Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Xara have released the latest new version of their creative design and photo editing software, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer. Version 11 adds new Art Brush technology to the Brush Tool, a range of high quality realistic textured brush effects, and the ability to sync files via Dropbox and Google Drive. In the Transparency Tool 5 new W3C standard, web-safe and PDF-safe blend modes have been added - Overlay, Hard Light, Soft Light, Luminosity & Colour. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 11 costs £49.99/$69.99, and includes two valuable free additions – the Premium version of MAGIX Online Photo Album to share photos with friends and Photolooks 2, a powerful and flexible plug-in (previously sold by Red Giant for $199) that can change the colour and light effects in a photo.
Monday, June 29, 2015
From 1-3 August 2015, the Magnum Print Room will host a three-day Editing & Zine Making Masterclass led by acclaimed contemporary photographer Moises Saman and artist Daria Birang. This workshop is aimed at photographers with completed bodies of work, who require advice on honing editing skills, final image selections, design and layout. Critiques will be conducted both individually and in groups, encouraging confidence building skills and the ability to communicate projects, as well as engaging in peer-to-peer feedback. Each student will come away with 10 printed copies of their zine, printed through a four colour Risograph press. The workshop size is limited to a maximum of 15 students. The course fee is £600.
The Magnum Documentary Photography Course: in association with London College of Communication is a three-week course led by award-winning Magnum photographers Mark Power and Stuart Franklin (pictured). During the course, which will be taking place from 7- 27 August 2015, students will become absorbed in the practice and history of documentary photography and Magnum's legacy and contemporary contribution to it. Magnum and LCC will equip students with the historical and contextual framework required to raise critical thinking about documentary photography, as well as providing technical guidance and tutorial support. Class time will be supported by evening lectures from LCC staff, guest lecturers and a selection of Magnum photographers. The course fee is £3000.
White Knight Press have released their newest camera guide book, Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P900: Getting the Most from Nikon’s Superzoom Digital Camera. This book, by Alexander S. White, is a complete guide to the operation of the Nikon Coolpix P900. Explaining topics such as autofocus, manual focus, HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, ISO sensitivity, memory cards and flash modes; it discusses techniques for using the P900’s superzoom lens to full advantage. The book also explains the camera’s features for remote control and image transfer using a smartphone or tablet with the P900’s built-in Wi-Fi capability, as well as the camera’s features for adding location data to images. The Photographer’s Guide to the Nikon Coolpix P900 is available now for $9.99 in PDF, iPad, and Kindle formats for download through the website below. The paperback version is available now for $24.95 from Amazon.
The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* is a premium short-telephoto prime lens for Canon and Nikon 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras. The manual-focus Otus 85mm offers a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture, 9 aperture blades, and superlative build quality. Read our Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* review now...
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a new standard prime lens for APS-C and full-frame DSLR cameras. Offering continuous AF while capturing video with compatible cameras, the compact Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM retails for just £129.99/€189.99/$125.99. Read our in-depth Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM review complete with full-size sample images to find out if it's worth the modest outlay...
Meyer Optik USA has launched a Kickstarter campaign to reintroduce the Trioplan f2.8/100 lens, known for its ‘soap bubble’ bokeh and sharp focus. The Trioplan lens was first manufactured in 1916 in Görlitz, as the brainchild of Hugo Meyer. The new lens will also be hand-made in the same city, at the site of the original Meyer Optik company. The updated Trioplan is manufactured using high-end coated glass made by Schott, features an iris diaphragm of 15 steel blades for a near-circular aperture, and comes in Canon, Nikon, Fuji X, Sony-E, MFT and M42 mounts. The optical construction follows a classic triplet design and the image circle has a diameter of 44mm, making the lens suitable for 35mm full-frame cameras. Backers of the campaign can purchase the lens at an early-bird discount price of $899. Delivery is expected for December.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Tamron USA have released a firmware update service for owners of select Tamron lenses who wish to use their lenses on the Canon EOS 5DS or 5DSR cameras. "We have learned that the AF functions of the following interchangeable lenses for Canon do not function in Live View mode when used on the EOS 5Ds and EOS 5DsR which went on sale in June 2015," the company says. "Firmware update service is already available as this is the same case when EOS Rebel T6s and the EOS Rebel T6i were released." Those who require the firmware update service are advised to consult Tamron's service department.
The next generation of the Polaroid Cube "lifestyle action camera," the WiFi-enabled Polaroid Cube+, made its debut at CE Week 2015. Compatible with iOS and Android devices via the Polaroid Cube+ app, users can sync the camera with their smartphone or tablet to capture and share their 1080p videos and still images instantaneously. The app allows users to control their Polaroid Cube+ lifestyle action camera through their mobile device, or use their device as a viewfinder. Additionally, users can edit, save, print and share their videos and photos instantly from their mobile device using the app. The Polaroid Cube+ will become available in August, priced at $149.
Adobe have reset all 30-day free trial offers for their Creative Cloud applications, including Lightroom and Photoshop CC, to everyone who had already taken advantage of them before the release of Creative Cloud 2015. This enables you to try out all the new features of Lightroom CC 2015 and Photoshop 2015 such as Dehaze, which eliminates fog and haze from photos. To try the new versions you need to download the Creative Cloud utility (if it's not yet installed on your computer), log on to your Adobe account, and click the Try button next to the name of the application(s) you are interested in.
The winnders of the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2015 contest have now been revealed. This year's Environmental Photographer of the Year award and £5,000 cash prize went to Uttam Kamati for his inspiring image ‘Watering Melon’ (above). Kamati’s winning image depicts a husband and wife watering watermelon saplings on the Teesta river bed, in West Bengal, India. The Atkins CIWEM Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2015 prize of £1,000 has been awarded to Bhar Dipayan, whilst the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Film of the Year of £1,000 goes to environmental and wildlife film-maker Verity White. The Atkins Cityscape Prize of £1,000 went to Michael Theodoric, and Esme Allen has been awarded the Forestry Commission England Exhibition Award for her series entitled ‘Eden Restored - The Mesopotamian Marshes of Iraq.' The award-winning works and over one hundred other high-quality entries can be seen at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 22 June - 10 July 2015
The Fujifilm XF 16mm f1.4 R WR is an ultra-fast wide-angle prime lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 24mm in 35mm terms, is the weather-proof Fujifilm XF 16mm f1.4 R another great addition to the expanding XF lens range? Read our in-depth Fujifilm XF 16mm f1.4 R review to find out...
Thursday, June 25, 2015
CyberLink have launched their fourth annual “I Love Travel” competition that challenges the creative and editing skills of video enthusiasts from all around the world. The contest invites everyone from novices to experienced editors to create a short film using CyberLink’s PowerDirector video editing software. The film can be about the contestant’s most memorable travel experience, a story deserving to be told, or even a vacation that holds personal significance to the creator. Contestants can download the free trial version of PowerDirector to create their submission. Prizes for the winners include a GoPro Hero 4 Silver camera, an Apple Watch, and an HTC RE camera. The deadline for submissions is 7th September. As with any competition, we recommend that you read the rules before entering your work.
Samsung have posted a major firmware update for their NX500 compact system camera. Version 1.10 brings an array of auto focus improvements for still photography (including better AF performance in low-light and backlit conditions, enhanced Face Detection, a new Zone AF mode, and much more), adds a Pro video recording mode, increases the maximum video bitrate to 70Mb/s, gives users more precise frame capture from 4K movies, adds a new MF responsiveness mode, and increases the maximum movie recording time to 25 minutes. Click through / scroll down for a complete list of improvements.
The Canon EOS 750D (called the Canon EOS Rebel T6i in North America) is a new DSLR camera that boasts 24 megapixels, 19-point autofocus system, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC pairing and a touch-screen interface. Other key features of the 750D / T6i include burst shooting at 5fps, a vari-angle 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-25,600, 14-bit image processing and Canon's latest Digic 6 processor. Is the Canon EOS 750D / T6i the best mid-range digital SLR camera on the market? Read our expert review to find out...
The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society has announced an exhibition of unique maritime photographs and the launch of its third annual maritime photography competition. The exhibition, which brings a sea view to the landlocked Royal Alfred Seafarers Society care home in Surrey, features images of seven of last year’s competition entries, ranging from trawler races in Brixham to lighthouses in Porthcawl, displayed around the grounds of the home. The Society is encouraging budding photographers to get involved in this year’s competition, open to professional and amateur photographers across the UK, and to send in their pictures of the coast, seafarers and the sea. The deadline for entries to the competition is the 7 August 2015. As always, we suggest that you read the terms and conditions before entering your work.
Hahnemühle have rolled out a new baryta paper that is claimed to provide "exceptional results" with a wide gamut and intensely deep blacks. The FineArt Baryta Satin is a 300gsm, alpha-cellulose paper with a barium-sulfate coated warm-tone white satin surface, available in 8.5"x11", 11"x17", 13" x 19" and 17"x22" sheets, and 17", 24", 36" & 44" wide rolls.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Expanding its range of SD and micro SD memory cards, Verbatim has just launched the new Pro+ line. A read speed up to 90MB/s provides ultra fast access to 4K full HD video recordings while a write speed of up to 80MB/s ensures the data is captured and stored swiftly. "This is particularly beneficial to DSLR camera owners selecting continuous frame shooting (burst mode) when using the larger raw image format," the company says. Verbatim’s Pro+ is currently available in 32GB and 64GB capacities.
Award-winning travel images go on show in an outstanding, free to view, exhibition at Britain's Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) this summer, as Travel Photographer of the Year returns to London. This year’s event features the entries that took top honours in the 2014 awards, in which amateur and professional photographers from over 100 countries competed. Stretching from the Society’s glass-sided Pavilion (1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, out into the terrace and down into the garden, it runs from Friday July 24th to Saturday, September 5th. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 7pm Friday and Saturday. Travel Photographer of the Year will be staging a number of ‘Enchanted Evenings’ at the gallery. Unlike the exhibition itself, these are ticketed events, costing £8 to include a glass of wine, or £15 to also include a copy of Journey Seven, the latest book from Travel Photographer of the Year. Enchanted Evening dates can be found – and tickets booked - through the website below.
Kenko Tokina USA have unveiled the suggested retail price and availability of the new Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens. Officially announced in February this year, this is a constant-aperture standard zoom for 35mm full-frame SLR cameras; featuring 15 lens elements in 11 groups and a nine-bladed iris diaphragm. The lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4.73, a minimum focus distance of 0.38m and a 82mm filter thread. Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the lens mount for manual focusing. The AT-X 24-70mm F/2.8 PRO FX lens also incorporates a fast SDM (Silent Drive-Module) motor to greatly reduce AF noise making it one of Tokina’s quickest and quietest auto-focusing lenses to date. Availble in August, the lens will cost $999. High-resolution sample images, taken with the lens mounted to a Nikon D610, can be downloaded from the website below.