Apple personalizes photography — iPhone users win Cannes Gold Lions

Ahmed fiesta pic
Ahmed’s pic from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta has shown up around the world

Apple’s World Gallery, part of the “Shot on iPhone 6” media blitz, was honored at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity with five Gold Lions and a Grand Prix award in the outdoor category.

…Jury president Juan Carlos Ortiz, creative chairman ad agency DDB Americas, heaped praise on the idea of sourcing media from the public sphere. The strategy flies in the face of traditional media strategies which rely on art contracted from professional photographers.

“It’s not just a great idea, it’s a game changer,” Ortiz said. “It’s really opening a new way of doing things and changing behavior.”

World Gallery first showed up online in March as a collection of images taken by iPhone 6 users. While some images were captured by professionals in the photography field, many were shot by pro-am or amateur users. Earlier this month, Apple added a video section to the minisite, again featuring footage borrowed from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners.

I started noticing the video adverts showing up on TV in the last couple of weeks. Not only impressive work in most instances, I’m especially happy to see mostly amateurs receiving recognition.

There was a time, decades ago, that Kodak brought similar capabilities to hobbyist photographers. I’m delighted to see it happening again.

Jet airliner reports close encounter with drone – over Brooklyn!


This is similar to the design seen by the Alitalia pilot

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a report from a pilot of an Alitalia passenger jet who says he saw an unmanned aircraft while landing at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

We saw a drone, a drone aircraft,” the pilot can be heard telling controllers on radio calls captured by the website LiveATC.net.

“The FAA is investigating a report… he saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right,” according a statement sent to CNN by FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. “The sighting was approximately four to five miles west of the airport at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet,” she said.

That description puts the aircraft somewhere over Brooklyn and on the other side of the airport from where the plane was coming in for a landing…

The Alitalia aircraft did not have to take any evasive action and landed safely at JFK…

For recreational hobbyists, flying remote-controlled planes is only allowed by the FAA up to 400 feet in the air, and within sight of the operator. If they are going to fly within three miles of an airport, they have to let air traffic controllers know.

Flying unmanned aerial vehicles is illegal for most business purposes; however, governments and public entities such as police departments can apply for permission to operate them.

20 years ago, it would have been called a UFO.

Hobbyist with a conscience finds huge stash of Roman coins


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

One of the largest ever finds of Roman coins in Britain has been made by a man using a metal detector.

The hoard of more than 52,000 coins dating from the 3rd Century AD was found buried in a field near Frome in Somerset. The coins were found in a huge jar just over a foot below the surface by Dave Crisp, from Devizes in Wiltshire…

After his metal detector gave a “funny signal”, Mr Crisp says he dug down 14in before he found what had caused it.

“I put my hand in, pulled out a bit of clay and there was a little Radial, a little bronze Roman coin. Very, very small, about the size of my fingernail.”

Mr Crisp reported the find to the authorities, allowing archaeologists to excavate the site…

The coins were all contained in a single clay pot. Although it only measured 18in across, the coins were packed inside and would have weighed an estimated 350lb.

“I don’t believe myself that this is a hoard of coins intended for recovery,” says Sam Moorhead from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

“I think what you could see is a community of people who are actually making offerings and they are each pouring in their own contribution to a communal ritual votive offering to the gods…”

Because Mr Crisp resisted the temptation to dig up the coins, it has allowed archaeologists from Somerset County Council to carefully excavate the pot and its contents,” said Anna Booth, local finds liaison officer.

Bravo, Mr. Crisp.

I hope the find is declared a national treasure – so museum purchase of the coins goes to Dave Crisp and the landowner.

Ancient Celtic coin cache found in Netherlands

A hobbyist with a metal detector struck both gold and silver when he uncovered an important cache of ancient Celtic coins in a cornfield in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht.

Archaeologists say the trove of 39 gold and 70 silver coins was minted in the middle of the first century B.C. as the future Roman ruler Julius Caesar led a campaign against Celtic tribes in the area.

Curfs said he was walking with his detector this spring and was about to go home when he suddenly got a strong signal on his earphones and uncovered the first coin.

“It was golden and had a little horse on it — I had no idea what I had found,” he said.

After posting a photo of the coin on a Web forum, he was told it was a rare find. The following day he went back and found another coin. “It looked totally different — silver, and saucer-shaped,” he said. Curfs notified the city of his find, and he and several other hobbyists helped in locating the rest of the coins, in cooperation with archaeologists.

Nico Roymans, the archaeologist who led the academic investigation of the find, believes the gold coins in the cache were minted by a tribe called the Eburones that Caesar claimed to have wiped out in 53 B.C. after they conspired with other groups in an attack that killed 6,000 Roman soldiers.

I love this dude. His metal detector habit is a meditative hobby and not an obsession.

That’s why I bring a camera along on my walks. Helps me focus on the intricacy of nature’s beauty.