Photography Against A White Background - Patent granted to Amazon "WTF"

by JamesNYCMay 6. 2014 12:09

In yet another act of insanity and a further display of the US Patent and Trademark Office level of ignorance and complete incompetence on display during the past 10 years, the USPTO has granted Amazon a Patent for: "Photography Against A White Background".

Polaroid | PHOTO ASSISTANT against white background 1989

Now how anyone in any office would not be able to pick up any magazine produced in the last 100 years and not find "Prior Art" that would be an example of this type of photographic lighting setup is simply astounding.

Creating images of people or products against a clean white background is probably the most common studio photography techniques in use and a basic  skill for any studio photographer using studio strobes or continuous lighting. But that has not stopped the US Patent and Trademark Office from granting Amazon one of the most bizarre and needless patents I've heard of in a long time. A studio lighting setup that allows photographers to "achieve a desired effect of a substantially seamless background." Yes, Amazon now holds a patent for taking photos with a clean white backdrop.

Which is rather astounding because I've been doing this with studio strobes and or tungsten lights sources since 1989. And still others have been doing this since the 40's as far as I can tell based upon my 4 minutes of Google research.

The details of the patent itself are slightly more focused, calling out specific lighting placement and even the placement of a 21-inch raised platform nine feet from the backdrop for the subject to stand on. The patent's diagrams show very specific numbers and placements of the light sources, but those details aren't the point. Enforcing such a patent would appear to be nearly impossible, considering the nature of such photos with a pure white background, there's no way to know if the photographer is following the specific setup that Amazon patented.

Regardless of enforceability, the idea of patenting a fundamental and basic photography setup is hard to fathom, particularly when you consider that Amazon filed for the patent in November of 2011. If the USPTO had asked around a little, it probably could have found dozens of photographers who have used nearly identical setups for years particularly given that the ability to manipulate a background from pure white all the way down to black is something every photographer masters when learning how to use strobes.

View the Patent here

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Leica Launchs the New Leica T-System

by JamesNYCApril 24. 2014 01:44

Los Angeles, California - April 24th, 2014 -- Leica Camera continues to celebrate its journey into the future with the launch of the radically new yet brilliantly familiar Leica T-System. The Leica-T was designed with dynamic simplicity in collaboration with AUDI Design and it is the fourth system ever to be released from Leica. The Leica T-System features Wi-Fi, a rebuilt graphical user interface (GUI), Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®.

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Interview with Paolo Roversi: "My life is full of pictures I didn’t take"

by JamesNYCApril 18. 2014 03:11

Paolo Roversi is one of the most important and influential photographers of the last 20 years, and a name that appears on most peoples top 10 favorite photographers lists.

Here is an interview he did recently.

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Official Calumet Liquidation sale

by JamesNYCApril 14. 2014 01:57

STORE CLOSING SALE Near You!—Everything on Sale—Everything Must Go!

This email should be hitting your inbox right about now. Gotta wonder how much of the sales revenue will actually go to the venders they owe VS. the lawyers.

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Sigma Announces Pricing for 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Lens

by JamesNYCApril 11. 2014 13:17

Sigma announced its 50mm F1.4 DG HSM "art" lens at CES in January but it wasn't until today that the official pricing was revealed. The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM goes on sale this month for $949.

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 will come in Sigma, Sony, Nikon, and Canon mounts. For more details on this lens check out the press release below.

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Alexander Skarsgård in Provocations For Calvin Klein

by JamesNYCApril 4. 2014 12:36

 Calvin Klein presents Alexander Skarsgård in Provocations, with Suvi Koponen for the Spring 2013 campaign. A film by  Photographer, Director, Art director and Interview magazine editor Fabien Baron

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New Type 55 Film - A Kickstarter project we love.

by JamesNYCMarch 31. 2014 09:15

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The Profoto B1 Can Now Perform TTL Metering with Canon EOS-1D X

by JamesNYCMarch 31. 2014 05:11

Profoto Announces B1 Firmware Upgrade

Today, Profoto followed through on its promise to continuously update and improve their B1 wireless, off-camera flash system,  by announcing their first B1 firmware upgrade and update to the AirTTL system,  enabling TTL metering with the Canon EOS-1D X.

Since its release in November last year, the B1 has been able to perform TTL metering with the majority of Canon cameras. But there was one exception – Canon’s flagship – the EOS-1D X. Today, this feature is made available free of charge through an easily installed firmware upgrade.

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Capture One Pro Update: 7.2.1 Released

by JamesNYCMarch 30. 2014 02:02

This version of Capture One Pro Update: 7.2.1 is a service release providing support for a large number of new cameras, lenses, improvements and bug fixes. Read on for more details about the update. 

Improvements & Bug Fixes

  • Enhanced color profiles for Phase One IQ250, Olympus E-M10 and Fujifilm X-E2.
  • Fixed an OpenCL related issue on the new Mac Pro with D300 and D500 graphics cards.
  • Fixed a number of live view issues on Mac and Windows.
  • Stitch AppleScript now supports the latest version of Photoshop.
  • Fixed an issue with Regenerate Previews on Mac.
  • Fixed an issue with Delete Permanently in sessions on Mac.
  • Fixed a couple of issues related to style management on Mac.
  • Fixed an issue occurring when shooting tethered to EIP on Windows.
  • Fixed an issue preventing renaming of files referenced by a UNC path on Windows.
  • Improved robustness of catalogs on Mac.

Camera File Support

  • Fujifilm X-T1, XQ1 and X-A1
  • Nikon D4s
  • Olympus E-M10
  • Pentax K-3
  • Sony A390, a3000 and NEX-5T

Lens Support

  • Canon: EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.
  • Nikon Waterproof 1: NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 and NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6.
  • Sigma (Canon EF): 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C, 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | A, 24mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro and 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro, 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro.
  • Sigma (Nikon F): 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF.
  • Sigma (Sony E): 60mm F2.8 DN | A.
  • Sony E: FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL2870).
  • Fixed lens cameras: Canon PowerShot G16, Canon PowerShot S120, Nikon COOLPIX P7700, Nikon COOLPIX P7800 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10.

Download for MAC

Download for PC

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Behind the scenes with fashion and beauty Photographer Tyen

by JamesNYCMarch 27. 2014 17:04

One of my favorite fashion and beauty Photographers from the 90"s and early 2000's  is Photographer Tyen Maquilleur Known to most of as TYEN

Tyen has been the Creative director for Dior makeup as well as creating beautiful images for well over 30 years.

In the video below we see how the simplest setup of a: Broncolor head with a reflector and Rosco diffusion can turn out great images.

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Stuff people say

Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. - Helmut Newton

 

"The Camera does not lie, Post Production and Publishers do". - James-ism 09/06/2013

 

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. - Booker T. Washington

 

"Papa, ... Music is your love, but Photography is your Religion." - Joya D. Hall-Sullivan | Age 10

 

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon - 1984

 

 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Alva Edison

 

"Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar." - Helmut Newton

 

"You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth." - Annie Leibovitz

 

"When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track." - Weegee

 

" The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world." - Orson Welles

 

"Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already." - Helmut Newton

 

"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. " - Nikola Tesla

 

"I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable." - Richard Avedon

 

"The first 10 000 shots are the worst." - Helmut Newton

 

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” – Edward Weston

 

"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." - Mahatma Gandhi

 

"Ultimately success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer's ability to understand his fellow man." - Edward Weston

 

"If you want reality take the bus." - David LaChapelle

 

"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

 

"When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist." - Robert Mapplethorpe

 

" Great photography is always on the edge of failure." - Garry Winogrand

 

"I don’t think photography has anything remotely to do with the brain. It has to do with eye appeal." - Horst P. Horst

 

"Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work." - William Klein

 

"Avedon claims to have been the best photographer in the '60s - bullshit - Bob Richardson was - despite or because of being insane and strung out on drugs, I managed to do photographs that are considered iconic - being known as the 'photographer's photographer' means I lead and they follow - I'm broke and they are rich." - Bob Richardson

 

"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success" - Will Smith

 

"Either take the lead or follow behind, just stay the fuck out of my way." - James Sullivan

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