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RAWtalks Last Stand 2015: RAWtalk #163

That’s all folks, this is the last RAWtalk of the year as we take a little break for the holidays and the new years. Major props to Stephen for working all weekend on finishing RAWtalk so it could be up in time. He spent the last few days of the week and beginning of the weekend finishing the Sony RX100 IV Review.

This weeks show is brought to you by ATOMOS and their two holiday promos that are really nice. The first one is if you buy any Shogun or Ninja Assassin you will get a FREE power station bundle worth $470.

You can get AudioBlocks, VideoBlocks and Graphic Stock all HALF OFF until the end of the year.

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Stephen finish the year up with a strong Photo News showing that had exactly ZERO interruptions. By Zero I mean plenty of them.

Flying Solo this week was two fold, peoples favorite memories of RAWtalk 2015 as well as questions to be answered. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who submitted questions this year, we greatly appreciate it.

To close out the year I want to thank all of you follows as well as all of sponsors. It takes everyone to make something like this show happen week in and week out.

00:00:16 – Show Intro
00:00:17 – Jared’s Post Office Rant
00:12:05 – Videoblocks Promo Codes
00:13:31 – Photo News
00:24:02 – Todd’s Holiday Photos Story
00:51:15 – Gear of the Week
00:53:38 – Flying Solo / Favorite Moments of 2015
01:41:48 – Wheel of Fro Singing Submissions
01:47:34 – Wheel of Fro

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

Rare 100-Yr-Old Color Photos of Paris Resurface Online

A set of rare color photos of Paris that were taken over 100 years ago have resurfaced online this past week. Albert Kahn was the man behind the project. He was a rich French banker back in the day who hired four photographers to document the world through the new color photography process known as Autochrome Lumiere in 1909 (which featured color filters made from microscopic grains of potato starch dyed red, green and blue.) The photographers–Leon Gimpel, Stephane Passet, Georges Chevalier and Auguste Leon–set out to start documenting Paris in 1914. The images they captured feature shots of the Eiffel Tower, old shops, train stations, ships, blimps, etc. Roughly 72,000 Autochromes were created through Kahn’s project in the end. Check out the images here which apparently have been slightly digitally enhanced so they’re not the exact originals. There’s also a documentary series that the BBC did on Albert Kahn a few years back which you can view here. (via MNC)


Users Can Now Control Their GoPro’s via an Apple Watch

GoPro’s latest iOS app update now lets users control their action cameras via an Apple Watch. The update now lets users preview shots, switch capture modes, start/stop recording and add Hi-Light Tags to their keeper shots all on the Apple Watch. On the iPhone side, the new update now lets users browse a video frame-by-frame and pull still images from it. It also lets users filter media (by photo/video/Hi-Lighted moments), and “Trim & Share” to 5/15/35-second clips for quick posting on social networks. Check out a preview video of pro skateboarder Mikey Taylor using the watch his GoPro session below:


Holiday Family Portrait Receives Backlash Online

A holiday family portrait has gone viral…in not the best way. The image features a family of five, with the women bound with Christmas lights and mouths taped shut, and the father and son giving a “thumbs up” with a “Peace on Earth” sign. It has received quite the backlash online for obvious reason. Louisiana-based Hannah Hawkes’ Photography is behind the picture, which people claim condones violence against women. Hannah posted the image this past week on her Facebook page with the caption, “Finally, Peace on Earth.” Well, within hours, the image quickly spread, with people bashing her left and right. Comments included: “Women and girls see enough images and hear enough commentary that their voices should not be heard. Don’t add to it, please,” and “special thanks to the MOM for teaching her son and daughters that Misogyny is kind, and taking women’s rights back to the 1800’s! Good job,” and “This photo is so much gross” – I think that one was left by @TacoBellBecky. Hannah eventually removed the photo and posted a public reply saying the image was meant to be a joke and was taken at the request of the family, not something she mocked up herself. Check out her reply below along with the original picture in question. Was she wrong in taking on the shoot? Or are people taking this too seriously? (via SM)


Photo by Hannah Hawkes

hhIntroducing Fashion Santa

On the topic of holiday portraits, a new set of images showcase “Fashion Santa.” The Yorkdale shopping mall in Toronto, Canada commissioned the shoot for their holiday campaign this year. So instead of the cliche red suit, they dressed model Paul Mason in the latest festive trends in male fashion, but still tried to stay with the traditional red and white color scheme throwing in “winter colors” as well. They say, “his crisp white beard, perfectly polished outfits and undeniable charm make him one of our favourite things about the season.” The best part is that kids can visit him like any other Santa in every mall across America. They say, “While you can’t add him to your Christmas list this season, he is always up for a selfie!” It’s all for a good cause too: for every selfie with Fashion Santa posted to social media with the hashtag #YorkdaleFashionSanta, they will donate $1 (up to $10,000 total) to the Sick Kicks Foundation. Check out the images here along with a quick selfie video with Fashion Santa below: (via PP)


The FAA Announces Official Drone Registration Process with a FEE

Drone registration is now official in America. The FAA has announced the new registration process this past week which states that if you operate a drone that weighs over 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds, you’ll need to register it by Feb. 19, 2016. The big news: there’s going to be a $5 registration fee. The online registry will open up Monday Dec. 21. If you bought a drone prior to that date, you’ll have until the Feb. 19 deadline to register, however if you buy one after that date, you’ll need to register it immediately before its first flight. They’ll be charging a $5 fee for the 3-year registration too. However, to get people on board right away, they’re waiving the fee for the first 30 days. so you have until Jan. 20 to register your drone fee-free. As far as the registration process goes: drone owners will need to provide their name, home address, and email address, which will be PUBLIC information. In return, the FAA will issue a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership, which provides the operator with a unique ID number that must be displayed on the drone. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says, “Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly.” This new registration system only applies to hobbyist and recreational flyers though. If you’re a “professional” commercial drone operator, the FAA states that they are “developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.” The public does have time to give their feedback, barely: they say, “The Department encourages persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments on or before the closing date for comments. The Department will consider all comments received before the closing date and make any necessary amendments as appropriate,” which is Dec. 21… If you don’t register, there will be consequences: “Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.” Check out their official documents about the registration process here for all the details along with their FAQ section, and a PDF the FAA put together which shows sample drones that will require registration and toy drones that will not.


Tokyo Has It’s Own Drone Task Force with Drones Catching Other Drones

Tokyo is doing things a little bit differently with drones. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has their own solution for rogue drones: capture them with a huge 2×3 meter net attached to their own drone, which looks to be DJI’s Spreading Wings 900. The goal of the police drones is to defend important locations with “the worst-case scenario in mind” like a terrorist attack via drone. The new police drones will be deployed if any drone is flown into restricted airspace and doesn’t leave after police warnings. 10 of these special drones will be flown by trained drone hunting officers, and will be flying around the city by February of 2016. Check out a demonstration of the new drone-catcher below, where they take down a DJI phantom drone. This has South Park written all over it… (via Engadget)

New Hydrogen Fuel Cells Will Power Drones For 2+ Hours of Flight Time

One more thing about drones: British hydrogen fuel cell company Intelligent Energy has been successfully testing miniaturized hydrogen fuel cells optimized for small drones which they say will increase drone flight times to over two hours, a six-fold increase over the current battery standard for drones. Here’s how it works: a battery would still directly supply power to the drone while the hydrogen fuel cell would recharge the battery continuously. Because the unit can be recharged with compressed hydrogen, refueling a depleted cell can be accomplished in a few minutes, instead of the 40 minutes to an hour it takes to recharge a typical drone battery. Users could simply refill the fuel cell and send the unit off again, with the cell recharging the battery in-flight. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, says “Although FAA visual-line-of-sight rules limit how far away drones can fly, they don’t limit how long–and time in the air is becoming increasingly relevant as the industry migrates from consumer to commercial use. For consumers, simply swapping batteries is an acceptable solution to limited battery life. But commercial users, who may be doing high-resolution mapping or scanning, which requires low-speed paths back and forth over an area, the ability to stay in the air for an hour or more can turn what might be many missions into one.” Intelligent Energy says it will unveil and display the new technology at CES next month. Will this be a game changer? (via TV)


Photographer Photographs Subjects On Edge of Cliff, Literally

Photographer Jay Philbrick is taking his photographer to new heights, literally. The professional mountain climber/photographer takes his clients to Echo Lake State Park in New Hampshire to take photos of them on the side of the 700 foot Cathedral Ledge. To place them literally on the side of the cliff, he lowers his subjects onto a tiny outcropping, about 350 feet up. Check out behind-the-scenes photos of him lowering his clients down to the edge of the cliff here, which is only about 5 or 6 feet wide, extending to about 2 feet out–barely enough for a couple to stand on. He then lowers himself and takes unique photos of the subjects from various angles around the ledge. In the photos, the subjects may look like they’re going to fall any minute, but they’re actually safely secured to the cliff with ropes that are hidden behind them. Scary stuff! (via PP)


Photo by Jay Philbrick

Man Causes Stand-Still on Major Highway for “Priceless” Proposal Photos

Another ridiculous story: a man shut down a major freeway in Houston, Texas, just to get a couple “priceless” photos of him proposing to his now fiance. 24-year-old Vidal Valladares and some friends blocked traffic on I-45 with 8 cars coming to a stand-still, taking up all four lanes. In the video which you can see below, there’s non-stop honking in the background while he drops down on one knee. Valladares says, “I just wanted to do something different.” He posted an image from the proposal on Facebook with the caption, “When you shut down one of the biggest and busiest freeways in the entire country (I45) and you ask your girl if she wants to marry u, That moment is priceless #shesaidyes.” Apparently the I-45 was one of his then-girlfriend’s favorite places because Valladares took her on a motorcycle ride on it for their second date. He has since been charged with obstruction of highway, a class B misdemeanor, by the Harris County District Attorney’s office. Valladares says, “I’m wanting [sic] to apologize to everyone if I caused any problems. that wasn’t my intention in the beginning. I just wanted to do something different.” Check out the full news report below where the couple is interviewed about the charges and proposal: (via ABC13)


This Year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Award Winners

The winning photos from this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are now online. The awards honor hilarious animal pictures captured by wildlife photographers around the world. The winning image features a hamster running down a stretch of grass by photographer Julian Rad. He was awarded a trophy, a 7-day safari through Southern Tanzania in East Africa, and a Nikon D750 with a 24-85mm lens. 2nd place goes to William Richardson and features a moose with grass stuck on his antlers, and third place goes to Oliver Dreike who captured a funny photo of a gorilla picking his nose. Judge and British comedian Hugh Dennis says, “The finalists should be very proud of themselves, as should the animals they photographed, simply for looking so funny. Sadly there is no way of telling them.” Check out the winning images here along with 10 other “highly commended” photos. (via PP)

WINNER Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards