BTS Video Describes Process of Creating the Human-Like 'Ava' Robot In 'Ex Machina'

Hollywood's latest A.I. thriller, "Ex Machina," promised to take viewers on a fascinating and thrilling philosophical, ethical, and human journey. The Turing test, man's domination over machine, artifically intelligent machines' potential and perhaps inevitable self-awareness and domination over man, and an eccentric Silicon Valley-like billionaire-type leading the helm... how could this not be a great film? More on that later, but to make all of this happen, director Alex Garland and VFX supervisor Andrew Whitehurst had to create a robot that would connect so well with audiences that we would treat it as any other human character.

What I Learned From Shooting My First Wedding of the Season

The short days and long nights of winter have finally given way and spring is in full swing. For many photographers, this means one thing: wedding season. While wedding season is great, it can also be physically and mentally exhausting. I recently shot my first wedding of the season and want to share a few tips as well as things I would do differently next time around to help you plan ahead and prepare for any events you have coming up.

Photographer Jason Lanier Is Out to End Discrimination Against Small Business Photographers

Photographer Jason Lanier is on a mission to end discrimination against the small business photographer. As seen in the video above, he and his group were confronted multiple times while attempting to do a shoot. In the first location they are asked to leave the premise altogether. In the second they were asked to "make it look less commercial" by getting rid of a strobe. In both instances they weren't interfering with any event around them nor were they disturbing the public and only had a single portable strobe setup. Lanier notes a growing trend to neglect and discriminate against the small business photographer.

Cheap and Used Versus the New Hotness: Why Buying a Cheap Camera is the Best Thing for Beginners

As a fairly established photographer, many beginners ask me what camera to buy to get started. What’s more important: body or lenses? Or is it the brand? My standard advice has always been to buy a cheap, used body and save your money for quality lenses. A beginner just doesn't need a high-end camera. That’s easy to say, of course, when you shoot on a Nikon D800 with some pretty nice glass. Perhaps it was time to do a little experimenting of my own to see what, if any, difference there was between a top end camera and something cheap.

Hands-On Review with Sigma's Newest 24mm f/1.4 Art Beauty

Coming off of its previous reputation as an extreme budget brand when it came to DSLR lenses, Sigma has now had well over two years to fend off quality concerns with their restructured Global Vision lineup that began with the superb 35mm f/1.4 Art lens. Since then, Sigma’s Art-, Contemporary-, and Sport-series lenses have proven themselves better than or on par with their Nikon and Canon counterparts for far less capital; and the 24mm f/1.4 Art gives us no reason to suspect the new direction doesn’t have a clear vision to go global.

Sounds and Sights: Finding Your Creative Voice

Two summers ago, I attended a music festival in Italy, where I had the opportunity to attend a master class given by Louis Andriessen, a prominent figure in new music composition. Classical musicians are known for striving for perfection, so when I opened one of his scores and found the following note regarding the ossias (alternate passages of music), I was struck:

There's You, and There's Your Social Media You

Who are you? Ok, now who are you? You know that name you've decided to call yourself and now have x amount of people calling you that? How often have you stopped to think about how important your social media name — your brand — is? It's something that, many times, I myself have come to revamp, change the style of, market differently, and so on.

Are Photographers Destroying Nature?

As nature photography has grown, so has its critics. Wardens, legislators, and police officers have begun to push for laws that would better protect animals in nature and create more concrete boundaries by which a potential shooter would follow. Are we, as photographers, the new law-breaching intruders, à la poachers? Are we destroying nature?