929 No Drama in Photo Land

Today we’ll touch on the Adobe content analytics issue, a bit of Flickr pro drama, big movies shot on film and a really interesting firmware from Canon.


  • [WORKSHOPS] Almost Full: Eastern European Photo Roadtrip : The September Eastern European tour is filling up. The Sep 2-11 leg has one spot left, the Sep 14-23 leg has two spots left.

    On these tours we’ll touch Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Transylvania with lots of Eastern European culture and history and great photography over the course of 10 days. Don’t delay, let me know if you have questions.

  • [PHOTO, NEWS] Adobe Denies AI Training With Your Pics : Recently, there was a suspicion that Adobe uses data from its customer’s cloud pictures to train its AI models. In TFTTF 927, I talked about that. Petapixel reached out to Adobe for clarification. Adobe responded that they had that policy in place for a decade and that they do not use any data stored on customers’ Creative Cloud accounts to train their experimental Generative AI features.
  • [PHOTO, NEWS] Flickr Pro Ads or Not? : Photographer and long-time Flickr user, Thomas Hawk, posted on Twitter about his disappointment over the introduction of ads on Flickr Pro accounts, despite their policy stating ads should never appear on Pro member’s accounts. Alastair Jolly of SmugMug responded quickly by saying that the ads were the result of a bug while introducing new features. Drama averted!

    On the note of social media, you can find Chris on Mastodon:
    @[email protected]
    @[email protected]

  • [PHOTO] Film Is Magic. Hollywood Agrees : Film photographer Isabelle Baldwin posted a Twitter thread about Oscar-nominated movies shot on Kodak film, highlighting the advantages of shooting on film over digital, including the unique look and feel it gives to the final product. And Chris agrees. Shooting on film changes the approach to photography, some of it is because you make decisions on film stock and sensitivity at the beginning of the workflow, freeing up the photographer’s focus on the creative aspects of taking the picture. Also the limited number of shots per roll of film increases the perceived value of each shot.

    Nice little side effect of Hollywood shooting on Kodak Film: It’ll help them keep making film for photographers.

  • [PHOTO] R6 II Stop Motion Animation Firmware : This one slipped under Chris’ radar: Canon makes a special firmware for stop motion animation that is specifically supported by Dragonframe with the Canon EOS R/RP/R6 Mark II. The firmware increases live view resolution to full HD, adds focus peaking, has aperture lock and focus programming. Plus a couple of side effects.

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A Lead Bag For My DSLR?

Hotpixels small
This is a crop, please click the image for the full version

This is what my 3 year old 5D Mark II does when I take a 30 second exposure at ISO 800. These are not stars, these are hot pixels, and there are plenty of them.

The above picture is a crop, click here for the full version of this picture (and with it many more hot pixels).

Three years ago, when the camera was new, it had maybe two of them. Now I don’t even know how many there are. My guess is hundreds.


The reason for the dramatic increase in hot pixels isn’t the age of the sensor. The reason is that I have taken the camera onto at least 12 intercontinental flights, and the radiation exposure that the camera gets during those is strong enough to kill (or light up) individual pixels.

There are two main sources of radiation that the camera gets exposed to: the x-ray machine at airport security and cosmic radiation. I believe the high energy cosmic radiation is far worse than the x-rays, but I didn’t study physics, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

Auto Correction

Is this a problem for me? Not really. First of all I don’t typically shoot 30 seconds at ISO 800. Also, I processed the image in Lightroom, which has an automatic hot pixel correction built in. A hot pixel is easy to detect in a regular RAW file, as the neighboring pixels are not affected. I assume the way this algorithm works is that Lightroom simply replaces the hot pixel with one of its neighbors and that’s that.


The only reason these pixels show up in the above picture is that I shot it as a 9.9 megapixel sRAW file. sRAW is Canon’s format for smaller RAW files, and to make one, the camera basically interpolates the original RAW file down to a smaller size. The fact that it’s interpolated has an interesting side effect though: the hot pixels will get slightly blurred. The result of that is that Lightroom’s hot pixel detection will simply not see them.

And as a result of that, my high-ISO-long-exposure-sRAW-night-shots will show me an (albeit down-sampled) version of the mess that is my camera’s beaten-up sensor.

On the other hand that also means that if I shoot regular (non-interpolated) RAW format, Lightroom’s hot pixel detection will work just fine and if push comes to shove (e.g. if I have to shoot high-ISO-long-exposure-night-shots) a couple of hundred pixels will be happily replaced with their intact neighbors. A couple of hundred out of 21 million that is. That is about 0.01 percent. I think I can live with that for now.

Just keep in mind that your camera’s sensor will clearly suffer if you fly a lot. Not that you’ll typically notice.

As Bad As Film

Digital is no better than film in that respect. Remember the lead bags photographers used to put their film in so the x-ray machines didn’t expose it?

Here’s a thought: Maybe we should start putting our cameras into lead bags too.

Do you know if a film lead bag will protect the camera from x-rays and cosmic radiation? (My gut says: yes to the former, no to the latter)

Oh, and now you also know the reason, cameras get shipped from the overseas factories (shipped as in: ship, not airplane) and not flown.


tfttf542 – Canon 5D Mark III and C300

Chris and Allan get their hands on the Canon C300 and the 5D Mark III, bringing you a live-ish report from the road.

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