Allen Mowery is a lifestyle photographer, pseudo-philosopher, and wannabe documentarian killing time amidst the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him. You can check out his work on his website or follow along on Facebook, Twitter (@allenmowery), and 500px.

Hasselblad Developed This Manual to Train Astronauts How To Take Photos in Space

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We’ve seen a lot from NASA over the years, from original space exploration photos to intriguing experiments to some of the most incredible time-lapse footage you will ever watch.  Heck, we’ve even witnessed a moon landing Hasselblad go for three quarters of a million dollars!  But, we’re talking mere rocket scientists here, not esteemed photographers with an art school education.  So how does one go about training an under-qualified PhD to snap photos while on a road trip around the globe at 17,500 miles an hour?

Intent on proving that anyone can learn to take a picture, Hasselblad, presumably at the behest of the United States government, developed a comprehensive training manual for astronauts.  From specific instructions on operating the Hasselblad cameras to basic photography principles, astronauts were put through a crash course before going into space.  Here’s a look at the manual…

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Canon Announces EF 35mm F1.4L II with Improved Optics and Chromatic Aberration Control

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Canon has just announced the upcoming release of the EF 35mm F1.4L II USM, an upgraded version of the wide-angle, L-series prime lens.  Boasting features such as 14 optical elements and an improved water-resistant housing, the lens is also the first in the world to implement Canon’s new Blue Spectrum Refractive technology, significantly reducing chromatic aberrations in-camera.

“The new Canon-developed BR optical element offers characteristics that significantly refract blue light,” states Canon’s press release, “which lies within the short-wavelength range, to achieve impressive levels of chromatic aberration correction for outstanding imaging performance.”  The BR technology essentially takes light from the blue wavelength spectrum, which has proven difficult to properly refract, works to better refract the light to a single focal point.

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Incredibly, Model Holds Breath for 4 Minutes to Shoot Underwater Video in a Single Take

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Holding my breathe for even a minute is a difficult task, let alone for four minutes straight.  And I can’t say that I’ve ever been tied up and sunk to the bottom of a pool.  But, for free diver Marina Kazakova, it’s all in a days work.

Lydia is a song about a failed relationship,” says Johnny Stevens of Highly Suspect, “and how it can be kind of tragic sometimes when two people’s life choices lead them in different directions but their love is still there.”  Apparently, drowning a woman was the best way to communicate that (said in all jest).

The incredible music video, brought to life by Pier Pictures, was shot a single 4-minute underwater take, during which Marina held her breath the entire time.  Now we get a look behind the scenes of how this inspiring film was created.

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ISS Uses Still Camera and 800mm Lens to Demonstrate Acceleration Through Space

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In recent years we’ve become more familiar with the International Space Station (ISS) through live video feeds, experiment demonstrations, and fantastic images that have been brought back to earth.  (Then again, maybe it’s all just thrown together on some Hollywood sound stage…who knows.)  But, to the best of my knowledge, we have never before seen a camera used to demonstrate acceleration in space.

In this video, Commander Jeff Williams used a Nikon camera and 800mm lens to demonstrate the basic physics involved with moving through the cosmos.

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Olympus Announces E-M10 II with Faster Shooting, Better Stabilization, and Improved Viewfinder

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Olympus, who 13 years ago produced what I viewed as mediocre digital cameras at best, has been impressing the photography world with many of their cameras in recent years.  From the Pen to the OM-D, they have really stepped up their game to be a real contender in the professional sector.  Now, they’ve upped the ante yet again…

Olympus just announced the OM-D E-M10 II, an update of its previous version, bringing with it a whole list of tremendous functions.

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Watch How This Photographer Creates High-Action Images with Stroboscopic Flash

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Stroboscopic flash photography is basically putting your camera on a slow shutter speed and firing bursts of strobe lighting to freeze moments in action for a “double exposure image” on acid, so to speak.  When David Einar was booked for a shoot with the Linköping Hockey Club in Sweden, he wanted to convey the full sense of action embodied in the fast-paced game.  So he turned to the stroboscopic technique to create adrenaline action in these incredible images.

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Photographer Shares 9 Pieces of Gear He Wished He’d Never Purchased

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Many people suffer from gear acquisition syndrome (GAS), regardless of occupation or hobbies.  It’s part of living in the materialistic Western World.  The problem with photographers is, however, that we often feel justified in our purchases because we’re “making money” with our new toys, rather than simply allowing them to collect dust in the garage.

But, how many of you GAS-sufferers actually put to good use every piece of gear you buy? Allen Murabayashi of PhotoShelter wrote a great piece where he fessed up to having made ridiculous purchases that were never put to proper use.

In his nine-item list, Allen included a variety of items, from lighting to lenses to card readers, that were purchased while he had GAS.  Some seem like no-brainers, while others surprised me a bit.

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Photographer Loses Copyright Suit Against Mapmaker Because of Licensing Technicality

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Creative commons licensing is great, especially for online content creators.   It can also be a tremendous tool for gaining recognition through use of your work as you are just starting out in the creative world.  However, it can be a double-edged sword for the unsuspecting.

A few days ago, a court in Washington, DC found in favor of a defendant after they were sued by a photographer for allegedly using his work without permission or compensation.  Why did the photographer seemingly get shafted in this deal?  Because of Creative Commons…

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This Is How Dan Vojtěch Shoots an Airplane with 30 Strobes

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Red Bull always seems to be up to something (perhaps it’s the “wings”), trying to impress us with various antics to get us to buy their overrated energy drinks.  But, on the plus side, it affords those of us in the creative world with some great inspiration.

In one of their most recently-released videos, stunt pilot Martin Šonka dips his wings while flying dangerously close to the ground betwixt two 15-light banks of strobes for some incredible high-speed action shots.

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Surprisingly, This Method Is Still the Best Way to Market To Your Photography Audience

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There are many books and countless online articles about marketing your photography business, each with their own thoughts and opinions.  Over recent years, the main the push has been towards social media and the wide audience it brings to the photographic entrepreneur.  However, with sites like Facebook basically giving page managers the finger unless they pay to have their page promoted, I fear that it won’t be long before others follow suit and the viability of social networking as a means of marketing for small business will be a thing of the past.  So, what do we do?

In a recent article over at Fstoppers, Craig Beckta shares how to effectively grow your marketing reach while others are losing theirs.  “Don’t make the mistake of countless other photographers by building your business on someone else’s platform,” he cautions, which is exactly what marketing through social media is.  But, Craig offers a different approach.

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