Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adobe update Lightroom | Lightroom 2 available now

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Adobe announces update to Lightroom:
New Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 2 helps you sort and find the photos you want faster, target specific photo areas for more precise adjustments, and showcase your talent using more flexible printing templates. A host of other new features and enhancements make Lightroom 2 an essential upgrade for professional photographers.

Main differences between versions 1 and 2 inc:
  1. Automatically organize photos using Smart Collections
  2. Work with high-quality previews of offline images from multiple libraries and drives
  3. Target specific areas of a photo for dodging and burning
  4. Expand your workspace across multiple monitors
  5. Enjoy state-of-the-art 64-bit memory handling
  6. Easily transfer images to popular photo-sharing sites
  7. Access a rich community of export plug-ins and web gallery styles at the Lightroom Exchange
There are also numerous enhancements and improvements to existing features.

Upgrade from £90.85 (£79.00 exc. VAT) or buy from £228.85 (£199.00 exc. VAT).

Visit the Adobe site here

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to enhance your RedBubble Profile | Tutorial



Karin Taylor has written an excellent set of tutorials on how to enhance your RedBubble profile. Check it out here

Tutorials include 'creating a clickable image, displaying your card, print or tee previews and creating sets for your profiles'.

Check them out and don't forget to leave a comment and add Karin to your watchlist.

Steve ;-)


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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nikon announces the DX3

D3X

The D3X redefines high resolution SLR photography, whether you shoot in the studio or out on location. The 24.5 megapixel FX format CMOS sensor delivers image files with outstanding levels of detail and tonal gradation and boasts an ISO range of 100 to 1600. Its durable Kevlar/carbon fiber-composite shutter and EXPEED image processing engine enable it to shoot at up to 5 fps (7 fps in DX Crop mode). The advanced Scene Recognition System delivers superior exposures and is supported by Nikon's widely acclaimed 51-point AF system, which offers broad coverage and individually selectable points. Selectable Picture Controls streamline in-camera image processing, saving time in post-production. The high definition 3-inch LCD monitor supports two Live View modes plus an HDMI video output. Protected by a tough, environmentally-sealed magnesium alloy body.

Main Features:


    * 24.5 megapixel FX format CMOS sensor with high signal-to-noise ratio, wide dynamic range and 12-channel readout.
    * ISO 100 – 1600: extendable up to 6400 (equivalent) and down to ISO 50 (equivalent).
    * 5fps consecutive shooting (7fps in DX Crop mode)
    * EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.
    * Advanced Scene Recognition System combines the camera's metering and AF sensors for precise exposures and sharply defined images.
    * Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point AF system. Individually selectable or configurable in 9-point, 21-point and 51-point coverage settings.
    * Picture Controls streamline in-camera image processing by enabling customization of image parameters before capture and offer complete control over sharpening, contrast, brightness, hue and saturation in various color modes.
    * 920,000-dot 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with wide, 170-degree viewing angle.
    * Live View with Autofocus enables composition of images using the LCD monitor. Two modes are supported: Handheld or Tripod.
    * Two Crop Modes: DX format and 5:4 ratio. The DX crop mode can be automatically enabled when a DX lens is attached.
    * Quick response: approx. 40 ms shutter-lag and 55 ms viewfinder black-out.
    * Highly accurate, durable Kevlar/carbon fiber-composite shutter unit: Standard rating of 300, 000 cycles, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8,000 sec and flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec.
    * Active D-Lighting enables superior high-contrast images by automatically applying tone compensation at the moment of capture.
    * Dual CF card slots: configurable for parallel (simultaneous) or serial (consecutive) recording.
    * HDMI video output interface enables connection to high-definition video systems.
    * Intuitive ergonomics with optimized button placement for fast and comfortable handling.
    * Durable magnesium alloy body built to withstand the rigors of the harshest of environments.
    * Wireless LAN and Ethernet support via optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4.

More info: http://www.europe-nikon.com/product/en_GB/products/broad/1726/overview.html


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Saturday, November 22, 2008

iPhone your Life

Apple - iPhone - iPhone Your Life
iPhone Around TowniPhone World TraveliPhone At HomeiPhone Getting Things DoneiPhone Fun & Games

"Once you own an iPhone, you discover that it’s more than a phone. It’s a way of life.

Take a look at some ideas to help you get the most out of your iPhone, wherever you go."

Thus does Apple introduce the launch of its 'iPhone your life' online guide to applications available in the Apps store.

The various sections are:
• Around the World - finding places to eat, people to see. events to watch and music to play
• World Travel - keep a world of information at your fingertips
• At Home - Let iPhone lend a hand around the house, at the store, and with family
• Getting Things Done - Use it to turn to-dos into already-dones
• Fun and Games - get your game on....

It certainly looks a useful source of info and its all in the one place. As to how useful, well that depends but I am sure it will improve with time.


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

First Challenge Win on RedBubble!

Bliss by newbeltane was voted the winner of this great sunny challenge!! We had some amazing entries in this one… I am now warmed up :)




This is my first challenge win on RB so I am feelign somewhat chuffed!



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Friday, October 24, 2008

iPod Shuffle updated

iPod shuffle

Apple has updated the iPod Shuffle range. Not quite as many colours as the Nano but still looking pretty cool. The 1GB version holds 240 songs, and is available now for £32. The 2GB version holds 500 songs and costs £45, so is a better deal (13.3 p/per song for the 1GB, compared to 9p/per song for the 3GB).

Instant attachment.
Wear up to 500 songs on your sleeve. Or your belt. Or your gym shorts. iPod shuffle is a badge of musical devotion. Now in new, more brilliant colours.

Feed your iPod shuffle.
iTunes is your entertainment superstore. It's your ultra-organised music collection and jukebox. And it's how you load up your iPod shuffle in one click.

Beauty and the beat.
Intensely colourful anodised aluminium complements the simple design of iPod shuffle. Now in blue, green, pink, red and original silver.

Fr more info or to purchase visit Apple's store here



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Thursday, October 23, 2008

5% Cashback - Limited offer!

For a very limited time I am offering 5% cashback on completed purchases from my RedBubble Gallery. This offer expires Midnight 30th October 2008, so hurry along and purchase from my extensive range!

You can click on the flash panel below and it will take you directly to my gallery.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Photographer's Dilemma

Life as a photographer wishing to take his first step into purchasing a DSLR has just got more difficult. After using a so-called 'Bridge' digital camera (half-way between a compact and a DSLR), I have decided the time is ripe for upgrading. My old Fuji 602z has served me well but now I am looking to get back into earning some of my living from photography.

I have a part-time job running a charity but its never going to be full-time. Not that I am looking for a full-time job, but I do need to earn some more money in this so-called 'credit crunch'. As I used to earn a small living from freelancing for a magazine and private clients years ago, I feel I would like to give it another go.

My initial feeling is that I will mix some portrait photography (not weddings) with landscape and stock photography, maybe even some travel photography.

To this end, I was seriously considering getting the following system:

Fuji S5 Pro with Nikon lenses
Nikon Speedlight fash
Ringflash adaptor
Tripod
Filters


Now, I can get this system for around £1,500 inc VAT.

However, the recent arrivals from Sony, Canon, Nikon and others have made the choice less clear. Alternatives are:

1. Nikon D90 system offering HD video as an attractive extra.
2. Sony Alpha 350 system offering excellent Live View
3. Canon 450 system


All of these are within my budget, with some compromises. The question is, which is best? Now Nikon and Canon traditionally have had an advantage with their extensive systems of lenses and bodies. Fuji uses Nikon fit lenses so they are in the frame still. Sony, though the new kid on the block, have made a great start and have a developing range with their new A900 pro camera and its amazing resolution!

There is also the future promise of the Leica S2 on the horizon offering a 56% larger sensor than full-size sensors in the D3 and EOS 5D Mk II.

Maybe even the new Micro Four Thirds systems should be in the mix too?

I am tempted to just get a Canon G10 for now and a decent flash and wait and see what happens. Certainly, the price of the systems I have mentioned are bound to drop in the next twelve months and in light of the current credit crunch maybe that's the best option.
What does anyne else think?

Ubuntu 8.10 is almost here!

Not long to go until UBUNTU 8.10 is released. Available for various hardware, Ubuntu is the friendly face of Linux for all those who don't wish to pay the MS/Apple tax.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Creating a Mac-Type Background in Photoshop Tutorial





Creating a Mac-Type Background in Photoshop
This tutorial is about making a "mac" style background. You can use these in all sorts of situations, including the obvious --your desktop-- as well as part of your designs or for corporate work (Powerpoint presentations, Flash work, etc). Naturally, you wouldn't want to use this exact set of steps, but following them will give you a good idea of the technique. Good luck!

This site is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to improve their Photoshop skills.

There are plenty of different tutorials to follow, including how to convert an ordinary picture of a giraffe into a wallpaper of a giraffe fading away into musical notes and how to create a fantasy illustration of a winged dragon.

Check out the site here




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Saturday, October 11, 2008

aniMate Starter Bundle

aniMate Starter Bundle

DAZ 3D have released aniMate for Mac and Windows.

The aniMate Starter Bundle includes everything you need to get started in the world of animation! Take your favorite DAZ 3D characters, clothes and scenes, and make them come to life in your own movies and creations. You are the director, so make your dreams come to life - in full motion!

You get:
aniMate: The basic plug-in for DAZ Studio opens the door to your animated movies and creations. This comes with the aniPad, aniTimeline, and 40 aniBlocks to get you started. Import animations, create your own aniBlocks, and start your career as a digital filmmaker.

aniMate Walk Construction Kit: Need more walks? The aniMate Walk Construction Kit has you covered! Build you own walk cycle from 27 aniBlocks, and let your characters walk around in your scenes fluidly and effortlessly. This is a must for creating dramatic scenes and animations.

aniMate Gesture Pack #1 - Standing and Interaction: Start you characters interacting with each other with this package of aniBlocks for interpersonal motions and interactions. Kiss, wave, hug, or angry - your actor's emotions are under your control.

aniMate Dance Club Moves 1: Got a hot club scene, or an exotic dancer on a darkened stage? aniMate has you covered with this high-energy pack of 19 full dances. Create your own dances from parts of each, or use them as they are. You're sure to find the hot moves you crave in this package!

...Lights, Camera...aniMate!

Features

* This bundle comes with four aniMate products:
o aniMate
o aniMate Walk Construction Kit
o aniMate Gesture Pack #1 (Standing and Interaction)
o aniMate Dance - Club Moves #1
There is a trial version available here. Price is $69.97
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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Featured again on RedBubble!



This time my image "Lenwade" was feayred in the Stillness Speaks Group on RB. You can see the full image by clicking on the image above.


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Monday, October 06, 2008

DAZ Studio updated




DAZ Studio is a feature rich 3D figure posing and animation tool that enables users of any skill level to easily create stunning digital imagery. Whether you're a 3D newbie or an avid 3D artist, you'll find DAZ Studio is the perfect tool for designing unique digital art and animation with virtual people, animals, props, vehicles, backgrounds and more. Experience total creative freedom with DAZ Studio and express yourself in 3D like never before. Version 2.3.3.50 focuses entirely on bug and crash fixes reported from external users. There are specific fixes relating to crashing that occur when using the Content Manager.

3D Models

MILLENIUM FIGURES
DAZ 3D creates and purchases 3D assets with the single purpose of providing the best 3D content at the best prices. DAZ 3D's flagship line of "Millennium Figures" includes Victoria, Michael, Aiko, the Pre-School & Pre-Teen kids, the Freak, the Millennium Dragon, Horse, Dog, and many more.

PUBLISHED ARTISTS
DAZ 3D is not only home to the best 3D models and accessories around, but is also where you'll find the best 3D artists and content creators. Aside from the products owned and created by DAZ 3D, you'll find thousands of products created by independent artists considered the
best in their field.

PLATINUM SAVINGS CLUB
Join the DAZ 3D Platinum Club and you'll be guaranteed the best price on any product and also gain access to a library of over 1,500 items that you can purchase for just a $1.99, not to mention the special perks, previews, and other benefits that are available to "Members Only."

3D Software

BRING YOUR 3D MODELS TO LIFE
Enlarge your 3D toolset with DAZ 3D's powerful suite of 3D applications including Bryce, Carrara, DAZ Studio, Hexagon, and Mimic. Make your 3D models walk and talk as real or unreal as you need. Dress, shape, style, morph, and bend the models into the perfect virtual actor/actress to fill your project specifications.

SCULPT YOUR IMAGINATION
Create your own 3D models and accessories from scratch using a broad array of 3D modeling and texturing tools. Or, start with an existing 3D model and customize it into something entirely different and beautiful from within your mind's eye.

BUILD COMPLETE SCENES & LANDSCAPES
Design your own virtual worlds and environments to fill with your personalized 3D avatars and subjects, or to leave preserved as singular pieces of beauty and wonder all their own. Explore the power of creation as you move mountains and rivers, grow forests and oceans, or build cities and sprawling metropolises.


3D Community

LEARN
Sit upon the shoulders of the great ones as you join the DAZ 3D community and gain new skills and techniques from others who have gone before you. Read tutorials, wiki pages, blogs, and chats of 3D artists from all over the world.

SHARE
Give back to the 3D community by sharing your own new found knowledge with others as you continue to grow and excel as a digital artist. Publish your own blog and tutorials, contribute to the DAZ 3D Wiki, and chat with other artists to help grow the community.

CONNECT
Meet people from around the globe that share your interests, hire artists to help you with projects, offer your services to those in need, and form bonds with community members as you interact with others online.

AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Sigma announce ELECTRONIC FLASH MACRO EM-140 DG for Sony and Pentax


2008.9.23

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the new ELECTRONIC FLASH MACRO EM-140 DG for Sony and Pentax cameras.

ELECTRONIC FLASH MACRO EM-140 DG is designed to work with both AF 35mm film and Digital SLR cameras. The EM-140 DG Macro Flash is ideal for photographing subjects in fine detail when the shadowless mode is used and is extremely effective for scientific and medical applications. Dual flash tubes can fire simultaneously or separately. Using only one flashtube creates shadow, which can give a three-dimensional feeling to the subject. The flash features a guide number of 14 w/ISO 100. The Modeling Flash function makes it possible to check for reflections and shadows before actually taking the flash picture. A wireless flash function is also available, when the EM-140 DG is used as master and the EF-530 DG SUPER as a slave unit for creating fine shadow details. High Speed Synchro and Exposure compensation functions are also available for advanced flash photography.

MACRO FLASH ADAPTER (55mm, 58mm) included

Features

* Ideal for Close-up photography, especially medical and scientific applications
* Fully dedicated with the latest TTL auto exposure systems
* Flash tubes can be switched on or off for creative flash control
* Wireless Flash Control
* High Speed Synchro Flash


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Sigma announce the DP2 at Photokina

SIGMA DP2 - SIGMA CORPORATION
Sigma announces the development of a 14 megapixel high definition digital camera,
packing the full spec of a DSLR into the body of a compact camera.

2008.9.23




The Sigma Corporation (COO: Kazuto Yamaki) is pleased to announce the new Sigma DP2 compact digital camera featuring a 14 megapixel FOVEON X3 direct image sensor (2,652 × 1,768 × 3 layers) as used in the Sigma SD14 digital SLR.

Sigma introduced the DP1 with a direct image sensor as used in the Sigma SD14 digital SLR to the market in March 2008 as a “unique, groundbreaking, compact digital camera with all the power of a digital SLR”. The multi award winning DP1 has established strong support from a wide range of photographers both amateur and professional. Building on this success, the DP2 is equipped with a 24.2mm F2.8 lens, equivalent to 41mm on a 35mm SLR camera, for increasing creative possibilities and superior image quality, improving handling and performance.

This product is showcased at Photokina 2008 in Koln, Germany.

Main features
SLR-sized image sensor:
The size of the image sensor used in the DP2 camera is 20.7mm x 13.8mm. It is approximately seven to twelve times larger than the 1/1.8inch to 1/2.5inch image sensors used in ordinary compact digital cameras. The pixel size of the image sensor is 7.8μm. The large photodiodes deployed at a large pixel pitch capture pure, rich light efficiently and give the DP2 its high resolution and richly-graduated tones.

Full-color image sensor:
The DP2 uses the same 14 megapixel (2,652×1,768×3 layers) direct image sensor as the SD14 and DP1. Utilizing the special features of silicon, which is penetrated to different depths by different wavelengths of light, this direct image sensor succeeds in full-color capture with the full RGB in a single-pixel location. Since the moiré is not generated, use of a low-pass filter is not needed because full information of light and color can be captured with three-dimensional feeling.

"TRUE II" image processing engine:
The DP2 incorporates "TRUE II" which is an improved version of "TRUE" (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine), the world's first image processing engine suited for the three silicon embedded layer direct image sensor. The unique image-processing algorithm, which has been developed throughout the development of the SD series digital SLR cameras and DP1, is incorporated into "TRUE II".

24.2mm F2.8 lens designed exclusively for the DP2:
The DP2 is equipped with a 24.2mm F2.8 lens, equivalent to 41mm on a 35mm SLR camera, which has been designed exclusively for DP2. Two molded glass aspherical lenses provide superior image quality. The Super Multi Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. This lens and SLR-sized image sensor combination provides natural shallow depth-of-field and attractive bokeh effect.

RAW format recording:
The DP2 includes a RAW recording mode for retaining full image capture detail of the utmost quality plus a JPEG recording format for convenience. The RAW data format uses lossless compression for more compact, yet uncompromised, data files. The RAW data format of the DP2 keeps brightness and color data in a 1:1 ratio without relying on interpolation. Each pixel location captures the full color of RGB data which, when processed in Sigma Photo Pro, will preserve the balance of the natural data for the best photos with the best image quality.

Exclusive Sigma Photo Pro Software (Supplied with the DP2)
The DP2 comes complete with SIGMA Photo Pro software, a RAW image developer that converts all RAW data quickly and easily. djustments can be made in three separate modes. The X3F Mode stores the original settings of the image at the point of capture. In the Auto Adjustment Mode, the software analyzes and automatically makes adjustments to the RAW data. The Custom Mode allows the photographer to make individual adjustments. The photographer can make changes easily and quickly by simply adjusting the slider controls within the software.


Compact and lightweight body:

The DP2 has compact dimensions of 113.3mm/4.5in(W)x59.5mm/2.3in(H)x54.6mm/2.1in(D). Its compact body and lightweight design makes it easy to carry everywhere.

Three metering modes and four exposure modes:
The DP2 has three metering modes, Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering and Spot Metering. It is also possible to select the exposure mode from Program AE, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE or Manual. Exposure compensation can be set in 1/3 stop increments from +3.0 to -3.0 stops and an auto bracketing function is also available.

Pop up (manual) built-in flash:
The DP2 is equipped with a pop up (manual) built-in flash. It is possible to use Normal Flash, Red-Eye Reduction Flash and Slow Synchro Mode. It also features flash exposure compensation in 1/3 stops increments.

Manual Focus:
Manual Focus is available for use when autofocus or focus lock is not effective. It is also possible to magnify the display to ensure precise focusing.

Large 2.5" TFT Color LCD Monitor:
The DP2 camera features large 2.5 inch TFT color LCD monitor. The LCD monitor displays 100% of the images, allowing the photographer to easily and accurately confirm the image compensation.

Hot Shoe:
The DP2 camera is equipped with a hot shoe, allowing use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional) as well as Sigma electronic flashguns for SD series such as EF-500 DG and EF-530 DG. This hot shoe is also used to attach high performance view finder VF-21 (optional).
* EF-500 DG and EF-530 DG flashgun series can be used in manual mode only.

Dedicated lens hood (HA-21):
It is possible to attach the dedicated lens hood to block out extraneous light. It also functions as an adapter, designed to accept the 46mm Close-up Lens and 46mm filters.

* A hood adapter HA-21 is sold separately

Price TBC


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Sigma announce SD15

Sigma has announced the follow-up to its SD14 at Photokina 2008.



The Sigma Corporation (COO: Kazuto Yamaki) is pleased to announce the new SIGMA SD15 digital SLR camera. This camera is the latest model in Sigma’s digital SLR camera SD series, powered by the 14 megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image-sensor it can capture all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location arranged in three layers. The developing SD15 incorporates the “TRUE II” new image processing engine. It provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail. Incorporation of the large 3.0 inch LCD monitor and improved processing speed provide ease of operation of the camera.

This product is showcased at Photokina 2008 in Koln, Germany.

Price TBC
Since October 2002, Sigma has introduced three digital SLR cameras, the SD9, SD10 and SD14 to the market. In March 2008 Sigma also introduced a high-end compact digital camera, the DP1 which uses the same large image sensor as is featured in Sigma’s digital SLR cameras. They have established a strong following from a wide range of photographers, both amateur and professional. Photographers expressed a desire to incorporate the image processing engine “TRUE”, which is used in the DP1, into a digital SLR camera. In order to meet this demand, the SD15, with high resolution direct image sensor, has been designed around the new “TRUE II” image processing engine. This combination delivers superior image quality as well as improved processing speed, operation and performance.


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Featured image in 'Dawn and Dusk Light' Group on redBubble!

From Flock Photos



One of my image has been featured in a RedBubble Group again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Leica announce radical new S-System!


The Leica S-System
Innovative digital technology and the heart of a classic

Leica have introduced their new radical platform to provide medium-format quality and resolution in a DSLR size body.

The Leica S2, with its premium AF objectives including everything from ultra wide to super telephoto, is an absolute photographic highlight. The digital SLR camera has a special new sensor with 30 x 45 mm and 37.5 megapixels. The S2's metal body is appreciably smaller and easier to carry than similar models from other camera brands, and yet it's also nearly twice as fast thanks to ultra modern processor technology.

With the S2, Leica has created an entirely new class of camera – technically innovative but incredibly flexible thanks to a wide selection of accessories. It's a must for every professional photographer who is looking to upgrade from standard 35mm SLR systems.

Price is TBC but in the region of €20,000.

Leica is also developing a new range of lenses specially designed for the S system.

Nine new lenses will be introduced over the next two years.

Four prime lenses will be released when the S2 is launched: the Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 CS ASPH, the Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 CS ASPH, the Apo-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 CS, and the Apo-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 CS.

They will be followed by five further primes (24mm, 35mm, 100mm, 120mm and 350mm), a 30-90mm zoom lens and a 30mm tilt-and-shift lens.

The dual shutter system, which sees the S2 incorporating its own in-body shutter blades, will allow photographers to use shutterless lenses, expanding the range of optical options at their disposal.

More info here


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BBC Photography Portal



The BBC is a rich source of resources for creative endeavours. Photography, as one of the most popular creative activities on the planet is well catered for.

The Photography Portal offers something for everyone, whatever their level of expertise. There are tips on how to take better photographs, masterclasses from Tom Ang and various galleries to inspire.

You can also your historical images to the extensive gallery online. In these days of family history mania, this is a good move by the Beeb.

Family History gallery

On of my favourites is the Genius of Photography Gallery, linked to the TV series of the same name. Its a great lace to start learning about the history of the art and about many of its most famous artists.

Genius of Photography logo

Why not check it out here.
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Casio HIGH SPEED EXILIM Pro EX-FH20 Camera

Casio HIGH SPEED EXILIM Pro EX-FH20


Casio HIGH SPEED EXILIM Pro EX-FH20 Camera
with Ultra High-Speed Burst Shooting and HD Movie Functions, the EX-FH20 takes 40 shots per second and records high speed movies at 1000 fps. Its a better specified follow-up to the ground-breaking EX-F1. However, in order to up the pixel resolution, Casio have slowed it down a bit, not that you'd really notice with its 1000 fps video! Pixel resolution is now a useful 9.1 MP compared to the 6 MP of the EX-F1. It also has an improved zoom, with a focal length of 26 - 520 mm (35m,m equivalent). That's a whopping 20x optical!


Key product highlights include:

9.1 effective megapixels and a high power, wide angle zoom lens
The EX-FH20 is equipped with a 26 mm-equivalent wide angle zoom lens that can close in on subjects with a powerful 20x optical zoom. The camera also features a CMOS shift anti-shake function to support power-zoom shots.

Never miss a photographic opportunity, with high speed burst shooting up to 40 fps
The EX-FH20 can capture action in high definition, 7 megapixel (3072 x 2304 pixel) images with ultra-high speed burst shooting at up to 40 fps. Users can select from seven burst settings, allowing them to capture from 1 fps up to 40 fps in a single burst. Further, users can prerecord up to 40 still images not just at the instant they press the shutter button, but before! Even if they press the shutter a little late, they will still catch that vital moment.

High speed movie recording at up to 1,000 fps
The EX-FH20 can record high speed movie footage of motion too fast for the human eye, for ultra slow motion playback. Users can select from recording speeds of 1,000 fps, 420 fps or 210 fps and can also switch from the standard speed of 30 fps to high speed recording at 210 fps during recording at the touch of a button. The EX-FH20 makes it easy to capture critical moments on video.

High Speed Anti-Shake function
This function corrects images by automatically synthesizing multiple images captured during high speed burst shooting.

High Speed Night Scene setting
With or without a tripod, this feature ensures that high speed night shots come out clear and beautiful.

HD Movie function
The EX-FH20's HD Movie function records at 1280 x 720 pixels, at 30 fps.

UK Price:TBC but in region of £399.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apple Expo 2008 | PARIS

Apple Expo remix08

Apple Expo is currently underway as we speak, in Paris, France.

Although Apple doesn't exhibit, its a big affair. Running until the 20th September, there are over 100 exhibitors including:
  • Adobe
  • Aquafadas
  • Brother
  • Canto Software
  • Elegato
  • Extensis
  • Fujitsu
  • Gear 4
  • Griffin Technology
  • Iomega
  • JVC Pro
  • Kensington
  • Macally
  • Microsoft
  • Nike & Nike +
  • Orange
  • Parallels
  • Pro-Tech Ltd
  • Quark
  • Roxio
  • Sonnet Technologies
  • VMWare
This is just a selection, of course and not in any way meant to be an exhaustive one.

Major themes are Graphics, Photography, Video, Music and Lifestyles.

Date and Location
Wednesday september 17th 2008
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Thursday september 18th 2008
NEW Opening hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Friday september 19th 2008
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Saturday september 20th 2008
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, Hall 5

Info
Entrance fee : 12€
(free entrance for disabled visitors, and kids under 12 years old).
The visitor badge is available for the duration of the 4 days show.
Pets are not allowed in the exhibition center.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pre-Photokina Product Announcements Coming Thick and Fast!

PowerShot G10

Canon PowerShot G10
Digital Compact Camera

In the run up to this year's Photokina, the product announcements are coming thick and fast. Just looking at serious amateur and semi/pro cameras we have had the Nikon D90, Sony A900 and Canon 5D Mk II. Now Canon have also announced the G10 digital compact, their replacement for the excellent G9.

Features

  • 14.7 Megapixels
  • Genuine Canon 5x wide-angle lens with optical IS
  • RAW and DPP support
  • DIGIC 4
  • Anti-blur technology
  • 3.0” PureColor LCD II and optical viewfinder
  • Exposure Compensation and ISO dials
  • i-Contrast
  • 26 shooting modes
  • Range of accessories
The most notable features are the 28mm F2.8 lens and the new Digic 4 processor. The Canon G9 lost out to some of its rivals as it didn't have a 28mm lens; the G10 has corrected this oversight. The Digic 4 processor promises even better image quality, something that came in buckets with the G9.

The extra resolution, at 14.7 MP is welcome, as long it doesn't degrade image quality. The sensor size (at 1/1.7") is the same as the G9 so hopefully the Digic 4 processor will compensate for any impact this might have.

Although there is still a movie mode, it hasn't been upgraded to HD light the 5D Mk II, remaining at 640 x 480, 30 fps. However, you can record for longer at up to 1 hour on a 4GB card.

Price is stated on Canon (US) site as being $499.99, so I guess we in the UK will be expected to pay something like £349 initially, discounted to £299 quite quickly. It would be nice if they started out at a true exchange conversion though.




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Canon EOS 5D Mark II

EOS 5D Mark II

Canon have followed up quickly Sony's announcement of the A900 with their own about the EOS 5D Mark II.

Features

  • 21.1MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 processor
  • ISO range expandable to 25600
  • Full HD (1080, 30fps) movie recording
  • High-res 3.0” VGA LCD with Live View
  • 3.9fps JPEG shooting up to card capacity
  • 9-point AF + 6 Assist AF points
  • Magnesium alloy body
As can be seen, it compares favourably with the A900 on features, in particular as regards resolution and HD Video.

Price wise its looks like it will be available from the end of November, priced £2300 for the body only, or £3050 in a kit including an EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM zoom lens.

More info can be found on the Canon site.

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Robots Need Love Too

Robots Need Love Too by Randy Monteith

Robots Need Love Too by Randy Monteith is the latest work I have chosen to highlight from the RedBubble Community. Randy has creating digital artwork seriously for the last 4 years.

His artwork has been featured in magazines including PhotoShop Creative Magazine and Advanced PhotoShop Magazine.

Be sure to check him out by visiting his RedBubble Gallery.
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Panasonic announces the brand new LUMIX G Micro System



Announcing the world's first full-time Live View Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera Adopting New-Generation Micro Four Thirds System Standard DMC-G1 from LUMIX G Micro System, Panasonic has made it even harder for the consumer to decide which system to adopt when moving up from compact digital cameras.

Based on the Four Thirds System, it remains compatible with it, meaning that lenses for the larger system can be used utilising an adaptor. The DMC-G1 is the first model released.

DMC-G1K

Specification (brief):

    * Full-time Live View both for LCD and LVF
    * Advanced AF featuring iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode such as AF Tracking
    * 4/3-type 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine HD
    * Bundled with LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S.
    * Dust reduction system - Supersonic Wave Filter
    * Unique color variation [Some colors may not be available in some countries]

The reason Panasonic has developed the GI is to counteract the perception that DSLR's are all bulky and heavy. Funnily, I thought that was the reason they developed the original Four Thirds System, but who am I to bring that one up! To quote them: "Combining a downsized body and advanced camera features that realize the operational comfort even as easy as that of compact cameras, the super-mobile G1 shatters the old notion that all digital SLRs are bulky, heavy and hard to use."

Whether this will bring any greater success than the original Four Thirds System has failed to achieve is yet to be seen. With the growth in the DSLR market there is obviously an incentive to capture a greater share than they have managed so far. However, one reason for the lack of success with the original Four Thirds System was its poor signal to noise performance  which meant that it falls behind larger sensor sized DSLRs.

Oh, and why, if Panasonic see the future lying with the Micro Four Thirds System, why have they just released the LUMIX LX3?
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Friday, September 12, 2008

LUMIX LX3 announced

Panasonic has announced the LUMIX LX3, a compact that aspires to be like its big brothers and sisters in the DSLR family.

DMC-LX3

Specification (brief):
  • 10.1 Mega pixels
  • RAW/RAW + JPEG format, 2.5 frames/sec for up to 3 frames in RAW
  • Video Mode - 640 x 480 30 fps; 1280 x 720 24 fps
  • 1/1.63" sensor
  • 2.5x optical zoom
  • LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 8 elements in 6 groups (4 Aspherical Lenses / 4 Aspherical surfaces)
  • 12.8mm (35mm Equiv.: 24-60mm) lens F2.0 - F8.0
  • MEGA O.I.S. (Auto/Mode1/ Mode2) optical image stabiliser
  • Face / AF tracking / multi-area / 1-area high speed / 1-area / spot metering
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • 8 - 1/2000 sec shutter speed Program Mode; 60 - 1/2000 sec Manual Mode; 15, 30 & 60 sec Astronomy Mode
Available now at @ £359.99 inc. VAT, it is being touted by some as a rival to the excellent Canon G9 (street price @ £299.99 inc. VAT). The G9's sensor size is 1/1.7", so its slightly bigger than the LX3's. How this translates into which has the better image quality remains to be seen. The G( also has the edge on resolution with its 12.1 MP compared to the LX3's 10.1.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sony announce the world's first full-frame DSLR with 24.6 megapixels

Just when you thought it was safe to take a breather from all the recent announcements from Canon and Nikon, along comes Sony and trumps both of them!

Click to zoom




DSLR-A900

The 24.6 megapixel DSLR-A900 comes with a full-frame CMOS sensor with Exmor™ technology. It has a high-performance pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage, a high-speed 9-point AF, SteadyShot and a photo quality 3.0-inch 921k dot LCD.

With 5 fps continuous shooting at full resolution 24.6 MP, it certainly offers a strong challenge to anything Canon or Nikon can offer. Allowing up to 105 JPEGS or 12 RAW images is what its competitors can manage. Bear in mind however, that the Sony is doing this at 24.6 MP!

Its 9-point centre cross AF system has 10 focus assist points and is claimed to be fast and accurate. We have every reason to accept Sony's claim here but the final verdict will have to wait for comparative tests.

With the usual SteadyShot image stabilisation offering 2.5 - 4.0 extra steps of performance, it certainly compares well with Nikon and Canon's offerings.

The Dual anti-dust systems and the D-Range Optimiser are two other features that make this an attractive proposition and compare well with the similar systems in Nikon's and Canon's offerings.

What differs, surprisingly, is the lack of Live View or a built-in pop-up flash. Sony's implementation of Live View in the A350 was widely praised and so its absence here is something of a surprise. The lack of built-in pop-up flash is less of a problem. What the market will make of this remains to be seen. For professional photographers this may be less of an issue than for the enthusiast or semi-pro. However, one of the benefits of the Live View system is in low-level photography, such as macro-photography out in the field.

Click to zoom

Another feature lacking is video, which in light of the Nikon D90 offering HD video (5 mins recording at a time), may be a minus point for some. It does, however, offer HDMI output at 1920 x 1081i, which is better than the 720p offered by the Nikon.

The α900 full-frame digital SLR will be available from October 2008. The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM and 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM lenses will be available from early 2009. Price TBC

UPDATE: Thinkcamera is stating that the price will be £2,200 (body only) when the camera is available, which makes it very competitive with the likes of Nikon's D3 (£2,679.00 inc. VAT, body only, street price), which has only 12.2 MP sensor. The Canon EOS-1 Mk III offers 21 MP and is available for around £4,739.99 inc. VAT.

Prices on the new 70-400mm f/4-5.6 and 16-35mm f/2.8 lenses to go with the camera are yet to be confirmed. Note: These are professional lenses though and not the usual kit lenses you get with the cheaper cameras lower down the range (such as A200 and A350). Expect prices to be in the region of £400+ per lens.

UPDATE:
The Daily Telegraph is reporting the list price will be £1,195 (body only) when the A900 comes out in October. If true, we could see a price war starting out with Canon and Nikon having to make substantial cuts to compete. Especially as the price may well drop from the list price by Christmas, maybe to £995.

Latest News:
British Journal of Photography is reporting the following on the issue of price:
The A900 will be available early next month, officially retailing at £2100. However, according to Sony, some retailers have indicated that they will be selling the body at £1800 - an extremely aggressive price for a camera of this resolution.

So, its looking like the Daily telegraph made a typo!

UPDATE!
Sony is quoting £ 2,089.00 Incl Vat in their website for body only.

Compatible Lenses:

SAL-85F14Z - 85mm F1.4 ZA Carl Zeiss Planar T* lens priced at £ 1,039.01 Incl Vat

SAL-135F18Z - 135mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* high performance telephoto lens at £ 1,089.00 Incl Vat

SAL-2470Z - 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens at £ 1,289.00 Incl Vat

Lexar Professional UDMA 300x CompactFlash


Lexar has announced a new 16GB UDMA Compactflash card with a rated speed of 300X. Aimed at the professional market, the card is also available in 2, 4 & 8 GB capacities.

Product Highlights
  • Maximum high-speed UDMA performance and reliability
  • Dramatically improves transfer speeds from card to computer*
  • Includes Image Rescue™ 3 software to recover lost or deleted photo, video, and audio files**
  • Limited lifetime warranty
On Lexar's site, there is a table showing what the storage capacity of each card is for various file sizes:


Actual number of photos will vary depending on camera/device model, format resolution and compression, usable capacity, and bundled software. Actual usable memory capacity may vary. 1MB equals 1 million bytes; 1GB equals 1 billion bytes.

MB = megabytes, GB = gigabytes

The 4 GB card is currently available on eBuyer for £35.75 inc. and the 16 GB VAT., the 8 GB at £67.84 inc. VAT. Te 16GB is currently unavailable on the eBuyer stor.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Featured work in 'Photographer's Craft' Group on RedBubble!

My 'Dandelion in Sepia' work has been featured in the 'Photographer's Craft' Group on RedBubble.


1611936-1-dandelion-in-sepia

You can purchase cards and prints featuring it from RedBubble.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Featured work in A Photographer's Craft Group on RedBubble




My image "Spiritual Light" has been featured in the group 'A Photographer's Craft' on RedBubble. The group is The Art and Business of Photography for Advanced and Master Photographers group and can be found at
 http://www.redbubble.com/groups/a-photographers-craft
 http://snipurl.com/3kkz4


My image can be seen below.

1557904-1-spiritual-light

Steve
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Young Danish Photographer | Lasse Damgaard

1579452-1-european-portraits-no-151579518-1-european-portraits-no-16

1579329-1-european-portraits-no-131579230-1-european-portraits-no-11

I would like to introduce you to a young Danish photographer, Lasse Damgaard. Check out their fantastic portraits (four of them above) in their RedBubble gallery here

Only 19, I hope you will encourage them by leaving comments and buying some of their work.

Steve
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Nikon’s new D90 takes you to the movies

Hot on the heels of Canon's announcement of the EOS 50D comes Nikon's announcement of its forthcoming D90.



Nikon UK today announces another great step forward in its mid-class DX-format D-SLR range: the D90.

As the world's first D-SLR with movie function, this remarkable camera offers truly cinematic results, stunning image quality and innovative high-performance features inherited from Nikon's new-generation DX-format flagship D300. The D90 will open new doors for photography enthusiasts of any level.

With 12.3 megapixels, the newly-designed DX-format CMOS image sensor and Nikon's proprietary EXPEED image processing concept, the D90 is a quality-guarantee. Advanced features such as Live View, Scene Recognition, Active D-Lighting, Picture Control and an ISO sensitivity range of 200-3200 (ISO 6400 equivalent on Hi1 and ISO 100 equivalent on Lo1), allows creativity in almost any setting. And to ensure all these features are easy to use, they are packed in an ergonomic body with an intuitive operational layout.

For full specification please click here
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Canon EOS 50D announced!

The EOS 50D: Outstanding speed and resolution for the discerning photographer
   
EOS 50D

The digital SLR that photography enthusiasts have been waiting for, Canon's new EOS 50D offers incredible speed and resolution at a unique price point.

An outstanding 15.1 Megapixel resolution allows giant prints and cropping without compromise. This is matched by shooting at 6.3 frames per second in bursts of up to 90 shots[1]. See every wing beat of a bird in flight. Freeze a mid-air leap, or a split-second facial expression. With the EOS 50D, it's possible to capture those instants that slower cameras can miss.

A new high resolution 3.0" Clear View LCD screen provides ultra-detailed image review, as well as accurate focusing when using the Live View mode. Canon's 9-point AF system tracks moving subjects and locks onto stationary objects with equal ease. As night falls, base ISO levels can be pushed up to 3200 – or expanded to 12800 for situations where flash is best avoided. 

Plus – as with all EOS cameras – creative flexibility is assured, thanks to Canon's world-leading range of lenses and accessories.

Features

    * 15.1 MP (APS-C) CMOS sensor
    * 6.3 fps with up to 90 JPEG image burst
    * DIGIC 4 processor
    * ISO range up to 12800
    * 3.0" VGA LCD with Live View
    * High precision wide area AF
    * Magnesium alloy body
    * EOS Integrated Cleaning System
    * EF/EF-S lens and EX Speedlite compatibility

 

Pricing & Availability:

The EOS 50D (body only) is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1199.99 / €1599.99 RRP inc. VAT.

The EOS 50D EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM kit is available from end of September 2008 priced at £1499.99 / €1949.99 RRP inc. VAT.
   
 http://www.canon.co.uk/About_Us/News/Consumer_Releases/2008_News/NEW_EOS_50D_DSLR.asp
 http://snipurl.com/3k66j

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Why you should submit your photos to EyeEm

If you are in any way a serious photographer you will, at some time or other, have asked yourself "how can I make my photography pay?&q...