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I bought an iPad Pro, does it SUCK? RAWtalk 158

Yes I ordered the new iPad Pro and yes Stephen and Todd made fun of me for a good long while for using it during this week’s show. Is it for photographers, do you need it, will I return it or love it? You get to hear my thoughts at 2:55 of this weeks episode.

This weeks show is brought to you by the NEW Rode VideoMic ME. Aka this really cool microphone that plugs into your IOS or Android device and gives you better sound than the build in microphone. Oh yeah, it’s only $59, well worth the purchase if you use your phone to record a lot of video.

The FroKnowsPhoto SHOW is now LIVE and you can see the premiere episode right here

We have Photo News, Flying Solo and two winners of the Wheel of Fro this week.

Thank you all for your continued support, without you we wouldn’t be able to bring you all of this fun and informative content.

Show Intro – 00:00:16
Gear of the Week – 00:02:55
FroKnowsPhoto Show Recap – 00:14:05
New AdoramaPix Discount Codes – 00:16:45
Photo News – 00:17:23
Flying Solo – 01:00:44
Wheel of Fro – 01:34:05

Here’s all of Stephen’s photo news stories in detail:

Rare Images of the London Fire Brigade Putting Out Nazi Air Strike Fires in WWII Surface in New Photo Book

To mark the 150th anniversary of the London Fire Brigade and to commemorate their role in protecting the city during WWII, a set of rare images showcasing firemen putting out the fires from Nazi air strikes has been released. the black & white photos range from putting out general fires, to saving people in debris, to even taking a break to drink some tea. Firefighters fought nearly 10,000 fires during just the first 22 nights of air raids, with the first taking place on Sept 7, 1940. They say the hardest fires to put out were warehouses, where highly flammable products such as alcohol and paint were stored. The photos are all apart of a new photo book the brigade is releasing to celebrate their 150th year in operation, which will cost £12 (~$18 USD). The book features the WWII photos and “major incidents such as the King’s Cross fire and the London bombings on 7 July.” Fun fact: during the Second World War, there was a shortage of uniforms since there were so many firefighters during this time period so some had to wear Post Office uniforms that included a steel helmet, rubber boots, trousers and waterproof leggings. (via DM)



Trey Ratcliff Releases New HDR Software Called Aurora HDR

Trey Ratcliff released his own HDR software after working on it quietly for nearly two years. He teamed up with Macphun to create the new software called Aurora HDR, which they’re saying is “the world’s most advanced HDR software.” The program does the standard HDR edits, like merging bracketed photos and tonemapping, but it also has layers, curves, color filters, Trey’s “fairy tale glow” effect, raw/jpg/tiff/psd support, general presets–even “treys presets”, HDR denoise, and much more. Ratcliff says he’s been extensively testing out the software over the past year with landscapes, cityscapes, and people. He says, “you don’t have to use Photoshop or Lightroom at all” anymore. Aurora HDR will be available later this week on Nov. 19 for $99 or you can pre-order it now for $89. Check out a five minute introduction video where Ratcliff shows off the program below:

This Tutorial Shows You How To Fake That Wet Plate Collodion-Look

I’m sure purists wont be happy about this: retoucher Antti Karppinen released a new tutorial video showing how he retouches images to get the look of a wet plate collodian photograph. He says, “I have tried to capture [a] bit more of that old feel to the images.” In the tutorial video which can be seen below, he shows off the different layers he’s used to create his collodion copycat images. He says the biggest step by far is using Channel Mixer and setting the image to monochrome, and then boosting the Red, Green, and Blue channels, which really makes the detail in the skin pop. Check out the 15-minute video below if you want to mimic that old-time look, without actually doing it: (via PP)

Finalist Pulls Out of Photo Contest After Photoshopped Image Spotted

Speaking of photoshopping images, a photojournalist has withdrawn from Australia’s most reputable press photography contest–the 2015 Nikon-Walkley Awards–after he apparently manipulated his image in post. News Corp photographer David Caird has voluntarily pulled out of the competition for “Press Photographer of the Year” after being nominated as one of the top three finalists. The photo in question was his image of a baby gorilla at the Melbourne Zoo. The original photo supposedly had a piece of straw dangling from the top of the frame which he found distracting, so he apparently removed it. Caird’s photo was spotted by an anonymous photographer who captured nearly the same exact image at the same time. That photographer’s photo, however, had a piece of straw at the top of the frame. That photographer then notified the contest about Caird’s submission, which then resulted in Caird’s official withdraw. The official rules of the contest state that, “No cloning, montaging or digital manipulation other than cropping, ‘digital spotting’, burning and dodging is permitted.” The Walkley Foundation says, “It was a minor technical breach in a single photo. However, the integrity of the Walkley judging process is paramount, and the withdrawal of the entry demonstrates David’s commitment to that ideal.” Do you think removing a piece of straw from an image is a deal-breaker? (via TG)


Image Comparison via The Guardian

Lytro Unveils New Virtual Reality Camera Called the Immerge

Lytro is back with a new camera called Immerge–a new Virtual Reality camera. Lytro says they’re essentially “trying to replicate reality, providing lifelike presence for live action VR through six degrees of freedom.” They say, “we’re not just stitching together the images that are captures instead were essentially rebuilding a version of the scene.” The new camera is designed specifically for VR, being called “the world’s first professional light field solution for Cinematic VR.” While the Lytro Illum captures light field information from a single direction, the Immerge captures data from all directions, letting viewers “move around” inside the 3D space. Lytro calls it “six degrees of freedom” (6DoF), and says that this is something that was previously only possible inside computer-generated experiences. The Immerge also comes with software solutions for creating cinematic VR. There’s a big toll on your computer when processing this video too: there’s a server for storage and processing the data, a Light Field Editor program for integrating existing visual effect tools (e.g. Nuke), and a Player that allows the created content to be viewed through VR headsets and platforms. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, but you can currently apply to use a prototype system over on their website. In the meantime, check out a video below where the co-founders introduce the camera: (via PP)

rush hour, city workers going to work

B&H Warehouse Employees Officially Unionize

An update on the B&H employees who protested last month, accusing B&H of subjecting employees to long hours, wage theft, unsafe work environments, lack of training, and discrimination. The group of warehouse workers have officially voted to unionize, passing a 200-to-88 vote last week to join the largest industrial labor union in North America, the United Steelworkers (USW) union. This comes after over 1000 people in the photography industry signed an open letter in support of the workers. The open letter noted that, “We stand with the workers of the #BHexposed campaign, and call on B&H Photo Video to allow the workers to form a union, free from intimidation and retaliation, and quickly negotiate a fair contract.” The union director John Shinn says, “It was obvious that employees at B&H needed collective bargaining representation in order to address dangerous working conditions and discrimination in their workplace. It was something that the company was otherwise unwilling to do. We welcome the workers at B&H to the USW and look forward to addressing their concerns with the company at the bargaining table.” The workers ended their union announcement with “Now the struggle continues–on to a contract! ¡Hasta la victoria!” Let’s hope they get a signed contract! (via AJ)


Student Photojournalist Faces Off With University of Missouri Protesters

On the topic of protesting, a student photojournalist named Tim Tai was attempting to photograph protests at his own school, the University of Missouri, when the protesters started to protest him taking photos of them. He was on assignment for ESPN to cover the protests. The main group behind the protests–activist group Concerned Student 1950–created a small tent city on the campus quad, saying no media aloud in the area, forming a human wall around the city. Tai got close and attempted to photograph what he saw “for history” when the students said he wasn’t respecting their privacy or personal space. There’s a 12-minute uncut video of the entire encounter which you can see below where students are seen threatening him, telling him he has no right to photograph them. Tai is seen saying, “I have a job to do. I’m documenting this for a national news organization […] This is the First Amendment. It protects your right to stand here and protects mine.” Near the end of the video, the person filming the whole encounter named Mark Schierbecker, is approached by a woman identified as Mass Media Assistant Professor Melissa Click. Click is seen grabbing Schierbecker’s camera, ordering him to leave the area, and then screams: “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.” Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder issued a statement after the incident about the treatment of photographers and reporters: “On Sunday I stood by the rights of protesters to have their voices heard while also urging the need for governance by University of Missouri leadership. Today, I’m standing for another First Amendment right, the freedom of the press. Actions on Monday by University faculty and staff to infringe on students’ First Amendment rights directly contradict what is taught at our universities. This incident must be examined, and if found necessary, disciplined. Faculty and staff cannot be allowed to pick and choose which rights, viewpoints and freedoms they respect. I renew my call to restore law and order on campus, so the rights of all are protected. The University of Missouri is funded by taxpayers. It is imperative that it be a place where freedom is paramount and all voices are heard.” The Missouri School of Journalism has spoken out against Click’s actions and held a faculty vote revoking her “courtesy appointment” in the school. She later issued a formal apology statement which you can view below in full, saying “I have reviewed and reflected upon the video of me that is circulating, and have written this statement to offer both apology and context for my actions[…]I regret the language and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behavior.” She goes on to say she apologized to Tim Tai stating “he accepted my apology. I believe he is doing a difficult job, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him.” Click later resigned from her “courtesy appointment” from the School of Journalism. Who was in the wrong here? (via NYT / PP)

click apology

DJI Introduces the Phantom X: a Concept Drone That’s Awesome

DJI released a new concept video showing a glimpse of the possible drone future, showcasing new ideas and concepts. The futuristic drone in the video is called the Phantom X. The video shows the X being sent to friends by request, following them, and dodging obstacles automatically at high speeds. It also showcases a new “Sky Paint” feature letting users literally paint messages in the sky with a drone. DJI says, “We all loved the 1980s’ sci-fi visions of the future — the way drones zipped around, blending in as a natural part of everyday life. What if we told you the predictions made in these sci-fi classics are now reality?” They go on to say, “With the DJI Phantom X, we turn wide-eyed dreams of future possibilities into fact with multi-angle shooting, AI, obstacle avoidance and free-flight object tracking.” Check out the full concept video below:

Photographers Capture UFO Missile Launch in Video and Photos

A missile test was captured by a few photographers and videographers on the West coast of the U.S. this past week. What many initially thought was a UFO sighting turned out to be an unarmed test missile called the Trident II (D5) [$37 million] which was fired from a U.S. Navy submarine off the coast of Southern California. It wasn’t a standard light in the sky either, it had a giant bright light trail with a blue hazy streak going through it. Some people were already set up for timelapses and long exposure photos so they happened to capture it by accident. Photographer Fede Benavides was in Santa Clara, California, shooting a long-exposure photo of a lighthouse when the missile passed overhead. Also, freelance photographer Justin Majeczky of Varient3 Productions was shooting time-lapse photos of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran when the missile was launched. He quickly stopped the timelapse and began recording video once he realized what he was seeing. Check out some of the images and videos captured from the sighting below: (via PP)

“navy test” or ??? #socal #santaclara #ufo #california #rocket #aliens #explore #sanfranciso

A photo posted by Fede Benavides (@fedebenavides) on

A Behind-The-Scenes Photo Shoot on THE MOON

Moving on to actual outer space stuff, not necessarily a new video but really interesting, Petapixel posted a newly uploaded behind the scenes-type video of a photo shoot on the moon. The 3-minute video features Apollo astronauts from the Apollo 15 mission posing with the U.S. flag on the moon. The neat thing about the video is that you can hear the entire conversation between the two astronauts as they’re trying to get the perfect shot, saying things like “I wish we had color,” “swing it around perpendicular to the camera,” “how about f8, try f8,” and “that’s 11 there.” The video was recorded by the Lunar Module during an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) session. In the video, NASA astronaut David Scott sticks a flag into the flag holder and hops off screen to the left with a Hasselblad medium format camera strapped to his chest. The next day, the astronauts carried another EVA session and re-shot the same portraits using color film… Check out the final images from the shoot here.

Wedding Photographer Pleads For Unplugged Wedding In Public Rant

A wedding photographer named Thomas Stewart has had enough with guests taking pictures on their phones and devices at weddings, so much that he wrote a whole open letter to engaged couples and guests about it. He says, “I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony.” In the image he posted with the rant, you see a groom having to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride coming down, since every wedding guest is leaning out and actually in the aisle with their phones, covering his view. He notes that, “I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring. In the past I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it.” Stewart goes on to say if you’re planning a wedding to please consider these four points that he brings up:

1. Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer’s way. They have no idea how to stay out of our way. They often ruin many of our shots. They will make our photos worse. You’re paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way.

2. These same guests will get in YOUR way. You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there’ll be an iPad in the way. You will miss seeing your partner’s face in the aisle.

3. The guests’ photos are usually crap. I’m sorry, but it is true. You can’t take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject. Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this.

And finally, the most important point:

4. Imagine you’re in the middle of your wedding ceremony. You’re elated. You decide to take a quick glance towards your guests as you’re sure they’re sharing these happy moments with you, possibly even shedding a tear of their own. What do you see? NO FACES AT ALL, AS THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND PHONES AND CAMERAS! I highly doubt this is the way you want to remember your wedding ceremony.

He ends his rant with, “In your invites, tell everyone you’re having an unplugged ceremony: no technology, please, Write it on a chalkboard which guests can see as they arrive on the day. Tell your celebrant/minister/priest to tell the guests at the start of the ceremony. HIRE A PLANE TO WRITE IT IN THE SKY! And guests, you’ve been invited to this wedding to share and celebrate the love that two people feel for each other. They didn’t invite you along to take photographs that they probably won’t really look at anyway.” (via FS)


Photo via Thomas Stewart

SHOOT OUT: Photographer Compares Canon’s First-Ever DSLR To Their Newest

Photographer Jim Goldstein put together an interesting video comparing Canon’s first-ever DSLR, the Canon D2000 (which came out in ’98), to their newest, the 5DS R, showing how far they’ve come in 17 years. In the video which can be seen below, he compares the camera’s crop factors, auto white balance, their sensors (CCD vs CMOS), high ISO in low light capability, fine detail with macro shots, and more. The 5DS R wins nearly everything as expected except for one area: gaming. The D2000 came with pong built into the camera–how cool! Where the new camera really shines is low light. He has a sample image of a nighttime long exposure high ISO shot and the D2000’s 2MP image shot at 1600 ISO is barely even recognizable. Goldstein also notes that the Canon user interface and menu is nearly the same as it is today. (via PP)