‘Bad Reviews’ Extortion Scams Targeting Photographers and How To Deal With Them

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There is a new “bad reviews” blackmail scam that has been targeting many of my colleagues including myself. The scam is not just targeting newborn photographers, but any photographers (wedding, portrait, maternity, etc) from North America and Australia (so far…) and photography prop vendors who are visible in the internet searches. This is my case and how I suggest dealing with such scams.

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Ordinary People Shot As SuperHeros On The Ledge Of A San Francisco Skyscraper

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Everyone wants to be a superhero. It is not easy to become one, but given the right opportunity, talent and time, it is possible to make it for a day. Photographer Benjamin Von Wong took an ordinary team of workers from Smugmug and granted them a day of superheroness.

While a superhero shoot is always hard to pull off while maintaining a “real” look, this shoot had another high stakes factor. Ben chose to actually shoot the team on the ledge of a San Francisco skyscraper. Of course this could have been accomplished with photoshop, but Ben wanted to do it for real:

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Photographs Of Superheros In Everyday Situations

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If you are like me you know what superheroes are doing for the brief 120 minutes that they are on the silver screen, but surely they have a life after the movie, and they face the same situations as we all do, don’t they? Photographer Edy Hardjo decided to find out.

In his photos our favorite superheroes face jealousy, bodily needs and human emotions. Not without a healthy sense of humor.

I wondered how the photos look so real. I guess using 1/6 detailed figures (like Hot Toys, Enterbay, 3A and alike, they those are not cheap and can easily go over $200-$300) have a big contribution to that, but Edy also told DIYP that he makes small modifications to the figures: “especially the hair. I change original the sculpted hair with rooted hair, to make it looked more alive. My friend do it for me, he is the expert“. And those modifications are well worth the effort.

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Family Offers A One-In-A-Lifetime Free Portfolio Building To Any Photographer Willing To Work For Them

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Working for free has always been a touchy subject and while opinions may sway one way or another I think that working family events for free is not something you would do to ‘build a portfolio’.

Apparently one family from sun prairie, Wisconsin thinks differently. There are many ads asking for free photography service but this one made reddit for being especially presumptuous. (I agree) The family posted a work offer on craigslist, they offer the photographer to “use the photo’s to build portfolio“. What photos you ask? Those: “We have several occasions coming up this spring/summer and would like a photographer who would work with us“.

Here is the untouched craigslist ad (really, we did not touch it):

Hello, We are looking for someone who is building their portfolio or just starting out their business.
We have several occasions coming up this spring/summer and would like a photographer who would work with us. In exchange you may use the photo’s to build portfolio. A student would be fine with us. Please send some information about yourself and any examples of your work that you have. Experience working with kids and newborns would be excellent! This can take some patience to get the right shot!

And there is a little “compensation: no pay” at the bottom, just to keep things clear.

[Family photographer needed (sun prairie) via reddit]

New Flat Lenses Technology Could Offer Smaller Lenses with Zero Chromatic Aberration

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A new technology dubbed “achromatic metasurface” from Harvard’s SEAS aims at making Chromatic Aberration (CA), a thing of the past. Moreover, they are planning to do it with a flat lens design.

A flat lens prototype was introduced back in 2012, but it could only work with one wavelength creating significant Chromatic Aberration

The lenses we know are curved, making the acting like a prism and breaking different wavelength in different angles, creating an effect called Chromatic Aberration. Most lens companies have technologies to overcome this problem by either including several glass elements in the glass or by using different types of glass (like ED glass for Nikon).

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Using Lasers To Shut Down Street Lights And Get Better Space Photos

One of the biggest obstacles of taking good astronomical photos is light pollution, this is why almost every tip article on night photos has a tip about getting away from the city. But what if you want to take photos in your driveway? In that case, street lights will most probably kill each and every one of your photos.

Astronaut Don Pettit (previously) has a neat little trick he uses to shut down that annoying street light he has just outside his driveway. He points a laser at the street light sensor which tricks the street light into thinking that it is still day outside and preserve energy by shutting down.

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Orcavue Creates Bullet Time Shots With One Camera

Remember how revolutionary that bullet shot in the matrix was? It was also a few dozens cameras, a full-scale Chroma room and a budget that would probably be enough for a mid-sized indie film. But the effect is totally worth it.

I guess this is why we are seeing so many creative ways of recreating this effect, from crowd-sourcing, to using “cheap” GoPros (or even RASPBERRY PIs) arrays to using a ceiling fan (really!).

Orcavue took that ceiling fan concept and made it into a product. I guess I can only describe their rig as an upside down biggish ceiling fan with a camera on its arm.

The arm on the Orcavue  revolves at 1-2 revolutions per second, and combined with a high FPS camera – say a 120FPS, $500 GoPro – it can create some cool bullet time effects. The team recommends slowing the camera even further in post (say using Twixtor) to get a really slow shot.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Nude Models [NSFW]

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Model: Ella Rose Muse; Photographer: Faye Yerbury

1.Yes, it is possible to make a living doing this. But it takes a lot of hard work and a good reputation. For every hour spent in front of the lens or canvas, roughly nine million are spent networking, updating portfolios, organising work, advertising, applying to castings, travelling to and from locations, packing/unpacking for jobs/trips (because even nude models are expected, often, to bring props/accessories/items of clothing) and attacking what I like to affectionately refer to as ‘the email mountain’. We are grateful for the email mountain; it keeps us in business; we just wish we could hire some hobbit minions to live underneath it and help us out every now and then (perhaps with purpose-built sticks and digging equipment) so that we don’t accidentally offend the creative types who grow more and more anxious by our lack of reply (because we are busy modelling by day, or sleeping by night, or, you know, doing other important stuff).

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OWL Aims To Be The World’s First Drop-in filter Adapter Reducing Costs and Improving Workflow

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One of the best features of mirrorless cameras is the ability to use DSLR lenses. But when using DSLR lenses you immediately fall into one of the flaws of the DSLR lens system: filter design. The mix of filter thread sizes, ‘regular’, thin and extra thin filters and lenshood interaction makes you with there was a better solution.

Owl, “The World First Drop-in filter Adapter” aims to solve the filter problem for mirrorless once and for all with their new indiegogo. Most DSLR to mirrorless adapters are simply a hollow tube pushing the lens away from the camera. They are strong enough to carry a lens, while moving the electric contacts needed for focusing and feedback from the camera bayonet to the adapter bayonet. Owl simply makes a clever use of that space, adding a drop-in filter slot.

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