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!

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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.

Explore Portugal In This Scenic Hyperlapse Made By An Award Winning Timelapse Filmmaker

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While on a holiday in Portugal to accept a Best Timelapse award for his incomparably brilliant Moscow Night Timelapse/Hyperlapse, Kirill Neiezhmakov, like any good photographer, seized the opportunity to create his next treasure, Portugal Hyperlapse/Timelapse. Neiezhmakov is making a name for himself among timelapse and hyperlapse photography enthusiasts as one of the art forms leading filmmakers, and rightfully so. He has the uncanny ability to create his new magnum opus with every timelapse he puts out. This Lisbon and Sesimbra, Portugal are no exception.

Upon arriving in Lisbon from his home in Ukraine, Neiezhmakov, contacted Portugal based image maker, Francesco Cerruti for a helping hand in the making of the timelapse. The team traveled to multiple points of interest to make the film, capturing landmarks such as Eduardo VII Park (1:12), Arrábida Sesimbra (0:15) Rossio (1:02), and my personal favorite part of the timelapse, inside and underwater at The Oceanarium in Park of The Nations (1:33). Take a look:

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Increasing Number Of Performers Ban Use Of Smartphones And Tablets To Photograph And Film Events

Photo by Martin Fisch on Flickr

Photo by Martin Fisch on Flickr

After running a post detailing the ban of tablet photography at Manchester United home games last week, we asked our readers if we thought this might spark a trend and whether or not they thought more venues should and would pick up on the idea. Looking through the comments on that post it appears the consensus rules in favor of the ban and everyone seems to at least hope tablet photography gets banned in more places. If you are one of those people, I have some good news for you. It appears more and more musicians are starting to speak up against cell phone photography by pleading with concertgoers to leave their camera phones at home. Some are even banning such devices altogether.

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Experience The Swiss Alps With A Little Help From 12 GoPros And 2 Custom Panoramic Rigs

mammut_360_goprosHave you ever dreamt about photographing your own ascent of the Swiss Alps, but can never find the time to actually get around to it? Luckily, there are professional mountaineers who are, well, let’s just say, slightly more motivated than you and I. Now, you can enjoy the experience of climbing the notorious Eiger North Face from the comfort of your couch thanks to the radical photography project carried out by Dani Arnold, Stephan Siegrist, and the 12 GoPro’s they carried on their expedition to the top of the 13,000-foot (3970 meters) summit. The panoramic imagery they were able to capture is nothing short of breathtaking.

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How The BBC Uses “Spy Cams” To Photograph And Document Wildlife

Meet TunaCam, the BBC's robotic spy camera used to document pods of dolphins and other marine wildlife.

Meet TunaCam, the BBC’s robotic spy camera used to document pods of dolphins and other marine wildlife.

For many years wildlife photographers relied on their unparalleled patience and lots of long lenses capture footage of wildlife. However, as digital technology grows and our cameras seem to be shrinking, professional and amateur photographers alike are enjoying the freedom these compact cameras give them by devising inventive ways to get up close and personal with wildlife without impacting their natural surroundings and behaviors.
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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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