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The inventor of flash sync

So in my book on flash, Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography, I start off with a little history of flash and how modern flash tech came about. And one thing I never found out was who first developed flash sync technology.

Turns out he was alive when I wrote it! The New York Times reports that German mega-inventor Artur Fischer, creator of the fischertechnik toy system and the humble yet ubiquitous wall screw anchor, was also the inventor of flash sync. Fischer, who died on January 27 2016 at age 96, invented flash sync in 1947, selling the technology to Agfa.

Thank you, Herr Fischer!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/09/business/international/artur-fischer-inventor-with-more-patents-than-edison-dies-at-96.html

It’s almost here!

Yes, the second edition of my hefty tome on flash — Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography — is almost here. It’s been printed, as evidenced by this photo, and is on a slow boat from China. It should be hitting bookshops around the world in March.

It’s a reasonably significant update, as it brings the book up to date with the latest developments, particularly Canon’s radio flash technology. It covers both the Speedlite 600EX-RT and the groovy new Speedlite 430EX III-RT flash units.

Art of Burning Man - shipping in Europe

Yes, it’s now available in Europe. Taschen and Amazon UK are carrying it, as are many other retailers.

The US and Canada will need to wait until the second week of August, I’m afraid.

http://theartofburningman.com/

Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography: second edition

Well, the book did quite well, but it’s looking a bit long in the proverbial tooth these days. So it’s time for a refresh!

I’m pleased to announce that Rocky Nook are going to release the second edition of my seminal book on flash photography - Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography. (man I really wish we’d gone for a slightly shorter title…)

The book covers the latest flash equipment, including the radio-equipped Canon Speedlites 600EX-RT and 430EX III RT. It’ll be shipping later this year. Stay tuned.

New Lytro

So the first Lytro camera, which lets you adjust focus in an image after a picture has been taken, was a fascinating proof of concept. But now Lytro has ratcheted things up quite a few notches with a new, and much more serious, camera. It’ll be fascinating to see how the “Illum” works and how well it’s received.

Calumet USA closes

Still more sad news, particularly for the employees of the company. Apparently the European locations are OK for now.

More film on the way out

Sad news from Fuji - another Neopan and a Fujicolor being discontinued.

Nikon Df - an unabashedly self-conscious blast to the past

So after a long period of rumours, the new Nikon Df has been announced. This is basically Nikon’s ultra-retro retro camera - a solid metal block, with 1970s styling, that looks and feels like a classic Nikon F-series film camera, but which is completely digital.

It’s an interesting experiment which should appeal to the wealthy nostalgia market. It even has the usual solid lockable top dials and the ability to use ancient pre-AI Nikon F lenses. But no video - that would undermine the purity of the stills-only approach!

It does look pretty cool and I’ll bet it’ll be a lot of fun to use. But it is amusing that Nikon is billing the UI as intuitive and stuff, after decades of vaunting an increasingly digital UI as being, well, intuitive. And I also just don’t buy it. I do like big chunky dials and the like, but they’re not inherently more intuitive. They’re just a product of the technological capabilities and cultural traditions of the 1970s.

But, speaking of not buying it, it’s also not a camera that’ll be making it to my house anytime soon. I don’t have any cameras in the Nikon system, but the main thing about the Df is that it is mind-blowingly expensive.

Still, good on Nikon for doing something fun like that. It’s certainly a change from the me-too cameras out there, flooding the market!

iLeica

A one-off design by Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson.

Adobe hacked

Oops. Data on 2.9 million Adobe users has been stolen from Adobe’s servers in a pretty big security breach. The data stolen was encrypted, but it’s probably a good idea to change your Adobe password at the very least!
Definitely one of the big risks of continued growth online commerce and paid cloud services…