Friday, March 16, 2012

Best Kitty-Cat Story Ever!

Last year we shared a table listing the various hazards National Geographic photographers experience while on the job. Of the 45 members surveyed, 8 of them had been attacked by wild animals. Here’s a video in which Nat Geo photographer Mattias Klum describes an experience in which he went face-to-face with a lioness, and escaped with both his life and an amazing photograph.

Space Shuttle Launch - Booster Camera Views From NASA

We’ve seen quite a few videos lately by people who send cameras up to the edges of space on weather balloons. Here’s the big-budget version of that: footage from a camera attached to a NASA Space Shuttle’s booster rockets. Lift off from Earth occurs at 0:27, separation from the shuttle occurs at 1:57, and splashing into the ocean occurs at 7:21. The sound captured by the cameras has been remastered by George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Metadata for images means always knowing your subject

So, here we have a beautiful shot. My question as a photographer is what is the metadata? From USA Today Andrew Kantor sheds some light on this subject:

My parents have piles of photos from "The Old Days" in albums and in boxes that they'll show me every now and again. I can usually recognize my folks, but I hardly ever know who's with them.
Trouble is, neither do they. They didn't write much if anything on the back, which results in descriptions like "That's us with some friends in, oh, 1954 or 55."
This drives me batty and I am determined not to leave a similar legacy. The fact that most of my photos are digital makes that easier. I've adopted a naming scheme that will ensure I at least know the date a shot was taken and who's in it.
Every file begins with the date (e.g., "05-0930") followed by the subject (e.g., "Sam and Reese Jumping.jpg"). So I know it was taken on Sept. 30, 2005, and that it's Reese standing next to my son.
But you can do more with digital photos than simply giving them smart names. You can use metadata. Metadata is information about the photo that's embedded in the JPEG or TIFF file — details such as when it was shot, the photographer's name, a caption, keywords, etc. Perfect for leaving a useable legacy.
But will you still love me tomorrow?
Metadata isn't new. Photo-sharing sites let people attach descriptions and keywords to their digital pictures online.
Trouble is that if you put your photos on one site (say, Flickr) and then switch to another (say, SmugMug) or use more than one site, all the work you did adding descriptions and keywords is lost.
It would be better to have that information in the photo itself for two reasons. First, you always have that data in the photo no matter where you save it or post it. Second, you don't have to re-enter all that information when you use different services.
Even before online photo sharing, there was plenty of software for organizing digital images, including adding metadata. The problem is one of standards. You don't want to use some software to add notes to your images, only to switch programs or operating systems and lose them all.
Two of the more popular programs were ACD Systems' ACDSee and Cerious Software's ThumbsPlus.
Several years ago I tried and liked them both. But I had one big problem: I felt I would be trapped with the software.
When I started playing with ACDSee, I realized it used its own technique to embed metadata. That meant that if I spent hours entering descriptions and dates and keywords, I would lose it all if I changed programs.
I liked ThumbsPlus because it stored the images and information in a standard database. But that still meant I was married to the software unless I found another package that used the same database.
I settled instead for simply using my computer's folders to organize images: I have them by topic, with subfolders by year and then month. Ask me for a shot of my brother from last year, and I look in /Family/Don/2004.
This lets me organize my images, although I didn't think it gave me the advantages of metadata. That's why I created that file-naming scheme. I got excited at one point when I realized that Windows supports basic metadata in images: Right-click on a JPEG and choose Properties to see the information.
The problem is that Windows' system is proprietary. I can give a file a description, but if open it in Photoshop that information is nowhere to be seen. That's why proprietary metadata is useless.
What I didn't realize was that there was a standard for metadata out there. In fact there are two complimentary ones. But, with digital photos still a new thing, it wasn't publicized. Further, at the time neither ACDSee or ThumbsPlus supported it.
Finally the standards that have been around for a while have made it to the mainstream. That means no more worry about being married to a product, and being confident that the dates, descriptions, and key words I add to my photos will be there no matter what I do with them.
If you don't know me by now…
The standard for metadata in images is called XMP, for Extensible Metadata Platform. It was developed by Adobe as an end-all, be-all metadata standard for all sorts of files, but it's found it's most important place with images.
XMP is based on XML, which is the worldwide standard for, well, defining standards. (Read more about it in my column from last April.)
You might not have heard about XMP, but if you work with digital images you might know about two standards that are 'merged' into it: EXIF and IPTC.
EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) is a metadata standard for images that's mostly concerned with technical information: the date the picture was taken; what kind of camera was used; the aperture, shutter speed and other settings; the image's resolution, etc. It's embedded automatically by your digital camera.
EXIF is very useful for technical types, but the more important one for me is the International Press Telecommunications Council's Information Interchange Model— commonly known simply as IPTC data. It's what most news organizations use to keep notes about an image, and includes fields for title, description (caption), author (photographer), date, location, etc.
Adobe Photoshop has supported IPTC for years, but Adobe figured that XML was a Good Thing and worked to"XMLify" all the metadata in digital images. The result was XMP.
There are a lot of software packages that support IPTC, XMP, or both. Adobe and IPTC (the group) developed the specs for companies to use to synchronize old IPTC data with the new XMP standard.
Translation: Whether you put your metadata in your images using XMP or just IPTC, today's software will support it. No more proprietary schemes.
Most photo-sharing sites that allow captions and keywords will extract them automatically from XMP/IPTC data if you use it in your uploaded images. And adding it is easy; IPTC is supported in every photo editing and organizing software package worth its salt. (One exception: Adobe's Photoshop Album. It still doesn't support IPTC.)
The cool thing is, you don't even need to use a commercial package. There are programs out there that simply work with XMP/IPTC and to some extent EXIF data.
My hands-down favorite is a free program called PixVue. It's an image annotation and organization package that integrates nicely with Windows — right-clicking on an image will let you choose "Annotate" and edit everything.
I could spend a lot of paragraphs singing the praises of PixVue. Suffice it to say that I've found the combination of using my folder structure to organize my images and PixVue to handle the metadata is the slickest, cleanest way I've come across to manage my photos.

Above is what I mean about the data, it is all there. Date and time says full sun, ISO at 800 says maybe not so full in a volcanic event. What else can you find, the info is there.
And, thanks to there finally being a standard for all the captions I'm going to write, I don't have to worry about liking it as much tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New HDSLR video trigger system called Stedi-Shot to help you start and stop recording

See it all here: http://blog.planet5d.com/2012/03/new-gear-stedi-shot-hdslr-video-trigger/

Here is a quick video of it:

Review: Lexar 1000X blazes to 129MB/s read speed, best-in-class write speeds

(Your OLD CF card)
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | by Rob Galbraith

Slated to begin shipping next month, Lexar Professional 1000X 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB CompactFlash cards will, based on our testing of the 32GB capacity, deliver class-leading in-camera write speeds with newer Canon and Nikon digital SLRs, as well as card-to-computer transfer rates topping out at over 129MB/s, which is far faster than any other memory card we've ever tested.

(Only $246.00 at http://www.amazon.com/Lexar-Professional-1000x-CompactFlash-LCF32CTBNA1000/dp/B007BXD66E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331759461&sr=8-1)

X-Rated: The Lexar Professional 1000X 32GB CompactFlash card. Click to enlarge (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

Lexar 1000X in the camera

The table below shows how the Lexar Professional 1000X 32GB stacks up against some of the fastest CompactFlash cards on the market today, including other speedy 32GB capacities. Test cameras were the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and Nikon D3S, the two companies' highest-performing digital SLRs, at least until the EOS-1D X and D4 ship later this quarter.

The megabytes-per-second (MB/s) figures in the table below were derived by timing how long it took to write an extended burst of JPEG and then RAW photos to the CompactFlash card. Timing commenced when the camera's card status light illuminated, and stopped when the light went out. Each test cycle was performed three times. The fastest card in each camera is marked in bold.

As you can see, the 1000X 32GB card is the quickest, by a comfortable margin, in both Canon and Nikon. This translates to the shortest shooting pause when the camera's memory buffer fills up, though ample RAM in both of these top-end models means you're not likely to bump into the buffer limit very often, even if you shoot lots of extended bursts.

We've also put the 1000X 32GB into the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D, as well as the Nikon D3X and D700, and Lexar's new card comes out on top in these cameras too. Its lead over other cards varies from camera to camera, and whether JPEG or RAW files are being captured, but the outcome is always the same: the Lexar 1000X 32GB eclipses everything.

It's a safe bet that the 1000X card will be quickest in the EOS 50D too, since the relative performance of memory cards in this camera usually tracks closely with the Canons we did test. The speed story will be similar for all Nikon digital SLRs with CompactFlash slots that have been introduced since the second half of 2007, including the D3 and D300S. Expect the 1000X 32GB (and probably other 1000X capacities) to be fastest in all these models.

That said, it's the next generation of Canon and Nikon digital SLRs that are positioned to take best advantage of the potential of Lexar's new card series, because they will have been designed from the outset for rapid writing using UDMA Mode 7, the fastest data timing protocol in the current CompactFlash specification.

To move data to or from a Lexar 1000X at the card's top speed, the host camera or card reader must be conversant with UDMA 7 as well. The D4 will be the first UDMA 7-capable Nikon camera, and while Canon's 1D Mark IV, 5D Mark II, 7D and 50D officially support it already (a firmware update is required), the support seems to have been limited to solving a slow-writing bug rather than capitalizing on UDMA 7's speed potential.

UDMA 7 support in the upcoming EOS-1D X, by comparison, is likely to be all about maximizing throughput. We were privy recently to an informal write speed test of the camera and a Lexar 1000X 128GB; based on how the card kept pace with the high-frame-rate EOS-1D X, even as it was fired continuously at full resolution, there's reason to think that Canon's new flagship is going to soak up all the speed a performance-focused UDMA 7 card like Lexar's 1000X can give.

The same will probably be true of the D4, since as mentioned the camera is also built for UDMA 7. Subsequent new digital SLRs from each company, ones that accept CompactFlash, should also take better advantage of UDMA 7 speed than current models.

Note: If your camera is a 1D Mark IV, 7D, 5D Mark II or 50D, update its firmware to the latest available to avoid a slow write speed quirk with these models and UDMA 7 cards, including Lexar's 1000X series.

Card-to-computer transfers

If you have to get pictures out quickly on deadline, or you're simply frustrated with the amount of times it takes to import many gigabytes worth of pictures to your Mac or PC, our testing indicates that Lexar's 1000X CompactFlash can accelerate the transfer process tremendously, assuming that the card reader and the destination hard drive or SSD can match the card's fast flow of data.

The table below was derived from benchmarking the card-to-computer transfer speed for the cards listed, with the following four readers:
USB 2.0 SanDisk ImageMate All-in-One USB 2.0 Reader
USB 3.0 Lexar USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader (UDMA 7 firmware) connected to a CalDigit SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) PCIe Card and with beta Mac driver v1.3.4 loaded
FireWire 800 SanDisk Extreme FireWire Reader
ExpressCard/34 Lexar Professional ExpressCard CompactFlash Reader
For the USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and FireWire 800 tests, the computer was an Apple Mac Pro 2.66GHz/12-core with 16GB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.7.2. For the remaining test, Lexar's ExpressCard CompactFlash Reader was inserted into a Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34-to-Thunderbolt Adapter, which in turn was connected to the Thunderbolt port of an Apple iMac 21.5-inch 2.5GHz/quad-core with 8GB of RAM and Mac OS X 10.7.2 installed.

Intech's QuickBench for Mac provided the read speeds (we like this software because, unlike many such applications, the results it generates closely match actual card-to-computer transfer rates achievable with the Mac Finder). The fastest card in each reader is marked in bold.

The cards tested are among the fastest available right now. As the numbers show, the Lexar Professional 1000X 32GB is well out in front of all of them in the two fastest reader types, USB 3.0 and ExpressCard/34. The results also illustrate how much USB 2.0 constrains card-to-computer throughput. The only odd result is the 1000X 32GB's trailing performance in the FireWire 800 test, though achieving 68.7MB/s in this reader type is still respectable.

The table also shows why USB 3.0 is something to pay attention to. In the USB 3.0 reader, the 129.2MB/s Lexar 1000X 32GB leads the next-fastest 32GB card - the 90.7MB/s SanDisk Extreme Pro - by 38.5MB/s, and the SanDisk card was already no slouch in the speed department, obviously.

At these transfer rates, 32GB worth of JPEG and RAW files would require about six minutes to copy from the SanDisk Extreme Pro, which is fast. But, that time drops noticeably, to under four-and-a-half minutes, at the blazingly-quick offload speeds offered by the Lexar 1000X.

By comparison, this transfer operation would stretch out to about 15 minutes with any of the faster CompactFlash cards and a USB 2.0 reader.

If you want or need to move pictures into your computer rapidly, the new Lexar 1000X CompactFlash and Lexar's USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader are a particularly potent combo. The pairing of this reader and the Lexar 1000X 32GB deliver the fastest memory card read speeds we've ever seen, by far.

Notes and observations
The Lexar USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader we tested is not yet publicly available. Well, that's not quite true, as this reader model has been around since May of last year. The version of it used in our testing, however, contains the identical hardware as before, but revised firmware. The change? It has been tuned for optimal performance with UDMA 7 CompactFlash cards including, of course, Lexar's 1000X series.

In March, Lexar's retailers will begin stocking this reader with the new firmware loaded. The reader packaging will be badged with a UDMA 7 graphic, so you'll know that it has the UDMA 7-ready firmware already inside.

Lexar will also release a free utility for Mac and Windows that will enable the same new firmware to be injected into existing USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Readers. The utility is projected to come available on Lexar's website at about the time the 1000X cards land on store shelves. More on the 1000X rollout dates is coming a bit further down the page.

Caldigit and Lexar have been working cooperatively to ensure that the USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader with UDMA 7 firmware can be connected to and work reliably with Caldigit's USB 3.0 PCIe Card inside a Mac Pro. Both the reader's firmware, and the driver for the Caldigit add-in card, have been modified for more stable operation when the two are linked together. The revised driver, v1.3.4, was posted to Caldigit's support pages earlier today. This is the official release of the driver we've been using in beta form for some time, including for the USB 3.0 testing in this article.

We have tried the 1000X 32GB card and USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader with UDMA 7 firmware in Windows, though only briefly. It worked well and speeds were fast. Which is good, since Windows is what you'll find on the vast majority of USB 3.0-equipped or USB 3.0-capable computers shipping these days.

The announcement of the 1000X series earlier this month included the promise of a "minimum guaranteed sustained read speed of 150MB per second," said a Lexar press release, which might leave you wondering why we saw 'only' 129.2MB/s in our own read speed measurements. The answer lies in how Lexar determines the speeds that form the basis for a card's speed rating and related claims, such as the sustained read speed figure just mentioned.

First, the testing is done using a purpose-built device from Testmetrix. It determines the card's raw speed without factoring in the overhead and bottlenecks that come into play when transferring an actual file from a memory card to a computer.

Second, Lexar (and all other storage product vendors) calculate a megabyte as being 1,000,000 bytes, whereas your digital camera, the Windows OS and most software that you use to interact with files on either Windows or Mac assume that a megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes. Crazy, but true.

We opted some time ago to standardize on the latter value, which means our 129.2MB/s would translate to 135.5MB/s if we were to express the same transfer rate using the storage industry's bytes-per-megabyte value instead. So, given all of that, the best real-life read speeds we've extracted from the 1000X 32GB card are actually impressively close to Lexar's 150MB/s read speed specification.

Jeff Cable, Lexar's Director of Marketing, never lets a discussion about memory card performance go on for too long before he reminds that speed is only one part of his company's focus. While Lexar set out to make a much-quicker CompactFlash card when they were developing what has become the new 1000X series, he emphasizes that Lexar is intent on providing durable, glitch-free cards as well. To that end, Cable touts the Lexar Quality Labs, a set of company test facilities in which a staff of over a dozen people put new Lexar cards, including all capacities of 1000X, through extensive camera and reader compatibility checks.

If your photography requires the fastest possible in-camera write speeds, or your workflow is bogged down by slow card-to-computer transfers, Lexar has developed a powerful antidote in the form of the new Professional 1000X CompactFlash series. Our testing of the 32GB capacity shows unparalleled levels of performance in all cameras and almost all readers we've tried thus far, while the next generation of digital SLRs from Canon and Nikon, starting with the EOS-1D X and D4, are poised to take even better advantage of the 1000X's speed potential.

The 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities of Lexar's new series are scheduled to begin arriving in stores worldwide in the latter half of February, while the 128GB will follow about two weeks later, which means it should start to appear at retailers in early March.

All 1000X cards include Image Rescue 4 photo recovery software for Mac and Windows as well as access to pro-level tech support. U.S. manufacturer's suggested retail prices are US$169.99 for the 16GB, US$299.99 for the 32GB, US$529.99 for the 64GB and US$899.99 for the 128GB.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Canon EF-S 17-85mm lens

In keeping with my motto of learning and teaching what I know (often by an"oops" or worse)I am going to present the idea of Macro photography in a short and to the point way.
"Macrophotography is close-up photography, usually of very small subjects. Classically a macrophotograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative is greater than life size. However in modern use it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size.[1] The ratio of the subject size on the film plane (or image sensor plane) to the actual subject size is known as the reproduction ratio. Likewise, a macro lens is classically one lens capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:1, although it now refers to any lens with a large reproduction ratio, despite rarely exceeding 1:1." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macro_photography
Why I share this is because I have a:

Canon EF-S 17-85mm lens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EF-S_17-85mm_lens

Despite the word "macro" being present on the lens body (as visible in the infobox image), this lens is not capable of true 1:1 macro photography. (See pic below)


This little toy is about $500.00. I do shoot nice stuff with it on a Canon Rebel XSI.

So, basically, you know what is wrong so let's look at what is right.
What is a good Macro lens for a shutter-bug like us?

Canon Macro lens - 100 mm - F/2.8 - Canon EF, yes I have it too and use it with my Canon 5D Mark ll, the fireplace in the HEADER of this Blog was taken with the Mark ll.
I did use this lens to shoot the butterflies on the right of this blog, but I didn't have a Mark ll then and used the Rebel XSI.
Utilizing USM (Ultrasonic Motor), the Canon 100 Macro internally focuses very fast, quietly and very accurately. I've been questioned on the fast AF statement several times since writing this review. I've rechecked my lens and, though it takes a little time to go from 1:1 macro to infinity, it focuses very fast at normal focusing distances. The second person to question this, exchanged their lens for another - the replacement was much faster than the original lens they had received. This would indicate to me that there may have been an issue with some samples of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens. Another site visitor emailed me - they were ecstatic that a firmware upgrade to their Canon EOS 1D Mark III DSLR resolved their 100mm Macro focusing speed issue. Also note that there is a discontinued non-USM version of this lens. Keep these datapoints in mind if you run into a slow version of this lens.
As you know, using digital cameras lets us see if we like the shot, if not, trash it and try again.
The idea is also to have fun. The more you shoot, you don't necessarily get better but you find out what YOU like. Take good care of your stuff but don't be afraid to take chances...reasonably.

Transform Your iPhone Into a Microscope: Just Add Water

A droplet of water suspended on an iPhone camera acts as a magnifying lens.

I’ve engineered a fair number of inexpensive DIY camera hacks. This one is by far the cheapest: it’s free! Simply place a drop of water on the phone’s lens, carefully turn the device over, and the suspended droplet serves as a liquid lens. Behold:

Crocus flower as seen by an iPhone 4s through a water droplet.

Droplet images are dreamy, blurred at the periphery, and just a little bit…wet. But the tiny subjects underneath are magnified with sufficient resolution for an impromptu microscope. Indeed, I started playing around with the technique after reading that the U.C. Davis iPhone microscope team experimented with water before moving to a solid lens.

After spending a few hours this weekend with a slightly moist iPhone, I am pleased to report the following:

  • It works!
  • Larger, rounder droplets lead to higher magnification, and as the droplet evaporates and shrinks magnification decreases.
  • The liquid lens is jiggly and sensitive to vibrations. The phone should be placed on a stable platform for maximum clarity. For these photos, I coopted a pair of short drinking glasses as a stand.
  • Image quality is not as sharp as that provided by solid, commercially available clip-on lenses like Olloclip. But hey. You get what you pay for!
  • Water is not generally good for cell phone electronics, so be careful when applying the droplet.

Below are my attempts at iPhone water-graphs.

Odorous house ant, backlit with an LED array under the leaf.

Give me liberty, or give me 10 cents

The water lens has sufficient power to resolve a honey bee's hairs!

A printed image from a book, up close


Tipping the phone slightly distorts the droplet lens into yielding a tilt-shift/lensbaby effect.

If you try the technique, I’d love to see your results! Drop a link in the comments, or send me an email.

About the Author: Alex Wild is an Illinois-based entomologist who studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books, and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.
Alex Wild

Monday, March 12, 2012

Adobe is getting serious about making Photoshop a serious tool for editing video

Video is now being generated by photographers… everyone really; the 5D Mk. II really kicked it off on the DSLR, but since then we’ve seen just about every DSLR, point and shoot and PHONE generate video… most
of it HD! We did several waves of research and regularly heard, “I want Photoshop for video”; “I need a workflow I understand” and for the people who had seen what we introduced in CS3 Extended – “make that easier to use.” Video is being generated by more people than ever before; it’s being shared more places than ever… and yet people are hitting a wall with what they can do with it! They know and love Photoshop… their stills are already passing through it, the fit is more natural than it sounds at first.

You could photoshop your still like this above, but not video...you will soon!

'Several drunk troops behind Bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses'

Edited: 13 March, 2012, 02:57

A villager points to a spot where a family was allegedly shot in their residence by a rogue US soldier in Alkozai village of Panjwayi district, Kandahar province on March 11, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mamoon Durrani)

Gruesome new details are surfacing after 16 Afghan villagers including nine children were shot in their houses by at least one US serviceman. Witnesses to the atrocity now say that several drunken American soldiers were involved.
Neighbors at the village where the killings took place said they were awoken past midnight by crackling gunfire:
"They were all drunk and shooting all over the place," Reuters cites Agha Lala, a villager in Kandahar's Panjwayi district.
Lala's neighbor Haji Samad lost all of his 11 relatives in the rampage, including children and grandchildren. He claims Marines “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.”
Twenty-year-old Jan Agha says the gunfire “shook him out of bed.” He was in the epicenter of the horrible shooting, witnessing his father shot as the latter peered out of a window to see what was going on.
"The Americans stayed in our house for a while. I was very scared," the young man told reporters.
Lying on a floor, Agha says, he pretended to be dead.
He added that his brother was shot in his head and chest. His sister was killed as well. “My mother was shot in her eye and her face. She was unrecognizable,” he said.
The Afghan parliament said the incident was barbaric and demanded justice. Both NATO and US officials condemned the violence, promising a swift investigation.
US ‘fundamental strategy’ in Afghanistan won’t change – Pentagon
The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, George Little, said on Monday that there was "every indication" that the perpetrator, whose name he refused to disclose, had not been accompanied by any other soldiers. He also said that the mass killing would not change the “basic war strategy” in Afghanistan.
"Despite what some are saying, we’re not changing our fundamental strategy," Little said.
Also on Monday NATO reacted to the massacre of Afghan villagers, with spokeswoman Oana Lungescu saying the shooting was an "isolated incident." She emphasized it would not affect the timeline of the previously discussed withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Earlier a preliminary official report said the unnamed culprit, identified as a member of the US army staff, had acted alone and is now in custody after turning himself in at an American base.
US troops in Afghanistan have been put on high alert as the Taliban has issued a threat vowing “to take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr.”
The statement published on the group’s website said that the US is “arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans.”
Afghan officials, fearing possible violent demonstrations, have deployed extra police and troops in and around Kandahar.
The incident was one of the worst of its kind since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It comes just weeks after copies of the Koran were burned at a US military base, provoking mass riots in Afghanistan.
Slaying of 16 Afghan civilians “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking” – Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama has said during an interview with Denver TV Station KCNC that the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier was “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking” but also noted that he was “proud generally” of what US troops had accomplished in Afghanistan while working under strenuous conditions.
In another interview, this time with Orlando-based WFTV, the president reiterated his stance in favor of a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. He said the incident “does signal the importance of us transitioning in accordance with my plans that Afghans are taking more of the initiative in security.”
Asked whether the incident could be compared to the infamous 1968 My Lai Massacre, in which US troops murdered up to 500 civilians in South Vietnam, Obama responded by saying it was not comparable. “It appeared you had a lone gunman who acted on his own,” he noted.