Posts Tagged ‘photography

13
Feb
10

Camera Tech looking for staff

Please email us at cameratechblog@gmail.com to join our team.

Though we’re not exactly offering six-figured sums, if anyone is interested in joining us, please contact us as soon as possible.

The successful applicant – though prior experience in whatever field is not necessary, time and availability is required – will be aiding in sourcing and posting updates.

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09
Dec
09

Exclusive: What The Duck Review and Interview with Aaron Johnson

What The Duck: Review

There are few things on internet that have become household names – and yet Aaron Johnson’s web comic What the Duck has tackled the photographic world. The name has been made ubiquitous. Photographers, artists and anyone who reads it instantly falls in love with W.T. Duck, the sarcastic, rude and arrogantly lovable duck that features so prominently as the main character in the series. What the Duck’s popularity has only been reflected by the immense number of fans who purchase merchandise and read the comic daily.

Things started in 2006, when WTD originated as a ‘blog filler’ for the vacationing Carol Kroll and has since continued at the demand of tens of people. As Johnson comments, “The strip started in July of 2006, on a whim. It was meant to be an inside joke that was to run only 5 days. The idea was to create the most niche, dry comic strip imaginable and three people would read it. I misjudged.”

To say that What the Duck relies heavily on camera jargon is an understatement. In fact, the comic thrives off geekiness, using this as the base for most of its comics. Yet this does not mean that the jokes are singularly limited to photographers. Instead, it applies to a wide range of professions, and deal with many of the conflicts and problems many face in the workplace. In Johnson’s own words, “…many of these issues cross over to other careers and professions.”

After over some eight hundred and fifty strips, one would expect WTD to have repeated some of its jokes: indeed, there are common traits within several of the strips. However, the comic still vibrant with the satirical and dry voices of the characters. Many of the comments made in the strips are complete reflections of what many photographers feel and think: the stress of working as a photographer, the occasional beginner who immediately wants to earn money from photography, the hassling of clients and the let-downs in technology – WTD has it all.

The style of the strips are undoubtedly minimalistic, and this is what makes What the Duck so appealing: it doesn’t rely on fancy artwork to provide the jokes. Instead, it is effectively conveyed through the simplicity of it all. Although the characters are somewhat basic in look, Aaron Johnson has injected life into them, and one can easily understand the little changes in the details, used in expressing the humour that WTD is so famous for. He is to be praised for his work in this field and in succinctly delivering the punch-lines in the way that WTD does. It’s little wonder that WTD has expanded from a small comic series on a blog, to being published internationally in magazines and newspapers, being read by many thousands each day.

The best thing about What the Duck is that Johnson embraced the photography community worldwide with his cartoons. He doesn’t name his strips; instead, he leaves it up to anyone at all the comment on the page and gives it a name. Then, these suggestions are voted on. If you have an idea for a WTD strip, he’s always eagerly accepting new propositions. And all – every single strip – of the comics are available for reading on the internet for free, despite the fact that there have been two  compilations of the strips in a book form. It is this openness that has led to WTD no longer just being about the comic strip; it’s exploded to include tee-shirts, plush toys, collectibles, wallpapers, avatars, water bottles, signed prints and even a Flip MinoHD Camcorder with W.T. Duck plastered all over it. What the Duck has continued for three years, and it’s going to keep going. Why? Because the generosity shown by Johnson has reflected on to the interest caught so dramatically by his readers. What the Duck is now read all over the world, in newspapers in the US, Canada and Malaysia; in magazines in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the US and Canada; and, of course, the internet.It’s not a love/hate relationship, because What the Duck simply can’t be hated.

It’s more of a love/laugh pair, and WTD is something that we hope will continue to amuse us for a long time to come.

What the Duck can be read online daily at whattheduck.net and is available in two books: What the Duck: Rule of Nerds, of the strips from the first year, and What the Duck: A W.T. Duck Collection, featuring comics from the second and third years.

Exclusive Interview with Aaron Johnson

1.    How exactly did you get the idea of using a duck as your main character?
The entire concept of the strip hit me at once, one morning. As I was pondering the ridiculous notion of creating a photo-centric comic strip, I saw how my arms were positioned behind my head and saw the potential for a duck character. Below is a picture, as an example.
2.    Inspiration seems to rarely come to W.T. Duck, but you seem to have plenty of it – what’s your secret?
Repetition and abnormal brain wiring. Creativity is like a muscle and the more often you use it, the more conditioned it becomes. It also helps that my brain is wired to always think “outside the box”. It works great for writing a comic strip – not so great when balancing a checkbook.
3.    WTD is no longer just about the comic strip anymore. Now, you offer t-shirts, water bottles, plush toys and even a camcorder. How did this start?
It’s all the result of listening to what the fans wanted. I never imagined selling a WTD plush toy, but it was a common suggestion from readers. I’m humbled that fans want to support the strip.
4.    Do you have a day job, or is WTD your sole focus?
I do have a day job. Often times people judge your success on whether or not it generates enough income to quit your day job. However, my day job is also a dream job and I really enjoy doing it.
5.    Any chance of you making WTD your career?
I’m thankful, happy, and content with how things are now.
6.    Despite WTD’s popularity, you still choose to make the comics available online for free. Any plans to take them down and only sell them in books?
There are currently two WTD books available. The first book (What the Duck: Rule of Nerds) contains the first year’s strips and the second book (What the Duck: A W.T. Duck Collection) is a collection of strips from the second and third years. There are no plans to take down or limit the material on the web site.
7.    Do you have any personal interest in photography?
Yes. I’d say it’s more of a sickness than an interest.
8.    W.T. Duck faces many problems with his clients; however, seeing as you are not a professional photographer, how did you build these ideas up?
Part of it is because I have a knack for putting myself in other peoples shoes, part of it is realizing many of these issues crossover to other careers and professions.
9.    Many of your creations are certainly very frank in the way they speak. In fact, this is what makes your comics so humorous and allures many of your readers in.  Does this come from anyone you particularly know, or is it simply the wicked voice in your head speaking?
There’s an efficiency to the strip that is intentional. I essentially created the comic strip that I wanted to read. Something that wasn’t wordy and gets to the point. I think the duck says what we collectively would like to say ourselves, but commerce and putting food on the table prevent us from saying.
10.  What are your hopes and realistic expectations for WTD in the future?
That’s hard to answer because everything the comic has achieved is way beyond my wildest expectations. Realistically, I’d like to keep creating it as long as people are enjoying it.
05
Dec
09

Update: cameratech resuming

Since the technical problems over a month ago, CameraTech has been down; primarily due to several staff resigning. As a result, we have unfortunately not been able to report on much. We have been going through several changes, majorly including changes in staff, and now can confidently resume. However, we resume our reporting by tomorrow (5th Dec).

Further to that, on a side note, one of our staff members has written an article in Digital Photography School. The article is here.

We apologise heartily for all the inconvenience and hope you will resume reading.

Sincerely,
CT staff

Note: CameraTech is still looking for one more staff member. To help, please contact us.

23
Sep
09

Adobe Elements 8/9 to be released October

Amazon slipped out an announcement on their website saying that Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 9 will be released on October the 22nd. The site has now been taken down, but the details are as follows:

Key benefits of Adobe ® Photoshop ® Elements 8 Resize your pictures at your leisure, without any distortion – you want to change the size or orientation of a cliche? No problem: resizing – if the change from a landscape to portrait format and vice versa – do not distort the key elements such as people and buildings.

Get the best possible exposure – you want to restore every detail of a scene including light and dark areas? Take a picture with the flash and one without flash; Exhibition Photomerge option then produce a single shot perfectly lit.

Easily find your best photos – No need to travel tens or hundreds of photographs to find the most successful. The automatic scanning feature films and tag photos so you can easily find the most successful.

Instantly find some people in photographs – Easily find photos of your family with the function of recognition of people.

Get a clear picture – perfect view your photos and video clips in the Organizer with new previews in Full Screen mode, which also allow editing of images.

Add a youthful touch to your creations – Add a touch of novelty and freshness to your creations with printed patterns and unpublished illustrations.

Update: Adobe has formally announced Elements 8, and it will be released in October. Price is at $99.99 USD, with an additional ‘Plus’ edition for $49.99, available only to US residents.

19
Sep
09

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 announced

Samyang has just announced its new 14mm f/2.8 ultra-wide angle.

The 14mm IF ED MC Aspherical lens is designed for full frame, but can also be used on APS-C cameras. It gives a field of view of 114 degrees and 92.5 degrees on full frame and APS-C cameras respectively.

It should be available in November in Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts.

17
Sep
09

Olympus press conference on October 31

On the 31st of October, Olympus has scheduled a press conference. The announcement apparently, according to PhotoRumors, has something to do with ‘black leather’, be it on a new camera or product.

Update: PhotoRumors now have a picture they say is Olympus’ advertisement for the date. Certainly, there seems to be very close ties to black leather… it definitely could do with a possible new EP-2.


17
Sep
09

Even more colours for Pentax K-X

Pentax will be offering even more variants of the Pentax K-X in different colours; but only in Japan.

It allows twenty different colours for the camera body, another five for the grip, and apparently, there are colour also being made for the lenses.

Of course, while it’s only available for purchase in Japan, here’s an online simulator.




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