at 30p, however, it massively crops the sensor (1.8x).
Sony, on the other hand, has been offering fantastic video features for a few years now. With its latest cameras, features like internal Log profiles and dual card recording mean that they are still the best option. Its autofocus for video has proven to be very reliable and properly effective.
From all the current full frame manufacturers, it feels like Sony is the only company that actually listens to its customers. Sony now produces some of the absolute best mirrorless cameras on the market and this is because they’ve taken time to properly listen to the complaints. They don’t make excuses, they make changes.
Take dual card slots, for example. This was a major complaint and Sony addressed this as soon as they could with its third generation of cameras. Nikon on the other hand, even though all of its higher-tiered DSLR cameras offer two card slots, decided on a single slot for its mirrorless cameras. Canon too, for some ridiculous reason, has decided to do the same.
It’s a baffling choice especially when you consider how Canon and Nikon know what Sony has been through. If your camera isn’t big enough to house two card slots, then you haven’t made your camera big enough.
Canon had every opportunity to deliver a fantastic camera with two card slots but, as usual, it does just enough and nothing more. Even Fujifilm, with its relatively tiny cameras, has managed to offer two card slots for its cameras.
Many individuals have described how Sony takes criticisms, and it’s generally very positive. It would seem Sony care what its customers have to say and that’s part of the reason why we see so many meaningful updates for its systems.
Picking the right tool for the job is an important decision and, in many circumstances, I still pick my Canon cameras. Having said that, in the last year I’ve found myself using my Sony cameras more and more and it’s because of the wide range of properly useful features.
Sony has been working extremely hard over the last few years to develop their system and deliver fantastic options to photographers. They have a pretty vocal following for good reason: they make fantastic cameras and work hard to deliver what their customers want.
Canon and Nikon seem to only want to do just enough to keep their respective market positions. Their lackluster approach to mirrorless really demonstrates their commitment and they constantly require excuses and defending.
When you have third party manufacturers starting to develop lenses and accessories for Sony just a few years into their development, you can tell they’re doing something right. The full-featured cameras offered by Sony are now extremely compelling options for many photographers and I predict their market position will be increasing dramatically over the next few years. For many photographers, Sony is fast becoming the absolute best option.
About the author: Usman Dawood is the lead photographer of Sonder Creative, an architectural and interior photography company. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and YouTube.