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Adam Ottke
Los Gatos, CA

Articles written by Adam Ottke

Simple Beauty Trumps All in New iPhone-Shot Short That Reminds Us 4K Isn't Everything

Simple Beauty Trumps All in New iPhone-Shot Short That Reminds Us 4K Isn't Everything

It can be daunting to try to think of a completely new, never-been-done-before concept for a shoot. But sometimes, the answer is surprisingly simple. In an age in which everyone is touting shooting on the latest equipment with 4K video, while begging for ever-greater bit rates, Japanese designer Dan Tomimatsu took pause to give us something refreshingly simple and beautiful. Using a water droplet "stuck" inside a five-yen coin as a lens on an iPhone, Tomimatsu shot "O (eau)" with the intention of reminding the world that beauty can be found outside of razor-sharp 4K imagery.

Action Scene From 'Everest' Without Sound Effects Reminds Us of the Importance of Great Sound

Action Scene From 'Everest' Without Sound Effects Reminds Us of the Importance of Great Sound

While the original source couldn't be independently confirmed, the studio behind the recently released movie, "Everest," apparently sent BBC a clip of the still unreleased film without audio effects. Instead, throughout the entire otherwise hair-raising scene, the actors speak to each other in a tone seemingly more appropriate for a focus group discussion between amateurs trying to solve a Rubik's cube than for a life-threatening situation climbing Mount Everest.

PSA: What You Need to Know Before Upgrading to OS X 10.11 El Capitan Today

PSA: What You Need to Know Before Upgrading to OS X 10.11 El Capitan Today

While some physical improvements with Spotlight, Photos, Safari, and other Apple apps are definitely welcome with today's new OS X release, perhaps the most exciting aspect of El Capitan are the under-the-hood improvements for performance gains. There’s no need to explain how time-saving performance upgrades can be for working professionals — and for those reasons, everyone will want to update immediately. But there are some things to always take into consideration before an operating system upgrade.

iPhone 6S Vs. 6S Plus 4K Video Comparison Proves There Is No Substitute for Optical Stabilization

iPhone 6S Vs. 6S Plus 4K Video Comparison Proves There Is No Substitute for Optical Stabilization

Aside from some people getting theirs early and others being in time zones where "today" was "yesterday," the iPhone comes out today in the U.S. And of course, those who have theirs have already spent plenty of time comparing various features. This new video by Giga Tech highlights the differences between the iPhone 6S' and 6S Plus' respective video qualities when it comes to video stabilization. The larger Plus model features optical stabilization as its predecessor did while the smaller size of the smaller 6S only leaves room for digital stabilization — and the difference is quite dramatic.

Storehouse 2.0 Arrives as Redesigned App That Better Complements Your Professional Life

Storehouse 2.0 Arrives as Redesigned App That Better Complements Your Professional Life
When Storehouse first launched, it was hard not to fall in love with the ease with which anyone could create visually stunning multimedia layouts. Version 1.0, however, was a perfect example of how the way people end up using an app can create completely unexpected climates and patterns of use. Storehouse 2.0 does away with a large part of the social media aspect of the app while keeping the great story creation tools and simplifying (and concentrating) how users share content.

Lowepro Expands Applauded ProTactic Line with Four New Photography Bags

Lowepro Expands Applauded ProTactic Line with Four New Photography Bags

It was some time ago now that I reviewed one of Lowepro's first ProTactic AW bags when it first came out, and it was quite well received on this end. Today, Lowepro announced the addition of four new bags to the ProTactic line which are easily recognizable and known for their external SlipLock-compatible accessory and webbing system and semi-rigid, premium build. Today's newest bags come in smaller sizes and, for the first time, in shoulder-bag variants — all maintaining the all-weather (AW) design with smaller mirrorless or single-body kits in mind. For the commuters or über-mobile that don't need room for multiple bodies and half a dozen lenses in addition to a 15-inch laptop, these smaller options may be the best choice now that they're on the market.

Hands-On with a Pre-Production Vantage Robotics 'Snap' Drone: The One I Wish I Always Had

Hands-On with a Pre-Production Vantage Robotics 'Snap' Drone: The One I Wish I Always Had

First, second, third, and fourth generations of several companies’ drones are now out on the market. But it’s only as we head into 2016 that the drone race is really on and that all the other possible players with their collectively interesting ideas who might have lagged behind a little are now crossing the halfway point. That race won’t end anytime soon, as the consumer drone market’s innovation is only picking up. I caught up with Vantage Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Tobin Fisher on a beautiful San Francisco morning on Crissy Field, where he let his company's new 4K drone, “Snap,” do just that.

Why and How I Upgrade My iPhone Every Year

Why and How I Upgrade My iPhone Every Year
Whether they are anti-technology, anti-corporation, or anti-spending in any way, more and more people seem to be specifically against the idea of upgrading their gadgets every year. This is not more true than it is for those shiny, beautiful, brand new smartphones. But when it comes down to it, I think it’s not only worth it, but also incredibly necessary.

First Close-Up Images of Pluto Downloaded from New Horizons and Released

First Close-Up Images of Pluto Downloaded from New Horizons and Released

New Horizons left Florida's Cape Canaveral launch pad on January 19, 2006, arrived over Pluto more than nine years later on July 14, 2015, and finally gave scientists its first images over Labor Day weekend, when its year-long, tediously slow data dump first began. Coming in at 2,000 bits per second (1/28th the speed of dial-up), these images - many of which are composited in various ways to form a final image - finally shed some light on what secrets Pluto's surface, atmosphere, and core might hold. All told, the results give sci-fi fanatics a run for their money.

Portable Hard Drive Update: Where We Are, What's New, and What You Really Need

Portable Hard Drive Update: Where We Are, What's New, and What You Really Need

Every now and then, it’s good to have a quick update to know what the biggest, fastest, or most affordable drives are for the money. We’re always on the go and in need of more storage, so portable hard drives go to the top of the list when new ones come out. Though it’s not that new, Western Digital’s newest and largest portable 3 TB, single-drive offering is still sometimes out of stock, but the 3 TB My Passport Ultra is certainly not alone in its segment.

Zeiss Launches Entirely New 'Milvus' Line of High-Performance Lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs

Zeiss Launches Entirely New 'Milvus' Line of High-Performance Lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs

Zeiss was long expected to announce at least one new Otus lens today (and I suppose they still might, although I wouldn't hold your breath). Instead, at least for now, Zeiss announced a new line of lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs under the moniker, "Milvus." Oddly enough, however, there are some interesting, stand-out differences between the Nikon and Canon versions.

Canon Officially Developing 8K Recording Equipment and a 120-Megapixel DSLR

Canon Officially Developing 8K Recording Equipment and a 120-Megapixel DSLR

Camera manufacturers have been in a megapixel race for some time. Canon has its new 5DS and 5DS R bodies, Nikon has its D810 and even the D810A for astrophotography, and PhaseOne, Hasselblad, Pentax, and even Leica are competing for medium format, high-megapixel territory. While Canon's 120-megapixel APS-H sensor is actually not entirely new (it was announced some time ago), the announcement that Canon is actually working to get it into a DSLR body and not just using it for bragging rights (their 250 MP sensor now lifts that crown) is a huge development. Meanwhile, Canon is among the first to announce some serious commitment to 8K video.

G-Technology's New Enclosures and Adapters Offer Increased Flexibility and Support for All Creative Workflows

G-Technology's New Enclosures and Adapters Offer Increased Flexibility and Support for All Creative Workflows

Professional hard drive and storage solutions company G-Technology unveiled a series of new hard drives that expand compatibility and flexibility with their growing Evolution Series solutions. Denoted with an "ev" in their product names, the Evolution Series products enable professionals to take portable project drives on the go, dock them to professional and extremely fast workstations in the office, and then go mobile again -- all with the same drive(s). Among the new devices is a creation from a G-Technology and RED Digital Cinema partnership: the ev Series Reader RED MINI-MAG Edition.

Canon Announces The 35mm f/1.4L II USM

Canon Announces The 35mm f/1.4L II USM

Canon's rumored 35mm follow-up is finally here. Apart from the obvious general increase in quality with the standard aspheric and ultra-low dispersion elements, the new lens specifically promises to further reduce chromatic aberration (important for wide-aperture lenses) while being the "ideal complement to the latest generation of Canon's high-resolution DSLRs" (i.e. the 50-megapixel Canon 5DS and 5DS R cameras).

Relativity and the Context Within: Thoughts on Power and Responsibility in Photography

Relativity and the Context Within: Thoughts on Power and Responsibility in Photography
An unedited photograph I took in the Santa Cruz Mountains and posted on Instagram got a decent amount of feedback. People asked questions about where this was, what kind of dream world I had uncovered, and if they could repost it in some form in different areas of the web. I loved this image, too; but naturally, I began to wonder what it was that was so special or engaging about this photograph? I almost never take anything but "people" shots.

14-Year SNL Director of Photography, Alex Buono, on His Beginnings, Working for Free, and Advice for Film Students

14-Year SNL Director of Photography, Alex Buono, on His Beginnings, Working for Free, and Advice for Film Students
When someone asks if you’ll be able to meet with a DP that has worked with NBC’s Saturday Night Live over the last decade and a half, you don’t exactly say, “No, thanks.” You’re simply guaranteed to get something great. Even coming from USC’s film school, it takes a lot to get that position. But, by his own admission, Alex Buono would be hard pressed to disagree that all it takes is attitude, persistence, and a little free work at the start.