Stars Of Sundance: Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson wants a much better Hollywood. The 34-year-old actress has already endeared herself to basically every audience with her indie hit Dear White People and blockbusters like Selma, Creed, and Thor: Ragnarok. Despite that mainstream visibility, she’s vocal about her politics: she led the women’s march alongside Jane Fonda at this year’s Sundance, and has pushed for changes to representation in her industry. “I’ve always been of the mind that it’s really hard to separate the art from…
This Guy Shot Formula 1 with a Game Boy Camera and Phone Lens
Photographer and Formula 1 fan Tim Binnion recently attended the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. In addition to shooting the race with his Nikon DSLR, Binnion also decided to document it with a 0.016-megapixel Game Boy Camera from 1998… and the results are pretty awesome.
One of the main challenges was giving the Game Boy Camera enough reach to capture the action on the track.
“My first thought was to somehow strap on my Nikon DSLR zoom lens, but realized maybe I needed an easier proof of concept first,” Binnion says. “Then bingo! I realized that one of those cheap crappy clip on smartphone lens would be ideal.
“So maybe the lens quality would be rubbish, but with just 0.016 Megapixels in glorious grayscale no one would ever notice.”
So Binnion shelled out $8 for a clip-on smartphone telephoto lens from Taobao (the Chinese equivalent of Amazon). He then modeled and 3D printed a bracket for mounting the lens to his Game Boy Camera.
And since the Game Boy Camera can only store 30 photos at a time, he purchased a mod that allows photos to be saved onto an SD card.
Here’s what all the camera ingredients looked like:
And here’s what the completed camera setup looked like at the race:
Binnion’s seat was in the grandstand by the exit of the hairpin of the track.
“This has the added advantage of being the slowest point of the circuit so I figured it should make for the best photos with such a microscopic camera,” he says. Here are some of his results:
Binnion was pleased that the photos clearly show F1 cars. He says he may work on adapting his DSLR lens for his Game Boy Camera as his next experiment. You can follow his work on Instagram.
Panasonic Lumix TS7: The First Rugged Compact Camera with a Built-In EVF
Panasonic has announced the new Lumix TS7 (called the FT7 in other parts of the world), a rugged compact camera that’s designed to withstand anything you can in the great outdoors.
DPReview reports that the camera is the first rugged compact to offer a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) to give photographers an alternative means of framing shots — a particularly useful one when direct sunlight can make using an LCD screen difficult.
Toughness-wise, the airtight TS7 is waterproof down to 102 feet (~31m), dustproof, shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet (~2m), freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C), and pressure resistant to 220lbs (~100kg).
Inside the TS7 is a 1/2.3-inch, 20.4-megapixel sensor with a native ISO range of 80-3200 and a continuous shooting speed of 10fps. For video recording, the TS7 can shoot 4K video at 30fps and 24fps in MP4 with full-time AF. A 4K PHOTO mode can also shoot 8-megapixel photos at 30fps.
On the front of the camera is a 4.6x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal range of 28-128mm. Power O.I.S. helps cut down on hand shake for smoother video recording.
Light Speed autofocus in the camera uses a 49-point contrast-detect AF system to track moving subjects at 5 frames per second using the mechanical shutter.
Turn the camera around and you’ll find a 3-inch rear LCD monitor behind tempered glass with 1.04-million-dots under the groundbreaking 0.2-inch Live View Finder (LVF) with 1.17 million dots. Image output can be switched between the LVF and LCD with a dedicated button.
Other features and specs of the TS7 include Wi-Fi connectivity, a compass and altimeter, special effects (Creative Control with 22 filters, Creative Panorama, Timelapse, High Speed Video), Intelligent Auto (iA) mode for beginners, a built-in LED photo light, SDXC UHS-I memory card compatibility, and AC/USB charging.
The Panasonic Lumix TS7 will be available in “early summer 2018” in blue, orange, and black for $450.
Moses Sumney Composes Cerebral Soul
“The easiest way to describe [my sound] is soul music. It has elements of soul as a genre, but also, it’s music from the soul, about the condition of the soul. I also think of it as outerspace music or hammock music—music you’d listen to in a hammock, maybe a hammock dangling in space. There’s a slowness to a lot of it, but it’s also quite cerebral.
I would describe my look as romantic-era vampire, Edwardian priest, or wannabe goth. My parents are pastors; I grew up in the church …
Peeping Toms Using Camera Drones to Spy on You, TODAY Warns
As if camera drones haven’t gotten enough bad publicity lately thanks to reckless operators flying them near airports, at airplanes, and into helicopters, The TODAY Show just aired this alarming report on how peeping toms are using camera drones to spy on you in your home.
In the 4.3-minute segment above, TODAY reports that creepy incidents have been reported nationwide, including drones peering at young girls through a bathroom window, spying on a woman in her high-rise apartment (who says she “then realized [she] had no clothes on”), and being used by a man arrested for voyeurism.
“If a drone were spying on your in your home or backyard, would you even know? Not necessarily,” TODAY writes. “TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen stages a revealing demonstration to show how easily you could become a victim of a ‘peeping drone’ – and explains what you can do about it.”
“I gotta unsubscribe after this one, cover something worth while. No one does this, all you do is ruin it for hobbyist that would never waste time trying to peep on someone. Get real …. FAKE NEWS” —chooch tech [#]
“Lolol what a joke. I can assure you the avg drone operator isn’t trying to spy on you.” —MMM Productions [#]
“Grossly over dramatized, but then, what is not over dramatized now in the media? That is how they make their money. The average flyer is no more interested in what’s going on inside your house than the average pedestrian! A very small percentage of hobbyist flyers would even fly in a residential environment, preferring to choose much friendlier open spaces.” —gerbear [#]
“What a load of horse dung! Where is the audio of the drone? You may not see it but you sure would hear it if it were that close to your house. Come on Mr. Rossen..” —Thomas Groark [#]
11 Tips for Photographing Your Dog or Cat Like a Pro
In order to make your snapshots stand out above the rest by making them look professional, incorporating several creative elements can do just that. I am often asked by pet owners how to get the best shots of their furry companions with a basic camera.
If you are a doting pet owner, more than likely it is important to you to have meaningful images to share with your loved ones online, to have perfectly framed images within your home or at your workplace, and to even share with others on holiday cards and a variety of items to display your image.
This is the ultimate guide of tips for you to get the best photos of your pet, even if you find it challenging at times to get your pet to “pose.”
Tip #1. Timing is Everything
When you are ready to photograph your furry loved one, keep his personality in mind. Knowing what makes your dog unique compared to other animals will allow you to focus on his true personality, and thus will capture his natural spirit within each image.
Tip #2. Environment is Essential
Another tip for getting the best images of your pet is to keep him at ease. Photographing him in his comfort zone will allow you to capture a wide range of shots without the obstacles that come with a nervous and anxious cat or dog. Find a place where you know your pet loves, and where you have made memories together.
Tip #3. Lighting
In terms of the best lighting to acquire excellent images, overcast days are ideal for photographing your pet outdoors. Overcast lighting is consistent and even, creates perfect soft shadows, and allows dogs or cats with darker coats to look their best. Rather than taking pictures in bright sunlight which creates a harsh shadowy effect, you can also opt to venture outdoors in the early morning or late evening hours to take advantage of the warm glow. Also, steer clear of using a flash, as it may frighten your pet and also result in that annoying red-eye.
Pro Tip: If you must use a flash (in cases where you have no natural light), try to use an off-camera flash or swivel the beam of light upward so it doesn’t go right to the face (and, more specifically, the eyes!). Also, a piece of wax paper when placed in front of the flash will diffuse the bright light. You may need to practice several times to achieve the right result.
Tip #4. Familiarize Your Dog or Cat with the Camera
Let your pet experience the sounds and flash of your camera by allowing him to listen to them before you begin your photo shoot. Walk your dog around for a bit and take various pictures of the surroundings to get him used to the unfamiliar sounds and such. Also, let him give it a good sniff! Once you begin taking pictures of him, reward him with a small treat between shots and praise him for a job well done.
Tip #5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Backgrounds should be simple and minimalist; you will definitely want the attention on the pet. Less distracting backgrounds may include a nice and open patch of green and lush grass for outdoors, and for indoor shots a room that is well-lit with white walls along with neutral carpet or a rug is ideal. Of course, you will want to avoid seeing any people or an unclean and cluttered background for optimum appeal. If you are unable to find a clean background, simply blur the background with an open aperture.
Pro Tip: Taking close-up photos with an evenly blurred background makes the photos look professional. Simply choose the aperture priority mode on your camera and set it, and then set the lens to the widest aperture. For a good lens that will be f/2.8, or for a really fast prime it might be as low as f/1.4; on a kit lens, it will be f/3.5 usually. The numbers will vary depending on the camera. Get close to the dog, and keep them a few feet away from the actual background. The further he is away from the background, the blurrier the background will be, and vice versa. For a more focused face, close the aperture a couple of f stops or zoom out a little bit.
Tip #6. Become Eye-Level with Your Pet
Stooping down so you can look at your pet in the eye will yield better results. When images are taken from you looking down on your pet, you will have shots that are too distant and will not look as if you focused on your subject. When you are on their level, your pictures will be from the dog’s perspective rather than a “human perspective” and will be much more appealing to the viewer.
Pro Tip: Knee pads are a great solution to prevent any soreness that can occur!
Tip #7. Now, Get Closer
Pets love getting attention and being played with, and this includes during a picture-taking session. While it is perfectly fine to allow everyone to see the whole dog in pictures, people enjoy seeing up close shots from a variety of angles. Different angles and super-close photos enhance the small details of your pet that otherwise people wouldn’t really notice, such as those cute freckles around his whiskers, his wet and shiny nose, and those pink pads on his paws.
If your pet moves around a little too much, or if you are having a challenge getting up close while photographing him, invest in a zoom lens. A zoom lens will give the look and feel of you being close with the dog, and will still allow you to reveal his true personality and delicate features.
The added benefit of a long focal length is that it will help with isolating your pet in terms of depth of field (ie give you a nice blurry background so that your pet is center of attention with no distractions).
Tip #8. Attention-Getters
Treats, toys, squeakers, and noisemakers will allow you to receive and keep your dog’s attention. Keep them close to the lens and move them around the lens area to keep his eye on you, and don’t feel shy about making a variety of barking sounds and noises to keep him focused. Play along with them and keep them happy and you will keep their attention for a longer span of time.
Pro Tip: Use small treats so you don’t overfeed him.
Tip #9. Freezing the Action
Great action shots can be amazing with a fast shutter speed. Many of the digital cameras on the market today will easily allow you to take pictures in full manual mode, which gives you a nice blend of shutter and aperture. You can also work in shutter priority mode, which allows you to choose the shutter speed while the camera adjusts to give you an ideal aperture. Sports mode is another alternative for freezing the action; it works by automatically selecting the fastest shutter speed in each situation.
Making sure you and your camera are always ready to be one step ahead of the actions your pet will perform will give you the most accurate shots, and you may even wish to use the burst mode for many sequential and rapid shots.
Tip #10. Take Many Pictures, and Reward Them for It
Don’t think you are taking too many pictures, as this can never be done! Remember the extra battery and just have fun. The more shots you take, the greater chances of you acquiring the perfect shots of your fur baby. Reward him for a job well done in front of the camera, too! Lots of praise and small treats can really go along way, and can also strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Tip #11. Patience and Confidence
Remember to take time to stop and breathe, especially during those times where your pet is super active. Patience is essential when photographing your pet and there will be times where you just need to wait on him to become settled for still shots or wait on him to get more “excited” or active for action images. Have confidence in yourself and know that allowing your pet to “be himself” during your photoshoot will reveal the most personality.
Photographing your pet does not have to be a challenge and can yield professional-looking results with these tips. With practice, you will be able to achieve gorgeous pet photos in your own home or environment of your liking. The most important thing about taking many lovely pictures of your cat or dog is the memories that are made, not only in the actual photographs but in the time you both spend together. Relax and have fun, and enjoy the productive and bonding experience together!
About the author: Alicia Rius is an animal portrait and lifestyle photographer based on the West Coast and specializing in dogs, cats and horses. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of her work on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
8×10 Helps You Sell Framed Limited-Edition Fine-Art Prints on Instagram
Have a large Instagram following that loves your photography? 8×10 is a new app that was made to help you easily earn money by selling your fans framed limited-edition fine-art prints of your work. Sales are launched through a single Instagram post.
Here’s how it works: first, you select the photos you’d like to sell in the 8×10 app and set the terms of your offering — you can decide things like how many prints you’d like the sale to be limited to, how much each print should cost customers (you’ll also see how much profit you’ll make from each), how many days the sale will run for, and even a charity to donate the proceeds to (if you so choose). You can even add a signature to your prints, inputting it through the app.
The sale is started when you post it to your Instagram account.
Your fans are informed, and they can visit the sale page through your post. A single, efficient purchase page is launched when followers click through.
On your end, there’s a sales tracker to give you a live look at how things are going:
After you make a sale, your proceeds are deposited directly into your account in 14 days.
8×10 is targeting photographers who want to begin selling work to online followers without having to go through the hassle of setting up a dedicated website or online store. The service is 100% free, and the company makes money by taking a cut from sales. You can try it out for yourself by downloading the app from the iTunes App Store.
Helmut Lang Releases Latest Artist Collaboration
Yesterday, Helmut Lang unveiled the fifth installment of its Artist Series, a 12-part project begun by erstwhile Editor-in-Residence Isabella Burley. For the most recent installment, the brand cited three works by Carrie Mae Weems, a MacArther and Guggenheim-winning photographer known for her documentation of the black experience. The collection features Weems’s most seminal body of work, “Kitchen Table Series” (1990), in which the artist captured herself and loved ones engaged in intimate…
AI is Taking Low-Light Photography to the Next Level
When shooting a photo in low light, a low-ISO long-exposure photo requires a stable camera and blurs movement in the frame while a high-ISO short-exposure photo can be plagued with noise and poor quality. Now AI is bridging the cap, opening the door to low-ISO image quality while shooting at faster shutter speeds.
A group of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Intel have published a new paper titled Learning to See in the Dark. It explains how they trained an AI to do low-light image processing and produce results that are much cleaner and more usable than traditional high-ISO photos.
The team put together a set of photo pairs, with each pair containing a RAW short-exposure photo and a long-exposure version.
The neural network was then trained with this pairs to learn how to recreate a long-exposure equivalent using a short-exposure RAW photo.
The results are remarkable: RAW photos processed with the trained AI were able to produce photos that had much less noise and much better color reproduction than photos boosted to high ISOs with the “traditional image processing pipeline.”
“Experiments demonstrate promising results, with successful noise suppression and correct color transformation,” the researchers write, but they note that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The experiment lays the groundwork for much more exploration, including things like having the AI have what could be considered “Auto ISO” instead of having to provide the amplification ratio for each photo.