TWiP #188 – Exposing Danger

This week on TWiP: Photographers in Egypt put their lives on the line to get the shot, Canon releases new lenses, camera bodies, and flashes and Google Art Project brings Street View photographs to Art Museums.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Derrick Story, & Andy Biggs


Photographers Beaten and Robbed as Pro-Mubarak Gangs Turn on Press
The big news story this week has been Egypt. As tensions rose, pro-Mubarak gangs turned on the press and there were several stories of photographers and reporters being beaten and having their gear stolen or destroyed trying to cover the protests. Despite the crackdowns on Internet and cell usage, photographers still found ways to file their photographs. Andy suggests watching ‘War Photographer' which is a great documentary on war photographer James Nachtwey. Neither Derrick or Andy venture into dangerous situations but Frederick reminds us of a post he wrote called Fight or Light and asks Andy & Derrick what they would do if they were placed in a dangerous situation and someone in front of them was in trouble. Would they try to help that person or get the shot?

Canon Releases new Cameras, Lenses, & Flashes
New Rebel T3i with similar specs to the T2i but featuring the same swing out LCD as the 60D. The also announced new 500mm & 600mm f4 lenses, a new 200-400mm lens with a built-in 1.4x tele-extender is in development, and two new flashes – 270EXII and the 320 EX featuring a built-in video light. Even though he switched to Nikon a few years ago for their 200-400 Andy is very excited by the prospect of Canon's new 200-400. Derrick really likes the features of the new 270EXII flash and with it's wireless capabilities, he thinks it will get more photographers working with off-camera flash.

Google Art Project Brings Street View Photos to Art Museums
New project from Google allows you to visit some of the most famous art museums in the world the same way you visit streets in the Street View of Google Maps. In addition to strolling virtually through the galleries, you can view high-resolution photographs of many of the paintings. Each museum also chose a single piece of art for a gigapixel-style photograph, allowing you to enlarge the work to the point where you can see tiny details in brush strokes. Derrick thinks it's a great opportunity for getting people exposed to some of the great art that they otherwise wouldn't be exposed to. Frederick thinks that this technology is similar to QuickTime VR which never really took off so he's not sure whether this might go the same way.

Photoshop Retouchers Amputate Victoria Secret Model's Arm
Another instance of Photoshop fail as retouchers amputate the arm of a Victoria Secret model. Derrick thinks that even though we keep hearing of these stories, society just has to learn to accept that certain amount of Photoshop and digital manipulation is a part of photography today. In his retouching work he prefers to make people look their best without making them look unrealistic by using tools like liquify, etc. As a viewer, Derrick just likes to see disclosure. Andy thinks that if there is enough uproar in the community then it will stop happening. For things like magazines and covers he doesn't care too much but when things like news stories start to be misrepresented by digital manipulation then he draws the line. On a side-note, Andy reminds us to visit the Photoshop Disasters website for some good examples of Photoshop mistakes.


Question #1
Mark from Melbourne Australia asks: A friend just invited me on a photo shoot where we would be going inside a derelict brickworks. The problem is that the area is fenced off and it has signs “Trespassers Prosecuted”. Have any of you ever trespassed to get a shot? Do you think that I should accept the invitation or decline?

Andy thinks it all depends on Mark's sensitivities and sensibilities. One thing to keep in mind is that if he does take the photographs, some laws in some countries will prohibit him from being able to use the photographs. Andy normally errs on the side of caution when it comes to these things. Derrick tends to heed those warnings as well but it all comes down to how bad Mark wants the shot. Sometimes those no trespassing warnings could simply be for safety.

Question #2
Jean-Charles Renaud asks: I recently moved from a Nikon D200 to a D7000. My question is: How would you use the dual card slots when going out on a paid shoot? Should I use the second slot as an overflow for when the first card is full or should I use the two slots as backups of one another?

Andy: If you asked him this question 10 years ago, his answer would be different. When he first started using digital he experienced some issues with cards but since those early days, he hasn't experienced any problems with the memory cards he uses so he would recommend using it as an overflow card.

Question #3
Michael writes: I recently bought a Nikon D90 camera. Very nice, it has taken great pictures. However I quickly learned that I need a very good (and long) telephoto lens. I just bought a Nikon 55:300. But it still does not pull subjects in close enough. I am REAL new to photography. I have no idea what the numbers mean (like 55:300) I'd rather get something with VR (I assume that stands for vibration reduction) but also good stabilization. I'd also prefer to let the camera do all the work. Researching lenses online is completely overwhelming for me right now. So if someone could please not only explain the numbers to me, but please give me a good recommendation for a longer lens than my current 55:300 I'd surely appreciate it. I plan to return the lens that I just bought.

Andy: Your legs are your biggest asset and the closer you can get to your subject the better. In the wildlife photography landscape, every 100mm you move up will hurt you both financially and physically from the size and weight of the lens.  Anything over 400mm will start to hurt quite a bit. Derrick normally shoots with his 70-200mm and his 1.4 tele-extender. If you go for long zooms, just watch for what the maximum aperture is when you are fully zoomed out.


Andy – Canon 200-400mm f/4 lens

Derrick – Canon 270EXII flash

Frederick – onOne Webinars on iTunes


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Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

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