B&H is Accused of WHAT: RAWtalk 173 LIVE
Thank you for tuning into this weeks show which was recorded LIVE at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia PA.
The biggest news story of the week is B&H has been accused of discrimination by the U.S. Government. If this is true will you still purchase from them? Discussion at 21:23.
This weeks show is brought to you by AudioBlocks.com/go/fro and VideoBlocks.com/go/fro In a majority of our videos you will find some sort of asset used from the two services I just mentioned. If we need sound effects or music we turn to AudioBlocks. If we need B-Roll footage or clips we turn to VideoBlocks. Please check them out if you’re a video editor.
This was the first time we had the entire crew for a LIVE show and I hope we can do more around the world. If you would like to see us in your city please make sure to tweet me @FroKnowsPhoto and hashtag the city we should do a RAWtalk in.
Thank you for your continued support.
00:00:15 – Show Intro
00:00:59 – Show Start
00:04:08 – Joe Had to Buy a Ticket?
00:05:18 – Stephen’s New T(odd)-Shirt
00:05:45 – This Week’s Plug: Audioblocks
00:08:01 – Photo News
00:08:31 – Stephen Spilled His Beer…
00:10:53 – TIME Photographer Choked
00:21:23 – B&H Sued By Government
00:25:17 – Joe’s T(odd)-Shirt Comeback
00:39:44 – Gear of the Week: Book/Print
00:42:06 – Stephen’s Other New T(odd)-Shirt
00:43:08 – Jared’s Oprah Moment
00:46:50 – Flying Solo
01:22:43 – Wheel of Fro
Here’s all of Stephen’s photo news stories in detail:
SD Announces New Card Standard: SD 5.0
The SD Association has announced their latest version of the SD standard called SD 5.0. The new standard introduces the fastest SD speed class thus far called the Video Speed Class. With the new class, SD 5.0 cards will now be able to support 4K, 8K, 3D and 360-degree video recording. SDA president Brian Kumagai says, “With Video Speed Class, SD device and memory card manufacturers can offer the highest-quality video recording to consumers and professionals that keep pace with the awesome video resolutions not only offered today, but anticipated tomorrow.” The new Video Speed Class will feature a new mark on SD cards as well with the letter V and the transfer rate noted next to it (ie. V60). The slowest minimum speed for the new class will start at 6mb/s (noted as V6) up to the fastest minimum Video Speed which is 90mb/s (noted with a V90 label)—this speed is three times faster than the current UHS3 speed class requirements, which cap out at about 30mb/s. Remember, these are just the minimum speed requirements and actual transfer rates may be much higher. No word on when the new card spec will hit the market but it should be expected in the very near future. Check out SD’s entire press release with all the detailed specs here. Which new camera will be the first to support this new standard?
Photojournalist Choke-Slammed by Secret Service at Trump Rally
Ouch, a photojournalist was choke-slammed at a recent Donald Trump rally in Radford, Virginia. The photographer, TIME photojournalist Christopher Morris, was taken to the ground by a U.S. Secret Service agent, which was all caught on camera. In the video(s), the photographer mouths “f*** you” repeatedly to the agent, moments before the choke-slam. Another video, which can be seen below, shows that after getting thrown to the ground by his throat, the photographer then gets up and proceeds to grab the agent’s throat in order to showcase the choke hold he had just experienced. Morris was later briefly detained. Why did this happen? Morris says he stepped 18-inches out of the press pen to photograph a Black Lives Matter protest that interrupted the speech before he was confronted and slammed to the ground. He goes on to note that he was assaulted first and that he won’t press charges. Morris says, “I’ve worked for nine years at the White House and have never had an altercation with the Secret Service. What happened today was very unfortunate and unexpected.” He goes on to say, “The rules at Trump events are significantly stricter than other campaigns and make it very difficult to work as a photographer, as many others have pointed out before me. I regret my role in the confrontation, but the agent’s response was disproportionate and unnecessarily violent. I hope this incident helps call attention to the challenges of press access.” The secret service has since issued their own statement, saying “At this time, our local field office is working with their law enforcement partners to determine the exact circumstances that led up to this incident. The Secret Service will provide further details as warranted once additional facts surrounding the situation are known.” A.K.A. not much of a statement… The NPPA (National Press Photographer’s Association) then issued a statement. President Melissa Lyttle says, “We assert the function of the Secret Service at these events is to provide security and deescalate confrontational situations, not create them. It is apparent from various videos of the incident that the agent involved violently threw Mr. Morris to the ground while holding him around the neck. If indeed all Mr. Morris was attempting to do was step out of the press pen to photograph a newsworthy event happening at the rear of the room, the agent clearly overreacted.” They go on to note that they also call on the U.S. Secret Service to thoroughly investigate this incident and make sure its agents are better trained in handling the media while protecting the candidates. Check out multiple angles of the incident below, from the initial confrontation, to the takedown, to Morris being interviewed after the fact. Who was in the wrong here? (via TIME / NYP)
And End Of An Era: Fujifilm Discontinues Last Peel-Apart Film
Fujifilm is officially discontinuing its FP-100C instant color film. This marks the end of an era, their peel-apart film line. This news comes roughly 3 years after Fujifilm decided to discontinue its faster, B&W brother, the FP–3000B line. Fuji notes that its due to low sales figures: “while this was a difficult decision, it was necessary in order to remain sustainable in today’s market. Going forward, the supply of FP-100C will be available until the inventory is exhausted.” RIP.
These Dogs Were Trained To Take Photos
Introducing the phoDOGraphers, a group of dogs that were specifically trained to TAKE studio portraits. There’s a new video that features the dogs, which can be viewed below, that was made as part of “Smile Day” last month. The video description, created by Mars Japan pet food brands, reads, “Dogs were always the ones being photographed. What if they take photos of the family they live with?” The video focuses on three families of dog lovers who love taking pictures of their pets. The humans were invited to a portrait studio for a family photo shoot. What they didn’t know, was that their dogs had been secretly trained to push a large red button — a shutter release mounted to the top of a Hasselblad medium format camera. The video ends with two pictures hanging on the wall, with the dogs portrait taken by the humans on the left, and the family photos taken by the dog on the right. The question is, does the dog own the copyright to all the images now? Or will this be another PETA lawsuit? (via Bokeh)
Professor Invents a Printer That “Prints” Photos From Coffee
Introducing the Coffee Drip Printer, a machine that prints photos out of drops of coffee. Created by RIT photography professor Ted Kinsman, the machine has just 32KB of storage memory, so you can only supply roughly an 80x100px digital image. Being super-low resolution, the photo is printed with large drops, that should be properly viewed far away—it reminds me of Pointillism. Kinsman says, “The machine allows experimentation with drip height, drip size, drip chemistry, spacing of drips, and especially the paper that the drips fall on – all of these affect the image results.” Similar to a JPEG image, each pixel is turned into a number, from 0-256, 0 being no coffee drip at all, and 256 being the largest drop. This represents the luminance value for the final image, with the smallest drips mimicking highlights, and the largest drips appearing darker. The machine can currently do 53 different shades of coffee. The machine can print with nearly any liquid you give it too, but Kinsman chose coffee due to its price and availability. He says, “Since I always have left over coffee, I thought it would be a fun medium to play with.” He adds that “Just about everyone can relate to coffee and this medium is often used to get people interested in what the machine can do.” Time wise, each print requires about an hour to print and a full day to completely dry. Check out a demo video of it in action below: (via PP)
B&H Being Sued By The Government
B&H is now being sued by the U.S. government for discrimination, as a result of a review conducted between January 2011 and January 2013, and finalized in 2014. This comes just months after their warehouse workers rose up and unionized, citing poor working conditions. The U.S. Labor Department announced its lawsuit last week, accusing B&H of violating federal requirements at its Brooklyn camera gear warehouse. The government says B&H “has systematically discriminated against Hispanic employees and female, black and Asian jobseekers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse.” Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Patricia A. Shiu, notes that “B&H fell far short of this responsibility and created deplorable working conditions for employees at its Brooklyn warehouse.” The specific government accusations include that B&H allegedly required Hispanic warehouse workers to use separate bathrooms from other employees, restrooms that are both dirty “and often inoperable.” The lawsuit also accuses B&H of only hiring Hispanic men into its entry-level laborer positions, paying the Hispanic workers less than their white coworkers, subjecting Hispanic workers to harassment, failing to keep proper records, failing to provide designated bathrooms, and changing facilities for women, and much more. Regarding numbers, the investigation found that at least 57 of 170 Hispanic workers earned significantly less than their white counterparts, and 201 Hispanic employees were demoted to lower status and lower-paying jobs when compared to their white counterparts who were promoted. The government also alleges that more than 2,500 women were not hired because of their gender, and 6,180 blacks and 750 Asians were not hired because of their race. The government says they filed the lawsuit after determining that “it was unable to secure a voluntary agreement from B&H to take corrective action.” It’s demanding that B&H provide relief for the affected workers, unless they decide to cancel their contract with the government. Check out the full document of the lawsuit for all the details here. B&H has since responded, calling the accusations “inaccurate” and “bizarre,” saying “The allegations you have been hearing about are largely made by people who have never set foot in a B&H facility. We can declare outright that B&H does NOT have any segregated bathrooms by race or religion, and anyone working at B&H knows that to be true.” They go on to note that “Every one of our employees is treated with respect and dignity, no matter of race, religion or gender. The average employee tenure at B&H far exceeds most of our competitors and as well as most employers of any kind. Our employees are well compensated, offered generous benefits, and they are given 17 paid days off in addition to 3 weeks paid vacation. Few companies offer this.” The company ends with, “Over the next few weeks and months, you will hear more and see the growth, and we will make sure our customers and our employees are kept keenly aware of the situation.” One B&H spokesperson reached out to Petapixel stating that, “The truth of the matter is these are trumped up allegations. It is true that I have 18 years with B&H, but I have not witnessed any of these allegations. I wouldn’t work for an outfit like it is being portrayed. The segregated bathrooms is a complete and utter lie, and it makes for good press, so it’s being tossed around.” Hmm… (via PP / NYP)
Nikon Recalls the D750…Again
Nikon has issued yet another service advisory for the D750. The recall is regarding the same issue as before, the shutter issue that caused a nasty lens flare on some users images. It was first discovered back in mid 2015, when Nikon initially recalled and repaired the issue with models made from October – November of 2014. Fast forward, they have now discovered that the issue affects more models than initially thought. The service advisory has now been expanded to models made between December 2014 – June 2015. D750 users can see if they have one of the affected cameras by submitting their serial number to Nikon’s website here. Nikon says they’ll repair it free of charge as usual: “Once your D750 camera is received by Nikon, your D750 camera’s shutter will be examined and replaced, and your D750 camera returned to you free of charge, even if your D750 camera warranty has expired.”
DJI’s New Drone Can Fly Itself
DJI has announced their new Phantom 4 camera drone. The big selling point here is that the thing can pretty much fly itself. The Phantom 4 has five total cameras, the main 4K camera, along with two cameras on the front and two on the bottom. These cameras let the drone see what is around it, creating a 3D map of its surroundings which lets it dodge obstacles and track subjects. The new drone can see everything in front of it, from 50-feet away, to 30-feet underneath it. There’s a few new features in the drone including its new Active Track which lets the drone track any moving subject, keeping it in frame, and Tap Fly which allows you to tap anywhere on the monitor and it will fly to it. These new features will allow you to focus more on controlling the camera than the drone itself. Battery life has been upgraded too, it has a new, more compact battery, that allows for 28 minutes of flight time, versus the previous 25. DJI also says this latest Phantom is 5 times better at staying motionless in the air compared to prior models. It has a new sport mode that allows it to fly a top speed of 45 mph. The 3-axis gimbal is now built in for better stability, which houses the camera that has a newly refined lens that’s both sharper and has reduced chromatic aberration. The camera shoots 4K UHD too at up to 30fps or full HD at up to 120fps. The Phantom 4 will is available now starting at $1,399. Users can also purchase DJI’s new insurance, DJI Care, for $299 for the year. Will you be upgrading?