Photographer Booked Weddings and Allegedly Didn’t Bother Showing Up

Photographer Booked Weddings and Allegedly Didn't Bother Showing Up

A photographer in Wisconsin has stood up at least two brides according to CBS 58 News, after taking a deposit and giving no warning. Now they can’t even get hold of the photographer for a refund.

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Things You Shouldn’t Say During a Boudoir Shoot

Things You Shouldn't Say During a Boudoir Shoot

It is totally natural for your subjects to feel vulnerable or insecure during a shoot, but a boudoir session requires an extra level of professionalism and sensitivity from the photographer. This excellent video discusses many things you should avoid saying to your client during a boudoir session.

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Winners of Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 Revealed

The winners of this year’s Nature Photographer of the Year were revealed today. Selected from over 14,000 images submitted by photographers from 73 different countries (a new record for the competition) these photos represent some of the best landscape and wildlife photography from around the world.

The contest, now in its fourth year, is hosted by Nature Talks, the organization behind the annual Nature Talks Photo Festival in the Netherlands. Each year since 2016, the contest has chosen a total of 11 winners in categories such as Birds, Mammals, Plants & Fungi, and Landscapes, one of whom is also named that year’s overall “Nature Photographer of the Year.”

The title of Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 went to Hungarian photographer Csaba Daróczi for this incredibly timed black-and-white photo of two rabbits jumping in the air:

Photo ©Csaba Daroczi | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

The photo shows two white rabbits that were jumping around, fighting with the rest of their “colony” over food in Kiskunsag, Hungary. According to the judges, it was selected for its stunning combination of “atmosphere, timing, beautiful light, perfect sharpness and composition.”

“This photo is proof of the fact that you don’t have to get an extremely rare or extraordinary species in front of your camera to be able to create a great nature photo,” says Keith Wilson, chair of the NPOTY jury. “If you have a vision and a creative mind you can create a great shot close to home.”

Daróczi, who also took top prize in the Black & White category, takes home the ultimate title (and 3,000 Euro in prize money), but his photo is far from the only stunner to emerge from the contest. Scroll down to see the rest of this year’s category winners.

Youth Winner – Giacomo Redaelli

Photo ©Giacomo Redaelli | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Birds Winner – Peeter Cech

Photo ©Peter Cech | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Mammals Winner – Stefano Quirini

Photo ©Stefano Quirini | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Other Animals Winner – Norbert Kaszás

Photo ©Norbert Kaszás | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Plants and Fungi Winner – David Frutos Egea

Photo ©David Frutos Egea | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Landscapes Winner – Ales Krivec

Photo ©Ales Krivec | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Underwater Winner – Alexey Zozulya

Photo ©Alexey Zozulya | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Nature Art Winner – Simone Baumeister

Photo ©Simone Baumeister | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Man and Nature Winner – Luke Massey

Photo ©Luke Massey | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019


Landscapes of the Lage landen Winner – Karin de Jonge

Photo ©Karin de Jonge | Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

To see all of the runners up and finalists in each category—and we really recommend that you do—head over to the Nature Photographer of the Year website. And if you’re interested in entering next year’s contest, get your camera ready: Nature Talks will begin accepting entries on December 1st 2019.

Image credits: Photos courtesy of Nature Talks/Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

How Broken is Disney+?

Reports are coming in that Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, is full of bugs and error messages.

Disney+ launched Nov. 12, and the media company is already boasting that they have over 10 million sign-ups. Predictably, the streaming service had a bit of a rough start this week under such huge user demand. Multiple outlets reported bugs, crashes, and angry subscribers.

Sarah Perez over at TechCrunch wrote that “thousands of problems” have been reported, with most tied to streaming or log-in issues.

Disney even had to issue the following apology this week:

Catie Keck over at Gizmodo went over some of the move egregious issues in a review posted yesterday, going as far as calling the service “embarrassing,” “messy,” and “unreliable.”

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Powerhouse Camera: A Look at the Panasonic S1H

Powerhouse Camera: A Look at the Panasonic S1H

The Panasonic S1H is a highly capable camera that offers a lot of flexibility for photographers and videographers alike. Those specifications make it a very interesting potential option for the kits of a lot of users if it can hold up in real-world use. This great video tests out the new camera to help you decide if it is right for you.

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‘The Mandalorian’: What Do You Think of the First Star Wars Live-Action TV Show?

The Mandalorian‘s second episode is now streaming, and Star Wars fans have opinions.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched this show yet, then stop reading now and fix that. There are spoilers here.

The Mandalorian is, for some Star Wars fans, the future of their franchise. And the best thing its ever done since 1997’s A New Hope.

The Disney+ series, centered on a Boba Fett-like bounty hunter (who may actually be Fett), is two episodes into its run and — if Twitter is any indication — fans are happy with Jon Favreau and his team’s take. (If you like westerns, or always wanted to see Star Wars’ take on Leone westerns and “Lone Wolf and Cub” in space, the you will love this landmark series.)

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This Designer Created the ‘Ideal’ Leica Q3 in Photoshop

Designer Arun Venkatesan is a big fan of Leica’s full-frame, fixed-lens Q-series cameras. But while the Leica Q2 fixed some of the annoying design faux-pas of the original Leica Q, Venkatesan doesn’t think the camera maker went far enough. So, like any good designer, he did it for them… in Photoshop.

Venkatesan created a mock-up of his ideal Leica Q3, borrowing features and design elements from other cameras to create something of a visual “wish list” that he hopes might inspire Leica’s designers, assuming they ever see it. He kindly shared that design with us earlier this week, and now we’re sharing it with you.

First things first, Venkatesan made one major change to the back of the camera: integrating a tilting LCD.

Next, he took some inspiration from the Leica M10 by adding a physical ISO dial modeled after the old Film Return knob. “Adding a similar ISO knob to the Q would make the final part of the exposure triangle accessible physically,” he explains.

The front of the camera is more-or-less unchanged, except that you can see that ISO dial appear in the top right:

Finally, taking a cue from smartphone UIs and the Leica T, Venkatesan is hoping that Leica will retool the list-format Favorites Menu into a much easier to remember and navigate tile-based version:

Obviously these changes are subtle—he didn’t drastically alter Leica’s Q2 by any means—but Venkatesan believes that, together, they would make the next Leica Q camera “the ultimate full-frame point and shoot.”

Do you agree? And is there anything else you would add to Venkatesan’s Leica Q3? Let us know in the comments.

Image credits: Mockups by Arun Venkatesan and used with permission.

This ‘Rick & Morty’ Script Can Teach You A Lot About Writing

Rick & Morty scripts are inventive, imaginative, and incredible to read. Download the “Meeseeks Box” episode of the show and learn how to set up key moments in your story.

The secret to any screenplay is starting strong.

We’ve talked about how the first ten pages of your feature are the most important and how cold opens set your story up for success.

Today I want to look at the opening scenes of a Rick & Morty episode to show you how the writer uses them to set up the 30-ish pages that come after.

Let’s jump in!

Download a Rock & Morty Script PDF here – Read the “Meeseeks Box” episode.

Rick & Morty is one of the funniest and best-structured shows on TV. They know how to tell a story and how to tell it right.

That’s why I am so excited to present the opening pages of S1E04, aka “The Meeseeks Box,” written by Ryan Ridley. Let’s analyze the opening scenes of the episode to look at how everything after is the product of an excellent opening.

Check out the pages:

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Polar Pro Releases New Filters for Professionals: Meet Basecamp and Summit

Polar Pro Releases New Filters for Professionals: Meet Basecamp and Summit

Filters are an essential part of any professionals toolkit and Polar Pro has built up a great name over the past few years in the filter industry. From the ease of use, quality, and performance of their products, Polar Pro is expanding into new realms to help filmmakers and photographers at a higher level.

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Why Disney+ Cropping ‘The Simpsons’ and Other Issues Are Huge Problems for Filmmakers

Last week, Disney+ launched and, by all accounts, the company’s new direct-to-consumer streaming platform is a smash content-wise, with over 10 million downloads on day one alone. (I haven’t heard ten people talk about Apple TV+, much less 10 million.)

But as the platform rolled out on Tuesday, November 12, there were some significant technical hiccups (some quickly resolved) and also some issues with the content that are way more troubling, especially for filmmakers looking to exhibit content on Disney+.

The biggest issue so far, especially if we’re going by the metric of Twitter outrage, has to do with Disney+’s presentation of Matt Groening’s beloved animated series The Simpsons. Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, it was announced that 600+ episodes of the groundbreaking sitcom would debut, alongside classic Disney films and projects from Marvel Studios, Pixar and Lucasfilm, on the brand new platform. This was a huge win for consumers, especially given Disney+’s seductive $6.99 a month price point (with Verizon users getting an entire year free).

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Canon Patents Crazy 18mm f/1.0 Lens and Two Ultra-Wide Angle f/1.2 Primes

So far, Canon has released only two ultra-fast primes for the full-frame mirrorless RF-mount system: the 50mm f/1.2 and two versions of the 85mm f/1.2. But judging by a recent patent filing, Canon has at least a couple more f/1.2 lenses in the works, and is even toying with the idea of a 18mm f/1.0.

The Japanese patent application was uncovered by the folks over at Canon News, and it describes four very fast ulra-wide angle prime lenses in all:

  • 16mm f/1.4
  • 18mm f/1.2
  • 24mm f/1.2
  • 18mm f/1.0

These are some pretty crazy lenses the likes of which we’ve never seen before from one of the big manufacturers. To put that wide of an aperture on lenses at these focal lengths would be quite the optical achievement and the kind of thing astrophotographers would climb over one another to buy.

As Canon News points out, the craziest lens of the bunch, the 18mm f/1.0, is almost wholly impractical as it’s described as having a back focus distance of just 5mm. Since the RF mount’s flange distance is 20mm, the rear element of this lens would poke out from the mount a whole 15mm (0.6 inches)… and the total length of the lens is listed as 150mm, or nearly half a foot long.

The rest of the lenses described are a bit more feasible, though they would all have to be quite large in order to achieve the desired maximum apertures.

What do you think? If any of these lenses came to be, would you run out and grab them? And how much do you imagine a crazy lens like the 18mm f/1.0—which would require a rear lens cap at all times—would actually cost? Let us know in the comments.

(via Canon Rumors)

‘Roma’ Is Coming to Criterion In 2020 and This Is a Big Deal

Netflix’s Roma, the Oscar-winning film, is getting a much-deserved Criterion release in 2020.

On Friday, Criterion rolled out its monthly announcement of upcoming titles (set for release in February 2020). Alongside cultural significant documentaries (Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning, the film that gave the world the vogue before Madonna popularized it, and Antonio Gaudi, a Criterion staple finally coming to Blu-ray) and a Pier Pablo Pasolini provocation (the Terence Stamp-starring Teorema), came a genuine surprise: Alfonso Cuarón’s lyrical masterpiece Roma, the first-ever Criterion release of a Netflix movie.

So what does this mean for filmmakers making movies for Netflix? And could more Criterion editions of Netflix favorites be on the way?

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Why Consistency Is Crucial to Being a Successful Photographer

Why Consistency Is Crucial to Being a Successful Photographer

One thing I am always thinking about is consistency. This goes for every aspect of shooting. Does this fit my style? Do these photos flow together? Am I editing these photos exactly the same every time? Consistency is an important part of photography you might not be considering.

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Tiffen introduces two new 138mm full field diopters for filmmakers

Tiffen introduces two new 138mm full field diopters for filmmakers

The Tiffen Company has introduced two new 138mm full field diopters to their existing family of close up optics, expanding the options available for filmmakers and videographers.

Back in August 2018 Tiffen Filters, part of The Tiffen Company, announced the introduction of new and improved diopters, as an answer to the industry’s ever growing demand of new large format diopters. A diopter is a lens, that when placed over a camera lens, acts like a magnifying glass. It will enable the lens to focus closer than its normal minimum focus distance.

Photographers working at short distances use close up or full field diopters many times, as an easy solution to allow lenses to move closer to the subject. But videographers can also explore the potential of diopters, and there is a variety of diopters to choose from. Variations of the diopters include full field diopters, split diopters, third cover FX split diopters, strip diopters and letter box diopters.

Tiffen introduces two new 138mm full field diopters for filmmakers

The full field diopters line up

When Tiffen Filters introduced the new diopters, last year, the collection available then included the following options:

  • 138mm Full cover diopters- available in magnification. 4x +½;+1;+2; +3
  • 138mm Split diopters – 4x available in magnification. 4x +½;+1;+2; +3
  • 138mm 15MM Strip FX Diopter 3x available in magnification +1;+2; +3
  • 138mm 30MM Strip FX Diopter 3x available in magnification +1;+2; +3
  • 138mm Third Cover FX Split – 50MM available in magnification +1;+2; +3
  • 138mm Letterbox FX Diopter 15MM available in magnification +1;+2; +3
  • 138mm Letterbox FX Diopter 30MM available in magnification +1;+2; +3
  • 23x in a set.

Tiffen diopters can be purchased individually, depending on the specifics needs of each buyer. Now, the company introduces two new 138mm full field diopters, +1/8 and +1/4, to their existing family of close up optics allowing filmmakers and videographers even more options for crafting compelling images and increasing the usefulness of their lenses.

Two new filters added

The much-requested lower powered diopters subtlety extend the focus capabilities of lenses, especially popular anamorphic and older spherical lenses, without distortion, allowing the camera to move closer to the subject and creating more intimacy and drama in a scene. They also create a shallower depth of field to isolate subjects and remove unwanted background elements.

The new +1/8 and +1/4 diopters share a uniform 138mm diameter, allowing them to work with standard accessories like matteboxes and diopter holders, and matching the existing Tiffen family of diopters that includes +1/2, +1, +2, and +3. Now rental houses and cinematographers can access the full range of their lenses with a complete set of Tiffen 138mm diopters including split, letterbox, and strip diopters as well.

The post Tiffen introduces two new 138mm full field diopters for filmmakers appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

B&H Photo accused of dodging millions in taxes in newly filed lawsuit

A newly filed lawsuit by the State of New York accuses electronics retailer B&H Foto & Electronics Corp of alleged tax fraud. The lawsuit, which was recently published on the New York Attorney General’s website, claims that B&H ‘intentionally underpaid sales tax on millions of dollars in receipts from its sales of cameras and other consumer electronics.’

The lawsuit claims that B&H failed to pay approximately $7 million in sales taxes on reimbursements it received from manufacturers on products sold with instant rebates to consumers. This ‘arrangement,’ the lawsuit alleges, took place for 13 years and was brought to the state’s attention by a whistleblower.

The lawsuit likewise claims:

B&H knew that it should have been paying the tax. B&H has repeatedly and explicitly acknowledged—internally, to outside vendors, and to a competitor—that under New York tax law, it owed sales tax on these reimbursements … And, even after B&H learned that the State was investigating it for failing to pay the sales taxes due on these reimbursements, B&H continued to underreport its sales taxes while simultaneously admitting to others that it knew the sales tax was, indeed, due.

The lawsuit goes into great detailed about alleged communications within B&H that reportedly prove the company knew that it was supposed to pay taxes on instant rebate reimbursements. In a statement to The Verge, however, B&H said that it ‘has done nothing wrong,’ and that the New York AG has ‘decided to attack’ a local company while ‘leaving the national online and retail behemoths unchallenged.’

New York is seeking repayment of the back taxes, interest, penalties, and damages related to the alleged tax fraud.

We have contacted B&H with a request to comment on the lawsuit and allegations; we will update this article accordingly if we receive a response.

These Photographers Reshot Apple’s macOS Catalina Wallpaper in Real Life

Following up on their popular video from a couple of months ago, YouTuber Andrew Levitt, videographer Jacob Phillips, and photographer Taylor Gray recently set out to re-create Apple’s macOS Catalina wallpaper. They hiked many miles, had to contend with crazy winds, and had a run-in with the police… but darn it, they got the shot!

This trip—the whole project, really—was inspired by the fact that all of Apple’s macOS recent wallpapers were shot within a few hours drive of Levitt’s home in California. And after successfully recreating the Mojave, Sierra, High Sierra, El Capitan, and Yosemite wallpapers in their first video, they set out to Catalina Island to see if they could capture the aerial shot that many of our readers are no doubt still sporting on their Macs today.

This was easily the most challenging shot yet. Over the course of their adventure they had to hike to the most remote end of Catalina, wait for sunset, hope that they didn’t lose their drone while trying to recreate the shot, and then hike all the way back across the narrow ridge of the island to their starting point from two days before… in the dark… while dodging giant spiders.

To make matters worse, as they made their way back, they ended up getting picked up by the police because you’re not actually allowed to hike on Catalina at night… oops.

So, was it worth it? We’d have to say yes.

Some of the shots from their first video were only sort-of close to the original macOS wallpapers, but they absolutely nailed this one. Despite the original being taken from a helicopter, the trio were able to capture a nearly identical frame using only a drone:

Check out the full video up top to see all of the drama and work that it took to capture this one, simple frame; check out the original Us vs Apple video; and if you like this frame, head over to this link where you can download the final image and some of the BTS shots for your personal use.

Kudos to Levitt, Phillips, and Gray: they knocked this one out of the park.

Ten Tips on How to Improve the Result of Your On-Camera Flash

Ten Tips on How to Improve the Result of Your On-Camera Flash

Have you ever used on-camera flash with disappointing results? In that case you probably didn’t use the on-camera flash in the best way possible. With these tips you should be able to get much better results.

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SPIDER-MAN – FAR FROM HOME: VFX Breakdown by Image Engine

Vancouver based studio Image Engine have released the VFX Breakdown about their work on SPIDER-MAN – FAR FROM HOME:

Image Engine: Dedicated page about SPIDER-MAN – FAR FROM HOME on Image Engine website.
Jörn Großhans: My interview of Jörn Großhans, VFX Supervisor at Image Engine.

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

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