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Emilio Rojas Delivers Timely Pro-Immigrant Audiovisual In 'Walk Through Fire' Video: Premiere

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:59am
Venezuelan rapper Emilio Rojas makes an apt return to the scene with a timely musical offering in "Walk Through Fire," a brand new...
Categories: Music Industry

GOT7 Announce World Tour, Becoming First K-Pop Group to Headline Barclays Center

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:50am
K-pop group GOT7 announced their upcoming world tour on Wednesday (Feb. 21), starting in Seoul on May 4 and stopping through cities in Europe, Asia,...
Categories: Music Industry

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star Shangela Chooses Between Cher, Diana Ross & Lady Gaga in '1 Has 2 Go'

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:46am
Shangela Laquifa Wadley, who is currently in the running to take home the crown on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, took some time to play...
Categories: Music Industry

Facebook's Latest Music Licensing Deal Is With Pan-European Rights Hub ICE

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:36am
ICE, the one-stop pan-European online rights hub, has agreed what it describes as a "landmark" deal with Facebook. The multi-territory...
Categories: Music Industry

Evangelist Billy Graham Dies at Age 99

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:24am
The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most...
Categories: Music Industry

'The Voice' Coaches Sing Rat Pack-Style Medley in New Season 14 Promo: Watch

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:16am
As the season premiere for the 14th season of NBC's The Voice approaches, the shows' coaches decided to tease...
Categories: Music Industry

Celebrity Shoots Count

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:10am

Guest Post by Cybele Sandy, August Image

This piece arose from the blowback I’ve recently had from artists on the subject of shooting celebrity. The reaction was so severe that I felt like my extremely proper Post-Colonial West Indian delivery was somehow morphing into the vilest of curse words. This is my unequivocal stance on the subject: Celebrity Shoots Count. Perhaps in this era of Kardashian dominance, the idea has morphed into an unappealing, congealed mass. The majority of my career has skewed toward working with celebrity art, so I have had considerable experience with the genre. In other words, I’ve seen first-hand the propellant power of a celebrity shoot.

I know that there are photographers who insist on channelling their efforts toward fine art, or to the gravitas of contemporary photojournalism, and that’s a terrific goal. You should be aware, though, that relying on your fine art portfolio to shop for paying commissions (be they advertising, custom content or entertainment buyouts) can be a risky proposition. Fine art can be challenging for the viewer to interpret, especially given the environment of a quick go-see with an art buyer. An image of a recognizable celebrity can compellingly deliver your aesthetic. It doesn’t have to be Angelina Jolie, but there should be immediate name recognition. A buzzy stylist, up-and-coming musician, hot new model or emerging fashion designer can do just as well.

Celebrity editorial dovetails nicely into the career facets I’ve spoken of previously: personal work- >editorial work-> advertising/commercial projects-> licensing. In other words, bringing the aesthetic honed from personal work to a celebrity shoot may lead to more editorial and commercial projects, with the editorial being of huge benefit to your licensing archive.

[Sidebar: When awarded a commission, always give serious thought to whom/what you shoot. How will this serve my career? Will this work for licensing opportunities down the line? In the words of my Glorious Leader, William Hannigan, licensing is a photographer’s 401K.]

Here’s why:

1. The recognition factor provides an instant point of connection between yourself and the reviewing photo editor/ art buyer.

2. It’s nice segue into the messaging you want to leave behind in terms of your art: talking about your experience shooting said celebrity can break the ice and calm any nerves you may be feeling.

3. It provides an immediate boost to your social media profile and buzz for your brand.

4. They provide an “in” to the PR world and to publicists who hold a tremendous amount of leverage in terms of who gets to shoot.

5. It provides a terrific, real-world test for your nascent team. Can they hold their assigned ground in a pressurized situation where there isn’t a whole lot of time to deliver the money shot?

However, this is all predicated on a recognizable celebrity. It doesn’t have to be Angelina Jolie. It can simply be someone with a strong pop/ cultural profile- the star of a hit tv show or a fashion/ media personality.

Things to Bear in Mind For Celebrity Shoots:


  • I’ve worked on shoots that have gone extremely well, as well as shoots that have been extremely painful. Do your homework. Ensure that you know the sublime to the mundane- what’s their upcoming project, what sort of music would they like to hear on set?
  • Ensure that all the players have a clear understanding of all of the elements before-hand. The theme of the shoot and looks to be worn, as well as hair/ makeup should have been agreed to prior. This will forestall on-set drama. (Not always, but we live in hope.)
  • It’ll be stressful, so make certain that what is in your power to control day-of-shoot is done well: being on-time and set up early will go a long way toward keeping the environment calm and upbeat.


  • Keep the chatter to an as-needed basis. Save that great joke for your buddies at the bar.
  • Art Streiber, during his lecture at this year’s PhotoPlus, delivered these words of guidance: “Treat celebrities like ordinary people and ordinary people like celebrities.” Keep it cool and respectful, yet make sure that you maintain control of the set.
  • Everyone working in sync is the very best demonstration of credibility that you can offer.
  • Make sure you have the contact information of all of the players before they leave.
  • A great on-set experience is the shortest route to being recommended by a celebrity for other editorial and even for advertising jobs.

Post- shoot:

  • Gratitude makes for good karma and certainly, a good old-fashioned paper Thank You note can count for a lot these days. Certainly send one to the celebrity and his/her publicist, as well as the assigning editor. A print from the shoot is always a nice takeaway.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that music & film festivals are actually a nice segue into the genre for my photographers. It’s resulted in relationships that have led to more incredible opportunities in more intimate settings, and the art itself becomes a calling card. The Shayan Asgharnia image of Erykah Badu below (shot at the Roots Picnic Festival) is what made me reach out to him. In its turn, it was part of a body of work that I showed the veteran agent Angela De Bona on my ‘phone over lunch, which in turn led into her signing him for assignment representation.

Another talented artist I represent, Taili Song Roth, managed to capture an arresting, classic image of Clint Eastwood at the Palm Springs Film Festival.

So the takeaway is: take a step back from your less than savory view of this genre of photography. There are ways to approach the work in a smart, credible manner that will not hurl your artistry onto the funeral pyre.

And you will come to realize that it is in fact a sound investment, one that will prove to be a strong, long-term ally to brand-building.


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Categories: Business

The Music Modernization Act: We Can & Must Do Better (Guest Column)

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:05am
The Music Modernization Act (MMA) is a huge piece of copyright legislation that would shape the way music creators are paid for the foreseeable...
Categories: Music Industry

Aide to Florida GOP Rep Fired for Saying Student Gun Activists Are 'Actors'

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:03am
Benjamin Kelly, a now-former aide to Florida Republican state representative Shawn Harrison, recently argued to a reporter that two students...
Categories: Music Industry

Fujifilm interview: 'We want the X-H1 to be friendly for DSLR users'

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 9:00am

Fujifilm's new X-H1 sits above the X-T2 in the company's X-series APS-C lineup. As well as offering several enhancements in its core stills photography feature set, the X-H1 also brings high-end 4K video capture with up to 200Mbps capture and 5-axis in-body stabilization.

At the X-H1's launch in Los Angeles last week, we sat down with the camera's product manager, Jun Watanabe, to get a detailed look at the new camera. The following interview has been edited for clarity and flow.

Jun Watanabe is the Manager of Product Planning in the Sales & Marketing group of the Optical Device & Electronic Imaging Products Division at Fujifilm.

Fujifilm has stated previously that IBIS would not be possible in X-series cameras because of the small imaging circle of some XF lenses. What changed?

We have spent the past two or three years developing a system where using both hardware and software, we can cover [the necessary] imaging circle. The most important thing is precision. Because a sensor with IBIS is a floating device, it has to be perfectly centered and perfectly flat. We had already achieved a sensor flatness tolerance down to an order of microns, but the challenge was to maintain this precision with IBIS.

A laser measurement device is used during the process of manufacturing the image stabilization unit, and the assembly process also includes inspection and adjustment of each individual camera. For that reason, a micron order level of sensor parallelism is realized even while IBIS is activated.

A chart showing CIPA figures for image stabilization benefit of all compatible XF lenses, when used with the X-H1. As you can see, the least amount of benefit comes when the 10-24mm wideangle zoom is used. Users of the vast majority of XF lenses should see 5 stops of stabilization benefit.

Are there some lenses that will deliver better stabilization than others, as a result of having a larger imaging circle?

Yes. The most effective is the 35mm F1.4. But every XF lens without OIS will benefit from five stops of stabilization.

When you were developing the X-H1, how important was the requirement to add high-end video features?

Many videographers gave us input. A lot of them said they needed in-body stabilization, and F-Log in-camera recording. Those were the top requests from video users.

Compared to the X-T2, the X-H1 is a larger, more DSLR-styled camera which inherits a lot of styling cues from the medium-format GFX 50S. It is also 25% thicker, and better sealed against the elements.

What kind of feedback have you had from videographers since the X-H1 was announced?

Pretty good. We’ve heard from videographers that they really like the 200Mb/s internal recording and 12 stops of dynamic range with the Eterna film simulation. They’ve told us that this combination is the best solution for quick, high-quality video capture.

We wanted to create a more cinematic look, so we studied ‘Eterna’ – one of our cine film emulsions

We received a lot of feedback after we launched the X-T2, from videographers and DPs who said that our film simulation modes in video were unique, but too still photography oriented, with the narrow dynamic range. They wanted a real cinema look. On the product planning side we wanted to create a more cinematic look, so we studied one of our cine film emulsions – 'Eterna'. That was the starting point.

Velvia is tuned to give you colors as you remembered them. More vivid blue skies, for example. Eterna is tuned in the opposite direction, for moderate saturation, with more cyan and green bias. With Eterna, combined with the X-H1’s dynamic range settings, we have achieved a 12 stop dynamic range.

How did you decide on what video features to include in the camera? Some expected features – like zebra – are missing.

Honestly, we couldn’t add zebra because of hardware constraints. The processor cannot support it. It requires too much processing power. At this time, we’ve achieved the best possible performance for the processor.

The X-H1 (on the left) features a substantially deeper handgrip than the X-T2, which we're told was a major feature request from existing X-series customers. It also sports a top-plate mounted LCD, which should make it more familiar to photographers coming from using an enthusiast DSLR.

Is 8-bit capture enough, for F-Log recording?

There are 10-bit cameras on the market, but we recommend using Eterna to short-cut the recording process. We think 8-bit is enough for good quality.

Do you think the X-H1 will be bought mostly by stills photographers, or videographers?

We are targeting both. We have greatly upgraded the video performance [compared to the X-T2] but we have upgraded the stills performance too, especially autofocus in low light, and subject tracking. We also added flicker reduction and dynamic range priority, and so on. We are targeting both kinds of professional users.

When it comes to autofocus, minimum low light AF response has been improved from 0.5EV to -1EV. We’ve also introduced a new phase-detection autofocus algorithm and parallel data processing. The X-H1 has the same processor as the X-T2 but the algorithms are new. A single autofocus point in the X-T2 was divided into 5 zones. In the X-H1, this has been increased to 20 zones.

Phase-detection autofocus will be possible with our 100-400mm lens in combination with a 2X teleconverter

Data from each zone is processed in three ways, for horizontal detail, vertical detail, and fine, natural detail like foliage or a bird’s feathers. This processing happens simultaneously, rather than in series, which is a big advantage over the X-T2. We’ve also achieved phase-detection performance down to F11, which means that phase-detection autofocus will be possible with our 100-400mm lens in combination with a 2X teleconverter, with a much higher hit-rate compared to the X-T2.

During shooting, the predictive AF algorithm now generates information from captured images in a sequence, for more reliable subject tracking while zooming.

Now that you have a powerful 4K-capable video camera with IBIS, how will this change how you develop lenses, in the future?

For stills lenses, our approach will stay the same. But we’ve also announced two cinema lenses. These both work with IBIS and the MKX 18-55mm zoom will deliver 5 stops of correction. This is a unique selling point.

We have had requests from some of our professional users for a bigger camera

The X-H1 is considerably larger than its predecessors. Is there a point when the size advantage of APS-C compared to full-frame gets lost?

Professionals are generally more accepting of larger cameras, and [compared to DSLRs] the X-H1 isn’t that big. And we have had requests from some of our professional users for a bigger camera, especially those photographers that use our longer lenses. A bigger grip and more solid body were both requested.

Here's that deeper handgrip, in action.

When the camera gets bigger, does it make some aspects of design easier? Like heat management?

Yes, the increased camera volume gives us some advantages when it comes to heat and cooling systems. In fact the X-H1’s 4K recording time is 50% longer than the X-T2, thanks to a new cooling system and two large copper heat sinks.

How much technology from the GFX 50S has made it into the X-H1?

Some of the operation and operability improvements have made their way into this camera. We hope that some DSLRs users will come over to the X-series, thanks to things like the top LCD, and twin control dials and so on. We wanted the X-H1 to be ‘friendly’ to photographers who are used to DSLRs.

Editor's note:

I always enjoy talking to engineers, even with the caveat that some of what they say occasionally goes completely over my head. I was very surprised, for instance, after hearing Mr. Watanabe detail all of the clever ways in which the X-H1 processes AF information, to be told that the new camera has the same processor as the X-T2.

It's not impossible to imagine that the X-T2 might yet benefit from some of these advances.

Quite how Fujifilm has managed to eke such increased efficiency from essentially the same amount of computing power is beyond my intellect, but if the claimed increase in performance holds up in our testing, the company deserves a lot of credit. And given Fujifilm's excellent track record of updating older models, it's not impossible to imagine that the X-T2 might yet benefit from some of these advances.

Apparently there were internal discussions about including a dual, or even a completely new processor in the X-H1, but this would have added to development time, as well as cost. It's possible too that some of the heat-management benefits of the X-H1's larger internal volume compared to the X-T2 might have been nullified.

'Silent control' in movie shooting allows you to adjust exposure settings by touching the rear LCD - avoiding the noise and vibration of clicky buttons and dials making its way into your footage.

And in these days of 4K video capture, heat matters. The X-H1 isn't a perfect video camera by any means (Fujifilm hasn't quite figured out the hybrid ergonomics, for one thing) but it's the most convincing X-series model yet. It should compare well against most of its competitors, too, barring perhaps only the more specialized Panasonic GH5/S. In-camera 5-axis stabilization is a big part of that (involving 10,000 calculations per second, if you can believe it), but features like 12EV of video dynamic range (Eterna + DR400%), internal F-log recording and a maximum quality of 200 Mbps are sure to attract the attention of professional, as well as casual videographers.

One of the most requested features from Fujifilm's X-series customers was a bigger grip

Even for people with little or no interest in video, the X-H1's enhanced feature set might still be enough to justify the extra cost over the X-T2. And possibly also its ergonomics. According to Mr. Watanabe, one of the most requested features from Fujifilm's X-series customers was a bigger grip. The X-H1 gets bigger everythings, just about. Obviously this means that the camera is bigger as a result, but Fujifilm is hoping that this will make the X-H1 appeal to more traditional DSLR users.

Will the X-H1 prove a hit? I hope so. It's an impressive camera, and a bold move by Fujifilm. I can't see the company creating a dedicated video camera any time soon (and Mr. Watanabe would not be drawn on this question when I asked him) but however it gets there, one thing is clear: Fujifilm really wants to be taken seriously by filmmakers, as well as traditional stills photographers.

Categories: Equipment

Former French First Lady Carla Bruni Hits L.A. With New Album

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:45am
The final stop on Carla Bruni’s whirlwind North American tour to support her album French Touch, a collection of cover songs in English,...
Categories: Music Industry

Portugal. The Man Perform 'Live In The Moment' On 'Late Show' With Children's Choir, BK Steppers: Watch

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:23am
Psychedelic rock band Portugal. The Man stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night (Feb. 20) to perform a unique...
Categories: Music Industry

Rapper Valtonyc's Prison Sentence for Offensive Lyrics Upheld by Spanish Supreme Court

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:15am
Spain’s Supreme Court has upheld the three-and-a half year sentence for Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, a rapper known as Valtonyc, who a...
Categories: Music Industry

'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler Pens Heartfelt Letter After Landmark Opening

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:14am
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is feeling grateful. His Marvel Studios film is enjoying a historic run, with it earning $242 million...
Categories: Music Industry

Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, Zara Larsson, MØ & Alma Perform 'IDGAF': Watch

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:06am
While stopping by the BBC Live Lounge last week, Dua Lipa sang a haunting cover of the Arctic Monkey's "Do I Wanna Know?" and...
Categories: Music Industry

How to Watch the 2018 Brit Awards

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:00am
Britain’s biggest night for music is tonight's Brit Awards, and the star-studded performances make the show a must-see. Ed Sheeran, Justin...
Categories: Music Industry

Marjory Stoneman Students Argue for 'Common-Sense' Gun Laws With Jordan Klepper

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 7:59am
In the wake of a shooting rampage at their school last week that left 17 dead, two students from Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland,...
Categories: Music Industry

Rihanna Wore a $130 'I Hate Rihanna' T-Shirt to Celebrate the Last Day of Her 20s

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 7:48am
Most people celebrate their 30th birthdays (and mourn the end of their 20s) with too much champagne and a good cry. But most people are not...
Categories: Music Industry

Miley Cyrus Hung out With Shaun White and Wore His Gold Medal

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 7:44am
After winning his third Olympic gold earlier this month, snowboarder Shaun White did what any normal athlete would do: he hung out with pop star...
Categories: Music Industry

Miley & Noah Cyrus Sing 'What Dreams Are Made Of' After Meeting Paolo From 'The Lizzie McGuire Move': Watch

Billboard.com - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 7:33am
Two different Disney eras came together over the weekend, as Miley Cyrus and her sister Noah posted a picture of the siblings with the love interest/...
Categories: Music Industry