This multimedia piece by wildlife photojournalist Tim Laman about the highly adapted mating rituals of Birds of Paradise and Bowerbirds, both of which live in the New Guinea region, was a hit when it premiered at the recent LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, VA. Laman, who is also a field biologist, is currently nearing completion on a major, cross-platform project about Birds of Paradise. To see more of his work visit timlaman.com.
Here’s something we somehow missed during the tumult that was CES 2011. A 31MP concept camera that looks like a combination iPhone and EVIL digital camera.
Called a WVIL (Weevil?) camera, the concept product is allegedly built around a mobile operating system similar to what you’d find in most apps-laden smart phones.
And what does the acronym WVIL stand for? Wireless Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens camera, according to the below video. The designers have purportedly built a 31MP, full-frame CMOS sensor into the removable lens. When you take off the lens, it acts as a wireless viewfinder, sending live video footage back to the camera body.
Yes, this is all kinds of vaporware bull-cocky but we think it’s wrong that some people have labeled this YouTube clip and the camera concept as fakes. Though the video looks staged, it appears to come from a real prototype design company, the Seattle-based Artefact Group.
The WVIL concept (here’s the website) is also quite clever and camera manufacturers who have seen the point-and-shoot market get eaten alive by smart phones that let you easily share photos via wireless networks, might want take note.
(Our favorite part of the below clip is the unexpected cameos by PC Magazine‘s PJ Jacobowitz and Picture Business‘ Mike McEnaney.)
Enrique Pacheco’s short film “Winter In Hell” (not a reference to the regular severe weather warnings afflicting areas of the United States this season), was created from footage shot in Iceland over the course of a year. It tells the story of a peaceful arctic winter interrupted by the explosion of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
The photographer and filmmaker used the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II, and Canon and Carl Zeiss lenses to shoot the footage. We recommend utilizing the full screen mode.
ThePalm Beach Posthas reported that Florida authorities cannot determine how 53-year-old underwater photographer Wes Skiles died last summer, so they have ruled his death an accidental drowning.
Skiles died July 21 near Palm Beach, shortly after completing an assignment for National Geographic Television to photograph an underwater research expedition. He remained on location with researchers, signaling at one point that he intended to surface for more film. His diving companions found him unconscious on the sea floor a short time later, but they were unable to revive him.
An medical inquiry that included toxicology tests was inconclusive. “There was nothing to indicate natural causes or outside forces,” Harold Ruslander, chief investigator for the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner told The Palm Beach Post. “All we’re going to be able to say is that it was an accidental drowning.”
Skiles explored, mapped, and filmed caves around the world for three decades. He created the PBS series ‘Water’s Journey,’ shot underwater scenes for feature films, and was a long-time contributor to both National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Television.
“He set a standard for underwater photography, cinematography and exploration that is unsurpassed,” National Geographic magazine editor-in-chief Chris Johns said in a statement in July just after Skiles died.
Ever want to build your own camera? Photographer Chris McCaw did just that and he went big, creating a 30×40-inch bellows camera mounted in a garden wagon and one with a 125-pound aerial lens attached to a wheelchair. McCaw uses the cameras to shoot heavily solarized images that are part of his “Sunburn” series.
Instead of film, McCaw places silver gelatin paper into the film holders of his DIY cameras and leaves them open for long periods of time. The sun burns the paper in the process — sometimes creating holes — and inverts the image from a negative to a positive.
McCaw seems to have as much fun creating the cameras as he does creating the images. Here’s what he told the photo-eye:
“Building my own camera was a really liberating process as a photographer. Sometimes you get into that rut of having big dreams of owning high-end camera gear. The reality is that if you use your imagination and a practical sense of what you want to accomplish, you can do most anything. I feel confident that I can pretty much make any camera I need (I’m currently up to 30×40″ mounted on a garden wagon). I also just made one on the base of a wheelchair to hold a 125 lb aerial camera lens!
The wheelchair camera (my friends call it ‘the sad robot’) was just built last month. So far it is only an 8×10″ camera, but it has a 600mm f/3.5 lens that projects an image about 16×20″. I was told the lens came off a U2 spy plane — it is a beast. I use a car jack to raise and lower the lens. I even needed to get a handicap ramp to get it into the van!”
A former NASA astronaut has filed suit in federal court in Los Angeles, charging British pop star Dido with unauthorized use of the astronaut’s likeness on an album cover. Also named as defendants were Dido’s agent, her record companies, and Getty Images, which allegedly licensed the image.
Bruce McCandless is shown on the cover of Dido’s “Safe Trip Home” album floating in space above planet earth, several hundred feet away from a space shuttle where a fellow astronaut photographed him. The image (shown here) was shot in 1984, when McCandless was testing a nitrogen-powered jet pack that allows astronauts to venture untethered from space shuttles.
McCandless’s face is not recognizable–he is dwarfed by outer space and planet earth in the image, which was shot from afar. But according to his lawsuit, the Dido album cover identifies him as the astronaut in the picture. And the same image (shown at right) appears on NASA’s web site, identifying McCandless as the subject of the photo.
McCandless says in his claim that the use of the image for commercial purposes without his consent is a violation of his right of privacy and publicity. He is seeking a court order to bar the defendants from continuing to use the image, and unspecified monetary damages.
The defendants have not yet responded formally to the suit.
During his keynote speech at Canon EXPO 2010 on Wednesday, Canon Inc. Chairman & CEO Fujio Mitarai gave us a glimpse at what Canon is working on for the future with the following slide. If it’s true, Nikon — not to mention, John Connor — may be completely screwed.
The world’s largest digital camera is being used by astronomers and scientists to monitor various space phenomena, including possible "planet-destroying asteroids," according to National Geographic.
The camera is a critical component of the PS1 telescope in Hawaii, and is snapping images of the heavens every 30 seconds at a staggering resolution of 1,400 megapixels per photo.
The images are mapping areas in the sky “as large as 36 full moons – a view 3,600 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope’s main camera.” A 300-dpi print of one of the images would cover half a basketball court. In a full day the camera captures enough data to fill 1,000 DVDs.
The giant camera not only enables scientists to track near-Earth orbiting asteroids that have the potential to cause major damage if they were to impact the planet (according to Edo Berger, a professor with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “It provides the best early-warning system we have”), but it also creates the potential for celestial discoveries previously unimaginable.
Scientists are now able to see objects that are ten times fainter than anything registered during previous surveys thanks to the technology the camera offers. Because of its stunning accuracy and sensitivity, scientists anticipate making many new breakthroughs.
“This will take us a long way along the path of charting the heavens, both in space and in time,” Berger said.
Flush with cash from recent jobs and looking at ten days off in late April/early May, photographer and filmmaker Sean Stiegemeierdecided to head to Iceland to create a stop-motion video of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano as “a fun thing to show my friends,” he says.
“I’m somewhat weird like that. When I see something I want to do, I typically just go do it and worry about it later,” Steigemeier toldPDN via email. “It drives my girlfriend crazy.”
Using Canon’s 5D Mark II and 2.8 L series Zoom lenses, and a motorized timelapse dolly prototype loaned to him by MiLapse, Stiegemeier made use of the day-and-a-half window of decent weather he got while on location to create the above video, shot from pulled-back vantage points around the base of the volcano.
The trip took Stiegemeier from Seattle to Detroit (where he picked up the dolly and got a tutorial on how to use it on the floor of the airport), back to Seattle (flight to Reykjavik canceled), then to New York, Glasgow, the wrong part of Iceland and then, a six-hour bus ride later, to Reykjavik.
After waiting out four days of bad weather, Stiegemeier got a window of decent conditions right before he was about to leave Iceland, during which time he shot the roughly 7000 stills that went into creating his video.
Stiegemeier, who says he is “a firm believer in using technology to color correct and create the best looking images,” used HDR (high dynamic range) processing for some of the shots. He says it took four days for his computer to render the video, but he didn’t spend very much time choosing images, color correcting or editing because he didn’t expect many people to see it.
The video, posted to Vimeo seven days ago, has generated 600 comments and nearly 10,000 “likes” from viewers.