If you ever completely total a pricey collection of camera equipment, perhaps you should consider turning it into a one-of-a-kind robot sculpture for your home or office.
Craig of Canon Rumors was visiting the Canon Canada customer service center earlier this month when he came across the strange sight above: a robot made of high-end Canon DSLR equipment.
It features a prime lens head, a 1D Mark III DSLR and lens for the torso, two flashes for arms, and two 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lenses for extendable legs.
It turns out the equipment was brought in by a couple of photographers who were in a canoe when it tipped over and send them and their camera equipment into the water. The gear got completely submerged and was damaged beyond repair, so the duo had to replace everything.
After bringing the dead equipment to the Canon Canada center for disposal — there’s an electronic waste program set up there — an employee named Samantha decided to create this “Canonbot” instead of having the parts trashed.
Image credits: Photographs by Craig Blair/Canon Rumors and used with permission
eBay Photo Turns Out to be Picture of Jesse James Worth ,000,000+
How’s this for a lucky photo find: a 19th-century tintype photo purchased from eBay for just $10 has been identified as an extremely rare portrait of the infamous outlaw Jesse James… worth an estimated $2 million+.
Fox News reports that Justin Whiting of Spalding, U.K., was browsing eBay in July 2017 when he came across a photo that looked remarkably like the photo of outlaw Jesse James that he had seen in a book.
Having been obsessed with American outlaws for years, Whiting purchased the tintype for its Buy It Now price of $10 in July 2017.
“I noticed the picture for sale — it was $10. It was a bit blurry on the site but when I got it, it was a lot clearer,” Whiting tells SWNS. “I thought to myself: ‘Gee wizz, this could be a real photo!’ I’ve been obsessed with American outlaws for years and read lots of books and study their faces.”
The 45-year-old then took the photo to forensic experts in the United States, including California-based 19th-century photo expert Will Dunniway, who concluded that the photo is a genuine photo of Jesse James at around age 14.
“It was an easy match since it was compared to a longtime known image of the young Jesse James at 14,” Dunniway tells Fox News. “Justin’s image, however, was the same pose taken the same day by the same photographer […] [It’s a] one-of-a-kind original that most likely was handled by the teenaged Jesse James himself.”
Whiting has been told that the photo could fetch at least $2 million.
Born in 1847, Jesse James was a famous American outlaw who was known for violent robberies of banks, trains, and stagecoaches across the Midwest. Since his death at the hands of a new recruit to his gang in 1882 at age 34, James has gone down in history as one of the legendary outlaws of the Wild West.
Here are some known photos of James at different points in his life:
In drought-stricken Cape Town, we’ve been living with just 50 liters of water per person per day since the beginning of the year. That’s 13.2 gallons. It doesn’t go far when you think about how often you turn on the faucet each day for drinking, cleaning, flushing toilets, showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry.
Like many households, we’ve shut off the water supply to the toilet and religiously collect our ‘grey water’ to refill the cistern instead. It’s an elaborate dance—siphoning drainage from the washing machine, scooping water out of sink basins, standing in a bucket to catch runoff from painfully brief showers… The apartment is littered with buckets, plastic cups, and tubs for collecting and moving water. We shower less. I schedule messy activities and workouts for shower days. We wear our clothes more often. The term ‘droughtfit’ has emerged—when you wear the same clothes until it’s really necessary to wash them.
But we’re managing. It’s amazing how easily we can change behavior when necessary. Hopes are high in Cape Town that we’ll make it through this year without reckoning with Day Zero—the day the city will shut off the municipal water supply. Earlier this year Day Zero was predicted to come in mid-April, but with drastic savings, we should make it to winter (July) when our fate will depend on good rains finally coming.
Still, worrying about water is a serious mental load. I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks back envisioning this self-portrait: me in our grey water, floating amid the laundry drainage, the leftover shower water, the toothpaste spit, and the hand-wash runoff. It’s a grim take on those ‘milk bath‘ photos featured on the photo blogs.
Gross. But still a little beautiful. Stressful and a little hopeful, too.
On a technical note, it took about an hour to put this setup together, and, of course, I scheduled the shoot to coincide with my shower day to avoid wasting any unnecessary water. The camera is mounted on a tripod, balanced precariously on the rim of the bathtub (tripod legs cloned out). A camera-mounted flash bounced off the corner of the ceiling and triggered an off-camera flash bounced off the opposite corner. Self-timer alone wouldn’t work here, given the complexity. So I used Trigger Trap connected to my iPhone to set up a sound trigger. I set the camera to a two-second self-timer, so the shutter was voice activated, but I had time to close my mouth before the picture. I taped the phone to the camera with some gaffer tape. Amazingly, no electronics fell in the tub!
Morgan Trimble is a freelance photographer and writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. You can follow her work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This post has been republished with the author’s permission.
Susan Sontag was deliberately provocative when she coupled photography with violence. There is, she wrote in the essay ‘In Plato’s Cave’ (1977), ‘something predatory in the act of taking a picture’. She pointed out that we speak casually about ‘loading’ and ‘aiming’ a camera: ‘Just as the camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder.’ Sontag knew that she was using hyperbole, prodding her readers to consider the seizing of someone else’s identity that is implicit in each portrait that is shot.
But it is decidedly less of an exaggeration to couple violence with one particular photographic technology: flash. From the earliest decades of flash photography, when limelight or magnesium were used to illuminate darkness, flash was associated with explosive unpredictability. Even after Johannes Gaedicke and Adolf Miethe invented a far more reliable compound – flash powder – in 1887, accidents were commonplace, maiming and injuring photographers. Not until flash bulbs were introduced around 1930 did the means for producing sudden blasts of artificial light become easier and more dependable, and this increased with the advent of the Speedlite and other electronic flash guns.
‘Flash gun’ – that nomenclature takes us full circle, since some of the early contraptions for igniting flash powder were indeed designed to look very like a revolver. The name, and the linkage of violence and weaponry, stuck. The allusion is clear in the black humour of the words that decorate some military gun barrels: ‘SMILE. WAIT FOR FLASH.’ Weaponry and photography work in consort in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Foreign Correspondent (1940), in which a man posing as a news photographer kills a central European chancellor with a pistol fired at the same moment as he sets off his flash.
Photographic flash is, however, frequently aggressive in its own right. If one is close to it, one’s eyes are startled into temporary blindness, and indeed the photographer is likely to be as dazzled as the subject. The eruption of flash disorients. Numerous early accounts of flash photography retell how it startled bystanders and horses; jokes were told about how police could confuse its effects with those of Fenian dynamiters. The disorientation is used to great effect near the end of Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954), where Jeff (played by James Stewart) turns his flash gun on his attacker, Lars Thorwald, flaring the bulb in his face. Hitchcock’s dramatic use of reverse perspective means that we experience the shot both from behind the lens, and also as if it were going off in Thorwald’s – and our – eyes. The screen is momentarily flooded with the red of the shocked retina.
In addition to its somatic repercussions, flash can also enact a form of ethical violence. What, if anything, might justify flash’s unexpected interruption into daily lives? This is a question that has exercised documentary photographers since the mid-20th century. Among those who worked for the Farm Security Administration during the Depression in the United States, Dorothea Lange saw its use as invasive, and Ben Shahn expressed his doubts – both about photographing someone else’s private space, and about flash’s aesthetics. ‘When some of the people came in and began to use flash I thought it was immoral,’ he said. ‘You know, you come into a sharecropper’s cabin and it’s dark. But a flash destroyed that darkness.’ His dislike of artificial illumination was to be echoed by art photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and André Kertész, who firmly adhered to the doctrine of using only available light. To use flash, said Cartier-Bresson, was ‘impolite … like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand’.
This aesthetic purism was in part determined by the association of flash photography with newsmen and commercial work. The introduction of the flash bulb greatly enhanced the ability of press photographers to work at night, facilitating the documentation of crimes committed under the cover of darkness. Flash was increasingly used by police forces for detective work, too. No one more famously brought flash and crime together than the man known as Weegee, working in mid-20th-century New York to record murders, accidents and arrests. ‘A photographer is a hunter with a camera,’ he said, anticipating Sontag.
Nowhere has this determined intrusiveness been more apparent than in the work of paparazzi. Popping flash bulbs has become visual shorthand for the achievement of fame or notoriety. This firing-off of a barrage of light can be a terrifying onslaught: think of King Kong – captured, brought to New York City, exhibited on stage, and then startled into destructive rage by newspaper photographers. Paparazzi flash has come to equal unwelcome exposure, and paparazzi themselves have come to exemplify the worst excesses of the exploitative and invasive photographer.
Yet even though the violence that is caused, or recorded, by flash photography might be cruel, unpleasant or shocking, we should note a paradox. Flash – particularly high-speed flash – can find a terrible beauty in destruction. The strobe light that the pioneering scientific photographer Harold Edgerton used to show a bullet piercing a playing card, an apple and a row of inflated balloons creates a display of shredded material that no human eye could ever see. Similarly, the Israeli-born artist Ori Gersht’s videos and photographs depict bullets shattering freeze-dried flowers and fruits that have been assembled to look like Dutch Golden Age still-lifes, and dispersing them into shards: the images bring out the inherent fragility of natural objects.
But if Gersht’s images, like so many of the Dutch paintings that he references, imply a memento mori message, the beauty vanishes when we are confronted with irrevocable physical violence. One of the most startling images in the handbook Flash Photography (1947) by the African American Gordon Parks shows the execution of a collaborator by a French firing squad in November 1944. Kneeling, tied to a post, a large handkerchief masking his face, at the back of his neck is a blur of precipitated matter. Parks’s caption is laconic: ‘One bulb was used on the camera. The photographer’s flash was well-timed to catch flesh and clothing as bullets tore them from the body.’ Instrument of aggression, and facilitator of its photographic capturing, the history of flash photography is disconcertingly inseparable from violence.
Submitted photos can’t already be published in your portfolio or social media. If Sheeba Magazine chooses to honor your image by using it for their cover photo, you agree to pay the magazine (yup, not the other way around) a fee of $430 through PayPal. You’re also saving 50% off that fee, because apparently the regular price charged to photographers is $860.
And after you send your exclusive high-resolution file along with a signed “Release and Publication Agreement,” the magazine will even send you high-resolution tear-sheet(s) and a copy of the printed magazine that has your cover photo.
BBC Accused of Photoshopping Jeremy Corbyn’s Hat to Look More ‘Russian’
The BBC is at the center of a controversy in the UK after its news program Newsnight was accused of Photoshopping politician Jeremy Corbyn‘s hat in a photo to make the opposition leader look more “Russian.”
During a discussion about escalating tensions with Russian that aired last Thursday, the BBC Two program displayed a background image showing the Kremlin and a stylized photo of Corbyn.
Critics were quick to point out that Corbyn looked like he was wearing a Soviet-style hat in graphic, and a comparison with the original photo showed that the hat seems to be noticeably different (including in its shape). Here’s a comparison that has been circulating:
When left-wing writer Owen Jones appeared on Newsnight the following day, he criticized the BBC for the edited photo, saying: “What sort of country do we live in where the media constantly tries to portray the leader of the opposition, who was the only one who stood up in solidarity with Russia’s opposition… as an agent of foreign powers?”
"What sort of country do we live in where the media constantly tries to portray the leader of the opposition, who was the only one who stood up in solidarity with Russia's opposition… as an agent of foreign powers?" @OwenJones84 asks #newsnightpic.twitter.com/eB4qKPaxa6
“The media framing has been a disgrace and I have to say that includes your own program,” Jones said during his appearance. Yesterday the background of your program you had Jeremy Corbyn dressed up against the Kremlin skyline, dressed up as a Soviet stooge.
“You even photoshopped his hat to look more Russian. People should complain to the BBC about that kind of thing.”
May not be getting a @BBCNewsnight invite ever again, but the way they stitched up the Opposition leader to portray him as the stooge of a foreign power is, ironically, the sort of thing you expect on Russian state TV, and they must apologise in full and unreservedly.
BBC journalist John Sweeney was also questioned about the photo by Alex Salmond on Salmond’s show yesterday.
“Let’s try to work out if the BBC did or did not photoshop the Jeremy Corbyn image,” Salmond says.
“No it didn’t, no it didn’t,” replies Sweeney.
“I’m looking at this image, there’s no doubt that in the picture of Jeremy Corbyn of a perfectly respectable hat with a peak, seems to have been transformed into red picture of Jeremy Corbyn against the Kremlin and the peak of the hat seems to have disappeared,” Salmond says.
Sweeney continues to defend the photo, saying: “It wasn’t Photoshopped.”
BBC acting editor Jess Brammar also denied that the photo had been materially altered this weekend through a series of Tweets.
Ok, it’s Saturday & I’m in the hairdresser but my phone is having a meltdown so I’m going to address this – I’ve been staying out of it because I haven’t been in the office since thurs afternoon, but here we go…Newsnight didn’t photoshop a hat. https://t.co/gypnmFCD6X
Our (excellent,hardworking) graphics team explained the image has had the contrast increased & been colour treated, usual treatment for screen graphics as they need more contrast to work through the screens. If you look you can see it’s same hat in silhouette
apparently (forgive me for passing on tech details I don’t understand firsthand) some detail might also have been lost with it going through the screen and then being filmed back through a camera, again the standard effect on images on that big back panel
And when you compare the source photo to this static image, the hat no longer looks like it was stretched vertically (though the change in contrast, which makes the shadow look like part of the hat, is still there):
So if the teaser graphic posted by the BBC is indeed the exact same graphic that ran in the background of the program, then it seems that the curved screen may actually be responsible for stretching the hat out.
But Jones isn’t satisfied with Brammar’s explanation.
Hi Jess, firstly lots of respect for you. The photo of Williamson is in a suit and his photo remains clear. There is no shortage of photos of Corbyn in a suit. A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible in combination with a red Kremlin background.
“The photo of Williamson is in a suit and his photo remains clear,” Jones writes. “There is no shortage of photos of Corbyn in a suit. A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible in combination with a red Kremlin background.”
I’ve been shooting analog for almost four years now, and all I can say is: analog has truly changed my life and what I think about what it means produce photo imagery. My first deep contact with analog photography was during college, and back then I would never imagine I would be shooting film today, in 2018.
When my old professor got us into a darkroom, I remember clearly finishing class and telling myself I would never again go into a darkroom for the rest of my life. The smell was terrible and loading film into the camera for a few exposures and a lot of lab processing seemed really outdated in 2007. Digital was already the standard for most photographers, and that was not different for me.
My second contact with analog photography was in 2012 when I discovered a fellow coworker had an old Canon AE-1 and used it to shoot his personal projects. I also remember clearly telling him how crazy and wrong he was, using an outdated technology that was going to be dead in a few years.
But the switch for me happened in 2014 when I discovered that medium format was the perfect system for my kind of photography and that a digital medium format camera was, at that time, about the same price of my recently bought car. That’s when I decided to buy my first analog-back medium format camera, a Mamiya 645 PRO TL.
From that day, future me would always wonder what past me would say about that choice. Since seeing the first (bad) results, I’ve fallen in love with film and have evolved into shooting exclusively analog nowadays.
This article is an answer to all the people who ask me why I still shoot analog today. This is not at all a digital versus analog kind of article, and my main goal is to present film cameras as a viable tool for some kind of work and practices, just as digital is for others.
#1. Plan or perish
During my first medium format shoots, I realized I couldn’t miss like I did in digital. Professional color and B&W film is very expensive in Brazil (where I live) and it was not my plan to deplete my bank account as I pressed my camera shutter. I realized I was going to need way more planning than I was used to shooting digital.
When you shoot analog, as a standard, you click a lot less with a big increase in quality. You tend to think twice (or thrice) before pressing the shutter and you learn fast to identify the kind of life material that will provide you great pictures.
I can’t count the times I positioned a model in place, looked over the viewfinder, and after a few minutes of composition trials said “Nah, let’s just move over to another picture, forget this”. Even for digital shooters, analog is a great way to practice visualizing images first in your mind, and focus only on stuff that will really work along with your goals.
You tend to be more attentive to the stuff happening because you click less, and by clicking less you get more time left to do what really matters: interact with people, connect with your model, interact with the scenery, and explore places, etc. You learn that photography is not about what happens in the camera, but what happens outside it. And since what happens outside the camera is what really makes good photography, you care more about it.
#2. Shooting film makes you keep an eye on the future
If you’re completely unfamiliar with film photography, I need deliver the news: analog cameras have no screens for reviewing your pictures after you shoot them. Yes, it is true. And since it is true for all analog cameras, it makes us stop the bad habit of obsessively reviewing photos throughout an entire shoot. The only screen you’ll be checking is the viewfinder and what is displayed inside it: the image you are in search of, not images you already found.
Using digital cameras makes us lose a lot of time checking pictures, not to mention it creates a tension with the people you photograph since they have the possibility (and expectations) of seeing how they performed during the shoot.
That’s what I just said in the first topic, what matters most happens outside the camera, and having no LCD to check pictures you just made helps you focusing on the future and what you will do next. The camera is now a bridge that takes you to the future, never to the past, at least while shooting. With digital cameras people tend to get immersed in the screen browsing pictures and, before they realize it, they just lost contact with the world around and the stuff happening in it.
#3. You get access to a lot of different equipment
Although this is changing today, in the digital world you still don’t have nearly as many camera format options as you have in analog. And what diversity you do have is sometimes incredibly expensive (yes, I’m looking at you digital medium format and large format scanning backs).
In the analog world, you have cheap accessible options for any camera format you need, from 110 small film frames to 8×10 ultra large format cameras. You can always find many options for any camera format. Do you like 35mm “full frame” digital cameras? You can buy a Canon EOS Elan 7 on eBay for as low as $149 and use all your Canon EF lenses on it. My once-beloved Olympus OM2 can be bought for about the same price, lens included.
Even medium format, financially inaccessible for 99% of digital photographers, can be bought for really good prices online. My Pentax 67II cost me about 400 bucks along with a 135mm f/4 lens. And not to mention we generally don’t have “real” medium format on digital since most of the sensors are “cropped” 44x33mm versions, and we know that the “real” look of medium format is achieved when you use 6×6 or 6×7 (60x70mm) frame sizes.
Large format is not really even a thing yet in the digital world since scanning backs are extremely expensive and very limited to specific areas of work. Most large format photographers still shoot film today.
#4. You really learn how to meter light
Everybody does it: you perform a careless light metering, press the shutter button, check the picture and correct the exposure in the next click. You lose time and connection to the scene in order to check a screen. Sometimes you don’t even care about the exposure. If it’s not that wrong you can recover bright and/or dark areas in post-processing. In analog photography, you can’t run away from carefully meter light.
I hear a lot of people saying “Wow, the beauty of analog photography is you don’t know what the results will be until you develop the film”. That common belief could never be more wrong. Shooting analog is knowing every aspect of what you are doing. Or at least you try to, and that’s how you learn more and more.
You press the shutter and you know exactly what will come out of it. You saw the image and captured it. Of course, you can’t show other people before developing and scanning the film, but you know what you just did.
In my opinion, the best strategy for photography beginners is to learn the basics using digital (fast result checking and smaller learning curve) and then practice all of the basics using analog cameras. This way, the student will be forced to deeply learn all the subjects involved in the acts of light metering and adjusting camera variables.
#6. You become more efficient
While shooting analog you practice a lot of catching the moment at the right time. If you deal with moving subjects you really need to develop timing and sense of space and time.
As an analog photographer, you learn to work like a Swiss clock, being very accurate and precise. Besides that, most cameras have no other functions beyond the basics: exposure controls and that’s it. Image stabilization, extremely efficient autofocus systems, and all the other technological (sometimes very useful) innovations. With a few exceptions, when you shoot analog it is only you and a metal box with a lens attached in your hands.
I say again, there is nothing but the basics inside the camera, so you can focus on everything outside the camera.
#7. Fabulous colors and wide latitude
The popularity of film emulation presets like VSCO prove what I’ll say: analog film color rendition and black and white tones are amazing. There is nothing like it in the digital world. I still haven’t been able to reach the same color results I have in analog using digital cameras.
As I said before, I started in analog photography because I wanted cheap medium format options. I found these options but today I say I still shoot analog because I discovered colors I would never imagine one day a camera would be able to produce.
In addition to that, with an analog camera you can have access to a myriad of different “sensors” with different color renditions since you can use one film today and another film from another brand the other day. For example, my favorite ones are Kodak Portra 400 and 800 to most situations, but I love using Fuji PRO 400H when shooting in places with a lot of green because of the green tones it provides.
The wide latitude film provides (as long as you meter and process it correctly) is another thing we won’t find in all but the most expensive digital cameras. Any cheap film like Fuji X-Tra 400 or Kodak Colorplus 200 has the potential latitude comparable or higher than any full frame high-end camera.
Film has a big capacity of storing light, with the advantage that if you overexpose it you won’t be missing the highlights, only boosting the shadows. When the process of taking the picture is happening, the highlight areas saturate and stop to store light as fast as the shadow areas. When we meter film we think in terms of contrast. Overexposing it we have shadow information and less contrast. Underexposing it, we have more contrast and less shadow detail.
No, no one will ever abandon digital photography in order to go full analog nowadays, and that is not my point. I hope I was able to present analog cameras as a viable and useful option for:
1. Having access to different camera formats without going bankrupt.
2. Use as means to practice basics of photography and thoroughly light metering.
3. Use to practice linking with the outside world and be less immerse with the camera.
4. Use as another photographic tool for different results than digital.
My other goal is to encourage more people to start using film. It would be a shame to let this industry die when so many beautiful and important images in the history of the world where made using this media. Film is yet alive. Let’s keep it that way.
About the author: Neto Macedo is a Brazilian portrait photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can see more of his work at his website and Instagram. He also writes some technical content in his blog.
Photographer Kristen Angelo, who specializes in shooting for editorial and commercial clients in the cannabis industry, says Instagram was a key tool for building her business and marketing her photography. Using hashtags such as #cannabis and #cannabisculture, she identified potential clients, and got her work in front of them. That led to her first assignments with cannabis trade and culture magazines. She continues to use IG to build her brand and attract clients. “I would say that 90 percent of my connections evolved through Instagram,” says Angelo, who has about 4,500 followers.
Here are three pieces of advice from Angelo for building a following and attracting clients on Instagram:
1. Post new content regularly and maintain consistency with the type/style of work you share. When I first launched my Instagram, I posted new content about five times a day. Now I usually post content twice a day—a.m. and p.m.
2. Treat Instagram as an extension of your website portfolio. Share only your best work. Be a storyteller. No food, no pets, no memes, no smartphone snapshots, no political opinions, no drama.
3. Respond to comments and direct messages in a timely manner, and always with kindness and respect. And set the direct message feature to engage with accounts that might benefit from your work. Ask them if they’re interested in sharing your work with their [followers].
Supermodel Showdown: Riley Montana
Riley Montana made her entrance into the world of high fashion after meeting Riccardo Tisci, and subsequently starring in a Givenchy advertising campaign shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot. Since then, the Detroit native has been a regular in V Magazine and many others.
Riley’s success in print follows on the heels of runway show appearances for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Oscar de la Renta, Rodarte, Bottega Veneta, Nina Ricci, Tory Burch and more.