Elle Australia Puts a Breastfeeding Model on Its Cover

by JamesNYCMay 22. 2015 08:43

Magazine dares to display Real-Life Moment

Breastfeeding moms are not a new thing when it comes to magazine covers, but Elle Australia apparently took advantage of a real-life moment when producing its June 2015 cover going out to its subscribers. The cover features new mom and model Nicole Trunfio breastfeeding her baby son Zion Clark. The shot, apparently, wasn't originally part of the magazine's plan. Ms. Trunfio was already booked for the shoot with photographer Georges Antoni. She brought her son along and started to feed him during a break, but the scene was so moving that the mag's team jumped on the opportunity to capture it on film.

"This wasn't a contrived situation: Zion needed a feed, Nicole gave it to him, and when we saw how beautiful they looked we simply moved her onto the set," Elle's editor-in-chief Justine Cullen said on the Elle Australia site. "It was a completely natural moment that resulted in a powerful picture."

Ms. Trunfio's reaction? "When I saw the [subscriber] cover of me breastfeeding, which was unplanned and just natural, I teared up and thought, 'Wow, this is such a special moment where my worlds have collided'," she told Elle.

 

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Rankin creates an Orgy of Surreal Erotica for Coco de Mer (NSFW)

by JamesNYCMay 20. 2015 23:18

Coco de Mer: X from TBWA\London on Vimeo.

U.K. erotic lingerie brand Coco de Mer is known for its risque ads, and in its latest, it goes for full-on erotic bombardment, albeit in a surreal style. The brand teamed up with photographer Rankin and TBWA/London to conceive the film, which will run in cinemas as well as online. It takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride of sexual images (some definitely NSFW, but they're so brief you might miss them) mingled with seemingly random vignettes of other stuff -- from fighter jets to owls -- as it builds up to a climax and reminds us how often we think about sex. It was shot by an ensemble of directors including Rankin himself, Vicky Lawton, David Allain, Damien Fry, Joe Hunt, Trisha Ward and Bronwyn Parker-Rhodes.

Coco de Mer: This is Not a Rehearsal from TBWA\London on Vimeo.

Coco de Mer: This is Not a Rehearsal

Coco de Mer: Girls & Their Toys from TBWA\London on Vimeo.

Coco de Mer: Girls & Their Toys

 

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Fujifilm announces the enthusiast-friendly X-T10 camera

by JamesNYCMay 18. 2015 14:50

The Fujifilm X-T10 is the latest addition to the X-series line-up, and a little sibling to the high-end Fujifilm X-T1. As such the new mirror-less camera has a lot in common with its bigger brother, including a 16.3 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor, a 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and the recently announced new autofocus modes. However, to reduce the intimidation factor for less experienced photographers, the camera is smaller and more accessible, with an Auto Mode Switch lever for accessing the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode.

The core photographic specification of the Fujifilm X-T10 may well look familiar to those who have previously looked at the X-T1. A 16.3-megapixel APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm) X-Trans CMOS II sensor is paired with an EXR Processor II. This allows a wide ISO range up to an extended ISO 51,200 and burst speed shooting at 8 frames per second (fps) for approximately eight JPEG frames. While that top speed matches the X-T1 it's worth noting that the higher-end camera has a bigger buffer and can maintain this speed for 47 frames.

Autofocus is dealt with by a hybrid system which combines contrast and phase detection points to achieve fast and accurate focusing. Out-of-the-box the camera offers the standard 49-point Single Point mode along with the new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes that use a larger 77-point area when shooting moving subjects, which were recently announced for the X-T1 in an upcoming firmware update. It also has Eye Detection AF and an Auto Macro mode. Full HD 1080p video recording is possible at 60/50/30/25/24 fps, and a high bit rate of 36Mbps enables high quality footage.

 

Physically the X-T10 keeps the stylish retro look of the X-T1, but is smaller and lighter. It comes in at 118.4 x 82.8 x 40.8 mm (4.7 x 3.3 x 1.6 in) and weighs 381 g (13.4 oz) with a battery and memory card, but without a Fujifilm X mount lens attached. Around back there's a 0.39-in 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder which allows the composition of images even in bright conditions, has a quick response time with a lag of just 0.005 seconds, and can display the effects of settings as you are shooting. Under this is a tilting three-inch LCD monitor with 920K-dots.

As we've come to expect from Fujifilm X-series cameras, there are plenty of physical controls and dials and to keep advanced photographers happy, though the X-T10 only has three top dials to the five of the X-T1. However, in a bid to be more accessible than the model it's based on, there's also an Auto Mode Switch lever on the top of the camera which can be used to quickly shift into a fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode for easy shooting. Here the camera will choose the optimum settings from 58 preset scenes. Another big change from the X-T1 is the inclusion of a pop-up flash.

The new camera also features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for sharing images and video, or using a smart device running the Fujifilm Camera Remote app to remotely focus using a live display and "Touch AF" and then trigger the camera release. For those who like to process their images in-camera, there are a number of film simulation options, as well as the usual array of filters.

The Fujifilm X-T10 is expected to be available in silver or black from June, and will cost US$800 body-only.

You can check out a promo video for the X-T10 below. 

Product page: Fujifilm X-T10

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Leica Monochrom DNG Bug Can Wipe Out Your Apple Photos Library

by JamesNYCMay 13. 2015 23:40

Leica has discovered a serious bug that owners of the new Monochrom (Typ 246) need to be aware of. The camera’s DNG files have been found to be incompatible with Apple’s new Photos app. It’s not just that they can’t be opened: the files could corrupt your library and cause you to lose your entire photo collection.

 

In a product advisory first published over at Red Dot Forum, Leica says that loading Monochrom DNG files will cause Apple Photos to “crash continuously on loading.”

“This may cause the Apple Photos library to be destroyed. This means that pictures previously taken with any other camera will be lost,” Leica writes. “As such, Leica Camera does not recommend using the Apple ‘Photos’ App for DNG files from the new Monochrom (Typ 246) until further notice.”

Leica goes on to say that it’s working with Apple to “resolve this issue and develop a solution.” The fix will likely be on Apple’s end though, as Leica says that the next software update for Apple Photos should be free of this bug.

Apple’s new Photos app is the successor to iPhoto and Aperture, so there are undoubtedly a large number of photographers out there who are using the software for photo management and editing. For those who don’t have additional copies of photos outside of Photos, this could be a disastrous bug to learn of through personal experience.

 

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40% of All Camera Sensors Sold in 2014 Were Made by Sony

by JamesNYCMay 1. 2015 06:55

Sony is not well known for making smartphones or cameras, but it’s playing a larger role in those industries than than many people may be aware: the company’s image sensor business has been growing in recent years. In 2014, Sony manufactured 40% of all the sensors sold across the globe.

The Wall Street Journal has published a fascinating look at how Sony is banking on image sensor manufacturing as one of the core pillars of the company. Instead of focusing on selling Sony-branded electronics, as the company did in past decades, Sony is now working at getting its technologies inside other companies’ hit products.

For example, every iPhone 6 contains two camera sensors made by Sony, and every sale of the phone generates up to $20 for the company, according to the WSJ report.

The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones both contain Sony camera sensors.

Back in February, Sony sorted its different businesses into three tiers depending on priority. Image sensors was placed into the highest tier, and Sony says it’s investing over $1 billion in its sensor factories in order to meet global demand. Sony’s camera business fell into the middle tier.

Although its own cameras may not be the company’s top priority now, photographers have a friend at the top: Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai, reportedly refers to himself as a “camera nut.”

It just remains to be seen whether Sony can remain the leader in image sensors in both quantity and quality. If it can, Sony will have established itself as one of the cornerstones of the world of digital photography.

 

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Leica Officially Announces New M Monochrom Type 246 Camera

by JamesNYCApril 29. 2015 13:26

Today Leica has announced the new M Monochom (type 246) camera, a follow up to the M Monochrome black-and-white shooting rangefinder. The new digital camera boasts a faster Maestro image processor, 2 GB buffer memory, 24-megapixel black-and-white full-frame sensor, live-view zoom, focus peaking, and 1080p Full-HD video.

The M Monochroms claim to fame is being the first and only digital camera that produces only black and white images without any processing. Leica claims that their camera, without the hindrance of color, provides better images. According to Leica, "The result is 100 percent sharper images with brilliance and detail contrast that far exceeds what color photography can do."

The improvements to the processor allow for up to 3 times faster shooting and viewing on its beautiful 3-inch 921k-dot LCD screen. They've also added full-HD filming, 10x live-view zoom, and focus peaking, which reveals sharply focused edges with color highlights. Other improvements over the predecessor include a new CMOS sensor, a departure from the previous generations CCD sensor. The new sensor allows for a substantial bump in ISO range, which is capped at 25,000.

There is a video featuring Ragnar Axelsson using the new Monochrom here: https://vimeo.com/126365311

It should be noted that this camera will ONLY shoot B&W still and video and with an MSRP of $7,450 it will be the well off that like toys that this camera will appeal to. The rest of us will be content to change to B&W in Photoshop or use a Capture One Pro styles pre-set.  The Leica M Monochrom type 246 will be available in May as can be pre-ordered now.

 

 

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U.S. Copyright Office Studying the Copyright Struggles of Photographers

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 22:26

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a call for comments from photographers and visual artists about how their works are “monetized, enforced and registered” and about “obstacles” artists face protecting their copyrights “when navigating the digital landscape.” The U.S. Copyright Office announced the research initiative April 24 in the Federal Register. The written comments are due by July 23.

What action, if any, the U.S. Copyright Office takes as a result of its research remains to be seen. “We just want to get an overview of the landscape,” says spokesperson Catie Rowland. “We’re just researching it, to see where it leads. There are a lot of concerns. We want to see if we can address them.”

Visual artists have been sharing their concerns and frustrations with the Copyright Office for years over registration burdens and the challenges of protecting their copyrights in the face of widespread online infringement. Rowland acknowledged that the issues the U.S. Copyright Office is seeking comment on “have been brought up for a long time.”

READ MORE HERE

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The Changing Face of Avid: Audio is king and Media Composer is free

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 11:59

 

RedShark News' David Shapton reports from Avid's press conference this weekend which heralded several important announcements and updates.
He writes, "The Avid press conference on Saturday morning was a fascinating confirmation that we live in a time of extreme technological change and that Avid is now an IT company - and it makes more audio than video hardware. It also announced first thing on Monday morning that it's spending around $60m buying realtime graphics company Orad...Essentially, with the exception of its hardware, Avid's products are becoming services, available from the internet."

Read the full story here.

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Sony introduces two updated zoom lenses for its A-mount camera systems

by JamesNYCApril 23. 2015 14:29

Today, Sony lifted the veil on two new Zeiss zoom lenses to add to its lineup of A-mount glass. The two new lenses are the standard zoom 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and the wide-angle zoom 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II.

Both the 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II rely on the same optical formula as their predecessors. However, as similar as they are in build, a number of improvements have been made across the board, making them more than worthy enough of their ‘Mark II’ nomenclature.

The first difference is an improved subject tracking function, which is said to be 4x better than their predecessors thanks to changes made to the quiet, SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) autofocus drives and associated electronics used inside the two lenses.

New coatings have also been applied to the Zeiss optics, which are said to further reduce ghosting and flaring in images.

Lastly, both lenses are now dust and moisture resistant, which should give you a little more piece of mind when taking your gear out in more challenging environments.

The two new models are designed to be used with Sony’s A-mount cameras, including their popular α99 and α77 II models. However, they can also be used with any E-mount Sony cameras with Sony’s LA-EA4 Adaptor.

The new 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II standard zoom and 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II wide-angle zoom lenses will be available June 15th for $2100 and $2250, respectively. You can pre-order yours now at B&H through the above links.

 

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ZEISS launch Batis 25mm f2.0 and 85mm f1.8 full-frame autofocus E-mount lenses

by JamesNYCApril 22. 2015 14:35

Zeiss has announced a duo of lenses designed specifically for use with Sony’s Alpha range of mirrorless full-frame system cameras (a7, a7R, a7S and a7 II). The Batis 25mm f2 and 85mm f1.8 lenses have Sony’s E-mount and will also work on video cameras like the FS7 or FS700. The two new lenses are available to order now and will ship in July 2015. The recommended retail prices are $1299 US for the ZEISS Batis 25mm f2 and $1199 US for the ZEISS Batis 85mm f1.8.

In a break with tradition, Zeiss has decided to equip the Batis lenses with a OLED display instead of a conventional focus scale. The little screen is illuminated, enabling users to see it even in low light conditions, and shows the distance to the subject as well as depth of field.

Both Batis lenses are constructed to high Zeiss standards and feature dust and weather seals. According to Zeiss the new AF drive system is fast and quiet, with linear motors allowing for rapid AF shooting in a variety of situations. If you don’t want to use the AF function a rubberized focus ring supports manual focusing, although it appears that this is of the fly-by-wire type.

 

This from Zeiss:
ZEISS Batis 2/25:
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 wide-angle lens has ten lens elements in eight groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and five are made from special types of glass. The aspheric lens design ensures consistently high image quality over the whole image field and a sharpness that extends right to the edges of the frame. The moderate 82 degree image angle combined with a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 meters makes this wide-angle lens the perfect choice for architecture and landscape photography and many other applications besides. It encourages the user to make creative use of depth of field which can often yield surprising results, particularly in close-up photography.

ZEISS Batis 1.8/85:
The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a moderate tele lens which offers 11 lens elements in eight groups and features the ZEISS Sonnar optical design. The lens elements are made from special types of glass and designed to ensure superior image quality. The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a particularly good choice for wedding photography and portrait shots, offering the high speed which provides plenty of creative scope to bring out the main subject. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 can capture outstanding images even under difficult, shifting light conditions.

“The Batis family of lenses is the first time we have launched autofocus lenses for Sony’s full- frame E-mount cameras which are ZEISS through and through – in other words exclusively developed and distributed by us,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Product Manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses. The Sony alpha full-frame E-mount system, which currently consists of the α7 family of cameras, is one of the most innovative camera systems on the market and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for professionals and people considering switching from DSLRs. “The ZEISS Batis lenses are our way of acknowledging this trend and providing creative and ambitious photographers with the expert tools they need,” says Pollmann. The lenses are easy to use yet offer professional performance, so they are a sound investment for amateur photographers, too: “Camera sensors are constantly evolving, and so are photographers. Our Batis lenses are the perfect answer to these changing trends and herald a new era of professional photographers using mirrorless full-frame cameras,” says Pollmann.

The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses offer an initial choice of two focal lengths which have proved to be the most popular among users of the system: a moderate wide-angle focal length and a tele portrait focal length. The lenses make optimal use of the camera sensors, capturing every last detail with impressive contrast and high resolution. As well as offering fast and reliable autofocus, the lenses also support manual focusing, allowing users to choose the best option for each individual situation. The sleek, modern design – with smooth surfaces reminiscent of the high-end ZEISS Otus lenses – emphasizes the superior quality of this new lens family and gives the Batis lenses an unmistakable look and feel.

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