Ep. 277: Ambushing a Misbehaving Photographer – and more

Ep. 277: Ambushing a Misbehaving Photographer – and more

Episode 277 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
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Featured: Portrait, advertising and fashion photographer, Chris Knight

In This Episode

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Show Opener:
Portrait, advertising and fashion photographer, Chris Knight opens the show. Thanks Chris!

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A Utah tv station surprises a photographer with dozens of complaints. (#)

A new app for helping photographers find worthwhile shoot locations. (#)

Facebook’s upcoming technology that relies on your photos. (#)

An Israeli takes Apple to task over its dual camera technology. (#)

Phase One incorporates Sony’s 100 megapixel BSI sensor and announces 4 new lenses. (#)

Nearly 3,000 images from four decades ago are found in NYC. (#)

My other podcast with Brian Matiash, the No Name Photo Show.

Connect With Us

Thank you for listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast! Connect with me, Sharky James on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (all @LensShark) as we build this community.

We’d love to answer your question on the show. Leave us an audio question through our voicemail widget, comment below or via social media. But audio questions are awesome!

You can also cut a show opener for us to play on the show! As an example: “Hi, this is Matt Smith with Double Heart Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and you’re listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast with Sharky James!”

Source: PetaPixel

Ep. 277: Ambushing a Misbehaving Photographer – and more

How to Use Your Camera In the Coldest Places on Earth

How to Use Your Camera In the Coldest Places on Earth

When you take your camera to some of the coldest places on Earth, you’ll face a unique set of challenges that most photographers never have to worry about. Here’s an interesting 9-minute video in which filmmaker and photographer Anthony Powell shares some of his top tips for shooting in the extreme cold.

Powell has been working in Antarctica for many years and is the creator of the award-winning movie Antarctica: A Year On Ice. His footage has also appeared in many movies and TV shows, including the BBC’s Frozen Planet.

And Powell knows a thing or two about cold temperatures, as Antarctica has the coldest climate on Earth. Its lowest temperature ever recorded was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), and the average interior temperature is −57 °C (−70.6 °F).

When shooting in these conditions, your camera gear can end up looking like this after a very short time:

The temperatures are so cold that after being exposed to the elements for a very short time, a standard power adapter cable will become frozen solid and so brittle that you can easily snap it by bending it.

A lot of the standard equipment used by photographers begin facing issues once temperatures drop to a certain level. For example, fluid heads are great for smooth movements while shooting video, but in Antarctica, the fluid freezes and you’re left with the equivalent of a “brick” attached to your camera, Powell says.

Even the lubricant that helps the shutter mechanism in your camera open and close smoothly starts to get sluggish and reduce the lifespan of the shutter.

Therefore, Powell prefers natural rubber cables and solid metal, mechanical accessories that can continue performing in the extreme cold.

One interesting hack Powell uses is his custom-made battery, which is actually a faux battery that’s connected to a larger battery.

When batteries get cold, their voltage drops, and this fools cameras into believing that the battery has been drained. Powell overcame this problem by creating his own battery system: his battery shell is connected to a DC-to-DC converter and a 12-volt battery. This way, even if the 12V battery drops in voltage, it’ll still be able to provide at least the 7.5V his camera needs to stay on.

Watch the video above for all of Powell’s tips and tricks for operating cameras in ridiculously cold places. You can also find more of his work on his website and Vimeo channel.

Image credits: Video and photographs by Anthony Powell and used with permission

Source: PetaPixel

How to Use Your Camera In the Coldest Places on Earth

How to Take Underwater Photos

How to Take Underwater Photos

In addition to being wedding photographers, my wife Anna and I are also keen divers (at least as long as the water is warm and clear!), so quite naturally, we’ve been eager to experiment with underwater photos for quite some time.

As well as photographing marine life, we were particularly interested in capturing people underwater and doing under/over shots, where part of the frame is above water while the rest is an underwater scene.

We read through countless websites, forum posts, and books, but regardless of how keen we were, we couldn’t quite commit to the cost of buying a full underwater photography rig. After a couple of years of experimenting and trying various alternatives, we eventually caved in and now feel as though we are finally making good progress with the quality of our underwater photos. To celebrate our recent advances, we thought we would write a short post to share with you some of the things we learned when testing out various methods, and hopefully you’ll find these hints and tips useful if you take on the challenge of planning your own underwater shoot.


Most people interested in underwater photography usually start with: a GoPro, a mobile phone in a plastic pouch or a compact underwater camera. It was no different in our case. We first tried underwater photography/video using a GoPro when snorkeling on our honeymoon and while a GoPro is an impressively capable camera for what it is, it also has some serious limitations so soon we started looking for something else.

The next step for us was a plastic bag type of housing (Ewa Marine) for the Sony A7RII. As we were planning to use it no more than a meter or so underwater, we thought it would work just fine… well, it didn’t. We had two main issues with it: the first was that the handling was dreadful – just pressing the shutter release button was a challenge let alone adjusting anything or reviewing the photos, and the second was with the size of the port (lens opening) – we used a 28mm lens, and with a flat port, the field of view was substantially smaller than expected. As a result, we sold the bag after just a couple of uses.

Finally, towards the end of 2017, we took the plunge and bought a proper underwater housing. We opted for an Ikelite housing – one of the cheapest options amongst professional underwater housings, although ‘cheap’ is very subjective in this context. The main reason why Ikelite housings are cheaper is due to the fact that they are made from plastic rather than aluminum and tend to be a bit more bulky, neither of which posed any issue for us.

Buying a ‘proper’ housing is quite a big commitment. They are expensive, often similar in price to the camera they are designed for and every camera model requires a different, dedicated housing. We have a couple of different cameras, but we decided to get a housing for our Nikon D850 as it’s the most future-proof.

To use a housing, you must also buy a lens port. These come in various sizes to accommodate different lenses and in two different types: flat port (used for macro), and dome port (used for wide angle). Water decreases the angle of view of the lens by approximately 25-30%, e.g. 24mm lens becomes roughly 30-35mm. Dome ports are used to reduce or remove this effect entirely. As we wanted to do over/under shots and photograph people underwater, we opted for a dome port.

Our full setup for the first shoot included the following:

1. Nikon D850
2. Nikon 16mm Fisheye lens
3. Ikelite housing with a tray and handle
4. Ikelite 8-inch dome port

As far as underwater rigs go, this was quite a simple setup. We decided to use just natural light to start with so we didn’t have to worry about underwater strobes and arms to mount them.

We used a fisheye lens, as it’s often recommended for wide-angle underwater photography due to the fact that it performs well with a dome port and has a huge depth of field (very helpful for under/over shots). Although it worked alright (after correcting distortions in Lightroom), it also forced us to put the subject in the center of the frame to avoid distortion. For our next shoot, we’re planning to use a 28mm rectilinear lens.

Using the dome port not only allows you to capture a much wider scene but it also makes under/over shots possible. The bigger the dome, the easier these photos are. In fact getting an under/over shot is relatively easy, getting one which is technically correct and interesting, is far more difficult.

Planning the shoot

Photographing people underwater requires a fair bit of planning, so we have put together a list of things you need to consider when planning such a shoot. These will also be applicable if you want to photograph marine life using natural light.

Water clarity: Calm salt water tends to have the most clarity, while fresh water is often the least clear. Swimming pools can appear clear, but often contain chemicals invisible to the eye, that negatively affect the photos.
Waves: Ideally you want the surface to be as calm as possible which is especially true for under/over shots. Bear in mind that the surface of the water can appear quite calm from the shore, but can actually be quite rough once you get in the water, and even more so when looking through a viewfinder.
Sea floor: It helps to start in the shallows even if you are a confident swimmer or diver as wielding a bulky and heavy housing makes everything more difficult. You and your models should be able to stand if needed. A sandy sea floor reflects sunlight better but there will be more silt in the water. A rocky bottom should give you clearer water but it will reflect less light and it’s likely to be more difficult or even dangerous to stand on.
Currents: Best to avoid them. Make sure you find out in advance if and where you can expect currents. Rip currents especially can be dangerous as they can occur close to shore and can be very strong.
Dangerous marine life: Find out if there is any dangerous marine life you should be aware of such as jellyfish or scorpion fish. Sea urchins although not dangerous are rather unpleasant if stepped on so be careful.
Don’t harm or stress marine life: If there is any marine life in the shallows, make sure you are not disturbing it in any way. If in doubt, just move to different location.
Time of day: If you are using only natural light, try to shoot around noon. The sunlight penetrates water deeper at noon, so you will get more light, especially if your subject is fully submerged. This is somewhat less important for over/under shots.
Location in relation to the sun: Consider where the sun is going to be during your shoot. For over/under shots, you want the sun to illuminate the subject rather than backlight it, but you also have to think about what you will then get in the background e.g. the land instead of open water.
Study your equipment: Although a good housing should allow you to use all functions of the camera, you should check if there are any settings you won’t be able to change. Also, many controls may be placed differently on the housing and are usually not labeled, so make sure you know what each lever or button does.

Preparing equipment for the shoot

Underwater photography is inherently heavily equipment focused and involves several challenges you don’t have to think about when shooting topside. These are a few things that you will need to check and prepare in advance of your underwater shoot.

Assemble the housing, port, and camera without haste in a well-lit and clean place. Any mistakes may end up being very expensive. The housing manufacturers’ warranty won’t cover a flooding of the housing, and most insurance policies won’t cover it either. You need a specialist insurance for using your gear underwater. For safety, I would recommend you assemble everything at home/hotel room/ship cabin rather than on the beach, in a car or on a small boat.
Make sure you check the O-rings for damage and debris, lubricate them (use correct lubricant!) and remove any excess. It’s there to help you seal the housing but it’s not supposed to be a sealant in itself.
Clean the port, especially on the inside, before you put the camera in and close the housing.
Make sure the camera has a memory card, charged battery and lens cap removed.
Put some desiccant sachets in the housing to minimize fogging. Make sure it’s not pinched when you close the housing or loose so it could move and block camera controls.
Once you close the housing, check EVERYTHING. Make sure you can operate everything you need and that you can take a clear photo. Don’t wait until you get in the water to test it.
If your housing has a vacuum valve, buy a pump with gauge and test the housing for any leaks. It can take few hours to detect a small leak so if possible, leave it connected overnight.
Keep your equipment away from direct sunlight and protect the port from anything that may scratch it, until you get in the water.


Aperture: As focusing can be a bit tricky when shooting underwater, smaller settings such as f8 will help with slightly missed focus. For over/under shots a small aperture is essential as the underwater subject/scene very often will be MUCH closer than the topside subject/scene.
Shutter speed: Around 1/400s or faster as it will be difficult for you and your subject to stay still, even if that’s your aim.
ISO: As low as possible as you will probably have to edit the images quite a bit so you will want to preserve as much of the quality as you can.
Autofocus: Set it to continuous/servo mode as there is likely to be a fair bit of movement.
Burst mode: You will have to overshoot quite a bit to ensure you get some useful shots.
White balance: Auto, your preferred custom setting or whatever matches the shooting conditions best.
Shoot in RAW: I know some of you may strive to get the shot perfect in camera but underwater photos require a fair bit of editing to get the most out of them.

During the shoot

Although good preparation will definitely help, don’t underestimate how much more difficult shooting underwater is (even if it’s just under the surface) in comparison to shooting topside. Below are a few tips you may find useful:

Framing the shot: Looking through your mask AND into a viewfinder/screen when the camera is in a housing is difficult. If your camera has good live view it helps a lot but be careful as it may sacrifice focusing speed, accuracy and burst speed.
Keep the port clear of droplets (over/under photos): It will be rather impossible to keep it dry, so quickly dunk it before the shot.
Buoyancy: Both you and your model are likely to be more buoyant than you wish. Using some diving weights may help you to go down and/or stay down, just make sure you do it safely. The model will have to exhale to sink. Otherwise, the air in their lungs will keep raising them to the surface.
Watch air bubbles: Even after exhaling, there will be still some air left, so you should watch out for air bubbles coming out of the nose as they may ruin the shot.
Relax: It goes without saying that both, you and your model, should feel very confident and relaxed in water. Any tension or stress will make the shoot much more visible and it will show in photos.
Watch facial expressions: Natural face expressions are much more difficult under water. Again, remember to exhale (don’t do hamster cheeks), relax and shoot A LOT.
Take your time: Don’t rush, as that’s when mistakes happen. When shooting underwater theses mistakes may end up being very expensive or dangerous so just chill and take your time. Treat the first few shoots as practice and experiment. Don’t worry if you only end up with one or two usable photos to start off with.
Mind your surroundings: As the photo below shows. If your model is diving, make sure they are not going to hit the seabed or bottom of the swimming pool as Anna did here. This is even more important if you are shooting somewhere with a lot of rocks or coral.

Safety measures: Underwater photography can be dangerous so make sure you put some safety measures in place. Prep well for the location where you will be shooting (currents, dangerous marine life etc.), start with shooting in the shallows until you become more confident and used to handling your camera underwater. Have a safety diver with you if necessary.
Choice of clothing: If you are photographing a model underwater, make sure the clothes they are wearing work well in such environment and ‘flow’ nicely. The clothes should be lightweight and not restrict movement so they don’t weigh the model down, which can be extremely dangerous.
Have plenty of drinking water: While shooting underwater is a lot of fun, it is also hard work, so make sure you’ve got plenty of water and some snacks. If you are shooting outdoors, don’t underestimate the sun, as you probably won’t feel it much when shooting and can end up with some nasty burns.

How it went/what we’ve learned

So, after a lot of reading up on underwater photography and a few not very successful attempts, how did it go when we finally did it properly with all the equipment?

We did two shoots: one where I photographed Anna who acted as the model, and another with a couple who were up for taking part in our experiment. We shot around 700 photos in total and culled this number down to around 30 images with potential. Out of 30, less than 10 were actually usable and you can see the best ones below.

Shooting underwater or doing under/over shots is very difficult even for an experienced topside photographer. It requires a lot of planning, practice and some luck, but it’s extremely rewarding when it goes well. We’ve got another practice shoot lined up really soon (this time in a swimming pool) and a couple more planned for the coming months so you will soon start seeing more of those photos in our portfolio.

We hope you found this helpful and can make some use of these tips when experimenting with your own underwater shots.

About the author: Andy and Anna Zofka are a husband-and-wife wedding photography team based in the Cambridge area. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of the couple’s work and writing on their website, Instagram, and Facebook. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

How to Take Underwater Photos

2,924 Photos of NYC Parks Found After Being Forgotten for 40 Years

2,924 Photos of NYC Parks Found After Being Forgotten for 40 Years

A conservancy official in New York City was cleaning out an office in late 2017 when they came across two cardboard boxes. Inside were 2,924 color slide photos of NYC parks, shot in 1978 and then forgotten for exactly 40 years.

The photographers were captured by New York Times photographers in parks across the city between August and November 1978 at a time when the press corps was holding a labor strike. Then-Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis decided to hire eight temporarily-unemployed Times photographers for the documentary project.

The photographers were Neal Boenzi, Joyce Dopkeen (the first female staff photographer hired by the Times), D. Gorton, Eddie Hausner, Paul Hosefros, Robert Klein, Larry Morris, and Gary Settle.

“The late 1970s were a time of reckoning in which the disco Studio 54 and the New York Yankees, led by a swaggering Reggie Jackson, reigned supreme,” NYC Parks says. “But rising crime, urban flight and decay led to a sense that the city was growing unmanageable. This was all set against an energy crisis, spiking inflation, and a mood President Carter described as a national ‘malaise’ just a year later.

“It is this moment in all its complexity and contradiction that these eight photographers captured, in unconventional images, a time capsule of visual candor and insight.”

Paul Hosefros, Resting Girl, Red Hook Pool, Brooklyn, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Gary Settle, Kids on Jungle Gym, Flushing Meadows Corona Park?, Queens, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Neal Boenzi, Girls on Splintered Boardwalk, South Beach, Staten Island, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Ed Hausner, Family Salvages Picnic Table, Unidentified Park, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Neal Boenzi, Pig Roast, Prospect Park?, Brooklyn, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Paul Hosefros, Boy at Abandoned Diving Area, Red Hook Pool, Brooklyn, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Paul Hosefros, Group of Boys, Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Unidentified Photographer, Fiesta Folklorica, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, Manhattan, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
D. Gorton, Tender Vittles, Cats on Parade, Central Park Mall, Manhattan, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Gary Settle, Woman at Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Paul Hosefros, Handball, Seven Gables Playground, Queens, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive
Joyce Dopkeen, Park Revelers, Orchard Beach?, Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx, 1978, NYC Parks Photo Archive

NYC Parks’ Director of Art & Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn has curated a new exhibition titled “1978: The NYC Parks/New York Times Photo Project.” It features 65 of the nearly 3,000 photos that were discovered and will be on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park from May 3rd through June 14th, 2018. You can also find a selection of the photos online over at the New York Times.

(via NYC Parks via NYTimes and Fstoppers)

Source: PetaPixel

2,924 Photos of NYC Parks Found After Being Forgotten for 40 Years

News Station Pays for Photo Shoot to Confront Wedding Photographer

News Station Pays for Photo Shoot to Confront Wedding Photographer

Investigative reporters often find it difficult or impossible to reach wedding photographers at the center of complaints and controversies. A local TV station recently came up with a clever way of setting up a face-to-face confrontation: it booked and paid for a photo shoot.

Salt Lake City-based NBC affiliate KSL TV just aired an investigation into wedding photographer David Bowe Jacobs of Bellissima Images Photography, who’s accused by a couple of being a “no show” at their wedding.

In order to interview Jacobs on camera, KSL stealthily hired the photographer for an engagement session. And while Jacobs was photographing the “couple,” reporter Mike Headrick interrupted the shoot with a news cameraman to ask some questions.

Here’s the full 7-minute news segment that aired (the ambush interview starts at 1:44):

KSL reports that on at least two occasions, Jacobs has contacted another photographer at the last minute to ask if they can shoot a wedding for him because he was purportedly getting surgery. The replacement photographer then shoots the weddings in Jacobs’ place and delivers the files to Jacobs to edit.

After 9 months of not receiving any wedding photos from Jacobs, the couple who sparked this investigation received a full refund and both their raw and edited wedding photos before this report aired on KSL TV.

Image credits: Video and still frame by KSL TV

Source: PetaPixel

News Station Pays for Photo Shoot to Confront Wedding Photographer

The 10 Commandments of Portrait Photography

The 10 Commandments of Portrait Photography

Art has no rules. Right? Wrong! Call me cranky, but I don’t like the latest photography trends. I love simple, classic portraiture, and I admire legendary photographers like Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Albert Watson. That’s why I put together my 10 Commandments of Portrait Photography.

​I used the word ‘Commandment’ for a reason. Some people will believe, and some don’t. And that’s okay. ​This is just the truth as I see it.

Commandment #1: A Portrait Is About the Subject, Not the Photographer

We create portraits because we want to say something about a person and because we want to make a connection, not because we want to show off our fancy new $2,000 lens or get more likes on Instagram.

Commandment #2: To Call a Picture a Portrait, You Need Consent

Too many photographers will call any old picture with a person in it a portrait. But to be a portrait, the subject must consent.

Otherwise, you could call any old street or fashion picture a portrait. The word would lose all meaning.

Commandment #3: A Portrait Is About a Person, Not How They Look

The moment a picture becomes about makeup, hair, a prop, or a post-processing style, it ceases to be a portrait — it becomes a fashion picture.

Commandment #4: A Portrait Can’t Ever Tell You Everything About a Person

You can’t encompass everything there is to know about a person in a hundredth of a second. So never assume you’ve captured the truth about a person.

People have many sides, and you’re lucky to catch just one of them.

Commandment #5: An Effective Portrait Makes You Curious About the Subject

Forget the words good and bad. What do they even mean anyway? ​I prefer to think of pictures in terms of effectiveness. If you want to know more about the subject, then it’s an effective portrait.

You may not like what you see in a particular portrait, but if it gets you thinking, ​it is effective.

Commandment #6: We Learn from the Masters, Not the Latest ‘Influencers’

We don’t create portraits for the moment to chase the latest fleeting trend. We want our pictures to live on and be just as effective 50 years from now.

Commandment #7: Ideas Are More Important Than Technique

​You don’t need to be a master technician to be a good portrait photographer. But you must be able to formulate ideas and concepts that form ​a basis ​for your pictures.

Commandment #8: Technique Is More Important Than Tools

Cameras, lenses, and lights are fun… maybe more fun than they should be. We can all admit that.

But it’s not what gear you use that counts. It’s how you use it.

Commandment #9: A Portrait Does Not Have to Flatter the Subject

A portrait does not have to please the subject… unless they’re paying to be pleased.

Commandment #10: Do No Harm

It’s the photographer’s job to make the subject comfortable. A portrait session should be enjoyable for everyone involved.

Yes, you can use Jedi Mind Tricks, but only to put your subject at ease.

About the author: Michael Comeau is the Editor of, an all-new online community dedicated to simple, classic portrait photography. Click here for more information. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

The 10 Commandments of Portrait Photography

Ex-NFL Player Now a 6’5″, 300-Pound Sports Photographer

Ex-NFL Player Now a 6’5″, 300-Pound Sports Photographer

Walter Jones is a former NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks who was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2014, his first year of eligibility. After years of dominating other athletes, Jones now has a new passion: documenting them: he’s now one of the largest sports photographers you’ll ever see on a sideline.

Q13 FOX News just featured Jones in this 3-minute segment about the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Jones’ love for photography:

“I want people to take me seriously,” Jones tells Q13 News. “This is something I really want to do. This is something I really want to craft. I’m putting in the work. Hopefully, in the end, it will turn out to be something special.”

The 44-year-old initially caught the photography bug through snapping family photos of his twin children growing up. Now he can be found on the field during pro sporting events, including at his familiar CenturyLink Field for the Seattle Sounders MLS soccer team.

Jones’ Instagram account, @bigwalt71, currently has around 40,000 followers and a sampling of his sports photography.

You can find a selection of Jones’ photography in this online gallery.

Jones joins a number of other notable current and former athletes who have big passions for photography, including Hall of Fame baseball players Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson, as well as current NFL player (and future Hall-of-Famer) Larry Fitzgerald.

Image credits: Video and still frame by Q13 FOX

Source: PetaPixel

Ex-NFL Player Now a 6’5″, 300-Pound Sports Photographer

This Polar Bear Wants to be a Wildlife Photographer

This Polar Bear Wants to be a Wildlife Photographer

Photographer and Nikon Israel Ambassador Roie Galitz was recently testing the new Nikon 180-400mm f/4 lens in Svalbard, Norway, when he came across a polar bear who dreams of being a wildlife photographer.

“As a professional wildlife photographer, I travel to Svalbard often to shoot stills and video for magazines and special productions, the most recent of which is the BBC’s Snow Bears film,” Galitz tells PetaPixel. “A couple of weeks ago I was in Svalbard again for one of those special productions and I was photographing this big polar bear male walking near the glacier.”

When the bear suddenly wanted a turn with the DSLRs, Galitz had to abandon his gear to make way for it.

“Suddenly he changed his path and started to quickly walk in our direction!” Galitz says. “There was little time to think, so we had to leave our gear and hop on the snowmobile to evacuate and get out of danger.

“The bear approached the cameras, too a quick sniff, smelled that it’s not food, and continued off with his path. When I saw him approach the cameras, I was quick with my other camera, a Nikon D850 and Nikon 180-400mm f/4, and got this cool image of him looking through the viewfinder.”

You can find more of Galitz’s photos on his website and Instagram.

Source: PetaPixel

This Polar Bear Wants to be a Wildlife Photographer

Ego is the Enemy: Detach Your Ego From Social Media

Ego is the Enemy: Detach Your Ego From Social Media

Growth. Real, personal, soul-fulfilling, butterflies in the belly-inducing growth. That’s the key to my happiness; my personal metric for success. It doesn’t matter what I achieve or how much of it I attained. I define myself as successful simply in the process of progress.

Abhor flatterers as you would deceivers; for both, if trusted, injure those who trust them –Isocrates

Lately, I haven’t been doing much growing. Neither in my personal career nor in my photography career. It’s made me step back and really take stock over what defines my growth and what inhibits it – the people, scenarios, and behaviors that help or hinder me.

One thing that comes up time and time again is the notion of ego. Of elitism. Of a self-importance falsely perpetuated through a small ‘influence’, accompanied by a bunch of likes and a bunch of follows packaged up in a neat little box. Especially if you have a following, social media has a tendency to inflate your sense of self-worth, self-righteousness, and level of perceived skill at an accelerated rate.

Of course, ego isn’t something we can all ‘do away’ with completely. As a basic human characteristic, it’s something we’ll all indulge in every once in awhile. But the problem manifests itself when we start to lose our humility, giving way to the gradual onset of surreptitious tactics the ego employs to grow itself and thus nefariously influence our actions.

In the act of breaking down my own behaviors and observing the behavior of others, I’ve found that it’s the micro-interactions of everyday life that are by far the most toxic – because you don’t know they’re causing you harm and unconsciously poisoning your perspective.

With thousands of likes on any given post, it’s hard to feel invalidated about your own work. With so many people agreeing with what you do, surely it’s the right thing to do, right? But the catch is that it never really goes backwards – the more you feed the hamster wheel, the faster it turns. Eventually, your ego starts tying your ‘skill’ and your ‘creativity’ – you start tying the value of your work – to your engagement. You end up doing what the algorithm wants you to do. You stay consistent. You stay in your lane. It’s safe. It’s warm. It’s also so easy to become emotionally invested and infatuated with your own work.

But then, your creative flair burns out. You can only do the one thing for so long without it being soul destroying.

The very thing you become known for becomes the very thing that prevents you from doing any more of it.

The deeper down the rabbit hole you go, the more you start to inflict your own ego on others. Judging, criticizing. Comparing their work to your own and seeing only flaws. Engaging in seemingly harmless banter destroying the work and success of others without stopping to consider the positive perspective to every story.

At first, it’s benign. It’s progressive. It’s slow. It creeps up on you. But it’s insanely toxic.

Your real, personal growth grinds to a halt, and you realize that you don’t want the company of misery any longer.

And after a long while of suffering through the pain, the weight of doing nothing eventually grows heavier than that of action, and so, you do something about it.

At the root of it all rests a little white lie; social media presence, influence, celebrity status, low or high, these socially constructed statuses are fake and should have no real bearing on your own sense of self-worth. Because once you take them away, you are but human. You are but the rest of us.

Having an audience means you have an avenue with which to share your work to enrich the lives of others. Nothing more. You have a responsibility to them, but not them to you. It should be a one-way street. Give your art to the world unconditionally and expect nothing in return. Not fame, not fortune, most certainly not ego.

By putting social media in its place – by detaching its importance from your life – you regain the perspective of reality. That you are not god’s gift to humanity or that you are not too important to endure the mundanities of everyday life.

Rather, return to the basic. That we are humans, sharing art with one another because it enriches our lives by provoking emotion and thought and love. That the more important attributes to personally strive for are humility, diligence, and self-awareness.

The ego is the enemy. It always has been. Detachment is the answer, so remove it where you can.

About the author: Pat Kay is a freelance photographer and content creator based in Sydney, Australia. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Kay has garnered over 65,000+ people on Instagram to share his journey with and works regularly with many great brands such as Sony, DJI, Samsung, Adidas, Nike, Ford, Lexus, Cathay Pacific, and more. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and 500px. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

Ego is the Enemy: Detach Your Ego From Social Media

Facebook Can Reconstruct a 3D World from Your Photos and Videos

Facebook Can Reconstruct a 3D World from Your Photos and Videos

What if you could relive your photos and videos by stepping back into those locations in virtual reality? Facebook is about to make that possible. The company just showed off a mind-blowing new feature that creates 3D spaces from your 2D photos and videos.

Here’s a 1-minute demo given by Rachel Franklin, Facebook’s head of social VR, at the annual F8 conference this week. Prepare to be amazed:

Facebook’s upcoming feature will use a technology called “photogrammetry,” which uses photos to determine the exact 3D locations of surface points seen in the frame. Using photos and videos that were shot in the same location and uploaded to Facebook, the company can use AI and “point cloud reconstruction” to create a 3D space that you can explore your memories in,” Engadget reports.

As you roam about in your recreated memory world, old photos and videos will appear in the exact locations they were captured.

As you can see, the 3D VR world looks like it’s made up of colorful paint splotches, giving the experience a strange, dream-like look to it. Still, this is the first step into a new world that will undoubtedly become more and more polished and powerful over time — it’s a glimpse into what the future holds for photo viewing experiences.

Source: PetaPixel

Facebook Can Reconstruct a 3D World from Your Photos and Videos