The best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this weekContinue reading...
Forty years ago saw Britain experience the hottest summer average temperature. We’d like to see your 1976 heatwave photos
The summer of 1976 saw the UK experience a heatwave, with a temperature of at least 32 degrees every day for 15 days. To celebrate what has been dubbed ‘the best summer ever’ we’d like to see your photos and hear your memories from that time.
In 1976, the average house price was £12,704. The average wage was £72 a week. A pint of milk?? cost 32p. A loaf of bread was 19p. Half the population owned a telephone, by which I mean a landline. In January, the first commercial Concorde flight had taken off. Underdogs Southampton FC had just beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final. Earlier in the year, John Curry won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. If you were British, you were a winner.Continue reading...
Readers’ favourite photographs, songs and recipes
My maternal grandfather, Theo Moss, was born in 1882 and always wanted to be a “theatrical”. Family papers show that, long before it was fashionable to do so, Theo changed his surname to Leslie, in readiness for his new profession on the boards. In his earliest surviving playbill, from 1909, he is way down the cast list in Rightful Heir at the Corn Exchange, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire.Continue reading...
Legendary director Stanley Kubrick was known to be obsessed with cameras and pushing the limits of cinematic technology, with much of his technical awareness stemming from his days as a stills photographer. A new video essay by the British Film Institute now explains his use of different lenses to create the movie Barry Lyndon, which won an Oscar for its cinematography.
We've written before about the famous Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm F0.7 lens (originally developed for NASA) that he used, but the BFI essay also discusses how he used it. It also looks at his use of zoom shots and the meanings he hoped to convey with them.
Many scenes in the movie were shot in natural light and very dim candlelight to authentically portray the look and feel of the 18th century. In the very low light conditions Kubrick had to shoot with the superfast F0.7 lens' aperture fully open, resulting in an extremely shallow depth-of-field. This required re-thinking the way such scenes were staged and demanded reduced actor movement, to avoid mis-focus, but the director felt this helped convey the stilted 18th century atmosphere.
The video essay can be viewed on the British Film Institute's Facebook page.
Ten years have passed since our friends at LensRentals first launched as a small business operating out of a garage. The company has seen many changes over those years, both in its own operation and in the spheres of photography and videography, and it has highlighted some of those changes in a new blog post. The LensRentals team has detailed their top ten favorite products from the last decade.
'What we’ve found, is that there is no right piece of gear for everyone,' they say, 'and we all have varying tastes and expectations when it comes to gear.'
The products, which aren’t listed in any particular order, run the gamut from cameras to lenses and a few different accessories. Most notably, Canon products took four of the ten slots, with both the 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III making the list, as well as its EF 400mm F4 DO IS II and 11-24mm F4L lenses.
Pentax, Leica, Freefly, Profoto, Sony, and Sigma products fill out the remaining six slots, though as LensRentals notes: 'the photography and videography industries have changed faster than ever before, so some pieces of gear had to be left out on our list.' It’s a somewhat long read, but the LensRentals team takes the time to explain why each product earned it place on the list, and it's well worth giving it a look.
Ricoh's Theta series S 360° cameras come with several accompanying apps. While the Theta S app is used for shooting and reviewing 360° images and video, the Theta+ and Theta+ Video apps were developed for editing images and video respectively. The Theta+ Video app for iPhone was released last year, now Ricoh has launched an Android version as well.
Like the iPhone variant, Theta+ Video for Android allows you to edit 360° standard and time-lapse videos. Functions include trimming, color adjustment, cropping and the insertion of music tracks. Users can also select from from four types of view formats: Mirror Ball, Little Planet, Equirectangular, and Rectilinear.
As usual, edited videos can be shared to a range of social networks. On Facebook and YouTube they can be viewed in their full 360° glory while on some other platforms cropping is required. Theta + Video for Android is available as a free download from the Google Play Store now.
Fifty years on from England’s World Cup victory, we’ve been mining the GNM Archive for photographs of the players, matches and fans of 1966. Along the way we’ve come across other images giving a brief glimpse of the everyday and political life of Britain in the England team’s victory year. This select handful are chiefly taken from the old picture libraries of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, now housed in the archive
Elizabeth I stays puts, Marina Abramović and Sophia Al-Maria speak out, and Robert Burns isn’t the only to be exposed – all in your weekly art dispatch
This visionary artist brought his charismatic presence to the Edinburgh festival in his lifetime and now returns in spirit with a show based around his expressive, mythological drawings.
• Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 30 July–30 October.
My family spent weeks getting together permits and visas. The idea was to send me to England to live with my uncle
I was born in July 1935 in Reichenbach, Germany, into a wealthy family. The family textile firm, Cohn Gebrüder, was established in 1876 by my great-grandfather, Herman and his brother Arnold. They had a huge factory in town; we lived opposite, in the Red Villa. It had parquet floors, stained-glass windows and central heating, which was a luxury back then.
The day after Kristallnacht, on 9 November 1938, my father and grandfather – along with other Jewish men in the town – were taken to Buchenwald concentration camp. My mother got them out by bribing officials with her jewellery. They returned with shaven heads and no shoelaces. At that point, the camps weren’t as final as they became.Continue reading...
Photographs from the Eyewitness seriesContinue reading...
The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including the Goodwood festival and the pope’s visit to AuschwitzContinue reading...
Flash Point © Brad Goldpaint (USA)
The Perseid Meteor Shower shoots across the sky in the early hours of August 13, 2015, appearing to cascade from Mount Shasta in California, USA. The composite image features roughly 65 meteors captured by the photographer between 12:30am and 4:30am.
The Royal Museums Greenwich has announced the shortlist for its eighth annual Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. More than 4500 entries were received from over 80 countries; winners will be announced on September 15, with winning images going into a free exhibition at the Royal Observatory. One overall winner will walk away with £10,000, and runners-up will take home £500 each.
Here are just a handful of the more than 130 images that made the shortlist – head to the Royal Museums Greenwich site to learn more about the competition.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Seven Magic Points © Rune Engebø (Norway)
The rusty red swirls of the circular, iron sculpture Seven Magic Points in Brattebergan, Norway mirror the rippling aurora above.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Frozen Giant © Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany)
The celestial curve of the Milky Way joins with the light of a stargazer’s headlamp to form a monumental arch over the Cimon della Pella in the heart of the Dolomites mountain range in northeastern Italy.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
M8: Lagoon Nebula © Ivan Eder (Hungary)
New stars are formed in the undulating clouds of M8, also commonly referred to as the Lagoon Nebula, situated some 5,000 light years from our planet.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Parallel Mountains © Sean Goebel (USA)
The shadow of Manua Kea, the highest peak in the state of Hawaii, is projected by the rising sun over the volcano, Hualalai, whilst the Full Moon soars above them, higher again.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Northern Lights over Jokulsarlon, Iceland © Giles Rocholl (UK)
A couple takes in the awe-inspiring sight of the Northern Lights streaking across the night sky over the lagoon at Jokulsarlon, Iceland on Valentine’s night of 2016.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Just Missed the Bullseye © Scott Carnie-Bronca (Australia)
The International Space Station (ISS) appears to pierce a path across the radiant, concentric star trails seemingly spinning over the silhouettes of the trees in Harrogate, South Australia.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Painted Hills © Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany)
With very little light pollution, the glimmering stars of the Milky Way bathe the colourful layers of the Painted Hills of Oregon in a natural glow.Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist
Antarctic Space Station © Richard Inman (UK)
A view of the Halley 6 Research Station situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf, Antarctica, which is believed to be the closest thing you can get to living in space without leaving Earth, making it perfect to be used for research by the European Space Agency. As the Sun’s light dissipates into the horizon, the aurora can be seen swirling overhead.
Our stargazing readers share their best photographs from the past year, from spectacular nebulae to close-ups of the moon
Yoann Cimier photographs temporary structures built on Tunisian beaches – small-scale, proud dwellings that turn holidaymakers into architectsContinue reading...
DxoMark has published its test results for Sony's flagship device in the Xperia X series, the Xperia X Performance. At 88 points the Sony achieves the same score as the HTC 10 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and now shares the top spot in the DxOMark Mobile rankings with those phones.
The DxOMark testers were particularly impressed by the Xperia X Performance's fast and accurate AF system, good exposure and dynamic range, well-controlled noise in low light and good detail in flash images. On the downside, the HDR mode does not always trigger when it should, small amounts of chroma noise are visible in outdoor conditions and the white balance is inconsistent when shooting with flash.
The Xperia X Performance comes with a very similar camera specification to the Xperia Z5. A 23MP 1/2.3-inch Sony Exmor multi-aspect sensor is coupled with a F2.0 aperture in a wide angle lens with an equivalent focal length of 24mm. A predictive AF system, developed in collaboration with the engineers in Sony's Alpha camera division, allows for improved subject tracking and low light mode ISO to be increased to 12800. You can read the full test report on the DxOMark website.
Facebook is pushing 360-degree VR content on its platform and in April announced its Surround 360 Open Source high-end VR camera. Now the company has posted detailed instructions on GitHub, which appear to be inspired by Ikea furniture assembly manuals, on how to source the parts, assemble the camera and install the software.
The Surround 360 combines 17 4MP cameras, 15 of them arranged in a circle and two fish-eye lenses on top and bottom, to capture 4K, 6K, or 8K 360-degree video. The cost of all the parts and components needed to build the device is approximately $30,000. This is a lot more than your average consumer VR camera but compares favorably to similar professional systems. Facebook also says it took a randomly selected engineer 4 hours to build the camera, so once all parts are available it seems you can be up and running in less than a day.
If you like the idea of building a Surround 360 for yourself you can download the instructions and software on GitHub. The video below shows you a time-lapse of the assembly process.
Photographer Carol M. Highsmith is suing Getty Images for $1 billion over its alleged copyright infringement of 18,755 of her photos. The lawsuit, which was filed in a New York federal court on July 25, alleges that Getty Images has been charging fees to license her images without her permission – the same images she has provided to the Library of Congress for free use by the public. In addition to distributing her images, the lawsuit alleges that Getty did not give Highsmith proper credit for her photos.
The legal claim alleges statutory damages at up to $468,875,000. But because of a ruling against Getty in Morel v. Getty, a previous copyright case, the damages can reportedly be tripled to deter 'bad faith business practices'. Highsmith became aware of Getty’s alleged copyright infringement after, she says, it sent her a letter accusing her of infringing the copyright of her own photograph by posting it on her own non-profit organization's website.
The claim states, in part, 'The defendants have apparently misappropriated Ms. Highsmith’s generous gift to the American people. [Getty Images and subsidiaries] are not only unlawfully charging licensing fees… but are falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner." The lawsuit also claims Highsmith’s reputation has suffered a serious blow as a result of Getty’s alleged actions.
Nikon has released some of the first sample images from its newly announced AF-S Nikkor 105mm F1.4E ED. The samples are unfortunately somewhat low in resolution, and we always take officially sanctioned manufacturer sample images with a grain of salt, but we have to say we're impressed with what we're seeing. When it ships in August, the 105mm F1.4 will be one of the fastest autofocus primes of its kind on the market.
A farmer herds a flock of domesticated ducks towards his rice paddy near Alleppey in south-west India. The ducks will be fattened for market on fallen grainsContinue reading...
To coincide with this year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year award, we’d like you to share your best shots of the cosmos with us
It’s that time of the year again. This year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist is another dizzying spectacle of stars, galaxies and northern lights.
A particularly favourite entry of mine was this stunning shot of a Royal Spoonbill sat on a branch in the moon - well, not actually in the moon, of course.
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