Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Hasselblad Masters Awards: Evolution

One of the most prestigious photographic awards programmes in the world - described by one Hasselblad Master as 'like winning a Nobel prize'- is set for the next step in its evolution.

As the curtain comes down on the world-acclaimed Masters Awards Programme 2012 it is already rising again with a 2014 agenda that includes two new photo-categories - Project//21 and Underwater. The competition is also now open to photographers shooting with cameras of 16MP and above, regardless of the camera's brand or format.

What happened in 2012:

The names of the eleven 2012 winners (selected from 110 finalists and from over 2,500 submissions) were first revealed at the beginning of the year and their individual work projects for the special'Evoke'Masters book project began immediately. These highly accomplished photographers have been equipped with the latest Hasselblad equipment and focused on challenging their own creative boundaries for the project.

The biennial Masters Awards competition is organised to coincide withphotokinaand in September 2012, in the Boulevard of Competitions area at the K├Âlnmesse, tens of thousands of visitors to the world's largest imaging trade fair, were entranced by the ultra large series of'Evoke'prints.

After photokina the 2012 three continents Masters Winners 2012 Tour was jam-packed at every venue; Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and London - before its conclusion in Shanghai.

Photographers were invited to test Hasselblad cameras, shoot with a Master in a studio environment, engage in a seminar experience and chat with experts at social evening events.

What happens next:

Nearly four thousand photographers submitted images (by the August 31st, 2012deadline) in a total of twelve categories: Fine Art, Landscapes/Nature, Wedding/Social, Portrait, Fashion/Beauty, Editorial, Products, Architectural, General, Wildlife, Project//21 and Underwater.

For the first time in the history of the competition Hasselblad has allowed entries from photographers who have been active professionals for more than three years and who use cameras of 16MP and above, regardless of brand or format.

Winners of the 2014 awards will have use of Hasselblad equipment for a period of approximately four months to create a new set of images for the fourth special Masters Commemorative Book and will receive a trophy at photokina 2014. All winning images will also be published on the Hasselblad global website and then presented at exhibitions around the world.

The internal Hasselblad jury has already begun the process of shortlisting 120 finalists - ten photographers in each category.

The finalists will be announced in January 2013 and the public has the chance to vote for their favourite image.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BenVista releases PhotoZoom 5

ARNHEM, December 4, 2012 -- Today BenVista announced the release of their new photo resizing software PhotoZoom 5. The release includes two versions, PhotoZoom Pro 5 and PhotoZoom Classic 5, which are available for both Windows and Mac platforms as of now.

The PhotoZoom series is specialized in enlarging and downsizing digital images while preserving their original quality, for which it uses BenVista's patented, award-winning S-Spline(R) technologies. PhotoZoom 5 also removes noise and JPEG compression artifacts. Besides compatibility with Windows 8 and OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), PhotoZoom 5 introduces various new features and improvements.

Version 5 offers the option to combine cropping and resizing into one process. This makes it easy to for example convert a photo with a 4:3 width-to-height ratio into 16:9 (Full HD), without stretching the picture out of its original proportions. Instead, a specific area with proportions equal to the output image is selected and resized.

BenVista's most advanced technology for enlarging and downsizing images is S-Spline Max. Although the technology creates excellent results, it also requires a lot of computing power. To reduce processing time, PhotoZoom Pro 5 now uses both multi-core processors and GPU acceleration.

Says D.S. Schoolwerth, CEO at BenVista, "Quality-wise, S-Spline Max was already the number one image enlargement method in the world. But it was not the fastest method around, so we are much pleased by the addition of GPU acceleration. It allows PhotoZoom Pro 5 to produce image enlargements of the same excellent quality as PhotoZoom Pro 4, but it does the job up to five times faster."

PhotoZoom 5 comes with a redesigned interface layout, making it more accessible, flexible, and user-friendly. Another workflow improvement is the new option to create "resize profiles". These are full compilations of the user's favorite settings which, once created, can be selected with a single click.

Demo versions of PhotoZoom Pro 5 and PhotoZoom Classic 5 can be downloaded directly from the BenVista website: Upgrade options are available for existing PhotoZoom users.

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