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Is this POTATO Photo worth $1,000,000: RAWtalk 168

First things first, check out 20 min of this weeks show to hear all about what makes a picture of a potato worth 1 million pounds. Get ready to slap yourself in the face a few times.

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We have Stephen’s Photo News, Gear of the week flying solo and the wheel of FRO to wrap up this weeks show.

Thanks again for your continued support and keep on keeping on!!!

00:00:16 – Show Intro
00:02:28 – Best Text of the Week
00:05:03 – Grand Prize Spot Updated
00:07:27 – Todd’s “Shocking” Carrot
00:09:46 – Introducing Mail Time
00:12:55 – AdoramaPix 25% Off Metal Code
00:14:15 – Jared’s New I Shoot Raw Underwear
00:16:03 – Photo News
00:39:36 – Gear of the Week: Atmosphere Aerosol
00:43:13 – Flying Solo
01:25:16 – Wheel of Fro
01:28:54 – Wheel of Fro Submissions

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

Yongnuo’s New LED Wand Will Be Very Inexpensive

Similar to the Ice Light and the Pixelstick, Yongnuo now has a new LED light wand they’re calling the YN360. The major difference here being the price–it’s only $62, unlike the $500 Ice Light or $350 Pixelstick. Yongnuo says it’s the industry’s first LED video light wand that combines full color RGB SMD lamps and LED lamp beads. Spec wise, There are 40 full color red-green-and blue lamps, 160 LED tungsten lamp beads and 160 LED daylight lamp beads (so it can be fine tuned anywhere from 3200-5500k). Yongnuo says the Color Rendering Index is 95 or higher too which is certainly a plus! It also can be controlled via a dedicated smartphone app where you can create preset color pallets or just control the wand in general including the overall luminance value. It takes standard Sony NP-F type batteries, which will give you anywhere from 2-4 hours of power, depending on battery size and brightness levels. The wand also has a 1/4″ mount on the bottom for mounting on a tripod or light stand. Yongnuo says the YN360 will be available in March for around $62. (via FH)


This Photo of a Potato Sold For 1 Million Euros

A photo is being coined as one of the most expensive photos ever sold, and it’s a picture of a potato! Last year, the image–titled “Potato #345 (2010)”–is by photographer Kevin Abosch, who is mostly known for his portraiture of famous business people in the tech industry. The photo is literally of a fresh potato, picked straight from the ground, frontlit, and photographed with a black background–and it sold for €1,000,000. Business Insider reports that his “iconic black backdrop shots have become something of a status symbol among the tech and entertainment elite. A simple portrait commission begins at $150,000 and can rise as high as $500,000 if commercial licensing comes into play.” His studio told Petapixel why he decided to photograph a potato: “Kevin likes potatoes because they, like people are all different yet immediately identifiable as being essentially of the same species. He has photographed many potatoes. This one is one of his favorites.” Abosch sold the image to an anonymous buyer just a few months ago, with the print being 162x162cm big. This photo is officially Abosch’s largest sale of a single image to date, and you can take a look for yourself below:


Photo by Kevin Abosch

Olympus Re-imagines PEN Camera with Digital PEN-F

Olympus has unveiled an updated version of the PEN-F, now being a new mirorrless camera. The name might sound familiar because it’s a digital version of their original PEN-F camera, which came out in the 60’s. As for main specs, it houses a 20MP micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter. The sensor comes equipped with a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system that provides the equivalent of 5 stops of compensation. It has an ISO range of 200-25600 natively, a High Res Shot mode which can take 50MP RAW photos by combining 8 images into a single frame and it shoots 10fps. Olympus says it has the shortest shutter-release time lag of any compact camera too with a 0.044 second lag, and it also has a 3-inch tilting LCD touchscreen. The PEN-F is available now in silver or black for $1200. Check out a promotional video of the camera in action below:

This Boy Was Born with a Camera For a Head

There’s a new short film that tells the story of a boy born with a camera for a head. Yup, simply called “The Boy with a Camera for a Face,” the 14-min film is a satirical fairy tale about the camerahead boy whose every moment is being recording by himself. The narrated film is told by Steven Berkoff as a rhyme, and tells “an epic story about the way we live today.” Director and writer Spencer Brown explores everyday issues with the film, from privacy issues to the constant documenting of our lives, to how were are glued to our devices. The multi-award-winning film can be seen below in full. It reminds me of a hybrid between The Grinch and EDtv. Thoughts? (via LS)

This Guy Has a Camera For an Eyeball

A similar story, but in real life: a man replaced his eyeball with a camera. Calling himself “Eyeborg,” the filmmaker named Rob Spence lost his eye at the age of 9 after not firing a shotgun properly. He says the idea came about after everyone nonstop joked about it. He says, “Literally everybody [said] it as a joke — people doing the surgery say, ‘Oh, you should get an eye camera.’” He initially switched out his prosthetic eye in 2011 with a camera, but he got an upgrade recently with a new camera that has a built-in micro radio-frequency transmitter. His initial design actually looked like electronics in his eye, Terminator-style, while his new eyeball is a camera hidden behind a prosthetic eye. He says people react differently to it every time: “The two reactions are, ‘Wow, that’s so cool’ — and, after a few moments’ reflection, ‘But that’s so creepy’.” With the eye camera, he can record up to three minutes of video at a time, due to it overheating. He can also monitor its “live view” through a handheld screen. To turn it off and on, he needs to tap a magnet against the eye; whoa. Spence is now working with his development team on getting the camera to record his life for hours at a time, which he then plans to shoot a literal POV documentary of his life. He has a 12-minute mini-documentary about his eye camera that was done a few years ago which I posted below in the meantime while we wait for his POV documentary. Awesome or just plain creepy? (via NYP)


Adobe Introduces New Feature For Not Cropping Panoramas

Adobe has updated Camera Raw along with Lightroom. In addition to bug fixes and new camera and lens profile support, there’s a new feature called Boundary Warp, which solves the problem of irregular boundaries when stitching together panoramas. Since a panoramic image typically has non-rectangular edges when it is stitched, most people end up cropping off a center portion of the image for a typical panoramic rectangular crop. Well, this solves that by analyzing the boundary and warps the image so that its edges fit a rectangular frame. They say another approach is to use Content Aware Fill (in Photoshop) to fill in the transparent areas outside the boundary, but that typically doesn’t work well with busy detailed scenes. Check out a GIF of it in action below. It will now be included in the new Lightroom CC update along with CameraRaw 9.4.


Photographer Recreates Iconic Image for the Environment

A photographer named Anthony Kurtz has re-imagined Joe Rosenthal’s iconic picture, “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” only switching the theme around to protecting the environment. In the recreated image, instead of soldiers raising a flag, he has a team of volunteers raising a tree on a landfill. He only spent a total of $70 to pull it off too. Check out the final image below and details on how he pulled it off here. (via FS)


Photo by Anthony Kurtz

Photojournalist Mugged By Refugees in France

A Dutch photojournalist named Teun Voeten got mugged by refugees while shooting a documentary at a migrant camp in Calais, France. Initially there to HELP the refugees, three of them came up to Voeten, armed with knives and pepper spray. Luckily, other migrants came up to stop the attack and they ran off. It was all captured on video too by videographer Maaike Engels who was shooting the doc, where you see the migrants tackling Voeten to the ground, trying to take his camera, then running off. He says of the video, which you can see below, “We put it online because it’s a perfect representation of refugees in general. You have good refugees and bad refugees. The bad ones were robbing us while the good ones were rescuing us.” (via TL)

Introducing the DRL: the Drone Racing League

There’s officially a Drone Racing League, called just that–the DRL. The 1st private race, which features rings to fly through, was held in the Miami Dolphins football stadium in Florida recently. The drones that participated were specially built for the race and can travel up to 80mph. In the video below, the drones fly around and through the stadium, in a very Star Wars-pod racing way, and the footage is of the drone’s POV. The DRL says one day this sport will fill stadiums with screaming fans. Investors of the league include the Miami Dolphins owner, Muse’s Matt Bellamy (makes sense since their new album is called Drones), and talent agency CAA. This is just the first of six races planned this year too, the next will be at an abandoned mall in L.A. Will this be the next big sport? (via Quartz)


Photographer Banned from North Korea After Posting Photos Online

A photographer got banned from North Korea after sharing “illegal” photos online. Éric Lafforgue was given rare access to shoot inside North Korea, photographing everything from government officials to everyday citizens. Well, he smuggled unapproved images out of the country on hidden memory cards and shared them online, with some being considered illegal by the country because they are photos of its army. The North Korean government saw the images, demanded they get taken down and deleted, which he refused to do. So, they banned him from the communist country. Click here to see all of the so-called banned images. Lafforgue also has thousands of government-approved photos of North Korea that are posted on his Flickr as well. (via PP)


Photo by Éric Lafforgue