Don’t Worry About Your Gear: Casey Neistat’s Guide to Getting Started

October 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Do you yearn to express your creative vision, but don’t have access to the latest and greatest gear? Don’t despair! Casey Neistat shows you how to capture the story you want to tell while maximizing the equipment at your immediate disposal. If you’re just getting into the world of video, this highly practical workshop is the perfect launchpad for your ideas.


Make sure you check out Casey’s Vimeo channel on the link below:

https://vimeo.com/search?q=casey+neistat

What a Portrait Should Be: Behind the Scenes with Edward Snowden

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Dispatched to Moscow, famed portrait photographer Platon captured a never-before-seen side of Edward Snowden for WIRED. In this riveting montage, the elusive whistleblower explains the thinking behind his decision to reveal the extent of domestic surveillance being conducted by US intelligence services.

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When it comes to portrait photography, your camera, your light, your years of photographic know-how counts for little if you don’t have a subject with substance.  The power of a portrait is in the people.  Do you reveal their essence?  Do you tell their story?

Choosing a subject with substance was not a problem for Wired Magazine but for journalist James Bamford and photographer Platon finding him was.

It took almost a year to arrange to interview and photograph Edward Snowden in Moscow, where he has sought asylum.

 

In 2013 Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, leaked a number of classified documents to various media outlets, exposing the US government for what some would call crimes against the people.  Since then Snowden has been the most wanted man in the world as authorities try to bring him to “justice”.

 

My name is Ed Snowden.  I use to work for the government and now I work for the public.

Producer: Editor in Chief – Scott Dadich

Creative Director: Billy Sorrentino

Director of Photography: Patrick Witty

Photographer: Platon

Editor: Sowjanya Kudva

Composer: Julia Kent

To learn more about the decoded files of the NSA and what they mean for you click here.

Hasselblad Continues CMOS Craze with 200 Megapixel H5D-200c MS

September 28, 2014 Leave a comment

hasselblad_h5d-200c_ms-feature

As one might expect (though perhaps not quite so soon after the H5D-50c announcement), Hasselblad has taken to Instagram to announce the H5D-200c MS, a 200-megapixel, multi-shot variant of the H5D-50c. The camera, which can still produce normal 50-megapixel stills at 6200 x 8272 pixels, also ads 4- and 6-shot capabilities for applications such as fine art reproduction, product photography, and more. At its highest resolution, the 200c MS produces massive and glory-clenching 600MB, 16-bit TIFF files.

With the same CMOS back as its little brother, the 200c MS still offers astounding medium format ISO performance range of 100-6400. While I haven’t seen any actual figures, the pixel dimensions for those 200MP files should be in the neighborhood of 12,300 x 16,400, if not just a hair more.

For more information, visit Hasselblad’s H5D-200c MS page or the data sheet.

hasselblad_h5d-200c_ms_sample_1 hasselblad_h5d-200c_ms_sample_2

Sneaking into Coachella Lands This Guy the Career of his Dreams

September 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Have you ever snuck into a concert before? How about a huge festival? Well, in 2010 James Marcus Haney really wanted to attend Coachella… the only problem was he didn’t have the money to get a ticket. So what’s the next best thing? He figured out a way to bypass security and get in for free and got to see some of the bands he had admired for years. He continued sneaking into festivals around the world for the next few years, and filmed every minute of it.

After a few years James had quite the archive of festival footage. He managed to sneak into concerts and festivals seemingly at will, though he did get kicked out of a handful of shows (which is to be expected). He got access to the photo pits, backstage VIP areas, and eventually was able to get on stage during some big-time performances.

Using all of the footage from his experiences at Coachella, Bonaroo, Glastonbury and Austin City Limits (just to name a few), James made a movie and called it “No Cameras Allowed.” Luckily for him, his movie was picked up by MTV and has led to James being one of the most sought-after music photographers in the country.

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Arcade Fire foo_fighters_0
Foo Fighters mumford_and_sons
Mumford and Sons train tour with Edward Sharpe and Old Crow Medicine Show

Though, as James points out, many people are looking at the film as a roadmap to breaking into music festivals. But that wasn’t his intention.

The problem with the pitch trailer is that it sets up the film to be all about sneaking in. The film is much more personal than that. It’s like a coming of age story set against the music festival background. It’s not like a “how to” guide. A lot of festival folks aren’t stoked because they think a feature film is coming out as a guidebook to show how to breach security.

 

“No Cameras Allowed” airs on MTV this Saturday, August 23rd.

​You can view more of James’ work here, and read an interview with him about his experiences in the link below.

[via HuffingtonPost]

Woman with Vitiligo Proves Bullies of her Past Wrong as She Turns Top Model

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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Chantelle Brown-Young was teased in school, often called “zebra” or “cow” becuase of her skin condition, vitiligo. However, things began to change when a Toronto photographer encouraged her to model at 16. Her alter-ego-named Instagram (@winnieharlow) became an outlet for her modeling photos and soon enough, Tyra Banks contacted her to become a part of America’s Next Top Model (ANTM).

Brown-Young’s success began even before ANTM, however, as Desigual announced her as the face of its Autumn-Winter 2014 campaign. Her success has even gotten her a place in JMSN‘s “The One” music video.

The first episode of Banks’ show featuring Brown-Young aired last night, but the entire phenomenon — if it hasn’t already accosted your Facebook News Feed — refreshed the conversation of outer looks, inner personality, social acceptance and race.

In an era that seems to be producing younger generations more accepting of various racial issues, there are still plenty of stories to speak to the contrary. On one hand, shows like America’s Next Top Model with personalities such as Brown-Young’s, and even modeling agencies like UGLY, push us forward. Yet on the other, people still comment and criticize harshly when it comes to racial issues and bias in the media, especially when folded into the topic of Photoshop. And we haven’t even touched on the topic of the body image that the fashion industry does or doesn’t impress upon our young and impressionable children.

In any case, the fashion industry seems to be moving forward with the rest of us. We all have our own pace. But do you think this is a step forward? Is there a such thing as a martyr in fashion? In the context of society’s racial issues? What more should or shouldn’t be done when it comes to changing mindsets when it comes to how we look?

Fashion — or at least Tyra — is doing what it can. Can we say we’re doing the same?

Photographer Anthony Carbajal and the Greatest ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Video Yet

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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We have all seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos flooding our Facebook feeds and various social platforms the last couple weeks. If you have grown annoyed by them please remember that the cause is real and the people affected by the disease truly do appreciate all the extra support they have received from the exposure the challenge has created. Here is an incredible video featuring photographer Anothony Carbajal explaining the disease and the harsh truth behind it. 

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord (via ALS.org). Anthony was diagnosed with ALS in Janurary of 2014 and has taken on the disease full time to the detriment of his photography business, but hopes to continue his love for shooting despite his diagnosis. His passion for helping others and making sure to spread all the love he has to those in need is incredible and admirable.

His video immediately made me laugh, but also made me recognize the absolute pain that comes with this terrible disesase. My wife’s grandmother had passed from ALS  just before I had met her, making it a very emotional topic to her family and for myself. Having never heard of the disease 8 years ago its very present how real it effects an entire family. For some, it might be seen as annoying but just remember for any cause its incredible to see the added outreach from everyday people that may not have known about the disease. The enormous outreach the Ice Bucket Challenge so far has helped the ALS Association reach $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time frame last year. For more information please visit ALSA.org

A huge thank you goes out to Anthony for helping spread awareness about ALS and also for wearing a bikini for the cause. 

New Blackmagic URSA 4K Footage is Simply Beautiful

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment

 
The Bear in NZ Winter – Beta URSA Footage

While there aren’t too many Blackmagic URSA 4K cameras in the wild, we’ve got another set of beautiful test clips. Shot by Hook — who has been involved with Blackmagic test shoots before (and now works for the company) — this footage is the first we’ve seen from the EF version of the new URSA 4K Cinema Camera. While the previous footage was shot with old PL cinema glass, Hook used very new and sharp Canon EF glass throughout the video, and was able to come up with some spectacular results. Here are the technical details:

Edited and Graded in DaVinci Resolve 11

Mostly shot at 60fps Prores 422HQ in camera and conformed to 24fps.

LENSES: Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Canon 70-200/2.8L II IS
Hoya ProNDs and Tiffen VariND+Hoya IR Cut
Schneider Hollywood Blackmagic 1/4 and Tiffen Soft FX 1
MUSIC: “By Your Side” – used with permission from Alan Poettcker of “The Runaway Club”

What is obviously different about this footage from other Blackmagic cameras is the slow motion. It’s something none of them have been capable of until now, and as a tool it’s obviously very useful for plenty of situations. 60fps at 4K and 1080p, with possibly higher frame rates coming this year, are part of the reason this camera costs more, and is so much bigger and heavier than anything they’ve made so far (it’s the size of an ALEXA).

The next part in the process is Blackmagic actually getting these out the door so people can start using them. Shipping has been one of their major issues with cameras, so hopefully the URSA doesn’t follow in the same footsteps as other models and have significant shortages right out of the gate.

The person operating the camera has a lot to do with what footage looks like, but everything we’re seeing looks nice and crisp, with great colors. The sensors in the Blackmagic 4K and the URSA are the same, so footage will be very comparable, though fixed pattern noise should be improved on the new camera due to better hardware internally. As John Brawley mentioned though, black spots on the sun are still an issue, so hopefully it can be something that’s worked out down the road, especially since this camera has so much powerful hardware under the hood.

ursa-ef-imperial

What is obviously different about this footage from other Blackmagic cameras is the slow motion. It’s something none of them have been capable of until now, and as a tool it’s obviously very useful for plenty of situations. 60fps at 4K and 1080p, with possibly higher frame rates coming this year, are part of the reason this camera costs more, and is so much bigger and heavier than anything they’ve made so far (it’s the size of an ALEXA).

The next part in the process is Blackmagic actually getting these out the door so people can start using them. Shipping has been one of their major issues with cameras, so hopefully the URSA doesn’t follow in the same footsteps as other models and have significant shortages right out of the gate.

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