Articles written by Torsten Kathke
CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, held each January in Las Vegas, is usually a place where new technologies compete for eyes and wallets, where, in a way, the world of the future is presented to us. We can experience this future first hand on the show floor. We can turn on a TV, or click on news links and YouTube videos. We can also read the glossy, picture-laden pages of electronics magazines, and the somewhat less glossy ones of newspapers. These analog news sources are where one of this year's most talked about photography and film-related invention should feel most at home: Super 8 is back.
Hands up, who is doing a year-long photo project in 2017? I see. That's quite a few of you. Commendable. It's a big thing, to commit yourself to do something creative for a whole year. Heck, it's a big thing to commit yourself to doing most anything for a whole year. Imagine committing to eating chia seeds every day for a year, or biking to work, or giving up smoking, or giving up biking or chia seeds. I shudder to think. But you don't have to. It's fine not to. No, that doesn't mean you should slack off and do nothing. Here's the case for smaller, shorter, more concentrated projects. They're just as fulfilling, I promise.
It's winter in the Northern hemisphere. Though it's only been winter for about week – at least if you go by the Old Farmer's Almanac, which I'm certain we all still read religiously – it's been cold for a while. For film photographers, summer is a happy season with enough light, with gorgeous colors, and little worry about malfunctioning equipment. If you're not hanging out in the wettest of jungles or the hottest of deserts, anyway. The cold is less kind to our equipment and our medium. Cameras are susceptible to malfunction, film becomes brittle.
Peak Design is a camera accessory and bag maker that began on Kickstarter, producing the Everyday Messenger bag. They designed the Everyday Messenger in cooperation with photographer Trey Ratcliff, who supposedly had quite a bit of input on its usability. Peak Design recently released three new bag lines following its most recent take to the crowdsourcing site that started it all for them. I supported the campaign and, after a bit of a run-around with a delivery service clearly feeling the pre-Christmas rush, received the Everyday Tote in time for this review.
If you are a professional filmmaker or photographer working with a regular camera from any of the large makers, there is no simple and reliable way to encrypt your files in camera. To put pressure on camera makers to provide such an option, the Freedom of the Press Foundation released open letters to Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, and Sony requesting that the manufacturers add encryption. The identical letters to five major camera makers were signed each by over 150 journalists, photographers, and filmmakers and sent out on December 14.
One may be the loneliest number, but it may also be all you need. Gear is necessary for photography. Gear is a huge part of the fun of photography for many photographers. And having a variety of lenses at our disposal allows us to get shots in all kinds of circumstances. But when you're not out shooting for money, and instead are trying out a slowed-down approach to photography for a personal project, one prime lens may do nicely.
This year, October 15 through October 22, was Polaroid Week 2016 (also known, in a somewhat noisier fashion, as 'RoidWeek). On a whim, I decided to join in. Polaroid Week has been going on since 2006, but it has grown in recent years. It is held twice yearly, once in spring and again in fall.
This is a quick review of something very simple: a charging cable. "A charging cable?" you may wonder. "Now, why would anyone care about that?" Well, the cable reviewed is a special kind of cable: it combines an Apple Lightning connector and a micro-USB connector. That is nothing new, but it is done well here and actually a much more useful thing than you'd expect.
Lemkesoft's Mac-only GraphicConverter has been around since 1992. Version 10.2 has just been released, and now integrates into Apple's Photos app. This makes it a great small tool for light editing of images in the Apple ecosystem. Time to quickly review an indispensable little piece of software that doesn't get much love or recognition.
The photography industry has made one error over and over again. It is expressed in the assumption that since the march of technology makes it possible to achieve something with less effort, photographers will be happy to accept the current standard and pay extra for more convenient ways of achieving it. Instead, photographers have consistently chosen lower quality in exchange for convenience or asked for higher quality while keeping the process much the same.
Photokina is a juggernaut. Held every two years since 1966 (intermittently before that beginning in 1950), it has long become one of the largest, and arguably the single most important trade fair in the photo industry. Two years is a short enough interval to not miss larger trends, yet long enough to skip over fads, so the biannual trade show offers valuable snapshots that help us understand where the industry at large is moving. Photokina 2016 closed almost four weeks ago. Enough time has passed for things to sink in, so let's look back and contemplate what the most notable trends from this year's show were.
Eastman Kodak and UK-based Bullitt Group yesterday announced a new smartphone which capitalizes on image-making. The 21-megapixel Kodak Ektra comes with a 6-axis optically stabilized f/2 front camera which sports a 26.5mm equivalent lens and uses a 1/2.4-inch Sony Exmor RS IMX230 sensor.
The Shoulderpod S1 is a versatile and portable grip for any iPhone or smartphone. It promises to improve the stability of your mobile phone's video footage by letting you handhold the device safely as well as screw it on a tripod if needed without either limiting you to a simple cellphone clamp or forcing you to get a larger rig.