News

Boom town: São Paulo in the 1940s – in pictures

Swiss-born Hildegard Rosenthal fled the second world war to become a pioneering photojournalist in Brazil. Here’s a selection of her unstaged street shots, taken during a period of transformation for São Paulo

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Categories: News

Moment counterweights let you use add on lenses with DJI Osmo Mobile

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 22:03

Moment has launched 50g and 100g counterweights for DJI's Osmo Mobile, making it possible to use Moment's add-on lenses with the handheld gimbal stabilizer for your smartphone. This also ostensibly makes the Osmo Mobile the first smartphone gimbal that supports add-on lenses.

Normally, if you try to use an add on lens with your smartphone gimbal, the added weight throws the stabilizer off. The counterweight compensates for that weight, enabling users with large and small smartphones to use them, the lenses, and the gimbal together. As demonstrated in the video above, Moment's counterweights clip onto the Osmo Mobile's arm and can be easily removed when the add-on lens isn't in use.

Interested Osmo Mobile owners can pre-order the counterweights now for a discounted $32, with shipping expected to start on December 11th.

Categories: News

Proposed UK bill will let police officers ground and seize drones

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 19:27

The UK has unveiled another drone bill proposal, one that will grant officers the power to seize drone parts when they are necessary for proving that the drone was used to commit an offense. Under the bill, officers will also have the authority to order a drone operator to ground their drone when needed.

This marks the latest bill out of the UK that focuses on tightening drone security and safety. Back in July, the UK government revealed that it would soon require drone operators in the nation to register their UAVs and to complete a safety test before operating the device.

The new proposed legislation, simply called the Drone Bill, snowballs into the previous announcement, with UK officials saying in a statement that mandates will require operators to register their drone and also to use apps for planning a safe flight. The upcoming law may also include a ban on operating drones near airports or above 400ft.

The Drone Bill is scheduled to be published next spring.

Categories: News

How to turn household lights into cheap DIY lighting modifiers

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 19:00

This article was originally published on Jake Hicks blog, and is being republished in full on DPReview with express permission from the author.

There is an almost endless supply of lighting modifiers available on the market right now—some are cheap, and some of the better ones are certainly a lot more expensive. But does cost directly relate to quality?

Well, a lot of the times yes it does, especially if you're referring to build quality. In general, the more you spend, the better-made and more durable the modifier will be. But does that extra money you spend mean you're getting a better lighting modifier overall? I would have to say no; in fact, for less than £15/$20 you can get some stunningly beautiful light from a homemade lighting modifier.

Read on to see examples of the stupidly cheap DIY lighting modifiers I'm referring too.

I'd like to think that my work is known for its creative approach to lighting. The reason for that is because I strongly believe lighting is the single most important subject in a shot.

I can honestly say that I've 'saved' some frankly awful shoots through engaging lighting alone. Terrible locations, inexperienced or even no experience in the model/subject can certainly make a shoot hard, but far from impossible to pull off engaging results. Dynamic lighting can bring a boring room to life and flattering lighting can enhance any subject, lighting really is the one and only tool you need and should have complete control and mastery of.

So what makes good lighting? Well that is probably a topic/article/book/anthology for another day as there are certainly a lot opinions on the subject, but I think no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are as a photographer, we all know what we don't like and we definitely know what we do like when we see it.

In this article I aim to show you a couple of very cheap alternatives to professional lighting modifiers that I think create some beautiful light that are very functional in a lot of situations.

Regular Household Lights

The lighting modifiers we'll be taking a look at are the dome-like frosted globes. These can be fantastic at lighting a scene in a shot, as they spread light everywhere very evenly. It also turns out that, not only do they spread light everywhere, but they also create a beautiful portrait light as well. Let's take a closer look at the lights in question.

I purchased two white frosted dome lights from IKEA. One was small and the other was far larger. The smaller one is intended to be used as ceiling light in a bathroom. The reason it's intended for this is because it casts light everywhere from a very small source close to the ceiling making it ideal for small rooms and corridors.

Small bathroom ceiling dome light.

The second one I purchased was far larger and is actually originally intended as a table lamp. Again this dome-like design is perfect for casting light over a large area without being overly harsh.

Large table lamp dome. Where can you get them?

I got mine from IKEA and they are silly-cheap.

The small globe is a ceiling light called VITEMÖLLA and it can be found here for £13. The one in the picture looks slightly different as it has a white base compared to my silver one but the dome (the important part) is the same.

The large dome is a table lamp called FADO and that can be found here for £15. It's worth pointing out and making sure that you get the white one. There are several of these FADO's in a variety of tones so just make sure you choose the white one as the others will be fairly useless.

Regular Photographic Modifier

I also wanted to get a bit of a gauge on how the light from these domes looked compared to a regular photographic lighting modifier. For the sake of this test I actually compared them to a few shots taken with a 22" white beauty dish.

There's a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it's probably my most used lighting modifier so I have a very good idea of how the lighting looks with it. And secondly, the beauty dish is pretty pricey compared to these domes so I thought it would be an interesting comparison.

The image above also gives a nice size comparison and it clearly shows how all three of the modifiers used in the test look when side-by-side.

Getting the Domes 'Shoot-Ready'

Obviously the domes are designed for an alternative purpose to a photoshoot, so I needed to do make a few adjustments before they were 'shoot-ready'.

Small Dome

The smaller dome was fairly simple: I just removed the inner wiring and bulb housing and then I simply rested it atop one of my standard dish reflectors. I could have taped it on but there was no fear of it moving or tipping out so I just left it as it was and it was fine.

The small dome was easily made shoot-ready by removing the inner workings and then simply resting it in a current reflector dish. Large Dome

The larger dome took a little more work, but not much. I simply removed the inner workings once again and then found an old speed-ring to attach it too.

A speed-ring is the metal rotating mount that attaches modifiers like softboxes to your flash head. I've acquired a few over the years that I no longer use so I simply taped one of them to the dome. With strong tape like gaffers tape it was surprisingly snug and there was no fear of it coming loose even when mounted on its side.

The large dome was taped snugly onto an old speed-ring which enabled me to attach it to my light horizontally if needed. The Setup

The actual lighting setup was nothing fancy, but I also wanted to try out some alternative colouring ideas at the same time.

The model was positioned about 5 feet from the white wall behind her. I had the main lights positioned about 2 feet in front of her and above eye level, and then I also had a small softbox on the floor at the models feet with an orange gel* in place for the entirety of the test.

*Obviously you don't need to the orange gel but I was seeing how much the gel was washed out by the modifiers so that's why I had it in place.

A very simple setup that involves two lights; a key and orange gelled fill light. The Results

After I had taken a few shots with the beauty dish, I switched that out for the larger dome. Then, after a few more frames, I changed it too the smaller dome. The resulting images should speak for themselves.

Beauty dish Images Beauty Dish Shot - Click to Enlarge Beauty Dish Shot - Click to Enlarge The Small Dome Images The small dome setup Small Dome Shot - Click to Enlarge Small Dome Shot - Click to Enlarge Large Dome Images The big dome set-up Large Dome Shot - Click to Enlarge Large Dome Shot - Click to Enlarge CAUTION: I'm using LED modeling bulbs in my flash heads which produce very little heat. If your flash heads have tungsten modeling bulbs, these globes will get VERY HOT as there is nowhere for the heat to escape when the globes are in position on the heads. Be sure to turn them down or off entirely. Conclusions

I think you guys can draw your own conclusions from the images above and however you feel about the three looks, I think one thing is very clear that we can all agree on: you don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money on expensive modifiers to produce beautiful light.

The beauty dish obviously produces a more directional light, and you can see that by how dark the background is compared to the other setups. The other dome shots throw light everywhere so more light is spilling onto the background. Because of this beauty dishes directionality and lack of spill, you should notice that the shadows on the models face are darker too. In contrast, the domes are bouncing light around the room and that spilled light is filling in a lot of the shadows on the models face. This gives the appearance of a far more flattering light as a result.

This dome spill is far from being a bad thing either; in fact, if you're using the domes in a small space you can use that spill and bounce to really blend the subject into a scene with just a single light. This type of modifier is perfect for location shooting or environmental shots, and it's certainly something I'll be using for that type of work.

The small dome actually produced a far better light than I expected. Its small source creates a contrasty light that falls off quite quickly, leaving brighter highlights and darker shadows as a result. I also found that this creates some nice shimmering effects on the skin and makeup as a result of the hard-light properties.

I was really excited to try the big dome, as I thought it was going to be far and away the best looking lighting. Although I wasn't disappointed, I still feel the resulting light didn't look like I expected. The light was very clean in that there was a very smooth transition from shadow to highlight, which was nice, but it was still darker overall than I expected.

As a singe beauty light I think the small dome won for me with its look. If I was shooting in a larger area and wanted to illuminate more of the subject in a scene then the big dome placed a little further away would surely be the best choice.

In hindsight, I think I know where I went wrong with this test and what I would like to do differently next time.

You'll notice that the light stand did not move the entire time, so from the small dome setup to the big dome setup the angling of the flash head caused the light source to get a lot closer to the model, which required me to turn the power of the head down. That's not a problem normally, but when I turned the power of the head down, I also reduced the amount of light that bounced around the room. This in turn reduced the amount of light falling back into the shadows making the light appear darker than it actually is.

I would like to try this big dome again, but move it further back from the model, thereby allowing that light to bounce around the room and giving a far softer impression to the lighting—perfect for environmental shots.

Closing Comments

So there you have it: a couple of great lighting modifiers and at the cost of just over £25 for the both of them! That's pretty damn impressive in my book, and you'd be crazy not to grab at least one of them and give them a go. Of course, if you really wanted an excellent dome modifier then you can always grab the Profoto frosted dome one here for a cool $177! I'm sure that's miles better ;)

As always, if you have any questions then let me know. If there was something that didn't make sense and you wanted clarification on then let me know. Also if you've ever tested a DIY modifier that has provided excellent results, I'd love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments!

Jake Hicks is an editorial and fashion photographer specializing in keeping the skill in the camera not just on the screen. To see more of his work or read more tutorials, be sure to visit his website, like his Facebook page, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories: News

Researcher says he was threatened after finding major DJI security flaw

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 18:54

Drone maker DJI has been criticized roundly this weekend over its alleged response to security researcher Kevin Finisterre's discovery of a significant security issue involving the company's system. According to Finisterre, he began hunting for bugs in DJI's system under its recently established bug bounty program. In the process, Finisterre says he discovered a major security issue, but rather than rewarding him for his effort, DJI accused him of hacking and threatened to report him to the authorities.

DJI announced its bug bounty program in August following a report that claimed the U.S. Army had banned use of the maker's drones over security concerns. As part of its announcement, DJI had stated:

The DJI Threat Identification Reward Program aims to gather insights from researchers and others who discover issues that may create threats to the integrity of our users’ private data, such as their personal information or details of the photos, videos and flight logs they create.

According to a long report on the matter published by Finisterre, he spent many weeks communicating with DJI through email about the scope of its bug bounty program, which hadn't yet been publicly defined. After receiving confirmation that it included the company's servers, Finisterre went to work in writing up a report disclosing his discoveries. Speaking of which...

Due to multiple security issues, including publicly available AWS private keys for DJI's photo-sharing service SkyPixel, Finisterre reports that he was able to get access to highly sensitive user data, including: identification cards and passports, flight logs, and drivers licenses. Once he found this flaw, he claims that he alerted DJI to this vulnerability, and that the company acknowledged it.

After more than 130 emails back and forth between DJI and Finisterre, he states in his report that DJI said he would be rewarded with $30,000 under the bug bounty program (the maximum award). However, Finisterre reports that weeks later he received an agreement for his particular bug bounty that was "literally not sign-able." As he goes on to explain in his report:

I won’t go into too much detail, but the agreement that was put in front of me by DJI in essence did not offer researchers any sort of protection. For me personally the wording put my right to work at risk, and posed a direct conflicts of interest to many things including my freedom of speech. It almost seemed like a joke. It was pretty clear the entire ‘Bug Bounty’ program was rushed based on this alone.

Efforts to alter the agreement didn't pan out as hoped, says Finisterre, who goes on to claim that several different lawyers advised him that DJI's final offer was, "likely crafted in bad faith," and that it was "extremely risky" for him to sign it. It was about this time that Finisterre also receive a legal demand from DJI ordering him to delete/destroy the data he had gathered during his investigation, while appearing to threaten Finisterre with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

In a statement to Ars Technica, who was the first to cover this spat between DJI and Finisterre, the Chinese drone giant referred to Finisterre as a "hacker," claiming that he had accessed one of the company's servers without permission and that he had tried to claim it under the company's bug bounty program without following "standard terms for bug bounty programs." The statement goes on to claim that Finisterre "refused to agree to these terms, despite DJI’s continued attempts to negotiate with him, and threatened DJI if his terms were not met."

For his part, Finisterre says that he ultimately turned down the $30,000 in favor of going public with what he sees as an unsettling and unacceptable experience, concluding with the following statement:

If you that are wondering if DJI even bothered to respond after I got offended over the CFAA threat, you should be happy to know it was flat out radio silence from there on out. All Twitter DM’s stopped, SMS messages went unanswered, etc. Cold blooded silence.

Categories: News

Photo Mate Raw conversion app for Android goes freemium

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 17:14

Photo Mate, arguably the most comprehensive image viewer and Raw-developer application for Android devices, has been updated to version R3 3.2. But that's not the exciting part: the best part is that it's now available as a free ad-supported version.

The new version still offers most of the features available in the full app—such as decoding and basic editing of raw files, cropping, exporting, rating and image stacking. The workflow has just been augmented with ads, which will be visible in the gallery, and users have to watch a video ad before switching to editing mode.

Users who already own the app continue to get the full feature set and ad-free experience, while new users can decide between the ad-supported version or upgrade to the full version via an in-app purchase that removes ads and gets you access to the following extra-features:

  • Luminance and Sharpening
  • Layer editing
  • Custom export presets
  • Organizing and filtering of images in a library
  • Batch renaming and export
  • Custom watermarks
  • Display calibration
  • Side-by-side image comparison
  • Display of geo-tagged images on map

An upgrade to the full version will cost you $6.50 on Google Play, and more information is available on the Photo Mate website. You can also still read our comprehensive review of the app below:

Review of Photo Mate R2

Categories: News

Watch Drew Geraci's latest time-lapse masterpiece, shot with Sony a7R III

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 14:04

Drew Geraci is a master of time-lapse photography. His work has taken him all over the world, and his client list contains some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. Even if you don't know his name, if you've ever watched 'House of Cards' on Netflix, you've seen his work.

Drew has been using a Sony a7R III for some time, and prior to its official launch last month he spent some time in New Zealand, to see what the new camera could do. We caught up with him recently to ask about his inspirations, workflow, and tips for successful time-lapse photography.

What first got you interested in time-lapses?

The real reason I became interested in time-lapse photography wasn't because of anything ultra profound or mind-blowing. It was because someone I looked up to (as a pro-photographer) looked at my early time-lapse work and told me that it was, bluntly, garbage.

Since that day I've channeled that negative energy into something positive, which has lead me down an incredibly successful career path which I've very thankful for.

Why would/should you shoot a scene using timelapse techniques rather than a conventional single exposure?

Timelapse tells a story that a single frame or even series of video frames can't. The passage of time is something that you can't really 'see' normally, and this is why timelapse photography is so useful - it showcases short or long passages of time which can show the grandness of an event or place in a unique way. Timelapses always seem to dazzle and amaze audiences.

How is the process of planning a timelapse shoot different to a conventional landscape shooting session?

Planning a time-lapse shoot can be quite difficult depending on where and when you want to film. You have to think of all of the elements of motion that will be in your scene and how light will effect the scene over time. There are so many random variables that most photographers/videographers don't have to worry about, but for time-lapse it's different.

You really have to be aware of your scene, to an even higher degree than normal. You need to make sure there you account for things that could destroy your shot like birds, people, or lights. You have to work all of this out before you start shooting.

What’s the single most important factor to consider when making timelapse movies?

For me personally, it's about creating something that's going to wow your audience and keep them entertained for the few seconds or minutes that you get their attention. I want to shoot scenes that are unique, vibrant, and invoke some type of emotion to really draw the viewer in.

Music is key as well. Selecting the wrong music can be fatal. As a case in point, there's an M83 song that has been used so many times now on timelapse videos that it's getting ridiculous. I always try to find something original to use instead of mainstream music.

What does your workflow look like when planning and shooting a time-lapse movie?

The workflow is chaos. It usually consists of a shot list, scouting notes and it's all subject to change when I get to the location. I make sure (most of the time) to do a 2-3 day scout visit to each location before the actual shooting occurs. This gives me a better idea of what to expect when I shoot it for real. I look at the lighting, the atmosphere, and all of the elements of motion, because I want my shots to be as dynamic as possible.

What was your big break?

For me, my big break was the title sequence of Netflix's House of Cards. I had lunch with David Fincher to discuss a new project and it turned out to the the intro to his new show. Completing that sequence was a fun and grueling 6 months of shooting but the end result is something that 100's of millions of people have viewed - which is quite humbling.

I've had some other big name clients before this, like the NFL and Apple, but shooting the intro to House of Cards pushed things over the top. It's fun being known as the guy who shot the intro to a now iconic (and infamous ) show but I want to continue pushing boundaries and exploring new techniques to keep things fresh.

How do you control the camera trigger when you’re shooting?

My personal preference is a manual, external intervalometer because it provides the fastest method for setup and shooting. Internal intervalometers are great, but they can be limited and awkward to use - especially if you have to adjust the interval or number of shots. I use the JJC micro-USB - it's cheap, and it's reliable.

Can you give us 3 top tips for photographers planning on getting into timelapse shooting?
  1. Turn off anything automatic on your camera (Auto WB, ISO, Aperture, Shutter... even stabilization - turn it off!)

  2. If you're not using a manual aperture lens, make sure to "lens twist" or detach your lens from the body, just enough so the connectors that send data aren't touching. This will ensure that the aperture blades don't change position from exposure to exposure and it will reduce the amount of flicker in your footage substantially.

  3. Always shoot Raw!
Categories: News

Sony a7R III sample gallery updated

DP Review News - Mon, 27/11/2017 - 14:00
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We've been shooting with the a7R III pretty much non-stop since it arrived in the office. From hot air ballooning to mountain biking (full-disclosure: some of these activities were captured on a Sony-organized press trip) we took in all kinds of action as we prepared our review. In case you missed it, take a look at all of the images we added since publishing our initial gallery.

See our updated Sony a7R III
sample gallery

Read our full Sony a7R III review

Categories: News

A day in the life: Shahrokh Hatami's Beatles photographs, 1963

Iranian photojournalist Shahrokh Hatami has died aged 89. He covered front-page events from the revolution in Iran to the Beatles backstage as Beatlemania took off. A 1963 Paris Match assignment took him to Liverpool to meet the band

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Categories: News

Illuminating India: photography 1857–2017

Photography arrived in India in 1839, originally used by the British to document the people, architecture and landscapes of the subcontinent. It also became a medium for Indian people to express their unique experiences of the country. A new Science Museum exhibition, Illuminating India, brings to light previously overlooked Indian photographers who worked in parallel with their foreign counterparts from the 1850s onwards

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Categories: News

Gear of the Year 2017 - Carey's choice: Sony FE 85mm F1.8

DP Review News - Sun, 26/11/2017 - 14:00
Maybe it's not everyone's choice for a 'landscape' lens, but I like using the 85mm focal length for just about anything.
Sony a7R II | ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F8

There are times when I find myself dreaming of a make-believe world where I don't worry much about camera gear. A world where I've simplified, and simplified, until I'm down to the bare minimum of what I think I need to accomplish the sort of photographic work that I like to do.

Obviously, that is not the world that I live in.

Nonetheless, in that carefree fantasy land of plentiful-yet-lucrative corporate jobs, wedding ceremonies and endless travel assignments, I skip like a child with a balloon from gig to gig with two interchangeable lens cameras, and a single lens for each; a fast wide-angle for one camera, and a fast 85mm for the other.

The FE 85mm F1.8 is exactly the sort of 85mm lens I've been looking for in Sony's system since I started at DPReview.

I find the compression and reach of the 85mm focal length - neither of which are too extreme - make it a great contrast for 28mm and 35mm lenses, even just for walking around the city. Also, notice the roundness of those out-of-focus highlights, even at F4.
Sony a7R II | ISO 100 | 1/3200 sec | F4

The Sony FE 85mm F1.8 is an affordable, sharp and lightweight lens for Sony's full frame E-mount cameras. No, you don't have to just pick two of those.

On an a7-series camera, the 85mm F1.8 balances beautifully, focuses quickly and is more than sharp enough for the 42MP of the a7R II (or a7R III, for that matter). In Sony's lens lineup, it sits below the FE 85mm F1.4 GM which is a great lens in its own right, but focuses slower and is far bigger and heavier.

And that's really the kicker for me with this lens. Sony's a7-series bodies are usefully more compact than full-frame DSLRs, but often, the lenses can be large and unwieldy. With the 85mm F1.8, you've got yourself a truly compact kit.

Though this verbiage is always to be taken with a grain of salt (a flake of snow?) the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 has some degree of weather-sealing.
Sony a7R II | ISO 800 | 1/60 sec | F2.8

So, why 85? In general, I find the 85mm focal length a great complement to 28mm and 35mm lenses. Historically, my most-used gear for shooting events were two Nikon D700s, a 35mm F2D and 85mm F1.8D. I first fell in love with this lens combination on a six-week trip to Nepal during college, photographing endless portraits, landscapes and urban life, and was never left wanting.

With longer lenses, like a 105mm or 135mm, I always feel like I'm backing myself into a corner. And yet, I consistently found that a fast 50 was way too close to 28/35mm to be truly useful as far as getting some variety.

Focusing close to your subject with a wide aperture gives you a nice, dreamy look on the FE 85mm F1.8, while maintaining sharpness at your point of focus.
Sony a7R II | ISO 100 | 1/400 sec | F1.8

But with 85mm, you can move in for a tight head-and-shoulders shot or a decor detail, back up to get a candid of a group interacting, and even with some distance, you can still get background separation if you shoot at a wide enough aperture. Speaking of wide apertures, I rarely use 70-200mm F2.8 zooms because of both their weight, and because I often am shooting at F2 or wider as the lights go down and the reception warms up.

I've said this before, but I'm a big fan of gear that 'gets out of your way.' For me, the FE 85mm F1.8 does just that. It's straightforward and has a solid feel. I've never felt it's too heavy, or focuses too slowly, and I can just concentrate on what I'm seeing through the viewfinder. If I were considering a new kit to start out with, a couple of Sony a7-series cameras with the FE 28mm F2 and FE 85mm F1.8 would be on my short list to check out.

Out-of-camera JPEG.
Sony a7R III | ISO 800 | 30 sec | F2 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Sample gallery $(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_5533586786","galleryId":"5533586786","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"standalone":false,"selectedImageIndex":0,"startInCommentsView":false,"isMobile":false}) });
Categories: News

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'drive'

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘drive’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘drive.’ Share your photos of what drive means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Thursday 30 November at 10am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 3 December and in a gallery on the Guardian site.

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Categories: News

Best vintage: readers' photos on the theme of old

For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of old via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites

  • Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘drive’ by clicking the button below
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Categories: News

Spinal columns: the joy of the collection

As resurgent sales of vinyl records and printed books resist the digital tide, British artist Mark Vessey celebrates physical libraries in a series of striking photographs

• See a gallery of Mark Vessey’s photographs here

‘A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot,” Alan Bennett once wrote. For a while, e-readers and music streaming appeared set to replace their physical counterparts, but the resurgence in vinyl and printed book sales suggests otherwise. For the past decade, Brighton-based photographic artist Mark Vessey has been capturing the beauty of these objects in a series of photographs: his Collections series documents magazines, books, vinyl records and other assorted items, stacked on top of one another or neatly lined up.

For Vessey, 35, the passion for collecting started with Attitude magazine. Growing up in Chingford, on the outskirts of north-east London, Vessey would pick up the gay lifestyle title every time he was in central London – it wasn’t stocked in Chingford – and it showed him a life outside the “bland, safe area” where he was. The magazine, and its thought-provoking photographs by Nan Goldin and Wolfgang Tillmans, helped him discover a world different from the one he was living in. “I bought it religiously – I would read the magazines and go off to the art exhibitions and learn about different artists,” says Vessey, who went on to study photography at Brighton University. “It became a timeline of my self-discovery and coming out.”

It’s that emotional attachment to tangible objects that I find really interesting. They have a story to tell

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Categories: News

Collectors' corner: book and music libraries – in pictures

With sales of vinyl and print on the up, British artist Mark Vessey celebrates the joy of personal, physical collections

• Read an interview with Mark Vessey here

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Categories: News

Trevor Paglen: art in the age of mass surveillance

The artist tells how his work provides a map of the digital world’s hidden landscapes and forbidden places

Trevor Paglen describes himself as a landscape artist, but he is no John Constable. The landscapes Paglen frames extend to the bottom of the ocean and beyond the blurred edges of the Earth’s atmosphere. For the last two decades, the artist, a cheerful and fervent man of 43, has been on a mission to photograph the unseen political geography of our times. His art tries to capture places that are not on any map – the secret air bases and offshore prisons from which the war on terror has been fought – as well as the networks of data collection and surveillance that now shape our democracies, the cables, spy satellites and artificial intelligences of the digital world.

There is little abstract about this effort. Paglen has spent a good deal of his artistic career camped out in deserts with only suspicious drones for company, his special astro-telescopic lenses trained on the heavens or distant military bases. (“For me, seeing the drone in the 21st century is a little bit like Turner seeing the train in the 19th century.”) He trained as a scuba diver to get 100ft beneath the waves in search of the cables carrying all of human knowledge. He recognises few limits to his art. In April, he will launch his own satellite and, with it, the world’s first “space sculpture”, a manmade star that should be visible from most places on the Earth for a few months, “as bright as one of the stars in the Big Dipper”.

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Categories: News

Merry little Christmases: one couple's tableau tradition – in pictures

Brighton couple Lisa Wolfe and Peter Chrisp have been creating their own Christmas cards every year since 1986, with photographs taken in their home. “It just started as a bit of fun,” says Wolfe. “Everybody loved it, so the next year we thought we’d do something a little bit different and we got more and more ambitious.” Although this began as a project for family and friends, the couple have now decided to exhibit all 31 images as part of Artists Open Houses in Brighton, until 17 December. “We’ve been doing this since we were in our mid-20s,” adds Wolfe, “so I think that perhaps much of the interest is in the relationship that you can track through the cards.”

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Categories: News

Shooting Kīlauea Volcano, Part 1: How to melt a drone

DP Review News - Sat, 25/11/2017 - 15:00

In October this year, I spent 2 weeks shooting in Hawaii. My first stop was Big Island, where a friend and I shot the lava flows of Puʻu ʻŌʻō—a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of Kīlauea, a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaii (commonly known as Big Island).

The Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983.

I had booked my flights (about 22 net hours per direction!) to Hawaii before I knew of the lava situation, but a friend told me that there were good inland flows so I kept my hopes up. Still, I went there knowing I could fly all this way and get lousy conditions. Volcanoes are unpredictable, and Kīlauea is no different. For example, as I'm writing this, the Ocean Entry is devoid of any flowing lava. The surface flows come and go. Some say Pele (the Hawaiian goddess of fire) does as she pleases.

I did not get lousy conditions. Instead, I got the most incredible lucky streak I could've imagined, which helped me produce a set of images I'm very happy with, and encouraged me to write this mini-series I hope you enjoy. I'll start it with an article about shooting the lava with a drone.

Before I continue, here's a very important statement. All of these drone shots were captured outside the Hawaii-Volcanoes National Park No-Flight Zone and within FAA drone regulations (line of sight, 400ft, not operated near manned aircraft), without exception.

Flying drones in national parks is strictly prohibited and can get you in very serious trouble (rangers roam the park and its boundaries and some of them arrived when we were shooting). Moreover, responsible flight is mandatory since there are helicopters flying nearby. Naturally, I didn't fly my drone anywhere near the height the helis fly at. Don't even think about doing that if you care about other people's lives and your own.

I highly recommend hiring a good local guide, who can assist you with determining if you are on park grounds.

The drone log from one of the flights. I'm including this since I've gotten a ton of hate-mail from people who were sure I was lying and actually flew inside the national park. One even wrote "I've been there, these flows are inside the park!". Seriously?
I'm not that stupid guys. Fly responsibly.

The day after landing in Hilo Airport in Big Island, Hawaii, we met our guide at 14:00 in the afternoon, and started the hike. It wasn't an easy walk—we had to traverse about 7-8 kilometers on uneven, hardened lava to reach the surface flow area. Luckily, it was cloudy but not rainy; if the sun had been shining right on us the experience wouldn't be as nice, and rain would have been very annoying as well.

The hike took about 2 hours, give or take, and I carried all of my DSLR equipment, my drone with several spare batteries, and 2 liters of water on my back (after drinking 1.5 liters right before heading out). I'd take 3 liters if I were to do this hike again, as I ran out of water at some point in the late evening.

We reached the lava at about 16:00, and apart from one other person, we had the place to ourselves for the next 2 hours before the tour groups came. I began to scout around and test how close I could get to the lava, and at the same time, started flying and shooting with my Phantom 4 Pro.

A two headed dragon?

The lava had been flowing beautifully since before we arrived, but about an hour into our visit, I started hearing people shouting, and my friend screamed at me to look to the right.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing: one of the lava rivers quadrupled in force, simply bursting a huge mass of lava straight out of the mountain side, and flowed, diverging and converging, down the slopes, right in front of our eyes.

Before the river erupted A similar angle after the flow increased.

I continued shooting with the drone and with my DSLR. Here are 2 more shots:

At some point I was noticing the right side of the drone images was getting darker. I continued shooting but when I went back to the apartment, I was surprised to see the plastic inside the drone camera had melted!

It appears that I was so enthusiastic that I kept getting closer and closer to the lava to reach the compositions I wanted—that was the source of the dark patch. If you watch the video I attached above carefully enough, you'll be able to see the right side growing continuously darker.

See the blur on the bottom right? My poor drone after the incident. It is now fixed!

Shooting lava with a drone was an exhilarating experience, even though I managed to melt it. There aren't many technical considerations I can give you apart from watching the histogram, since global contrast can be harsh when it's dark. The sun goes down fast in Hawaii, so make sure you use your time wisely—the really good light is short-lived.

If you're reluctant to get your drone molten, be careful getting too close to the lava. For me, getting the right compositions was very much worth it. It was also a really captivating story, and my lava shots were all over the internet these last few weeks. There's good to find in everything, I guess. DJI charged me about $450 to fix it, and while I don't have the numbers yet, I'm pretty sure the licensing deals I've gotten since will cover that.

Next time, I'll talk about shooting the lava from the ground.

Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer, photography guide and traveler based in Israel. You can follow Erez's work on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to his mailing list for updates.

If you'd like to experience and shoot some of the most fascinating landscapes on earth with Erez as your guide, you're welcome to take a look at his unique photography workshops around the world:

Land of Ice - Southern Iceland
Winter Paradise
- Northern Iceland
Northern Spirits - The Lofoten Islands
Giants of the Andes and Fitz Roy Hiking Annex - Patagonia
Tales of Arctic Nights and Uummannaq Annex - Greenland
Saga of the Seas and The Far Reaches Annex - The Faroe Islands
Desert Storm - Namibia

Selected Articles by Erez Marom:
Categories: News

Gear of the Year 2017 - Barney's choice (Part 2): Nikon D850

DP Review News - Sat, 25/11/2017 - 14:00

In the first part of this article, I wrote about the camera I've used most in 2017 – the Leica M10. In Part 2, I want to write about a camera that I've used very little. In fact, aside from bringing it to my eye and playing around with the reviewable sample that came into our office earlier this year, I've barely even managed to get my hands on it.

That camera is the Nikon D850. Undeniably one of the most important products of 2017 (and in terms of traffic, definitely among the most popular on DPReview) the D850 is an impressive DSLR by any measure.

The Nikon D810 is one of our favorite DSLRs of the past several years

It used to be the case that if you wanted high-resolution stills, you had to make do with a relatively slow camera. And conversely, if you wanted high-speed capture and ultra-long battery life, you had to drop $5000-6000 on a pro-grade camera that didn't have the pixel-count required for really demanding applications. The Nikon D810 is one of our favorite DSLRs of the past several years, but its excellent resolution and unrivaled dynamic range at ISO 64 came at the expense of relatively slow continuous shooting, and (somewhat mysteriously) poor low-light autofocus performance compared to the flagship D5.

The D850's wide dynamic range at its low ISO sensitivity settings enables shots like these (taken at ISO 125) which contain detail and true color everywhere from the deepest shadows to the highlight areas. Shot from a moving vehicle (hence the slightly softness at very close examination), this image is a great illustration of the D850's versatility.

Photo by Carey Rose

On paper, the D850 offers the best of both worlds, and in practice, it generally lives up to its potential. A pixel count of 47MP almost matches the Canon EOS 5DS/R for resolution, while a maximum frame-rate of 9fps with an accessory grip and D5 battery means that in terms of speed, it's not far off Canon and Nikon's flagship pro-grade DSLRs (albeit for an additional premium of $1000). The D850's 153-point AF system is lifted from the D5, and while the D5 has the edge when it comes to tracking (possibly thanks to its greater on-board data processing power) the D850 generally performs well, and definitely outperforms its nearest competition. In low light, the contrast between the D850's autofocus performance and that of its predecessor is pretty stark.

The D850's large, bright finder is a beautiful thing

I've been shooting with a Nikon D810 for several years as my primary camera, and there isn't a single area of its feature set which Nikon has not upgraded in the D850. Even the viewfinder experience has been improved; the D850's large, bright finder is a beautiful thing. So why haven't I spent more time with it?

Can you see this too? OK, good.

Photo by Carey Rose

The short, boring answer is that I've been kept busy with other projects (and other cameras) and unsurprisingly given its performance, the D850 is also in pretty high demand among our writers when it comes to weekend photography trips and events. But there's another reason.

I've called the D810 and 24-120mm F4 combination 'boringly capable' in articles on DPReview in the past and I really meant it. While obviously there are things that a constant-aperture F4 zoom can't do, that lens, attached to the D810, lets me do pretty much everything I need to – from quick grab shots on the street to architectural and landscape studies. When the 24-120mm can't cut it (distortion can be an issue in some situations, for example, and it's a bit limiting in poor light) I switch for my 35mm and 50mm primes.

I know that if I grab the D850 for a weekend I will probably end up wanting one

While the D850 is clearly greatly improved over the D810, I've never had a reason to curse its predecessor, or wish for much in the way of improvement. If I still shot live music regularly I might feel compelled to spend the extra money just for backlit controls and improved low-light AF, but I don't, so I won't.

At least for now, my D810 is as 'boringly capable' as it always was. In all honestly, I know that if I grab the D850 for a weekend and shoot a few hundred frames with it I will probably end up really wanting one – and not having $3000 burning a hole in my pocket, or a third kidney, I can't afford to do that right now.

I don't know who these people are, but they've spent more time in close proximity to the D850 than me.

Photo by Carey Rose

So I don't own one (even though I'd like to), and I've barely used it. I didn't take any of the pictures in this article, or in the gallery linked below. Then why on earth is the D850 one of my two picks for the best gear of 2017? Well, just look at it, for heaven's sake. It's such a good camera. I mean seriously, it's hard to imagine how much more advanced a DSLR could be. For all of the improvements that have been made in mirrorless cameras over the past few years, the D850 still offers a combination of power, image quality, and luxurious handling (including that gorgeous viewfinder) which is hard to argue with.

I say 'hard to argue with' rather than impossible, because I'm sure that some people will still argue about it (feel free to jump to the comments), but this is my article and I can write what I want. In my opinion, for all of the doom and gloom spoken about the company in the past couple of years, the D850 proves one essential fact: Nikon knows how to make great cameras.

Nikon D850 Sample Gallery $(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_5682971467","galleryId":"5682971467","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"standalone":false,"selectedImageIndex":0,"startInCommentsView":false,"isMobile":false}) });
Categories: News

The 20 photographs of the week

Robert Mugabe resigns as president in Zimbabwe, lightning strikes in Melbourne and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh – the week’s biggest news stories captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Categories: News
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