Archive for July, 2016

Ricoh releases THETA+ Video app for Android

30 Jul

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. 

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LensRentals details its top ten favorite products from the past decade

30 Jul

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.

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Video explains Kubrick’s use of innovative camera tech when shooting Barry Lyndon

30 Jul

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.

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Unfold Your Getaway: Canoe for City Dwellers Packs Down to a Suitcase

30 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

onak fold up canoe 4

You can’t exactly fit a canoe through a narrow staircase in an apartment building, let alone take it on the metro, so for many sporty city dwellers, owning one may seem out of reach. Many canoes are so bulky, you can barely find enough space for them in a suburban garage. Playing with an origami canoe made of paper one day, Ghent-based designer Otto Van De Steene wondered whether a similar folding method translated to a sturdy, seaworthy material could help him get out onto the water more often. The result is ‘ONAK,’ a portable canoe that folds down to the size of a suitcase.

fold up canoe 1

Working at an outdoor recreation store, Van De Steene had seen plenty of other portable canoe designs that he found lacking. “You have the canoes that have really good performance on the water – they’re fast, but they’re quite heavy and take an hour to assemble. Nothing to do in an evening after work.”

onak fold up canoe 5

The Oru folding kayak had recently debuted, offering an intriguing possible solution, but Van De Steene thought its corrugated plastic construction could use an upgrade, and chose a custom-made polypropylene for his own design, explaining that it’s lighter and stiffer, improving the boat’s performance. About ten times as strong as standard polypropylene, the honeycomb-core composite material is also highly durable and fully recyclable.

onak fold up canoe 2

onak fold up canoe 3

“By making hundreds of paper models and fifteen real prototypes, we also refined the design of our patent pending hull. This was a huge challenge due to the limitations of origami. We opted for a narrow and fast canoe design that keeps its momentum very well, while still being delightfully easy and stable to maneuver for beginners.”

onak fold up canoe 6

The Onak may not fold down quite as small as Oru, but putting it on wheels makes it easier to haul around. From its compact 47”x15.7”x10” roller case, it expands to 183” long by 33.5” wide, and can carry about 440 pounds. There’s enough room inside for two adults, a child and gear. The process of assembling or packing up the portable canoe takes about ten minutes.

onak fold up canoe 8

With just a couple days left on its Kickstarter campaign, the Onak has met its goal, but you can still snag one for significantly less than retail cost if you back the project in time. It’ll sell for about $ 1450 with two paddles once it hits the market.

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[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

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25 Speedy Images That May Leave You in the Dust

29 Jul

How you photograph a moving subject really depends on two things:

  1. Your intentions (to blur or freeze it)
  2. The lighting conditions (it may be low light)

You could decide to blur the object, adding a sense of motion to your image. Or make a complete abstract.

Diana Robinson

By Diana Robinson

Manfred Majer

By manfred majer

Or you could freeze motion using a fast shutter speed.

René Something Something

By René something something

Chris Chabot

By Chris Chabot

Here are 21 more images that show speed:



Jasper Nance

By Jasper Nance

Marc Forrest

By Marc Forrest

Pierre Anquet

By Pierre Anquet


By Elvin

Nikos Koutoulas

By Nikos Koutoulas

Curtis John

By Curtis John

Bryce Bradford

By Bryce Bradford


By houman_thebrave


By E01

Damianos  Chronakis

By Damianos Chronakis

Loïc Lagarde

By Loïc Lagarde


By sama093

Lena Vasiljeva

By Lena Vasiljeva


Howard Ignatius

By Howard Ignatius

Renato Carvalho

By Renato Carvalho


By photophilde


Stephanie Wallace

By Stephanie Wallace

Greg Heo

By Greg Heo

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The post 25 Speedy Images That May Leave You in the Dust by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Literal Streetwear: ‘Pirate Printer’ Lifts Patterns from Urban Objects

29 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

street wear clothes

A Berlin art collective has taken to the streets, inking urban infrastructure and laying down shirts and tote bags to create a line of unique prints … their patterns directly lifted from city streets.

print process cover

pirate pressed tshirts

Raubdruckerin (AKA Pirate Printer) press apparel to painted manhole covers, utility grates, etched signage, vents and other objects that have depth differences (and thus themselves to the relief-printing process, like woodcuts or letterpress).

painted manhole cover

pirate clothing urban collection

painted city grate

The group rolls out different colors of ink, much as one would with any kind of etched or raised printing process, then lays cloth down and applies pressure. Depending on the size and type of the object in question, the prints are partial or complete pictures of a given urban artifact.

pirate patterned bag

manhole cover bag

bike path sign

ticket sign

The crew has traveled to Amsterdam, Lisbon, Paris and other iconic cities to capture some of their least-noticed but still-beautiful urban artifacts, transferring overlooked parts of these places to a new style of streetwear. Naturally, each one is a little different – even when the same street fixture is used, the re-inking process results in variegation from one print to he next (via Colossal).

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Nikon releases first AF-S Nikkor 105mm F1.4 E ED samples

29 Jul

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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. 

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Getty Images sued for $1 billion over alleged copyright infringement

29 Jul
Photographer Carol Highsmith with her Phase One camera. Photo via The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

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. 

Via: PDNPulse, Hyperallergic

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Facebook posts Surround 360 camera assembly instructions on GitHub

29 Jul

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. 

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Sony Xperia X Performance achieves top score in DxOMark Mobile ranking

29 Jul

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.

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