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Adam Ottke
Los Gatos, CA

Articles written by Adam Ottke

Dutch Police Training Eagles to Tackle Drones Like Prey

Dutch Police Training Eagles to Tackle Drones Like Prey

Drones are great, but they also pose a huge threat to general safety and national security if in the hands of the wrong people. The Secret Service has even said they don't yet have an effective method of defending against drones, although they recently began testing drone flights in their own backyard to defend against them. While some turn to strictly technological methods of bringing drones to the ground, the Dutch police are evaluating the effectiveness of a new program that trains eagles to grab drones from the sky with their talons.

MPC's Work on 'The Martian' Impresses In This VFX Breakdown

MPC's Work on 'The Martian' Impresses In This VFX Breakdown

Big movies mean big budgets, which usually mean big visual effects. The Moving Picture Company (better known as MPC) recently released another one of those mesmerizing VFX breakdown videos for their most recent feature film, “The Martian.” The breakdown reveals some aspects of the film and of Matt Damon's performance that were both challenging and impressive, like the fact that the helmets worn in the film didn't feature physical windscreens. Those were added later with matching reflections to the scenery.

Adobe's Lightroom Coffee Break Gives Quick, One-Minute Tutorials for Some Tips You Might Not Know

Adobe's Lightroom Coffee Break Gives Quick, One-Minute Tutorials for Some Tips You Might Not Know

Adobe launched a new YouTube series through their Lightroom channel to give Lightroom users some extra tips on features they may not have come across yet. While some highlighted features such as viewing masking for the sharpening tool are a little better known, others are more tucked away and might come as a surprise, like this feature that allows you to update the overall effect of a local adjustment with multiple sliders in effect.

Fujifilm Announces the Long-Awaited X-Pro2

Fujifilm Announces the Long-Awaited X-Pro2

The X-Pro1 started it all as it cemented its place while paving the way for its segment — the mirrorless rangefinder-style APS-C camera — as the way of the future. But until today, Fuji’s focus has been on further diversifying the segment with other high-end, mid-range, and budget mirrorless systems. Today’s announcement brings a new, true compact flagship to XF platform in the form of the 24-megapixel, professional-level X-Pro2.

Fuji Announces the X-E2S, X70, and XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 LM OIS WR Lens

Fuji Announces the X-E2S, X70, and XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 LM OIS WR Lens

In addition to the X-Pro2 announcement, Fujifilm also announced the release of the X-E2S, X70, and XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, each helping to further refine and round out Fuji's mirrorless lineup. The X-E2S is largely similar to it's predecessor (the X-E2), but improves ISO performance and offers several software enhancements. The X70 offers the same 16-megapixel X-Trans II CMOS sensor as the X-E2S in an appropriate update to Fuji's more affordable, fixed-lens XF line-up with an 18.5mm f/2.8 (28mm in 35mm equivalent) lens. And the 100-400mm lens fills out a part of Fuji's XF platform that has historically been in sore need of bolstering: it's lens selection.

10 Reasons to Register With the FAA by January 21, Even If You Don't Have Your Drone Yet

10 Reasons to Register With the FAA by January 21, Even If You Don't Have Your Drone Yet

Just in time for 2016, the FAA released a registration system and will require anyone currently operating unmanned aerial systems (UAS), otherwise known as "drones," to register by February 19 of this year. Although the FAA's legal authority over this issue is questionable and although this applies to anyone flying drones only within certain weight guidelines for hobby or recreational use outdoors, there are a number of reasons you should register in the next 10 days, even if these particular circumstances do not apply to you.

CameraLends' New App Opens Easy Peer-to-Peer Gear Renting to iPhone

CameraLends' New App Opens Easy Peer-to-Peer Gear Renting to iPhone

CameraLends has been letting gear owners rent out their gear to peers when it's not in use since its inception three years ago. Until now, everything has been done through their website. The new CameraLends iPhone app, however, lets users manage the entire rental process from the ease and mobility of their iPhones. Making money on your gear when you're not using it is now easier than ever.

Samsung Announces 450MB/s Super Portable SSD T3

Samsung Announces 450MB/s Super Portable SSD T3

Samsung's Portable SSD T1, has been a fantastically tiny and handy external drive since its inception. Yesterday, for CES 2016, Samsung announced its successor, the Portable SSD T3, sharing many of the same features with the T1, such as the claimed 450MB/s transfer rate, 850 EVO-based NAND flash memory, and AES 256-bit encryption that won't slow the drive down. Meanwhile, a new shockproof design almost doubles the weight and adds to its bulk a bit, but protects the drive in up to 1500 g drops. Also new to the line is the 2 TB capacity and USB-C connection.

Phase One Brings 100-Megapixel Resolution to the XF, DF+, and Hasselblad with the CMOS-Based IQ3 100MP

Phase One Brings 100-Megapixel Resolution to the XF, DF+, and Hasselblad with the CMOS-Based IQ3 100MP

Sony's 50-megapixel sensor found in the latest 645 medium format digital CMOS bodies brought such cameras down in price considerably for the first time while extending ISO usability to the more DSLR-normal ISO 6,400. Today's announcement brings a new iteration of that technology in the form of the IQ3 100MP, also in a CMOS flavor. Although the resolution is doubled (and file size is quadrupled), Phase One also managed to pull out an extra stop of ISO performance on both ends of the spectrum, which now goes from ISO 50–12,800. Dynamic range also increases a stop over other models to 15 stops.

Castrol's VR Campaign Blurs the Lines Between Virtual and Reality

Castrol's VR Campaign Blurs the Lines Between Virtual and Reality

Whether your business is in photography, videography, or the evolving field virtual reality (VR), your job is to create a visual experience for your clients. As VR grows in popularity and in quality, its potential to create more immersive experiences in relation to more traditional media types increases immensely. The effect that systems like Oculus Rift can have ultimately depend, however, on how realistic one can make not only the imagery, but also the user feedback. Castrol EDGE's custom VR solution pushes the limit between what you can expect from a VR setup as it pits two race car drivers on different real-world tracks against each other in the same virtual world.

Vincent Laforet's 'AIR' Book Strikes a Balance Between Serene Cityscapes and Visual Overload

Vincent Laforet's 'AIR' Book Strikes a Balance Between Serene Cityscapes and Visual Overload

I have been following and reporting on Vincent Laforet's "AIR" series since its first round was released. I came across an early printing of the book itself in the waiting area of San Francisco's Storehouse startup while I was about to take on another interview. I knew Storehouse and Laforet had a good working relationship, and I knew the images so well. But I didn't have time to look inside -- not that I felt I had to, however, since I knew the work inside and out. So when Laforet offered me a copy of the book to review, I simply had to say, "Of course," even if it was with mixed feelings. What could I, objectively speaking, really get out of it? Hadn't I seen it all?

World's First Drone Light Painting Rings In the Holidays with Style

World's First Drone Light Painting Rings In the Holidays with Style

Leave it to a German drone company to create the world's first light painting by drone with a fully programmed flight path, all to create one fantastic holiday time-lapse of Santa Claus delivering presents. Perhaps the most unique part of the project isn't the world-first of programming a drone to complete a multi-colored light painting, but is instead the reimagining of Santa Claus' method of delivery, as something more similar to that of your neighborhood newspaper boy with perfect accuracy.

Lily Announces Delivery Delay of Drone Pre-Orders Amidst Issues During Testing

Lily Announces Delivery Delay of Drone Pre-Orders Amidst Issues During Testing

Today's airspace is more and more crowded with drones that, for the most part, all do the same thing. This lack of product diversity is the reason Lily, with its unique combination of features including landing and taking off in water or on your hand, awed thousands when its promo video launched. Its incredibly good pre-order deal undoubtedly helped spread it further at a low price of $499. The best part: this wasn't a crowd-funding campaign. Lily had financing. This was happening. Until it wasn't.

Adobe's Explosive Profit Boost Could Help It Give Creatives the Leg Up They've Been Begging For

Adobe's Explosive Profit Boost Could Help It Give Creatives the Leg Up They've Been Begging For

Adobe’s last quarter results are out, and they’re better than ever. Adobe’s Creative Cloud and media business rose 35 percent thanks to a 23 percent beat on subscriber expectations, while the company’s overall net income more than doubled from $88.1 million to a staggering $222 million. Adobe’s fourth-quarter earnings report shot its stock to all-time highs. On one hand, that’s good business. But what does this mean for creatives who have felt an increasingly rocky relationship with the software giant?

Sigma's New WR Ceramic Protector Might Actually Protect Your Front Element

Sigma's New WR Ceramic Protector Might Actually Protect Your Front Element

Landscape photographers use polarizing, neutral density, and graduated filters of all types for effects they would consider pivotal to their work. Meanwhile, however, the Internet has been beating up UV and other clear types of filters, bringing to light that "UV filters protect your lens" is a falsehood. While even the best UV filters might shatter in an impact, Sigma has developed a brand new filter type called the "WR Ceramic Protector," which is actually supposed to absorb, bend with, and mitigate shock from an impact.

Miniaturized Hydrogen Fuel Cells Promise Six-Fold Increase in Drone Flight Times

Miniaturized Hydrogen Fuel Cells Promise Six-Fold Increase in Drone Flight Times

The Verge reported Tuesday that British hydrogen fuel cell technology company Intelligent Energy has been successfully testing a miniaturized version of a hydrogen fuel cell as part of a drone system with the intent to increase flight times. Through such hydrogen fuel cell technology, drones could start flying for up to and over two hours, which would be a six-fold increase over the current industry-standard 20-minute flight time for many drones.

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Special: Astronomy Review

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Special: Astronomy Review

Not long ago, I released a review of Sigma's newest Art-series lens, the 20mm f/1.4 Art. Unfortunately, Northern California skies have had bit of a tough time clearing up despite numerous requests from astrophotographers below, patiently waiting for news of this lens' nighttime, Milky Way performance. Last night, although far from perfect, areas of the sky did clear up enough to get a small consensus on how this lens fares when pointed toward the stars.

MacPhun's New All-in-One Aurora HDR Software Explained by Trey Ratcliff

MacPhun's New All-in-One Aurora HDR Software Explained by Trey Ratcliff

MacPhun released Aurora HDR just a few weeks ago and touts it as the most advanced high dynamic range (HDR) software in the world. Certainly, veteran users of Photoshop and Lightroom might be skeptical. But if your sole purpose is to create HDR photos on the Mac, Aurora HDR might be the best option out there, seeing as it was created with the close consultation of HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. In this video, Ratcliff dives deep in a first-hand look into how to get the most from Aurora HDR.

RED's New $9,950 SCARLET-W and SCARLET-W Monochrome: 5K at 60fps, 2K ProRes on DRAGON Sensor

RED's New $9,950 SCARLET-W and SCARLET-W Monochrome: 5K at 60fps, 2K ProRes on DRAGON Sensor

RED's been busy again, this time bringing its most loved sensor to its most affordable DRAGON configuration yet. Utilizing a portion of that 6K sensor, the SCARLET-W shoots 5K at 60fps, 4K at 150fps, and 2K at 300fps with REDCODE RAW and will shoot RAW plus scaled 2K ProRes HQ at 60fps. Additionally, it comes with the built-in wireless, 3D LUTs, and same system compatibility of the rest of the DSMC² lineup.

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