The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle captured the world’s attention this past weekend, and one particular photo received a huge amount of praise and viral popularity. Now the photographer has revealed details of how the picture came to be.

The photo above shows Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his new bride, the Duchess of Sussex, holding hands in a carriage during a procession after their wedding ceremony.

Shortly after it emerged, it began going wildly viral online:

Photojournalist Yui Mok, a Press Association (PA) staff photographer, soon identified himself as the person responsible for the image. Drones weren’t allowed anywhere near the wedding celebrations, so for this “aerial” shot, Mok actually positioned himself on the roof of a gateway at Windsor Castle to photograph the couple as they passed below.

Here’s a 6-minute educational video by Shutterstock in which filmmaker Todd Blankenship discusses the basics of diffusing light and introduces three cheap options for doing so… including a $5 shower curtain.

“A common misconception about diffusion is that all you need to do is slap [diffusion] onto the front of your light source,” Blankenship says. But if you do this, the results may not show much of a difference — the light may still be nearly just as harsh without improved quality.

But the trick is to make your light source as big as possible in relation to your subject, Blankenship says.

The three diffusion products suggested are a $180 Fotodiox Pro-Studio Solutions 4×4 Frame, a $110 roll of Opal Frost Diffusion, a $5 shower curtain.

“You’ll be pretty amazed by how beautiful a quality of light you can get using a shower curtain diffusion,” Blankenship says, noting that it’s one of his favorite ways to diffuse light.

(via Shutterstock Tutorials via ISO 1200)

It’s extremely difficult to predict when and where a tornado will form and touch down, so stormchasing photographers rely on long days of chasing and waiting for luck. But luck is exactly what Mike Olbinski met with recently: he captured a tornado forming and touching down while shooting a timelapse.

The 1-minute video above, titled “The Tescott Tornado,” shows Olbinski’s lucky break.

“The 2018 storm chasing season has been a tough one… long days with not much reward,” Olbinski writes. But on May 1st, that all changed.

While chasing supercells in the plains of Kansas, Olbinski set up his camera gear (two Canon 5DS R DSLRs with a Canon 11-24mm f/4 and 50mm f/1.2) near Culver City to get a nice view of the storm’s structure before it got too close.

“But as we sat there…tornado sirens went off in town (which is what you hear at the start of the video),” the photographer writes. “We noticed a wall cloud forming… and then a cone tornado dropped right before our eyes. I couldn’t believe my luck with time-lapsing it before it ever started.

“And then the tornado disappeared into the rain, only to come back out as a full wedge tornado that was later rated EF3. Watching it sping across the horizon was a moment I won’t soon forget.”

The Sony a9 has been named “Camera of the Year” by in the prestigious Camera Grand Prix 2018 held by the Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC), a 55-year-old coalition of 10 of the most influential photography and camera publications in Japan.

The award honors the best camera products introduced into the market over the previous fiscal year (for the 2018 prize it covers from April 1st, 2017 to March 31, 2018). 53 people involved in the industry (e.g. editors, experts, reporters, photographers) were involved in this year’s selections.

Sony Wins the Top Prize

The Sony a9 was selected as the best of all cameras released over the past year, and the camera received high praise from the committee:

“It is surely an epoch-making camera, indicating further possibilities of cameras in the future,” CJPC writes. “It has changed the concept of a mirrorless camera, convincing us that some images, both still and moving alike, can be captured only with this camera. Fits for professional use.

“Many members of the selection committee highly appreciated the innovative quality.”

Olympus Snags ‘Lens of the Year’

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO lens was named Lens of the Year.

“Realizing both outstanding resolution and high-quality bokeh, this super-fast lens provides the widest angle as of...

One way to stretch yourself as a photographer is to shoot outside your comfort zone, and the Opposite Photography Challenge is one way to do so. In this 7-minute video, photographer Irene Rudnyk shows how she carried out the challenge with a recent portrait shoot.

The challenge involves shooting exactly the opposite of things you usually do. Rudnyk usually shoots professional female models outdoors with natural light, so for this challenge, she photographed a male non-model (commercial photographer Nathan Elson) indoors with studio lighting.

Here are some of the portraits Rudnyk ended up with:

“I challenge all of you to do this challenge,” Rudnyk says.

Episode 280 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
Download MP3 –  Subscribe via iTunesGoogle Playemail or RSS!

Featured: Commercial, fashion and beauty photographer, Valentina Socci

In This Episode

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to 

Canon is now officially in the business of selling sensors. Third-party companies can now purchase three of Canon’s state-of-the-art sensors, including the 120-megapixel monster that has received a significant amount of attention in recent years.

New Camera reports that the three sensors are available through the Canon authorized distributor Phase 1 Technology Corp of New York, not to be confused with Phase One the Danish camera company.

The three sensors are Canon’s 120MP ultra-high-resolution CMOS, 5MP global shutter CMOS, and ultra-low-light Full HD CMOS.

“Canon industrial sensors redefine high-performance with state-of-the-art technology, backed by decades of ongoing development and improvement,” Phase 1 states.

120MP High Resolution

Canon first announced the development of its 120-megapixel sensor back in 2015, and it showed off what the sensor is capable of at an expo the following year.

A couple months ago, Canon released a video with a much deeper look at how much detail the sensor can capture.

5MP Global Shutter

Canon’s 5-megapixel CMOS with a global shutter was unveiled in 2016. It’s a sensor that doesn’t suffer from the “rolling shutter effect” that plagues most of the sensors...

NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite has captured its first photograph — a dazzling one that shows over 200,000 stars.

NASA writes that the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) just completed a flyby of the moon on May 17th, passing at about 5,000 miles away for a “gravity assist” toward its final orbit.

And to test out the cameras on the satellite, the team behind TESS captured a 2-second exposure using just one of the four cameras onboard. The photo above is what resulted.

It’s centered on the southern constellation Centaurus, and the bright star at the lower left edge of the frame is Beta Centauri.

With its four cameras combined, TESS is set to photograph over 400 times as much of the night sky as is shown in this photo during its first 2 years of searching for exoplanets, covering virtually the entire night sky.

Here’s a 1-minute NASA video on TESS’s journey and photo mission:

(via NASA via Engadget)

Image credits: Photo by NASA/MIT/TESS

Here’s a 16-minute video in which Kai Wong shares his latest list of the 5 best full frame lenses worth investing in if you’re a Nikon DSLR shooter.

Here’s the list of Wong’s picks (watch the video to hear his intro and explanation for each choice):

#1. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL — $4,000

#2. Nikon 58mm f/1.4 — $1,600

#3. Nikon 85mm f/1.4G — $1,600

#4. Nikon 105mm f/1.4 E — $2,200

#5. Nikon 180-400mm f/4 E TC — $12,400

As a set, this group of 5 lenses would cost you a grand total of about $21,800. Shooting with some of the best lenses Nikon has to offer definitely doesn’t come cheap.

A Georgia mother is filing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against a local photographer’s photo company, accusing it of publishing an indecent photo of her 15-year-old daughter at a school dance.

The Associated Press reports that the Cady Studios had been hired to photograph the North Cobb High School homecoming dance in September 2017, which the girl attended.

One of the photos shot that night was captured at the moment the teen’s dress slipped down, exposing her right breast.

Months later, in January 2018, the girl came across that photo posted for sale on the photo studio’s website and was “shocked, horrified and embarrassed” that it was online for her schoolmates to see. Some, including a group of football players at the school, purportedly even spread it through social media apps such as Snapchat and made “hurtful comments”.

Cady Studios took down the photo after the girl’s family reported it, and a manager at the studio sent an apology over email.

“I am horrified that this even happened,” the manager wrote. “Please know I am addressing with our team immediately. We have a process of three people to review photos prior to posting; however, we are investigating where the breakdown happened.”

The mother — unnamed to protect the girl’s identity — responded this week by filing a lawsuit accusing Cady Studios of...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and when it comes to “sunbursts” in photos – those points of light with rays streaking out of them – people often have polarizing views. Optical diffraction is the physical property that causes this effect. The appearance of sunbursts is more technically described as “diffraction spikes,” and it’s caused by the bending (sometimes referred to as spreading) of light around an object like the edges of your camera’s aperture.

When an aperture is large relative to the wavelength of light, you don’t get much diffraction. But when the size of an aperture is small, the effects of diffraction become apparent. The divergent light of varying wavelengths travel different distances to the camera sensor and cause interference – some interfering waves increase their combined amplitude, while others cancel each other out.

The diffraction that causes spikes is the same property that makes lenses less sharp at large f-stop numbers.

Diffraction spikes in camera lenses

Most modern lenses use an iris diaphragm to control the size of the aperture. Wide open, the effects of diffraction are unnoticeable because most of the light can pass...

Over the past several years, director Phil Holland has been specializing in high-res, large-format aerial cinematography. This gorgeous video titled “Above NYC” is a flyover of The Big Apple shot in 12K using a special rig comprising 3 RED Weapon Monstro 8K VV cameras.

The cameras — worth $79,500 each for a total cost of $238,500 — were mounted inside a special 6-axis gyro-stabilized aerial camera rig called the Shotover K1 Hammerhead, which in turn was mounted to a helicopter.

“For the stitching to work properly, they had to figure out the correct amount of overlap, and the cameras had to be synced using RED’s Jetpack SDI module,” Engadget reports. “Putting the video together in post was equally tricky, as everything needed to be aligned, warped, stitched and blended.

“Because all three cameras were pointed in different directions, shots needed a perspective adjustment to create a perfect rectilinear projection.”

Once the footage from the individual cameras are stitched together and processed, each frame of footage is the equivalent of a 100-megapixel photo with a sensor size equivalent to 645 medium format film. The resulting 12K footage has 48.5 times the resolution of 1080p.

The video above is an 8K export of the original 12K film. For now, you’ll just have to be content with imagining how...

In the 1950s, early color photography was widely scorned. Now it’s the default. What happened?

Prologue: No Space for Dreams

In 2015, Leica released a beautiful, ridiculous ad. It was for a special product in their lineup; a digital camera that only takes black-and-white photos.

The clip itself is strangely compelling. Set to hypnotizing black-and-white patterns, a calm voiceover says B&W is purer than color. The hyperrealism of color, it points out, isn’t just overly crass, it’s unnecessary. Color is an aid for people without imagination: “In the color world, there’s no space for dreams.”

Of course, this is wrong. If anything it’s the other way around: color is actual, we don’t see in monochrome. Insisting on black and white is often a pretentious turn. Leica’s ad rehashes one of the oldest debates in the history of photography: Which is better, black and white or color? The two do different things, the debate is fruitless. However, it helps to know about this “controversy” in order to understand how we and photography got here.

Act I: Color is Bulls**t

Let’s recall that photography only became an art form relatively recently. When it came about at the...

Last summer, I visited Gifford Stevens at his home in Bradley, Maine. He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He taught English at Hampden Academy.

His classes were always fascinating, and a few favorites were Folklore and Outdoor Life. He led a guitar club, took us white water rafting, and I was fortunate enough to have been able to build an Appalachian dulcimer with him.

Giff is retired now (I think he’s on trip 74 around the Sun this year) and spends the summers here in Maine.

Last summer, he wanted to pass a few things along to me. First, he gave me a guitar, a fascinating story on its own. Then he gave me a camera.

The camera was once his grandfather’s camera. Alden Gifford Stevens, according to a letter Giff wrote for me to go with the camera, traveled to Africa in 1926 and stayed until 1929. On his travels, he met Ernest Hemingway, the Prince of Wales, and George Eastman among some other notables. George Eastman himself gave Alden this camera!

In 1960, he sent it to Rochester for a bellows repair. The folks at Kodak wanted to buy it for the collection but, to my good fortune, he declined. When Giff handed me the camera, I took off the back and tried to show him the projection of the lens onto a piece of paper where the film would usually...

Have you ever pulled out your camera to shoot, only to be horrified to find that you forgot to put a memory card inside before leaving home? That’s what just happened to a NASA astronaut while he was in the middle of a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

The 1.5-minute video above is an extended version of a livestream clip NASA shared on Twitch, titled “Left SD card at home LUL.” In it, the astronaut (reportedly Andrew Feustel) is trying to start recording footage with a GoPro camera when he suddenly asks mission control a question. Here’s a transcript:

Astronaut: “Hey, uh, Houston, I gotta ask a question about the GoPro real quick.”
Houston: “I’m all ears. Go ahead.”
Astronaut: “Pushing the button, I see a ‘No SD’. Do I need that to record? And if it’s recording, is there supposed to be a red light on?”
*A long silence ensues*
Houston: “I’m told that if it has the card in it, it should have a red light if it’s recording.”
Astronaut: “And if it says ‘No SD,’ what does that mean?”
Houston: “I think that means no card. We’re checking though, hang on.”
Astronaut: “Well, let’s just forget it for now. I’ll get it later. Let’s just not worry about it.”

Thankfully, the ISS has an impressive arsenal of camera equipment (including

Well-known British filmmaker Philip Bloom is angry at Google, accusing the Silicon Valley tech giant of using his work without permission or payment for an internal video that has since been leaked and published by major publications.

Yesterday, The Verge published an article about a 2016 internal Google video titled “The Selfish Ledger.”

“Google has built a multibillion-dollar business out of knowing everything about its users,” The Verge writes. “Now, a video produced within Google and obtained by The Verge offers a stunningly ambitious and unsettling look at how some at the company envision using that information in the future.”

The video was subsequently published by other big news outlets and has been uploaded multiple times to YouTube:

While many people have been creeped out by the video’s message, Bloom had a much different reaction: he was pissed when he saw that 75 seconds of unlicensed footage had been used at various points in the short film.

“See if you can spot the 75 seconds of unlicensed footage of mine in this internal video by Google which has just been published!” Bloom writes. “Now I just need to find out how to go after them! I know they have some claim over my footage as it’s on...

As a kid who grew up with a shelf filled with yellow spines, I can attest to the rhythm and general predictability of a National Geographic cover. With few exceptions (most notably those holographic covers from the 1980s), cover photography from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s followed a familiar pattern of a faraway place, strange creature, or “exotic” face in saturated color.

We were armchair explorers living vicariously through the eyes of those famous photographers – Indiana Joneses with a camera.

In the mid-2000s, the editors started experimenting with studio photography and illustration – perhaps a tacit acknowledgment that the visual language of magazine covers had evolved. A few issues started to appear indistinguishable from something you might find on the cover of TIME. Conceptual illustration was rare, and when used, it lacked ingenuity and subtlety. Case in point: the September 2013 cover of the Statue of Liberty underwater to illustrate sea level rise.

But the June 2018 cover is brilliant.

The photo illustration echoes Ralph A. Clevenger’s famous 1998 composite of an iceberg.

The image was created by Jorge Gamboa of Mexico and won 1st Place in the “Political or Social Posters” category of the

Canon’s original EOS M flopped as the company’s first contender in the emerging mirrorless camera market, but now third-party hackers are working to unlock more of its potential. And they’re making progress: using Magic Lantern, the EOS M is able to shoot 2.5K raw video.

Canon Watch reports that camera hackers have been testing the “highly experimental” sd_uhs module in Magic Lantern, which overclocks a camera’s SD memory card interface to allow for higher write speeds.

For the EOS M, the overclocking allows 70 MB/s of data to be written to a card instead of 40 MB/s.

The result is that the EOS M can shoot 2520×1080 (2.5K), 5x zoom, 24 fps, 12 bit lossless compressed raw footage.

Here are a couple of sample videos by Synth & Sundry:

“This is a 2 minute continuous test run,” writes Synth & Sundry. “ISO is at 400 so there is noise, but it’s not too visible due to the higher resolution. […] Upscaled to UHD for youtube upload. At this resolution image crop is 3.33x from 35mm full frame […] so 11mm becomes 36.6mm full frame equivalent.”

The footage reportedly avoids the moire effect due to the 5x crop.

“There’s no pixel interpolation / line skipping going on,” writes...

Instagram has officially launched the re-sharing of other people’s posts in your stories. The feature was previously spotted by a small set of guinea pig users back in February and is now being rolled out to everyone.

If you’re browsing through your feed and see a photo that you’d like to share, simply tap the paper airplane “Send” button found below it, just as you would when sending a post via Direct.

At the top of the view that pops up is a new option for using the post to create a story.

Tapping this option turns the post into a sticker with a customized background that you can add to your story. You can rotate, scale, and move the sticker around on the background. Tapping it brings up other styles you can use.

Posts shared in stories are always attributed to the poster’s username, and anyone tapping the sticker will be taken to the original post.

Only posts from public accounts can be shared as story stickers in this way, and there’s an option in your account settings that allows you to opt out of letting other people share your posts.

Instagram says post re-sharing has already rolled out to Android users and is set to arrive for iOS users in the coming...

Episode 279 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
Download MP3 –  Subscribe via iTunesGoogle Playemail or RSS!

Featured: Sony Artisan of Imagery, Tony Gale

In This Episode

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to rate and review us and help us move up in the...