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This high-end mash-up of a camera is now officially official

Not too long ago, one of Phase One's official dealers prematurely announced their new A-series cameras. Now, however, they have gone official with news of their new package and it looks even better than before.
The actual camera body is an Apla 12TC, which is, for the most part, a heavy duty metal square with a grip to which you can attach a medium format digital back and a lens board for a large format Rodenstock lens. This type of kit existed before, but it's only with the advent of medium format CMOS sensors that it really became a practical option. Because you can use live view, you can actually use the LCD to focus the camera and compose shots. With older CCD bodies, you had to either focus by measuring the distance between you and your subject, or carefully switching gout a ground glass back, focusing, then putting the digital back on the camera again.
it's not a simple off-the-rack solution, they, as Phase One has done some tweaking to make everything work together perfectly. They offer their A250, A260, and A280 backs with the option of either a 23mm or 70mm Rodenstock Alpar Lens. The lenses are actually factory calibrated to to match the body.
There's also a new version of Capture Pilot that lets you check your settings via an iOS device.
The A250 starts at $47,000 and goes up to $55,000. The A260 falls in the middle at $48,000.
Phase One A-Series Mirrorless Medium Format Camera
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Phase One A-Series Mirrorless Medium Format Camera

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The app gets a nice set of subtle photo filters, the first in two years

Today Instagram announced version 6.4 of its wildly popular smartphone app, and with it comes five new filters, the first additions to the app since 2012.

The newest filters to the Instagram family are Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Perpetua and Aden—all of which offer subtle color shifts to your images. As with version 6.0, you can still adjust the strength of your filter by double tapping on the image.

In addition to five new filters, the update allows you arrange filters in a custom order using “Manage” tool, adjust the perspective of your photograph, upload slow motion video and it now features real-time commenting.

The app is currently available for Android (version 6.12) and iOS (version 6.4)

New filters
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

New filters

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Watching photons travel through glass has never looked so impressive

Since photography was invented, cameras have worked on basically the same idea. You have a box with a lens in the front and a light sensitive material in the back. Of course, the specifics have changed drastically, but it's the same idea. Nokia has put together a short 3D animated video giving a dramatic representation of that process with their Lumia 1020 smartphone and it's fun to watch.

The video shows the light coming through the shutter blades, careening through the elements in the lens (which includes their optical image stabilization), hitting the sensor, then sending the exposure data to the image processor, and finally displaying it on the screen. I realize the whole thing sounds pretty dry when typed out like that, but add some epic orchestral music and impressive 3D graphics and it's like the beginning of a Marvel movie about a super hero that's also a camera.
Give it a watch and it might give you a little more appreciation for just how impressive these little cameras we love so much are on the inside.

From: Gizmodo

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Six crafty projects to turn your photos into awesome works of art

Whether you're looking to save a little cash or just make your holiday gifts a little more personal this year, a hand-made gift can be a great option. A new video from the Cooperative of Photography highlights six easy-to-make DIY photo projects, most of which can be completed in a few hours and require supplies that might already be stashed in your house.

Although we would be unlikely to trash our old negatives by wrapping them around a candle (especially since negatives are extremely flammable), the results from projects like the iron transfer and wood transfer seem pretty legit. Watch the video below to learn more about each of the projects.

Have you ever given anyone a personalized photo gift? Feel free to share in the comments.

DIY Crafts
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

DIY Crafts

Making your own wood transfer only takes a handful of supplies and approximately eight hours.

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Converge
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Converge

Indecision
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Indecision

Rorschach
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Rorschach

Indecision
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Indecision

Converge
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Converge

Indecision
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Indecision

Converge
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Converge

Converge
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Converge

Indecision
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Indecision

Concrete Cross
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Concrete Cross

Indecision
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Indecision

Rorschach
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Rorschach

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Concert Photography With Strobes and Flash

Plan and flash your way to unique live music photos

When you're shooting a concert, there's typically no such thing as “natural light." You're often greeted with a hard mix of tungsten bulbs and gelled stage lights, which are every bit as tough on your white balance as they are your shutter speeds. Often, especially at big venues, flash is forbidden, but with a little planning and a cooperative concert hall, you can actually go beyond the typical on-camera flash mix in some studio strobes to give your concert photos a truly unique look.

I like to shoot with two studio strobes placed on the stage, mixed with two speedlights—one on the stage and one on the camera. This lighting setup creates three dimensional lighting from multiple angles, using lights as accents and focal points within the photographs. This isn’t a simple “run and gun” setup—it involves a good bit of gear, and a good bit of pre-planning. But if you are willing to put up with the extra hassle and amount of gear, you will be rewarded with photographs that really stand out.

ACCESS

Before you start packing up your gear in anticipation of shooting Pearl Jam on stage at Madison Square Garden, you’ll need to get permission to shoot. You can’t just show up to a gig with three bags of gear and expect them to let you through the door. You’ll need permission from either the band, (which may not be enough on its own), the show promoter, or the venue itself. This will depend on the type of show you’re shooting. If you’re planning on shooting a small local show, permission from the band itself is usually sufficient. But if it’s a larger concert venue, its probably best to get permission in advance. Introducing yourself to the lighting technician and the sound guy will go a long way. Let them know what you are planning on doing, as you’re setting up on their turf. Tell them where you’ll be setting up your lights, and make sure your gear doesn’t get in their way.

Get there early! You’re going to want to set up your lights during the soundcheck, before the doors open to the public. Use the soundcheck to test your lighting setup and make modifications (as much as you can) at this point, so you’ll have less to worry about once the show actually starts. Since you'll probably want to use radio triggers, it's also a great idea to check them with the band's gear. If they're using wireless gear, you definitely don't want your triggers interfering.

GEAR & LOGISTICS

I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, and use three lenses: Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS, and Canon 70-200 f/4 L IS. Between these three lenses, I’m covered from super-wide to moderate super-tele. The size of the venue and the size of the stage will usually dictate which lens I’m using that day. Sometimes I’ll switch between lenses during the shoot, but more often than not I’ll usually find the best focal range and just stick with that for most of the set. I’m not concerned with limiting my apertures to f/4, as I’ll be using strobes and my apertures will usually between f/8 and f/11 anyway.

For lighting, I use two Alien Bee B1600 studio strobes. They’re lightweight, durable, pump out a good amount of light, and aren’t that expensive. The lights are mounted to 7 foot Matthews light stands, which are small enough to not be too much in the way, but tall enough to get the lights into the right position. To compliment my studio strobes, I am also using two Canon 580EX II speedlites. One on the stage, and one on my camera. They’re small, so I can stick the one on the stage anywhere I want, with nothing more than gaffer tape. Usually I like to put it right next to the kick drum, or even *inside* the kick drum if the drummer will let me, to blast some light from the kit. [Editor's note: Excessive vibration can be bad for delicate electronics and speed lights are full of them, so a cheap flash might be a good idea for this one.]

To wirelessly trigger everything, I use Pocketwizards. I have two sets: one for the speedlites and one for the AlienBees. On the camera, the transmitter is the Pocketwizard Mini-TT1, with Speedlite #1 on top of that. The TT1 is a TTL compatible version of Pocketwizard technology—I’m not using the TTL capability here, but it also acts as a normal Pocketwizard and is really small. It has a hot shoe on top, so Speedlite #1 goes right on top of it. Its companion is the Flex TT5 receiver which is connected to Speedlite #2 on the stage. The Alien Bees are connected to Pocketwizard Plus IIs. I put them all on the same channel, and all four lights fire when commanded by the TT1 on my camera.

Regarding channels and wireless triggering, there is a chance that there may be another photographer at the gig shooting and using pocketwizards. If this is the case, you may run into channel interference. So far this hasn’t happened to me, but if it happens to you, just make sure you and the other photographer are on different channels. If you talk about it with him/her once you realize the situation, I’m sure they would be happy to make sure you are both on different channels.

Placement of the lights

What we’re looking to do here is basically flood the stage with light. I want to cover almost every inch of the stage so that no matter where the shot is taken, my lights are going to be hitting the subject from various directions.

I’ve provided a diagram depicting where my lights are placed. The two Alien Bees are each placed in the back corners of the stage, pointed roughly 45 degrees towards center. They're basically pointed at the singer's back. The height of the strobes should be approximately 6 feet, about at head height. The spread of the lights will be wide enough to cover a good part of the stage. If you want less of a spread and a more concentrated beam, you can put grids on the lights, but you’ll have to pump up the power a little bit, as you’ll lose a bit of lights due to the nature of the grids. Put the lights on the stands and place the stands in the back corner of the stage. As a rule of thumb, if you can see the lights, the lights can see you. To test, go stand in the middle of the stage where the singer will be, and turn around. Look at the lights.. can you see the bulbs in the reflectors? Do they look like they are pointed at you? If so, great. If not, move them. It’s not rocket science.

Make sure they are secure and won’t topple over. You can bring sand bags like you would on a typical shoot, but that's cumbersome and not that effective if someone bangs into them. You can use a bungee cord or even some tape to secure the stand to something sturdy on the stage so they won't tip over. However you do it, just make sure they’re sturdy. Not only is your gear expensive, but the band’s gear is expensive, and you don’t want your expensive gear falling down on top of their expensive gear, costing lots of money in replacement or repair fees. You also don't want anyone to get hurt by your gear. That's another reason it's essential to check with the venue before setting up any stands. You could be held liable if something goes wrong.

The second speed light is usually placed right near the kick drum to make it seem as if the light is coming from the drum itself.. If the drummer allows, you can strap it to the leg of the kick drum, or to one of the stands in the drum kit with a bungee cord or some tape. This light basically gets pointed straight out into the crowd. If you’re standing right in front of the stage, facing the band, this light is going to blast you in the face. This will backlight the singer, create some interesting shadows on the front of the stage, and also highlight fans in the crowd who are right up front. Speedlite #1 is right on my camera, and it’s my “front” light.

So we have two lights in the back corners, facing forward. One light center stage, facing forward. And one light on the camera, facing wherever the camera faces. With this setup, no matter where I’m shooting from, there will be light of *some* sort hitting my subjects. The AlienBees will “rim light” the band members, and if the lights themselves are *in* the photo, can act as a sort of visual interest themselves- I like to use the bright spots of the lights as focal points within the images themselves. If you look at some of the photos I’ve included with this article, you can see how the lights themselves are often in the frame, and act as a visual interest within the photo.

Light settings

As with any flash photograph, there are two exposures going on here: the ambient and the flash exposures. They both happen at the same time and each contribute to the overall lighting of the image. The amount of *ambient* light, (or any light that hits the sensor that is not produced by any of the flashes) is controlled with the shutter speed. Slower shutter speed = more ambient light. Faster shutter speed = less ambient light. The amount of *flash* light is controlled with the aperture. Larger aperture = more flash light. Smaller aperture = less flash light. You’ll be using these settings to control the look of your image.

To begin, I try to get all of my settings somewhere around the middle, so I have room to maneuver up and down with any setting I want later on. I’ll usually start with my lights set to around half power. My camera is set to ISO 400 (I don’t mind a little bit of grain, and this really helps with flash power compared to if I was shooting at ISO 100). Shutter speed will vary depending on how much movement I want in the images and how much ambient light I want to let in. I’ll start with my aperture at f/8, and take a test shot. If my settings are off, say there is way too much light from the flashes, I’ll adjust the power down to 1/4 and take another test shot. Once I get into a decent range, where my exposure is good, with a good mix of flash and ambient, I leave the lights as they are and adjust everything from the camera from that point.

Continuing to take test shots, I look at my images. Do I want more light from the strobes? I’ll open up the aperture. Do I want less light from the strobes? Close down the aperture. Adjusting the aperture ONLY affects my flash exposure—it’s not affecting my ambient light exposure. Usually I shoot at between 1/100 and 1 second shutter speeds, depending on how much motion I want in the image.

Shutter Drag

If I use a slow shutter speed, say 1/4 of a second, and take an image, the flash “freezes” whatever it hits, making it sharp in and focus, and then the slow shutter “drags” and lets the movement creep into the image. You’ll get a portion that’s crisply lit by your strobes, and other portions that are blurry and smeared and full of motion. It’s up to you to decide how much of everything you want, so adjust your aperture and shutter speeds accordingly.

If you look at my images, it will be obvious that some of them are double exposures. Depending on which camera I’m using, it may be done in-camera, or it may be done in post-processing. When shooting double exposures in-camera, you’ll need to drop your exposure a bit, as both exposures will be contributing to the final exposure. I’ll usually expose a 1 or 1.5 stops under when shooting double exposures in camera, usually equaling out to a normal looking exposure. You’ll have to try it and see for yourself, what the proper mix for you is.

At some shows photographers are limited to shooting the first three songs only. If this is the case, you better start banging out your frames, because those three songs will be over before you know it. If there is no limit, you can spread out a little bit, and take your time.

As the show progresses, the band will start to get hotter, more energetic, sweatier, and more exhausted. Capture this emotion! Capture this exhaustion! Bands often save their most exhilarating song for the finale. The band and the crowd will typically go nuts. Don’t miss this! It’s most likely when you’ll grab that “hero” shot.

Tearing Down

When the set is over, you’ll need to get your gear off of the stage, but don’t forget that at the same time, the band is getting their gear off the stage, and the next band is probably starting to get their gear on the stage. Try to stay out of everyone’s way, get your gear packed up and away in a swift and safe fashion.

Make sure to thank the band and the stage guys for their help. Hand out some business cards, so people will know where to find the photos once you get them worked on. Make friends! You’ll eventually see these guys at another show, another venue, or maybe even on the street somewhere. People remember a friendly face, and will go out of their way to help out a cool guy if they were treated coolly themselves.

My post-processing routine is a bit involved, and I’m going to save the majority of that for another tutorial, but the basics of it is this: I immediately back up all of my images to my computer the second I get home. This is happening even before I get my coat off. I want to make sure that everything is backed up, safe, and sound. Once they are on my computer, I’ll leave them on the cards, and they’ll stay on the cards until the job is finished and processed and backed up to a second location.

Once the images are on the computer, I’ll load into Lightroom, run through them to make selects, and pick my favorites. This begins the second half of our adventure- the post processing. From here, you can go anywhere. You’ve got 16GB of RAW images at your disposal, it’s up to you to find the ones that you connect with, that you think people will connect with.

I can’t finish this tutorial without mentioning two photographers that without whom my own photography would not exist as it does, as some of these techniques are borrowed from them and adapted into my own workflow. Matt Miller was my main inspiration behind the multiple light setup, specifically inspired by his amazing shot of TRIAL at the BURNING FIGHT FEST at the Metro in Chicago. And Justin Borucki is the man who got me into music photography in the first place- he was the first to show me the emotion, the exhaustion, and the energy that goes into rock and roll photography, and for that I thank him.

I hope you found this tutorial interesting- I’d love to see your work, so feel free to show it to me! Check out my work at www.nakleh.com, my instagram account @nakleh, and on Facebook.

Concert Photography With Strobes and Flash
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Concert Photography With Strobes and Flash

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The Anywhere Classroom Series is a virtual photography class where you can get the instruction you need to maximize your picture-taking potential from anywhere! It�s a uniquely accessible, free, and user friendly series where acclaimed Olympus Visionaries share their tips and techniques for achieving the iconic images that have earned them international renown. This ongoing series lets you tap into the distinctive shooting methods and styles of each Visionary while demonstrating the unique benefits of various Olympus cameras and lens systems, such as the award-winning OM-D series. For photographers looking to create and share beautiful imagery, the OM-D is the perfect line to help capture your stories. Although an OM-D body makes the perfect compliment to any of your existing equipment, you don�t have to be an Olympus camera user to learn and enjoy this series.The Anywhere Classroom Series is a virtual photography class where you can get the instruction you need to maximize your picture-taking potential from anywhere! It�s a uniquely accessible, free, and user friendly series where acclaimed Olympus Visionaries share their tips and techniques for achieving the iconic images that have earned them international renown. This ongoing series lets you tap into the distinctive shooting methods and styles of each Visionary while demonstrating the unique benefits of various Olympus cameras and lens systems, such as the award-winning OM-D series. For photographers looking to create and share beautiful imagery, the OM-D is the perfect line to help capture your stories. Although an OM-D body makes the perfect compliment to any of your existing equipment, you don�t have to be an Olympus camera user to learn and enjoy this series.

Anywhere Classroom Season 3 features Olympus Visionary, Larry Price as he takes viewers around Cape Ann, Massachusetts. While shooting in picturesque locations, Larry demonstrates how to maximize the photographic potential of the Olympus OM-D series and lens system. Each episode focuses on one of Larry’s personal photography skills and dives into specific tips for viewers.

In episode one, Larry educates viewers on photojournalism and demonstrates how to shoot photo essays through story telling. By using the OM-D’s tilt screen to frame shots properly on location and by utilizing a variety of lenses to capture great portraits and wide shot imagery, the OM-D series will deliver dramatic photos that create a story. Also, the OM-D series features an autofocus benefit that captures quick moments so you’ll never miss any great shot especially since the ability to carry and move lenses and bodies on location has never been easier with this extremely lightweight and portable system.

Next, in episode two, Larry showcases how to capture fun and candid moments during any family outing. The OM-D series features various modes, such as the beach setting, that will produce wonderful images and memories for your family. Also, the autofocus benefit of the camera allows for great image stabilization so you can catch any action shot. Finally, by using the tilt screen you can create dynamic images and perspectives by shooting low (on your subject’s level), making the OM-D series the perfect companion for family outings.

Season three of Anywhere Classroom concludes with episode three which demonstrates how to get acquainted and create ease with subjects while capturing portraits. Larry shows viewers how to use light to help with photos by avoiding extremes with backlight and utilizing everyday items, such as a white dinner plate, to create a reflection. He also explains that simplifying and uncluttering backgrounds will maximize your portraits especially when using the abilities of the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 M.Zuiko lens to cover a wide range of shots.

Viewers can follow up and engage in the conversation surrounding the Anywhere Classroom on all of Olympus’ @GetOlympus social platforms through the hashtag #anywhereclassroom. See all of the seasons and learn more about seasons to come at www.getolympus.com/anywhereclassroom.

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Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

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National Geographic Camera Enginner Kenji Yamaguchi

The fascinating life of camera engineer, Kenji Yamaguchi

If the National Geographic photo department was a spy agency, then the photographers would be the field agents and Kenji Yamaguchi would be the genius behind the scenes cooking up all of their James Bond style gadgets. There's a pretty fascinating video over on the Nat Geo site that goes into detail about his job as a camera engineer.
His job is to hack apart cameras and other photo gear in order to meet the needs of National Geographic photographers who are out in the field. He makes everything from housings to wireless flash triggers and motion sensors.
Normally, the rally cry across the internet is about how gear doesn't matter, but this is a good reminder that without cameras, none of us would be making great photos. And this guy knows them better than, well, pretty much anyone else.
National Geographic Camera Enginner Kenji Yamaguchi
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

National Geographic Camera Enginner Kenji Yamaguchi

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The most important, forward-looking, and simply the best new photo tools (and toys)

American Photo magazine's annual sellection of the gear that is making an impact on the trends in photography. See past Editors' Choice features Most Intriguing Gear of 2013 and Ten Tools That Reshaped Photography in 2012.

ap gear of the year
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

ap gear of the year

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Lytro Focus Spread

A simple slider lets you decide what's in focus and what's blurry

By now, you're almost certainly aware of the Lytro camera and it's interesting ability to allow users to select the focus point of their photo after it has already been shot. Now, they're taking that focus tweaking to the next level with something they call Focus Spread.

Basically, the image is split up into three different components, foreground, subject, and background, like you'd expect in a typical photograph. But, a slider in the new version (4.1) of their desktop software allows you to determine just how much depth of field you want.
This is the type of thing that seems like it would come in extremely handy if you're doing something like macro photography, which has notoriously narrow depth of field, or family portraits where the people in the back aren't quite as sharp as those in the front.
The technology only works with files captured with the Lytro Illum camera, And while the results don't look quite as perfect as you'd expect from a traditional camera and typical depth of field, the sheer flexibility of it makes it seem very promising.
Lytro Focus Spread
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Lytro Split Focus

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This is what it is like to shoot from inside the International Space Station

We’ve seen tons of powerful images coming from NASA over the years, but SmugMug’s new web short capturing photographer Don Pettit at work inside the International Space Station might be the coolest yet.

“Space is a place where your normal intuitions do not apply,” Pettit says in the video. When your prinary studio sits 220 miles above the Earth it's safe to assume that your camera won't function exactly as it does on earth's surface.

Watch as Pettit captures star trails, auroras and city lights and discusses how he keeps his images sharp as the he travels 8 km a second through the earth’s atmosphere.

[Via: SmugMug]

Don Pettit
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Don Pettit

Still from "From Above - Astronaut Photography with Don Pettit"

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Leica M Infrared Filter Recall

Deteriorating IR filters are causing problems for some Leica shooters

When Leica announced the M (version 240) they made a big switch to CMOS sensors. Now, however, they have started to see that some of their older CCD sensor cameras are experiencing an issue with corrosion on the IR filters. As a fix, Leica is offering affected users a sensor replacement at no cost.
The problem stems from a glass filter meant to cut down infrared light hitting the sensor. If you'll remember, Leica's first digital rangefinder, the M8, had a problem with oversensitivity to IR light, which sometimes required an additional filter to correct. Moving up to the M9 (as well as the other CCD cameras, including the M9-P, the M-E, and the black-and-white-only M Monochrom), the IR filter that sits over the sensor could actually degrade significantly if it becomes at all damaged.
The issue only affects CCD-sensor cameras, so if you have a Leica M or any of their cameras using a CMOS sensor, you shouldn't be affected. Also, users that have already paid for a sensor replacement that can be attributed to this issue will get a refund.
Ultimately, it's a bummer that the issue exists, but it seems like Lieca is doing everything they can to try and make it up to their users. When cameras cost so much, it's easy for them to come under criticism, so it's good to see that Leica is doing their best to make good with their users.
Leica M Infrared Filter Recall
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Leica M Camera IR Filter Replacement

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Capture your holidays with Lomography's most versatile instant camera

Lomography is kicking off 2015 by giving away two Lomo'Instant Black Edition Cameras with lenses to Pop Photo readers. Enter now for your chance to win!

lomo'instant
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

lomo'instant

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A day shooting with Sony's newest full-frame ILC

Last week Sony held a shooting event in New York City and invited members of the press to spend time with the new A7 II full frame mirrorless camera. The day began in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn at Hollywood Stunts and ended with a helicopter tour of the airspace over Manhattan and the Bronx.

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Video: Jeanette D. Moses. All footage shot using the new Sony A7 II

After a day of shooting in two very different scenarios, our overall impressions of the A7 II are positive. The camera functioned well and the body’s updated design made it more comfortable to use in the field than the A7.

The biggest update to the A7 II is that it includes the world’s first full-frame sensor shift stabilization system to function in five axes. Like most optical stabilization systems, it can compensate for pitch and yaw. Unlike optical stabilization systems, it can also compensate for shift around the X and Y axes, and rotation.
A magnetically suspended sensor compensates instead of elements inside the lens, which means you can get some of the benefits of the stabilization system with any lens you mount on the body. The degree to which you’re able to utilize all five axes depends on the lens you mount. If the camera can receive both focal length and focusing distance information from the lens, then stabilization will happen in all five axes. If the lens can not transmit focusing distance information, then stabilization will occur on the three axes of pitch, yaw, and roll. If no information passes between the body and the lens, you have the option to manually enter the focal length from a range between 8mm and 1000mm. In that case you’ll be limited to pitch and yaw correction. Still, this is a boon for a camera that's so easy to adapt for legacy lenses.
The body also got an updated design. The A7 II is slightly thicker than that of the A7, though designers have beefed up the grip, making the A7 II more comfortable to hold. The shutter button moves from the top of the camera body, to the top of the grip and is angled slightly forward, as is the case with most DSLRs. Furthermore, the A7 II swaps out the A7’s metal command wheels with rubberized versions embedded into the front of the grip and top of the camera back. These new wheels proved a bit more comfortable in prolonged use and have more defined click stops than the previous wheels. The lens mount, which was partially metal and partially plastic in the A7, is now all metal to lend more confidence that the lens is held in proper registration.
Sony says that they have also developed new autofocusing algorithms that improve the tracking in the A7 II by making better use of motion information. The display of focusing points during AF tracking now takes the same approach of the a6000 by showing the active AF points illuminated by small green squares that show you when the camera shifts amongst the points as it tracks your subject around the frame.
We look forward to running the camera through more rigorous testing in the field, as well as in the Popular Photography Test Lab.

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ShareGrid Peer to Peer Camera Rental Service

A new gear sharing service goes peer-to-peer

Renting camera gear is a great way to try out a new body or lens before taking the plunge and purchasing it. It can also be a simple solution if you need a specific piece of gear for a job that's unlike anything you normally shoot. There are some great rental options out there, but ShareGrid wants to do it a little differently.
The idea is that, rather than a centralized service shipping gear from a warehouse, they simply act as a middleman, connecting pros who have gear with others who might need it. Those receiving the gear pay a rate set by the owner. Once the owner gets his or her stuff back and marks the rental as "completed," they receive the money from ShareGrid minus a handling fee and credit card costs.
If the idea of renting out your own gear sounds scary, you're not crazy. ShareGrid plans to offer some serious insurance options, as well as a vetting process that users will have to go through before offering or renting gear.
It's an interesting concept and I'm curious to see if it catches on. In theory, it could be even faster than traditional rental services because you don't have to worry about shipping, you just go and meet the person, well, in person. The rates could also be lower depending on what local people are offering.
On the other hand, those doing the renting won't have the advantage of an in-house maintenance staff to clean and calibrate lenses and cameras after usage.
If you want to give it a shot, you can reserve a spot in the program for when it opens wider. It's planned for LA and then New York City, which makes sense, since there's such a high concentration of imaging pros in those areas.
ShareGrid Peer to Peer Camera Rental Service
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

ShareGrid Peer to Peer Camera Rental Service

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We dare you not to be inspired by his story

Adventure photography is one of the hottest genres around right now. Photographers are heading out into incredible terrain to capture amazing things, and Cory Richards is one of the top guys in the field. He recently gave an interesting talk for National Geographic Live in which he outlines some of the things that motivate him to get out and get (excuse the use of a tired internet adjective) epic photographs.

It's not a highly-technical piece of content, but sometimes it's important to cut the tutorials with something that reminds us that photography is an art. It's also an experience, and for many, a life long pursuit.
Richards is insanely charming and his story is inspiring enough to give Tony Robbins a run for his money. Watching it made me itch a little to go out and shoot in the ice rather than sitting at my desk. It will likely do the same for you.
From: PetaPixel

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A top-level overview of what it's like to shoot with an 8x10 camera

I was lucky enough to learn how to shoot with a large format camera back when I was in college. I loved it, but I haven't done it since, and frankly, may never do it again. And while I think it's an abundantly rewarding process, it's also one many photography enthusiasts will never get to try. This 15-minute Youtube video going around the web today gives a nice overview into what the process is like.
It's not a comprehensive overview and you won't necessarily be ready to start exposing sheets after having watched it, but if those big accordion cameras are totally foreign to you, it acts as a nice introduction.
When people say that large format film photography is a "slower" process than most people are used to, they really aren't kidding. So, give it a watch and it might just be something you're very interested in trying.
Now, you can pick up decent 4x5 cameras (the one in the video is an even bigger 8x10 camera) for a few hundred dollars. Of course, you'll also need to buy the film, which is a few bucks for every shot you make, and you'd probably be well-suited to have your own darkroom if you want to develop and print the photos.
From: Reddit

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Photographers reveal their secrets and thoughts about the increasingly democratic art of street photography

Jack Simon shot this San Francisco street scene with a Fujifilm X100S and an exposure of 1/2000 at f/8, ISO 640. Photo: Jack Simon

Thanks to digital photography and instant online image sharing, street photography is enjoying a revival. Now anyone with a camera can head out and shoot whatever he or she thinks is street photography, then beam it to the world with a click. So a lot of good—and bad—street imagery is proliferating in cyberspace. What do the pros think? Here three established street shooters tell us about their approaches and how this challenging art form has evolved.

San Francisco–based psychiatrist Jack Simon started seriously shooting street scenes about a decade ago, just as the digital era kicked into gear. “There seem to be many more people doing street photography now,” says Simon, a longtime fan of the genre, “but galleries or museums are not necessarily part of this revival.”
To advance his craft, Simon frequents online discussion forums. “I’ve improved my skills, educated myself further, and learned about competitions and photography festivals to enter,” he notes. “I joined the international collective Burn My Eye, and it has become an important part of my photographic life.”
Simon often updates his Flickr feed—where the May 2014 scene at right first appeared—and he uses the platform to enter and win various photography festivals. “I’ve been interviewed in several blogs,” he says, “which has also increased my exposure. One video interview of me has been viewed on YouTube more than 60,000 times.”
Shooting with a Fujifilm X100S—“it’s small, light, and quiet,” he says—he relies on spontaneity. “I don’t have a specific theme or idea in mind of what I am going to photograph,” says Simon. “I am using the street to find complex, colorful, and sometimes cinematic views. I prefer when the story is not clear and it is left up to the viewer to put his or her own interpretation on the scene.”
Melanie Einzig shot this candid with a Nikon D600 and 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor lens, exposing 1/1000 sec at f/8, ISO 400. Photo: Melanie Einzig
Melanie Einzig started shooting street photography at age 15, “without being aware that it was what I was doing,” she says. After assisting Joel Meyerowitz while in her thirties, she decided to “put a whole lot of time and effort into making pictures on the street.” She counts Diane Arbus, Ben Asen, Brassaï, Helen Levitt, Raghubir Singh, Weegee, and Garry Winogrand as influences.
Einzig avoids shooting with any preconceived ideas about what she wants to photograph. “That’s when my photography seems to falter,” she says. “Enter with a kind of openness to see what is really there, not what you want to see or think you should see.”
Einzig allows that confrontations happen “once in a while,” adding that “they’re not fun and kind of scary.” When her subjects notice her, she prefers to “look the other way like you weren’t photographing them at all. Then they feel like they may have been imagining you were taking their picture.” If you are confronted directly, apologize, she advises. “I’d rather people feel happy that I made an interesting photo of them.” Einzig relates that after she photographed a parking attendant recently, “he said to me in a totally charming way, ‘You can put this on YouTube, my tube, whatever tube you want!’”
A former black-and-white buff, Einzig has been shooting in color since 1997. “Something about color is so beautiful to me, so alive,” she says. She uses a Nikon D600 with a 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor lens; she also keeps a Sony RX100 in her bag for those times when she doesn’t want to bring her big rig. “Choose a camera that feels right,” she advises, “and rely more on your eye and your heart than on all the technologies.”
She used a Nikon F100 for this candid shot. Photo: Melanie Einzig
Shot with a Leica M9 and a 35mm f/2 Leica Summicron-M ASPH lens with a 1/1000 sec exposure at f/10, ISO 800. Photo: Richard Bram
In the early 1980s Richard Bram started shooting side scenes during business events he was being paid to photograph. These days, he counts among his major influences his fellow members of the street photography cooperative iN-PUBLIC. “People connect emotionally with photographs made directly from reality,” Bram says, “and iN-PUBLiC represents the gold standard of contemporary street photography.”
Bram has mixed feelings about the current climate. “Social media has given voice to a very large number of great street photographers,” he says. “There is a coolness factor to street photography these days.” On the downside, he says, “It’s completely unfiltered. Good images are almost immediately buried beneath scads of ordinary ones.” To rise above the noise, Bram uses social media as a means of networking with traditional curators, publishers, educators, and gallery owners.
And he shoots a lot. “I always have a camera with me—therein lies opportunity,” Bram says. “You are always looking, but you rarely know what you are looking for until it’s in front of you.” He usually carries a Leica M9 with a 35mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH lens, as well as a 24mm f/2.8 Elmar-M or sometimes a 50mm f/2 Summicron-M. “Buy the best you can afford, with minimal shutter lag,” he advises. “Keep it simple.”
On the street, Bram tries to be “very fast and very quiet. People rarely know if I have made a picture of them until after I’ve done so. I almost never ask permission because the result would not have been what drew me in the first place.” The ubiquity of cameras, Bram notes, have made the attitude toward shutterbugs on the street “more suspicious than it used to be.” He avoids potential conflict with “a fast smile and a humble manner.”
Shot on a Leica M9 and a 35mm f/2 Leica Summicron-M ASPH lens with a 1/350 sec exposure at f/6.7, ISO 400. Photo: Richard Bram

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December Photo Contests

Check out our final photo contests of the year

Here we are in the last month of the year, which means it's your last chance in 2014 to show off your work in our monthly photo contests.
As always, you can enter our Your Best Shot contest with, well, just about any photo you like! There are not prompts or category restrictions, so simply pick your best couple shots (three per person), and send them along. The top entries get published in the magazine and also win a cash prize.
If you're looking for something to get you motivated, check out our current Photo Challenge: Leading Lines. The challenge is to make great use of a classic photographic technique that has been guiding transition for years and years. The best photo will be featured in an issue of the magazine and will also win a cash prize.
So, don't wait until the new year to get started on shooting and sharing great photos. There's still plenty of time left in 2014 to get your stuff seen.
December Photo Contests
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

December Photo Contests

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Powerful images from the past month from photojournalists around the world

A student wearing white clown makeup with the Spanish word for "justice" written on the side of his face, stands outside the Attorney General's office, in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, during a protest demanding the release of students arrested two days earlier, following a massive gathering in the Zocalo. Tens of thousands marched to the capital's main plaza Thursday, demanding that authorities find 43 missing college students, seeking to pressure the government on a day normally reserved for the celebration of Mexico's 1910-17 Revolution. AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

journalism
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

journalism

A student wearing white clown makeup with the Spanish word for "justice" written on the side of his face, stands outside the Attorney General's office, in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, during a protest demanding the release of students arrested two days earlier, following a massive gathering in the Zocalo. Tens of thousands marched to the capital's main plaza Thursday, demanding that authorities find 43 missing college students, seeking to pressure the government on a day normally reserved for the celebration of Mexico's 1910-17 Revolution.

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