For our January issue, which was dedicated to innovation, we asked some photographers: What innovation do you wish someone would invent? See their responses below and add your wishes in the comments.
Udi Tirosh, editor of DIYPhotography.net
Tirosh says cameras are evolving in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. “They are no longer confined to a rectangle form-factor and they are no longer limited to delivering a single static image. We are seeing 3-D cameras, high-def cameras, wearable cameras, action cameras and more. I think that cameras will end up in all shapes and forms delivering images and data that we have not thought about yet. Perhaps mind controlled, perhaps delivering imagery and sensory data directly into our brains.”
David Frank, video journalist at The New York Times
As a video shooter, Frank says he likes using DSLRs to capture video but says he wishes he didn’t require “add ons.”
“Probably my greatest desire is to have a [Canon] 5D-type camera that I can focus as easily in video mode as it does in still mode—and to be able to do this easily while recording—through the lens, not via a display screen even with an magnifying eyepiece attached.” He says his second wish would be a device that allows “recording audio easier and cleaner without having to add on so much stuff. Third would likely be a really good shotgun mic to go straight into the camera (not through juicedLink or Beachtek).” Finally, he says, he’d like the headphone output levels higher on his Canon EOS 5D Mark III increased. “Even putting these levels all the way up, it’s still too low to hear very well—especially for aging ears.”
Bil Zelman, advertising photographer
“If Santa could make me any toy imaginable this year it would be an L-series Canon 65mm 1.2 lens (or a Nikon one if I swung that way).
“I use a 50mm for most of my portraits. Many people choose an 85mm as it’s a more ‘beautiful’ perspective with smaller nose, etc. It’s a 70 percent jump in focal length between the two most popular portrait lenses and I’d shell out a few grand on a fast, in-between-length 65mm in a heartbeat. (There is a 60mm f/2.8 macro but f/2.8 is too slow for most people).”
He is also craving a device to relieve what he calls “photographers’ tennis elbow.” He says, “A ton of shooters have it. I lift a seven-to-ten-pound camera sideways to my eye 300,000 times a year and my schedule makes a three-month ‘time off healing window’ nearly impossible.” He’s so serious about the need for such a device, in fact, that he’s begun work on inventing one.
Isa Leshko, fine-art photographer
Leshko wishes someone would invent a website that helps pair corporate and nonprofit institutions seeking to fund artists with artists seeking funding. “Most institutions don’t give money to individuals and instead fund only institutions, which would be one challenge in implementing such a service,” she says. “But, perhaps the organization running the service could also provide fiscal sponsorship for participating artists.” She adds, “There is only a relatively small pool of grants that are awarded to fine-art photographers. I personally would love help finding additional sources of funding that do not involve crowd sourcing. I know I am not alone in this wish.”
Dom Romney, photographer and motor sports specialist
“It would be great to see better heat haze technology to help cut down on soft shots due to heat.” (Editor’s note: Heat haze is image distortion caused by air temperature differentials, which bend light. Common examples are distortions caused by the exhaust heat of a jet or racecar engine, or heated air rising from a hot surface such as pavement. The distortion is especially pronounced in images shot with long lenses.)
Nigel Harniman, advertising and automotive photographer
As a car photographer, Harniman often has to incorporate his images with CGI (computer-generated imagery). When we asked him what innovation he wished to see, he said he’d like a means to work with less CGI.
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