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This News Station Swapped Their Film Equipment for iPhones and Selfie Sticks

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Daily news reporting can be a costly and labor-intensive ordeal, but one Swiss TV station has a solution: selfies.

This past summer, Swiss news program Léman Bleu swapped out their professional filming equipment for kits containing a microphone, an iPhone 6, and a selfie stick. The reporters are now expected to act as their own camera operators, using one hand to hold their microphones and the other to film their broadcasts selfie-style.  

This isn’t the first example of a news station embracing the convenience of smartphone photojournalism. For just under a decade, “citizen journalists” have been encouraged to submit their amateur photos and videos to CNN as part of their iReport initiative. And in 2013, the Chicago Sun-Times made waves when they replaced their entire photography staff with reporters trained in “iPhone photography basics.”

Occasionally publishing smartphone photos is one thing, but distributing selfie sticks to your news crew is headline-worthy in its own right. The station's news director Laurent Keller told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps that the lower cost was definitely a significant factor, especially for a small regional network that only broadcasts a few hours a day. He also mentioned that the decision was made in search of “lightness and responsiveness.” According to Keller, the quality of their iPhone reporting is in no way inferior to what you’d get from a conventional camera. Selfie sticks may have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but they could be the future of TV journalism, for better or worse.

[h/t: Geek]

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The Strange Reason Why It's Illegal to Take Nighttime Photos of the Eiffel Tower
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The Eiffel Tower is one of the most-photographed landmarks on Earth, but if photographers aren't careful, snapping a picture of the Parisian tower at the wrong hour and sharing it in the wrong context could get them in legal trouble. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the famous monument is partially protected under European copyright law.

In Europe, copyrights for structures like the Eiffel Tower expire 70 years after the creator's death. Gustave Eiffel died in 1923, which means the tower itself has been public domain since 1993. Tourists and professional photographers alike are free to publish and sell pictures of the tower taken during the day, but its copyright status gets a little more complicated after sundown.

The Eiffel Tower today is more than just the iron structure that was erected in the late 19th century: In 1985, it was outfitted with a nighttime lighting system consisting of hundreds of projectors, a beacon, and tens of thousands of light bulbs that twinkle every hour on the hour. The dazzling light show was designed by Pierre Bideau, and because the artist is alive, the copyright is still recognized and will remain so for at least several decades.

That being said, taking a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower after dark and sharing it on Instagram won't earn you a visit from Interpol. The law mainly applies to photographers taking pictures for commercial gain. To make sure any pictures you take of the illuminated tower fall within the law, you can contact the site's operating company to request publishing permission and pay for rights. Or you can wait until the sun comes up to snap as many perfectly legal images of the Parisian icon as you please.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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Scientists Share the Most Ridiculous Stock Photos of Their Jobs on Twitter
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If you picture a scientist as a guy in a white lab coat who spends all day glaring at vials, you can blame popular media. A quick image search of the word scientist brings up dozens of stock photos that fit this stereotype. And when photos do diverge from the norm, things start to get weird. Now real-life scientists are sharing some of these bizarre depictions on Twitter using the hashtag #badstockphotosofmyjob.

Some stock photos contain errors that would go unnoticed by most members of the public. But show a professional a model posing with a beaker of dyed water, or a backwards double-helix, and they might have something to say.

Despite all the lab gear, safety rules are apparently broken all the time in stock photo world. On rare occasions fake scientists ditch the lab coats altogether for lingerie—or nothing at all.

Even more puzzling scientist stock photo trends include injecting plants with mysterious liquid and holding stethoscopes up to inanimate objects.

Fortunately, scientists from the real world are much better at their jobs than scientists in stock photos make them out to be. To get a clearer picture of how a scientist's job differs from the stereotype, check out some behind-the-scenes accounts of their work in the field.

[h/t IFL Science]

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