Intimate Portraits of New Mothers Capture the Beauty of Postpartum Bodies

When Alberta based photographer Meagan Elemans became a mother, she had no idea the toll that postpartum would take on her both her body and her emotions. But rather than bury these feelings and stay silent, she chose to use her skills behind the camera to capture this beautiful and difficult time in a new mother’s journey.

Thus was born a photo project called Postpartum Normalized: portraits of new mothers that seek to empower their subjects and frame the postpartum body as a beautiful and natural evolution of womanhood.

“Postpartum hit me really hard, and I felt really underprepared for the absolute chaos that included my fourth trimester,” Elemans tells PetaPixel. “I knew I had to do some kind of photo project where women can share and talk about the difficulties as they emerge into motherhood, and the beauty that is within their after-baby body. I wanted to showcase it as an evolution, and try and dispense of the myth that women need to ‘bounce back.’”

The results are perhaps best described as honest and intimate. Portraits that pay homage to a body that has been through so much and, ultimately, performed something akin to a miracle.

“This photo series is here to inspire you to remember to be grateful for your body. For all that it’s been through,” writes Meagan. “From growing a tiny human from seed, to delivering him/her earthside, to navigating the very challenging but also immensely rewarding time that is postpartum.”

Fortunately, it seems the photos have had exactly that impact. Speaking with The Bump, Elemans revealed that all of her subjects “feel lighter, and more in love with themselves afterwards. That it was a scary but ultimately rewarding experience.”

She hopes that these photos will inspire other new moms to think “Hey, I look like her. I deserve to take up space too. I matter too.”

Elemans has photographed almost 30 women for Postpartum Normalized so far, and you can see all of those photos by visiting the project’s Spark page or following her on Instagram.


Image credits: Photographs by Meagan Elemans and used with permission.

Chris Doyle, Ed Lachman, Lech Majewski, John Bailey and More at Cameraimage 2019

This was the year Cameraimage brought it all back home. The much-vaunted Polish cinematography festival, which launched in 1993 in Toruń—a UNESCO World Heritage site whose history dates back to the 8th century—returned to its native soil after two decades away (first in Łódź, the industrial locus so close to David Lynch’s heart and host to the national film school, and for the last nine years in Bydgoszcz). The homecoming inspired a comical short starring two of the festival’s best-loved regulars on a mission to “save” Cameraimage, with the wiry and wild-haired Chris Doyle wheeling Ed Lachman, signature fedora firmly […]

The Original Magic Lantern: Bringing a 160-Year-Old Projector Back to Life

When you hear the name Magic Lantern, you probably think of third-party Canon firmware. But long before there was such a thing as firmware, or Canon for that matter, there was the Magic Lantern projector.

In his latest video, vintage camera and lens enthusiast Mathieu Stern dives into the history behind this forefather or cinematography before bringing a 160-year-old magic lantern projector back to life.

The projector in the video was a Christmas gift given to Mathieu’s grandfather when his grandad was just 10 years old: about 160 years ago. It looks sort of like a steam engine, complete with a big smokestack but with a lens on the front instead of an actual locomotive.

To use the projector, you simply put it on top of a light source—traditionally an oil lamp—and insert painted glass slides into the slot upside down. The light would shine through the slide, be flipped and focused by the lens, and wind up projecting an image onto the wall.

It’s not what you would call cutting edge, but it’s a fascinating bit of imaging history that’s worth knowing about.

Check out the full video above to see how the Magic Lantern projector works and see the 160-year-old product in action for yourself. Alternatively, if you’re more interested in modern day (by comparison) camera and video gear, you can find plenty more of that on Mathieu’s YouTube channel.

How to Write a War Movie (Free Outline Template)

War movies are one of the consistent subgenres of Hollywood, but how can you write one? We go over the tropes and expectations of the war film and guide you on your quest to write one. Read on!

Unfortunately, the idea of war is as old as humankind. We’ve been fighting for millennia over land, grudges, and sometimes for noble reasons. And as soon as it became possible to film these events, we did.

There are always several war films at the box office in any given year and the very first Academy Award winner for Best Picture was a World War I movie called Wings, which came out in 1927.

So yeah, war movies are a big deal.

They’re crowd-pleasers, big-budget, and often awards contenders.

Like any other subgenre, war movies come with their own set of tropes and audience expectations.

Today we’re going to go over those ideas and talk about some war film examples that can help you write your own screenplay.

Let’s go to war.

How to Write a War Movie

Before we get into the meat of the story, let’s talk about the facts.

Read More

Sony a7III vs Fuji X-T3: Real World Wedding Photography Comparison

SF Bay wedding photographer Reggie Ballesteros recently put together a different sort of camera vs camera comparison. Instead of setting up the same shots with both systems, he wants to see if people can tell which photos from the same wedding were shot with each camera.

This idea came about because Ballesteros and his second shooter Joseph shoot with different systems. Ballesteros shoots with a Fuji X-T3; Joseph uses a Sony a7 III.

Most camera comparisons online show side-by-side shots, unedited, using the same composition and the same settings. But most consumers won’t compare cameras like that in the real world. Ballesteros was wondering if anybody could tell the difference between actual client-delivered photos that were captured with the X-T3 vs the a7 III at a recent wedding that he and Joseph shot together.

If the crop-sensor camera is really “obviously worse” in terms of image quality or how it held up to post-processing or the depth of field is just not nearly shallow enough, then you should be able to tell, right? You be the judge.

Ballesteros sent us six of the 30 photos he shares in the video. Three of these are taken with the Fuji, and three are taken with the Sony. We’ve labelled them, and you can see the answers at the very bottom of this post.:

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Obviously this isn’t a scientific test, but that’s kind of the point. It’s a comparison of using these two different cameras in the same lighting scenarios at the same wedding, so you can see if the difference is actually noticeable on final, professional images that would ultimately end up in your client’s hands.

Check out the full video up top to hear more about this test and see 24 more comparison images. And if you played along with the blind test, scroll down to see the answer key and let us know how you did.


Answer Key

  1. Sony
  2. Fuji
  3. Fuji
  4. Sony
  5. Sony
  6. Fuji

Why Shooting ‘Cunningham’ in 3D Was ‘A Massive Production for Every Shot’

Alla Kovgan’s 3D re-staging of Merce Cunningham’s most iconic performances bursts out of the frame.

Watching Cunningham, it’s hard to believe Merce Cunningham didn’t choreograph his dances for the 3D screen in the first place. Alla Kovgan’s film is an immersive documentary that puts you right in the center of the modern dance legend’s most visionary works. The dances overflow from the frame—you’re transported into a universe where the immaculate choreography radiates off of the dancers’ bodies and into the spaces they inhabit, creating a narrative of movement that’s more complex than the sum of its parts. Kovgan stages fourteen of Cunningham’s most iconic dances in airplane hangars, palaces, dense forests, and rooftops. There is a sense of aliveness, of inhabiting, that transcends the power of dance as seen from a stage. In three dimensions, and on film, the dances themselves, ephemeral by nature, are rendered timeless.

No Film School sat down with Kovgan to discuss the entire process of shooting the dances in 3D, including elaborate pre-vis modeling, extensive camera operating rehearsals, and more.

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Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S11+ sensor to use Nonacell technology

Yesterday we posted a story about the technology in Samsung’s 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX image sensor and said the chip was likely to make an appearance in the Korean manufacturer’s upcoming Galaxy S11 series.

It looks like this might not be entirely correct. According to a tweet by infamous mobile industry leakster Ice Universe the Galaxy S11+ will use a customized version of the chip that uses a technology that Samsung calls Nonacell.

The standard sensor comes with the company’s tetracell technology, also known as Quad-Bayer, that uses pixel merging for better detail and lower noise levels in low light. Nonacell follows the same concept but instead of four combines — you guessed it — nine pixels into one.

The sensor is said to be called ISOCELL Bright HM1 and will be the successor to the HMX variant that we’ve seen in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. On the latter four 0.8µm pixels are combined into one 1.6µm effective pixel. On the new sensor the effective pixel size would increase to 2.4µm, theoretically allowing for significantly improved low light performance at a still more than acceptable 12MP output size.

The Galaxy S11 series is scheduled to launch in February 2020, so hopefully, we’ll be able to have a closer look at then sensor and its performance then.

LG unveils 2020 UltraFine, UltraWide 32″ and 38″ 4K monitors for professionals

Ahead of their CES 2020 debut, LG Electronics has taken the wraps off its latest monitor lineup, including the 2020 UltraFine and 2020 UltraWide 4K models. Both monitors, as well as a new UltraGear line designed specifically for gamers, are part of the ‘premium’ market segment, according to LG.

Most notable among LG’s new models is the 2020 LG UltraWide 38WN95C 38in QHD+ 3840 x 1600 21:9 monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms Nano IPS display. This model, which is VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified, offers what LG calls ‘professional-level performance, picture quality and speed.’

The 2020 LG UltraFine monitor also features 98% DCI P3 color space, Thunderbolt 3, NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility, 450 nits brightness and an adjustable tilt stand.

Joining the UltraWide model is the new 2020 LG UltraFine Ergo 32in 4K Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 32UN880 monitor featuring an IPS display, 60Hz refresh rate, 5ms response time, HDR10 support, AMD Radeon FreeSync, and 350 nits brightness. This model does not feature Thunderbolt 3.

The UltraFine’s USB-C One Cable solution is joined by an ergonomic design with an ‘arm’ style stand capable of being adjusted in a number of ways and placed very close to a wall. LG says it designed this monitor specifically for professionals who spend ‘a significant amount of time’ working at a desk.

LG hasn’t provided pricing information for any of its new monitors at this time, but we’ll likely get the price and availability details during CES 2020 in early January.

500px Updates Terms, Sparks Fresh Outrage Among Photographers

If you’re a 500px member who hasn’t logged in to the photo sharing and selling service for a while, you may be asked to agree to an updated Terms of Service document upon logging in. The latest agreement is causing an uproar (and a new wave of account deletions) among many photographers, but it doesn’t appear that anything has changed from a legal or rights standpoint.

Photographer Beno Saradzic got people talking yesterday after sharing snippets from 500px’s updated Terms of Service document on Facebook. Saradzic is a Fujifilm ambassador and a popular photographer on 500px, where he has nearly 30,000 followers, over 13 million views, and the honor of previously being a guest curator.

“I just read 500px’s updated Terms,” Beno writes. “It seems they have made a full transition to the Dark Side. 500px, seriously, WTAF?? #sad”

We’ve heard that a number of photographers, including prominent ones like Albert Dros and Toby Harriman, have responded to this latest change by deleting their accounts from 500px.

Anger at 500px is nothing new in recent years, especially after it slashed its royalty rates, was acquired by VCG (AKA the “Getty Images of China”), shut down its Marketplace, and wiped out over 1 million Creative Commons photos.

One of the main things photographers are pointing to in this latest surge of resentment is the first term users must agree to when uploading any photos to the service:

By submitting Visual Content to the Site, you grant to 500px a non-exclusive or exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to use, sublicense, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Visual Content in connection with the Services. This license will exist for the period during which the Visual Content is posted on the Site and will automatically terminate upon the removal of the Visual Content from the Site, subject to the terms of any license granted by 500px or through our authorized distributors and these Terms;

Problem is, however scary this language may sound, these statements are quite standard when you sign up for services that accept uploaded content. The language has virtually been the same in 500px Terms for many years, and the same language can be found with other popular services. Here are Instagram’s Terms, for example:

We do not claim ownership of your content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). You can end this license anytime by deleting your content or account.

The second excerpt that’s eliciting anger involves items 2 and 3 of the section you need to agree to when you opt to license your photos and earn money from them through 500px.

You waive any moral rights (and any similar rights) with respect to the Visual Content to the extent permitted by law, and if no waiver is permitted, you agree not to enforce the right against 500px or our distributors or clients;

500px and our distributors have the right to modify, alter and amend photo titles, descriptions, tags, metadata and other accompanying information for any Visual Content and the right to submit Visual Content to other parties and authorized agents for the purpose of creating tags for Visual Content;

This entire section is indeed a new part of 500px’s Terms of Service… kind of. Here’s what the prior version of the document (from August 2019) looked like at this section:

Before this latest update, the Terms of Service linked to a separate Contributor Agreement for users wishing to license their photos and earn money. And a look at that document shows essentially the same terms:

And this language still only applies to photographers who have checked “License this photo” to sell it through the service.

So basically, no, 500px doesn’t seem to have added new language to its Terms of Service that ask you to give up all your rights to all your photos on 500px — these alarming terms look to be the same ones users had already been agreeing to prior to the latest update to the Terms of Service. What the company has done is consolidate two agreements (Terms of Service and Contributor Agreement) into a single new Terms of Service.

However, if these terms are news to you and you’re uncomfortable with them, here’s a helpful article by 500px on how you can deactivate or permanently delete your account.