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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Unravelling the Mysteries of the Little Black Box book review images (1 of 5)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.2

It’s not very often that an innovative book for photographers makes a splash, but Unravelling the Mysteries of the Little Black Box is an eBook that will turn heads and make you excited about learning all of the intricacies of the art form. Even as a veteran photographer for many years, I found the content in this book from Shaun Hines to be absolutely wonderful.

So what makes the book so innovative? Unlike many other eBooks on the market, Mysteries of the Little Black Box has multiple interactive elements. You aren’t simply just flicking from left to right to read scenes. The book requires active involvement from the reader to get the most from it.

And if you’re going to recommend any book to a person still learning, hands down this is the one.

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Enlarger-Camera-1

All images by Chuck Baker. Used with permission.

Making your own cameras usually results in the creation of pinhole cameras, but photographer Chuck Baker recently created a large format 5×7″ camera after being inspired by a 20×24″ camera. He tells us that he wanted to create a smaller version and that the stuff that he collects from garage sales helped him to build a camera using an old film enlarger.

For the uninformed, 35mm film needed to use enlargers in order to print them at a larger size. These enlargers had lenses, bellows, etc. And in many cases they are indeed turned into cameras. But the story about this one from Mr. Baker really amazed us. His ingenuity inspired us–and his knack for tinkering helped him to create his own large format camera.

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Whether you think it’s hipster or not–let’s be frank, instant film cameras are cool. Who cares if they’re hipster? There are ways that you can make them seem much less so. But even if you have that stigma, the cameras are still capable of producing beautiful work that editors, models, and people in general love. Heck, an entire app was created to emulate the looks of these cameras!

Picking the right one though isn’t so simple. There are many options available both old and new–and you really just need to get the right one for you. That’s much easier said than done though.

Here’s our Guide to Instant Film Cameras and picking the right one for you.


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Image via DC Watch

Image via DC Watch

Sony outed two surprise announcements yesterday with the Sony A7 Mk II and the 70-300mm f3.5-5.6 G SSM II A-mount lens. According to DC Watch, Sony is also working on improving some of its older Alpha-series glass with a 24-70mm f2.8 ZA SSM II lens and 16-35mm f2.8 ZA SSM II lens.

Sony announced the two fast zoom lenses will have improved autofocus speeds. Additionally the glass will come weather sealing against dust and water. The lenses are expected to arrive by the beginning of spring next year.

Sony also announced updates to its lens road map. Although this year is nearly out, there are still a few more FE-mount lenses we can expect including a Sony PZ 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 OSS, 28mm F2, and Zeiss 35mm f1.4. Leading into 2015 Sony will also release a FE 90mm f2.8 Macro G OSS lens. Check out the full lens road map after the break.

Via Photo Rumors

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Two Flamingos

All images by Gray Malin. Used with permission.

Not many people choose to venture to the Arctic–but if they did then they’d surely try to bring something to remind them of warmer times. That’s part of the influence of Gray Malin’s Antarctica: the White Continent. Gray used juxtaposition to make summery items stand out amongst the ice floes, glaciers, and the barren snow.

We talked to Gray about travelling to the Arctic, the idea and inspiration behind the project, and location scouting in the frigid cold.

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1909_Victor_Flash_Lamp

Image from Wikipedia

When photography was still in its very early days, adding extra light to the images literally meant creating an explosion. These early flashes involved lots of chemistry and measurement. But eventually, photographers and chemists found out that a magnesium flash mixture would be most effective. So the photographers would have a torch type structure in one hand and their camera in the other. Then an electronic current would ignite the flash powder and the extra light would be added to the image.

A while ago, the Tech Photo Blog posted a video on Youtube demonstrating how flash powder is used vs modern day flashes. The show viewers just how explosive the mixture is and encourage them to not try it at home. What you can also see is just how much smoke comes from the magnesium flash powder–which doesn’t make it so ideal to use indoors.

This method isn’t used anymore though. The process of adding a flash to a photo eventually evolved into using flash tubes, then the electronic strobe. The big problem with magnesium powder wasn’t only the danger, but also measuring the right amount for the image you needed to take.

Hit the jump to check out the video.

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