News

Tiny lens turns your smartphone camera into a microscope

DP Review News - Thu, 03/04/2014 - 08:00

There is a large number of third party lens attachments for smartphones available. You can choose from fisheye, wide-angle, macro or tele lenses, or even attach an entire camera module. The Micro Phone Lens Kickstarter project is different though. It's a minuscule lens attachment made from a scratch-proof polymer that turns your smartphone or tablet into a microscope with a 150x magnification factor. Learn more

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Gianni Berengo Gardin's best shot: a Venice vaporetto in 1960

'Henri Cartier-Bresson was a god to me. He included this in his top 100 photographs ever'

Reading on mobile? See full image here

I was 30, living on the Lido in Venice, and every morning I took the vaporetto, or water bus, across to where I worked in San Marco. I always carried my Leica with me, taking photographs for my own pleasure. I love Venice in the winter the fog and the rain. This was taken one winter's morning, when all the men were off to work.

It was a matter of pure luck, really. I was doing a lot of architectural photography, and this was a spontaneous shot: I only took one picture. In the centre there is a reflection in the glass door of the vaporetto, behind which stands a man all dressed in black. If he'd been wearing white, the shot wouldn't have worked. The man looking into the camera is a sailor. He didn't object; there was no such thing as privacy in those days.

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The world's weirdest photo albums

From 1980s images of a Chinese woman with her TV to endless shots of a black dog on a black sofa, Dutch publisher Erik Kessels' collections of 'found photographs' are beautiful, surreal and unsettling.

In pictures: the world's weirdest photo albums

By any standards, Me TV is an odd photo book. It comprises eight found snapshots of a middle-aged Chinese woman standing in front of her new television set. In each, her pose is identical, right down to way the little finger of her left hand rests on the TV cabinet. Save for the fact that she is wearing a different top in each photograph, they could be the same image reproduced eight times. But, where others might see only the mundane, Erik Kessels, co-publisher of Me TV, along with Thomas Sauvin, sees something much more profound.

"From the very many images I have seen that document TVs in China in the 1980s, these are the among the best," he says. "They tell the story about how big a deal it was to have a new television in China in the 1980s. You can see how proud she is. Plus, the repeated pose is a little bit surreal. The series is both documentary and conceptual, without meaning to be either. This is the beauty of found photography."

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Ricoh to offer limited edition Pentax Q7 Premium Kit

DP Review News - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 23:25

Ricoh Imaging will soon be offering a limited edition Pentax Q7 Premium Kit. The kit includes a black Q7, four lenses (standard prime, standard zoom, tele zoom, wide zoom) plus four hoods, a polarizing filter, and a camera bag that will surely be noticed. Only 1000 kits will be available worldwide, and those in the U.S. can pick up one later this month for $1199.95.

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Legendary photographer David Goldblatt shares insights from career

DP Review News - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 20:00

Goldblatt has photographed everyone from Nelson Mandela to divorced housewives, and is especially noted for his stark portrayal of South Africa during Apartheid years. In a presentation at the 2014 Indaba Conference, Goldblatt talks about the challenge of managing the difference between his corporate work and his personal work. See video

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The fine art of Throwback Thursday: send us your old-school photos

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 17:30

Dare to share? Send your pictures using Guardian Witness for a chance to be featured on the Guardian's Instagram account

Throwback Thursday, the weekly ritual of sharing old photos under the hashtag #TBT, has risen to the top of a neverending swirl of memes, jokes and long-forgotten hashtags internet users loves to create.

This week, the @guardiannews Instagram will host a very special Throwback Thursday edition, featuring cringe-worthy (or just really old) moments from our followers archives. Do you have pictures sitting in a shoebox somewhere that still make you scratch your head or blush with shame? Why not post them on the internet?

My first serious boyfriend and I had just swapped Easter gifts - for him a pair of monogrammed cufflinks: and for me? An orange gonk! I think a "lol" might be in order!

Sent via GuardianWitness

2 April 2014, 13:04

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John Stezaker: 'cutting a photograph can feel like cutting through flesh'

The artist has made his disquieting collages in private for 40 years. Now they're exhibited in major galleries, winning prizes and a highlight of the Sydney Biennale

Collectors of cinema memorabilia have a name for anonymous actors who were photographed for publicity stills, but never actually made a film," says John Stezaker. They call them 'virgins'. When I go to collectors' fairs, it's the virgins I'm after. There is a certain melancholy attached to the faces of actors that did not make it and to images that were destined to disappear. I'm very drawn to that.

A large desk in the back room of Stezaker's house in north London is cluttered with photographs of virgins, some of which have been sliced in half diagonally or carefully cut around so that only a silhouette of the face remains. These black and white portraits of anonymous failed actors, found at fairs, flea markets and online, are one of the key sources of raw material for Stezaker's art. He collects photographs in order to deface them and, in the process, create something new and arresting.

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Sony's Xperia Z2 smartphone designed for a video generation

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 16:17

Sonys new waterproof flagship Android smartphone has a bigger screen, more powerful processor and 4K video recording with image stabilisation and augmented reality fun

Sonys new Xperia Z2 Android waterproof smartphone challenges Samsungs Galaxy S5 with a 5.2in screen and 4K video capture.

Replacing the Xperia Z1, which was released just five months ago, the Xperia Z2 fits a larger screen, shaves 0.3mm from its frame and is formed out of a solid piece of aluminum with glass front and back.

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Ypres in the first world war ... and now interactive

In the first of a new weekly series of interactive photographs for the first world war's centenary, the destruction wreaked on the Belgian city of Ypres is laid bare, as soldiers swarm on the wrecked ramparts. Today, the town is a centre of pilgrimage for families touched by the war

Photography then and now lets you leap through time by tapping or clicking on the image to reveal the modern view. You can drag or swipe to control the speed of the transformation

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Why are the nerves of empathy severed when it comes to immigration? | Jonathan Jones

That the Daily Mail can print this picture confident it will not make people want to help these men is a distortion of Britain

Men are running behind a truck, trying to jump up and grab on to it, so they can hitch an illegal lift into Britain. It's a self-evidently dangerous game. Like the "super-tramps" in Depression-era America who jumped on and off moving goods trains to get from city to city, these migrants are risking life and limb in search of a better life, or at least another place to be poor in.

Eighty years on, who fails to feel sympathy for the victims of economic and political world turmoil in the 1930s who left their homes or were driven to the adventurous lifestyle described by WH Davies in his Autobiography of a Super-Tramp? Perhaps one day these truck-jumpers will be celebrated as heroes or mourned as victims. But right now there is little compassion for those who come across a continent or a world in search of a life in Britain: no curiosity about motives, no pity for need, no recognition of potential.

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New Kids on the Block, Hitler and Bob Dylan: artists scrapbooks in pictures

Long before craftsters turned scrapbooking into a billion-dollar industry, everyone from William Burroughs to Gerhard Richter used them as tiny canvases to work on their ideas. A new exhibition, Paperwork, is devoted to these masterpieces in miniature

Paperwork: A Brief History of Artists' Scrapbooks is at the ICA in London until 11 May

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The week ahead in arts

Andrew Scott brings rock to the Royal Court, English National Ballet mark the centenary of the first world war, plus tough teenage times from Michaela Coel

Birdland
Sherlock's Andrew Scott, so brilliant in Sea Wall, is reunited with writer Simon Stephens. Scott plays a rock star at the height of his fame in a production by Carrie Cracknell. Should be mega. Royal Court, London (020-7565 5000), Thursday to 31 May.

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The weekend in pictures

This weekends selection of images around the world from same-sex marriages in UK to Land Day in Jerusalem

Categories: News

Sport picture of the day: sunrise in Sydney

An outstanding shot from the Rowing World Cup in Sydney matches the perfect symmetry of a rower's oars with the early morning sunrise reflecting on the water
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Canon launches XF205 and XF200 HD professional camcorders

DP Review News - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 14:01

Canon has introduced its new compact XF205 and XF200 professional camcorders aimed at broadcast news and wedding videographers. They come equipped with a wide-angle 26.8 mm (35mm equivalent) 20x optical zoom lens and support two recording formats - MXF, a file format used by broadcast stations, and MP4. The XF205 and XF200 will be available in mid-July for $4,400 and $3,900 respectively. Learn more

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Canon announces Cine-Servo 17-120mm and HJ18ex7.6B HD zooms

DP Review News - Wed, 02/04/2014 - 14:01

Canon has announced its new Cine-Servo 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens for shoulder-mounted application or as a traditional cinema lens. It has an ENG-style Digital Drive handgrip with zoom rocker switch and will be available in either PL- or EF-mount. Canon has also launched the HJ18ex7.6B portable HD zoom lens for broadcast news and documentary situations. Learn more

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Robert Mapplethorpe: Paris welcomes an erotic great thanks to Patti Smith

This photographer once dismissed as a shallow sensation-seeker of the 80s is getting the recognition he deserves with a show at the Grand Palais, Paris's high temple of art and it's all down to Smith

The Grand Palais in Paris is one of Europe's most serious exhibition spaces. It is where France honours its great artists. This week, it opened a big exhibition dedicated to a US artist who has often been dismissed as a shallow sensation-seeker of the 1980s. Why is Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, getting this high-level retrospective now? Does he deserve it?

The fate of artists after their deaths is often a surprise. The name on the artworld's lips may suddenly fade. Or an artist once severely criticised such as Mappethorpe may come to be recognised more and more simply as a creator of a unique kind of beauty. How this process happens can depend on a lot of things even love.

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Sport picture of the day: That's gotta hurt ...

Ice hockey is not a game for the faint-hearted and you can almost feel Travis Hamonic's pain as he becomes the filling in a Nick Bjugstad-and-solid-glass sandwich. Hamonic, however, had the last laugh as he scored in New York Islanders 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers
Categories: News

The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History review 'enthralling'

James Hall's history of self-portraits is particularly illuminating in our narcissistic age of the selfie

We live in an age of addictive self-portraiture except that the selfies who so unstoppably document the busy banality of their lives aren't really making portraits, and it's unclear whether there is a distinct individual self behind their lookalike grins. A digital camera's gaze is skin-deep, and can hardly compete with the almost surgical penetration of a painted self-portrait. Photographs are instantaneous and ephemeral; it takes time to represent the advance of sagging, wrinkled mortality, as Rembrandt does when scrutinising his own face.

The images James Hall discusses in his enthralling book are therefore exercises in self-appraisal, not self-celebrations like the happy snaps on Facebook. Unusually, Hall's history begins in the middle ages, because for him self-portraiture emerges as a reflex of Christian conscience, a homage to Christ's imprinting of his agonised face on the Turin shroud. But the imitation of Christ takes courage, and it usually ends in the artist's self-castigation. Previewing the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo actually flays himself: St Bartholomew grips the painter's empty epidermis, which has been painfully peeled off with a butcher's knife.

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Jane Bown's work in pictures

The superb photography of Jane Bown was a highlight of the Observer for decades. Here are some of her greatest shots, as well as pictures from her early life

Jane Bown: 'I was born the wrong side of the blanket. On the kitchen floor'
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