Monday, June 17, 2013

Photography Week in Review - June 10-16

I hope you had a great week; it was an interesting week in the world of photography with a few product launches, more Kodak news and of course new episodes of my favorite podcasts.  Here’s your photography week in review for June 10-16.

Leica releases new camera 
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Leica was going to be making a new product announcement.  Well, June 11 came and went and there is now a new camera in Leica’s line up.  It’s called the Leica X Vario.  Leica had been teasing the product as a “Mini-M;” however, it’s not a new M series camera.  It was simply modeled after the M.  The X Vario is a compact camera with a f/3.5 autofocus zoom lens that also allows you to record full-HD video.  The camera was not a favorite among the Leica fans I follow on Twitter.  What do you think?  Read more about the X Vario here.
Lomography goes the DIY route with the Konstrucktor
While we’re on the topic of new product releases, Lomography released their newest camera.  They had been teasing it for the past few weeks and my guess was that it was a 35mm SLR system.  Well, I was close.  It’s actually a DIY 35mm camera.  Lomography is touting it as the world’s first DIY 35mm camera and they’re marketing the educational benefits of assembling your own camera, allowing the "builder" to truly learn about the analogue photography process. The camera takes 35mm film, has an unbelievably slow  50mm f/10 lens with a shutter speed of 1/80 sec.  It has multiple exposure function and focuses from .5m to infinity.  The surprising thing about this camera is that it’s only $35.  The initial results from the camera are fairly sharp and are missing the major light leaks or other quirks usually associated with Lomography’s product line.  It will be interesting to see the results once more individuals get their hands on the camera.  Learn more about the Konstrucktor here or pick one up here.
Kodak Stopping Production of Film Acetate Base
From product launches to product discontinuations.  Last week, Kodak announced that it was discontinuing the in-house production of cellulose acetate which will result in the cutting of 61 jobs.  Kodak has been in financial troubles for awhile and sold off it’s film division earlier this year.  They’re trying to emerge from bankruptcy as a leaner company with the ability to make a profit, but as it stands right now, I don’t see how they can be successful with the product line they’ve chosen to stand behind.  Kodak claims that they will continue to produce film and that they’ll be looking at external suppliers for the film acetate base once they run out of existing stock.  I like a few of Kodak’s film stocks, but at this point, I want to support a company, like Ilford, that truly believes in film.  Read more about Kodak’s changes here or here.
FPP Releases New Podcast
One group that will always support Kodak for as long as they’re around is the Film Photography Project.  They just released their second podcast of June and this time they’re joined by long time listener and contributor Darren “Pancho Ballard” Riley and his new wife Rebecca.  John Fedele and Leslie Lazenby also join the podcast and topics such as scanning film, New York street photography and listener letters are covered.  Check out the podcast and show notes here.
Pdexposures Intermission
It’s officially not a photography week in review post if I don’t mention the Pdexposures gang.  They released their fourth “Intermission” podcast and this time the topic is the Pdexposures meet-up that took place in Seattle back in May.  Nate brought along a mic and recorder and recorded interviews with some of the participants.  Check out the intermission here.
Weegee’s Birthday
Weegee, born Ascher Fellig, was a famous press photographer in the ‘30s and ‘40s.  He  was mostly known for his gritty, black and white, crime scene work from the Lower East Side of New York. He was a member of the famous New York Photo League and was ahead of his time in marketing himself and his photographic style.  Luckily, for us, his archive of 20,000 prints, negatives, tearsheets and other memorabilia were donated to the International Center of Photography and have went on to produce several outstanding exhibitions and books.  June 12 was Weegee’s birthday and to celebrate, look up his work and admire it.  You can find it here.
Margaret Bourke-White’s Birthday
Weegee wasn’t the only famous and ground-breaking photographer that celebrated a birthday this week.  June 14, Bourke-White would’ve been 109 years old.  She is best known for three things:  (1) the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry; (2) the first female war correspondent; and (3) the first female photographer for Life magazine.  She died of Parkinson’s Disease in August of 1971, but her images left a lasting impression.  One of my favorites is “Kentucky Flood.”  What about you? See more of her work here.
50 Most Influential Photographers of the Past 10 Years
I don’t have a lot to say about this specific news item.  I came across this article from one of the individuals I follow on Twitter.  It’s a slide show (with a small write up) of the 50 most influential photographers in the past decade.  The article was featured on the mobile site of the men’s magazine Complex.  The list is certainly pushing the boundaries of what is defined as photography, but even without knowing half of the names on the list, I’m going to give their work a longer look.  You never know where inspiration will come from.  What do you think about this list?  Check it out here.
Negative Viewer App for the iPad
I happened to come across another cool app this week.  This specific app is for the iPad.  It’s relatively simple, as it turns your iPad into a tablet sized light box.  Thus, providing you with an easy way of viewing and evaluating your negatives.  I haven’t actually tried it yet, but it’s free, so how can I not download it?  it will be the cheapest light box that I’ll ever find.  Check it out here and here.
That does it for this week.  Get out there and shoot and I’ll see you all next week.

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