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19 October 2017

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 (with more than 140 characters). This time we look at Wrangel Island, the Pixel 2's portrait mode, Mongolia, Deborah Copaken, McNally hovering over NYC, chess photograph, Canon's improved repair service and social media licensing.

  • In Studying the Arctic Wildlife of Russia's Wrangel Island, Alan Taylor presents 14 image by Sergey Gorshkov recently published in bioGraphic. "The island was one of the last refuges for woolly mammoths on Earth," Taylor writes. "Today, biologists are studying the island's animals and plants to monitor the effects of the warming climate and the growing presence of humans in the Arctic."
  • Software engineers Marc Levoy and Yael Pritch explain Portrait Mode on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Smartphones. And they include five tips (removing crocodiles is one of them) to get good portrait mode shots. Not to mention a shot at dSLRs: "At the beginning of our trips we dutifully take out our SLRs, but by the end, it mostly stays in our luggage. Welcome to the new world of software-defined cameras and computational photography!"
  • What's Kevin Kelly doing in Mongolia? Taking pictures, that's what. "It is hard to appreciate the vastness of Mongolia: for as far as you can see, no roads, no fences, no wires, just grass, rock, sky. And the occasional shepherd on a pony, happy to chat," he writes.
  • In I Was Suspended From Facebook for My #MeToo Post, photographer Deborah Copaken explains how her #MeToo post of two images "of sexual harassment caught in medias res" from her college thesis Shooting Back 30 years ago got her banned.
  • In Speedlights in the Air!, Joe McNally lights a chopper and intrepid stunt actress Kachina Dechert at night in the air about New York City with nothing but Nikon SB-5000 strobes. If McNally had pulled it off wearing a propeller beanie, it would have been perfect, but he was in another helicopter.
  • In Chess Photography: Tips and Tricks, Albert Silver suggests you "look around and keep an open mind." He shows you how you can indeed find drama in what otherwise appear to be static scenes.
  • Canon has announced Next-Day Service for its Canon Professional Services Platinum members. But wait. Next-day service will officially launch at PhotoPlus Expo 2017 in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, Oct. 26-28.
  • PhotoShelter is offering Licensing Your Photos for Social Media in exchange for your email address. The guide covers "licensing language to consider in your next contract, tips from a photographer rep on negotiating image usage on social, plus what brands and design agencies are looking for from photographers to hire for social media content."

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