Sunday, May 22, 2011

Artensoft Unveils Photo Mosaic Wizard 1.4 - Provides New Features for Creating Photo Mosaics

Artensoft, the developer of software for creating photo collages, has prepared a gift for all owners of digital photo cameras - today the company is launching Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard 1.4 -

Krasnoyarsk, Russia, - Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard is designed for home users, photo camera owners and professional designers. Over time people accumulate hundreds of photos with relatives, friends and interesting events. Now, it's possible to turn these photos into a beautiful photo mosaic that can make a personalized gift to the friend or relative, or can be used to decorate the interior of the user's own apartment. For example, one can make a portrait of a beloved from pictures of her favorite flowers, or a photo mosaic of the newlyweds from their pre-wedding photos. This gift will always remind its owner of the best moments of life and set in a good mood.

At the core of Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard lies an intelligent algorithm for building a natural photo mosaic. When the original picture is uploaded, the program carefully analyzes its contents, and then arranges tile images into a mosaic, taking into account such factors as color, brightness and shape of each fragment of the original picture. The whole process takes only a few seconds. Placement and orientation of tiles looks chaotic, which allows the user to make a photo mosaic as natural and close to the original as possible.


The new version introduces advanced colorization, which allows the user to lay the photo mosaic over the source image to improve the quality of the composition. When the effect is applied, the details of tile pictures are not lost, but color, brightness and contrast of the collage are corrected. The user can customize the intensity of the overlay effect in percents by toggling the slider. The new feature is especially useful if the database of tile pictures is small and it's necessary to improve the quality of the photo mosaic.

Another novelty in version 1.4 is the removal of the restriction related to the number of tile pictures for building a photo mosaic. Earlier this number was equal to 1500 images. Now the user can create a photo collage from any number of images in the database, even from a single picture. In combination with the advanced colorization effect it may help to produce some fairly original photo mosaics. For example, a photo mosaic could be created from a single image and the composition will be laid over the original picture, repeating its colors.

For convenience of the user, the new version of Photo Mosaic Wizard offers the ability to choose the minimum possible radius to exclude duplicate images in the composition. The larger the radius, the farther are similar images and vice versa. In the first version, the radius was a constant and set by default.

Also, the process of creating a photo mosaic has become much easier and faster. The new version introduces the ability to remove tile images from the database directly during the process of indexing photos, without having to wait for its completion, and significantly increased speed of rendering a composition for preview, because Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard now calculates only the area that is required for previewing.

To learn more about Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard 1.4, users can download its free trial version, or read more information about the program and view samples of photo mosaics online.

About Artensoft

Artensoft ( is the developer of software for editing photos and creating mosaic photo collages. Hundreds of photographers, designers and home users leverage the power of Artensoft software to turn ordinary photos into extraordinary photo compositions that can not only beautify your home photo album, but also professional brochures, banners and posters.

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Nikon Podcast 41: Trey Ratcliff and HDR Photography

Host Mark Ellwood and photographer Trey Ratcliff talk about the unique and increasingly popular High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.

Nikon Podcast 41: Trey Ratcliff and HDR Photography

Join Mark Ellwood as he sits down with photographer Trey Ratcliff to discuss the advantages of HDR photography as well as the techniques and gear needed to start in this unique form of photography.

Listen and subscribe to this podcast in iTunes by clicking here.

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PENTAX 645D Medium-format Digital SLR Camera Wins “Camera of The Year” at Camera GP Japan 2011 Awards

GOLDEN, CO. PENTAX Imaging Company announced on behalf of PENTAX Japan that the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR camera, first launched in June 2010, was selected as Camera of The Year at Camera GP Japan 2011 Awards. The winning camera features exceptional reliability and superb operability, along with remarkable, super-fine image quality assured by approximately 40 effective megapixels.

The Camera Grand Prix Awards is held annually under the sponsorship of the Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC), a group of photography writers from the top 11 photo and camera magazines in Japan. This is one of the most prestigious camera awards in the country, representing the CJPC’s selection of the most distinguished still cameras introduced to the Japanese market during the year. In addition to Camera of The Year, the group also selected winners in three different categories: the Readers Award, with voting by magazine readers; the Editors Award, a selection by professional writers from all photographic and imaging products; and the Lens Award, a new award established this year.

Winners are decided by a 57member selection panel consisting of the editors and publishers of club-member magazines, photographic experts, technical writers and professional photographers, as well as CJPC members. The PENTAX 645D was selected over 172 other new products introduced in Japan from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

The panel concluded that, as the first medium-format digital SLR camera launched by PENTAX, the 645D represented a combination of many advanced and photographer-friendly features, including an extra-large CCD image sensor, designed to deliver super-fine images and all housed within a highly dependable dust-proof, weather resistant body. It further praised PENTAX for never abandoning the development of the 645D, bringing it through a series of trials and errors over many years to perfect it as a super-high-resolution, multi-featured medium-format digital camera that is far more affordable than competitive models. The camera’s compatibility with conventional lenses also played a crucial role in the decision of this year’s Camera of The Year.

Founded in 1984, the Camera Grand Prix Awards this year celebrated the 28th Camera of The Year winner. PENTAX has had three winners in the past: the PENTAX Z-1 Quartz Date in 1992; the PENTAX 645N in 1998; and the PENTAX K10D in 2007. The 645D now joins them as PENTAX’s fourth winner of this prestigious award.

The PENTAX 645D has already been selected as the Best D-SLR Professional in Europe 2011 by the prestigious Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) as well as an AMERICAN PHOTO Magazine's Editor's Choice. These highly coveted awards in Japan, Europe and the United States help demonstrate the 645D’s outstanding performance and technical excellence.

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Sigma Corporation of America to ship SD1 camera in early June

Sigma Corporation of America to ship SD1 camera in early June
46-megapixel DSLR creates new market for medium-format photographers

Ronkonkoma, NY, May 20, 2011Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, is pleased to announce that its flagship DSLR, the Sigma SD1, will be available for purchase for the MSRP of $9,700 in early June.
This 46-megapixel DSLR is delivered in a splash-proof, easy-to-handle build that is similar to that of a classic 35mm camera. Professional and high-end enthusiast photographers will utilize the SD1’s exclusive Foveon 23.5x15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor to capture exceptionally rich and detailed images that have a film-like quality. Users will also benefit from Sigma’s wide selection of interchangeable lenses that are compatible with the SD1.
“The SD1 will carve out a new category in the marketplaceby providing high-end photographers with an alternative to very expensive medium-format cameras and digital backs, while offering unrivaled image quality,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “By embracing the SD1, serious photographers will also be able to take advantage of Sigma’s extensive lineup of affordable lenses, which are compatible with this new camera. The selections of lenses for medium-format cameras on the market are somewhat limited, so this will be a huge advantage for SD1 users. This is undoubtedly a very special camera, and we’re thrilled to share it with the photo community.”

In addition to the 23.5x15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor, the Sigma SD1 features dual “Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine (TRUE) II” image processing engines, which improves processing speed, provides high resolution power and produces high-definition images with richly graduated tones. It also allows simultaneous RAW and JPEG recording, which is a first for Sigma cameras. Additionally, the photographer has the option to select full-size, half-size or quarter-size RAW files making it a more versatile camera for a wide range of photographers. The Foveon sensor uses three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. This technology efficiently reproduces color more accurately and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moirĂ© is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required.
The optical format of the Foveon sensor has been upgraded from that which was used in previous SD cameras, and has increased from 1.7x focal length to the 1.5x focal length multiplier. The SD1 also benefits from improved image processing and noise reduction algorithms, with an ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 6400. This is two full stops more sensitivity than the SD15, which has a maximum 1600 ISO. An intuitive user interface and an impressive lightweight, yet solid magnesium alloy body and O-ring sealing connections that make the camera durable and splash proof are also key feature upgrades of the flagship SD1.  
The SD1 adopts the TYPE 1 Compact Flash Card, and is UDMA-compatible enabling fast processing of large amounts of data. The autofocus system features an 11-point shifted twin cross type sensor, which improves AF accuracy. The SD1 features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition. The SD1 can be used with more than 40 Sigma SA mount lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheye.
Sigma’s image processing software, Photo Pro 5.0, comes bundled with the camera and its simple operation allows quick and easy capture of the desired imaged. Additional functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Convert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are also incorporated into this software.
The Sigma SD1 will be available for the MSRP of $9,700 through select authorized Sigma dealers. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit For more information about the Sigma SD1 DSLR, visit or view the camera’s special page at

46 megapixel 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 Full-color image sensor
The 46 effective megapixel (4,800×3,200×3 layers) and 44 recording megapixel (4,704×3,136×3 layers) 23.5×15.7mm APS-C X3 direct image sensor featured in the Sigma SD1 captures all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location, ensuring the capture of full and complete color. Using three silicon-embedded layers of photo detectors, stacked vertically to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths, it efficiently reproduces color more accurately, and offers sharper resolution, pixel for pixel, than any conventional image sensor. Since color moirĂ© is not generated, the use of a low-pass filter is not required, meaning light and color, generated by the 46 megapixel APS-C X3 direct image sensor is captured with a three-dimensional feel.
Dual TRUE II image processing engine
The SD1 incorporates a dual “TRUE (Three-layer Responsive Ultimate Engine) II” image processing engine which improves the processing speed and overall quality of the final image. The unique image-processing algorithm provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images with richly graduated tones. In addition, the SD1 is Sigma’s first camera to allow simultanous RAW and JPEG recording.
Advanced DDR III buffer
To handle large volumes of color data at high speed, the SD1 uses DDR III buffer memory technology, which delivers class-leading performance. The SD1 features a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second and can capture up to 7 RAW images per sequence in continuous shooting mode.
CF card
The SD1 adopts the TYPE I CF Card. This camera is compatible with the UDMA enabling fast processing of large amounts of data.
* It is not possible to use Microdrives and TYPE II CF cards.
Intuitive user interface
The improved user interface provides faster and more convenient operation. Aperture and shutter speed can be set by their own dials. The exposure compensation button and exposure mode button are on top of the body for quick access. A Quick Set (QS) menu lets you easily change commonly used functions. To display the QS menu, simply press the QS button. QS menu 1 is for ISO setting, flash mode, metering mode and AF mode; QS menu 2 offers white balance, image quality, image size and color mode.
Magnesium body
The Sigma SD1 adopts a lightweight yet solid magnesium alloy body designed to withstand rough use and shocks in harsh conditions.
Splash proof design
Buttons and connections benefit from O-ring sealing connections to prevent dust and water getting inside the camera body.
Bright, wide-coverage viewfinder with integral pentaprism
The SD1 features a pentaprism viewfinder with 98% (vertical and horizontal)coverage, 0.95x magnification and an 18mm eye point. Diopter adjustment is provided over a range of -3 to +1.5 dpt.
Four metering modes
The SD1 features 77-segment Evaluative Metering, Center Weighted Average Metering, Center Area Metering and Spot Metering.Exposure can be manually adjusted to suit your needs. When difficult lighting conditions make appropriate exposure unclear, auto bracketing lets you take a sequence of shots of the same subject at three or five different exposure levels. Bracketing can be set in 1/3EV increments up to ±3EV(3levels) or ±1.7EV(5 levels).
11 point twin cross sensor
The autofocus system features an 11 point twin cross sensor. The shifted twin cross type sensor improves AF accuracy. Selecting the AF point can be done manually or automatically.
77-segment AE sensor
The SD1 features a new 77-segment AE sensor using advanced AE algorithms to improve exposure accuracy. Exact control coordinated with the 11 AF points achieves accurate exposure even in difficult lightning conditions.
Dust Protector
Most digital SLR cameras are vulnerable to dust entering the body. If dust and dirt adhere to the image sensor, it may appear in the photos. The lens mount of the SD1 is equipped with a dust protector and the area around it is sealed to prevent dust from entering the body. Even in the unlikely event of dust adhering to the image sensor, the dust protector can be removed easily for sensor cleaning.
Focal Plane shutter
The durable focal plane shutter mechanism has a life cycle of over 100,000 exposures and dramatically reduces generation of dust. The photographer can enjoy taking pictures with confidence that the image sensor is clean and protected from dust or dirt originating inside or outside the camera.
Two-motor system
Using a two-motor system with dedicated motors for mirror-drive and shutter charge reduces the vibration of mirror movement, thereby preventing camera shake. A mirror lock-up mechanism prevents further vibration when the shutter is released. Preventing camera shake is especially important for macro photography and when using ultra-telephoto lenses.
Noiseless image processing
ISO sensitivity can be selected from 100 to 6400. The SD1 captures light effectively and ensures noiseless image processing. The image sensor provides high definition with rich, graduated tones.
Large, highly visible 3.0” TFT color LCD Monitor
The SD1 camera features a 3.0 inch TFT color monitor. This 460,000 pixel resolution LCD monitor benefits from a wide viewing angle, making it easy to check focusing and composition.
Built-in flash with 17mm angle of coverage
The Sigma SD1 camera’s built-in flash has a guide number of 11 to cover a 17mm lens angle (equivalent to 25.5mm with a 35mm camera). The built-in flash can be synchronized to a shutter speed of up to 1/180 sec. The S-TTL automatic exposure system enables control of advanced flash photography.
SIGMA Photo Pro5.0 (Supplied)
The supplied image processing software, SIGMA Photo Pro 5, converts RAW data quickly and easily and describes full data of 46 megapixel resolution. A renewed interface design provides functional and convenient operation. Sigma PhotoPro allows easy operation, simply by moving a slider from left to right while looking at the particular image you took, you can get a photographic expression just as you like. In addition, other functions such as Loupe, Slideshow, Print, Covert to JPEG file and Batch White Balance settings are incorporated into this software.
Dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery
The dedicated BP-21 lithium-ion battery is supplied as standard with the SD1. It takes about 150 minutes to fully charge with the supplied BC-21 battery charger. The optional SAC-4 AC adapter lets the Sigma SD1 run on AC power from a wall socket.
Optional lenses
The SD1 can be used with over 40 Sigma lenses such as ultra-wide, ultra-telephoto, macro and fisheyes which adopt the latest technology such as the FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have the performance equal to fluorite glass, SLD glass, Aspherical lenses, Sigma’s own unique Optical Stabilizer function, Hyper Sonic Motor and Sigma’s Super Multi Layer Coating. They meet the various and demanding requirements of all types of photographers.

About Sigma Corporation
For 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,”with anemphasis on producing high-quality, high-performance photographic technology at moderate prices. This family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 50 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. For information, please visit

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

jAlbum Released Version 9.4

Here is a list of all the new and updated things:
  • New extension support. Extend jAlbum's functionality as easily as you install skins by double clicking .jaext files
  • Major updates to album engine. Now up to 40% faster page processing and updated API for skin developers
  • Config files now centrally located in one config folder
  • Logo filter now accepts different transparency levels and rotation angles. New attributes are angle and strengthPercent. See example in our blog!
  • Excluded images can now also be used as folder thumbnails
  • Windows version now installs on both 32 and 64 bit Windows
  • jAlbum now has a better looking Windows 7 task bar icon.
  • External tools can now be installed next to installed skins (in a "tools" folder") and thereby survive jAlbum updates
  • Splash screen now has a debug feature to trace cause of startup-hangs. Alt-click the splash screen to trigger a full thread dump.
  • Updated Plugin API. jAlbum extensions can now install themselves in the Import menu too.
  • Missing album project no longer generate error lines to the console window
  • Chameleon skin no longer bundled, but can at any time be downloaded here

Bug fixes

  • Skin installer sometimes quit before being done installing skins. This could result in all kinds of skin related errors. If you have any issues running a skin, try reinstalling that skin using this update.
  • Files couldn't be deleted from within jAlbum if they were located on an Apple AFS volume (Mac only)
  • Some ftp servers didn't allow jAlbum to list directory contents
Download jAlbum 9.4

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FUJIFILM Launches "Finding & Growing New Markets" Contest

Submit Your Creative Ideas for a Chance to Win Up to $2,500 and Public Relations Support

Valhalla, N.Y., – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the "Finding & Growing New Markets" Contest, providing owners and employees of Independent Photo Retailers, Labs and Studios in the U.S., with the opportunity to share ideas that enable businesses to break into new markets and drive sales of creative photo products. The “Finding & Growing New Markets” Contest runs now through June 30. For complete details and the official entry form, please visit

“Photo Specialty retailers are known for their expertise and creative problem-solving. There is significant opportunity to build their photo business by creating photo products and services that solve a problem, present an opportunity or fulfill a need for local businesses,” said Joellyn Gray, director of marketing, Imaging Division, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “For example, a photo calendar with local planting information may become a new product and a new source of revenue for a local garden center. This contest is a way to gather these ideas and share them across the country.”

Whether the idea was already part of a successful photo promotion that increased revenue, or is a new idea that has not yet been promoted, all entries are encouraged. Fujifilm is sponsoring the contest to support professional photofinishers in sharing their knowledge and expertise. Submissions will be evaluated for their potential to generate sales, creativity and how easily others can replicate the idea. One Grand Prize winner will receive a cash award of $2,500 and two First Prize winners will each receive $1,000. The winners, as chosen by a panel of business and marketing experts, will be announced in early August. Each winner will also receive public relations and professional marketing support to help promote their winning idea.

Full details regarding contest rules, prizes and giveaways can be found by visiting

About Fujifilm Business Builders
Fujifilm Business Builders is a service that is open to current Fujifilm business partners and to businesses that specialize in the printing of photos and photo specialty items. Fujifilm Business Builders provides access to a variety of financial calculators and decision-making tools, profit-generating techniques, webinars on important industry topics, and actionable market research to help tap the growth opportunities in the photo printing businesses. Find out more at

About Fujifilm
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division sells consumer and commercial photographic products and services including film, one-time-use cameras, online photo services and fulfillment, digital printing equipment and service. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras. The Motion Picture Division provides motion picture film, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides binoculars, and optical lenses for closed circuit television, videography, cinematography, broadcast and industrial markets. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. markets a range of Fujifilm products and services. For more information, please visit, or go to to follow Fujifilm on Twitter. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at

FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, digital printing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was among the top 20 companies around the world granted U.S. patents in 2009, and in the year ended March 31, 2010, had global revenues of $25.8 billion*. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit

* At an exchange rate of 86 yen to the dollar.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

iPad Photography App: Corbis Contributor Gateway

YouTube link:

- Adorama Photography TV presents Corbis Contributor Gateway for iPad. Mark reviews the Corbis Contributor Gateway for iPad- a great link between your iOS device and In this episode Mark shows viewers how to access important forms, guidelines and creative research while in the field. The app allows you to easily create model and property releases from your iPad and upload directly to Corbis.

Corbis Contributor Gateway for iPad:
Corbis Images website:

Category: Education
Tags: Corbis Corporation, model, Property, News, digital, photography, upload, youtube, Corbis Contributor  ateway, digital photography, snapfactory studios, information, app, corbis, creative, ios, adorama, mark  wallace, photo, Adorama TV, apple, Apple iPad, release, review, snapfactory

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Azure Swim Photo Shoot

YouTube link:

- Behind the scenes of an Azure Swimwear photo shoot.

Category: Entertainment 
Tags: azure, Azure Swimwear, swimsuit, photoshoot, carolina model project, musicandmodeling, leslie davis, folly beach, dana cottrell, jason cottrell, jessica scott, martina torres, Rebecca Orman, Maggie Rawlins, Meghan Purves, charleston, kenneth green

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

iPad Photography App: Photosmith

YouTube link:

- AdoramaTV presensts Photosmith iPad App for tagging and organizing your photos and importing them into Lightroom. This week, Mark reviews Photosmith, an application that lets you organize, name, tag, rate, keyword and describe your photos on your iPad and prepare them to import into Lightroom. It is used in tandem with the Camera Connection Kit.

Download Photosmith and learn about related iPad apps here:

Category: Education
Tags: raw, IPTC, digital, Photosmith, upload, photography, sync, youtube, digital photography, snapfactory studios, Dropbox, megapixels, Adobe Lightroom, Facebook, adorama, touch interface, mark wallace, photo, flickr, Adorama TV, apple, keywording, Apple iPad, lightroom, rating, review, snapfactory

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial: Make Selection With the Quick Selection Tool -HD-

YouTube link:

- In this tutorial, you will learn how to make selections using the quick selection tool.

Suggest tutorials at

For project files, help forums, and more check out the website at

Category: Education
Tags: photoshop, Tutorial, Tut, Image, Picture, Photo, Shop, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, Elements, Creative, Suite, How To, Easy, Beginner, Quick, Adobe, Graphix, Graphics, tutorials, basic, editing, RCG, graphic, enhance, simple, quick, selection, tool, fast, select, remove, cut, out, background, transparent, delete

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