Archive for September, 2017

Instagram celebrates 800M users with update that takes on comment trolls

29 Sep
Photo: Instagram

Instagram officially hit 800 million users this week, but the Facebook-owned company has no interest in resting on its laurels. In fact, alongside its “hey, we added another 100M users… no big deal” announcement, the company continued its crusade against comment trolls by launching the most powerful commenting controls the app has seen yet.

The numbers bit was only mentioned briefly in Instagram’s news release. “Our community has grown to 800 million, with 500 million using it every day,” writes Instagram. “It’s more important than ever to strengthen our commitment to safety and kindness.”

And so the company has added some interesting new comment controls. Namely: filtering who can comment on your posts if you have a public account, and the ability to block individual accounts from commenting on your pictures. The controls look like this in your Settings:

In addition to the updated commenting controls—which is just the latest in a series of ‘safety and kindness’ updates the company has released—Instagram also added anonymous reporting of Live Video to their mental health resources. If you are viewing a live broadcast that has you worried about the poster, you can anonymously report the post, which will show the person “a message offering help with options to talk to a helpline, reach out to a friend or get other tips and support.”

To learn more about these updates or see them in action for yourself, head over to the Instagram blog or update your iOS and Android apps to the latest version.

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Polaroid unveils flexible LED panel you can bend into different shapes

29 Sep

Polaroid has been on a lighting spree of late, and the brand continued that trend this week by launching a lightweight, flexible LED light panel that can be bent into various positions and shapes.

The 12×12-inch (30.5 x 30.5cm) panel offers flicker-free 5600K color temperature light at a thickness of just 16mm / 0.6in. Inside are embedded 256 total LEDs that output 4500 lumens of light, which Polaroid says makes it nearly as bright as direct sunlight; however, the panel does include a diffusion filter to produce a softer “dreamy glow.”

According to the product’s Amazon page, Polaroid’s new panel includes a remote control for toggling the light’s channels and settings, it is dimmable, and it’s being described as durable, though Polaroid doesn’t detail the exact materials it used to make the product.

The Polaroid flexible LED panel is available now for $ 125 USD.

Press Release

Polaroid Announces the Polaroid Flexible LED Lighting Panel; Brings Bendable, Controlled Lighting to Photographers and Videographers

Super-bright, featherweight LED light that folds and bends into the perfect shape for every shot

Edison, NJ – September 26, 2017 – Polaroid today announced the Polaroid flexible LED lighting panel, an incredibly lightweight, bendable light source that is a must-have accessory for any photographer or videographer. Mold the light to the desired form and position, as the pliable flat-mat material can be reshaped to give focused control over the light’s direction and fall-off. Anyone from professional photographers to casual enthusiasts can use the simple wireless remote control to quickly dim the daylight balanced light source, making it perfect as a main light or as a versatile fill light in larger set-ups.

The Versatile Light That Fits Any Situation

Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, the 5600K color temperature light source delivers flicker-free brilliant light wherever you take it. Bright and flexible enough to be part of a larger professional shoot, the Polaroid flexible LED lighting panel is also light enough for use at solo outings, weddings and location shoots. The compact design and bendable material make this the perfect accessory for the photographer on-the-go.

Perfect Lighting for Portraits, Products or Macro Photography

Measuring at 12×12” and just 16mm wide, the super slim Polaroid flexible LED panel mat weighs a mere one pound, making it easy to arrange and mold the light into your ideal position. Even at this ultra-portable size, the Polaroid flexible LED lighting panel delivers superb color reproduction similar in comparison to a natural light source; with 256 LEDs it can produce up to 4500 Lumens – nearly the brightness of direct sunlight. For those looking to achieve a softer look, the included special diffusion filter turns the brilliant LED light into a dreamy glow – perfect for portraits and product shots!

Photographers and videographers can purchase the Polaroid flexible LED lighting panel from Amazon for 124.99 USD.

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Inspiration: How the Lofoten Islands changed Chris Burkard’s life

29 Sep

Chris Burkard is one of the most prolific, successful, and recognizable adventure travel photographers in the world. But before the TED talk and the crazy adventures to remote parts of the world, Burkard was a working surf photographer who was bored and unfulfilled despite having achieved success with his art.

In the short film above by Vincent Urban Film, Burkard tells his story of self-discovery; he tells the story of visiting the Lofoten Islands and finding, not just a beautiful landscape, but his calling and passion in life.

Our friend and Resource Travel editor Michael Bonocore actually got to visit the Lofoten Islands with Chris three years ago, when he was working for SmugMug on an inspirational film about Burkard’s work. Michael got to see Chris in his element, and meet the man he now describes as a “humble bad ass”—at once one of the most talented and successful photographers in the world, and the guy who rarely if ever talks about himself or his own work.

Check out a selection of photos Bonocore took on that trip below, and if you like what you see, check out this article on Resource Travel to learn more about this experience and see even more candid photos of Chris in action.

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10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

29 Sep

Every decision you’ve ever made, each image you’ve ever shot, and each chance you’ve taken, has brought you to where you are now as a photographer. Think about that for a second. Regardless of what your goals might be or where you want to go with your photography, it all comes down to a series of moves. So really, all of your success and all of your failures are a beautiful mix of causes and effects. One action yielding one outcome big or small. For most of us, our love for all things photography points to one end and that ever-burning question of “How can I be a full-time photographer?”

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to quit your job and become a professional photographer or how it feels to turn your love of photography into sustainable income, then this is your lucky day. I’m about to share with you some lessons I’ve learned during my three-year journey to become “one of those people”; someone who managed to turn their passion for photography into a full-time job and kiss the rat race goodbye. A few of these lessons are ones you might expect and a few might not be so obvious. So, sit back and get ready to hear some real-world advice from someone who actually made their dream happen, and how you can follow if you choose.

#1 – You have to want it more than anything

It’s easy to say you want something. But have you ever truly desired to make something happen? I’m talking about the kind of want that consumes your very being. Well, maybe not that dramatic but it’s not far off. If you are going to “make it” at anything then you will have to want it more than anything else.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

The happy upside to finding something that you so completely want is that the challenges you face don’t seem to matter as much as they might otherwise. And yes, there will be oh so many challenges. Which leads us to lesson #2.

#2 – You will have to sacrifice

Don’t get me wrong. The following words aren’t meant to be a deterrent but at the same time, they are quite true. To ultimately reach your goals there will have to be sacrifices made along the way. The nature and exactness of these sacrifices will vary greatly but there will always be things that you will have to give up in order to make your dream a reality.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

These sacrifices could be anything from giving up sleep and experiencing physical discomfort or missing time out with friends. Photography is a medium that literally requires you to be present for every shot. This means that to truly be there in the moment you won’t always be able to someplace else. It strains relationships and can take a toll on your body, your finances, and even your mind. But much like lesson #1, the sacrifices won’t seem so terrible if they are viewed as a necessary means to make something you truly want happen.

#3 – Understand the “calculated risks”

Taking calculated risks is sometimes misunderstood by some people who are looking to take a leap with their photo work. Let’s break down the very phrase “calculated risk”.

First, we have the word “calculated” which means something that is done with full awareness of the possible consequences. Then we have “risk” which refers to exposing something we value to danger, harm, or loss. So, when we say that we are going to take a calculated risk, it means that we are about to put something on the line knowing full well that the outcome might not be favorable. This is where I feel the point becomes lost with some photographers.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

To reach your goals you’ll certainly have to take some risks. While that’s true, I’ve learned that it’s the manner in which you take those risks that makes all the difference. When it comes to taking calculated risks, never risk anything that will ultimately prevent you from reaching your next goal.

I’ll admit though, this advice can be somewhat paradoxical. Meaning that in the end, you will have to take the ultimate calculated risk. That is going all in and attempting to make your living exclusively from your dealings in photography. Until that time comes, make sure your risks are of the non-terminal variety.

#4 – You will have to teach yourself patience

This is a hard one. You will have to be patient. Stay ambitiously patient, but be patient nonetheless. If you’re not a patient person then you’ll probably have to teach yourself to be one. And if you come to the conclusion that you can’t teach yourself to be patient then you’ll just have to fake it. I can tell you that there is no set timetable when it comes to reaching a sustainable goal.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

Being patient doesn’t mean that you should sit back and wait for things to happen. Instead, make every minute of every day count towards achieving the thing you want the most. But understand that there’s no guarantee when that goal will be reached. Just know that you will reach it if you are patient (and persistent) and don’t stop.

#5 – Confidence comes after the fact

This is something that I struggle to remind myself on a daily basis. Confidence is just as important as skill in some cases. Having the gall to try something new, to attempt difficult things, that’s what it takes to make big things happen with your photography.

Some people are born confident (or at least so it seems). But for others, confidence is a learned talent. What’s the downside to becoming confident in your work? Confidence only comes after you do the thing you’re afraid to do.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

Yeah, that’s a hard idea to swallow but it’s true. To become confident you will have to constantly step outside your comfort zone to varying degrees. This could mean being proactive with clients, taking on jobs that are just slightly outside your assumed skill set, and at times even talking your way into (and out of) a few situations.

#6 – Disregard secret formulas for success

The internet is chock-full of every kind of self-improvement website and video imaginable that all aim at making you better at photography. That’s 100% okay and none of us would know much of anything about making photographs if it weren’t for people who publish good educational information. After all, you’re reading this article on one of the best photo education sites online. But that doesn’t mean that everything that glitters is gold.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

A big red warning flag should go up whenever you hear or read something that tells you to, “Do this and you’ll be a great photographer” or worse yet, the dreaded, “I’m a master photographer so listen to me” line. Understand that your journey to finding success is completely unique to you. My goals and choices are likely totally different than those you will choose. At the same time, some lessons are universal. Just remember that there is no secret formula, only tested advice.

#7 – Grab opportunity by the throat

I love a good metaphor and grabbing opportunity by the throat is one of the best ones I can think of to describe what I learned about approaching opportunity. Learning to recognize opportunities for advancing yourself and your work is only a small part of the puzzle. You have to also aggressively seize those opportunities when they come along.

For me, there were three or four big opportunities that eventually put me where I am today. Narrowing it down even further, one of those opportunities hinged on a single email that I sent to someone. If I hadn’t sent that one message, things might have turned out much differently.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

Don’t just say, “I think this is a great opportunity but…” There are no buts when it comes to this sort of action. Unfortunately, you have to decide that for yourself whether not an opportunity is worthwhile. But if you do decide to go for it, do so with everything you’ve got. You never know where it might lead. Which brings us to #8.

#8 – Your destination will change

This is somewhat of a strange lesson which I’ve only come to grasp in the last year or so. The end all be all dream I had when I started making photographs was to take pictures of beautiful things, sell them, and repeat. I thought I would do this enough to make a living.

Well, the hard truth about photography is that it’s nearly impossible to make a living exclusively from selling prints. It’s not impossible, but even the established greats in the photography history books didn’t merely sell prints to support themselves. The ones who did often were only able to do so AFTER they became giants in the art.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to evolve in a natural direction. Currently, I write for four to five publications, have authored two books on photography, host my own YouTube channel, and dabble in all manner or photo-related adventures. I still love making photos and do so whenever I can, but do I sell a lot of those prints? Not really.

Would I ever have imagined myself as a writer? Absolutely not! But when the opportunity came along I took it, and it’s all been one amazing ride to where I am now. The takeaway here is to be flexible with your attitude and accept that you always understand that a glorious outcome is out there, but it may not be the one you originally set out to achieve.

#9 – Think big but have realistic expectations

Set huge goals for yourself. Dream big. Think big. Never let anyone tell you that something is impossible for this or that reason. While you should never set strict limitations for yourself and your dreams it’s also important to live in reality. This is a reality, isn’t it? The point is to never expect great things to happen quickly or without a lot of work (remember #2 and #4 above) supplied on your part.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

The most saddening thing that can happen to those who have unreal expectations is that they quit. They stop chasing after what they love and resign themselves to an existence they don’t really want. If you want to go full-time in the photography world always remember that success finds us at different times and with different outcomes. Think as big as you need to but keep your feet firmly on the ground.

#10 – It’s all worth it in the end

As we close out our list, #10 is the lesson that I want you to understand with the most clarity. Of all the lessons I’ve learned on my journey to independence with photography, there is one that had to wait for until the end and it’s this – it’s all worth it. All of it. All your hard work, all your sacrifice, everything that you poured into making your dream of being a working full-time photographer will ultimately lead to one of the greatest feelings imaginable.

10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer

Honestly, any description I can give of how amazing it feels to make photography (or photo related) your full-time job will ultimately fall miserably short of its mark. So, if you’re struggling with whatever you happen to be doing with photography let this final lesson fortify you enough to keep going. Believe me, it will all be worth it.

Some Final Thoughts

These lessons are just a small portion of a nearly indecipherable culmination of trial and error, ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Your particular path will be different than mine, as it should be. I managed to leave a successful, albeit unfitting, career in healthcare to go on to make a living doing what I really love. The best part? I’m no different than you.

I’m ecstatic to tell you some of the lessons I’ve learned so that you might understand that you can do the same thing I did. It may not happen quickly and it might not be exactly what you originally planned, but when it finally happens…and it will happen, it will be better than anything you can imagine.

The post 10 Lessons from a Guy Who Quit His Job to be a Full-Time Photographer by Adam Welch appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Manfrotto is teaming up with Sony to make accessories for Alpha series cameras

29 Sep

Manfrotto has announced that it will make accessories for Sony Alpha series cameras as part of a new partnership between the accessory giant and the camera maker. The collaboration was revealed at the Gitzo 100-year anniversary event held in Tokyo today, where Manfrotto explained that it will kick things off next year with a line of premium products made specifically for professionals using Sony’s Alpha cameras.

The first product released under this partnership will be a Manfrotto Befree tripod designed specifically for Sony’s Alpha cameras, which the company plans to show off at PhotoPlus in New York City next month. Following that, Manfrotto will make special versions of both Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods, video and photo heads, and plates. Finally, there will also be a special version of Manfrotto’s Digital Director.

To learn more, check out the press release below

Press Release


Market leaders will work together to produce a range of premium products targeted at the professional market

Tokyo, 28th September 2017Vitec Photographic, world leader in the photography and videography, imaging equipment and accessories industry has announced its collaboration with Sony, a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. This agreement will consolidate both companies position as the innovation leaders in their respective sectors. The collaboration is announced on the occasion of Gitzo 100 years anniversary event in Tokyo, which represents the perfect moment for communicating the common values of innovation and premium quality.

“We are proud to announce the agreement with Sony”– states Marco Pezzana, CEO Vitec Group Photographic Division – “This collaboration sees our brands Manfrotto and Gitzo, leaders in the market of photo and video accessories, working side by side with the prestigious Sony brand, globally renowned for product excellence and superior technology, with the primary intent of collaborating to the development of even more innovative products for professional content creators, thus further increasing customer satisfaction and future business growth.”

The collaboration will begin with a brand new line of products developed for ?, Sony’s interchangeable lens camera, that will be launched in 2018. First to be released will be a special version of the Manfrotto Befree tripod, a world class best seller in the traveller segment and the premium lightweight companion solution for compact system camera, unveiled at PhotoPlus in New York on 26th October.

The full range will include new Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods, plates, photo and video heads that are targeted at professionals who demand outmost quality and high performance. A customized version of Digital Director will complement the new range of products that will be showcased at events and tradeshows worldwide throughout 2018.

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GoPro Hero6 arrives today with 4K/60p recording, improved image quality, better stabilization

29 Sep

A more powerful processor is at the center of GoPro’s Hero6 Black announcement today, enabling features like 4K/60p video recording and improved dynamic range compared to its previous Hero action cams. The custom-designed GP1 processor also enables 1080/240p slow motion video, and claims that improved image stabilization and better low light performance come with the package.

Like the Hero5, the Hero6 is waterproof without a case to a depth of 10m/33ft. It also supports GoPro’s QuikStories, a mobile app feature that analyzes footage and automatically assembles short clips of what it identifies as the highlights of your adventure. GoPro says that the new GP1 chip offers advanced machine vision and computer learning capabilities to analyze scenes and create better automated stories.

Other improvements include 3x faster offloading speeds and a new digital zoom feature. The Hero6 comes of course with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope sensors to track all of the action.

The GoPro Hero6 Black is on sale today for $ 500.

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GoPro Fusion makes official debut, captures 5.2K spherical video

29 Sep

GoPro’s pro-grade spherical camera has been in the works for a while now, but today Fusion gets its official debut today. It’s capable of 5.2K/30p and 3K/60p spherical video capture, in addition to 18MP spherical stills. It touts gimbal-like stabilization without a gimbal, and provides a feature GoPro calls OverCapture to create tradition fixed perspective video from 360-degree footage.

It’s not quite as rugged as its Hero siblings, but Fusion is waterproof to 5m/16ft. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are included and the camera is compatible with the existing GoPro app. It’s up for pre-order now to US, UK, European and Canadian customers for $ 700.

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Pumpkin Photo Stand DIY

29 Sep

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Nikon D850 added to studio scene comparison

29 Sep

We’ve had some time to get to know the Nikon D850 and so far it’s safe to say we’ve been really impressed. Its low ISO dynamic range is class-leading, and it has proven so far to be a versatile tool for shooting everything from wedding receptions to white water rapid kayaking. We’ve also had a chance to put it in front of our standard studio test scene for your viewing pleasure – see how its 46 megapixels look side-by-side with its peers.

See the Nikon D850 in our studio scene comparison tool

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Elegant Energy-Free Air Conditioner Can Drop Temperatures by 26 Degrees

29 Sep

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

At a glance, the honeycomb structure of terracotta tubes looks more like large-scale work of handmade sculpture than a highly designed air conditioner. Developed for an electronics factory in New Delhi, this evaporative cooling device requires no power to lower interior temperatures by as much as 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Designed by Ant Studio for DEKI Electronics in New Delhi, the low-tech strategy taps into a long history of passive cooling systems that employ water rather than power. Water passing through the clay pipes and falling into the basin below looks and sounds soothing, but it also lower air temperatures as it evaporates.

The appearance of the system is also deceptively simple, looking like a hand-crafted work rather than something developed through advanced computational analysis and modern calibration techniques. The effect is astonishing: temperatures of 122 degrees can be brought down as low 96 degrees (perhaps not room temperature comfortable for everyone, but still a remarkable drop).

The tubes are porous, absorbing water that slowly evaporates. Monish Siripurapu, founder of Ant Studio, says this project has “opened up a lot more possibilities … we can integrate this technique with forms that could redefine the way we look at cooling systems, a necessary yet ignored component of a building’s functionality. Every installation could be treated as an art piece,” he believes.

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