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May
24

RED simplifies cinema camera lineup, dramatically drops prices

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

If you’re in the market for a new RED camera, you’re in luck. The California-based cinema camera company has announced that it’s both simplifying its product lineup, and dropping prices on all of its cameras.

Starting today, RED’s product lineup has been pared down to just three cameras: the DSMC2 Monster, the DSMC2 Helium, and the DSMC2 Gemini. The prices are now $54,500, $24,500 and $19,500, respectively, which amounts to a savings of over $25,000 for the Monster and Helium, and a savings of more than $5K for the Gemini.

Each of the cameras are now available in aluminum alloy and the Helium is capable of being outfitted with RED’s Helium 8K S35 Monochrome sensor:

As for why this change is happening, RED says the change is being made to "[simplify] our portfolio." The company says it "found efficiencies, and [we’re] passing along the benefits to our users."

RED also notes that the names of cameras will be changed when upgraded to firmware v7.0.3 or later. The different naming scheme is seen in the below image.

For people who have already placed an order that hasn’t shipped for an older camera that’s no longer offered, RED will update the ordered camera to the DSMC2 Brain with the exact same sensor for no additional cost. There are also upgrade options available.

You can read the full documentation of the product line simplification and changes on RED’s product support page.

May
24

7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture Better Portraits

Filed Under Digital Photography School, Photography Tips and Tutorials, Portrait Photography

Taking great portraits is a great genre of photography to master. Some of the most famous photographs in the world and even paintings are simple head and shoulder portraits. They can tell us so much about the person being photographed. Think of arguably the most famous painting of all time and most people would probably say the Mona Lisa. But taking portraits also seems to be a difficult thing for newbie photographers to do. Fear not, here are 7 quick tips to help you capture better portraits.

7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better Portraits - portrait of a chef

1. Start with a conversation

It might seem daunting taking someone’s portrait, even in a studio. But it will get so much easier if you build a rapport with the person first. Whether it’s in the studio or in the street, start the shoot with a conversation and get to know who they are. Find out what they do, what they like, and even what their personality is like.

If you can, make them laugh with a joke. Not only will all of this help build a picture of who they are which can influence the photo, but it will also mean that they are much more comfortable working with you.

This, in turn, will mean that they will be more relaxed and also more be accommodating to you taking their photo. Clearly, sometimes that will be difficult in travel photography, for example, when you might not speak the same language. But even then it’s amazing what a few hand gestures, a few local phrases, and a smile can achieve.

portrait of a lady smiling - 7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better Portraits

2. Frame carefully

While it might seem obvious, it’s amazing how often I’ve seen a portrait taken where it hasn’t been framed properly. When you are taking an environmental portrait, you need to capture some of the person’s surroundings to be able to tell a story. But when you’re doing a normal head and shoulders portrait, the sole focus should be the person standing in front of you. Their face is where the focus should be, so if there are distracting elements near them or in the background try to crop those out.

Often the reason that photographers end up with too many distractions in the photo is that they are too far away from their subject. So, if you find that you are not able to focus primarily on the subject’s face when taking a portrait, get closer.

portrait of an Asia lady - 7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better Portraits

3. Think about the background

Another key element of framing your portrait properly is to ensure that the background isn’t too overpowering. Ideally, a muted or plain surface such as a wall works best as the viewer isn’t distracted by anything else. They can focus solely on the person’s face. If you find that your subject is standing somewhere that doesn’t work best for the portrait, ask them if you can move them and position them somewhere better. Even if you don’t speak their language, usually pointing to where you want them to go does the trick.

If you find that you have to take the photo with too much stuff happening in the background, set a wide aperture so that you will get the background blurred. This will help make your subject stand out from the busy background and not get lost in the photo.

portrait of a person in costume in Italy - 7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better Portraits

4. Experiment

Most of the time the advice that you are given is to try and light your portrait using natural light, photograph your model from the front, and get close enough to eliminate any distractions. Sound familiar? For example, being outside on an overcast day is ideal for taking portraits as the soft even light means you don’t get harsh shadows on the person’s face.

But while these are great bits of advice that you should follow, it is also worth sometimes pushing the boundaries. So experiment with harsh lighting or even a more creative shots such as in the example below. I took a step back to let people pass and was immediately struck with the dynamism that having someone walk across the image brought to it. It’s still a portrait, but it’s a little more interesting than if there was no one else in the shot.

The key is to not be afraid to go against convention and try something different, you might be surprised by the results.

7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better Portraits - portrait of person in costume in Venice

The passer-by added a sense of mystery to this portrait.

5. Keep the eyes sharp

If there is just one rule that you need to follow when it comes to taking better portraits, it is to ensure that the subject’s eyes are sharp and in focus. If the eyes are not in sharp focus, the whole image looks soft and unappealing. So, take extra care that you are focusing correctly and that you are keeping the eyes sharp.

When taking portraits outside, the majority of the time you can get away with using a fairly wide aperture. So as long as there is decent light your shutter speed should remain fast enough to avoid camera shake. If you are unable to keep a fast enough shutter speed, raise your ISO accordingly.

portrait of a young Asian child crying - 7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better Portraits

6. Take multiple shots

You often have a relatively short window when taking portraits as your subject will usually want to get on with their day. But that should still give you plenty of time to take multiple photos. Try taking photos in burst mode so that you can capture the exact moment when your model has their eyes open or has an expression on their face that works for the photo.

You can also try a few different compositions and even angles to give your photos variety. The great thing about digital photography is that it won’t cost you anything to take multiple photos as long as you have enough memory space.

man taking a photo in Venice -7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture better portraits

7. Just relax

Sometimes the real key to taking any great photo is just relaxing and letting it happen naturally. So rather than rushing around and clicking away frantically, just slow down and take your time.

Start talking to people without the burden of knowing that you want to photograph them and if the situation lends itself to a photo just enjoy the process and have fun. Show the person the photos you’ve taken, keep everything casual and you will find that your photos become much better and more intimate.

young girl's portrait - 7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture Fantastic Portraits

Taking a great portrait takes great skill, but when done well it can have incredible results. You will find that not only will you have amazing photos that will look great anywhere, but also memories that you will cherish. Just follow these 7 quick tips to help you capture better portraits and you’ll be on your way to capturing great photos of people.

Please show us your portraits and share your tips advice below.

The post 7 Quick Tips To Help You Capture Better Portraits appeared first on Digital Photography School.

May
24

Fujifilm X-T100 offers large EVF and phase-detect AF for $600

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Fujifilm has announced its latest X-series camera, the X-T100. The camera takes the innards of the entry-level X-A5, including its 91-point phase-detect AF system, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high resolution OLED electronic viewfinder (borrowed from the X-T20).

As with the X-A5, the X-T100's 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor uses a traditional Bayer color filter, rather than the X-Trans filter found on pricer X-series cameras. The X-T100 has the usual Fujifilm feature set, including the much-loved Film Simulation Modes.

The camera can shoot continuously at 6 fps and can capture 4K UHD video, albeit at a why-did-they-bother 15 fps. Battery life is rated at an impressive 430 shots per charge. For sharing photos the X-T100 includes Bluetooth to speed up the Wi-Fi connection process.

The X-T100 is available with or without the Fujinon XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens, priced at $599 and $699, respectively. It will be available in mid-June in your choice of 'dark silver,' 'champagne gold' and black.

Press Release

FUJIFILM INTRODUCES THE NEW FUJIFILM X-T100 TO X SERIES MIRRORLESS CAMERA LINEUP

A stylish interchangeable lens camera featuring automatic scene recognition, a three-way tilting touchscreen and Bluetooth® technology

Valhalla, N.Y., May 24, 2018FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the debut of its new FUJIFILM X-T100, a compact interchangeable lens camera with a sleek design. Available in Black, Dark Silver, and Champagne Gold, the new X-T100 offers a host of features including a high magnification electronic viewfinder, horizontal tilting rear LCD screen, built-in Bluetooth® technology for quick and easy image sharing and an extended battery life allowing up to 430 frames per charge. In addition, the X-T100 weighs just 448g with anodized coating on aluminum top cover, delivering a simultaneously retro and luxury feel.

“We are excited to announce the X-T100 as the latest addition to the X Series lineup,” said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “This mirrorless camera is a perfect fit for photographers looking for an easy to use, compact and versatile camera, offering excellent image quality with a variety of enhanced features with the familiar design of previous FUJIFILM X-T series cameras.”

Equipped with a powerful 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor and high-speed image processing engine, the X-T100 is compatible with the full X Mount lens lineup of 26 FUJINON high quality lenses which cover focal lengths from 15mm to 1200mm (35mm equivalent). Combining Fujifilm’s renowned outstanding image quality with the company’s proprietary color reproduction technology, the X-T100 is stylish, portable, and highly versatile - making it the ideal companion for everyday photography.

Fast Autofocus, Automatic Functions, and Sleek Design Offer Ease of Use

The X-T100 uses a Phase Detection Autofocus system and algorithm originally designed for flagship X Series models, to ensure quick and precise capture of images even when photographing fast-moving subjects. Adding to its ease of use, the camera also features an advanced SR+ Auto shooting mode that is capable of detecting the subject and scene simultaneously, and selecting the optimum settings accordingly to provide intelligent, fully-automatic shooting. This mode is perfect for situations where it is difficult to select the right settings, or when a series of quick shots is what the photographer is after.

The X-T100 features a three-inch touch panel display to make composition easy. Featuring

1.04-million dots for a crystal clear view of the action, this screen swings out horizontally to almost 180 degrees. Not only does this help to compose shots at awkward angles, it also makes it possible to take selfies or shoot video blogs with a clear view of what’s in the frame.

Although the X-T100 has the look of a timeless classic, the camera body weighs just 448g with battery and memory card, so it’s small and light enough to accompany photographers wherever they go. It also comes with a shoulder strap and a detachable grip for added security and comfort.

Artistic Expressions for Everyday Creativity

The X-T100 offers 11 variations of unique FUJIFILM Film Simulation modes and 17 variations of Advanced Filters—all of which provide photographers with the ability to add greater artistic expression to images. Setting adjustments on the X-T100 is quick and easy with one-step operation that is made possible via the function and exposure compensation dials on top of the body, and the touch-and-flick function available on the rear LCD monitor.

Not only can the X-T100 produce breathtaking stills, but with 4K and the option to shoot in slow motion, it’s great for video too. Full HD movies can be shot at speeds of up to 59.94fps for super-smooth footage. To help maximize sound quality, the X-T100 is equipped with a microphone port so videographers can record audio from a compatible external microphone (sold separately).

Bluetooth® Technology for Quick and Seamless Image Transfer

The X-T100 features the latest Bluetooth® low energy technology, allowing users to quickly and seamlessly transfer images using the free “FUJIFILM Camera Remote” app. This function enables constant image transfer, even while in shooting mode, so images can be uploaded and shared within moments.

FUJIFILM X-T100 Key Features:

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and high-speed imaging processor equipped with Phase Detection AF system
  • 3” (approx. 1,040K-dot) high resolution LCD touchscreen can be tilted 3 ways
  • Standard output sensitivity of ISO200 – ISO12800
    • Extended output sensitivity: ISO100 – ISO51200
  • 4K video recording up to approx. 30 mins
    • Full HD 1920 x 1080 59.94p / 50p / 24p / 23.98p, Continuous recording up to approx. 30 min.
    • HD 1280 x 720 59.94p / 50p / 24p / 23.98p, Continuous recording up to approx. 30 min.
    • High Speed Movie 1280x720 / 1.6x / 2x / 3.3x / 4x, Continuous recording up to approx. 7 min.
  • Bluetooth® version 4.1 low energy technology
  • Wi-Fi® image transfer and remote camera operation
  • Improved battery life for still images - approx. 430 frames
  • Start-up period:
    • 0.4 sec., when High Performance mode set to ON
    • 0.8 sec., when High Performance mode set to OFF
  • Photos can be sent to instax SHARE printers using the free “instax SHARE” app
  • Accessories include:
    • Li-ion battery NP-W126S
    • AC power adapter
    • Plug Adapter
    • USB cable
    • Shoulder strap
    • Body cap
    • Owner's manual
    • Detachable Grip

Availability and Pricing

Kits and cameras will be available in Black, Dark Silver, and Champagne Gold. Dark Silver and Champagne Gold are two exciting colors new to the X Series lineup, seen for the first time in the X-T100.

The new FUJIFILM X-T100 will be available as a kit with the FUJINON XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens on June 18, 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $699.95 and CAD $899.99.

The new FUJIFILM X-T100 body will be available on June 18, 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $599.95 and CAD $749.99.

Fujifilm X-T100 specifications

Price
MSRP$599 body only, $699 w/16-50mm lens
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialComposite/Metal
Sensor
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-12800 (expands to 100-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (3 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3)
  • Raw (RAF format, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points91
Lens mountFujifilm X
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.93× (0.62× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, Rear-curtain Synchro, Commander
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous H/L
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive6.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, smile, buddy, group, face)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 15p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/ SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (Micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Remote controlYes (via smartphone or wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNP-W126s lithium-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA)430
Weight (inc. batteries)448 g (0.99 lb / 15.80 oz)
Dimensions121 x 83 x 47 mm (4.76 x 3.27 x 1.85)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone
May
23

Leaked Panasonic firmware update is made official

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Panasonic had been planning on a May 30th announcement and release of firmware updates for its GH5, GH5S and G9 models, only to have that plan foiled by a leak of the announcement in Japan today. So while you can't download the actual firmware updates themselves until next week, here's a high-level look at what you can expect from the new software.

Autofocus performance is said to be improved on all three models for both stills and video shooting along with an improvement of the quality and performance of sound recording during video. For the G9 and GH5, the image stabilizer has been tweaked, and there have been some refinements of the high-resolution mode for the flagship G9.

Unfortunately, the web pages with all of the nitty gritty details for each camera (see the links in the press release below) aren't yet live, so we can't comment on what exactly the 'New Functions' and 'Other Improvements' will be for each model. That said, we're certainly looking forward to seeing how effective these AF enhancements will be when they land next week.

Firmware Update Service for DC-GH5, DC-GH5S, DC-G9 To Enhance Performance and Add New Functions

Newark, NJ (May 23, 2018) - Panasonic is pleased to announce new firmware updates for the DC-GH5 (Firmware Version 2.3), DC-GH5S (Firmware Version 1.1) and DC-G9 (Firmware Version 1.1) to further enhance their performance and usability. The firmware will be available on May 30, 2018.

The new firmware includes following upgrades:

LUMIX DC-GH5 Firmware Ver.2.3

  1. Improvement of AF performance
  2. Improvement of Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) performance
  3. Improvement of sound recording performance
  4. New functions5. Other improvements

LUMIX DC-GH5S Firmware Ver.1.1

  1. Improvement of AF performance
  2. Improvement of sound recording performance
  3. New functions
  4. Other Improvements

LUMIX DC-G9 Firmware Ver.1.1

  1. Improvement of AF performance
  2. Improvement of Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) performance
  3. Improvement of High Resolution Mode
  4. Improvement of sound recording performance
  5. New functions
  6. Other improvements

The new firmware programs will be available at LUMIX Customer Support Site on May 30, 2018 at: http://av.jpn.support.panasonic.com/support/global/cs/dsc/download/index.html


The details of each firmware programs will also be available at the following pages:

LUMIX DC-GH5 Firmware Ver.2.3: http://www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/lumix/gh5_firmware.html

LUMIX DC-GH5S Firmware Ver.1.1: http://www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/lumix/gh5s_firmware.html

LUMIX DC-G9 Firmware Ver.1.1: http://www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/lumix/g9_firmware.html

*Specifications are subject to change without notice

To learn more about Panasonic’s line of LUMIX Digital Cameras and other consumer electronic products please visit www.shop.panasonic.com and www.lumixlounge.com. You can also follow Panasonic on Twitter (@mypanasonicNA) and Facebook.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Newark, NJ, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. The company offers a wide range of consumer solutions in the U.S. including LUMIX Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Blu-ray players, Home Audio, Technics, Cordless Phones, Home Appliances, Beauty, Grooming, Wellness and Personal Care products and more. Panasonic was featured in Fortune Magazine's 2016 ranking of 50 companies that are changing the world and doing well by doing good. Specifically cited were its smart and sustainable technologies, including its contributions to smart cities and the electric vehicle revolution.

Follow Press Updates for Panasonic Consumer Products:

Internet - http://us.panasonic.com/news

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/panasonicusaconsumerpress

Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/panasonicusa_consumer_press

Press Resource Contacts:

Panasonic North America Corp. Consumer Press consumer: press@us.panasonic.com

Blair Riley (Porter Novelli): blair.riley@porternovelli.com

May
23

Video: There’s no such thing as lens compression, it’s just perspective distortion

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains exactly why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.

The main issue with the term "lens compression" is that the distortion the term refers to has nothing to do with the lens itself. The issue is simply perspective distortion, caused by the distance between your camera and your subject, as well as the distance between your camera and the background.

Put another way: if your subject is 1 meter away (or feet: it doesn't really matter), and your background is 50 meters away, moving back 1 meter will double the distance between you and your subject, while barely changing the distance between you and the background—the perspective on your subject changes drastically, while the perspective on your background barely shifts at all.

This diagram, from the FStoppers video, shows why changing your perspective appears to compress the background... When you double the distance to your subject you halve its size, but you've barely moved in relation to the background, so it remains roughly the same size in your image.

To show this concept in action, Morris uses two examples. First, he shows you how you can get the exact same perspective using a 24mm lens that you can with a 400mm lens by simply cropping the wide-angle shot. Then, he does the opposite, creating the same perspective as a 15mm shot by stitching multiple shots taken at 70mm.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should go throw out all of your lenses and just pick one focal length to either crop or stitch with. Physical limitations apply: like how much room you have to back up, how much resolution you're willing to sacrifice by cropping, and how much sanity you have to spare if you're trying to create a 15mm shot by taking a thousand shots with an 800mm lens.

The demonstration is just that: a demonstration of a concept that is often misunderstood because of the language we use to describe it. The compression you get using a long lens isn't a result of the lens, so much as the distance between your subject, your background, and the camera.

May
23

DJI debunks rumor: Leaked ‘Phantom 5’ was just a custom-built Phantom 4 Pro

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Last week, some 'leaked' photos and hand-drawn schematics were published online that purported to show an upcoming drone from DJI: a Phantom 5 with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported and the photos looked real enough, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.

We spoke to DJI, who clarified on the record that the drone in the images above and below is not an unreleased DJI Phantom 5, but a specialized Phantom 4 Pro designed by DJI for an enterprise client—something that it is not at all unusual for DJI to do.

Here's the full statement:

The Phantom 4 drone with interchangeable lenses sighted in some online publications is not a DJI product for public sale. To clarify, this was a modified Phantom 4 Pro drone designed for an enterprise client to serve specific application needs.

Of course, this doesn't mean a Phantom 5 isn't in the works, but that leak from a couple of weeks ago seems to a have been a hoax.

May
23

My Top 5 Photography Documentaries on YouTube

Filed Under Digital Photography School, Photography Tips and Tutorials

Surrounding yourself with inspiration is one of the best ways to jump-start your creativity. By viewing the works of others, we connect with our own photographic practice. One of my favorite things to do in a creative lull is to trawl YouTube. I could spend hours looking for interesting photography documentaries to watch and study.

I always feel myself rearing to get photographing by the time the credits roll. So here are a few of the favorites that I like to revisit from time to time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

#1 – The Many Lives of William Klein

William Klein is known for his gritty street photography as well as his fashion work with Vogue. As a creator of some of the most iconic imagery of the 20th century, the American-born French photographer originally trained as a painter. Despite having no formal training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs he compiled in 1954. Since then, Klein’s work has been praised as uncompromising and revolutionary in both his approach and execution.

The Many Lives of William Klein takes a peek into Klein’s world as he prepares his retrospective exhibition. Smart and sarcastic, Klein recounts memoirs of his photographic past and shares insights into his process and passion for photography.

Note: there is a warning of strong language in this video so if you find that offensive you might want to go to the next one.

#2 – The Colourful Mr. Eggleston

Produced by BBC for its “Imagine” TV series, The Colourful Mr. Eggleston provides a rare look into the life and work of one of photography’s most influential proponents. William Eggleston was born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee to a family of plantation owners. He grew up in Sumner, Mississippi and spent six years studying at various art schools, never receiving a degree. When he received his first camera in 1957, a Canon rangefinder, he was hooked. As one of the first art photographers to use color film, he began visually recording the world around him, capturing everyday moments in life in compressed color and light.

Eggleston’s idols, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans roamed the world for photographic subject matter. But Eggleston remained rooted in Memphis. His wife, Rosa, tells the story that one day Eggleston told a friend that there was nothing to photograph because everything in the city was ugly. The friend told him to “photograph the ugly stuff” which set him on a path photographing a contemporary landscape made up of vending machines, light bulbs, power poles, wires, signs, urban decay and occasionally human subjects.

The Colorful Mr. Eggleston follows his photographic process in and around Memphis as he isolates the facets of everyday life that make up the dense, atmospheric imagery of his work.

#3 – The Genius of Photography

The Genius of Photography is a series originally featured on BBC Four that investigates the rich history of photography. Over the six-part series, the documentary explores an aspect of the photographic medium. It covers the earliest incarnations of photography through to modern digital practice.

From art to commercial photography, the series includes interviews and encounters with some of the world’s best including William Klein, Sally Mann, Jeff Wall and many more.

Click here to go to the video.

#4 – Lomography: Shoot from the Hip

The Lomo Camera: Shoot from the Hip is a colorful insight into the history and momentum of the Lomography movement. The philosophy behind Lomography is “Don’t Think, Just Shoot”, encouraging spur-of-the-moment photography not dissimilar to Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment. The movement is also accompanied by 10 golden rules encouraging spontaneous, active photography with less concern for formal photographic technique.

While Lomography itself can be a bit hit-and-miss, the documentary conveys a world of unfocused color and spontaneity. But the Lomo ethos isn’t reserved only for photographers with plastic cameras; much of the Lomographic practice can still appeal to those with more hi-tech photographic equipment. With rules like “Take your camera everywhere you go” and “Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.”

The Lomo Camera: Shoot from the Hip inspires a fun and creative approach that can be applied across the board photographically.

#5 – The Photographers

Click to go to the video page.

Working for National Geographic is a job that many photographers dream of, but few attain. With some assignments lasting for months, National Geographic’s camera staff aren’t just journalists, they’re artists, braving a myriad of hardships. As one Nat Geo photographer featured on the Photographers, Michael (Nick) Nichols explains, “The toughest part of [the] job often times is not taking photographs but surviving an environment”.

Seeking out “memorable images, unusual subjects, and unexpected moments” in some of the most unique and sometimes inhospitable of locations. The Photographers follows several Nat Geo photographers as they capture iconic shots the magazine has become known for, delivering beautiful and unique imagery and delving into what it is that makes up our world.

Conclusion

Photography documentaries are great because they give us a behind-the-scenes look at someone else’s photographic world. Every photographer works differently. So when we view another photographer’s practice, it’s as if they are passing their own inspiration on to us.

These are only a few of the wide selection of photographic documentaries to find on YouTube. So go ahead, start your own list of favorites and get inspired! Share your list in the comments below as well.

Editor’s list: here are a few others I recommend if you can find them:

  • War Photographer – James Nachtwey. I can’t find the whole documentary on YouTube but you can watch his TED talk here.
  • The Big Bang Club is about news photographers in South Africa during the fall of the Apartheid. This one you might have to pay to watch but it’s really worth it.
  • Double Exposure is about the life of photographer Margaret Bourke-White, one of the earliest women photojournalists. I can’t find it on YouTube but look around maybe you can find a copy somewhere.

The post My Top 5 Photography Documentaries on YouTube appeared first on Digital Photography School.

May
23

Vivo teaser shows bezel-free smartphone with pop-up camera

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

In February, Vivo introduced a concept phone called Apex that featured a bezel-free display and pop-up front-facing camera, among other things. That handset may be more than just a concept, though, based on a teaser included with Vivo's latest event invitation and a video advertisement it recently published.

Originally pointed out by The Verge, Vivo has released a 2018 FIFA World Cup advertisement that includes shots of what appears to be the Apex phone. In addition to the advertisement, Vivo has also released an invite for the company's June 12th event in Shanghai, China.

The invite, below, features an image of a smartphone with a full bezel-free, notch-free display.

In addition to both of the aforementioned features, Vivo's Apex concept phone also included an in-display fingerprint sensor that worked on the entire bottom half of the phone's screen. We see hints of that feature in the FIFA advertisement above. Earlier this year, Vivo unveiled the X20 Plus UD, the first smartphone to hit shelves with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

In the event invitation, Vivo merely stated that the production phone unveiled next month "continues Vivo's vision with Apex FullView Concept Smartphone." Assuming the production phone mirrors the Apex concept, the pop-up camera will be front-facing only.

May
23

Skylum announces creation of ‘Skylum AI’ artificial intelligence lab

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Skylum Software, formerly known as MacPhun and the developers of the Luminar photo editing application, today announced the creation of a research and development division dedicated to artificial intelligence in imaging. The division is called the Skylum AI Lab, and it is a collaboration between Skylum and its sister company, Photolemur, makers of an AI-powered image editor.

The team at Skylum AI Lab, which will be headed by former Let's Enchance CEO Alex Savsunenko, is already working on a number of new AI solutions. These include artificial intelligence- and machine learning-powered image upscaling, tagging and segmentation, as well as automated image enhancement systems.

As Skylum CEO Alex Tsepko explains:

By using AI-based technologies in our products, our customers save time vs. manual editing, and can often get better results. Our neural networks are being trained on millions of images taken by cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Canon and many others, which means outstanding results for all photographers, regardless of what style they shoot and what gear they are using.

There is clearly a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence in imaging lately, and the possibilities do seem endless. It's still early days, but with most major smartphone manufacturers implementing AI-powered functions in their smartphone cameras, it only makes sense to push the technology on the desktop and other platforms as well.

Whether it's improved auto-tagging or lossless upscaling of images, we're looking forward to the ideas and solutions coming out of Skylum AI lab in the future.

Press Release

Skylum Software doubles down on Artificial Intelligence by creating new Skylum AI Lab and joining forces with leading AI-based image editor, Photolemur

Skylum also hires Alex Savsunenko, former CEO of Let’s Enhance, to lead AI-based photo technologies to the next level.

May 22, 2018 — Bellevue, WA — Today, Skylum Software announced the formation of a new research and development division dedicated to the advancement of artificial intelligence technologies in image processing. The Skylum AI Lab leverages the company’s prior work developing smart filters in its award-winning Luminar software, as well as technology from its “sister company” Photolemur, which was founded in 2016 by Dima Sytnik and Alex Tsepko, co-founder and CEO of Skylum respectively.

“Clearly, AI can simplify our lives. By using AI-based technologies in our products, our customers save time vs. manual editing, and can often get better results,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO at Skylum. “Our neural networks are being trained on millions of images taken by cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Canon and many others, which means outstanding results for all photographers, regardless of what style they shoot and what gear they are using.”

To spearhead the new Skylum AI Lab, the company has hired Alex Savsunenko, former CEO of Let’s Enhance, a leader in machine learning for visual content. Savsunenko will manage all research and development for technologies based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks. Promising results will ultimately be implemented in Skylum products and solutions for image and video enhancement, with the aim to help users make their workflow faster, smarter and more efficient.

Currently, the Skylum AI Lab is testing over a dozen of new solutions, including:

  • Image upscaling:uses deep convolutional neural networks to improve low-resolution images and scale them up for superior viewing and printing.
  • Tagging: generates tags that describe the image and its objects based on image recognition.
  • Segmentation: smart recognition of image areas that can be automatically enhanced using different filters and corrections based on the type of object.
  • Automatic enhancement: applies smart image corrections to photos based on a variety of issues

To further reinforce its AI prowess, Skylum has also joined forces with Photolemur, creator of the world's first fully automatic photo enhancement solution. Photolemur app has been sold for several years, with hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide. It enhances images utilizing artificial intelligence without the need to use any manual controls. Development will continue on Photolemur, with the next evolution of the app likely to be a cloud solution that helps high-volume users enhance images as batch process.

About Skylum Software

Skylum Software (formerly Macphun) is a Washington-based photo software developer with the mission to make complex photo editing simple and user-friendly. Thanks to its innovative approach and high-end proprietary technologies, Skylum products have won dozens of various awards, including “Best of the Year” awards by Apple for six straight years. Luminar was honored with the “Best Imaging Software 2017” award by TIPA and “Best Software Plugin” in October 2017 by the Lucie Technical Awards. Aurora HDR was selected as the “Best Mac App of 2017” by Apple.

To learn more about Skylum, please visit http://skylum.com/.

May
23

Using four Godox EC-200 extension heads as a quad-flash for beauty and close-up lighting

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Flashpoint/Godox have just announced the EC-200 extension head, adding an effective and extremely low-cost tool for cosmetic and macro photography. These heads are exclusively designed for the Evolve 200 / AD200 pocket flash, a widely popular and highly efficient product, operated by long-lasting lithium batteries.

Throughout my career I have used various types of ring flashes and parabolic umbrellas. I also collaborated with Swiss lighting manufacturer Broncolor for over a decade on countless marketing and promotional projects, and shot their launch campaigns for the original Para 330 and Ringflash C.

Super model Iman for DeBeers global campaign (2003), shot with Broncolor Para330, and Fujifilm GX680III, on Fujifilm Provia film.

These types of lights are often used by fashion photographers, as they are both easy to work with and offer many options—the Broncolor Paras in particular, which range from the 88 to 330, can produce a wide variety of effects. However, neither types are ideal for extreme close up work when balanced, even front-lighting is required.

The new remote heads from China on the other hand, are small and light enough to allow for several of them to be mounted on a camera flash bracket and rail.

Selecting tiny but wide-angled reflectors, the resulting light is much less harsh, and more feathered than the output from a ring flash, in very close distance. The total weight of, let's say, four extension heads with the small reflectors and including the bracket/rail set is just about 24 ounces, making handheld shooting is easy.

This new kind of 'Quad Ring' set up offers also the additional advantage over traditional ring flashes of allowing individual control of each of the flash heads in turn, which permits me to limit the output of the flash hitting the model's face from underneath.

This is not as easily achieved with a ring flash.

Placed on tripod, the four extension heads are still mounted on the bracket and rail, but the camera is hand-held, so the four lights hit from a slight angle.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 250mm lens, F8, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100

The Evolve 200 / AD200 pocket flash performs extremely well and reliably in HSS (High Speed Sync) mode, and when used for this 'Quad Ring' arrangement, provides output powerful enough to completely black out direct midday sunlight.

This four-light arrangement also makes an excellent off-camera light by simply setting the contraption on a tripod and shooting from various angles around it.

The 'Quad Ring' is also off-centered in this image. This time it's placed to the camera angle, resting on a tripod.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 120mm macro lens, F11, 1/125 sec, ISO 100
As evident by the unusual catchlights, the four extension heads are mounted on bracket and rail around the lens here.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 120mm macro lens, F11, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

The announcement of the new remote heads is timely. The recent release of new macro extension tubes by Fujifilm for the mirrorless medium format GFX 50S (and the release of the GF 120mm macro lens) have ushered in a new era for macro photography. One can now easily shoot 1:1 handheld, with very fast and reliable autofocus, or manually focus while zoomed in.

Compared to previous systems, macro photography with medium format mirrorless cameras has become easy and accessible. Adding the creative options created by the convenient new remote heads, it has never been more fun to shoot close up!


About the Author: Markus Klinko is an award-winning, international fashion/celebrity photographer and director, who has worked with many of today's most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion.

Klinko has photographed the likes of Beyonce, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell, and Iman. His editorial clients include Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and Interview magazine.

You can find more of his work on the Markus & Koala website or by following him on Instagram.