How Good Is Fujifilm’s Budget X-A5 Camera?

How Good Is Fujifilm's Budget X-A5 Camera?

The Fujifilm X-A5 is remarkably cheap, coming in at just $499 including a widely respected kit lens, making for inexpensive entry into the popular X Series. But can it hold its own against its more powerful siblings and will it stand up to the demands of a professional photographer? This great review will answer just that question for you.

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Critique the Community Published Images that Earned You Money

Published Images that Earned You Money

Submit your favorite images that have made you money for your chance to win a free Fstoppers tutorial.

When it comes to maintaining a photography business, the images that make you money are the ones that really matter. For the next episode of Critique the Community, we will be providing feedback to only images that have generated income for you.

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Despite Multiple ‘Best of Weddings’ Awards, Multiple Couples Claim Wedding Photographer Never Delivered

Despite Multiple 'Best of Weddings' Awards, Multiple Couples Claim Wedding Photographer Never Delivered

A Florida wedding photographer who won The Knot’s Best of Weddings award three years in a row is now the subject of a local television station’s investigation after multiple couples have come forward claiming they paid thousands of dollars for footage and photos that were never delivered.

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The new “Nordic Titanium” protection skin for the Tamron 28-75mm FE

Life+Guard announced this new “Nordic Titanium” named protection skin for the Tamron 28-75mm FE lens.

The post The new “Nordic Titanium” protection skin for the Tamron 28-75mm FE appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

Former CNN Videographer Dies From Cancer Caused by 9/11 Exposure

Former CNN Videographer Dies From Cancer Caused by 9/11 Exposure

A former CNN videographer has died after contracting cancer caused by hazardous materials he was exposed to during his efforts to cover the events of September 11th and the weeks that followed.

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How Ana Dias Shot Playmate Miki Hamano for Playboy Magazine [NSFW]

How Ana Dias Shot Playmate Miki Hamano for Playboy Magazine [NSFW]

The shoot done by photographer Ana Dias is a Playmate of the Month pictorial for Playboy US (Miss March 2019). The model is named Miki Hamano, and she comes from Japan. The whole photoshoot was done in a modern villa in Malibu, California.

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Walmart mistakenly prices DJI Inspire 2 and Spark drones starting at $17.99

Daniel John posted this tip in the Chicago Drone Pilots Facebook Group early Friday morning.

Early Friday morning, retail behemoth Walmart offered up deals that were so unbelievable, they seemed too good to be true.

Eagle-eyed shoppers took advantage of the lowest prices they’ve ever seen assigned to the DJI Spark Fly More bundle, priced at $17.99, a DJI Mavic Pro Bundle for $24.99, a DJI Inspire 2 Premium Combo with Zenmuse x5 for $42.99, plus Sony and Leica cameras, which typically start between $1,000 – $5,000, for $24.99 – $42.99. Those who purchased these items from retailer Ecom Electronics, in the narrow window of time they were available through Walmart.com, will have ultimately scored an unbeatable deal if Walmart chooses to honor these purchases.

Savvy shoppers like Wayne Douglas discovered deals beyond the DJI Spark Fly More bundle.

I first stumbled across this error in pricing on the Chicago Drone Pilots Facebook Group. Curious to see if it was legitimate, I purchased on DJI Spark Fly More Bundle for $17.99 through my PayPal account. As of this writing, Walmart has processed my payment and has not issued a refund. Ecom Electronics has confirmed my order will arrive between Wednesday, August 21st and Tuesday, August 27th.

Talk about a hustle. Some people maxed out their orders with a quantity of 12 units.

Other people got creative, typed ‘eCom Electronics’ into Walmart.com’s search bar, and came up with a Leica SL (Typ 601) Mirrorless Digital Camera for $22.99, a Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera Body for $22.99, and a Sony Alpha a7R Mirrorless Digital Camera for $42.99. Savvy shoppers pushed purchasing limits to the max and ordered up to 12 units of a deeply-discounted item. All of these low-priced offerings sold out quickly, returned to full price, and then were subsequently pulled from Walmart’s site altogether.

As soon as the word got out, items sold out in a matter of minutes and returned to full price before disappearing from Walmart.com completely.

For those concerned about a possible scam, Walmart has a favorable reputation for honoring their mistakes, if sentiments in the numerous posts I’ve seen across online forums are accurate. Ecom Electronics, on the other hand, has a Better Business Bureau Rating of ‘C.’ No matter how painful the mistake, the Walton family, owners of Walmart, likely won’t flinch as they are currently the wealthiest family in America with an amassed fortune surpassing $160 billion dollars.

Getting Paid Multiple Times: What Motivates You?

Getting Paid Multiple Times: What Motivates You?

Recently, a special delivery unexpectedly arrived for me. It was a trophy from the Telly Awards for a Cape Town guide that I filmed for Expedia. Winning awards has never been a motivation for me, but this one felt really good. It made me consider all the different forms of payment we can get from photography.

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When Photographers Stop Seeing

When Photographers Stop Seeing

On a day-to-day basis, we go through hundreds or even thousands of photographs mainly through social media. Especially for people with many photographer friends, every scroll is a stroll through a usually poorly curated gallery. If you stop and take a close look at most of the photographs, chances are that you will see certain instances where the photographer has “stopped seeing” somewhere in their creative process.

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6 Reasons Why “Midsommar” Is The Best Horror Film of The Year So Far

Midsommar follows the story of Dani and Christian, a couple who decide to travel to Sweden with their friends to attend a festival that only occurs once every ninety years. But once they arrive, events become stranger and stranger and soon they realise that everything is not as it seems within the seemingly idyllic Swedish village.

Midsommar, which is the second feature from director Ari Aster, was released in July. It earned $34 million at the box office against a budget of $9 million. Midsommar was well received critically, garnering much praise for its direction and performances. Yet in spite of receiving praise from critics, Midsommar has proved to be a divisive film amongst audiences.

With horror being one of the most popular genres, there is plenty of competition throughout the year for horror films. 2019 has so far seen the release of dozens of horror films, with films such as Us and The Hole in the Ground in particular garnering critical appraise. 2019 still has many horror film releases to come, with IT Chapter Two and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark looking to be incredibly popular with audiences. By the end of the year, there may well be a different horror film that merits the accolade of best of the year. But at this point in time, Midsommar is by far the best horror film of the year so far for various reasons.

 

1. It’s relatable

Beyond Midsommar being a horror film, it is also very much a film about relationships and at its core it is about a couple. Not only is about a couple, it is about a couple who are on the verge of breaking up, who are at odds with each other and who are struggling to remember why they were even together in the first place. Dani and Christian deeply loved each other at some point but now their relationship appears to be precarious and fraught with tensions.

Early on, we see Christian reluctant to answer his phone when he sees that Dani is calling him and we witness one of his friends urging him to break up with Dani. And it seems as though Christian may be about to break up with Dani when suddenly tragedy strikes, and they stay together. But whilst in some circumstances a tragedy would bring two people closer together, Christian staying with Dani feels more dutiful and perhaps even slightly bitter.

Regardless as to whether we ourselves have experienced this within a romantic relationship, we can all identify with the breakdown of a relationship with someone close to us – when you start to drift apart and conversation doesn’t flow as easily as it once did. There are also very relatable scenes between Dani and Christian’s friends. It is obvious that they know that her and Christian are having issues and that Christian has probably often complained about her.

It is also obvious that her presence is not always welcome in their group and some of them are merely tolerating her hanging out with them rather than actually enjoying her company. Getting on with your partner’s friends can often be a tricky terrain to navigate and Midsommar shows this really well – the uncomfortableness and almost too polite nature of these interactions.

Ari Aster actually wrote the screenplay for Midsommar after experiencing a difficult breakup himself and you can certainly see this in the central conflict between Dani and Christian. He has even described the film as “a breakup movie dressed in the clothes of a folk horror film.”

Basing the film’s central conflict around such an everyday and common issue that many of us have faced or will face makes Midsommar strangely down to earth and relatable. Even amongst the incredibly hard to watch horror that comes later, audiences are able to somehow see themselves in this film.

 

2. It’s unique

Pick a dozen horror films out to watch at random and straight away you will notice similarities – the settings are quite often night-time, the locations are dark, shady and creepy and it’s not unusual for the weather to be stormy or cold.

Then there is Midsommar. Midsommar’s setting is Sweden in the height of a hot midsummer and the horrors take place, not in the darkness of night or as lightning flashes across the sky, but in broad daylight. In daylight so bright and piercing that often the audience feels like they want to shade their eyes and then go and find a cold drink and some shade to sit in.

As well as its setting, Midsommar is unique in the way that it tries to scare its audience. It doesn’t use ‘traditional’ horror. There are no jump scares or scenes that make you want to cover your eyes and look away – at least not in the sense of being too frightened to watch. Instead the horror makes you want to cover your eyes because it is bloody and graphic, and it is almost too hard to conceive what you are seeing.

In modern cinema, horror films are often formulaic or the latest instalment in a franchise. In that way, audiences usually have a pretty good idea of what to expect and what type of scares to expect and this is why a film like Midsommar is so great – because the audience is left to watch intently to see how the film plays out with no preconceived ideas.

 

3. It showcases an exciting new filmmaker

Midsommar marks the second feature for filmmaker Ari Aster, whose directorial feature debut was last year’s Hereditary. Hereditary, which was also divisive in its own way, was met with praise from critics too. Both films were firmly in the horror genre and yet both films felt original and brought something new to the genre for audiences.

With this in mind, it marks Aster as a really exciting new filmmaker. Not only as a horror filmmaker but as an exciting new director whose next film audiences will no doubt eagerly anticipate or at least be curious to see what he comes up with next.

Aster became obsessed with horror films as a child, frequently renting them from his local video store and has talked about how he watched every horror film he could get his hands on. This passion for horror certainly shines through in his films and whilst Hereditary was an impressive debut, Midsommar definitely takes his filmmaking to the next level.

Midsommar, as with Hereditary, was written and directed by Aster and features cinematography from Aster’s long-term collaborator Pawel Pogorzelski. Midsommar is well written, as discussed previously Aster has put together a script that audiences are able to relate to and it is well directed. Midsommar is also elevated by incredible cinematography from Pogorzelski – in one scene, the camera follows a car along a long, vast road on the bottom of the screen until it eventually flips the entire scene on its head so that the car is now travelling on the top of the screen.

Interestingly, Aster has since mentioned that his next project may either be a “zonky nightmare comedy” or “a big, sickly domestic melodrama” which would take him away from the horror genre. Either way, Aster’s next film will be a film that audiences want to see and experience.

Always Be Patient With Landscapes: Wait for the Right Moment

Always Be Patient With Landscapes: Wait for the Right Moment

Everyone who is photographing landscapes knows how important light is. With the right light situations, a boring landscape can transform into something magical. It is not only choosing the golden hour, but also waiting for the right moment. You need to be patient.

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W. Eugene Smith: Father of the Photo Essay

Last week, I talked about the photo essay “Country Doctor” by W. Eugene Smith, and today I would like to focus more on his life and photography in general.

William Eugene Smith has been described as “perhaps the single most important American photographer in the development of the editorial photo essay.” He shot photo projects so large that they cannot be displayed in any museum. Let’s take a closer look at this brilliant photographer.

William Eugene Smith was born in Kansas in 1918. He was given his first camera at the age of 9 after he wanted to photograph airplanes. By the age of 15, he was already published in local newspapers.

Sadly, his father committed suicide the same year Smith graduated from high school. When the local news twisted the story about his father’s death, it inspired him to start his photojournalist career. This event shaped him and his standards for the rest of his life.

Available light is any damn light that is available! —W. Eugene Smith

When he moved to New York, he worked for several magazines, including Life. He was known to be a perfectionist and stubborn, and he was even fired from Newsweek because he refused to stop using his 35mm Contax in favor of large-format negatives.

When we talk about his work, it’s very hard to present his pictures in a complete way. He typically shot what we would today call a photo essay: when he was assigned to cover a story, he would create tens of thousands of pictures to support it. So even though I know it is not possible to cover every event in his life, I have picked some assignments that I think will illustrate his photography.

One of the first assignments Smith took was a photojournalistic profile of Maude E. Callen, a trained nurse and midwife in South Carolina. Smith photographed her for six weeks during her work taking care of her patients.

Deeply moved by her work he wrote:

No story could translate justly the life depth of this wonderful, patient, directional woman who is my subject — and I love her, do love her with a respect I hold for almost no one. Humble, I am in the presence of this simple, complex, positive, greatness; on end on in herself appointed rounds beyond paid-for duty.

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Maude E. Callen was a nurse-midwife in South Carolina for 60 years. She operated a rural community clinic out of her home and attended between 600-800 births throughout her career in addition to training others in midwifery care. She provided in-home services to a 400-square mile area of predominantly impoverished people of color. In 1951, this photo by celebrated photojournalist W. Eugene Smith was published in a 12-page photo essay about Callen in LIFE magazine. Smith spent weeks observing her providing midwifery services and is quoted as saying Maude “is the most completely fulfilled person I have ever known.” __ Written by @katievigos Source: Wikipedia Photo: W. Eugene Smith __ #midwifery #blackhistorymonth #midwife #empoweredbirthproject #maudecallen

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After that, American readers actually donated money to build her clinic in South Carolina.

Country Doctor

I discussed this photo essay in my previous article. If you would like to find out more about this topic, you can also watch this previous video:

Pittsburgh

In 1954, Smith resigned from Life magazine, mostly because of their restrictions, and joined Magnum Photos as an associate. His next project was actually to photography Pittsburgh for picture editor Stefan Lorant’s pictorial history of the city.

The project that was supposed to take three weeks turned into a three-year project with more than 17,000 images. The book was eventually published as Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City, and Lorant used 64 images taken by Smith.

When looking at his photos, you can see contrasts he emphasized: water and land, steel and grass, rich and poor. Smith seemed to be little conflicted when later judging this project. He saw it as a failure, as it was unfinished, but also as the finest set of photographs he had ever produced.

Jazz Loft Project

The Jazz Loft project is a series of recordings and photographs taken by Smith from 1957 to 1965 at a Manhattan loft. It contains approximately 4,000 hours of recordings and almost 40,000 photographs.

The cataloging and preserving of his work are directed by Sam Stephenson at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in cooperation with the Center for Creative Photography.

Japan and Minamata

In 1971, Smith and his wife Aileen stayed in a small fishing village for three years. He helped to uncover the story of Minamata disease, a tragedy caused by mercury poisoning caused by the Chisso factory, which was spoiling water sources with heavy metals, resulting in children being born with disabilities. PHOTO: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwRabnXjO_B/ The story was published by several magazines and newspapers after Smith and his wife were attacked by Chisso employees and almost did not survive the attack.

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“Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes – just sometimes – one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses into awareness. Much depends upon the viewer; in some, photographs can summon enough emotion to be a catalyst to thought.” – W. Eugene Smith . W. Eugene Smith made his last photo essay about industrial mercury poisoning in the Japanese city of Minamata, helping to bring justice and visibility to the victims. . Today on Magnum: We speak to Smith’s then-wife and photographic partner Aileen M. Smith about their collaboration on the project. Link in bio. . PHOTO: Takako Isayama, a 12-year-old fetal (congenital) victim of the Minamata disease, with her mother. Minamata. Japan. 1972 . © #WEugeneSmith/#MagnumPhotos

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“Minamata” was Smith’s last big photo essay. After Japan, he first returned back to New York, and soon after that to Arizona to teach at the University of Arizona. However, he suffered several strokes and died in 1978.


About the author: Martin Kaninsky is a photographer, reviewer, and YouTuber based in Prague, Czech Republic. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Kaninsky runs the channel All About Street Photography. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and YouTube channel.

The Terrifying Moment a Shark Breaches an Underwater Photographer’s Cage

The Terrifying Moment a Shark Breaches an Underwater Photographer's Cage

The camera was rolling when a shark breached a diver’s cage on a photography trip, leaving the diver trapped with the massive creature inside the small steel enclosure.

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Silhouettes of a Hiking Family Inside a Rising Full Moon

Photographer and filmmaker Jesse Watson made this beautiful 3-minute short film that shows the silhouettes of a hiking family framed within the rising full moon.

Watson shot the film on August 14th, in Yuma, Arizona using a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K with a 600mm lens. His camera and tripod were positioned between his truck doors to block out wind, and he used weights on the tripod to minimize movement while shooting with the telephoto lens.

The shoot was planned using Google Earth, The Photographer’s Ephemeris, and a lot of Googling.

“Hardest part was finding people that were up for a hike in this [115 degree] summer heat,” Watson says. “Once I had the locations plotted, I set up about an hour beforehand to direct Sarah and her kids as well as getting my video rig set up.

“As soon as the moon was in position everything moved quickly and was out of position within a few minutes. You really don’t realize how quick Earth is spinning until you try to shoot something like this or an eclipse.”

Watson is the same photographer who captured a gorgeous time-lapse of a SpaceX “UFO” launch back in 2017.

These Owls Have Had Enough of This Camera

These Owls Have Had Enough of This Camera

A common piece of advice given to street photographers is if your subject seems unhappy about the presence of your camera, it’s better to simply not take the picture and remove yourself from the situation. It would appear that that advice should extend to owls, as these rather ornery owls took out a camera that was supposed to be secretly observing them, and the resulting video is hilarious.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – Season 2: VFX Breakdown by Pixomondo

Have a look at the work of Pixomondo for the second season of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY:

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

The post STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – Season 2: VFX Breakdown by Pixomondo appeared first on The Art of VFX.

X-MEN – DARK PHOENIX: VFX Breakdown by Scanline VFX

Scanline VFX presents their work on the Dark Phoenix super powers and the final battle for X-MEN – DARK PHOENIX:

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

The post X-MEN – DARK PHOENIX: VFX Breakdown by Scanline VFX appeared first on The Art of VFX.

AVENGERS – ENDGAME: Making of for the Cap vs. Cap fight

Interested to know how the Cap vs Cap fight from AVENGERS: ENDGAME was made? Overall VFX Supervisor Dan Deleeuw talks about the VFX work done by DNEG and Lola VFX in this video:

WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Dan Deleeuw: My interview of Dan Deleeuw, Overall VFX Supervisor on AVENGERS: ENDGAME.
DNEG: Dedicated page about AVENGERS: ENDGAME on DNEG website.
Carlos Ciudad: My interview of Carlos Ciudad, VFX Producer at DNEG.

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

The post AVENGERS – ENDGAME: Making of for the Cap vs. Cap fight appeared first on The Art of VFX.