News

I Shot Military Survival Training with a Holga Toy Camera

My name is Corban Lundborg, and I just completed a series of rare military survival courses at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, during February 2020. I was authorized to bring a film camera to the field portion of SERE (Survive, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) School. Equipped with a Holga 120N plastic camera, I was able to capture four rolls of Ilford HP5+ medium format film.

I’m a full-time artist working across a handful of mediums in Los Angeles. Between art gigs on the West Coast, I also work as a combat photographer for the Air Force Reserve — I am a staff sergeant at the 4th Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina.

Often the two worlds of art and military contrast each other, but in recent years I’ve been able to use my creativity in the military to create art, tell stories, and uniquely capture history.

I have been serving in the Air Force for 10 years now and in that time I had often heard the painful rumors of SERE (Survive, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) School. When I found out earlier this year that I had a slot to go, I quickly looked for pictures and information about what to expect and how to prepare. There is little information about this training known to the public, and for good reasons.

When I learned I was allowed to bring a camera to the mountain portion of the school, I was excited to capture my experience, but one hurdle stood in my way. Only film cameras are authorized and I had never shot on film before.

I looked for a cheap film camera and came across the Holga 120N. It was perfect. It was disposable enough that I wouldn’t be upset if it broke in the harsh field conditions, but I was also in love with the nostalgic aesthetic the camera produces.

I bought the Holga 120N for $30 dollars on Amazon, and I also bought four rolls of “>Ilford HP5 Plus black-and-white medium-format film. I watched a few videos on the Internet and, to the best of my ability, got the camera ready for six days of winter survival in the mountains of Washington.

It was very cold and we were sleeping in snow-based shelters so I did my best to keep the camera dry and safe. I kept the film inside my Gortex jacket pocket, close to my chest day and night. I rationed the rolls of film to best cover the entirety of our time in the mountains.

My time at SERE School was a huge learning curve, I both learned military survival techniques and how to shoot film. I came across both technical and physical challenges along the way. In my transition from digital to film I had to learn to ration my shots and really wait for the moment. Using a 1×1 square composition was also new to me and took time to get used to.

Outside the complications of camera challenges, I also had nature to deal with. Part of our school included land navigation and during training I injured my left eye. A tree branch scratched my cornea while evading through the thick trees. My eye was swollen, my fingers were frozen and I wondered if bringing the camera along was worth it.

SERE School is tough — it’s often called the best-worst time of your military career. After graduation and returning to Los Angeles a month later, I had the film developed locally and scanned the images myself at home. Upon seeing the results, it was immediately all worth it.

Bringing the Holga 120N was the best creative choice I could have made. I learned patience, resilience, and how to flex my creativity in the worst of conditions.


About the author: Corban Lundborg is a Los Angeles-based professional artist and a member of the Air Force Reserve as a photojournalist in the 4th Combat Camera Squadron. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Lundborg’s work on his website and Instagram.

Sigma: show your best photos and films from quarantine and win cash prizes

Sigma has launched a photography and cinematography contest that you can win without leaving home, a convenient “rule” this moment in time. It’s the #SigmaShotatHome!

From April 6th through June 26th, 2020 participants can submit their best photos and short films of life at home during the quarantine to win weekly and monthly cash prizes from a Sigma contest.

Don’t know what to do while staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic? If you are not shooting for a picture library – and even if you are – Sigma has a challenge for you, whether you’re a photographer or a filmmaker. Starting April 6 and running until June 26th, 2020, participants can submit their best photos and short films of life at home during the quarantine to win weekly and monthly cash prizes.

Sigma Corporation of America launched the #sigmashotathome, a photography and cinematography contest that invites anyone to capture and share their personal depictions of life in quarantine during this momentous period of social distancing and self isolation. Completely open to the public, #sigmashotathome will be hosted online running from April 6th through June 26th, 2020.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented moment in history that has dramatically impacted the heart of the creative imaging community,” says Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President, Sigma Corporation of America. “#sigmashotathome is our humble attempt to bring inspiration and creativity to a difficult situation and to remind creators, regardless of stylistic choices, field or gear preferences, that we are in this together.”

Sigma has launched a photography and cinematography contest that you can win without leaving home, a convenient “rule” this moment in time. It’s the #SigmaShotatHome!

A $500 American Express gift card weekly

Each week, a panel of Sigma professionals will judge entries based on creativity, originality and adherence to the theme of “shot at home” and then select a winner to receive a $500 American Express gift card. At the culmination of each month, a winner will be chosen from the pool of weekly winners to receive a $1000 American Express gift card.

When the competition ends, an overall contest grand prize winner will receive a Sigma fp + 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens and a second place contest winner will receive any Sigma lens valued at $1000 or less. Follow the link ot know more about the rules and regulations that apply to this contest and remember that the #SigmaShotatHome is open to U.S. citizens only.

Sigma has launched a photography and cinematography contest that you can win without leaving home, a convenient “rule” this moment in time. It’s the #SigmaShotatHome!

How to Enter #sigmashotathome

Photographic entries must be under 25MB and .jpg format with 3000×2000 maximum resolution. Cine entries must be 60 seconds or shorter in 720-1080p. Submit .mov or .mp4 files only. All submissions must be the entrant’s own work, and they must own the copyright to any photographs entered. Weekly submissions will be closed on Friday at 5pm PT / 8pm ET each week. To enter, participants must do the following:

Photo Submissions:

Submit via: https://tinyurl.com/sigmaphotoathome

Have the file naming convention: DATE_LAST NAME_DESCRIPTIVE TITLE

Like and Follow Sigma Corporation of America on Facebook and Instagram.

Upload the photo submission to Facebook and Instagram, tag Sigma Corporation of America and include the hashtag #sigmashotathome.

Cine Submissions:

Submit via: https://tinyurl.com/sigmacineathome

Like and Follow Sigma Cine on Facebook and Instagram.

Upload the photo submission to Facebook and Instagram, tag Sigma Cine and include the hashtag #sigmashotathome.

Participants are welcome to submit multiple entries, up to ten photo entries and three cine entries per person per week. Judging term resets weekly on Friday at 5:00pm PT / 8:00pm ET.

For complete contest details as well as rules and regulations follow the link to visit: https://www.sigmaphoto.com/sigmashotathome .

100 Days. 100 Commissions. Serif announces COVID-19 support project

100 Days. 100 Commissions. Serif announces details of COVID-19 support project

Serif, developer of Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher just announced the company’s plan to help photographers, designers, artists and other creatives affected by the global pandemic.

The world is not how we knew it, and we know current events have had some pretty dire consequences for those of you in the creative community. We see on social media that commissions are being cancelled and upcoming work is uncertain. In these unpredictable times, we want to do all we can to help our community and the wider creative community.

The opening phrase from the Affinity Team announcement serves to reveal that Serif has decided “as part of our pledge to spend our annual commissioning budget in the next three months”, to launch a new initiative: 100 Days. 100 Commissions. It’s one of three measures aimed at helping photographers, designers, artists and other creatives affected by the global pandemic.

Affinity Suite: FREE 90-day trial for Mac and Windows versions

Affinity apps free for 90 days

Serif is also allowing anyone to use its creative app suite on Mac or Windows PC for 90 days free of charge, with no obligation, as ProVideo Coalition revealed recently. There’s also a 50% discount for users who would rather buy and keep the apps, including iPad versions, for a one-off price with no subscription. Now, the company has announced that will buy work from 100 contributors as part of efforts to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the creative industry.

Serif Managing Director Ashley Hewson says: “The big principle is that we’re not asking people to put effort into creating new work to pitch according to a tight brief.

“We’re always looking for real-world projects that have been created in Affinity apps and we know many people would have been working on briefs that have just been cancelled. Alternatively they may have unused projects or even something just done for fun.

“That’s the sort of work we’re looking to license, so contributors don’t waste time and effort preparing new work to pitch (unless they really want to) and might even get paid for something that’s been cancelled by a client.”

Affinity apps get a huge FREE update

Affinity Photo projects

Examples Serif is keen to see include, but are not limited to:

  • Print documents made in Affinity Publisher such as flyers, brochures, magazines, reports and book layouts
  • Illustrations, graphic and UI design projects made in Affinity Designer, including website or app layouts, icons, logos and packaging
  • Projects created in Affinity Photo such as portrait retouching, compositions, focus stacking, astrophotography, panoramas, HDR, fashion and product photography.

Participation is limited to one project per person, and Serif says that “if we accept your submission and you accept our licensing terms, we will pay you $1,500 USD for your work” The company adds that “We think it’s worth noting that the amount we usually pay for licensing varies depending on the experience and reputation of the creator, but in the current climate where everyone is affected, we don’t want to make that distinction. Plus, it’s logistically impossible for us to really do that for this initiative. We’re also keen to ensure as many creatives as possible benefit from this.”

Applications must be submitted by 20 April. For further details about terms and conditions and how to submit our work, follow the link to the webpage dedicated to the 100 Days. 100 Commissions initiative.

These are the best lenses for Nikon DSLR portrait shooters

We think that the Nikon 50mm F1.4G and 85mm F1.4G are great all-around picks for APS-C and full-frame Nikon DSLR portrait shooters, respectively. Read on for more recommendations and all of our top lens picks for these systems.

Sony Spreads Hope Along With $100 Million Global Relief Fund

Sony Spreads Hope Along With $100 Million Global Relief Fund

In an effort to combat the trying times that most of us are feeling in the current state of the world, Sony, along with an amazing list of Artisans and Collective members, aim to inspire, spread hope, as well as financially back those in need.

[ Read More ]

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art sample gallery

Our team at DPReview TV just finished reviewing Sigma’s newest 24-70mm F2.8 lens and they found a lot to like. Check out these sample photos captured while filming their review.

DPReview TV: Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art review

The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN lives up to Sigma’s ‘Art’ standard, giving first-party lenses for E-mount and L-mount a run for their money. We put it to the test and came out impressed.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

Sample Gallery from this episode

HBO Releases 500 Hours of Free Programming

Get ready for #stayhomeboxoffice!

In an effort to encourage viewers to stay home, HBO (Home Box Office) has released 500 hours of programming for free. Starting today, Friday April 3rd, HBO fan favorites and classics will be available to watch on HBO platforms without a paid subscription. This marks the first time HBO has released content outside of a paid subscription or cable service. Current HBO hits such as Game of Thrones and Westworld are still behind the HBO paywall, but if you’ve been looking to binge The Wire or Veep, now’s your chance!

Other providers and networks that currently offer free entertainment include AMC Networks, which has made content from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and Sundance Now available, and Amazon, which currently provides kids’ shows for free. Many services are also offering extended free trials, including CBS All Access (one month free with the code GIFT; Patrick Stewart shared the code and information through an Instagram post).

To start your free HBO experience, head to HBONOW.com or HBOGO.com. Here’s the list of content now available without an HBO subscription:

Read More

Some of the Biggest Names in Horror Film Want to Read Your Script

Get your script in front of the pros who brought you Sinister, Paranormal Activity, The Walking Dead, Get Out, and this year’s highest-grossing horror film, The Invisible Man.

If you’re a screenwriter who loves spending their time in the world of the macabre, now’s your chance to put your script in front of some of the biggest names in the genre.

ScreenCraft has announced that its Horror Screenwriting Competition is officially open for entries, offering participants the unique opportunity of having their scripts read by Sinister and Doctor Strange screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, as well as executives at Blumhouse, AMC, Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, and Goalpost Pictures, which produced The Invisible Man this year.

As it usually goes with ScreenCraft competitions, the prizes focus primarily on giving screenwriters the opportunity to take their careers to the next level.

Read More