Peregrine Optics Talons for Tack Sharp Photography

Peregrine Optics Talons for Tack Sharp Photography

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In observance of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, today we focus on combatting male anorexia.

(c) 2012 Giovanni Tait

In a world obsessed with obesity, it can be easy to forget that another nutritional extreme - malnourishment - can also wreak catastrophic effects on individuals, families and communities.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), "Anorexia Nervosa is a severe, life-threatening disorder in which the individual refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight, and exhibits a significant distortion in the perception of the shape or size of his body, as well as dissatisfaction with his body shape and size."  

It bears repeating, from the excerpt above, that anorexia is a severe and life-threatening disorder because, despite of the clinical accuracy of NEDA's description, anyone who has neither observed nor experienced up close the devastating effects of anorexia may find it difficult to comprehend the utter despair and isolation that anorexia can cause its victims.

Another problematic characteristic of anorexia is that we often think it as a struggle that concerns girls and women, when in fact male anorexia is an insidious public health concern as well. Lack of awareness about how anorexia affects males can make it more difficult for men suffering from anorexia to seek or find adequate assistance, as do cultural and social norms about ideal physical appearances.  NEDA reports, for example, that "homosexual men may be at an increased risk for developing an eating disorder because of cultural pressures within the homosexual community to be thin."  And as for straight males, the struggle with anorexia can be related to different, but nevertheless powerful, sociocultural norms.  According to medical experts, male high school and college athletes whose sports emphasize weight control (such as wrestling, running and swimming) are at risk of anorexia regardless of sexual orientation.

The first step in combatting eating disorders is to raise awareness in our communities, emphasize the importance of healthy, balanced nutrition over so-called "ideals" in physical appearance, and provide suitable support networks to those who need help.  NEDA is a good place to start, as is the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD).  For quick reference, you can easily find out more information about the symptoms of male anorexia in this PDF published by NEDA.

Consistently with our mission to help foster positive change in the world through photography,  Peregrine Optics hopes to help raise awareness about male anorexia by proudly sponsoring Giovanni Tait's excellent documentary set on this disorder, which captures the raw and deeply personal struggle that anorexia represents for males. You can view the documentary at

UPDATE:  If 2,000 people sign up between February 29 - March 3 to buy a Talons Lens Care Kit for $7.99, Peregrine Optics will contribute 50% of the sale price to the publication of Gio's documentary set in the United States!  For details and to participate in helping us raise awareness of male anorexia in the U.S., please visit

(c) 2012 Giovanni Tait

Monday, February 27, 2012

Giovanni Tait Is Changing the World

For changing the world by raising awareness of important issues
through photography, Peregrine Optics is proud to sponsor:

Click the image above to check out Gio's two recent documentary sets.  One gives us a unique perspective on the amazing world of motherhood; the other provides a deeply personal view into a terrible disorder that we do not yet understand: male anorexia.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is "citizen journalism" really a threat to professional photojournalism?

Check out the thought-provoking infographic below, courtesy of Frugal Dad, which calls for us to consider the degree of tension between "citizen journalism" and professional photojournalism.  Of particular interest to us was the quote declaring that "in an age when anyone with an iPhone can tweet breaking news pictures, the photojournalist is going the way of the pterodactyl."

Can this be?  Can iPhone-wielding citizens provide the same service to society that trained, professional photojournalists do?  How would this proposition hold up, for example, when the nature of an occasion requires that only licensed members of the press be allowed for security (or other) reasons? In addition, by which mechanisms could we enforce ethical, authentic photojournalism in a world of citizen journalists?  Without syndicated professional photojournalists, could we trust what we see?

What do you think - are citizen journalism and professional photojournalism complementary disciplines, or mutually-exclusive ones?

iphone journalism

Monday, February 20, 2012

Peregrine Optics Talons - Now Available at Trohv!

We're ecstatic to announce that our Talons Lens Care Kits are now available for purchase at Trohv!  Here's the thing - we love what we do, and we're proud of our gizmos.  Simply put, we're obsessed with bringing you the best photography products and optical accessories you ever got your hands on - products that you'll love using. And we want to make sure that our stuff is available through the coolest retailers we can find.

Enter Trohv into the picture. Walk into either of Trohv's two locations (Baltimore or Washington D.C.) and you'll want to spend all day there. Its awesome style, originality, character, and off-the-scale cool factor have gotten Trohv featured in some of the best style publications (think Elle D├ęcor, Southern Living, O at Home, Lucky, Cosmopolitan Style, Go Magazine, Baltimore Sun, Style [Baltimore], Washingtonian, Washington Post, Baltimore Bride, and Paper Doll House, among others). And for the same reasons, Trohv constantly receives consumer awards, such as:

Baltimore Magazine, Best One Stop Shopping (2011)
Baltimore Magazine, Best Gift Shop (2010)
Baltimore City Paper, Readers Poll, Best Gift Shop (2010)
Baltimore City Paper, Readers Poll, Best Home Accessories (2010)
Baltimore Magazine, Best Eclectic Home Goods (2009)
Baltimore City Paper, Best Place to Buy New Furniture (2009)
Baltimore Magazine, Best Window Displays (2008)
Baltimore Magazine, Best Home Accessories (2007)

So anytime you're looking for the perfect gift, check out Trohv!

Insider's tip: Rumor has it that Trohv has a stash of the insanely cool and highly coveted fisheye camera by Lomography. The world's only camera with a built-in fisheye lens and electronic flash, it gives you a beautifully-bulbous 170 degrees of perspective. Release your inner hipster with the Lomography fisheye, and don't forget to get your Talons Lens Care Kit while you're there! Your new camera (along with your reading glasses, shades, smartphone, and tablet pc) will love you for it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Learn How To Change the World through Photography: Attend Blue Earth's Retreat "Collaboration for Cause"

Our friends at the Blue Earth Alliance have just announced their upcoming retreat, Collaboration for Cause. This is a unique opportunity for nonprofits, producers, agents of change, visual storytellers, photographic magic-makers, and all other friends of the Earth.

The mission: to discuss more effective, evocative ways to produce and promote documentary story-telling about social, cultural, and environmental issues.  

Where and when: The retreat is May 4-5, at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, WA.  Attend this excellent event and discover how you can make a difference through your photography, in your community, and according to your own ability.

Additional details and online registration will be available on the Blue Earth site soon!  We'll also keep you posted as we learn more details, so stay tuned.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Congratulations to the Winner of our Valentine's Day Contest!

Congratulations to Mary Burns, who's photograph won the most votes for our Valentine's Day contest!  Mary told us that what means the most to her on Valentine's Day is the love of her children.  She submitted a picture of her two kids, with beautiful smiles, and won the audience over.  For that, Mary wins a 16x20 framed print of her photo, a $75 gift card to, her entry photo displayed right here on our site, and our congratulations, because given how happy her two kiddos look, Mary is obviously a world-class parent!

Friday, February 10, 2012

How Photography Can Change the World

"We no longer describe for the sake of describing, from a caprice and a pleasure of rhetoricians.  We consider that man cannot be separated from his surroundings, that he is completed by his clothes, his house, his city, and his country; and hence we shall not note a single phenomenon of his brain and heart without looking for the causes or the consequence in his surroundings."

The quote above, from Emile Zola's The Experimental Novel, explains perfectly why photography is  a fundamental tool through which we learn what it means to be human.  In a nutshell, photography provides context based on sensory and emotional memories from our own life.

Sensory aggregation, together with the associations we develop with our senses over time, can project us into an image in such a powerful way as to motivate us to take action, or to change the way we think about a particular issue.

I believe that from an early age we learn to think of our world as having the properties of our cumulative sensory experience, rather than the individual properties communicated to us by a specific sense.  But we also embed into this aggregate sensory registry an emotional and psychological character, which probably helps us seek out positive experiences and avoid negative ones.

Look at an image of a tropical beach in the dead of winter, with the sun's bright highlights in all their glory, and you'll probably be able to "hear" the waves and "feel" the breeze and the warmth of the sun.  (If you've ever been to a beach, that is.)  Thanks to sensory aggregation, we can invoke the feeling of a prior experience fairly easily with the right cues, even if these stimulate only one or two of our senses. Now imagine a print depicting great anguish, pain, or some other tragedy with great fidelity - like a wartime image.  

Many of us may have never lived through such a situation, but if our sensory experiences and the emotional significance we attach to them can "fill in the blanks for us," we will probably be able to imagine with disquieting alarm what it might be like to experience the scene depicted.  And chances are, moreover, that most of us could scrape together enough memories of anxiety, discomfort, fear and whatever other emotions that image invokes, from the most powerful of our own prior experiences.  (Even if our own memories are not nearly as traumatic, it almost seems as though the temptation is there to "create" the memory of being there as we imagine what it would be like.)

Photography is a visual art, and as a species we humans rely heavily on our vision.  For these reasons, photography is probably one of the media that packs the most sensory and emotional metadata, so to speak, and especially in an age when people seek out information in neatly compressed bits.   Thus, now more than ever photography probably influences people's opinions about the world and inspire action to a considerable degree.

The history of modern photography is full of examples of prints that inspired humanity to think or act in a certain way.  The iconic WWII photo of a mushroom cloud over Nagasaki, Japan, became a powerful accent to the argument against nuclear proliferation.  Similarly, many campaigns that seek to raise funds to help the less fortunate around the world rely on sobering images to convey the gravity of their messages.  It's not just that "a picture is worth a thousand words;" it's more like "a picture can be worth a thousand words and a punch in the gut." And of course this is not to say that photography inspires only because it conjures negative feelings: in fact, photography can (and often does) inspire joy, serenity, compassion, love, appreciation, kinship, duty, solidarity, energy, and many other emotions that tend to bring out the best in us.  In this blog we hope to explore the ways in which photography has changed the world and in which it continues to do so every day, and we welcome any thoughts or experiences you'd like to share about this as well! Thanks for visiting, and we hope you enjoy your stay.