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Friday, February 28, 2014

Gary Fong LightBlade Diffuser

Gary Fong today launched an addition to its line-up of flash diffusers with the introduction of the LightBlade Diffuser.  Designed to accommodate nearly all spedlights, the new LightBlade Diffuser softens the harsh light emitted by the flash tubes, minimises shadows and reduces glare. Attached using the Gary Fong patented strap and band mounting system, the LightBlade Diffuser mounts directly onto the flash head and is then secured with the included Gary Fong Velcro Cinch Strap. The LightBlade Diffuser is available for $34.95 MAP.

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Gary Fong Lightbulb Adapter Kit

The new Gary Fong Lightbulb adapter kit contains a Gary Fong Lightsphere adapter, which secures to a light socket adapter with AC power plug or Europlug. Compatible with the new Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount (Generation 5) and the new SpeedSnoot the Gary Fong Lightbulb adapter kit fits on any standard-mount light stand. "By taking advantage of the continuous source to pre-visualise the effects of various lighting setups, photographers are provided the professional look of a diffused strobe light without the confusion of syncing, metering and modelling," the company says. The Lightbulb adapter kit will be available in April for $53.95 MSRP.

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Technology Alliance Announced Between Bowens, PocketWizard and Sekonic

In a joint announcement, Bowens, PocketWizard and Sekonic have teamed up to create a complete wireless triggering solution for electronic flashes that will be first introduced in the US market. Most Bowens Gemini monolights will accept an optional PocketWizard module, which enables photographers to wirelessly trigger their flash with PocketWizard radios and Sekonic light meters. Compatible components within the system include Bowens Gemini 500R, 500Pro, 750Pro, 1000Pro & 1500Pro series of monolights with PocketWizard module, all existing PocketWizard radios and the Sekonic L-478DR and L-758DR exposure meters. In addition, other (earlier) Sekonic meters can be used with an optional PocketWizard transmitter. To commemorate the alliance, PocketWizard is introducing a new Plus III Transceiver in the "Bowens' signature yellow" colour.

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Raw.Pics.io Launches

Raw.Pics.io is a new online service capable of extracting the embedded JPEGs from certain raw image files. Supporting CR2, DNG and NEF formats, the service does not require users to upload their raw files to a server, as it uses an HTML5-based in-browser application to extract the embedded JPEGs, which can then be saved on their hard disk or shared on Facebook. "One click conversion to JPEG is a first step, expect more in the nearest future," developer Konstantin Shtondenko says. "If you have an idea of what we should implement next — don't hesitate to request features."

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Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290gsm

The Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290gsm is a natural white, heavyweight and instant-dry, resin coated, inkjet paper. " The beautiful pearl finish matches that of the widely acclaimed, and now discontinued, Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl paper; a crisp finish with a superb color gamut," Fotospeed says. "It has a unique ink receiving layer giving an instant dry result straight from the printer." The Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290gsm will be on display at The Photography Show, along with two other new offerings, the Fotospeed Metallic Pearl 295gsm and the Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285gsm.

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Nokia Technology Brings Light Painting to Smartphones

The latest work from leading light artists Ian Hobson of Newcastle, UK and Jeremy Jackson from Virginia, USA demonstrate how people can make spectacular light art using a Nokia Lumia smartphone. Armed with a Nokia Lumia 1020, the artists have created a series of images and guide which are intended to inspire a new generation of smartphone light painters. All made possible by the 4-second maximum exposure time and remarkable low light photography capabilities of the Nokia Lumia smartphone cameras with PureView technology. Ian Hobson comments: ‘The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the first smartphone I’ve ever seen that has the capability to capture quality light paintings due to its 4 second shutter speed and its 41mp camera. With the advances of cameras in mobiles, it allows anyone on the go, to try out light painting.’ Click through / scroll down for a helpful video giving hints about how to light paint with a Nokia Lumia 1020.

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Akvis OilPaint 2.0

Akvis has updated its OilPaint software to Version 2.0. Available as a standalone application and as a Photoshop plug-in, Akvis OilPaint is claimed to offer "an incredible algorithm" for turning photos into oil paintings. The software offers a number of ready to use presets, and allows users to share their favourites with other fans of the oil painting technique. The batch processing feature enables the program to automatically process a series of images in order to create a number of illustrations at the same style or to process all frames in a video. The updated version brings faster image processing, new brushes and other important improvements, and fixes bugs. Registered users of Akvis OilPaint can upgrade to version 2.0 for free.

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Nikon Releases Quick-Draw Strap & Quick-Draw Strap S

Nikon has launched  two new products developed in cooperation with BlackRapid. The Quick-Draw Strap and Quick-Draw Strap S offer great mobility by allowing the camera to slide diagonally up and down the shoulder strap; and a great sense of security with a safety strap that prevents the camera from falling in the unlikely event the fastener comes loose, and a cover that prevents the carabiner that connects the strap to the camera from scratching the camera body. The Quick-Draw Strap, with a wider shoulder pad, is suited to use with digital SLR cameras. The Quick-Draw Strap S, with a narrower shoulder pad, is suited to use with Nikon 1 System cameras and Nikon Coolpix series compacts.

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Lowepro at The Photography Show

Lowepro will set up a 'Loweprofessionals' wall at The Photography Show to wow visitors with an array of beautiful shots from professional photographers. Additionally, there will be two Lowepro-sponsored events at the show, including a talk by photographer Colin Prior and a seminar by Rebecca Litchfield. Throughout the day there will be a chance to win spot prizes on Stand E10, simply by wearing your Lowepro bag to the show and/or picking up a badge from the stand. Opening tomorrow at Birmingham's NEC, The Photography Show is a major new UK event dedicated to the imaging industry.

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Reviving the Camera Obscura

A Kickstarter project started by Les Cookson and Ken Higginson aims to resurrect the great-grandfather of all cameras - the camera obscura. Weighing in at less than 1kg this camera obscura is about 15cm x 15cm x15cm in size. Hand-built with your choice of maple or walnut hardwood, the product features an uncoated spherical glass lens about 38mm in diameter, encased in a brass tube, a ground-glass screen for viewing and a clear screen that's used with a piece of tracing paper to trace the image. If you'd like to make a donation or simply learn more about the project, visit the camera obscura's Kickstarter page.

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