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Photographer Adam Woodworth has been taking photos in one way or another for as long as he can remember. Over the past few years one of his many areas of focus has been landscape astrophotography, specifically imagery that captures perfect alignments of the galactic center of our Milky Way Galaxy over haunting New England locations. Take a look at his work and read our Q&A. See gallery
Winners of the National Geographic's 2014 Photo Contest have been announced, with first place winners in three categories bringing in cash prizes. The overall Grand Prize winning photo (above) has earned a total of $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters. Take a look at some of the winning images. See gallery
The D750 is Nikon's newest FX-format camera, offering a number of features from the D810 in combination with a 24MP sensor. It also boasts a faster frame rate than any non-professional full-frame Nikon DSLR since the D700. Aimed squarely at enthusiasts and full-frame upgraders the D750 boasts a comprehensive video and still photography specification - see how it performed in the field and in our extensive studio tests. Read review
Flickr has apologized to users upset over its Creative Commons-licensed print options. Effective immediately, all CC images have been removed from its Wall Art printing service. Users are still able to order prints of their own images, photos provided by Flickr’s own licensed artists and photographers who have requested their images be included. Read more
Canon G7X Shooter’s Report Part I: It’s all about the zoom for Canon’s first large-sensor pocket camera
Leica has released firmware version 1.3 for its T mirrorless camera (Typ 701). The latest update promises a collection of performance improvements for the unit's startup time and image quality, along with general bug fixes. Learn more
Update: Firmware updates are now available - click through for a download link. Fujifilm has unveiled two macro extension tubes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras, as well as a launch date for the previously-promised Fujifilm X-T1 firmware. More firmware updates are also announced for the X-E2, X-E1, X-Pro1 and X-30, as well as the introduction of tethering software for PC. Read more
Despite using the same name as its predecessor, the new Moto X is a very different device. Its 5.2-inch 1080p OLED screen, thin bezels and aluminum body give it a premium feel. In the camera department it offers a 13MP sensor and F2.25 aperture, 4K-video and a dual-LED ring flash. We put it through our comprehensive testing - see if the 2014 edition is a better choice for mobile photographers than the original Moto X. Read review
I work with lots of different teams and different developers. I usually know innately, as does the team around me, whether the teams we’re working with are good or not. We rarely disagree on the evaluation.
But what does good mean?
I find that the most valuable web developers interact with each other along a kind of implicit contract, the tenets of which are based upon web standards and proven ways of doing things that we’ve cobbled together collectively over the years. Most of the time, good isn’t generated by an individual in isolation—it’s the plurality of tandem efforts that hum along to a shared, web-driven rhythm.
When things are ticking along smoothly among devs, I find we have a common underlying way of talking and thinking about the web. We fit together in human and technical ways, upholding a shared understanding about how best to make pieces of the web fit together.
In contrast to the tired stereotype of genius coming in the form of a lone, intense hacker, much of the effective work done on the web is done within the bounds of a certain kind of communal conformance. In a good way.Working together
A heap of obvious things goes into making an individual web developer seem good: An innate understanding of time and effort. An indestructible drive to self-educate. A lick-smart, logical mind quick to spot and take advantage of patterns. I think we look for these talents naturally.
And yet when devs work together, those skills fade back just a bit. In a (grossly oversimplified) way, as part of a larger team each developer is a miniature black box. What comes fiercely front-and-center are the interfacing edges of the people and teams. The way they talk to each other and the timbre of what they build, what they disclose and what they don’t think they need to mention.
When something unexpected pops up between healthy teams—which happens, because this is a complicated world—a communication like, “Hey, when I poke this service in this way, it throws a 500 at me” as often as not is enough information for the recipient to go off and fix it, because we have have similar scars to reference and a shared vocabulary built on common ground.
A common vernacular and communication style is an echo of a common thinking style. Underneath the chatter are cognitive technical models of the metaphors at hand, based on each team member’s perception of how the web fits together—REST, modular patterns, progressive enhancement, etc.—and how those components apply to the current project. Happy days when those internal archetypes align.
When you run into misaligned teams it is obvious. There’s a herky-jerky grating to communication. Seemingly dashed-off emails that don’t quite dig into the problem at hand. Teams where you can tell each member’s mental context differs. Code that feels weird and wrong.A common ground engenders brilliant ideas
Unless it is the actual goal of the project, I don’t care too much if you can come up with a Nobel-worthy new implementation of a basic CRUD feature. In most cases, I’ll happily accept something predictable and expected.
This is not an argument for ignorance or apathy. Ideally, everyone should be pretty good at what they do—those individual technical skills do of course matter. I mean, part of the contract here does involve boots-on-ground time—to understand the lay of the land, to break HTTP into bits and pieces, leak some memory, screw up DNS a few times. We break and heal frequently as we gain deeper web mastery.
But having a web set of conceptual building blocks—standards, patterns, conventions—upon which we can frame and build gives us the freedom to focus on where we really need to be creative: the particular task, product, or site at hand. Common components, shared notions.
After all, the best chefs in the world don’t reinvent carrots. Instead, they identify what other remixed food components might plug into a carrot to make it divine.
Likewise, good developers are mixing up agreed-upon technical ingredients into the soup of the day. And just as a talented cook knows how to explain to the waitstaff the nuances that thyme brings to the potato, good devs know how to talk to those around them, team members both in the kitchen and beyond, about why today’s menu includes OAuth or moment.js.It’s not just touchy-feely
It used to be that I would think, “Hey, these people seem like they’re on the same wavelength as my team; that’s cool,” but now I realize it’s likely that what seems merely like good vibrations saves prodigious time and money on projects.
In damaged teams, mental reference dissonance carries through to the outcome, manifesting itself in jarring technical mismatches, poorly-thought-through integration seams and, frankly, bugs. It’s as if people are thinking about the web in different internal language systems.
So? Things take longer, often a lot longer. Teams become frustrated with each other. Meetings and discussions are drawn-out and less fruitful. The results suffer. Things break.
I’m not suggesting we all link arms and plow out code from a single hive mind. In fact, I’d argue that the constraints imposed by a common perspective help to drive a certain kind of unique brilliance.
Camera bag manufacturer Think Tank Photo has announced a backpack designed specifically for photographers using Phantom Quadcopters paired with GoPro cameras. The Airport Helipak is said to accommodate DJI Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision or similar quadcopters with their accessories, along with a 15-inch laptop, small cameras such as GoPros, and personal effects. Read more
Stumped for a gift for your favorite photographer? Or maybe you came in under budget on your holiday shopping and you have just enough left over for a little something for yourself? Either way, we've got some suggestions. Our holiday gift guides cover gifts in three price categories - $25-100, $100-500, $500 and up - to help you find the right present at the right price. Click through for links to all three guides
Canon has updated its Digital Photo Professional 4 (DPP) software to version 4.1.50. The update brings support for a couple of new lenses and several camera models, improvements to multiple functions, and compatibility with 64-bit native environments, among other things. The newest version, says Canon, incorporates feedback from both APS-C and older full-frame owners eager for 'the very latest Raw workflow solution'. Read more
Photographers are a hard lot to shop for. While it's tempting to pick up a gift card from your local camera shop and call it a day, we've done some digging and come up with photo-related gift ideas for photographers of all skill and aspiration levels. If you're looking for something stocking-sized (and priced) our guide will put a smile on the face of your favorite photographer.
If you're looking for something special but you don't want to empty your bank account, these gifts for photographers will do the trick. While a wireless hard drive or a film scanner lacks the wow factor that an African safari can provide, these gifts will bring plenty of joy to any photographer's holiday.
If the photographer in your life is the kind that already has everything, it might be time to pull out all of the stops. From neat new gadgets to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the gifts in this guide will wow any photographer.