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Maico Akiba Sekai 10

All images by Maico Akiba. Used with permission.

The art of photography is all about how you capture the world but Maico Akiba goes one step further in her Sekai (Japanese for world) by creating tiny ecosystems on the backs of wooden animals.

Maico, who is an experienced sculptor and artist, creates scenes of tiny grass patches and trees taking back the city, growing over everything from telephone poles to buildings. Of course, these miniature worlds are also spouting from the backs of mammoths, hippos, dinosaurs, and an assortment of other animals. All these elements combine together to create a post-apocalyptic world that evokes the imagery from “I am Legend” and an Earth without humans.

The magic behind Maico’s work is she first buys small animal figurines from the National Museum of Art and Design Tokyo museum shop. She then paints the animals with acrylic paints and bonding agents to adhere man-made structures, bushes, trees, and grass taken from train sets.

Maico’s work has become so popular, it’s even sprouted a series of cellphone straps in 2012. To see more of Maico’s work hit the jump and visit her website.

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All images by Nicola Bernardi. Used with permission.

Nicola Bernardi is a Melbourne based photographer recently featured on the site in our Creating the Photograph segment for an image from his “What the Duck is Going On” series. He began the series when working as an assistant for another photographer. “At the time, I was focused on that part of being a professional to the point I thought I has lost of bit of that humor and quirkiness that defines who I am as photographer.” says Mr. Bernardi. Understandably, one can become very caught up with improving oneself at certain stages in their career.

One day, Nicola got a hold of a photo of 14 foot tall inflatable ducks in the Hong Kong harbor. And from there, he spurred the idea to create images of bathtubs filled with ducks.

“I immediately thought that a bathtub filled with rubber ducks would have made a killer portrait and before I knew it, I had ordered 251 rubber ducks online.”

Nicola went about gathering some of the wackiest people that he knows–which included his roommate that always looks very serious, a cabaret artist, a drinking buddy, and a burlesque performer. He really wanted to put the viewers right there in the scene and so decided to shoot them all with a wide angle 20mm Nikkor lens. It allowed him to present the bathrooms as grand and larger than they really are. “Trust me, I was the overly big photographer shooting less than a meter away from the subject, crouching and taking the weirdest positions not to get my own limbs in the shot.” says Mr. Bernardi.

He wanted the images to look very advertisement-oriented, and by using a couple of speedlights he started building a very strong contrast with his subjects’ humorous nature. More of the images are after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

A while ago, we did a comparison of the Canon 50mm f1.4 vs the 85mm f1.8 (due to price points) when it comes to taking portraits. Weekly Imogen recently did their own filmed portrait comparison and asked their readers which one they preferred. After a long time of gathering comments and feedback, many of the readers loved the look of the 85mm lens more. However, as some commenters state, the crew used a cropped sensor camera body–which for Canon actually renders an 80mm field of view not the 75mm as stated due to the 1.6x crop factor.

What this actually means is that a 50mm lens will give the field of view of an 80mm lens and an 85mm lens will give around 136mm to the viewer with a cropped sensor camera. Still though, the lenses will still act like their actual focal lengths–which means that an 85mm will still render a less distorted image.

The comments and feedback are an interesting back and forth debate–though many still lean more towards the 85mm. The video is after the jump.

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Light Spirits

Creating the Photograph is an original series where we interview photographers about a photo that they shot and how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed on to you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Photographer Clement Morin is based Stockholm, Sweden and has been since 2011. He shoots editorial and commercial assignments but dedicates most of his time working as the photo editor for the Swedish photojournalist agency Kontinent. “I enjoy very much experimenting on my free time and since I discovered light paintings I got interested in creating original pictures in-camera–trying to do as much as possible in production stage rather than on the computer.”

His goal in the next winter is to develop this into a series with different scenarios that he wrote together with a friend who is helping him on this project.

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Alex Couture-Beil Unitog 16

All Photos by Alex Couture-Beil. Used with Permission.

Street photographers should very familiar with that look everyone gives them right after they take stealthy picture of them. There’s a mix of confusion with a tinge of aggression. When Alex Couture-Beil takes a photo of Vancouver denizens from the top of his unicycle there’s rarely a confrontation. Instead people will gaze up to see a man on a unicycle taking with a camera then smile and sometimes even laugh.

Alex says he likes to take street photos from the top of his 29-inch wheel unicycle because it lets him get around a faster. He takes photos for his Unitog Tumblr on the move with his trusty Ricoh GRset to an 1/1000 second shutter speed and rangefinder mode to pull focus quickly.

“Most often I’ll keep the camera slightly hidden in my hands and only reveal it at the last moment and smile back when I take a photo,” Alex says.”Even at 1/1000 I find it can be a challenge to avoid motion blur when I’m close to subjects.”

Hit past the jump to read the full story.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 1D X Hands on Review (6 of 8)

Canon will reportedly announce a new 46MP 1Ds X body at the Photo Plus in New York City this October according to a Fred Miranda forum user named Psychic1. Normally we would not even acknowledge such a unsubstantiated rumor from a forum user who could very well be trolling. However, the source also noted the pro body could cost between $8,000 and $9000.

Canon has been woefully sitting at the back of the pack in the megapixel race when Nikon and Sony have their respective 36.3MP shooters, the Nikon D810 and Sony A7R. A 46MP sensor would certainly put Canon back in front and in the headlines. However, if the rumor of the camera’s price were true, this camera would be prohibitively expensive even for many professional photographers who ultimately might not need that much resolution in the first place.

We’re also taking the this purported Photo Plus launch with an extremely large grain of salt. The Javits Center event has always been geared more towards companies introducing gear to the public and retailers rather than big news announcements. No matter what happens, The Phoblographer staff will be on the ground in full force to report the events from Photo Plus so stay tuned for more.

Via Canon Rumors