Red Bull’s Music Culture Clash Returns
Officials have announced that Red Bull Music Culture Clash will be held this year on August 24. Reminiscent of Jamaican music battles from the 1950s, the musical event contextualizes and modernizes the tradition by including a modern layout comprised of four stages and a decibel reader, which translates the amount of fan engagement and encouragement each crew receives to ultimately choose a winner.
This year, the participating crews include Zaytoven with Zaytown Global, Mija & Kenny…
PhotoMirage Lets You Give Still Photos Cinemagraph-style Movement
The software company Corel has announced a new app called PhotoMirage that lets you bring still photos to life with cinemagraph-style movement.
Ordinary cinemagraphs require short video clips that moving portions of the frame are taken from. Like Plotagraph, PhotoMirage only requires a single still photo that faux motion is then applied to.
Animating a photo with PhotoMirage takes just minutes. You add Motion Arrows to areas you’d like to see motion in, you plot Anchor Points to isolate areas you’d like to keep still, and you hit Preview to see what the result looks like.
In addition to the basic creation steps, there are also advanced selection tools, Smart Photo Fix, and Visibility Layers to help you create better results. Here’s a short walkthrough video showing the creation of one moving image:
Resulting motion photos can be exported as MP4, WMV, or GIF files in dimensions of your choice. There’s also the ability to share images directly to Instagram. Here are some more examples of animated photos created with PhotoMirage:
These Photo Manipulations Take You Into a Dreamlike World
Justin Peters is a 22-year-old self-taught artist from Germany who uses Photoshop to creative dreamlike photo manipulations. His work blends reality with his imagination to transport the viewer to strange worlds.
“‘Everything you can imagine is real’ by Pablo Picasso is a quote I live by especially when creating my work, which is inspired by the world around me and surreal painters,” Peters tells PetaPixel. “I hope that when people experience my work, they discover a new and different world, which they can dive into to prove that everything is possible when you open your mind.”
In digital photography, larger sensors generally equate to better image quality across a variety of measurables. If you’re curious about the advantages medium format cameras have over 35mm ones, Hasselblad has a new set of videos just for you.
The company, famous for its medium format cameras, partnered with photographer Karl Taylor for a series of 4 videos in which the $33,000 medium format H6D-100c is pitted against the $3,300 Nikon D850 in different scenarios.
“Medium format refers to the active image area, be it film or digital, with anything larger than the 24x36mm dimensions of 35mm film, also known as 35mm format, and smaller than the 4×5 inch, or large format, image area,” Hasselblad says. “Hasselblad’s large sensors mean a higher pixel count and a larger pixel size. With larger pixels, more light is recorded, enabling the sensor to provide better light gathering power.
“Combining this light gathering power, the sensor’s very low noise level and Hasselblad’s world-renowned image processing delivers an immense dynamic range, producing the stunning, life-like image quality of Hasselblad medium format files.”
Here are the four videos of the four comparison tests:
Depth of Field
For the fourth test, Taylor set up a tabletop scene and compared the depth of field captured by the two cameras at various apertures.
“Given the different format sizes between medium format and 35mm, we have different magnification, and this results in a difference of appearance of depth of field,” Taylor says. “Whilst 35mm maximum aperture settings may be larger on certain lenses, this does not always mean the depth of field achieved will be shallower.”
“Hasselblad’s 50MP CMOS sensor delivers a pixel size of 5.3 microns and the H6D-100c’s 100MP sensor delivers a pixel size of 4.6 microns,” Hasselblad says. “Compared with Hasselblad’s 50MP CMOS sensor, a similar resolution 35mm format camera would have a pixel size of around 4.14 microns, giving the Hasselblad a 64% increase in light gathering power.”
“The medium format image has a lot more bite and a lot more contrast, a lot more richness, but again it comes down to that smoothness of transition of tonal range that is afforded by the larger sensor,” Taylor concludes.
North West Stars in New Fendi Campaign
Fendi’s latest installment of its #MeAndMyPeekaboo campaign, celebrating family and the Peekaboo handbag’s 10th anniversary, features reality stars Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and North West. The images, which will be fully released on July 11, feature Kris, Kim, and North candidly carrying Fendi bags through a meadow in Los Angeles. Five-year-old North, making her modeling debut, carries her own mini version of the Peekaboo bag.
The iconic women also star in a short film set to Kanye West’s…
Is National Geographic Fine Art a Ripoff for Photographers?
I recently received an email from National Geographic Fine Art Galleries (NGFA) for a request to include one of my photos in their galleries. It was a photo from 2012 of the Village of Gasadalur, which was published in the Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013 issue of Nat Geo Traveler. However, after I received additional information, any initial excitement turned into disappointment.
I was surprised to learn the photographer only gets 5% of the total sale price. Artists in galleries commonly receive 40% to 50% of the sale price. Most US states where the prints are sold will earn more than the photographer in sales tax.
Here’s how the Nat Geo Creative rep explained the pricing:
NGFA follows a pricing matrix which is arranged by size and category. There is a pre-release price that is held for 30 days (an example of a pre-release price at 70cm is around $1,800 and 200cm is $4,950). After 30 days, the price increases (in this example, the 70cm increases to $2,250 and 200cm to $5,750). As the images sell, the price increases based on the sales rate. NGFA pays the National Geographic Creative agency a 10% royalty on these sales, and then we split that 50% with the photographer. So if a print sells for $1,800, the gallery pays National Geographic Creative $180, and then we split half of that with you, $90. That is the lowest amount you would get for a print.
If you are interested in the National Geographic gallery program and your image is selected, please note the following responsibilities:
You will need to review and sign the standard contract detailing participation terms in the gallery program;
We will need you to disclose any previous fine art sales of the image;
When your image is added to the gallery inventory, you will be required to pull the selected image from all other print and fine art sales venues, including your own site;
You will be asked to provide a digital signature, a background story for the image and a short biography.
I didn’t think they would negotiate for a better commission, but I tried anyway. I was then told by the rep that, “The commission is the same for all of the photographers in the gallery and cannot be negotiated.”
NGFA says it “tests” the photos on their Instagram page first, to determine if it meets “certain criteria”. Based on recent NGFA Instagram posts, they seem to be targeting photographers who have placed well in Nat Geo photo competitions or who are popular on the Your Shot community. It makes me wonder why NGFA is seeking photos from photo competitions and Your Shot. Perhaps it’s the low 5% commission?
NGFA makes editions of 200 for each photo, which is an extremely high number of prints for an edition.
The photographer is usually involved in the print process for fine art prints, whether he/she is printing them or having someone else to do so. I was told all of this would be done via email, and if necessary I could get a single proof mailed. This seems fine if you’re printing posters, but for a fine art print, the photographer usually approves and signs each and every print.
A great relationship with a gallery might warrant a lower commission, but not 5%. There’s usually some sort of relationship with the photographer/gallery and future projects, etc. So, I inquired to see what the gallery/photographer relationship would be. The rep quickly made it clear no such relationship would exist.
“This request is only for the one image by the National Geographic Fine Art Gallery,” she told me.
Oddly, the contract also stated I would have to submit a digital signature. I asked a VP at NGFA about this, and he said, “we digitally sign all final production pieces via autopen. They aren’t physically signed so we will require your signature at the final stage”.
An autopen is a machine that uses a pen to replicate a signature.
I asked if the autopen signature is ever an issue for the customer and the VP replied: “We’re upfront with our customers about it being a digital signature before the sale is complete so they’re aware.”
While that may be true, I find it hard to believe someone would pay thousands for a photo that wasn’t even signed by the photographer. An autopen signed print is a poster, not fine art!
I could certainly use the extra income, but I couldn’t justify such a small commission and contributing to the ever-lowering pay scale for photographers. Not to mention, the autopen!
About the author: Ken Bower is a graphics designer and outdoor photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Bower’s work has been published by VICE, Business Insider, National Geographic, and National Geographic Traveler. You can find more of Bower’s work on his website and Instagram.
Moment’s Pro Camera App Gives Your Phone a ‘DSLR Shooting Experience’
Moment has just launched a major revamp to its smartphone camera app. Paired with the company’s cases and high-end lenses, the app aims to bring a “DSLR shooting experience” to your phone.
The new app is a “ground-up redesign” that adds more shooting options, full manual controls, and major stability improvements.
The manual controls put important adjustments within your thumb’s reach — things like exposure, ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance, and image format are controlled with sliders that can be quickly reset by double-tapping. Double-tapping the screen separates focus and exposure for properly shooting in tricky environments.
For users on an iOS device, Pro Camera uses Apple’s 3D Touch technology that turns the in-app shutter button in two a dual-stage shutter. Half-pressing the shutter locks focus and exposure and a full press triggers an exposure (or begins video recording).
This “3D Shutter” feature is “amazing when capturing moving scenes, moving subjects, or shooting quick videos,” Moment says.
In addition to shooting RAW, Pro Camera can also capture HEIF, HEVC, TIFF, and JPEG.
If you’re using a Dual Camera iPhone with add-on lenses, the app lets you manually select which of the two cameras you’d like to shoot through.
Other features of the app include precise video control (change resolution and frame rate on screen), Live Histogram, DSLR-style metadata, and auto video stabilization.
Finally, the Moment Pro App is the only available app on the market that’s specifically designed to work perfectly with Moment’s cases, which provide an external DSLR-style shutter button.
You can download Moment Pro Camera through the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store. While the app is free to download and try, it costs $3 on iOS and $2 on Android to upgrade to the full set of Pro features.
On July 4th, the United States Postal Service released a brand new set of 20 forever stamps in a series called “O Beautiful,” which honors the hymn “America the Beautiful” with photography that represents the notable passages including spacious skies, amber waves of grain, Purple Mountain majesties Etc. Seven of them are my photos.
As far as I know, it is nearly unprecedented for any other photographer to have this many photos selected — I’ve asked the USPS press office to check on that for me.
This is the story of how my photos were selected for U.S. Postal Service stamps:
There is a photo agency that works on behalf of the United States Postal Service that reached out to me in the early fall of 2016 saying they were interested in some of my images. I said, “Sure, sounds great,”… and that was the last I heard about it for six months.
That in itself is never a big deal to photographers who work regularly with publishers or clients who have long lead times, and most of the time you don’t hear anything back — like it all drops off into a black hole. But then six months later in early March 2017, I received an email confirming the USPS has selected seven of my images.
Now for those wondering, no, I don’t get a commission on every stamp sold. Rather, it’s a small (modest) flat fee license, so there’s no getting rich, buying yachts, or jetting off on any first-class around-the-world tours. I still own the copyrights to the images, and the USPS simply licensed my permission to use the images on the stamps.
However, this is one of those rare cases where the prestige that comes with the use is so notable that you don’t worry you’re not going to get rich. This use is more about national pride and honor, both as a citizen and as an artist. It only came with one hitch: I couldn’t mention anything about it until the stamps were officially released. I spent nearly 16 months biting my lip until the official stamps were unveiled on the evening of July 4, 2018, in Colorado Springs, CO.
A quick note on the history of the Post Office: One of the reasons that having your photo or artwork appear on a US Postage Stamp is such a great honor is that sense of being added into a part of the National Heritage. The Post Office goes back well over 200 years and is one of the very few Government Agencies authorized within the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin was the first Post Master.
Stamp collecting is a hobby enjoyed by millions of people, and to be part of that collectible archive that will still be going strong in a hundred years from now is like putting a small one-inch by one-inch mark in the history (of stamps) books.
About the author: Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer based in Pleasant Hill, California, just outside San Francisco. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Crabbe is also an award-winning author, photo editor, and workshop instructor. You can find his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
Why You Should Listen to ‘Who? Weekly’
Andy Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” A few other people (who are probably fame whores themselves) have claimed credit for the quote, but they didn’t have the clout that Warhol did. So who cares?
Well, those “other people” would likely be much more interesting to Lindsey Weber and Bobby Finger, the duo behind the Who? Weekly podcast. They get together twice a week to talk about “who-lebrities”—the people whose names you hear in passing but don…