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News-worthy tidbits

This Week In The World of Photography

After a long time of being silent, we want to make Epicedits a great place again for you. Every week we get a ton of information about the world of photography, so we’ve decided to post a weekly briefing so you can stay up-to-date with the most relevant photography related news.

Photo By Gorup de Besanez - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Josef Koudelka photographed in Venice, Italy (1986) – Photo By Gorup de Besanez – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

EVERYBODY MIRRORLESS

Mirrorless cameras are no longer the future, they are the present, and some big characters have finally understood it. Due to their tradition we want to wish them the best of luck (you know who you are C and N companies), and we hope to see some great results in the following days

Nikon Z7 arrived

Nikon tried to make a breakthrough in the still incipient world of mirrorless cameras with the Nikon 1 series. That camera was like an odd attempt to make Point & Shoot cameras more capable in terms of lenses. Now we have the Nikon Z7, a full frame mirrorless camera with a new lens lineup. It will require some time for Nikon to validate their new lens lineup as a wise move or not.

Canon wants to be in the game as well

Canon also made a not-that-successful attempt on the mirrorless camera world with their EOS-M system. Just this week some information was leaked about how they might present a full frame mirrorless camera as well with something they are calling the EOS-R. This was supposed to happen on Photokina we guess, but since Nikon put one foot forward, they might release it prior to the big photographic event which will take place on September 26th-29th.

Even Panasonic wants to get in

Panasonic also wants to be on the full frame mirrorless camera league, and you guessed it, we could prove that rumor on… Photokina. This comes exactly ten years after Panasonic unveiled the world’s first micro four thirds camera, the G1.

Since the Full Frame Mirrorless camera field wasn’t that crowded, it seemed logical for both Canon and Nikon to make some interesting innovations there.

Fujifilm is Democratizing the Medium Format

On the other hand, Fujifilm never considered full frame in their road-map, and the rumors on the Fuji side is that they’ll release at even more accessible Medium Format Mirrorless Camera this year.

Medium format photography was extremely exclusive just a couple of years ago, until suddenly, Fujifilm shocked the world with the GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera. After that, the game changed, and it is expected to be pivoted again thanks to a long rumored medium format mirrorless interchangeable lens rangefinder camera that is rumored to be announced before Photokina as well.

It is supposed to be only 10% of the regular medium format cameras (like Phase One or Mamiya). This makes full frame to be the new “cropped” as Fujifilm makes medium format a financially viable option.

A GREAT STORY

Yuri Cortez is having a great time

Do you remember how AFP’s photographer Yuri Cortez got crushed by the Croatia soccer team on the 2018 World Cup? Well, he got invited to Dubrovnik thanks to his photographs, and his cheerful attitude as well. Here you can see how awesome photography can be!

THE WEEK IN IMAGES

BRINGING FILM BACK TO LIFE IS HARD

On Ektachrome

A couple of weeks ago we noticed that the long awaited Kodak Ektachrome was finally in the hands of some really privileged test photographs. We really hope they are having some fun with those roles. And if you are wondering why this moments are so slow paced, well, then watch some of the photographs of the factory itself from the very inside, and maybe you will understand how complex film making could be.

On Ferrania

Ferrania Film built a site solely for keeping us posted about their comeback, how nice is that from them.

IN THE CROWDSOURCING WORLD

The team behind the full documentary on Josef Koudelka titled “Koudelka Shooting Holy Land” wants to make this documentary accessible to all of us via a DVD edition. You can back their project here!

See you next week folks!

Stepping Back for a Better Perspective

By the title alone, you may be thinking that this article has something to do with composition and perspective in photography. While that may be a useful topic at some point, that’s not what this is about… not directly anyway.

I’m speaking more about the big picture stuff here. Life in general.

My life has been in a state of drastic change over the last five months, and a lot of ups and downs have come with that change. The whole situation allowed me to really evaluate what was and was not important in my life. So here are a few thoughts on photography from the viewpoint of a hobbyist.

MY UNINTENTIONAL DISAPPEARANCE

Five months ago, I had no intension of putting the camera down or stepping away from my blogs. But life happens and I wasn’t left with much of a choice. Back in August 2010, I announced that I had packed up from San Diego and moved back to North Idaho where I grew up. That one event sparked a drastic change in my life.

Not only did we move (which is a painful and expensive process in itself), but I also decided that it would be a good time to become self employed as an engineer. It made a lot of sense because we live so far out in the boonies, the commute to the nearest city would eat up several hours of my day. I got all set up to pull work from my previous employer to get me off and running.

But then I started looking for work with other clients — more previous employers, previous associates and bosses, local companies. This takes a lot of time, and I don’t get paid to do it. But I did land a few other jobs via my contacts and I ended up being very busy. Not just a little busy — I’m talking 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week. Of course, that type of thing doesn’t go on forever, but there was a solid month where I couldn’t leave the house, watch TV, see friends, etc. Honestly though, I’m not complaining… the paychecks make it worth the effort.

It hasn’t been all profit though — it takes money to make money. The move alone set me back $15,000 out of pocket between all the house stuff and the move. Then I had to drop another $8,000 on a piece of software for my engineering business. So yeah, a couple hundred bucks for Photoshop looks a lot different to me now. At any rate, I’m finally starting to get caught up with the money situation.

In short, I’ve been busy either working or trying to scrape up future work for myself. I wouldn’t have it any other way though — I absolutely love working from home, setting my own rates, deciding what to work on, and wearing pajamas and slippers all day. So far, it seems to be working out and I plan to continue being self employed as long as I can.

THINGS THAT FELL OFF MY PLATE

With the self employed gig keeping me busy, I really had to evaluate what other activities were important enough for me to spend time on.

My family has to come above all else, so any small amount of time I have off has to be directed toward them. And now that I live across the street from my parents, next door to my grandmother, and within 30 miles of my brother and the in-laws, I have more family to spend time with on a regular basis. It’s great though, I do enjoy being back home (as does my wife).

The next two biggest things in my life are photography and blogging. With everything else going on, I just haven’t been able to justify spending much time on them. Sure, I posted a couple things here and there, shot a few rolls of film from time to time, but nothing at the level I was at before the move. Hell, I even managed to acquire a bunch of “new” film cameras and darkroom equipment in the last few months… but I’ll get into that on the film photography blog later this week.

Part of me feels terrible for letting things go for so long, but I always remember to take a step back and look at the big picture.

BIG PICTURE FOR A HOBBYIST

I’m not a professional photographer or blogger. Not even close. I make about 30-40x more per month with engineering than I do with photography and blogging combined. So when push comes to shove, it doesn’t make sense to spend a bunch of time on my hobbies. The first priority has to be putting food on the table and paying the bills.

I enjoy doing both of these things, and I don’t see myself giving up either of them completely. I just need to come to terms with the fact that they are, and will be in the near future, only a hobby. Just for fun.

The other interesting thing about photography and blogging, for me, is that they continue to make a small amount of money even when I stop doing them for several months. The blogs have been earning consistent numbers for the last five or six months — I even picked up a couple of direct advertisers and saw some spikes in affiliate payouts. Photography has been fairly even too — a couple of small sales plus a signed print.

So I don’t get terribly stressed out when I have to step back from my hobbies for a while… they seem to just keep going on their own at some moderate level. Of course, by taking time off, I’m not growing these hobbies. My goal is to eventually make a decent income from blogging and/or photography so I can decide if it’s a viable career path, but engineering is my primary career and money maker right now.

LESSONS FOR MY FELLOW HOBBYISTS

Most of you can probably relate to having photography as a hobby/passion. And most of you can relate to having ups and downs in your life.

So when you find yourself short on time, don’t sweat the small stuff. Photography shouldn’t come before the really important things, like your family or your job. Even if you have a lot of followers on a blog or on Flickr, most of them will still be around when you get back to it.

And taking a bit of a break from time to time might not be a bad thing. I’m getting to the point where I really want to get back into things — shoot some photos, get the darkroom up and running, post some stuff on the blogs. If you feel obligated to pursue your hobbies in rough times, they’re not fun any more.

Of course, it’s a different story for those making a significant income from photography and/or blogging. They don’t have the same luxury of choice — it is an obligation. As a hobbyist, be happy that you can choose where to spend your free time.

This is getting drawn out, so I’ll end it there. My big message here, is that I’m still alive and I plan on continuing with the photography and the blogging. I’ll be too busy for these hobbies from time to time, but I’m still around.

eBook Winners: Portrait Tips and Techniques

We had a great response on the “freebook” raffle last week! 76 photographers entered to receive a free copy of Wayne Radford’s Portrait Tips and Techniques eBook (see my review here). I said I had 3 free copies to hand out, and here they are:

Numbers 59, 6, and 69 match up with Connie, Marc H, and Adrian. Congrats to the winners!

For the non-winners, you can still buy the book at a discount price of $19.95 until December 12.

I have a few more book reviews to do in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for another chance to win some reading material.

Recent Drama, But All Is Well

Just a quick note to the regular readers of the blog about the commotion earlier today. I found some malicious code that had been placed in every single file on every single website today by some jack-ass hacker or something, so things were a bit wonky for a while. My web host (Media Temple) helped me clear out the malicious code, but a bunch of the files were still damaged.

Lucky for me, I carry backups and I only lost a few days worth of material. I’ve never had to go this extreme before due to an attack, but I had to delete the entire website and database before reinstalling my backup files. Everything seems to have gone smoothly and the site is back to it’s old self. I reposted the last 2 articles manually, so you feed readers shouldn’t be alarmed when you see those fly through again. Now to fix the other two blogs in a similar fashion…

I’m also extending the deadline for the current contest and giveaway for a few reasons. Mainly, because I don’t know if the site was reachable this weekend (I didn’t even turn on my computer on Saturday). Another reason is because I’m going to be busy over the next day or two fixing my other blogs that got screwed up. And also because we only have a few entries (like in the range of 4 or 5, and I’m giving away 3 prizes). So the new deadline is the 13th of this month — that’s only a few days away, so hurry up and get those entries in for a chance at some free software.

Photography Wonder: Photography Q&A Forum

A new photography website launched today, and this one is a bit different from others out there. It’s not a blog, it’s not a discussion board, and it’s not a typical forum.

The idea behind Photography Wonder is a Q&A platform just for photographers and all topics directly related to photography. You can ask questions, you can answer questions, and you can vote on the best answers. The model is similar to something like Yahoo Answers, but it has the benefit of being very specific to a single topic.

It’s free to sign up and definitely worth checking out. If you have some photography questions, you might get some good answers from the community. And if you’re the knowledgeable type, you can share your thoughts with others.

WWW.PHOTOGRAPHYWONDER.COM
(tipped off via Jake Garn)

Watch PhotoNetCast Live — Tonight!

[tweetmeme]Over at PhotoNetCast, Antonio has been making constant improvements and feature additions to the site. One of the most recent is “PhotoNetCast Live“.

This is a dedicated page on the site that holds a video feed and chat box. So when we’re recording, the video feed will be rolling and you can see/hear the show in real-time. You can also join in the making of each episode by asking questions or making comments in the chat box directly below the video feed.

So if you’re interested in listening to us record the show and seeing our faces, head over to the PhotoNetCast Live page at 9PM PST tonight. Again, the next show will be recorded at:

9PM PST (11PM CST), September 23, 2010

Swing by tonight and say hello if you’re a fan of the show.

Canvas Print Discount for the UK Folks

[tweetmeme]1ClickPrint is offering up a special discount code for the readers of Epic Edits. They provide all sorts of printing services, but this discount applies to their canvas printing. And since they are a UK based company, their offer extends only to the UK and Ireland. So here’s the deal:

Take a £10 discount on canvas prints. There’s no minimum purchase needed to use the code and they deliver for free. The offer is good for all of 2010.

DISCOUNT CODE: 1576646293

The code can be used online, over the phone, or in store. They have branches in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Dinnington. So if you’re out that way and you are thinking about printing on canvas, maybe give these guys a shot and use that discount!

Anybody have experience with 1ClickPrint and their canvas printing services?

A Preview of “Shooting Robert King”

I was contacted by Media Junction the other day about an upcoming documentary video on war photographer Robert King. Here’s a brief overview:

At times war photographer Robert King resembles a heroic misfit straight out of the pages of Scoop, thrown into the heart of battle, struggling to adapt to the brutal environment he finds himself in. Occasionally comic, often touching, more often dark, Shooting Robert King, the tale of Robert King, is a unique and personal journey, a film which follows him over 15 years and through three wars.

His journey starts in Sarajevo in 1993, a 23-year-old fresh out of Art College and prepared to dodge bullets on the front line dreaming of a Pulitzer Prize. His dream proves elusive. Fired by his photo agency and struggling to make ends meet, any swashbuckling allusions Robert holds for the career he has chosen quickly evaporate: as he realises this is one of the toughest professions in the world.

Despite himself, Robert stays in the game, over time establishing himself as a respected professional, his work making the front covers of global media titles. Over 15 years Shooting Robert King records Robert’s life from boy to man, to husband and father. It is a biography, which leads from reckless naivety to maturity hardened by war and softened by family. It is a story, which forces Robert to inevitably question why he chose a profession, which involves an endless trail of death and destruction.

I have a pre-release review copy of the video coming in the mail, and I’ll be doing a full review once I see it. In the meantime, be sure to follow the link below to the main site for a preview of the film and information about where you can purchase it. The release date is September 27.

SHOOTING ROBERT KING

Bicycle Portraits – Part 2


Bicycle Portraits / Part II from Bicycle Portraits on Vimeo.

I wrote about the “Bicycle Portraits” project a few months ago when they were trying to raise the initial $15,000 for their book project. Well, they met their goal and it’s on to part 2 where they need to raise an additional $7,500 by September 16.

Again, the idea is to turn this project into a self-published full-color hard-cover photographic book. Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler recently started investigating South African bicycle culture and the lack of cyclist commuters out there on our roads. In their travels, they’re photographing fellow cyclists and learning more about them for the book.

The deadline is really short on this round, so get over there and pledge some money today. Your donations will only go through if the goal has been reached by the deadline.

And don’t forget that a $50 donation acts as a pre-order for a copy of the book (which is the price of most hard cover photo books anyway). Of course, larger donations will get you additional perks.

So head over to the Bicycle Portraits Kickstarter page for more information on what the project is about and how you can help.

Life is Still Hectic… Summer of 2010

New Life in North Idaho: Back Yard

Well… I made it to north Idaho. I was offline completely for about a week, so I’m slowly getting back up to speed with everything as we settle into our new home. I should be getting back to the regular posts very soon — but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown on my recent adventures and some pics of the new property.

The house thing happened very fast (about 1 month from seeing the sign to signing the papers). Once things got moving, it seemed like I was on the phone, responding to emails, or scanning documents every hour of every day.

New Life in North Idaho: Front Yard and Driveway

Getting out of San Diego was a challenge too. We didn’t have much time to pack the house or sell unwanted items, so the last set of moving boxes are just crammed with random stuff. We filled our moving truck and the two cars with stuff, but we still had to get rid of a few things (kitchen chairs, vacuum, and other bulky items that just couldn’t fit).

The drive up was an epic pain in the ass. Flat tire on the car dolly before we even left, lost a truck tire retread in the middle of the desert at high noon, and we had an underpowered moving truck with warped brake rotors. We ended up losing about 12 hours on the road, we had to unload the car from the dolly, and we barely made it up here in time to sign papers for the house. But hey… at least we’re still alive!

New Life in North Idaho: Fire Pit

Everything after the moving trip was pretty smooth. We got the house as scheduled, unloaded the truck, and started setting up the house. We still have stuff everywhere and boxes that haven’t been opened yet. Got my Internet all hooked up and the computer is mostly up and running. I’m moving right along with telecommuting for work, and I’m still hunting for a local job.

As for the new pad…

The house is nothing special, but it’s livable for now. It needs some work inside and out — most of which is minor or cosmetic. It has a front porch that runs the width of the house and it was enclosed by a previous owner such that it’s now part of the house space. Half of it is mostly finished and the other half is drywall and bare floor. I’ve already laid claim to half of it for an office and darkroom (which I hope to get started on before this winter).

New Life in North Idaho: Side Pasture

We’re sitting on 5 acres down a dead end dirt road with 8 or 9 other houses, so we don’t see a lot of traffic (or neighbors). The property is right across from my parents’ place where I grew up, so I’m more than familiar with the area. My grandmother also lives next door, so the kids have 15 acres all to themselves.

The property has a decent front and back yard plus 3 fenced pastures ready to go for animals (each with a small shelter, water, and electricity). We’re thinking about doing a few sheep next year to cut the grass, which also helps keep the bug population down. We’re also thinking about raising one or two cows for meat to split between ourselves, my parents, and my wife’s parents.

Other buildings include a detached two car garage, small tool shed, a decent size barn, and hot tub enclosure (we had that sucker running from day one). The kids also have a play area under some trees with swings, a slide, and a tree house.

New Life in North Idaho: Back Yard

All in all, it’s not a bad property, but it still needs a lot of work over the next few years. We don’t have too many trees because the previous owners used most of the land for raising llamas, so putting in some new ones is one of my higher priorities. We need to lay down more gravel on the driveway, redo the planter beds around the house, get the garden back in usable shape, finish the fire pit that we just built, fix a few fences, take down some dead trees out back… and the list goes on.

But even with our huge lists of things to do around here, I’m just glad to be back home and raise my kids where I grew up. We totally lucked out on this place with the timing, price, and location… I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I live here again and that I own the property. I feel like I’m just visiting, but I figure it’ll sink in when the first snow flies.

New Life in North Idaho: Front Yard New Life in North Idaho: Tool Shed New Life in North Idaho: The Barn New Life in North Idaho: Side Pasture New Life in North Idaho: Playground New Life in North Idaho: Office/Darkroom

At any rate, I just wanted to give an update on why things have been quiet on the blogs. I should be back in full swing soon enough.