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1 December 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 AIDS photographers looking back, Nikon Z 7 autofocus, the Fujifilm 18-55mm kit lens, Erik Johansson, Chambers in the cold, Harold Davis monochromes, the most popular colors for 2019 and total starlight.

  • In Loss and Bravery: Intimate Snapshots From the First Decade of the AIDS Crisis, The New York Times photographers who covered the AIDS epidemic tell what it was like on the 30th anniversary of the World Health Organization's founding of World AIDS Day. Sara Krulwich, Jane Gross, Fred R. Conrad and James Estrin all share their memories. Krulwich brought along a Polaroid to break the ice. "Being able to give a person who might have never seen a picture of themselves a photo they could keep made me happy and often made my job a little easier," she says.
  • When his family came over for Thanksgiving, Jim Kason decided to test the Nikon Z 7 and 105/1.4 Face AF in the Real World. "For a camera without eye detection, the Z7 can turn in results that seem almost magical," he reports.
  • Kirk Tuck has been using the Fujifilm 18-55mm kit lens without apology. The metrics reviewers use, he argues, don't really matter. "Just try a lens you are interested in and see if it works for what you do," he advises. And proves the point with some gorgeous shots.
  • In Behind the Scenes of Erik Johansson's 'Daybreaker' Composite, the photographer lists everything he used on location from a a Profoto Pro-7b 1200Ws with Telezoom reflector to mimic the sun to a Hasselblad H6D-50c. "The cat and various parts of the background were photographed separately and added into the scene in post," he adds. Adjustment layers let him play with different color temperatures for each half of the image.
  • In Cold but Beautiful, Lloyd Chambers shows off the Zeiss Milvus 15mm f2.8 Distagon (currently discounted $1,350). But notice the different treatment of the shadow detail in the top two images.
  • Harold Davis presents three intriguing monochrome images in Patterns in Paris. The Musee Picasso addresses the problem of scale. The frieze that follows looks like a pile of discarded clothing at first. And we find his apparent correction for optical distortion in the Madelaine's columns a bit disturbing (columns are narrower at the top by design).
  • In Proton Purple? Shutterstock Data Reveals the Most Popular Colors for 2019, Josh Loh lists three of the dominant colors Shutterstock discovered by matching "pixel data with image download data." And predicts what's coming next year in various countries.
  • In Astronomers Measure Total Starlight Emitted Over 13.7bn Years, Hannah Devlin reports the total of all the light from all the stars that have ever existed "is a quantity of unimaginable magnitude" that now has a number: 4x1084 photons.

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