Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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New Timelapse Reel

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

I finally got around to cutting together a timelapse reel today, and now it’s done! Take a look. I hope you like it!

(as with all Vimeo videos, for best viewing, hit the play button and then pause it to allow the video to buffer, then watch with HD turned on and in full screen!)

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Speed Limits on the Moon

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

(This post is not at all related to photography. So if you’re interested in reading about photography, you can skip this post. But when I read this today, I thought it was so interesting I just wanted to post it.)

It turns out that there is going to be a lot of traffic on the moon in the next few years.

A number of countries (including Japan, China, India, possibly Brazil, etc.) are planning to send missions to the moon in the next few years. In addition, the Lunar X Prize contest (run by the X Prize Foundation and Google) has gotten something like 26 different entrants competing to become the first privately-funded organization to land a robot on the moon, and the deadline to claim the $20 million prize is 2015.

So with all this upcoming traffic on the moon, NASA felt the need to make recommendations to the various interested parties about how to avoid damaging historically- and technologically-important landing sites, artifacts and equipment still on the moon’s surface. They made recommendations about minimum keep-out distances (stay at least a meter away from any tools you find, and 250 meters away from the Apollo 17 landing site!), flight trajectories (don’t fly directly over the landing sites!), even speed limits for the rovers.

That’s right folks… we now live in an age where there are speed limits on the moon.

I happened to see the NASA report with all these recommendations today, and even though I’m not a scientist or rocket engineer, I am a giant geek when it comes to these things, and it was fun and fascinating to read part of the report.

If that sounds interesting to you, you can download the whole report here:

NASA’s Recommendations to Space-Faring Entities:  How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts

Speed limits on the moon… this certainly is an amazing time to be alive in the world.

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Tears to My Eyes

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I’ve been really busy (and still am…) and haven’t been able to post much recently (sorry about that!), but I saw this photograph and had to mention it here.

In yet another example of the power of imagery (and specifically the talent and astute eye of Mr. Pete Souza!), I saw the photograph below a couple of days ago, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. Lo and behold, it turns out the New York Times published a short article on the photo today.

Image Credit: Official White House photograph by Pete Souza

For a full explanation of what is going on here, read the New York Times article linked below (it is very worthwhile). In short though, in this photograph President Barack Obama is meeting with the family of a former Marine who was leaving the a post on the National Security Council to serve in Afghanistan. One of the individual’s young sons, five-year-old Jacob, asked the President if the President’s hair felt the same as his own… to which the President said “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” and proceeded to bend down so the boy could touch his hair.

This is the kind of moment that photographers dream of catching and saving for posterity. Luckily, the extremely talented official White House photographer Pete Souza (who I’ve written about before… this isn’t Pete’s first historic photograph) was on hand, and despite the fact that the moment was completely unexpected, was able to capture the moment.

Think about what it means to a 5-year-old boy to see that, yes, the President of the United States is a person, just like him. It is things like this that are the reason I became a photographer.

(you can read the New York Times story here)

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Hurricane Irene As Seen From Space

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The East Coast is starting to flip out about Hurricane Irene (I just read that New Jersey is ordering gambling halted in Atlantic City… the horror!) and since it looks like Irene has Boston in its sights, it looks like I’m going to be spending my Saturday getting a generator and moving things out of my basement in case it floods. In the mean time though, before it gets here, check out this image NASA created from one of its GOES geosynchronous orbit satellites:

Image courtesy of NASA

And here’s a closeup of the U.S. showing the storm:

Image courtesy of NASA

NASA is wonderful for this kind of stuff. I’m sure two days from now I’m going to be much less of a fan, but from 22,000 miles up, the storm is beautiful!

This is just more proof of what I’ve always thought – anything can be beautiful if you look at it in the right way. :-)

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Somerville Fireworks (& The Boston Globe)

Friday, July 1st, 2011

So I walked over to my town’s local fireworks display last night (right around the corner from my house), and just for fun, I carried along a camera and tripod (of course… it’s just who I am). It was crazy – a much bigger production than I’d assumed: all of the streets were blocked off, there were thousands of people in the streets, food trucks, etc etc.:

The crowd for the Somerville fireworks display: iPhone photo ©Chris Conti Photography

No sooner than I had set up my tripod I was approached by a woman who introduced herself as writer for the Boston Globe, asking me who I was there shooting for (in other words, if I worked for another news organization). When I replied that I’m a self-employed photographer and was just there shooting photos for my own amusement, she asked if she could use one of my photos for her Globe article – apparently the Globe “didn’t have budget” to send one of their own photographers to cover the event.

Everyone knows that times are very tough for print media organizations – since everyone is getting their news online, newspapers’ subscriber bases are evaporating and with them go the newspapers’ revenue, which has resulted in terrible staff cuts at just about every paper. But it is a sad state of affairs indeed when a leading regional newspaper “doesn’t have budget” to pay a photojournalist to cover an event on which they plan to publish a story, and this was an example of why I am very, very glad that I am not a photojournalist.

In any case, I was there shooting photos anyway, and since they’d already decided they weren’t going to pay for photography of the event (that much was clear) I told the writer that provided I was given proper credit for the photo, I’d give the Globe one to run with their story*. The writer took my email address, and several hours later via email I sent her a few photos I captured from the evening.

For the Globe’s article, they picked one of the photos I sent, and the writer actually quoted me as well (which I didn’t know she was going to do! If I’d known I was going to be quoted, I’d have paid attention to my grammar!). The article can be seen here: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/somerville/2011/07/somerville_fireworks_light_up.html

Here are a few of the photos I shot that night (it really was a great display, and as Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone was sure to point out, the fireworks didn’t cost taxpayers a dime, since they were funded in full through private donations).

Fireworks, Somerville Massachusetts: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ f/16, 17mm, 30 sec., ISO 100. ©Chris Conti Photography

Fireworks, Somerville Massachusetts: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ f/16, 17mm, 30 sec., ISO 100. ©Chris Conti Photography

Fireworks, Somerville Massachusetts: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ f/16, 17mm, 30 sec., ISO 100. ©Chris Conti Photography

*: I understand this issue may anger some professionals in the industry who rely on paying editorial work. The debate about shooting for pay vs. shooting solely for a credit is not an insignificant one, and it is truly embarrassing for the Globe  that they have cut back so dramatically on paying editorial work that they didn’t send a staff photographer or editorial freelancer to shoot something that they thought was important enough to warrant a story. It is a bad time to be an editorial photographer or photojournalist indeed.

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