The Pilotfly ATOMCUBE RX1 RGBCW, is a small, compact light that uses Bluetooth Mesh so that you can link and control multiple fixtures at the same time. The ATOMCUBE RX1 is an RGB fixture that is Kelvin color adjustable from 2500K to 8500K. It also has built-in special effects. The fixture weighs in at 275g … Continued
Some Birds Are Not Meant To Be Caged
In the spring of 1982, when he was a child, Guillaume Simoneau’s family adopted a nest full of abandoned baby crows. His mother photographed the two families—one animal and one human—growing up together. These photographs are immortalized and enshrined in Simoneau’s upcoming book Murder (MACK), which weaves new photographs in with the old, making for a thoughtful exploration of tradition, nostalgia, and a strange combination of both a grim and idyllic visions of childhood.
As a book, Murder is very self-conscious and raw. Underpinning the images of crows, family and landscapes is a careful homage to Masahisa Fukase’s famous photobook Karasu (Ravens). Simoneau traveled to Kanazawa, Japan, where Fukase photographed many of the birds in Ravens, to make his own images. Bound in the pages of Murder is a careful and conscious homage to Fukase—one that references the history of photobooks, mixes found photographs with made images, and walks the line between darkness and hope, tradition and the contemporary, the personal and the global.
In this interview for LensCulture, Simoneau talks to Dylan Hausthor about the intricacies of producing an homage, the nuances we see in post-documentary images, and the violence of life.
Dylan Hausthor: Tell me about your trajectory as a photographer, and how you’ve seen your practice evolve over time. When did you become interested in combining images that your mother made when you were young with your own into your upcoming book Murder?
Guillaume Simoneau: As a Canadian photographer based in Montreal. I split my time between personal projects and editorial and commercial assignments. But I’ve been looking for ways to present the work of my mother Jeanne-D’arc Fournier to a new and larger audience for a long time. I knew for a while that her portraits had a universal resonance to them, but I wanted to add even more to them. I didn’t want to simply say, “ Hi, this is my mom’s work, bye!”—I am much too close to my mother for that. It took me years to come up with the right layers and complexity to make these images ready for the public.
DH: In 1991, Masahisa Fukase published his seminal photobook Ravens. You traveled to Kanazawa, Japan—the birthplace of that work—to make many of the images for your own book. What weight does Kanazawa hold for you? Why did it feel important to make images in conversation with Fukase?
GS: Fukase’s masterpiece was originally presented as an eight-part series in Camera Mainichi between 1976 and 1982. Karasu (Ravens) was only published as a book, four years later, in 1986, by Sōkyūsha (Yokohama). Kanazawa is not only the region where Fukase made his first photographs of a murder flying through the night sky—it was also the home of Yōko, his beloved second wife and muse. Knowing these details, it felt relevant to feature the region in the final edit as part of my homage-attack on this monument.
DH: What do you mean by “homage-attack”? Is there something problematic about that book for you?
GS: No, far from it. I simply wanted to be 100% authentic while producing the work. I couldn’t respond to such an “untouchable” collection of images in any other way. Fukase’s magnum opus is raw and honest. I had to position myself the same way in order to be solid and ready for potential backlash. Thankfully, the work has been embraced. But I can assure you that while you are building a body of work largely based around the killing of ravens—despite describing the premise as a pursuit of brighter days—doubts are crippling.
DH: That’s really interesting. Does nostalgia play a role in Murder?
GS: As Anne Wilkes Tucker argues in her essay Why so Personal? (from the book Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers, published by Aperture in 2006), “Memory, commemoration, and nostalgia are repeatedly used as the impetus to photograph. But what is commemorated, and why?” With Murder, I try to honor the Japanese master in a violent and modern way. This same violence, juxtaposed with the calm and gentleness of my mother’s images, offers a romantic—maybe even watered down—vision of childhood and the past. These oppositions and tensions are at the core of my practice. To me, they reflect the essence of human existence. As Brad Feuerhelm once wrote in a review of Fukase’s Ravens, “It would be too simple to dismiss the darkness within without paying homage to the light under which one is bound to examine its counterpoint.”
DH: There is such a stark shift in tone from the photographs that your mother took of the crows during your childhood and the images that you’ve made in the last few years. It seems to go from tranquility to something more turbulent and dark. What do you attribute this shift to?
GS: The government of my province, Québec, literally just passed a law overnight banning the wearing of all religious symbols. I am so embarrassed. Life is extremely violent—a tragedy. My life and my work are a constant quest for light, and sometimes in order to find it you have to show some teeth. The turbulence you feel in Murder is equal part life and teeth.
DH: There is some really interesting repetition in this book. Some of the images seem to have been made seconds apart. How do you hope this seriality affects the read of them?
GS: I simply see it as an additional means of representation, moving away from the “one image says it all” narrative that defined the early days of documentary. Brought together, it establishes a better sense of time, subjectivity and honesty to the effort.
DH: A throughline of your recent work is a manipulation of nature and the human stories that surround that. In Murder, you, as a photographer and a child, become a protagonist. How did that change your experience of making it?
GS: After looking outwards to the great outdoors, I am back to a more personal and intimate narrative. With Murder, I feel like I am returning to a private space reminiscent of the emotional charge of Love and War (Dewi Lewis, 2013). It is a place I am very comfortable in and cherish very much—a labor of love.
DH: Your work seems to cleverly exist in a space between lyrical storytelling and specific documents of place. Do you feel like you are a part of the history of documentary photography?
GS: “Post-documentary,” definitely. It is more about responding to the documentary form of the 1930s to the 1960s while offering a photographic approach, at times lyrical, that nowadays moves away from its formerly imperative role of depicting reality. Since such a role was ill-informed and dishonest all along, it feels appropriate in a post-truth era to let the viewer decide what is and what is not represented. From now on, as a photographer, your work is a proposition.
Enjoy more great photography:
- Serial No. 3817131
- Film Noir
- 10 Favorite (and Unusual) Photobooks of 2015
- The Rehearsal of Space
- Fighting for a Pittance: Thai Child Boxing
- “Life Looks Better Through a Viewfinder”—Mentoring and Wisdom from David Alan Harvey
Drum roll please. Bright Tangerine’s new Drumstix Sterling Titanium Support Rods are incredibly lightweight and very solid—¼ of the weight of stainless steel lens rods. read more…
National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey explored a different perspective on photography when he traveled with his four-year-old son. Seeing the same journey through his sons eyes opened Huey up to the differences in how adults and children see the world.
Many photographers and videographers were not particularly pleased with the Canon EOS R when it was released, with seemingly middling specs and some seemingly arbitrary exclusions. Now that it has been on the market for a while, there has been time to form so more long-term opinions of the camera while taking into account things that can’t be quantified by a specs sheet. This great video takes a long-term look at the EOS R for video shooters.
Our work as photographers says a lot about us as human beings. Continuing to evaluate that work well beyond its inception is important to both our creative and personal growth.
2018-2019 Nikon Photo Contest Winners
Nikon has announced the winners of its 2018-2019 international Nikon Photo Contest. The contest, which started in 1969 ‘as an opportunity for photographers to share their unique visions and enrich photographic culture,’ celebrated its 50th anniversary with its highest number of annual submissions since its inception.
Nikon received 97,369 submissions from approximately 33,000 people across 170 countries and regions around the world. The entries were split up into three categories this year: Open, Next Generation and Short Film, the first two of which are split into single photo and photo story subcategories. Below is a brief description from Nikon for each of the categories:
- Open: a single photo or photo story representing the theme of ‘Change’
- Next Generation: a single photo or photo story expressing the idea of ‘Identity’ open to photographers aged 25 or younger
- Short Film: a video submission that tells the story of ‘Hope.’
One additional submission has received the Participants’ Choice Prize, while another has received the Nikon Photo Contest 50th Anniversary Prize, a new prize implemented this year. These will be included in our gallery of the main category winners.
The winning images were selected by a panel of international judges from different disciplines in the world of art. Nikon says the ‘recipients of the gold, silver, and bronze awards from each category were selected based on a variety of aspects, including their suitability to the category’s theme, the strength of the message, and level of creativity.’ Below is a short video Nikon put together about the judges and their outlook on the images and the contest as a whole:
The Grand Prize winner, which is selected from the Gold Prize winners in each of the categories, will be announced at the awards ceremony on August 23, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.
The accompanying gallery is a collection of the Gold Prize winners for each category. Additional Silver and Bronze prize winners can be found on the Nikon Photo Contest website.
Open Single Photo Winner
Alma and Alzheimer’s — Open Award Single Photo Gold Prize
Photographer: Jason Parnell-Brookes (United Kingdom)
Story: Donald，90, sits alone in the background consumed in his suffering with Alzheimer’s and unaware of his wife, Alma, 84 having dinner just feet away. He came back from World War II, changed from the kind caring man she had married, suffering with shellshock (PTSD). After a violent 60-year marriage with Alma, Donald was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In the last few years of his life there was a sudden and rapid change of his demeanor rendering him placid, back to the man she had married.
Open Photo Story Winner
hope — Open Award Photo Story Gold Prize
Photographer: Thaib Chaidar (Indonesia)
Story: I took a photo of this series while on assignment about free cataract surgery for people who are not able in remote areas in West Papua, Manokwari Regency, and one of his patients was a mother named Sorina Ullo, who was lucky because after decades she could finally returned to see clearly, the cataract that had long suffered will heal soon
Next Generation Single Photo Winner
Ayimpoka — Next Generation Award Single Photo Gold Prize
Photographer: Sara De Antonio Feu (Spain)
Story: Ayimpoka lives with her family in a little town in Bolgatanga (Ghana). Albinism has been a cause of discrimination and persecution during years, and murders have been committed against albino children because of the popular association with magic and witchcraft. At Ayimpoka’s house, everyone gives her love and protection and a local NGO provides her weekly care. That day，she was recovering from malaria and she had a lot of sunburns because she was in the sun all day.
Next Generation Photo Story Winner
芳华(Fanghua – Moments in Our Youthful Days) — Next Generation Award Photo Story Gold Prize
Photographer: 屠 靖涵 [Jinghan Tu] (China)
Story: The camera I always have hanging around my neck is like another pair of eyes, and has essentially become a part of my body. Having the camera doesn’t affect how I engage with other people of the same generation. I am a part of the things that take place in each moment I capture. For me, pointing the lens at something is the same as taking screenshots of my own personal life. Every drop of rain, every smile, every quick motion, and every droplet when water is sprayed. The things I capture are nothing more than ordinary, yet they are all an important part of moments in the dazzling youthful lives of people, including myself. I continue to take photos to preserve the memories of those precious days which I have experienced.
Short Film Winner
Exulansis (link to video) — Short Film Award Gold Prize
Artist: Sara Crochet (United States of America)
Story: Exulansis n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it. I made this film in one day to display a haunting memory and how I choose to see that as an experience I can share to bring light to women and men around me. Bringing us all together with understanding and love.
Participants’ Choice Prize Winner
The phoenix — NPC 50th Anniversary Prize
Artist: Helena Pelletier (Canada)
Story: As a young women, Halifax resident Holly Fox survived a terrible house fire，that took her young husband and left her with extensive scars after she ran into the flames to save their infant baby who made it out without injury thanks to the bravery of his mother. The child has grown now an adult man，and her scars a beautiful reminder of her courage and strength. Out of the ashes she will rise, stronger and more beautiful than before. Marked with evidence of such and wearing it with pride.
Nikon Photo Contest 50th Anniversary Prize Winner
金秋时节(Harvesting Season) — Participants’ Choice Prize
Artist: 赵 华明 Huaming Zhao (China)
Story: Fall is the season of harvesting. The tall green bamboos can be cut into strips for creating various crafts. They are dried, disinfected, then made into chopsticks to become a part of people’s everyday lives and bring joy to them.
Forget about Sony, Canon, Nikon, or any other mirrorless camera. Panasonic has the Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R, and those cameras are amazing. I have invested a lot in Canon, and I am really happy about the system. But if I had to do it all over again today, I definitely would choose the Lumix S1.
It’s all in the margins when you start looking at how healthy a large business is doing. For Canon, they may be currently hemorrhaging cash year-over-year, but is it as bad as it sounds?
Over the past 7 years since I first bought my camera, I have been lucky enough to meet a fair amount of the people that I looked up to in the industry. Some of them I have become very good friends with.
Lee filters announced a new addition to their Lee 100 filter holder system today. The new development is quite a unique idea that many landscape photographers may have wished possible for a long time. The Lee 100 tandem adaptor basically makes way for a second filter holder to be mounted on top of the first.
Although Quentin Tarantino’s never been a prolific filmmaker (he’s directed nine features since 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, if you count the Kill Bill films as a single entry, which QT famously does), he’s certainly one of the most influential. His breakthrough second feature, the zeitgeist-defining 1994 tour de force Pulp Fiction has left a lasting impression on American cinema.
Arguably the most influential film of the 90’s, few movies have been as quoted, as cloned, or as dissected and debated as Pulp Fiction and yet, even after endless repeat viewings, this hard-hearted and half-joking gem never gets old.
Now with the release of QT’s hotly anticipated ode to Tinseltown finally in wide release, Taste of Cinema is here to excitedly announce that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ranks with the director’s best work.
It may just be his most incidentally enjoyable, outrageously entertaining, and visually exciting work to date. Certainly this is top tier Tarantino and is destined to make many Best of 2019 lists come December. But until then, meander down these canyon roads, dip your toes in the Playboy Mansion pool, get in the queue for a matinee of Sharon Tate’s The Wrecking Crew, and inhale an LSD-dipped Red Apple cigarette.
This fairytale of the bright lights is a generous allowance from a dependable if indulgent director, proudly presenting us with a delighted dream from which many of us might awaken with a scream trapped in our throats.
8. One of QT’s strongest screenplays
Unraveling in 1969, just ahead of the New Hollywood movement that would forever alter the film industry, Tarantino’s latest film focuses on three forlorn characters; Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fading Western TV actor having a simultaneous midlife and identity crisis trying to make it in the movie business; Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), Dalton’s stunt double and BFF; and then most ill-starred of them all, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), the real-life rising star whose life and career were cut short most tragically on August 9th, 1969, at the hands of members of the Manson Family.
Tarantino’s script, which echoes many similarly set multi-protagonist Hollywood parables (both All About Eve  and Sunset Boulevard  spring to mind), spends a great deal of time tackling egocentric celebrities and czars pawing their way into the hype and the glow of the limelight.
Atypical of QT his script is permeated with pulp culture references and his child-like adoration for the footlights. He loves the movies, the people who make them, and the city where so much of the entertainment industry spins their golden gossamer.
There’s also the romanticized offering of old-school glamour and glitz, an extravagantly ornate folkloric representation of the past, an almost hysterical fear of hippies, and with that the elusive but alarming threat of brutal bloodshed. Dotted amongst the erstwhile haze of Hollywood is QT’s excellently talkative pentameter and just as effective portents of ruin.
7. Los Angeles itself
It should come as no surprise that for Tarantino, who grew up in Hollywood, his illusory Los Angeles is as romantic as it is real. This film is that rare Los Angeles-set movie, like Rebel Without a Cause (1955), The Long Goodbye (1973), or Short Cuts (1993) with a real sense of place and relation. Hollywood is as much a character in this film as Booth, Dalton, or Tate.
So many LA-exclusive incidental delights populate the picture; the euphoria of speeding down the freeway with the top down; letting loose at swinging party at the Playboy Mansion, sauntering through the backlots of the big studios, spying stars at every junction; tiptoeing barefoot down Hollywood Boulevard with far-out hippies, basking in the glow of neon signs; bustling movie houses on every corner, lit up like bijous; in every direction the famous mingling with the huddled masses.
From Robert Richardson’s expert lensing, to Barbara Ling’s near perfect production design, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is packed with period details as vivid and tangible as possible.
6. The focus is on characters, not plot
In the post-Tarantino 1990s he coined the term “hang-out movie” to better capture what he was after with pictures like Jackie Brown, where plot takes shotgun next to spending time with indelible characters. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is more about the moments at the end of an era and the delighted and discontented people in those moments.
They’re all victims of circumstance, and while it may seem that the Manson family is forcing the narrative towards some final, fleeting exit, it’s still the observational character moments that define the film: Tate spends a honey of an afternoon at the movies, Booth and a charismatic hitchhiker (Margaret Qualley) end up at the Spahn Ranch where something unseemly has to be taking place, and Dalton makes a guest appearance on a TV pilot wherein he’s overthinking his avenue.
With this film we are presented with characters in a special and very specific place and time. Maybe nothing much happens over a few days in February but the play of light and the spatter of shadows suggest that summer and August in particular, hold something sadly significant and terribly, terribly wrong.
5. The devil is in the details; fun nods to Tarantino’s other movies
For Tarantino fans there are a wealth of nods and winks to his body of work throughout the film.
Characters constantly smoke Red Apple cigarettes, the fictional brand used throughout his films. And if you stick around for the credits (and you always should) your sides will ache during Dalton’s commercial and outtakes for Red Apples.
Also, for those paying close attention it’s revealed that Dalton makes some Spaghetti Westerns for one Antonio Margheriti, an alias used by Eli Roth’s Sgt. Donowitz in Inglourious Basterds (2009).
Additionally, the cast is a who’s who from Tarantino’s repertoire of regulars. Apart from DiCaprio and Pitt reteaming with QT, vets of his previous films like Zoë Bell, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Monica Staggs, James Remar, and Kurt Russell appear in the film. Mr. Orange himself, Tim Roth also had a scene, but it was unfortunately cut from the film. Here’s hoping we’ll get to see it on the eventual blu-ray release.
Hands-on: Synology DiskStation DS620Slim
Digital storage and management manufacturer Synology recently announced a new 6-bay Network Attached Storage enclosure in its Slim range that is designed to be compact and lightweight while still offering good performance. The DS620Slim accepts 2.5″ SSD or HDD media – with its six bays filled with 5TB drives it can provide a total of 30TB of storage.
- 6 bays w/ 30TB max storage (5TB per port)
- Accepts 2.5″ media (SSD or HDD)
- 2GB of DDR3L internal memory (expandable to 6GB)
- 220 MB/sec read speed
- 190 MB/sec write speed
- Dual-core processor up to 2.5 GHz
- Twin USB 3 ports
- Twin Ethernet ports
- 1.4kg / 3.1lbs
- 121 x 151 x 175mm / 4.7 x 5.9 x 6.9in
The DS620Slim is in the same family as the 4-bay DS419Slim that was launched last month, but as well as the extra 2 bays, the new enclosure has better write speeds, more processing power, more memory options and a wider range of choices for RAID configuration.
Supported RAID types are: Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10. The maximum single volume size is 108TB, compared to the 16TB maximum of the DS419Slim.
Internal memory can be expanded from 2GB to 6GB
The device comes with 2GB of DDR3L memory but that can be expanded to 6GB reasonably cheaply if you need it, taking the total RAM well beyond that of the DS419Slim’s 512MB limit. The system’s read speed is ‘over’ 220 MB/sec, which is the same as that of the DS419Slim, but at 190 MB/sec it writes faster than the smaller unit’s 94 MB/sec. By comparison the larger/higher-end Disk Station units, such as the new $740 6-bay DS1618+, can read at 2,090 MB/sec, write at 620 MB/sec, and comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM that can be expanded to 32GB.
The DS620Slim uses an Intel Celeron J3355 dual-core 2.0 GHz processor with burst speeds of up to 2.5 GHz, which supports dual-channel H.265/H.264 4K video transcoding on the fly.
Accepts 2.5″ SSD or HDD media
Like the DS419Slim, the DS620Slim takes 2.5″ drives, and can be loaded with SSD or HDD media. Using these smaller drives allows the company to make the whole package smaller, but the downside is that drives tend to have lower capacity and to be a little more expensive.
The benefit of using SSD’s though is that they run silently and they use less power. Although in general SSD’s allow much faster read/write times than HDD media does, the extra speed won’t really be very noticeable in this unit as the read/write speeds are limited to those achievable by spinning disks anyway.
Set up an SSD cache for faster data access
My unit came with two 480GB Seagate IronWolf 110 Enterprise-Class SSD drives that have read/write speeds of over 500 MB/sec. These will make the most of what the NAS can do and ensure it performs at its highest level, but they won’t allow the DS620Slim to exceed its approx. 200 MB/sec maximum speeds.
A good reason for using SSDs though is that it will allow you to set-up an SSD cache to help improve the time in which data can be accessed in the NAS.
As the DS620Slim doesn’t offer the PCle slot that some of the more advanced models do for this purpose, its ability to create SSD cache using the installed SSD storage in two of the bays will be useful to some users. Doing this reduces the time taken to find data and to start read/write processes, but it doesn’t improve read/write rates once the data is found and is being transferred. So, it will help find a giant video file but won’t help to move it more quickly.
You can dedicate two of the bays to run the SSD cache and then fill the other four with HDD media.
Two USB ports to attach additional drives
Two USB 3 ports also allow the attachment of additional external drives. Attaching external drives via the USB ports allows new shared folders to be created using the external drive, but doesn’t create capacity that can be used in a RAID set-up. The shared folder will disappear once the external drive is unplugged. The system recognizes: Btrfs, ext3, ext4, FAT, FAT32, exFAT, HFS, HFS Plus, and NTFS formats. It is also possible to use the NAS as a print server, so that multiple machines can access a single printer attached to the NAS.
Twin Ethernet ports for more stable network connections
On the back of the enclosure you can see twin 1GbE ports that offer link aggregation for more stable and efficient use of network connections. In some models these ports allow users to connect to expansion units to increase the total capacity of the storage, but that isn’t the case with the DS620Slim.
Set-up is a joy as it is so much easier than I always expect it should be. The device runs from the same Disk Station Manager that other Synology NAS units use, and we are taken step-by-step through the process while options are explained. The whole collection of applications is available to DS620Slim users, including Synology’s Active Backup suite that will allow back up of any operating system on a desktop or laptop computer. It will also back up Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, and is capable of restoring servers as well as individual files.
The ‘console port’ is used for manufacturer repairs
This is the console port cover that’s positioned on the base of the unit. It is a bit unusual to have the console port visible on the outside of one of these NAS units but I suppose it saves taking the body apart for diagnostics when something goes wrong. Marked in the manual ‘Manufacturer Use Only’ this port allows repair centers to plug-in to the NAS to identify, and fix, issues.
Sizing the DS620Slim up
For scale, here is the DS620Slim piggy backing on the top of the DS1019+. The lower NAS is pretty big and is certainly heavy, while you can see that the DS620Slim is small and I can vouch for its light weight.
This new model weighs 1.4kg / 3.1lbs, and measures 121 x 151x 175mm / 4.7 x 5.9 x 6.9in – unloaded. The lower NAS is definitely office-based while the Slim model can easily by packed into a bag and taken on the road.
The wrap up
While the DS620Slim ultimately performs below the levels of the best full-sized Synology NAS enclosures it still offers more than enough speed and processing power for most photographers shooting still and video images, and will make a very good primary storage system for most of us.
As it is also so small and light it is ideal to take away for longer jobs when you need to create a network or share work with multiple individuals either to deliver finished results or to allow others to work on a project with you.
Filled with 5TB drives it will provide plenty of space even with the most cautious RAID configuration and for the $449 price tag it offers pretty good value for money. The value is not only in the actual enclosure, its lightweight and compact size, and the hardware included, but also in Synology’s excellent collection of applications that make getting to most out of its NAS units much easier.
The Synology DS620Slim is available now and costs $449. For more information see the Synology website.
B&H has a 24-hour deal at the moment on the Zhiyun WEEBILL LAB gimbal. The gimbal is available for $369.99 USD, which is a saving of $230 USD. With the recent announcement of the DJI Ronin-SC, which costs $439 USD, gimbal prices continue to fall. This current deal on the WEEBILL LAB makes it a … Continued