Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Photography Week(s) in Review - June 17-30

Sorry for the lack of a post last week and the delay this week.  It was a slow week and I didn’t feel that I had a great deal to report.  So, I decided to combine the last two weeks into one post.  Here are the last two weeks in review.

Lumu Light Meter for Smart Phones - Kickstarter
We wouldn’t have photography if we didn’t have light.  Cameras interpret the light and create the exposure based on the amount of light in the scene.  The image is then captured digitally or burned onto a film negative.  Those of us that use completely manual cameras know the importance of a light meter.  Without it, we wouldn’t be able to properly measure the light in a scene (unless you’re using the Sunny 16 rule or you’re Mat Marrash, the human light meter).  If you own a smart phone and are a photographer, you’ve probably heard of the Lightmeter app.  It’s a great app to use (that’s surprisingly accurate) and is always in your pocket.  A group of individuals are taking smart phone metering to the next level with the Lumu Light Meter.  It’s an actual light meter (and accompanying app) that fits into the jack on your phone.  It’s a slick device and I may have to pick one of these up.  The team at Lumu Labs have nine days left on their Kickstarter and have already reached their goal.  Support Lumu Labs and pick up your light meter for less than launch price here.
Instagram Adds Video
Last week rumors were swirling about an upcoming announcement from Instagram, the popular, mobile phone photography app.  It was rumored that the company would introduce a video feature to compete with Twitter’s Vine app.  That rumor came to fruition on June 20 when Instagram announced that video capabilities were added to version 4.0 of Instagram.  The capabilities include 15 second video capturing (9 more seconds than Vine), image stabilization and seamless integration in your Instagram feed.  It also includes 13 filters to add to your video along with the ability to edit and choose your “cover” video shot.  Unlike Vine, the video plays only once.  The Internet seemed to think this would be the “death” of Vine, but I personally think that’s quite an exaggeration.  Vine shares on Twitter have dropped off quite a bit since the introduction of the app, but Instagram shares have stayed about the same.  Adam Goldberg, king of Vine, has made his allegiance clear and even stated that a few accessories he uses for his videos don’t work on Instagram.  I will be staying with Vine, but use whatever app makes you happy.  Read more about Instagram’s video capabilities here.
Voigtlander Discontinues Rangefinders
On one hand, we have a company expanding its’ offerings (in the case of Instagram); on the other hand, we have a company shrinking its’ product line (in the case of Voigtlander).  Even though the announcement was made a few weeks ago, it just started hitting some photography forums within the past week.  On June 10, Voigtlander announced that the Bessa A series of rangefinders is being discontinued and the 2M, 3M and 4M series of cameras were decreasing in price by $100.  This leaves the Leica M7 as the only new auto exposure, rangefinder, film camera on the market.  Read the Pdexposures blog post on the announcement here.
Impossible Project Black Frame Film Back in Stock
Perhaps my favorite piece of news of the past couple of weeks was that the Impossible Project restocked their shelves with my favorite film - PX600 UV+ Black Frame.  This film produces great tones, develops extremely fast and is framed by a beautiful black border.  When it ran out the first time, I stocked my fridge with a number of packs and I can’t wait to pick more up.  For those interested, don’t wait too long - they had just under 1,000 packs in stock at last check.  They also have a short supply of PZ600 UV+ Black Frame for Spectra cameras as well.  Pick up a few packs here and here.
Pdexposures Podcast #12
The Pdexposures gang was back with another podcast.  This time they tackle thrift stores, thrift store finds and overlooked gems.  Check out Nate, Simon and Tony delivering film photography goodness in their very unique way here
Lomography for Beginners on Japan Camera Hunter Site
Over at the Japan Camera Hunter site, a new article popped up regarding Lomography.  The article, presented as a Q&A session with a panel of experts, gives advice about the ins and outs of Lomography, their lifestyle and cameras.  It’s a great read for someone new to film photography and Lomography.  In addition, Simon and Tony from Pdexposures lend a helping hand by being part of the Q&A panel of experts.  Check it out here.
Toby Deveson Article
Speaking of articles, I came across this great article from a retweet by a photographer I follow on Twitter.  It was a blog post from a photographer about the first exhibit (in 15 years) that he put together.  He produced all of his black and white images by hand in the darkroom and he included some writings and vignettes on his process.  The post was an ode to slow photography and the serenity (in a world of hustle and bustle) that spread across the exhibit viewers as they took in the images.  What he’s talking about definitely strikes a nerve with me and he mentions a few reasons why I shoot film.  Give the post a read here and let me know what you think.
And that’s it for the past two weeks.  Have a great July 4th holiday and I’ll see you all back here for this week’s review.  

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