If you are tired of sandbags that always swing around or fall when you move your light stands, you should take a look at this new product: Photo Rock Bar. Let’s take a closer look at this versatile product!
Image credit: Photo Rock Bar
Good Old Sandbags
Sandbags are tools that you can find on every film set. Like gaffer tapes, this is an essential piece of equipment to have with you on every gig. You can use sandbags for a lot of things, but their primary purpose is to add extra weight to tripods, light stands, and boom arms. (Safety first)!
Impact sandbags. Image credit: B&H
The design of sandbags has been the same for decades. It consists of two pockets filled with sands and a saddle. Sandbags exist in various sizes, weights, colors, and so on. But the main thing they have in common is that they are heavy and not convenient to travel with. Also, most of the time, sandbags swing everywhere, or even worse, fall of your light stand when you decide to move your fixture.
Taking a new approach to products that are used daily by filmmakers is tough, and as we say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Otherwise, the Photo Rock Bar is something different that is worth a look.
Image credit: Photo Rock Bar
Sandbags Alternative – Photo Rock Bar
The design of the Photo Rock Bar consists of one single pocket with two straps. There is the word “Rock” in it because the idea is not to fill it with sand, but with, you guessed it, rocks… If you ever damaged a sandbag, you know the main disadvantage of sand versus rocks: it spills everywhere.
The main benefit of the Photo Rock Bar is that it attaches flush to your light stand or tripod. In short, it means that the Rock Bar will not sway in windy conditions or if you move your tripod/light stand around on set.
Image credit: Photo Rock Bar
Once the Photo Rock Bar is fully loaded with rocks, it weighs around 7lbs / 3kg. Another advantage is that you can transport it empty to save weight, and fill it with stones once you arrive at your shoot.
The Photo Rock Bar is made of nylon EVA and measures 30cm x 5cm x 5cm.
OConnor recently announced their new Ultimate 1040 fluid head which can support payloads from 0 to 45 lbs (20 kg) at a 5” (12.7cm) centre of gravity and a +/-90° tilt range. The new head can be paired with the popular Flowtech 100 carbon legs with 100mm bowl to create a versatile tripod with quick workflow and wide payload support.
OConnor Ultimate 1040 head with Flowtech 100 tripod. Source: Vitec
California-based company OConnor has been designing and manufacturing fluid heads and tripods (as well as camera and lens accessories) for cinematographers since many years. Since 2003, OConnor is part of the Vitec group. Therefore, it is not such a big surprise to see Flowtech 100 tripod legs from Sachtler being rebranded as OConnor. The company now announced their new Ultimate 1040 fluid head, which seems to be a perfect match for the Flowtech 100 legs. What are the specs?
OConnor Ultimate 1040 Fluid Head
OConnor Ultimate 1040 fluid head. Source: Vitec
The Ultimate 1040 fluid head offers a very wide payload – it can accommodate payloads from 0 to 45 lbs (20 kg) at a 5” (12.7cm) center of gravity and a +/-90° tilt range. OConnor Ultimate 1040 retains the same performance and ergonomic features of its 1030 predecessor, which only supported payloads up to 35 lbs.
OConnor Ultimate 1040 head – Counterbalance chart. Source: Vitec
The fluid head is fitted with OConnor’s popular large Euro Plate as standard. OConnor Ultimate 1040 is made of high-performance magnesium and aluminum alloys with stainless steel, and the head is finished with carbon fibre to match the look of the Flowtech 100 tripod. The head also features the same construction found in larger OConnor heads, including wide tilt bearings for extra stability at the highest payloads.
OConnor Ultimate 1040 head with Flowtech 100 tripod. Source: Vitec
OConnor Ultimate 1040 head offers a wealth of features including the stepless, ultra-smooth pan-and-tilt fluid drag, as well as the patented OConnor Sinusoidal Counterbalance system that provides accurate balance at any point in the tilt range. The system counterbalances down to zero, which is a welcome advantage for lighter weight cameras.
Flowtech 100 Tripod Legs
OConnor paired their new Ultimate 1040 fluid head with the Flowtech 100 carbon fibre legs. These legs are of course not new anymore. Sachtler first introduced them in September 2018 as a larger 100mm bowl version of their Flowtech 75 legs (you can check our Flowtech 75 review). As already mentinoed above, since both Sachtler and OConnor have been part of Vitec group for many years, it comes with no surprise we see the same legs branded as OConnor now.
OConnor Ultimate 1040 head with Flowtech 100 tripod. Source: Vitec
The carbon-fibre legs feature unique quick-release breaks for easier and faster workflow when deploying and repositioning the tripod. With a 100mm bowl, Flowtech 100 is able to support a payload of up to 30kg (66lbs). The tripod’s versatile hinge lock mechanism combined with its durable rubber feet allow for extremely low and high shots regardless of space limitations or terrain. Exceptional torsional stiffness also ensures the Flowtech 100 will not twist during camera-panning movements.
Pricing and Availability
OConnor Ultimate 1040 head with Flowtech 100 tripod set. Source: Vitec
The OConnor Ultimate 1040 fluid head and the OConnor Flowtech 100 legs will be available in October. The whole kit (including rubber feet, carry handle, and case) is priced at $10,800. The Ultimate 1040 head is also available separately and is priced at $7,850. Flowtech 100 tripod sells separately for $2,675.
What do you think of the new OConnor Ultimate 1040 fluid head? Do you have experience with OConnor products? Do you work with both lightweight and heavy setups on a tripod? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.
At this point in time, the 3.2-gigapixel digital camera intended for the LSST is 90% complete, according to LLNL. SLAC has been tapped to manage the subcomponent integration and final assembly of the $168 million camera, which is currently estimated for completion in early 2021.
Image credit: Farrin Abbott/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Ball Aerospace in Colorado and Arizona Optical Systems built the lens assembly for the telescope, including the massive 1.57m (5.1ft) diameter L-1 optical lens and the smaller 1.2 (3.9ft) L-2 lens. According to LLNL, the L-1 is likely the largest high-performance optical lens ever created. It took around 17 hours to deliver the two lenses by truck to the SLAC in Menlo Park. Below are a few images of the delivery from the full Flickr album posted by SLAC:
Livermore physicist Scot Olivier largely credited LLNL optical scientists Lynn Seppala and Brian Bauman, as well as LLNL engineers Vincent Riot, Scott Winters, and Justin Wolfe, for making the massive optical lens a reality. Once fully completed, the LSST will be used to capture digital images of the entire visible portion of the southern sky, according to Livermore, offering what experts anticipate will be ‘unprecedented details of the universe.’
Over the past few weeks, two separate pieces have been published here on PetaPixel attacking YouTube photographers and camera reviewers. Whether it be this video from Mik Milman, or this latest piece from Bob Locher, the low hanging fruit seems to be the idea that the “general YouTube camera reviewer” has no idea what they’re talking about. This is ridiculous, and wrong.
No one reviewer is ever called out by name; instead, what they do and how they do it is generalized and attacked for any number of reasons.
I am not sure why this has suddenly become popular, but it’s one of the most misguided attacks I’ve seen in our industry. There’s plenty to actually get upset about these days, and going after YouTubers seems like such a giant waste of breath and time. But since it’s such a timely topic, I feel the need to set the record straight.
I’m going to focus on just one of the major arguments here, because even just that is going to take a lot more time to disprove than it takes to state a false generalization as fact. (That’s the challenge with trying to chase down Internet generalities, but it’s a cross I’m willing to bear.) So let’s just address one claim, specifically as it relates to the recent Sony a7R IV reviews:
Many (or perhaps even most) of the YouTube content creators for photographic sites are actually video enthusiasts, though they claim to be still photography oriented.
Let’s handle this one well-known YouTube channel at a time, shall we:
Dan and Sally Watson
Dan and Sally haven’t released a full review yet, but in their Hands On video, they spend nearly 80% of the five and a half minute run time talking about the ergonomics, the SD card improvements, other hardware and software improvements and, of course, image quality.
When they do discuss video, Dan focuses on the main talking point provided by Sony in the camera’s release, specifically: Eye-AF in Video. That’s a highly touted feature directly from Sony, and to complain that they discuss it in a stills camera review is just silly.
I would also like to point out that Sally is an incredible portrait photographer who I respect greatly for her ability to work with models. She’s an outstanding photographer, and a strong voice in the couple’s videos when it comes to discussing a camera. Dan is a fantastic photographer in his own right, as well as a great video shooter. To distill his channel down to “video guy who happens to take photos” is a woefully misguided generalization.
Tony and Chelsea Northrup
Tony and Chelsea have a ton of videos about the a7R IV, but because video features are the focus of the argument I’m disproving, let’s look at the above video.
Tony, aside from the complaints regarding video features (which he absolutely should cover since these are hybrid cameras), discusses the issues with buffering (and therefore software hitches), lack of XQD, lack of connectivity (like photo transferring), lack of a GPS in the camera, physical control issues and reprogramming limitations, lack of lighted buttons, sensor dust issues, and a terrible menu design.
That’s a long list of complaints about features that directly affect photography.
Besides all this, any videographer will tell you that Tony is not a video shooter. He makes videos, but the method by which he does them isn’t something a hardcore video guy would do (for example, he publishes his videos in 1080p60 for some reason). He’s obviously a photographer first, and so is Chelsea, who is an accomplished portrait photographer in her own right.
Kai is probably the most internationally respected YouTube personality when it comes to photography. He’s a big deal, and so if you believed the opinion that YouTubers are video guys first and photo guys second, Kai must be part of that, right?
No surprise here, Kai spends the entire video talking about the stills features of the a7R IV, only briefly mentioning video (about one minute of the 15-minute run time). I hope you’ve spotted the trend here, but just in case…
Gordon has been reviewing cameras for what feels like longer than I have been alive, and the fact he has a YouTube channel at all is more due to adapting to changing times than being a video guy.
Gordon is highly knowledgable on camera technology and has been an authority in the stills world for (as I already mentioned) a very very long time. I’d argue that he is one of the best resources if you’re looking to get a full understanding of a camera, and since he’s been reviewing cameras since before they could even shoot video, it’s laughable to characterize him as a video guy who takes photos on the side.
Gordon’s written review of the a7R IV paints an even more complete picture of what he does. This is a full review of a camera—a review that, as you might expect, spends the vast majority of its time talking about the photo features.
Just like everyone else, DPReview has not released a full review of the a7R IV on YouTube as of yet, and the video they have released is hosted by Jordan instead of Chris (who was on vacation at the time of the camera’s release). Jordan is a video guy by trade, and is called on to shoot the videos and give input on video features for all cameras. So it would be no surprise if he focused only on video features… right?
Well, actually, for the majority of the DPReview TV video, he talked about ergonomics, technical limitations in photo mode, and photography insights. He talks for a couple minutes about video, but he prefaces these comments with an apology for those who aren’t interested in those features—he is a filmmaker after all. Chris is the more photo-oriented of the pair, and when they’re both together you get mainly photo insights, which is exactly what some recent opinions claimed is not happening.
Fro Knows Photo
I can’t believe I have to write this, but Jared Polin is not a video shooter. Anyone who even vaguely knows his channel knows that. Do I really need to write more?
Other big names—think: Peter McKinnon, Matti Haapoja, Potato Jet, and others—are either video first or true hybrid shooters, and make no mystery of it. The only YouTuber who is mainly a video guy who does some photo on the side is Jason Vong, and that’s his thing. He’s kind of shoehorned as the Sony video guy (though his skills are much wider than that), so it should come as no surprise that he talks mainly about video in his coverage of the camera.
I could do this all day, but I hope you get the point. It’s easy to assume that, because all YouTubers (by definition) use video as their medium, they must be video-first, but that’s a massive over-simplificaiton. It’s like saying you should only trust film camera reviews if they’re published in print.
Looking at the entire landscape of YouTubers who covered the a7R IV, how does it make any sense to claim that, “many (or perhaps even most) of the YouTube content creators for photographic sites are actually video enthusiasts?” To make such an outlandish claim without backing it up offends me greatly, and I’m probably not even one of the people he was talking about.
The reality of the situation is actually the opposite: many, or perhaps most, of the top YouTube content creators who have been reviewing this camera are primarily photographers and photo enthusiasts.
Before you let someone’s opinion about YouTube camera reviewers influence your opinion of their expertise, I urge you to look into them yourself. You may not like some of them, you may disagree with some of them, but on the whole, the vast majority of these guys are very good at what they do… and what they do is take photos and test cameras. I come mainly from a journalism background, and I still think these guys are outstanding additions to the press corps. They all care about being genuine to their audiences, work their butts off to make the best possible content they can, and are highly knowledgeable about modern camera equipment.
There are a lot of other things to get upset about in the camera industry, but YouTubers aren’t it.
The team behind iOS camera app Halide has released version 1.14, bringing with it support for Apple’s latest iPhone 11 Pro devices, a new ‘Tactile Lens Switcher’ and more.
As explained in its announcement blog post, Halide 1.14 brings full support for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The day the iPhone 11 devices were released, Halide was updated with ‘basic support for the new cameras.’ Now, Halide offers full support for the new hardware within the latest iPhone devices.
Halide has also added a ‘Tactile Lens Switcher.’ When there were only two cameras on iPhones, it was easy enough to switch between the standard lens and tele lens—with the tap of a button. But now that the iPhone 11 Pro models offer three camera modules, the Halide team had to rethink how to switch from one camera to another in the most efficient way possible.
Now, in addition to simply tapping on the lens switching button, you can also long-press to bring up a lens switcher, which makes it easy to jump between any of the three cameras on iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max devices: .5x, 1x and 2x.
Another new feature is a Lens Guides. Exclusive to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Lens Guide will overlay frames on the image from the .5x camera to show what the composition would look like if you were to shoot it using the 1x or 2x camera. Tapping the composition of your choice will automatically jump you into that camera mode.
The Halide team has also noted that it’s working to further improve its ‘Smart RAW’ capabilities. Halide says it’s ‘an area of ongoing research’ and it’s ‘currently building a lot of data to research and improve our Smart RAW for iPhone 11, and we’ll have a blog post soon about how the new iPhone 11 camera processes images in software and how it compares to the RAW shot.’
Lastly, Halide says it’s managed to make Raw renders in its photo reviewer 3x faster. Halide is available to download in the iOS App Store for $5.99.
Toy photographer Benedek Lampert recently teamed up with LEGO Hungary to recreate some of the most iconic photographs from the Apollo 11 mission in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The resulting images are truly impressive and are captured almost entirely in camera.
LEGO Hungary got in touch with Lampert because they had just released the LEGO Moon Landing sets, and wanted to show them off in some cool ways. It’s safe to say Lampert went above and beyond, as you can see from this side-by-side comparison of the real Saturn V launch next to Lampert’s LEGO version:
He recreated several iconic scenes and famous images using only these LEGO sets and some props he built himself.
For the Saturn V launch, he built a launch tower out of cardboard and used cotton balls to recreate the massive clouds of smoke. For the moon landing shots, he recreated a lunar surface with powder and a few different size weights “dropped” on it to create craters. He even found the right angle for the light source when recreating the photos of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon.
“The natural effects (like smoke or dust) are very complicated to make because you cannot calculate what will happen,” Lampert tells PetaPixel. “I spent many hours with each of these pictures. The Saturn V picture was the most complicated because of its size, and I had to solve the massive smoke effect.”
Here are a few more behind the scenes images:
Here are the final shots:
And here is a behind-the-scenes video that shows the whole process from start to finish:
Below the Line Positions That Can Make or Break a Movie
The terms above the line and below the line refer to the top sheet of a film budget. According to The Movie Business Book, the above the line costs “…are finalized prior to the start of principal photography,” and include the Writer (or story rights), the Producers and the Director (along with their support staff) and all casting costs, including the Casting Director and the Actors. All the other talent is below the line. The below the line talent is the crew involved with the day-to-day operations of getting the film made and can be broken down between production and post-production.
Everything you see and hear in a movie has been created by below the line talent, from the clothes the Actors wear to the spaceships gliding through space. So in spite of the term suggesting something “lowly,” below the line talent is just as critical to filmmaking as above the line talent. That is why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes these crucial players during their yearly Oscars ceremony. But on top of that, there are other important players that are below the line who are vital to the filmmaking machine. Below is an overview of department heads, who, if they aren’t eligible for an Oscar, should get a Badge of Honor.
Below the line positions typically include:
Hair and Makeup
Production Sound Mixer
Visual Effects Supervisor
Let’s start with the Line Producer. Though the Line Producer’s “line” usually falls within the production costs and is technically below the line, the Line Producer pretty much is the line. Once the project has been developed, it is the Line Producer who calculates the below the line costs and oversees all the day-to-day operations of a film from pre-production through wrap. Additionally, it is the Line Producer’s responsibility to make sure the film is finished on time and within budget. Talk about high stress!
The Assistant Director, aka the AD, runs the set. While the Director has the vision, it is the AD who coordinates all the elements needed to shoot each scene. The AD is brought in during pre-production and helps breakdown the script and determine the most efficient way to shoot it, coordinating with all departments to clarify their needs. During production, The AD must keep a vigilant eye on time and make sure the crew stays on schedule — which includes the Director! Definitely worth of a Badge of Honor.
The Production Designer is responsible for everything that the Cinematographer shoots. From the use of color to deciding on locations, the Production Designer is concerned with pushing the visual narrative, and the role of physical space. What does a location say about the characters who live in them? What clues can be put in the environment to add layers to the story? The Production Designer creates the artistic look of a film and must collaborate with many departments — props, costume, construction, and camera — to do so.
Everything you see and hear in a movie has been created by below the line talent, from the clothes the Actors wear to the spaceships gliding through space. So in spite of the term suggesting something “lowly,” below the line talent is just as critical to filmmaking as above the line talent. That is why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes these crucial players during their yearly Oscars ceremony.
The Costume Designer collaborates with the Production Designer and is responsible for what the characters wear. The most obvious costume design is seen in period films, but a Costume Designer is just as critical on a present-day film. How people dress is an expression of who they are, so a Costume Designer must understand character, and each outfit they put on an Actor should have meaning and support the visual story.
Hair and Makeup
Hair and Makeup are also integrated into production design and costume design. How much makeup an Actor might wear or how her hair is styled must reflect the character and flow with the look of the film. Hair and makeup must also follow the script and keep makeup consistent through principal photography, even though most films are shot out of order.
Another category in the Makeup Department is special effects makeup. These guys often work with prosthetics and fake blood. For example, prosthetics can be used to make a character look more like a historical figure, or to create something like a monster or alien.
Production Sound Mixer
The Production Sound Mixer, sometimes referred to as the Sound Engineer, is responsible for recording all the production sound in a movie. This includes the dialog and other sounds that you hear on screen – car engines turning on or off, ambient sounds, the Judge slamming the gavel down, etc. It also includes getting room tone, (an important tool for post-production) in which the entire crew stands still and doesn’t make a sound for at least 30 seconds…but feels like an eternity for a time-crunched crew.
The Script Supervisor can usually be found right next to the Director, taking detailed notes and ensuring continuity from take to take. The notes will include which character’s lines are on screen and what kind of coverage the Director is getting. Each time the camera resets to do another setup or take, the Script Supervisor also makes sure that the Actors repeat their action the same way – for example, putting a coat on right arm first or sipping a drink with the handle turned left. These notes are all intended for the Editor. At the end of each day, the Script Supervisor sends her notes to the Editor to let them know what has been shot and what still needs to be shot, so the Editor doesn’t start a scene before they have all the footage.
Though editing is mostly a part of post-production, the Editor is usually brought on during principal photography (production) to edit the scenes together as they are shot to ensure that the footage is, indeed, working and to anticipate any extra coverage they might need to get. The Editor is responsible for watching the footage, choosing the best takes and piecing the visual story together.
Some people know right away that the Costume Department is where they want to be, or that post-production sound turns them on, but not everyone has such a clear path. It’s okay to make discoveries as you go through film school or after you land your first job on set.
The Composer is the one who takes home the Best Original Score Oscar. Though a Composer is often consulted early in the process to start thinking about themes and moods for the film, they are usually brought in once the movie is cut together and do their real magic once the picture is locked (completely finished). The Composer works with the Director to decide where music cues should be, and writes and records the score.
Supervising Sound Mixer
Overall, this might be the most misunderstood department. The Oscars have two post-sound categories: Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing but there are even more elements to these post-sound categories. Let’s talk about the main credits we usually see on a film. The Supervising Sound Mixer supervises the overall post-sound team and according to Sopan Deb, in his New York Times article, “[S]ound editing is about collecting the sounds needed for a film. Sound mixing refers to what is done after they are collected.” So take a movie that has spaceships and growling monsters — the Sound Editor would collect the sounds (sound design) and the Sound Mixer would mix those sounds with the dialog and the music.
Visual Effects Supervisor
The Visual Effects Supervisor, aka VFX Supervisor, is responsible for all the visual effects on a film. They are usually brought on as early as possible and stay until the bitter end of post-production. They start by breaking down the script to see what VFX are needed and discuss with the Director and the Producers the best way to achieve them. This can be anything from green screen scenes or motion capture to shooting miniatures or simply removing signs of the modern world for a period film. A VFX Supervisor works very closely with all departments and the more “world-building” there is, the more collaboration there is with the Production Designer.
Finding Your Career Path
I can’t say everyone starts their film career below the line because some people have been known to forego it altogether. But many do, and it’s not only where they learn the ropes, it’s where they meet fellow filmmakers and make lifelong professional relationships. On the other hand, staking out a career below the line can be a very smart choice. Writing, directing, producing, and certainly acting aren’t for everyone. Some people know right away that the Costume Department is where they want to be, or that post-production sound turns them on, but not everyone has such a clear path. It’s okay to make discoveries as you go through film school or after you land your first job on set. It’s okay to wander the departments as a Production Assistant before you know where you fit in. It’s also okay to think you want to direct and discover what you really like is production design.
Directors depend on below the line talent, and most of them expect their department heads to have a vision and are inspired by creative partners. You can have a very illustrious career below the line. That’s why The Academy hands out the Oscars. And they may not hand out a statue for it, but I challenge anyone to make a film without an AD or a strong Line Producer. These positions are the backbone of production and hold the line for everyone up above.
Squire, Jason E (2016). The Movie Business Book. Routledge. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
It often happens that other photographers have a similar shot to yours. Especially in landscape photography, where there are lots of amazing locations where a lot of photographers go. Having a similar shot is often not really a problem — most of the time these shots are still different because of light, conditions, and different compositions from the same spot.
I recently came across a photographer, whom I’ll call Mario Rossi, whose work may be strangely and uncomfortably similar to photos by other photographers. The photos appear to have been captured from the exact same spot, with the same composition, and with even the same light (by either waiting for the perfect light or perhaps simulating it in Photoshop).
Some time later, Mr. Rossi, who’s also an Italian photographer, published this photo:
This image looked strikingly similar to Bruno’s image. The composition of the flowers in the foreground, the toning, the clouds, and even the little light from the bottom right of the rock.
It almost looked like that the photographer had gone to this location (it’s a known spot called Cinque Torre) with Bruno’s photo on his smartphone and tried to make an exact replica. After doing some research, I found much more:
Here’s a photo by Fabio Marchini (surprise, another Italian photographer).
Here is Mr. Rossi’s version:
The composition, processing, and toning are almost a 100% match. Note that this is again a ‘known’ location so it was not hard to find for Mr. Rossi (note that these locations are all in Italy too).
Here’s another image by Bruno Pisani (the same photographer as first image):
Mr. Rossi’s version:
The composition is again 100% identical — just look at the bush on the left and the right. Also, the toning is identical here. Also, Mr. Rossi appears to have ‘Photoshopped’ in some fog around the bottom of the mountain. Bruno’s fog looks real.
Now here’s a shot from Enrico Fossati, another Italian photographer (surprise!):
And here is a photo by Mr. Rossi shared through Instagram Stories:
The light is exactly the same. It’s really incredible how he captured identical light. He likely waited for it, but it also looks like he may be a master of Photoshop.
Again the composition and even the position of the Milky Way are extremely similar. Even the person in the shot is standing in roughly the same spot (with a different pose, which is about the only difference).
When we check other older shots by Michael and more recent shots by Mr. Rossi, we see this one as well (taken from Michael’s website):
Now check this shot on Mr. Rossi’s Instagram:
It has an almost identical framing.
Most of these photographers are Italian and most of these locations are in Italy, and all of them are ‘known’ locations for landscape photographers. But Mr. Rossi seems to take it one step further. It appears that when he visited the US, he studied Michael’s images (Michael is a well-known US-based landscape photographer) and was “inspired” by those.
Looking through Mr. Rossi’s photos online, there’s plenty of stunning imaginary, but how many of them are original photographs?
Coincidence or copycat? You decide.
Editor’s note: We spoke to the unnamed photographer referred to as Mario Rossi in this article, and he stated that his photos are taken in popular places frequented by landscape photographers, and that many similar photos exist online. He declined to be be quoted for this article, and we’ve chosen to omit his name to focus the conversation on the issue of inspiration versus plagiarism in the area of landscape photography.
Warning: Attempts to reveal the identity of the photographer in the comments will result in a permanent commenting ban.
About the author: Norman Gordon (not his real name) is a prominent landscape photographer.
How much RAM do you really need to edit photos in Adobe Lightroom? 8GB? 16GB? 32GB? And how much of a difference would upgrading your current system actually make? Ryan of Signature Edits decided to find out, and he’s put together a helpful comparison video to share his results.
In the video above, Ryan starts out by covering what RAM does and doesn’t do. Some less tech-y types tend to think that “More RAM” always equals “Better Performance,” but that’s not always the case. Excess RAM won’t help anything once you have enough for the applications you’re running. After explaining this, Ryan shifts his focus to photo editing more generally and Adobe Lightroom in particular.
How much RAM do you need to run Adobe Lightroom at peak performance, and where is the point of diminishing returns? After doing some research online and seeing how much RAM Lightroom was using on his current setup, Ryan decided to upgrade his iMac from 8GB to 40GB of RAM, and compare performance to see just how much of a difference the extra 32GB was able to make.
The good news is: if you’re using only 8GB of RAM like Ryan was, you’ll see a huge improvement by adding another 16-32GB to your system. Based on the Activity Monitor readings, Lightroom topped out around 20-25GB of RAM use once it had enough to pull from, so you’ll want to have at least that amount in your computer for the best possible performance.
And speaking of performance, the upgrade to his own system (from 8GB to 40GB) yielded performance improvements of 2-3x when it came to applying edits, about a 2x when generating smart previews, and a small improvement when exporting as well.
While Adobe has released updates that take better advantage of multi-core CPUs and enable GPU accelerated editing, there’s still no true substitute to having the right amount of RAM. Just don’t go overboard—even if your processor can support it, 128GB or RAM may not run Lightroom any faster than 32GB or 64GB unless you’re really overloading your system elsewhere (*cough* Google Chrome *cough*).
Check out the full video up top to see the head-to-head comparisons for yourself, and then share your ideal build (PC or Mac) for photo editing below.
SmallHD has introduced new monitors in its Vision Series and Cine Series product lines, the latter of which already existed with the Cine 7 monitor. The new models come in larger 13in, 17in and 24in sizes, offering 4K HDR quality and support for SmallHD’s proprietary tools alongside a roster of features designed for professional creators.
The expanded Cine Series brings the new Cine 13, Cine 17, and Cine 24 monitors with edge-lit LED panels, offering professionals daylight-viewable displays with 1,000 and 2,500 nits brightness options, 100% DCI P3 wide color gamut, and four independent 12G-SDI inputs. SmallHD describes its new Cine offerings as ‘ruggedly built.’
Joining the expanded Cine Series is the new Vision Series 4K HDR monitors offered in the same size options, but with a ‘True HDR’ viewing experience made possible by 2,000+ zones in the local dimming array and a 1000000:1 contrast ratio. These monitors feature 114% DCI P3 coverage and likewise include four independent 12G-SDI inputs.
Both models include a ‘full suite of exposure tools’ related to 4K and HDR cinematography, according to the company. Both models have been introduced on the SmallHD website under a ‘Small4K’ brand name; the company says it will release the models in the first quarter of 2020, but hasn’t provided any pricing information at this time.
It’s that time of the year again! Cine Gear Expo returns to the Atlanta area for the second consecutive year with its hallmark industry leading exhibits, seminars and events, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios.
One hundred exhibits and presentations, ten complimentary seminars and panels and so many new products to discover make each new edition of Cine Gear Expo more important than the previous. As organizers Juliane Grosso and Karl Kresser say in the opening text, of the Cine Gear News – Atlanta 2019 .pdf document “since its first opening in 1996, Cine Gear Expo has become a dynamic educational and community driven company dedicated to the power of filmmaking. Cine Gear does all this on behalf of manufacturers, vendors, guilds, organizations and filmmakers. We thank our industry and production teams for their year-round work and support. Enjoy the show.”
This second consecutive year of Cine Gear Expo at the Pinewood Atlanta Studios happens on October 4-5, 2019, taking the event to the Atlanta area. Like its Hollywood counterpart, the event brings the South’s filmmakers and content creators face to face with the world’s top technology, rental houses, guilds, associations, and trade publications, while hobnobbing with local colleagues.
A stage to introduce new tools
The show hosts 100 exhibits and presentations by international giants from ARRI to ZEISS and showcases trusted locals including Visions in Color, MBS Equipment Co., TRP International, Ascend Aerials, Elemental Camera, Dynamic Remote Systems, South-Pak, Sourcemaker and Wavelength Color. Guilds and trade organizations on hand will include: IATSE Local 479, ICG Local 600, SOC Society of Camera Operators and the ASC American Society of Cinematographers.
Due to its growing gravitas as an international platform, many vendors choose Cine Gear as the venue to introduce their newest tools. FilmGear introduces the Helios RGB 700W Space Light. Also in the light arena is A.C. Lighting’s introduction of LuminRadio’s MoonLight wireless lighting control. Lex Products unveils the TRUE1 Tee Power Distribution System. Also being introduced is the Ovide Smart DMT One, which reads cards and disks to transform raw clips to a chosen format, and Ovide Smart Stream, the answer to streaming clips on iPads or iPhones.
Seminars, panels… and time for a drink
Ten complimentary seminars and panels cover filmmaking insights, techniques, safety, virtual production and emerging technology brought to you by: ICG Local 600, Zeiss, ASC, Women behind the Scenes, ARRI, SHOTOVER, PCE & Kodak.
But it is not all work. Friday evening (8:00-10:00pm) the busy day concludes with Cine Gear’s Hosted Opening Night Industry Mixer held adjacent to the Expo and Georgia Film Academy at Pinewood Atlanta’s Studio Café. Guests (with Cine Gear admission badge) can enjoy a chill vibe with drinks, dinner and live music. The Expo encourages early arrival as seating is limited.
Saturday afternoon October 5th PRG Production Resource Group Atlanta hosts Happy Hour with drinks and munchies from 3:00-5:00pm at the Stage A Annex Lounge and grounds.
It’s not often that two of our greatest filmmakers sit and chat. And even less often they let us listen. Check out this interesting conversation between Scorsese and Tarantino from their meeting at the DGA.
We’re in a fantastic era for filmmakers. There has never been more outlets or cheaper ways to get your stories told. But two guys are still doing it the old Hollywood way. But one of them is harnessing the power of the new as well. Martin Scorsese used 2019 to make a Netflix movie and Tarantino used it to make a movie about a TV star he wished became famous, and an actress he wished wasn’t murdered.
Both of these ideas feel like they came from an alternate reality. But they exist in ours. Now, the DGA, or Director’s Guild of America, recorded these two talking about their years, filmmaking, and what’s to come. You can read the whole interview here, but we’re going to take a look at a few great quotes from the article and analyze them.
Find out how Robert De Niro and Al Pacino used this unique person to bring their younger selves to the screen.
Everyone’s talking about Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Netflix’s Oscar hopeful that reunites Robert De Niro and Al Pacino with Goodfellas star Joe Pesci for a three-and-a-half hour epic about a real-life Mafia assassin, Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro), reflecting on a life full of regret and murder. They are also talking about how the $160 million production used ILM digital effects to de-age its starts to play younger versions of themselves as the film chronicles their exploits across several decades. One trick ILM didn’t have was a very analog one: A posture coach.
“This guy, Gary, he showed me how I should go down the stairs,” De Niro explained to Empire in an exclusive interview. “I kind of hopped. Let myself fall down the stairs as opposed to carefully stepping down them. What’s the word? Sprightlier.”
Pacino, who is 79 (!), also had to find a new, “younger” way to ascend stairs in the role of infamous labor union chief Jimmy Hoffa.
If you’re a single photographer looking for a romantic partner, you might want to focus more on showing off your qualities, talents, and attributes outside of your skills behind a camera. A new study has found that creativity is among the least desirable traits in a partner for both men and women.
Researchers asked the young single people to allocate points to eight attributes in a potential partner: physical attractiveness, good financial prospects, creativity, kindness, humor, religiosity, chastity, and a desire for children.
The top trait that was universally desired was kindness. After that, men favored physical attractiveness while women favored good financial prospects.
The bottom three? Creativity, chastity, and religiosity.
“It always surprises me with this task that creativity takes a back seat to most other traits, and this pattern was repeated in our large cross-cultural comparison,” researcher Andrew G. Thomas tells TIME. “Highly successful creative individuals, such as musicians and artists, are often highly desirable mates, but maybe what’s actually being valued here is not creativity as such but the social status that accompanies it.”
So while ordinary photography skills and passion may not be a turn on for most, your prospects may change drastically if your photos bring you fame and fortune. And keep in mind that “least desirable” in this study is definitely not the same thing as “most undesirable,” and the results would likely be different if it had focused on people who love photography.
Last week, The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) revealed the winners of this year’s Environmental Photographer of the Year awards, highlighting images that turn an unblinking eye on man’s impact on the environment in ways both subtle and direct.
The winning images were revealed on the same day as the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York, and the CIWEM didn’t pull any punches in describing the global climate crisis depicted in many of the photographs:
“These winning photographs reveal the raw reality of how people and wildlife are struggling with the impacts of climate change all around the world,” reads the CIWEM press release. “This award exists to inspire change from political leaders, decision makers, and the general public.”
Environmental Photographer of the Year – SL Shanth Kumar
Photojournalist SL Shanth Kumar earned the title of Environmental Photographer of the year for his harrowing image Hightide Enters Home (above), which depicts a wave throwing a 40-year-old fisherman out of his home in the western suburbs of Mumbai. Fortunately, the man was rescued by fellow fishermen before he could be swept away, but the moment—and the image—has left a lasting impact on Kumar.
“I believe change is a constant phenomenon. Today this change is manifesting in the form of climate change,” says Kumar. “As a photojournalist, I am seeing it all unfurl before my eyes. I have seen drought, excessive rain, summers getting hotter and winters getting colder. I believe this change is not good and we need to act now otherwise it will impact the generations to come.”
Scroll down to see the rest of the category winners, as well as some that we selected from the shortlist. To see the full shortlist from this year’s contest or learn more about the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition, head over to the CIWEM website.
Young Environmental Photographer of the Year – Neville Ngomane
It is unusual for someone like me to attend a dehorning. It is not easy to watch but this is a last ditch attempt to keep rhinos safe from poaching.
Changing Environments Winner – Sean Gallagher
Fallen trees lie on a beach as the waves from the Funafuti lagoon in Tuvalu lap around them. Land erosion has always been a problem for the country but problems are intensifying as sea levels rise, inundating the coastline more frequently.
Sustainable Cities Winner – Eliud Gil Samaniego
The 1st of January of 2018, Mexicali was one of the most contaminated cities in the world because the pyrotecnics, climate change, geographic location, industry and cars.
Water, Equality and Sustainability Winner – Frederick Dharshie Wissah
A young boy drinking dirty water due to lack of water points in the area due to deforestation thus this leading to health risks to the boy.
Climate Action and Energy Winner – J Henry Fair
Hambach Forest was nearly 12000 years old when it was bought by a power company to dig for the brown coal buried underneath. The ancient forest was once the size of Manhattan. Now only 10 percent of it remains.
Heart of the Ocean by Tran Tuan Viet
As fish stocks decrease fishing methods become increasingly extreme. Destructive fishing with small hole nets devastate the marine environment.
Invisible by Valerie Leonard
In the Sisdol landfill in Nepal wastepickers rummage through garbage all day long looking for materials or valuables to sell. This temporary landfill located near Kathmandu has been in operation since 2005. Today it is running out of its capacity.
Lungs of the Earth by Ian Wade
Photographing trees at night with a long shutter speed and 4 LED spotlights isn’t easy—the tiniest amount of wind will blur the canopy. It took me 5 long nights to capture this image. But it was well worth it, the final image shows the trees in all their spendor.
Daily Labor by M Yousuf Tushar
Thousands of ultrapoor people come to the capital city of Dhaka to find work, failed to get good works, and are now performing grueling jobs such as coal unloading from light vessels, carrying the load on their heads.
Sleep Fatigue by Amdad Hossain
A women sleeps on a dirty riverbank in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Plastic Quarry by Aragon Renuncio Antonio
A boy plays with a plastic bag. About 380 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide each year. Production increased exponentially from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
Trash by Şebnem Coşkun
Underwater cleaning in the Bosporus within the Zero Waste Blue Project
Image credits: All images used courtesy of CIWEM/Environmental Photographer of the Year
The opening shot of The Irishman* is a signature Steadicam glide through a nursing home soundtracked by doo-wop (The Five Satins’ 1956 “In The Heat of the Night”), slowly making its reverential way to an close-up of Robert De Niro—a suitably majestic re-introduction of both the actor as persona and his character, hitman Frank Sheeran. Sheeran lived until 2003, and (minus one brief WWII combat service flashback) the film picks him up sometime in the early ’50s. If the opening shot is as close to the present day as possible (2003, I hate to remind you, was already 16 years […]
Jarred Land has given REDuser reader’s another hint at what exactly the release of the Komodo will bring.
Last week, we got to see the first look at the top of the mysterious, new RED camera, the Komodo. From the looks of it, there will be some kind of display integrated on top of the new body.
While we still don’t know a lot about the Komodo 6K, Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema, has given us another chance to try and figure out as much as we can. It appears to be a small monitor, which we can only assume will be the Komodo’s version of a REDmote.
This would be huge for keeping the camera package nice and compact, without the need for a much larger monitor to be secured to the top of the body. Anyone who has ever had to rig a camera for Steadicam, gimbal or drone use, is cheering right now. These applications do not require the operator to be directly monitoring the image on the camera, as you would when shooting handheld or tripod-mounted, since there is usually a dedicated monitor on the sled, handlebars or controller.
When DJI announced the Ronin-SC this past July, it included features not found on the original Ronin-S. The Chinese manufacturer has now added Force Mobile, ActiveTrack 3.0, and Auto 3D Roll 360 modes to its original 3-axis gimbal stabilizer for mirrorless cameras. The V22.214.171.124 firmware update allows Ronin-S users to add these features.
DJI’s Paul Pan has created a few videos, seen above, demonstrating how Force Mobile, which controls the gimbal’s movement with a mobile device, and ActiveTrack 3.0, which tracks subjects, work.
Here is what’s new with v1.2.4 of the firmware update for the Ronin-S:
Added ActiveTrack 3.0.
Added Force Mobile.
Added quick switch to 3D Roll 360 mode. Press M button three times to enter, and press three times again to exit.
Added Auto 3D Roll 360. When the gimbal is in 3D Roll 360 mode, push the joystick left or right twice to enable Auto 3D Roll 360. The gimbal rotates continuously without needing to hold the joystick. Press the trigger twice to stop Auto 3D Roll 360.
Added video recording, autofocus, and focus pull support for Sony A7R4 cameras with supported E-mount lenses using a Multi-Camera Control Cable (MCC-C). To use autofocus on the A7R4, press halfway down on the camera control button of the gimbal.
Added photo capture, video recording, zoom, and focus pull support for Sony A7R4 cameras using a Multi-Camera Control Cable (Multi USB). To use autofocus on the A7R4, press halfway down on the camera control button of the gimbal.
Optimized 3D Roll 360.
Added Track mode settings for Command Unit.
Optimized follow experience in Flashlight mode.
Optimized the Profile LED display by changing the pulsing frequency when gimbal in sleep mode, and the LED will become red to indicate low battery warning when battery level is less than 20%.
Sleep mode can be enabled by pressing once or twice of the gimbal power button.
Optimized zoom adjustment when using Sony cameras’ multi-port with Power Zoom lens, The zoom speed can be set from 1 to 100 (requires DJI Ronin v1.2.4 app or later).
Fixed other minor bugs.
DJI has also provided a few tips on successfully updating the Ronin-S firmware:
Make sure that the DJI Ronin App is the latest version when updating the firmware.
Make sure Ronin-S is powered off and update the firmware through the DJI Pro Assistant for Ronin by connecting the USB-C port on Ronin-S to your computer. Do not disconnect the gimbal from the computer while updating.
After the update is complete, unplug the USB-C cable from Ronin-S and proceed to power on the gimbal.
If Ronin-S has a camera attached and is turned on while updating the firmware, make sure to protect the camera and lens as the motors will shut off during the update.
If the firmware update fails, restart the Ronin-S and retry.
The Ronin-S retails for $749 while the essentials kit costs $559.