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Friday, November 21, 2014

Penelope Umbrico: Sun/Screen

On show at The Photographers' Gallery from 4 December 2014 - 28 January 2015, Sun/Screen is a new project by award-winning New York based artist Penelope Umbrico. It continues her exploration into the production and consumption of photographs online, particularly focusing on the persistence of sunset imagery within popular photography. For this project, Umbrico used an iPhone to re-photograph images of the sun she cropped from thousands of sunset images shared on the web.  The process of capturing images directly from the computer screen creates a moiré pattern, which is the consequence of pixel grids, meshes or dot patterns being superimposed. Umbrico further amplifies this effect by editing the images into a single slideshow, with each shot slowly dissolving into the next. This creates a secondary moiré effect that draws attention to the materiality of the screen and further distances us from the natural sunlight source of the original images. Umbrico intends the work to operate as a dialogue between analogue and digital, natural and simulated light and the material and immaterial. The Photographers' Gallery is located at 16 - 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diana F+ Explorer Nocturne Edition

Lomography has just announced the  Diana F+ Explorer Nocturne medium-format film camera. Limited to only 1000 units worldwide, the Diana F+ Explorer Nocturne Edition features a copper color scheme and a starry night sky design, and comes complete with a matching flash unit. The camera is available in the Lomography Online Shop for £89.

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Akvis Sketch 16

Akvis has released version 16 of its Sketch application, which turns photos into pencil drawings. The new version adds numerous new features and lets a user make a snapshot during processing, add a watermark, erase pencil lines, and more. The standalone edition now comes with a smart non-destructive Crop tool, whereas the plugin offers improved compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 13. All owners of Sketch v.9-15 can upgrade to version 16 for free by downloading and installing the updated software.

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AOC U3477PQU Launches in the US

The AOC U3477PQU is a 34" ultra-wide monitor with a 3440x1440-pixel IPS panel and an aspect ratio of 21:9. Thanks to the Real 8-bit +FRC arrangement, more than 1 billion colours can be reproduced on the screen. Equally noteworthy are the picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture features, which allow watching images simultaneously from different sources. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 and 3.0, DisplayPort and an integrated HDMI port with MHL functionality. The AOC U3477PQU monitor will be available on 8th December at BestBuy.com and Amazon.com for $899.

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Sony Alpha 7 II

The Sony Alpha 7 II (ILCE-7M2) is the world's first 35mm full-frame compact system camera with 5-axis image stabilisation. Moreover, Sony claims that this sensor-shift IS system can work in synergy with the company's optically stabilised OSS lenses for an even stronger effect. Other major improvements over the original Sony A7 include a new front dial, a bigger right-hand grip, a repositioned shutter release and a reinforced lens mount. In addition, the Sony A7 II boasts faster auto focus and better subject tracking capabilities, and benefits from XAVC S and S-Log2 support. The sensor's core specifications (35.8x23.9mm, 24.3 [effective] megapixels, ISO100-25,600) are the same as those of the previous model.The Sony Alpha A7 II will go on sale on 5th December, priced at 190,000 yen (£1025) in Japan. European availability is slated for January 2015.

Source: Sony Japan

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Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II

Sony has announced a new version of its A-mount 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM lens. The new Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II (SAL70300G2) promises approximately four times faster dynamic subject tracking performance, and boasts Nano Anti Reflex coating to eliminate flare and ghosts. The lens also features a dust & drip-proof construction and a close-focus point of 1.2m with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4. The optical formula comprises 16 elements in 11 groups, and a 9-bladed aperture diaphragm. The Sony G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM II lens will be available in February 2015, priced at 142,000 yen (£765) in Japan.

Website: Sony Japan

Fujifilm X-T1 Firmware Version 3.00

Fujifilm will be releasing a major firmware update for its X-T1 and X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition (pictured) to enhance operability and functions. This upgrade brings no less than 21 functional enhancements including a fully silenceable electronic shutter, instant manual override in auto focus mode, Natural Live View, a new Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode, unlocked AE-L & AF-L buttons, direct AF area selection (bypassing the Fn key), direct selection of Macro mode, variable MF area, and much more. The firmware update will be available on 18th December.

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Fujifilm X-Pro1, X-E1 & X-E2 Firmware Updates

Fujifilm will shortly be releasing firmware upgrades for its X-E2, X-Pro1 and X-E1 compact system cameras. New features and enhancements will include a Classic Chrome film simulation mode, interval timer shooting, enhanced wireless function for shooting from your smartphone or tablet, and full-time manual focus override during auto focus operation. The first three features are new to the X-E2 model only, while the fourth enhancement will be applicable to all three cameras. The firmware updates will be available on 18 December 2014.

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Fujifilm MCEX-11 and MCEX-16

Fujifilm has revealed  that two new dedicated X-Mount system Macro Extension Tubes; the MCEX-11 and MCEX-16, will be available from the middle of December 2014. Inserted between the lens and the camera body, these 11mm and 16mm extension tubes increase the distance between the lens elements and the sensor enabling users to focus on subjects much closer to the camera. Electronic connections automatically pass information from the Fujinon X-Mount lens to the Fujifilm X-series camera body so you can still use autofocus and control the aperture.

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Fujifilm HS-V5 for Windows

Fuji has launched its "HS-V5 for Windows Ver. 1.0" software which enables PC tethered shooting for the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition. In Camera Mode, users hold the camera by hand or set it up on a tripod and adjust the settings on the camera itself, and the images shot are simultaneously transferred to the computer for display on the screen or saving on the PC. Adjusting exposure and other shooting settings or activating the shutter release are all carried out on the camera. In PC Mode, users can check the viewfinder image of a remotely-setup camera, operate the camera and adjust its settings on the PC screen, with all images taken simultaneously transferred to the PC for display on the screen or saving onto PC. All adjustments to exposure and other shooting settings or activation of the shutter release are carried out remotely on the computer. The application features an "image analysis" function with histogram, highlight clipping warning and EXIF data display, plus an "image assessment" function that displays two images side-by-side for comparison, and a "categorisation / organisation" function.

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