Rob Whitworth is on the best known representatives of the time lapse genre. With his time lapse videos, such as last year’s Barcelona GO! and Enter Pyongyang, he increasingly shifts the boundaries of what is technologically feasible. Virtually all of his previous videos went viral on the internet. With his newest work “Dubai Flow Motion”, he surpassed himself, in my opinion. The distinct tracking shots, zooms and changes of perspective offer a unique tour through Dubai. One moment, the camera is on the ground, the next moment it is on the airplane, then on the roof of the highest building in the world – just to fall through all levels back to the ground again.
Not too long ago I started keeping a “photo-diary”. Since I am not an extraordinarily disciplined person, the individual entries have grown into one big chaotic heap of notes on my desk. I write down how long each “photo-walk” was, what equipment I took with me and any further information that lead to especially good pictures, such as notes on locations, light and motifs. I keep this rather fragmentary “photo-diary” out of pure curiosity, which means, basically, that I have no intention whatsoever of going in for a statistical evaluation or an array of excel-graphs. For me, qualitative data is much more interesting than concrete numbers. Even if I were to discover that I take my best shots at 10:30 in the morning, I would not be able to put this knowledge to much use, since I am usually at work at that time of day anyway. However, I do think that a “photo-diary” can be useful for gaining a number of insights. Interesting, if not particularly useful, was the fact that a typical walk takes me between one-and-a-half and two hours to complete, and that I usually only take a single camera. What turned out to be much more valuable was the information I collected on locations and motifs, especially in view of days when time might be in short supply and a long quest for suitable motifs not a viable option.
We RAW photographers are maybe not the main target audience of the project “I Am Sitting In Stagram”, since we are well-acquainted with the disadvantages of data-formats where compression automatically entails a loss of quality. Even if the “digital negative” requires much more digital real estate and cannot be opened or viewed without a converter, there are still many a good reason to use it. One of the most important, apart from the superior image quality, is the increased flexibility when editing the photos.
A lot of pixel peepers claim that jpegs with a compression of 85% look terrible already. However, it gets very bad very fast when a jpeg is repeatedly saved. This happens a lot on the Internet, especially if an interesting article is published on one site and then re-published on a lot of other pages. If the article goes viral, the title image is compressed and uploaded or saved in a compressed format many times in a row. The more often this happens, the worse image quality gets. This increasing loss of quality from one copied generation to the next is called generation loss.
Inspired by Alvin Luciers Experiment “I Am Sitting In A Room” – which dealt with generation loss in the audio sector – the artist Pete Ashton uploaded a self-portrait to Instagram, then took a screenshot of the uploaded picture and uploaded this new image. He repeated the procedure 90 times. The following grid makes the increasing loss of quality visible. The top left is the original, bottom right the copy of the 90th generation:
It is impossible not to love photography fairs, especially the CP+, which is one of the most important ones of its kind worldwide. Not three days after the 24/1.4 Art, the DP0 Quattro and some other DP accessories were announced, there are already more product pictures and more information. The 24mm f/1.4 Art looks a little huge on the Canon 1200D (the Japanese brand name is Kiss X70), which is one of the smallest APS-C DSLRs.
In my opinion rust can transform many trivial objects into interesting photo motifs. I find cars, for example, rather boring, but in my view rust can make them photogenic and worth photographing. Many old and rusty vehicles are littered with interesting detail, which begs to be photographed from up close.
After the successful 35mm f/1.4 Art and 50mm f/1.4 Art it was only a matter of time before Sigma would announce additional primes and expand the Art series up- and downwards. More than a year ago first rumors have emerged, according to which Sigma was developing 24mm Art and 85mm Art primes and was to release them “very soon”. The Japanese lens maker has, however, let quite a few photo shows pass, without announcing one of the rumoured Art lenses. Finally, prior to the CP+ show, the wide angle lens was announced.
Even though macro photography is a broad field that attracts various photographers, I’ve lately had the feeling as if the focus is evermore shifting towards bigger image ratios. Competing for full-format portraits of increasingly smaller animals, the best and most prominent photographers of the genre appear to forget what it is that makes a photo actually good. It is neither the blow-up nor the stunning details that suck out pretty fast, but the story and interaction between the subject and its environment is what makes a photo memorable. Vadim Trunov‘s macros differ from those of many other genre representatives in exactly this respect. What distinguishes the 30 year old Russian macro photographer is his love for rain and backlight, and for multiple subjects within the image, that often look like neighbors doing small talk on their way to work. You get to see macro subjects in situations that make them appear almost human. Such as, for instance, a snail that is seemingly having a talk about the weather with a grasshopper, or snails getting acquainted with each other, or a snail giving a ladybug a piggy ride. :)
Although the greater part of his work consists of cutting fruits and drawing on fruit peels and skin, and the only reason why he takes pictures is probably to eternalize his fading works, I’m very fond of Stephan Brusche’s creations. I know, you shouldn’t play with food, but in this special case I’m willing to turn a blind eye. ;-)
The Dutchman, currently living in Rotterdam, uses other fruits from time to time, but I think it’s great that he makes his works almost exclusively of bananas. For us photographers it is said that zoom lenses make lazy and uncreative. Therefore, to combat these afflictions – I would simply call it “Zoomitis” – it is often recommended to use fixed local lengths and to “zoom with your feet”. As can be seen from the following pictures and Brusche’s example, imposing restrictions on oneself can sometimes work miracles in terms of creativity.
It’s often claimed that William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature is the first photo book in history. As we now know that it is the first commercially published photo book, not the first in general. The very first photo book in history (according to current knowledge) is Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions by Anna Atkins, daughter of famous British scientist John George Children. The botanist and photographer self-published the photo book in October 1843 – eight months before Talbot’s “The Pencil of Nature”. The photo book was printed in three editions between 1843 and 1853. Hardly any of the 17 existing copies are complete. It is believed that the copy owned by the Royal Society of London is the final edition of the book as intended by Atkins. As suggested by the title, the book is about a subject a lot more interesting to botanists than to photographers. Still, as you can see in the video embedded below, the cyanotypes emit a certain minimalist beauty.
Ever since the DP Merrill generation, all three cameras of the DP lineup have been equipped with the same hardware – in other words: sensor, image processor, display, memory interface and battery. Therefore it is worthy to take a look at some reviews of the DP2Q, even though you might only be interested in the DP1 Quattro.
The unique selling point of the latter is the 19mm f/2.8 (28mm FF equivalent) wide-angle lens, which makes the camera very suitable for cityscapes and landscapes. According to test reviews, the 19mm f/2.8 of the DP1 Merrill performed the worst of the three lenses – good for a wide-angle lens but it somewhat behind the outstanding 30/2.8 and 50/2.8 of the DP2M and DP3M. Sigma has taken test reviews quite seriously and thus treated the DP1Q to a newly designed 19/2.8. Whether the new lens is actually better than the DP1M one is something you will have to decide for yourselves. ;)