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The Lens iBook: now on your computer!

Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) has been released, and with it comes the ability to read multimedia-formatted iBooks! If you’ve bought a copy of my most recent book, The Lens, you can now read it on your Mac. Groovy!

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…

Fireflies in the dark

Canon have been promising super low light capabilities for a while now. Here’s a demo, which is an interesting step, considering that they usually announce new breakthroughs in the form of actual products rather than technology previews.

Hopefully they’ll be able to roll this tech out into some affordable cameras soon. Quite impressive.

http://www.canon.com/news/2013/sep12e.html

Burning Man 2013 preview

So. I’m back from Burning Man 2013, with thousands of photos to process. A very difficult and challenging year, but some decent photos turned up.

Here’s a sneak preview of 8 shots! Including a photograph taken inside a burning building, using a homemade enclosure.

http://burningcam.com/2013/

I just don’t know

Camera makers are really struggling to come up with new ideas now that it’s painfully clear that mobile phones are in the process of completely obliterating the traditional point and shoot camera market. Mobile phones offer the unstoppable combination of good enough image quality and always-there convenience. After all, how many people want to carry more than one device?

Sony’s trying to come up with something new to combat this, with an external mini camera to be used with mobile phones. It’s a clever idea, but I just don’t see it making much of a dent, really. The cameras still have the cost and bulk problems… But definitely points for trying!

http://www.sony.co.uk/hub/lens-style-camera

Shooting promo stills

Very interesting interview with American photographer Frank Ockenfels III who has shot publicity stills for various high profile US TV shows, including Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2013/08/interview-photographer-frank-w-ockenfels-iii-shooting-breaking-bad

Crazy fast lenses and Stanley Kubrick

For my book the Lens I was able to track down one of the actual Carl Zeiss f/0.7 lenses purchased and modified by Stanley Kubrick to shoot indoor scenes lit only by candlelight for his film Barry Lyndon. (he bought 3 of the 10 such lenses that Zeiss produced) Here’s my photo of the incredible lens.

Now, shamelessly using Kubrick’s name, German rental firm P+S Technik has bought one of these legendary lenses and has modified it for use with modern digital video cameras. And they’re available for you to rent today at insane prices! Note that, despite the name, the lens they acquired isn’t one of Kubrick’s - those remain the property of the Kubrick archives.

Of course, with today’s fast ISO it’d be a bit bonkers to rent this lens. The depth of field is insanely thin. Kubrick had to get his actors to sit completely motionless for his famous candlelight scenes in Barry Lyndon. Kubrick’s producer Jan Harlan also mentioned to me that the lenses tended to have focus problems when tilted away from the horizontal, so they could only pan and dolly track. But if you want to follow in the footsteps of a technically amazing filmmaker, I guess now you can!

Ingenious light painting video

Very nicely done. http://lightspin.ca/dance

And if the dubstep-like soundtrack doesn’t work for you, the making-of documentary is a bit calmer.

Which paper fired its photographers?

Hard to tell.