NYC’s New Vessel Landmark Has a Big Photo Copyright Grab
Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the United States (by square footage) just opened to the public in New York City, and the centerpiece of the Yards is a permanent art installation and giant public structure called Vessel. It’s a 16-story landmark with 154 flights of stairs that visitors can climb, but beware: by reserving a ticket to Vessel, you hand over rights to photos shot within.
We’ve received several tips from sharp-eyed readers who noticed the following section in Vessel’s Terms and Conditions, which you agree to by obtaining a ticket:
“If I create, upload, post or send any photographs, audio recordings, or video footage depicting or relating to the Vessel,” the document reads, “I grant to Company and its affiliates the irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable right and license to use, display, reproduce, perform, modify, transmit, publish, and distribute such photographs, audio recordings, or video footage for any purpose whatsoever in any and all media (in either case, now known or developed later).”
In other words, shoot a photo inside the structure, and the operator of Vessel will be able to use your photos for free, forever, anywhere, and for any reason.
And while you’re not allowed to use your photos for any commercial purpose, Vessel’s operator will even be able to send your photos to third parties for marketing.
“I further authorize Company to store such images on a database and transfer such images to third parties in conjunction with security and marketing procedures undertaken by the Vessel,” the document says.
These terms are found inside the 2,700-word document that you by default agree to when obtaining a ticket to Vessel, which is aiming to be a major landmark and tourist attraction in Manhattan. So now you know what you’re agree to if you decide to enter “the new heart of New York.”
Update: The original version of this article referred to “buying” tickets. The tickets are free and must be reserved two weeks in advance. We apologize for the error and have corrected the text.
Nikon Now Includes the 0 FTZ Lens Adapter for Free with the Z6 and Z7
If you shoot with a Nikon full-frame DSLR and have been considering a jump to the new Z Series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, it’s now easier on your wallet to bring your existing lens collection over with you. Nikon is now bundling the $250 FTZ (F-mount to Z-mount) lens adapter for free with the Z6 and Z7.
The FTZ adapter allows over 360 F-mount NIKKOR lenses to be used on Z Series mirrorless cameras with no change in image quality, and it guarantees full compatibility with over 90 NIKKOR lenses. F-mount lenses mounted via the adapter can make use of Z camera features such as Hybrid-AF and 3-axis in-camera Vibration Reduction (VR).
The lens adapter was previously available for $100 off when bundled with a camera, but now it’s included for free with the $1,997 Z6 and $3,397 Z7. The bundle can be found across all retailers (here’s B&H, Adorama, and Amazon for the Z6 and B&H, Adorama, and Amazon for the Z7).
F1 Superstar Lewis Hamilton Thanks the Photographers Who Cover Him
Here’s a neat gesture from one of the world’s greatest athletes. British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton, widely considered one of the best F1 drivers ever, took a moment this weekend to pose with Formula One photographers to thank them for their work.
After qualifying for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Hamilton gathered together all the photographers who have been documenting his races over his career for a group photo. He then shared the photo to social media with a message thanking them for their work.
“I took this picture after qualifying with all the photographers that have photographed me for the last 12 years,” Hamilton writes. “I just wanted to take this moment with them as life is precious and can sometimes fly by.
“I know I’m not always easy to work with photo wise but I do appreciate you guys, thank you”
BACK TO AMY AT SXSW
V’s Greg Foley chatted with Charles Moriarty about the stories behind the images in his show Back To Amy, from the book of the same name.
For the first time in North America and 12 years after she graced the stages of SXSW, The Back to Amy exhibit opened this week for reaction, contemplation, and celebration. The vibrant photo showing gives a rare glimpse into the life of 19 year old Amy Winehouse just prior to the release of her celebrated first album, Frank. London based photographer Char…
Photographing the Epic Beauty of New Zealand’s South Island
New Zealand’s South Island is known for its picturesque landscapes, breathtaking high peak alps, and ever-changing weather. It is a world heritage for its untouched wilderness, clear night skies, and adventure tourism. After traveling through the North Island, it was time for me to jump south.
These images are highlights of a two month’s journey through the South Island of New Zealand. I traveled from the north region all the way to the austral region at Stirling Point, the closest coast to the South Pole.
Living in my van, I was able to drive coast to coast without haste, absorbing New Zealand’s incantation one scene at a time. From incredible saturated colored sunsets, misty mountain regions, crystal clear mirror lakes and rocky coasts, to rugged glacial valleys, lush forests with never-ending waterfalls, towering alpine peaks, the so-called “Spiritual Center of the World” and the amazing spectacle of the Aurora Australis.
The south island feels like a never-ending rollercoaster of masterpieces waiting to be captured by our camera lenses.
All the images were taken with a Fujifilm XT-2, Fujinon 18mm, 35mm, 50-230mm, and a Rokinon 12mm lenses. They were edited and processed on Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
About the author: Jesse Echevarria is a photographer from Puerto Rico who is now based in New Zealand. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Echevarria’s work on his Instagram and Behance.
How I Converted a Durst Laborator 1200 Enlarger to Use LED Lights
I recently converted my friend‘s Durst Laborator 1200 enlarger to use LED lights. In this article I’ll share how I did it.
Advantages of having a LED head:
Reliable light source with low power consumption.
With the right LEDs, no red filter will be necessary under the lens.
With the right LEDs, no filters will be necessary for multigrade or split grade printing.
It’s possible to build a large enough diffuser and convert a small format enlarger into a large format one.
Everything is still a work in progress and everything you see is mostly a result of our quick and dirty workflow with a shameless amount of hot glue to fix everything down temporarily. We’ve expected to have a few issues here and there and everything has to be easily reversible until we’re more confident in our solutions.
I’ll start by posting the where we ended up in the end:
Yes, that’s a filled 5L bottle on top of the enlarger. The color head that we’ve removed weighs even more than that and until the laser-cut-form-fitting-counter-weight arrives, that bottle will have to act as dead weight to prevent the head from breaking free of its locked position and launch into the orbit.
Here’s the old CLS 501 color head:
All the drivers for the LEDs, power supply for the control unit and relays are inside the remaining chassis, tucked away behind the faceplate. We 3D printed a bracket (in the wrong orientation so the power switch is away from us while the power cable is near, measure twice print once everyone) and placed it temporarily on top of the head.
Since then, we’ve reprinted the bracket and everything looks better now (with much less hot glue everywhere) but haven’t taken photos of that yet, so this will have to do. We went for the DSub 9 socket so we have enough pins for communication and other features.
The black rectangular box underneath the faceplate is the diffuser box and some of you may have spotted that it says 24×36 mm on it. That’s because this enlarger (that my friend had rescued from being scrapped) came with a 35 mm diffuser only. All that bulk and weight for that?
Much better now. If you think that this diffuser is larger than 35 mm, that’s because we took a Dremel and cut out most of the bottom section. The newly inserted opaque white acrylic sheet is large enough to cover a 4×5 negative in either direction now.
Four clusters of LEDs. Following the suggestion of our dear friend Alexander Kharlamov (who has already built 6 of these conversions so far), we went for Red, Green and Purple LEDs, placed in the corners. According to some computer simulations, this layout gave us the best and most even illumination. The ones closest to the center are the red LEDs since even illumination is not a major concern with them. They are there just to act as a safelight, essential when placing some paper underneath the enlarger. That’s right, we won’t have to use a red safety filter under the lens anymore (we did test them with some paper and they turned out quite safe to use).
Here’s how the diffuser looks like with the red LEDs on. We also covered the inside of the box with some white reflective material and used two layers of opaque white acrylic at the bottom with a 1cm spacer between them. In the end, the lighting seems quite even, even for the red.
The green LEDs are closer to the corners (one in each) and are used for low contrast printing. They are more or less equal to an Ilford #00 filter and only activate the low contrast emulsion of the paper.
Here are the purple LEDs in action. These are also placed close to the corners (each cluster you saw above has RG and P LEDs, one of each). Some guides on the web suggest that Royal Blue LEDs would’ve been enough to activate the high contrast emulsion only but after digging through some datasheets (and also once again according to Alexander), the peak wavelength needs to be under 420nm to activate the high contrast emulsions of most papers and Royal Blue peaks at 440nm. These are 410nm near-UV LEDs. We also used a 1W driver for four of these while the two colors have 3W drivers of their own. This is because you don’t need as much light to activate the much more sensitive high contrast emulsions.
Here’s all of them on at the same time. Looks a bit bluish due to the white balance but it’s much closer to white in real life.
There’s a huge heatsink directly behind the LEDs. We used thermal paste and a drop of epoxy to attach the RGP clusters that are built into circular and aluminium PCBs. If we’re not happy with the light distribution, we’ll look more carefully into the arrangement and the number of the LEDs but this should be a good starting point.
We did not have a 4×5 negative at the point so this is a 6×6 negative. It is bright enough to be seen even with the room lights on.
The purple LEDs can be a bit hard on the eyes so while I took this shot with them, we actually turn the red LEDs on at the same time, resulting in a much more pleasing magenta illumination.
One of these is made with an Ilford #5 filter while the other is made with the LEDs. Can you tell which is which?
One of the first prints we’ve done.
It was quite a pleasant workflow once everything was put together. I actually built a custom timer for this (using an Arduino Uno we had around) but if we had three light switches mounted on a surface somewhere, this could’ve been used with a standard timer as well.
Here are a few footnotes:
The 3W drivers we used for the Red and Green have a slight delay at the start. I could’ve just added a fixed number into the code to compensate for the delay but as it turns out, it’s not a constant amount. It’s around 200ms if they’ve been turned off for a few minutes and almost instantaneous when doing a test strip. So, we’ll either upgrade our drivers, use a different kind (that would also allow dimming) or build a probe inside the head to watch for the changes in light.
The exposure times are around 5-10 seconds at f/11, which may be a bit too short to be practical, especially for dodging and burning. We’ll either add a few more layers of acrylic inside the diffuser box along with some ND filters to dim the light a bit or switch to a dimmable driver.
We’ve used a Pentax Spot meter to measure the illumination and everything seems to be within half a stop. However, a prototype spot analyzer I’ve developed tells us that it might be more than what we’d rather have. Will do more experiments to see if we need to increase the quality of the diffuser box.
We made all the preparations to add an 80mm or 120mm fan on top of the heatsink but surprisingly, we never encountered much heating even after turning everything on for a few minutes. We’ll check again using a thermometer inside the lightbox and quite probably add the fan just in case but so far, everything’s been quite cool.
All in all, I’ve quite enjoyed working with the LED light source. Along with the custom-built timer, there is simply no need for any filters. Press the focus button and only the red LEDs are on. Press another button and everything turns on, so you can focus easily. It is so bright that I never needed to open the aperture while working. The exposure times are kept separately for each of the high and low contrast channels and we’ve even come up with a method to do both exposures automatically, so all that is needed to make the final exposure after the initial test strips is a single button press.
It is theoretically possible to set it up for single grade printing between #00 and #5 but so far we’ve only used it for split grade printing. Will experiment with different methods and techniques in the near future.
Next up, I’ll be modifying my Kaiser 6002. Might even build and offer conversion kits for Kaiser V-Series enlargers since all of them have compatible parts, so it should be possible to build a one-size-fits-all solution for them.
About the author: Can Çevik is an industrial designer and film photographer based in Istanbul, Turkey. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Çevik is the inventor of MAYA, an advanced darkroom timer. You can find more of his work and photos on Instagram. This article was also published here.
Astrophotography Can Capture Seismograms During Earthquakes
During an earthquake, a camera capturing a long exposure of the night sky can capture star trails as seismograms that records the motion of the ground.
Back on January 20th, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Coquimbo, Chile. About 56 miles (90km) away, the ESO La Silla Observatory was in the process of shooting images of the night sky.
The observatory’s Rapid Action Telescope for Transient Objects (TAROT) telescope, which monitors gamma-ray bursts, was shooting a series of 10-second exposures of geostationary satellites and stars.
In the stacked photo above, each star trail is seen three times. The blurry left version was a 10-second exposure captured 41 seconds after the start of the earthquake. The last version on the right was captured 100 seconds after the earthquake when the ground had mostly stopped shaking.
“Each star is seen three times as the earthquake shakes the telescope and blurs its view of the night sky,” the ESO writes. “The effect of the earthquake gradually weakens with time […] The recording on the image here is similar to measurements recorded by seismographs on a roll of paper.”
Louis Vuitton Makes More Waves
After riding the ’80s redux wave last summer, Louis Vuitton is going back in the water. As part of the brand’s New Wave bag line, two classics—the bumbag and the camera bag—are taking a dip in the ’80s-inspired collection’s totally tubular color palette. Embodying an on-the-go, visually driven lifestyle, the remixed models retain their original lightweight constructions—the bumbag a crossbody/fanny pack hybrid and the camera bag a DSLR-sized case for everyday—while incorporating New Wave…
Iggy Azalea Introduces “Sally Walker”
Iggy Azalea has had a tough couple of years recently. After a very public breakup with ex-fiancée Nick Young and two major label moves following her debut album, Azalea seems positioned to finally reclaim her reign on the rap throne. “Sally Walker,” Azalea’s first song in seven months, is the debut single from her long-anticipated sophomore album, In My Defense. Over a “Humble”-esque piano trap beat, the Australian raptress shows off her lyrical prowess and playful delivery. Stemming…
Why I Ditched My Nikon Kit for Sony as a Wedding Photographer
Changing camera systems is not something to be taken lightly. As a die-hard Nikon fan since I first got into photography, I didn’t think I would ever consider switching away from them. And yet, here I am, sitting with no Nikon kit in sight having just shot my first wedding entirely on Sony kit and no regrets.
My entire career as a professional photographer has been forged with a Nikon. I knew my D750 inside out, knew how it would meter differently in different lights, when I had to adjust things, without even looking. It was comfortable to use and yet, as my way of working has changed, and my photography has grown, the camera hadn’t quite kept up.
What’s wrong with the D750
Well, nothing really. The D750 is a fantastic camera, and for the price it’s regularly available at (under a grand pre-owned), I still think it’s one of the best all-around DSLR cameras on the market for the money. Its dynamic range is incredible, the ISO performance is fantastic and it’s a monster when it comes to focus in low light situations.
And yet, as my shooting style has evolved certain aspects of it have frustrated me at times. The buffer is pretty dire, even with fast cards in it, shooting RAW to both cards the camera chokes after 10 shots. Now for weddings, this doesn’t matter for 90% of the day, but the 10% it does matter, it started to irk me.
Similarly, the max shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second. Not a problem, unless, like me, you like to shoot wide open. My most used aperture is f/2 and after this blazing hot summer we’ve had, I was having to push the aperture higher than I’d have liked to, in order to stop highlights being blown.
Shooting in Liveview on the D750 is another letdown — the AF is awful and slow, it hunts back and forth. It’s fine if you have the time to wait, but if you’re trying to catch a moment, you’ve got no chance.
Why not the D850?
So surely my obvious choice is to upgrade to the D850 right? Bigger buffer, using even faster cards, better Liveview, touch screen focus etc. That fixes all of my concerns right?
Well yes and no. It’s a bigger camera, physically, plus I don’t need 42 megapixels for a wedding. XQD cards are expensive, with not even the sole-manufacturer of them (Sony) adopting them. Making it an expensive upgrade path, especially as I like to shoot on two identical cameras.
Sure I’d get some of the benefits that I wanted, but it wouldn’t solve all of my issues. Liveview is better than the D750, but it’s nothing special.
Mirrorless is where all cameras will end up
I did a lot of research before I made the decision to change, I tried friends cameras, I checked all the boring things like ISO performance against my Nikons and most of all, I looked into the AF accuracy and speed, because that’s what’s key as a documentary wedding photographer, capturing moments the instant they happen!
Where mirrorless used to lag behind, it’s now not the case, with AF points covering the entire frame, dual phase and contrast detect pixels making Autofocus lightning fast and the addition of Eye-AF on the Sony’s is a game changer for me. It sounds so simple, it detects the closest eye to your focus point and tracks it. But just how accurate this is and how well it tracks around the frame has to be seen to be believed.
And let’s face it, the whole idea of a mirror having to physically move to take a photo, is just, well, behind the times in this digital age.
WYSIWYG shooting, What You See Is What You Get, is where the future is and is what makes mirrorless systems a pleasure to use. No more checking to see if any highlights are blown, you know whether they are or not *before* you hit the shutter button. Real-time exposure preview through both the viewfinder and the rear screen mean no more chimping, you know what you’ve got straight away.
A week of using the Sony a7 III and the DSLR seems dated.
So how is it vs the D750?
The D750 is a fantastic camera, and for the price it can be picked up for these days, I still have the opinion that it’s one of the best buys for an all-around DSLR in most parts of its performance.
And of course, it’s an absolute monster when it comes to low light performance. And that’s where the Sony misses in one way and wins big in the other.
It loses on low light AF. It’s just not as good as the D750 at locking focus when it gets dark, period. So you might want to think about an AF assist beam, a low power video light, or pre-focussing (which is what I do for dancing shots anyway).
But when it comes to ISO performance, the Sony smashes even the mighty Nikon. With native ISO going all the way up to 51200 (which is a horrible horrible mess, but still) at any ISO that you’re likely to use, the Sony wins. Sony has even managed to get even more dynamic range out of the A7 III than the D750, which was already an impressive camera in that regards.
The D750s ultra-deep grip is better in the hand, admittedly, or at least when holding it to your face, but with me not using the viewfinder, I find the Sony sits really nicely in my hand. Although a little front-heavy with fast Sony glass attached.
There’s no weight saving once the lenses are attached, so if you think a plus of switching to mirrorless is a reduction in weight, think again! Similarly, if your work is predominantly studio based and you use flash all of the time, you’re not going to get many of the advantages of that a mirrorless system would give you. They all vanish when you introduce flash and you’re metering for exposure anyway.
But when you’re working in natural light, zebra lines highlighting the parts of the image that will have blown, or focus peaking helping you manually focus combined with being able to see the exposure before you take the shot, are simply fantastic.
What it’s like to use
The body is smaller, the grip is quite deep though and it feels comfortable in the hand. If you don’t use fast lenses, then you may get some decent weight saving out of the switch. But connecting up a 35mm f/1.4 Distagon or 85mm f/1.4 G Master is definitely not a light combination. Maybe a hundred grams lighter than my equivalent set up on the D750.
It feels nice in the hand though, the lens sits nicely on my hand, I think a bit of weight helps stabilize the camera a little. But if you’re thinking about switching just to save weight, and you’re planning on adding a fast aperture lens. Stop, step back, and think again. It won’t be lighter!
The AF is incredibly fast, the D750 was no slouch, but the Sony impresses me again and again. Eye AF which I thought was going to be a bit of a gimmick. Is quite simply, incredible, it’s fast, accurate and tack sharp.
Full silent mode is great if a little weird to begin with, and you have to understand the technical limitations. In certain artificial lighting, it will create banding across the image. You might be able to avoid it by shooting in multiples of 1/50th (1/60th in the USA) due to the frequency lights flicker. But if you notice it, you’re better off disabling silent mode under those lighting conditions. Similarly, it can’t be used for particularly fast moving subjects, or they will appear to stretch across the screen. This isn’t an issue with the Sony, it’s just a technical limitation of how electronic shutters work vs mechanical shutters. So you have to learn when you can use silent, and when you can’t.
I’m the first to admit, I’m not a fan of Electronic View Finders. The one on the A7 III is good, the EVF in both the A7R III and A9 is better. But I still don’t really like them. Don’t ask me why, I just don’t, I think it’s to do with my eye being so close to a screen, I just don’t like it. Whereas others rave about it. So it’s definitely down to personal tastes.
So is it a problem? No, because that’s the other thing with mirrorless that has changed how I shoot… I don’t use the viewfinder. Not only does it eat up batteries faster (due to internal heat generation), but also, I just find shooting in LiveView better. It’s freeing, it allows me to get the camera into angles I’d otherwise struggle, creating new creative opportunities. There’s a mode for bright sunlight, which works great, probably increases battery drain a bit, so I turn it off when not needed.
And the big thing for me, as a social photographer. I’m not hiding my face behind a camera, I’m able to engage with my clients while shooting. Making them feel more comfortable, which creates better connections, which makes for better photos. And that is what we all want.
How was it at the wedding?
So I switched kit a week before a wedding, and I will admit, on the run up to it. I was thinking “Is this sensible? Am I going to be used to using these by Saturday? Will I deliver the same quality that my clients expect?”.
Any worries were completely unfounded, once set up how I wanted them to be, they’re a dream to use. So easy! Focus points covering the whole screen and being able to tap the screen to select them is a dream, the AF was quick and accurate all day long, it even surpassed my expectations late on for the dancing.
The silent shutter meant I could shoot even more discretely for most of the day (I had to turn it off in the barn to avoid banding) and the expanded buffer vs my D750 meant I never had to worry about the camera choking. Combined with the fact that I could see the exposure before pressing the button it was a dream.
Let’s put this into perspective…
I’d had the cameras for a week. And this was the most confident I’d ever felt shooting a wedding.
So you’d recommend I switch to Sony then?
No. Well, maybe.
It depends, doesn’t it? If you shoot predominantly studio work, then you lose some of the benefits straight away. No WYSIWYG for you, obviously. And you don’t need it. Super fast AF, well, you don’t need that either for the most part as you know the distance, you can prefocus.
Social and lifestyle photography? Maybe. I’m not going to say Yes, because it’s a very personal decision and what feels right for me might not feel right for you. But I think it’s worth checking them out certainly.
Some of the more dreamy portrait work? Maybe not… The A7 III has a very weak low-pass optical filter (or Anti-aliasing filter). A low-pass filter softens the image, mainly to prevent moiré but also because sometimes a slightly softer image is just more pleasing to the eye. As it is the A7 III delivers incredibly sharp images and for some styles of photography, that might actually be too sharp.
Ultimately, it’s not a camera for everyone. Kit doesn’t make you a better photographer, or somehow able to better frame an image in your head. But for me, it’s made it easier to translate the image in my head, into an image to deliver to a client.
Specific advantages of the Sony
Bullet points time!
Silent shooting – brilliant, just brilliant, especially for couples shoots when you’re potentially invading their personal space a little. It’s a bit less intrusive without a rapid clicking of a shutter!
A HUGE buffer – I get 50 images in a row at 10fps before the camera even starts to choke!
Real-time exposure preview with zebra stripes on the blown highlights – nail that exposure every time!
Eye-Af (this is seriously insane)
Focus points covering the whole viewfinder
Focus Peaking so manual focus is easy
Brilliant battery life – I shot the whole wedding with 1 battery in each camera!
Whether you agree with me, disagree, are considering the switch or have tried to switch and found you hate mirrorless! I’d love to know why! Please drop your thoughts below.
About the author: Andy Dane is an award-winning wedding photographer, lifestyle blogger, husband, and father based in Norwich, UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Dane’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.