10 Great Horror Movies That Prove Less Is More

Often when watching horror, the less we know about something, the darker and more unsettling the experience. Fear and anxiety, no matter what for can often be traced back to one simple fundamental element; the fear of the unknown. As soon as something is explained it loses its mystique and especially when it comes to horror, it loses its raw, primal reactionary fear.

In essence then, a minimalists approach to horror should (in theory) produce the more genuinely frightening experience as nothing the best and most brilliant special effects or writers team can live up to the terrifying images your subconscious imagination can conjure up.

With the popularity of the horror rising by the day, studios are encapsulating on this and creating ham-fisted horror films that chuck cheap jump scares at its audience in order to invoke a snap reaction. More and more frequently, in those sorts of films it’s become somewhat of a trend to have a third-act exposition sequence that fully explains the narrative of the film as well as the origin of its villain/monster which completely deconstructs the mystery surrounding it and furthermore the scares it creates.

But what about those films that do the opposite? The one’s that go for a more subtle approach. The one’s that try to creep under their audience’s skin. The one’s that instead of using jump scares for an instantaneous reaction use different types of scares that stick with its audience for days. Without further ado, here are ten horror films that retain enough ambiguity in their narrative or villains to wholeheartedly prove that less is indeed more.

 

10. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez, 1999)

blairwitchproject

Kicking off the list with a slightly obvious choice is this horror from before the turn of the century. Well known for kicking off the infamous found footage sub-genre, as well its infamous viral marketing campaign. Oddly enough for a horror, Blair Witch shows you absolutely nothing. There’s no blood, no violence, no creature (that we explicitly see) and on top of that the film explains absolutely nothing that happens during its entire runtime. The directors leave it up to the audience to put together pieces of a narrative puzzle around a perpetuating myth that lurks over the forest.

On paper the film shouldn’t work however, the fear, anxieties and true hysteria of the three leads (especially Heather Donahue) totally sell the film and through them, The Blair Witch Project manages to evoke a sheer terror and paranoia that makes the audience feel like they’re completely lost in the woods alongside them. Genuinely intense at times, you’d be surprised how many times during its runtime you feel just as emotionally drained as the three characters.

At times Blair Witch can most definitely be hard to sit through. With its slow paced nature and all the shaky cam that goes hand-in-hand with the genre, the film is most certainly is a love it or hate it type of deal. Nonetheless it is considered a required watch for any fan of simple, yet effective filmmaking and at the very least; it is most definitely a masterclass in showing how much you can do with very little.

 

9. It Comes At Night (Trey Edward Shults, 2017)

It Comes At Night

Coming from the highly acclaimed A24, It Comes At Night is a deeply atmospheric piece in which paranoia runs high and tension sits deep. It follows a family unit (mother, father, son and dog) in a post-apocalyptic style world in which an ambiguous and highly contagious outbreak has left few survivors on the Earth.

The film received mixed criticism on release, mainly due to the expectation subversion of the films title as ‘nothing’ seemingly comes at night. Many people went into the film expecting a creature or monster flick so were rightly disappointed when the film didn’t deliver. However, with that being said the film is still a tightly told, enthralling piece of cinema that proves that a little ambiguity and mystery can go a long way.

Spearheaded by incredibly powerful acting performances, the film manages to maintain a palpable sense of edge-of-your-seat tension and lingering dread, that of which creates an atmosphere that is equal parts bleak and brooding as it is dark. You should definitely check out this film if you’re a fan of horror that takes a slightly more artistic approach to its story and doesn’t resolve everything about its filmic world.

 

8. Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987)

prince-of-darkness-1987

From the legendary Horror icon John Carpenter, Prince of Darkness is an extremely atmospheric piece which takes the supernatural and splices it with religion and science to create one hell of a story in which claustrophobic tension runs high.

Being a Carpenter film, it is obviously stunning on a technical and visual level. All the slow tracks and pans that he’s famous for are on full display here and the film oozes style. As a true master of his craft, Carpenter has complete control over his audience from the first frame to the last.

In Prince of Darkness, he brings separate elements together to create a deliberately disjointed narrative that creates an unsettling friction between the rational and the irrational. Although throughout its runtime we see plenty to indulge our senses (including a man dissolve into beetles, as well as a woman’s flesh literally start to peel off) when the film reaches its climax, Carpenter restrains himself. Through this restraint, he lets the film maintain an air of mystery and allows it to keep enough ambiguity for the viewer to take their own ideas from it.

Full of premonitions, clues and symbols about what is actually going on; the film emanates a completely apocalyptic aura and is brooding, gothic and totally anarchic in tone. Prince of Darkness comes with plenty of stuff to deconstruct and is a film that will definitely benefit from multiple viewings.

A great watch for those who like to piece together their own narrative from the limited information handed to them… and those of you who love fun 80s science-fiction/horror’s about an entity slowly infiltrating and taking over a group of people. Oh and if that’s not enough to sell you on it, Alice F*CKING Cooper is in this film.

 

7. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

It Follows

Unique in concept and spellbindingly made, David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is without a doubt among the best in recent contemporary horror. Playing out with a lingering sense of foreboding dread, the film follows 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe) who after an innocent sexual encounter, is stalked by an unknown, supernatural and benevolent force.

Packed full of themes, including: paranoia, anxiety, loss of innocence and the inevitability of death, the film is nothing less than a strong example of how a simple premise can not only carry a films narrative, but also craft and define its characters. Wearing its influences on its sleeve (most notably Carpenter’s Halloween) the film has more fun with its scares than most, going for a slow burn, eerie type of terror than your usual in-your-face jump scares.

A masterclass in proving that fear of the unknown is the ultimate when it comes to truly terrifying a films audience. It Follows is genuinely a story that will ‘follow’ you after watching it. At its core, the film is a think piece that explains very little about its narrative thrust. Choosing to remain vague, the film is almost designed to inherently get the audience questioning the force and the how’s and why’s that surround it.

What small hints that D.R. Mitchell gives through the narrative, characters and cinematography (either by inclusion or omission) allow the viewer to start to join the pieces of a rather blurred puzzle together. A true showcase of how style and ambiguity can come together to create a truly creepy film that you’ll still be thinking about days after seeing it.

 

6. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)

cabinet-du-dr-caligari

A shining example from the days of early silent cinema in showing how less can often be more. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is most famously known for being a pioneer (alongside the films of Fritz Lang) of the German Expressionism art movement within the medium of film. The production design and world of Dr. Caligari is full to the brim of jagged shapes and twisting corridors, lurking shadows and murky colours and visually, the film is an absolute treat to the senses.

The setting despite its uncanny weirdness feels surprisingly grounded and the nightmarish streets of Germany feel alive in and of themselves. Grotesque humans sneak around and cast dreary shadows over the canted alleyways in this world and yet despite having an amazing and iconic expressionistic visual style, the film carries an equally engaging and interesting narrative.

Acting as an allegory for a reflecting nation scarred by the war, the film carries dark subject matter and is rich in terms of analytical depth. The film is utterly compelling and has aged surprisingly well making it certainly worth checking out on those grounds alone.

Z Cam reduces the price of their upcoming E2-S6 to $2,995 USD

Z Cam has reduced the price of their upcoming E2-S6 camera to $2,995 USD. The 6K S35 E2-S6 was originally listed for $3,995 USD, but before the camera has even started to ship, Z Cam has knocked $1,000 USD off the price. This is undoubtedly to do with market pressure. With the recent launch of … Continued

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Z Cam reduces the price of their upcoming E2-S6 to $2,9995 USD

Z Cam has reduced the price of their upcoming E2-S6 camera to $2,995 USD. The 6K S35 E2-S6 was originally listed for $3,995 USD, but before the camera has even started to ship, Z Cam has knocked $1,000 USD off the price. This is undoubtedly to do with market pressure. With the recent launch of … Continued

The post Z Cam reduces the price of their upcoming E2-S6 to $2,9995 USD appeared first on Newsshooter.

The Creative’s Female Future, Alpha Female: It’s Important

The Creative’s Female Future, Alpha Female: It’s Important

Last year, Sony’s Alpha Female made its debut, and the result was a talent-quake. The thousands of qualified applicants proved something. All those individuals and companies who (I am sure you know who) explained away the lack of female creatives in their organizations or departments by saying: “we just can’t seem to find qualified female talent” simply weren’t looking. Because it’s there, in spades.

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TIFF 2019, Day 3: The Personal History of David Copperfield, Cunningham

Does Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield have an obvious/meaningful relationship to his other work, and what attracted him to this adaptation in the first place? The former is easier to answer: Iannucci, age 55, studied English literature at Oxford and almost wrote a PhD on Paradise Lost, so it’s not surprising he has an affinity for Charles Dickens, any more so than it’s unexpected that the overeducated Oxbridge students at Monty Python’s core would perform a sketch about Proust. Nor is Iannucci’s love for Dickens recent news: check out his hour-long 2012 BBC special Armando’s Tale of Charles Dickens, where […]

How to Price Your Work and Charge Usage

How to Price Your Work and Charge Usage

Pricing your work is an incredibly tricky game. In this video, I go over how I price my work, how I progressed to that point as well as the calculator that I use to work out my usage license fees.

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Is your camera WorldCam & CineCam too?

In past articles, I have praised the benefits of WorldCams, especially for independent producers and camera operators. Unlike with a segregated camera, which is limited either to only NTSC-derived framerates (like ≈29.97 and ≈59.94), or to only PAL-derived framerates (like 25 and 50), a WorldCam allows you to accept work for all worldwide framerates, rather than having to reject them or rent a camera for a “foreign” project. Now, I will cover the newer category CineCam, which includes both the television 16:9 aspect ratio used in HD and 4K UHD and the wider DCI 4K 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1 aspect ratio along with the exact 24.00p framerate. The latter is required to produce for digital cinema distribution at 4096×2160 without resorting to cropping in post or retiming. This is important not only to create a feature film, but also to create short commercial spots and promos for DCI digital theaters. Ahead, I’ll clarify these differences in greater detail and give you examples of cameras that are both WorldCam and CineCam (DCI 4K and beyond), including some very recent models and some oldies but goodies.

Related prior articles

4K DCI versus 4K UHD

DCI stands for Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC, and is a joint venture of major motion picture studios, formed to establish a standard architecture for digital cinema systems. DCI was born in the palindromic year of 2002 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Although in television and most consumer media production distribution, 16:9 is the dominant aspect ratio for 4K UHD (3840×2160) and HD, the movie projection industry uses 4K DCI, whose resolution is 4096×2160 (with a wider aspect ratio of 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1. It should also be noted that although most “24 fps style” DTV for broadcast in the US uses the ≈ 23.976 framerate to mathematically fit into our NTSC-derived framerates (albeit disguised as ≈29.97 or 59.94 as explained ahead), the 4K DCI exclusively uses the exact 24.000 framerate.

NTSC originally used ≈ 59.94 fields per second or ≈ 29.97 frames per second, and the number 23.976 fits into the original 59.94 field rate with a convenient 2.5x, and it is done with a pulldown. Most —if not all— US television stations that use 1080i use the 59.94 fields per second container, even though some of the material is actually progressive material (i.e. ≈29.97p or ≈23.976) which is segmented and then disguised as it if it were interlaced. In the case of the first two (≈29.97p and 25p), the segmenting process is simple (see my ≈ 15 articles about PSF, Progressive Segmented Frame), where the even lines where placed in one artificial video field, and the even lines in the other artificial field, although they both contain the same temporal (time) information. In the case of ≈23.976 a more complex pulldown is used (2:3, aka 3:2). I covered the pulldown process in When 25p beats 24 (illustrated below), which was my inaugural article in ProVideo Coalition magazine back in 2008 (11 years ago). Thanks to Chris Meyer and Scott Gentry for accepting it, and Adam Wilt for connecting me to them at that time.

Sidebar: What do pulldown and Twister have in common?

PulldownAT478anim.gif

Full disclosure: I have no stock or other financial interest in the Twister game or in its owner, Hasbro Inc. However, I have often seen a distinct similarity between the pulldown used with 23.976p over 59.94i and the Twister game. I think you will see you the same similarity in the above alternating graphics. The instructions for the pulldown (i.e. “Put the first progressive frame in both fields of the first video frame. Now, put the second progressive frame in both fields of the second video frame in the first field of the third video frame, then…”) seem as twisted as the Twister game.

Prior to 2008, my tech video articles were published in a Castilian-language group of magazines.

Camera examples that are both WorldCam and CineCam

All camera/camcorder examples listed below offer both 16:9 and DCI 4K 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1 aspect ratios, as well as WorldCam and CinemaCam framerates including:

Blackmagic

  • Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (US$2495, Amazon linkB&H link) Offers internal recording with 10‑bit Apple ProRes HQ files or even better 12‑bit Blackmagic RAW in all formats up to 6K.
  • Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (US$1295, Amazon linkB&H link) Offers internal recording on 10‑bit Apple ProRes HQ files or even better 12‑bit Blackmagic RAW in all formats up to 4K.

Canon (models that offer internal 4K recording beyond 8-bit)

  • C200 (US$6499, Amazon linkB&H link) Includes Canon RAW Light 12-bit.
  • C500 Mark II (US$15999, B&H link) Includes Canon Cinema RAW Light 12-bit or 10-bit.

Canon (models that are limited to 4K 8-bit internal recording)

JVC (limited to 8-bit, inboard and out)

Panasonic Lumix (models that offer internal recording beyond 8-bit)

  • GH5 (US$1498, Amazon linkB&H link) Requires paying US$97 extra for V-LOG. It offers 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording in both types of 4K.
  • GH5s (US$1998, Amazon linkB&H link) Includes V-LOG already installed. It offers 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording in both types of 4K.
  • S1H (US$3,998, Amazon linkB&H link) Includes V-LOG already installed. Offers 10-bit up to 6K internal recording at 10-bit.

Panasonic Lumix (older models that are limited to 8-bit internal 4K recording)

  • DVX200 (US$2563, Amazon linkB&H link, includes V-Log L already installed, although it’s limited to 8-bit internal recording.
  • FZ2500 (US$998, Amazon linkB&H link) Requires paying US$97 extra for V-LOG.
  • GH4, Requires paying US$97 extra for V-LOG.

Sony

How to upgrade a camera that’s limited to 4K at 8-bit internal recordings

Many of the camera models that are limited to 8-bit recording in 4K modes indeed offer 10-bit output for use with an external recorder, like those sold by AJA, Átomos, Blackmagic and Video Devices (a devision of Sound Devices).

Conclusions

With a WorldCam that’s also a CineCam, you can say YES to any type of production: domestic, foreign or digital cinema with the same 4K (or higher resolution) camera. This can cost you as low as US$998 including a lens if 8-bit is okay, or a minimum of US$1498 if you need greater than 8-bit internal recording.  I hope this article clarified the differences and benefits, and even helped you pick a camera.

 

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Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, and books. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here. If you previously subscribed to my bulletins and no longer receive them, you must re-subscribe due to new compliance to GDPR. Most of my current books are at books.AllanTepper.com, and my personal website is AllanTepper.com. Also visit radio.AllanTepper.com.

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FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting CapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own. Allan Tépper is not liable for misuse or misunderstanding of information he shares.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!

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Three Films to Watch That Will Make You a Better Photographer

Three Films to Watch That Will Make You a Better Photographer

One of the best ways to get better as a photographer is to watch good movies. While the aspect ratio might be different, the same rules of composition and style apply. Here are some of my favorite films that will make you a better photographer to get you started.

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Wacom’s new $3,499 tablet features a 15.6″ 4K display, i7 Quad-Core processor

Graphics tablet manufacturer Wacom has announced the MobileStudio Pro 16, its latest pro-level graphics tablet.

The 15.6” tablet is powered by a dedicated 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-8559U Quad-Core processor and Nvidia Quadra P1000 4GB GDDR5 GPU. It comes with a 512GB SSD and has 16GB of RAM. Together, these power a 3840 x 2160 UHD IPS display with 85% Adobe RGB gamut coverage that can run Windows 10 as a standalone device and works with Windows and macOS computers when attached.

The etched glass surface is designed to provide resistance similar to writing on a paper when used with the included Wacom Pro Pen 2, which is four times more sensitive with 8192 levels of pressure.

The MobileStudio Pro 16 features three Thunderbolt 3 ports but also includes Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity if you want to keep wires to a minimum. Wacom has also included two cameras: a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, as well as a combo audio jack.

Other features include application-specific ExpressKeys, Radial Menus, a fingerprint sensor, multi-touch support and a stand so the tablet can be angled for more comfortable viewing and drawing. Wacom’s even included a built-in SD card reader for quickly transferring media to your computer through the Thunderbolt 3 port. The 4630 mAh lithium-polymer battery is rated for 5.5 hours of operation.

The MobileStudio Pro 16 is currently available to pre-order from Adorama and B&H for $3,499.

Steven Holleran Uses New Canon C700 Full Frame Camera to Film New Movie

Steven Holleran Uses New Canon C700 Full Frame Camera to Film New Movie

Steven Holleran has been interviewed for the Fstoppers beforetwice, actually. But, with good reason: His approach to cinematography and his work behind the lens is constantly pushing the boundaries of creative, thoughtful filmmaking. Read more to learn of Holleran’s most recent accomplishment.

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Cheap Printer, High-Quality Prints? Fstoppers Reviews the Datacolor SpyderX Studio

Cheap Printer, High-Quality Prints? Fstoppers Reviews the Datacolor SpyderX Studio

I am a big advocate of calibrating equipment. For this reason, I regularly make sure my monitors, cameras and, lenses are calibrated and working correctly. Printers, on the other hand, are a device that I’ve never done anything beyond using the factory settings. I figured it might be a good idea to reconsider that.

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The Mirrorless Revolution: DSLRs Aren’t Dead, But They’re On Life Support

Last year, during a panel discussion at one of the yearly industry conferences, I said that my hope was for DSLRs to soon vanish… I said this not because I haven’t enjoyed the incredible strides made in photo technology during the era of the DSLR — both as a camera store owner and a recreational photographer — but because, despite our attachments, we must embrace a mindset of “out with the old and in with the new.”

To fall in love with technology is a dangerous proposition, due to the fact that the nature of tech is to move forward, to change, to evolve. And like any new, emerging advancement, it’s easy to cautiously regard it as a vague opportunity or a flash-in-the-pan fad, but based on what I have seen in my own store, mirrorless is already an opportunity in the midst of being seized.

In fact, it’s on the verge of becoming a full-blown craze. That’s why I put down my DSLR, both literally and figuratively, and without a crystal ball (or even a pair of binoculars) did my best to look forward to the next frontier for this industry. I’m excited to say that it has arrived and it’s smaller, lighter, and faster than ever before.

The idea of “mirrorless” isn’t necessarily new — the first marketed mirrorless camera was the Epson R-D1 released circa 2004. But with the impressive strides made by companies like Sony, Panasonic, Leica, Fuji and Olympus, and now with the stunning Nikon Z series and Canon’s R and RP cameras, the great mirrorless transition is upon us.

Because there always seems to be something new on the horizon in the world of photography — a new camera, a new lens, a new accessory — it can make it hard to notice when a real game-changer is on its way. But this hasn’t been the case for the Mirrorless Revolution, a shift that’s effortlessly captured the imagination of professionals and hobbyists alike.

In addition to being lighter and smaller, they’ve successfully added functional features — like live-exposure and increased low-light sensitivity — while maintaining image quality. They’re also the most aggressive tools for video, which is quickly becoming symbiotic with the camera/photography world.

Never have we as photographers needed so much from our cameras, and never before has the hardware risen to meet the challenge so brilliantly. They’re quieter, too… It reminds us that change can often be scary, but this is a welcomed change for both consumers and the owner of your local camera shop…

Before I let you in on a little inside baseball, I would like to be totally transparent: I have personally made the switch to mirrorless. I am the proud owner of the Nikon Z7, but I won’t let that skew my objectivity about what I believe this means for the business of taking pictures.

The advent of the mirrorless camera, for me as a shooter, feels like a natural evolution. My two passions are traveling and photography, particularly landscape photography. What tool better overlaps between those two activities than the compact, lightweight-yet-rugged camera that’s capable of an almost 50-megapixel image and can focus on a dime?

With this technology, we’re afforded more advanced face/eye detection capability and a cavalcade of exposure tools, like Zebra and Focus Peaking. My favorite feature, however, is the totally customizable layout on the bodies themselves. If I want to adjust the aperture with my thumb and the shutter with my index finger, it’s only a custom menu setting away. As a person who likes things just so, the mirrorless experience has been an intuitive one, and something that feels more empowering than the often passive experience that comes with cell phone tech upgrades.

It was important for me to come to understand that these tools are not the signs of automation as is usually the case with advancing technology, but are instead great strides toward helping the tools reach the proficiency of the artisans and craftsmen who have been handling them all along. Mirrorless is giving us more control, not less.

As I mentioned, I think what is the most surprising thing about this revolution is that it’s happening so much faster than anyone expected. I include myself and the average customer in that observation. But camera manufacturers have revealed the public’s readiness to embrace the next chapter for our industry. And what’s wonderful is this shockwave has been felt right up to the top levels of the major manufacturers.

As owners, we attend several conferences per year where matters of the industry are discussed. The hot topic on everyone’s lips has now shifted to mirrorless. For some major players, it’s definitive that DSLRs are out and mirrorless is in. And it’s even been suggested that the new generations of iconic, flagship (previously-mirrored) cameras will be redesigned and released as mirrorless.

This is great news; not only does the industry have their finger on the pulse of what the customer wants, but it also shows our industry as a whole is robust and healthy.

What invigorates me most about this transition, however, is that for a business it means a two-pronged approach toward our ultimate goals: providing optimum customer service and focusing our energy on investing money where it bears the ripest fruit. Mirrorless does this by simply equipping us with what our clientele desires, and by allowing us to reduce outdated inventory. What we save from discontinuing obsolete equipment we can reinvest into stocking absolutely everything our customers could possibly want for their mirrorless upgrades.

Generally speaking, we’d much rather be filling our stores with only the hottest items, minimizing the intense financial burden of supporting a (soon-to-be) dead technology. This process will prove itself to be a revolving door. The more we can do for our customers, the more our customers can do for us. As always, it boils down to going the extra mile for the people who support us. Having the newest and best on our shelves is the number-one requirement to ensure the customer can continue to grow right alongside your shop.

Having said that, I would also just like to mention — despite all the colorful euphemisms about the death of the DSLR — for you shoppers out there reading this who aren’t ready to let go of your beloved mirrored camera, I wouldn’t panic. Due to the sheer volume of DSLR lenses still available, these bodies won’t vanish overnight. You’ll see an adjustment in where resources are being placed and where marketing is being targeted, but you’ll still be able to find support for DSLRs.

I do think it’s safe to assume that a boom is coming for mirrorless lenses; cameras of this caliber can not continue for long with only a limited selection. But until that boom comes, DSLRs aren’t quite going the way of the VHS tape.

I hope it’s clear from this article that many of us within the industry believe that the happiest customer is the well-informed customer. We’re doing our best to help people navigate an industry that changes at the rate of light-speed. For example, during one of our recent “trade-in” events — where people can sell or trade their used gear for cash or store credit — we saw a dramatic drop in the values offered for DSLRs. This coincided with industry-wide price drops on most DSLR cameras across the board.

Tried and true economic theory tells us that once something is marked down, they’re making way for something new. This should be the biggest indicator for the customer to start thinking about future-proofing their upcoming purchases. Sony is also enjoying wild success with its popular “Be Alpha” events, which totally focus on… you guessed it, their E-Mount mirrorless cameras.

Overall, I am just thankful for the partnerships forged between the three components of the photography industry: the customer, the camera shop, and the major manufacturer. The customers continue to walk through our doors and the major manufacturers continue to promote an open and productive dialogue with stores. Year after year, they produce the finest camera technology the world has ever seen and their passion trickles down to all involved in this enduring art form and craft.

Like anything else, it’s a relationship. If the customers continue to buy mirrorless cameras hand-over-fist, the big manufacturers will be further incentivized to develop support in the form of lenses and accessories.

If I had to mention a drawback of mirrorless (which I should for the sake of objectivity), I would say there just isn’t enough hardware support… yet! But like I said, the customer has the power to change that, and the manufacturers are listening. Your purchases count. And as the thirst for mirrorless continues to be unquenchable, we’ll see our whole industry become smaller, lighter and faster. And did I mention they’re quiet?

Yes, it’s hard to imagine a world without the ca-chug of the camera shutter, but sometimes a statement is more powerful in a whisper than a shout. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, mirrorless has come with a bang, and I don’t see it whimpering out any time soon.


About the author: Joe Dumic is the owner of B&C Camera in Las Vegas. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Driven, literally and figuratively. That is how one could describe Joe Dumic’s passion for the art of photography. In the literal sense, working from his home base in Las Vegas, Nevada, Joe has driven hundreds of miles at all times of the day and night, or hiked for hours, or waited for hours to catch the magical moment for his images. In the figurative sense, Joe is driven by the desire to capture his sense of photographic artistry in a strong, emotional, provocative and unique style. It’s not hard to believe after seeing his photographs that Joe gave up a successful high-level corporate job to pursue what he really wanted to do. In addition to his photography, Joe owns and manages one of the fastest-growing camera shops in the southwest US and is part owner of a photo gallery where many of his works are on display.

LMGI Awards Honor Peter Weir, Michael J. Meehan & Hidden Empire Film Group

The 6th Annual Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) Awards will honor international features, television and commercials in which the creative use of filming locations set the tone, enrich the character and enhance the narrative. The LMGI Awards will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. […]

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ADG Awards 2019 Submissions Open

Television and feature film submissions for the Art Directors Guild (ADG) 24th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards are now open online. The ADG Awards honor excellence in Production Design in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials, music videos and animated feature films. The Awards Gala will take place on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the […]

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What Are Aspherical Lens Elements?

When camera lens makers announce new lenses, one of the specs they always tout is how many aspherical elements the lens designs have. If you’re not sure what those elements are and what they do, here’s a short and helpful 4-minute video by Michael the Maven that’ll bring you up to speed.

Aspheric lens elements have surfaces that aren’t portions of a sphere, and this more complicated shape focuses light better than a simple lens, reducing various types of aberrations.

With simple lenses, complicated multiple lens designs are often used to reduce aberrations, but alternatively, a single aspheric lens can be used to replace entire groups of lenses. This results in lenses that are not only sharper but smaller and lighter as well.

“So the next time you’re reading about this great new lens that you’re getting or you want to get, and you see that it has multiple aspherical elements in it, that is what it’s talking about,” Michael says.

Wake Up and Don’t Settle for Powdered Milk as a Photographer

When I was a little girl, I lived in Incirlik AFB, Turkey. We lived for a year off base on the third floor of a very large apartment building. My parents spoke no Turkish and the landlady spoke no English, but somehow, they managed just fine.

My dad was a lot cooler about the whole thing than my mom. But then, dad left and went to work on base each morning, while my mom had to deal with things like mice in the kitchen, Turkish toilets, and the man who walked his bear down the street each day, doing tricks for money. Yes, a real bear. And if the man saw you watching from your apartment window, he wouldn’t leave until you paid him. Or until the landlady shooed him off.

After a year, my family moved onto base housing and my mom finally exhaled. I think she had been holding her breath the entire time.

During our stint in Turkey, my parents did the grocery shopping every Saturday morning at the Incirlik AFB Commissary. The food was shipped into the base, which meant that a lot of the fresh food we received wasn’t that fresh by the time it ended up in our grocery cart.

And fresh milk? Well, that was a luxury. It was served in the mess halls and in the cafeteria, but what we drank at home was what was available at the commissary…powdered milk. It was shipped in powdered form, mixed upon arrival, and sold from cartons in the refrigerated section.

My older brothers hated it. Me? Not so much. In fact, when we went on vacation to Athens and ate a meal on base, they served us fresh milk and I refused to drink it because it tasted funny. Rich, creamy, fresh pure milk tasted funny to me because I had grown used to the taste of powdered milk.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because some of you are drinking powdered milk right now, unaware that that is NOT how milk is supposed to taste.

You drink powdered milk when you price yourself too low.

You drink powdered milk when you settle for “good enough.”

You drink powdered milk when you don’t push yourself to improve.

You drink powdered milk when you take the lazy route.

You drink powdered milk when you feel pressured to admire the unadmirable.

See, some of you have been feeding yourself a steady diet of powdered nonsense. It may be because you don’t realize there’s something better. Or maybe you’ve been told by someone that a powdered milk life is just as good as fresh. Or possibly you don’t think you deserve the real stuff.

Or maybe you entered a world/career/industry where the powdered milk philosophy was pushed on the masses until it was considered the norm.

This is spelled wrong. It should be spelled “L-I-E.”

Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you Powdered Milk People that you’ve been missing out. This is not the 70s and we are not on an Air Force Base in Turkey. (And if you DO happen to be reading this from an Air Force Base in Turkey, it still applies.)

Real, fresh creamy milk is right there for the taking. All you have to do is realize it.

SO WAKE UP!

Raise those prices.
Never settle for “Good Enough.”
Push yourself to improve.
Avoid the lazy way.
Don’t admire horrible people.

And when you walk away from the powdered milk awfulness of mediocrity, I shall raise my glass of cold, fresh milk in salute.

Now, go be great. Oh, and stay away from bears.


P.S. For those lactose intolerant, this metaphor still works. Feel free to substitute almond, soy, oat, coconut, goat, hemp, flax or rice milk. I don’t want you getting sick all over this article.


P.P.S. Yes, I know babies drink powdered formula and like it. But really, babies are kind of dumb.


P.P.P.S. Except YOUR baby, of course. Your baby is wonderful.


About the author: Missy Mwac is a photography satirist, a lover of bacon, a drinker of vodka, a lover of sparkle, and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her website, Tumblr, and Facebook. This article was also published here.

How I Photographed This Model in Under an Hour and Got Her an Agency

How I Photographed This Model in Under an Hour and Got Her an Agency

There are a couple of ways for models to get into an agency, including hiring a photographer to take photos of them and using those to show an agency their range. This requires the photographer to work quickly and efficiently to get as many different looks as possible in a compressed amount of time to save them money.

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These Aerial Views of Japan in 8K and 60fps Will Dazzle Your Eyes

The Japanese video production company Armadas made this gorgeous 5.5-minute short film that captures the beauty of Japan through 8K 60fps aerial shots.

The shots were captured between 2017 and 2019 in major cities across Japan such as Hakodate, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Tokyo. Armadas used a RED Weapon 8K and Monstro 8K VV.

Just as 4K films started going viral before 4K displays became widely used, this video may be one you’ll want to bookmark and revisit when you upgrade to an 8K-capable screen.