Little Magic Box..
Exciting news today as GoPro announces their all new HERO3 camera, less than one year after the debut of the HERO2. The new HERO3′s appearance hasn’t undergone any drastic changes, it is thinner and lighter with a sort of faux carbon fiber looking trim. Internally though there are significant upgrades from the previous versions that’s slowly making GoPro a serious contender with camera manufacturers previously out of its class.
It’s undeniable that the capability & features packed into this bite-sized camera will make any video enthusiast salivate with a price point of around $400..
The Wi-Fi enabled HERO3: Black Edition is the most advanced GoPro, ever. No expense was spared during its development, resulting in a GoPro that is 30% smaller, 25% lighter and 2x more powerful than previous models. Wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197′ (60m), capable of capturing ultra-wide 1440p 48fps, 1080p 60 fps and 720p 120 fps video and 12MP photos at a rate of 30 photos per second, the HERO3: Black Edition is the world’s most versatile camera. Built-in Wi-Fi, GoPro App compatibility and the included Wi-Fi Remote (normally a separate $79.99 accessory) make the HERO3: Black Edition all the more versatile, still.
2X Faster Video Performance
3X Faster Photo Performance
Improved Sharpness, Less Distortion
Redesigned Audio System
Built-in Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi Remote Included)
4K- Revolutionary or Useless
..but if you stop to think about the practical implications of some of its highlight features (4K), wouldn’t you come to realize that it’s, a bit gimmicky?
Let me clarify a bit about what 4K is and how the HERO3 offers it.
4K is really an abbreviation or slang for Ultra-High Definition. 4k is video captured at a resolution of is 3840 x 2160, whereas full HD is about 1920 x 1080. Current 4k cameras are priced $5,000 to $10,000 on the low end. So getting 4k for under $400 is an incredible option, but thats about where the excitement for 4k in the HERO3 stops. There are a lot of limitations to 4K to begin with, one being that a 4k display need to even watch your footage costs $18,000 to well over $100,000.
4K Function on the HERO3
Since the introduction of the HERO(1) camera many sports junkies and thrill seekers have had to learn a little bit about the world of video in order to showcase their “skills” and/or adventures. Still though it’s not expected for the average HERO cam user to have an accurate understanding of the otherwise key concepts such as frame rate, shutter speed, and aperture. For those of you who understand these let me quickly ask, when was the last time you or anyone you knew purposely shot something at 15fps ( frames per second)? Right, it does’t happen.
When recording 4K on the HERO3 the only frame rate option is 15 frames per second, and for those of you who don’t know that frame rate is very undesirable and arguably useless 15 frame per second playback looks choppy and unnatural. Standard frame rates are (in U.S) 24, 30, and 60.
Even if you’re willing to sacrifice a desirable frame rate for 4K quality, well 99% of people don’t have a 4K monitor and will have to scale the footage down to HD anyway.. so that leaves us with HD at an awkward 15fps which is 100% useless when the camera offers HD at the standard 30fps.
The Future of consumer 4K
Realistically 4K is still a professional feature not yet practical for consumer use, though it seems GoPro is well on their way towards conquering that divide. With a borderline useless 4K, it’s still a major leap in technology to prove limited 4k ability for under $400 in the little magic box that is the HERO3.
Affordable Macro Photography Equipment
There are plenty of amazing photographic and video techniques to delve into one you get acclimated with your cameras base functions. Such as:
Black & White, HDR ( High Dynamic Range), Tilt Shift, Time Lapse, Slow Motion, Macro, Astrophotography and more.
With each one having a vast new set of skills and accessories required to perfect it, it’s easy to spend a fair amount of cash before reaching some level of success. Today I want to talk about an affordable highly effective method to get you introduced to Macro Photography and Videography. Using the equipment you already have in your camera bag, you too can make amazing macro photography and video for under five dollars. First take a look at the type of results you will achieve in the video below I’ve made for Coin Enthusiasts, as well as Macro Photographers. Watch in HD.
What Do I Need?
How Does it Work?
Where Do I Buy One!?
You can get these on eBay all day long for around $5. Search “Reverse Ring Macro” or just click.
I’ve written a few articles here on the site about slow motion and it’s ever-growing accessibility and quality. It seems like with every new year we push the limits of high speed photography. In fact, lately I feel it has become a fad, often being taken to such an extreme we find ourselves fast forwarding to the climactic points, completely contradicting the appeal of slow motion to begin with.
At one point I nearly uploaded a video titled “1 Million Frames Per Second Butterfly“. It was going to be a 5 minute long video of a butterfly in flight. I was looking to innocently mock at this obsession with slower and slower motion with such an extreme title, only to have viewers slowly realize that the butterfly is not moving, and they were in fact looking at a static, non changing single image throughout. Making the point that limitlessness technology does not necessarily mean limitless discoveries, understanding, or enlightenment. As the butterfly would illustrate with its undramatic seemingly static state.
High speed photography has now been pushed to SUCH an even further extreme than anyone ever thought imaginable, that it has become once again a major breakthrough. How does One Trillion Frames Per Second sound? At a trillion frames per second, a video of my butterfly making just ONE single flap of its wings by my calculations would take over 12 1/2 YEARS to watch. Hopefully now you can understand what a staggering figure 1 trillion frames per second is. So far this furthers the point of my butterfly, so why is it a major breakthrough?
When we’re talking about speeds this extremely slow, a butterfly from this perspective is more immobile than the grand canyon seems to us now. So what moves fast enough that can be analyzed at this speed? Well, imagine flicking on the light switch and being able to see the photons extend outwards from your lamp’s light bulb and emerge out into the darkness of your room, creating light as they bounce infinitely in every direction as they come into contact with the objects around them. Imagine being able to capture on film- the speed of light.
1826 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce captured the first photo with an exposure time of 8 hours.
1877 Eadweard Muybridge devises a shutter mechanism made of wood, brass, and rubber bands, to capture a horse in motion at a shutter speed near 1/125th of a second.
1964 Harold E. Edgerton photographs a bullet piercing an apple at a shutter speed of 1/1,000,000 ( one millionth of a second).
2011 Ramesh Raskar and his team at M.I.T figure out a system to capture images at one trillion frames per second.
Femto Photography: The Video
Pardon Me While I Disagree…
Slow Motion is a film-making effect of viewing an event slower than is perceived in the natural world. Or simply slo-mo, as we all know it. Over the last three years since the boom of DSLR video slow motion has become ever-growing in popularity and ease of use. For around a $1,000 you can come close to producing striking slow motion imagery that in the past decades cost well over tens of thousands of dollars. It was with the aid of photography in the late 19th century, that what started between a few men as a meaningless bet, eventually turned into a life lone scientific and artistic obsession to understand and document human and animal locomotion. It all started at a horse racing track in Palo Alto, California in the early 1970′s as a gentlemans bet between Senator and race enthusiast Leland Stanford (right) and some racegoers. A popular debate of the time was whether all four of a horses hoofs were ever off the ground at the same time at any point during the horses stride. Leland Stanford strongly disagreed and set out to prove his argument. Society as a whole aggreed that at no time was the horse ever completely off the ground, and most all depictions of horses in paintings throughout history showed either their back or front feet on the ground.
Passion, Genius, and Murder…
Stanford befriended some hired help, an eccentric english photographer by the name of Eadweard Muybridge (left). His task was to catch a horse in motion, hopefully airborne, thus proving Stanford’s suspicions. The success of this project would require the development of new photographic techniques and equipment. Firstly Muybridge would have to figure out a way to increase shutter speed to levels never before achieved in order to get a sharp image of an object in fast motion. Secondly, Muybridge would need to figure out a way to quickly take multiple pictures in succession to follow the horse as it moves. In 1873 he successfully used one camera to take a photo of a horse in full gallop at the exact moment in question. He found that for a moment, all four legs of the horse were off the ground at one time. Though the press accused Muybridge of tampering with the photograph and refused to acknowledge his findings as legitimate. Muybridge continued to refine his process.
In 1872 an 43 year old Muybridge married Flora Shalcross Stone, 21. Early into the marriage she gained an Admirer (common at the time for women to have admirers) Major Harry Larkyns. Muybrdige thought Flora and Harry’s relationship was exceedingly inappropriate, and eventually sent Flora to live with her mother in Oregon in an attempt to stop the affair. One day in 1874 Muybridge went to visit his wife only to find that she wasn’t home. He found on her table a picture of their son Floredo which he had never seen before. He picked up the photo and happened to turn it over. On the back was written “Little Harry”. Muybridge, enraged realizing his son was actually that of his wife’s lover, decided to halt the affair indefinitely. Muybridge boarded a train for an 80 mile journey Calistoga, California to confront the Major.
After dark on October 17th 1874 , Muybridge made his way to a hotel at the Yellow Jacket Mine where Major Harry Larkyns was staying. He called for Larkyns and when he came to the door Muybridge remarked “Good evening Major. I have brought a message from my wife, take it.” and just as the last word came out of his mouth, he pulled out a Smith and Wesson No. 2 Six Shooter, shooting Larkyns through the heart . Muybridge was arrested and put to trial.
Throughout the case his legal fees were paid for by his boss/parter Leland Stanford. He plead “not guilty” due to insanity, blaming a head injury from a stagecoach accident. After 13 hours of deliberation, the jury rejected his insanity plea but found him “not guilty” due to justifiable homicide. But the victory would be short lived, neither of them knew it at the time but it would be just five short years before they were back in court again, only this time facing off with one another…
A Horse Named Sallie Gardner…
After the trial Muybridge spend one to two years taking photos and traveling in Central America. This has been noted as a self imposed exile, I presume Muybridge was looking to leave the troubles he had in California and take some time to clear his mind and find himself. In 1877 he returned to Northern California. After 5 years of on and off experiments photographing animal locomotion, Muybridge was ready to debut his findings to the world and prove his experiments validity after being accused of photographic fraud in the past. Muybridge would take two sequences of photos and develop them on the spot for the press.It was a bright and clear Saturday morning June 15th, 1878, journalists and reporters alike from interest in arts to sports gathered for the exhibition.
He with the help of Stanford and engineer John D. Isaacs, set up Twelve Stereoscopic cameras along the sill of a shed aiming outward at a tall backdrop covered in a white sheet. Wires were placed so that the horses would break them as they ran perpendicular to the row of the cameras, triggering the shutter devises. The successive motion of two horses owned by Stanford would be captured for the press that day, Abe Edgington & Sallie Gardner. Edgington was to perform first; a trot with a rider in a Sulky ( similar to a chariot). Next was the main event, the answer to the question that started it all. Sallie Gardner ran unsaddled at a 1:40 Gait (~ 30mph). In just about three tenths of a second the dramatic metal and wood click of twelve shutters could be heard as Sallie went blazing past.
Sallie Gardner’s running gait as photographed by Eadward Muybridge in Palo Alto, California June 15th 1878.
Once the film was fully developed, Muybridge’s pictures revealed a horse with all four legs off the ground at once. The press was astounded. For the first time in history the intricate and graceful motion of a horse ( part of every day life back then) was revealed. Already a respected photographer of the time, Muybridge’s success on that morning threw him into an even brighter spotlight. By this time in his life, Muybridge had put all he was into this project, and he wasn’t about to stop yet.
…to be continued.
1. Lyman L. Palmer. “History of Napa and Lake Counties, California” San Francisco: Slocum, Bowen & Co., 1881, pages 152-153.
2. Muybridge, E.J. ”Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion” U.S. Patent No. 212,864. March 4th, 1879.
3. Eugène Trutat “La Photographie Animée” Paris: Gauthier -Villars, Imprimeur- Libraire, 1899, page 11
4. Eadweard Muybridge. “Animals in Motion” London: Chapman & Hall, 1899 Walter R. Miles.
5. “The Stanford-Muybridge Motion Pictures of 1878-1879″ The Minnesota Bulletin Volume XIV Number 9, September 1929 Mitchell Leslie.
6. “The Man Who Stopped Time” Stanford Magazine May 2001 Brian Clegg.
7. “The Man Who Stopped Time” Washington DC, John Henry Press 2007
8.”Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography- A:1 Index Volume 1″ New York, NY, 2007, Taylor and Francis Group LLC, page 968
Daguerrotype, Ambrotype, Tintype
These are three words most people have never heard, but roughly 150 years ago they rocked the world. At any given moment be it our smart phone, iPod, or point-and-shoot, nearly everyone has a camera within reach. Today, people upload three and a half million pictures to Facebook every minute and photos feel more a novelty than a privilege.
Once upon a time when there was more than one button, and before saying “cheese” was ever invented, photography was a much purer art form. Costly, tedious, and often dangerous, the act of capturing an image required a now long lost skill set. Those lucky enough to live at the dawn of photography are now gone, but the results of their ability and ingenuity still exists today, in the eyes of people of the portraits they took.
© Jordan M. Lockhart/ AmericanDSLR 2012
Lately I have been collecting images from the 1840′s to the 1890′s; and whenever I try to tell people about them they just don’t get it or don’t care. So I thought it would be easier to show others what I feel they should be seeing rather than tell them. The video showcases some of my collection of Ambrotypes.
Daguerrotype- /dəˈɡɛrətaɪp/ (French: daguerréotype) was the first commercially successful photographic process. The image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate. The raw material for plates was called Sheffield plate, plating by fusion or cold-rolled cladding and was a standard hardware item produced by heating and rolling silver foil in contact with a copper support.  The surface of a daguerreotype is like a mirror, with the image made directly on the silvered surface; it is very fragile and can be rubbed off with a finger, and the finished plate has to be angled so as to reflect some dark surface in order to view the image properly. Depending on the angle viewed, and the color of the surface reflected into it, the image can change from a positive to a negative.
Ambrotype- The ambrotype (from Greek: ἀνβροτός — “immortal”, and τύπος — “impression”) oramphitype is a photograph that creates a positive image on a sheet of glass using the wet plate collodion process. In the United States, ambrotypes first came into use in the early 1850s. The wet plate collodion process was invented just a few years before that by Frederick Scott Archer, but ambrotypes used the plate image as a positive, instead of a negative. In 1854, James Ambrose Cutting of Boston took out several patents relating to the process and may be responsible for coining the term “ambrotype”.
Tintype- Tintype, also melainotype and ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a sheet of ironmetal that is blackened by painting, lacquering or enamelling and is used as a support for a collodionphotographic emulsion.
Photographers usually worked outside at fairs, carnivals etc. and as the support of the tintype (there is no actualtin used) is resilient and does not need drying, photographs can be produced only a few minutes after the picture is taken.