Posts Tagged ‘Photo’

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

20 Feb

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

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

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

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

Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Articles: Digital Photography Review (


How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

17 Feb

Photography can be traced back all the way to the camera obscura; which was an aid for artists who could then draw their subjects from the projection created by the light passing through the pinhole. Following that tradition, in this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a drawing by outlining the subject from your digital photo to create a fun, cartoon-like image.

Deer cartoon - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Getting started

You can use this technique on any photo you want and apply it to any subject you like. However, I find it best, especially for your first attempt, that the subject is well defined or isolated so it’s easier for you to outline it. I also personally prefer and recommend that the image is not too busy. So, once you have chosen your photo, open it in Photoshop.

Outline the subject

To trace your subject you are going to use the Pen tool. The way it works is that you create anchor points with each click. A straight line then connects those points. Do this all around the subject.

Once you have this, change the Pen tool to the Convert Point Tool, which you can find by holding down on the Pen until the drop-down menu opens. With the Convert Point, you can curve the straight lines to make it fit the silhouette best. Just click on the anchor point and start dragging it. From each anchor point, you will have to handles, each one to control the line in each direction of the anchor.

Pen Outline - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

This will help you get a smoother silhouette and avoiding unnecessary bumps that you would get if you only trace by adding anchor points.

Straight lines - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

A straight line.

Curve - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Using curved lines.

Create your outline

Once you have outlined the silhouette of the subject, create a new layer. You can do this by going to the top Menu > Layer > New Layer. You can rename it as “silhouette” or “outline” just to keep things tidy, as you will be creating more layers further along.

What you’re going to do next is turn this path into a drawing, more precisely, the line that borders your drawing. Therefore, you can choose which color it will be and how thick you want it. To set it you need to go to the Brush tool and select a hard brush as thick as you want. I’m doing 8px in this case.

You can also choose the color by clicking on the foreground color at the bottom of the tool palette, for this example, I’m using black. Turn off the background layer (click the little eye icon) so you can see how it will look like and then choose your settings.

Silhouette - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Now that you have this ready, leave the new layer active go to the path palette. If it’s already opened you can open it by going to the top Menu > Windows > Path. In there you will see that a Work Path has been created, the icon will show the image as a grey rectangle and the path is the silhouette you traced.

Next, right-click on the Work Path and choose Stroke Path. A pop-up window will appear, make sure the Brush option is selected and click OK.

Stroke Path - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Adding details

You have a border or a silhouette now, but you still need details. Each one will be a new layer and a new path, that way you have it separated and can, therefore, control it more precisely.

If you want two details on the same layer, for example, to keep the two ears in one layer so that any changes apply equally, then you keep working in the same layer. But you do need to create a new path for each one.

Notice here that I have my background layer which is my original image; a Layer 1 that corresponds to the Work Path which is the outline; and a Layer 2 that contains Path 1 and Path 2 which are the two details of the ears. This is why I suggested earlier that you should rename the layers and the paths to keep track of them easier. Continue doing this as many times as you need to finish your drawing.

Layers and Paths - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Apply a filter

Once you’re finished with this, duplicate the background layer. With this new layer active, go to the Work Path (the one that has the outer line of the drawing) and right-click it. From the drop-down menu, choose Make Selection. This will select your subject so that the filter you’ll apply next doesn’t affect the background, otherwise the entire will turn into a cartoon.

Now go to the top Menu > Filter > Filter Gallery. A window will appear with all kind of filters that you can apply and a preview image. In this case, you’re going to select the one called Cutout from the Artistic Filters. On the right side there are sliders to refine the effect, just move them around until you are satisfied. I’m going to do it as Number of levels 7, Edge simplicity 5 and Edge fidelity 2. When you’re done just click OK.

Cutout - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

Other tricks

You can also multiply your cartoons, apply modifying layers to change colors or saturation, and anything else you can think of! And the best part is that you can do this to any kind of photo, here are some other examples; share yours as well in the comments!

Three deers - How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop

The post How to Turn Your Photo into a Cartoon Drawing Using Photoshop by Ana Mireles appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Microsoft Photos Companion app offers easy photo transfer from smartphones to PC

17 Feb

Microsoft has launched a new app to facilitate easy photo transfer from mobile devices to a Windows 10 PC, without using the cloud. Photos Companion is available for iOS and Android and deposits your mobile images in the Windows Photos app on the desktop or laptop PC using just a WiFi network.

To get started, you have to scan a QR code in the Windows Photos desktop app to pair smartphone and computer. Both devices have to be connected to the same WiFi network, which in turn allows you to send individual images or entire batches across very quickly. It is, in essence, the exact same system as Apple’s AirDrop, but limited to photos and videos.

Pairing isn’t permanent, and will have to be re-established for each sharing operation. Still, that’s easily done and the app looks like an interesting solution for collecting media files from multiple mobile devices on a single PC for working on collaborative projects.

Once on the PC, images and videos can be shared and edited in the Windows Photo app as usual. If Photos Companion sounds like an app that could potentially improve your workflow, you can find more information and app store links on the Microsoft website.

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Judge rules that embedding a photo tweet is still copyright infringement

17 Feb

In a court case that could fundamentally change what constitutes copyright infringement online, a New York district judge has ruled that embedding a tweet that contains a copyright protected photo does, in fact, constitute a copyright violation. If the ruling is upheld, its impact across the internet is hard to understate.

The case involves a photographer, Justin Goldman, who sued several major publications including Time, Vox, Breitbart, and others, when they embedded someone else’s tweet of his copyright-protected photo of NFL star Tom Brady. Judge Katherine B. Forrest is ruling in favor of Goldman, writing:

…when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right; the fact that the image was hosted on a server owned and operated by an unrelated third party (Twitter) does not shield them from this result.

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) points out, this ruling rejects a decade-old legal precedent set by the Ninth Circuit Court in a 2007 ruling called “Perfect 10 v. Amazon.” That case ruled that the company hosting the content—Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.—was liable, and absolved the company or publication or person who actually embeds the content. This, in essence, is how the internet has worked ever since.

Some sites, like YouTube, give creators the option to limit embedding so that only sites they specify (or nobody at all) can embed the content on their own platform, but others like Instagram and Twitter offer no such control. If your account is public, and you share a copyright-protected photo on it that goes viral, you can expect it to crop up on any number of outside websites, publications, and blogs with nary a permission request.

Of course, if it’s your own share, you could always take down the original Tweet or Instagram post or shift your account to private, breaking all of those embeds all at once. You (or the original poster) could also change what the post says or even swap out the file that shows up under that embed. But irrespective of those things, up until now, you had no legal case against the people or publications embedding your photo, since they have no control over what the hosting server will provide with that embed code—this is called the “server” test.

According to this ruling, embedding the DPReview tweet above without permission from the original creator of the GIF constitutes copyright infringement.

The server test is what Judge Forrest ultimately rejected, and if the ruling is upheld, it could apply to more than just embedding a tweet. As the EFF explains, the wording is broad enough that “the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking,” which could “threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability.”

Appeals will no doubt be filed, and a closer look at the ruling and the standard practice of embedding on the internet may very well lead to its being overturned. But if it’s not, expect it to be open season for social media copyright infringement cases.

If you’d like to dive deeper, you can read the full ruling for yourself at this link.

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These are the six finalists for 2018 World Press Photo of the Year (NSFW)

16 Feb

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Warning: This slideshow contains graphic and disturbing imagery that is not suitable for children, and may not be suitable for viewing in the workplace. Proceed with caution.

World Press Photo has changed its announcement process for the coveted World Press Photo of the Year award in 2018. Rather than announcing the overall and category winners at once, they have revealed the six finalists for 2018 World Press Photo of the Year today, almost two months before the official awards ceremony in Amsterdam on April 12th.

The finalists are… harrowing. Six heartbreaking and at times graphic images that were selected from 73,044 entries by 4,548 photographers from 125 countries. Judging was done by “a group of internationally recognized professionals in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography,” who convened in Amsterdam, where they were presented with all of the entries anonymously.

Behind the scenes photograph of the judging process.

Every single nominated photograph, including all singles and stories in seven of the eight contest categories, is eligible for the World Press Photo of the Year grand prize. And yet, New York Times photographer Ivor Prickett managed to get two of his photos into the top six, both captured as part of his Battle for Mosul series.

You can see all 312 nominated photographs across eight categories on the World Press Photo website, and learn more about the entire contest in the press release below. To view the six finalists for World Press Photo of the year, scroll through the slideshow above.

The World Press Photo of the Year winner will be announced in April, where he will receive a 10,000 Euro cash prize and a selection of camera equipment from Canon.

Press Release

World Press Photo announces 2018 awards nominees

The World Press Photo Foundation announces the results of its renowned contests, the 61st annual World Press Photo Contest and the 8th annual World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest.

Amsterdam, 14 February 2018

This year the announcement process is new

The foundation is today announcing the nominees in each category of the Photo Contest and the Digital Storytelling Contest, with the winners to be revealed at the Awards Show in Amsterdam on 12 April.

The highlight of today’s announcement is that, for the first time, the six nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year are revealed. The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year will be announced at the Awards Show in Amsterdam on 12 April.

Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation:

“The best visual journalism is not of something; it is about something. It should matter to the people to whom it speaks. Today the World Press Photo Foundation continues to play the role it began with in 1955 because the juries in our contests nominate the best photographers and producers. The great work in this 2018 edition of our contests helps us fulfill our purpose: connecting the world to the stories that matter.”

The 2018 World Press Photo Contest

The jury selected nominees in eight categories, including the new environment category. They are 42 photographers from 22 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK, USA and Venezuela. Of these nominees, 15 have won previous World Press Photo awards, while 27 are being recognized for the first time. In total, there are 312 nominated photographs across the eight categories.

  • Gallery of all 2018 Photo Contest nominees.

The World Press Photo of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year. Each nominated photograph, including all singles and stories in seven of the eight contest categories (excluding Long-Term Projects) is eligible for the World Press Photo of the Year.

The six nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

  • Rohingya Crisis | Patrick Brown, Australia, Panos Pictures, for Unicef
  • Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survived. – Aisha, age 14. | Adam Ferguson, Australia, for The New York Times
  • Witnessing the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London – Toby Melville, UK, Reuters
  • The Battle for Mosul – Lined Up for an Aid Distribution | Ivor Prickett, Ireland, for The New York Times
  • The Battle for Mosul – Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers | Ivor Prickett, Ireland, for The New York Times
  • Venezuela Crisis | Ronaldo Schemidt, Venezuela, Agence France-Presse

See the video of the jury discussing why they chose these six photographs.

The 2018 Photo Contest details

The contest is free to enter and drew entries from around the world: 4,548 photographers from 125 countries submitted 73,044 images.

A group of internationally recognized professionals in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography—chaired by Magdalena Herrera—convened in Amsterdam to judge all entries. The jury is independent, and all entries were presented anonymously. A secretary without voting rights safeguards the fairness of the process, which is explained in full here.

For the full list of jury members and secretaries, please see here.

The World Press Photo Foundation will release a technical report reviewing the contest, including the code of ethics, entry rules, and verification process on Monday, 5 March.


The premier award, the World Press Photo of the Year, carries a cash prize of 10,000 euros. In addition, Canon will present the winning photographer with a selection of camera equipment. For more information about Canon, visit here.

Nominees have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation to Amsterdam so they can attend the World Press Photo Festival, an event taking place 13-14 April featuring photographer presentations, screenings, and talks. They also receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award at the Awards Show.

2018 Exhibition

The prize-winning photographs are assembled into an exhibition that travels to 100 locations in 45 countries and is seen by more than 4 million people each year. The winning pictures are also published in the annual yearbook, which is available in multiple languages. The first World Press Photo exhibition opens in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, on 14 April 2018. For more information about the exhibition in Amsterdam, please follow this link.

This year’s exhibition displays will be printed on Canon large-format and Arizona flatbed printers. Please see the Canon website for further information:

The 2018 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest

The Digital Storytelling Contest (previously known as the Multimedia Contest) rewards those producing the best forms of visual journalism enabled by digital technologies and the spread of the Internet. The contest is open to digital storytellers, visual journalists and producers, with submissions that include the work of a professional visual journalist.

  • Gallery of all 2018 Digital Storytelling Contest nominees.

The 2018 Digital Storytelling Contest in numbers

This year, 308 productions were submitted to the contest: 149 Short Form, 63 Long Form, 68 Immersive Storytelling and 28 Innovative Storytelling.


Nominees in each category are invited to the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam. A representative from each of the nominated productions will have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation. The winners in each category will receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award, presented during the Awards Show. The prize-winning projects are assembled into an exhibition that travels to select locations.

The FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo

The FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo recognizes a documentary photographer whose project demonstrates courage and commitment in the pursuit of human rights. The 2018 winner is Standing Strong by Josué Rivas.

FotoEvidence was founded in 2011 by photojournalist Svetlana Bachevanova as part of the humanistic tradition of photography. In 2017 FotoEvidence partnered with World Press Photo and the book award became the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.

FotoEvidence publishes the winning project in a high quality, hardbound book, which will be launched at the World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 in Amsterdam on 14 April 2018, and then shown in several cities around the globe.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Rohingya Crisis | © Patrick Brown, Panos Pictures, for Unicef

28 September 2017

The bodies of Rohingya refugees are laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometers off Inani Beach, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Around 100 people were on the boat before it capsized. There were 17 survivors.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survived. – Aisha, age 14. | © Adam Ferguson, for The New York Times

21 September 2017

Aisha (14) stands for a portrait in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission, but managed to escape and find help instead of detonating the bombs.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Witnessing the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London | © Toby Melville, Reuters

22 March 2017

A passerby comforts an injured woman after Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, UK, killing five and injuring multiple others.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

The Battle for Mosul – Lined Up for an Aid Distribution | © Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

15 March 2017

Civilians who had remained in west Mosul after the battle to take the city line up for aid in the Mamun neighbourhood.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

The Battle for Mosul – Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers | © Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

12 July 2017

An unidentified young boy, who was carried out of the last ISIS-controlled area in the Old City by a man suspected of being a militant, is cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Venezuela Crisis | © Ronaldo Schemidt, Agence France-Presse

3 May 2017

José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela.

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Landscape photography: Don’t miss the moment for the photo

07 Feb

In the pursuit of timeless landscape photography, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. That is, to miss the moment for the photo.

Too often, photographers—myself included—focus on tiny imperfections in their images, yet miss the grandeur of the scene before their eyes. We can scrutinize over every pixel, while neglecting the people who are there with us sharing in nature’s spectacle. We search and yearn for perfect sunsets, only to set ourselves up to feel dejected when our idealized expectations fail to meet ‘mediocre’ realities.

Yet, over time, we begin to discover that the endearing value of landscape photography lays not in the final image itself, but in everything behind it and beyond it. In the effort—the literal blood, sweat, and tears—we exert to capture the image. In the memories forged along the way; the memories preserved decades later through the photo. The lasting value lies in the process itself.

In landscape photography, the means do not merely justify the end. The means are a worthwhile end in and of themselves.

Natural beauty, appreciated

The pursuit of capturing stunning landscapes exposes photographers to moments of wonder the majority of the population will rarely if ever have the privilege of experiencing. It grants us opportunities to witness scenes ignorant observers may dismiss as being ‘photoshopped’. Little do they know, these views do exist beyond the wallpapers of their desktop computers—should they have the curiosity and desire to look for them.

Once bitten by the landscape bug—and for those of you who have been, you know what I mean—the unscratchable itch encourages us to get out there as often as possible. To see the sun rising over Sydney Harbour while the city sleeps. To brave freezing winter nights and gaze up at the tapestry of stars in the Milky Way. To hike through forests, in the rain, in order to experience the torrential fury of waterfalls at full flow.

It encourages us to see the artistic potential in scenes taken for granted by untrained eyes. To look for alluring elements in seemingly mundane scenes—a fallen tree trunk acting as a leading line or a coastal rock channel aligned to catch the rising sun for a few fleeting weeks each year. To truly appreciate when the sky explodes in color on sunset, knowing all too well the countless times it doesn’t.

It’s these moments that open our eyes to the wealth of beauty that our natural world has to offer. Moments that leave those who witness them all the richer for it.

Explore with wonder

Not only does the pursuit grant us picturesque scenes to reflect fondly upon, it also exposes us to an emotion not often felt since childhood: a daring sense of wonder.

When viewing the work of my peers, I’m regularly exposed to fantastical scenes so different from what I know. It leaves me inspired to wander through these foreign lands and see how I might put my own unique spin on capturing them. From the scarred canyons of Iceland to the sandstone monuments carved into the American West.

Yet this act of discovery needn’t—and shouldn’t—only apply to grand overseas adventures. It can be found just as easily closer to home.

There’s a sense of wonder in humbly exploring your local countryside in search for the perfect skeleton of a tree. In researching familiar locations on Google Earth and then driving down ungraded side-roads not knowing what the next bend holds. Or in hiking out under the light of the crescent moon on way to an astrophotography shoot.

Express yourself

Life is full of customs to limit how you behave, to restrict what you can and can’t do. And for good reason. There’d be utter chaos should we wake up wanting to drive on the wrong side of the road…

But in our approach to photography, and the work we create, we can be our true selves. We can pursue the facets we like best while leaving behind those we don’t.

Two photographers can look at the exact same scene, yet walk away with starkly different images. One may focus on the weathered bark of an old tree and produce an elegant black and white, while another captures the entire grand scene, opting for an an ethereal Orton Effect in post-processing. Neither method is wrong. Nor is either more correct. Both are merely personal interpretations by the artist.

Dedication to the ongoing pursuit—the capturing, processing and sharing of work—allows us to experiment with new approaches, gear and techniques. It’s a humble process of trial and error to see what works for us and what doesn’t. Ultimately, through this continual refinement of our craft, we establish a look and feel to our images that becomes uniquely our own.

Personal achievement

Succeeding in landscape photography requires a healthy amount of discipline. Discipline to wake at 4am. To drive for an hour out to location. To battle the elements as we set up our gear. To wait and watch the sunrise fizzle out. And to then return home without taking a single decent image.

All to do it again next week, and the week after that.

It takes grit to push through the disappointment in failing to capture the ideal image you had envisioned. Grit to push on through the lows, so that when you reach the highs of a great image—and you will—you have the perspective to truly appreciate what you have created.

As landscape photographers, we must push ourselves. To reach beyond the known, safe certainties of our comfort zones. Be it leaving the warmth of our bed on a dark winter’s morning or embarking on an overnight hike through the bush. The pursuit allows us to challenge and exceed what we think we can achieve. We persevere with our craft and come through the other side the better for it.

Not just a solo pursuit

Who said landscape photography was a lonely pursuit?

Social media has changed the game for photographers. Instagram in particular has become the default portfolio of work for many. The platform allows us to not only draw inspiration from the works of others, but to directly engage and communicate with them. To discover new locations and new ways of viewing tried and true ones.

This works both ways, too. When you share your unique take on a location, no doubt it encourages like-minded photographers to get out and discover those locations for themselves. While it’s tempting to view their work as piggybacking off your hard work, it needn’t be a zero sum game. Through open sharing, we can teach and inspire one another to work harder, to create more. And as a profession, we are the better for it.

If you’ve ever struggled with the discipline aspect to landscape photography (I know I have) try to arrange meet-ups on location with like-minded peers in the field. Not only will their attendance commit you to venturing out, but it then becomes a shared learning opportunity for you both. Local Instameets and Facebook groups are great opportunities to better know the photographic community in your area.

But the social component isn’t limited to just other photographers. Consider inviting those closest to you on the next location scout. Or offer to act as tour guide for a friend, introducing them to new locations they never knew existed.

Case in point

Consider this photo above. On a recent trip across The Ditch, we were staying on New Zealand’s east coast. I knew I wanted to capture the famed Wanaka Tree under the light of dawn, but we were at the end of our travels and the tree was far away on the other side of the island. So, like all mad photographers, I decided to drive four hours through the night to get there in time.

Beside me on the road trip was my 75-year-old grandma, a former Kiwi-turned Aussie. The drive through the night proved to be a great opportunity to bond with her—a rarer opportunity with each passing year. As we drove through the towns of her childhood, she told stories of her past growing up in NZ. And likewise, I had time to share with her my current creative pursuits.

However, once we arrived in Wanaka, the clouds had rolled in to block out the rising sun. And so too our chance of capturing the image we had sought.

And in the car we waited, laughing to each other after coming all this way to be met by less than ideal conditions. Yet, after some time, a fleeting gap in the clouds lit up the fresh new growth on the foreshore and on the tree itself. Together, we hurried down to the lake and both snapped a handful of shots before the clouds returned again.

We couldn’t stop pinching ourselves on the drive back for having been so fortunate to have those brief few moments to take the shot, but upon reflection, it wasn’t getting the shot that made it worth it. Rather, it was the time spent bonding, and the moment shared. While it turned out to be a pretty picture, for me it was an even more memorable moment.

Take a moment for the moment

The classic adage states that it’s the journey, not the destination, that’s of greater importance. And that’s an apt mantra to keep in mind when we go about our landscape photography—both literally and figuratively.

Landscape photography demands much from the photographers who pursue it. It demands we invest our time and our effort into the craft. That we invest without guarantee we’ll walk away with the stunning award-winning image we so dreamed of.

With that in mind, the next time you find yourself on a beach on sunrise or on a hike through the bush… stop. Stop to appreciate the effort you’ve put into preparing for the photo. Stop to take solace in knowing that you’re in the thick of life, immortalizing the scene in front of you through your art. Stop and take a moment, to appreciate the moment.

And then take the shot.

Mitch Green is a Melbourne based Travel and Landscape photographer. He can be found via his website, through Instagram, or down by the beach at 5am waiting for sunrise.

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Behind the scenes: The story behind this volcanic eruption wedding photo

02 Feb
Photograph by Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Press

Photojournalist Jack Kurtz was in the Philippines covering the eruption of the Mayon volcano for ZUMA Press this past month, but the photo that’s gotten him the most attention wasn’t one of his press shots. Instead, it’s this serendipitous wedding photo that has spread across the Web like wildfire—a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime kind of photograph that captures the power of nature as a backdrop to the human experience.

The story behind this shot is simply about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude.

Kurtz tells DPReview he arrived in the Philippines on Saturday, January 20th and proceeded to spend most of the week capturing photos for his agency—mostly “photographing people in evacuation centers and the volcano when it was erupting.” But after five intense days of photography, he needed a break, so he took Thursday as a “personal day.”

“I needed to run some errands and since the volcano was quiet it seemed a good day to do that,” says Kurtz. “I finished my errands about 4:30 in the afternoon and decided to go to a church a few kilometers away to try to make a sunset photo of the volcano erupting.”

The volcano had been quiet all day that Thursday, so it was a risk, but as Kurtz told us: “nothing ventured nothing gained, and off to the church I went.”

When he got to the church, there was no sign of an eruption and clouds were obscuring the cone, but he decided to wait and was rewarded for his patience. In his own words:

As it got later, the clouds drifted off and smoke started to puff its way out of the cone, signaling a likely eruption. All good signs. I set up my small table top tripod on a flat rock, made a couple of test pictures with my Pen F and iPhone controlling the camera with the Olympus OI Share app. Everything was working so I sat down and waited.

While I was sitting there, a couple who had just been married in the church came out to a restaurant next to the parking lot to make their wedding photos. Just as they got to the overlook, the volcano started its eruption. I grabbed my gear and ran over to the restaurant to photograph them.

Before I started photographing, I introduced myself to their wedding photographer and asked if I could make some pictures (I think it would have been rude of me to butt in on his job) and he said okay. I started photographing the couple. During a break, I talked to the couple. I told them who I was and asked if I could put the photos on the wire. They said it was fine. Then I went back to photographing.

A few minutes later, they finished up, everybody thanked everyone else, and Kurtz went back to his spot in the parking lot to set up the exposure that would yield the photograph below.

Photo by Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Press

Speaking with DPReview about the technical details behind the photographs, he says the wedding photo was made with his Olympus Pen F and 17mm F1.8 lens at ISO 400, F4, and 1/30. Color balance was set to daylight, and the photo was later edited in Lightroom 6 to straighten the horizon and adjust the color balance (“Because of the time of day and light, the skintones were a little warm, so I knocked the color temp down a little.”)

The eruption photo above was also shot on the Pen F, this time with a 25mm F1.8 lens at ISO 200, F4.5, and 85 seconds. The camera was set on a small tabletop tripod and controlled by the OI Share app on Kurtz’ iPhone. It, too, was edited in Lightroom 6.

A big thank you to Mr. Kurtz for sharing his photographs and the story/technical details behind them with us at DPReview. To see more of his work, be sure to visit his website or give him a follow on Instagram.

Photography by Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Press, used with permission.

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This 2018 ‘ecosystem map’ captures the whole photo industry in one massive infographic

25 Jan

Photolemur, the makers of an AI-powered image editor, have put quite some time and effort into creating a comprehensive “Market Map of the Digital Photo Industry” that includes all sorts of brands, manufacturers, publications and other organizations that are involved in the industry in some shape or form.

“The aim of this initiative is to become the gate to the digital photo industry and to help photographers, new companies, VCs, entrepreneurs, journalists, and bloggers to understand who the major players in the world’s digital photo industry are,” writes Photolemur in the accompanying text. “Note that some companies work in more than one segment so we decided to link them only to their primary segment on the map.”

In the map you’ll find anything from camera and lens manufacturers, to Raw image processors, to providers of online education services, all neatly sorted and categorized. The company says it is planning to update the market map over time, adding more entries to existing categories as well as creating entirely new categories.

On the market map website you can contact Photolemur via an email link if you think they’ve missed out an important player in the industry. If you submit your name and email address, you can also download the map as an Excel file or high-resolution PDF.

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How to do Black and White Conversion with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

22 Jan

Now that we’ve poked around ACD System’s most capable software – having worked out a decent Photo Studio Ultimate workflow, as well as ways to make migration as easy as it can be – I think it may be time to actually use it.

After all, photography is the whole point, right? And, as much as we may sometimes dislike this fact, post-processing is very much part of it. So, this time, no ratings, no color labels, keywords, or metadata. No presets, either. In fact, we’ll only be touching on a small part of the Photo Studio package. Mainly the Develop mode, or however much of it we might need for a black and white portrait of an immensely charming lady. This is refreshing.

An important disclaimer: As has been stated on numerous occasions (so many times, in fact, that you may have learned this paragraph by heart) the license for this copy of ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate has been provided by ACD Systems. Having said that, the article has not been dictated by the company in the slightest, not even the task itself. My words are always my own, so take that for what it’s worth.

About the Portrait

The curious and geeky among you may wonder about the context behind this unusually-composed photograph, and I will gladly satisfy said curiosity and geekiness. The lady’s name is Ona (or Anna, if you will). She is a 94-year-old ex-partisan and exile survivor from my hometown, known better here by her codename, Acacia. Along with that, she is an immensely lovely old woman with a brilliantly sharp mind and memory.

I find her beautiful, most of all because, after being betrayed by her loved one, stabbed, shot, imprisoned and tortured, there is little bitterness to be found in her words. This portrait was taken as we met for the second time when I took her on a promised trip to a nearby forest.

The best part of this process we call taking portraits is everything that happens before the click and after the camera is cozy in its bag again. This is the part to savor, not the visual proof, the byproduct of simple human interaction. Whether you like the given portrait or find it exceedingly average, the experience is beyond all that. It was a lovely evening, and lovely company to be in.

The data

Unlike a different portrait of Acacia keen-eyed readers may have noticed in one of my previous articles, this one’s not an already-perfectly-black-and-white Ilford HP5 Plus negative. Instead, it’s a Fujifilm X-Pro2 RAW file, taken with the XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens, then converted to DNG. And, upon close examination, this is a lovely, natural-looking image. ACDSee Photo Studio is handling it very well.

But none of it matters. Not the camera, or the lens, or the aperture (f/2) and ISO (that’s at base 200). Not the image sensor, the size of it, or the resolution. Before we even start talking about tones and their curves, here’s a secret about portraits, whether black and white or of gentle color – it’s about the light. Really, if there was one thing for you to take from this article, repeat after me— it is all about the light.

Even when it’s as unassuming, as undramatic and soft as it was on that warm May evening, this is where you start your post-processing. Beforehand. It’s the crucial first step.

Get the light right, and you’ll have the most fun, and the simplest time at the computer bringing about the final touches. Photo Studio will help you here and make the task easy. Get the light wrong, and no effects, no HDRs, clarity sliders, and dynamic ranges will save the image.

With the romantic bit out of the way, let’s get to it.

Black and White Conversion with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Bump the Contrast to high. Using the Tone Curves, deepen the shadows further, and bring out the highlights until they are almost white. Use the Sharpness slider liberally to emphasize the wrinkles. Something missing? Finish up with a dash of vignetting. Skin as bright as the sky, shadows as deep as … something else vaguely poetic. All the experience reflecting in the now-shocking creases on her face.

This is everything we are not going to do.

Not to say that there is something wrong with high-contrast black and white photography, but thinking every portrait of an older person needs to be accompanied by a healthy (read – senseless) dose of clarity/contrast is a cliché I will gladly call out. Acacia is soft in her expression. The light is soft. Her feather-light hair is soft. Let’s keep it that way. Let’s not bring drama where there is only calm. Let’s not try to change what seems to come naturally from all this softness. Let’s, instead, start with color.

Strange as it may sound, converting a digital image file to black and white means working with color. In fact, from a certain point, it’s almost no different than working with a color image. Especially when post-processing with portraits, understanding skin tones and what colors lie there is extremely important (a lot of red), because that, along with the light, will dictate a large part of the adjustments to be made. And, as ever is the case when working with color…

1. White Balance

Setting the White Balance (to taste) is mandatory, and is the natural first step. Now, Fujifilm is usually so very, very accurate when it comes to color temperature. It doesn’t really do the “warm glow” thing and sticks to a more neutral tone overall. Some might even call it cool (in both a color temperature and the “it rocks” sense of the word)

How to do Black and White Conversion with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

My White Balance adjustment is subtle and verging on unnecessary. A bump of just around 500 degrees towards the warm side (from 5000K to 5500K). I may come back to this setting at some point, but before diving into gray tones, I tend to give myself a technically good starting point, a decently-exposed, decently-toned image. This small adjustment seems to have done the trick for now.

Speaking of technical things, I also tend to fix any visibly-irritating distortion, vignetting, and image straightness at the very start, when necessary.

Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

NOTE: Jumping ahead a bit, I will show you what I mean about white balance and black and white photography. Notice how adjusting this one setting that is seemingly unrelated to black and white conversion (from around 2450K degrees to our chosen 5500K) changes the overall look of the image.

The impact of warmer or cooler color introduced with WB adjustment depends on how dark/light and prevalent certain color ranges are. As you tweak Tone Curves and lightness/darkness of individual color ranges using Color EQ/Advanced Black & White tools, the effect of the WB adjustment will become more noticeable. But it’s a complex process and quite difficult to accurately predict.

2. Convert to Black and White

There are three ways to do black and white conversions with ACDSee Photo Studio Develop mode.

The first one involves adjusting the Saturation slider (General tab) to -100. The second involves desaturating each individual color range using the Color EQ tool. Obviously, neither way is particularly practical. Unsurprisingly, the third option proves to make the most sense – simply change the Treatment setting from Color to Black & White at the very top of the General tab, above the Exposure slider.

All three options render the exact same initial conversion, so using the most convenient (and most easily reversed) method is, well – you get the idea. Using the Treatment method will disable the Saturation adjustment slider and replace the Color EQ tool with the Advanced Black & White tool.

How to do Black and White Conversion with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Change the Treatment setting from Color to Black & White on the General tab.

3. Overall Contrast

I have likely noticed that the initial conversion is fairly low-contrast. For me, that’s good. I like to start off with a flat look and work from there (and I already love how soft and beautifully toned the hair is). For the general contrast of the image, I tend to use the Tone Curves. The contrast slider is fine for adjusting general contrast by just a smidge but is too imprecise when a more pronounced or more controlled adjustment is needed.

Tone Curves is an exceedingly powerful tool, of course, and I keep coming back to it again and again during post-processing, just to make tiny adjustments. When using the Tone Curve, I don’t pay too much attention to areas that I know are of mostly one specific color, like trees and grass. Even if these areas are a little off, I’ll be adjusting them later on using the color tools.

What matters to me is the general look, the shadows, and the highlights. Here, a mild adjustment of the shadows is enough.

Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Before Tone Curves

Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

After Tone Curves has been tweaked.

To keep the image subtle and calm, I’ve left the highlights as they were and only really pulled the shadows down a touch. Nothing too drastic, just enough to emphasize that soft light. Note how the bright tones of Acacia’s face and hair remain almost identical, but the deeper shadows have corrected the sense of flatness to a degree.

We are not quite done yet, but this is now closer to what I envisioned.

4. Back to Color

I think it’s possible to do a decent black and white conversion using just the Tone Curves, or alternatively just the color adjustments. At least if the first step is done well – remember my point about the light? But, when used together, these tools work at their best.

Switching to the Luminance tab of the Color EQ tool allows us to adjust the brightness of each individual color channel. In other words, I can adjust how dark or bright my reds, blues, greens, and other colors, each separately. This means two things; you have a very high degree of control, and also unlimited ways to mess something up. I’d say we should avoid the latter.

My issue with this image lies mostly in the grassy area. You see, there are at least two things that I can do to emphasize Acacia’s face. I can go down the “clarity and contrast everything” route and just keep working those Tone Curves further. Alternatively, (this is clearly my preferred choice) I can de-emphasize the area that surrounds the main visual element, to make her stand out a bit more.

In other words, I’ll just pull down the grass tones to make them slightly darker using the Advanced Black & White adjustments. As I’ve mentioned before, this tool allows control over the luminance of individual color ranges. The Advanced Black & White tab allows grab-and-pull action on the image itself if you’re ever unsure what colors are in that area. In this particular case, I know it’s mostly green and yellow.

Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Again, this is a subtle adjustment, but it has helped make Acacia’s face stand out more. As ever, there’s plenty of room to push further. But, knowing I’d be making some more adjustments afterward, I didn’t. Keep in mind I’m doing this all to personal taste.

One might proceed to adjust the tonality of skin, for example. But I’ve found it to be to my liking already, so why tweak something just for the sake of it? And if you’re curious about the Purple and Magenta colors, that’s for the hair and sweater. We are now nearly done!

5. Final Critical Touches

The last adjustments (not counting any going back and forth with the tools that have already been used) are made using the Light EQ tool. What this tool does is give you precise control over shadows and highlights, the same way Color EQ/Advanced Black & White allows precise control over colors.

Light EQ is actually not that different from Tone Curves but can be a little easier to use and it doesn’t seem like such a global adjustment. I use it when I only need to make small changes like save a highlight here and there, or bring out a shadow or two. A subtler operation is easier with Light EQ than with Tone Curves.

My goal here was to make sure all the shadows and highlights of Acacia’s face were in order and not too harsh. But because I knew I’d be printing this on a fairly textured paper (PermaJet Portfolio Rag), I also knew I had to bring it all up a notch.

Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Black and White Portraits with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Notice how the last step, the Light EQ tool, is also perhaps the most prominent. I could have done pretty much the same with the Tone Curves, but Light EQ has made it easier. I also find the Standard mode the most user-friendly, while still offering plenty of control.

After setting the Tone Bands to 9 from the default 5, I could make the adjustments with enough precision. The image is nowhere near as flat as it was when we started off, but the fundamentals are very much the same.

6. Final Less Critical Touches

Once the overall look of the portraits is as I envisioned, it’s time to take care of the little things, like sharpness, noise reduction, and such.

That’s It!

Over the years, I’ve found that when it comes to photography the less you tweak the better. The simpler tools you use, the more you learn to focus on the image itself rather than effects and wow-factors. I believe this article is a supporting example of such a point of view and I hope you’ve picked up some tips for black and white conversion using ACDSee’s Photo Studio Ultimate.

Disclaimer: ACD Systems is a paid partner of dPS

The post How to do Black and White Conversion with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate by Romanas Naryškin appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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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

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