Archivi categoria: strange

The Mysterious Case of the Returning Leica

In November 2016, I was in a transitional part of my life (I still am) and was considering selling my Leica M2 and switching to a digital Ricoh GR. I listed the camera on several Facebook camera trading groups and the Australian/UK Craigslist alternative, Gumtree. Long story short, I was scammed while trying to sell it.

The signs were obvious now, looking back, but I was desperate and really needed to believe what I was being told was true. I first received a text message suggesting that I keep in contact with a buyer via email. I then received an email that night saying that the buyer was an oceanographer and that they were in contact with me via a satellite Internet connection from a research ship.

A story like this surely would have tipped off anyone… if not for the fact that an uncle of mine has in fact worked on a marine research ship.

I was sent fake PayPal statements via email, and so I stupidly sent the camera to China, of all places. Days went by and the money never came. I only realized it was a scam when I received an email supposedly from PayPal, saying that there was an error in their system and I was overpaid by a thousand dollars and that I should wire another thousand to the buyer before receiving any of the money.

After grieving over the fact that I had lost the camera, I found myself in a pretty dire financial position and unable to pursue an internship position in Jakarta and potentially move to Melbourne sooner. But I eventually made it out over to Melbourne, and since arriving I sold my Ricoh and then here I was, a photographer in Melbourne with no camera.

Then suddenly out of the blue in March 2017 (4 months since I thought I had lost the Leica) it reappeared at my old address in Perth. From there, I got it sent over here to Melbourne by my aunt.

I once said that the M2 and I didn’t really bond, perhaps trying to mask the hurt of the fact that I had lost it. But clearly I wasn’t thinking straight as it’s a much more beautiful camera than I remember. After receiving it again this week, I shot a roll of Agfa Vista 400 (essentially Fuji Superia 400) and have had some low-res scans made of the images. Even these are wonderful.

I have many thoughts about abandoning film in favor of digital. While I still feel that the Ricoh GR is an incredibly amazing little camera, the issues of sensor dust kept plaguing the one I had. The GR belonging to my friend Justin also died out of the blue (a camera he bought due to my suggestion). All of these issues suggest to me that it is just not a robust system, especially if you are shooting everyday.

My particular M2 is over 50 years old and I guess here’s hoping for another 50. I’ll take it a sign from the universe that I’m basically supposed to be shooting film. Below are some other color photos I took before losing it last year.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s that you should be patient when trading and selling your gear online. There could be a whole array of reasons why the camera came back (most likely that the thousand dollar transfer was the real scam and the address in China was fake), yet another thing I took back is that I guess sometimes miracles do happen and that film really does never die.


About the author: Emil Prakertia Raji is a photographer and musician based in Melbourne, Australia. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram. This article was also published here.

These Weird Drone Sweaters Claim to Keep Your Drone Warm… and Stylish

Drone sweaters exist. We’ll give you a second to glance at your calendar and remember that it’s January, not April, before moving on … okay, welcome back to our strange reality where drone sweaters are an odd and oddly stylish reality.

Do a little digging, and you’ll find that this project—which seems, for all the world, like a very elaborate troll on overprotective drone owners—was created by San Francisco-based designer Danielle Baskin.

But while it might seem like a troll, it really isn’t. Instead, it’s part of Danielle’s “Company Every Week” project for which she’s launching a new experimental product, service, or concept every Friday. Other equally strange (and equally real) services she’s created include: Custom Avocados, Touch Pluto, and #physicalcloud.

But while custom avocados and a physical “cloud storage system” probably won’t appeal to photographers, aerial shooters might find themselves drawn to Baskin’s silly drone sweaters:

The website—which sells custom-made drone sweaters for $190 a pop—is full of fun tidbits like this:

While this may at first appear to be a light concern to those who would scoff at the idea of dressing a drone, there are still many drone owners who have seen their drones shiver violently after exposure to winter temperatures but hesitate to put clothing on their drones for fear of appearing odd.

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A sweater can make a significant difference in your drone’s feeling of well-being.

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It almost goes without saying, but we will mention it anyway, drones cannot, or should not, wear pants — only sweaters and jackets.

DroneSweaters.com is good for a laugh … and maybe a bit more. We can’t say for sure if the added “warmth” of a custom-tailored sweater will in fact have any real benefits like extended battery life in cold weather, or if a colorful design will make for better visibility, but your drone sweater is sure to be the talk of the photography club.

Check out DroneSweaters.com for more info and a chuckle or two.

(via Fstoppers)

Apple Computers Sprout Plant Life in Odd ‘Plant Your Mac’ Photo Series

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Plant Your Mac is a strange, and in some ways ingenious photo series. Created by artist Christophe Guinet (aka. Monsieur Plant), each photo of an Apple computer transformed into a living terrarium is meant to remind us of the conflict between technology and nature.

Plant Your Mac is a project I had in mind for a while. I worked in creative agency with a team that was posted all day in front of their Macs, and I realized that we tend to forget the Reality in front of our machines,” Guinet tells PetaPixel. “Planting your Mac is a way for me to convey a message by recalling that nature exists. Let’s not forget it through technology.”

Each photo in the series is a real life Macintosh computer with a real life terrarium built inside it. These are not Photoshop creations, they’re labors of love, each of which took Guinet approximately 3 days to create from start to finish.

“Each model of the Plant Your Mac project is adapted to the requirements of plants,” says Guinet. “The system of irrigation, the substrate … all are important elements for the plants.” The final, fully living images are a feast for the eyes. See for yourself:

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To see more of this series or explore Monsieur Plant’s other work, head over to his website and then give him a follow on Instagram and Facebook as well.

(via Mashable)


Image credits: All photographs by Christophe Guinet and used with permission.

When Someone Follows You Around the World to Copy Your Photos…

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Jack Morris (@doyoutravel) and Lauren Bullen (@gypsea_lust) are both travel photographers and Instagram’s favorite travel power couple! With a collective following of 2 million people, you can imagine they’ve developed quite a great following! Rightfully so, the work on their accounts are beautiful and they travel quite religiously.

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Just yesterday, Lauren posted something publicly on her Stories that really took me back. My girlfriend Bella Kotak is a follower of her work and she brought it to my attention and introduced me to their story.

Ask yourself, what would you do if one of your followers dedicated their entire social media presence into mimicking every minor detail of your work? Now, they follow your footsteps across the globe in order to continue that obsession.

That’s exactly what happened to them. Everything from the exact location, composition of the shot, processing, clothing, and sometimes even the caption!

At that point, it’s not just copying, it’s creepy.

When you have someone who travels the world to imitate you, they not only have a lot of money and time, but quite frankly, a lot of balls.

Many of us have been to these exact locations. With so much beauty all around you, it was surprising how it didn’t inspire them to think outside that composition and create something that is uniquely theirs.

At what point does being inspired turn into obsession? Here is the story below shared from their account. I hope I am not in the minority in thinking that copying verbatim is not okay.

Lauren’s photos are on the left, and the copycat photos are on the right. I have erased the copycat’s name and blurred the faces from the photos in the screenshots:

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The copycat account has since been made private after Lauren shared what was going on.


About the author: Pratik Naik is a photo retoucher specializing in commercial and editorial work. To see his work, head over to his website or give him a follow on Instagram and Facebook. This post originally appeared here.

Snapchat’s ‘World Lenses’ Add Wacky Animations to the World Around You

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Snapchat just upped the ante on acid trip-like augmented reality. In their latest update, the photo and video messaging app added something called ‘World Lenses’: basically animated filters that you can apply to the world around you the same way you could apply the app’s ‘Selfie Lenses’ to your face.

From sleepy clouds that puke rainbows, to snow, to hearts, and a few more, you can augment your mundane reality into whatever brand of acid trip you prefer. Just open up the app, press and hold on the screen, and the filters will pop up looking like this:

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From there, the interface is the exact same as their Selfie Lenses. You swipe through your options until you’ve found the augmented reality you’d like to capture, and take a photo when you’re satisfied with the effect.

Here are a few quick Snaps I grabbed this morning, sitting down to coffee on a stereotypical Seattle day (read: rainy).

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In addition to this very odd (but also probably very popular) new feature, Snapchat is also preparing for the launch of their camera glasses, the “Spectacles,” in this latest app update. The newest version now includes a page for pairing your Spectacles to the app, and TechCrunch spotted some new ads for the glasses at LAX.

No doubt, these two updates go hand-in-hand. Once your primary Snapchat camera is attached to your face, taking augmented reality selfies is out. It makes a lot of sense for Snapchat to prepare their user base for Spectacles by porting their popular ‘lenses’ gimmick into the world around you.

To try World Lenses out for yourself, either update your app or grab a fresh copy from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

(via The Verge)