Oct 312014
 

Please click the image below to download the free trial version:

Express-3-Email-Blast_pt-v4-670

HDR Photography Beyond Your Imagination

Capturing a high contrast scene has always vexed photographers. We’ve all tried neutral density filters for landscapes and lighting equipment for interior shots in order to balance the wide range of light levels in our scenes. The results could be good but the work to get to the final image was intense. No longer!

Capturing high contrast scenes is now as simple as shooting three or more images of varying exposures and then merging those images into one high dynamic range file that reveals all your shadows and highlights. The magic is done with HDR software. But, not all HDR software is created equal.

Previously, HDR applications performed their contrast manipulation or “tone mapping” by creating an 8-bit or 16-bit image. Using an 8-bit or 16-bit file to create a large, high dynamic range file significantly reduces the file’s dynamic range, clips its color range and degrades the precision of image data.

That’s why we created our stand-alone HDR applications HDR Expose 3, HDR Express 2 and the Photoshop plug-in 32 Float v3. These are the only HDR applications that merge multiple exposures into a full 32-bit file using our patentedBeyond RGB™ color model. And, most importantly, these are the only HDR photo editing applications where all tools and operations work in 32-bit, floating-point precision.

Creating an HDR Image – One Click or Total Control

HDR Expose 3 and HDR Express 2 use powerful image alignment algorithms to create an HDR image from multiple exposures. The resulting 32-bit image is then ready to have its wide contrast range adjusted to fit into the contrast range of your output device. Unlike other HDR applications which “tone map” their 8-bit or 16-bit image into a useable range, our applications take all the valuable data in your HDR image and “dynamic range map” it into a file that retains naturally clear highlights, vibrant mid-tones and beautifully open shadows.

HDR Expose 3 and HDR Express 2 can do this for you with a single click using the Dynamic Range Mapping tool. And, with HDR Express you have additional one-step tone mapping and style preset buttons. You can also choose to have full control over the mapping process by individually adjusting the image’s dynamic range, brightness, highlights, shadows and saturation. With these powerful tools you can dial in a beautifully natural HDR image or a highly stylized image depending on your artistic vision.

Advantages of Working in 32-bit Mode in the Beyond RGB Color Space

In digital photography the colors and brightness of each pixel are recorded as binary numbers. Depending on the power of your image editing application the numbers used to describe those pixels are restricted to 8-bits (256) or 16-bits (65,535). Naturally, the more numbers you have available to you the more variation you can describe in each pixel. The more variation that you can describe, the richer and more detailed your digital image will be.

Because color information is restricted to at most 16 bits in the RGB space used in most image editing applications and output devices, RGB is inherently a restricted color model — it is a restricted color space that cannot describe all the colors that can be seen by the human eye.

Imagine the tonal variations available to you by working in 32-bit, floating point mode in the Beyond RGB color space, the basis of HDR Expose 3, HDR Express 2 and 32 Float v3. The Beyond RGB color space brings all the colors your eye can see to the task of creating your HDR photography image.

Because the 32-bit floating point Beyond RGB color model is not based on the RGB model, the brightness and contrast changes made to your image in HDR Expose 3, HDR Express 2 or 32 Float v3 will not alter your original colors as you would in an 8-bit or 16-bit program.

In fact, every tool and operation in HDR Expose 3, HDR Express 2 and 32 Float v3 always works in the high-precision 32-bit floating point mode. This is why many pro photographers are using HDR Expose 3, HDR Express 2 and 32 Float v3 to perform non-color-destructive brightness, contrast and color adjustments to their non-HDR images. These pros create their images from RAW camera files and save out their files in 32-bit format as a base reference file before moving on to Photoshop or other programs for further editing. Why lose data before you have to? Why lose data at all?

It’s time for you to try HDR imaging and discover the beauty in a high dynamic range image and then working with that image in full, non-destructive 32-bit floating point mode. Download a free, 30-day trial version of HDR Expose 3 or HDR Express 2 today and experience the beauty of true HDR photography.

Oct 272014
 

Probably one of the biggest complaints I have heard in regards to Canon’s two latest big releases, the 7D Mark II and the C100 Mark II, is the lack of 4K video recording. Well, it seems that Canon may finally be seeing the light about 4K, and a new rumor indicates it could be coming soon!

To view full article please click the link below:

slrlounge

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Oct 232014
 

Introducing the Samsung NX1 Smart Camera!  With 28 megapixels, 15 fps, and UHD 4K video. The features on this camera look excellent. In particular, the new H265 video codec promises far better quality than the old H264. I am looking forward to seeing footage from this soon.

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PRE ORDER NOW

~

Oct 222014
 

Canon just announce this new updated version of the C100. It is the C100 Mark II.Some highlights of the new model includes higher frame rates (60 fps) in 1080p, a practical new 3.5-inch 1.23 megapixel OLED display panel that pivots and rotates, internal mic build into the body, a build in 2.4 GHz and 5GHz WiFi support and Canon replaced the ageing DIGIC DV III Image Processor with the more sophisticated DIGIC DV 4.

EOS-D179-1-optimized
Same Super 35mm CMOS Sensor (24.6 x 13.8 mm) as previous C100
Canon DIGIC DV4 image processor (improved edge transitions, low false color moiré, and enhanced overall color reproduction)
1080p: 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94
720p: 23.98, 25, 29.97
640 x 360: 23.98, 25, 29.97
ISO 320 to 80,000 in 1/3-step increments
Dual Pixel CMOS AutoFocus is Now Standard (Also includes Face Detection AF with STM Lenses)
Canon Log LUT Support on the HDMI Output (so you can see what the final image will look like while still recording log)
4:2:0 to SD card, 4:2:2 via uncompressed HDMI out, Timecode over HDMI
Dual SDHC/SDXC Card Slots
Simultaneous recording in AVCHD or MP4 formats
AVCHD: 28, 24, 17, 7 Mb/s
MP4: 35, 24, 17, 4, 3, Mb/s
New 40% slow motion to 250% fast motion in MP4
AAC Audio Recording
Built-in 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi support
New internal mic built into the body, not just the top handle
New 1.23MP OLED Screen that can be tilted to the side of the camera
New 0.45″ 1.23 MP viewfinder

Buy it Now

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What’s in the Box:

C100 Mark II Camera body
Eyecup
Handle Unit
Thumb Rest
Tripod Base
Shoulder Strap (SS-1200)
Battery Pack (BP-955)
Compact Power Adaptor (CA-940N) – for North America
Compact Power Adaptor (CA-941) – for other than North America
Battery Charger (CG-940)
DC Cable (for CA-930)
AC Cable
Data Import Utility Disc

Oct 182014
 

Short film shot at the Isle of Skye, Scotland, in June 2014.
“In colabaration with Pathgate Institute we produced a series of images to be used in an upcoming remake of the Buddhist film ‘Life Story of Guru Rinpoche.’ The film is still in production but this short film showcases a selection of the time lapse photography shots as well as video footage shot from a quadcopter.
For the film, the sequences are being processed in a 3D space so that mountain ranges and sky replacement can be added in order to emulate Tibet and the Himalyan region. This is an ongoing project with more shooting locations being planned.
All shot in Isle of Skye over 5 days in June 2014 except one shot at Red Tarn, Lake District.”

-Fourth Dimension

Oct 162014
 

Today Apple announced several interesting new products. The new iMac features an astounding 27″ 5K display! Here now! Unfortunately Apple did not announce a standalone 5K display…

Oct 152014
 

If you are planning to travel to shoot fall foliage, this interactive map from smokymountains.com may help. Better hurry though as the color will not last much longer!

Please click the image below to view the interactive map:

foliagemap

Oct 062014
 

Adobe’s largest creativity conference kicks off today and nearly 6,000 creatives from all over the world are attending in LA this week, while another half a million will view online. MAX is where the Adobe creative community comes together to share ideas, inspiration and learn from one another.

View Now

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Oct 012014
 

This new Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Sport lens looks like a winner. Here are a few sample images!

For more info please click the link below:

slrlounge

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Pre Order Now

~

Sep 302014
 

I have seen so much Time-Lapse video over the last few years that I am quite jaded. However this 4k Time-Lapse adventure in Norway is excellent! Congratulations to filmmaker Morten Rustad.

Sep 242014
 

 

nikon d750

Buy it Now
Sep 232014
 

For photographers, finding the perfect way to capture the moment can become an obsession. Sometimes you want to depict real life, but other times you just want to convey a feeling. A vision. A dream.

Impression is designed to help you realize your vision by transforming your photos into realistic-looking studio art. Easy-to-use presets (47 of them!) allow you to pick and choose across entire art movements in a few simple clicks. What’s more, you can pull from a huge store of creative adjustment options to make masterpieces uniquely yours. No prior knowledge of art is required – all you need is a photo and an unbounded imagination!

Click the image below to visit the Topaz Impression page at Topaz Labs.

Impression-Interface

You can get 25% off untilSeptember 30 by using this coupon code: SEPIMPRESSION. You can link directly to the Impression product page by clicking here.

Here is an image I precessed with Topaz Impression with about three minutes of practice:

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Sep 192014
 

Apple is a company renowned for making products that are not only functional, but also beautiful. When you buy an apple product you’re buying something that’s been crafted as opposed to being cobbled together. Overseeing design at Apple is Jony Ive, the London-born designer who has worked up the ranks at the company since 1992 to take the post of senior vice president of design.

Given Apple’s design heritage, and Ive’s customarily well-calibrated eye, I have to wonder how this carbuncle came to adorn the iPhone 6.

I’m talking about the protrusion from the otherwise sleek exterior of the iPhone 6 to accommodate the camera lens, something that from this point on I will call the “camera nubbin.”

To view full article please click the link below:

zdnet
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Sep 162014
 

“Unique Photo has launched a new series of online events titled “UEventLive”. Hosted by Unique Photo President, Matt Sweetwood – we bring in world’s leading photographers and camera technicians, each event showcases discussions on the latest and greatest in camera technology.”

UniquePhoto

Sep 162014
 

 

cinema5d
Sep 082014
 

“Watching a photographer at work is always fascinating to me. Ever been to a wedding as “just a guest,” when you’re a wedding photographer? You almost have a sixth sense as to where the hired photographer has positioned himself, how he has posed the couple and what lenses he is using for that particular shot. You picture in your mind what you would do differently had you been the one in their shoes instead of enjoying the wedding cake and champagne from the grandstands. But watching a master photographer at work is something altogether different. When commercial photographer Erik Almas  gives a glimpse of himself at work, you stop and you listen and soak in every word. Erik’s images have a hint of surrealism to them that pulls you into a dreamy romantic world. He is unapologetic for his use of compositing to fulfill his vision as a tool for his art and his vast knowledge is freely shared.”

To view full article please click the link below:

slrlounge

Erik-almas-Benlysta-1

 

 

Sep 032014
 

“Dolby Vision is a new technology for Dolby, marking the first time it has ventured into an area outside of audio. It aims to hugely increase the ‘dynamic range’ of TVs, allowing TVs to show a greater difference between the darkest and brightest parts of a scene.”

Please click here to read the full article

Aug 302014
 

Emmy-winner Yves Faroudja on his company’s prototype technology and why he sees high frame rates as “disturbing”

During the transition to HDTV, Yves Faroudja won three Emmys for processing technology that remains in use today. And now the award-winning engineer is using his experience to take aim at new formats including Ultra HD, or 4K, which is four times the resolution of HD.

“Bandwidth requirements for video are clogging the Internet, and we need to reduce the bit rate on the video system,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that today it commonly involves use of a 4K-capable compression scheme known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, or H.265). “But that doesn’t work. It doesn’t [keep up with] the increased popularity of video transmission, which is doubling every 2 to 3 years.”

To view full article please click the link below:

The Hollywood Reporter

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Aug 292014
 

Read at at slrlouge.com:

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Widening Your Horizons

If you are a professional photographer, you know how the photography market has morphed over the last few years. We have more competition than ever from our fellow pro shooters. The relative ease of creating digital images has inundated stock photo agencies to the point that our images often get lost in a “sea of similars.”

To add insult to injury, we are now seeing a tidal wave of smart phone images and a perception that images should be free!

Over the last 21 years, the art of creating visually compelling (and highly marketable) panoramic images has brought me the unique appeal I always wanted as a professional photographer. 

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A Profitable and Fun Niche

I found that the panoramic format is fun, as well as challenging, in many ways. I love the cinematic feel of panoramas and enjoy the compositional opportunities the format has to offer. By concentrating my efforts, I have found a unique way to compete in a changing marketplace.

Creating Your Panoramas

First of all, you may want to investigate the technical aspects and gear requirements of the format. One of the most important technical aspects of creating panos is that your lens must rotate around the entrance pupil of the lens. Sometimes, this point is called the “Nodal Point.” This is essential to getting a good stitch. You can read a good explanation about it here.

When shooting images for a pano be sure your camera is set on manual exposure and focus. If these change during your exposure sequence, the resulting panorama will be useless. Also, be sure to use a remote to trigger your exposures as any vibrations can ruin the panorama.

I set my exposure based on the brightest portion of the panorama using “Expose to the Right” technique.

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Use Gear You Already Own 

Add a good a panoramic tripod head, either manual or automated and you are on your way. Here are a few panoramic gear suppliers;

360 Precision

Nodal Ninja 

Really Right Stuff 

Seitz Roundshot 

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Dedicated Panoramic Cameras?

With the exception of the Seitz Roundshot Digital cameras, all of the dedicated panoramic cameras use film… not that there’s anything wrong with that! Actually, the Fuji and Linhof panoramic cameras are fantastic. The problem is that we just don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to purchase film and find labs to process it. These cameras served me well for many years. That being said, I have rarely used my film cameras in the last few years. 

Most camera manufacturers have not produced digital panoramic cameras due largely to the lack of appropriate sensors. Development costs and what would be a miniscule scale of production are to blame. The Seitz cameras are the exception, as I mentioned. Their panoramic cameras are famous for their Swiss precision and durable design. I use their VR-Drive tripod head which automates the process of shooting images needed for the subsequent stitching process. The customer service at Seitz is first rate! Ask for Werner Seitz. Mr Seitz has been very helpful to me over the years.

Aspect Ratio?

Panoramics can be any aspect ratio greater than 2-1. However the best selling and most common aspect ratio used is 3-1. Unless there is a compelling compositional reason not to use the 3-1 aspect ratio, that is what I recommend. The 3-1 ratio being exactly double the width of the full frame 35mm standard format. As such, 3-1 works well for advertising and coffee table books where the images are often displayed across two pages. 

Specialized Software 

Though you can stitch panos in Photoshop CC, I use specialty software; 

PTGui 

Autopano Giga 

HDR Expose 3 

PTGui and Autopano Giga are stitching programs which allow a greater degree of stitching control and precision over Photoshop CC. These programs allow you to create panoramas, but also 360 degree virtual reality images. HDR Expose 3 will allow you to create extremely precise and realistic HDR images and HDR panoramic images. Although there are many HDR software programs, HDR Expose 3 now has a unique “Pano Prep Batch Processing” mode. This new mode allows the application of identical tone-mapping to the HDR panels for subsequent stitching. 

What to Shoot

You will need to consider the types of subject matter that are in demand if you are hoping to get your images licensed on the one hand, or sold as “Print On Demand” on the other. My experience is that compelling scenics will sell, however well composed city skyline images can do extremely well. Nicely executed composites are salable if you have a great concept, and if you have excellent compositing skills. 

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I have found that standard views of well known places may well become best sellers. The images must be well composed, clean and taken in attractive light. 

Marketing Your Panoramas

Working with a specialty panoramic stock agency can be very helpful. I am under contract with Panoramic Images (Doug Segal, President).

Other options for marketing your panoramic images are increasing and well worth investigating. Here are a few that come to mind;

Stocksy 

500px Prime 

I suggest you also set up a section of your website to show off your panoramas. My website is tightly focused on my panoramic work.

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Mastering the Panoramic Medium

The rules of composition for panoramas are no different from standard formats. I have found that one point perspective to be especially effective with panos. The Golden Mean or Golden Ratio is a powerful tool. For years, I used a Golden Mean grid over the ground glass of my V-Pan 617 MKIII panoramic view camera. 

Learning More

The varied technical aspects of panorama shooting are beyond the scope of this article, but stay tuned as I plan to follow up soon with more information on the subject! 

About the Guest Contributor

richardsiskr

Twenty one years ago, I began a voyage to photograph the American landscape with high-resolution panoramic cameras. I used several cameras for this project, including the Fuji G617, the V-Pan 617 Mark III and more recently, high resolution Canon digital cameras and an advanced panoramic device called the Seitz VR-Drive.

There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the people I met along the way, have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

I wish you the best with your own dreams, photography and adventures of discovery.

Richard Sisk – www.richardsiskproductions.com