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Posts Tagged ‘Images’

Noa N7 smartphone captures 80MP images with ‘high-resolution mode’

15 Feb

Lesser known Croatian brand Noa might not be the first manufacturer that springs to mind when you think about mobile photography, but the company will be launching a new mid-range device with some very interesting imaging features at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of this month.

The Noa N7 comes with a dual-camera setup that features two 16MP Sony IMX298 1/2.8″ image sensors. At this point, there’s no further detail on how the two cameras play together, but we would assume there will be a shallow depth-of-field simulation mode and some kind of computational merging for better detail and reduced noise.

What the camera will definitely feature, however, is a 80MP high-resolution mode, presumably using image data from both lenses in combination with a pixel-shift technology. Looking at the demo video below, it seems the mode will require a tripod, but that’s still an attractive option for landscape or architectural photography who require maximum detail.

Main camera aside, the phone will offer a ceramic casing, Face-ID unlocking via the front camera, DTS stereo sound and an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 chipset. Images can be framed and viewed on a 5.7-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio, and HD+ resolution.

If the 80MP mode has sparked your interest, the Noa N7 might be worth a closer look. Fortunately, the high pixel count won’t come with an expensive price tag—Noa says the N7 will retail for about 250 EUR ($ US 310) in Europe. We are looking forward to testing the high-resolution mode at MWC, so stay tuned!

Press Release

Koprivnica, 15th of February 2018

NOA will focus on its latest smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – NOA N7, with a 5,7 HD+ screen with an 18:9 screen ratio. Ceramic case, improved photography, Face ID and Face Beauty functionality along with an affordable price are the main key selling points of this new model.

The first two thing you’ll notice about this model is its design and a wonderful „royal blue“ color of the ceramic casing. This smartphone’s subtle elegance will certainly be noticed by everyone around you.

What makes this phone especially noticeable is the photo detailing and its quality, something that you’ll experience when you zoom in the photo and notice the perfectly rendered details. The N7 model will feature 2x 16 MP back Sony cameras with an IMX 298 sensor, which enables the creation of photographs up to 80 MP using oversampling technology.

The front 16 MP „selfie“ camera will support „Face ID“ and „Face Beauty“ functionalities. This means that you’ll be able to unlock your smartphone by scanning your face, which adds extra functionality in this price range, and rounds our the feature list with attractive and novel technologies. Your selfies will look sharper, more detailed and be of better quality. Thanks to the „Face Beauty“ feature, you’ll always look your best in photos, whether you’re taking them in the morning or evening.

Users who like to listen to music will also enjoy themselves with NOA N7, thanks to the world famous DTS sound technology. DTS Sound is an all-in-one audio solution that offers improved stereo sound quality, internal speaker optimization, and creates a panoramic audio experience while using earbuds.

NOA N7 is based on the 8 core Media Tek MT6750 processor with a 1,5 GHz frequency and a 5,7” screen. The screen resolution, complete with HD+ technology is 1440×720 pixel and an 18:9 screen ratio. NOA N7 will have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM storage, expandable to 128 GB with the help of an SD card. NOA N7 comes with a 3.300 mAh battery and will use the latest Android 8.0 as its operating system.

NOA N7 smartphone will be in the price bracket of up to 250 EUR.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

13 Feb

Over the past few months, I’ve been testing out the features of Luminar. I’ve looked at the time-saving features that can help reduce your editing headaches. I’ve also played around with the AI filter to see how it holds up in quickly editing holiday photos and now it’s time to check Luminar’s capabilities when it comes to creating a retro look for your photos.

I wanted to know if Luminar would be quick, easy to use and create a look that tastefully gave my photos the look and feel of shooting with film.

Retro Look #1

To embark on this experiment, I studied some famous older photographs. My goal was to shoot a few images that paid tribute to the look and feel of old-school Hollywood. I saw this first image of Sophia Loren from the 1960’s and knew it was perfect. I love the style of dress from past eras and thought this would be a suitable project.

Sophia Loren Image

The goal was to create an image with a similar look and feel. I borrowed my friend Nahleen, she has some similar features to Sophia Loren. Once she agreed we set out to capture an image and then process for that 1960’s film look. Here’s the original image we took.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

This is the original unedited photo.

It was shot outdoors on a cold and frosty December afternoon. Nahleen has some similar features to Sophia Loren but is by no means a carbon copy. Instead, I was more interested in attaining a photo in which the fur hood framed her face.

So now that we had captured the image, it was time to bring it into Luminar. I tried to make to make the conversion as simple and quick to complete as possible. I will admit that I tried several times with different settings, etc. until I found a look that I felt was similar to the Sophia Loren image.

The AI Filter was used to bring out some contrast in the image. The photo of Sophia Loren was quite sharp and also had a fairly contrasty look, so my first goal was to pull out the dark tones and brighten my lighter tones to match more closely.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

The Accent slider made adjustments quickly and easily.

The B&W Workspace

I then used the B&W Workspace to guide my editing of the photo. I adjusted several sliders. The intention was to increase the contrast and create some fairly strong blacks.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

The B&W Workspace comes equipped with a variety of filters all designed to help with black and white conversions.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here are the settings I used.

Adding Film Grain

My final step was to add film grain. At first, I cranked up the amount of film grain. In this screenshot, you can see how strongly I adjusted it. I always like to adjust a setting by purposely using too much. Then I back off the amount until I find a nice balance.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here you can see that I’ve adjusted the grain to a fairly heavy amount. For the final image, I backed off a bit.

The whole process was pretty quick. Once I found the right settings it didn’t take too long to recreate this retro look. The final photograph is dark and contrasty but also a little different from the original Sophia Loren shot.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

The final image is cropped in closer. My use of film grain is also heavier than in the original Sophia Loren shot.

Retro Look #2

In this second shot, I used a photo from a recent photo shoot in which I was working with a young lady to create a portfolio of modeling images. The 10-hour photo session was created using a very basic budget, but we made sure to utilize a retro outfit for this article.

The bell bottoms and the fur jacket were both found at the thrift store, as was the backdrop. We were working a tight space with limited materials.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here’s the original unedited file. It was shot in my living room. We used a very basic DIY type of set up.

Free Presets

For this shot, I decided to take advantage of Luminar’s free presets. There are lots of free presets available for download, and I was lucky enough to find a set of free analog-film looks.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here’s a look at all the free presets available on the Luminar website.

Quick Clicks and Some Cloning

The look of this image was very easy to create with just a few simple adjustments. I chose a cross-processing look and then tweaked it to my liking. The accompanying texture was applied pretty heavily. I found that it was overwhelming the image. So I chose to back off the strength of the texture.

I also cropped the image slightly and applied the Orton Effect filter. It quickly smoothed the model’s skin, and I didn’t need to go in and do any retouching on her face. This saved me quite a lot of time.

Finally, I took the image into Photoshop, where I cloned and added a layer to fill in the areas around the outside where you could see my living room in the original shot.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

The preset applied without any adjustments to the original settings.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

I started to make some minor adjustment to the original settings found in the preset which included adjusting the saturation in cross-processing.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here’s the split screen of the before and after views. I completed some cropping and clone stamping.

Plug in for Photoshop

Luminar also has the capability to clone and add layers, but I’ll be honest there’s a part of me that will forever remain loyal to Photoshop for completing these parts of the editing process. This is partly why I really like Luminar  – it works as a plug-in for Photoshop as well. I can move back and forth between the two programs pretty seamlessly.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here’s the final edited image.

Retro look #3

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

This is the original unedited file.

For this final shot, I decided to edit the image fully in Luminar. I started from scratch with a RAW file. The goal was to experiment with the full editing capabilities of Luminar. The intention was to create a sepia look image that felt like an older faded photograph.

To start, I opened the B&W Workspace. It contains all the tools I needed for this conversion. That means I didn’t have to search through the list of filters to find anything.

Next, I applied the orange filter, cropped the image and adjusted contrast. I also adjusted the black and white sliders and played around with the strength of this first filter. I did consider creating a color image with a faded look but decided to go with full black and white.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Here’s a look at the faded film style.

Split Toning

After making these adjustments, I started to experiment with the Split Toning sliders. I gave the image a more brownish tone. This step took some experimentation with saturation and various colors.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

These are the sliders and colors I experimented with during editing.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

After adding the split toning, it was time to add a vignette and film grain. Again I adjusted the grain so it was very heavy and then backed it off to a more suitable amount. The longest part of this whole process was finding a texture that I liked which I felt fit with the feel of the image I wanted to create. I tried several. Luminar comes with lots of free textures you can download. They all seemed to work quite nicely.

In the end, I chose a weathered-looking texture and used the brush tool to apply it to the image in varying amounts. I didn’t want a lot of heavy texture over her face. Here are the final results of my editing and experimentation. The image has a heavier texture application along with film grain and a stronger vignette. The B&W Workspace worked perfectly. It placed all the necessary tools right at my fingertips.

Experimenting with Different Textures

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

I tend to adjust the image quite strongly then slowly back off the effect until I find the treatment I like.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

I played around with several different textures to create the old damaged photograph type of look.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Overlay option number two.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Overlay option number three.

The Finished Image

The final image includes the texture you see in the image above, but I backed it off quite a bit. Here are the results of the experiment. The application of the texture was reduced down to about 14. I didn’t want the effect to be as heavy-handed as in the image above.

In this final finished image, you can see the texture is most obvious around the edges. It’s a subtle texture called tattered that was available in the free downloads section of the Luminar webpage.

How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar

Your turn

Luminar comes equipped with a full array of filters that can help you to create a retro look for your images in both black and white and color. Give it a try, they have a 14-day free trial.

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

The post How to Create a Retro Look for Your Images with Luminar by Erin Fitzgibbon appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

05 Feb

As the owner of a DSLR camera, you may have heard the pros encouraging you to graduate to Manual Mode or M on your camera’s dial. While there are different schools of thought on which mode to use, Manual Mode allows you the greatest control over your settings.

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

So why are so many people still daunted by it and how do you take next step to start working with Manual Mode? In this article, I’ll try to simplify it for you so you can understand how to use it and take better images.

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

Why Manual Mode?

If you use the other modes, the camera helps you figure out some or all of the settings. For example, if you choose Aperture Priority mode, the camera works out the shutter speed and vice versa if you choose Shutter Priority. So if it already does all this, why bother with manual?

Sometimes these automated or semi-automated settings are not always in line with your vision. They may even be incorrect or tricked by unique lighting situations. This is where you take back control by using Manual Mode. You tell the camera how you want your output and your photos to look.

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

Understanding the Big Three

As stated before, with Manual Mode you have control over “everything”- but what exactly does this mean? Well simply put, there are three variables that determine the exposure of your photograph and Manual Mode puts you in control all of them. These variables are the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, which together make up what is known as the Exposure Triangle. The balance of these three points of the exposure triangle is what Manual Mode is all about.

Aperture

Also known as f-number or f-stop, aperture refers to the size of the hole in your lens that lets in light. With a larger aperture (smaller f-number like f/2.8), more light hits your camera sensor. The reverse is also true (a larger f-number like f/16 lets in less light).

NOTE: It is often confusing for beginners because the smaller the number, the larger the hole. Just remember that the aperture is a ratio or fraction so f/2 is like 1/2 and f/20 is like 1/22. So remember that one half of anything is larger than 1/20th. 

Your control of aperture determines the depth of field in your photo – or how much of your image is sharp. A wider aperture (like f/2.8) results in a shallow depth of field. This means that only a part of your image is sharp, leaving the rest blurred or out of focus. Portraits are a good scenario to use wider apertures.

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

Here a shallow depth of field has been combined with a fast shutter speed to get this shot.

If you want most of your image to be sharp, use a smaller aperture. Smaller apertures (higher f-numbers like f/16) are commonly used when shooting outdoor or landscape scenery.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed refers to the length of time that the shutter inside your camera is opened and light is allowed to hit the sensor. So to double the amount of light, you can double the length of your exposure.

If you want to freeze motion, use faster shutter speeds to limit the amount of time that light hits the sensor. Conversely, if you want to blur motion in your scene, use slower shutter speeds (or long exposure photography).

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

Taking control of your shutter speed can change your usual day shots. Here a long exposure was used to add a motion blur to the moving water.

ISO

To keep the definition of ISO simple, it is the way your camera controls its sensitivity to light. Increasing your ISO value allows you to shoot in lower light conditions without a tripod. Note that higher ISO values add digital noise to your image which affects image quality. Fortunately, most cameras now handle digital noise better that those of times gone by, so experiment with it as it can be quite useful.

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

Higher ISO values can add noise (grain) to your image but it is sometimes necessary to do this.

How to use Manual Mode

Now that you are familiar with what Manual Mode controls, how do you start working with it? Well, after you decide what you want to shoot, pick one the points of the exposure triangle as your starting point.

To shoot a landscape, for example, decide how much you want in sharp focus. Let’s say you choose an aperture of f/16. After your aperture is set, turn your shutter speed dial until the exposure is balanced. You can use the camera marker on your exposure chart as a guide. Theoretically, you have just balanced your aperture and shutter speed.

Start with your ISO at 100 and take a shot. Is your photo too bright or too dark? Based on the results, adjust your settings and retry. When working with the exposure triangle, most times when you adjust one setting, you usually have to adjust one of the other two (in the opposite direction) to get a balanced result and a proper exposure.

Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images

Conclusion

Manual Mode may seem daunting, but as you learn more about controlling light, it becomes easier with time. While nothing is wrong with using the other available modes of your camera, the ability to control the final output of your vision is a great skill to develop.

If you have any tips or tricks that worked for you when you were learning Manual Mode, please share with us in the comments below.

The post Simplifying Manual Mode to Help You Take Control of Your Images by Nisha Ramroop appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar

23 Jan

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s that time of year again. It’s cold, windy, snowy and very, very white. Winter wonderlands are the ideal things to shoot this time of year. When everything around you is frosted with snow and ice, even everyday things take on a magical feel.

When you step outdoors to shoot this winter, however, an icy fairytale landscape might not be exactly what you get. Here in Chicago if it’s not white, it’s pretty darn grey. That doesn’t make for very pretty pictures. Grey weather days look really blah in 2-D. Actually, even an amazing landscape filled with sparkling snow can make a surprisingly flat image. Let’s break down a few ways that you can process your winter images in Luminar to really make them pop.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - Running horses

My final version of wild horses running through a white-out snowstorm in northern Nevada. I adjusted the black point to -20 by dragging the slider until the histogram just touched the left side. I also made a few more adjustments in Luminar, including boosting the Shadows, reducing the Highlights and enhancing Vibrance. Canon 7DII with 100-400mm II plus 1.4x III extender @ 560mm, f/8, 1/1000th, ISO 400.

Adjust Your Whites and Blacks

In Luminar, you adjust the White and Black points in the RAW Develop Filter (if you’re adjusting a JPG it’s just called “Develop”), or in the dedicated Whites/Blacks Filter. These adjustments are an important first step for images with snow. By shifting the Blacks and Whites, you maximize the range of light and dark tones in your image. That helps give white snow texture and depth.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - running horses raw image

The unprocessed RAW file of the above image. Compare it to the lead image and look at the difference just a few adjustments made.

Adjust your Whites so that your snow isn’t “blown out” (which means it won’t show any detail). Usually, you’ll need to drag the Whites slider to the left. The histogram should just be touching the right side. Now grab your Blacks and drag it so that the histogram just touches the left side.

Fine-Tune Your White Balance

The White Balance setting is also in the Develop Filter. To help add pop to your winter images, adjust the Temperature of your image to be either warmer (more yellow) or cooler (more blue). You can also make a separate adjustment to the Tint, adjusting it to reflect more green or magenta. Be forewarned though, Temperature and Tint adjustments get tricky when dealing with white snow.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - Paint Pots

In this image of one of the paint pots at Yellowstone National Park, just after a light snow, I’ve adjusted the White Balance to a cooler/more blue Temperature of -5, and a more magenta Tint of +2. These very slight shifts, along with Contrast, Clarity and Vibrance adjustments make a big difference in this image’s feel. Canon 5DIV with 24-105mm II lens @ 24mm, f/10, 1/320th, ISO 1250.

Often, if you look at your favorite landscape and wildlife images, they have a warm, yellow glow to them. Warm colors tend to make us happy so we gravitate to them when we post-process. However, snow that is too yellow often looks wrong because we rarely have a full-on snowy landscape in bright, golden sun.

Be careful adjusting Tint too. Pink snow isn’t any more appealing or realistic than yellow snow. Ultimately though, these adjustments are up to you. Experiment to find a wintery look that’s right for your photography style.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar

Here’s the original RAW file of that same paint pot at Yellowstone National Park. You can see the original White Balance and the huge difference that simple change made to make the image above feel colder.

Boost Saturation for Eye-Catching Color

One exception to having vibrantly-colored snow is when an image has colored light reflecting from the sky. In the paint pots image above, you can see that the snow has a bit of a grey-blue cast. That looks natural to me because the snow would reflect the cast of the grey-blue sky.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - Old Faithful

Old Faithful steaming away at dawn one very cold morning. In this final image, I’ve boosted the colors quite a bit. Saturation +30, Vibrance +20 and Contrast +20. Canon 5DIV with 24-105mm II lens @ 56mm, f/13, 1/125th, ISO 800.

Sometimes, cold wintery images aren’t as much about the snow, either. In this Old Faithful landscape, the story is the drama of the winter sky. My instinct was to amp up the blues in this image, and also the golden grass, to create a striking, complementary color scheme.

When you try this, play around with the color sliders a bit (Vibrance and Saturation are great starting points) and see what works best. Strong color can be gorgeous but doesn’t work for every winter image.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - Old Faithful

Here’s the RAW, unprocessed file of Old Faithful. The original image is composed well and exposed properly, but very flat. Luminar does an excellent job bringing it to life.

Convert to Monochrome for Stark Drama

Sometimes winter scenes don’t lend themselves well to color images at all. This wild horse running on the snowy ridge in front of the mountain was spectacular in real life. The RAW file wasn’t much to look at though. See for yourself.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - Wild Stallion

Wild horse running along the snowy ridge in northern Nevada. Canon 5DIII with 100-400mm II lens @ 255mm, f/5.6, 1/1000th, ISO 1000.

What is nice about the image is that the bay-colored horse makes an incredible silhouette against all that white snow. Monochrome tends to work well with silhouettes, especially when you boost the contrast.

With their cool grey and white tones, monochrome images can make bland winter images spectacular. Remember to give it a try if experimenting with the color options we discussed above doesn’t work for your image.

How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar - Stallion Silhouette

Isn’t that an amazing change for the better? Look how that silhouette just pops out of the snowy mountain backdrop now.

Share your Winter Image Post-Processing Tips

These are my four favorite ways to make my winter images pop using Luminar. Bundle up, head on out to the great wintry outdoors, shoot a few frames and give them a try yourself.

And hey, share with the dPS community too. What are your favorite post-processing tips for editing gorgeous winter images?

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

The post How to Make your Winter Images Pop with Luminar by Lara Joy Brynildssen appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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The Hasselblad H6D-400c multi-shot captures insane 400MP images

17 Jan

Swedish medium format manufacturer Hasselblad has introduced its next-generation multi-shot body, building a monster that outputs 400MP images.

Following in the footsteps of the company’s H6D-100c, the H6D-400c MS uses sensor-shift technology to combine up to six exposures into a single monster image measuring 23200 x 17400 pixels. If you work to the principle that 300ppi is ‘”photo-quality”, that means you can create a print of over 77x58in.

The final image from the 6-shot process is a 16-bit TIFF that weighs 2.3GB.

The camera is aimed at the art digitizing market and other industries that require super-resolution and accurate color.

The H6D-400c MS gathers color information by shifting the sensor by a pixel at a time in a four-by-four grid, and recording four images with the red, green and blue filters over-lapping to produce RGBG at every pixel. The sensor is then returned to the normal position before being shifted half a pixel horizontally and then half a pixel vertically to record extra resolution via these two extra images.

The GIF below shows the whole process from start to finish:

The system is similar to that used by companies like Olympus and Panasonic, except that these manufacturers use their ‘floating’ 5-axis sensor image stabilization technology to manipulate the sensor into position. Hasselblad’s system uses a machined metal block with a track milled into it that the sensor is shifted along.

This creates a system that’s more rigid, to ensure the sensor movements are absolutely parallel and precise every single time. When not being used in multi-shot mode, the camera acts just like a H6D-100c, so it can be used normally too.

The H6D-400c MS will begin shipping in March, but pre-orders are being accepted immediately. The price of the camera will be $ 47,995 (€39,999 / £36,250 / RMB 319,999 / JPY 5,391,380 excluding VAT). If that’s a little out of your budget, you will be able to rent it directly from Hasselblad for about $ 480 (€400 / £360) per day, with discounts available for longer-term agreements.

For more information visit the Hasselblad website.

Press Release:

Hasselblad Introduces the H6D-400c MS, a 400 Megapixel Multi-Shot Camera

Building on a vast experience of developing exceptional, high-quality single and multi-shot cameras, Hasselblad once again has raised the bar for image quality captured with medium format system.

Multi-Shot capture has become an industry standard in the field of art reproduction and cultural heritage for the documentation of paintings, sculptures, and artwork. As the only professional medium format system to feature multi-shot technology, Hasselblad continues to be the leading choice for institutions, organizations, and museums worldwide to record historic treasures in the highest image quality possible.

With over 10 years of digital imaging expertise, the latest Multi-Shot digital camera combines the H6D’s unrivalled ease of use with a completely new frontier of image quality and detail. This new camera encompasses all of the technological functions of Hasselblad’s H6D single shot camera, and adds to that the resolution and colour fidelity leaps that only Multi-Shot photography can bring to image capture.

With an effective resolution of 400MP via 6 shot image capture, or 100MP resolution in either 4 shot Multi-Shot capture or single shot mode, the Multi-Shot capture requires the sensor and its mount to be moved at a high-precision of 1 or ½ a pixel at a time via a piezo unit. To capture Multi-Shot images the camera must be tethered to a PC or MAC.

In 400MP Multi-Shot mode, 6 images are captured, the first 4 involve moving the sensor by one pixel at a time to achieve real colour data (GRGB- see 4 shot diagrams below), this cycle then returns the sensor to its starting point. A further two exposures are made moving the sensor by ½ a pixel horizontally and then ½ a pixel vertically (see 6 shot diagram on next page). These 6 captures are then merged to give the equivalent of a single 400MP image, delivered as a 2.3GB 16-bit TIFF (23200 x 17400 pixels), for those seeking the utmost in image quality and resolving power.

The H6D-400c MS encompasses all the features and functionality of Hasselblad’s standard single shot cameras:

  • USB 3.0 type c connection for tethered shooting, high speed data transfers & 30FPS live view
  • Dual media card slots: CFast 2.0 and SD card
  • 3.0-inch touch rear display
  • Smartphone style user interface
  • HD & UHD video
  • Modular system with improved back removal process
  • Technical camera connectivity (single shot)
  • Wi-Fi
  • HDMI & Audio I/O
  • True Focus II

The H6D-400c MS will begin shipping March 2018 with a MSRP of € 39,999 / $ 47,995 / £ 36,250 / RMB 319,999 / JPY 5,391,380 excl. VAT.
Pre-orders can start to be taken January 16th

The H6D-400c MS will also be available to rent through your local Hasselblad sales representative. The rental fee is approx. €399/day for short term loans, but you can save up to 50% of that cost if you rent for a longer period.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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CVS bans photo manipulation on its beauty images, will hold other brands to same standard

16 Jan
Photo: CVS Health

Earlier today, CVS announced that it would ban ‘materially altered’ imagery on its store-brand beauty products, and begin marking imagery on all of the beauty products the store carries as ‘Digitally Altered’ if it doesn’t match the new policy by 2020. Given the influence CVS wields—it is the US’s largest drug store chain—major beauty brands such as L’Oreal, Maybelline, and others are expected to follow suit.

The announcement is branded as a “commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery,” and includes the introduction of the so-called CVS Beauty Mark: a watermark that will appear on all beauty imagery in the store that has not been materially altered. And, just in case you’re not sure what CVS means by ‘materially altered,’ the company explains:

For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.

The move, says Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive VP of CVS Health, is a recognition of the company’s responsibility as one of the largest beauty retailers in the United States:

The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

The CVS Beauty Mark will begin appearing on CVS-produced beauty imagery in 2018, but the goal is to have all of the photographs in the beauty sections of CVS stores up to transparency standards by the end of 2020. At that point, any altered beauty image that appears in CVS “stores, marketing materials, websites, apps or social media” will be clearly labeled as such.

To learn more about this initiative, head over to the CVS Beauty Mark website. And if you plan to shoot campaign images for … well … almost any beauty brand from this point forward, you might want to keep these standards in mind. Chances are good that product is carried in a CVS store.

Press Release

CVS Pharmacy Makes Commitment to Create New Standards for Post-Production Alterations of Beauty Imagery

WOONSOCKET, R.I. | January 15, 2018 – CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced a commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery it creates for stores, websites, social media and any marketing materials. As part of this initiative, transparency for beauty imagery that has been materially altered will be required by the end of 2020.

The company also announced that it will introduce the “CVS Beauty Mark,” a watermark that will be used to highlight imagery that has not been materially altered. For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics. CVS Pharmacy will be working together with key brand partners and industry experts to develop specific guidelines in an effort to ensure consistency and transparency.

“As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day,” said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

This new initiative is being introduced in an effort to lead positive change around transparency in beauty as well as to allow customers to differentiate between authentic and materially altered imagery. The CVS Beauty Mark will start to appear on CVS Pharmacy-produced beauty imagery in 2018 with the goal of all images in the beauty sections of CVS Pharmacy stores reflecting transparency by the end of 2020.

“We’ve reached out to many of our beauty brand partners, many of whom are already thinking about this important issue, to work together to ensure that the beauty aisle is a place that represents and celebrates the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve,” Foulkes added. “We’ve been inspired by their willingness to partner with us to redefine industry standards around this important issue for the well-being of all of our customers.”

“Girls Inc. applauds CVS Pharmacy’s leadership commitment to showcase and celebrate beauty in all of its forms. As the national nonprofit dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, Girls Inc. is honored to be a partner in CVS Pharmacy’s movement to counter limiting stereotypes too often faced by girls and women. Allowing diversity and natural beauty to shine will have an immensely positive impact on girls and women everywhere.” said Judy Vredenburgh, Girls Inc. President & CEO.

CVS Health has previously made significant changes in its retail stores with the health of its customers in mind, such as ending the sale of tobacco products, delivering healthier food options throughout CVS Pharmacy stores and committing to remove certain chemicals of concern from all store brand beauty and personal care items by 2019.

To learn more about CVS Pharmacy’s new beauty imagery initiative, visit www.cvshealth.com/BeautyMark.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

08 Jan

Drawing the viewer’s attention to the main subject in your photographs will help them understand your story more clearly. If you have a busy scene with no clear focus point it will possibly give your viewers an overall idea of what you were photographing, but they may not scrutinize it for long. Adding a clear center of attention will help you create better storytelling images.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Particularly when you are photographing a locality with a lot going on you can seek to isolate or draw the viewer’s eye to one main subject within your composition. By using this technique, you can develop a style which may become easily recognizable in your photographs.

Lessons from documentary photography

I first learned to make photographs like this while working as a newspaper photographer. My task was to illustrate and support the journalist’s story with my pictures. Making photos that compelled people to stop and look was always my priority. We wanted people to take notice, look at the photo, and read the story.

Photos of broad, general scenes will not achieve this so well as people will typically just flick past them.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Creating a photo essay to tell of your travel experience, an event you attended, a parade, etc., you will be aiming to convey what you saw and how you felt to best engage your audience. By creating a series of images where you have focused in on one main subject in each image you can build an overall illustration communicating to the viewer what it was like to be there. That is storytelling at its best.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Techniques

There are various techniques you can use to draw attention to one part of your composition. Using a shallow depth of field to isolate is one method. Using the contrast in light between your subject and the background, and various composition methods you can obtain pleasing results.

Play with the background

All of the photos I am using to illustrate this article are from a street parade in Chiang Mai, Thailand. With a lot of people, often cluttered backgrounds, and no real control or means of setting up photos, it’s a challenging situation in which to shoot.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Finding a dark background to help isolate your subject is not always so easy, but when you can it will produce some great photos. In this photo of the boy playing a large drum, I positioned myself so the background was totally in shadow and therefore underexposed.

This has achieved isolation of my main subject and you easily focus your attention on him. My timing to capture a smile and interesting positioning of his drumstick also helped. On its own though, this photograph does not do much to illustrate the parade and environment.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Coming in close to the French horn player (with a 35mm lens on a full frame camera and a wide aperture) I was able to isolate him and at the same time convey more information about his activity and location. Making him the center of attention and at the same time leaving him in context helps tell the story.

Had I used a longer lens it would have included less background and it may have been even more blurred, further distorting the detail and therefore the context of the story would be lost.

Using compositional elements

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Using different composition methods such as framing or converging lines you can help draw your viewer’s attention to your chosen subject.

Often during our workshops, I find people want to include too much in their photos. I encourage them to include less and take more photos build up a story that way.

While it is good practice to create a photo essay which has a varied selection of wide, medium and close-up photos, trying to capture too much of what’s in front of you can often produce rather uninteresting photographs. Bringing one part of your composition to the foreground as the center of attention is a more effective means of holding a viewer’s focus.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

Single or multiple photos

At the newspaper most often each story was accompanied by a single photograph. So the challenge was to produce one image supporting the narrative of the story. Not always so easy, especially with an event like a parade.

I often encourage people to photograph as if they are shooting to cover a story for a magazine. The aim being to come away with a series of photographs that together will tell the story of their experience. To finish up with 6-10 photos having a clear center of interest in each one and conveying the overall experience of the day.

How to Create a Center of Attention for Better Storytelling Images

If you produce a small collection of photos most social media and photo sharing sites have means to display them together in an album or gallery so it’s a great way for you to share your stories and your experiences.

Your turn

You can see some of these tips in action in the video below. Please share your tips and thoughs on creating more storytelling images by having a center of attention in the comments below.

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How to Add a Rainbow to Your Images Using Photoshop

04 Jan

A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that needs many specific conditions to come together in order to appear, which is why they are not that easy to come across. They are, however, a beautiful and evocative sight, and they are associated with different cultural and even religious meanings.

For all these reasons you might want to have a rainbow in your image even when there isn’t one, not to worry though, here’s an easy way to create them in Photoshop.

Rainbow landscape

Choosing the right image

Because of its significance and symbolism, you can incorporate a rainbow into almost any scene. However, if you want it to look natural it’s important that you choose a scenario in which it would be possible to see a rainbow in real life. To do so, you first need to understand how rainbows are formed.

When sunlight passes through a droplet of water it gets refracted and what we originally perceived as white light is now spread out into a band of colors called spectrum. Once it’s dispersed, we are able to perceive seven different colors in that light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. This is what we call a rainbow.

Rainbow with reflection

Because it needs sunlight and water drops in the air, a common place to find a rainbow is near a fountain or a waterfall. This is what I’ll use to show you how to do it in Photoshop.

Getting started in Photoshop

Once you have your image opened in Photoshop, add a new empty layer by going to the top Menu > Layer > New Layer. A window will pop-up, you can name it “rainbow” just to keep things organized and then Click OK.

New Rainbow Layer

Then select the Gradient tool from the tools panel and a set of settings appear on the top bar as part of the options to adjust the gradient. On the left side of that top bar there is the Gradient Editor; if you open the menu for that by clicking on the down arrow, another window will pop-up with different gradient colors and styles. On the right of it, there is a gear icon that you can click on for more settings. From that menu, you need to choose the one called Special Effects.

Special Effects - rainbow photoshop

Creating the rainbow

A window appears to ask you if you want to replace current gradients with those from Special Effects. You need to agree to it so that a new set of gradients appears.

Replace Gradients - rainbow

From those select Russell’s Rainbow and adjust the width of each color to your liking with the slider.

Russell Rainbow

Shape the rainbow

A rainbow is theoretically a circle. However, it’s almost impossible to see it complete, only in rare circumstances from a plane. Usually, we see only a part of a rainbow and maximum the top half. In any case, you need to give it curviness. To achieve this just select the Radial Gradient from the top menu.

Curve rainbow photoshop

Then you can use any of the tools from the Menu > Edit > Transform options to rotate, distort or scale the rainbow.

Transform rainbow

Blend it to look more natural

Finally, to incorporate the rainbow into the image naturally, you can change the Layer Blend Mode from the drop-down menu you’ll find on top of the layers window. Select the Screen mode and move the slider to control the opacity.

You can also soften the edges to make it more believable by going to Menu> Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and move the Radius slider until you are satisfied with the result.

Blur rainbow

Then you just have to erase (hide) the parts that are overlapping the landscape by adding a layer mask and using the eraser tool. Note: make sure you are erasing on the mask, not the actual layer.

Erase rainbow

Conclusion

There you have it, a perfectly natural rainbow that can appear anytime when the sunlight passes through raindrops. It’s frequently seen after showers and rainstorms or near a fountain or waterfall. As long as you are looking opposite the sun and are at a low altitude angle.

Splash Rainbow

If you are more interested in the symbolic sense of the rainbow, you don’t have to worry so much about it looking natural. According to different cultures and periods in time, rainbows have been associated with different things.

For Christians, it’s found in the Bible after the big flooding as a covenant from God that water will no longer kill mankind, as a symbol of love. A different interpretation originated in ancient Europe as a legend that says that a leprechaun can be found at the end of the rainbow and if you can stare at it long enough, it will tell you where its pot of gold is hidden. And in contemporary cultures, a rainbow has been picked for the flag of the LGBT community as a sign of pride and symbolism of diversity.

Rainbow in the rain

In this case, I used it with this purpose by adding a rainbow to this photo from an Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Parade where it conveniently was raining so it would have been possible to see one. And you, how are you going to use this technique? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

23 Dec

I love experimenting with different techniques and ideas. So when our editor here at dPS, Darlene, asked if someone was willing to try out a technique and experiment with fireworks. I jumped at the chance. I love being creative and pushing the limits of new ideas. Her idea for an article about creating artistic images of fireworks came from this article – Bloom or boom? Photographer captures the moment fireworks erupt into life – creating amazing images that look like flowers.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

Here’s a fairly typical image of fireworks.

Successful recreation

I loved the look of the images and this type of artistic experimentation is right up my alley. I try this type of stuff all the time. Sometimes it works. Other times it’s not such a success, but the point is to learn and grow as an artist and photographer.

These first set of shots were taken using the technique described by the photographer in the article. Yes, it is copying someone else’s technique, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Imitation can lead to ingenuity. I used a long exposure and then tried to time my movements of the focus ring with the explosion of the fireworks. Timing is everything with this technique, and it’s hard to master. It took me almost the entire fireworks display to get some images that copied his technique.

Note: you don’t need to crank the focus ring. A small movement out of focus will create the desired effect.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I like the look of these fireworks. The explosions remind me of flower petals.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

These blurred images of the firework create a more artistic and impressionistic image.

It’s okay to fail!

I’m quite satisfied with the look of these images. I used a 70-200mm lens and set the exposure at 0.6 seconds, with an aperture of f/2.8 and ISO 250. It worked fairly well. The timing was by far the hardest part of this whole endeavor.

I had an awful lot of failed images. There were times when the shot was too far out of focus. The result was some really nice bokeh lights that I’ve since used as image overlays. Usually, black and white art shots and blended them in to create light and interest. Every shot can have a use, so don’t always delete your “failures”.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

In this case, I turned to focus ring too far and created some pretty bokeh.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

While the colors are pretty, this one is a fail too.

The images that were never planned

Other images didn’t turn out exactly as the other photographer’s work but I think the results are still successful. The images are pretty and have turned out to be successful images for birthday cards.

I still used the same technique he did, but I didn’t get the timing correct so these images don’t have the same look as the first ones. They are still appealing though and there is nothing wrong with these unexpected surprises.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I accidentally moved the camera while turning the focus ring. It’s a mistake but I still like the effect.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I love this shot. The lights remind me of popcorn for some reason.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

These lights remind me of rain or comets.

Using fireworks was tough. The timing was very difficult to master. I was only able to capture a handful of shots during the 30-minute firework display. This fact led to another experiment. This time sparklers were used. The night was fairly windy so I used my garage as a studio.

Pushing the experiment further

NOTE: Lesson learned – wait for a night when there is no wind to shoot with sparklers. The fumes from the sparklers filled the garage, and I had a headache after shooting. Of course, I should have thought of this before attempting, but when in the moment…

For the following shots, I used the same premise as I did shooting the fireworks. The one difference was my f-stop. This was my mistake. I set my camera to f/16. This was a huge mistake on my part. I couldn’t replicate the out of focus look for my photos. You need to use a wide open aperture for the experiment to be successful. As a result, the images I created are considerably different from the impressionistic flowers created at the fireworks. There are still a lot of interesting images in this collection, but it wasn’t the look I was hoping to capture.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I used a longer lens for this shot but didn’t use the focus ring.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I love how this seems to look like exploding rain.

Making mistakes

The settings for these shots used a range in aperture from f/16 to f/32. They are still pretty I think, and I will find a use for them for sure.

The next step in the experiment involved getting closer to the sparklers and capturing something different. I attached an extension tube to my lens and got very close to the sparkler. Perhaps a little too close, it is possible to damage your sensor by shooting something too bright. The aperture was small however so this may have saved my camera.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

This quick phone shot my son took shows the distance between the camera and sparkler with the extension tube in place.

Using an extension tube

Here are the results of the experiment. The images allow us to see how the base of the sparkler ignites. These are also interesting images and worth the time it took to create them.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I used my 12mm extension tube on my 50mm prime lens for this shot.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

Here’s a shot where I captured the sparks as they fell from the sparkler.

Being creative in post-processing

It was also fun to play with color during the post-processing stage. An adjustment to the color temperature slider changed the sparkler lights from a warm yellow to an intense orange.

Again this is all experimentation. The process may not result in a finished image, but it’s all about playing with settings and trying to create different effects in your photography.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I simply moved the slider to adjust the color of the light.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I adjusted this shot using the split-tone sliders in Lightroom.

Trying one more time

Naturally, the experiment continued with a second try at the sparkler images. This time I set a much wider aperture. Here are the results using the same method as I used to create the firework images.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

I like the effect of the wide open aperture. Only a few of the sparks remained in focus.

While the sparklers did not recreate the blooming flower impressionistic type effect, I still like the look of these shots. The sparkler allowed me to focus more easily on the task at hand. While I still had to move quickly it wasn’t as rushed as shooting the fireworks. Both activities were enjoyable and challenging in their own way.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

The focus here is more exact.

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

There are some unique lines created by the flares in this image.

Give it a shot!

It’s almost New Years and time for fireworks once again. Share with us some of your experiments and results. It doesn’t have to be fireworks. You could use lights or flashlights. Be creative! Show us what you’ve created!

My next experiment will involve spinning the sparkler while I shoot. What kind of effect will that create?

How to Photograph Fireworks to Create Impressionistic Images

Just one more shot.

If you want some tips on shooting fireworks with a more traditional approach try these articles: 

  • 15 Tips for Successful Fireworks Photography
  • How to Photograph Fireworks

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Weekly Photography Challenge – Holiday Images

23 Dec

Nothing hard this week for the photography challenge. Just show us your holiday-themed images. How do you celebrate with your family? Is it a big festive meal? Then photograph that. Do you deck the house out with sparkly lights? Photograph that!

Weekly Photography Challenge – Holiday Images

Time to practice shooting bokeh with your Christmas tree or holiday lights. Or maybe try some fireworks if your city sets them off for the holidays.

Editor’s note: A crazy but true story, I was in Matagalpa in Nicaragua on December 25th last year and that city set off the official fireworks in the local central park – but that wasn’t the only ones! All around our hotel we saw fireworks in every direction, right at midnight. And it went on for about 30 minutes! We were doing our Christmas tradition – watching Die Hard – and at first, we ignored it. But it went on for so long we had to go look. They really like fireworks in Nicaragua and call them “bombas” or little bombs. 

Or try these if you need more ideas: Five Fun Ideas for Making Festive Holiday Images

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

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