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Canon's First Camera 80th Anniversary

The company's first prototype came together in 1934

In the grand scheme of things, 80-years doesn't seem like such a long time. Back in 1934, Canon built the prototype of their first camera, the Kwanon. Since then, quite a bit has changed.

Canon is celebrating the anniversary of the first camera by sharing some information about it. For instance, the name was taken from Kwannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy who was etched into the top of the camera.

It was actually a full two years before Canon released a commercial version of their 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera when the Hansa hit in 1936.

You can check out the full press release, which is pasted below for a top-level look at all of Canon's milestones. It's interesting to see everything laid out like that. When you spend so much time engrossed in the products made by companies, it's easy to forget where they started.


MELVILLE, N.Y., September 2, 2014 - Canon U.S.A., the leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., is commemorating the 80th anniversary of Canon's first camera, the Kwanon. Marking Japan's first 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera, the Kwanon was produced in prototype form in 1934, the culmination of the dreams of engineers who wanted to catch up with Europe, the leading presence in the camera industry at the time.

The engineers who created the camera decided to name it after Kwannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, hoping the deity would share her benevolence as they pursued their dream to produce the world's finest camera. The camera's lens, called Kasyapa, was named after Mahakasyapa, a disciple of Buddha. Additionally, the top portion of the camera body featured an engraving depicting the thousand-armed Kwannon.

In 1936, two years after the birth of the Kwanon and following much trial and error, Canon launched the Hansa Canon,* its first commercial 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera, thus embarking on the Company's history as a camera manufacturer.

In 1959, Canon introduced its first single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, the Canonflex. Following, in 1961, was the Canonet, an immensely popular rangefinder camera that took the market by storm, selling out an entire week's worth of inventory in just two hours. The Company, after the success of the Canonflex and Canonet, continued to lead the industry with a range of popular camera models, such as the F-1, a top-of-the-line professional 35mm SLR camera introduced in 1971, and the AE-1, introduced in 1976, which was the world's first SLR camera equipped with a built-in microcomputer.

In 1987, following continued technological innovation, Canon launched the EOS 650, the world's first AF (autofocus) SLR camera to incorporate a fully electronic mount system. In 1995, EOS marked its entry into the digital era and the lineup continues evolving today. In 2012, the Company started to ship the Cinema EOS System, a lineup of professional digital cinematography cameras and lenses. The Cinema EOS System was created through the culmination of various technological innovations that are centered on the optical technologies developed since the Company's founding. Since its introduction, the Cinema EOS System has contributed to expanding the horizons of visual expression.

"Over the 80 years since the birth of the Kwanon camera prototype, Canon has continuously innovated to fulfill the Company's never-ending ambition to create the world's finest cameras," said Masaya Maeda, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Image Communication Products Operations at Canon Inc. "Leveraging the technologies and know-how it has acquired over its history, Canon will continue contributing to the development of the photographic and video imaging culture through its technologies and products designed to satisfy the expectations of our customers.

Canon's First Camera 80th Anniversary
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Canon First Camera

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Searching through the FSA photo archive just got easier

A new website from Yale’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences just made 170,000 historic images, produced between 1935-1945 as part of the Farm Security Administration, a whole lot easier to search. The Photogrammar has taken the digitized photo archives of the Library of Congress, which includes the work of Dorthea Lange, Walker Evans, Gordon Parks and more, and made it interactive.

Photogrammar allows you to search a decade’s worth of photographs by keyword, photographer name, year or through a county-by-county map of the United States. You’ll find photographs of farmers in Williston, North Dakota; early gambling photos from Las Vegas, Nevada; and the images of the Coast Guard training station in Manhattan Beach, New York. It’s a fascinating collection that you could spend hours searching through.

Our project will allow researchers to back-up, or even challenge, previous positions about the archive and the period of history it recorded with direct visual and quantitative evidence, while discovering new patterns that would otherwise be undetectable by simply going through the photographs one by one,” says Lauren Tilton, co-director of the project.

For photo enthusiasts and history buffs it's a thrill to simply navigate through the regions of the map. Dive into the 170,000 image collection here.

Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


Children who attend nursery school in a Farm Security Administration (FSA) camp for migrant agricultural workers. Tulare County, California, May 1939 Photo: Dorthea Lange

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Zeiss Loxia Manual Focus Lenses for Sony Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Zeiss brings high-performance manual focuses lenses to the Sony A7 series, no adapter necessary

When Zeiss released the Touit lenses for mirrorless cameras, they were incredibly sharp and wonderfully contrasty. The AF performance, however, felt tacked-on and sluggish. Their new Loxia lenses, however, are meant to be used with the full-frame Sony A7-series cameras and they get back to the Zeiss manual focus tradition.

There are currently two options in the line, a 50mm F/2 and a 35mm F/2, both of which are clearly well-suited for street photography. Despite their fully manual focusing abilities, they are equipped with an electronic interface to send lens information to the camera body for EXIF data.

To aid in the manual focusing process, it has a rotation angle of roughly 180-degrees to allow for fine tuning and it's compatible with handy zooming features offered by electronic viewfinders. This is pretty par for the course in terms of Zeiss lenses, so I'm expecting the focusing action to be stiff (in a good way) and great for small tweaks.

Another thing Zeiss fans will appreciate is the manual aperture control ring built into the lens. It bas click stops baked in, but you can turn them off if you want a smoothly variable aperture for shooting video. It adds a nice tactile touch that will more closely mimic the experience of an older camera.

The Loxia 2/50 uses a Planar design, which has six elements in four groups, while the 2/35 uses a Biogon design and has nine elements in six groups.

Both lenses are due to be released before the end of 2014 and the prices might not be as high as you'd expect if you're only familiar with high-end Zeiss stuff like the insane 50mm Zeiss Otus. The Loxia 2/50 will hit in October for $949, while the 2/35 will come later for $1,299.

Mirrorless cameras are already extremely popular for adapting old manual focus lenses, so it only makes sense to make a high-end option built with digital cameras in mind. I'm expecting them to be very sharp, but we'll see how they really perform when they hit our test lab later this year.

Zeiss Loxia Manual Focus Lenses for Sony Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Zeiss Loxia Lenses

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Aperture Foundation

Aperture Foundation profiles photographer Rob Hornstra who leads a DIY Storytelling workshop with a focus on self-published photobooks

During the last weekend in May, Rob Hornstra, the documentary photographer behind The Sochi Project, an epic, multifaceted series on the site and surrounding region hosting the controversial 2014 Winter Olympics, taught a weekend workshop on DIY storytelling for photographers at Aperture Foundation. A practitioner of so called “slow journalism,” Hornstra took his class through then entire process of self-publishing a photobook, from financing to shooting, designing and selling one’s personal work.
Explaining the impetus behind leading the two-day workshop, Hornstra says: “Many ambitious photographers are conservative when it comes to presenting their projects, offering their work — often free of charge — to newspapers, magazines, or book publishers. They put their fate in the hands of others and wait. That’s unnecessary. Do it yourself.”
Watch the insightful video profile on Hornstra below and visit Aperture.org for a list of upcoming weekend workshops with leading photographers and educators in New York this fall. For more on self-publishing your own work, explore Self Publish, Be Happy.

Aperture Foundation
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Aperture Foundation

Documentary photographer Rob Hornstra and students at the DIY Storytelling weekend workshop at Aperture Foundation. Photo: Aperture

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Canon 1200mm Ultra Telephoto Lens

What does 1200mm actually look like? And what happens when you start throwing teleconverters on it?

Last week, we told you about a rare (and insanely awesome) Canon 1200mm lens up for sale. Now, MPB Photographic has released some more details about the lens and have even released some sample images and a very entertaining video.

Perhaps the most striking part of the whole thing is the focal length comparisons.

Here's a shot of a street with a 50mm lens.

And now here's a shot of the same scene using the 1200mm monster.

And here's what it looks like with a 2x teleconverter on it

While you can get this kind of zoom out of small super-zoom cameras, the fact that this is Canon L-series glass on a high-end DSLR makes it a whole different animal.

If you want to add the lens to your own collection, you can check out the official product listing here. Bring money. Lots and lots of money.

If you want to see more insane lenses, check out our list of 9 Incredible Lenses That Actually Exist

Canon 1200mm Ultra Telephoto Lens
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Canon 1200mm Ultra Telephoto Lens

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Ditch your lens to get a different look

A pinhole camera is as minimalist as photography gets: All you need 
is a light-tight box with a tiny hole on the front, and something 
light-sensitive fastened onto the inside rear of the box, and you can 
take a picture. In the process, you will get weirdly beautiful results, including infinite focus from near to far (or, often more accurately, equal slight fuzziness from near to far). “Once you realize that there are no knobs, no flashing lights, no buttons, dials, or digital displays to distract you, making pictures becomes fun again rather than a technical chore,” says Andrew Watson, who made this photo of the beach in Brighton, England on Kodak Ektar 100.
You can make your own pinhole camera (out of practically anything), build a kit camera, buy a ready-made camera, or, simplest of all, use the camera you already have, whether film or digital, SLR or ILC, with a pinhole body cap in place of a lens.
STEP 1: 
Learn the basics
The focal length of a pinhole camera is determined by the distance of the pinhole to the film or sensor, and there are optimal pinhole sizes for adequate sharpness. Optimum pinhole size for 50mm would be no bigger than 0.3mm, for example; the f-number would be about f/160. So you’ll need a tripod, or at least a solid perch for the camera.
STEP 2: 
Make your pinhole
You can turn a camera’s body cap into a pinhole with a little fuss. Drill a small (1/8-inch) hole in the center of the cap. For the pinhole itself, use soda-can aluminum. Cut an inch-square piece of the can with a snips, and pierce the center using the smallest needle that will go through. Then tape the pinhole over the hole you drilled in the body cap.
STEP 3: Or buy a pinhole
Commercially made pinhole body caps have the advantage of being properly sized and well machined. Companies such as Rising, Holga, Wanderlust, and Lenox Laser make them, available through camera retailers or direct. Most body-cap pinholes give you a focal length of about 45mm on DSLRs.
: Figure exposure
Your DSLR or ILC metering system will go blind at f/160, although you will be able to compose the picture with live view on a digital camera body. Starting exposure in bright sunlight for ISO 100 would be about 1 second, or ¼ sec for ISO 400.
STEP 5: 
Exploit the look
Place objects or subjects very close to the camera to have them loom against the background (wider focal lengths work best for this effect). Photograph bodies of water in lower light to smooth the water out to glass—no neutral-density filters needed.
STEP 6: 
Do it with film
Many like the look of pinhole photography with film, but you won’t be able to review your exposure in the field. A Black Cat Exposure Guide can be very useful here: it has f-stops to f/1024. We’d recommend color-negative film (used by Andrew Watson for this beach scene) as it has great latitude and can tolerate a lot of overexposure.
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


Once you procure a pinhole camera (whether you buy one, build one, or make an accessory for your DSLR), shooting pinhole is just a matter of finding the right subject and figuring exposure. Photo: Andrew Watson

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Pentax K-S1 DSLR Camera

Pentax defends their crown as makers of the most interesting-looking DSLRs

No DSLR-maker comes close to Pentax when it comes to colorful camera bodies, but they have taken the design of their new K-S1 to the next level, giving it a drastically different style and some lights built into the body.

The camera itself has a 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and a viewfinder with 100^ and 0.95x magnification. It also has a top-end ISO of 51,200. Like other Pentax bodies, it has in-body shake reduction and maxes out at 5.4 frames-per-second.

But, the real story here is the design. The body has been re-shaped and trimmed down to make it as small as possible, taking clear aim at the interchangeable-lens compact market and users who are looking at the Canon SL1 DSLR. The lights on the grip are for decoration, but they can also serve as self-timer indicators and telling you which mode the camera is in.

It has a 3-inch, 921,000 dot LCD display and the nav buttons on the back are illuminated to match the style and help you navigate in the dark.

You can get three stander colors at the moment, Blue, Black, and White, but there are a few other options as well in the special lines.

The Kit will be available in September 2014 for $799, while the body alone will be $749, making the kit lens an obvious purchase.

Pentax has always done exceptionally well at this level, so we're excited to see if the performance is able to match the flashy exterior.

Pentax K-S1 DSLR Camera
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Pentax K-S1 DSLR Camera

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Olympus PEN E-PL7 Mirrorless Camera

A new sensor, improved connectivity, and Selfie Mode come to the PEN series cameras

The pre-Photokina camera announcement parade marches on today with Olympus E-PL7 interchangeable-lens compact camera.

The E-PL7 shares a lot with the E-PL6 that came before it, but it borrows the same 16.05-megapixel, Micro Four Thirds sensor and 3-axis VCM image stabilization found in the OM-D E-M10. The AF system has also gotten an upgrade, now using 81 AF points for what Olympus claims is their fastest autofocus system ever. If you want AF tracking, you can get roughly 3.5 fps, but if you don't need to track your subject, you can get 8 fps for up to 20 raw files.

Olympus PEN E-PL7

While there are some performance upgrades, many of the updates seem to focus on sharing and, ahem, selfie capturing. The 3-inch, 1.04-million dot LCD flips down to face forward so taking selfless is easier. They even call it "Selfie Mode" because a shutter button appears on the touch screen to make it easier to get a shot of yourself.

Built-in Wifi also brings it expanded sharing and control capabilities. You can sync the camera with a smartphone by scanning a QR code on the camera's screen from inside the Image Share app. From there, you can control the camera, including some more advanced controls like a self-timer and interval shooting.

In addition to the new camera body, they're also announcing a black version of the M.Zuiko Digital 12mm F/2 lens For $799.

The E-PL7 will be available in late September (2014) for $699 if you want the kit (bundled with the 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens) or $599 for the body alone.

Overall, it seems like a pretty straight forward upgrade over the E-PL6. There's nothing really ground breaking happening, but the E-PL6 was an excellent little camera, so bringing it up to par on the Wifi and AF fronts seems like a worthwhile pursuit. We're looking forward to getting it in our test lab to see how it performs.

Full Press Release Below:

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., August 28, 2014 — Olympus makes it easier than ever to shoot and share your stories in brilliant detail with the new PEN E-PL7®, an interchangeable-lens camera in a portable, compact and lightweight body, with a premium design. Featuring a new 180-degree downward flip touch LCD, Selfie-dedicated mode and built-in Wi-Fi®, combined with the enhanced Olympus Image Share app (OI.ShareTM), the PEN E-PL7 gives users the power to easily upload and share images instantly using their mobile devices.

Outstanding Image Quality

The Olympus PEN E-PL7 features much of the same technology as Olympus’s award-winning OM-D® line of cameras for a level of performance that rivals that of high-end interchangeable-lens cameras. The TruePic VII image processor combines with a 16.05 megapixel Live MOS sensor and M.ZUIKO® lenses to deliver beautiful image quality with high resolution, superior color reproduction and high sensitivity, all in a portable, compact and lightweight body, with the same high-level design and build quality of the PEN flagship, the E-P5.

The in-body 3-axis VCM image stabilization system is derived from the Olympus OM-D E-M10®. This powerful technology compensates for horizontal and vertical angular shifts (yam and pitch) as well as camera shake along the optical axis (roll) which is especially common in one-handed shooting scenarios.

With the in-body image stabilization mechanism, camera shake can be prevented with any lens, allowing users to take beautiful, dynamic images, all the time.


The on-board FAST AF is Olympus’s fastest-ever AF system and uses 81 points that cover the whole image. Small AF Target and Super Spot AF modes make it possible to zoom in and focus accurately on small sections of the frame. The E-PL7 is also capable of capturing high-speed action with 8fps sequential shooting, the fast processor supports continuous capture of up to 20 RAW frames or an unlimited number of JPEG frames, and the Continuous Auto Focus with Tracking mode accurately tracks and captures moving subject as fast as 3.5 fps.

One-Touch Self Portraits

The 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot high-definition touch LCD monitor automatically turns into a mirror display and activates into its “Selfie Mode” when tilted downward in the 180-degree position, perfect for one-touch selfies. The shutter-release button appears on the screen so subjects can frame the image appropriately, shooting one second after the button is touched, and capturing beautiful selfies that could not have been captured with a smart phone alone. Selfie interval shooting provides a fun way to capture images with a custom self-timer switching button that defaults to deliver three shots at one second intervals, giving subjects time to strike different poses. When an electronic zoom lens is attached, the zoom automatically adjusts to the wide-angle position so that the user can quickly take their shot, incorporating the background as well.

The E-PL7, paired with the bundled external flash, helps users take beautiful selfies against nighttime backgrounds, and e-Portrait can be activated with a single touch for more beautiful skin textures. iAuto has also been enhanced with selfies in mind: Portrait settings have been added to common scene modes to automatically detect 42 types of scenes to match the subject and optimize for the ideal image.

Easy Smart Phone Connection

The Olympus PEN E-PL7 includes built-in Wi-Fi, and connecting to a smart phone is simple. Using the Olympus Image Share app, along with a smart phone, and quickly scanning the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD, the smart phone syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. OI.Share shooting functions have evolved, making it possible to easily operate the custom self-timer for sequential and selfie interval shooting. Live View can be displayed on the smart phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smart phone display as if it were the camera itself, then users can send selected images to their smart device for immediate sharing on social media sites.

Expanded OI.Share Capability

OI.Share has been enhanced with a number of remote shooting functions to expand the use of a variety of selfie options. Settings for single, sequential high and sequential low switching button, as well as controls for the timer bar and interval shooting, can all be easily accessed remotely on the user’s smart phone. A new movie button lets you quickly record a movie at customized settings, including customized time length for each movie clip. Live Bulb has been added to OI.Share, allowing users the ability to control and monitor the bulb photography process on a smart phone while the shutter is released. Images can also be geotagged through the OI.Share App, giving users a record of all of their adventures.

Camera Creativity

The PEN E-PL7 is equipped with several new creative features, including two new Art Filters. The “Vintage” art filter transfers everyday images into a photo that looks to have withstood the test of time, and “Partial Color“ enables users to utilize an intuitive color ring to leave certain colors in an image while other colors are converted to monochrome to emphasize specific parts of a photo or subjects (18 colors are available). “Shade Effect“ is a new art effect that adds bands of shadows on the left and right, or top and bottom of the image. Photo Story has also been expanded to include Layout mode for a photo album-style arrangement. „Panning“ is a new scene mode that matches the E-PL7’s movement to the subjects so users can track it for the optimal panning effect. And finally, a new movie effect, “Old Film Effect," records video to look like old movies shot on film by adding noise, scratches and dust effects.

For photographers who prefer composing their shots using an eyepiece, the E-PL7 is compatible with the optional high-definition VF-4 viewfinder that provides an impressive 1.48X magnification, a 2.36 million dot LCD, eye-detect to turn it on at the right time, and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions.

New Micro Four Thirds® Lens and Accessories

Olympus is also introducing a black version of its popular M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12mm F2.0 lens. This high- speed, single-focal-length, wide-angle lens, which was previously only available in silver, is ideal foe shooting high-quality, dramatic landscapes and street scenes in low-light conditions. It has a beautiful full-metal body and a snap ring that enables photographers to pan focus with a distance indicator.

A genuine leather body jacket made especially for the OLYMPUS PEN E-PL7, the CS-45B, will also cover the camera's grip. In addition to the utility of protecting the camera body from damage, it also offers a robust feel, thanks to the luxuriousness and craftsmanship that comes with the use of genuine leather.

The jacket is available in light brown, brown, and black, and matches the new Genuine Leather Lens Cover LS-60.5GL (compatible with the M.Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ lens) and is a great complement to the Genuine Leather Neck Strap CSS-S109LLII, which is already available. The special snap buttons are used to attach the jacket to the body, making the jacket smooth and easy to remove. The jacket can also be quickly removed when you want to use a tripod or insert or remove batteries or an SD card. You can also take selfies even with the jacket attached.

A waterproofing case optimized for the OLYMPUS PEN E-PL7, the PT-EP12, rated to handle water pressure down to 45m. works with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ, M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0, M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8, M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f1.8, and M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8.

Compatible with the external flash bundled with the E-PL7, you'll be ready for underwater photography with the PT-EP12. You can also now switch to underwater mode using the arrow pad, allowing you to concentrate on taking photos stress-free even underwater. An even greater variety of underwater photos can be taken if you use the Underwater Macro Converter PTMC-01 or the Underwater Wide Converter

PTWC-01, both of which can be attached directly. A brand new dedicated underwater flash, the UFL-3, operates with high-performance, is compact and reaches a guide number of GN22. With a charging time of approximately two seconds, this flash is pressure resistant to water at a depth of 75m. It’s compatible with the wireless flash controller and is bundled with a dedicated diffuser. This is a next-generation all-in-
one underwater photography system that condenses all of the options needed for underwater shooting in a compact body.

A new lithium-ion battery BLS-50 with increased capacity, from 1150 mAh (BLS-5) to 1210 mAh (BLS-50), replaces the BLS-5. The BLS-50 is the same shape as the BLS-5 and can be used in Olympus models that support it.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus PEN E-PL7 will be available in late September 2014 in the following configurations:

Estimated Street Price

$699.99 Body in Black or Silver with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens

$599.99 Body only in Black or Silver

Lens Pricing

$799.99 M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12mm f2.0 lens in Black

Accessory Pricing

$59.99 Body Jacket (Available in October)

$44.99 Leather Lens Jacket (Available in October)

$749.99 PT-EP12 Underwater Housing (Available in October)

$499.99 UFL-3 Underwater Flash (Available in October)

Olympus PEN E-PL7 Mirrorless Camera
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Olympus PEN E-PL7

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It's getting tougher and tougher to find a seat on the baseline of a pro basketball game

For many sports fan photographers, sitting on the floor and shooting an NBA game is a dream assignment. But, now there will be even fewer opportunities to do it with a new policy put in place by the league. According to an official statement, the number will be down a bit from this season, but a lot from 2010-2011 season.

"Only 20 camera positions, 10 on each baseline, will remain, down from 24 last season and 40 during the 2010-11 regular season. Each baseline can have six photo spots on one side of the basket and four on the other, and dance teams or other entertainers cannot be stationed along the baseline."

It's a sad thing to happen for photographers, but it's not an illogical move for the league. Just recently, star player Paul George had his leg severely broken in an awkward fall at the baseline. By moving the photographers away from the goal, they're giving the players more room to bail out if the play requires it.

From a photography standpoint, there are fewer and fewer outlets with dedicated photo staffs, which means many of the outlets will simply be picking up photos from one of the big agencies that will still be on the floor in the more coveted spots.

Ultimately, this decision won't have much of an impact on most of us. The spots were already very difficult to get and, if you didn't have a hard assignment from a notable news source, you weren't likely to have the opportunity anyway. Plus, maybe this will encourage venues and photographers to get even more creative with their shooting angles.

There are still a lot of opportunities at the college level, though. Here are some tips for getting a shot below the pro level.

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Dropbox Pro $10 for 1 TB

Lots of storage and some improved functionality make this seem like a great deal

There's no shortage of places to stick your photos online, but Dropbox is a particularly handy service if you need to deliver lots of images to clients or other people. Now, they're revamping their Dropbox Pro program, adding storage and functionality while making the whole thing cheaper.

Dropbox Pro will set you back $10 per month, but for that price you get a full terabyte of storage. That puts it at the same pricepoint offered by data mega-giant, Google. In addition to the upgraded storage, you can now add passwords to shared links, add expiration dates to shared link, make folders "view-only," and remotely delete Dropbox folders from devices that may have been stolen or misplaced.

It still does all the typical Dropbox basic stuff as well, like automatically syncing photos and videos from your phone, and organizing your images into simple galleries.

Personally, I use (and pay for without being reimbursed) both Google Drive and Dropbox, but I typically find Dropbox to be a little simpler for the people to whom I'm sending photos. I also like the extra functionality, so now that the storage is the same, I'll re-evaluate a little.

What sharing service are you currently using?

Dropbox Pro $10 for 1 TB
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Dropbox Pro $10 for 1 TB

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Instagram Hyperlapse App

Using a smartphone's built-in gyroscope, Instagram's new app creates smooth time lapse videos

If you haven't heard the phrase "hyperlapse" over the past couple weeks, you should probably get used to it, because it's one of the hottest things happening in smartphone photography at the moment. Today, Instagram is launching their Hyperlapse technology, which uses the smartphones internal gyroscope to measure its movements and then uses that data to smooth out video captured during that time frame. Then, the video is sped up to condense the passage of time into a short time-lapse video dubbed a hyper lapse.

This isn't an entirely new concept. Just a few weeks back, Microsoft showed off their hyper lapse technology, though, they used a lot more than a smartphone to make it happen. There's also a similar feature baked into the new camera app in Apple's updated iOS software.

But, right now, Instagram is the 400 pound gorilla in the social photography world, so many eyes are on them to see if they can get the concept to catch on.

It's a concept that makes a lot of sense for their platform. After all, cramming any real meaning into a 15-second video in the Instagram app is tricky, so speeding it up by 2x-10x gives you a lot more leeway for capturing things full events whether they're exciting or mundane.

It will be interesting to see if these hyper lapse videos stick around or if they're simply a product of a platform that won't necessarily be around forever.

Wired has an interesting interview with the developers that also provides a little technical info into the app itself. What do you think? Do you have any interest in fast-motion video of your life?

Instagram Hyperlapse App
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Instagram Hyperlapse App

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Yaroslav Kolchin gets busted while �rooftopping� a New York City landmark

A 24-year-old Russian man was arrested Sunday afternoon after climbing a suspension cable on the Brooklyn Bridge to take a few photographs with his iPhone. Yaroslav Kolchin was charged with reckless endangerment, trespassing and disorderly conduct for his stunt, which he told an arresting officer he did “for fun.”

Hopefully the shots he snagged while he was up there are worth his $5,000 bail and confiscated passport.

Kolchin was seen by a police officer on his ascent of the cable, who called in helicopters and police boats for assistance. Video footage released by the NYPD shows Kolchin being surrounded by officers as he walked down the cable.

It appears this isn’t Kolchin’s first foray into rooftopping—his Facebook account features a picture of him balancing near the edge of the Grand Canyon. Kolchin's Sunday stunt is a reminder that while climbing to the top of tall structures certainly leads to some epic, vertigo-inducing pictures, it is quite often illegal and dangerous.

Kolchin will be back in court on Friday.

Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


Yaroslav Kolchin is arrested after scaling New York City landmark to take photographs.

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An odd occurrence has people wondering what happened to Google's photo finding service

By now, you know that doing a Google Image Search can be something of a gamble. Sometimes you get what you're looking for and other times you get, well, pretty much anything. This morning, however, things got even more interesting when a rather large number of users started reporting that their search results were turning up tons of images of a Russian car crash, no matter what the search terms were.

The bug has been reported across a variety of social media and news sites, but Google has yet to comment on why it was happening.

Some people wonder if the service has been hacked or if someone figured out a way to manipulate the results that show up on the page. While Google Image Search can often be a source of frustration for photographers (it's a common method for others to pull down images that they don't own and have no interest in licensing), but it does play an important part of the Google algorithm when it comes to figuring out things like site search placement.

Have any of you hit the bug? Did you see the Russian car accident or something else?

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Fujifilm X30 Advanced Compact Camera With Electronic Viewfinder

A new electronic viewfinder and a tilting screen give this advanced compact new appeal

Photokina 2014 is going to be an interesting year for compact cameras. The show is typically a big coming out party for new models, but with the smartphone onslaught growing ever-stronger, I'm expecting to see a smaller pool of more powerful little cameras trying to make a stand. Fujifilm's new X30 advanced compact camera suggests that might be the case.

The X30 uses a 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS sensor, which is bigger than you'll find in many other compacts, but still considerably smaller than the APS-C chip you'll find in its big sibling, the X100s. The lens also remains mostly unchanged, keeping its 4x zoom range, but adding a new control ring to handle common functions like changing aperture or ISO.

One of the biggest upgrades is the new viewfinder. The optical viewfinder on the X20 was nice, but it's ultimate utility was somewhat questionable. Now, however, Fujifilm is leveraging its excellent EVF technology, giving the X30 a 2.36-million dot OLED viewfinder. That's a considerable upgrade if you're a fan of eye-level shooting. If you prefer your camera at arm's length, they have made some upgrades there as well. The LCD now tilts up and down so you can use it at waist level (something street shooters will surely appreciate) and has considerably more resolution at 920k.

Overall, the X30 isn't a revolutionary change from the X20, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The changes that have been made are ones that fans of the line have likely been asking them for. And Fujifilm has done a pretty excellent job listening to their users when it comes to developing their cameras.

The camera will be available at the end of September for a familiar price of $599. That keeps the price of the line fairly steady, while adding a lot of new technology in the viewfinder.

We should get a chance to check out the new camera at Photokina 2014 in a few weeks, or possibly even sooner, so keep an eye out for impressions. Full press release is below:

FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X30, a premium compact, fixed lens camera aimed at enthusiast and professional photographers. The FUJIFILM X30 has an all new Real Time Viewfinder and innovative dual manual control rings for composing and taking pictures quickly and easily.

The FUJIFILM X30 gives enthusiast and professional photographers a vast array of new features, and delivers the same award-winning image quality and design that the FUJIFILM X Series is known for around the world. The new X30 features a Real Time Viewfinder – which is the largest, brightest, fastest and highest resolving viewfinder in its class*1

X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and a new ‘Classic Chrome’ film simulation mode that delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction for beautifully dramatic images.

The X30 also includes a large tilting 3.0” 920K-dot premium clear LCD monitor, increased battery performance, and a strong, yet lightweight, die-cast magnesium alloy body that is superbly designed to add a real sense of style and elegance to the camera.

The new FUJIFILM X30 uses an innovative Real Time Viewfinder with a large magnification of and a display lag time of just 0.005*3 its class. It offers a clear, high-definition Live View with a new 2.36M-dot organic EL viewfinder and dedicated lens that improves visibility by automatically controlling the viewfinder’s brightness according to the ambient light levels. The Live View display can also be set to reflect shooting conditions, or offer a natural view close to what is seen with the naked eye, while the viewfinder’s eye sensor automatically switches the visible information when the camera is positioned vertically or horizontally.

The FUJIFILM X30 uses the award-winning X-Trans CMOS II sensor with phase-detection AF and the EXR Processor II to give photographers high-speed performance, amazing resolution and low noise for extraordinary images. The X30’s phase-detection system focuses in just 0.06*4 seconds, has a startup time of 0.5 seconds*5

High precision F2.0-2.8 4x manual barrel zoom lens The FUJIFILM X30’s lens is made up of 11 glass elements in nine groups, including three aspherical lens elements and two ED lens elements. The result is an ultra-bright lens with a wide-angle maximum aperture of f/2.0 and telephoto maximum aperture of f/2.8 for beautiful, high resolution images. Additionally, the X30’s lens incorporates seven diaphragm blades for stunningly soft ‘bokeh’ to make your subject stand out from the background.

The X30 has an optical 4x manual zoom lens that allows quick and precise control over composition. The X30 also has a unique image stabilization mechanism that shifts five lens elements to compensate for camera shake by up to four stops*6 stabilization system also effectively prevents motion blur while stopping vignetting and loss of image resolution that usually results from shake compensation.

The new FUJIFILM X30 now includes two rings on the lens: a manual zoom ring and control ring. The control ring is positioned behind the manual zoom control and allows the immediate change of aperture and shutter speed settings while fine-tuning image composition. Functions
such as ISO sensitivity, film simulation, white balance and continuous shooting can be assigned by pushing the control ring setting button at the front. Two top-plate dials and six function buttons positioned on the back of the body also offer faster access to regularly-used features for

New “Classic Chrome” film simulation

Fujifilm’s unprecedented image quality has been cultivated through the development of photographic films over the past 80 years and helps to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green trees, just as photographers remember the scene. The X30 features the new ‘Classic Chrome’ film simulation mode, which delivers muted tones and deep color reproduction. Users can also choose from eleven different modes that simulate the effects of traditional Fujifilm films. These include color reversal film effects (Velvia / PROVIA /ASTIA/CLASSIC CHROME), professional color negative film (PRO Neg.Std / PRO Neg.Hi), monochrome filters (MONOCHROME, Ye filter, R filter and G filter) and SEPIA.

• 12MP 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II sensor

• NEW Real Time Viewfinder with 0.005 second lag time, 0.65 magnification and 2.36M

• Intelligent Hybrid AF in 0.06 seconds

• Fast start-up time of 0.5 seconds

• Shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds

• High speed continuous shooting of 12fps (11 frames continuously in JPEG at full

• FUJINON F2.0-2.8 lens 4x manual zoom lens with HT-EBC coating

• NEW Tilting 3.0” Premium Clear LCD (920k dots)

• NEW ‘Classic Chrome’ and other film simulation modes

• NEW Long lasting battery with approximately 470 photos per charge. Charges using

supplied micro USB cable

• Pop-up Super Intelligent Flash

• Super Macro mode to .039”

• “Q” button for frequently used menu items

• Full HD video 1080p at 60fps; bit rate of 36Mbps for clear capture of delicate

• Manual focus available during video recording*7

• Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote application and Wireless Communication function allows users to remotely shoot images from smartphones and tablets

• Output for Stereo Microphone

• Interval timer shooting (1 second to 24 hours up to 999 frames)

• Leather case LC-X30 - made of premium genuine leather.

• Lens Hood and Protector Filter LHF-X30 - protective filter with Super EBC multi-layer coating technology. Available in black or silver. The dedicated lens hood features slits to ensure a full angle of view for the viewfinder.

• Shoe Mount Flash - three types of FUJIFILM external flash, capable of high-precision TTL auto flash control: EF-20 and EF-X30 with the guide number 20, and EF-42 with the

• External stereo microphone MIC-ST1 - for recording real sound with impact to go with premium-quality images and Full HD movie.

The FUJIFILM X30 will be available in late September 2014 for $599.95.

*1: Fujifilm research as of August 2014. Compared with other compact zoom digital cameras,

*2: Market leading viewfinder magnification ratio. Approx. 0.65x magnification 50mm (35mm

format equivalent) at infinity and diopter set to -1.0 m-1.

*3: Fujifilm research as of August 2014.

*4: Fujifilm research as of August 2014. Compared with other digital cameras equipped with 2/3”

sensor or larger, based on CIPA standards, and conducted in High Performance mode.

*5: Quick Start and High Performance mode.

*7: Aperture and shutter speed can be changed during shooting. Only shutter speeds faster

than the set frame rate can be set.

Fujifilm X30 Advanced Compact Camera With Electronic Viewfinder
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Fujifilm X30 Advanced Compact Camera With Electronic Viewfinder

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The rapper reportedly posted a photo for his 4 million followers without attribution from the popular account of LA-based @cole_younger_.

Update, 8/27/2014: @cole_youner_ responded with a comment: “It upsets me because I have such a passion for my work,” the photographer tells Pop Photo in an email, pointing out a similar incident from one week ago when Snoop Dogg also used one of his images on Instagram without attribution. “I consider both of them very creative and you think they both would have more insight on the lack of courtesy to give me my due.”

Last night, a photo by photographer @cole_younger_ showed up on the Instagram account belonging to rapper and media mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs (@iamdiddy). Sadly, what wasn't included was proper attribution.

Combs captioned the image in question, a stunning, digitally enhanced eclipse hanging over the LA skyline, with the hashtag “#diddyView,” but had not attributed the photographer who claims the rights to the image on his own feed where it was first published two weeks ago.

Combs’ post, which is lower resolution than the original and bears the telltale sign of a hasty screengrab and crop — a few-pixel-wide white line along the bottom of the image has garnered over 46,000 likes and hundreds of comments, many of them calling him out for the alleged infraction of intellectual property rights and the app’s terms of service.

Combs has not yet responded, removed or offered to attribute the image, but he has shared several posts with his nearly 4 million followers since the incident, including two straight advertisements for his mid-shelf pineapple-flavored vodka sponsor revealing the account as largely another marketing arm of his commercial brand.

Neither party has responded to a request for comment from Pop Photo at the time of this writing.

Diddy Instagram
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Diddy Instagram

Sean "Diddy" Combs' Instagram post of a photograph he allegedly copied from the account of @cole_younger_ and published without attribution.

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Photo by Satoshi

Nikon updates its high-res full framer

When Nikon first introduced the D800, most everyone was wowed by its 36.3-megapixel imaging sensor. But it seems that a substantial number of shooters also complained that the files were just too large. Nikon has addressed this, and made a handful of other improvements, with the new D810 ($3,297 street, body only).

The file size issue was resolved with the addition of sRAW, which limits you to 12-bit color depth and reduces the pixel count to 3680x2456 from 7360x4912. Some people might question why you’d buy an expensive camera like the D810 just to throw away so many of the pixels you paid so much money to have at your disposal. But for situations such as stop-motion animation, it might make sense to choose a smaller file size while maintaining the versatility in postprocessing that comes with RAW capture.

Some of the other changes, such as the ability to dip down to an equivalent of ISO 32, will likely be a big help to videographers while also opening up some doors for still shooters. How did the D810 fare in our lab and field tests? Let’s take a look.

In the Test Lab

With the D810’s many pixels comes the potential for massive resolving power. As the D800 did, the new camera delivers on this potential, easily earning an Excellent rating in our resolution test with a maximum of 3525 lines per picture height, beating the D800’s result of 3510 lines. At no point did the D810 dip below the Excellent rating cutoff of 2500 lines in this test.

Noise, too, showed very impressive results, maintaining top honors of an Extremely Low rating from its bottom sensitivity of ISO 32 all the way up to ISO 400. Furthermore, the D810 earned a Low or better rating up to ISO 1600. That’s a one-stop improvement over the D800’s result of Low or better noise up to ISO 800. But it still doesn’t come close to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s ability to hold noise to Low or better up to ISO 12,800.

However, the Canon can’t match the D810’s resolving power. The 5D Mark III topped out at 2750 lines in our test and fell to 2520 lines at ISO 12,800, at which point the D810 still was able to resolve 3175 lines. You’re forced to ask yourself which you want more—the D810’s extensive resolving power or the 5D Mark III’s low noise. We can’t make that choice for you, but we can say that the fine details the D810 is able to capture look wonderful, while the Canon’s low noise brings with it a lot of versatility for ambient-light photography.

In our color accuracy test, the D810 scored an Excellent rating with an average Delta E of 6.6. This score, along with its resolution and noise ratings, earn the D810 an Excellent rating in overall image quality from ISO 32 through ISO 1600.

Autofocus nearly matched what we saw from the D800, which is to say that it’s fast but not record-breaking. The camera was able to lock focus and capture an image in less than one second at EV 0 and brighter. Darker conditions saw the system become less consistent, with results slightly longer than a second.

While we process our test files with ViewNX, Nikon has just released Capture NX-D for free. A drastically revamped version of their Capture NX software, NX-D has a pleasing interface and is worth exploring. We think that Lightroom users will find Capture NX-D attractive and look forward to exploring it further in the future.

In the Field

The design of the D810’s body is essentially the same as the D800’s. The grip feels very comfortable in the hand, dual command wheels make manual shooting a comfortable affair, and a slew of seals help keep dust and moisture at bay. Dual memory card slots let you use either CompactFlash or SD cards, or both simultaneously. When doing so, you can have the camera mirror the two cards, send JPEGs to one and RAW to the other, or just move on to the second card after the first fills up.

Among the refinements Nikon has built into the D810 is a revamp of the camera’s sequencer and mirror balancer. The result is less vibration
from mirror slap when you trigger the shutter. While this might sound like a subtle thing, the decrease in vibration is noticeable. We found the experience of tripping the shutter less jarring, and over the course of a day’s shooting it left us a little less tense than we might otherwise have been. Sometimes small improvements like this can become very meaningful.

Another tiny push in the right direction is the extra frame per second in burst mode. Going to the D810’s 5 fps from the D800’s 4 fps puts the camera at our suggested minimum burst speed for sports shooting. So if you’re an advanced amateur wondering if the D810 would be OK for documenting your kid’s burgeoning field hockey prowess, you can keep this camera on your short list. Professional sports shooters will still likely want to opt for faster firepower, but it’s encouraging to see a camera with such a large pixel count be able to crank through 23 full-sized, 14-bit, uncompressed RAW frames at 5 fps before the buffer fills. You can bump that frame count up to 100—possibly more if you opt to shoot Large, Fine JPEGs instead. Nikon has also said that its engineers have improved the AF algorithm, and in our field tests the D810 did a fine job of keeping up with moving subjects when used in its 3D tracking mode.

While it still doesn’t tilt or swivel, the 3.2-inch LCD screen on the D810 increased in resolution, to 1.229 million dots from the D800’s 921,000 dots. We were impressed with the detail shown on the screen; the lettering in the menus and info displays continue to look nicer.

Video from the D810 remains among the best you’ll get from a DSLR, and all the options that made the D800 so popular in this area remain intact. Nikon added a stereo microphone to make nicer scratch tracks for your moving pictures or for those situations where you don’t feel the need to use an external audio recording device.

You probably won’t have to use as many, or as strong, neutral-density filters with the D810, thanks to Nikon’s having reduced the bottom sensitivity setting to an equivalent of ISO 32. This alone could make current D800 owners want to upgrade to the D810 if they shoot a lot of video. It might also help still shooters capture motion blur in overly bright situations.

While we didn’t encounter any unusual “bright spots” in images we captured during field testing, as this issue was going to press Nikon published a technical service advisory about such an issue occuring in some D810 units. According to Nikon, “some noise (bright spots) may on occasion be noticeable when shooting long exposures, and in images captured at an image area setting of 1.2X.”

Nikon is offering free service to correct this issue for any cameras affected. The company is also servicing all such cameras that have not yet gone to stores prior to shipment. To see if your camera is among those affected, you can go to support.nikonusa.com/app/D810/sn and enter your camera’s serial number. After the D600’s problem with oil spots on the sensor, this isn’t encouraging news. But it is nice that Nikon has moved quickly to resolve this issue.

The Bottom Line

The D810 smoothly takes up the mantle as Nikon’s rugged, high-resolution, relatively affordable full-frame body of the moment. As was the case with the D800, no current cameras make for an apples-to-apples comparison. Sony’s A7R matches the D810 in pixel count, but it has a radically different form that necessitates a drastically slower burst rate that makes it more suited for a different style of shooting.

Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III currently costs slightly more than this Nikon and doesn’t serve up the extreme resolving power of the D810. The Canon still can’t be dismissed, though, as it delivers plenty of detail and lower noise at higher ISOs. Many photographers will find that the 5D Mark III delivers as much detail as they need. At the same time, some medium-format shooters might be attracted to the D810 as a second camera that more closely matches the amount of detail they’re used to from the larger format.

One thing is for certain—if you’re able to spend a little bit more than $3,000 on a DSLR body, you won’t regret buying the Nikon D810.


IMAGING: 36.3MP effective, full-frame CMOS sensor captures images at 7360x4912 pixels with 14 bits per color in RAW mode

STORAGE: Compact Flash and SD/SDHC/SDXC slots store JPEG, TIFF, NEF RAW, and RAW + JPEG files

BURST RATE: Full-size JPEGs (Fine mode), up to 100 shots at 5 fps; RAW (14-bit), up to 23 shots at 5 fps

AF SYSTEM: TTL phase detection with 51 focus points (15 cross-type in center, 11 f/8 sensors); single-shot and continuous AF with subject tracking; effective range, EV –2–19

SHUTTER SPEEDS: 1/8000 to 30 sec, plus B (1/3-EV increments); shutter rated to 200,000 cycles

METERING: TTL metering with 91,000-pixel RGB sensor with Matrix (evaluative), centerweighted, spot (about 1.5% of frame around selected AF point); EV 0–20 (ISO 100)

ISO RANGE: Standard, ISO 64–12,800 (in 1-, 1/2- or 1/3-EV increments); Expanded, ISO 32–51,200

VIDEO: Records at up to 1920x1080 at up to 60 fps in H.264 MOV; built-in stereo microphone; stereo minijack input; maximum clip length 29 min 59 sec when recording to memory card; clean, uncompressed HDMI out for saving to external recorder

FLASH: Built-in pop-up; GN 39 (feet); i-TTL compatible with wireless control of accessory flashes; flash sync to 1/250 sec

VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level pentaprism

MONITOR: Fixed 3.2-inch LCD with 1,228,800-dot resolution; 11-step brightness adjustment

OUTPUT: USB 3.0, mini HDMI video, composite video, minijack stereo headphone

BATTERY: Rechargeable EN-EL 15 Li-ion, CIPA rating 1200 shots

SIZE/WEIGHT: 5.8x4.9x3.3 in., 2.1 lbs with a card and battery

STREET PRICE: $3,297, body only

INFO: www.nikonusa.com

VIEWFINDER ACCURACY: 100% (Excellent); Magnification, 0.70X (Very Good

Photo by: Satoshi


The Nikon D810 has a 36.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, 1920x1080p60 video capture, 5 fps bursts, 3.2-inch and a 1.23-million-dot LCD screen for $3,297 street, body only

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GoPro Fetch Action Camera Mount for Dogs

Get a dog's eye view

We have seen some truly awesome videos that result from animals sporting action cameras, but now there's an official way to get a GoPro camera onto your dog. The Fetch Dog Harness is built very similarly to their Chesty mount for humans, only it's meant to ride on the back of your canine pal.

It's made to fit dogs from 15 to 120 pounds by using soft, stretchy, padded material to hold it in place. It uses typical quick-release plates for attaching the camera, but also allows you to tether it to the harness in case your dog manages to shake it free.

It can be mounted either on the dogs back or in front of them on their chest, depending on what point-of-view you're trying to achieve with your video.

Sony has actually offered a smilar mount for their action cameras for a while now and it really is a great idea, especially since so many people have been rigging up mounts of their own. The Fetch is currently available on the GoPro site for $60.

GoPro Fetch Action Camera Mount for Dogs
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

GoPro Fetch Dog Mount

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Ten tips for getting the most out of your first photo class

There are a ton of great photography learning resources online, but taking a class can be a terrific way to make big leaps in your skill level. Whether you're taking a casual class at the local high school or getting serious about photography at your university, there are some ways to make the most of your experience. We polled some photography teachers about what students can do before and during the class to get the most out of the experience.

1. Photography Involves Math: You won’t need to know trigonometry, but making photographs does involve some mathematical thinking. Be prepared to start thinking in fractions to nail your exposure times. Photography, as a process, is a mixture of both science and art, so don't let the numbers discourage you. It's one thing to have a vision, but it won't get you anywhere without the technical knowledge needed to execute it.

2. There is a Learning Curve: It’s highly unlikely that you will pick up a camera and start making beautiful images immediately. Like everything else, practice makes perfect. “If you don’t practice it shows,” says Tricia Gill, Photography teacher at Conway High School in Arkansas. One of the great benefits of digital photography is that you can make as many mistakes as you need without having to pay for the film. And when you do practice, make sure to have a purpose. Simply pressing the button on your camera many times isn't going to give you the skills you need.

3. The Name and Work of At Least One Photographer: Familiarizing yourself with the work of those who came before you can help inspire your own work. Find people whose work appeals to you and your teacher may be able to help you find more photographers to check out. Building a personal photographic context can shape your influences as you develop your own style.

4. Where Your Camera Manual is, Hopefully Not in the Trash: Yes, it’s incredibly thick and reading it cover to cover is a slog, but your camera’s manual can go a long way in helping you troubleshoot your technology. Your instructor likely won't have the time to help you figure out exactly how the different focus modes work on your specific camera, because it takes time away from the rest of the class. Knowing how your equipment works (or at least knowing where the manual lives online) can help.

5. Listen a lot more than you talk. Respect your instructor and remember that you're there to learn form their experience. The instructor usually has a plan for the class and getting ahead or trying to "teach" the other students can get in the way of that. Coming to class with an open mind you’ll milk a lot more from your teachers than if you are trying to show off how much you already know.

6. Embrace Technology: Technology has changed rapidly in the photo world, which in many cases means the way some photo classes are taught has also changed. “Older students want photo to be the same that it was in the golden age of the ‘60s and ‘70s and it’s not,” says John Smock, Photojournalism Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. “I think instagram is exciting, embrace that stuff, don’t just think of it as less than.”

7. Photo isn’t an “Easy A”: Photography isn’t a blow off class. You should dedicate as much effort toward it as you would other academics. Photo teachers expect the same amount of work from you as a History, English or Math teacher does. “I can’t grade creativity because it’s subjective,” says Adam Dorobiala, Adjunct Photography Faculty member at Salt Lake Community College. “Showing me that you take you work seriously and treating your schooling like a real job, might get [you] that ‘A’ they so desperately want.”

8. It’s Great to Go Beyond the Assignment: When you are first learning, you’ll probably need to overshoot your assignments. If you are taking a traditional darkroom class and a teacher asks for four final images you should expect to shoot at least two rolls of film. If you aren’t happy with the results you should keep shooting. If you aren’t pushing yourself with your work you won’t be learning anything new.

9. Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes: It can be devastating when you destroy a roll of film in the darkroom or manage to accidentally expose in the field, but everyone has been there. Making mistakes while you are learning is to be expected. A mistake can be the best teacher you could ask for because it's a lesson you're not likely to forget.

10. Experiment: You will learn a ton if you mix up the way you are making your images. Change your perspective by laying on the ground or standing on something to shoot from above, walk around your subject and always remember Robert Capa’s advice: “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

photo class
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

photo class

Photo: Jeanette D. Moses

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Beam an image up, and get back a stellar version

SpaceBooth is a Belgian company that plans to launch its own tiny, tiny satellite photo booth by the end of the year—giving you a chance to get a portrait with the stars, Moon, or Earth behind your head. And all for free.

The way it would work is incredibly simple. You upload an image with the SpaceBooth app (jpeg or png, 2MB or smaller), and it gets compressed at sent up to the satellite. Once there, it's projected onto an outward facing window, and the SpaceBooth captures a photograph of your image, with the magnificence of space behind you, and sends it back down to you in VGA resolution.

The plan is to put the pico satellite into orbit by the end of the year, where it'll circle the planet at 321km height (around 200 miles). The satellite itself is described as a tube with 16 sides, with a transparent front end—and it'll be a bit larger than a smartphone.

Since the satellite is so small and simple, there's no control of what direction it's facing—so what the background on your image will be is up to the luck of the draw. If the satellite is in a spin, it might even be a blurry mess. You're also only allowed one upload, in order to conserve precious bandwidth.

Assuming the SpaceBooth actually launches without a hitch, even with all those caveats it should be a pretty neat project, and one that we can't wait to see come to fruition. Because even if the images end up looking horrible, they're still a lot more interesting than most others.

[via DIYPhotography]

Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


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Hasselblad H5D-200c Medium Format Digital Camera

How do 600 MB Tiff files sound?

The trend in medium-format digital photography at the moment is the switch from CCD sensors to CMOS. Hasselblad is continuing in that direction, but now they're offering their Multi-Shot technology on their newest sensor, making it capable of churning out photos at up to 200-megapixels.

Designed for studio, product, and still-life photographers (for whom medium format cameras are the norm), the H5D 200c actually achieves its massive file size in a clever way. Here's the official explanation from Hasselblad:

Hasselblad Multi-Shot cameras use a 50 megapixel sensor mounted onto our patented symmetrical multi-shot frame, which positions the sensor with extreme accuracy, using piezoelectrical actuators. The camera then captures 4 or 6 shots, by moving the sensor 1 and 1/2 pixel at the time, to create a 50 or 200 megapixel capture.

So, rather than taking a single 50-megapixel shot, the camera actually takes several slightly different shots, then mashes them together to get maximum detail and color accuracy. They also say that the process helps get rid of other photographic detractors, like moire.

A six-shot image will produce a Tiff file that takes up roughly 600 MB for each image. The way it works is actually pretty clever. When the sensor moves over by a pixel, each pixel is now under a different color filter in the Bayer array. So, with each shot, each pixel is picking up specific color information about a scene. Because of this, the camera doesn't need to interpolate to compensate for each pixel only recording one color. In a way, it's similar to how Sigma's Foveon sensor records data for each color at the same time.

Practically speaking, almost none of us will ever buy one of these. They typically cost about as much as a very nice car (The H4D version was roughly $45,000), so even the high-end pros typically rent them.

Still, it's nice to see Hasselblad working hard to serve the people who live and die by their cameras.

Hasselblad H5D-200c Medium Format Digital Camera
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Hasselblad H5D-200c Medium Format Digital Camera

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Quickly build and share 360° panoramas

Android users have long had a major photographic feature to laud over users from other platforms: the Photo Sphere. This excellent panorama tool from Google allows you to quickly stitch together a full 360° panorama, and then share it with your friends and embed it into Google Maps. And now, it's finally come to iOS, too.

iOS users can now download a free app called Photo Sphere Camera on anything newer than an iPhone 4, and can use it to create these panoramas, and share them over Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Google is hardly the first to help you stitch together a panorama: Apple has a native sweep panorama tool, and Microsoft's Photosynth does an excellent job, too. But where the Google Photo Sphere really shines is in its integration with Google Maps. You can geotag your spheres, and share them privately with just a select few, or else upload them for the whole world to see. If there's part of your neighborhood you really love, or a sight that you want to show your friends, you can put it smack dab on a Google Map for them to see.

And if you don't see how that sounds fun, have a nose around the Google Views page to see how other people are using them.

google photo sphere
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

google photo sphere

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One of the few C-41 processing black and white films is no more

One of the most readily available black-and-white films on the market is no more. Kodak has announced that it will no longer be producing the easy to find, easier to get get processed, Professional BW400CN 35mm film. In a statement on its website, Kodak said:

Due to a steady decline in sales and customer usage, Kodak Alaris is discontinuing KODAK PROFESSIONAL BW400CN Film. Product should continue to be available in the market for up to six months, depending on demand.

We empathize with the Pro photographers and consumers who use and love this film, but given the significant minimum order quantity necessary to coat more product combined with the very small customer demand, it is a decision we have to make.

You won't find huge legions of fans defending the overall look of BW400CN film, but what it was really prized for was convenience. It is C-41 process, so any Walmart or drugstore that does color film processing was able to put the roll of film through, and get you back your black and white prints. Because of this, it was widely sold, and could be found in just about every store.

For those who don't have a dedicated camera lab near them, and aren't able to setup their own developing room, thankfully you can still purchase Ilford XP2, which is also C-41 processed.

With film use continuing to decline, it's inevitable that more and more once common films will become harder and harder to find, and eventually discontinued. So now's an excellent time to look into some other films that are worth shooting before they're gone.

Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor


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Chris Bauer Hipster Photographer

The photographic equivalent of Zoolander

There are a lot of photographers out there right now and getting noticed can be tricky. Chris Bauer, however, came up with a clever (depending on who you ask) parody marketing video that is currently getting him a ton of attention. It depicts him as "Male Photographer of the Year."

The video touches on many of the current "hipster" photography trends and even includes the phrase "grip it and rip it." It's clever, well-made and, so far, proving extremely effective.

The ultimate decider about its effectiveness, however, will be how much work it gets him as a photographer in the long run.

Chris Bauer Hipster Photographer
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

Chris Bauer Hipster Photographer

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We've come a long way since 1839

As we noted yesterday, August 19th 1839 marked an immense shift in the history of the recorded image, as the daguerrotype debuted and soon became widely available. In the following 175 years, we've seen major technological breakthroughs with impressive regularity—as well as a constant flow of more minor changes making devices we keep in our pockets would be completely astonishing. Now the folks at Lytro have pulled all those breakthroughs together into a single infographic.

Unsurprisingly, Lytro puts its own technology on this list—and, to be fair, it's pretty revolutionary stuff. It just remains to be seen if the Lytro light field photography will take off like some of the other breakthroughs that the infographic describes. This also comes just as Lytro has released a majorly overhauled mobile app.

[via FStoppers]

lytro info
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

lytro info

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Your Best Shot Photo Gallery July 2014

This month's collection of awesome reader-submitted photos

Summer is one of my favorite times for taking photos. It's warm enough to go adventuring and the sun stays up so long that you feel like you could shoot forever. July is the apex of that, which translates into a crazy good crop of photos from July's Your Best Shot contest.

As usual, the entrants cover a very wide array of subjects and styles, which is really the thing I love most about this contest. There were a ton of great star trail photos, probably because warm temperatures and clear skies make this a great time to try them (Learn how here). There are also portraits, wild life shots, street photos, and a little bit of everything else. There are even some decidedly non-summery photos (like the one posted above shot by Lewis Abulafia) from Iceland.

Once you've clicked through the gallery and are feeling inspired, head over to our Contests Page to find out how you can participate in our challenges and win great prizes while showing off your work.

Your Best Shot Photo Gallery July 2014
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

YBS July Gallery

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