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Posts Tagged ‘Forever’

Crypto-art ‘Forever Rose’ photo sells for $1M, making it the world’s most valuable virtual art

20 Feb

A blockchain crypto-art rose titled “Forever Rose” has been sold to a collective of investors for cryptocurrencies with a value equivalent to $ 1,000,000 USD. The collective is composed of 10 investors, each of whom contributed an equal amount toward the digital rose. The artwork is based on Kevin Abosch’s photograph of a rose and was created by Abosch and GIFTO, a decentralized universal gifting protocol.

Blockchain technology is behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and rights management platforms like KODAKOne. The tech can also be used for art, as demonstrated by Abosch with “Forever Rose.” Abosch previously sold an image of a potato titled “Potato #345” in 2016 for more than $ 1 million.

More than 150 buyers expressed interest in the Forever Rose, according to a press release detailing the sale. Ten collectors were ultimately chosen using a ballot—the buyers include ORCA Fund, Chinese crypto-investor Ms. Meng Zu, blockchain advisory firm TLDR Capital, and others. Payments were made in IAMA and GTO-by-GIFTO cryptocurrencies, with each buyer paying the crypto-equivalent of $ 100,000 to get 1/10 of the ROSE, an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.

Forever Rose is believed to currently be the most valuable virtual artwork in the world. The buyers can choose to hold onto their rose tokens, sell them, or give them away. Abosch and GIFTO will donate the sale proceeds to The CoderDojo Foundation, which provides kids around the world with the opportunity to learn coding skills for free.

Press Release

World’s Most Valuable Crypto-Artwork Sells for US$ 1 million

HONG KONG, Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – IN CELEBRATION of Valentine’s Day, the Forever Rose, a crypto-art project produced by world-renowned visual conceptual artist Kevin Abosch and blockchain universal virtual gifting protocol project GIFTO, sold for US$ 1 million worth of cryptocurrency to a group of 10 collectors.

With the sale, the Forever Rose is now the world’s most valuable piece of virtual artwork ever sold, and marks the historical merging of blockchain technology, fine art, and charitable causes.

Due to an overwhelming response with over 150 potential buyers from around the world indicating their interest, the decision was made to allow 10 buyers to buy the Forever Rose, as a way to show how the crypto community can come together to do their part to benefit the underprivileged.

To select the buyers for the Forever Rose, a ballot was held to determine the 10 collectors who can purchase the Forever Rose on 14 February at 14:00 Hong Kong time. These 10 collectors are some of the leading projects and investors in the crypto community. They are:

  • ORCA Fund, the premier digital asset fund in Asia
  • Future Money and Ink, a leading blockchain investment fund and IP asset exchange
  • Node Capital and Jinse Finance, a leading crypto fund and financial media in Asia
  • TLDR Capital, a leading blockchain advisory firm
  • Project Boosto, power global influencers with their own dApps and tokens
  • Project DAC, a platform for decentralized interactive audio
  • Project Nebulas, a search framework for blockchains
  • Project Caring Chain, a decentralized charitable cause platform
  • Ms. Meng Zu, a leading crypto investor in China
  • 1 collector who wishes to remain anonymous

Charles Thach, Managing Partner of ORCA Fund said: “ORCA is honored to support the Forever Rose project, our philosophy of bridging the best of west and east in blockchain industries fits nicely into the ethos of the Rose, and we will continue to contribute back to society via future charitable endeavors.”

Mori Wang, Founder of Project Caring Chain, said: “I believe blockchain technology has a huge potential to transform the entire charitable world, bringing transparency and accountability to projects worldwide. Project Caring Chain is proud to be a part of this historical milestone, the world’s first crypto charitable artwork.”

The cost of the Forever Rose was paid using two cryptocurrencies – GTO by GIFTO and IAMA by Kevin Abosch, with the 10 buyers splitting the cost of the crypto-artwork evenly, with each buyer paying US$ 100,000 in crypto currencies. The Forever Rose is an ERC20 token called ROSE on the Ethereum blockchain that is based on Mr Abosch’s photograph of a rose. The buyers each receives 1/10 of the ROSE token, as ERC20 tokens are divisible. They can then choose to hold their portion, sell it, or give it as a special gift for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

The exact number of tokens required was determined according to their value on 14 February at 10:00 Hong Kong time. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to The CoderDojo Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that every child around the world should have the opportunity to learn code and to be creative with technology in a safe and social environment.

With the donation, Mr Abosch and the GIFTO team aim to inspire future generations to continuously push the boundaries and tap on technology to create a better world, and also to call on the crypto community to use more of the vast wealth created for charitable causes.

Ms Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of the CoderDojo Foundation, said: “A huge thank you to both Kevin and the GIFTO team for choosing the CoderDojo Foundation to benefit from this historic project. Technology is rapidly changing the world we live in. We have a duty to ensure that the next generation can not only seize the opportunities presented by this, but also influence and shape its future. Thousands of volunteers around the world are working to ensure this by creating opportunities for young people to code and create through the global CoderDojo movement.”

The Forever Rose project started as a personal collaboration between Mr. Abosch and Andy Tian, founder of GIFTO, as a way to stimulate a deeper discussion on the state of the crypto and blockchain industry, which has captured the world’s attention over the last few months. The project is symbolic of the current massive global popularity of cryptocurrency, and also aims to drive discussion regarding the entry of blockchain technology into the mainstream economy.

After it is sold, a dedicated website will be available to track the value of the artwork based on movements of GTO and IAMA and giving the public a visual representation of the movements and trends in the current cryptocurrency environment. Mr. Abosch and Mr. Tian hope that The Forever Rose will become a symbol of the blockchain and crypto world, and extend an invitation for everyone to participate in the project by recording and submitting their responses on video. Instructions are on the Forever Rose website.

Mr Abosch is most famous for creating and selling his iconic photographic portrait of a potato – “Potato #345” for more than US$ 1 million in 2016, and is much sought after for his portraits of top global celebrities from the entertainment and technology sectors. He has been pushing the limits of visual and conceptual art for most of his career.

He said: “I’m delighted that the crypto world has come together around The Forever Rose to further demonstrate the elegant power of the blockchain as a technology, but more importantly, as an instrument through which goodwill and humanity can be amplified.”

The GIFTO project, which completed the fastest-ever token sale in Asia in 1 min in Dec 2017, is the world’s first universal gifting protocol. GIFTO was created by the makers of Uplive (http://up.live/), one of the most popular live streaming mobile applications in the world with over 35 million users. IAMA Coin is a crypto-art project that Mr Abosch launched recently (http://www.iamacoin.com/), in which the artist himself explores the value of a crypto coin.

Mr Andy Tian, CEO and founder of GIFTO, said: “We are excited that the community has embraced the Forever Rose Project, and has come together for a great cause. We see a lot of parallels between blockchain technology and art, and hope that the Forever Rose can become a historical point marking blockchain moving from an esoteric technology, into the minds and hearts of every day people.”

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Lytro poised to forever change filmmaking: debuts Cinema prototype and short film at NAB

21 Apr
Lytro debuted its Cinema prototype to an eager crowd at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas, NV.

Lytro greeted a packed showroom at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada to demo its prototype Lytro Cinema camera and platform, as well as debut footage shot on the system. To say we’re impressed from what we saw would be an understatement: Lytro may be poised to change the face of cinema forever.

The short film ‘Life’, containing footage shot both on Lytro Cinema as well as an Arri Alexa, demonstrated some of the exciting applications of light field in video. Directed by Academy Award winner Robert Stromberg and shot by VRC Chief Imaging Scientist David Stump, ‘Life’ showcased the ability of light field to obviate green screens, allowing for extraction of backgrounds or other scene elements based off of depth information, and seamless integration of CGI elements into scenes. Lytro calls it ‘depth screening’, and the effect looked realistic to us.

‘Life’ showcased the ability of Lytro Cinema to essentially kill off the green screen

Just as exciting was the demonstration of a movable virtual camera in post: since the light field contains multiple perspectives, a movie-maker can add in camera movement at the editing stage, despite using a static camera to shoot. And we’re not talking about a simple pan left/right, up/down, or a simple Ken Burns effect… we’re talking about actual perspective shifts. Up, down, left, right, back and forth, even short dolly movements – all simulated by moving a virtual camera in post, not by actually having to move the camera on set. To see the effect, have a look at our interview with Ariel Braunstein of Lytro, where he presents a camera fly-through from a single Lytro Illum shot (3:39 – 4:05):

The Lytro Cinema is capable of capturing these multiple perspectives because of ‘sub-aperture imaging’. Head of Light Field Video Jon Karafin explains that the system is made of multiple lenses (we see what appears to be two separate openings in the photo below), and behind each lens, in front of the sensor, is a microlens array consisting of millions of small lenses similar to what traditional cameras have. The difference, though, is that there is a 6×6 pixel array underneath each microlens, meaning that any one XY position of those 36 pixels under one microlens, when combined with the same position pixel under all other microlenses, represents the scene as seen through one portion, or ‘sub-aperture’ of the lens. These 36 sub-aperture images essentially provide 36 different perspectives, which then allow for computational reconstruction of the image with all the benefits of light field.

The 36 different perspectives affords you some freedom of movement in moving a virtual camera in post, but it is of course limited, affected by considerations like lens, focal length, and subject distance. It’s not clear yet what that range of freedom is with the Cinema, but what we saw in the short film was impressive, something cinematographers will undoubtedly welcome in place of setting up motion rigs for small camera movements. Even from a consumer perspective, consider what auto-curation of user-generated content could do with tools like these. Think Animoto on steroids.

Front of the Lytro Cinema, on display at NAB 2016. We see two openings, though it’s not clear how many main imaging lenses exist in the prototype yet.

We’ve focused on depth screening and perspective shift, but let’s not forget all the other benefits light field brings. The multiple perspectives captured mean you can generate 3D images or video from every shot at any desired parallax disparity (3D filmmakers often have to choose their disparity on-set, only able to optimize for one set of viewing conditions). You can focus your image after the fact, which saves critical focus and focus approach (its cadence) for post.* Selective depth-of-field is also available in post: choose whether you want shallow, or extended, depth-of-field, or even transition from selective to extensive depth-of-field in your timeline. You can even isolate shallow or extended depth-of-field to different objects in the scene using focus spread: say F5.6 for a face to get it all in focus, but F0.3 for the rest of the scene.

Speaking of F0.3 (yes, you read that right), light field allows you to simulate faster (and smaller) apertures previous thought impossible in post, which in turn places fewer demands on lens design. That’s what allowed the Illum camera to house a 30-250mm equiv. F2.0 constant aperture lens in relatively small and lightweight body. You could open that aperture up to F1.0 in post, and at the demo of Cinema at NAB, Lytro impressed its audience with – we kid you not – F0.3 depth-of-field footage.

The sensor housing appears to be over a foot wide. That huge light field sensor gets you unreal f-stops down to F0.3

But all this doesn’t come without a cost: the Lytro Cinema appears massive, and rightfully so. A 6×6 pixel array underneath each microlens means there are 36 pixels for every 1 pixel on a traditional camera; so to maintain spatial resolution, you need to grow your sensor, and your total number of pixels. Which is exactly what Lytro did – the sensor housing appeared to our eyes to be over a foot in width, sporting a whopping 755 million total pixels. The optics aren’t small either. The total unit lives on rails on wheels, so forget hand-held footage – for now. Bear in mind though, the original technicolor cinematic camera invented back in 1932 appeared similarly gargantuan, and Lytro specifically mentioned that different versions of Cinema are planned, some smaller in size.

The Lytro Cinema is massive. The sensor is housed in the black box behind the orange strut, which appears to be at least a foot wide. It comes with its own traveling server to deal with the 300GB/s data rates. Processing takes place in the cloud where Google spools up thousands of CPUs to compute each thing you do, while you work with real-time proxies.

So what does 755MP get you? A lot of data, for starters. We spoke to Lytro some time back about this, and were told that the massive sensor requires a bandwidth of around 300GB/s. That means Lytro Cinema comes with its own server on-set to capture that data. But processing that data isn’t easy either – in fact, no mortal laptop or desktop need apply. Lytro is partnering with Google to send footage to the cloud, where thousands of CPUs crunch the data and provide you real-time proxies for editing. One major concern with Lytro’s previous cameras was the resolution trade-off: recording angular information means that spatial resolution is sacrificed. The Illum had a roughly 40MP sensor, yet yielded only roughly 5MP images, a roughly 10-fold resolution cost. With 755MP though, even a 10x resolution cost would yield 76MP – well above the requirements for 4K video.**

Thousands of CPUs on Google’s servers crunch the data and provide you real-time proxies for editing

Speculation aside, the 4K footage from the Lytro Cinema that was mixed with Arri Alexa footage to create the short ‘Life’, viewed from our seating position, appeared comparable to what one might expect from professional cinema capture. Importantly, the footage appeared virtually noise free – which one might expect of such a large sensor area. Since image data from many pixels are used for any final image pixel, a significant amount of noise averaging occurs – yielding a clean image, and a claimed 16 stops of dynamic range.

That’s incredibly impressive, given all the advantages light field brings. This may be the start of something incredibly transformative for the industry. After all, who wouldn’t want the option for F0.3 depth-of-field with perfect focus in post, adjustable shutter angle, compellingly real 3D imagery when paired with a light field display, and more? With increased capabilities for handling large data bandwidths, larger sensors, and more pixels, we think some form of light field will exist perhaps in most cameras of the future. Particularly when it comes to virtual reality capture, which Lytro also intends to disrupt with Immerge.

It’s impressive to witness how far Lytro has come in such a short while, and we can’t wait to see what’s next. For more information, visit Lytro Cinema.


* If it’s anything like the Illum, though, some level of focusing will still be required on set, as there are optimal planes of refocus-ability.

** We don’t know what the actual trade-off is for the current Lytro Cinema. It’s correlated to the number of pixels underneath each microlens, and effective resolution can change at different focal planes.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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‘We want to make lenses that can be used forever’: Sony engineer discusses G Master lenses

10 Feb

‘We want to make lenses that can be used forever,’ says a senior engineer behind Sony’s new G master lenses. At the launch of the ‘G Master’ range of high end lenses, we spoke to Motoyuki Ohtake, Distinguished Engineer in Sony’s Lens Design Department about the process and the philosophy behind the latest lenses.

The development process series involved re-thinking several parts of the design and manufacturing process, he says.

Motoyuji Ohtake, Distinguished Engineer, Opto Design Department, Core Technology Division, Digital Imaging Business Group at Sony.

To understand how the lenses came about, he explained the usual process of lens development. ‘Sometimes we propose a new lens but often it comes from the product planning department [the marketing department that assesses potential requirements and demands]. We then make a series of rough designs, some are big, with high optical performance, others are more compact but maybe not so optically strong. We discuss which design to proceed with, based on what we think is the optimal balance or cost, performance and size to make the perfect product.’

After deciding which of the initial designs to pursue, there’s a great deal of collaboration between teams, he explains: ‘we work with the mechanical team, the lens motor team, the lens control team, the lens element team and maybe the equipment team who will have to prepare the manufacturing process.’ Each of these team feeds its expertise into the design. ‘Maybe the optical team proposes a new lens design and the motor team tells us which motor is best. Or warn us if the focus will be too slow. They feed back about the mechanical aspects,’ he says.

The G Master series required many of these teams to re-think their parts of the process, from design to manufacture.

Re-thinking basic assumptions

‘For the G Master lenses we decided we would assess the spatial frequency at 50 lines per mm,’ says Ohtake: ‘Usually lens makers, including ourselves, evaluate lenses at 10 and 30 lpmm (or 10, 20 and 40 for Carl Zeiss-branded optics).’

‘At the start of the process we all agreed we should change the spacial frequency [to a more challenging target],’ he says: ’but which is best to get good performance? We could design for 100 lpmm but the lens would become very bulky and long – which might not be a very practical lens. A balance of the size and the optical performance was very important.’

The target of 50 lpmm wasn’t dictated by the company’s 40MP camera or 4K video, he says. ’All our FE lenses were designed for at least 40MP. Because we have an image sensor team within Sony, we get to see the sensor roadmap, so we’ve been designing for this all along with FE. With the G Master we’d like to make lenses that can be used forever.’

A focus on bokeh

But it’s not just the more stringent frequency assessment that was developed for the G Master lenses, Ohtake explains: ‘We had to discuss what good bokeh means. We have some designers from Minolta who understand that the spirit of the ‘G’ lenses was good bokeh in the background but we had no way to evaluate that.

‘We looked at what is considered good bokeh and how it affects not just the background rendering but also the transition from perfectly sharp to out-of-focus regions. We developed a way to evaluate bokeh and were able to make a simulation. This meant we didn’t have to build a lens to see how it performed, we could now computer model it before taking a design too far.’

This is a significant change, Sony says, as it means bokeh can be one of the primary design considerations, rather than being something that can only be adjusted later in the process, once the main aspects of the design have been settled upon.

Another piece of the puzzle – shape and smoothness

This analysis of the factors that affect bokeh showed that both the precision of the lens molding and the smoothness of the lens surface could have an effect.

‘Traditionally it was very hard to achieve both: current technology gives a roughness on the scale of 20-30nm on the aspheric surface. Improving this usually involved polishing, which can then lead to the lens element being slightly unevenly shaped.’

‘We developed a new way of making the lens element and a new molding process, including a new machine. Now we can get roughness down to around 10nm and get a more accurate shape to the aspherical surface.’

AF technologies

Ohtake wouldn’t budge when we asked which his favorite lens was, but immediately reached for the 85mm F1.4 when we took this group shot.

The first three G Master lenses use three different AF motor technologies between them – emphasizing Ohtake’s point that different technologies work better in different contexts.

The 24-70mm F2.8 uses a Direct Drive SSM system (piezoelectric element). This is very fast, very quiet and very precise. We used a linear motor for the 24-70mm F4 but this lens has a heavier focus element, so direct drive was a better choice.

The focus element in the 85mm F1.4 was even heavier, however. ‘For the 85mm we use a ring type focus motor. This is very good for heavy lens elements and our lens software team developed a good algorithm so that it works well with contrast-detection autofocus’ (a traditional weakness for ring-type designs).

Finally, the 70-200mm uses a combination of a linear actuator and a ring-type focus motor. ‘The focus group had become too heavy so we separated the two focusing lenses. One is very heavy, so we used a ring type motor for that one, then used a linear motor for the other. The ring type is used to quickly achieve approximate focus and the linear motor is used for the high precision aspect.’

Still correct to optically correct

Discussing the idea that bokeh and sharpness have previously been in conflict, we asked Ohtake about other trade-offs. We’ve been told that the ability to correct lateral chromatic aberration in software makes lens design easier, since you don’t have to correct it optically, which can quickly complicate the lens design and detract from other parameters.

Not for G Master lenses, he explains. ‘Light doesn’t separate nicely into red, green and blue’ (the color channels that most cameras capture, and which can be adjusted, relative to one another, to correct lateral CA). It’s a continuum with each wavelength being displaced slightly differently. ‘To get the really high contrast we wanted in G Master, we had to suppress it in the lens.’

The future of APS-C

We also asked Ohtake about Sony’s APS-C lenses for E-mount. His team likes designing APS-C lenses, he says: ‘The focus elements are light, so it’s easier to design. We have all these focus motor technologies in-house and we’d like to try them in APS-C lenses if that’s what the Product Planning team says is required.’

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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‘We want to make lenses that can be used forever’: Sony engineer discusses G Master lenses

05 Feb

‘We want to make lenses that can be used forever,’ says a senior engineer behind Sony’s new G master lenses. At the launch of the ‘G Master’ range of high end lenses, we spoke to Motoyuki Ohtake, Distinguished Engineer in Sony’s Lens Design Department about the process and the philosophy behind the latest lenses.

The development process series involved re-thinking several parts of the design and manufacturing process, he says.

Motoyuji Ohtake, Distinguished Engineer, Opto Design Department, Core Technology Division, Digital Imaging Business Group at Sony.

To understand how the lenses came about, he explained the usual process of lens development. ‘Sometimes we propose a new lens but often it comes from the product planning department [the marketing department that assesses potential requirements and demands]. We then make a series of rough designs, some are big, with high optical performance, others are more compact but maybe not so optically strong. We discuss which design to proceed with, based on what we think is the optimal balance or cost, performance and size to make the perfect product.’

After deciding which of the initial designs to pursue, there’s a great deal of collaboration between teams, he explains: ‘we work with the mechanical team, the lens motor team, the lens control team, the lens element team and maybe the equipment team who will have to prepare the manufacturing process.’ Each of these team feeds its expertise into the design. ‘Maybe the optical team proposes a new lens design and the motor team tells us which motor is best. Or warn us if the focus will be too slow. They feed back about the mechanical aspects,’ he says.

The G Master series required many of these teams to re-think their parts of the process, from design to manufacture.

Re-thinking basic assumptions

‘For the G Master lenses we decided we would assess the spatial frequency at 50 lines per mm,’ says Ohtake: ‘Usually lens makers, including ourselves, evaluate lenses at 10 and 30 lpmm (or 10, 20 and 40 for Carl Zeiss-branded optics).’

‘At the start of the process we all agreed we should change the spacial frequency [to a more challenging target],’ he says: ’but which is best to get good performance? We could design for 100 lpmm but the lens would become very bulky and long – which might not be a very practical lens. A balance of the size and the optical performance was very important.’

The target of 50 lpmm wasn’t dictated by the company’s 40MP camera or 4K video, he says. ’All our FE lenses were designed for at least 40MP. Because we have an image sensor team within Sony, we get to see the sensor roadmap, so we’ve been designing for this all along with FE. With the G Master we’d like to make lenses that can be used forever.’

A focus on bokeh

But it’s not just the more stringent frequency assessment that was developed for the G Master lenses, Ohtake explains: ‘We had to discuss what good bokeh means. We have some designers from Minolta who understand that the spirit of the ‘G’ lenses was good bokeh in the background but we had no way to evaluate that.

‘We looked at what is considered good bokeh and how it affects not just the background rendering but also the transition from perfectly sharp to out-of-focus regions. We developed a way to evaluate bokeh and were able to make a simulation. This meant we didn’t have to build a lens to see how it performed, we could now computer model it before taking a design too far.’

This is a significant change, Sony says, as it means bokeh can be one of the primary design considerations, rather than being something that can only be adjusted later in the process, once the main aspects of the design have been settled upon.

Another piece of the puzzle – shape and smoothness

This analysis of the factors that affect bokeh showed that both the precision of the lens molding and the smoothness of the lens surface could have an effect.

‘Traditionally it was very hard to achieve both: current technology gives a roughness on the scale of 20-30nm on the aspheric surface. Improving this usually involved polishing, which can then lead to the lens element being slightly unevenly shaped.’

‘We developed a new way of making the lens element and a new molding process, including a new machine. Now we can get roughness down to around 10nm and get a more accurate shape to the aspherical surface.’

AF technologies

Ohtake wouldn’t budge when we asked which his favorite lens was, but immediately reached for the 85mm F1.4 when we took this group shot.

The first three G Master lenses use three different AF motor technologies between them – emphasizing Ohtake’s point that different technologies work better in different contexts.

The 24-70mm F2.8 uses a Direct Drive SSM system (piezoelectric element). This is very fast, very quiet and very precise. We used a linear motor for the 24-70mm F4 but this lens has a heavier focus element, so direct drive was a better choice.

The focus element in the 85mm F1.4 was even heavier, however. ‘For the 85mm we use a ring type focus motor. This is very good for heavy lens elements and our lens software team developed a good algorithm so that it works well with contrast-detection autofocus’ (a traditional weakness for ring-type designs).

Finally, the 70-200mm uses a combination of a linear actuator and a ring-type focus motor. ‘The focus group had become too heavy so we separated the two focusing lenses. One is very heavy, so we used a ring type motor for that one, then used a linear motor for the other. The ring type is used to quickly achieve approximate focus and the linear motor is used for the high precision aspect.’

Still correct to optically correct

Discussing the idea that bokeh and sharpness have previously been in conflict, we asked Ohtake about other trade-offs. We’ve been told that the ability to correct lateral chromatic aberration in software makes lens design easier, since you don’t have to correct it optically, which can quickly complicate the lens design and detract from other parameters.

Not for G Master lenses, he explains. ‘Light doesn’t separate nicely into red, green and blue’ (the color channels that most cameras capture, and which can be adjusted, relative to one another, to correct lateral CA). It’s a continuum with each wavelength being displaced slightly differently. ‘To get the really high contrast we wanted in G Master, we had to suppress it in the lens.’

The future of APS-C

We also asked Ohtake about Sony’s APS-C lenses for E-mount. His team likes designing APS-C lenses, he says: ‘The focus elements are light, so it’s easier to design. We have all these focus motor technologies in-house and we’d like to try them in APS-C lenses if that’s what the Product Planning team says is required.’

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Kickstarter Project That Will Change Your Photography Career Forever (Exclusive Freebie Inside)

17 Mar

You might have already heard about Defrozo, a free multi-tool business app for photographers as it has been mentioned in the media quite a lot lately. Today the Defrozo Kickstarter went live, and it’s become a Staff Pick in less than 1 hour after the launch! With a working Beta, over 2000 users on board, and some quite ambitious goals, the Continue Reading

The post Kickstarter Project That Will Change Your Photography Career Forever (Exclusive Freebie Inside) appeared first on Photodoto.


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Don’t Miss Out: Soon These 12 Photography Training Deals Will Be Gone Forever

31 Dec

As 2014 races to an end – so too are our amazing 12 photography deals of Christmas.

Screen Shot 2014 12 30 at 8 26 05 pm

In just on 48 hours (as the calendar ticks over into 2015 US Eastern Time) these fantastic deals will close forever.

Among them are some great savings to be had – up to 88% off resources that will help you make 2015 the year of great photos!

The Most Popular Deals of 2014

Each year we get readers ask for our recommendation on the best deals to pick up so as this all comes to an end we like to reveal the best selling deals so you can see what is hot!

Of course the best deal is what is right for you. All these deals come with 60 day money back guarantees so if you’re not quite sure if a deal is for you you can pick it up and then get your money back if you find it doesn’t meet your expectations.

It’s also worth saying that while the first 4 in the list stood out from the rest of the pack considerably – there wasn’t a great deal between the other 8 in the list!

  1. 70% off the Photoshop Artistry Course – this was our biggest deal over on SnapnDeals when we ran it earlier in the year and again was clearly the hottest deal of the 12 days. Pick it up while you can at this never before seen price.
  2. 88% off Hacking Photography’s Lightroom Presets Bundle – our biggest discount of the year and a no brainer if you’re a Lightroom user as it gets you 100 professionally designed Lightroom presets for just $ 10.
  3. Landscape Photography eBooks for $ 10 – our best selling Landscape Photography eBooks normally retail for $ 30… in this deal they are yours for $ 10 or both for $ 19 with a bonus.
  4. Portrait eBooks for $ 7! – this deal gets you any of our 4 Portraits eBooks for $ 7 or you can pick them all up with a bonus for $ 21
  5. $ 10 eBook Day – no surprises here, we put 10 great dPS eBooks up for just $ 10 each. Also hot in this day was our Photo Nuts bundle (4 great eBooks for $ 25).
  6. Ed Verosky’s Macro eBook for $ 7 (or his library at 78% off) – Ed’s eBooks are always very popular – this year was no different to previous times we’ve featured them.
  7. Natural Light for $ 7 – this best selling eBook is gorgeous and sold like crazy when we set it live on day 5!
  8. Essential Guide to Black and White Photography – one of our newest eBooks at a price never before seen.
  9. 60% off our Going Pro eBook – if you’ve ever dreamt of making money from your photography this one is for you.
  10. Save $ 40 on Gavin Gough’s Post Lightroom Tutorials – perfect if you want to brush up on your Lightroom post processing skills.
  11. Save $ 60 on KelbyOne 12 month Membership – get 365 days of amazing photography training for just 55 cents per day.
  12. Save 50% on Lighting on Location Course – while it is at the bottom of the list this course is one of our favorites. Written by our own editor and PACKED with some of the most practical and actionable information on Lighting Portraits – a bargain at this price.

These deals all end at midnight US Eastern time 31 December (as we see in 2015) so act now to pick up yours!

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Diamonds Aren’t Forever: 10 Abandoned Jewelry Stores

11 May

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned jewelry stores
These 10 abandoned jewelry stores, designed to be secure oases of luxury retailing, are now as lonely as a busted ring that’s forever lost its sparkle.

Jewels Of Denial

abandoned Prada Marfa jewelry store(images via: Xaxor and Big Bend Now)

When is an abandoned jewelry store NOT an abandoned jewelry store? When it’s Prada Marfa, a so-called “pop architectural land art project” sitting all by its lonesome on the side of U.S. Route 90 between Valentine and Marfa, west Texas. Artists Elmgreen and Dragset set up the $ 80,000 faux luxury goods store on October 1st of 2005 with the intention it would be neither maintained nor repaired. Instead, the passage of time alone would slowly degrade the “store” back to its constituent materials.

abandoned Prada Marfa jewelry store(image via: StyleLinkin’)

A mere three days after the sculpture was finished (complete with an interior stocked with handbags and 14 right-footed shoes), vandals broke into the building and graffitied the outside walls after stealing the contents… hope they have 14 right feet. Subsequent acts of vandalism have further marred the exhibit and angered the artists (who really should have known better). Seems like Prada Marfa’s degradation is not going as slowly as originally planned.

A Pauled

abandoned Paule jewelry store(images via: baby cat)

As jewelry stores are usually owned by deep-pocketed individuals, extra expense is typically expended not only on security but on creating a luxurious first impression for potential buyers. The downside, of course, is when the stores are closed, abandoned and/or re-purposed as a successor business, the original embellishments are not easily changed. Such is the case with the former Paule Jewelry store in Burlington, IA, as photo-documented by Flickr user baby cat.

Hell’s Waiting Room

Fashion Square Mall Orlando abandoned jewelry store(image via: Kei Teay)

Orlando’s Fashion Square Mall has seen better days and more than a few of its stores have jumped ship for better prospects elsewhere. FSM is making the best of a bad situation, however, having converted the abandoned and unnamed jewelry store above into a waiting room. Waiting for what, we can’t say. Kudos to Kei Teay for the sad soft-focus photo above.

Hardly Working

abandoned Marsden jewelry store Stockport UK(images via: Peter Bartlett LRPS EFIAP and Stockport.co.uk)

Jeweler Ian Marsden established his jewelry store in 1969, according to the weathered old-style sign still affixed to the storefront. The sign also heralds the presence of a “Working Jeweler” inside… don’t believe it! Sometime before March of 2013, Marsden closed the Stockport, UK retail landmark and left anything not portable behind.

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Diamonds Arent Forever 10 Abandoned Jewelry Stores

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

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Don’t Miss Out: Soon These 12 Photography Training Deals Will Be Gone Forever

30 Dec

With the countdown to the end of 2013 we’re also closing in on the time that our 12 Photography Deals of 2013 will be ending.

NewImage

In just a few hours (as the calendar ticks over into 2014 US Eastern Time) these fantastic deals will close forever. Among them are some great savings to be had – up to 77% off resources that will help you make 2014 the year of great photos!

The Most Popular Deals of 2013

A number of people have messaged me for my personal recommendations on which deals I think are best. Of course it will depend upon your needs but here are the deals in order of ‘best sellers’ so you can see what others bought this year:

  1. Day 12: $ 10 Day – where we offered 10 dPS (including our portrait lighting, travel photography and kids photography eBooks) for $ 10 each as well as a couple of great $ 10 bundles of eBooks from Ed Verosky and Andrew Gibson.
  2. Day 7: 77% off Living Landscapes – this $ 7 Landscape Photography eBook deal almost took our servers down it was so popular! There’s also an option to bundle it with 4 Jay Patel eBooks.
  3. Day 9: 77% off Photo Nuts and Post – another $ 7 deal, this one on Post Production Techniques is perfect for those of you looking to learn some great Post Processing Techniques (there’s also an option to get all 5 Neil Creek eBooks for $ 90 off!)
  4. Day 11: $ 40 off Kelby Training – this deal gets you hundreds of hours of photography training from some of the world’s best photographers for just cents a day.
  5. Day 5: 65% off Portraits, Making the Shot – our 2nd most popular eBook ever and yours for just $ 7.
  6. Day 6: 75% off The Art of Black and White Photography – for just $ 24 you can get Udemy’s most popular course.
  7. Day 3: 60% off Going Pro – thinking of making money from your photography? This one is for you.
  8. Day 2: 60% off James Brandon’s ’10 Most Common Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them’ – just $ 12 for this great course.
  9. Day 8: Save 30% on Fro Knows Photo Beginners Guide – if you’re new to photography then this is a great introduction to get you hands on.
  10. Day 1: 65% off our Natural Light eBook – another $ 7 dPS eBook on one of our most popular eBooks. It’ll help you take great natural light images (there’s also an option to get your hands on all 3 Mitchell Kanashkevich eBooks and save $ 35.
  11. Day 10: Save 37% on Mastering Photography eBook By Andrew Gibson – a great beginners guide to using your digital camera.
  12. Day 4: Save 50% on the Amazing Fundamentals of Digital Photography course – 5 massive days of training for just $ 74. The perfect way to set up 2014.

See all these deals on our 12 Days of Christmas page but don’t delay, these deals end as the clock strikes midnight and we see in 2014 (US Eastern time).

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5+ Devices to Make Your Smartphone and DSLR Best Friends Forever

01 Nov

It’s hard to deny the fact that most people use only 10-15% of their gadgets’ abilities, either because they do not need much, or simply because they don’t know that their tiny little smartphones have so much in them! We all know that with a modern phone one can make calls, send messages and surf the Internet. But what about Continue Reading

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School’s Out Forever: 12 Crazy DIY Converted Bus Homes

21 Oct

[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Converted Buses Main

Flimsy, factory-made RVs have nothing on these totally customized, cozy buses converted into compact rolling homes. Dusty, run-down clunkers of school buses and city buses may not look like much at first, but creative DIYers transform them into comfortable living spaces complete with wood floors, transforming furniture, wood stoves and full bathrooms with hot showers.

Waldmire Road Yacht

Converted Buses Road Yacht

This amazing half-wooden contraption is a converted school bus known as the ‘Waldmire Road Yacht,’ built by Rob Waldmire, who traveled in his handcrafted creation for decades along Route 66. It’s now part of the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum in Pontiac, Illinois.

Run-Down City Bus Converted to DIY RV

Converted Buses City Israel 1

Converted Buses City Israel 2

This city bus seemed beyond saving when two Israeli women initially found it, but they saw the bones of their own highly customized DIY RV. The women tore out the interior and gave it a fresh, modern new look with pops of bright color.

Bus to Minimal Mobile Home

Converted-Buses-Minimal-Mobile

Converted Buses Minimal Mobile 2

Tired of just drafting imaginary buildings in studio courses, architecture student Hank Butitta decided to get his hands dirty: he bought a bus for $ 3,000 and completely transformed the interior, spending $ 6,000 to improve it with an array of transforming modular features. Those include a bed system that unfolds in various ways for different sleeping configurations, lots of hidden storage, and seats withs egret flip-up and slide-out panels.

School Bus Turned Home That Sleeps Ten

Converted Buses Solar Power Ten

‘I think my mom’s reaction was, ‘this isn’t the sixties,’” says co-owner Rachel of the bus she converted with her partner Richard. It may not be conventional, but this living situation allows them to go wherever they please. Buying a school bus cheap gave them a blank canvas, and they designed every detail of their new home – which has transforming beds to sleep up to ten.

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Schools Out Forever 12 Crazy Converted Diy Mobile Homes

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