How to Use the mobile phone as a Photography Tool

Got an mobile phone ? Check out how Chris Folsom from studiotempura uses his as a tool in his photography.

There has been a lot of buzz around the iPhone lately, especially among photographers. And for good reason… the iPhone has a host of photography-related tools that are both fun and useful. I find myself using it more and more lately, so I thought I might share some of those functions with you.
Using the Camera

The most obvious photography-related feature is the camera. Though the iPhone won’t be replacing my DSLR anytime soon, I almost always have my iPhone with me which means it is available many times when my DSLR isn’t. As the quote goes, “the best camera is the one you have with you”.

One of my favorite ways to take photos with the mobile phone is using an app called Pano. Pano allows you to shoot up to 16 images side-by-side which are then stitched together on the fly in about a minute. I shot this image while at a baseball game last week… 

Sailor in iconic V-J Day Times Square kiss photo dies at 95

George Mendonsa was 95 years old and was lusceptible. Photograph of Alfred Eisenstaedt became a symbol of the end of World War II.

George Mendonsa, the sailor whose photograph kissing a nurse became iconic, died on Sunday at the age of 95. The nurse, Greta Zimmer Friedman, had died in September 2016 but the image, captured by photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine, became one of the best known of World War II and shows the moment when Americans celebrate the announcement of the end of the bloodiest armed conflict in history.

The sailor was born in Newport, Rhode Island, in a Portuguese fishing family. He joined the US Navy in 1942 and, after serving in the Pacific for three years, returned home in 1945.

Mendonsa fell and had a seizure at the assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he lived with his wife of 70 years, his daughter, Sharon Molleur, told The Providence Journal.

Mendonsa was shown kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant in a nurse’s uniform, on Aug. 14, 1945 — known as V-J Day, the day Japan surrendered to the United States. People spilled into the New York City streets to celebrate the news.

Mendonsa planted a kiss on Friedman, whom he had never met.

An iconic photo of the kiss by Alfred Eisenstaedt was first published in Life magazine and is called “V-J Day in Times Square,” but is known to most as “The Kiss.”

It became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century.

Another photographer, Victor Jorgensen, who was in the Navy, also captured the moment in a similar photo. The moment has been shared widely and is often seen on posters.

Several people later claimed to be the kissing couple, and it was years before Mendonsa and Friedman were confirmed to be the couple.

Mendonsa served on a destroyer during the war and was on leave when the end of the war was announced.

When he was honored at the Rhode Island State House in 2015, Mendonsa spoke about the kiss. He said Friedman reminded him of nurses on a hospital ship that he saw care for wounded sailors.

“I saw what those nurses did that day and now back in Times Square the war ends, a few drinks, so I grabbed the nurse,” Mendonsa said, WPRI-TV reported .

Friedman said in a 2005 interview with the Veterans History Project that it wasn’t her choice to be kissed.“The guy just came over and kissed or grabbed,” she told the Library of Congress.
She added, “It was just somebody really celebrating. But it wasn’t a romantic event.”
Mendonsa died two days before his 96th birthday. The family has not yet made funeral arrangements.

Friedman fled Austria during the war as a 15-year-old girl. She died in 2016 at the age of 92 at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia, from complications of old age.Greta did not know George and did not even know her name. What he did in those few seconds in Times Square, New York, on August 14, 1945, only came back to him twenty years later, as he flipped through a picture book by German photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt. 

On August 14 of that year, George was in the first meeting with Rita, who later became his wife. The couple watched their lunch be interrupted by shouts of happiness. "So I came to Times Square, the war was over and I see the nurse," he told CNN.

"I had drunk a lot and it was instinctive," said George. The future woman saw the sailor kiss a stranger on the first date, but, he assured her, he was not annoyed: "I was there in the background, smiling like a fool. I did not care. " The nurse - who was actually a dental assistant - also recalled, six decades after the photograph, her version of the kiss: "Suddenly a sailor grabbed me. It was not so much a kiss, it was another act of celebration: he did not have to return to the Pacific, where he had fought. She grabbed me because I was dressed as a nurse and I was grateful to all the nurses.

It was not a romantic thing but a way of saying, 'Thank God, the war is over.' " After the photo, they did not change names or speak again. It was only in 1980 - when Life restarted the quest for the protagonists of photography, which became known as V-J Day in Times Square - who discovered who the true "nurse" was in photography.

Greta and George returned to meet in Times Square in 2012, 67 years after the moment captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt. It also took 35 years for the sailor to find out that the photojournalist had captured that moment.

Incidentally, the seaman's identity was, for a long time, a controversial subject. Only in 2012 an investigation gave as confirmed that it was George Mendonsa.

George Mendonsa poses in Middletown, Rhode Island in 2009, holding a copy of the famous Alfred Eisenstadt photo.
Photograph: Connie Grosch/AP

Belize: What's in the deepest blue hole in the world?

A team of scientists and explorers, who also included Richard Branson, Virgin's millionaire, and Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, went looking for what could exist in the Great Blue Hole in Belize. 

The expedition began in December 2018 and ended earlier this month. The results, CNN reported on Saturday, were "surprising." The team, led by oceanographer Erika Bergman, used two submarines and managed to capture images inside the blue hole, so they could construct a 3D map of their interior. "We have made a navigation map that is almost complete, which will allow us to locate everything in the mesh of the whole hole," said oceanographer Erika Bergman and leader of the CNN expedition.

The world's deepest blue hole, or blue eye, as some call it, was placed on the map of expeditions by scientist Jacques Cousteau in 1971 and is about 300 meters (984 feet) in diameter and approximately 125 meters (410 feet ) of depth. For Bergman, one of the most striking discoveries was the existence of stalactites never seen before - a kind of mineral formations in the form of ice-pendants - about 407 feet from the hole, very close to the bottom. 

"It was very exciting to be able to observe that they are in the hole, never before they had been located," he says. But the oceanographer says that the best experience of this expedition was to be submerged in the depths of the great blue hole and plunge into the darkness. "One of the most incredible situations in this great hole is the layer of hydrogen sulfide, which descends about 300 feet and cuts out all the light, allowing explorers to plunge into the darkness. it's all black and lifeless, "Bergman explained.

The team led by Bergman can still see, and thanks to the Sonar submarines they carried, the complex features of the hole. "It was possible to be 20 or 30 meters away from a stalactite or a piece of the wall and see it with all the perfect details, much better than what the vision could provide," said the scientist. However, it does safeguard that some mysteries persist. "Some unidentifiable points were found at the bottom of the hole.

" The team was equally pleased to realize that the Great Blue Hole was free of garbage. "There were basically two or three pieces of plastic - and besides, it was very, very clear," says Bergman, noting the work of the Belize Audubon Society, which helps protect the hole. "It's great that there are spaces on our planet that are as they were thousands of years ago."

Danielle photographs her lovers with a camera in her vagina

It is a photographic process "erotic, tender, unpredictable, vulnerable." It is, "at once familiar and strange." "It's disconcerting and at times confusing - it's something I love. It's both fun and loaded with intimacy." Danielle Lessnau merged her body with a camera to create Extimité, a series of portraits of her lovers made from the point of view of her vagina. "I built eight pinhole cameras from old photo cartridges and installed them with an electric shutter that can be controlled by my hand," he explains to P3.

"Photographically", a pinhole, without lens or viewfinder, is "the perfect instrument". Each shot by the 33-year-old photographer, based in Brooklyn, New York, lasted between one and two minutes. "By using the vagina to hold the camera I allowed my own breathing to become an invisible actor," he says.

The natural movement of the body destabilizes the capture and gives rise to a blurring effect on the image that is particularly useful in preserving the identity of the portrayed men Danielle describes as "lovers with whom she shared unique stories" and who, his proposal of collaboration with "love and greed." "It's a collaborative process that implies that I become vulnerable, that gives me control," describes the young woman, who studied at the famous photography school at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Danielle Lessnau did not create Extimité to convey a specific message. Rather, he wants the viewer to give it personal meaning. "I wanted to materialize what I feel, my visions and excitations, when I am in a private space with another person," he emphasizes. "When I look at someone, my whole body reacts. [While capturing the images] we both wanted and were desired, we were both powerful and vulnerable." I wanted to explore these roles, this distance and proximity, and play with this web of looks. " Here the chamber is an instrument, but also a symbol "of the penetration of his body by lovers and light."

Recent group exhibitions include Our Souls to Keep at Field Projects, NYC; Figure Fuggenti at Acta International, Rome; Divina Comedia at XXXI Festival International of Sexual Diversity at Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City; Notas al Futuro at Galerié Breve, Mexico City; and Hidden Narratives at Rita K. Hillman Gallery, New York. In 2017 she was awarded an honorable mention in the annual juried competition at Baxter Street Gallery, New York. Lessnau lives and works in Brooklyn.

This photographer just captured images of rare black leopards at night in Africa. See the photos

A male melanistic leopard captured on camera in Africa, for what's thought to be the first time in a century
A wildlife photographer captured an image of a black leopard late at night, something that’s fairly uncommon among wildlife enthusiasts.

What happened: Photographer Will Burrard-Lucas released extremely rare images that he captured in Africa of the black leopard, known as a black panther in Africa and Asia, walking around at night.
Burrard-Lucas said in his release that he was always interested in black panthers. He spent his life chasing them down to capture some photos.

It wasn’t until he visited the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya that he finally had an opportunity to take photos of the panther. He took several photos at night with the hope of capturing photos of a leopard.

Black Panther has been everywhere in recent years - but spotting one of the animals the famous superhero is named after in the African wilderness is a little more rare.

Wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas managed it - and there are even claims this is the first time anyone has captured a melanistic leopard on camera in Africa in 100 years.

Very few images of these iconic, secretive creatures exist.

Will heard rumours of a black panther - which is a loose term for a black leopard or black jaguar, depending where in the world it's from - at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya.

After following leopard tracks through the undergrowth with a guide called Steve, Will settled on a place to set up his Camtraptions camera traps.

"I'm quite used to doing camera traps and not actually achieving anything because it is such a speculative thing - you don't know if the animal you're trying to get is going to come down the trail that you've set the cameras up on."

They weren't sure whether the tracks they were following were those of the black leopard or a regular spotted one.

"I never get my hopes up, and after the first couple of nights I hadn't got this leopard and I was beginning to think I'd be lucky if I get a photo of a spotty leopard, let alone this black one."

On the fourth night though, his luck was in.

“We had always heard about black leopard living in this region, but the stories were absent of high-quality footage that could confirm their existence,” said Nicholas Pilfold, scientist at San Diego Zoo Global and lead researcher for a leopard conservation program in Laikipia County, according to USA Today. “This is what Will’s photos and the videos on our remote cameras now prove, and are exceptionally rare in their detail and insight.

“Collectively these are the first confirmed images in nearly 100 years of black leopard in Africa, and this region is the only known spot in all of Africa to have black leopard.”

What makes a black panther?

It's easy to think of black panthers as animals in their own right, but Will says that's not the case.

"The term that makes them black is called melanism and it's the same thing that makes a house cat black, or any other cat species.

"It's kind of like albino but the other way.

"A black panther is basically a melanistic big cat. Typically in Africa and Asia that would mean a melanistic leopard - a black leopard.

"In South America it would be a melanistic jaguar - a black jaguar.

"Black panther is a looser term."

Will captured a spotted leopard on one of the camera traps, which could be the black leopard's dad.

You don't need two black leopards to make one, but both parents need to carry the recessive gene for melanism.

Will says it's hard to say how many leopards there are in East Africa, given how secretive they are

"And then add to that only a tiny, tiny fraction would be black?

"There might be a handful in east Africa that are black."

Oscar 2019 | Photographers' Union criticizes absence of category in broadcast

In Response to Academy Awards Controversy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has polemicized and been criticized this year for announcing that some categories would not be shown during the broadcast of the 2019 Academy Awards.

In addition to furious filmmakers and Internet users, the American Society of Cinematographers wrote a letter condemning the Academy's decision. 

"After several comments on the subject of ASC members, I think I speak for most of them by stating this as an unfortunate decision. We consider cinema a collaborative effort process where the responsibilities of director, cinematographer, editor and other areas are interspersed. 

This decision can be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, minimizing our fundamental creative contributions, "he wrote. 

"The Academy is an important institution that represents our art in the eyes of the world. Since the creation of the organization 91 years ago, the Academy Awards honored the talent, technique and contribution of film directors in the film process, but we can not quietly condemn this decision without protesting, "concludes Kees van Ostrum, President of ASC . 

Oscar 2019 | The Rock explains why he declined to be the presenter Last Monday (11), the Academy confirmed that the categories of Best Picture, Best Editing, Best Makeup & Hair and Best Short Film will take place during commercial breaks without being televised. However, it will be possible to watch these awards online, as the Academy will air the entire ceremony - and without cuts - on the official Oscar site. 

This year, the Oscar will have no fixed presenter. After controversy, Kevin Hart gave up commanding the ceremony. The 2019 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 24.

Kees van Oostrum 
ASC President

Till Death Do Them - Birds that Mate for Life

Love is in the air. This Valentine’s Day, take inspiration from some of the great bird species that mate for life. Here are just a few examples of the many winged wonders that fall into this category.
Black Vulture

Average clutch size: 2 eggs
Cool fact: This vulture species doesn’t build a nest, but rather lays its eggs on the ground or in hollow cavities.

Yes, even Black Vultures stick together. “One bird, presumed to be male, chases a presumed female through the air and periodically dives at her” as part of the mating ritual, according to Birds of North America online. They form such a tight bond, in fact, that they hang out year round—not just during breeding season. 

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagles. Photo: Steven Sachs/Audubon Photography Awards

Average clutch size: 1-3 eggs
Cool fact: Measuring six feet across and four feet tall (or even larger!), Bald Eagle nests are some of the largest of any avian species.

These birds, the symbol of the United States, mate for life unless one of the two dies. Their spectacular courtship rituals are a sight to see, with the birds locking talons, then flipping, spinning, and twirling through the air in a maneuver called a Cartwheel Display. They break apart seemingly at the last moment, just before hitting the ground. 

Laysan Albatross
Laysan Albatrosses. Photo: Kiah Walker/USFWS

Average clutch size: 1 egg
Cool fact: Nearly three-quarters of the world’s population of this species nests on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Laysan Albatrosses, which don’t breed until they’re eight or nine years old, are monogamous, annually solidifying their bond through ritual dancing. “If they do lose their mate, they will go through a year or two of a mourning period,” says John Klavitter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist at Midway Atoll. “After that, they will do a courtship dance to try to find another mate.” 

Mute Swan
Mute Swans. Photo: Matthew Callahan/Audubon Photography Awards

Average clutch size: 5-7 eggs
Cool fact: During mating, the black knob at the base of a male’s bill swells up on these extremely territorial birds originally introduced from Europe.

Mute Swan pairs reportedly stay together for life. However, divorce does occur in less than 3 percent of mates that breed successfully and 9 percent that don’t. They re-mate when a partner dies; how quickly this happens depends on the survivor’s gender. Females find a new male within as few as three weeks. Males, however, tend to wait until the following fall or winter—allowing time to defend their nests and finish raising their cygnets.

Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaws. Photo: Tracey Kidston/Audubon Photography Awards

Average clutch size: 2-4 eggs
Cool fact: These birds can live to be 75 years old in captivity or, on average, 33 years old in the wild.

Typically these rainbow-colored birds spend their lives together. They even preen each other and their young, picking bugs from their feathers. Scarlet Macaw parents, which reach sexual maturity sometime between age three and four, won’t raise new chicks until their previous ones have fledged and are independent.

Whooping Crane
Whooping Cranes. Photo: Klaus Nigge/USFWS

Average clutch size: 2 eggs
Cool fact: Not surprisingly (when you get a look at the legs), this crane species is the tallest bird in North America.

Talk about a mating dance, Whooping Cranes—which are monogamous and mate for life—bow their heads, flap their wings, leap and bounce off stiffened legs all in the effort to secure a partner. This pairing off usually happens when the birds—which are red on Audubon’s Watchlist—are between two and three years old.

California Condor
California Condors. Photo: Marc Slattery/Audubon Photography Awards

Average clutch size: 1 egg
Cool fact: When a Golden Eagle is around, this condor species—normally the dominant scavenger—will leave the carcass for the other bird and its seriously strong talons.

It takes California Condors, highly endangered birds on Audubon’s Watchlist, between six and eight years to reach sexual maturity. Once the birds mate, they stay together for years if not for life. During courtship, aerial displays bring the pairs to several nest options—kind of like searching for a potential home. The female, of course, has the final say in where the birds settle down. 

Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffins. Photo: Lorraine Minns/Audubon Photography Awards

Average clutch size: 1 egg
Cool fact: Puffins can fly up to 55 miles per hour, flapping their wings 400 times per minute.

These pigeon-sized “clowns of the sea” don’t breed until they’re between three and six years old. Once they do, however, Atlantic Puffins stick with their partners for good, returning to the same burrow each season, sharing egg-incubating and parenting duties, even performing what’s known as billing, during which the birds rub together their beaks. For more great information about Atlantic Puffins and Audubon's conservation work to protect them, check out Project Puffin.


Freebie Alert! Learn more fascinating facts about 821 species of North American birds with our handy Audubon Bird Guide App.

By Michele Berger

Behind the Scenes: Digital Manipulation

Edgar Martins, the photographer at the heart of the current controversy, has told Lens and at least one other blog, Jain, that he will be telling his side of the story soon. 

The text of his e-mail response to requests for interviews, identical to both blogs, is shown below in italics.

Original post There’s probably no more troubling issue facing photojournalism than the digital manipulation of images that are supposed to faithfully represent what’s in front of the camera.

Digital technology permits so many interventions — some acutely obvious, others so subtle that only computers can detect them — that the line has blurred between manipulation and the kind of enhancement and editing that viewers customarily expect; like cropping, color correction, burning and dodging.

Blurry as it may get, there’s no question that the digital rearrangement or insertion of physical objects constitutes manipulation that The Times will not accept. (In the 1930s, it was another matter.)

The longstanding policy is unambiguous:

Images in our pages, in the paper or on the Web, that purport to depict reality must be genuine in every way. No people or objects may be added, rearranged, reversed, distorted or removed from a scene (except for the recognized practice of cropping to omit extraneous outer portions).

That’s not to say it doesn’t happen.

A picture essay in The Times Magazine on Sunday and an accompanying slide show on, “Ruins of the Second Gilded Age,” have been found to include digital alterations. The photos showed unfinished or unoccupied construction projects around the United States that came to a halt — at least in part — because of the financial crisis. They were taken by Edgar Martins, a 32-year-old freelance photographer.

By Tuesday, sharp-eyed readers were calling the pictures into question. One comment on the MetaFilter blog included an animated dissection. The PDN Pulse blog also pointed out five instances in which objects had apparently been duplicated.

In response, The Times published an editors’ note, noting that the introduction to the essay “said that the photographer, a freelancer based in Bedford, England, ‘creates his images with long exposures but without digital manipulation.’”

A reader, however, discovered on close examination that one of the pictures was digitally altered, apparently for aesthetic reasons. Editors later confronted the photographer and determined that most of the images did not wholly reflect the reality they purported to show. Had the editors known that the photographs had been digitally manipulated, they would not have published the picture essay, which has been removed from

Kenneth Irby, the visual journalism group leader at the Poynter Institute, had no comment Wednesday on the Magazine essay, which he hadn’t yet seen. Speaking generally, however, he noted the “tremendous competition in the marketplace for imagery,” while at the same time, “with a click of a mouse, a perceived imperfection can be adjusted and modified.”

He continued, “To distinguish oneself with a great photo or powerful reportage — that’s a temptation.”


Following is Mr. Martin’s e-mail response on Thursday to a request for an interview?

However, I will not be able to do share my views with you for a few more days.

I have been informed of the discussion that is currently taking place concerning the feature, which I had anticipated to some degree, but which I have not yet been able to acquaitance myself with it, as I am travelling and so unable to access the internet. (Yes, believe it or not there are still places in this world with limited or no internet connection..)

I will no doubt be discussing this issue you with yourself, your readers and readers from other blogs fairly soon.

In the meantime let the debate rage on… no doubt this will open up a healthy dialogue about Photography, its inexorable links to the real & its inadequacies. Or so I hope…