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10 September 2018

In this recurring column, we highlight a few items we've run across that don't merit a full story of their own but are interesting enough to bring to your attention. This time we look at Gordon Parks, Cuba, Leonard Bernstein, Canon's R System, Helen Bartlett, Z mount telephotos, the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS III, geotagged photo mapping and a guide to choosing a camera.

  • Maurice Berger continues his Race Stories with Gordon Parks on Poverty, the 'Most Savage of Human Afflictions'. "Empathy for the poor may not come easily to people who never experienced it," he begins before examining Parks' images from a hillside favela in Rio de Janeiro now collected in Gordon Parks: The Flavio Story. "While Parks portrayed the da Silva family with dignity, he did not sidestep the brutal details of their lives: their ragged and filthy clothes; the rickety shed in which they lived; the despair and anger of children struggling to survive; and the desolate landscape strewn with garbage and Raw sewage and teeming with insects."
  • Made in Cuba presents Molly Mandell's images of the island nation taken over three years. Mandell portrays over two dozen Cuban craftspeople with "a mission, a lot of passion, and a striking and admirable do-it-yourself mentality" in images that will be published Nov. 28 in a 240-page hardcover book. (BTW, we caught the delightful documentary Conexiones: A Mexican Cuban Connection this weekend that followed the Mexican American roots group Los Cenzontles in four cities around Cuba where they engaged with Cuban musicians from a variety of walks of life.)
  • On the centennial observation of Leonard Bernstein's birth, Joe McNally remembers Photographing Genius. "He could be difficult, mercurial, tempestuous -- all those things," McNally writes. "But, if you could hang on through it, much like an intense roller coaster ride, at the end, when you would come to rest and put your camera down, you knew your lens had glimpsed true genius."
  • Scott Kelby provides some Straight Talk Q&A on Canon's EOS R Full-Frame Mirrorless. Little-noted features he celebrates include the "little door" that protects the sensor from dust when you change lenses (if you turn the camera off first) and the reason there's no in-body image stabilization (lens-based is better for telephotos, Canon said).
  • In Canon EOS R -- First Impressions, Helen Bartlett shares her experience shooting family portraits with a pre-production version of the new R System. "It's a brilliant camera that I'll be adding to my kitbag soon," she concludes. Lovely images along the way, too.
  • In Z Mount and Long Lenses -- Practical Example, Jim Kasson follows up on his previous query, Does the Z Mount Help With Long Lenses?. "So, the Z mount is an improvement for (some) long lenses, too. The catch is that they have to be designed to take advantage of the mount," he concludes.
  • Zach Sutton reviews the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS III Lens before concluding, "So is it worth the upgrade? It's hard to say."
  • Zlatko Masek devised a way of Displaying Geotagged Photos on Google Earth With Python. "The necessary information I got was mostly from the article showing how to create placemarks for use in Google Earth," he writes. "I wanted to automate the process and save KML instead. I could do that with Python."
  • Jen Miller has published How to Choose a Camera -- a Comprehensive Guide. The guide covers seven types of cameras before exploring the science behind digital photography and continuing with accessories, software, durability and price. But no previous knowledge is necessary to profit from the guide. "If you are comfortable using your camera and aware of what it can and can't do you are well on the way to taking great images," she notes.

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