TWiP #166 – Photographers are Not Terrorists

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On this episode of TWiP, the TSA thinks photographers are terrorists, Olan Mills gets milked, Nikon introduces a powerful point and shoot, and Frederick interviews Mikkel Aaland.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Derrick Story, and Joseph Linaschke.


TSA Publishes New Posters Depicting Photographers as Terrorists
The war on photography adds yet another chapter to the story as the Transportation and Safety Association have released new posters as part of a campaign to raise awareness of suspicious activity around the countries airports. The posters depict a photographer dressed in a hoodie, standing outside an airport, photographing planes with a long lens and encourages the public to report any suspicious activity.

Olan Mills To Pay $3 Million in Labor Settlement
Tennessee based portrait photography studio Olan Mills,  will be forced to pay $3 million dollars in a class action law suit that was filed by 18 former employees. Employees of the ‘fast-food’ style portrait studio alleged that the company forced them to work overtime without pay and did not compensate them for out of pocket expenses required to perform their duties. Joseph thinks that they are filling a need or they wouldn’t be in business but isn’t a big fan of these type of companies. Derrick thinks that for people working for Olan Mills, the experience of working with people is valuable even though it’s a cookie cutter position.

Nikon Announces the 10.1 MP P7000
The latest camera from Nikon  features an  f2.8 lens with ED glass and a 10.1 megapixel sensor. It can shoot RAW but it is a reduced RAW format called NRW. Compared with the P6000, it does not have GPS and features less mega pixels but that means that it should have less noise at higher ISOs. It can shoot 720p video and features an external mic jack. Both Joseph and Derrick are sad to see the GPS feature taken out of this camera as they both use GPS data in their photography.


This week, Frederick had a chance to sit down with photographer Mikkel Aaland to discuss photography, post processing tools, and talk about his time with Ansel Adams. If you would like to learn more about Mikkel, you can follow him on Twitter or visit his website at


QUESTION #1: Listener HutchPhoto wants to know: My photography is starting to pick up and I’m at the stage where I need to organize my work flow when I’m on a project i.e: create some kind of job sheet. I’m currently scribbling notes in my pad or on scraps of paper (job requirements, what, where & who to shoot, what kit I’m going to bring for the shoot which is fine for now, but I was wondering: Is there some kind of template form photographers use? Like a job description sheet? Can anyone point me in the right direction or post a link or copy? Of course I could be just over thinking this but if there are pre made forms that that I could customise to help be more organized, then please let me know.

Derrick: I’m sure there are but I didn’t find any that I liked. I would suggest creating your own based on your own experience and make sure you address things that occur before the shoot, during the shoot, and after the shoot. This would include things like getting your gear ready and making sure you have all your logistics ready. Talk to your client and find out what they want and then get their sign off. Then bring that with you on the shoot and integrate it into the shoot.

QUESTION #2: From Listener Thomas Blampied: A week ago, I noticed that a speck of dust has become lodged on the focusing screen of my Rebel XSi – right between two focusing points. Unfortunately, I decided to try and remove it and now there are multiple pieces of dust and lint stuck! It doesn’t affect the photos, obviously, but I am finding it really annoying. I’ve read many reports of this online and it looks like I am stuck with it unless I send it back to Canon. A camera shop in Toronto, Vistek, say that they will clean the focusing screen as part of a CCD cleaning so I will probably try there. Any other suggestions, or should I stop before I make it worse?

Joseph: Yes, I would stop messing around with it. Although most DSLRs have a removable focusing screen that you can remove and clean, you might be better taking it into the professionals and let them take care of it. Derrick suggests taking a blower bulb with you and using it to blow out the back of your lens before attaching it to the body as this tends to be where a lot of that dust comes from. Joseph also points out to try and keep your lens caps clean too as those often wind up being shoved in pockets and pick up lint and dust.

QUESTION #3: Listener Richard Thorkildson asks: I am planning a trip to Alaska in December [ shooting the Northern Lights, etc.. ] Are the any tips and or advice in regards to Nikon safety and / or maybe a few tips on shooting?

Derrick: His biggest challenge will likely be nature as Alaska isn’t known as a dangerous place. That being said, it’s generally a good idea to keep your bag close when traveling. In terms of choice of bag, I really like the bags you don’t have to take off to get to your gear. The Lowepro Flipside and Slingshot bags are great for this. The Versapack and the Fastpack are also great bags that allow you to access your gear while your bag is still on you. Another great shoulder bag to check out is the Lowepro Classified 160 AW which can hold an iPad as well as a body with a few lenses.

Joseph: I like the Classified Sling 200 and the ProRunner 450. I haven’t photographed the Northern Lights before but I would imagine he’s going to be working with fairly long exposures. That means he’ll need to be shooting on a tripod and I would recommend a cable release so you’re not pushing on the camera itself. Bring a flashlight with a red filter so that you can see what you need to see and it doesn’t affect your night vision. We touched on a number of cold weather shooting tips in TWiP #164 so be sure to listen to that episode and review the show notes for that episode.



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Show notes by Bruce Clarke at or

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly. Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

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