Weekly Photography News #1

Instead of dedicating a whole post to every news revolving around photography, we decided to write a weekly article, which will include some fun finds from the photography blogging sphere.

1) Photographs and Memories

The other day I asked my mother-in-law if she had any photos of my husband as a baby. I love looking at other people’s photos, especially from childhood. You can learn so much by just looking at a simple portrait. The conversation started, because I wondered if I had enough photos of my own children’s early days. You see, regardless of being a photographer, I like to enjoy many things as they happen, without a camera. You’ve probably read about putting down our cameras and actually remembering memories from our initial archives a.k.a. brain cells. If you haven’t read the article yet, check it out.

Although I am still not fully convinced of the notion portrayed in the above article, I tend to follow the logic it pushes forward. I have a cure for my situation though – someone else usually holds the camera. That conveniently keeps me minding my own business and stops me from taking ‘selfies’ with my children.

Photographing Memories

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The Bureau of Advertising Purity

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
- C. S. Lewis

One would think that with the myriad of problems facing the United States and the rest of the world, our lawmakers might be content to prioritize them, determine which are best to be solved by the private sector, the public sector, or some combinations thereof. But alas, there seem to be some that believe every problem should be solved with some form of government intervention and control. Recently, Congressional Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R -FL), with assistance from Ted Duetch (D – FL), and Lois Capps (D – CA), introduced a bill (H.R. 4341) allegedly to save our children from eating disorders and other mental problems by regulating the use of what essentially are labeled as “unrealistic Photoshop” alternations to pictures of models and others that are prominently displayed in advertising, magazine articles, etc. I was a bit surprised to find out that Ros-Lehtinen had sponsored this bill. I happen to be well-acquainted with her stances on many issues and often find myself in agreement with her.

They title the bill, “Truth in Advertising Act of 2014.” Don’t get me wrong – I am not advocating advertisers should be allowed to make blatant false representations regarding their products’ benefits. But policing every photo tied to an advertisement under the watchful eye of some government overseer seems to be fraught with it its own set of problems.

Photoshop Beauty

So how could anything go wrong with such a well-meaning piece of legislation? Read on…

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Please welcome Francois Malan!

We are always excited when our team is expanded with talented individuals that share our passion for photography, and this time I am happy to present yet another addition to our family, Francois Malan. Francois was supposed to join our team last year, but he got very busy with his PhD and thus could not commit any time. This year things will change for Francois, as he will be contributing great articles for our readers to enjoy and learn from. He has already posted an article on using DX lenses on FX cameras and we are looking forward to seeing more great stuff. Please give a warm welcome to Francois!

Francois Malan

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Please welcome Robert Andersen!

This week is crazy here at PL, because we are bringing in more and more talent from all over the world for our readers to learn and get inspiration from. Today, we are expanding our team of writers with a talented wildlife photographer, Robert Andersen! I am sure you have been enjoying Robert’s detailed articles on Raptor Photography and getting answers to some of the most complex questions related to camera autofocus, handling, hand-holding and much more! Without a doubt, Robert will be an amazing resource as a permanent team member for our readers, so please give him a warm welcome!

Robert Andersen

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Please welcome Thomas Stirr!

We continuously strive to bring our readers the best content from many different sources and this time I excited to introduce another addition to our team – Thomas Stirr. You have already seen his articles like how to shoot high-quality videos with a DSLR, his top recommendations for photographing New Zealand and an in-depth review of the Nikon 1 V2 camera. Being obsessed with photography like all of us here at PL, Thomas will be sharing his knowledge and contribute to our site as a resident team member. Here is an intro post from Thomas – please give him a warm welcome!

Thomas Stirr Portrait

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Merry Christmas!

To those of our readers that celebrate Christmas, on behalf of the Photography Life team, we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

May your home be filled with joy, love, health and happiness!

P.S. Don’t forget that we will be giving away two big presents tonight. The Fuji X-E1 + 18-55mm lens kit, along with a full-frame DSLR/mirrorless of choice (Canon 6D, Nikon D610 and Sony A7). Stay tuned for the big news and good luck to everyone!

What do you think about our new Banners?

We have been working with a talented designer from Uzbekistan (which is where Lola and I are originally from) to revamp the look of our site. After our transition from “Mansurovs” to “Photography Life”, we have been thinking about ways to make the site more user-friendly. Our first step was to redesign our logo. The second step was to get rid of that old huge banner with my personal pictures and a square version of the logo. So Lola came up with a few ideas for the new banner concept and she has been working with the designer during the last couple of weeks. After I saw the initial results, I loved them and immediately got rid of the old banners (those really had to go). As of now, the 5 new banners rotate randomly on the top of the page and the designer will be making more interesting ones each month.

So here they are for your viewing pleasure:
Banner-1.jpg

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Nature Photography Prints

A couple of quick updates, with an announcement before the weekend. First, we are finally offering printing services through Smugmug for nature photography. For now, I have only uploaded some of my images, but we have plans to soon start selling images by other Photography Life contributors as well. This is something that our readers have asked many times about in the past, but I never had a chance to set it all up due to time constraints. So we are excited to announce this service and we will be enhancing it even more going forward, with more images and printing options. To access the online store for printing, please use this link, or click on the image below.

Photography Life Printing

We made sure to select the best lab for photo printing – Bay Photo. All ordered prints will be printed with accurate color and I made sure to allow selecting different types of sizes – from square and wide to panoramic. You can also choose different type of material to print to, including Metal prints, which are very cool.

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We Need Your Support!

If you have been reading some of the articles during the last couple of days, you might have noticed that we now have a text box under each post that is asking you, our dear readers, to support Photography Life. I am not going to repeat the same message since it is on the bottom of this post, but in summary, we need your support to continue operating the website ad-free. We also want to grow bigger by adding more contributors, which means more unique content, and running routine contests / giveaways that will add more readers and expand our reach.

Support Photography Life Large

There are multiple ways you can contribute. The simplest way to help us out, is by buying your gear from our trusted affiliates B&H Photo Video and Adorama. Both B&H and Adorama ship internationally, however, if you have tough tax laws for packages coming from the USA, then please use the links below for specific countries:

  1. Amazon Canada
  2. Amazon UK
  3. Amazon Germany
  4. Amazon France

Buying from our links costs you nothing, does not change the price in any way, but it does help us a little by giving us a small percentage of the sale. Whenever you need to purchase any sort of camera gear, please use our links!

If you feel that we deserve more for our efforts, you can also donate money. You can do it as a one-time payment, or you can pledge on a monthly basis with options from $5 per month to $100 (monthly support would be ideal, since it would give us a monthly budget to work with for various projects). If you would rather use PayPal for donations, please use our PayPal one-time donation or PayPal subscription forms instead.

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The Case of the Disappearing Professional Media Photographer?

Cause the good ole days weren’t always good,
And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

Keeping The Faith
- Billy Joel

The Chicago Sun-Times’ decision to lay off its staff of photographers and editors (~28 total), including a Pulitzer Prize winner, sent shock waves throughout the photography industry. Some cried foul. Some expressed disbelief. Others lamented the changing times and the commoditization of the professional media photography field. Many mocked the paper’s suggestion that it would rely on reporters to take their own photos using iPhones and DSLRs. The Sun-Times did not eliminate using professional photographers, since it plans on using some freelancers to fill some of the void created by the departure of the full-time professional crew. But the Sun-Times’ announcement was a clear indication that it believe something had fundamentally changed and it was willing to take radical action to do what it thought best for the immediate and long-term health of the business.

G20 Pittsburgh Job

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