SanDisk Unveils the World’s Largest microSD Card, A 400GB Monster
Today, SanDisk released the world’s highest capacity microSD card to date: the 400GB SanDisk microSDXC Ultra UHS-I card. It’s targeted at mobile users who have a lot of data to store on their smartphones, including high-res photos and videos.
The card comes about a year after SanDisk previously broke records by creating a 256GB microSD card that was the world’s fastest of its size.
This time around, this new Class 10 card looks pretty robust, too: it’s water, shock, temperature, and even X-ray proof.
“Mobile devices have become the epicenter of our lives, and consumers are now accustomed to using their smartphones for anything from entertainment to business,” said Jeff Janukowicz, Sandisk Research Vice President. “We are collecting and sharing massive amounts of data on smartphones, drones, tablets, PCs, laptops and more.
“We anticipate that storage needs will only continue to grow as people continue to expect more sophisticated features on their devices and desire higher quality content.”
Western Digital, the company that now own SanDisk, says it leveraged its “proprietary memory technology and design” to allow for the increased capacity.
“We continue to push technology boundaries and transform the way consumers use their mobile devices,” said Sven Rathjen, Vice President of Western Digital. “By focusing on achieving new technology milestones, we enable consumers to keep up with their mobile-centric lifestyles with storage solutions they trust.”
The new microSD card is ideal for Android smartphone users and can hold up to 40 hours of Full HD video. The transfer times are fast too, with a read speed of 100 MB/s (that’s about 1,200 5MB photos per minute) and write speed of 10 MB/s. The card is also said to load apps faster, thanks to its adherence to the A1 App Performance Class specification.
Instagram Removes Forced Square Aspect Ratio for Multi-Photo Posts
Hate cropping your pictures into a square format on Instagram? You’re in luck!
While the app did away with the mandatory square format in August 2015, the rule still stuck for users creating multiple photo and videos posts. Starting today, however, Instagram announced that users can choose landscape and portrait formats when uploading multi-image posts. The only caveat is that all photos and videos in the post must be in the same format—all portrait or all landscape.
Instagram also announced that you can now edit tagged people after the post is live and, in iOS, users can save these posts as a draft if they aren’t quite ready to upload.
The update is rolling out as part of Instagram version 12.
What to Expect if You Plan to Cover Harvey’s Aftermath
As journalists head to south Texas and Louisiana to cover the continuing floods and the damage from Hurricane Harvey, photographers who have been on the ground since the storm made landfall on Friday say they are managing with lack of gas, power and transportation, and using various communication methods to stay in touch with each other to work safely in hazardous conditions.
Austin, Texas-based photographer Tamir Kalifa has been shooting for The New York Times. He and the Times‘s Houston bureau chief Manny Fernandez have maneuvered around parts of the city in a Jeep 4×4 with four-wheel drive. “Make sure you’re in a vehicle that can get as much traction as possible,” he warns. Chicago-based photographer Alyssa Schukar, who has been shooting for The New York Times in Victoria, Texas and Houston, says her vehicle stalled at an evacuation point. Shukar and New York Times writer Alan Blinder then were able to travel with the National Guard to Houston, then traveled with citizens who used small boats to rescue their neighbors. Even in a boat, she says, “There are so many cars underwater, and there’s a decent chance we would hit one.” Downed power lines add to the danger.
On Tuesday, Kalifa told PDN that there is no gasoline available in the area, but colleagues who have had to cover hurricanes in the past had warned him to bring an extra supply. “We had ten gallons strapped to the roof. We used it, and wouldn’t have been able to finish without it.” (To learn how Houston Chronicle photographer Marie D. De Jesús and her colleagues prepared for the storm, read PDN’s interview.)
Reuters photographer Rick Wilking notes, “The cell phones work surprisingly well in most places, and I have a satellite phone for areas where they don’t, like Rockport,” a city that was hit hard when the storm made landfall and is still without electricity. Wilking has used Whatsapp to check in with his colleagues and share information. He has also used multiple map programs to navigate the flood. Schukar was able to use Google maps to help guide a boat loaded with evacuees and the citizens who had rescued them.
Photographers have been working in steady rain in waist- and chest-high water, so condensation in cameras is a problem. Kalifa says he’s been using aquatech covers over his cameras. “Sometimes you can’t see what you’re getting, but it’s a better solution than ruining your gear.”
Photographers PDN spoke to say they want to continue covering the response to the storm. “By far the vast majority of help is coming from volunteers,” Wilking says. Kalifa says, “The human capacity to help others is as extraordinary as the devastation.”
Watch a Nat Geo Photographer Rescue Her Mom from Houston Floods
Want to see what it’s like to flee the devastating floods in Houston, Texas, caused by Hurricane Harvey? National Geographic conflict photographer Erin Trieb helped evacuate her mom this past weekend, and she documented the experience in the 5-minute video above.
Trieb is usually based in Istanbul, Turkey, but she was back home in Texas when the hurricane struck. On August 27th, 2017, she opened up the camera app on her smartphone and began recording her journey in helping her mom, retrieving her cameras, and checking up on her sister.
A post shared by Erin Trieb (@erintrieb) on Aug 27, 2017 at 6:49am PDT
The photographer and her mother had to wade through waist-deep waters just to leave the neighborhood, pulling three dogs behind them in trash cans.
“Trieb plans to continue photographing her family’s Houston neighbourhood to document how victims are coping with floods,” National Geographicwrites.
“While this is my third hurricane to photograph and second one in Houston, I have never before had to turn the camera on my own family, who has experienced substantial flood damage,” Trieb writes on Facebook. “A huge thanks to my mom and sister’s family, who are all safe, for allowing me to chronicle their personal experiences – all things considered, we’re very fortunate. Thoughts go out to all those in Houston currently battling this tremendous storm.”
Style File: The Fashion The Defined The Studio 54 Era
The ushering in of chart-topping disco music and the wild nights at Studio 54 that bled into mornings forever defined an era, marking a period in time unlike any other in its existence. During the roaring nights at Studio 54 one could expect to encounter the likes of Diana Ross, Cher, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry and countless others that danced the night away under a glittering disco ball. Each night, the crowds in attendance never failed to don the most outrageous and…
Flight Attendant’s Photos Show Life in a Virgin America Crew
Molly Choma of Portland, Oregon, has spent nearly a decade working as a flight attendant on Virgin America planes. In addition to her work in the skies, Choma is also a talented photographer. Her series The Secret Life of Virgins is a look at life in Virgin America flight crews.
Choma was recently interviewed by Travel + Leisure about her work. She states that although she started shooting photos on the job a few years into her career, her work took on a new sense of urgency in recent years after Alaska Air agreed to buy Virgin America last year in a $4 billion deal.
Virgin America will no longer exist by 2019, and Choma has since been recruited by Virgin America to document the airline’s culture before it goes extinct.
“I just wanted to preserve it, not necessarily for the public, but for my friends and people like me who grew up with Virgin America,” Choma tells Travel + Leisure. “Whether that’s people who were there since the start or only for the past six months, I wanted something to immortalize what we have.”
The photos in The Secret Life of Virgins capture flight crew members when they’re out of the sight of passengers.
These Coasters Stack to Form a Canon 85mm f/1.2 Camera Lens
The photo gear brand FotodioX recently launched a new line of drink coasters. Called the LenzCoaster, each set of 5 coasters stacks to form a 85mm f/1.2L camera lens lookalike.
Hidden magnets inside the coasters hold them together in lens form when they’re not being used. On the top and bottom of each coaster is a pad of non-slip silicone to absorb moisture and also keep it from slipping on smooth surfaces.
There are three different sets you can choose from. In addition from black with black (shown above), there’s also black with red and white with black.
You can pick up a LenzCoaster set for yourself for $25 through retailers like B&H and Amazon.
Reporting on a natural disaster is a different challenge when your own home and community are under threat. For photojournalist Marie D. De Jesús and her colleagues at the Houston Chronicle, Hurricane Harvey has meant balancing work and home life.
PDN spoke with De Jesús via phone and email on Tuesday to learn how she and the Chronicle photo staff are working to cover the crisis. She told us about conditions on the ground, what she’s seen that’s made an impression on her, and how the experience of veteran photojournalists and communication among the Chronicle photographers and editors have been key to telling the story of their city.
PDN: First of all, are you safe? Has your home been affected by the disaster?
Marie D. De Jesús: Nothing serious, some water came up through the shower drain. Some of the water from the backyard came into the living room. I have a housemate, he owns two dogs and they went missing in the middle of the chaos and one of them died. So this has been a really hard week.
PDN: Has it been challenging balancing work and home life when your home has been in jeopardy?
MDJ: Balancing work and home life has been a big challenge. Our lives are here, we are not returning to a hotel at the end of the night. We are returning to take care of our homes and loved ones. I have to make sure that under these harsh conditions I will be able to get back to a safe place.
I have been focusing on following evacuees to their shelters and the recovery efforts now that the waters are starting to subside in the center of the city of Houston. Houston is 36 percent Latino, so my Spanish has been useful to be able to learn about their struggles and document them.
PDN: How did the Chronicle photo staff prepare to cover the hurricane and flood?
MDJ: We have several senior shooters that have already been through this process a number of times. Number one, with Katrina , then Hurricane Ike , [Tropical Storm] Allison . Then we had the Memorial Day Flood  that was also devastating for the city. We have people that have done this many times. They’re very well-prepared, we have our kits prepared and our tools ready.
I’m from Puerto Rico, I’m an island girl. Hurricanes are part of our life, part of our culture, so you learn to get prepared. [The staff photographers are] constantly group chatting using GroupMe app. Every single move, we know where everybody is at, we’re giving updates and the editors are sending us instructions: “This levee is about to give in, this amount of houses have been destroyed, an officer with HPD might have drowned.” So we are mobilizing constantly through that app. We’re reacting as we need, but this is not our first rodeo, this is not our first hurricane or storm. This city floods. This is what happens, it’s The Bayou City, so there’s always water coming up and rising really high. We have been arriving home after a long day of shooting to start planning for the next day. This is a lot of planning. That’s the only way this has been a successful mission.
PDN: Has it been helpful to you as a photographer who is seeing something of this magnitude for the first time to have colleagues who’ve covered larger natural disasters?
MDJ: Yes. We start talking about [hurricane season] early in the summer. One of the senior photographers, Melissa Phillips, she sends us prepping emails with a list of tools, maps and things that can be useful for us to try and navigate [the situation]. On the first day [of Harvey], on Sunday, all of us had to stay and report from our own neighborhoods because we could not get out. We’re all from different parts of the city, so we were all sending photos from those areas and they’re all catastrophic scenery. It was horrible from all the corners we were sending photos from. They are very supportive. We are a pretty tight-knit staff.
PDN: What have you seen that has been the most striking to you?
MDJ: It never gets repetitive seeing people having to decide what to take with them. Water is reaching to their chest and they’re [wondering] what do I take? How do I keep a kid calm when we have to go to a shelter? It still surprises me when I hear someone say, “We have been in our car for four days, waiting to be able to get to a shelter.” Can you imagine, with two kids, and a two-year-old, inside a car since Saturday and finally being able to find a shelter? Cooped up inside her car, trapped because she can’t really move, waiting for someone to rescue them?
Seeing people [airlifted to safety]. And then seeing people reunite at the shelter because some of them haven’t seen each other for days—that’s something that you carry with you forever. Or people arriving to shelters and immediately being given oxygen, things like that. I just came from a shelter and one of the dogs [that was rescued] started pulling on its leash wanting to jump into the lap of its owner who is in a wheelchair. That’s the type of thing that we’re seeing.
And also the volunteers, it’s just amazing. Last week we were hearing about a nation divided over a dark history, and then all of a sudden all of that is not important anymore.
MDJ: Walking in water that was up to my chest. And then I saw a snake pass by me. It was a small snake but still, when you have water up to [your chest] and you see a snake pass by, it’s little things like that. You’re running on adrenaline constantly. And I can’t imagine for the shooters that have been really being involved in even heavier stuff.
PDN: Have all of your colleagues been safe?
MDJ: Yes, everybody is in good shape. Under these conditions every solid photo is a miracle. Making really good photos is hard, it takes a lot.
PDN: Have you been focusing on stills or video footage?
MDJ: It is important for the Houston Chronicle that we shoot video, but we have all focused mostly on stills. We have a videographer, he’s supposed to be doing mostly video but the conditions have been difficult for video. So I know he has also been shooting mostly stills.
PDN: I would imagine it has been incredibly difficult to move around. How have you done that?
MDJ: I am using a company car, a four-by-four. But you know you keep turning around. I have been driving against traffic on a major highway because you have to turn around, you can’t cross those waters. And then I get on the medians; I use the truck in ways I could never imagine was possible. Things that would be so not OK with law enforcement, but under these circumstances you climb anywhere that you can to be able to pass that body of water, that pool of water, that puddle. Whatever you need to do to make it happen. We all constantly have to turn around. We let each other know: “Hey, I-45 is still a lake by main street. Don’t even try.” That has delayed the process.
PDN: What do you see unfolding for you over the next couple of days?
MDJ: I think we’re going to have to start to focus a lot on where are these people staying—all the evacuees, all the victims, we’ll have to start focusing a lot more on their life conditions. Also the water will come down eventually and we’ll start seeing the damage, and that might mean a lot of bodies. So that’s what we need to keep our eyes and ears open [for]. How are people still being affected? What’s under those waters? Was there real damage? And then the cleaning process. We’ve got to rebuild.
For more on Hurricane Harvey from the photo staff of the Houston Chronicle, go here.
PDN Video: Photographer Oriana Koren on Breaking Barriers to Success
Oriana Koren shares tips and advice on how to make it as an editorial photographer, gleaned from her experience as a woman of color in a predominantly white male business. In our video interview, she describes how she leveraged prejudice to motivate herself, learned how to pitch stories to get editors to respond to her emails, and developed a niche that has propelled her career. She talks about portfolio reviews and self-doubt with words of encouragement every photographer will appreciate.
This Photographer Used a McDonald’s Big Mac Box to Light Portraits
French photographer Philippe Echaroux recently decided to challenge himself in the area of shooting portraits of strangers. Instead of using high-end camera equipment, he decided to use an iPhone and light his subjects using a McDonald’s Big Mac box.
“I like to challenge myself,” Echaroux tells PetaPixel. His lighting rig consisted of a flashlight, a drinking straw, and a Big Mac box:
Here’s what it looks like when fully assembled and operational (for extra light reflection, Echaroux recommends rubbing oil from the fries onto the inside of the box):
Echaroux then took the makeshift light out and began photographing people:
Here are the portraits Echaroux managed to capture using this unusual setup: