Adobe and UC Berkeley demonstrate image editing tool powered by machine learning

Researchers with Adobe and the University of California-Berkeley have detailed a new AI-powered photo manipulation tool that enables sophisticated photo modification using ‘target images’ and/or crude user sketches. The end result is a realistically altered photo that has been machine-modified (or, in the case of blank images, completely machine generated) to match a target image without extensive 'natural' user editing.

According to a newly published study detailing the technology, this tool involves a ‘generative adversarial neural network’ that works to modify images in near-real time. As one example demonstrated in the video below, drawing a general shape over a photo of a bag causes the software to automatically adjust the bag’s size to match the sketched shape without compromising its realistic nature. The software can also generate images based on crude user 'scribbles' – no artistic talent required.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Blue

Color is an important element of composition in photography. Cool colors have a very different feeling then do warm colors. See how the color blue appears in some images here.

Tim Green

By Tim Green

Weekly Photography Challenge – Blue

This week we challenge you to find and photography some subjects which are blue. Then photograph it in a compelling way. Remember to consider lighting, composition, and center of interest to create a unique image.

Neil Tackaberry

By Neil Tackaberry

Di_Chap

By Di_Chap

Alvaro

By Alvaro

Darlene Hildebrandt

By Darlene Hildebrandt

Share your images below:

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

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

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

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Blue by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Adobe Lightroom for iOS updated with iPhone 7 camera profiles

With iOS 10.1, currently available in beta, the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are capable of recording Raw image files. Adobe has now updated its Lightroom app for iOS to take advantage of this new feature. The capability to shoot Raw images with all Apple devices with 12MP camera had already been implemented in version 2.5 of the app, but the latest version  v2.5.2 now also comes with lens and sensor profiles for both new iPhones, including specific optimizations for the dual-camera of the 7 Plus. 

These should ensure color, noise reduction, lens corrections and other parameters are set at the right levels when opening DNG Raw-files that have been captured with one of the new iPhones. In addition, the new version of Lightroom for iOS supports the DCI-P3 wide color gamut display that is also a new feature of the iPhone 7 series. It offers 25 percent more color than the sRGB color space. The latest version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom can now be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store.

iPhone 7 Plus real-world sample gallery

With our iPhone 7 Plus review underway, we've started off by putting together an initial gallery of real-world samples testing its performance in various light conditions. The 7 Plus is the first Apple device equipped with dual camera modules, so we've taken a look at wide and telephoto performance in addition to the camera's Portrait mode, which simulates shallow depth of field.

iPhone 7 Plus real-world sample gallery

18 Tranquil Images of Blue to Cool Your Thoughts

Different colors evoke different emotions and have a different feeling to them. Warm colors like red, orange and yellow feel alive and vibrant. Cool colors like purple, green and blue feel calming and relaxing.

Here is an image collection of various different photographers use of the color blue. View each and see how they make you feel. Do these blue images have a calming effect on you? I feel more relaxed just looking them.

I’ll start off with three of my images from the “blue” city of Chefchaouen in Morocco.

morocco-2016-0610-1100px

morocco-2016-0649-1100px

morocco-2016-0678-1100px

Andy

By Andy

Nick Klein

By Nick Klein

Matt Bradley

By Matt Bradley

Xavier

By Xavier

Pablo Fernández

By Pablo Fernández

Maarten Takens

By Maarten Takens

Alain Tremblay

By alain tremblay

Julian E...

By Julian E…

Martin Fisch

By Martin Fisch

Geir Tønnessen

By geir tønnessen

Modes Rodríguez

By Modes Rodríguez

Mirai Takahashi

By Mirai Takahashi

Genji Arakaki

By Genji Arakaki

Hansel And Regrettal

By Hansel and Regrettal

Davide D'Amico

By Davide D’Amico

The post 18 Tranquil Images of Blue to Cool Your Thoughts by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Pleasantly punchy: Nikon D3400 real-world samples gallery

Photo by Samuel Spencer

The Nikon D3400 is the company's newest entry-level DSLR, offering users 24MP and an 11-point AF system in a compact, lightweight body. It may not be the most exciting camera for Nikon faithful on paper, but in the real-world, it offers impressive image quality that will put any smartphone camera to shame. We used the camera mostly in the 'Auto' or 'No Flash Auto' modes, and were pleasantly surprised by its default output – metering is usually spot-on, with good sharpening and punchy color (though it may be over-the-top for some).

Over the past week, we've had a chance to photograph city living, botanical still-life, playful pups and yes, even some sleepy cats. Take a look at how the D3400, its 18-55mm kit lens and the DX 35mm F1.8G lens fared in our real-world samples gallery. 

What is a Stop? The Common Currency of Exposure Explained

What are stops? Are they the same as f-stops? How are they measured? Are they the same for different exposure controls? Are they still useful now?

These are common questions for those just starting out in photography. They are good questions, and the exposure concepts surrounding them can be confusing. You have probably been told that a stop is a “doubling of light,” which of course is true. That is helpful, but it doesn’t show how stops really works and how they tie your exposure controls together.

WesternLake

What I want to show you in this article is how the concept of a stop acts as a common currency in exposure, and allows you to take complete control of it. Rather than being confusing, stops are really a simplification tool. Without stops, we’d have a hard time controlling our exposure between the three controls; aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Introduction

I’m using the term “common currency” to describe stops. To see what I mean, think about the barter system before we had money. If you sold chickens, I sold apples, and someone else sold bricks, how would we all trade? And what if the person selling the bricks didn’t value your chickens as much as I did? It was a mess, which is why the concept of money was developed. Now we all value our goods using money and we exchange money with each transaction. This has proven to be a remarkably useful tool, which is why it has stuck around for a few thousand years.

Similarly, in photography we faced trade-offs when it came to exposure. For example, how could we value a change in the size of the aperture versus lengthening the time of shutter speed? And then how would we value the sensitivity of the digital sensor (or film in the old days) as compared to these other two adjustments? It isn’t apples to apples. The concept of stops is how we square everything up.

CameraBack

Understanding this is a necessary precondition to mastering your camera and controlling the exposure process. Hopefully this will help you grasp your exposure controls better. First, we’ll take a brief looks at each of them and show you how they are measured in stops. After that, we’ll get into how to use them together.

Shutter Speed

Your shutter speed is a measurement of time. As you probably already know, when you open up the shutter, the camera is gathering light. The longer you allow the camera to gather light, the higher the exposure value. Most shutter speeds you use will be a fraction of a second, but here are the common values for shutter speed you will see when you look through your viewfinder or at your LCD:

Shutter Speeds measured in stops

The segments in this chart are 1-stop increments. Again, a stop is a doubling of light. Remember that shutter speed is a measurement of time, so a doubling of the time your shutter is open is the same thing as a doubling of light. Therefore, for example, a move from 1/250th of a second to 1/125 is a one stop change. You have doubled the time the shutter is open so you have also doubled the exposure value.

Something that might confuse you is that your camera doesn’t change settings (each click of your dial) in 1-stop increments. Most cameras are set to move in 1/3 stop increments. So rather than moving from 1/250 to 1/125, each click of the dial on your camera will only move part of the way there. It will take three clicks to move a full stop. It looks something like this:

Changes to Shutter speed in thirds of stops

The point is to understand that we are taking a time measurement and converting it into a stop. Each doubling of the amount of time the shutter is open equals a stop. Conversely, you reduce by a stop every time you cut the shutter speed in half. We’ll be able to use that stop in connection with the other controls in a bit.

Aperture

Now let’s look at this in the concept of aperture. As you probably know, the aperture is the hole in the lens that lets light through into the camera, and it is adjustable. Making it larger lets more light into the camera; making it smaller lets less light in. To change your exposure value using the aperture control, you are changing the size of the aperture.

Aperture measurements can be confusing. To begin with, the measurement is actually of the size of the aperture compared to the focal length (The F-number of a lens is the ratio of its focal length divided by the diameter of the aperture.). That makes it a ratio or reciprocal figure, which means that the larger the aperture the smaller the measurement, and vice versa. Secondly, different lenses have different maximum and minimum aperture values. With that in mind, here are common aperture values:

Aperture values in full stop increments

Again, remember that your camera is probably set up to change values in 1/3 stop increments. So, for example, you camera won’t go directly from f/5.6 to f/8.0. Instead, it will probably go from f/5.6 > f/6.3 > f/7.1 > f/8.0 as you click the dial.

I’m ignoring the concept of depth of field here because it isn’t important for purposes of this discussion. All we care about now is converting these measurements into stops. So, on that front, what we have done here is convert a size measurement into a stop. That means we can easily compare it to shutter speed changes as we saw above. We’ll also be able to compare it to changes in ISO, which we’ll talk about next.

ISO

Finally, we get to ISO, the third exposure control. This is a measure of the sensitivity of your camera’s digital sensor to light. Making it more sensitive to light increases exposure but leads to increased digital noise in your pictures. Conversely, decreasing the ISO lowers the exposure value but also decreases digital noise. Here is a chart showing common ISO values in one stop increments:

ISO values in full stop increments

As you can see from the chart above, the ability to change ISO is pretty limited. Whereas there are 18 stops within the range of common shutter speeds, there are only seven in ISO. There are cameras with ISO values that go higher (such as ISO 12,800 and even 25,600), but they lead to pretty dramatic digital noise. This limited range though does show why increases are important.

In any case, as you can see what has been done is create a system where we have taken a measurement of sensitivity to light and converted it into stops. Each doubling in sensitivity doubles the exposure value, which equals a stop. What’s great is that (unlike the aperture measurements) ISO is simple. It is easy to understand that an ISO of 200 is double that of ISO 100.

Putting it all together

Now that we have covered the concept of stops for each of the three exposure controls, we are ready to talk about them together.

The key thing to understand here is that a stop, is a stop, is a stop. By that I mean that a stop of shutter speed exposure, equals a stop of aperture, equals a stop of ISO. In other words, lengthening your shutter speed by one stop is the exact same thing as opening your aperture by one stop. And that is exactly the same thing is changing the ISO by one stop. The measurements all equate.

Why does this matter? Because you will face the need to change your exposure values all the time. This will allow you to take complete control over the exposure process. For example, when you want to increase your depth of field you know you need to make the aperture smaller. But that will cause your picture to be underexposed. By using stops, however, you can increase the exposure by the exact same amount using either the shutter speed or ISO.

An example of using stops

If this seems confusing, an example should help make it clearer. Let’s say you are out shooting a landscape scene and you hold up your camera and set up a correct exposure. It is 1/500th of a second at f/5.6, with an ISO of 100.

That’s just fine, except that remember that this is a landscape photo. You want a much deeper depth of field than f/5.6 is going to allow, so let’s move that to something like f/11. You know that this is a 2-stop decrease (check the charts above for confirmation).

Landscape shot at 1/125 of a second at f/11.

Landscape shot at 1/125 of a second at f/11.

If you made no other change, your photo would be very underexposed. But you now know that you can just increase (lengthen) your shutter speed by the same amount (two stops) to offset this move. In other words, since we have converted all these exposure changes to stops, we have a common currency that we can interchange freely. A 2-stop shutter speed increase takes you to 1/125th. In other words, you started at 1/500, twice that is 1/250, and doubling that again is 1/125 (again, check the chart above to see).

You could also change ISO if you wanted (to ISO 400), but you probably don’t want to do that to keep noise to a minimum. Your new settings of 1/125, f/11, ISO 100 are much better for this situation.

For those who do better with visuals, here is how the two offsetting moves appear:

Two-Stop-Move

Another example

Let’s walk through another example to make sure you’ve got it. Let’s say you are photographing a friend or a family member and your camera settings are at 1/40, f/16, ISO 200. The camera’s meter says you have a correct exposure. Take a look at the shutter speed and aperture settings and you’ll see a few problems though.

First, the aperture is too small for this situation. You don’t need a small aperture like f/16. Not only do you not need the small aperture, which costs you light, but you actually don’t want the deep depth of field that f/16 gives you. You’d rather have an extremely shallow depth of field to blur out the background. Secondly, a shutter speed of 1/40 is probably a too slow for this situation. This shutter speed could lead to a lack of sharpness due to the camera shaking slightly or your subject moving while the shutter is open.

The good news is that both your problems can be solved by making changes to the shutter speed and aperture. You can use a stop as the common currency to make sure they offset and your exposure stays the same. You decide to open up the aperture all the way to f/4. That’s a 4-stop increase. Check the chart above, and you’ll see it goes like this; you start at f/16> f/11 > f/8 > f/5.6, and the fourth stop takes you to f/4.0.

Now that you’ve made that change you have the depth of field situation fixed. If you made no other change, your picture would be quite overexposed though. But that’s okay, this just allows you to shorten your shutter speed which you wanted to do that anyway avoid any possible camera shake or subject movement. Now you know you can shorten the shutter speed by four stops to offset the change you just made to the aperture. Starting at 1/40, moving fours stop gets you: 1/40th > 1/80th > 1/160th > 1/320th, and finally to 1/640th. That’s much better.

Shot at 1/620 second with aperture of f/4.0.

Shot at 1/640th of a second with an aperture of f/4.0.

Using stops to master exposure controls

Hopefully you see the utility of the concept of stops. It acts as a common currency so that all changes in exposure equate. One click of the dial that controls your shutter speed equates to one click of the aperture control. And that equals one click of the control for your ISO settings (if you can adjust your ISO in 1/3 stops). It all works out, and that is extremely important in the exposure process.

So many times you want to change one exposure control but keep the overall exposure setting the same. You may want to stop down the aperture to increase the depth of field, lower the ISO to reduce digital noise, or shorten the shutter speed to avoid any camera shake. Using stops you can do this with confidence.

Why can’t you just rely on the camera to do all this for you? In other words, why couldn’t you just use Aperture Priority mode, set the aperture you want, and then watch as they camera sets the right shutter speed? You can just change the aperture and ISO settings until the camera sets the shutter speed you want. And, yes, you can do it that way. But even so, you should understand the process so that you know what is going on under the hood. In addition, if you ever use neutral density filters or find yourself in a situation where you camera cannot meter light properly, you’ll know how to do it for yourself.

The post What is a Stop? The Common Currency of Exposure Explained by Jim Hamel appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Ballot-selfies are now legal in New Hampshire

 A polling station in Nashua, New Hampshire. Photo by Mark Buckawicki via Wikimedia Commons

A law prohibiting New Hampshire voters from taking self-portraits with their ballots has been deemed unfair. Taking self-portraits with your ballot markings in a voting booth has been illegal in that state since 2014 and punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. The law was put in place to avoid potential vote-buying schemes. Politicians feared that the ballots in the images could be used for tracking and verifying influenced votes. 

This law has now deemed to be unfair and in violation of the First Amendment by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which has upheld a lower court ruling. The court acknowledged the reasons for implementing the legislation but said in the ruling it felt there was a 'substantial mismatch between New Hampshire's objectives and ballot-selfie prohibition,' and that 'the restrictions on speech' were 'antithetical to democratic values.'

Ballot selfies are regulated in different ways across the US. A total of 26 states prohibit them explicitly through various laws, such as bans on cameras in polling places. In 9 states, now including New Hampshire and Oregon they are allowed and in the remaining states the law is unclear. The court ruling in Boston only has an impact in New Hampshire but hopefully other states will follow, as harmonized laws across the nation would provide some much-needed clarity on the subject.

Narrative will stop selling its life-logging cameras

Narrative, the company behind the Narrative Clip, has stopped selling its life-logging cameras. The Narrative Clip, first unveiled four years ago, is designed to clip to the owner’s shirt, where it snaps photos of their day in 30 second intervals. The camera has been updated since, but failed to appeal to consumers in any large way, and now the company behind it has stopped both sales and support of the devices.

Narrative announced the end of its sales and support in a message sent to customers. It isn’t clear what the company plans for the future, though TechCrunch suggests Narrative may continue to exist as a ‘support group’ of some sort for Clip owners; this will apparently involve a tool that enables the cameras to keep functioning, though to what degree isn't clear.

Because of the nature of Narrative Clip, a single day's worth of usage could result in thousands of photos. When used with Narrative's software, the best moments are automatically selected from those photos, trimming down the mass of content to a more easily managed collection. Without software that provides that functionality, the cameras won't be nearly as useful due to most people not having time to sort through thousands of images every day.

Via: TechCrunch

tfttf746 – An Embarrassing Story

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Richard wants to shoot the northern lights in Iceland with a 12 year old DSLR and you can hear Chris finally say that sometimes it’s in fact the gear., Andy points us to a cause that’s worth volunteering for, Joe reports back on his brother-in-law’s successes with his box camera and Ryan wonders about the advantages of shooting ETTL flash over manual. Also Chris will tell you a very embarrassing story about how he got his creative butt kicked by a lens with the wrong filter diameter.


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Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» Sep 2016: Donegal
» Feb 2017: Lake Baikal, Siberia
» May 2017: Svalbard/Spitzbergen
» Nov 2017: Bhutan
» all photo tours

The post tfttf746 – An Embarrassing Story appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

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