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Allison Wolfe, Comet Ping Pong / WCD, 2016 (All photos from Frame of Mind, copyright 2019 by Antonia Tricarico, used with permission of Antonia Tricarico and Akashic Books/)
There are plenty of photo projects covering the history of DC's underground music scene, but many of them are incomplete in one specific—and perhaps unsurprising—way. Women have been involved in this community from the start: playing in bands, making zines, shooting photos Only recently, however, have their perspective come to the forefront.
Photographer Antonia Tricarico moved to Washington DC from Italy in 1997 and quickly started documenting the underground music communities around her which included iconic bands like Fugazi, The Make Up, and Branch Manager.
Kat Bjelland, Babes in Toyland, Black Cat / WCD, 2015 (All photos from Frame of Mind, copyright 2019 by Antonia Tricarico, used with permission of Antonia Tricarico and Akashic Books/)
Were you shooting photos of bands when you lived in Italy?
I wasn’t. When I was young I always had a camera nearby but never committed to it the way I did later in life.
Dag Nasty, Black Cat / WCD, 2016 (All photos from Frame of Mind, copyright 2019 by Antonia Tricarico, used with permission of Antonia Tricarico and Akashic Books/)
Why did you decide to start bringing your camera to shows once you moved to the U.S.?
When I moved, communication wasn’t an easy task, taking my camera everywhere was a way for me to start a conversation with my new world. Bringing it to shows was very spontaneous and natural. It allowed me to absorb the culture in small steps, each photo made more comfortable with it.
Cheshire Agusta, Stinking Lizaveta / Philadelphia, PA, 2009 (All photos from Frame of Mind, copyright 2019 by Antonia Tricarico, used with permission of Antonia Tricarico and Akashic Books/)
Your new book Frame of Mind has a heavy focus on women who were active in the music scene in DC. Do you think women are still underrepresented in these communities, or do you think it’s getting better?
There are still a lot of women making music, but what hasn’t changed much is they are still being harassed, judged and excluded by venues, music festivals and music panels. There just few bands with women who are called to participate to those events. It’s boring and discriminatory.
The Julie Ruin, Black Cat / WDC, 2016 (All photos from Frame of Mind, copyright 2019 by Antonia Tricarico, used with permission of Antonia Tricarico and Akashic Books/)
Tell me about the editing process for the book—where did you start?
At first, I got lost and overwhelmed by tons and tons of photos taken in the last twenty years. I focused on the emotional ones starting with the first photos I took in 1997 at Fort Reno, Branch Manager and Fugazi. I liked the feeling of going back in time, the locked-up memories started to flow chronologically recreating the vibes of the first show.
Joan Jett, Jiffy Lube Live / Bristow, VA, 2016 (All photos from Frame of Mind, copyright 2019 by Antonia Tricarico, used with permission of Antonia Tricarico and Akashic Books/)
What do you think has changed about the underground music scene in the two decades that you’ve been photographing?
I still see the harmony between the essence of the underground music and the attitude involved in the past. Influences from 20 years ago appear in bands formed now. If we take away all the crap invented to make more and more profit from music, I can see that we have survived and underground music is still passing on it’s own basic elements. It’s definitely more than alive.
What do you think makes a good music photo? What are you looking to capture during a live gig?
If I can hear the music when I’m looking at a photo, that’s a photo that completed the job.
Instax Mini LiPlay combines the technology found in the Instax printers and the Instax cameras into a single device. (Fujifilm/)
Fujifilm's Instax Mini LiPlay is a super compact Instax camera that incorporates digital and analog tech into a single place. The Instax Mini LiPlay features a 2.7 inch LCD screen, has integrated digital filters and frames, remote shooting options, smartphone printing, and sound recording.
The camera essentially combines the tech of the Instax printers and the Instax cameras into a single device. The LCD screen on the Instax doubles as a viewfinder, making for more predictable framing while shooting compared to the offset rangefinder on most typical instant film cameras.
Fujifilm started dropping hints about the new camera through its Twitter account at the end of May.
The Mini LiPlay is the first Instax that also has the ability to record sound. (Fujifilm/)
Here is what we know about it:
1.5in CMOS sensor
2560 x 1920 effective pixels
2.7 inch LCD monitor with 230K dots
Built in memory for approximately 45 files, takes micro SD cards for increased storage
28mm fixed focal length with a F/2.0 lens
Voice recording up to 10 seconds, clips are played back by scanning a QR code on the print
Weighs 255g, making it the lightest Instax ever
Micro USB charging
The camera is available in three colors (Stone White, Elegant Black, and Blush Gold) and will be available on June 14 for $160. We’re looking forward to getting some hands on time with this one.
Sony’s two new super-telephoto lenses will be a great option of wildlife and sports photographers (Sony/)
Sony has a new pair of telephoto lenses on the way for its E mount cameras: the FE 600mm F4 GM OSS prime and the FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 OSS Super-telephoto zoom lens. The 600mm is Sony’s longest prime in its lens lineup, and at 6.71 lbs it’s one of the lightest telephotos at this focal length on the market. Here is what else we know about the lenses.
The 600mm F4 GM OSS prime lens is aimed at top level professionals. (Sony/)
24 elements, including an extreme aspherical element, three fluorite elements and extra-low dispersion elements
11 blade circular aperture
Nano AR coating to cut down on reflections, glare, and ghosting
A pair of XD linear motors for quiet and quick focusing
Supports 40.5mm drop-in filters
Four customizable focus-hold buttons
Weather sealed construction
Minimum focusing distance of 4.5m
1.5 feet long and weighs 6.7 lbs
<a href="https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1485539-REG/sony_sel600f40gm_fe_600mm_f_4_gm.html/BI/21338/KBID/23407/DFF/d10-v21-t1-x968881/SID/EZ" title="">Available in August $13,000</a>
The 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 OSS lens has a more reasonable price point and is aimed at the enthusiast market. (Sony/)
24 elements, including an aspherical element and five extra-low dispersion elements
11 blade circular aperture
Nano AR coating to cut down on reflections, glare, and ghosting
Direct Drive SSM autofocus motor
Focuses and zoom internally
Minimum focus distance of 2.4m
Three customizable focus-hold buttons
One foot long and weighs 4.9lbs
<a href="https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1485540-REG/sony_sel200600g_fe_200_600mm_f_5_6_6_3_g.html/BI/21338/KBID/23407/DFF/d10-v21-t1-x968882/SID/EZ" title="">Available in August for $2000</a>
Although such a long focal length and pricey lens may seem impractical for a casual shooter, both of these lenses will be good choices for sports and wildlife photographers. The 600mm prime is clearly aimed at high level pros, but the more reasonably priced $2000 dollar FE 200-600 will be a good option for shooter looking to go beyond what a 70-200 can offer.
Fujifilm is bringing a black and white filmstock back to the market! (Fujifilm/)
Fujifilm is bringing a new version of Neopan Acros 100 back to the market, roughly one year after the company discontinued its last black and white film.
Although Neopan Acros 100 II shares a name with the film discontinued last fall, the two films won't be identical matches. Fujifilm says that the new version has finer grain, better sharpness, and three-dimensional gradation than the original Neopan film.
Fujifilm initially stopped production of its black and white films due to a decrease in demand, and trouble obtaining the raw materials required to make the film. However in the year that it’s been off the market they say that they’ve seen a resurgence in people wanting to shoot monochrome. In a press-release posted to its Japanese site, Fujifilm says that Acros II comes after doing much research on new raw materials and that the company has “radically reexamined the manufacturing process to match the new raw materials.”
We love these pieces of gear when we are covering summertime events. (Jeanette D. Moses/)
Summertime is here and that means that photographers who specialize in event coverage schedules are starting to fill up. The coming months will be filled with graduations, weddings, music festivals, parades, sporting events, and every other kind of photogenic event you can imagine.
While shooting in the summer has its benefits, it’s not always a picnic. All that sunshine will provide some awesome contrast for your photographs, but it also means long hours outside on your feet lugging large amounts of gear. Although a solid camera body and a few good lenses are obvious must-haves for covering summer events, there are a number of other accessories that will make photographing events a seamless experience.
This comfortable and classy strap allows you to carry two cameras at a time. (Holdfast/)
A comfy camera strap is key for a long day of shooting and the HoldFast MoneyMaker is one of our favorites. This classy leather strap come in a variety of finishes and the company recently started making a vegan-friendly version out of cotton canvas. The original MoneyMaker fits on your body like a vest and allows you to comfortably carry two cameras at once—a must have shooters that like to quickly have a 24-70 and a 70-200 at their disposal, or don't want to risk changing lenses in the midst of a shoot.
The company recently released a new version of the MoneyMaker designed to carry a single camera. The Money Maker Solo is a cross body strap with a stabilizer connector that clips under your armpit and a belt anchor that keeps the strap and your camera body from sliding around to much during a shoot. The straps also feature d-rings for securing additional accessories to the strap that you might need access to during the day.
This pocket-sized light is a lifesaver when shooting at nighttime events. (Lume Cube/)
Lighting conditions during an event can be unpredictable and cranking your ISO can't always solve the problem, even with a high-end camera. Having a small light available to shine on a subject can make a huge difference in the quality of the final images. Lume Cube is a powerful pocket-sized LED light that you can control with your phone. The light has a 5700K daylight balanced color temperature, a 60-degree beam angle, and is waterproof up to 30 feet. There are also a ton of miniature modifiers available for the lights like barndoors, snoots, colored gels, and grids that can be used to shape the light.
These pouches from Peak Design are excellent for keeping extra lenses and other accessories within arms reach during a shoot. (Peak Design/)
The Peak Design pouches come to two styles and we've found both to be game changers for events.
The smaller pouch has a low-profile design that attaches to your belt loop and makes it easy to access a second lens or a speedlight while you are shooting.
The pouches come in three different sizes, and employ folding pads that allow you to stack multiple pieces of equipment in a single pouch, without them clanging together.
The larger field pouch is like an advanced fanny pack or a tiny sling bag that’s great for stashing extra batteries, SD cards, or your lenses. It has a roll-top design which makes it easy to expand its capacity. The bag is made of weatherproof nylon canvas and comes in four different colors.
These cards are great when shooting in heat, rain, or dust. (Sony/)
Outdoor concerts, sporting events, parades, and festivals can make for great photo opportunities, but the conditions can be brutal. These locations are often hot, dusty, and, can turn into a sloppy wet mess during summer rainstorms. In times like that you definitely don’t want to lose the precious data on your memory cards.
Sony's Tough cards are dustproof and waterproof and have a design that eliminates the finicky lock switch and fragile plastic ribs over the connectors. This all means they are way less likely to break off inside your camera or become damaged once you remove them.
An SD card case will help keep your precious memory cards safe after a shoot. (Pelican/)
Even if you are shooting with a Tough Card storing them in some kind of housing is a better bet then shoving them in a pocket or letting them float around loose in your bag. This metal Pelican case holds up to 12 SD cards and has a shockproof and waterproof design. It's also a great way to keep your clean cards and your full cards separate from one another so you can grab one in a hurry.
This battery holder can store eight batteries, so you will always have a backup set for your speedlite. (Think Tank/)
A speedlite won't do you much good with dead batteries. And often there isn't the option to run to the corner store and pick up a fresh set in the midst of an event shoot. This compact battery holder from Think Tank will keep a set of 8 AA organized inside your bag and makes them easier to access than ripping into a fresh pack. The battery holder stores eight. Keep the nub facing up on the fresh ones and put the dead ones back in with the flat side showing so you'll always know which cells still have juice without having to try them out.
Mophie Power Packs can be a lifesafer for keeping in touch with clients and assistants during a long shoot. (Mophie/)
A fully charged phone battery dies quickly during a fast-paced event. Mophie's power packs are a great way to keep your smartphone juiced throughout the day. Mophie's integrated portable batteries work with a variety of smartphones and other USB-C rechargeable devices. They recently released a small pocket-sized version called the Powerstation Keychain that clips onto a set of keys or a belt loop and is compatible with any device that takes USB-C cables. Even if you don't use them to charge your camera, it could keep your phone running during the day to help you communicate with clients or assistants.
This little SSD drive is fast enough that you can edit directly from it. (Sony/)
When it comes to editing and file transfer, faster is better, and this tiny Sony drive is big on speed. The external SSD has read speeds up to 540MB/s and write speeds up to 520MB/s. The drive is roughly the side of a credit card, weighs 1.8 oz, and has a wave surface so it is easy to find in a bag. The drive comes in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities. It's a great way to quickly transfer files off a card at the end of a shoot or do a backup. Because the drive reads and writes so quickly, you can edit directly off of it without the bottleneck of a spinning hard drive slowing you down.
You should never leave home without your gaff tape. (Gaffer Power/)
We can't get enough of gaff tape. It's that seemingly magical product that can fix a number of problems quickly: taping up camera logos, fixing a broken strap, a substitute band-aid—the list goes on and on. It's versatile and incredibly strong, it also won't leave that gross sticky residue like duct tape. We like these mini rolls because they are easy to slide into an accessory bag or a pocket.
The new Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD lens is a versatile prime that is good for a variety of shooters. (Tamron/)
The new Tamron SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD lens is a fast prime that the company has been dropping hints about since last February. Released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Tamron's SP series lenses, Tamron is calling this new lens the 'ultimate' in their lineup: producing beautiful bokeh, eliminating the effects of chromatic aberrations and serving up high resolution images even when shooting wide open at F/1.4.
The lens will be available in both Canon and Nikon mounts. The Nikon version will be available at the end of June. The Canon version will be available at the end of July. (Tamron/)
Tamron did a really nice job with its 35mm F/1.8 that debuted a few years ago, so we suspect this faster version will also be impressive.
A sample frame using the new lens. This portrait was shot wide open at F/1.4, ISO 100, and an exposure of 1/800. (Seigi Takakuwa/)
Here is what else we know about it:
14 elements in 10 groups, including 4 low dispersion and 3 aspherical elements
9 circular aperture blades
BBAR-G2 coating to minimize ghosting and flare and increases contrast
Ultra Silent Drive AF system and a new Dynamic Rolling-cam mechanism
Manual Focus override system to make fine adjustments when shooting
Fluorine coating in the front element to avoid fingerprint smudges and scratches for dirt and dust
Moisture resistant construction
Locking lens hood
Available in Canon and Nikon mounts
Weighs 28.7 oz (for Canon), 28.4 oz (for Nikon)
4.1in long (Canon), 4in long (Nikon)
When using the lens at its maximum aperture the foreground subject is still very crisp. (Seigi Takakuwa/)
The new lens will be available for Nikon shooters at the end of June, Canon shooters will be able to purchase the lens a month later in July. Both mounts will cost $899.
Things get a little sharper when the lens isn't all the way open. This portrait was shot at F/2, ISO 100, with an exposure of 1/2000 (Seigi Takakuwa/)
A fast 35 prime is a welcome addition to any photographer's collection—it offers a slightly wider view from the beloved nifty-fifty which is nice for photojournalism, landscape photography, weddings, and street photography. The Sigma 35mm F/1.4 Art lens has been a really popular lens in this space for a number of years now and we're expecting this new Tamron prime will also do well.
Portrait photographer Sue Bryce designed these camera bags to look like pieces of vintage luggage. (Tenba/)
Tenba and portrait photographer Sue Bryce have collaborated on a new line of camera bags called the Sue Bryce bags that have a vintage look, but promise to protect pricey cameras gear in a way a kitschy vintage hat box can’t.
A steamer trunk from the ‘30s that Bryce picked up at a vintage market in Los Angeles actually served as the inspiration for the line. All four bags employ vegan leather materials and stack on top of one another during travel. Here is what else we know about the bags that make up the Sue Bryce line.
This rolling camera bag meets carry-on requirements for international travel, but the circular shape makes it more low-profile than a traditional rolling camera bag. (Tenba/)
The Sue Bryce Hat Box Bag
This bag emulates the style of that vintage trunk most closely. Its circular shape certainly makes it unique in the camera bag space. The bag comes in two sizes: a small shoulder bag and a larger rolling bag.
The shoulder bag has interior dimensions of 13x13.75 and a 6 inch depth. It can hold two bodies, 3-5 lenses, and fit up to a 70-200 telephoto. A trolly strap on the back means that you can slide it over the larger rolling bag. That bag costs $229.95.
The shoulder bag has the same circular shape of a hat box. (Tenba/)
The slightly larger rolling bag has interior dimensions of 14.5x13.5 and a 6.5 inch depth, and can fit a bit more gear than its smaller counterpart. It meets the requirements of a carry-on for international travel, so no need to worry about having to check it. The roller bag costs $329.95
If the circular shape isn’t your thing there are also some more traditional options in the bag line.
If circular bags aren't your thing you might like this classy tote. (Tenba/)
The Sue Bryce Tote
The tote bag has interior dimensions of 16x11.5 and a 5.75 inch depth. It can fit 1-2 camera bodies, between 4-6 lenses up to 70-200mm, and a 15-inch laptop. There is a large front pocket for personal items and small camera accessories. It also features the back trolly strap for use with the roller bag. The tote costs $229.95.
The Sue Bryce backpack is a real workhorse. This bag can fit two camera bodies and up to 5-7 lenses. (Tenba/)
The Sue Bryce Backpack
Like all of our favorite camera backpacks, The Sue Bryce Backpack doesn't necessarily look like a camera bag. The boxy black and brown bag has interior dimensions of 11.5x16 and a 5.5 inch depth. It's roomier that the tote bag and can fit two camera bodies, between 5-7 lenses up to a 70-200mm, and a 15" laptop. There is a large exterior pocket as well as smaller interior mesh pockets. The backpack costs $295.95 as well.
Checkout the video above to hear Bryce speak more about the bag line.
Robert Frank outside his home in Mabou, Nova Scotia. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
Last week Gerald Fox's documentary film Leaving Home, Coming Home made its stateside debut at the Film Forum in New York City. The film was captured back in 2004, nearly a decade before 2015's Don't Blink, and provides a different and more personal perspective on the photographer behind The Americans.
Originally conceived as a one-hour television program to coincide with Robert Frank’s retrospective at The Tate Modern, Fox shot the documentary on a variety of film stocks over a few days in New York City, followed by a few days in Nova Scotia. As he was filming he says he felt that there was room to do an expanded piece on the photographer.
Robert Frank with his wife June Leaf in Mabou, Nova Scotia. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
“If I was able to use his archives to show his memories and reflections, as long as I captured when I needed in the now, I would have enough material to make a rather amazing peeling back of his entire life,” he says.
The film was completed shortly after, and although it showed at a handful of film festivals, until now, it has never seen a wider release. Prior to its debut at Film Forum we spoke with Fox about the film and what’s changed since he made it nearly a decade ago.
Robert Frank in Mabou, Nova Scotia. Director Gerald Fox says that once they headed there to film Frank seemed much more relaxed. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
Why did it take so long for this film to see a wider release?
The film was commissioned as a program for television to coincide with Robert Frank's retrospective. That is what he agreed to make and in the process of filming it he really, as you see in the film, unburdened himself, probably for the first time ever, about some of the tragedies that had happened in his life. He decided after the television broadcast, that he didn't want the longer film to be seen. That was Robert's decision and I couldn't really do anything about it because his work is in the film, and he has the copyright over the work. I had to accept his decision on that. It was hard for me, but I understood and abided by it.
I really don't know what the reasons were, this is all speculation on my party. At the time it was very definitive that I could only show at film festivals. Robert had been through a similar experience himself with Cocksucker Blues. Maybe he thought that it would make the film more legendary. That is certainly what happens with Cocksucker Blues. By not being able to be shown, it added to its mystique. Maybe he was thinking this would happen.
"I think that relationship between the two of them was one of the nicest things in the film, in a very short time I was able to capture a very real sense of charm and what they got out of each other," says Gerald Fox. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
I plucked up the courage about two years ago to go around to his house, knocked on the door and said Robert, ‘Shouldn't it be time for this film to have a wider opportunity to be seen?’ He said, ‘yeah okay’. It is great that he has allowed me to release it, for that I am very grateful to him. It’s a wonderful portrait of him as an artist and photographer, at a certain point in his life. When they did Don't Blink, he was quite a bit older.
You captured Frank in New York City at a very interesting time, the very beginning of gentrification, are there other things that have changed since you filmed it?
That certainly has become more relevant. This yuppy-fication of New York, it was only really just starting. He felt the city was changing, and for a photographer like him, not necessarily for the better. His part of New York, that was changing. He says, “I don't want to live amongst them” [the yuppies], but he is still there, in that same part of New York. So he certainly likes a certain aspect of it.
Filming with Robert Frank in Nova Scotia in 2004. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
The other thing that has changed since I made the film, is the legendary status of The Americans. In 2004 it was considered to be a great work of art, but when it first came out it was trashed, he could hardly get it published, it got terrible reviews. It certainly was not considered one of the great seminal works of post-war photography, if not the seminal work. What has happened in the interim, even since my film was made, is The Americans has achieved legendary status. That show of The Americans, which went from The National Gallery of Art to The Met in New York and on to San Francisco, locked that set of photographs in as a very seminal and powerful portrait of America, in a way that it wasn't when I made the film. His status, his legendary status, because of The Americans, has grown greatly since I made the film. Those are probably the two big changes.
Photographer Robert Frank during the filming of Leaving Home, Coming Home. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
How was he to work with?
You sort of are slightly treading on eggshells—you see it in the film. He had a certain temperament. He had said to me on the phone, “I want to work with the creativity of the director, I'm not intellectual, I'm willing to do what you want to do, I'll be very honest, but it must be your film and your creativity.” That gave me the idea to play around with the film stocks like he does.
I ordered the black and white film and they sent film stock that was for a bright sunny day, and on the day we were set to film in Coney Island it was dark and rainy. I said to him, Robert we've got a problem. It was a Sunday, so we couldn't get more, he tried calling up a couple of friends of his who had a couple of rolls from 1968, then he started to get impatient and frustrated, he disappeared into his room, and then his wife, June Leaf, went to talk to him. At some point there was this explosion—some of which we caught on camera and I used in the film. Once he got out on the streets wandering around he relaxed.
Director Gerald Fox poses with Robert Frank during the filming of Leaving Home, Coming Home. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
I think he was charming, but he kept you on edge. We had to work hard and fast and it put him under quite a bit of strain, he didn't feel well afterward. I remember June feeling that I had overdone it. Then when we went off to Mabou in Nova Scotia, and it was a different side of him, he was more relaxed there. He is a complex man with a lot of sides to him.
Can you tell me more about capturing the dynamic between Frank and his wife June Leaf?
I think that relationship between the two of them was one of the nicest things in the film, in a very short time I was able to capture a very real sense of charm and what they got out of each other. You have two artists, living, working and inspiring one another. She also was very good in bringing that idea of Robert Frank back to us. He says in the film you work everyday all day and I sit around looking out the window, being Robert Frank. She slightly debunks all of that.
Leaving Home, Coming Home is on view at Film Forum in New York City through June 11. (Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment/)
You only had a few days to film the piece, how do you think that affected the final product?
The style of it allowed me to do a huge amount in a short time. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter how long it takes, it's what you capture in that time. I could have followed Robert Frank around for a year and not gotten that wonderful moment where he and his wife scream. Or the moment when he loses his temper with me. Sometimes the pressure of it all being done quite quickly adds to that. We were also shooting on film, so that adds another layer of intensity. When there is a roll of film running through a camera everybody is just that more focused. Nowadays, people can shoot for hours and hours and so the whole temperature goes down. The energy isn't the same. Shooting it on film made a difference. We didn't have a big budget and we had to do it all quickly really.
Leaving Home, Coming Home is on view at Film Forum in New York City through June 11.
These 259 tiny fish were buried alive 50 million years ago, and survive now only as prehistoric 'photo'. (Mizumoto et al./Proceedings of the Royal Society B/)
It’s not clear what overtook this school of fish, but the remnant—an untimely demise etched in a limestone slab for all eternity—is a breathtaking glimpse of ancient fish shoaling.
A social behavior still common in today’s oceans, shoaling involves small marine animals moving collectively to guard against predators. Fish swim in oblong formations, huddling together to avoid being swallowed. “Shoaling is one of the most impressive behavior patterns found in nature,” says Nobuaki Mizumoto, a behavioral scientist at Arizona State University who authored a new study on the fossil.
Until now, scientists could only guess that this extinct freshwater species, Erismatopterus levatus, moved in unison. But the 50-million-year-old fossil, hoisted from the Green River Formation in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, captured 259 of the fish in a forward-facing school.
The fossil became the centerpiece of a study published Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Researchers used the fish impressions to build a digital map of the school, measuring each fish along with its proximity to its neighbors. To bring the fossilized image to life, they ran 1,000 simulations using that map to infer each fish's next, slight movement.
To confirm the ancient fish were shoaling, researchers measured ran a simulation based on the animals' proximity to one another, and the way they were facing. (Mizumoto et al./Proceedings of the Royal Society B/)
Based on that simulation, the researchers concluded that the fish were not moving at random, but collectively. They repelled their closest neighbors to keep from colliding, and attracted their more distant neighbors to maintain the formation.
While there are definitely limitations in extracting 3D scenes from a 2D image, if the theory holds true, it would mean fish have been swimming in shoals for at least 50 million years, Mizumoto says. And it’s a trait that evolved independently in this ancient Eocene species from the lineages of fish we see shoaling today. That could be a tribute to its success as a preservation tactic against predators.
The fossil is a rare and useful find, as its photographic-like quality allows researchers to explore ancient social behavior. The authors note in the paper that social interaction of extinct animals has been previously “thought to leave no fossil record.”
For a group of swimming fish to be caught and imprinted into limestone in this way, fossilization would have had to happen extremely quickly. The authors posit that a sand dune could have collapsed onto the shoal in shallow waters, catching the moment in time and preserving the fish in formation. But save for future research, their true demise will remain a mystery.
Most people would never want to find themselves upside down in a helicopter above New York harbor, but this is the prime position if you are helicopter pilot Aaron Fitzgerald.
This weekend the former U.S. Serviceman kicked off the summer at the Bethpage Air Show with the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter, and a few days prior New Yorkers got a sneak peek as he performed barrel rolls and nose-dives over the New York harbor.
Helicopter pilot Aaron Fitzgerald took the Redbull helicopter out for some aerial maneuvers prior to to the Bethpage Air Show over Memorial Day. (Predrag Vuckovic/)
Red Bull photographer Predrag Vuckovic was there to capture Fitzgerald's daring sky stunts in a second helicopter above the iconic body of water—the best vantage point for capturing the stunts and the background. We caught up with Vuckovic via email to learn how he prepares to shoot a helicopter in the midst of a nosedive.
What was one of the biggest challenges of this shoot?
One of the biggest challenges was to put together photo and video—it requires additional organizing and planning. When you have to do them together it cuts the time you have in half.
Planning is the most important part, but so is communication and knowledge of the sport. Aerial photography is one of my specialties, but the biggest advantage for this project was having a strong relationship with the pilot Aaron Fitzgerald.
Photographer Predrag Vuckovic was there to capture the action as Fitzgerald performed stunts over New York City’s iconic skyline. (Predrag Vuckovic/)
What gear do you use for this work? What were your camera settings for this specific shoot?
For this photo shoot I used two Nikon D5 cameras, kitted with 80-400mm, and 24-70mm lenses respectively. Usually the shutter speed is at some medium speed, I usually have it set from 1/250 to 1/500, in order to at least somehow capture the sense of motion. In this case, I went for a safer option and had the speed at 1/1000 because we were very limited with time and we did not have time to repeat.
How is photographing a helicopter in-flight different than action sports that you cover?
Every sport has something special and photos have to be taken in different ways. My experience photographing other aerial activities helped me a lot in photographing this project. One of the key things is having a full understanding of helicopter acrobatics because the starting position for any trick and the ending position are a very long distance apart, so if you want to capture the perfect moment, you must fully understand what the chopper will do. You have to calculate where you will be waiting for it. In most cases this is very demanding.
A view of the Redbull helicopter performing stunts with the Statue of Liberty in the background. (Predrag Vuckovic/)
Were there any special considerations that you took into account when approaching this shoot?
The most important thing was having consistent communication with the pilot performing the acrobatics and communication with the pilot of my helicopter. My pilot is supposed to bring me to the desired place at the right moment so we have to absolutely in sync with each other. It’s highly coordinated effort and is essential to this kind of photography.
See more of Predrag Vuckovic's work on his website.
Check out a BTS video from the shoot below:
Aaron Fitzgerald mid barrel roll near the Statue of Liberty. (Predrag Vuckovic/) “One of the key things is having a full understanding of helicopter acrobatics because the starting position for any trick and the ending position are a very long distance apart, so if you want to capture the perfect moment, you must fully understand what the chopper will do,” says photographer Predrag Vuckovic. (Predrag Vuckovic/)
A POV shot of the helicopter in the midst of one of its aerial maneuvers over the New York harbor. (Predrag Vuckovic/) Aaron Fitzgerald inverted over the New York City skyline. (Predrag Vuckovic/) A full sequence of Aaron Fitzgerald’s flight path over New York City. (Predrag Vuckovic/)