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January 15th, 2016

Great Photography and Filmmaking Reads for Your Weekend

Barta IV | Flickr

Barta IV | Flickr

There were plenty of great reads published this week–hopefully you can block off a quiet hour or two to enjoy them.

Gregory Crewdson on Being an Art Photographer TodayVogue

Annie Leibovitz on Shooting Rock StarsBiography

Meet the Man Who Photographed David Bowie for 40 YearsVice

The Challenges of Managing an Archive of FilmEmulsive 

How Photographers Find and Define MeaningRangefinder

Trying to Reinvent a Foundering Movie BusinessNew Yorker

Who Controls Your Facebook Feed?Slate

“Making a Murder” and the Shift in Documentary FilmmakingReview Journal

A Stunning Portfolio Inspired by Frank Lloyd WrightCurbed

Find past Weekend Reads here.

January 14th, 2016

How Nikon Plans to Make Transferring Images to Your Phone Easier Than Ever


While the D5 and D500 understandably took top billing, Nikon made another announcement at CES that’s worth highlighting.

That news is an update to the company’s SnapBridge wireless image transfer technology.

The new SnapBridge takes advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless technology designed to maximize power consumption for tiny connected devices (the so-called “Internet of Things”). With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), both your smartphone and your Nikon camera will stay connected, allowing image transfers from camera-to-phone to occur automatically and in real time.

Unlike the original SnapBridge, a user won’t have to manually initiate an image transfer to a mobile device–those will now happen as you shoot. You won’t lose Internet access on your mobile device while you shoot, either, so you can post images to social media as they populate your camera roll. Basically, BLE keeps the connection between camera and smartphone live and when it’s time to actually start transferring data, the connection switches to standard Bluetooth for better bandwidth, then back to BLE when you’re done.

You’ll only need to configure you camera and mobile device once, then it will be automatically recognized after that. You can pair up to five devices to a single camera.

To take advantage of the new SnapBridge, you’ll need to have the free SnapBridge app (iOS and Android) on your phone. The application allows you to key in image info (copyright, text and logos) as well remotely view your scene and activate your camera’s shutter.

By default, SnapBridge sends images as 2-megapixel JPEGs to your device, but you can also opt to wirelessly send full-sized JPEGs to your phone/tablet as well. It also takes time and location data from your mobile device and syncs it to the camera, so your camera settings are always aligned with the local time zone.

Nikon said that the updated SnapBridge technology will be rolled out to “almost every” Nikon camera in 2016, starting with the D500.

Get all the photo and filmmaking news from CES 2016.


January 12th, 2016

Twitter Will Now Autoplay Periscope Broadcasts

twitter periscope

Photographers like Chase Jarvis and Jeremy Cowart have been major proponents of the Twitter-owned live streaming app Periscope, using it to reach and educate their followers.

Today, Twitter said that it would deepen the integration of the two service by bringing Periscope broadcasts — both live and replays — directly into Tweets.

These broadcasts will only be viewable in Twitter’s iOS app to start and will autoplay when the user scrolls over them (whereas before, they had only be accessible through a link). A Periscope broadcast can be expanded to full screen by tapping on it, where a user will also view comments and hearts. You don’t need the Periscope app or a Periscope account to view these broadcasts in Twitter’s iOS app.

Periscope has seen over 100 million live broadcasts since its launch.

Read More:

How Photographers Are Using Periscope

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

December 29th, 2015

Find Your Most-Liked Instagram Photos of the Year [Update: Maybe Not]

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.02.15 AM

[Update: A few readers have pointed out that the site is returning spam links or attempting to download malware. We didn’t experience any malware warnings on our Mac and didn’t find the site in BadWare clearing house–though it’s very new and may not yet be listed. We also sent it through VirusTotal, a site that runs URL scans through a number of different malware detectors from a variety of services. Their results found only one service returning a malware warning and over 25 claiming it was clean. Either way, we’ve sent the site to a few malware researchers to learn more. If you’re dying to know your top Instagram posts, maybe you do have to do it the old fashion way…. ]

As the year winds down, thoughts naturally turn to making lists and meticulously cataloging the year that was.

Avid Instagrammers could take the time to scroll through a year’s worth of posts, but this being the 21st Century, far better to let algorithms do it for you. A new site — 2015bestnine — digs through your year in posts and generates a collage of your nine most-liked images.

You simply enter in your Instagram user name and wait for the results (while you wait, you can peruse the site’s interesting grammatical choices). The images will be ordered by rank, with your most-liked appearing in the upper left hand corner.

Here’s an example of what it looks like from Instagram’s most followed personality.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.02.31 AM

Read More:

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

December 8th, 2015

Twitter Will No Longer Crop Your Photos

Social media platforms are slowly coming around to the idea that original aspect ratios are a good thing. Today, Twitter announced it was no longer cropping photos posted to its network.


Twitter is also changing how it handles multi-image displays. Here’s the new look:


Read More:

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

December 2nd, 2015

Flickr Releases Top Images, Cameras of 2015

As a repository of billions upon billions of images, it takes something to stand out on Flickr. Sometimes it’s a unique vision. Sometimes, skillful post processing or a captivating subject. And sometimes, you just need to build a spaceship and launch it into orbit.

According to Flickr, the image below, from SpaceX, was the top image of 2015, a designation earned “by an algorithm that calculates a combination of social and interactive elements, including how often the photo had been faved and viewed, among numerous others.”

SpaceX Photos | Flickr

SpaceX Photos | Flickr

SpaceX is the private space company founded by Elon Musk. The company joined Flickr in 2014 and was one of the first to use the service’s public domain licensing option when it became available.

So if someone asks you how to get a top image on Flickr, you could respond “rocket science.” (Sorry.)

You can browse Flickr’s full list of top photos of 2015 here.

Flickr also released its most popular camera data. No surprises here:

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 3.30.27 PM

What was perhaps more surprising was that for all the talk of mirrorless cameras taking the photo market by storm, mirrorless cameras still lag DSLRs on Flickr by a fairly large margin.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 3.30.39 PM

December 2nd, 2015

Parents Are Naming Their Children After Instagram Filters


Many photographers take a dim view of Instagram filters. Many parents, evidently, don’t.

According to Baby Center, parents naming their children after Instagram filters is a thing. Names such as Lux, Juno, Reyes, Ludwig, Amaro, Valencia, Willow are trending:

The Instagram-inspired name Lux is up 75 percent on our list of baby boy names, and it’s slightly up on our list of baby girl names too. (Though technically not a filter, the photo-editing tool balances exposure, adds brightness, and makes images pop.)

One newer filter, Ludwig, jumped 42 percent on our boys’ name list. Other popular filter names for boys include Amaro (up 26 percent), Reyes (up 10 percent), Hudson (up 4 percent), and Kelvin (up 3 percent).

For baby girls, the name Juno leaped 30 percent in popularity. (The Juno filter, introduced in 2015, makes outdoor photos especially gorgeous.) Valencia, which gives pictures a soft, warm glow, rose 26 percent on our girls’ name list. Willow gained 13 percent.

Far be it from us to bemoan a parent’s right to choose their child’s name and there are certainly worse baby names floating around out there. And it’s heartening to see that photography is seeping so profoundly into our culture… right?

Read More:

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

November 24th, 2015

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?



That, according to social media analytics firm Locowise, is the optimum number of hashtags an Instagram post should have to earn the most engagement.

Locowise derived that figure by examining over 1,500 active Instagram accounts that posted 135,000+ posts in the 3-month period and had 300+ million followers combined. Of those, nearly 14 percent of all posts had no hashtags, while those with three had the highest level of engagement. However, those with no hashtags had just a slightly lower engagement rate than those with three.

Indeed, Locowise finds engagement rates decline as you tack on additional hashtags above three.

On Twitter, the firm found that tweets with no hashtags outperformed those with hashtags. This despite the fact that we have Twitter to thank for hash-tagging in the first place.

The moral of the story? A hashtag or three will help you attract eyeballs on Instagram, but not Twitter.

Read More:

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

November 16th, 2015

New Services Helps You Automate Photo Posting on Social Media

screenshotOne of the key challenges in growing a social media presence is keeping various social media outlets fed with content. A variety of services, like Buffer and HootSuite, are available to automate Facebook and Twitter posts, but a new service dubbed PhotoBuffer promises to tackle a variety of photo-friendly social sites.

With PhotoBuffer, you can upload a single image and automatically schedule a posting to Facebook (profile and pages); Twitter, 500px, Flickr and Tumblr (no Instagram yet).

The service is broken out into tiers. A free tier allows you to queue up to 10 posts to PhotoBuffer with a file limit of 10MB per image. Facebook posting isn’t available in the free tier and a PhotoBuffer message will be attached to images you share.

To remove the branding and expand your buffer to 20 images at 15MB in size, you’ll have to pay about $5/month (pricing is listed in Euros at the moment). A $10/month tier provides Facebook support, up to 30 photos in your queue and a 20MB file size limit. Step up to $20/month and your buffer grows to 50 photos with a 35MB file size limit and the ability to add your own custom text on the bottom of each share. Finally, a $40/month tier allows for an unlimited photo queue, 50MB file size limit and customized messages with each share.

There’s no contact info to speak of on the PhotoBuffer site and no terms of service yet, though when we reached out through an online chat on the service, we were told one is coming soon and will be geared around a simple theme: “the photos are yours and we will use them only to post them on your photo account.”

Given the recent contretemps with InstaAgent, photographers may want to wait a bit until PhotoBuffer has its legal ducks in a row. Still, it sounds interesting.

Via: Hacker News

Read More:

Using This Instagram App? Delete It

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

November 12th, 2015

If You’re Using This Instagram App, Delete It

InstaAgent is a popular app that helps Instagram users track who’s visiting their Instagram account. It’s also, according to a investigation by a developer at Peppersoft, malware.

Evidently, InstaAgent is storing Instagram users’ passwords and usernames and sending them in plain text to a remote server. As MacRumors Julie Clover reports, the app is “also using the credentials to log into accounts and post unauthorized images. Instagram does not permit third-party apps to upload photos to user accounts.”

Since the revelation, InstaAgent has been pulled from both the iOS and Google Play app stores. If it’s on your mobile device, you should delete it ASAP and change your Instagram password.

Read More:

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram