In Other News: NFTs for photographers, compressed RAW images, Leica price hike and more
In this week’s roundup, we cover an extensive range of topics. NFTs are buzzing online; what does it mean for photographers? This week, B&H shared a video outlining five fashion photography tips. Across the pond, photographer Steve O’Nions went on a peaceful stroll with his film camera. Slightly further east in France, Mathieu Stern shot with another weird lens. Tech startup Dotphoton claims that its software, Rawsie, can compress RAW images by up to 80% without decreasing image quality, which would be awesome for saving storage space. Next month, Leica will be increasing the price of many of its products for customers in the US, so if you’re looking for a new Leica, now’s the time. This week’s featured photographer is Morten Hilmer, a fantastic wildlife photographer whose videos we’ve shared on Imaging Resource many times.
Adorama launches new video series to help photographers understand NFTs
Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are all the rage lately. The technology allows artists, such as photographers, to sell their work as limited-edition digital art. In very simplified terms, NFTs are unique digital versions of your art, where you get to retain the copyright. If you only sell your work as prints, it’s easy to understand how you can create a limited edition of an image. You simply print only so many copies. With NFTs, it’s sort of the same idea, except everything is digital. And some artists are making millions of dollars selling NFTs.
Adorama and photographer Lindsay Adler have teamed up to create a three-part video series, ‘NFT 101 for Photographers.’ The first episode is available now and covers the fundamentals of NFTs for photographers and discusses digital tokenized art. You can check it out below.
Stay tuned to the Adorama YouTube channel for the next two episodes.
5 fashion photography tips with photographer Lara Jade
Fashion and beauty photographer Lara Jade released a video with B&H this week offering five fashion photography tips. In the video below, Jade discusses finding photo ideas, marketing yourself and discusses the differences between editorial and commercial photography.
A lovely morning shooting photos with Steve O’Nions
Photographer Steve O’Nions is a UK-based photographer who works with digital and film photography processes. He does great work, and he’s also active on his YouTube channel. In his newest video, O’Nions heads out into the field with a Bronica SQA-I film camera with 80mm and 150mm lenses. O’Nions used Ilford HP5+. He says, ‘Film choice was critical here, as was exposure and development of his film choice. By rating the film at EI200 I gave plenty of exposure to the shadows but I also cut back the development time by 30% which ensured the highlights didn’t block up on the negatives. This resulted in easy to print negatives with no need for excessive burning in or flashing.’
Mathieu Stern and the ‘weird van Gogh lens’
French photographer Mathieu Stern is back with yet another strange lens. The latest featured lens is a 17mm f/4 fisheye lens from the late 1960s. The lens, made by Asahi Optical Company, was made for Pentax cameras. A characteristic that sets the lens apart is its built-in filters that can be rotated. These filters were designed for black and white film photography, work a lot like the different black and white Film Simulations in a Fujifilm camera today.
Why does Stern call it the ‘van Gogh’ lens? The distortion reminds Stern of Vincent van Gogh’s work, and the built-in yellow and orange filters are reminiscent of Van Gogh’s extensive use of yellow. It’s an interesting lens with quite a few strange optical characteristics. You can see it in action in the video below.
Tech startup Dotphoton claims it can make RAW image files 80% smaller without loss in quality
First seen on PetaPixel, a tech startup, Dotphoton, claims that its new program, Rawsie, can compress RAW file data sizes by up to 80% without any resulting loss in quality. The implications for this are huge, especially as camera manufacturers continue to push megapixel counts higher. Take the Fujifilm GFX 50R, for example, which has a RAW file size of around 120MB. Rawsie compresses that file down to just under 25MB. If you’re storing a lot of images, that’s a massive difference in your data demands. Of course, that doesn’t mean much if there is a noticeable drop in image quality. To check how Rawsie handles your RAW files, you download a free trial. Rawsie currently costs $49 per year, or $199 for a perpetual license, although PetaPixel points out that the price is expected to rise this spring. You can also check out a couple of videos about Dotphoton’s Rawsie below.
Leica will increase prices of many of its products next month
As reported by DPReview, Leica has announced that many of its products will see a price increase starting on April 1, 2021. Unfortunately, it’s not a prank.
The increase in product prices is due to the changing relationship between the US Dollar and the Euro. Leica states that it has been absorbing the costs of the suffering relationship between currencies but must now adjust its pricing. Leica writes, ‘Over the past year, the relationship between the US Dollar and Euro has suffered and we have absorbed these costs. However, as this continues, we need to adjust our pricing in order to ensure pricing integrity across all Leica subsidiaries and to continue delivering the highest quality of products. The new prices will vary by product, but overall will generally reflect on average a 2% – 5% increase.’
The upcoming Leica M-10R is currently available to preorder for $8,295, although it will cost $8,995 starting April 1, 2021.
Red Dot Forum has compiled a list of the affected products and their corresponding price increases. If you were on the fence about any Leica cameras or lenses, you still have time to purchase them at current prices.
Photographer you should check out: Morten Hilmer
If you’re a frequent reader of Imaging Resouce, you’ve likely seen videos from Danish photographer Morten Hilmer. His wildlife and nature photographs are stunning and he exhibits an incredible commitment to his craft. His YouTube channel is a great resource of educational content, behind-the-scenes videos and more. I’ve picked one of my favorite videos of his, which can be seen below. It highlights his great photography skills and the lengths Hilmer goes to when capturing images. The video below is the fourth in a series. The previous three videos can be viewed here. To keep current with Morten Hilmer’s latest work, follow him on Instagram.