My RSS reader has been buzzing with some really weird stories lately. Here’s a quick overview of headlines that have caught my eye in the last couple of days…
Why street photography is facing a moment of truth
With anxieties about terrorists, pedofiles, and invasion of privacy running rampant, the innocent days of street photography are over, claims Sean O’Hagan of the U.K.’s Guardian. He discusses Garry Winogrand and Bruce Gilden’s confrontational approach to photographing total strangers, and basically says that this approach would never fly. Neither would Helen Levitt’s casual approach to photographing children at play. I’m not sure how strongly his concerns apply in the U.S., but in England, the authorities have practically declared war on street photographers, and stories of photographers being hassled by police come through almost daily. This has prompted British shooters to form an organization called “I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist.” And yet, street photography has never had more practitioners, with over 36,000 members on Flickr’s Hardcore Street Photography group. Go figure.
Canon Coffee Cup Pinhole Camera Lens
Remember the coffee mug that looks like a Canon L lens? (I still want one, but it was only available if you were a press photographer at the Olympics.) Well, a web site called PetaPixel (I don’t think it has anything to do with the People for the Ethical Treament of Animals) shows a photo of a coffee mug that is, in fact, a 150mm pinhole lens. The results? Kinda fuzzy.
Robotic Buggy Takes Stunning Photos of African Wildlife
A robotic camera? Wired’s Gadget Lab reports brothers Will and Matthew Burrard-Lucas have created a remote-controlled camera that moves via a four-wheel-drive buggy which they calle BettleCam. The camera is a DSLR, and there’s a pair of flashes on either side. The goal is to get close to wild animals without putting the photographer I danger. “We use BeetleCam to approach (wild animals) and we wouldn’t have to fear for our lives,” they say. Indeed, the sample shots get scarily close to elephants, lions, and boars—oh my!
What is the Oldest Piece of Camera Gear that you still use Today?
That question is posed by DPS’s Darren Rowse, who still uses his trusty old Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, and asks others what they still use. I think the winner is the commenter who uses his No. 1A Autographic Kodak Jr., circa 1914-1927. That certainly beats my Ansco Cadet, which, admittedly, gave up the ghost years ago—but I still keep it hanging in my office right behind where I sit, just as a reminder of how I got started in photography. So I guess in a sense, I’m still using it…as inspiration.
Millionaire Gary Fong’s New Book “The Accidental Millionaire”: A Humorous Memoir To Wealth Building
If the name Gary Fong sounds familiar, that’s because this freelance photographer’s line of Lightsphere light modifiers for shoe-mounted flash became incredibly popular very quickly. Apparently, between his freelance wedding business and sales of the flash modifiers, he has done quite well financially. He has written a book about getting rich that’s different from the typical inspirational self-help tomes. The key to his success? Humor. It’s apparently working, according to Dennis Hays, and Fong has been literally laughing all the way to the bank.
What wacky photo news have you read lately?