Think Tank Photo

Monday, October 27, 2014

Al Diaz on Faculty of Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar 2014

A Pakistani man carrying a child rushes away from the site of a blast shortly after a car exploded in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. "Bomb Attack" Photo by Mohammad Sajjad / Associated Press

I’m honored and excited that I have been invited to participate as a faculty member at this year’s Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar November 13-15, 2014. I’ll be speaking on Saturday morning from 9:00-10:15am

I’ve attended this outstanding event several times over the years. I always leave with the hopes of returning for more. Hope you’ll be joining us this year.

The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar was founded in 1973 by a group of photojournalists representing newspapers, magazines and wire services. Its reason for being is to promote the highest standards of photojournalism through an annual educational conference and a photography contest judged by working photographers.

Speakers throughout the years have included Pulitzer Prize winners, Photographer of the Year winners, major magazine and wire service photographers, influential directors of photography, important educators in photojournalism, academia, and others important in this profession. Founded as a regional event, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar has grown to become one of the most prestigious photojournalism competitions, with participants from throughout the world.

The Seminar will be held at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, which is close to the Dunwoody MARTA transit station and Perimeter Mall. There are dozens of shops and restaurants nearby. MARTA offers easy transportation to downtown, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as well as other Atlanta locations.

Schedule
The following is the schedule for the 2014 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. For more information regarding speakers and topics, visit the 2014 Faculty page.
Thursday Video Speakers (November 13)
                7:30am – Registration desk opens
                8:30am – Eyeopener videos begin
                9:30am-5:45pm – Contest Judging (Open to public)
                9:30-10:45amAmani Channel / Visual Eye Media
                11:00-12:15pmOliver Janney / CNN
                12:15-1:30pm – Lunch on your own

                1:30-2:45pmLauren Frohne / Seattle Times
                3:00-4:15pmWes Pope / University of Oregon
                4:30-5:45pmEric Seals / Detroit Free Press

Friday Workshops (November 14)
                9:00am-6:00pm – Contest Judging (Open to public, except for portfolio judging)
                9:00-10:45am
                                  Location Lighting – Robert Seale / robertseale.com
                                  Shooting With Your Ears – Oliver Janney / CNN
                11:00-12:45am
                                  Location Lighting – Robert Seale / robertseale.com
                                  Shooting With Your Ears – Oliver Janney / CNN
                                  Sports – Jamie Squire / Getty Images
                12:45-2:00pm – Lunch on your own
                2:15-4:00pm
                                  Go Pros: Dos, Don'ts, and Drones – Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press
                                  Sports – Jamie Squire / Getty Images
                                  Standing on Your Own Two Feet – Judy Herrmann / Herrmann + Starke
                4:15-6:00pm
                                  Go Pros: Dos, Don'ts, and Drones – Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press
                                  Standing on Your Own Two Feet – Judy Herrmann / Herrmann + Starke
                8:00pm-??? – Portfolio Reviews

Saturday Speakers (November 15)
                8:40am – Eyeopener videos begin
                8:50am – Welcome/Announcements
                9:00-10:15amAl Diaz / Miami Herald
                10:30-11:45amKen Lyons / The Denver Post
                11:45-12:45pm – Lunch on your own
                12:45-2:00pmScott Strazzante / San Francisco Chronicle
                2:15-3:30pmAmy Toensing
                3:45-5:00pmMatt Eich
                5:00-5:30pm – Contest awards ceremony
                8:00-10:00pm – Breakout Sessions (topics and locations TBA)
                8:00pm-??? – Portfolio Reviews

***All speakers, dates and times are subject to change.

Exit Glacier ate my camera!

BY ROMAN LYSKOWSKI 
RLYSKOWSKI@MIAMIHERALD.COM

It was overcast, dark for midday and a bit foggy, with a cold and steady drizzle coming down on us, atop the icy glacier.
That’s when the camera slipped out of my hand — covered by a neoprene glove — as I was trying to stick it back inside a pocket of my rain parka.
I watched in horror as the Lumix compact digital camera fell four feet and bounced once off the slippery ice, before sliding ever so slowly toward the brink of a deep crevasse I had just finished photographing.
It was like watching a slow-motion video: The camera seemed to hesitate a second at the edge, before tottering forward and falling down the glowing, bluish-and-gray maw of the fissure.
We were hiking on the slippery ice and snow atop Exit Glacier, just outside Seward, Alaska, in late July 2011. And, with my feet firmly set with the help of mountaineering crampons clamped to my hiking boots, there was no way I could jump or dive for the doomed device – And that’s probably a good thing, since I might’ve joined it in the fall.
Hearing a string of expletives, one of our two escorts from Exit Glacier Guides trundled over to ask what the heck had happened. My wife, Elissa, was even more upset than I — she knew that the camera’s memory card was almost full, containing several hundred images I had taken while fishing near King Salmon earlier.


The other members of our group offered their sympathies. One even joked about how funny it’d be if 100 years from now someone found the camera, recovered the images and remarked on how oddly folks dressed in 2011.
Well, that’s sort of what happened — three years later.
Elissa got a call in early September from Ryan Fisher, one of our two guides and co-owner of Exit Glacier Guides.
Fisher said one of his colleagues, Andy Farrell, found the battered camera around mid-August.
“The camera was found in a compaction zone just below the icefall from where (it) had been dropped,” wrote Fisher in an email. “It landed in a crevasse at the top of the ice fall and slowly made its way down-glacier over the [next three] years.” As the crevasse widened and turned downhill, the glacier must have spit out the camera onto the surface of the ice.
Finding that camera was amazing enough. But after the guides brought it back to the shop, they popped out the memory card and stuck it into their computer’s reader.
Surprise! The images came up undamaged, all 501 of them.
So, how did they know that I was the owner of the camera?
When Fisher looked through the images, he noticed himself — or someone who looked like him — and another guide in some of the wider shots. That made him think the owner could’ve been taken out on the glacier by his company. He found the date the photos were taken in the images’ embedded metadata and checked it against the company’s records. Then he started making phone calls to clients out on the glacier that day
A couple of week later, Fisher shipped us the camera, and the memory card. Fine silt poured out of the beaten-up camera body, but the card and its electronic contacts looked brand new, without even a sign of corrosion.
Thanks to Fisher and to Farrell, I could end my lament of having lost a set of pictures important to me, captured memories that are worth far more to me than the camera itself.
And what a great tale I now have to tell!

Roman Lyskowski is photo/video editor at the Miami Herald





Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/travel/article2925707.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, October 16, 2014

LEICA STORE MIAMI Reimagined: A Journey to Southeast Asia


Special Presentation by Nico Stipcianos & Jacob Bacallao

Join us on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at Leica Store Miami for Reimagined: A Journey to Southeast Asia, a special presentation by Jacob Bacallao and Nicolas Stipcianos. They will be sharing how their journey to make art transitioned into a passion for giving back. Come and experience their still photos and video as they share their process and experience from the coup in Thailand to the monks in the Cambodian jungle.

To RSVP, email info@leicastoremiami.com or call (305) 921-4433.

This event is kindly sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and Perrier. Attendees will be able to sample a variety of premium craft beers by Brooklyn Brewery and traditional and flavored sparkling beverages from Perrier. 
Leica Store Miami
372 Miracle Mile   |   Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 921-4433   |   info@leicastoremiami.com
www.leicastoremiami.com

A Love/Hate Relationship with Nikon 1

jcridley@gmail.com

It’s amusing when I pull out a Nikon1 J3 and stick it on my 300 f2.8…the sneers, the laughs, the “what the hell is that” remarks….but the things these little camera bodies can do…
Nikon1-a
The Nikon 1 system is a interchangeable lens mount system developed by Nikon for its Nikon CX format mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. The Nikon 1 series was first introduced in 2011. Initial reaction after the debut of the system was widespread disappointment. The new cameras were quickly dismissed as glorified point and shoot cameras with a clunky interface. However, the quirky cameras’ lightning quick autofocus, high frame per second rate, and silent shutter have emerged as assets.
nikon_1-550x279 
When released, I initially agreed with most of the reviews, but a clearance sale caused me to take the plunge and purchase a J1 with a kit lens for $199. At the time I thought it would make an excellent time lapse device with its built in intervalometer.
However, when the camera arrived, the camera’s intervalometer wouldn’t shoot when set to shoot frames faster than one every five seconds. Turns out Nikon limited the camera’s ability to do so in the firmware, for reasons unknown. Also, there is no external connectivity with the J series, so there is no possibility of attaching an external intervalometer.
Then my thoughts turned to Nikon’s FT-1 adapter, which allows Nikon’s mainstream F-mount lenses to be attached to the CX sensor based Nikon 1 bodies. After purchasing a FT-1, I found that the ability to continuously focus on a moving subject had been disabled in the firmware.
I finally hit a home run with the tiny J1 after having it converted to infrared. Businesses including Life Pixel and Digital Silver Imaging will convert DSLR cameras to infrared for around $300-$400. After using this technician to convert a J1, I had a camera, lens AND an infrared conversion for about the same price.
"The U Statue" on the campus of the University of Miami, shot with an infrared converted Nikon 1 J1 with a 20mm f2.8 lens.
“The U Statue” on the campus of the University of Miami, shot with an infrared converted Nikon 1 J1 with a 20mm f2.8 lens.
After thinking the Nikon 1 was just going to be an infrared gimmick in my toolbox, Nikon released a firmware update to the FT-1 adapter, allowing for continuous focus. The system once again could be considered for use as an extreme focal length device.
Due to the 2.7x crop factor, a Nikon 1 body mounted on a Nikon 300mm 2.8 lens via the FT-1 adapter with 1.4x converter and lens hood attached creates an effective 1134mm f4 setup, albeit an odd looking one.
Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4, or as I call it,  an "extreme focal device."
Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4, creating, as I call it, an “extreme focal device.”
After purchasing a Nikon 1 J3 body to replace the converted to infrared J1, I put the above combination to the test last weekend during the Arkansas State @ Miami football game and the Brown @ Florida Atlantic women’s soccer match.
Duke Johnson attempts to elude two Arkansas State tacklers. Shot from approximately 80 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.
Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson attempts to elude two Arkansas State tacklers. Shot from approximately 80 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.

Hurricanes offensive line coach Art Kehoe on the sidelines. Shot from approximately 50 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.
Miami Hurricanes offensive line coach Art Kehoe on the sidelines. Shot from approximately 50 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.

Florida Atlantic Women’s Soccer head coach Patrick Baker gives his club instructions during a break in the action. Shot from approximately 50 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.
Florida Atlantic Women’s Soccer head coach Patrick Baker gives his club instructions during a break in the action. Shot from approximately 50 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.

Florida Atlantic goalkeeper Sydney Drinkwater in action against Brown University. Shot from approximately 100 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4. Florida Atlantic goalkeeper Sydney Drinkwater in action against Brown University. Shot from approximately 100 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.
Florida Atlantic goalkeeper Sydney Drinkwater in action against Brown University. Shot from approximately 100 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.
With the extreme focal length, fast responsive auto focus and rapid continuous frame rate of 15 fps the Nikon 1 J3 is rather adept at covering sports action.  At such a extreme focal distance, the biggest challenge was trying to follow a subject during play by using the rear screen as there are no viewfinders on the J series bodies. The slightest movement of the rig can cause you to lose track of the subject rather easily. A V series body with an optical viewfinder may help alleviate that challenge. This little system even came in handy while shooting my Dynamic Waterfalls project this past June. After hiking to Blue Hen Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park early one morning I pulled my full frame Nikon body and 16-35mm f4 from the backpack to find the lens completely fogged over. After waiting 20 minutes the fog hadn’t receded. My J1 however, with much less optic real estate, was clear as can be. Did I mention it shoots video too?
Blue Hen Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Nikon 1 J1 + 10mm f2.8.
Blue Hen Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Nikon 1 J1 + 10mm f2.8.
In the end, the Nikon 1 series is an asset to my camera bag as a sports shooter, giving me extreme reach in daylight sporting events to get tight shots of coaches, action on the other end of the field, tight goalkeeper shots in soccer, and tighter shots of throwers during track meets. Sure, I could switch to Canon and pick up their legendary 1200mm f5.6 behemoth, but this setup is slightly cheaper. As a landscape shooter, I now have an infrared option that is small, inexpensive, and easy to pack alongside my regular setup. As a tourist, I have a small system that is as easy to whip out of my daypack as an iPhone, with better optics. I just may get along with this system after all.
Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett celebrates with assistant coach Brennan Carroll after scoring a touchdown. Shot from approximately 80 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.
Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett celebrates with assistant coach Brennan Carroll after scoring a touchdown. Shot from approximately 80 yards away with a Nikon 1 J3, 300mm f2.8, and a 1.4x extender for an effective focal length of 1134mm at f4.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Al’s Think Tank Photo Halloween Contest 2014


Kooky chefs prepping up some radical fruit for Halloween Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff
For this year’s Halloween contest a witches cauldron is bubbling over with a treasure trove of prizes from ThinkTank Photo, Peak Design and 3 Legged ThingSend us your favorite Halloween photograph for a chance to hear the skeletal Grim Reaper moan and groan as he hurls the loot to the prize winners. A gang of gnarly Miami Herald staff photographers will select the best super-crafty Halloween photographs for first, second and third place.
Deadline to enter is the witching hour 
(midnight) on spooky Friday, October 31, 2014.

The winners will be announced sometime after I recover from photographing the Day of the Dead assignment I’ll be shooting on November 1.

Image Specifications:
  • FREE to enter the contest.
  • Email your entry to: aldiaz305@aol.com
  • Write in subject line: Halloween Contest 2014
  • All images must be JPEG files.
  • Images should measure no more than 600 pixels wide, or 450 pixels deep at   100 dpi. It doesn’t really matter just keep them at a low resolution.
  • You can enter a maximum of 10 Halloween photos old or  new.
  • Deadline is midnight on spooky Friday, October 31, 2014
Photographs will only be used for contest promotion and to announce the winners on my blog, facebook or twitter accounts. You retain all rights to the images.

First Place Wins:
Think Tank Photo Retrospective50 in Blue Slate $249.75
Peak Design CapturePRO with PROpad $109.90



Second Place Wins:
Think Tank Photo CityWalker 20 in Blue $144.75
Peak Design Capture Camera Clip $59.95


Third Place Wins:
Think Tank Photo DigitalHolster 20 $69.75

Peak Design Leash and Cuff $49.95