This Mesmerizing Animation Consists of Google Earth Satellite Photos

Photographer Páraic McGloughlin took Google Earth satellite photos and strung them together into this extremely fast-paced animation titled Arena. The lines and shapes seen from a bird’s-eye view are used to create movement in the frame.

“A brief look at the earth from above, based on the shapes we make, the game of life, our playing ground,” McGloughlin writes.

from PetaPixel


This U-2 Spy Plane Pilot Photographed the Northern Lights Up Close

Want to see what the Northern Lights look like up close? Ross Franquemont can show you. A U-2 spy plane pilot by day and a photographer by night, Franquemont recently had the privilege of photographing the Aurora Borealis from his cockpit at 70,000 feet.

Franquemont is a pilot and instructor based out of Beale Air Force Base, California, but days ago he was tasked with flying a mission out of the UK, and that’s when he managed to capture this series of beautiful images showing the green natural light display dancing overhead.

The Lockheed U-2 plane that Franquemont flies is nicknamed “Dragon Lady.” It seats one person and can fly at 70,000 with a range of about 6,400 miles.

“I had no idea how fast the aurora moved and changed,” Franquemont tells The Aviationist. “It danced around, changing shape several times a second. That made it a challenge for the photographer in a spacesuit sitting in shaking metal can moving 500 mph.”

You can view and purchase Franquemont’s photographs on his SmugMug page, Extreme Ross Photography. You can also find more of his work and connect with him through his Facebook group.

Image credits: Photographs by Ross Franquemont and used with permission

from PetaPixel

NY Times Seeking Photo Director: ‘One of the Most Important’ Jobs in Industry

Want to hold one of the “one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism”? The New York Times has an opening for you: The Gray Lady is looking for a Photo Director.

The job opening, which was first posted by the paper a week ago, starts out by establishing the Times importance and influence in the world of photojournalism:

The New York Times is a worldwide leader in photojournalism, earning multiple Pulitzer Prizes and World Press Photo awards in recent years and establishing standards for excellence and innovation that have been deeply influential across the industry. Photography is a central part of our identity. It’s how we bear witness to events that matter, and our Photo department is one of the treasures of our newsroom.

The Times then goes on to say that it values visual imagery as much as words in its journalism.

“[W]e’re looking for someone to lead this talented and diverse team and to become part of the visual leadership of the organization,” the listing reads. “We want to continue integrating photography and other forms of visual journalism into the fabric of our report — as closely as our words.”

And in case you’re not immediately aware of how important this position is in the industry:

“This role is one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism,” the Times writes, “and we’re seeking candidates with a rare combination of journalistic experience, organizational expertise and extraordinary visual talent.”

Here are some of the responsibilities and qualifications of an ideal candidate:

  • “Daily leadership of a large staff of photo editors and photographers who work across the globe, covering all subjects.”
  • “Candidates should be able to maintain high journalistic standards and sustain a level of excellence that makes photography a core component of The Times’s identity.”
  • “Sophisticated news judgment and a compelling vision for how The Times can produce world-class journalism and innovative storytelling. We’re looking for a strong digital sensibility, including the ability to recognize emerging techniques and platforms and a clear understanding of how to define a modern photo desk.”
  • “Sharp eye for talent and ability to recruit a diverse, first-rate team of photo editors and photographers.”
  • “Strong management skills. Able to motivate and guide a large and complex organization, including responsibility for staff members in harm’s way.”

If you’d like to try your hand at applying for this prestigious industry position, you can do so here. But beware: we’re guessing that there’s going to be quite a bit of competition for this opening from very qualified candidates.

P.S. Last month The New York Times was also looking for a White House photographer.

from PetaPixel

Shooting a Most Special Wedding on 24-Hour Notice

The other day, there was a posting on Facebook by a groom “putting it out there,” hoping on a long shot that he could find somebody to shoot their wedding on very, very short notice.

Looking for a photographer to do a small wedding ceremony in Fort Erie, Ontario. My fiancé’s mom has become very ill and we have arranged to be married at the Douglas memorial Fort Erie hospital on Tuesday at 2:30 so that she can be there for her daughter’s wedding. We are desperately looking for someone to capture the moment for us. Please message me with info.

It was around Sunday night that he posted. A few people tagged me in the post and I responded to the groom, offering to do the photography for them. They asked about my price range, but I offered to do it free of charge. It soon became clear that everybody involved in the wedding had donated their services to this young couple, as the mother of the bride was given a week to live just days beforehand, and the daughter wanted nothing more than to be married with her mother in attendance.

It was kind of difficult for me to go back to our local hospital, as just a few years ago both of my parents ended up with stage 4 cancer. They were diagnosed within a week of each other. They were hospitalized in the palliative care unit at this very hospital.

My mother had died on a Tuesday morning. As we planned her funeral we worried about my father not being able to attend because he was in no shape to be able to leave the hospital. A nurse overheard us discussing it and said to us “Let me get this right, you want your father to attend your mother’s funeral? Not possible, so “let’s bring the funeral to him…”

The hospital staff then offered us a room and we were allowed to host my mothers funeral in the hospital. We had the pallbearers carry her casket up the steps and in the front door, with my father’s hospital bed being wheeled behind her. He was able to see everyone and say a final goodbye to our mother.

He started to decline quickly, however, and he was taken out of the funeral service back to his room. We ended up going to the cemetery and laid my mother to rest. My sister and I left and went back to the hospital and just a few hours later my father died. He had willed himself to live until then. He had promised my mother he would never leave her, and he took his last breath only after knowing that she was already gone. He kept his promise.

Fast forward to this wedding photography request. Not only was it in the same hospital, it turned out that the wedding was in the very room where we held my mother’s funeral. I didn’t mention this face to bride and groom, as they were already dealing with enough and I didn’t want to cause any more sadness.

When the hospital staff saw me, however, a few of them took me aside and said that they couldn’t believe that I was there donating my wedding photography services in that very same room, and the only answer I gave them was that at the time when my family was suffering so much, the hospital and staff went above and beyond for us and this is my opportunity to pay it forward.

It was an honor to take part in the ceremony, and an honor to photograph it, to be able to give them precious memories. In fact, an hour after the wedding I quickly edited and printed out five images as the bride, through her tears, asked if I could give her one as quickly as possible so her mother could have a photograph of them in her last days.

About the author: Wendy Teal is a photographer based in the Niagara Region of Canada. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of her work on her website, Facebook, and 500px.

from PetaPixel

What does Brexit mean for London’s creative industries?

The above film offers a glimpse behind the scenes of Separation, a series of portraits by Laura Pannack that explores the impact of Brexit on London-based creative couples.

Ellie, one half of a couple photographed by Pannack, moved to the UK from Bulgaria 10 years ago. Although based in south-east London, her career as an animation designer requires her to travel all over the world. Brexit, she predicts, will have a significant impact on British creatives working overseas. “Many jobs in the creative entertainment industry are contract-based, and not necessarily in the same country,” she says. “A post-Brexit UK will make life harder for both European and British creatives who want to work on big productions.”

Every day, for the last four days, British Journal of Photography has published portraits from Laura Pannack’s latest body of work Separation. The series of photographs, commissioned by BJP, explores the impact of Brexit on bi-national couples working in London’s creative industries. A film programmer, arts tutor, sound artist, graphic designer and professional drummer were among those photographed for the series.

The commission was created with Affinity Photo, the only fully functioning photo editing software available for iPad. Named Apple’s iPad App of the Year 2017, Affinity Photo for iPad was used by Pannack throughout the shoot to instantly review and develop her creative approach to the project. “Because the editing was incredibly quick,” says Pannack, “we could try different things out.” Pannack’s bold approach to the set design – namely, the manipulation of latex to create a translucent divide which also allowed the couple’s limbs to intertwine – made Affinity Photo for iPad integral to achieving the final portraits. 

Celia and Chris. © Laura Pannack.

Statistics published in late-2017 show that the creative industries contribute £91.8bn to the UK economy. To put that in perspective, these same figures show that the sector grew at twice the rate of the UK economy as a whole between 2015 and 2016. The prosperity of the UK’s creative industries, particularly that of London, has long been an attraction for creatives moving to the UK from overseas. Brexit threatens to change this. In December 2017, the Office for National Statistics published figures showing that net immigration to the UK from the EU stands at its lowest level in three years. Experts have said that Brexit has played a significant role in this sharp decline.

Celia, a Spanish fashion student who features in Separation with her British boyfriend Chris, is concerned that Brexit will threaten London’s multinational identity. “One of the aspects that makes Central Saint Martins [the university at which she reads Fashion] so special is its international atmosphere,” she says. “It breeds creativity and this is the same reason why London’s creative industries are so exciting. Brexit will no doubt change this and one of the most important positives of the city will be lost.”

Celia’s concerns are shared. On applying to be subjects for the Separation portraiture series, BJP asked 100 couples their views on Brexit. Eighty percent believe that Britain leaving the EU will put London’s reputation as a cultural hub in jeopardy and 89 percent think that Brexit will have a negative effect on London’s creative industries. Of all the couples that responded to the open call, 70 percent have considered permanently leaving the UK as a direct result of Brexit.

Caroline and Kadeem. © Laura Pannack.

Almost two years since Britain’s EU referendum, the exact ramifications of Brexit still remain unclear. Since the concept for Separation was decided, the Brexit Phase 1 Agreement has provided some clarity. While EU citizens who have been living in the UK for five years (before 29 March 2019) will be eligible to apply to remain in the UK indefinitely, this settled status is not automatically conferred. All EU nationals will have to apply to acquire settled staus.

Among the non-British Europeans that feature in Separation, many have said that they feel less welcome in the UK since the result of the EU referendum was announced. Although some EU citizens will be permitted to stay in the UK after the country leaves the EU, many simply do not want to. I have felt different in the UK since the referendum result was announced, and markedly less welcome,” says Giulia who features in Separation with her husband Stuart. “Ideally we want to be out of the country by the time Brexit has had full effect.”

Credits. Photographer: Laura Pannack. Assistant: Jacob Schühle Lewis. Junior assistant: James Greenhalgh (winner of the Separation competition to shadow Pannack on-shoot). Editorial: Anya Lawrence. Set: Karina Valentim. Studio: Street Studios. Equipment hire: Direct Digital. Equipment: Affinity Photo for iPad.

Separation is a British Journal of Photography commission created with Affinity Photo for iPad, Apple’s App of the Year 2017. Please click here for more information on sponsored content funding at British Journal of Photography.

from British Journal of Photography

Hard Truths from The New York Times on show at Sotheby’s London 16-18 March

“The truth can be hard to look at,” says an introductory essay to the exhibition Hard Truths, on show at Sotheby’s this weekend. “We all have a protective need to distance ourselves from disaster. But we ignore our neighbors’ misery at our own peril. Violence and hatred proliferate and can quickly engulf those who seek only to avoid them.”

The exhibition gathers five series shot by freelance photographers for The New York Times and it shows some very hard truths – Ivor Prickett’s images from the end of the Caliphate in Mosul, Iraq; Tomas Munita’s images from a Cuba at the end of an era; Meredith Kohut’s photograph’s of Venezuela’s “collapse”, as she puts it; Newsha Tavakolian’s portraits of individuals in Tehran; and Daniel Berehulak’s hard-hitting images of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug crackdown in the Philippines.

The show was organised by David Furst, The New York Times’ international picture editor, and Arthur Ollman of the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, and it will travel to PHotoEspaña this summer. There are further plans for shows in France, Japan, and Australia, and for a book, co-published by Delmonic Books/Prestel and FEP in 2019.

The dead body of an ISIS militant lies in the driveway of a residential house in the recently liberated Andalus neighbourhood of East Mosul. 16 January 2017. Photo by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

“The Hard Truths collection is a deeply immersive and sometimes affronting collection, holding a mirror to significant social and political issues, and the repercussions of upheaval and uncertainty facing communities across the globe,” stated Furst. “This series demonstrates the nuance and artistry required by our photojournalists to bring these issues to the fore, bearing witness to these events and aiding our understanding of the world around us.”

The exhibition is part of The New York Times’ “The Truth is Hard” campaign, which promotes the importance of supporting independent, in-depth journalism. The New York Times is one of a shrinking number of news organisations currently investing in its photography team. 

Hard Truths is open from 10am-4.30pm on Friday 16 March, and from 10am – 4.30pm 12-5pm on Saturday 17th March and Sunday 18 March at Sotheby’s

Civilians who had remained in west Mosul during the battle to retake the city, lined up for an aid distribution in the Mamun neighbourhood. After months of being trapped in the last remaining ISIS held areas of the city the people in west Mosul were severely short on food and water. Those who chose to remain in the city rather than go to one of the many camps for displaced people, initially relied on aid in order to survive. 15 March 2017. Photo by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

An unidentified young boy who was carried out of the last ISIS controlled area in the Old City by a man suspected of being a militant is cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers. The soldiers suspected the man had used the boy as a human shield in order to try and escape as he did not know the child’s name and claimed he had just found him alone in the street. One of the soldiers agreed to adopt the boy given that they knew nothing about him and he didn’t speak. 12 July 2017. Photo by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

An ISIS car bomb that failed to detonate near Iraqi Special Forces lines in the Shuhada neighbourhood of west Mosul was neutralised by a coalition airstrike. 09 March 2017. Photo by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

A woman screams out in horror shortly after her son was killed in an ISIS mortar attack in the Jidideh neighbourhood of west Mosul. Having being injured by the blast while standing on the street outside, the man was dragged to the doorstep where he was bleeding severely. Although he was rushed for medical treatment he was reportedly dead on arrival. As the battle for west Mosul moved through the densely packed residential neighbourhoods the numbers of civilians caught in the crossfire was huge. 22 March 2017. Photo by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Iraqi Special Forces soldiers surveyed the aftermath of an ISIS suicide car bomb that managed to reach their lines in the Andalus neighbourhood, one of the last areas to be liberated in east Mosul. By the end of January after more than three months of fighting, eastern Mosul was declared fully liberated from ISIS and the militants prepared to make their last stand in the west of the city. 16 January 2017, photo by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Manila, Philippines, 03 October. Scene of the crime police investigators gather evidence in what appeared to be an extra juducial killing of Frederick Mafe, 48, and Arjay Lumbago, 23, as their bodies lay sprawled in the middle of a street, where they were gunned down by unidentied men in a “riding-in-tandem” killing on October 03, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. According to locals they were shot dead by a man on the back of a bike ridden by another man, as they were driving alongside them. Photo by Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Manila, Philippines, 11 October 2016. Heavy rain pours as SOCO Police, Scene of the Crime Operatives, investigate inside an alley where victim, Romeo Joel Torres Fontanilla, 37, was killed by 2 unidentified gunmen riding motorcycles early Tuesday morning in Manila. Photo by Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Manila, Philippines, 18 October 2016. Funeral parlour workers carry away the body of Edwin Mendoza Alon Alon, 36, nicknamed Bato, killed by an unknown gunman, on the road in front of a 7 Eleven store in Tambo in Manila, Philippines. Photo by Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Manila, Philippines, 19 October 2016. Blood stains on the living room floor where Florjohn Cruz, 34, was gunned down by Police in Manila, Philippines. According to the Police report, “Suspect Cruz ran inside the house then pulled a firearm and successively shot the lawmen prompting the same to return fire in order to prevent and repel Cruz’s unlawful aggression. As a result, Cruz was gunned down.” Like many casualties in President Duterte’s war on drugs, eyewitnesses tell a very different story. There was a cardboard sign calling him “a pusher and an addict” – Florjohn had surrendered months earlier, admitting drug addiction and promising to put an end to the abuse, part of a government amnesty program meant to protect addicts. Such messages are often found attached to the bodies of those killed in summary executions, unofficial murders that the government claims they have nothing to do with. I couldn’t help but feel that the authorities, tasked with so much killing, were getting sloppy in their efforts to conceal their involvement in possible extrajudicial killings. Photo by Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Quezon City, Philippines, 26 October 2016. The bodies Erika Angel Fernandez, 17, and Jericho Camitan, 23, (unseen) lie in an street a few hours after they were gunned down by masked unidentified men in the early hours of October 26, 2016 in Quezon City, Philippines. Photo by Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Caracas, Venezuela, 27 May 2017. Anti-government protesters take control of the Francisco Fajardo highway. The streets of Caracas and other cities across Venezuela have been filled with tens of thousands of demonstrators for over 100 days of massive protests, held since April 1st. Protesters are enraged at the government for becoming an increasingly repressive, authoritarian regime that has delayed elections, used armed government loyalist to threaten dissidents, called for the Constitution to be re-written to favour them, jailed and tortured protesters and members of the political opposition, and whose corruption and failed economic policy has caused the current economic crisis that has led to widespread food and medicine shortages across the country. Independent local media report over 150 people were killed during protests and protest-related riots and looting. Photo by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Caracas, Venezuela, 20 May 2017. Anti-government protesters use a giant slingshot to launch glass jars full of paint, and jars full of faeces at members of the National Police who responded by heavily tear gassing and firing rubber bullets and buckshot at them. The streets of Caracas and other cities across Venezuela have been filled with tens of thousands of demonstrators for over 100 days of massive protests, held since April 1st. Thousands have been injured, and over 3,000 protesters have been detained by authorities, with 200 reporting being tortured while detained. Photo by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Barcelona, Venezuela, 16 April 2016. Jose Villarroel, 25, waited covered in his own blood, for hours in the emergency operating room of Hospital Universitario Dr. Luís Razetti, for doctors to operate on him after he was stabbed in the abdomen. The hospital doesn’t have the equipment to scan his abdomen, and told Mr. Villarroel that he would have to figure out a way to arrange for a private ambulance to take him to a private clinic, get the needed scan done there, and bring it back to them before they could operate. Hospital Razetti (as it is called for short) is one of the worst state-run, public hospitals in Venezuela. Doctors compare it to working in a war zone – they regularly have to turn patients away, because they don’t have the majority of medicines or medical equipment and supplies needed to give them medical attention. Despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, falling oil prices and wide-spread government corruption have pushed Venezuela into an economic crisis, with the highest inflation in the world and chronic shortages of food and medical supplies. Photo by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Los Teques, Venezuela, 22 September 2017. Ama Heredia, 53, (centre in blue blouse), and Zoraida Morales, 66, (third from right) arrived at 6am to wait in line for several hours to receive a free bowl of soup for lunch from a soup kitchen run by the Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen “Luis Igartua” Catholic church in Los Teques, Venezuela. The women said they come regularly because even though they each work, they can no longer afford food because of widespread shortages and soaring food prices caused by the crisis. “I’ve lost over 20 kilos (44 lbs) since [president] Maduro was elected,” Ms. Heredia said. Ms. Morales said she has lost over 30 kilos [66 lbs] since the economic crisis began. The soup kitchen was originally opened to feed 30 homeless people per day. The line now wraps around several blocks from the church, and the soup kitchen now serves 250 bowls of soup each day. Photo by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Caracas, Venezuela, 10 February 2017. Families salvage food scraps from garbage bags in downtown Caracas. Hundreds of people take to the streets of Caracas every evening to pick through the garbage left on the corners, in search of food. This was an uncommon sight before the economic crisis worsened two years ago. The 2016 ENCOVI (Survey on Living Conditions in Venezuela) found that a skyrocketing percentage of Venezuelan families are struggling to acquire enough food to eat. Over 90% of the over 6000 families surveyed reported not having enough income to buy all the food they need. Photo by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

San Casimiro, Venezuela, 21 August, 2017. Children view the body of their 17-month old cousin, Kenyerber Aquino Merchan – who died of heart failure caused by severe malnutrition. He weighed only 8.8 lbs when he died – less than half the recommended body weight for a 17-month old. Kenyerber was born healthy, weighing 6 lbs, 7 ounces – but his mother, María Carolina Merchan, 29, got infected by the Zika virus when he was three months old. She had to be hospitalised when she fell ill to the Zika related Guillain-Barré Syndrome – that caused her to lose muscle function in her arms and legs, and made it impossible for her to continue to breast feed Kenyerber. The economic crisis in Venezuela has led to widespread shortages of infant formula, and when the family could not access it to feed Kenyerber, they had to improvise – feeding him what they could find: cream of rice or cornstarch mixed with whole milk, neither of which could provide him the nutrients he needed. He was first admitted into the hospital for malnutrition when he was 9 months old – and was in and out of the hospital for treatment for malnutrition until he died on August 19, 2017. Photo by Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

A shared taxi to Santiago de Cuba, January 2016. Photo by Tomas Munita for The New York Times

A barber shop in Old Havana, Cuba, December 2015. Photo by Tomas Munita for The New York Times

The interior of a house in Santiago de Cuba, January 2016. Photo by Tomas Munita for The New York Times

Children cry as the caravan carrying Fidel’s ashes passes by in Santa Clara, Cuba. 01 December 2016. Photo by Tomas Munita for The New York Times

Men playing dominoes in Havana Vieja, Nov 28, 2016. Photo by Tomas Munita for The New York Times

Baracoa, Cuba, January 2016. Photo by Tomas Munita for The New York Times

“My father is losing his eyesight. His medicine from the U.S. is not under sanctions, but importers can’t purchase it because of sanctions on international banking against us. Will he be able to see in the future?” Mitra Hajjar, 38, Actress. Photo by Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

Reza, 59, Paper importer. “At least I hope that the banking sanctions will be lifted. The year
is ending here in Iran and you will not believe the number of bounced cheques I have to deal with. I assume this is because of the sanctions. Money is so tight. If the business climate improves, so will international trust, friendship and peace.” Photo by Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

Maysam, 35, Steel trader. “Sanctions haven’t hurt me at all.The problem we have is not for sanctions, it is mismanagement. I do care about the outcome of the talks, I follow the news all the time.” Photo by Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

from British Journal of Photography

Ep. 262: Why Sony Has Cause for Concern – and more


Episode 262 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
Download MP3 –  Subscribe via iTunesGoogle Playemail or RSS!

Featured: Portrait and commercial photographer, Antti Mutka

In This Episode

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Show Opener:
Portrait and commercial photographer, Antti Mutka opens the show. Thanks Antti!

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Where Sony needs to be concerned going forward. (#)

A helicopter with photographers onboard goes down in the East River. (#)

Reports of a possible Canon full-frame mirrorless prototype. (#)

Ducklings…bunnies…and the wrath of the Internets. (#)

The “Russian Vivian Maier” is discovered. (#)

A drone lands causing a wildfire in Arizona. (#)

My other podcast with Brian Matiash, the No Name Photo Show.

Connect With Us

Thank you for listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast! Connect with me, Sharky James on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (all @LensShark) as we build this community.

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You can also cut a show opener for us to play on the show! As an example: “Hi, this is Matt Smith with Double Heart Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and you’re listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast with Sharky James!”

from PetaPixel

We wanted to question whether the world we’re living in could actually be a simulation: Copenhagen-based collective Sara, Peter and Tobias on their IPA-shortlisted series

Peter, Sara and Tobias met while attending the Fatamorgana School of Photography in Denmark, where they now share a studio. They made a name for themselves with their first project and photobook, Phenomena, in 2015. This debut project, an anthropological study of UFOs and extraterrestrials, was exhibited in 2016 at Rencontres d’Arles and nominated for Prix de la Photo Figaro. Since their initial collaboration, the collective has developed a conceptual and subjective approach akin to documentary, which considers issues founded on theories and first-person accounts, rather than fact.

From the series The Merge © Sara, Peter & Tobias

How did come together as a collective?

Sara: We’ve all shared an office together for the last six years, and we came together to start our first series, Phenomena, three years ago. We all struggled doing our own personal work alongside our businesses, so collaborating was a way of shaking up our professional lives. Coming together gave us room to experiment. It’s about finding the space and projects that let us do things the way we want to, instead of being governed by other people’s interests or rules. We each wanted to move away from the conventional shape and form of documentary or editorial photography. Then we realised that if we wanted to do things differently, and wanted something to happen, we needed to do everything differently, so we came together as a collective.

How do you develop your ideas as a collective?

Peter: We always try to approach what we do as organically as possible. Our ideas are an open dialogue between the three of us, and we share ownership of everything. We’ll never say who takes each image, because that doesn’t really matter to us. Of course, being three individual people, there are many different angles that come in during the process of developing a body of work, and there’s a lot of discussion that goes on. We try to define the path we want to go on collectively, so it’s a thing that has to find its own way.

S: In the beginning, when we started as a collective, we didn’t have any ideas of what we wanted or how the first project was going to go. We just did things with the desire to shake them up and be a bit different. Along the way, we’ve worked out how to collaborate and do things organically. We couldn’t have done this if we weren’t all open to the fact that we don’t have the same amount of control as we’re used to having. If we didn’t find that giving or interesting then it wouldn’t work. So sometimes it’s organic and sometimes it’s chaotic, but that’s what we asked for.

From the series The Merge © Sara, Peter & Tobias

Can tell me about your IPA shortlisted series The Merge?

P: The Merge is the second project we’ve done together. We wanted to question whether the world we’re living in could actually be a simulation. The reason we’re taking up this idea now is because of developments in artificial intelligence, simulation theory and robotics, a discussion started with Oxford Professor Nick Bolstrom in 2002. He believes that we could be living inside someone else’s simulation as avatars. We are not in a position to find out if that is true or not, so we wanted to explore that and combine the exploration with a more documentary-style approach to simulations and robots. There are essentially two paths in this project; one is more documentary, looking at the development, and the other is a more abstract, interpretive approach to reality, where we are looking at things that we find obscure or bizarre.

What inspired you to make this project?

Tobias: Reading Nick Bolstrom’s simulation theories was quite significant. We also met a professor at Berkeley called George Smoot, who is a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. I remember seeing him present his own theory of simulation during a talk, and it was extremely interesting to see this important academic figure discussing it. We were thinking of doing a project on simulation theory prior to that, but when we started hearing significant people opening up to it, it became really interesting to us. We always try to work with these paranormal phenomenons and abstract ideas, but keep them rooted in either eyewitnesses’ accounts or academics. So we have this mix, as Peter said, of both the documentary approach and the abstract way of debating our perception of reality.

How do you feel The Merge ties into your previous work, Phenomena, and how does it depart from it?

P: In Phenomena, we wanted to take a look at people who believe in aliens and UFOs and give them the benefit of the doubt, in order to take their views seriously instead of ridiculing them. In this new project, we are looking at this simulation argument with the same approach: what if it’s actually real?

T: We always try to put out material openly and without bias. We are not trying to prove anything; we collect statements and materials and then present them. Of course, artistically we are going to have different approaches because we want to develop the way we’re working as photographers and artists, but the anthropological approach and our role as collectors of material is the same in both projects.

S: It’s not like we’re going to have all the answers or are going to tell you anything. You are probably going to be confused, and we’re confused.

From the series The Merge © Sara, Peter & Tobias

What’s next for you? Do you see this project being a long, ongoing process, or are there plans to start something new?

P: This project is enough for now. We started it a year ago but are still working on it on so many different levels, in terms of our discussions, and also in terms of what we are photographing and the techniques we are using. There are many things going on. We decided not to constrain our focus and process so much. We want to make the project fluid.

T: It’s a huge project with a lot of different theories within it, and a lot of different countries that we need to visit. We are debating the perception of reality, so we need to have a broad idea of what reality is. The perception of reality is defined by many different things and different cultures, so there is a need for us to cover a lot of ground. We don’t just want to show a Western or European perspective.

S: But right now we are working towards two exhibitions, so we are going to do this differently from Phenomena. With Phenomena we finished and then published it as a book, whereas with this project we are exhibiting along the way. Then we’ll go back and analyse what we are missing.

What does it mean to you to be shortlisted for the IPA?

S: Whenever you take a risk, it’s nice to know that it’s accepted and that people like that you’re trying to do something different. We had no idea whether we were the only three people who thought this was a great idea, because we talk about this project all the time so we’re in the same bubble. It’s nice that people on the outside can see what we’re doing and appreciate it. Also, maybe they like that people are experimenting and doing something differently, because that’s something we’ve been missing – seeing projects that are doing things a bit upside down.

From the series The Merge © Sara, Peter & Tobias

from British Journal of Photography

Google Built a Rotating Arc of 16 GoPro Cameras to Shoot Light Fields

It seems Lytro has a new formidable competitor in the area of light field cameras. Google revealed today that it has created a rotating arc of 16 GoPro cameras arranged vertically to experiment with light fields.

While a 360-degree camera allows you to look in different directions in virtual reality, a light field camera gives you a much more realistic sense of presence because you can move your head around in 3D space while looking in the same direction. The motion parallax and change in light experienced is much closer to what the world looks like to us in real life.

To create its light field capture camera, which captures all the different rays of light entering a volume of space, Google modified a GoPro Odyssey Jump 360-degree camera rig and bent it into a vertical arc of 16 outward-facing cameras, which was then mounted to a rotating platform.

The camera takes a minute to swing around and capture roughly 1,000 outward-facing viewpoints on a 70cm (27.5in) sphere, providing a 2-foot-wide sphere of light rays. By sampling rays of light based on camera position on the sphere, Google can construct views of a subject to match how a viewer is moving their head in VR space.

So far, Google has tested the camera at a few different locations (the Gamble House in Pasadena, the Mosaic Tile House in Venice, and the Space Shuttle Discovery) and has created a free new app on Steam called “Welcome to Light Fields.” It’s compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets.

“Take the seven-minute Guided Tour to learn more about the technology and the locations, and then take your time exploring the spaces in the Gallery,” Google says. “This is only the beginning, and lots more needs to be done, but we’re excited about this step toward more realistic capture for VR.”

(via Google via The Verge)

from PetaPixel

Watch 3 Photographers Do a Freestyle Portrait Shootout with Work Lights

Gulf Photo Plus held another ShootOut at GPP Photo Week 2018 in Dubai last month, pitting three photographers (Nick Fancher, Zack Arias, and Caleb Arias) in the photography equivalent of a freestyle rap battle.

With only 25 minutes to do their thing, the photographers were asked to shoot portraits of the same subject. But instead of having studio strobes or flashes, the photographers were only given work lights.

Nick Fancher

Nick Fancher invited 3 attendees to help serve as human light stands. He then lit subject with three different colors to create a multiple-exposure portrait.

Zack Arias

Zack Arias shot a dramatic portrait of the subject from a low angle with shadows in the background.

Caleb Arias

Caleb Arias used tape to add white lines for a creative foreground in the scene and shot the subject with color gels.

You Be the Judge

Who do YOU think won this shootout?

Here are links to GPP shootouts in previous years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.

from PetaPixel