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Time for some CHANGES around here!


We’re into the new year and everyone’s talking about resolutions and goals… lose weight, quit drinking, teach yourself some new skills. Yet something like 1 in 3 folks give up before the end of the first month. What gives?

I’m cutting to the punchline on this one: ‘Change’ by itself sounds so big and ominous. But it’s not. At its core, change is just making the ‘right’ decision toward the outcome you want enough time that it becomes a natural occurrence…a HABIT so that you no longer have to think about it as ‘change’. It becomes NORMAL.

Case in point: whenever I have a change I want to accomplish in my life, I first break it down into small behaviors I can do every day. See if you follow me. What if I want to lose 15 lbs? I immediately shift gears AWAY from 15lbs and to the following 3 behaviors.

1. Eat paleo / slow carb every day
2. Move my body in some fashion every day + lift heavy weights 3x per week
3. Get descent sleep.

…and bam. There’s literlly no way I CANT hit my goal in 30+ days if I do these 3 behaviors every day.

And I’ve found the same is true for almost everything in my life….namely, that there is some subset of behaviors that, if I do them enough –ie turn them into HABITS — that I will definitely achieve the change I want to see.

Sound too easy? It is. It’s a bit of a psychological mind f*ck, but it works. Any change, no matter how big, is just a change in behavior.

The example I give in today’s #cjRAW is an expansion of My Morning Routine, into larger context of what I do for my personal health everyday. To track my daily habits, I use an app on my phone called Habit List ($3.99). Unfortunate for some of you, this app is only available on iPhone. If you’re an android user, try “7 Weeks“. Of course you don’t need to have an app on your phone, you can use a calendar, or whatever is easiest for you to keep track of your daily progress – just sharing what I personally use.

So what ARE the 10 things I personally track daily that help me be my best creative, boss, friend, husband outgoing awesome self? Watch the above vid to find out. And of course – report back! Let me know if any of this helped at all.

[and finally, as you start thinking about habits, start slow. Avoid going from zero to ten habits all at once. I developed my habit list over about a year to help me understand what’s going to make me my best self. I’d recommend setting 1-2 habits every couple of weeks or months for the best results, then tracking those habits daily. And remember -this set of habits is for a particular outcome of health and vitality for ME. Want a different outcome – you’ll have to figure out what the right behaviors are for you to gain the outcome that matters most to you.]

That’s it

Of course – if you have some habits you’re doing to help make a productive life, do tell.


What’s Covered

Daily Habits are critical for change [0:28]
Habit List 2 second lesson [1:34]
My habits [2:14]
Recommendations for creating habits [4:45]
The Power of Habits [6:11]

Links from the Episode

Habit List
7Weeks
My Morning Routine
Play It Away by Charlie Hoehn
MoveSkill
The Power of Habits on CreativeLive

People Mentioned

Tim Ferriss
Dave Werner
Charlie Hoehn

GEEK ALERT! 3 Tech Tools for People Who Make Stuff [#cjRAW]


Calling all maker geeks, photo geeks, and audiophiles – this one is for you. Yes yes, I regularly champion experience over stuff, but the reality is also true that we creators use tools to create. As such, in today’s #cjRAW I shine a bright little light on 3 tech tools that caught my eye. One for the geeky geeks, one for the photo geeks, and a third for the audiofile / video geeks.

Glowforge

When I first saw this 3D printer, my eyes bugged out. So simple, so gorgeous, and brilliant in what it can do. This little beauty will cut or engrave everything from paper, wood, leather, and – yes – even food. Not only was it the largest crowd-funded project of all time ($27 million in 30 days), but what’s particularly awesome about this thing is it’s versatility + gorgeous design, more than suitable for any home or studio. And it’s drop dead easy to use. While you can certainly use typical design tools such as illustrator, photoshop, or even CAD programs, you can also just draw on your material (yes, hand drawn on the back of a napkin will do….) and the Glowforge will use that template to cut or engrave your design into any material. Very dope.

Glowforge is still under development, but it’s got your bases covered. There are two options, basic and pro. The basic will allow materials 12″x20″ and will require venting or you can purchase the additional air filter. The Pro has a stronger laser and has a pass-through feature which will allow 20″ wide to infinite length. Glowforge is currently offered at a pre-delivery sale price of $2395 and up (40% off) for a limited time. At that price tag you might say ‘gulp’ but there is no finer 3D printer that I’ve ever seen.

DxO One Camera

If you are like a BILLION people on the planet and take freakish amounts of photos or videos with your iPhone, this little gadget will capture your attention, the DxO One Camera. This compact camera sports a 1″ sensor that can capture a RAW 20.2 megapixel photo. The photo nerds ears just perked up, I know, because I said RAW. Yes – that’s a thing. The DxO is the most compact way I know of on the market to get RAW photos. Plus, its superfast 6-element aspherical lens boasts a f/1.8 aperture making it a game changer for iPhone photography in low-light. How’s it work you ask? It does shoot as a stand-alone rig without a viewfinder, somewhat like a GoPro, but that’s not the preferred use case. At its best – and at the core of its design – this little camera (about half the size of a deck of cards) connects sweetly to the lightening port of your iPhone and turns your phone’s display into a digital viewfinder and menu control. It basically turns your iPhone into the smallest high-powered camera out there. And because it’s using the lightning connector, it can transfer photos (and video) near instantly to your phone OR save your space and send the photos directly to the DxO’s on-board micro SD card. The DxO retails for $599, which stays in the ballpark for similar compact cameras.

If right now you’re saying “why would I strap a $600 lens to my already-great $600 iPhone?” Here’s why. It most definitely elevates your phone’s ability to take higher-end photos in a “pro” capacity. Low light? Check. It has the fastest lens around. RAW? Check. Full manual controls – as in shutter, aperture and ISO? Check. Check. Check. Hardcore iPhone photo geeks just got themselves a new toy.

RODE SmartLav+

Over the years, I increasingly film more content on my iPhone. In fact, a bunch of the #cjRAW vids are straight outta my iPhone 6s. Looking for a better audio solution that was easy to travel with, I recently picked up the RODE SmartLav+. Dreamy. VERY simple. Similar to the production quality lavaliere mics I normally use, this broadcast quality mic connects directly to your iPhone’s standard headphone jack giving you significantly cleaner audio. Now you can turn your iPhone into a audio recorder using voice memo (or simliar) or record clearer audio when you’re speaking to the camera. The SmartLav+ is an update to RODE’s previous SmartLav adding a higher quality materials and a new gray cap on the connector so you can identify it from other lavs you might own (nice move). SmartLav+ retails for $79 bucks, but definitely a major upgrade to your iPhone or headphone mic if you need to elevate the audio side of your game.

KK friends. There’s a quick breakdown of a range of gadgets I’m enjoying


Links from the Episode

Glowforge
DxO One Camera
RODE SmartLav+

CreativeLive: iPhone Photography with Julia Kelleher

What’s Covered

Glowforge [0:31]
DxO One [4:05]
RODE SmartLav+ [6:29]

Underwater iPhoneography – The Gear I Used to Find Nemo

While in Belize a couple months ago, I took the opportunity to field test a new iPhone case designed for action sports photography + video. (I’m a big fan of field testing new tech/gadgets; see my out-of-the-box successes with the DJI quadcopter—> here).

Without getting in the weeds here, let’s be honest. We’re not aiming for the Oscars with this footage, but I’m not gonna lie… I quite frequently need a little breather from all the high end work that I’m focused on doing. Not everything needs a $150,000 Phantom camera to be good or fun. You with me? Good. Then ENTER—>The Optrix XD5 — a waterproof housing for the iPhone 5 that gave me a nice 175 degree wide-angle lens and control functionality while coasting from reef to reef. It couldn’t have been easier or more chill to use… I’d recommend this to family vacationers and pros alike who dig the occasional goofing around with some gear. Watch through the end of the video to see a few super basic stills I was able to take on one very very short swim about the reef.

Note: the video above was shot on an iPhone housed in the same XD5. Totally passable, in my opinion. And an idiot-proof design, as the video reveals.

Check out the Optrix line of iPhone housings.

For more behind-the-scenes action from my Belize assignment, you can go here, here + here.

Music by Small Face.

19 Behind-The-Scenes Photos from a Land of Endless Light – Iceland

chasejarvis_cover What I remember from elementary school about Iceland is my teacher telling me, “Iceland is green and Greenland is ice.” While I have not yet been to Greenland I can attest to the fact that Iceland in August is definitely green.

Iceland – the well-known film and photo destination at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans – has been on my list of locations to visit for seemingly forever. Finally had the chance to check out last week on a sizeable commercial production. On one hand, I was surprised to learn how many Hollywood features have recently been shot in the harsh landscape (Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Oblivion starring Tom Cruise are two of the big budget examples…). On the other hand, it makes complete sense – the landscape is bonkers-cool, the quantity of light (18 hours or so of it each day this time of year) and quality of that light truly makes Iceland a dream destination location for photo and film work.

Some fun facts about Iceland:

// as a country of just over 300,000 people they have the highest per capita number of golf courses, hot tubs and trampolines.

// most of the Iceland population believes in elves – or will certainly not deny their existence (we tested this and found it to be the truth)

// 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating

// the Icelandic horse has a “5th speed” or gait that other breeds do not possess

// the size of Iceland is roughly the same size as Pennsylvania in the US.

// the people are lovely and warm, but good luck learning the language – the mutha is tough!!

As always, local knowledge was key and we had some incredible local producers through ProFilm. Marteinn Ibsen and Arnaldur Halldórsson drove us all over their country in the short 5 days we had in-country – and knew exactly where to take us and when. Having local knowledge is always key.

We scored some especially high quality offerings from the air (we chartered helicopters again this trip and flew some cameras on affordable drone quadcopters too ) and along the south coast… So many rolling green hills abutting glaciers with rainbows, I expected to see a Unicorn at any second.

Of course knowing what to do with it comes down to your ability as a photographer/filmer. (TIP: check out Corey Rich’s outdoor photography workshop over at creativeLIVE for more on the skills: here.)

Below are some BTS moments with my crew snapped on iphones and point & shoots. We’re all passionate about the work – and despite some brutally long 16 hour days we won’t soon forget the trip.

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Behind-the-scenes photo by Yours Truly, my man Erik Hecht and homeskillet Christopher Jerard

NEW Update from GoPro. Shoot, edit, and go social with photos + videos

Apparently as a followup to my well-timed and very handy video I put out this week (check it), my favorite camera manufacturer today announced the launch of a new app. It’s getting really slick my friendz. While you could control the Hero3 cameras with earlier version of the app (view – start -stop – etc) the newest version of the app allows you the same ability to control the camera, but you can now remotely view the images and videos on the camera and–here’s the kicker — edit + share them from the app for iphone, android, and windows phones.

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From today’s TechCrunch article: “The app is simple enough. It connects to GoPro cams through a WiFi signal, giving owners a large set of available tools. The cameras can be viewed and controlled from a smartphone or tablet, for one –this includes adjusting the dozens of available settings on each little guy. Owners can also view, manage and download content from the camera to their phone. From there, it can be shared like any other media. Upload the action to Geocities or FriendFeed like you would any other picture.”

This update illustrates why I opened this post with “my favorite camera manufacturer”. It’s not because they are overwhelmingly the best. Sure I love them. Not sure I could make my living with just a GoPro, but truth be told it’s really what they stand for and where they’re going that make me love them the most. Like I told the New York Times a while back — it’s 5 years past due when Nikon and Canon should have had this sort of reliable technology built in small packages to allow creative photographers to shoot, edit, and share their work in new and novel ways.

Dear Canon and Nikon,
I know I’ve been telling you this stuff for 5+ years. I’m sure other pros and consultants and bean-counters have too. So why is this so hard?

ASIDE: given that you are reading this post, you’ll probably want to know how I pack my GoPro’s to travel everywhere I go. Here’s a quick post and a short vid.

AND here’s their cutsy little promo vid illustrating the emotional bits…

What I’ve Learned in The Trenches– MY 5 Step Guide to Street + Snapshot Photography

A couple years ago, you may recall, during a month-long artist-in-residency at the Ace Hotel in NYC I took the opportunity to celebrate the snapshot — quintessential street photography — and I called the exhibit Dasein: Invitation to Hang. [‘Dasein’ is a German word used by philosophers to refer to raw human experience or the fundamental mode of “being there.” I found that when applied to photography, the snapshot was the ultimate photographic expression of us simply, authentically being in the world / caught on film. ] The exhibit featured an ever-changing wall of snapshots, both my own and selections chosen from nearly 15,000 submissions across the globe.

At the core of the work what I found was my own sense of street photography – regardless of whether it was on the street, on a train, or backstage with the band. Point being that street photograhy – the art of the snapshot if you will – is about the moment. It’s about choosing to take the photograph. It’s about mood, and –quite often–it is about talking to strangers.

I was reflecting on that project this morning and wanted to share a bullet point list of things I learned that could be easily applied to anyone’s work.

chase jarvis dasein1. The Law vs Respect. When it comes to street photography, there is the law, and then there is etiquette. The laws permit us to take pictures of anyone in a public space [for which thousands of paparazzi thank the gods every day], even taking pictures of private property from a public space is fair game. But let’s face it. Do you really want to be ‘that guy’? Etiquette is an entirely different matter. And note that while it’s ok to take the photo – USING or displaying the photo later is an entirely different manner protected by laws, permissions, likeness, etc. But that’s another post.

2. Discrete but not creepy. While some photographers live by the “If you see a good picture, you take it” rule. I do not because I’ve decided that my role in life is to evoke the messages and emotions and thoughts that I want to evoke – not to simply document. This isn’t for everyone, but here’s how it translates into my work… I am discrete but not creepy. I often connect with my subjects. Your style will vary. Aside from the rare times I shoot candidly, my general mode of being is two fold. I either (a) quietly and quickly snap the photo; or (b) I say “hey, can I take your picture?!” with the camera pressed to my face OR simply a wave to get someone’s attention with the camera snugged up to my face. I click the shutter when they look up.

3. It’s all about the aftermath. Nine times outta ten when using the above techniques, my snapshot subjects either don’t know I’ve shot a photo or don’t care. But here’s the critical point IMHO – if they do care, or even if they lock on to you, take proactive action. Introduce yourself and say thank you. It’s almost entirely about the interaction AFTER you shoot the photo. And this is where non experienced photographers blow it. Sure it takes vision to get the shot – no questions there. But in keeping the shot and keeping your integrity as an artist operating in a grey space…. It’s 10% being before 80% after…. People will either warm up or blow you off and it’s your job to read them. How do you get good at reading this? Experience. You will quickly be able to read if someone is aloof and doesn’t care that you’ve snapped their photo, or if you’ve ticked somebody off. Moreover, connecting with subjects after the fact is often an amazingly insightful part of the process. I’ve heard amazing stories, been inspired, been awakened, and felt more human after talking with unknown photo subjects on hundreds of occasions.

4. When things go south. Rarely, after engaging with someone in number 3 above, the unknowing subject will react negatively. In that case, cut your losses. I always prefer to be a good human than to be unpleasant. On just a handful of occasions in my entire career (I can think of 2 in this sitting…) has anyone asked me to delete a snapshot of them. In this case – despite it being my right to have ‘taken’ the photo (NOTE – ok to ‘take’ the photo in a public space but not ok to later USE or display the photo by law without proper permissions…), I have–during both those rare occasions–deleted it with a smile and a shrug as I showed it to them.

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5. Some recommended don’ts…
–I don’t photograph the homeless or downtrodden without their permission or even better only after a long conversation where it becomes clear that a photograph is on the up-and-up.
–I don’t photograph young kids in the street that I don’t know without first connecting (eyes, nod, hand wave, etc) with their parent or guardian. Just don’t do it. Otherwise, you’re creepy.
–Don’t try to use snapshots commercially. Ever. You will get caught and you will be breaking laws.
–Don’t take your gigantic camera on the streets. It will wreck your chances at getting good imagery. If a Dslr is all you have, take a small, short lens and that’s it. Even better, consider being discrete with a point and shoot – or my favorite – the new mirrorless camera platforms. There are lots of reviews and stories about those here on my blog. Feel free to search for them.

Above all, IMHO use common sense and common courtesy as your guide. Sure – get sneeky, get gangster, get ‘the shot’, but you can do it without being a nut job. Plenty of other photographers have done amazing projects in the streets that are in your face, against people’s will and without warrant. My suggestion? Leave that to somebody else and focus on the pictures that you want to make through respect and hard work. You’ll thank me later.

[Here are some of my favorites from my NYC project. Got a street photography tale to share? Sound off below. Success stories and disasters both welcomed. Will try to get to any questions if you’ve got em.]

[Here are some of my favorites from my NYC project. Got a street photography tale to share? Sound off below. Success stories and disasters both welcomed. Will try to get to any questions if you’ve got em.]

The Results Are In! Photo Contest Winners Announced for the ThinkTank Giveaway

Thanks everyone for the overwhelming response and involvement in our Street Photography contest. We had a blast looking through the thousands of entries and have finally managed to wittle them down to our three favorites….plus five honorable mentions that we felt compelled to shine a spotlight on. Take a look!
[Winners – congrats! We will be in touch with you about your ThinkTank prizes.]

The Winners

Wojtek Lesiak

This photo embodies the spirit of street photography. Out in the world, traveling, fun and spontaneous. What makes it good is that the photographer saw something that no one else did. There are great parallels in the frame. Out of more than 2,000 photos this one caught me off guard and made me laugh aloud. The photo looked back at me.

;

Jeremy Givens


The photographer merged fashion and street for this photo. Breaking down the barriers between two genres in a “candid-posed” moment. Genre-bending. I love the reaction of the lady looking back while everyone else is trying to ignore the model.

Adrian Woźniak

The photographer saw an opportunity for a unique moment – one that would be very easy to overlook. The expression is gritty and raw. I couldn’t figure out where the man is even standing!? I like the shallow depth of field with the tack sharp face – it’s a really impressive technical photo while still achieving some mystery and wonder.

Honorable Mentions:

21 Behind-the-Scenes Photos from an Un-Belizeable Photo Assignment

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If you’ve been following along socially you’re in the know that I’m on a commercial assignment in Belize that targets the life and wonder of the world’s water, lakes, oceans, etc. […You might remember this video of the SuperPod of dolphins from the South African leg of this campaign with long time friend Mike Horn…]

In short, I can’t say enough good stuff about Belize. It’s seemingly impossible to take a bad photo here…even without the high-falutin’ tools that we’ve been using –helicopters, boats, diving rigs, etc)… If you just had your phone, you could slay it here. Anyway – wanted to share some quick behind-the-scenes shots that let y’all in on a little of what we’ve had going. [#HumbleBrag?!]

Lots of love for Ambergis Caye + Placencia. Costs in Belize are reasonable – especially given the epic-ness of the visuals. Special props to the great resort down south… Robert’s Grove. En route back to the USA now – but keep your eyes peeled for a few definitive RAW and TECH videos that we made while down there, based on your requests for more o’ that stuff. Hit me with questions about Belize or our trip – happy to help inspire / enable as many people as possible to learn about this fresh spot.

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Robert's Grove, Placencia

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Lazy Caye - Erik and I filming a TECH about our GoPro set up - stay tuned!

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Fishing out of Placencia with Elroy

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The Blue Hole from above

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My good friend Danny and his wife Susan have been cruising the Caribbean with their two children for 15 months. Their 50-foot catamaran the S/V Blue Kai was a great model too. Almost as good as Danny in this photo. www.svbluekai.com

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Walking on water to get the shot at Roberts Grove, Placencia

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Jerard doing some underwater work for the shoot - not a bad office

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Jerard and Clifford got after this little Hobie Cat. In fact, they flipped it about 5 minutes after this shot. #WorkingHardPlayingHard

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When working in tropical climes I try to keep my crew hydrated - with margaritas.

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Join Me! LIVE in a Google Hangout from Aspen Talking Photography, Music, SXSW and more…. with Robert Scoble & Chris Davenport.

UPDATE: here’s a recording of our chat…above! Thanks to all of you who watched live.
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LIVE today at 9:30 PDT, 10:30 Aspen, 12:30 NYT, 17:30 London right here on the blog or on my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/chasejarvis.

I’m smack dab in the middle of shooting next year’s campaign for Aspen (last years BTS video here with octocopers and wicked visuals) but had the morning off and managed to wrangle a couple friends for a live Google Hangout to discuss a bunch of questions that have come across my desk in the last week about the Aspen/Snowmass campaign (helicopters and photography), my new favorite music, the democratization of technology and a few other odds and ends that you will find of interest. Joining me is one of the key talent for my Aspen shoot, one of the world’s best skiers, Chris Davenport, the tech guru Robert Scoble (fresh outta SXSW) and the digital maven here in Aspen, David Amirault.

Photographing with Remote Helis & World Class Athletes in Crazy Locations — Behind-the-Scenes in Aspen

Using the Force


Remember last year’s Aspen campaign? Well, we’re back at it again this year with even better conditions. We’ve been up before dawn and burning the midnight oil. Out the door right now – but stay tuned via social channels to follow along. In the meantime here’s a gallery of behind-the-scenes photos. Enjoy.

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Photo: Scott Rinckenberger

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Chris Davenport shows Scotty his backyard

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Scott Rinckenberger

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Photo: Jerard

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Photo: Jerard

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Safety first: Davenport digs a pit to check snow stability

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Chris Davenport - Professional at crushing it for the camera.

Wireless Cameras Are The Future — What’s in it for You?

The Samsung Galaxy Camera includes Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS and can run Android apps

I’ve been banging on the doors, windows, and faces of camera manufacturers for years about this one having long found value in the idea, “What good is a picture if you can’t share it?” It’s a simple concept that lots of us helped ignite in our culture via mobile devices. Instantly being able to share is assumed now. But… that our friends in the “real” camera world have been a little slow in adopting this concept is a massive understatement. So what is the state of that state really? What planet are they from? It’s worth taking a look at. As such, I’ve enlisted my pal Ben Pitt (who has authored some popular posts on the Nikon D600 and Canon 6D in recent weeks) to give us the technical breakdown on the latest and greatest. But even as you read this post that dives deep on which widget does what and how fast, remember, dont forget I’m still backing the idea that the best camera is the one that’s with you. Take it away Ben! -Chase

12 months ago, Wi-Fi was built into about half a dozen digital cameras. This year it’s everywhere – not just in high-concept cameras such as the Samsung Galaxy Camera but also in half the compact cameras announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. It’s built into the Canon EOS 6D and Panasonic Lumix GH3, and is available as an optional upgrade for Nikon’s latest generation of SLRs (D3200, D5200, D7100, D600, D800, D4) and the Canon 5D Mark III and 1D X.

So is Wi-Fi going to change our photographic lives, or is it just another over-hyped innovation to help camera manufacturers shift more units? Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.

Remote control

Wi-Fi allows remote control of the camera from an Android or iOS app – most of these cameras have accompanying apps for both platforms. The camera creates a wireless network for the smartphone or tablet to join. In some cases this can be cumbersome to manage, but it needn’t be after the first time they’ve been paired.

The EOS Remote Android app for the Canon 6D includes touchscreen spot focus and a VGA live preview.

The app can then show a live preview feed and provide a remote shutter button and some control over photographic settings. In many cases this includes a touchscreen spot focus function. The quality of the live preview tends to be pretty good. Most run at 640×480 pixels, which is equivalent to a 921,000-dot LCD screen, but with the added benefit of a larger screen size. There’s a certain amount of latency in the live view feed, and also in the response of the shutter release, but in my experience it’s usually well under a second.

These remote shooting functions are impressive but, personally, I doubt I’d use them much. They’re perfect for group portraits when you want to include yourself in the photo – something I do perhaps once or twice a year. Knowing my luck it’s bound to stop working at exactly that moment, giving my assembled friends and family yet another chance to revel in my humiliating defeat at the hands of technology.

The Lumix Link app for the GH3 running on an iPad

I’d hoped that remote shooting would be useful for photographing birds and other wildlife in my garden. It turns out that birds are just as nervous of a tripod as they are of a person (the shot on the right was with a long lens through the window). I guess that birds would get used to the tripod if it was left in place for a few weeks, but would they be scared off by the appearance of a camera on the tripod? If anyone has experience of this, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Remote shooting has other uses, such as when the camera is positioned in hard-to-reach places. This is probably more useful for video than photography, though. So far I haven’t seen or heard of a camera that can stream video wirelessly while recording it – unless you count the Parrot AR Drone app-controlled aerial drones.

Using a high-resolution tablet as a wireless video monitor would be extremely useful for video production, regardless of the camera position. 802.11n should be fast enough for compressed 1080p video. I’m hopeful that this will appear before too long in mirrorless and SLR cameras.

The Canon EOS 6D also supports wireless PC tethering, with a live view feed and comprehensive control in the accompanying PC software. This might be a killer feature for people currently struggling with (or put off by) tethered shooting over short USB cables. Performance and latency seemed to be pretty good in my tests with the 6D.

Wireless transfers

Transfers are technically simpler than remote control, but probably more useful. In most cases, the same Android and iOS apps used for remote shooting can also browse the camera’s card contents and request photos and videos for transfer. In some cases, photos can be selected for transfer on the camera too.

Picking a photo to upload from the Panasonic SZ9 compact camera.

The remote shooting modes usually incorporate automatic transfers as soon as the picture is taken. However, the ability to shoot with the camera’s controls and transfer photos automatically is surprisingly rare. This is something that Eye-Fi cards have been able to do for years.

I can see two potential uses for wireless transfers to an app. One is for instant online sharing. Mobile phones have changed the way casual snaps are shared – people want to be able to upload within seconds to taking a photo. With a Wi-Fi camera, you’re not limited to using your phone’s built-in camera.

For serious photographers, the ability to review a photo on a high-resolution tablet within seconds of taking it is a big draw. It’s useful for checking focus, and for spotting subtle problems with the scene that would be hard to see on a camera’s 3in screen. The Canon EOS 6D’s app also lets you rate photos, with the data synced back to the camera’s SD card.

I’m looking forward to seeing cameras that allow photos to be transferred to an app at the touch of a button on the camera, directly after taking a photo. I don’t necessarily want to transfer every photo, but when I do, it should be a quick operation that doesn’t distract me from the creative process.

Most Wi-Fi cameras can also transfer photos and videos directly to online sharing services – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. I’m not sure how useful this is, though. It’ll only work when you’re in range of a home network or public hotspot, and entering social network passwords using camera controls is pretty fiddly. It seems easier to send the photo or video to a smartphone first.

Wireless transfers to a computer or network storage hold more appeal. Large transfers are slow, but it’s great to be able to simply switch the camera on and press a couple of buttons to start copying.

Other tricks

Syncing GPS data to the Canon PowerShot S110 from the CameraWindow app.

GPS is increasingly common on digital cameras, but a few models (Canon S110, Fujijilm F800EXR, the latest Panasonic compacts, among others) provide GPS by proxy via the Wi-Fi link. This uses a smartphone app to keep a log of the location over a given period. Later, this log is cross-referenced against the capture time of photos in the camera to add GPS coordinates to their EXIF data. It’s not as neat as integrated GPS but it’s cheaper to implement. It’s certainly better than no GPS at all.

The Sony NEX-6 and NEX-5R can be expanded with downloadable apps. This lets you add functions such as time-lapse photography and advanced bracketing modes, and cost a few dollars each. However, I can’t help feeling that this is less about getting more features and more about Sony looking for new revenue streams. Sony has always lead the way for innovative shooting modes, but they used to be included as standard rather than optional extras.

The potential for third-party app development is interesting, but I can’t see many developers choosing to spend their time coding for a closed system such as NEX at the expense of Android and iOS platforms. The natural home for third-party camera apps is on Android cameras such as the Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Looking forward

So that’s where we’re at so far. These Wi-Fi functions are still in their infancy, and I’m yet to test a Wi-Fi camera where everything has worked smoothly. Some implementations are a little cumbersome, particularly when it comes to configuring network settings. Pretty much every camera I’ve tested has had one or two features that I’ve not been able to get working as advertised. Hopefully these kinks will be ironed out.

For me, the most useful functions – wireless monitoring while recording video, and one-touch, on-demand photo transfers – have yet to materialise. Even so, Wi-Fi cameras show lots of promise, not just for casual users but also for enthusiasts and professionals. They won’t revolutionise digital photography, but if they help to keep dedicated cameras relevant in this age of instant sharing, that’s no bad thing.

But that’s enough about what I think. Are you tempted by any of the features described above? Are you already using them? Is there’s anything else on your wireless wish list that no one’s thought of yet? Let us know below.

Nude Photos Prompt Apple to Remove 500px from iTunes App Store

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Yesterday Apple abruptly removed the mega-popular 500px from the iTunes App store today citing the fact that users can search for photos that feature nudity.

I caught up with 500px CEO and co-founder Oleg Gutsol for a comment:

“Apple’s problem with the app is essentially that it was too easy to find nude photos by using the search function of the app. That functionality has been there since the beginning of our development of the app. This functionality previously has been something you had to explicitly enable “show nude content” on you account online. But that was not strict enough for Apple. They voiced concern earlier – so we created the opt in feature – but then Monday night things changed. We’re working with them on it and I’m it will be fixed soon. The result will be that no nude content will be searchable on the iOS platform. Android apps will stay the same. Google has not expressed concerns.” – Oleg Gutsol

The 500px app has amassed nearly 1 million downloads over the past 16 months and 80M page views per day.
Ironically, Oleg was on an important episode of chasejarvisLIVE last year: The Evolution of Your Creative Rights with the ASMP and Larry Lessig. We’re sending Oleg and his team the best of luck. Sounds like they have it under control.

The Rich Kids of Instagram: A Worthy Disaster

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From the G6 to the yacht to the private island. by samuelfastlicht

When you combine youth, unlimited cash and iPhone technology, you get braggadocios photographic evidence of a lavish lifestyle.  Also known as the Rich Kids of Instagram.  At first glance, this Tumblr is so ridiculously over the top it’s laughable. But a deeper look reveals for me some cultural sadness…privileged kids posting bar tab receipts that cost more than four years of college at a private university and talking shit about it. Depending on your mood – it can be entertaining or awful.

But if art (or curation) is aimed to send a message, make a claim, create a reaction, my take is that this tumblr is worthy of your time – even if it’s to feel the weirdness. 


Side note, here’s an interesting article: On Raising Kids Who Seem to Have it All by Peggy Drexler. Peggy is writing a book about the impact of wealth on childrearing.  She has a more empathetic outlook on these kids:

As absurd as it might sound to many, it’s not easy being a rich kid. Their parents tend to have high expectations. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your daughter to go to the best school, but you also want her to learn to be a good person, and encouraging achievement over character-building can mean kids never quite figure out who they are. They think their money is their most notable quality. And so they learn to use it — to buy affection, or friends.

For the rest of us, peering in on this group of not just the “1 percent”, but the one 1/100 of a %, there is an escape to a life of private jets, yachts, and more…either as a dream, or a nightmare. In both cases – worth the look.

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Off to London. by mohammedbinthani_70 #loadupthecar

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Strategic pour by The Doc by joshpad

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Mondays aren’t so bad. by seanmaicher #trustfunded

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My dad on the left. I can hear his thoughts “who is this monster I created?” #christianlouboutin by kanel_k

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350 gallon tank #hybridboat #fuelefficient #globalwarming by captaiinkevv

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How was your Thanksgiving? by frankienastasi #ferrari

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600 shots. #balltoohard by williamthewhale

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Watch Wednesday, which should I pick? #rolex #hublot by vinideoebraganca

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Irony at its finest. by nickchambon

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#Gold #platinum Bars #Gift putting in the bank by yerayel

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When my dad wanted to buy us dune buggies I thought he was kidding… Apparently not. by annabelschwartz

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