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Strobist on flickr

Help a Broke Artist Win a Copy of Photshop CS3!


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Behind the Scenes


I've been seeing a lot more video featurettes of behind-the-scenes for photoshoots. Here's a great one from a recent NY Times Magazine Cover Shoot.

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Kids + Money


Award-winning photographer Lauren Greenfield teamed up with the NY Times to produce a short documentary on kids (in LA) with money, those without, and the difference between. It's a compelling piece.

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The Mentor & The Muse

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Eloquent Nude at the San Francisco MoMA. The movie focuses on Charis Wilson, Edward Weston’s longtime model and wife of several years. The documentary takes a brave step in using reenactments of various points in the relationship and lives of Edward and Charis. Luckily, the scenes are well done and lend an authentic charm without detracting from the film. The director chose to focus on specific episodes in the relationship while presenting a fairly chronological timeline of their entire relationship and time together, with interviews of Charis sprinkled throughout. At times however, the film lagged a little bit with, what I felt, as an over use of dead space. Overall, the film was a fascinating portrait of the woman who appears in many of Edwards’ remarkable nudes and of the relationship of the two, portrayed in a tasteful and respectful manner.

The highlight of the evening, was that Charis herself, now 93, was in attendance, and joined the director, Ian McCluskey, onstage for a Q&A session after the movie. She commented that Edward never directed or posed her, and that he was always silent behind the camera, save for when he would say ‘hold it” when he saw a pose he liked, which I found interesting. She was delightful and entertaining, and I had the chance to ask her a question, which was the last one of the night. Since the movie referenced her capacity to maintain a deep reservoir of dirty limericks, I asked her what her favorite one was. She recited one, (which I won’t repeat here) to tremendous applause afterward.

I’ve been reading Ben Maddow’s Biography of Weston recently, and the Daybooks as well, and felt privileged to hear the woman in so many of his amazing, iconic images talk about her experiences. I’m taking a workshop with Kim Weston this fall, and staying in the Bodie House that Weston built, and I hope to be bringing you daily blogs from Carmel.

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Mamiya Launches 22MP 645 System Under 10k


Mamiya announced a new 22 megapixel digital camera system that is expected to retail for $9,999. The system consists a Mamiya 645AFD II Medium Format Camera, the new Mamiya ZD 22MP digital back, and an 80mm f/2.8 AF lens. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom will be included in the system. Mamiya also introduced two new lenses, the Mamiya Sekor AF 75-150mm f/4.5 D and a full-frame 28mm f/4.5 D Aspherical.

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Canon's 50mp CMOS Sensor Prototype

If ISO was making you forget about megapixels, check out Canon's new 50 mp CMOS sensor. 4x6 prints at 1,333 px?!

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Microsoft Launches 'Surface'


Microsoft launched a multitouch surface computing device today at All Things Digital called Surface. It's a 30-inch tabletop display where users can grab and move information and objects with their hands. It's intended initially for commercial use such as bars and restaurants. (given it's $5k - 10k price tag). There's a demo video online where you can see it in action. Jeff Han from Popular Mechanics also has a behind the scenes video of Surface with commentary:

Gattis took out a digital camera and placed it on the Surface. Instantly, digital pictures spilled out onto the tabletop. As Gattis touched and dragged each picture, it followed his fingers around the screen. Using two fingers, he pulled the corners of a photo and stretched it to a new size. Then, Gattis put a cellphone on the surface and dragged several photos to it — just like that, the pictures uploaded to the phone. It was like a magic trick. He was dragging and dropping virtual content to physical objects. I'm not often surprised by new technology, but I can honestly say I'd never seen anything like it.
Microsoft is calling it the beginning of a new technology category, but they're not the first to develop a product using surface computing. Bjork is currently on tour with a device that manipulates sound by how objects are placed on it. It's called the Reactable and there are demo videos online at YouTube.

While they demonstrate Surface by placing a digital camera on it, then manipulating the images, I can't help but wonder how this could be used in the pro photo world. it seems like more visual candy, then practical application as far as that is concerned. Of course, perhaps it's a great display to transfer images so clients can see as they are shot in the studio, instead of looking at the laptop, or perhaps it would make a good light table, to organize and arrange selects from a shoot. However, unless this is integrated into a DAM workflow, it seems like mor of a product geared for the person at home who wants a simple way to manage their photo albums.

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