This is Why You Need to Be Careful with Camera Clips
Modern quick-release camera clips are designed to hold your camera firmly when it’s not needed while allowing it to detach easily when it is. But if there’s any equipment or user failure in the system, that failure could be catastrophic for your gear… and that’s what one photographer just found out the hard way.
“I dunno if it was a straight up malfunction or user error or some combination of both,” the photographer tells PetaPixel. “I had the clip on my belt horizontally, which is not ideal since it slid out right onto the floor.
“After the first drop, I tightened everything on the clip, making sure it was tight enough to hold the camera with some give but made sure it was locked in. The clip is designed to give an audible ‘click’ noise when everything is locked, and after the first drop I triple checked everything was secure.”
About 30 minutes later, however, the clip dropped his camera again, and this time with catastrophic results.
“The force of the impact snapped the screws off of the backplate of the lens, scratching the rear element and damaging the body of the lens,” the photographer says. “Now, I’m still not sure how it happened, but I trust peak design’s other products and their sturdiness.
“It’s possible that while walking, the tension screws loosened, and after sitting down, the quick release was pressed down, unlocking the camera. Subsequently, walking with the clip caused the camera to fall. Or, the clip malfunctioned and the locking mechanism just failed.
“Either way, I’ve been using the clip for a long time before this happened, and having the clip fail twice in a day is a worrying design flaw.”
Since getting the lens repaired would cost many hundreds of dollars, he’s accepting it as a loss and is planning to replace it instead.
After SensualTomato shared his story and warning on Reddit, other photographers have shared similar experiences with camera clip failures, and a common cause appears to be various screws loosening (and sometimes falling out) over time without the photographer knowing.
So if you use a camera clip of any kind, you may want to give it a careful inspection every so often just to ensure that all the screws and parts are tight and sound.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, chemists Robert Bunsen and Henry Roscoe and showed that burning magnesium produces artificial light that’s similar to daylight. A man named Edward Sonstadt then brought the technology into the world of photography, and thus the idea for the photographic flash was born.
The Atlantic made this 2-minute video that provides “A Visual History of Light.” It steps through many of the most important artificial light sources that humans have used, starting from harnessing wood fires and to recent breakthroughs in harnessing hydrogen fusion.
Dad Accidentally Shoots Selfie Instead of Daughter’s Graduation Walk
If you’re shooting a once-in-a-lifetime moment with your phone, you should probably double-check that you’re pointing the right camera in the right direction. One proud dad learned that lesson the hard way: he thought he was shooting his daughter walking across the stage at her graduation, but what he actually got was a lifetime memory of his happy face up close.
His short 36-second video above has since made its way onto the Web and is providing chuckles and a helpful warning to parents everywhere.
“Woooooo!” the dad says as his daughter’s name is called. A moment later, he’s struck by the realization of what he had done (warning: there’s a slight bit of strong language).
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The Story of How Photoshop Was First ‘Barneyscan XP’
Did you know that before it became the most dominant photo editing program on Earth, Photoshop was first sold as “Barneyscan XP”?
After creating their original program, brothers John and Thomas Knoll began looking for investors and customers. The first company to bite wasn’t Adobe, but rather a Berkeley, California-based company called Barneyscan, which created and sold the first high-quality 24-bit desktop color scanner.
Barneyscan was having trouble attracting buyers because photographers couldn’t do much with the photos digitized with the scanner.
“Though the scanner arrived on the market in late 1988 […] there was little interest in our product,” wrote Barneyscan co-founder Steve Schaffran in 2010 at TDI. “Since there was no good software to do anything with the pictures, we created problems for people. Even displaying them in full resolution was impossible for most.
“Why pay $10,000 to scan 35mm slides if the only thing you could do is look at one quarter of a 1.5 megapixel image on your 0.3 megapixel Mac II color display?”
So when they were introduced to Photoshop, Barneyscan saw that it was the missing piece of their puzzle. Here’s Schaffran’s account of receiving his first demo:
John showed me version 0.35 as I recall, and it was already a knock-out. It could resize (so now people could see our pictures), and it could sharpen, soften, lighten, darken, adjust curves, and make dozens of other amazing transformations I had never seen nor could comprehend.
One of the transformations, however, made my hair stand on end: it could flip a color picture from the network, green, blue color space of the computer display to the cyan, magenta, yellow, black color space necessary for exposing printing plates for printing color. That meant that a $15,000 bundle of our scanner plus Photoshop 0.35 plus to Mac II was in principle to competitor for the $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 color scanning and retouching solutions then used in the printing industry. If we could only strike a deal, we were sure to sell some scanners.
Thomas Knoll was asking for $300,000 plus 18% of income for rights to Photoshop, but Barneyscan made them a different offer: bundle the software with the Barneyscan scanner, and the Knolls would receive a $250 royalty with each sale. The software was also modified so that the program would only function if a Barneyscan scanner was attached to the computer.
“For practical purposes, the Barneyscan was a 10 thousand dollar lock,” Schaffran says.
In 1989, Photoshop Version 0.65 was branded “Barneyscan XP” and bundled with Barneyscan’s film scanner. Peter J. Sucy shares this brochure that advertised Barneyscan and its new software:
Barneyscan XP was a success and received more attention than the scanner it was included for, writes Stories of Apple.
But Barneyscan’s decision to license a rebranded version of Photoshop rather than acquire the software outright — thanks in large part to a single investor that was adamantly against the deal — opened the door to Adobe striking a deal with the Knoll brothers. Less than a year after “Barneyscan XP” launched, Adobe art director Russell Brown became interested in Photoshop, prompting Adobe to license and distribute the Knoll brothers’ software itself.
Cloud Cam Timelapse Captures Glow of Hawaii Volcano
The Gemini Observatory on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea dormant volcano has a cloud camera that’s used to monitor sky conditions. But during the ongoing eruption of the Kīlauea volcano, the camera has also been capturing the eruptions dramatic and eerie glow through clouds. Above is a 48-second time-lapse of the glow in the night between May 21st and 22nd.
“During the sequence, multiple fissures expelled lava in the area in and around Leilani Estates in the Puna district of the Big Island of Hawai‘i,” the Gemini Observatory writes. “The lava also flowed into the ocean during the period of the video.”
The camera is a DSLR that has had its infrared filter removed, paired with a wide-angle lens. The removal of the filter “causes the volcanic glow to take on a white/blue hue rather than the familiar red color of the lava,” Gemini says.
The observatory also took 100 photos used for the timelapse spanning about 1 hour of time and stacked them to create this photo showing star trails and the bright glow of the volcano below:
“A bright meteor and the greenish glow of the town of Hilo can be seen left of center,” Gemini says.
Image credits: Timelapse video and photo by Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF. Star trail photo by Joy Pollard/Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF
The Art of Knowing: Thoughts from a Photo Trip to China
For my recent trip to China, as I’ve done before, I planned and I planned… and I planned. I made detailed maps, took notes on locations and hints as to the best vantage points. I scoured everything to ensure that my time there was incredibly well-invested in capturing the best images I could manage within the time I had. And frankly, I feel that this was a great practice, for me.
I enjoy detailed preparations, and I enjoy the ease with which I can navigate myself upon arrival, having set them and assimilated them practically into my subconscious.
I brought the Nikon D850 with me for this trip and I intended to put it to use to see just how well it could perform in all manner of applications. While my choice practice of photography is landscapes, I intended to put in some serious miles on foot through the various cities in which I’d be staying, and to that end, I brought two wide-angle lenses and a single walkaround lens.
As things turned out, my recently acquired Nikon 20mm f/1.8 was the breakout workhorse of the two wides, and only once did I elect to swap it out. This thing renders beautifully, is immaculately sharp practically from edge to edge, and generally served me very well with its field of view.
I brought along the Nikon 24-120mm for my after-location walkaround habits, and while there are certainly mixed reviews on its usability as a “pro” lens, it performed admirably on the D850, capturing some excellent images up to as high as 25,000 ISO in the darkness of night.
Reflecting on the weeks spent using it in a variety of settings, I would rate it as an admirable lens to capture the memories of one’s journey, but lacking in some of the finer optical qualities of Nikon’s primes or top-level zooms. That said, it served its purpose.
For all of my plans and equipment and backup equipment, nothing that I’d sought could be achieved without a set of general guidelines to keep me focused on the task at hand. I was mulling this over one afternoon in Hong Kong – an extremely hot and humid afternoon – and as I huffed along the trails of Braemer Hill, cooking in my own perspiration, my mind drifted from my body and, floating somewhere ahead of me, began to conceive some essential notions which – unbeknownst to me – had helped guide me to just this place on this visually inspiring, if ruthlessly hot day.
Photography in any form, once it becomes a consuming passion, is not merely a labor of love. It is often laborious and inconvenient. As often as one might be in the right place at the right time and take a tremendous photo to share with friends and family, someone else is dragging themselves up before dawn and hiking miles in the shadows to their preconceived destination. This is very much a product of determination.
Any experienced and dedicated photographer has a set of rules ingrained into their understanding of how they go about their workflow. These are the things we should all know in order to guarantee us that when the time comes, we are armed and ready. Somewhere within my roasting brain, these are the items I drummed up.
Know Your Plan
This is really as obvious as it sounds. For myself, the majority of my shoots are very early in the morning. For whatever the complexity of the shoot may be, or the distance from any sort of accessible food, water, power, or so forth, I try to always ensure that I have considered everything that I will need and the time I’ll need to dedicate to the trip. I save maps, I screenshot directions to my phone, planning for service outages (I could take this one step further and hand draw maps on my arm, but I haven’t gone that insane yet).
For my time in Beijing, this was a fairly basic aspect of my approach. Beijing is an extremely populous city, and at any time, on any day, you can expect to contend with crowds. On the first morning of my stay, I had wanted to shoot as early as possible within the Temple of Heaven to obtain some serene images of the grand alters within, and this entailed two basic requirements: arriving prior to the opening of the inner gates, and my most intense ND filter (I had brought only a 10 stop, so that’s what I used).
As it turned out, I was among the first people to enter the gate, and still, within moments, the place was busy with families and tour groups – I wouldn’t even want to imagine what it’s like inside of those courtyards by noon.
The final result here is a stack of exposures to remove any other spectators. The majority of the work wound up being a simple waiting game as people swirled around me shooting selfies and whatnot. My only really unexpected delay was amusingly an older gentleman with whom I could only communicate in gesture, asking me to take a photo of him – first on his phone, then on another phone, and finally using his laptop. He seemed very pleased with the shots I took of him, so I was happy to be of assistance.
This is not necessarily meant to impart some sort of David Carradine-esque Kung Fu wisdom such as “he who conquers himself is the greatest warrior.” Nonetheless, it is always a layer of consideration.
Know your preferences, and know your foibles. Plan around the issues you know you’re prone to causing yourself. On top of my consistently early wakeups throughout this trip, I was rolling my alarm back an additional 30 minutes because I always require about that long for my mind to claw itself out of the pits of sleep-induced delirium and into proper consciousness. It is always a rough experience – I tell you that.
In addition, consider your habits and what unexpected decisions you might make while you’re out. I love to walk for miles. I don’t generally consider it, but once I set on the ground and have the time, I can walk the length of a city and simply enjoy the sights and sounds. In China, one generally must take care to drink bottled water, and to that effect, my room was consistently stocked with half a dozen bottles and other drinks, and I was always a new, regular customer in my nearest corner store.
I probably spent more time talking with my corner store folks than anyone else. When out, one of my top considerations is to stack my bag with bottles of water – which while helping to keep me alive, also double as generous weight if I need to hook my bag from the tripod to help mitigate the wind.
Know Murphy’s Law
I’m sure most people are familiar with this phrase: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” I am a bit of a lunatic when it comes to my observation of this one – especially when I’m in a foreign country halfway around the world. Most mornings I leave my hotel with 2-3 batteries, a backup camera remote, a case of extra SIM cards, and multiple lenses, and I tend to check and re-check my bag even up to the point of walking out the door.
As for walking out the door, I’m usually doing it long before I truly need to, and tend to be the first photographer on location when I’m arriving at a sunrise shoot destination. My philosophy is that the world will test you with any number of unforeseen issues, and I’d rather sit on my hilltop or at the foot of a river for 45 minutes awaiting first light with 10 pounds of extraneous gear than to arrive late with a malfunctioning intervalometer.
That being the case, I spent my first two mornings up on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong in a good stretch of darkness as bats rustled the trees around me and swooped overhead and beneath the path, and some very large, unidentified things scurried across the path beside me. I hold no malice toward any animal and generally am fond of all of them, but I can declare now that I do find bats to be a bit on the creepy side.
All in all, my precautions were worth it, as they ensured I did not have to flail my fists to the heavens when I discovered my camera’s loaded battery was dead, or when I realized I’d somehow forgotten the trigger to remote number 1. In the end, this was my favorite of the images I walked away with from Hong Kong (and the one I’d been dragging myself up at 3:30 for, day after day).
Once all is said and done, of course, the most important rule is to forget all notions of rules and to enjoy yourself, for as challenging a craft as this can often be, we’re all here in these bodies merely the once and should enjoy the sights before us before we commit them to everlasting photographic memory. To quote once more from Kung Fu: “To be at one with the universe is to know bird, sun, cloud.”
I could not agree more.
About the author: Philippe Newman is a photographer, hunter, gatherer, and scotch aficionado. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.
Emilia Clarke’s True Calling is Posing for Stock Photos
Vanity Fair created this tongue-in-cheek 4.5-minute video in which actress Emilia Clarke recreates some of the most generic business stock photos.
“I feel confident that making stock footage is what I’ll be known for forever,” says Clarke, who’s currently best known for her roles in Game of Thrones and the new Star Wars movie, Solo. “Making stock footage… that’s the new high bar.”
Klinko has used many different ring flashes and parabolic umbrellas over the course of his career, but “neither [type is] ideal for extreme close up work when balanced, even front-lighting is required,” he writes at DPReview. But these “new remote heads from China on the other hand, are small and light enough to allow for several of them to be mounted on a camera flash bracket and rail.”
At extremely close distances to subjects, the resulting light can be much less harsh than what you get with a ring flash, as long as you choose the right wide-angled reflectors, Klinko says. Each of the flash heads can be individually controlled and adjusted, allowing Klinko to have a great deal of control over how light hits his subject’s face (particularly limiting the amount of light hitting the face from below).
The unusual rig also produces unusual catchlights in subjects’ eyes.
The quad-flash rig is light enough to comfortably use while shooting handheld, powerful enough to black out strong sunlight, and can be used both on- and off-camera.
The flashes cost $299 each and the extension heads are $35, so you’ll pay about $1,155 for the four flashes if you’d like to start building a quad-flash rig for yourself.
Image credits: Photographs by Markus Klinko and used with permission
Photographer Captures Eagle and Fox Fighting Over Rabbit in Midair
Wildlife photographer Kevin Ebi was out shooting a few days ago when he witnessed and photographed a crazy sight: a bald eagle and red fox fighting over a rabbit… in midair.
While photographing the non-native foxes in San Juan Island National Historical Park on San Juan Island in Washington state, Ebi spotted a young red fox carrying a rabbit it had caught across a meadow. As he panned his camera to follow that fox, a bald eagle suddenly swooped in from behind Ebi and grabbed the rabbit while it was in the fox’s mouth.
“To my surprise, the scene was even more dramatic than I expected,” Ebi writes on blog. “I thought the fox would drop the rabbit, giving the eagle an easy dinner.”
But no: the stubborn fox held on tightly to the rabbit and was itself carried more 20 feet into the air. The two predators struggled for about 8 seconds before the fox fell and hit the ground in a small cloud of dust (don’t worry: Ebi says the fox was perfectly fine afterward, but we’re guessing its ego might have been bruised).
Here’s a sequence of photos Ebi captured showing how the aerial tug-of-war played out:
Ebi’s work has appeared in some of the world’s biggest publications, including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Outdoor Photographer, and Lonely Planet. You can find more of his work on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also purchase his images, prints, and calendars through his website, Living Wilderness. Ebi’s latest book is Our Land: it’s filled with his national parks photos and commemorates the centennial of the National Park Service.