PT360: Episode 6 – Explore the Dark Side of Photography, Check Out a $389,000 Lens, and Get a Beat on Tutorials, Great Reads, and Amazing New Gear!
This week’s blog explores every corner of the photography world. We start with some great new lenses from Rokinon that are sure to melt the hearts of Canon EOS M owners. Then we go to the dark side of photography and learn a little about what happens when photographers cross the line to get the “perfect shot.” If you’re in the mood to sell your house and buy a new lens, we’ve got some information on that as well! We also review a current exposition of photography that focuses on freckles, highlight a new video tutorial on choosing the right light meter, offer up our weekly recommended reading, and give you the 411 on EyeEm's groundbreaking photography algorithm. There’s lots to get to, so let’s get started!
The Rumor Mill
Want a Fast Prime Lens for your APS-C or Micro Four-Thirds EOS M? Give These Rokinon Lenses a Try!
Image from Canon Rumors
Canon Rumors reports that Rokinon has expanded their line of prime lenses for mirrorless cameras to include 21mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.2 variants.
The 50mm lens is perfect for portraiture, with an equivalent focal length of 75-100mm, depending on the type of mounting. The f/1.2 aperture offers nice control regarding focus and provides excellent shallow depth of field as well. The lens is constructed with aspherical elements, which control for chromatic aberration, and the application of Ultra Multi-Coating to all elements helps reduce ghosting and flare as well.
The 21mm lens offers an equivalent focal length of 31.5-42mm, again, depending on how the lens is mounted. With a maximum aperture of f/1.4, the lens works well in all kinds of lighting conditions. There is a single extra-low dispersion element and three aspherical elements in the lens, which reduces aberrations, limits color fringing, and boosts clarity and sharpness. Like the 50mm lens, the 21mm lens sports the Ultra Multi-Coating, so there’s no worry about ghosting and flare.
Both lenses will reportedly be available for purchase beginning October 7, 2015.
In the News
In Depth: When Pursuing a Photo is Wrong
In a recent post on PetaPixel, DL Cade espouses the virtues of photography – that it can enlighten and inform us, opening our eyes to important events around the globe. But Cade also outlines how there is a definite line that photographers can cross when their zeal to “get the shot” goes into the territory of being harmful.
Cade breaks this “dark side” of photography into three categories: that which causes abuse, that which destroys the subject, and that which kills the subject.
Abuse can occur in just about any situation, but Cade recounts the experience of a photographer working with the cormorant fishermen in China. The famous images of these fishermen involve their birds as well, with outstretched wings, ready to take flight. But what was discovered is that to get the birds to spread their wings, the fishermen dunk the birds underwater. The birds then spread their wings to dry out. In short, many fishermen take to animal abuse for the benefit of tourists and photographers that want the dream shot.
The second type of dark side photography is that which destroys the subject. Again, Cade recounts the experience of a photographer that witnessed other photographers cutting branches off of trees and even breaking apart coral reef to rearrange it and compose a perfect shot. Rather than capturing a scene as it is (or doing some post-processing work to make it perfect), these photographers instead opted to destroy their subjects in the hopes that the improved composition would get them a few more likes and shares.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Cade expounds on situations in which photographers have outright killed their subject, all in the name of the perfect capture. A colleague recounted to Cade a scene in which an underwater photographer forcibly pushed a sea turtle further and further underwater in order to get the shot he desired. But turtles take an appropriate breath for the depth and length of time they plan to be underwater – and don’t account for additional depth or time forced upon them by some guy with a camera. This practice, which also reduces the buoyancy of the turtle, could easily result in its death.
It’s Cade’s hope, and ours as well, that when faced with a choice to do harm for the sake of a photograph, that you will take the high road and encourage others to do the same.
Have used camera gear you want to sell or trade in? Get a free quote HERE.
Want to Know What a $389,000 Lens Looks Like?
Image from eBay
If you think you have expensive gear, think again.
The monster lens pictured above is currently listed on eBay for the astonishing price of $389,000 USD. Why so expensive, you ask?
It’s a Rank-Taylor IRTAL 200mm f/1.0 germanium objective lens. It’s used with thermal imaging equipment, thus the high price tag.
The lens is, well, enormous if you couldn’t already see that. The front element is 20cm in diameter, and the apparatus weighs in at 18kg, which is just shy of 40lbs. Yikes!
The lens no doubt makes the full-size can of soup look tiny.
Check out the eBay listing for this bad boy for more photos, or to bid!
“Freckles” Puts a New Face on Beauty
Award-winning photographer Brock Elbank gained notoriety earlier this year when his exhibition, Beard, went on display at Somerset House in the U.K. The exhibition was borne out of Elbank’s charity work to raise awareness about skin cancer.
Beard was such a huge hit that Elbank decided another exhibition featuring unique faces was warranted. This time, however, Elbank focused on freckled faces from around the world.
The unique aspect of Freckles is that Elbank captures beauty where some see something they hate.
“What I love about freckles are that most of the wearers hated them as children, probably got teased, and wished they hadn’t gotten them,” Elbank explains. “But as adults they’ve grown to accept and some love them.”
Freckles is stunning to say the least. Check out more photos from the exhibition at Guardian Witness.
What’s New on PhotographyTalk
Learn & Explore: How to Select a Light Meter
We’ve got a great collection of video tutorials on PhotographyTalk that seek to help you become more knowledgeable about taking photos, editing photos, and selecting the appropriate gear for your photographic adventures.
In a recent video interview, we got some expert tips on how to select a light meter from industry expert Phil Bradon of Sekonic.com. Phil offers his advice on why you should use a handheld light meter and provides some insight into the various light meters that are available. Phil also compares numerous features that are available on today’s light meters, including analog vs. LCD displays and wireless technologies that make using light meters that much more convenient.
For more great insights, including an in-depth discussion of the advantages of using a light meter, check out the full video on PhotographyTalk.
Book of the Week
This week’s must-read photography book comes from the editors of Popular Photography. How to Photograph Everything: 500 Beautiful Photos and the Skills You Need to Take Them offers readers a straightforward approach to capturing breathtaking subjects.
The book includes advice for photographers of all skill levels regarding composition, technique, and gear. Cutting-edge technical guidance and image editing tips from professional photographers makes for a highly informative read. The breathtaking images included in the book make for a nice treat as well.
With over 40 chapters on popular photography topics, How to Photograph Everything quite literally teaches you how to photograph just about everything! The book is currently on sale at Amazon for $26.14.
EyeEm’s New Algorithm Makes Uploading and Sharing Photos a Breeze
This week’s installment of Gear Review isn’t so much about gear as it is about a new service that could change the way we share and organize photos.
EyeEm, the photo-sharing website, recently announced its EyeVision technology, which sports an algorithm that automatically applies keywords and aesthetic rankings to images.
The automatic keywording is a slick feature for sure. Members of the EyeEm Market (photographers that sell their images on the site) simply upload their images via EyeEm's web engine and EyeVision will almost instantaneously apply appropriate keywords for both objects (i.e. sun, man, dog) in the photograph as well as concepts (i.e. alone, exciting, carefree) the photos represent.
Additionally, EyeVision uses two million measurements to determine each image’s aesthetic quality. The idea is that EyeVision will help bring the best photos to the forefront and allow them to stand out from the crowd. Essentially, EyeVision is for photos what Google is for websites, automatically ranking each one for quality and content, and making each image immediately searchable.
Read more about EyeVision and sign up for early access by visiting the EyeEm blog.