Nat Geo Photog Tagged In Tintype Gigapixel Image

National Geographic Air photographer Lands In Jail

George Steinmetz National Geographic photographer was arrested last month for trespassing after a flight over land and shooting pictures for his most recent National Geographic assignment about the American food industry. Steinmetz is known for photographing the world’s deserts while flying a paraglide.

Finney county sheriff office stated that Steinmezt and colleague Wei Zhang were arrested for trespassing on private property where Steinmetz launched his paraglide and Zhang waited with their SUV. Sheriff Kevin Bascue also added that Steimetz did not tell anyone that he would be flying over a County Feedlot ranch filled with thousands of cattle; this was a cause of concern for food industry officials.

A Foodlot employee saw Steinmetz flying over Foodlot land and taking pictures, he reported this first stating Steinmetz was trespassing by flying over the ranch and taking pictures and then mentioned there was an SUV parked on ranch property. In the meantime Steinmetz and Zhang moved to a different area, and were subsequently arrested on request of Foodlot executives.

The arrest was made due to the vehicle trespassing on land that was clearly marked and posted.

This actually brings up two issues for me one photographic and one food related. I know that the treatment of cattle and animals destined to be consumed by humans is coming to the fore in America after several filmed tapes showing poor living conditions and abuse of the animals. I therefore can understand executives being wary about a photographer, photographing their land where there is livestock, especially if they have something to hide.

Example of the Work of George Steinmetz

The main point for me though is where does private property end? We can see clearly on a map where one property is and where its boundaries are but how high up does it go. If it is skies the limit then how can there be commercial flights above private land? You can photograph almost anything from public land (there are exceptions), with this in mind why couldn’t Steinmetz fly over the land take some pictures?

Of course he should not have parked his SUV on private property, but was that really Feedlots complaint or was it the fact that pictures were being taken of the condition of the animals.

Tag Your, Post, Photo And Now, Lens And Camera

It is the worst feeling in the world to find that your camera has been stolen and for those magpie thieves a camera looks really shiny. Also for the thief selling the camera on can be relevantly easy online.

Lenstag is a new registry for camera equipment that aims to take the shine off of your camera, by making it more difficult to sell camera gear and in turn making cameras less desirable to thieves.

The system works by creating an account and then you can add your gear to the database using the serial number on the camera or lens. Just adding these details is not enough though you must provide a picture of your equipment with the serial showing, this is analyzed by a person, who verifies that you actually own the kit.

Once your gear is registered there are two things you can do.
If you sell your gear you can transfer the item to another photographers Lenstag account. Or you can report the item stolen.
In reporting the theft you need to state what happened, where and when, and if you have reported the theft to the police. As well as your name and contact number for users to get hold of you. Apart from adding the information to a database, each reported item gets its own website, making it searchable online. The idea being, people can Google a serial number and in the results it should show that it is stolen.

This sounds like a great services and it is free (at the moment). Since it is not a gated community it allows for non-users to use the information on the database, to find out if they are buying stolen goods. Although the best way to keep your camera safe is to make sure you have eyes on it at all times when out shooting, this could be a good insurance system  as well as being able to find the thief and hopefully recover your camera.

Analog Equivalent of Gigapixel Photos

Gigapixel images have created a race to have the image with the largest number of pixels, the reigning champion being a shot taken from the top of the BT tower in London. Of course this is all a stunt because the images are panoramas made up of hundreds of single images.

Example of Michael Shindler’s Tintype Work

A San Francisco photographer is taking part in a different and for me a more interesting way. Micheal Schiller is a tintype photographer at Photobooth. Michael has created a homemade, custom, tintype camera that shoots portraits that are the equivalent of a gigapixel camera. Schillers view camera takes 14×17″ plates. The camera has a 35mm focal length of 40mm and can capture 1:1 scale portraits.

A shot is not cheap though with the chemicals alone for each plate costing around $13.


One of the Gigapixel images rephotographed with a DSLR

The resolution has not been officially tested but we know a 35mm film frame contains roughly the same amount of information as a 20MP digital camera and a 4×5″ film frame is the equivalent of a 200MP of information. The tintypes are 10 times the size of a 4×5″ shot, then it could be said that the tintypes could hold the same information as a gigiapixel image.

The detail held in the images are  amazing with Michael saying that with a magnifier you can see clearly defined; small hairs and pores of the skin.

If you would like a tintype portrait, head to the Photobooth studio in San Francisco to make an appointment, though you will need to part with a few hundred dollars for a very special image.

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