Are Patents Like The Three This Photographer Holds Harmful Or Ultimately Helpful For Our Industry?

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A California based company, PhotoCrazy (owned by Peter Wolf), is suing a South Carolina event photography business, Capstone, for violating three of PhotoCrazy’s patents. The patents, 6,985,875; 7,047,214; and 7,870,035, grant PhotoCrazy exclusive rights to certain workflows that have been commonly used in sporting event photography for quite some time.  More specifically, it cites taking photos of an athlete at an event, sorting the images by the bib number wore by the athlete, and putting them a website which allows athletes to quickly find their photos by entering their bib number. Like I said, a very common practice.

Is this starting to remind you of the Amazon patent hullabaloo?
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After Watching This Timelapse You’ll Be Lining Up For Tickets To Next Years Burning Man

burningman_timelapseI recall a friend once passionately trying to convince me of the greatness of their favorite musician by explaining how the music was so good it caused my colleague existential despair by thinking nothing he ever created would be able to transcend, surpass, or even just achieve the same level of magnificence as the musicians work. Now, having watched this timelapse fresh out of Burning Man, I can honestly say I know what it’s like being able to relate to that feeling.

The photography of Roy Two Thousand and his second shooters, August Winkelman and Connor McNeill, is outstanding. This, of course, isn’t entirely surprising considering some of the other gems that can be found in Roy Two Thousand’s portfolio, including The Fertile Desert, which served as an inspiration to make Lake of Dreams.

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US Copyright Office: Photos Taken by Animals Have No Copyright. Nor Do Photos Taken by God.

Two weeks ago, the story of the selfie-taking monkey gave me what I had thought was the best article title I was ever going to get to right. I was wrong. This is the best article title that I’ve ever gotten to write.

For those who missed it, around the beginning of this month Wikipedia was caught in a bit of controversy for its ruling on photographs taken by a monkey with photographer David Slater’s camera, saying that Slater had no copyright to them since he wasn’t their photographer. In a update to the story equally as bizarre as the story itself, the US Copyright Office released a 1,222-page document establishing new policies and reaffirming existent stances set on copyright law; touching on the subject at hand, the Office basically said that a picture taken by a monkey is unclaimed intellectual property.

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Essential Night Landscape Photography Tips from Chris Burkard

chris-burkard1Today’s post comes from extraordinary surf and landscape photographer Chris Burkard, who was recently featured by Smugmag’s short film, Arctic Swell. Chris has made it his life’s work to find wild, remote destinations and then capture the juxtaposition of humans in these environments. The world is an oftentimes harsh, humbling, and magical place, and Chris wants to photograph it all.

He shares his essential night landscape tips below. You can browse his portfolio and print store on his site.

It’s hard to beat the enchanting feeling of star gazing at a clear night sky. You soon become lost in its beauty like a giant kaleidoscope full of shooting stars, planets, and glow from the setting sun or nearby cities. I’ve traveled to countless countries over the past ten years and some of my fondest memories occur long after the sun has set. Whether it’s camping near my home in Big Sur or witnessing a rare northern lights show in the Arctic, I’ve had the privilege and challenge of documenting these night landscapes.

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Unforgiven: The Cinematography of Jack N. Greene

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Last year, actor Ken Watanbe starred in the Japanese remake of a film called Unforgiven. Though it may have had a limited release, its reception wasn’t diminished in the slightest. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, Yurusarezaru mono continued the cinematic relationship between samurai epics and spaghetti westerns at full ignition; the tradition’s beginnings are rooted in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which was a scene-by-scene remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.

Out of everything the film achieved, Yurusarezaru mono reminded us that Unforgiven still remains an ageless masterpiece. After its release, the film became known as a eulogy to classic spaghetti western cinema; in other words, it signified the end of a generation. If that statement holds any truth to it all, then it’s fitting that Unforgiven was helmed by Clint Eastwood, who starred in the Sergio Leone trilogy that pioneered the genre in the first place.

The reason I bring up the fact that it eulogized a generation for this post is because of the fact that Unforgiven was entirely rooted in it; every element that made it what it was borrowed from the old classics, and that included direction, music, writing, and cinematography.

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Why The Non-Refundable Photography Deposit Is A Myth

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About a year ago I received an email with some bad news from a client.

“Dear Jeff– I just wanted to let you know that Gwen and Peter have called off their engagement and will not be getting married in September. The news comes as quite a shock to us, but Gwen claims it’s for the best and we’ve always trusted her judgment. I apologize for the short notice, but we just found out less than 48 hours ago. I would like to stop by later this week and pick up a refund of our deposit…”

There was a bit more after that, but it was just a blur. My attention was focused squarely on four words– “refund of our deposit.”

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Buzz Aldrin On Taking Self Portraits In Space (Plus, A New Service That Let’s You Make Your Own Space Selfie?!)

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Let’s be real, space selfies are light years better than the average Instagram styled selfie. Photos taken of space from space are like the ultimate travel photos. It probably has something to do with the fact that some astronauts, like Buzz Aldrin, were orbiting earth at speeds of 17,000 mph and just casually snapped a selfie like what they’re doing is no big deal.  As Aldrin explains in the interview below, he was supposed to be photographing ultraviolet stars, but when the sun rose and he could no longer see the stars, he turned the camera on himself because he was curious to see what it would like and, you know, why not?.

Listen as Aldrin tells the story behind pioneering the space selfie, then read on to see how you can take a space selfie of your own.

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An Epic Photography Shootout: Benjamin Von Wong vs. Rebecca Litchfield

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to participate in a project that brought photographers to Israel to share some of its nicer sides. The project was hosted by Kinetis and brought together an amazing team: Benjamin Von Wong, Rebecca Litchfield, Simon Pollock, Mike Kelly and Adam Lerner and Jared Polin of Froknowsphoto.

With so much talent condensed in such a limited geographical area, I knew I have to do something fun. The concept evolved to make a crazy shootout between Benjamin Von Wong and Rebecca Litchfield. We planned on presenting those two very unique photographers with an ‘identical photo’ themed challenge. Only instead of having them create a single photo, we upped the ante and decided on three different themes they will have to shoot in: A Fire Challenge, A Feathers Challenge and a Flour Challenge.

So, theme was identical, props were identical, wardrobe (donated by Rebecca) was identical, hair and makeup were shared, and the timeframe was tight for both. But…

Having Ben and Rebecca almost on the opposite sides of the spectrum should be pretty interesting: Ben shoots Nikon, while Rebecca shoots Canon; Ben like massive strobes, while Rebecca usually use small constant lights; Ben comes from epic and surreal while Rebecca is keen to fine art… you name it, they differ on it.

The final photos are found below for your enjoyment… (and both Rebecca and Ben will share some more detailed info about the photographs on their own channels as well so stay tuned).

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White Water Kayaking Photos – Surprisingly More Difficult Than You Might Think

I can’t believe that its late August and summer is almost over.  It seems that every year I have a list of summer time photo sessions that I never get around to.

One thing I have had on my list for a while now is white water kayaking photos.

There is a world class white water course just down the road from one of the cottages we spend time at every summer, yet somehow I never end up with enough time to get out and photograph the kayakers.

Well, this summer I finally made time for it – and as it turns out, white water kayaking photos are surprisingly much more difficult than you might think!

white water kayaking photos photography jp danko blurmedia extreme sport commercial photographer toronto

In this article, I will share the thought process, camera settings and post production behind this series white water kayaking photos.

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How The Launch of Apollo 11 Looks Slowed Down at 500 FPS

It’s been forty five years since Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first two men to walk on the moon. The more unbelievable fact for us, however, is that apparently had cameras that could run at five hundred frames per second back then, as well.

For thirty seconds, the launch of Apollo 11 was filmed by a camera on location at 500 FPS. The ending result was a stretched out to about eight minutes, and gave us one of our sharpest looks ever at the launch of a spacecraft. Obviously, the content shown is a breathtaking sight on its own, but I really found myself focusing on the aesthetics of the video itself after a few repeat views. How amazing is it that we’re able to see footage this sharp, fluid, and clear from 1969? Shot originally on 16MM film, the film was spotlessly converted to HD for us to be able to view online. Check it out for yourself, and stick around for the commentary by Spacecraft Films‘ Mark Gray. For a video that lasts just under ten minutes, what you learn for nearly its entire duration is half of the enjoyment.

Seriously though. With just how expensive film should have been at that point, NASA must actually have been receiving sufficient funding back then.