Techno Queen, Nicole Moudaber at SXM Festival: A VMag Exclusive
Nicole Moudaber, “La Reina de Techno,” is one of the headliners at the SXM festival in Sint Marteen – a bifurcated but very much bipartisan Dutch and French territory where the motto is “be nice” and everyone chimes in with the national joke, “that will be x-dollars,” followed by a chuckle and “just kidding.” Who isn’t kidding? The reigning queen – she isn’t kidding when she says she doesn’t care for the label, “female DJ,” or fellow house, techno, and dance music…
‘Tonight Show’ Shot an Entire Episode on the Samsung Galaxy S10+
Smartphone camera quality continues to hit new heights, and here’s another example of how far we’ve come: NBC will air an episode of “The Tonight Show” shot entirely on the Samsung Galaxy S10+.
Variety reports that tonight’s episode will be an unusual one that diverges from the show’s standard recipe of an opening monologue and sit-down with guests.
Host Jimmy Fallon will reportedly open the episode by informing viewers that it was shot entirely with the smartphone, and the episode will go on to feature some of Fallon’s favorite spots in New York:
“Tonight” viewers will see Fallon, announcer Steve Higgins and house band The Roots dining at Rao’s; Fallon delivering meatballs to New York firefighters; and Fallon and The Roots visit New York jazz club The Django. Fallon will sing with Conor McGregor at New York Irish pub. He will also interview Michael Che at the Comedy Cellar and show comic Rachel Feinstein performing a set there. Fallon and The Roots will also be spotted crooning doo-wop against a New York City backdrop.
As you’ve probably guessed, it’s part of a big marketing effort and an advertising deal that NBCUniversal signed with Samsung.
The $1,000 Samsung Galaxy S10+ was announced in February, and it features a 6.4-inch screen, dual cameras on the front, and a triple camera system on the back.
The Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup GuruShots has raised $5 million in Series A funding for its crowd-based real-world photography game, which gamifies photography for enthusiasts around the world.
The funding, led by Altair Capital, Buran Venture Capital, and Ervington Investments Limited, brings GuruShots’ total funding to $6.5 million and will help the company accelerate its growth.
GuruShots is designed to turn photography into a fun, interactive, global online competition through the Web and mobile devices.
Users can submit photos to daily themed challenges (e.g. “Black and White” and “Beards”) and have their work rated through crowdsourced voting. The highest ranked photos are surfaced, and users receive real-time feedback.
Winners of these mini competitions can win prizes, from in-game power-ups to photography gear to gift cards to spots in international photo exhibitions.
GuruShots hots five photo exhibitions each month around the world.
Since launching back in 2015, GuruShots how boasts over 4 billion votes per month across over 500 challenges, and over $600,000 in prizes has been awarded. About 5,000 members are recognized for their achievements each month, and tens of thousands of photos have already been exhibited.
“GuruShots, one of the world’s largest image ranking platforms using UGC [user-generated content], is easy and fun enough for anyone to start, and challenging enough for everyone to get hooked,” GuruShots says. “As users level up in the game, they find themselves improving their photo-taking skills, too.”
Wet Plate Collodion Passport Photos with a Polaroid Miniportrait Camera
Passport photos on wet plate collodion aren’t legally compliant, but you’re guaranteed to have fun making them. I shot wet plate collodion passport photos using a Polaroid Miniportrait camera.
The funny thing about this camera is that it has fixed-focus lenses. You have to sit 1.2 meters (3.94 feet) away. To be sure you are sitting at the right spot, there is a tape measure integrated into the Polaroid camera. You can see a little metal thingy underneath the lens without the lens cap on.
The f/8 lenses of the Polaroid Miniportrait camera combined with a photosensitivity of about ISO 0.5 of the wet plate were a bigger challenge than expected.
The full power of the Hensel Tria 6000 generator with the Grand Mini 85 was just enough to ensure a correct exposure. For lots of people, it sounds shocking since 6000 watts doesn’t seem to be nearly enough, but when you do the math it makes sense. ISO 0.5, f/8, and a softbox.
My Sekonic light meter showed aperture 18 at ISO 3 (unfortunately you can not set a smaller value). So that’s 2 1/3 stops more than f/8, which brings me to about 0.5.
To hold the wet plate better in position, I used the empty plastic box of the Fuji FP-100C film. A fellow wet plater, Jim Kost, told me he did it a similar way. I used the original plastic box and used the foam that is already in that box to hold the wet plate in position.
Then I put the Fuji plastic box with the wet plate inside into the film holder. It’s very easy to do, and the whole project was finished in 90 minutes.
Fortunately, in the closet is a Hensel Tria 3000, so the next passport photo should be more creative.
About the author: Markus Hofstaetter is a photographer who enjoys life and meeting people around the world. You can connect with him and find more of his work on his website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
Process: A Short Film About a Large Format Photographer
“Process” is a 3-minute short film by director Will Campbell that looks into the mind of a large format photographer.
“It’s a stylish, sensorial exploration into the process and motivation of a large format photographer,” Campbell tells PetaPixel. “The modern digital camera allows us to easily shoot hundreds of frames, edit them, and upload our favorites to the internet within minutes. This is a very different experience to that of the large format photographer.
“For them the process is arduous, analog, and anything but instant. So what pushes large format photographers on? Scott Folsom is a deep well of wisdom and knowledge when it comes to analog photography, large format, and development processes. This film answers the question of why some people would rather have it slow.”
GCDS Drops Streetwear For Dogs
Edgy streetwear is going to the dogs. Teaming up with V.I.P (Very Important Puppies), Italian brand GCDS has released a streetwear-inflected collection for canines. While keeping with core brand values re: graphic apparel and accessories, the collection is tailored to various dog sizes and gaits, keeping your four-legged friend’s comfort in mind. And while he or she may be colorblind and illiterate, the pink palette and catchy phrases like “J’Adore GCDS” add human-friendly touches. Perhaps best…
This is How Photorealistic Video Game Engines Are Now
The asset library Quixel has released this new 2.5-minute cinematic short film titled “Rebirth.” It’s an eye-opening look at how photorealistic real-time rendering in video game engines is now.
To prepare for the project, Quixel spent a month in cold and wet locations in Iceland, scanning all kinds of objects found in the natural environment using. The team returned with over 1,000 scans that captured the details of the landscape.
Using the scans — a part of Quixel’s Megascans library — a team of three artists at Quixel created the 1:45 cinematic film in real-time using the power of the Unreal Engine 4 game engine.
“The high fidelity of the physically-based scans delivers results that are remarkably photorealistic,” Unreal Engine writes.
Here are some still frames from the short film:
Part of the realism was due to the use of a physical camera rig that allowed the creators to “film” in virtual reality.
“With UE 4.21 at the heart of the real-time pipeline, Quixel’s artists were able to iterate on the go, eliminating the need for previsualization or post-production,” Unreal says. “The team also built a physical camera rig that was able to capture movements in-engine using virtual reality, adding an enhanced dimension of realism to the short. All post-processing and color grading was completed directly within Unreal.”
The result of all this work and technology is a real-time film that rivals the photorealism of offline renders.
Class of 2019: IMG Models
This spread appears in the pages of V118 our Spring I issue!
They say fashion is like high school. This model-off (dress code: SS19) puts theory into practice. In V118, 7 IMG fierce faces Lily, Eliseu, Akiima, Nana, Mads, Noah, and Valentine redefine tailoring while striking a “power suiting” pose.
Harvard Sued Over Profiting From Its Earliest Slave Photos from 1850
Harvard University is being sued over daguerreotypes of slaves — believed to be the earliest photos of American slaves — commissioned by one of its professors back in 1850. A descendant of the slaves accuses Harvard of wrongfully seizing, possessing, and profiting from the photos.
USA TODAY reports that the Swiss-born biologist Louis Agassiz had commissioned the photos to be shot by photographer J.T. Zealy in a South Carolina studio to support a theory of human origins called polygenism, or the view that human races have different origins. A slave man and his daughter, Renty and Delia, were stripped of their clothing and photographed naked from a number of angles to argue that African-Americans were inferior to white people.
Now a woman named Tamara Lanier who claims to be Renty’s great-great-great granddaughter is suing Harvard over those photos of her purported direct ancestor. Lanier says she has repeatedly demanded that Harvard stop licensing its photos of “Papa Renty” for profit, only to have her requests ignored.
She’s also demanding that the original Harvard-owned daguerreotypes be handed over to her family.
“For years, Papa Renty’s slave owners profited from his suffering,” Lanier tells USA TODAY. “It’s time for Harvard to stop doing the same thing to our family.”
After the photos of Renty, Delia, and 11 other slaves were made in 1850, they disappeared for 126 years until they were discovered in an attic at Harvard. One particular photo of Renty has since become an iconic photo representing American slavery, and it continues to be used on things such as conference programs and book covers.
Harvard allegedly charges a licensing fee for the photos to be reproduced.
“These images were taken under duress, and Harvard has no right to keep them, let alone profit from them,” attorney Michael Koskoff, who’s representing Lanier, tells USA TODAY. “They are the rightful property of the descendants of Papa Renty.”
The lawsuit states that Harvard has “avoided the fact that the daguerreotypes were part of a study, overseen by a Harvard professor, to demonstrate racial inferiority of blacks.”