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April 15th, 2016

Instagram Dives Deeper Into Video


Another day, another feature update at Instagram.

Today it’s video. Specifically, Instagram is updating the Explore tab in its app to promote videos. After you update the app, you’ll find a personalized “Videos You Might Like” channel that curates videos from across Instagram into a single location.

The Explore tab will also now have “Featured” channels with content grouped by specific topics. When you click on a video channel it will autoplay all the videos without looping, so you can binge watch one after the other without ever having to tire out your finger with excessive swiping.

Instagram’s Explore tab works a bit like Pandora, the Internet radio station. You “train” Explore by expressing preferences for the content being displayed and it’s a chance to be exposed to Instagram content even if you don’t follow the creator.

Don’t Miss:

How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram?

How Photographers With Huge Followings Grew Their Social Networks

This Is the Most Liked Photo on Instagram

The Colors Prized By Instagram’s Top Photographers

April 8th, 2016

Video Pick: What Does It Mean to Be a Conservation Photographer?

The International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) recently launched a YouTube channel with three educational videos that provide insights into how conservation photographers approach their work: “What is Conservation Photography?”, “On being a “Conservation Photographer,” and “Conservation Photography and Science.” ILCP will also post videos of talks at their conservation photography symposium, WiLDSPEAK, to the channel.

In the three-minute video “On Being a Conservation Photographer,” iLCP fellows talk about the importance of connecting with the science community and working with conservation scientists in the field; about how aspiring conservation photographers can start by telling stories close to home; and about the value of dedication and long-term commitment to a particular subject. Here’s what the iLCP fellows say about their work:

We Are Animals: Nick Brandt’s Unique Approach to Photographing Wildlife Habitat Destruction
Gary Braasch, Climate Change Photographer, Dies While Snorkeling on Great Barrier Reef
How Ami Vitale Built Support for Her Long-Term Photo Project (PDN Subscriber login required)

April 7th, 2016

Here’s What Happens When You Open and Save a JPEG 500 Times

Back at the dawn of digital photography, torture-testing JPEG images to see how much quality was lost after multiple edits/saves was something of a thing. The JPEG, after all, is a lossy compression format that sheds information to keep file sizes manageable.

Jon Sneyers resurrects the genre with this quick video demonstrating the effect of opening and re-saving an image 500 times across several compression formats (JPEG, WebP and BPG).

As you’ll see from the video, some compression formats hold up better than others, but none retain their original form as you increase the number of saves. Some undergo an oddly memorizing metamorphosis into abstract art.

It’s pretty clear, though, that the JPEG format is the best of the bunch when it comes to retaining its original form after repeated saves. Now, why you’d want to open and re-save a JPEG 500 times is another question…

[Hat tip: DL Cade]

Read More:

Take a Walk Through Kodak’s Tech Vault

Hidden History of the Zoom Lens

A Brief History of Long-Lens Gotchas

March 29th, 2016

Instagram Videos Will Soon Be Longer


With a vocal segment of its user base still smarting over changes to its feed, Instagram announced a new feature update that should be a bit more welcome: longer videos.

Coming “soon” Instagram will support videos up to 60 seconds in length. For iOS users, Instagram is also restoring the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll. (Here’s how.)

The iOS update with multi-clip functionality is available now. Longer videos are available for some accounts today and will be gradually rolled out to every user in the coming months.

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

The Colors Prized By Instagram’s Top Photographers

March 24th, 2016

How Alfred Hitchcock Blocks a Scene

Blocking a scene–harmonizing the movement of actors in relation to the camera–is the core of a director’s job. In the hands of a master, this on-camera choreography is a powerful, yet subtle, storytelling device.

Few did it better than Alfred Hitchcock.

In this video, Evan Puschak (aka the Nerdwriter) artfully deconstructs a scene from Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo and shows how the motion and positions of the actors set the plot in motion.

March 16th, 2016

Ansel Adams, an Appreciation

We live in an era where photography is so pervasive and ephemeral that apps get multi-billion dollar valuations on the promise of deleting your images.

It’s a state of affairs that would no doubt flummox Ansel Adams, who saw in photography the possibility for “endless horizons of meaning” (today, it’s endless horizons of memes).

Readers are no doubt intimately familiar with Adams’ life and work, but we still found this short video appreciation of the master enjoyable. It details Adams’ growth as a photographer, his technique and his legacy in an era of image overload.


Read More:
Explore the History of Photography in Kodak’s Vault

Hidden History of the Zoom Lens

A Brief History of Long-Lens Gotchas


March 16th, 2016

Here’s How Panasonic Will Improve the GH4


Panasonic is rolling out some new firmware for its flagship mirrorless camera, the GH4.

Version 2.5 of the camera’s firmware will be free of charge and available at the end of March at this link.

Among the new features it will unlock is Post Focus, which lets users select a focus point on images after shooting on the camera’s display.

The GH4 will also gain access to Panasonic’s 4K Photo Modes. A staple on recent Panasonic cameras, 4K Photo lets users isolate 8-megapixel still images from 4K video. It’s available in three modes include a pre-burst, which snaps 30 frames before and 30 frames after the shutter is pressed, a 4K burst mode, which records indefinitely until you take your finger off the shutter, and finally a 4K burst start/stop mode which starts recording at the press of the shutter and stops recording with a second press of the shutter.

Finally, the camera will now support consecutive shooting with flash burst, provided the flash supports continuous emission. Supported Panasonic flashes include the DMW-FL580L, DMW-FL360L, DMW-FL500, DMW-FL360 and DMW-FL220.

Read More

These 4K Cameras Won’t Break Your Budget

11 Mirrorless Marvels

What It’s Like to Shoot Sony’s A7R II

8 High-Powered Cinema Cameras for Your Next Film

March 3rd, 2016

Stanley Kubrick’s Favorite Lenses


Wiki Commons

Many filmmakers and photographers don’t like to talk about gear, but if Joe Dunton is to be believed, the late Stanley Kubrick was a major gear head.

According Dunton (at turns a video engineer, VP at Panavision and frequent Kubrick collaborator), the Clockwork Orange director was especially obsessed with lenses, a trait that Dunton says was cultivated during his days as a stills photographer.

Long before the notion of an “owner/operator” became popular, Kubrick was fairly unique among his peers for owning his lenses. He would ask lens makers to send him ten of the same and he’d test them all and select the best. This was before the days of precision manufacturing and so lens performance would vary more widely between identical models.

In this video, Dunton takes us on a tour of Kubrick’s favorite glass–some of which he modified himself to fit his Arriflex IIC–and how it was used for some of the director’s most important films.

February 17th, 2016

The 1,000 Year Palladiums Documenting Japan’s Natural Beauty


Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 9.02.40 AM

It’s one of the ironies of the digital age that images taken with the most modern technology have very uncertain prospects for the future–at least until the Superman crystal memory gets perfected and commercialized. But images taken with some of the oldest photographic technologies actually enjoy some of the longest life spans.

Enter Japanese nature photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi. He’s paired Hosokawa paper with platinum palladium printing to create prints that Kobayashi claims will last for 1,000 years.

This documentary, produced by augment 5, takes a deep dive into Kobayashi’s process and work exploring Japan’s natural wonders.

You can view the whole piece here:

Hat tip: Michael Zhang

February 8th, 2016

Sponsored Video: Spider Holster NEW Spiderlight Hand Strap

Our friends at Spider Holster are releasing their groundbreaking and NEW SpiderLight Hand Strap for mirrorless cameras through Kickstarter this March 2016!

The SpiderLight Hand Strap brings all of the great features of their pro hand strap to the world of mirrorless and other smaller lightweight cameras.  A few things you should know about our new hand strap for lightweight cams:

  • hand in and out easily and quickly
  • will work with any tripod
  • s-curve shape puts your hand in a perfect shooting position
  • easy access to your camera controls
  • super quick to get on and off your camera
  • nice and sturdy
  • includes adapters for compatibility with all leading mirrorless cameras
  • feels great and looks beautiful

Learn more about the SpiderLight Hand Strap at: