The Emerging Open Source Camera

Jesse Gross Photography:

I just might have a reason now to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi

Originally posted on Photofocus:

Build your own Raspberry Pi powered touchscreen digital camera with interchangeable lenses! — SnapPiCam

As you look at the photo above, I am sure some of you are thinking … “I have no use for such an odd beast.”

Think again.

A while back, I wrote about what I hope to see when GoPro releases the Hero4 camera later this year. Of the five items listed, the first three are all software solutions which should be relatively simple for GoPro to execute. Sadly, as consumers, all we can do is hope that GoPro listens to such requests or a competitor comes along with a better alternative.

Everyday, technology continues the march towards the “computer with optics” as opposed to the mechanical camera. This evolution makes once difficult shots easier to obtain and opens the doors to new methods of imaging for both motion and stills. However, as a platform…

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Apple Discontinues Aperture

Jesse Gross Photography:

For those out there that use Aperture and have not yet heard the news.

Originally posted on Photofocus:

Apple announced today that it will no longer add features to its professional imaging application Aperture. Apple will continue to update camera formats for the foreseeable future. Apple is folding iPhoto and Aperture into its new release of the Photos app included in the recently announced Mac OSX Yosemite operating system coming this fall.

The announcement quoted below from The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple says in part that “With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture,” said Apple in a statement provided to The Loop. “When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS.”

With Aperture receiving no more feature updates it is a great time to take advantage of…

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Can Upcycled Smartphones Help Stop Illegal Rainforest Logging?

Jesse Gross Photography:

Pretty damn neat concept

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The world has an e-waste problem. And a climate change problem. So it would be fittingly neat if e-waste, in the form of old smartphones, could be put to work combating climate change by helping to prevent illegal logging of the rainforest.

That’s exactly the plan of this Kickstarter project, which will shortly be seeking to raise $100,000 in crowdfunding to turn old Android smartphones into solar-powered listening stations that can detect the noise of chainsaws in real-time and then send an alert (via GSM) to local agencies so they can mobilize and catch loggers in the act.

The San Francisco-based startup, called Rainforest Connection, has partnered with the Zoological Society of London for the project. If it gets funded, the plan is to initially deploy devices that are capable of protecting 200 to 300 kilometres of forest in the canopy of rainforests in Africa and Brazil this year.

If it exceeds its funding…

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Snow On The Lake

After over two years of living in Raleigh the area has officially received it’s first “real” snow. Of course by standards of other areas it wasn’t much in my immediate area, but they certainly do take it seriously around here with schools being closed since the morning before it started later that evening… no comment.

Once I was free to go out and explore I headed straight to the nearby Falls Lake. Although the countless kids that visited the park had plenty of time to play in the snow my go-to spot was still untouched. I quickly setup and composed my shot, since the park was due to close shortly. And just like that I had my shot.

How to Get Fresh Looks Again and Again and Again…

Jesse Gross Photography:

Great suggestion for portrait sessions

Originally posted on Photofocus:

Nikon D3, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII lens @135mm, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 200, finished in Adobe Lightroom.

There’s an instant when a person looks into the lens and has expressive eyes. The key is that eyes are most expressive when they first look into the lens, so you just need your subject to look into the lens over and over, but he needs to feel purposeful doing it. I usually direct him to look at something else, then look back into the lens. But this is important: you should tell him specifically where to look. Just like kids, teens and adults respond best with positive directions. Try these directions while you work and your subject will become more and more comfortable, and you’ll be ready to catch the in-between looks and laughs that will inevitably follow. Remember, you’ve got less than one second after he connects with the lens to fire…

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We’ve got the iPhone habit, so what’s it doing to our brains?

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

iPhone

I knew I had a problem when, in the five seconds before the lift arrived, I found myself checking newsfeeds on my iPhone.

The constant, restless fingering of the phone’s shiny surface, this filling of every microscopic time-gap in the fabric of the day, is, I suddenly realised, an issue.

But it is not just me – in every coffee shop, bar, bus-stop, I see hands swiping and flickering eyes checking, pale fingers perfect reflections of the mental restlessness underlying their scrabbling.

There was a time when the people on the train opposite me would either be reading a book or newspaper, or, more usually, leaning back with a slightly vacant expression as their eyes dreamily trawled the passing townscape.

Nail biting for the brain

I remember in my first year in primary school, seeing a girl I fancied biting her nails. So I, who had never bitten a nail…

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One Simple Tip for Great Family Portraits

Originally posted on Photofocus:

Even if the only pictures you ever show are landscapes, or closeups, or flowers, or horses, someone is going to ask you to make a family picture. Here are five inevitable facts about family portraits, and one great tip to beat them all.

  1. Kids under five always put a hand in the mouth. Always.
  2. Middle children under eleven always make funny faces.
  3. Parents are always stressed about the kids making faces and putting hands in mouths.
  4. The best picture of the kids is the one with dad scowling and pulling hands out of mouths
  5. Older kids (and dads) hate family pictures because dad was always pulling on their hands and scolding them for having fun.

The one tip I can give you to beat all these issues and help make family pictures is this:

Don’t say Don’t!

If you (or dad) say, “Don’t put your hand in your mouth,”…

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Professionalism in photography

Originally posted on Ming Thein | Photographer:

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Photographers at work; from the NYC 2013 workshop.

One commonly asked (and commonly mis-answered) question on the internet these days is around the definition of what constitutes a ‘professional photographer’. The usual definition is that it is somebody who is shooting for pay, and deriving the majority of his of the income entirely from photography for photography related activities. I suppose in the strictest sense of the definition, that is true. However, it says nothing about professional conduct or skill. What I’m going to attempt to do in this article is express my own views on what I believe constitutes professional behavior in photography. It is important to note however that this is a very much personal, though shared by many of my colleagues in all areas of the industry – both primary providers of photographic imaging, as well as supporting services and videography/ cinematography.

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Hanging Rock Park… Again

This past weekend the girlfriend and I headed out to Hanging Rock State Park (5:30 wake up… ugh). I wanted to see if I could catch the fall colors and she didn’t head out there with me the first time. Unfortunately, I think that we were about a week too early for the leaves, but in spite of the occasional rain shower we continued to make our way through the park.

Also, the water levels were much lower this time around.

Naturally, she was asked (forced) to stand in and be my subject a few times. (just comes with the territory of dating a photographer)