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Olympus 45mm F1.2 Pro sample gallery updated

13 Dec

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The Olympus 45mm F1.2 is one of the company’s three F1.2 lenses, promising ‘feathered’ bokeh wide open, and a portrait-friendly effective focal length of 90mm. We’ve had one for a while, and we just updated our samples gallery with some F1.2 images shot on an Olympus-organized trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

See our Olympus 45mm F1.2 Pro
sample gallery

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Major Update: Adobe adds tone curve, split toning and more to Lightroom CC

13 Dec
The tone curve, one of the most important features missing from Lightroom CC 1.0, is finally being added. Photo: Adobe

Adobe has launched a major update to the entirely Lightroom CC ecosystem today, releasing major updates for Lightroom CC on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and the web, in addition to a few updates for Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Camera Raw. If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you’ll want to update ASAP.

Here’s what Adobe has in store for you with this latest Lightroom update.

Tone Curve and Split Toning

Two of the most useful and conspicuously absent features in Lightroom CC 1.0 were the Tone Curve and Split Toning. Well, there’s no longer any reason to hop back into Lightroom Classic CC to take advantage of these: they’re coming to Lightroom CC.

You’ll find the Tone Curve next to the Auto button in the Light panel, where you can choose between Parametric Curve or Point Curve modes, as well as the Red, Green, and Blue channels.

Split Toning lives in the Effects panel, where you can … well … split tone.

Adobe Sensei Auto Mode

Another major feature improvement coming with the December update is Auto mode, which is now much more intelligent thanks to Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence platform. From Adobe’s blog post about the update:

Using an advanced neural network powered by Adobe Sensei, our artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform, the new Auto Settings creates a better photo by analyzing your photo and comparing to tens of thousands of professionally edited photos to create a beautiful, pleasing image.

This new Auto mode is launching ecosystem wide—you’ll find it in Lightroom CC, Lightroom CC for iOS, Lightroom CC for Android, Lightroom CC on the web, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).

Everything Else

The three updates above are the most impactful, but the December update comes with a bit more to enjoy.

  • Lightroom CC now lets you change the capture time of an image or batch of images (“providing relief for those times that you forgot to change your camera’s time or time zone settings.”).
  • Lightroom CC for Android received several bug fixes and the ability to launch directly into popular modes from the home screen by pressing and holding the app icon.
  • Lightroom CC for iOS now lets you create and customize a text based watermark for your images on export, and HDR capture has been improved.
  • Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Camera RAW are seeing some ‘refinements’ to the Color Range Masking tool.
  • And, finally, Adobe has added support for new cameras and lenses, including the Sony a7R III, Leica CL, iPhone X, and Google Pixel 2 among others.

You can read more about the December update on Adobe’s blog. CC subscribers just have to update their copy to the latest version to take advantage of all the features described above.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

19 inspiring entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

13 Dec

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Awards—one of the largest annual competitions in the world of photography—is just a month away from closing its entries. To remind photographers of this deadline (and just maybe brag a little bit about the quality of the entries they’ve received so far—World Press Photo has released a teaser of 19 stunning entries submitted to the competition so far.

From perfectly composed black-and-white street portraits, to spectacular wildlife images, to landscape photos that’ll rev up your wanderlust, there’s a little something for everyone in this Holiday teaser.

Scroll through the slideshow to see them all for yourself. And if you’re planning to submit your own entry, you can do so for free right here. Just remember: the submission deadline for the Open, Youth, and National Award competitions is January 4th, 2018, and the deadline for the Professional – Best Series of Works competition is January 11th, 2018.

Press Release

New images released to mark one month until deadline of 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

December 5, 2017 – Photographers worldwide have just one month left to enter the 11th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards. To mark this deadline, the World Photography Organisation, the creators of the Awards, today releases a new selection of entries from the Open competition. Submitted by photographers from around the world, the images cover a wide variety of topics, from stunning aerial landscapes to intimate portraits and animals in the wild.

The internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures on the worldwide photographic calendar, with many of its shortlisted and winning photographers gaining global exposure and recognition. Last year’s Photographer of the Year, Frederik Buyckx (Belgium) said, “Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined. It has opened doors but, just as importantly, the awards has also encouraged me to keep on working on my personal projects.”

Past shortlisted photographer Simon Butterworth (UK) said “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this achievement to my career, the global coverage was amazing, in fact, interest in my work as a direct result of the awards continues to this day.”

All entries to the Awards are free at www.worldphoto.org/swpa

Deadlines and Jury

The 2018 judges have been tasked to reward the very best contemporary photography from the past year across the following competitions:

Open – best single image
Youth – photographers aged 12-19, best single image
National Award – best single image taken by a local photographer from 60+ countries Deadline: January 4, 2018

Professional – best series of works
Deadline: January 11, 2018

The juries are chaired by Mike Trow, Picture Editor, British Vogue (Professional competition) and Zelda Cheatle, Curator (Open, Youth competitions and National Awards). Full details about the 2018 jury can be found at www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards/2018- judges

Key dates

The shortlist for all competitions of the Awards will be announced on February 28, 2018. The Open and National Awards winners will be announced March 20, 2018. The Photographer of the Year and the Professional category winners will be announced April 19, 2018.

Prizes and exhibition

Prizes include $ 25,000 (USD) for the Photographer of the Year and $ 5,000 (USD) for the overall Open competition winner. All category winners will receive the latest Sony Digital Imaging equipment and Professional category winners are flown to London to attend the Sony World Photography Awards dinner on Thursday April 19, 2018.

The Awards’ winning and shortlisted images will once again be exhibited at Somerset House, London. Running April 20 – May 6 2018, the exhibition will also include exclusive new works by the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award, to be announced in January 2018. Previous recipients include Martin Parr (2017), RongRong&inri (2016), Elliot Erwitt (2015) and Mary Ellen Mark (2014)

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Back to the future by Sung Lok Cheung | Image © Sung Lok Cheung, Hong Kong (China), Entry, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


The photo was taken at TeamLab, Dance! Art Exibition, Shenzhen, China, in a venue called the Crystal Universe. The light illusion is an artwork that uses an accumulation of light points to create a sculptural body.

By this time, I had been waiting with my friend for the right composition to happen. I saw a little girl in a red dress running around. I kept on waiting and waiting expecting that she would come to the perfect spot. Luckily she ran out again by the channel. I found it is so called “The Decisive Moment”. I couldn’t wait to press the shutter, when the lighting was perfectly right, to create a beautiful moment. It looked like the girl was crossing a time tunnel.

That is why I put “Back to the Future “ as the title of my photo. I was inspired by the idea that opportunities are to be left to those who are well prepared. Or, to put it another way, that good preparation is the way to become successful. By pressing the shutter at the right moment, an amazing photo was finally realised.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Life in Macau by António Leong | Image © António Leong, Portugal, Entry, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Macau is probably better known as a gambling city near Hong Kong, but very few know that it is the most densely populated city in the world—over 18,000 people packed in a km square. High rise residential buildings are everywhere in town. How many stories are in each Kilometer cube?

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

African Mystery by Matthieu Rivart | Image © Matthieu Rivart, France, Entry, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


The photo was taken during my last trip in Kalahari (Kgalagadi Park, South Africa), last September. The Kalahari lions are famous for their black mane.

After a long drive through the park, I came across two of them, sharing a springbok kill. A violent fight took place between the two to get the best pieces. They ultimately headed towards the nearby waterhole, where they got a rest during the sunset, which gave me the perfect opportunity to capture their legendary beauty.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Morning Glory by Huibo Hou | Image © Huibo Hou, United States of America, Entry, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Morning glory hot spring in Winter, Yellowstone National Park, USA

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

The Horns at sunrise by Vincent Chen | Image © Vincent Chen, China, Entry, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


I took this photo in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile’s Patagonia region in Feb 2017.

I came to this secluded viewpoint in early morning and was fortunate to get pretty amazing weather. The sunshine shone onto the famous Cuernos del Paine peaks—they looked magnificent and incredible.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

On White by Chris MacDonald | Image © Chris MacDonald , Canada, Entry, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


A red fox stands in the snow. I was out for a hike in the early January snow when I cam across a set of fox tracks. I followed them around a curve and found this fox standing in a clearing. I got down to my knees quickly to try not to scare him off and started taking pictures.

As some of the heavy snow fell of the trees, he paused and turn to see what was making the noise. I have photographed this fox over many years. His nose is so distinctive it helps to identify him. By getting low, it gave me the snow in the background to create the isolated effect of white.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Untitled by Oliver San Juan | Image © Oliver San Juan, Philippines, Entry, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


This photo was taken somewhere in the famous Divisoria Market of Manila, and shows 3 generations of men.

First is a kid that seems to be playing, the middle-aged man in the center seems to be thinking of something deeply, while the last man sits very relaxed while reading a newspaper. It is like an evolution from being a playful kid to a relaxed, worry-free old man.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Newspaper… by Martin Schubert | Image © Martin Schubert, Czech Republic, Entry, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


I was waiting on a tram in Prague, and this man was sat eating a snack. First, I photographed the scene from another angle, but when I noticed the poster behind him I moved fast to the right place and shot this picture. After 30 seconds he stood up and left.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Little Indian by Virgilio Liberaton | Image © Virgilio Liberato, Philippines, Entry, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


The photo is taken around March or February 2017, when its still cold here in Kuwait. Its a park we shoot in actually here in Kuwait, where its not allowed to shoot at any park or location unless you have permits—let’s just say I’m a run and gun photographer.

The park is named Green Island. It’s near the seaside and not too many photos were taken there because you need to pay to get into the park. It was a little bit cold at that time, so not too many people were going to the park. The model is wearing a Native American headdress because we can’t bring extra people on that shoot, and its also not allowed for that headdress to be seen here in Kuwait.

This scene was just timing. We had finished our shoot, and while going home I found the spot that would be great for her: a bush that she could pass through, but only a little space so I imagined letting her pass by and calling to her. In the instant I captured her eyes, its hard for her because of small thorns of the bushes.

So thats how I got her photo. Paying attention at the last minute helped me find that great spot, which I didn’t see when we came to the location.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Nattfari, Húsavík by Matteo Redaelli | Image © Matteo Redaelli, Italy, Entry, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Whale watching is a wonderful experience to enjoy if you travel across Iceland. This boat, Náttfari, is a traditional Icelandic wooden boat sailing the most of the year around Skjalfandi Bay, where you can enjoy this majestic and unique experience of whale watching.

The afternoon I took this picture was really unexpected because the morning the weather was truly better. That is the fun part of Iceland. I feel joyful when a normal morning suddenly transforms into an unusual afternoon. That was exactly what happened during this day.

I remember that it was very cold but at the same time so nice because was unexpected such a lot of snow around Skjalfandi Bay on Náttfari. Knowing that the Bay was surrounded by humpbacks whales was another point for the wonderful experience it was. I love to travel and share my time with nice people as the crew was on Náttfari for the time I was there for a scientific project.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Lunch Break by Omer Faidi | Image © Omer Faidi, Turkey, Entry, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


At lunchtime in my office, I went out to the balcony and when I saw the workers at the construction site next door, I said “wow!” I went back inside to get my camera and shot them from the 6th floor. They were looking very peaceful and natural.

I returned shortly after, and the moment had passed.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Jump by Milo Angelo Ramella | Image © Milo Angelo Ramella, Italy, Entry, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Jump: A snowy owl flies, alarmed by the call of another female.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Wanma Pentium by Shen Jianfeng | Image © Shen Jianfeng, China, Entry, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


My image was taken in July 2017, in the grassland grazing area of Wulangbu Dam in Inner Mongolia, China.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

The Big Meringue by Placido Faranda | Image © Placido Faranda, Italy, Entry, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Scala dei Turchi (The Turkish Steps) is a white cliff in Realmonte (Sicily), made of a soft limestone and a blinding white marlstone. Natural erosion has created steps on the cliff face, making it look soft and sinuous, like a Big Meringue covered with sprinkles (the people sitting and walking on it).

The origin of the name “Turkish Steps” is intriguing. While there is a big resemblance to Pamukkale (Turkey), the designation of “Turkish” was given centuries ago by local people, for the frequent raids carried by Turkish pirates on this area. Legend says they would find a shelter for their boats behind this rocky formation, and then climb the “steps” of the cliff and raid the villages.

Today, Scala dei Turchi is a wonderful spot for viewing the sunset, as the bright white marl turns into a strong orange. Only after shooting this image, while watching it on a bigger screen, did I notice the newlywed couple in the frame kissing for their wedding photoshoot. Exactly at the edge of the cliff.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

K means kite by Krzysztof ?wik | Image © Krzysztof ?wik, Poland, Entry, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


The kite competition on the Marseille beach. France.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Papuma by Haryadi Bakri | Image © Haryadi Bakri, Indonesia, Entry, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


The picture of Papuma taken on 8 October 2017 on my 7 day trip to Bromo Mountain, then to Papuma Beach at East Java, Indonesia.

It was my first time visiting Papuma beach, at Jember City. I arrived at midnight from the Surabaya night train after finishing my 3-night trip hunting star trails at Bromo mountain.

Papuma Beach is not actually at the city, but far on the southern tip of the coastline. I had to return to to beach 3 times in a day just to make sure I had the right location for capturing the clouds and the stars at night—sadly, it was very cloudy at night, so I’m combining the star trails from Bromo mountain.

That’s it, but before combining, I made sure the south pole in the picture is in the right position as the real location. No doubt, this is the image that I wanted to create.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

The child and the reindeer by Pehuen Grotti | Image © Pehuen Grotti, France, Entry, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


Every morning, all the reindeer are released so they can graze all day, and at night they all come back themselves. Here we can see one of the Tsataan children taking care of his reindeer before the cold night comes.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Golden Happy Hour by Hans Gunnar Aslaksen | Image © Hans Gunnar Aslaksen, Norway, Entry, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


This image was taken in October in a small bay in Larvik, southern Norway. Larvik is a small town south of Oslo.

The location for this image is not far from where I live. It is kind of a secret gem that few people know about. I discovered the place and its potential on a local hike I did. I have been here several times under different weather conditions. This location is quite tricky as it needs perfect waves to work. That means that they cant be to big or else you and the camera will get soaked. But calm water will not add enough interest and dynamic to the image.

This specific evening the waves where just perfect. Just big enough to wash over the stones and not to big so I could get a low angle with the camera. The setting sun was also in a perfect position—the low sun was not obstructed by clouds and it lit up the rocks in the bay beautifully.

I knew that the sun would set in just half an hour, so I had to work fast and find the best composition. The light just got better and better and I knew that I had a chance to capture something special. I tried to anchor the shot with the beautiful stones in the foreground and experimented with different shutter speeds to create interesting movement in the waves. I tried to make every element lead up to the sunstar for a strong composition. I am very pleased that also the clouds acts as leading lines towards the setting sun.

19 of the best entries from the Sony World Photography Awards

Frazzled by Zhayynn James | Image © Zhayynn James, India, Entry, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards


A handsome alpha male Lion-tailed Macaque keeps a wary eye on the rest of his troop after a drink of water. They are one of the most endangered primate species in the world and are highly endemic to the Western Ghats of South India.

Their species is fragmented across the Western Ghats in pockets and their future, much like this male’s mane, looks frazzled.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Review of the Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

13 Dec

Make no mistake, this is, in fact, a review of the X4 Circular Polarizer from Breakthrough Photography. That being said, the entire subject requires a little bit of photographic geekiness in order to grasp the full understanding of the product being reviewed. So, if you absolutely don’t want to add any more brain wrinkles feel free to skip the next couple of paragraphs. If you do skip…shame on you.

Geeky stuff about polarizers

Polarizers – we’ve all heard of them and the majority of us photographers have used them extensively from one time or another. How do they work? And more importantly, how do you know when you’ve found a good one?

These are all great questions and oddly enough these things aren’t always well known by even some experienced shooters. Polarizers are just filters. These filters work to sift out polarized light which commonly occurs in our photographs from reflections and glare. The noticeable byproduct of this filtration is the reduction of said reflections and glare as well as the deepening of colors and most noticeably, the darkening of the sky.

Review of the Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

Polarizers come in two flavors: linear and circular. It’s somewhat of a weird concept as all polarizers are in fact linear…but not all linear polarizers are circular. That might sound slightly cryptic but that is not the intention.

At their most basic definition, the way polarizers work is to filter our non-linear rays of light. Circular polarizers further enhance this effect by adding what’s called a quarter-wave plate to the camera side of the linear polarizer. The quarter wave plate serves to essentially convert the incoming light into a helix and the polarization effect can then be dialed-in to whatever degree is needed. This is of great benefit because the majority of SLR and DSLR cameras are sensitive to polarization and linear polarized light can cause internal camera metering to malfunction.

The X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

Now that you’ve had a crash course in how circular polarizers work, it’s time to talk about the X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter by Breakthrough Photography. This will be my fourth time evaluating filters by the folks at Breakthrough. With each piece of gear I have been consistently impressed with the build and optical quality to such an extent to where I find it difficult to list any faults. The X4 CPL is no different.

Breakthrough Photography currently markets this polarizer as being the “world’s most advanced circular polarizer” so I put the X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter to the test to see just how this claim holds up in real-world shooting.

Build Quality

The construction of theX4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter is blackened brass, much like their line of X4 ND filters. The filter housing is robust and feels extremely sturdy. Deep traction grooves are cut around the bezel and provide for a solid grip even with gloved or wet hands.

Review of the Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

An interesting property of brass is that unlike other metals such as aluminum it is non-galling. This means that it is less likely to bind and become stuck when stacking multiple filters. The filter bezel turns quite smoothly when engaging or disengaging the polarization effect.

The optical element is made from SCHOTT Superwhite B270® optical glass. Each side of the glass is then treated with eight layers of Breakthrough Photography’s proprietary nanotec® and MRC (multi-resistant coatings) optical coatings which cause dirt and moisture to essentially slide right off of the glass itself.

X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

Overall, the build quality of theX4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter is exceptional and it looks great to boot. The company also backs the filter with a 25-year guarantee.

Optical Performance

Of course, the real question about the X4 CPL concerns its optical quality, which in turn will greatly impact the final quality of your finished photographs. When it comes to photography filters, the sharpness, vignetting, and color cast, are the three main points of interest for most photographers.

While it’s great to talk about all these points actual test images speak louder than words. So have a look at the sample images as you read my thoughts on the results and judge for yourself.

Sharpness

In terms of sharpness, the X4 CPL exceeds all expectations. No image degradation was observed even at the maximum strength filtration.

X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

To left is the image without the X4 CPL applied. The image at the right is with the X4 CPL. Both zoomed to 1:1 for comparison.

Images remained crisp and detail was not lost due to the addition of the filter.

Color Cast and Vignetting

A common problem seen with polarizers and most filters, in general, is the unwanted color casting sometimes encountered. The color cast happens due to the coloration of the optical glass and often worsens in lower quality filter systems.

X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

An image with a high color cast from an ND filter. Low-quality polarizers can carry the same effects.

The images produced by the X4 CPL seem to be completely free of this discoloration just as they are advertised. No discernible color cast was observed in any of the test images I made using the filter.

X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

The same is true for vignetting. Darkening of the corners of the photos was not observed even at the strongest filtration setting.

X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter

Final Thoughts on the X4 CPL

There’s a certain feeling of uneasy optimism which begins to surface whenever I come across gear which does not seem to have any obvious weak points.”Have I missed something? Is this really that good?”

Having reviewed multiple pieces of kit from Breakthrough Photography I can say that they have consistently produced insanely high-quality photographic gear that is innovative, sturdy, and relatively cost-effective. I use quite a few of their filters in my own personal photography work and have put them into environments from Death Valley to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and everywhere in between (or least it seems).

The X4 CPL has thus far given no reason for me to believe that its quality would not serve any serious photographer’s needs for years to come. The build quality is heavy-duty and the image quality, especially sharpness, is outstanding. It retails for $ 129-159 USD (depending on filter size) at the time of this review. Find out more details about the X4 CPL here, or shop Amazon for the size you need here.

Rating 5/5 stars – my first ever! 

The post Review of the Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL Circular Polarizing Filter by Adam Welch appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Our favorite finalists from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

13 Dec

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Later this week, on December 14th, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards will reveal the winning photos for 2017, each chosen from a pool of 40 finalists revealed earlier this month. The 40 images showcase fun and funny scenes captured by wildlife photographers around the globe: singing elephant seals, a laughing mouse, macaques on a motorbike, and more.

More than 3,500 images were submitted to the competition this year.

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards goes by the tagline “conservation through competition,” providing photographers with an lighthearted contest through which they can share fun photos of wildlife while helping raise conservation awareness.

You can see our favorite finalists in the gallery above, then head over to the contest’s website to see all 40, view a gallery of last year’s wildlife comedy finalists, or check out the 2015 and 2016 winners.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Instagram now lets you follow hashtags, is testing ‘recommended’ posts

13 Dec

Instagram will now let you follow hashtags in addition to individuals. The change, announced through the Instagram blog, comes about a month after initial reports surfaced that Instagram was ‘testing’ the feature with small groups of users.

As Instagram explains in its blog post, this is all about ‘enhancing’ discovery:

Every day, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. #onthetable, #slime and #floralnails are just a few examples of hashtags that represent the many interests and passions of our community. To make these posts even more discoverable, we’re introducing hashtags you can follow.

Hashtags can be followed by clicking the big blue ‘Follow’ button on the hashtag’s landing page. Once you’ve followed a tag, top photos and stories from that tag will begin appearing in your newsfeed and stories queue up top.

One More Thing

The ability to follow hashtags began as a test back in early November, and Instagram just launched another feature test that seems likely to make it to prime time very soon. The Verge reports that Instagram is testing a ‘Recommended for You’ feature that will add posts to your news feed that it believes you will like.

These might include photos people you follow have liked, or images Instagram’s controversial algorithm believes you would enjoy based on your activity.

Instagram confirmed that the feature was being tested in a statement to the The Verge, who is also reporting that users can hide the Recommended for You section… at least for now.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Google launches three mobile photography ‘Appsperiments’

13 Dec

Google today launched the first three installments in a series of experimental photography apps that the company calls ‘appsperiments’. The apps build on a range of technologies that are currently under development at Google, including: object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms or efficient image encoding and decoding technologies.

Storyboard – Android only

The Storyboard app is currently available for Android and converts videos into single-page comic layouts. After shooting a video the app automatically selects interesting video frames, creates a layout, and applies one of six visual styles to the imagery.

And since privacy is a big concern with anything ‘intelligent’ like this: all of this happens on-device, without sending any data to the cloud.

Selfissimo! – iOS and Android

Selfissimo! is available for iOS devices and Android. Once you activate the app, it automatically captures a black-and-white selfie each time you strike a pose. The app encourages you to pose and captures a photo whenever you stop moving.

You end the ‘photoshoot’ by tapping on the screen, and can then review a ‘contact sheet’ to save your favorite images.

Scrubbies – iOS only

Scrubbies is an iOS app and allows you to adjust the playback speed and direction of videos, as well as create looping clips. The idea is to shoot a video using the app and then ‘remix’ it by ‘scratching’ on the screen like a DJ would do with vinyl.

Scrubbing with one finger plays the video. Scrubbing with two fingers captures the playback so you can save or share it.


If you try one or more of these so-called appsperiments, you can send your feedback to Google via in-app feedback links. More information about each of these creations is available on the Google Research Blog.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Toshiba unveils world’s first 14TB conventional magnetic hard drive

12 Dec

Toshiba has unveiled what it claims is the first ever Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) Hard Drive (HDD) with a massive 14TB capacity. This drive, which is billed as a model for enterprise use, boasts nine disks and a helium-sealed design, 3.5in form factor, 7200rpm speed, and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface.

Toshiba announced the new drive, which is part of the new MG07ACA series, last week alongside a smaller 12TB 8-disk model. Both hard drives boast a lower operating power profile than the previously launched MG06ACA series, according to Toshiba, as well as better storage density.

The 14TB drive in particular offers a greater than 50% improvement in power efficiency versus the 10TB MG06ACA version. Conventional magnetic recording drives such as these are faster than similar models that use shingled magnetic recording tech.

Talking about the new MG07ACA series, IDC’s HDD Research VP John Rydning said:

Toshiba’s new helium-sealed enterprise HDD is the world’s first 14TB of storage capacity using conventional rather than shingled magnetic recording technology, giving enterprise customers the highest capacity HDD available in the market today for existing server and storage system architectures.

Consumers interested in this new enterprise series will need to contact Toshiba directly for purchase information, but as 4K and even 8K video becomes standard, ultra-high capacity enterprise drives like this might not be limited to traditional ‘enterprise’ users for long…

Press Release

Toshiba Launches World’s First 14TB HDD with Conventional Magnetic Recording

The 14TB models use an innovative 9-disk, helium-sealed design to deliver massive capacity that fits into standard 3.5 inch SATA drive bays

Irvine, CA – December 7, 2017 – Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation today announced the launch of the MG07ACA Series, the world’s first enterprise 14TB Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) HDD. Using a 9-disk, helium-sealed design, the new MG07ACA Series provides the power-efficient capacity and storage density needed by cloud-scale and enterprise storage solution providers to achieve their TCO objectives.

“We have raised the bar with the new MG07ACA Series 9-disk helium-sealed design,” said Akitoshi Iwata, Vice President of Storage Products Division, Toshiba Electronic Devices and Storage Corporation. “By utilizing an innovative design, we continue to improve the benefits that high-capacity disk storage can deliver to our broad global customer base.”

The MG07ACA Series features both 14TB 9-disk and 12TB 8-disk models. The helium-sealed 3.5-inch mechanical design realizes better storage density and a lower HDD operating power profile than the previous MG06ACA Series for optimal TCO in cloud-scale infrastructures. The series also utilizes Toshiba Group’s laser welding technology to ensure the helium remains securely sealed inside the drive enclosure. The drives support a SATA 6Gbit/s interface and 7,200rpm access performance. The 9-disk 14TB models achieve a 40% increase in maximum capacity over previous MG06ACA 10TB models. Additionally, the 14TB models improve power efficiency by over 50% (W/GB).

“Toshiba’s first helium-sealed nearline drive intercepts the market at a class-leading 14 TB capacity with CMR,” said John Chen, industry analyst at Trend Focus. “Its early time-to-market for this capacity positions the company well to meet the storage needs of large hyperscale and cloud companies. Additionally, the company’s choice of a 9-disk platform paves the way to achieving higher capacities in future product generations.”

“While enterprise server and storage customers realize that shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology can improve HDD capacity, the adoption of SMR HDD products into server and storage systems is a transition that will take several years,” said John Rydning, Research Vice President for hard disk drives at IDC. “Toshiba’s new helium-sealed enterprise HDD is the world’s first 14TB of storage capacity using conventional rather than shingled magnetic recording technology, giving enterprise customers the highest capacity HDD available in the market today for existing server and storage system architectures.”

Sample deliveries of MG07ACA Series drives to customers sequentially begin today. For more information on our full line of HDD storage products, please visit: https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/us/product/storage-products/enterprise-hdd/mg07acaxxx.html.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Quickly Process Your Holiday Photos with Luminar’s Accent AI Filter

12 Dec

The holiday season is upon us, and suddenly everyone seems to be in a rush. We all have a million things to accomplish in just a few short weeks. At this time of year, I’m always scrambling to get my Christmas photos processed and ready for viewing. Feeling overwhelmed once again this year I decided to turn to Luminar by Macphun, soon to be Skylum, and try out their unique Accent AI Filter. It’s supposed to be a super simple and quick way to get beautiful images.

What is the Accent AI Filter?

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and this filter is designed to do all the hard work for you. It uses artificial intelligence to assess the image and then applies the required adjustments to the image. This means that each image is processed according to the individual shadows, highlights, and colors present within the photo. The Accent AI Filter allows you to make quick, impactful adjustments with just one slider.

Locate the Accent AI filter in Luminar by clicking on the “add filter” button or by selecting the workspace called “Quick and Awesome”. This workspace combines the Accent AI filter plus the Clarity and Saturation filters to create a dynamic combo of super quick adjustments.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Find the Accent AI filter quickly using the “add filter” button.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

The Quick and Awesome Workspace is easy to use for super simple adjustments.

Time to edit some photos

Each holiday season I have to process a large number of images. The first set of images usually belongs to the commercial realm. I’m often shooting photographs that are used to promote various Christmas art sales. When I’m staring at a collection of 300 images and a rushed timeline, a quick post-processing workflow is so important. I need to download, tweak, and upload and deliver digital images to clients for their social media campaigns. It’s fun, but it can be overwhelming when it needs to be completed in such a short frame of time.

Using Accent AI with commercial images

It’s time to test the Accent AI filter on these commercial images and see how it handles the varied lighting conditions at these venues. These images of a Christmas craft sale located here in Canada were shot in a heritage building.

The lighting was pretty terrible, and on this particular day, it was cloudy, so I was challenged by these factors along with the fact that many of the pieces were quite shiny. It was a challenging situation, especially when I had to photograph the items during gallery hours and I couldn’t set up any lights. I had to use what was available.

Image #1 –Only one adjustment

For the following images, I had to use fairly high ISO settings and a wide aperture of f/2.8 to f/4. In the case of the image below, I moved the slider on the Accent AI Filter over to the right and was able to quickly and easily adjust the image without making any other tweaks. The item in the image is clear and easy for customers to view. It only took me a few seconds to prepare this image for upload.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

I quickly applied the filter to this image. The result is certainly good given the lighting and conditions in the art gallery.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here’s the full image after processing.

Image #2 – Applied as a mask

In this second image, I found that the Accent AI filter created too much of a yellow tone that took away from the beauty of the color of the red hat. The wall looked yellow, and I didn’t like this effect. However, I really liked the way the filter treated the hat itself, and I think it brought out its details and rich color.

So I applied the Accent AI Filter as a mask. I added a second layer (just click the + sign next to the word “Layers”) and painted in the filter over the hat. The resulting image took just a few minutes to create.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

When I applied the Accent AI filter to this entire image it made the wall quite yellow.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here I used a mask to apply to filter to just the hat so that the wall remained white.

The Accent AI Filter helped me to edit my photos for clients quickly. It handled the editing of images taken under some fairly challenging lighting circumstances with high ISO settings. I think this speaks to the capabilities of the filter to assess each image and adjust it accordingly.

It should also be noted that you can have too much of a good thing. In some instances, the filter created too much of an unnatural HDR look. It’s important to adjust the slider accordingly and subtly. In this case, I didn’t want a heavy HDR look, and I had to be careful just how much of a boost I applied to each image.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here I purposely applied the filter to illustrate the point that the Accent AI filter can become too “heavy-handed” if you take it too far.

Using the Accent AI Filter for art images

I also tested out the Accent AI Filter on some images I created for use on Art Cards. The following image was shot with the purpose of being used as a Christmas card. I usually make a collection of 10 images that are all winter or Christmas themed. In years past I’ve slaved for hours, carefully editing the work. This year I decided to see if the Accent AI Filter could handle my art photos as well.

In the image below of an ice-crusted coniferous tree, I was struggling with a very hazy atmosphere. I wanted the yellowish tree to stand out from the green of the trees behind. I also wanted to define the ice and create an image that showed the unique nature of that moment in time. Remember I said to be careful in applying the filter too heavily, but in this case, I cranked it all the way to the right.

The brown of the tree branches stood out from the yellow of the tree needles, which is good. I also like how defined the ice became on the strands of dried grass below. There was no banding present, and the image still had a fairly natural look. In this case, the heavily applied filter worked perfectly.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here’s the unprocessed image.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here you can see the Accent AI Filter at 100 percent.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

The changes made to this image are considerable with the filter at full strength.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here’s the completed image.

Using the Accent AI Filter to adjust family snaps

Annually, I take a quick photo of the family to document the year. These images are not spectacular. They are family photos that are cherished on a personal level and document the changes each year brings. But they have to be shot quickly as my family isn’t overly patient when it comes to photography. I decided to see how the Accent AI filter would handle the editing of these photos.

Again the lighting is often challenging as they are usually shot on Christmas Eve. I wanted to see if the filter could enhance these memories and also help to fulfill my obsessive photographer tendency to want to take professional quality images all the time. In this case, I messed around a little and wanted to see how the filter affected the portrait.  This time I used Luminar as a plugin for Lightroom.

So I made a few adjustments in Lightroom first. I straightened the image and cloned out the cat’s tail. Then I moved over to Luminar and applied the Accent AI Filter. I like the resulting image. The filter helped to put a little bit of definition into the boys faces and balanced out the light. All in all, it worked pretty well.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

With the filter to almost 50% strength, the image is still pleasing.

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here you can see the subtle difference the filter made in this image. Look closely at the detail in the blue t-shirt (after image the right of the line)

How to Process Your Holiday Photos with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar

Here you can see the changes in a side by side back in Lightroom. The image on the left shows the Luminar adjustments.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Accent AI Filter in Luminar is an effective tool that can help you to adjust a large range of images. The filter is highly “intelligent”. It saves several steps in post-processing. If I were to edit these images without using the Accent AI Filter, I would have had to apply several different filters and spend time carefully adjusting their effect on the image. The Accent AI filter streamlined the process for me.

Also read: Speed up Your Workflow with the Accent AI Filter in Luminar and Batch Processing for more on how to apply this handy filter as a batch to a whole set of images at once. 

Here’s another image finished with slight adjustments using the Accent AI Filter.

Disclaimer: Macphun, soon to be Skylum, is a dPS advertising partner.

The post How to Quickly Process Your Holiday Photos with Luminar’s Accent AI Filter by Erin Fitzgibbon appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Have your say: Best compact camera of 2017

12 Dec

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: time to vote for your favorite cameras and lenses in our year-end Readers’ Choice Awards. It certainly was a good year for compact cameras – cast your vote before the polls close!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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