ICG Local 600: National President Lewis Rothenberg Resigns

The International Cinematographer’s Guild (ICG), IATSE Local 600, has announced that its National President, Lewis Rothenberg, will step down from his position, effective end of business yesterday, February 14, 2020. Dejan Georgevich, ASC, who currently serves as Vice President of Local 600, will assume the role of Interim National President until the Local’s National Executive […]

The post ICG Local 600: National President Lewis Rothenberg Resigns appeared first on Below the Line.

Woman Posed as Newborn Photographer to Steal Baby: Police

A Washington woman was arrested after authorities say she posed online as a newborn photographer and drugged a mother in order to steal her baby.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department announced the Friday arrest of the 38-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter after conducting an extensive investigation in their alleged crimes.

Authorities say the victim called 911 on February 5th after she suddenly experienced numbness, drowsiness, instability, and vomiting. The woman told responding firefighters that she thought she had been drugged.

The woman later told police that she believed the perpetrator was a woman who had come to her house pretending to be a newborn photographer. It had been a “photographer” who advertised free newborn photo shoots through Facebook, claiming she was just trying to build up her portfolio.

Service had been advertised online under the names “Juliette Parker”, “Juliette Noel,” and “Juliette Gains.”

“The suspect reportedly came to the victim’s residence on three occasions to photograph her newborn baby,” the sheriff’s department writes. “The suspect was observed taking cell phone selfies with the victim’s baby and was seen wiping her fingerprints off items she touched inside the victim’s home.

“During the third incident, the suspect and the suspect’s teenage daughter gave the victim a cupcake to eat; the victim reported feeling numb and drowsy immediately after eating the cupcake. The victim told the suspect and her daughter to leave her home. After they left, the victim noticed that the suspect had stolen her house keys.”

Detectives started following the faux photographer’s trail and identified additional victims. Through interviews and search warrants, they came to the conclusion that the suspect was planning to steal a newborn baby to raise as her own child.

“She wanted a girl and she wanted them five weeks and younger,” Detective Ed Troyer tells NBC4. “So she could raise it herself, take it out of state and pretend it was a newborn of her own.”

Police are now asking that anyone else who may have been victimized by this suspect to contact the sheriff’s department as soon as possible.

PiXLIGHT portable speedlight for cameras and smartphones launches on Kickstarter

Photographer Arash Hamidi has launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking funds for PiXLIGHT, an off-camera speedlight with a portable, lightweight design and support for smartphones in addition to cameras. The speedlight system collapses down to a small size when not in use, enabling photographers to pack it in the average photography backpack or most bags.

PiXLIGHT weighs 1.6kg (3.5lbs) and measures 203cm (80in) long when setup with its umbrella, which will be available with six and eight ribs. The modeling LED light has a 2.5s recycle time, attaches to a flexible gooseneck with 360-degree swivel support and is capable of 400 full-power flashes per charge; the battery is user-replaceable.

Other features include support for high-speed sync, more than 15 light modifiers, an angle lock on the tripod, remote control and built-in trigger, Bluetooth for connecting to a smartphone in order to control the light’s settings, standard USB-C charging and a guide number of 58 at ISO 100.

The Kickstarter campaign, which has exceeded its funding goal, is offering the PiXLIGHT with an umbrella, remote, battery and ‘simple bag’ for pledges of $249. Other pledge options are also available offering a variety of modifiers without the light, two lights with umbrellas, batteries and a ‘special bag’ and more. Shipping to backers is estimated to start in July.


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

5 Reasons Your Couples Portraits May Look Awkward (And How To Prevent It)

So you’ve just finished your first couples portrait session and once you’ve gotten home and started looking through the images, you realize that something just feels “off” with your shots. Oftentimes it’s just little things we never really pay attention to, especially when we’re trying to catch the last bits of daylight, but they’re all easily avoidable. In this video, we’ll show you 5 reasons why your couples portraits might look awkward, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Isopraxism Or Mirroring

We do this when we get comfortable with another person, we tend to “mirror” or copy the other person’s body language. This leaves us duplicating the others positioning, and while it may feel natural, it can leave us looking awkward

2. Hips Are Apart

Even though our couples are getting engaged and are clearly comfortable together, they may not yet be comfortable with a camera pointed at them! While this definitely sounds odd, there’s still some getting to know each other happening. To fix this we simply need to tighten up the hips and move our subjects closer together since we’re trying to make an intimate and natural portrait.

3. Awkward Hand Positions

Often times when doing couples shots, our instincts are to wrap our hands around each other. This can lead to some awkward poses (think the high school prom shot), and a jumbled up set of limbs! By repositioning your subjects you help eliminate this and also remove the previous issues from the equation by preventing them from mirroring each other also.

4. Tight Grips

Often when we’re uncomfortable on camera, especially with the guys, if we don’t know exactly what to do with our hands, we often ball them up into a tight fist! Or if we’re placed in a pose that feels a little strange, our hands/grip can look a little tense and claw-like. All it takes is to just relax the hand and open our hands to get a completely different and more natural-looking shot.

5. Splayed Fingers

Tied directly into number 4, splayed fingers that are open and all five digits are stretched out pointing off in different directions will make it very distracting. You’ll want to remind your subjects to relax their hands and keep them closer together, pointing in the same general direction to achieve a more natural-looking pose.

Bonus Tip

As you saw throughout this video, the bonus tip is to give your subjects a directorial queue using a real-world example. That’s how you can get an authentic image and help your couple get into the positions with a real feel that doesn’t look “posed” leaving you with a perfect shot!

The Awkward Pose Before and Fixed Pose After, with Visual Flow Retouch Applied

Posing is one of the most challenging subjects you will face as a portrait photographer. Memorization can only take you so far before you lose authenticity. A photographer might memorize poses, use example images or even posing cards to have the client repeat in front of the camera, but you still face the age-old issue of poses looking too posed.


P.S. SLR Lounge‘s Complete Posing Workshop course dives into posing unlike any other with live demonstrations of flattering posing techniques and coaching on how to be a director and not just a photographer.

The after photos in this tutorial resulted from the Visual Flow Retouching Kit.


About the author: Pye Jirsa is a wedding photographer based in Southern California and the co-founder of SLR Lounge. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Jirsa’s work here. This article was also published here.

A Brief History of Nikon… and Why the New Flagship D6 DSLR Falls Short

I used to work for Nikon cameras. From 1995 through 1999, I was Nikon UK’s Senior Photographic Advisor. My job was basically to be the guy in the building who knew what a camera was for!

The job was the best for a while and I got to work with and meet many talented people. I also got to use and borrow the kit which helped me establish my career in photography. It has been 20 years since I left and many of the staff (past and present) are still good friends to this day.

Although I no longer work for the company, I do, however, still use their products. I had a unique and privileged insider view of how the business worked and my lasting memory was one of honor and total respect to the photographer. It’s not a great surprise to learn of a Japanese company operating with such grace, but it’s impressive when you factor how big the corporation was internationally.

Back then it was run by the brilliant Harry Collins, who had founded the UK branch of Nikon from his roots at the Rank Organisation in the late ’60s. Harry had a passion for cameras and understood photography, which the professional photographers and staff respected. Uniquely, the company was co-managed by Harry and a designated director from Nikon Tokyo who made sure things were done the ‘Nikon way’.

When I was there, it was all about the heritage of their legendary ‘F’ range of SLR 35mm film cameras. The Nikon F launched in 1959 had become the workhorse camera for the world’s photo press. Every decade or so a new flagship ‘F’ camera would be launched. 1972 the Nikon F2, 1980 the F3 and 1988 the F4. Each new camera had an astonishing amount of research and development put into them — taking recommendations directly from the working professional photographers — resulting in a formidable camera, each one better than the next.

I often likened the Fleet Street press pack of photographers to racing car drivers. They were the ones on the track, taking chances and using the product to its limits. Their input and recommendations were invaluable and we often fed back ideas and complaints back to Tokyo. After all, it isn’t the mechanic in the garage that knows what works best on a racing car.

The unique selling proposition (USP) to these cameras was the F-mount, which enabled every lens since 1959 to be used on each and every camera (which is still true to this day). Canon scrapped their original lens mount and alienated a large sector of their followers when they changed the mount, giving Nikon the market share of working pros.

When I started working at Nikon I was asked every day ‘when is the F5 coming out?’. I had no idea, but we did have a Japanese liaison officer called Masa Toro who knew. ‘Yes’ was his standard reply for anything I ever asked him. Even if the answer should have been ‘No’ it was always ‘Yes’. The word ‘No’ and it’s negative connotations isn’t one used often in the Japanese vocabulary!

Masa Toro knew when the camera was coming and he often hinted to me we needed a camera with a faster motor drive, brighter viewfinder and we need an intelligent exposure metering system, but would never let me know when. ‘When it is ready. Yes?’ was always his final word on the matter.

The legacy of the ‘F’ series cameras was everything to the company back then. The business logic was whatever camera the professionals used would be followed by the masses, buying the point and shoot compact cameras and entry-level SLR cameras favored by enthusiasts. This business model worked well and many of the big sporting events were sponsored by Nikon to ensure every professional was holding a black Nikon lens on international TV.

One of my best days at work was when Masa Toro calmly walked into my office with a huge un-marked camera and announced ‘Yes, the F5!’. I nervously picked it up and held the camera to my eye. I will never forget the feeling as I depressed the shutter release and the camera fired continuously at 8 frames per second like a train passing through a station.

The autofocus was like no other I had ever used with 5 points of focus controllable with a thumb dial on the back. It was fast and accurate, even in low light. The camera was cast from a solid aluminum alloy and felt so good to hold. It was a beast and like no other before it!

Several months later, the camera was launched and went on to be a game-changer in the photographic industry. A camera made from 40 years of evolution!

This was the last major film camera launched before the digital revolution began. It was in my final year at Nikon, and I was lucky enough to be involved with the launch of the Nikon D1, which was virtually identical to a Nikon F5 allowing a seamless transition from film to digital. Nikon went on to launch one more F-series camera, the F6, but by then the world had moved on and film was over.

The D1 was such a phenomenal success that Nikon had backorders for over 2 years and was the leading manufacturer in photography! I left Nikon in 1999 and ironically continued shooting with film cameras for a further 6 years before fully switching to digital in 2006.

Due to sensor technology evolving so quickly the periods between a major ‘D’ series launch were much shorter than that of the film cameras, but each flagship was a big deal and always a major step forward in innovation.

The D2H was launched in 2003 with double the resolution of its predecessor, 4 frames per second and a much-improved TTL flash metering system. 2 years later the D2H ‘S’ was introduced with an improved internal processor giving a staggering (for the time) 8 frames per second image write speed. Other variants of the D2 were introduced in a cat and mouse game of catch-up with Canon to be the leader in market share.

It wasn’t until 2007 that the phenomenal D3 was unveiled which (for me) changed photography forever. The D3 was equipped with a 12MP sensor, which would, at last, allow large format printing and had a sensor that was finally better than film. The low light capabilities of this camera were second to known and once again Nikon was the market leader.

By now there was a tradition to introduce an ‘S’ update to each ‘D’ series camera when the technology was available. The D3s was introduced in 2009 and had a better sensor in low light, slightly higher resolution and much faster internal processor.

The Nikon D4 followed in 2012 in time for the London Olympics and was billed as the best sports camera ever manufactured — 9FPS and 16MP. As is the tradition, two years later came the D4s with an improved sensor and faster processing.

By now, I think the professional consumer had cottoned on to Nikon’s camera game and it would appear that from a common-sense perspective the singular ‘D’ series camera should be avoided at all costs and wait for the improved ‘S’ version to appear. Especially as each new camera was getting more and more expensive.

The Nikon D4s was £5,199 ($6,000) body only! When the D5 was launched in 2016 I decided to hang on to my D4s cameras and wait for the D5s. By 2018 I eagerly awaited the announcement that never came. I was faced with a dilemma, wait for the D5s or invest in a D5 with 2-year-old technology.

Although the 16MP D4s is a good size sensor in print publishing, it doesn’t allow a lot of cropping space for a full double-page spread so the D5 with 20MP was essential to my work. I got some inside information from my friends at Nikon UK who confirmed there was definitely no D5s coming. I reluctantly purchased one D5 and then a second shortly after. It is a fabulous camera that shoots incredible RAW files in low light and has a 20MP sensor, giving plenty of room for cropping.

Current sensor technology above 20MP produces poor low light results above 3200 ISO, so this sensor is perfect for all my needs. I love my D5!

But…

It’s February 12th, 2020, and this morning Nikon announced the new Nikon D6 in time for the Tokyo Olympics. Yes, I know I said I am very happy with my D5 cameras, but come on… it’s a new flagship camera! I gotta have it!

As I poured a large cup of coffee, put my phone on silent and got comfortable, I started to imagine how good this camera was going to be. Each new flagship camera has always been the latest in innovation and design. There have been rumors of in-camera stabilization, 20 frames per second, and a whole host of new tech that is in the new mirrorless systems. I am genuinely excited!

As I open the press release the picture of the D6 looks very familiar to the D5. A slightly bigger viewfinder top plate. Maybe it has a hybrid optical/mirrorless viewfinder?

1.The most powerful AF system in Nikon history with 105 densely packed cross-type focus points. OK. I thought the D5 had 155 sensors! Apparently the sensors are grouped differently. Have they moved the sensors to cover the entire frame like the mirrorless cameras? Nope! They are still just in the center. The D5 has incredibly fast autofocus and is accurate down to -4 EV so strange to have AF speed at the top of the list. This is very underwhelming so far. I read on.

2. Equipped with a variety of functions that make for a more efficient post-shooting workflow. Post shooting? What about all the cool stuff that helps with the shooting? Apparently you can put Wi-Fi in a solid aluminum body after all! Nikon repeatedly declared it was not possible with the D5 forcing me to purchase a £700 WT-5 add-on. I am seriously underwhelmed.

3. Superior image quality and reliability that allow users to concentrate on shooting. Hang-on this has to be an early April fools joke or am I missing something? It has an identical image sensor to the D5. What is it superior to then?

I scroll to the end of page one and am sure that page 2 is where all the cool stuff will be. There is no page 2! That is it? No faster shooting rate, no in-camera image stabilization, no eye focusing, no improved sensor, no off the wall crazy innovation that I hadn’t even thought of yet! How is this a flagship camera? This is barely a D5s, let alone a D6. All this for just £6299 ($6,497)!

This has to be the most dishonorable thing I have ever witnessed from Nikon. Why would I buy this camera? I don’t need to because I already have it, it is called the D5! Thinking back to Nikon’s legacy of flagship ‘F’ and ‘D’ series cameras you can’t blame me for feeling totally underwhelmed and disappointed by today’s announcement.

Most of these ‘improvements’ could and should be available as a firmware update. If they had called it a D5s, it probably would make some sense, but to call this a D6 and charge over £6,000 for 2016 technology is just an insult to all the professional photographers who have stayed loyal to the brand over the years. They had to produce something professional for the Tokyo Olympics and this is it?

I think Nikon’s brilliant research and development team are working flat out on producing a mirrorless system to rival Sony and Canon. It is all about market share and Nikon is losing the race so everything is being put into this one area. This personally is a bitter pill to swallow because I just don’t like using an electronic viewfinder. I can see shape, color, depth of field and composition easier with an optical viewfinder and I find the EVFs give a false preview of the final image. Also, the lenses are diabolical in design.

That said, it looks like the mirrorless cameras are here to stay, so let’s hope Nikon has a final trick up their sleeve and produces something truly fantastic soon. I don’t care what it is called — just remember your legacy and heritage of brilliant cameras and try and find the ‘Nikon way’ again!


About the author: John McMurtrie is a music, stage, and tour photographer based in London. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of McMurtrie’s work on his website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.

Which Photojournalist Helped Design That $850 Jacket? An Examination

Photo Twitter collectively chuckled at the announced availability of Canada Goose’s Photojournalist Jacket. With editorial day rates hovering below $300/assignment, actual photojournalists were unlikely to be purchasing such a luxury item – even if it was inexpensive by Canada Goose standards.

Created in partnership with a photojournalist to stand up to the changing climates and situations they often find themselves in. This jacket is crafted from our Tri-Durance SS fabric to block harsh winds and rain. Reinforced shoulders and pockets add durability, while side seam zippers open up for range of motion and venting.

But who exactly is the photojournalist who partnered with Canada Goose??? Let’s speculate.

  • There’s no hard and fast definition for “photojournalist,” but it’s reasonable to assume they shoot “newsy” content
  • The jacket only appears in the “men’s” section, so the photographer is likely male
  • Given the controversy around Canada Goose’s use of fur, they probably aren’t a conservation photographer
  • They aren’t named, so they might be avoiding the harsh spotlight of Internet fame
  • They’re helping to design a jacket, so they must work in cold weather climate

The candidates…

Evgenia Arbugaeva

Odds: 1000:1

Evgenia lives in Tiksi near the Laptev Sea, where the current temperature is -22°F. Her amazing work has earned her an ICP Infinity Award and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. But the lightweight jacket is only rated to 23°F, and it’s only available in the men’s section.

Paul Nicklen

Odds: 800:1

Nicklen founded the non-profit SeaLegacy and travels around the world to raise awareness about the need for global conservation, with a particular focus on sea life. Given his focus on saving wildlife, it’s improbable that he partnered with Canada Goose.

View this post on Instagram

FINE ART FRIDAYS. It took me 6 years of returning to the Arctic every season before we figured out a path forward to photograph narwhals. After five years of failing at getting close to these shy, unique and stunning animals, under the guidance of my friend and pilot, Glen Williams, and my Inuit guides we finally decided it was time to buy an ultralight airplane and put it on amphibious floats which means we could take off and land on either water or sea ice. Still, with the airplane on the sea ice, our small team continued to fail. On the last day of the project, the weather cleared and we were able to fly far out over the broken sea ice and witness thousands of narwhals pushing through the narrow leads in the ice. Then, I saw the moment of all moments; a group of male narwhals being perfectly framed by the rotting sea ice. I could have not sketched a more perfect scene. After photographing them from the air, Brian and I landed the airplane on a drifting pan of sea ice, got out and managed to stand next to hundreds of narwhals as they continued to dive and resurface during a massive feeding frenzy on polar cod. It is hardly fair to say that we were lucky to capture this after 5 years of failing but we were in deed lucky to experience this moment. We flew back to our camp on the sea ice and as we were preparing to fly again, I fell through the very thin sea ice which is not normally a major concern except the chunks were rolling on top of me and I was not going to make it back to the surface. I reached up and grabbed a rope that was attached a big sled to keep myself from going under. I felt my shoulder dislocate immediately. My team got me out of the water and it took @jedweingarten a long time to reset it. Every time I winced in pain, all I saw were tusks and narwhals. I knew that we got the images we needed to tell the story. These are some of my favorite images from that encounter. #teamwork Thank you Brian Knutsen, Dexter Koonoo and Jed! #teamwork #narwhals #persevere #nature #naturelovers

A post shared by Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen) on

Jim Richardson

Odds: 500:1

Longtime National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson has worked extensively in Scotland in recent years – a place with an average temperature that rarely falls below freezing.

Almost perfect weather for the jacket. But while he has been observed as recently as September 2019 wearing a similarly colored red jacket, his is decidedly more worn and utilitarian. Plus, Jim would probably rather wear a vest.

Photo by Allen Murabayashi

Joey L

Odds: 10:1

Joey L’s stunning portraiture and lighting technique have garnered him accolades and a significant client roster through his agent, Bernstein and Andriulli. While one would be hard-pressed to categorize him as a “photojournalist,” he has covered a number of places and issues with a documentary style.

Photo by Joel L for Canada Goose

But the biggest clue is his work with Canada Goose on Baffin Island in Nunavut in 2018, which gave him a direct connection with the company.


Editor’s update: Joey L says he was not involved in the creation of this jacket:


About the author: Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter, which regularly publishes resources for photographers. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Allen is a graduate of Yale University, and flosses daily. This article was also published here.

Photographers, This is Why Other Photographers Hate Adobe

My name is Adam Marsh, and I’m a Melbourne-based event photographer. I recently wrote an article titled “Adobe, This is Why Photographers Are Hating on You,” and it seems to have been incredibly divisive. There was a huge amount of feedback and engagement on this topic in the wider global photography community.

I’ve received many messages of support, scrutiny, and even a 1-hour podcast devoted to picking apart my last article.

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not endorsed by Affinity at all (although I’d welcome it gladly!). Given how much of a hot topic Adobe as a company and product is, a timely followup seems in order as there’s a lot of room for nuance here. Even if I feel a large number of photographers don’t get why Adobe’s product monopoly is detrimental to the broader community at large, I don’t rule out it’s usefulness to people who are invested in it.

Regardless, to bury one’s head in the sand and staunchly defend Adobe without accepting criticism is misguided as it ignores the true criticisms people have of their product.

Here goes nothing.

No Monopoly is Good for the Consumer

Adobe’s reign as the premier editing suite has been long and bountiful, yet their suite has been lacking in creative trailblazing in so many areas. Why? A lack of strong competition to keep them sharp.

Seeing features like Content-Aware Fill sound on the surface like revolutionary steps forward, yet companies like Topaz Labs are powering forward with machine learning and artificial intelligence to convert JPEGs into RAWs, upscale images by 600% percent, and denoise the worst-exposed photos. If Adobe were really invested in product development, where is the R&D being placed in areas like this?

So many of the software giants lose their edge with what their consumers really want, and take for granted their patronage — especially when reliable subscription income gives them a massive buffer to drip-feed features out, to milk the subscribers for every dollar possible.

When competition is fierce, it forces a company to invest more resources into R&D and accept a lower operating income, in order to keep their market dominance at hand — remember this next time you diss the “own outright” model. Adobe had to really work hard at developing new features for every iteration of Photoshop, from 2 to 3 to 5 to 6. This is when they were at their best.

Now they’re trading off the reputation of old and leveraging the customer’s fear of the unknown of learning different workshops. This is lazy and entitled. Healthy criticism towards Adobe and any software developer is advantageous for the wider community. Wide fanboy/fangirl-ism, alas, is not. These are not sacred cows — they’re companies that serve us. When we cede this position, we let complacency go unchecked.

Negative Opinion Doesn’t Breed By Itself — Past Actions Grow It

I got chastised for missing the mark on the subscription pricing debacle, which was an issue many users have brought up in the past. Apparently, the prices I had given were inaccurate (which isn’t the case at all).

The real issue at hand, however, is the fact that pricing has changed over the years, and has been drastically different in many different markets (like the one I’m from, where we annoyingly pay the Australia tax on most software subscriptions, without rhyme or reason).

This lack of transparency creates confusion within the customer base. Like it or not, Adobe DID obfuscate their lowest price subscription level. Adobe DID backpedal on the price point offered to a drastic discount if you disgruntled enough to threaten to quit.

Actions like this breed contempt among the customer base as the price points lose solidity consistency among the subscriber base. Would someone paying $19 per month feel like they’re being taken advantage of if another customer were paying $9 per month for the same deal?

A different company that handled their price hike reasonably was Netflix. They boosted their most popular subscription price from $11 monthly to $13 monthly in a marketplace saturated with competition while their cheapest plan went from $8 monthly to $9 monthly. When pricing increases happen slowly, with advance warning and transparency, the subscriber base feels less like cash cows and more like valued customers.

This can be accepted due to Netflix’s investment in self-developed content. Yet, what did Adobe do differently at the time they increased their fees by 100% for their base photography subscription? If Adobe takes the attitude that they don’t owe anyone anything, then it’s fair. But then the customers at large don’t owe Adobe either.

Dismissing Customer Grievances Doesn’t Negate Them

The customer isn’t always right. Sometimes, they’re stupid. Other times, they’re irrational. In the case of Adobe’s former and current customers, they’re a wide mix.

Take Adobe’s horrendous customer service. Outsourced to foreign countries due to leveraging cheaper hourly wages, there is not only a lack of understanding with the technical issues at play, but the staff regularly utilize rehashed copy and paste answers to the end-users that fail to make the fix.

Speaking of customer grievances, remember when Adobe’s problems with Dolby came to a head with their 2018 edition of Premiere Pro? It rendered whole businesses unable to work with AVCHD’s audio in their workflow merely for being on older versions of Windows. Many businesses had to scramble in updating to Windows 10 as Adobe recommended this, only to find it did nothing to fix the issue. Time wasted.

This is an incident that is only two years old. Don’t feel there is anything to stop this from happening again. Having a fully owned, non-cloud version of Premiere would never have created such a hassle. Many customers don’t want to guinea pig software that is fresh out of testing. They want versions that work. Period. Lest they waste time, energy, and money-making opportunity fixing it.

If you feel that people who refrain or outright detest being on cloud-based or Internet-connected services are living in the past, then you’re part of the problem. Customer choice should always be on the side of freedom of choice. It is the exact problem that plagues many modern consumer markets, as we merely lease the right to use this software, instead of owning our copy outright (EULAs be damned). Try being in a rural location with limited Internet reception and expensive data rates. Or is this an issue that doesn’t bring you much empathy?

Want another problem? This was reported by a previous commentator from Australia. If you try to cancel your subscription, the button does… absolutely nothing. You’ll be billed another year and forced to cancel through your credit card instead. Reckon there will be a fix for this? Only if people complain and bring it into the spotlight.

Another problem? Remember Venezeula’s photographers, paid up in full, who got shafted by Adobe and blocked from all access due to a trade embargo? Legal, sure, but tell that to the photographers who NEEDED the software’s functionality to feed their families. Victims of corporate political issues.

Let’s play devil’s advocate here. What would stop Adobe from rescinding access to businesses they don’t agree with? It can and does happen in the real world. To say it wouldn’t misses the argument completely.

Let me be very clear: hate and complaints are often the reason why change happens. If necessity is the mother of all invention, then criticism is the mother of all evolution. If Adobe is criticized for its issues, then it will be compelled to act if enough of a PR hit occurs. This is what press coverage does. It’s a necessary annoyance to get issues rectified.

Pricing Matters, Especially Overseas or For Amateurs

Don’t put it back on your fellow photographers having business problems because they hate the idea of a subscription. Many successful business owners who use Adobe Creative Suite HATE spending money on subscriptions, which seems to be all the rage in the modern Internet era of corporations.

Can you imagine having to purchase every part of your business on a subscription? The outright hit is far better for some. That’s just the way it is. There was a time Adobe allowed people to purchase their software outright AND offer a subscription. That wasn’t a major issue for the customers. Everyone was happy… until Adobe’s executives took exception and realized they could gain more money from SOLELY offering a subscription and getting rid of the choice completely.

The price hikes and the lack of flexibility leave many financially vulnerable consumers at risk. Regardless of whether the outright costs of the past would have been inaccessible, the lack of regard Adobe has for these markets is why their competition is growing at a rapid pace. This is what happens to displays of hubris.

Here’s a good quote from a commenter named Dominic Martin: “So here’s the thing. I wouldn’t mind the subscription if they were aggressively improving both LR CC and LR Classic. But I don’t feel like they are doing enough,” and they aren’t. They’re trading ever higher in the stock market on your unwillingness to retool and switch. They’re appealing to the current customer rather than looking towards the new and emerging ones.

This Whole Subject is Far More Nuanced Than You Think

Photographers have every right to demand more from Adobe and every right to complain about them. If you’re a loyal customer and get a lot from Adobe’s services, then that’s great! It fits your exact needs, which may or may not be as demanding as the next person’s. To dismiss them because it doesn’t fit your experience or because you believe they’re due to a failing of that person is an incredibly narrow way of thinking. I have not dismissed that Adobe offers value, I just don’t believe it offers enough and trades largely on past glories as well as “industry-standard gatekeeping.”

I will always detest subscription and contract-based software pricing for my own reasons. Many others feel the same way, and it isn’t up to them to explain how or why, although many do. It is up to the companies to listen to their target audience. If they do not, then other companies will, which is becoming the case.

At any rate, if companies continue to gain more control over their customers, then the power imbalance becomes far too large and ripe for abuse. When we own our creative property and don’t allow it to be gated behind cloud-based services (despite the ever creeping shift towards it), it strengthens our consumer rights.

This is super important in a time when companies exploit customers by shifting “lease” terms. Adobe doesn’t do that now, but there may come a time when it is favorable to them and when the subscriber base is far too invested in their products to fight back effectively.

Thanks for listening to my passionate ramblings. Regardless of your thoughts, the conversation brings about further change and new ideas, which is sorely needed with machine learning and automation around the corner.


The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


About the author: Adam Marsh is a photographer and event videographer at Moment 2 Moment Videography Photography, based in Melbourne, Australia. His work can be found at his website and YouTube.

AJA Video Systems ships HDR Image Analyzer 12G with 8K support

AJA ships HDR Image Analyzer 12G with 8K support

AJA is now shipping HDR Image Analyzer 12G, the powerful, real-time HDR and WCG monitoring and analysis platform featuring 12G-SDI connectivity and 8K support.

Delivering a  comprehensive array of tools for the effective real time analysis of the latest HDR standards – including HLG, PQ and Rec.2020 – from 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD content in a stand-alone 1RU device, the HDR Image Analyzer 12G from AJA was developed in partnership with Colorfront. Supporting a wealth of inputs from camera LOG formats to SDR (REC 709), PQ (ST 2084) and HLG it offers color gamut support for BT.2020 alongside traditional BT.709. And it does all this with the simplicity of single-cable connectivity for higher bandwidth workflows.

HDR Image Analyzer 12G fuses AJA’s production-proven video I/O technology with powerful HDR and WCG image analysis tools from Colorfront, including waveform, histogram and vectorscope monitoring and analysis of up to 8K content over 12G-SDI for broadcast and OTT production, post, QC and mastering.

Within a compact 1RU chassis, HDR Image Analyzer 12G provides users with a comprehensive toolset to monitor and analyze SDR and HDR formats, including PQ (Perceptual Quantizer) and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). Additionally, the HDR Image Analyzer v2.0 update introduces configurable windows support for increased user flexibility for both the HDR Image Analyzer 12G and original HDR Image Analyzer models.

AJA ships HDR Image Analyzer 12G with 8K support

A look at the key features

Additional HDR Image Analyzer 12G features include:

  • 8K/UltraHD2, 4K/UltraHD, and HD 60p over 12G-SDI inputs
  • UltraHD UI for native resolution picture display over DisplayPort
  • Configurable layouts for placing desired tools in the preferred window
  • Remote configuration, updates, logging and screenshot transfers via an integrated web UI
  • Remote Desktop support
  • Support for display referred SDR (Rec.709), HDR ST 2084/PQ and HLG analysis
  • Support for scene referred ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, RED and Sony camera color spaces
  • Display and color processing lookup table (LUT) support
  • CIE graph, vectorscope, waveform and histogram support
  • Nit levels and phase metering
  • False color mode to easily spot pixels out of gamut or brightness
  • Advanced out of gamut and out of brightness detection with error intolerance
  • Data analyzer with pixel picker
  • Line mode to focus a region of interest onto a single horizontal or vertical line
  • File-based error logging with timecode
  • Reference still store
  • SDI auto signal detection
  • Three-year warranty

HDR Image Analyzer 12G is now available through AJA’s worldwide reseller network for $19,995 US MSRP.  To order or for more information, visit AJA Video Systems website.

FilmConvert: new Canon camera packs pave the way for CineMatch launch

FilmConvert released new cameras packs, this time for a trio of Canon cameras: one DSLR and two mirrorless. The company also announced they’re preparing for the launch of CineMatch.

This February FilmConvert expands its series of camera packs for different camera brands with support for the full-frame DSLR Canon 6D Mark II, full-frame mirrorless EOS RP and mirrorless Canon M50 – three great options for filmmakers looking for affordable hybrid video and stills capability, with the famous Canon autofocus and color science.

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a great entry-level option for those looking to step up to full-frame photography. With a high-resolution sensor, dual-pixel autofocus and a massive 50-104,400 ISO range, as well as the addition of in-camera five-axis digital stabilization, the EOS 6D Mark II is a great all-round performer for video and stills shooters.

FilmConvert launches Canon camera packs, announces CineMatch is coming soon

Camera packs from ARRI to Z Cam

The Canon M50 was marketed as the perfect “Vloggers” camera – the fully-articulated flip-screen makes it perfect for maintaining your framing when recording solo, and it’s compact enough to travel with you everywhere. Add in 4K video and dual-sensing image stabilization, and it’s the perfect travel companion, or even B-cam addition to your interview shoots.

Finally, the Canon EOS RP is another great option for filmmakers looking to travel light, who want good low-light performance and 4K acquisiton. Note that these Camera Packs need the latest version of FilmConvert for full compatibility.

These camera packs, as those previously released by the company, work inside the FilmConvert plugin software. They cannot be loaded into your camera, but you can use the plugin software to export a LUT with your color settings to use in-camera if you wish. FilmConvert offers many camera packs, for cameras from ARRI to Z Cam, but if there is no specific pack for your camera, you can still use the company’s software to achieve a stunning result.

FilmConvert launches Canon camera packs, announces CineMatch is coming soon

CineMatch launches in 2020

FilmConvert advises users to experiment with some of the different camera packs available, especially within the same manufacturer. It is also always possible to request support for a specific camera, and the more requests a model has, the easier it becomes that it is added to the collection.

The company also announced that it is expanding its library in preparation for the launch of CineMatch, and users should keep an eye out for the GoPro Hero 8, DJI X7 and X5S, as well as the new flagship digital cinema cameras from Sony and Canon. CineMatch is a new camera-matching solution for editors, color graders, DITs and cinematographers.

CineMatch makes camera matching easy, says FilmConvert: users just need to select their source and target cameras, and CineMatch will convert the colors to the target in a few seconds.  The demonstration images available on the company’s website allows users to test the solution in seconds with footage from different cameras and see how CineMatch will help to change workflows for the better.

CineMatch supports most high-end digital cinema, mirrorless and DSLR cameras, as well as drones, action cams and smartphones. The list published on FilmcCnvert’s website includes Nikon, Canon, GoPro, Sony, ARRI, Panasonic, Blackmagic Design, Fujifilm, Kinefinity, RED, Apple and Samsung but the company says that support for more is coming soon.

First announced during NAB 2017, the camera matching software CineMatch, from FilmConvert, was revealed, then, as a must-have tool for filmmakers in the future. Apparently, the future is now, and we enter 2020 with the announcement that FilmConvert has some big new releases looming, and is expanding its library in preparation for the launch of CineMatch.

FilmConvert is also responsible for Nitrate, a new set of features to give you even more power and control over your color grading.  The Nitrate upgrade is available for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, Create Cloud versions 2015, and DaVinci Resolve 15 and up. FilmConvert Nitrate is coming to Final Cut Pro in March 2020.