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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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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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.

The Spielberg Face

One of the reasons Steven Spielberg is considered a sage in the art of filmmaking is because of how successful he is at keeping the audience emotionally connected to the movie. Even from simply seeing the helicopter approach Isla Nublar in Jurassic Park, we’ve got that rush of excitement; we didn’t see anything at all yet, but we knew it was coming. We knew because John Hammond’s eyes started gleaming with childlike joy as he pointed at the island and said, “There it is.”

Here’s a badly-mathed-out breakdown of a good movie: while one half of the work goes into making the magic a reality through set design, visual effects, and sound editing, another half goes into making the characters of the film believable and enjoyable. Though dinosaurs may only have been in the movie for about fifteen full minutes of its screen time, we enjoyed the movie that much more because of how believable the reactions of the characters were.

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Mayor Candidate Records a Police Beating, Gets Arrested for “Menacing” the Cops Involved

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A few days ago, NYPD Chief Phillip Banks issued a memo reminding police officers that people have the right to fill them while they’re on duty, and that they can’t interfere and try to stop it from happening. It took only three days since then, unfortunately, for that memo to be forgotten.

Yesterday, an previously New York Mayor candidate named Randy Credico was arrested and jailed for recording the aggressive arrest of a man by officers in street clothes. While on his way to a campaign interview, Credico saw the two officers taking control of the man at the Van Cortland Park subway station, located in the Bronx.

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Heartbreaking Video of a Girl Confessing to Deleting Her Uncle’s Picture

The content you’re about to see is a bit painful to watch just because of how emotionally heartbreaking it is, but I really hope it will help remind everyone out there of how important it is to back up your data.

Like any other person can before her, 4-year-old Candace caught herself in a situation where she didn’t pay enough attention to what she was doing with the pictures on a camera that her Uncle Dave loaned her. When she accidentally deleted one of his beloved photos, Candace was struck with guilt that I’m sure we can all imagine; she had to face her uncle and tell him that his pictures “went away forever.” And though it may be hard to hear that your memories were tampered with and gone in the matter of a second, Uncle Dave managed to capture his niece’s confession on camera and upload it here to show us what it feels like.

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A Picture of This Week’s Meteor Shower from Space Itself

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We’ve all got that picture that we can only shoot once in a lifetime. With the upcoming meteor shower this week, that shot might even come for one of us then. So when you’re a photographer working for NASA, it’s safe to say that you’re not just limited to one once-in-a-lifetime capture.

That’s the kind of shots that Ron Garan takes, while working as a photographer for NASA. Back in 2011, he had the opportunity to capture how the Perseid Meteor Shower looks from space, onboard the International Space Station itself; in celebration of the Perseid’s return, the picture was just recently posted on NASA’s website.

“Denizens of planet Earth typically watch meteor showers by looking up. But this remarkable view, captured on August 13, 2011 by astronaut Ron Garan, caught a Perseid meteor by looking down. From Garan’s perspective onboard the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of about 380 kilometers, the Perseid meteors streak below, swept up dust left from comet Swift-Tuttle heated to incandescence. The glowing comet dust grains are traveling at about 60 kilometers per second through the denser atmosphere around 100 kilometers above Earth’s surface. In this case, the foreshortened meteor flash is right of frame center, below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenish airglow, just below bright star Arcturus.”

- A description of the photo from NASA

By the way, this isn’t an event only exclusive to North Americans or Europeans. People from all over the world will be able to witness it this week. With the Supermoon coinciding this week, you should probably check out a few articles online on how best to view it from where you live. We might not all get a change to photograph these lights from space, but we can still shoot that lifetime-worthy picture. All it takes is inspiration and the will to act on it.

And money for gear. But mostly inspiration.

[NASA via PetaPixel]

Microsoft’s ‘Hyperlapse’ Technology Will Make All Your GoPro Footage Look Amazing

Last week, we wrote about how researchers at Brown developed a code that would allow realistic weather alterations in photo-editing through text commands. As fate would have it, the new trend these days is apparently groundbreaking algorithms. Two days ago, a video was uploaded showcasing Microsoft’s latest advancement in photography; using first-person-view cameras, researchers for the company developed an algorithm that makes what they call a hyperlapse. Watching the video, you’ll probably find yourself surprised by just how fluid everything almost looks. Keep reading after the break; seeing how it’s done is just as rewarding.

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