Video: Developing 120-year-old glass negatives found inside a time capsule using cyanotype

Photographer, YouTuber and self-proclaimed weird lens aficionado Mathieu Stern is back at it again, this time with an interesting new video showing how he developed a number of 120-year-old photographs he found hidden within a time capsule in a family home.

In speaking with DPReview, Mathieu says he ‘found a box dating from around 1900 judging by the objects and the technic of the photos found inside.’ To help bring the negatives to life, Mathieu decided to develop the images using a time-appropriate method of making prints, cyanotype.

The six-minute video first walks through the discovery process of the time capsule and the items within. From there, Mathieu shows the process he used to create the cyanotype prints and concludes the video with an overview of all the images he found.

It’s an unassumingly touching video that shows how seemingly simple snapshots can oftentimes have some of the most profound emotions behind them.

You can find more of Mathieu’s work on his YouTube channel.

Video: Family Narrowly Avoids Getting Hit by Train During Photo Shoot

An ill-advised family photo shoot on a set of active train tracks in Greencastle, Pennsylvania nearly ended in tragedy when a freight train came barreling through, narrowly missing the photographer, parents, and five children.

The video was captured by Virtual Railfan, Inc and posted yesterday as “no better example why you should stay off the tracks.” Already it’s going viral as photographers and trainspotters alike share it on social media alongside angry warnings and admonitions to never ever do a photo shoot on train tracks unless you have the proper permission and can be absolutely certain of safety.

In the video, a family of seven plus a photographer are wandering up and down on the tracks when one of them screams “here comes the train.” From there it’s a mad scramble to get everyone—including a few very young children—off the tracks before it’s too late. You can watch the full ordeal below:

Fortunately, tragedy was avoided in this case, as all eight people got off the tracks in time, but as we’ve said many times before: it’s illegal and simply not worth the risk. It was just a few months ago that a 17-year-old was killed during a senior portrait shoot on the tracks in Oregon, and a woman nearly lost her life in December when a train got so close it tore a piece off of her coat.

Each time this happens, we’re inclined to share the same video: a TODAY show segment that showed just how silent and deadly a fast-moving freight train can be. In this case, someone saw the train coming from a distance; had they seen it just a few seconds later, things could have ended very differently.

(via Western Mass News)

Will Canon’s R5 Pass the Cripple Hammer Test?

Will Canon's R5 Pass the Cripple Hammer Test?

With the development announcement for Canon’s next mirrorless camera, the R5, many are debating whether or not this will be the company’s attempt to usurp the mirrorless throne. Of course, Sony has been the mirrorless king for the last few years now, but will the R5 withstand the legendary might of the Canon Cripple Hammer?

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Hilary Duff Calls Photographer ‘Creep’ for Shooting Her Kid’s Soccer Game

American celebrity Hilary Duff enlisted her 15 million Instagram followers to shame a photographer this past weekend. His offense? Practicing his photography by shooting a kid’s soccer game at a public park.

It all started this past Saturday after the star noticed a man photographing her 7-year-old son’s soccer game. She turned on her smartphone camera, marched over to the man, and confronted him about what he was doing.

“Who are you here with?” Duff asks the man, who is seen holding a Nikon Z Series mirrorless camera and telephoto lens.

“I’m here with me,” the man replies.

“Do you know any of the people on the team? No? Can you stop taking pictures of the kids please?”

“It’s legal,” the man counters, offering to show ID. “I’m taking pictures. I’m practicing photography. I’m not here to scare you or anything like that. Your paranoia is unwarranted.”

“It’s just an uncomfortability factor that these are 7-year-old children and you don’t have a child here,” Duff says.

“What’s that got to do with anything?” the photographer asks.

“Well, there are children and we would like to protect them,” Duff says. “So if you could take pictures and practice your photography somewhere else…”

“Me taking pictures of them… is not… What about other people?” the man asks.

“Okay, then I will just post this to my 15 million followers on Instagram and let people know how creepy it is that this is what you’re choosing to do on your Saturday morning,” Duff says.

The 32-year-old Duff ended up calling police to report the man and was disappointed to learn that they wouldn’t do anything about him.

“[T]he police were, you know, pretty dismissive of me, saying, ‘What do you want us to do? You’re at a public park,’” Duff states in a followup Instagram Story posted yesterday. “Well yeah, I’m at a public park, I’m at a place where kids play and kids should be safe here.

“It’s just extremely strange and inappropriate and creepy to have a man photographing our 7-year-old children and that to be completely legal.”

Duff says she would like laws in the US changed to allow parents to stop photographers shooting in public places.

“Like, if a parent is asking for it to stop, the laws should be changed for you to not be able to photograph that person,” she states. “If those kids are a subject of your ‘photography’ practice, over and over and over again for minutes or half-hour, however long it was, and you ask someone to please stop that, you should have that right. And we really need to work on changing that law.”

(via Hilary Duff via Fstoppers)


P.S. Here’s an invaluable PDF titled “The Photographer’s Right” that spells out your rights as a photographer in the US.

JPEG Committee explores using AI and blockchain tech for image compression

On February 17, the JPEG Committee published the results from its 86th Meeting, detailing some of the topics of discussions and potential future plans. Among other things, the committee issued a Call for Evidence on what it refers to as learning-based image coding solutions, something following the JPEG AI activity the committee launched a year ago. As well, the committee has expanded discussions on the use of blockchain technology and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) for JPEG.

During the 85th JPEG meeting last year, an effort dubbed JPEG AI was initiated in order to explore the use of image coding technologies to increase compression efficiency. During the new 86th JPEG meeting, this effort was expanded to a formal Call for Evidence, which is described as the first step in considering the ‘standardization of such approaches in image compression.’

In the JPEG AI Call for Evidence, JPEG Committee states:

‘This activity aims to find evidence for image coding technologies that offer substantially better compression efficiency than available image codecs with models obtained from a large amount of visual data and that can efficiently represent the wide variety of visual content that is available nowadays.’

In addition, the most recent meeting featured an Open Discussion Session on Media Blockchain that involved ‘interactive discussions’ on media blockchain and its various uses, namely its suitability for addressing ‘challenges in transparent and trustable media transactions.’ The committee has shared the presentations and pitch slides from these discussions on its website.

PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud: a complete benchmark for Adobe CC Suite

PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud: a complete benchmark

It’s only natural: Puget Systems has shared with users different benchmark tools for different apps. Now the company introduces the PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud.

Puget Systems announced recently a new initiative – the PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud – to address the need for comprehensive, repeatable and consistent benchmark testing for the most popular applications used by creative professionals. These benchmarks are designed to thoroughly test many of Adobe’s most popular applications using real-world projects and workflows, and the latest CPU, GPU, and other hardware components.

Puget Systems is based in the Seattle suburb of Auburn, WA, and specializes in high-performance, custom-built computers. The company emphasizes customization with laser focus on understanding each customer’s specific workflow, and offers personal consulting and support that Puget Systems believes is becoming quite rare in the industry. The company’s goal is to provide each client with the best possible computer for their needs and budget.

PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud: a complete benchmark

Paid version announced last November

We’ve covered before Puget Systems’ benchmarks, pointing to them as a solution for users to test their computers in real world situations. We’ve also suggested PVC readers to visit the website, where a lot of information and a continuous conversation about computers helps to understand that there is no “one size fits all” machine, but a variety of solutions adapted to different needs.

Back in November 2019 Matt Bach noted, in a blog post on the company’s website, that “we are exploring releasing a paid version of our benchmarks for commercial use. We do not anticipate removing the free versions of our benchmarks, but a paid version gives us the financial freedom to include features that are useful for hardware reviewers, computer manufacturers, and various other commercial uses. These features include the ability to run from the command line, generate log files, and more official support. This is a big step towards democratizing hardware testing as it will give any reviewer the ability to quickly, easily, and effectively test various hardware configurations in real-world applications.”

PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud: a complete benchmark

PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud

Now Puget Systems takes the whole process to a new level, with the introduction of the PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud. The company is also working on another project, according to Matt Bach, which is “the ability to upload and browse results. This is a large and complex project, but it will allow individual users to directly compare their system to a range of other hardware configurations.”

The Puget Systems benchmarks specifically developed for Adobe Creative Cloud are designed to thoroughly test on Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, After Effects – including the AERender feature – and Adobe Premiere Pro. While Puget Systems offers free versions of its benchmarks that allow individuals to evaluate the performance of their own systems, PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud will also provide specific commercial-use benchmarks that will include features that are often desired by those performing testing for commercial applications, such as system reviewers, hardware/software developers and workstation manufacturers.

PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud: a complete benchmark

Five distinct benchmarks

“The world of computing is vast and there is no way we can feasibly test every possible combination of hardware available. However, with the resources we have in our own labs, we have the ability and technical know-how to test as many combinations of system components as possible. We’re limited only to our imagination,” said Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems. “Since we care so deeply about improving and furthering both the workstation and content creation industries as a whole, we have decided to make many of our benchmarks available for public download.”

So, now users with specific needs have the PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud. Puget Systems has developed five distinct benchmarks optimized for the Adobe Creative Cloud community. Here is what’s included:

  • PugetBench for Photoshop
  • PugetBench for Lightroom Classic
  • PugetBench for Premiere Pro
  • PugetBench for After Effects
  • PugetBench for AERender

 

The PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud Licenses is available free of charge for individual, personal use. For professional, commercial usage, which includes email support, automation and logging will be priced at $2,000 USD for the entire suite of benchmarks.  For more information, details on system requirements, and instructions for running PugetBench for Adobe Creative Cloud Licenses, visit the dedicated page on Puget Systems website.

Sony Unveils 20mm f/1.8 G: Its Widest Full-Frame E-Mount Prime Lens Yet

Sony has just released the brand new FE 20mm f/1.8 G: a lightweight, high-performance, ultra-wide prime lens for full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras that the company has dubbed “the widest full-frame prime lens in E-mount lineup.”

The 20mm f/1.8 G promises excellent performance in a compact, weather-sealed package. Optically, the lens is made up of 14 elements in 12 groups, including two advanced aspherical (AA) elements and three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements to address aberration and deliver a crisp image across the entire frame. Focus relies on two extreme dynamic (XD) linear motors that should deliver fast and accurate autofocus, and the 9-blade aperture can be de-clicked using a built-in On/Off switch.

Despite the lens small size—it only weighs 373g (13.2 oz)—Sony promises “excellent close up performance” with a minimum focus distance of 7.5 inches, and accurate reproduction of point light sources with “high contrast and minimum sagittal flare” for astrophotographers.

Here’s a quick intro to the new Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G:

A closer look at the lens attached to a full-frame Sony a7 III and a crop-sensor a6600:

And some official sample photos published from the Sony website:

The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G is going to be available starting in March for $900. To learn more about this lens, head over to the Sony website.

Photographer Has Defamation Action Thrown Out by Court After Claiming Dispute Over Nude Shoot in a Castle Has Ruined His Business

Photographer Has Defamation Action Thrown Out by Court After Claiming Dispute Over Nude Shoot in a Castle Has Ruined His Business

Back in 2017, a story emerged in which a Scottish photographer entered into a nasty legal battle with The National Trust over “artistic nudes” he shot inside one of their castles. Fast-forward a little over two years, and the photographer has now learned his defamation action has failed in seeking the £50,000 he says he’s owed after he claims the drama saw a 50% drop in bookings for the photography courses he runs.

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