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Posts Tagged ‘More’

Now with More Minimalism: Brandless Brand Trademarks Bland White Boxes

28 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Viral Silicon Valley controversies like those revolving around Juicero (a device that squeezed out juice) and Lyft (which seems to be reinventing the bus) are often held us as examples of how innovators are out of touch, which leads us to Brandless, a brand that is apparently reinventing minimalist packaging — the kind of thing that companies like Target have been doing for ages.

To be fair, the Brandless boxes don’t look all that bad, and color-coding products make some sense. Plus, the idea of making everything the same price (three dollars) is fascinating if a bit difficult to scale. They are trying to take things a step further, too, by putting more information on the box (including the Brandless name) and less on the product, which could in theory be a nice way to visually declutter one’s home.

But of course, reality and regulations don’t always play nice with packaging design — for starters, the smooth look is interrupted by a black-printed net weight stamp toward the bottom and other essential labels of that sort. And, really strangely, a white trademark stands out from the colored portion of the product. Naturally, if one wants to order the flat-priced products, a shipping charge also interrupts the otherwise consistent pricing scheme.

None of this is meant to knock the conceptual underpinnings or commercial viability too much — entrepreneurs Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler are clearly tapping into the West Coast demographic that has money and craves simplicity. But their claim to be making something “completely fresh and new” is a bit much — grocery and convenience store chains have been selling products in simplified and distinctive brand-free packages for a long time, with the same mission in mind (to reduce the “brand tax” people pay to get a name-branded version of something).

For now, the company is rolling out around 200 initial products. And, at least for the time being, they are all at the same price point. But one has to wonder: does that flat rate idea really make sense for a growing consumer brand? Surely some things are best bought in bulk to save money, or simply too expensive to sell for a few dollars. And consumers who want one-stop shopping may find their offerings a bit thin. In the struggle for minimalist simplicity, Brandless just may be making things harder on themselves than they have to.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

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Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography

28 Jul

Photography has become so popular, mainly because of the inclusion of cameras on mobile phones, so it’s more difficult for your photos to be noticed. But, if you learn a little more about photography your photos will be more likely to stand out from the crowd.

Your life is full of gadgets and equipment that can be challenging to learn to use really well. Learning to use your camera will make your photography so much more enjoyable. Photography is therapy. Picking up your camera, making time to take photos, can be a wonderful break from the busy pace of your daily life.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography - Thai ladies

Committing even a small amount of time regularly to learn more about photography will help you enjoy the creative process of image making. It will help overcome frustrations you may have because you don’t understand your camera well enough. As you study you will find that your creative ideas and expression will come more naturally. And, as you know and understand more and begin to relax when you have your camera in your hands, you will find a personal groove and means of expression that will be unique to you.

So here are three really good reasons for you to learn more about photography.

#1. Create outstanding photos

Most of us love to share our photos and see the response or family and friends have to them. Even more exciting is when strangers begin to show appreciation for our photographs. The desire to have your photos seen and enjoyed by others can be a real motivation for you to enjoy photography. But getting your photographs noticed is not so easy.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography - girl with elephant

This has become more of a challenge in recent years because pretty much everybody has a some form of a camera these days. Social media has made it extremely easy to share photos and have them seen by a potentially global audience. But how do you get your photos noticed when everyone else is sharing their photos in the same way?

Take some time to learn more. Learning about light, exposure, color, tone, composition and timing will help you produce more creative, more interesting, more noticeable photographs. And, if you think about it, you probably something about these things already, because you see them all the time, but are not necessarily thinking about them.

You can’t see anything if there’s no light. Light is the essence of photography. With no light, you can have no photo. Learning to appreciate different types of light and when some light is better for making photos than others, will help you create more outstanding photographs. You see light all the time and if you can begin to understand it and appreciate how to expose your photographs well, you will create more compelling images. Knowing something of the limitations of your camera and how it captures tone and color will also help greatly in the creative process.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography - flower

Compose and time your photos better

Learning composition rules and developing a real feel for them will also help your photographs be more impactful. Like with any creative expression, learning the rules will allow you to eventually implement them without really thinking about them. This is when I believe you will become most creative.

Certainly timing your photographs well takes research and practice. Learning to anticipate action and choose precisely the best time to make a photograph, the decisive moment, is a skill that will certainly enhance your photography and make it stand out.

2. Become intimate with your equipment

Learning how to use your camera well and becoming confident will result in a more enjoyable and more creative photography experience. I have met (and taught) many people who own very nice cameras but are not confident in using them. If you don’t have a good understanding of your camera you will most likely become somewhat frustrated when you pick it up to use it, or later when you are looking at disappointing photos.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography

Becoming familiar with your camera and how to use it well takes time and commitment to study. Because each camera model is different, with the controls in different places, it means you need to do some research and hands on practice to know how to use your cameras with confidence.

Essentially all cameras are the same. They function the same way, with light hitting the sensor (or film) to create photographs. Whether you use a camera in any of the automatic modes, or prefer to use it in Manual Mode, the process of creating photos is the same, but the amount of creative control differs greatly.

Setting your exposure manually gives you far more control over the end result. Learning to do this takes a bit more dedication but will ultimately result in you making more unique, creative photographs. If your camera is always set to one of the automatic modes then the camera is making some (or all) of the most creative choices. Cameras are smart, but they are not creative – you are.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography

Learning to take control of the camera will help you enjoy the creative process of photography far more than if you have to stop and think about the basics of what to do each time you pick up your camera.

3. Photography can be therapeutic

Having creative drive, wanting to make good photos and have others enjoy them, will hopefully lead you to want to learn more about using your camera well. Doing that will free you up to enjoy your whole photography experience and you can then experience photography as a therapy.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography

Expressing your creativity with a camera you understand and love is very therapeutic. Taking time out from your busy day, even just for 10 or 15 minutes, to take a few photographs can be enjoyable and relaxing. Indulging in longer photography sessions on weekends or during vacations can be terrifically therapeutic.

I find when I pick my camera up to shoot for pleasure, (it’s different shooting for work if I have a client to please,) I can easily become absorbed only in making photographs, and nothing else matters! Being able to really zone in on what I am doing helps me forget all the worries and stresses I may be experiencing in life and just enjoy the process of being creative.

Narrowing the attention of your thoughts to the creative processes of photography, meditating on photography, brings a whole other dimension to the experience. Being aware of and intentionally seeking opportunities where you can use your camera creatively can help you relax differently than other activities you may enjoy. Watching the news on TV, checking social media, or going to a movie are all things that add a change of pace to your daily life. But a lot of what you do to relax does not involve being creative. Being creative with your camera adds a whole new dimension to life and can be most therapeutic.

Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography

Conclusion

Having the desire and drive to want your photos to be noticed when you share them is a good reason to learn more about photography. Overcoming the frustration you may feel because you haven’t taken the time to learn how to use your camera is another good solid reason to invest some time, and maybe even some money, in learning how your camera functions and how you can control it better (preferably in manual mode.)

Once you are on the path to learn more about your camera and about photography, knowing that it can be wonderfully therapeutic, should be most encouraging for you to follow some course of study to make the most of your camera – even your phone camera! Here’s a video for you to watch more on this topic as well.

What other good reasons do you have for learning more about photography? Please share in the comments below.

The post Three Good Reasons To Learn More About Photography by Kevin Landwer-Johan appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

27 Jul

Wildlife photography is one of the fastest growing hobbies today. With DSLR and lenses getting cheaper by the minute, it is only bound to grow faster. With more and more people taking to wildlife photography as a means to connect with nature and share its beauties, it’s become imperative that you start pushing the bar of your photography ever higher. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is to try out rim lighting shots. If you do not know what that means, you are on the right page – keep reading.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

There are many ways to get creative with your wildlife photography, but in this article I will teach you one of the most impactful. Let’s start with getting to know rim lighting a little better.

What is rim lighting?

By definition, rim lighting in photography means any image where the light at the edges of the subject seems more intense than the other areas. For example, take a look at the image below.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Notice how the outline of the giraffes stands out? The rim of the subject looks well-lit. Quite simply, that’s what rim lighting is about.

How do you achieve rim lighting?

First and foremost, you need to position yourself such that the subject stands between your camera and the light source (more often than not, that will be the sun in nature photography). Rim lighting will happen in the natural world only if you can see the rim, lit up with your eyes. Some of the easiest subjects for this are animals that have a lot of fur and are not too smooth coated, for example, bears, giraffes, lions, or deer with antlers.

Take a look at the visual below for a quick understanding on positioning yourself.

750

Guidelines

There are a few guidelines that you need to adhere to while trying to obtain a rim-lit image:

  • Rim lighting happens best when the sun is low in the sky, so try to look for a subject around that time.
  • A dark background is necessary (check all the images in this article) so make sure that you try this in an area where your background is conducive to good results.

Speaking about the camera now, composition aside, rim-lit photography can be done using one of two approaches.

Approach #1 – Exposure Compensation

Using exposure compensation is the easiest way to execute rim-lit shots. Once you have ensured that you are able to see a rim-lit subject just go ahead and try a test shot with a little underexposure. Take a look at the sequence of images below.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Make note, by default when using the built-in metering system in your camera, more often than not the image in such scenarios (a lot of black and little bit of white) will turn out to be a bit washed out. It is just that the camera does not know what is the most important part of the image and makes an error in judgement (it tries to average the exposure).

Knowing where to stop with regards to exposure compensation is a subjective call. You could be happy with the second or the third image above. Just know that the more you underexpose the darker the surroundings will get.

This is a perfectly valid way of getting a rim-lit shot, but I generally recommend the second approach. The simple reason being that exposure compensation doesn’t reset itself. If you forget your camera is set at an EV of -2, it would mean disaster for the next few shots where you may not be trying to create a rim lighting shot.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Approach #2 – Exposure Lock (AE-L)

This approach is slightly more advanced in terms of understanding. Imagine yourself standing in front of a monkey with the sun setting behind him and the immediate background being dark trees. Now, do the following:

  • Point your camera toward the sky. Half press your shutter-release button to activate metering.
  • Next, press the Exposure Lock Button (AE-L or * button) which often resides right where your right-hand thumb would rest.
  • Now, recompose your image with the subject as needed and click.

What happens is that when you point your camera towards the sky and ask it to meter from there, it takes a light reading from the bright sky and sets up a shutter/aperture combination accordingly. Let’s assume for a minute that the value came out to be 1/2000th at f/4.

Now, if you press the Exposure Lock button, the camera will lock on to these readings and will not change them for your next set of clicks. So when you recompose and photograph the monkey, the camera uses the locked in settings thus rendering only the areas in the frame that are as bright as the sky correctly. In this recomposed image, the only area that is as bright as the sky is the outline of the monkey, giving you a nice, well exposed rim-lit image.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

Practice around home first

Go ahead, practice the AE-L at home and then get out there and try a couple of rim-lit shots. Here is what you can do at home, before heading out to the wild.

Catch hold of a friend or family member and make them stand in front of a car at night. They should be covering the headlight of the car completely. If you stand at the other end with your friend in between yourself and the light source, you should be able to see his entire body with rim lighting.

Now that you know how to get a subject, go out there with your camera and start trying the exposure compensation trick to get some fabulous rim-lit images. Please share your rim-lit wildlife images below as well as any questions you may have about this technique.

How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting

The post How to do More Creative Wildlife Photography by using Rim Lighting by Rahul Sachdev appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Why I Use ACDSee Versus Adobe Bridge for Culling Images and More

27 Jul

Believe me, I have tried. Over the years, I have tried to wean myself off ACDSee. But, like Al Pacino in The Godfather, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”. ACDSee does what I want it to do and, as a single package, and it does it better than anything else I have found.

I use Lightroom as a factory, a mass production tool. I import the images, I process them, that’s it. For a long time, I have felt no urge to look at anything other than the Library and Develop modules.

ACDSee Image Software

The wood shed.

Continuing the analogy, what I might call handcrafted images, are processed in the garden shed, with Photoshop. Pretty much everything else I do in ACDSee.

ACDSee in place of Adobe Bridge

First and foremost, ACDSee is an Adobe Bridge replacement for me. For something like 80% of the time, I use about 20% of its capacity, that is its ability to act in the place of Bridge. I am certain that I have only launched Adobe Bridge once in the last year. I had to do it just once to write this article! ACDSee simply does it better in my opinion.

ACDSee Image Software

Standard file manager style screen

Any of the different versions, even the most basic of them, meet my needs. The screen shots for this article are from ACDSee Ultimate, but my previous experience is that all versions work in a similar way. You would need to work out just how many bells and whistles you wanted to invest in. ACDSee offers a good comparison of the different versions on their website. I am sure you would find that ACDSee is not a challenging piece of software, it works quite conventionally.

This article may well invite some comments suggesting that “such and such” software does that too, and I am sure that is true. Is the elephant in the room Photo Mechanic, is it Irfan View, or even Adobe Bridge? I am also sure that there are even others. So I try others, I give them a go, but I end up back in the arms of the little-known all-around beauty which is ACDSee.

ACDSee Image Software

Lifestyle

I tend to be a little bemused when I have heard people talk about having a lifestyle. I have wondered if I ought to get myself such a thing. My reaction is not much different when people talk about having a workflow. Different situations seem to me to require different approaches, and I have wondered if I should get myself a workflow.

The truth is that I am not totally slapdash. For example, if I have been out on a photo walk, there is a routine which I tend to follow. Stepping through that routine seems a good way to look at some aspects of ACDSee. Here is my process.

IMPORTING IMAGES

ACDSee provides a ton of choices for importing photographs, let me highlight just one.

ACDSee Image Software

Import window of ACDSee.

I am a huge believer in the adage that “Data only exists if it exists in two places”. The extension of that thought is that you do not actually have a backup until you have a third copy. Presuming that you leave your images on the card in the camera, ACDSee gives you the choice to make two copies on import and to give you those second and third copies of your images. The first copy can be imported to one folder and the second copy can be imported to another location. That might just prove to be a very useful safety net one day. You might be glad you tried ACDSee for this reason alone.

It might be a consequence of having used computers since before The Ark, but I still tend to think in terms of named and dated folders. Libraries, collections and the like, clearly work for some, but I import to my date/location file structure, then into Lightroom from there.

THE CULLING PROCESS

One of the most important parts of my workflow (Oops! did I just admit to something?) is the culling process. I will take a long time sorting through the photographs, in sweeps, which are progressively more demanding, deleting those which I do not want to spend time processing. ACDSee helps me with the cull in at least 3 ways.

ACDSee Image Software

1 – ACDSee is fast with RAW files

Subjectively, I tend to find Adobe Bridge rather clunky to operate and slow in responding. It was painfully slow to open a folder and draw the thumbnails on a computer with quite high specifications. The same folder was opened, with thumbnails and images viewable very promptly, in less than ten seconds with ACDSee. It was taking so long with Bridge, the images were still not viewable after 2 minutes, that I moved to another copy I have of the same images on a faster, SSD drive. In all fairness, Bridge was then just as quick as ACDSee.

ACDSee Image Software

Adobe Bridge

Objectively, ACDSee is faster at drawing a RAW file than Bridge to an insane degree. I took shot Image A and opened it to a full-screen view in ACDSee, then in Bridge. Then I reversed the process and opened Image B in Bridge first, then in ACDSee. Both ways, using ACDSee, the image was clear, viewable in sharp detail, within 2 seconds. Using Bridge, after more than 30 seconds I gave up, clicked to zoom in, and only then did it become a clear, sharp, fully-drawn image.

ACDSee Image Software
That adds up to an awful lot of time over the years. I cannot fathom that there is anyone who likes sitting and waiting for their computer to catch up. Not only would you save a huge amount of time cumulatively, it also makes for a much more satisfying experience.

2 – Comparing images is easy with ACDSee

Second, the process of culling is easier because ACDSee offers an excellent tool for comparing photographs in close detail. I know Lightroom offers something similar, probably others do too, but none seem to work as well as that in ACDSee. Often I will have a series of four or five shots (or more) which are largely similar. ACDSee lets you put those shots on screen, next to each other, all at the same time. Actually, I think it works best with just three on screen at a time.

ACDSee Image Software

Three or more photographs compared side by side.

The choice as to which photograph to keep often comes down to a technical decision such as which shot is the sharpest. For a portrait, that usually means looking at the eye. With ACDSee, when you zoom in on one of the photographs which you are comparing, all of the shots zoom in to the same point, at the same level. Again, I acknowledge that other software probably does this, but I have not come across all the things I want, working as well as they do, in one package.

ACDSee Image Software

All three shots zoomed in to the same level.

3 – Full-screen mode

The third way in which ACDSee helps me cull images is that it goes to full screen so very easily and quickly. It displays photographs in the way I want to see them. Full screen, with no window border, no mouse pointer. Double click or hit Enter and you are in full screen. Also “Crtl/Cmd+scroll wheel” zooms you in. That is how I want to view photographs.

Then, there are two bonuses. First, a right click option is Zoom Lock, which means I can Page Up and Page Down between shots which are full screen and zoomed in to the same point and level. You might even prefer this to the side by side comparison. The next bonus, which can be useful now and then, is that the EXIF data can be brought up very quickly with ALT/OPTION+Enter in the full-screen view mode.

ACDSee Image Software

Full-screen mode, with the EXIF data, added on the right.

All the above is mostly about ACDSee being used as a replacement for Adobe Bridge. One important thing I have not squeezed in so far is that you can open an image straight into Photoshop from ACDSee. It does the file browser function of Bridge just as well, and a very easy keystroke combination of Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+X takes the image into Photoshop. It is probably the only shortcut I can use without looking at the keyboard.

These factors alone make a case for why ACDSee keeps pulling me back in. However, there is more!

BATCH PROCESSING

ACDSee Image Software

ACDsee has a good selection of batch operations.

The tools which I probably use most often, and they work very well, with all the options you could ask for, are the batch tools. I find it so helpful that ACDSee will batch resize a number of images, then convert the file format, then rename them. There are a few other tricks too.

It is not part of the batch menu but, at least in my mind, it is linked. I often publish directly to social websites where, again, you are given useful choices.

ACDSee Image Software

Send to …

ACDSee Image Software

This is probably a good place to mention again that I know Adobe has the tools to do all of this. But I do not think anyone can believe that they are as simple to use, and they are certainly not all in one place.

MANAGE

As I have already confessed, I am still in the mentality of file browsers, and that is the format which you are looking at with ACDSee. It has all the benefits which you would expect from such a tool. You can search, play with metadata, sort by different criteria, look at different views … it just works well.

ACDSee Image Software

Full-screen slideshow.

Seems this might be the time to mention that ACDSee does good slide shows too, with some level of sophistication. Full screen, with the toolbar you can see above only appearing when you click on the screen. Most notably, that gives you the ability to change the delay. For more sophisticated settings, you can dig a little deeper.

ACDSee Image Software

Slideshow settings window.

EDITING

Finally, the part of ACDSee which I use least often, though still appreciate, is the program’s capacity as an image editor.

I do sometimes use it for one-off processing of an image. Some people suggest that ACDSee is a full blown alternative to products which are much better known. ACDSee will handle RAW, it has layers, it is non-destructive … it has some clever tricks … if you do a search on You Tube, you will find plenty of people offering not just enthusiasm, but solid tuition that might persuade you that ACDSee can meet ALL your photographic needs in what would then be a very reasonably priced package.

Read dPS author Leanne Cole’s review here: Photo Editing Alternative – An Overview of ACDSee Ultimate 10

It might seem trivial, but what I often use ACDSee for is cropping and leveling. Without a description of the minute details, it has all the usual cropping facilities, but with the easy ability to set dimensions precisely to the pixel.

ACDSee Image Software

Pixel precise cropping.

You can then place the mask precisely on the image, in a way that I have not found any other program capable of doing. I also like the way it allows you to vary the opacity of the image area outside the mask. If you set a crop dimension and move through a series of photographs, the dimension will also be retained from one photograph to the next.

ACDSee Image Software

A helpful tool.

It also works similarly with regards rotating the image.

ACDSee Image Software

You can rotate by the degree.

I’ve not used anything else which lets you rotate the image with such precision, auto-cropping as you go.

Again, a clear display of what is happening, with helpful options

CONCLUSION

I love the forensic, hugely detailed reviews which, for example, DP Review conducts. This article cannot be of that nature. It is more a taster, highlighting a few of the things which I find helpful to me personally, and which might work for you too. I also join others in celebrating the underdog, particularly if it is, in fact, a really good team, which plays a good game.

Why not go over to ACDSee, download it for a 30-day free trial and give it a go yourself. If you already use it, tell us in the comments below what features you love the most and why.

The post Why I Use ACDSee Versus Adobe Bridge for Culling Images and More by Richard Messsenger appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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No More Ugly Apartment Buildings: 13 Designs Refreshing the Paradigm

25 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Apartment buildings are typically so hideous, it’s kind of exhausting. A structure with some measure of character gets knocked down in a prominent spot and before locals dare to dream that something cool might go up in its place, there’s another boring old block of apartments (or worse yet, condos) adding to the dull architectural noise of the city. Of course, it’s all subjective. You could argue, fairly enough, that pretty much all new apartment buildings are ugly, and that trying to make them ‘cool’ results in an even more irritating visual offense. What do you think – are these 13 designs switching up the same-old same-old in a positive way?

Lots of Light: 9 Units at the Apartment in Kamitakada

Developers looking to squeeze big bucks out of a project by creating high-end luxury housing are a lot more motivated to build structures that are more interesting than usual, but every now and then, there’s the rare project that gives some aesthetic consideration to a building that’s actually affordable to the average city resident. Takeshi Yamagata Architects designed this 9-unit building in Tokyo as a cluster of four buildings connected by open-air pathways, integrating gardens, curving walls and lots of windows for the feel of an urban refuge minus the multi-million-dollar price tag.

325 Kent by SHoP Architects

Currently under construction on the site of an old Domino sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the 325 Kent project by SHoP Architects is part of a redevelopment masterplan transforming the refinery into a 380,000-square-foot complex with a waterfront park and four residential buildings containing 2,800 rental units. SHoP’s building will house 522 of those apartments in a 16-story structure, arranged around a dramatic elevated courtyard. The units at the top will be stepped to create a series of spacious outdoor terraces. Nope – this one isn’t going to be cheap.

Pixelated Concrete: 222 Jackson by ODA

Over in Queens, the 11-story 2222 Jackson building by ODA features a pixelated concrete facade creating voids and projections for shade, privacy and outdoor spaces. Located just steps away from MoMA PS1, the building is conceived as a modular grid, giving it about 30% more outdoor space than the same-sized building with the same number of units arranged in a more typical shape.

Parasitic Growth: Plug-In City 75 by Stephane Malka

Commissioned to update and expand a 1970s-era building in Paris, architect Stéphane Malka proposes a system of parasitic wooden cubes that would attach to the facade, extending the living space and reducing the structure’s energy consumption by 75 percent. The unusual design would help mitigate problems with poor insulation and permeable windows while adhering to the city’s restrictive building laws, which don’t allow architects to build vertically.

Contemporary and Complimentary: p17 Housing in Milan

How do you sensitively design a new apartment complex that will blend in with a historic neighborhood while reflecting the era in which it’s being built? For P17, a residential housing complex in Milan, Italian architectural firm Modourbano harmonizes with surrounding buildings while retaining a contemporary feel, thanks to the beautiful natural hues in its sandstone facade.

Next Page – Click Below to Read More:
No More Ugly Apartment Buildings 13 Designs Refreshing The Paradigm

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[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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PocketWizard releases MultiMAX II trigger with 20 ControlTL channels and more

18 Jul

Radio flash trigger manufacturer PocketWizard has reintroduced its much-loved MultiMAX transceiver, having added more control options and improved handling. The MultiMAX ll offers a total of 52 channels, including 20 dedicated to ControlTL devices, as well as improved features for time-lapse and sequential triggering.

The new version of the MultiMAX features a PowerControl function that allows the user to manually control the output of up to three groups of flashes compatible with the ControlTL system from the MultiMAX display panel. The screen is now illuminated by a blue LCD backlight, which the company says improves contrast and legibility, and the keypad is said to be brighter than that of the previous model.

The system’s intervalometer has had the burst limit lifted so users can set it for any number of flashes for as long as they like, making the mode useful for timelapse photography, and the SpeedCycler mode is now equipped to perform sequential firing of up to sixteen cameras or flashguns in sequence. That last part is useful in fast moving situations, when you can’t wait for an individual flash to recharge, so the MultiMAX just fires the next one in line.

The PocketWizard MultiMAX ll costs $ 230 and is available now. For more information, watch the video below or head over to the PocketWizard website.

Press Release:

The Best is Back –Introducing the MultiMAX II

More timing features, same great reliability, all at a lower price.

LPA Design, manufacturers of PocketWizard Photo Products, the global leader in reliable wireless control of cameras, flash lighting and light meters, announces the MultiMAX II and the return of unique timing features that only PocketWizard technology provides. Whether you are a sports, wildlife or wedding photographer, you will be happy to learn that the most powerfully-featured wireless radio on the planet, the PocketWizard MultiMAX, is back and fully compatible with all other PocketWizard radios.

Building on the legendary MultiMAX, the MultiMAX II takes its place as the most versatile, reliable and predictably compatible radio on the market. For the past 16 years, the MultiMAX has helped capture amazing images, many of which have landed on magazine covers throughout the world. MultiMAX Transceivers continue to be found in frequency crowded environments triggering arena flashes or remote cameras behind soccer goals, hockey nets, basketball nets, horse jumps, bull chutes, and the finish line of major International Track and Field events.

After a brief hiatus, the MultiMAX II returns with new features including 20 ControlTL channels, Manual Power Control and an improved blue backlit LCD which provides better contrast for improved viewing in dimly lit studios or on-site locations. The key pad is brighter too, allowing photographers to easily change settings on the fly. Its 344 MHz frequency sets it apart from 2.4 GHz noise in crowded venues.

“The MultiMAX II continues to provide incredible features that professional photographers have come to rely on. It has a whole suite of built-in tools designed for the demanding sports shooter like Patterns, programmable delays, and a settable contact time. The MultiMAX II is also Custom ID ready. Photographers can create incredible depth of field or stroboscopic effects with Multi-pop, give rear curtain sync to any camera, and even synchronize multiple cameras together, states Patrick Clow, Technical Support and Customer Service Manager.

The MultiMAX II has a total of 52 channels: 32 Standard Channels and 20 ControlTL Channels. Photographers can creatively control groups of lights or cameras allowing them to work in crowded venues or with multiple flash set-ups. And now with Power Control, photographers can remotely adjust the manual power settings of ControlTL compatible radios and flashes in up to three zones with as many flashes in each group as you want.

“Professional photographers have clamored for years to bring back the MultiMAX. We listened and we responded by making a great radio even better and offering it at a lower price. The MultiMAX II Transceiver is and remains the only radio on the market that performs special PocketWizard features including Infinite Intervalometer, SpeedCycler and Ultra Long Range. It is the most reliable Transceiver on the market for capturing life’s most amazing moments, states Karen Marshall, CEO of LPA Design

The MultiMAX II will be available at retail and on line in the US and Canada starting July 17, 2017. The retail price will be $ 229.00 USD in the US and $ 309.00 CAD in Canada.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Nikon expands D750 shutter recall yet again, more cameras affected

14 Jul
The Nikon D750 shutter unit has been causing problems for 2 years. Photo: Nikon

It seems Nikon D750 shutter issues are still plaguing the company 2 full years after it initially issued a recall on some serial numbers produced between October 2014 and June 2015. In another update issued yesterday, Nikon expanded the recall to include more cameras—specifically: models produced between July 2014 through September 2014 and from July 2015 through September 2016.

This issue first cropped up on the Nikon advisory page in July of 2015. At the time, Nikon claimed the issue—which could result in the shutter shading a part of your photo—was limited to units made in October and November of 2014.

Then, in February of 2016, Nikon expanded the recall to include units made between December 2014 to June 2015.

Today’s update makes three, and expands the recall to include units manufactured between July 2014 to September 2014 and those made between July 2015 and September 2016. If you’re keeping score, that means that affected units were being manufactured from July of 2014 all the way through September of last year.

Check your serial number using Nikon’s website to find out if your camera is affected. Photo: Nikon

As with the original advisory and the previous update, D750 owners can check to see if their camera is affected by using Nikon’s serial number lookup tool at this link. If your camera is affected, that tool will provide instructions on sending your D750 to Nikon for repair free of charge regardless of warranty status.

Read the full service advisory text below for more details.

UPDATED NIKON D750 SERVICE ADVISORY AS OF JULY 12, 2017.

Technical Service Advisory for users of the Nikon D750 digital SLR camera

Thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.

In February of 2016, we announced in an update that the shutter in some Nikon D750 digital SLR cameras manufactured between October 2014 through June 2015 may not function normally, sometimes resulting in a shading of a portion of images. Since that time, we have learned that the same issue may affect D750 cameras manufactured from July 2014 through September 2014 and from July 2015 through September 2016.

For those who have already purchased a D750 and would like to have their camera serviced for this issue, free of charge, Nikon service centers will service cameras as indicated below. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused.

Identifying affected D750 cameras

To check whether or not your camera may be one of those affected by this issue, click the Check Your Serial Number link below and enter your D750’s serial number as instructed.

If your D750 camera is one of those that may be affected, instructions for obtaining service will be displayed. If your D750 camera is not one of those to which this issue may apply, rest assured that service to your D750 camera as to this issue is not necessary and you may continue using your D750 camera without concern for this issue.

Check Your Serial Number

The camera’s serial number is the 7-digit number indicated by the red frame in the image above.

Resolution

If your D750 camera may be affected, as confirmed with the serial number check above, you will be provided with the necessary information to obtain service for this issue free of charge. Once your D750 camera is received by Nikon, your D750 camera’s shutter will be examined and replaced, and your D750 camera returned to you free of charge, even if your D750 camera warranty has expired.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.

Nikon will continue to take all possible measures to further improve product quality. Therefore, we hope that you will continue to choose Nikon for your photographic needs.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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New firmware brings USB-power and more to Hasselblad X1D-50c

11 Jul

Hasselblad has released a firmware update for its 50MP X1D compact mirrorless medium-format camera. Firmware version 1.17.0 adds a number of new functions to the camera, including power from USB, an added overlay for the spot metering area, a visual overexposure warning, a grid overlay in video live view and recording, and a clickable white balance icon in live view.

Bug fixes cover a front focus issue that could occur in certain situations, an incorrect “No Card” indication has been fixed, improved USB stability and tethered performance and more.

To install the update, make sure to use a fully charged battery and be prepared for the procedure to take up to 12 minutes to complete. X1D users can download the update on the Hasselblad website after logging on with their credentials.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma updates MC-11 Sony adapter, adds support for 24-70mm Art lens and more

10 Jul

Sigma continues to add compatibility to its MC-11 adapter, allowing more Sigma SA and EOS mount Sigma lenses to be used on Sony E-mount cameras. And the latest round of updates adds compatibility with one of Sigma’s most anticipated and exciting Art lenses.

The MC-11 comes in two variations—the MC-11 SA-E for Sigma-mount lenses, and the MC-11 EF-E for Canon mount lenses. The new firmware makes the converters compatible with Sigma’s new 14mm f/1.8 HD HSM | Art and the long-awaited 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM | Art lenses. The MC-11 EF-E also becomes compatible with Sigma’s Cine Lens 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF in the Canon EF mount.

The company has also released new firmware for its 100-400mm f/5-6.3 FG OS HSM | Contemporary telephoto zoom lens. The update improves AF speed in all cases, but it also improves functionality when mounted via MC-11 SA-E adapter. According to Sigma, focusing features are enhanced in the adapter-mounted lens, and the optical stabilization system becomes operational more quickly.

All firmware can be downloaded for free from Sigma’s download page, or through the Sigma USB dock. To update the MC-11 mount converter, simply plug it in to your PC and run the SIGMA Optimization Pro app.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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CIPA figures for May show more good news for camera makers

07 Jul

The number of cameras made and shipped by manufacturers continues to grow, spelling some positive news for the photo industry. Although the total number of digital still cameras produced in May by members of the Camera and Imaging Products Association was only up by 4.1% in April, the difference over May 2016 was an impressive 42.2%—and by value 38.9%.

Compact camera and interchangeable lens camera shipments grew by much the same amount, but within the interchangeable lens sector almost two and a half times more mirrorless cameras were produced than last May, while DSLRs grew by only 12.1%.

By value, production of DSLRs was flat on last year and mirrorless up by 160%, but the number of DSLRs produced is still well ahead of compact system cameras—628,336 units as compared to just 387,287.

May 2017 figures still fell short of 2015 (the dotted purple line), but far outpaced May of 2016 (the solid black line).

The association’s figures show that the value of cameras shipped in May was up by 54.5% on the same month last year, with the compact system sector growing by over 200%. While the number of units shipped has also grown, these figures demonstrate a (predictable) movement towards higher priced cameras across the whole industry, and particularly in the mirrorless category.

The mirrorless bug seems to be quickly catching on in the USA, with the region showing value growth of 390%, but the actual number of models shipped still lags behind Europe and Asia. America seems to have a taste for the more expensive mirrorless models though, with a mean pre-tax price of around $ 720 per camera compared to $ 480 in Europe, $ 500 in Japan and $ 470 in Asia.

For more information see the CIPA website and our report on April 2017 figures.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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