Yesterday afternoon I noticed that my Twitter and Instagram feeds were humming with curiously styled selfies that slimmed faces, lightened skin, and applied a veneer of gloss and sheen that supposedly turned the selfees into animé-like characters. The transformations were courtesy of a Chinese app called Meitu that had suddenly become the height of fashion. I thought Meitu did a fantastic job of producing the archetypal Widow Twankey, so while I wasn’t desperate to have a go myself, I could understand why people were enamoured with it and enjoying a giggle.
These days, along with a new US leadership transition, comes the online transition. The White House Flickr account has been scrubbed, changes have been made to the White House website, and social media has had a little bit of a reboot. Including the official @POTUS Twitter account.
The Hill, and several other outlets, are reporting a bit of a cock up with Twitter’s reset, though. The header image originally used on the account was of a crowd waving little American flags in front of the Capitol during the inauguration. The problem was, it wasn’t Trump’s inauguration. It was Obama’s.
At the beginning of January, I was having a drink with a friend of mine. As it usually goes at this time of year, we asked each other about the New Year’s Eve and what we did that night. He started telling me about his fun night out, and at one point he said: “It was so good, that we don’t have any photos of the evening”. This made me think about tons of stuff, both as a photographer and as someone who likes going out. It mainly made me think about capturing the great moments of our nightlife, and of other super-fun moments of our lives.
Today, there are plenty of paid nightlife photographers. Also, all of us capture nightlife moments with our cell phones. But – what kind of moments do we actually capture? Is it really fun we eternalize – or is it something else? Also, is it different now than it was when we used analog cameras? Does nowadays a lack of photos, instead plenty of them, mean we had a good time?
Here is an argument that may shut the race for new gear. President’s Trump’s official portrait was taken with a Canon 1Ds Mark III. Now, it’s a great camera, but it’s also almost a decade into the market. It was announced in august, 2007. President Obama’s portrait, on the other hand, was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II. (Obama was also the first president to have his portrait taken with a digital camera – and we owe that to Pete Souza). Obama’s second portrait, by the way, was taken with a 5D mark III (Announced March, 2012)
Here is the interesting thing though, the 5D mark II was announced on Sep, 2008, it’s actually a year newer than the 1Ds Mk III that was used to photograph president Trump.
GIMP’s often toted as the main alternative to Photoshop for folks who don’t want to spend any money. GIMP has been around since 1995. In the last 22 years, it’s already seen a lot of progress, but it still doesn’t really hold up for most photographers in comparison to Photoshop.
At its heart, GIMP relies on the GEGL image processing core, and while the software is entirely open source, a massive chunk of the work is done by just one man; Øyvind Kolås. It’s thanks to him that GIMP 2.1 will be shipping with a great many new features users have been asking for. But now they need our help.
The concept of official White House photographer was established in the 1960s and started with John. F. Kennedy. Since then, every president of the US, except Jimmy Carter, has had his official photographer.
The latest video by DigitalRev shows a brief history of presidents and their official photographers. We’ve been surrounded lately by the news about the elections and inauguration of the new US president. But this video focuses on what we’re all interested in here: photography. It also refers to some features the White House photographer needs to have, which is particularly interesting. So, how is the official presidential photographer chosen?
When a country or region is associated with war and conflicts, it’s difficult to change the public opinion. But a young photographer Magomed Shapiev is fighting a different battle from those fought in his homeland. he comes from the Dagestan region in Russia. This part of the country has been a scene of outbreaks and conflicts since the 1990s. But thanks to Magomed’s amazing photos, he is emphasizing the stunning beauty of this region rather than its political situation.
Researchers at Virginia Tech test are hoping to enable drones to fly over people in the future. Therefore, they are testing the consequences of collision between a drone and a human. Okay, not a real human, but a crash test dummy. They are working on developing methods to evaluate the risk a small drone poses to anyone on the ground. And thanks to this research, the application of drones may be extended in the future. And they may be allowed to fly over people, too.
Being able to see with a camera in complete darkness is a challenge. For stills we often have to resort to long exposures. For video it can be virtually impossible. Thankfully, the megapixel race is all but over, and camera manufacturers are focusing on high ISO capability. There’s a couple out there now that can get fairly decent results in near black conditions, but they’re not cheap.
The folks over at N-O-D-E, however have another option. Hacking a cheap action camera to give it some basic night vision ability. The cost in the video says it can be done for around $40, but this will depend where in the world you are. The particular camera he used seems to be much less expensive in the UK than it is in the USA. But, I’m sure pretty much any action cameras can be modified the same way.
When digital cameras became widely available, many photographers have switched from analog to digital shooting. Now we’re deep into the digital era, but it seems that analog photography is gaining momentum again. If you started your career as a digital photographer, and now you want to try shooting analog, you will find some precious advice in this video from Chris Gampat.