Mark Goldstein (Potography Blog) looks into the the photography industry's crystal ball for 2014.

Here are some safe bets: More megapixels, more connectivity, better video capabilities, well, more of everything in fact:

"The prolific nature of photography these days has been met with a lot of derision amongst professional photographers. Do people really need to take (multiple) photos of everything? Why is the worth of an image measured by how much it’s ‘shared’? Has the grand sum of technological advancement really culminated in Selfies at Funerals? . . . read more

Amateur photographer plunges to his death while trying to capture the perfect sunset.

A tragic story like his comes along every now and then, highlighting the risks some photographers are willing to take in order to get their shots. Luke Traynor from the Mirror reports:

"Gerry Coyle, 65, was trying to snap idyllic sunsets when he scaled the 3,500ft Mount Snowdon - the highest peak in England and Wales.The enthusiastic snapper set up his tripod to capture the stunning scenery as he reached the end of a two week photographic tour of Britain's west coast.But an inquest heard on . . . read more

Mastering Lightroom: Post-Processing Portraits, by Romanas Naryškin at Photography Life

In this installment of the excellent 'Mastering Lightroom" series, Romanas deals with the tricky portrait processing issue in Lightroom:

"The portrait we will be working on, thankfully, doesn’t require too much editing. We will not be playing with Spot Removal Tool, nor will we use any External Editors. The steps we are going to take are quite simple and thus quick. Quick is good – the less time you spend processing your work, the more time you have for photography. Some light usage of Local Adjustment Brush as well as HSL Panel will be needed, and neither one of these have been covered in our Mastering Lightroom series yet. Bear with me if you’ve never used these tools before – I will make sure every step taken is explained in enough detail. In-depth articles about these and other features are to come soon, too. . . . read more

A behind the scenes look at the worlds largest photo: How the 320 Gigapixel London panorama was made, by LJ Rich at the BBC

I had some fun poking around the pano when it was first unveiled, looking for fun curiosa and crazy artifacts, and sure enough, everything from kitchen coops on balconies and image stitching mishaps on an Agmageddonian scale, its all there. But looking at the sheer scale of preparations makes one appreciate the hard work done by the 360cities team behind the pano. Some quick facts: 4 Canon 7D's were used, each with a 2x converter and a 400mm EF lens. Each camera took around 13.000 pictures, while mounted on a sturdy robotic Class Rodeon VR pano-head. The work was finished after only 4 days of shooting, and 3 months of stitching, done in Autopano Giga from Kolor.

A set of nude portraits shots with the Sony RX1 (and the A99 and NEX-6), by photographer Wataru M, at 500px.

This must be the first set of nude shots by the Sony RX1 posted on the Interwebs. A mix of portraits and sensual nudes. It is kind of possible to distinguish the files from the RX1 without looking at the exif info to the right of the images, there's something special in its rendering of skin tones. Disclaimer for our American public: Only click the link if you're an adult/mature person, warning explicit nude images, yadda yadda. Here's Wataru's artist statement:

"I'm looking to explore visuals that inspire and challenge me. As a huge videogame geek, my themes mostly revolve around strong female characters. I also love a great traditional portrait."

Haunting night photos of Nazi bunkers, by Jonathan Andrew at Wired.

For some reason, this set reminds me of the Night Photographer's (a.k.a Larrie Thomson​) work, minus the colored gels. Jakob Schiller writes:

"Photographer Jonathan Andrew came across these relics while driving around the Netherlands on assignment. With walls up to 9 feet thick, some have withstood the test of time only to be covered in graffiti or converted into livestock barns by local farmers. Andrew was drawn to the bunkers as photo subjects by their strange architectural design. “It was a visual thing first, but I was also fascinated with their history,” says Andrew, a commercial photographer who was born in England but now lives in Amsterdam. . . . read more

Nice, high-quality, and free, photography e-books at Photowhoa.

So, what's the catch you say? Wondering that myself, I went ahead and downloaded a few, no catch yet, beyond the making of an account at Photowhoa. There  are 10 free titles at the moment, and most are high-street quality material, such as 'The Heart of Portraiture' by Don Giannatti, 'Beautiful Macro Photography Techniques' by Michael Erlewine, and one for the videographers among you, the 'DSLR Cinematography Guide' by Ryan Koo. Depending on your browser, you may have to scroll down to the 'free' section to view these deals.  . . . read more

David Egers Mashes up Star Wars as no one else: Star Wars Mashup Master Retells Original Trilogy Through Famous Artworks, at Wired

Jakob Schiller at Wired's Raw File, writes:

"To create the photos Eger is using the same techniques he’s used from previous projects. Almost all the pictures are staged in his basement studio using the 500 or so Star Wars figurines he’s collected since he was a kid. He has toys from the original release, a re-release in the 1990s as well as contemporary figures. The original toys are valuable as collector’s items but Eger prefers the newer ones for photos because their articulation points can be wrangled into more creative positions. . . . read more

How to do Light Painting, in a Hong Kong Winery Estate, with a tipsy Kai Wong.

Kai W and the rest of the DigitalRev TV team seems to be very productive-and creative, lately:

"In this video, we take a look at what you can do if you're stuck at home (in the dark) and you want to take some photos....you can do some light painting." 

Ming Thein asks:"What makes a good photographer?"

I'm afraid the answer is not 'the latest and bestest gear with the highest iso on earth':

"Frequently asked, but rarely answered is the question of what makes a good photograph; rarely, if ever, asked is ‘what makes a good photographer?‘ In the first place, does it matter? I think the answer is yes, both because of the importance of self-assessment in the grand scheme of things if you want to continually improve as a photographer, and because we can all benefit from a goal to aim for. Obviously, the answer to this question is going to depend very much on the type of photographer you want to be; being loud, brash and in-your-face might serve you well as a paparazzo, but it’s almost certainly going to result in early retirement if you’re a war photographer. . . . read more

Photographer Sébastian Dahl hitchhikes from Oslo To Beirut, a trip of 10.000 kilometers, 112 vehicles, many countries and even more pictures.

Sébastian left his home in Oslo Norway, and equipped with only a backpack and his cameras (a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Voightlander ultron 40mm f2 and Canon Ef 28mm lenses, and a GoPro Hero 2 actioncam), hitchhiked for 10.000 Kilometers, changing 112 cars, trucks and scooters in total, and snapping pics as he went in and out of vehicles and countries. He now plans on settling in Beirut for a while, learning the language, and do some photo-journalistic work. He also mulls making a video and a book about his amazing journey through Europe and the Middle East. Check out some amazing pics and stories from his adventure on his blog. . . . read more

Exploring time-lapse films with the Fujifilm X-E1, by David Cleland at FlixelPix.com

time-lapse videos with the fujifilm x-e1 tutorial

David grabs a no-name intervalometer and wanders into the night:

"In conclusion I am at the bottom of a steep learning curve but I was impressed at the performance of the X-E1 and want to explore the technique further. I realise I have to be aware of battery live so kept a battery on charge for quick change over. Initially I thought changing the battery would ruin the lapse as the camera would change position but I have decided that the camera sitting in a single stationary position isn’t interesting.

I think I have the post production side of things covered so the next step is to master the capture process and then it is time to find some interesting locations to do a proper testing. If you have explored this technique and have any tips please post away in the comments, all advice would be greatly . . . read more

RIP: UK Photographer Danny Beath wins Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year award on the day of his funeral.

This is just sad :( Danny Beath, died in hospital on Monday after collapsing outside his home in Shrewsbury from a suspected heartattack. As a self-taught photographer, Danny received the Shropshire Photographic Society’s Photographer of the Year accolade nine times and recently won a Sunday Times landscape photography competition. He also won the first Wild Shropshire photography competition last year. Danny became interested in photography whilst studying for a PhD at Aberdeen University, he joined the university camera club to pursue his interest. Daily Mail reports:

"A photographer was revealed as the winner of a prestigious national award for a stunning picture of a lightning strike - on the day of his funeral. Talented Danny Beath, 52, had entered the Travel Photo of the Year competition seven times before but never won despite making the finals. His incredible image of a storm over poppy fields in Blackstone Nature Reserve in the Severn Valley netted him first prize in this year's contest. . . . read more

All night long time-lapse photos of sleeping couples: Paul Schneggenburger's project, 'The Sleep Of The Beloved'.

“What happens to lovers while they are sleeping?”

This is the question photographer Paul Schneggenburger asked as he began his project “The sleep of the beloved.” Using the second room of his two-bedroom Vienna apartment as a studio, he set up black sheets on a mattress, lit by a string of Christmas tree lights. A self-constructed trigger outside the room started the 4×5 camera at midnight for each six-hour exposure and turned it off automatically at 6 a.m., before the sun rose. Schneggenburger was not in the room during the exposures. “I’m fascinated by sleep,” the German-born photographer said. “What’s going on in the body; what’s going on in the mind?” . . . read more

How far can you go with a mobile camera? Check out the stunning Mobile Photography Award 2013 gallery.

"Congratulations to all of the worthy winners, runners up and honorable mentions.  You guys are all incredible and did a fantastic job! Thank you for making the Mobile Photo Awards the world’s biggest competition for mobile photography and art! The competition was a huge success this year with a record number of entries – the quality was extremely high and the jury worked long and hard to determine a slate of winners and runners up.  We know that we will never please everyone – we realize that even judges disagree on an image so it’s obvious that entrants and viewers of this site will also take issue with certain choices. That said, every winning image and runner up along with the honorable mentions are chosen with  careful thoughtfulness.  We hope you . . . read more

A Brutal Pageantry: The Third Reich’s Myth-Making Machinery, in AgfaColor, at Time Life Magazine.

All these color photos were taken by one of Hitler's personal photographers, Hugo Jaeger, who used various versions of the Leica III with AgfaColor Neu film, the German counterpart to the French Lumicolor and the American Kodachrome film.

"But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the Third Reich’s deeply manipulative and seductive propaganda — and especially the sense of invincibility and inevitable triumph that it sparked in the hearts of true believers — is how ludicrous and, in the end, how perfectly mistaken it all was.  Yes, Hitler and Goebbels and Himmler and Goering and the other genocidal gangsters did unleash a murderous nightmare in Europe, and for a few years — a very few years — it might have seemed as if the Nazi drive for domination was, in fact, unstoppable. . . . read more

How to fake the ‘golden hours’ in Photoshop, even if you shot Jpegs, at Digital Camera World.

You should read 'faking it' as 'almost kinda make it look like', because some things cannot (yet) be replicated in software, be it the polarizing effect, or the golden hour.

"There are two official golden hours each day – the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. In both cases, the sun is very low in the sky and casts a golden light over the landscape. In this tutorial we’ll show you a quick way to recreate this golden glow on the computer should you have not been fortunate enough to capture it in-camera. . . . read more

Portrait Of A Magnum Photographer: Thomas Höpker by Peter Köhn, at ISO 1200

Mr. Chowder's photography rule #56 states that: "Two pair of ümlauts in a photography related article always invoke a Leica", and this story does not disappoint. Thomas Hoepker is very well known by the mainstream crowd for his (in)famous 9/11 photo.

"In 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern (magazine). In the 1970s he also worked as a cameraman for German TV, making documentary films. In 1976 he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmoeller, relocated to New York as correspondents for Stern. From 1978 to 1981 he was director of photography for American Geo. From 1987 to 1989 Hoepker was based in Hamburg, working as art director for Stern.  . . . read more

Ming Thein thinks that cropping is bad, tries to explain why, states the obvious and goes back to square one.

Little nobody me admires and respects Ming Thein a lot, but this kind of monolithic statements (why cropping is bad) bothers me. It is the same as in the gun, or the knife clichées: They are just tools that can be used for good and bad. Same thing goes for cropping: bad cropping is bad, good cropping is good. I prefer to read an article by Ming Thein on how to avoid the former and achieve the latter.

"For the longest time, I’ve been saying (perpetuating the popular adage?) that cropping is bad. I’ve touched on the reason in previous articles – notably these two on compositional building blocks, and proper perspective practice – But I don’t think I’ve really explained why. There are several reasons; I’ll go through these in some detail over the . . . read more

A Possum tries to operate a movie camera, Northern Australia, 1943.

Photo taken in August of 1943. The location is Northern Australia, and it depicts a ring tailed possum examining a camera belonging to the Australian Department of information. Shot by young Department photographer Harold George Dick with a Graflex Speed Graphic camera, who was killed in an airplane crash in December 1943 while returning from an assignment at the Pacific war theater, more specifically, the Battle of Arawe. A couple of his war images can be found here and here.

After the Fall: Previously unpublished photographs of Hitler's bunker and the ruins of Berlin, at Life Magazine.

First a few words about the ones responsible for making most of the Eastern front pictures: The Red Army used photographers in big numbers, and in big . . . read more

Flicker celebrates 5 years of Commons, with 4 amazing galleries of the most viewed photos.

"Exactly five years ago today we announced a fantastic new project: The Commons on Flickr. To celebrate the occasion, our founding member, the Library of Congress, asked Commons member institutions to send in links to a few of their most viewed, commented, or favorited images. The result is four very special galleries celebrating the beauty, excitement, and emotion of those amazing public collections of civic institutions from around the world. . . . read more

How Underwater Photographer Hugh Gentry Shot Newsweek's First Animated Cover, by Stan Horaczek at Pop Photo.

"I shot the photo piece with a 5D Mark II. I was originally going to shoot both stills and video with the same camera. The problem was, once the sub starts descending, it goes pretty rapidly, so I wouldn't be able to switch back and forth between still and video mode. So what I did was mount a GoPro on top of my dive housing to roll the video side. I had the little screen on the back of the GoPro so I could watch the footage. So, I was shooting the same thing with both cameras. . . . read more

How to make clouds indoors: The art of Berndnaut Smilde, at BBC.

'Its 'magic water', Sural Patel reports:

"A Dutch artist is generating a storm of attention with his art - Berndnaut Smilde creates clouds indoors.

The delicate displays only exist for a brief moment in time, leaving just a photograph or an image in the mind of the few who see him at work. Smilde has three upcoming exhibitions this year including Ronchini Gallery in London which opens on Wednesday. It is rare that anyone get to see the science behind these unique creations.

. . . read more

Jamie Oliver dishes out some delicious food photography tips

Jamie Oliver and renowned food photographer David Loftus come together as Nikon ambassadors and share a video and some nice food photography tips for us:

Photographing food is a trend that has swept across social media sites over the past year, and the topic is a firm favourite with bloggers all over Europe, so how can you get the most out of your DSLR to make your food photos look good enough to eat, and impress your food-loving friends?

To explore the food photography trend and find out exactly how the professionals make their culinary creations look so tasty, Nikon has teamed up with celebrity chef, Nikon ambassador and DSLR photography enthusiast Jamie Oliver, and his collaborator – professional food photographer David Loftus – to discover the tricks of the food photography trade. . . . read more

Israel's 'Photoshop Law' goes in effect, barres skinny models from photography shoots.

Kecia Lynn from Big Think reports: 

"As of January 1, models who want to work in print ads and runway shows in Israel must provide potential employers with medical proof certifying that they have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18.5. The new law is nicknamed "the Photoshop law" because of an additional regulation placed on advertisers requiring clear labeling on ads featuring digitally-altered images of models. Knesset member Rachel Adato, who helped champion the law, says, "A revolution has . . . read more

Harry Fisch: National Geographic, how I won and lost the contest in less than one second.

"This is the story of how you can climb to the highest photographic peak and fall in only 72 hours. And why you should carefully read the rules of a contest...

Just landing from my last travel photography trip with Nomad Photo Expedition and  reading the posts , I saw one  from  National Geographic. I did not hurry to open it, it could probably be an add, or the acknowledgement of the photographs I had sent at the last minute to the contest. I have to confess that, to some extend, I got excited before opening it . . . read more

Jack Reznicki at Pixiq:Fauxtographers and Your Photos Being Ripped Off, a tale about image theft in the digital age.

Jack Reznicki at Pixiq:Fauxtographers and Your Photos Being Ripped Off,

"In this new 21st century we seem to face many new terms, many new customs, many new paradigms in our photography universe. The new terminology means learning what these new words mean. Heck, when I was learning photography back in the stone age, bit depth was how far your chisel would go into the rock you were using to create your photo. OK, maybe I haven’t been around since Fred and Wilma Flintstone, but it sometimes feels that way. Learning terms like bit depth, CF cards, CMOS, ISO (I still remember ASA), pixels and megapixels, raw, color . . . read more

Ming Thein mutilates a Sony NEX-5, creates a multispectral camera, revealed to be the secret behind his latest gorgeous black and white photos.

Note: Ming Thein will give the camera away to one of his readers, as he explains: "Note: We’re still giving this camera away. Tomorrow, I’m going to explain how – there will of course be a photographic competition involved!"

"So how would I describe the tonal characteristics of this camera? In a nutshell, it produces B&Ws that are warm and rounded, if there’s such a thing. The sharpness is there but it’s not biting; the tones are rich and deep. If used with better glass, I think it would really sing – especially for portraiture. Skin looks baby-soft. Don’t use it in colour, it looks horrible due to pollution of the blue and red channels by UV and IR respectively. However, note that with a visible blocking filter over the lens, you could shoot either IR or UV without issue. The camera also gains some sensitivity – about 1-1.5 . . . read more

How to convert your DSLR into a full spectrum light ‘super camera’, by David Cardinal at Extreme Tech: Dreary gray skies turn into cinema-worthy masterpieces, drab foliage pops and separates itself from surrounding rocks and buildings.

Note: Be less that extremelly carefull and this will turn into a "how to destroy a perfectly working Dslr with glue' essay:

"As both a techie and a photographer I love pushing the envelope of what is possible in digital photography. One of the most interesting intersections of these the interests has been the observation that images don’t need to be limited to visible light. Several years ago I had a Nikon D70 converted to be sensitive to infrared — allowing me to capture some . . . read more

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