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Virtual Focus: Online Photography Resources During Quarantine

Credit: Soumil Kumar
Hamid Amirani - 7.16.20


Let’s take a look at what some major companies and corporations are doing in the era of the lockdown.




Nikon has launched #CreatorsHour, a program of online classes, live events and social media challenges. 

Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President of Nikon Inc., said in a statement: “As we navigate these unprecedented times and seek new ways to stay connected, photography has the power to bring us together, no matter the physical distance separating us. By launching #CreatorsHour, Nikon Inc. created a digital destination to bring people together, where they can get inspired, learn something new and be entertained.”

The program launched in April, but don't worry, you can access the full archive of previous events - the photo and video Creativity Challenges, the Instagram Live At Home With series in which Nikon Ambassadors such as Tamara Lackey and Julia Kelleher discuss all things imaging, and the My Defining Images series of career interviews, including the April 22nd Conversation with Ami Vitale, the award-winning photographer whose work is showcased right here on the Cecilia website and whom I interviewed last year.

The Creator's Hour landing page also features Staying Creative at Home, a series of videos in which Nikon Ambassadors impart tips for your pictures.

“There is something for everyone. Whether you are new to photography or an enthusiast looking to sharpen your skillset, we are helping creators of all levels ignite their creativity and engage their minds,” said Vannatter.



CP+ (Camera and Photo Imaging Show) is an annual trade show held by CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) in Japan, which features exhibitions, seminars and, as its key attraction, a product showcase where consumers "can actually handle the newest camera and related equipment to get a feel for how they operate."

Naturally, CP+2020 had to be canceled. Ricoh Imaging, the manufacturer of Pentax, has produced a series of videos featuring the expert instructors who were scheduled to hold seminars at the Ricoh booth. Experts like Kazutoshi Yoshimura on Touring Beautiful Spanish Villages with the K-1 Mark II, Shin Yamagishi on Portraits with the GR, and Takehiko Nakafuji on Monochromatic Street Snapshots with the GR.

Please note that all the videos are in Japanese. Ricoh recommends using YouTube’s automated translation function.





Sony launched Alpha Universe in 2015. It's an online community for "the makers, the doers, the people who dream in colors. You bring your curiosity and ideas, we’ll provide the knowledge, the inspiration, and the state-of-the-art imaging tech to help you make dreams reality."

Since lockdown started, Alpha Universe has gone all-out in delivering information, stories, podcasts and guides about photographers and the industry during these times.

At the core of this are the Sony Imaging Collective and the Sony Artisans of Imagery, comprised of world renowned photographers and videographers who are also Sony Ambassadors. In April, the website reported on how the Sony Artisans and Alpha Collective members are "currently offering ways to educate and inspire the creator community."

Among the recommendations were the following.

Sony Artisan Robert Evans' YouTube series "The Pixel Show" in which he revisits old shots and explains how he created them.

Sony Artisan Brooke Shaden is the Alpha Universe's self-portraiture expert. She's produced a complete How-To Guide To Self-Portraiture while you're social distancing.

Renee Hahnel of the Alpha Collective is a nature photographer and she's created a blog post on how to responsibly enjoy nature during the pandemic. 

Other lockdown-related features on the Alpha Universe website have included:

  • An article on Sony Artisan Of Imagery Scott Robert Lim about how photographers can pivot post-COVID to save their businesses, using his example of switching from in-person teaching and mentoring to e-learning offerings as a way to "diversify [his] revenue streams."
  • A podcast interview with Hollywood director of photography Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, who's worked on shows such as Empire and Snowfall and was a camera operator on films including Iron Man 2. The cinematographer discusses how he's stayed creative while film and TV shoots have been suspended, such as studying cinema from around the world and keeping connected with friends and industry colleagues online.





A family-run operation since 1957, and with two locations in Indiana, Roberts Camera is a reputable source for new and refurbished cameras, as well as video, audio and electronics equipment. 

Roberts was scheduled to hold its Gallery Night 2020 on August 7 in downtown Indianapolis. Instead, the event, which is sponsored by Olympus, will go online.

The gallery contest has received over 1,400 submissions across seven categories. "You will be able to see the beautiful images that are selected to be displayed in each category, some ‘behind the scenes’ footage of Kevin Raber [of PhotoPXL] judging the contest, a photo critique with Kevin, interviews with the winners, special information from Olympus and more," says Meredith Reinker, owner of Roberts Camera.

Check back on the Roberts Gallery Night 2020 website for updates nearer the time on how to access the online event.


Credit: Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels

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