News / Other News
Steve McCurry, the award-winning photographer responsible for the iconic 'Afghan Girl' portrait for National Geographic, has given an interview about his work and why, despite his fame, he maintains a blog of his latest images. In the interview, on the official Wordpress blog, McCurry explains how photography as a career has changed over the course of the past few decades, and the vital role now played by the Internet. Click through for extracts and a link to the full interview at blog.wordpress.com, and to Steve's own blog.
A New York tabloid newspaper has caused controversy by publishing an image of a man about to be killed by a subway train on its front cover, along with a dramatic headline. The image shows a subway train bearing down on a man who'd been pushed into its path. The paper's handling of the story has been widely criticized and it raises a range of issues over the actions of all the parties involved. Journalism school The Poynter Institute has an interesting summary, separating the different aspects about a controversy that brings a lot of difficult questions about photojournalism and news reporting. What do you think?
'It nearly killed me' says Olympus CEO-turned-whistleblower Michael Woodford of writing about his dramatic exit from the Japanese company following his 2011 exposure of massive corporate mismanagement. In an interview with Amateur Photographer Magazine, Woodford describes the strain on his personal life, and the process of writing a book about the experience with lawyers poring over every word. He also tells of his intention to give to charity much of the £10M he was awarded for unfair dismissal. Click through for extracts from the interview (from Amateur Photographer).
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala hasn't always been a fan of Sigma's lenses but the company's latest 35mm F1.4 seems to have got him pretty excited. He's written a very positive first impressions blog post, considering the build and test data from the first sample he's received. As usual, he's very careful to stress the limitations of what he's reporting - specifically that these are early impressions, based on a single lens that he's had little chance to actually take photos with. However, he's also someone with immense experience with lenses, and is in the unusual position of having had the opportunity to strip the lens down, so we found his insight interesting. (From Lensrentals)
Canadian photographer Kyle Clemens has created a timelapse video which shows the slow accumulation of debris on the sensor of his brand new Nikon D600. When we reviewed the D600 we expressed concern about the propensity of its sensor to gather specks of debris, and Clements raises the troubling possibility that whatever it is that's ending up on the D600's sensor could be coming from inside the camera. Click through for the full video and a link to Kyle Clements' blog where he investigates the issue.
Imaging Resource has published an obituary of Bryce Bayer, who passed away recently. Often called the 'father of digital imaging', former Kodak scientist Bryce Bayer invented and gave his name to the so-called 'Bayer Filter' - a mosaic pattern of red, green and blue filters which allows silicon sensors that are only sensitive to luminance to capture information about the color in a scene. Patented in 1976, the RGBG Bayer Filter has since become essentially ubiquitous, being used in virtually all digital imaging systems from medium-format backs to smartphones. Click through for a link to the obituary at www.imaging-resource.com.
Skyfall, the latest James Bond film, is topping the box office charts around the world and wowing audiences with its cinematography. It includes a sequence set on a deserted island - modeled on Hashima, an abandoned former coal-mining island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Dpreview member Michael Gakuran has written a blog post about his experiences on the island - filming for a Discovery Channel documentary and, earlier, being smuggled onto the island under cover of darkness to perform a little urban exploration (Urbex).
A major copyright reform bill came into effect today in Canada, granting photographers copyright of all of their photographs - regardless of whether they have been commissioned. Previously, copyright on photographs belonged to the commissioner of the images, not to the photographer, transferrable only by a written contract. One of the stated goals of the law is to 'give photographers the same rights as other creators'. Click through for more details (via PetaPixel).
iFixit.com has performed a complete tear-down of the Nikon D600, reducing it to its component parts to see how easy it is to repair. Nikon's latest full-frame DSLR scored a low 'repairability' score, of 2 out of 10 since 'most components almost require a certification in soldering in order to properly remove'. On the plus side, the tripod mount is easy to remove, if you ever cross-thread it accidentally. iFixit has also worked with semiconductor experts Chipworks to take a very close look at the D600's 24MP CMOS sensor. Click through for more details, images, and a link to both iFixit and Chipworks' tear-downs.
Poynter.org has published an interesting article examining how photographer Iwan Baan took his striking post-Sandy picture of Manhattan, which is currently gracing the cover of New York Magazine. According to the article, Baan took his photograph of Manhattan - which is half blacked-out due to the destructive effects of Hurricane Sandy - from the open door of a helicopter hovering at 5000 feet above New York. He went up on the night of Wednesday 31st October, when limited air traffic made it possible to hover for longer - and higher - than would normally be allowed over a major city. Click through to see the resulting image, and for more details of how Baan got the shot.
While we're stuck down here on earth, NASA's Curiosity rover is currently trundling around on the surface of Mars, mapping the terrain and analyzing rocks. This week, Curiosity took time out from its busy schedule to snap an arms-length self-portrait, showing the rover in situ, in Gale Crater - 140 million miles from home. The composite image is made up of 55 high-resolution images, taken using its MAHLI camera, which is mounted on the end of a robotic arm. Click through for more details and a link to the full-resolution image.
Hurricane Sandy has left a swath of destruction across the Caribbean and eastern United States. Thousands of images have been circulating around the web, showing flooded streets, destroyed homes and submerged Subway stations. Some of the images that have popped up around the Internet are truly unbelievable but how do you know which ones are fake and which ones are real? The Atlantic has posted an exhaustive article, sorting out the genuine images from the fake. Click through for a link to the story.
Apple has announced an new 'Mini' version of the iPad with a 7.9 inch, 163ppi display. The iPad Mini's display offers a quarter of the pixel count (1024 x 768 pixels compared to 2048 x 1536) of its 9.7", A6 processor-equipped cousin (simply called 'iPad'), the fourth generation of which was also unveiled at an event in San Jose, California. The iPad Mini has created a lot of buzz, but photographers might be disappointed that its screen resolution is lower than the cheaper Google Nexus 7 tablet, which offers 1280 x 800 pixels and a pixel density of 217ppi.
What does your dream camera look like? One of our more enterprising readers has sketched-out what his would look like - creating an interesting contemporary rangefinder concept. Bristling with Nikon F4-inspired manual controls, each dial and switch also has a 'neutral' position to allow the on-screen interface settings to take precedence. Easycass acknowledges the concept may not be entirely possible - an 'ultra-fast' 24-105mm lens would dictate a fairly small sensor, and autofocus rangefinders have never exactly been commonplace - but it raises questions the question: 'What would your perfect camera be?'
National Geographic photographers can find themselves in unusual, extreme and potentially dangerous situations, trying to capture the 'never before seen' images the magazine is famous for. However, contributing photographer Paul Nicklen's story of his close encounter with a huge Leopard Seal (one of the top predators in the Antarctic), shows there's still opportunity for surprises in the job. We heard about this video following Nicklen being given the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the year 2012 award.
Color management company X-Rite has announced its latest round of online education sessions. The forthcoming 'webinars' cover a series of topics from monitor calibration to landscape photo editing in Photoshop. The courses tend to be around an hour long and are free (though it seems reasonable to expect some focus on X-Rite's products), but with a limited number of registered places available. Previous events, including those conducted in French, German and Italian, are available in an archive on the X-Rite website.
The L.A. Times has posted a fascinating time-lapse video, showing the progress of retired space shuttle Endeavour across Los Angeles to its new home in the California Science Center, in Exposition Park. The video spans the entire length of the journey from Los Angeles International Airport, which started on Thursday night and due to delays caused by maintainance issues and obstacles along the route, finally ended 16 hours late, on Sunday afternoon. Click through for a link to the video.
Sony has published details of its latest 12MP 1/1.7"-type (7.5 x 5.6mm) back-lit CMOS sensor. The IMX144CQJ offers full-resolution 12-bit output at up to 35 frames per second or a roughly 'widescreen' 17:9 crop at up to 60 fps - allowing 4k video. Sony stresses how well the sensor can receive light from oblique angles, thanks to its large pixel size, making it able to work with 'brighter lenses and high power zoom lenses.' This is interesting, given the recent launch of a group of wide-maximum aperture compacts based around 12MP, 1/1.7"-type BSI CMOS sensors, such as the Olympus XZ-2, Nikon Coolpix P7700 and Samsung EX2F.
DxO Labs has announced 'DxOMark Mobile' - its assessment of mobile phone image quality that will support mobile device reviews on connect.dpreview.com. In its first group of tests, DxO has found that the best contemporary mobile devices (in this case the Nokia 808 PureView, with its large sensor) will out-perform a 5-year-old high-end compact camera. And when it comes to video, the Samsung Galaxy SIII will trump last year's Canon PowerShot S100. DxOMark Mobile will analyze 14 aspects of mobile imaging and produce a final score that will be comparable to existing DxOMark figures. We'll be reporting DxOMark Mobile figures alongside our overall scores in connect reviews.
Sensor maker Aptina has released more details of its two most recently-announced chips, including a 10MP, 1"-type sensor that uses its dynamic range-boosting DR-Pix technology. The company, which also makes the 1" sensors used in the Nikon 1 System cameras, is making this new sensor available to the wider market. It has also provided more detail about an 18MP 1/2.3" compact camera sensor that can shoot 1080p video with three different crops at up to 120 frames per second.