Haste, A Photographer’s Biggest Enemy


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Taking a good picture takes time, the composition has to be well considered, camera settings need to be made and thoroughly scrutinized. A good picture is just as little reproducible and shot from the hip as a beautiful picture is painted with only a few brush strokes. Haste makes waste. If you do it too hastily, or if you fail to keep on task mentally, you’ll make technical mistakes at the least, which may be overlooked if the subject is interesting and the timing right. In the worst case scenario, you will take a boring picture, making the technical aspects of the image totally unimportant. Boring remains boring, even if brought to perfection. As I often take pictures on my way to work, home or an appointment, I am familiar with both kinds of mistakes. Just have a look at the pictures of the interior of the car (blurred/misfocused) and the dog portrait (misfocused) in full size and you’ll know what I mean. Even though I delete two-thirds to three-fourths of my pictures, there always remain some blurry, badly focused or simply dull ones. If I consequently separated the wheat from the chaff, I’d have to delete 95% of my photos and could probably only present a handful every month. The solution therefore, it seems, is to take more time for photography in order to come up with enough presentable pictures. The question is, however, where to take more time from in this fast-paced world. What’s your approach to this?
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Funny: Tim Dodd’s “Everyday Astronaut”


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Who didn’t dream of becoming an astronaut or flying to outer space as a child? When I was little, all of my school colleagues and I were dreaming of such a future of course. Although we were all quite nerdy in our class, still the cool kids from the other classes later on told us that they too had the same hopes of becoming an astronaut one day. ;)

While growing up, though, one has to realize that space travel technology has so far not been able to develop mass transportation vehicles to outer space and that only the very lucky ones are able to fulfill their dream. But unlike most of us, Iowa-based photographer Tim Dodd couldn’t accept this fact just like that. He got lucky at an auction and bought an old and worn out Russian space suit…but without a space ship, he had no other choice than to play “stranded astronaut” at home and take funny and entertaining pictures, all of which he collected in his “Everyday Astronaut” project.
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© Tim Dodd

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Review: Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 Art


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The best thing about Sigma Art lenses, from a buyer’s and tester’s point of view, is that all are similarly well built and optically outstandingly good. Buyers are undoubtedly pleased that all Art lenses play in the same league and that you can assume a similar high quality for every further lens if you already own one of the “A” series. You could almost buy a further one blindfolded. For blogging/testing, being able to refer to previous tests is a clear advantage, as it saves you a lot of typing. ;) So far, the 30mm f1.4 Art, 35mm f/1.4 Art and, just recently also the 18-35mm f1.8 Art, have found their way into my photo bag. I already tested the 30mm A (Link) and the 35mm A (Link) and compared them here. Let’s now move on to the 18-35mm f/1.8 Art. ;)

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Benjamin Von Wong’s ‘UltraViolet insanities’


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Benjamin Von Wong is known for his fondness of crazy photo ideas and high-budgeted photo projects. He is one of the few photographers always pushing the photographic limits and dealing with new topics. One and a half months ago, he organized an extraordinary underwater shooting with a team consisting of seven divers and two models. It wasn’t particularly about life under the sea, but rather about a ship wreck inhabited by Nereids. ;) In my humble opinion, the photos resulting from this shooting are really impressive. As expected from Von Wong, he soon after bid farewell to underwater photography. His latest project is all about ultra-violet light and UV-color. Together with well-known body painter Michael Rosner, he considered how to approach the tiresome topic of beauty shooting from a different angle. The result of this cooperation is embedded below. I think it speaks for itself. :)

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© Benjamin Von Wong
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After ‘London-Weather’ again on the way with the Sigma 18-35/1.8


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I don’t know what it was like in Germany, but for the last two weeks, we’ve had typical London weather „down here“. When you’re stuck at work, the sun is shining and the birds are singing while bathing in light made of pure gold. As soon as it’s time for lunch, it’s raining cats and dogs. Back in the office, it starts all over again. Outside the light that screams to be photographed, inside neon light. And it stays like this until shortly before quitting time, when the apocalyptic mood takes over again. Instead of “golden hour” and photographing on my way home, it’s time for “happy hour” with colleagues at the bar. When the factual autumn in the midst of the calendric summer was finally over, I had to wipe a perceived kilo of dust off my 18-35/1.8 and SD1M, before I could go out to take pictures again. ;)
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Tip: Arthur Tress’ Surrealist Photos of Nightmares


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Arthur Tress, born in November 1940, was only in his twenties when he discovered his fascination for nightmares, especially the ones children have. He got the idea of photographically dealing with this topic when he attended a lesson in The Touchstone Center, founded by Richard Lewis, who he collaborated with during that time. In this lesson, children were asked to write essays about and sketch pictures of their dreams. The interesting bit about Tress’ project is a certain similarity to bugbears and horror movie scenes. Considering the fact that he brought his project into being at the end of the 60ies, it becomes clear where some film makers got their ideas from. ;)

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© Arthur Tress

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Sigma News & Rumors: List of all upcoming Lenses and Cameras


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New DP2 Quattro sample images and reviews are published on a daily basis, but we mustn’t forget that Sigma is, above all, a lens manufacturer, and that many new lenses are currently being worked on in Aizu. ;) Several days ago, Sigma-Rumors posted a list of all lenses and cameras that are rumored to be in the pipeline. The interesting thing about this list is not the lenses and cameras per se (Sigma fans are long familiar with such rumors), but rather the specification of probability offered by the SR admin. As one would expect, the persistent rumor centering on a full frame camera that has been going around for a perceived eternity now is being classified as highly improbable with 0%. ;) Rumors about the Micro 4/3 camera by Sigma turned out to be wrong with the announcement of the Quattro. However, the question remains whether Sigma will leave it at the 3 DPs or whether one or two further focal lengths are being worked on. The SR admin deems further DPs likely, but I am not so sure about that.

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Security Issue: Passwords and Fingerprints can be spied out via Smartphone Camera


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We as photographers know that an increase in megapixels hardly ever results in a higher, practically usable image quality. Especially for tiny sensors, such as the ones found in affordable compact cameras and smart phones, higher megapixels lead to a decrease in image quality (lower color depth, more noise etc.). As researchers of the TU Berlin and the Telekom Innovation Laboratories demonstrated on the latter’s 10-year celebration, it is possible to use the front camera of a smart phone to read reflections of the smart phone screen in one’s eyes or even more easily on one’s glasses, if the user has any. Also, as heise.de reports, the back camera lets you scan fingerprints of the user when grabbing the smart phone. The higher resolving the camera, the easier it may be misused for espionage activities. When spying on someone, noise and color depth are of little importance, anyway. ;)

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Image surce: heise.de

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Crazy: Criminal offered $30,000 modeling contract


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Do you remember the „devilishly attractive“ and by now widely known criminal Jeremy Meeks I covered here? When his mug shot circulated all over the internet two weeks ago, some jesters came up with the idea of photoshopping a Calvin Klein ad from it. This and other montages made decision-makers in at least one modeling agency (Blaze Models in Los Angeles) realize Meeks’ potential. According to latest news, the U.S. American criminal is being represented by Gina Rodriguez of GR Media, who also takes care of other internet celebrities such as Patricia Krentcil (also known as Tan Mom). Meeks is said to have already signed the modeling contract with Blaze Models in the amount of $30.000.

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