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Special Announcements, FroFactory and an Interview: RAWtalk #167

What is this weeks special announcement, tune in at the very beginning of the show to find out.

We want to mess with some sponsors by blowing up their twitters and asking for “some free shit”. Go ahead and send separate tweets to @LexarMemory @VideoBlocks @AdoramaPIX and ask for some “Free Shit”. Be sure to let them know that @FroKnowsPhoto sent you. Thanks for that.

This week I invited Eric Adams onto the show. Most of you will not know who he is but for the past 24 years he has been a prominent writer with numerous national magazines. Over the past few years he has started to venture into the photo world so he can offer not just writing but photography, aka be a double threat. This was a fun and informative interview. I think many of you will find yourself in the same boat as Eric, have a non photography job but love photography and looking for a way to incorporate it into your job.

For gear of the week I chose to use full bleed prints from the Canon Prograph 1000 since we just finished up the Real World Review on it. Stay tuned for that in the not to distant future.

Thank you guys for your continued support, if you haven’t subscribed on YouTube yet please do so.

00:00:16 – Todd’s Special Announcement
00:03:30 – Introducing the Fro Factory
00:06:53 – Noah’s Confession
00:07:52 – Tweet Our Sponsors
00:11:19 – Photo News
00:33:55 – Eric Adams Interview
01:11:22 – Gear of the Week
01:13:30 – Wheel of Fro

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

Sports Illustrated Lays Off 3 Photo Execs

Sports Illustrated has laid off its top three photo heads: DP Brad Smith, Photo Editor Claire Bourgeois and Photo Director John Blackmar. This news comes only a year after they laid off their staff photographers. There’s no known confirmed departure date just yet, but if they leave before the Super Bowl, the coverage by SI will most likely be greatly affected. This round of layoffs comes as SI’s parent company, Time Inc, continues to try to convince photographers to sign its controversial photography contract. (via PBF)


Photographer Recreates “Last Supper”–Star Wars Edition

Photographer Steve Brown shot a Star Wars-themed “Last Supper” photo. Mimicking the great painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the image features the Emperor in the middle replacing Jesus, with Darth Vader as Judas, with four Storm Troopers as the other Apostles mimicking the original hand gestures (he cloned them in the final image and composited in post to have a full table of storm troopers). At the center of the table was the focus: a hologram of the Death Star. Instead of building a physical set, the backdrop was a 3D rendering of the Emperor’s throne room in the Death Star with the iconic rounded window behind them. Check out some behind-the-scenes photos here along with the final image below. Plus, check out a screenflow of the 3D-rendered backdrop being made along with a “motion poster” version of the image: (via PP)


Photographer Surrounds Model with Sharks for Underwater Photoshoot

Moving on to other creative photo shoots, Benjamin Von Wong did another shoot underwater, this time with a model surrounded by live sharks. It all took place in Fiji, which is known for its famous shark dives. With sharks being most active and light rays hitting the ocean just right, it all had to be done in a two-hour time frame between 11AM and 1PM. The shoot elapsed over three days, with them being underwater a total of six hours, while Ben and his team waited in a nearby cave for the perfect moment where real sharks would be surrounding the model, who was champion freediver Amber Bourke. She was also weighed and tied down to stay in position, getting fed oxygen constantly. It also came with complications: limited oxygen, waiting for the light, complex communication, and specialized equipment. To pull it off, Wong used a Sony a7RII, Sony FE 16-35mm, and Nauticam housing with a 180mm dome port. The project was for a good cause too, Von Wong is raising awareness about sharks, and he’s helping to petition for a no kill policy and the creation of a new Malaysian shark sanctuary. He says, “As a photographer looking to create meaningful work, this was the perfect opportunity for me to create a series of images that would promote [the shark’s] beauty while advocating for their protection.” He goes on to add that he “wanted to create a series of images that would help break those stereotypes and show that it is possible for us to co-exist together in perfect harmony.” Check out the final images over on Von Wong’s blog along with a behind-the-scenes video below:


Photos by Benjamin Von Wong

“Drone Slayer” Being Sued By Drone Operator

Drone slayer William Merideth is in the news again. After a judge dismissed charges against him for firing a gun within city limits a few weeks ago, now the drone owner and operator, John David Boggs, is firing back with his own lawsuit. Boggs claims he wasn’t peeping or invading his privacy. The main issue for filing the suit is to win “clarity to protect the right to fly responsibly without fear of being shot at.” Boggs suits claims that, “At no time was plaintiff capturing video or still images of defendant or anyone on his property.” He is seeking damages for his aircraft and for U.S. District Judge David J. Hale to resolve the “boundaries of the airspace surrounding real property, the reasonable expectation of privacy as viewed from the air, and the right to damage or destroy an aircraft in flight.” Also, Boggs’ lawyer, James Mackler, is a former Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot who specializes in drone law too. Mackler says depending on the verdict, companies like Amazon who are about to set out their drone delivery system might be in trouble. He says, “If every property owner has a right to take a shot at them, that pretty much ends that business model.” Merideth says he looks forward to the court’s resolution of where private property ends and the open sky begins… (via 13wmaz)

Fuji Reveals 3 New X-Series Cameras

New year, new cameras from Fuji. Fuji released three new mirrorless cameras last week: an update to their flagship—the X-Pro2, the X-E2S and the X70. The X-Pro2 includes the world’s first Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder. The new viewfinder is capable of instantly switching between optical and electronic modes. It has a Multi-Magnification function that can automatically switch your magnification depending on the lens that’s mounted, and there’s an Electronic Rangefinder that shows the electronic viewfinder on top of your optical view. Other main specs include a 24.3MP X-Trans APS-C CMOS III sensor with their new X-Processor Pro which has 4x the speed of standard processing engines. It shoots 8 fps with a new autofocus system that has 273 AF points (77 of which are phase detect) which covers 40% of the frame. It also has a max native ISO of 12,800 (expandable to 51,200) and 1080P video recording at 60fps. It’ll be out next month for $1700 for the body only


Moving on to the X-E2S, not too much has changed with this one from its predecessor–the X-E2, but it improves on ISO performance and offers several software enhancements. It packs a 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and a max native ISO of 6400 (expandable to 51,200). It features a “Rangefinder Style X” viewfinder system with both a Real-Time Viewfinder with a 0.62X magnification and an electronic viewfinder with a lag time of 0.005 seconds — which Fuji says is the world’s shortest display lag. It also has 77 AF points—15 being phase detect. Other main specs include 1080P recording at 60fps, 0.5s startup time, built-in intervalometer, WiFi and much more. It’ll be available also next month for $700 for the body only.

Moving on to the X70, which is their first x-series camera with a touchscreen. The fixed 18.5mm f/2.8 lens camera features a 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor with a max native ISO of up to 6400 (expandable to 51,200). The camera features a 3-inch tilting touchscreen, a 77-point AF system, 8 function buttons, Fuji’s film simulation modes, a “completely silent” electronic shutter with a max speed of 1/32,000 and 1080P recording at 60fps. It will also be out next month for $700. Also, during the press event when they announced these new cameras, they took a clever hit at DSLRs saying that DSLRs weigh two cans of beer more than a Fujifilm camera, which you can see below:


RIP: Photographer Dies in Terrorist Attack

French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui has died from injuries she suffered from an Al Qaeda terrorist attack last week, which happened in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She was just 33-years-old. While being parked outside a local cafe as a gunman opened fire, she was shot in the leg and thorax and taken to a local hospital where she then had a heart attack and passed away. At least 30 other people died during the attack which also wounded dozens more. She was there on assignment by Amnesty International to create a series of photos on women’s rights. She studied photography at the City University of New York before starting her career in Morocco and Lebanon. Jack Lang, a former French minister of culture, says “She was an artist who shined. She was fighting to give life to those forgotten by society, to homeless people, to migrants, deploying one weapon: photography.” You can see some of her work here, which features themes of migration, cultural identity and displacement. RIP. (via NYT)

Photographer Mimics Animals in New Portrait Series

Photographer Flora Borsi created a new project called “Animeyed” which features portraits of people and animals that are lined up perfectly to combine the right eye of the animal with the human’s eye. The animals used include a cat, a bird, a snake, a rabbit, a pufferfish and more. The human eye colors match perfectly with the animals eye color too, with the human also mimicking the look of the animal. For example, the image featuring a dove has the model painted all white, while the black cat portrait has the model rockin’ cat ears and a painted nose. The portraits were taken with a Canon 7D and done in studio while the animal overlays were supplied by Adobe stock and combined later in Photoshop. Check out all of the portraits here. (via PP)


Photo by Flora Borsi

Leica Unleashes New Waterproof Rugged Camera

Leica unleashed their first rugged underwater camera called the Leica X-U (typ 113). The X-U features a fixed Summilux 23mm f/1.7 ASPH lens and is waterproof down to 49 feet. It’s also shock resistant, freeze resistant and dust-sealed with an anti-slip rubber exterior. The battery and memory card are protected by a fail-safe double locking system too. Spec wise, it has a 16.5MP APS-C sensor, a native ISO of 100-12500, it shoots 5fps, has a built-in flash (which is fixed right above the lens), and an underwater snapshot preset button. It also shoots 1080P at 30fps and has no viewfinder, just a 3-inch LCD screen with a hardened protective cover. It’ll be out this week for a price tag of $2,950. Check out some sample images taken with it here, which features no photos actually taken underwater ironically.


Fuji Testing Out Medium Format Sensors?

Back to Fuji, the company says they are actively researching and testing medium format sensors. Fuji X-series senior product manager Takashi Ueno says, “We are in a very good position to make a medium format camera, as we make camera bodies, sensors and lenses, we already make the lenses for Hasselblad, so we have that expertise.” He goes on to say, “At the moment Fuji is not planning to launch a medium format camera, but we are conducting research and testing sensors in this area.” He adds, “We have a good history in the medium format market, and I think we would be successful again. We have the technology to make a very modern and high quality camera, but right now we are only investigating.” Hmm… (via BJOF)

Photographer Builds a 16×20 Camera in Under 10 Hours

Giles Clement, who specializes in tin-type portraits, built a 16×20 camera in just 10 hours. After doodling a sketch of the camera, he called up his buddy Zach to help him execute the build. They went to Home Depot to pick up what he needed which cost a total of $168. He goes in to crazy detail about how the build went here, where he even has a behind-the-scenes Snapchat compilation on it. Once all was said and done, he did some test shots which turned out great. He also made a video showing the process from creating a photo with the camera from start to finish too. He says if he can find a bigger lens, his next step is to make a 20×24 camera! (via PP)

PSA: War Photographers Needed

Reporters Without Borders released a new video showcasing why war photographers are a necessity in documenting history accurately. In the video which can be seen below, a montage of footage from war parades are shown with happy music in the background, when the video cuts off abruptly stating, “Without independent reporters, war would just be a nice show.” It then goes on to show the horrors of war, with photographs featuring gravestones, bodies, injured soldiers, etc. It then ends with, “Support those that risk their lives to bring us the truth.” The organization says the number of conflict photographers covering wars has dwindled 40% over the past 15 years. They add that governments paint a heroic and rosy picture of war through their official photos and videos, but it’s the front-line photographers that show us the realities of violence, injustice, and suffering. War photographer James Nachtwey, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors in early 2015 says: “I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” The organization goes on to say “Let’s support those who risk their lives every day to keep us informed and provide us with independent images that are very different from the official ones served up by governments. Let’s support photoreporters, so that they are able to work in way that provides a vision of the world that is nuanced, human and complex, one that makes a debate possible. Let’s support those who show us what the official images don’t show.” (via PP)