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February 12th, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography & Filmmaking

Mathrong | Flickr

Mathrong | Flickr

“That I can read and be happy while I am reading, is a great blessing.”
Anthony Trollope

The Photo Industry’s Atomic SecretImaging Resource

Does MoMA Even Know of This Great Photographer? –  Hyper Allergic

When Does Travel Photography Become ExploitationVirtual Wayfarer

Photographers vs. Pollution in Steel CityLens

The Playboy Centerfold That Helped Create the JPEGThe Atlantic

How Sundance’s First VR Residency Came to BeThe Verge

From Illustrations to iPhones, a History of Fashion PhotographyCNN

“For Politicians, the Flash Is Like Crack”Time

Telling Stories on a Camera or a Computer?Filmmaker

What Happens When Someone Fakes Your Instagram AccountWired

On Street Photography and Social MediaCreative Boom

Want more reads? Check out past Weekend Reads here.

February 9th, 2016

Why Color Calibrate? Outdoor Photographer David Cardinal Weighs In

Sponsored by Datacolor

© David Cardinal

© David Cardinal
















As an award-winning travel and nature photographer, David Cardinal knows a thing or two about color. Some days, he’s up at sunrise on the African savanna to capture a pack of lions hunting. Other days, he’s wandering the Bogyoke Market in Yangon, Myanmar, photographing intricate fabrics and vibrant spices. Making sure that the colors in his final printed images will precisely match the colors he is seeing on his screen is important to Cardinal, and his display-calibration system of choice is the Datacolor Spyder5.

Cardinal says the Spyder5 is cost-effective and both easy to use and to travel with. He explains: “[This latest version] includes a counterweight that doubles as a snap-on cap, making it easy for me pack anywhere.” In just five minutes, the Spyder5, which is the latest in Datacolor’s world-class display-calibration tools, easily calibrates laptops and desktop monitors for accurate color, gamma, white point and grey balance so that images stay consistent from editing to printing.

Monitor calibration, according to Cardinal, is one of the most important parts of your workflow. “It’s crucial,” he says. “I don’t see how you can properly work on your images without calibrating.” To help you properly and precisely work on your images, Spyder’s patented, 7-detector optical engine has been redesigned to deliver up to a 55-percent improvement in low luminance accuracy, providing more accurate shadow detail and smoother gradients. In addition to this, the Spyder5PRO and Spyder5ELITE contain a room light sensor, which measures the room’s lighting conditions and alerts you if there’s been a change among the ambient light levels (Spyder5PRO: three room light levels / Spyder5ELITE: five room light levels) —this allows you to either modify your calibration settings or adjust your room lighting, further enabling optimal color accuracy in your images.


© David Cardinal

© David Cardinal


Cardinal cannot stress the importance of color accuracy enough. On the photo tours and safaris he leads, he says there are always photographers who don’t understand the importance of calibration and are disappointed when they compare their final images with his: The colors in Cardinal’s images look vibrant and true-to-life, while the colors in theirs look flat or inaccurate.

Cardinal shows participants a “Before and After” evaluation of their own images using the Spyder5, and he says it encourages them to begin calibrating their own display. “It [makes] a huge difference.”

The problem, according to Cardinal, is that most monitors are inherently calibrated to make software like Microsoft PowerPoint look great, but are not specifically tailored to work as well for photography. With its Display Analysis feature, the Spyder5PRO and Spyder5ELITE allow you to compare color, brightness, contrast, gamut, tone response and white point across all of your various monitors. This is key, because if you are unaware of differences in characteristics of your displays, you could unknowingly make adjustments on your photos that will ultimately look bad when you print.


Spyder5ELITE's Display Analysis.

Spyder5ELITE’s Display Analysis feature.














The best part about the Spyder5, Cardinal maintains, is how easy it is to use. Whereas other colorimeters require technical know-how and a lot of time, the Spyder5 is designed to make the entire process painless. The default settings are so good, according to Cardinal, that he rarely needs to customize. “[When calibrating,] people used to have to answer a bunch of complicated questions they didn’t understand. Datacolor has put so much work into the software that it takes care of everything,” Cardinal says. “In the time it takes me to grab a coffee, it calibrates everything perfectly.” And, when you’re trying to make it out of the hotel room in time to catch the sunrise over a remote Buddhist temple, every second counts.


Datacolor Spyder5 is available in three versions (EXPRESS, PRO, ELITE) ranging from $129 – $279.

Learn More:

January 22nd, 2016

Great Weekend Reads in Photography and Filmmaking

Kate Ter Haar | Flickr

Kate Ter Haar | Flickr

“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” – P.J. O’Rourke.

The Blind Eye and the Vision MachineDisphotic

Why Do We Think It’s OK to Devalue Photographers?Resource Magazine

Images of Starving Children Can Still Shock Us into ActionThe Guardian

10 Things We Learned from the 2016 Oscar NominationsRolling Stone

How Sundance Is Pushing into the FutureThe Verge

Instagram Is Fostering the Next Generation of Photojournalists Artsy

Revisiting a National Geographic Cover Girl – Proof

This Photographer Sold a Potato Picture for $1 MillionSF Gate

“The Grain of Super 16 Gives the Film Another Layer”Filmmaker

Find past Weekend Reads here.

January 11th, 2016

Spotted @ CES 2016: Your Photos on Coffee

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 1.34.25 PMLet’s face it, there’s no greater way to consume photography than with coffee. And there’s no better way to consume coffee than with your photography on it.

That’s the premise behind the Ripple Maker, a $1,000 coffee maker that “prints” images and text using coffee extract and the foam atop your latte or cappuccino. The company hit CES with a new app that lets users upload their own personal images to a Ripple for printing/consumption.

The app is free and available now for iOS devices. An Android version is due in February. The app lets you send images from your camera roll, with the ability to edit, scale and add text before it’s printed. You can also select from the Ripple content library if your own images aren’t cutting it. The app tracks your location so is able to alert you to any nearby coffee shops that are using the Ripple machine.

Unfortunately, you can’t own your own Ripple Maker. The company that produces it, Steam CC, is only selling them to commercial coffee shops, restaurants and hotels at the moment. That said, you can submit your own images for Ripple’s content library and be memorialized, however briefly, on foam.

Follow PDN’s CES 2016 coverage here.

January 7th, 2016

CES 2016: Slimmer SSD Storage Coming Soon to a Gear Bag Near You

While CES has plenty of surprises (like a buzz-generating Super 8 camera), it’s a given that we’ll be treated to new storage devices that are slimmer and faster than last year’s models. Not that we’re complaining!

Here’s a look at some of the new drives and memory cards announced at CES 2016:


SanDisk added a water resistant portable SSD drive to its lineup.  The 480GB Extreme 510 Portable SSD is splash and dust proof and its rubber bumper protects it from impact. You’ll enjoy transfer speeds up to 430MB/s as well as SanDisk’s SecureAccess encryption software. It retails for $250.

128GB-microSDXC-1800x-with-reader-adapterLexar introduced new, high-speed microSD cards for use in 4K action cameras and drones.

The Professional 1800x microSDHC and microSDXC UHS-II cards deliver read transfer speeds up to 270MBps thanks to Ultra High Speed II (U3 technology). The cards will ship with a USB 3.0 reader that delivers data transfers nine times faster than using the USB cable included with most cameras, Lexar said.

The cards will be sold in  in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities for $80, $135 and $270, respectively, and include a lifetime copy of Image Rescue software. They are available for purchase now.

Lexar also introduced a portable SSD drive that’s compatible with its Professional Workflow system. The drive boasts transfer speeds of 450MB/s and will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities for $150 and $250, respectively. The drive will feature an external LED capacity meter.


Samsung released a new portable SSD drive, the T3, in capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB. According to Samsung, the petite drive will be “smaller than an average business card.” It will offer transfer speeds of 450MB/s and is housed in a shock-resistant metal casing capable of surviving a 2 meter drop. It connects via USB Type-C and offers AES 256-bit hardware encryption.

The T3 ships in February. Pricing wasn’t announced.

See Also:

Seagate Launches World’s Thinnest 2TB Portable Drive at CES 2016

How Long Will Digital Photos Last? 


January 6th, 2016

Documentary Photographers: Contest Deadlines Approaching Fast

Marzell Williamson plays the tuba, by Jerry Wolford, winner of Photojournalist of the Year honors at last year's Best of Photojournalism competition. ©News & Record/Jerry Wolford Photojournalism 2015 Ph

Marzell Williamson plays the tuba, Greensboro, NC. Jerry Wolford won Photojournalist of the Year honors for a portfolio including this image, at last year’s Best of Photojournalism competition. ©News & Record/Jerry Wolford

Winter is the height of the photojournalism contest season, and entry deadlines are fast approaching for a number of international competitions. Among them are:

The World Press Photo entry deadline is January 13, although entrants must register by January 7. (Multimedia entries are due by  January 20.) There is no entry fee, but participants must provide proof of their professional status.  This year’s contest is subject to a new code of ethics and strict new rules about photo manipulation, as well as other rule changes. See the contest website for details. Photo contest winners will be announced February 18. The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2015 will receive a cash prize of 10,000 EUR, and winners in all categories will be invited to travel to Amersterdam for an awards ceremony in April at the expense of World Press Photo organizers.

Entries for the 73rd POYi competition are due by January 15. The competition includes multiple categories in photojournalism, multimedia, and visual editing divisions. The entry fee is $50. Prizes are primarily bragging rights and exposure, but winners of several premier categories also receive modest cash awards–$1,000 for Photographer of the Year and $500 for Newspaper Photographer of the Year, for instance. Judging takes place from February 8-25 at the Missouri School of Journalism, which sponsors the contest. Details and rules are on the POYi website.

Photo entries for the Eyes of History competition are due January 15. The competition is sponsored by the White News Photographers Association. The entry fee is $67. The competition has other divisions with different entry due dates: video entries are due January 29, multimedia entries are due January 31, and student entries are due February 1. The entry fees for those divisions also vary. All divisions except the student division are open to WHNP members only. See the WHNP website for complete details.

Best of Photojournalism entries are due by January 29. The contest, which is sponsored by National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), is open to NPPA members and non-members alike. There is no entry fee, and there are no monetary prizes (just bragging rights and plaques). Like POYi, BOP includes still photo, multimedia and editing divisions, plus a video division. Contest details and rules are available on the NPPA website. No date has been set for announcing winners, but winners for past competitions have been announced in March or April.

The deadline for entering PDN’s Photo Annual competition is February 3. In addition to photojournalism/documentary and video/multimedia categories, the competition categories include: advertising, editorial, photo books, sports, self-promotion, stock photography, personal work and student work. The entry fee is $50 for single images, and $60 for each series of images. Cash awards total more than $20,000. Contest information and rules are available at the PDN Photo Annual website.

The International Prize for Contemporary African Photography  (POPCAP) is accepting entries until February 7. The prize is for work about Africa or the diaspora of an African country. Entrants must submit a single series or story consisting of 10 to 25 images. There is no entry fee. The prizes include an artists’ residency. Finalists will be announced February 29, and five winners will be announced March 7. Past winners include Zed Nelson, Léonard Pongo, Anoek Steketee, Patrick Willocq, and Cristina de Middel. Full details and rules are available at the POPCAP website.

Entries for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by Natural History Museum in London, are due by February 25. “Judges are looking for outstanding images that raise awareness of nature’s beauty and fragility, while also championing the highest ethical standards in wildlife photography,” according to the contest website. Entrants may submit up to 25 images. The entry fee is £30.00 ($44). Top prize is £10,000 ($14,675) for Best Single Image, but the competition awards monetary prizes in a number of categories. Winners will be notified May 13. Past winners include Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols, Greg du Toit, and Paul Nicklen. Full contest details are available at the WPY website.

After Staged-Photo Debacle, World Press Changes Rules

Daniel Berehulak Wins Reportage Photographer of the Year Honors at 2015 POYi Competition

Brad Vest Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo of the Year 2014 Prize (PDN subscription required)

January 5th, 2016

Nikon Unveils D5, D500 and New 4K 360-Degree VR Camera


Following a brief internet tease, Nikon revealed the much sought-after specs for its newest flagship full frame DSLR, the D5. The camera checks off a lot of boxes including super-high ISO, 4K video recording and a burst mode of 12 fps with tracking AF engaged.

The company also pulled back the curtain on its new flagship crop sensor camera, the D500, and marked its entry into the action camera market with a new 360-degree camera.

But first, the big gun.

Here are the D5’s highlights:

    • The camera features a newly developed 20-megapixel CMOS sensor with a native ISO range of 100-102,400 with extended settings for ISO 50-3,280,000 (not a typo!).
    • EXPEED 5 Image processor
    •  4K videos recording (3840x2160p30) with clean HDMI out
    • 153 AF points, including 99-point cross sensor and 15 points functional at f/8 plus a new AF processor
    • Continuous shooting at 12 fps with AF tracking up to 200 frames when shooting 15-bit lossless RAW
    • focusing down to -4 EV illumination
    • a 3.2-inch, 2.36 million dot touchscreen display
    • dual memory card slots
    • 100 field of view through the viewfinder with a magnification of .72 times
    • USB 3.0 connection
    • Battery EN-EL18a


The D5 will be sold in a body with two XQD card slots or a model with two CF card slots. Both models are due in March for a body-only price of $6,500. Nikon says the XQD cards will deliver image transfer speeds 35 percent faster than CF cards. (More images of the D5 are below.)


Nikon also debuted a new flagship DX (crop sensor) camera in the D500. The highlights:

  • a  20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor with a native  ISO range of 100-51,200, expandable to 50-1,640,000
  • 10 fps burst shooting (up to 79 shots in 14-bit uncompressed RAW) with AF and AE engaged
  • Same AF system as the D5 with a 153-point AF array that fills the frame from side to side
  • A 3.2-inch touch screen display
  • A dual memory card slot for SD cards and XQD cards
  • Updated SnapBridge technology for easier wirelessly photo transfers via Bluetooth.
  • 4K recording at 3840x2160p30

It will ship in March with a body-only price of $2,000.



There were fewer details on Nikon’s entry into the 4K camera market. The company plans to call the lineup KeyMission with the first camera, the KeyMission 360. It will offer a pair of image sensors/lenses on either side of the device to capture and stitch a single 360-degree still or 4K video. It will be waterproof to a depth of 100 feet and shock resistant. Electronic VR will keep things steady.

Nikon will have more details closer to the spring, when the camera is set to launch.

nikon_18-55_af-p-550x316Nikon also added a pair of DX format 3.1x zoom lenses, the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G.

According to Nikon, these are the first “AF-P” lenses for Nikon digital SLR cameras, which incorporate stepping motors to drive autofocusing. They offer retractable lens barrels and two aspherical lens elements. The AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR also features vibration reduction good for a CIPA-rated 4 stops of compensation.

The lenses accept 55m filters. Prices weren’t announced.


Finally, Nikon released a new speedlight, the SB-5,000. It’s the first Nikon model that operates via radio frequency without requiring a direct line-of-sight. It will have a range of 98 feet.  When paired with the WR-R10 and the D5 or the D500, this speedlight can control up to six groups / 18 speedlights. The flash will offer a programmable “i” button for access to frequently used settings.

It will ship in March for $600.


January 5th, 2016

Seagate Unveils Worlds Thinnest 2TB Portable Drive

Unlike the rest of those early January gym goers huffing on the treadmill, Seagate’s newest portable hard drive can already fit it its skinny clothes–and yours as well.

The company’s new Backup Plus Ultra Slim external drive, introduced at CES, measures in at 9.6mm thick, 50 percent thinner than rival 2TB drives, Seagate claims.

The drive includes Seagate Dashboard software for backing up your laptop or desktop. It also includes 200GB worth of free storage on Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud for two years.

It will come in either a golden or platinum metal finish. Prices haven’t been finalized but the drives are said to ship in the first quarter.


Seagate-owned Lacie made its own CES introduction, albeit it one with a bit more girth.

The new Lacie Chrome desktop storage device features a pair of 500GB SSD drives configured in RAID 0. Together, the drives and USB 3.1 connection can deliver transfer speeds up to 940MB/s or, as Lacie put it, the ability to ingest two hours of 4K GoPro footage in just over a minute.

The Chrome uses the new USB-C connection (learn about USB-C and what it means for photographers here)  and includes a standard USB 3.0 (Type-A) adapter cable if you don’t have the newest USB hardware.

The Chrome enclosure is built from solid chromed zinc and is hand assembled, then chromed to a mirror polish.

The 1TB drive will retail for $1,100 and ships this quarter.


LaCie also unveiled a new line of Porsche Designed drives with the new USB-C connector (and an included Type-A connector cable). The drives will be sold in both mobile and desktop varieties and feature all-aluminum enclosures that’s scratch resistant and dissipates heat.

When the drives are connected to a power supply, they’ll be able to charge any connected laptop over USB, allowing users to both charge their computer and access the drive’s contents simultaneously.

The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive will be available in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities starting at $110. The LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive comes in 4TB, 5TB and 8TB capacities starting at $210. The drives will be available starting in March.


Follow PDN’s CES 2016 coverage here.


January 4th, 2016

Photographer Sues Richard Prince Over Instagram Rip-offs… At Last

"Rastafarian Smoking a Joint" ©Donald Graham

“Rastafarian Smoking a Joint” ©Donald Graham

Photographer Donald Graham has sued appropriation artist Richard Prince and his gallerist Lawrence Gagosian for copyright infringement of a photo that appeared without Graham’s authorization on Instagram, and then in a gallery exhibition of Prince’s appropriation work.

Prince drew public complaints and vitriol last year for unauthorized reproduction, display and sale of a series of 67 x 55-inch inkjet prints of Instagram “screen saves” of images by other artists and photographers. But Graham is the first to sue.

The Los Angeles-based photographer filed suit in federal court in New York on December 30, alleging unauthorized use of a 1996 photograph (shown here) of a Rastafarian man lighting a joint. Graham alleges in his claim that a third party posted his photograph on Instagram without permission, and that Prince copied and enlarged that unauthorized photo and displayed it as part of his 2014 “New Portraits” exhibition.

Graham’s complaint calls Prince out for “his blatant disregard for copyright law” and goes on to say that “Mr. Prince consistently and repeatedly has incorporated others’ works” into his own works, without permission, credit or compensation. (more…)

December 23rd, 2015

Great Photography and Filmmaking Reads for Your (Extended) Weekend

Tom Moscardo | Flickr

Tom Moscardo | Flickr

We’ve got a nice long weekend ahead of us and we hope you’ve carved out a few minutes to catch up on some reading. Here are a few pieces that caught our eye this week.

The Small, Stylish Comeback of Steampunk

Frederick Douglass Knew the Power of PhotographyBaltimore Sun

Slow Photojournalism: The Rise of Long-Term AssignmentsBBC

Photographers on the Downside of Going Viral Feature Shoot

Virtual Reality: Should You Believe the Hype?PDN