Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Chronicle wins national photography awards - SFGate

The San Francisco Chronicle photography department received more than a dozen awards in the National Press Photographers Association's Best of Photojournalism contest, one of the country's preeminent pictures competitions. This is one of only two ...



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Photographers Among the Trees, from Steichen to Bae Bien-U - Hyperallergic

In “#274-5” (2011), from the series Sequester, the Dutch photographer Awoiska van der Molen looks into darkness, penetrating the primeval, the primordial, the present. No individual trees receive special attention. Rather, the artist addresses ...



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Panasonic interview: "Our business philosophy is based on 'changing photography'"

From L-R, Hidenari Nishikawa, Asistant Chief, Merchandising Group, Kohei Fukugawa, Supervisor, Software Design Group, Tetsuji Kamio, Staff Engineer, Image ENgineering Group, Emi Fujiwara, PR / Communication Group, Naoki Tanizawa, Manager, Communication Group, Michiharu Uematsu, Advisor, Merchandising Group.

Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and booked an in-depth interview with Panasonic. Among the topics covered were the company's new twin flagships, the Lumix GH5S and G9, as well as how Panasonic hopes to grow their appeal to professional and advanced amateur stills photographers.

The following interview has been edited slightly for clarity and flow.

Why did you feel that the GH5S was necessary, when the updated GH5 is in many ways so competitive?
The Panasonic Lumix GH5S comes with an oversized 10MP sensor that forgoes a stabilizer, but allows for shooting in multiple aspect ratios without cropping the field of view.

For the GH5, we aimed for hybrid users shooting both photos and video. We thought that we needed 20MP for stills, and that was kind of a compromise for video users. With the GH5S, we had a lot of video users who wanted more video capability, but with the conventional [20MP] sensor, it was quite difficult to shoot in low light situations because of [hardware and software] limitations.

Professional shooters will prefer a multi-aspect sensor versus IBIS

So we developed a video-centric camera to open up more freedom for video users by having a 10MP sensor, which is good for low light. Also, we incorporated multi-aspect ratios, which many people prefer to have. For example, professional shooters will prefer a multi-aspect sensor versus IBIS.

Is there a technical reason why the G9 and GH5-series continue to rely on contrast-detect autofocus with depth-from defocus technology in preference to a hybrid/PDAF system?
The speed-and-stills oriented Lumix G9 can shoot at up to 20fps bursts in Raw, and is the first Micro Four Thirds camera to come with a top-plate LCD.

When we were developing the GH4, we were discussing whether to go with phase detection AF, or hybrid AF system of contrast AF with our own DFD (depth-from- defocus) technology. We thought that by having contrast AF with DFD, we could maximize picture quality.

With phase detection AF, picture quality can be damaged

This is because with phase detection AF, picture quality can be damaged [by the phase detect pixels]. With contrast-detection AF and DFD technology, we don’t need any dedicated pixels [for autofocus] and we believe it is more precise.

With the release of the G9, since it’s so sports and speed-focused, is this an ongoing conversation, or are you committed to going forward with DFD?

After we put DFD and contrast AF into GH4, we’ve been continuing to develop this format. At this point, we’re not thinking about shifting, but rather trying to make it better and better. We do see room for improvement; we’re studying to improve the algorithms in DFD to minimize the range of hunting, or AF ‘flutter,’ required for accuracy.

Do you think there’s an opportunity for Panasonic to develop more fixed-lens large-sensor compacts?
Panasonic's LX100 incorporated a large Four Thirds type sensor and fast zoom lens. It remains a very capable camera, but in some ways – particularly its 12MP of resolution – it's looking a little dated.

Yes, we have lots of requests from editors and users waiting for the next LX100, so we are studying that. At this point, we can’t say when, but it is something that people are expecting.

As we head into 2018 and 2019, how will Panasonic send the message that it wants to be taken seriously by stills, as well as video professionals?

When we developed the GH5, a lot of video users were attracted to it, but we were aiming for stills users as well. In developing the G9, we wanted to communicate to customers that we are also capable of creating a more stills-focused camera; in terms of marketing, we are trying to communicate that we have cameras that are focused on stills, video, or a hybrid of both.

It's been ten years since Panasonic introduced the Lumix G1, the first Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera.

Our business philosophy is based on ‘changing photography.’ And any change we make must be a benefit for the customer, and for the last two or three years, we’ve really focused on our video capabilities. But we still want to satisfy stills-focused users with our philosophy. It’s been ten years since we introduced the first mirrorless camera, and many things have changed in the mirrorless industry in terms of innovation, but we are trying to continue to change the market to satisfy our customers.

We don’t want to just pick one feature and improve it; we want to improve more generally

We are going to continue to develop video features, but we also want to improve stills performance in terms of speed and autofocus. We don’t want to just pick one feature and improve it; we want to improve more generally, and we are trying to re-brand somewhat in the stills category. And we want to do this not only for professional cameras, but entry-level and midrange cameras as well.

Editors' note:

Always an influential and respected brand in professional video circles, Panasonic deserves a lot credit in recent years for introducing high-quality video capture into small cameras with a conventional form-factor. In fact it's arguable that without cameras like the Lumix GH-series laying the foundation, the prosumer hybrid ILC class would look very different today – if it existed at all.

It's clear from speaking to Panasonic's executives that the GH5S was designed as a no-compromises video platform. That's the reason for its low pixel count, and why the company opted to include a multi-aspect sensor in preference to in-body stabilization. I happened to be speaking to a professional filmmaker recently who told me that the GH5S is at least on a par, if not superior in some respects to his usual Arri Alexa cameras, and that's a pretty big deal for such a small camera. One of the reasons he said he likes the GH5S so much is that he can use the camera in tight spots – and in lightweight rigs – that he wouldn't normally be able to.

The LX100 is still one of our favorite large-sensor compacts, and we'd love to see some proper competition in a segment increasingly dominated by Sony

The market for stills cameras is pretty tough right now, and Panasonic could be forgiven for continuing to focus on video, but it seems that the company still sees some opportunity in the stills-dedicated market segment. The hint at 're-branding' in the stills market is intriguing, and could suggest that the high-performance G9 is just the beginning of Panasonic's renewed attempt to capture the hearts – and cash – of working stills photographers. The explanation for Panasonic's continued use of DFD contrast-detection autofocus technology in preference to phase-detection was interesting. It's true that PDAF-equipped ILCs can have issues with so-called 'striping' artifacts in images taken in certain conditions, but whether this is a solvable problem remains to be seen. For now, Panasonic clearly believes that DFD works well enough, and appears committed to continued improvement of the system.

We were excited too to hear that a successor to the LX100 is probably on the way. It's still one of our favorite large-sensor compacts, and we'd love to see some proper competition in a segment increasingly dominated by Sony.



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Five Common Portrait Retouching Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to retouching portraits there are a number of mistakes that I see photographers make over and over. Part of the problem is that there are too many poorly made skin smoothing plugins. Another is that Photoshop gives you too many options for portrait retouching. There is a simple solution for this which I’ll mention at the end of the article.

In the meantime, let’s look at the most common portrait retouching mistakes photographers make so you can avoid them. Don’t feel too bad if you are making any of these errors. Consider it part of the learning process. You’ll learn to avoid these mistakes as your retouching skills improve.

Portrait retouching mistakes

1. Applying too much skin smoothing

This is a problem you see in commercial photography as well as in the work of hobbyist photographers. If you look closely at a typical cinema photo or a perfume advertisement you’ll see that the models and actors are often retouched to the point they are nearly unrecognizable. They certainly don’t look real or authentic. When this happens in the commercial world it’s little wonder that other photographers imitate what they see and make the same mistakes.

My advice is to consider whether skin smoothing is required in the first place and if it is to apply it with the lightest possible touch. Most photos of men don’t require skin smoothing. It’s conventional to apply some skin smoothing with most portraits of women, but it’s also important to retain skin texture to avoid the plastic skin look.

Portrait retouching mistakes

Two versions of the same portrait. The one on the left has had too much skin smoothing applied. The one on the right has less skin smoothing. You can still see skin texture and the result looks more natural.

The best way to apply skin smoothing that I know of is to use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom with the Soften Skin preset (this preset comes with Lightroom and affects the Clarity and Sharpness sliders).

Portrait retouching mistakes

When you first apply the preset you’ll see that it’s very strong and as a result the effect is overdone. But you can get around that easily by clicking the black triangle above the Adjustment Brush sliders (below).

Portrait retouching mistakes

When you do so the sliders disappear and are replaced by a single Amount slider. You can set it anywhere from 100 (full effect) to zero (no effect). This lets you apply the skin smoothing effect with a light touch that retains skin texture.

Portrait retouching mistakes

2. Making the model’s eyes bigger

Amongst some photographers, it has become trendy to use Photoshop’s Liquify tool to make the model’s eyes bigger. The idea behind it is simple – large eyes are considered appealing, and enlarging a model’s eyes makes her more attractive.

Where this theory falls down is that most people are smart enough to recognize when this has been done, especially if they know the model personally. It results in an unnatural looking portrait that has lost any authenticity.

Portrait retouching mistakes

3. Making the model’s eyes too bright or too sharp

One of biggest advantages that software like Lightroom and Photoshop has given photographers is the ability to make highly accurate local adjustments. But it’s so easy to make the model’s eyes whiter, brighter or sharper that many photographers do so without thinking about whether or not it looks natural.

A better approach is to apply the effect subtly and zoom into 100% to check that it looks realistic. Go too far and you end up with a portrait where the model’s eyes attract attention for the wrong reason – they are over-processed rather than being the windows into the person’s soul.

portait retouching mistakes

4. Applying too much Clarity

Even professional photographers make this mistake. Recently I saw a friend’s wedding photos and my first thought was that the photographer had applied way too much Clarity, making her look older than she really is. Of course, I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to spoil her enjoyment of her big day or the wedding photos. But if the photographer had photographed my wedding I would have been very disappointed with the results.

Adding Clarity emphasizes skin texture, blemishes, and wrinkles. For this reason, it’s usually a bad idea to apply it to portraits of women. Normally you do the opposite and apply skin smoothing (which is a negative Clarity adjustment in Lightroom).

With men it’s different. You may want to apply Clarity in order to emphasize skin texture and make the model’s face appear more rugged. You have to judge it on a case by case basis as every portrait is different.

The key, once again, is to apply it subtly rather than with a heavy hand. Your processing technique shouldn’t draw attention to itself.

5. Over-sharpening

This is another big mistake that I see photographers make. Over sharpening can come from several sources. For example, if you use the JPEG format rather than Raw then remember that your camera sharpens the photo for you. Any sharpening you apply in post-processing is applied on top of an already sharpened photo.

If you use Raw there is very little need to set Sharpening to anything other than the default settings in your Raw converter. It’s rare that any additional sharpening is required on top of that. Remember that the effect of Sharpening is heightened if used in conjunction with applying Clarity.

The best approach to Sharpening is to use your software’s default settings and to never apply any additional Sharpening on top of that. If you do apply extra Sharpening, you need to zoom into your portrait to check the effect on the eyes and eyelashes, as this is where artifacts caused by over-sharpening are most likely to appear.

Note: Remember to use the mask feature of the sharpening tools in LR and ACR. That will help keep the sharpening to only edges and not smooth areas like skin or sky. 

Conclusion

Another aspect we haven’t discussed yet is to think about exactly what you want to achieve with your portrait processing. For example, you have probably guessed by now that I favor a natural, authentic approach to portraiture. That means using natural light, prime lenses, wide apertures and minimal processing. These techniques help me achieve the look I’m after.

Other photographers may be more commercially minded. If this is you, then a slightly more heavy-handed approach may be required. Even so, it’s wise to apply skin smoothing and other portrait retouching techniques subtly, rather than over-process your portraits.

At the beginning of the article, I mentioned a simple solution to the problem of over-processing portraits. The solution is this – use Lightroom. Don’t use Photoshop and don’t use a portrait retouching plugin.

There is no Liquify tool in Lightroom so you won’t be tempted to change the shape of a model’s eyes or face. There’s only one skin smoothing preset, so you should be able to avoid the temptation to over smooth the model’s skin. There is no high pass filter or other fancy sharpening techniques, so this should prevent you from over sharpening your portraits (be careful with the Clarity slider though!).

What are the most common portrait retouching mistakes you’ve seen or made yourself? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Mastering Lightroom ebooks

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Original Observer photography - The Guardian

Author Alexis Okeowo photographed for a Q&A at home in Brooklyn, NYC. Her new book A Moonless, Starless Sky tells the story of a child soldier and a kidnapped schoolgirl in Uganda. Photograph: Mike McGregor for the Observer. Facebook Twitter Pinterest ...

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Stock up on Fuji Acros 100 film, reports indicates they will discontinue

We’ve seen quite a bit of film being discontinued in the last years. Some Velvia and Provia, Agfa Vista, and many others. We reported that some Fuji Acros was going to go away back on October 07, and completely forgot about it. But it seems that the time has come, and the Casual Photophile reports that communication was sent […]

The post Stock up on Fuji Acros 100 film, reports indicates they will discontinue appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Stock up on Fuji Acros 100 film, reports indicates they will discontinue

We’ve seen quite a bit of film being discontinued in the last years. Some Velvia and Provia, Agfa Vista, and many others. We reported that some Fuji Acros was going to go away back on October 07, and completely forgot about it. But it seems that the time has come, and the Casual Photophile reports that communication was sent […]

The post Stock up on Fuji Acros 100 film, reports indicates they will discontinue appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Students in Geneva Co. High School's FBLA club turn photography skills into a business - Dothan Eagle

Photographs were being shot by business teacher Jessie Hendrix and members of Geneva County High School's student group Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA. Later, the photos would be edited and toned by students. The photos would then be ...

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Clinical photography dos and don'ts - ModernMedicine

The need for clear images of cutaneous conditions is more critical in dermatology than perhaps any other specialty. A clinical image can mean the difference between a correct diagnosis and clinical error, especially in the age of teledermatology. But ...

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Yerevan's Mirzoyan Library Combines Cutting Edge Photography with Hypnotic Beats - Smithsonian

It's a Friday afternoon in Yerevan, and a few people are gathered on the second-story terrace outside a historic late 19th-century building—a growing novelty among the capital city's new construction—sipping tea at vintage sewing tables and ...



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The Complete Guide to Wedding Photography Pricing: Part 1 - Fstoppers

In the past few years, the growing number of wedding photographers and their vast range of prices have made finding your value as a photographer challenging. This series of articles will help you to navigate your prices to meet your goals and earn your ...



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Patrizia Sandretto's passion for photography - Art Newspaper

Photography has always fascinated me. When I started collecting in the early 1990s, my collection was divided into five themes, and photography was one of them. Today the collection has evolved and is not strictly categorised by nationality, genre or ...

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Ep. 266: Photography Could Get You Shot – and more - PetaPixel (blog)

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to rate and review us and help us move up in the rankings so others interested in photography may find us. Show Opener: Photographer and filmmaker, Adam Karnacz opens ...
The Emerging Photographer Inspired by Classical Portraiture New York Times
Q&A with...David Pisciotta, student winner of Fairfield Museum's IMAGES photography contest Fairfield Citizen
The Documentary Photographer of Rebels and Strippers The Cut
Washington Post  -Mountain News  -Boca Beacon
all 44 news articles »


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Grandfather Mountain's Nature Photography Weekend Registration Opens April 2 - High Country Press

The featured presenters for 2018, including David Akoubian, Mollie Isaacs, Jennifer King, Les Saucier and Kelly Walkotten, hail from throughout the country and will speak on a variety of photography topics encompassing both the technical and artistic ...



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Do You Look Through the Viewfinder with Your Non-Dominant Eye?

Just as people are right- or left-handed, everyone generally prefers the input of one particular eye, something called “ocular dominance” or “eyedness.” Most people rely on their dominant eye for things like aiming, and a person’s dominant eye actually has more neural connections to the brain than the other eye.

So here’s a question: do you look through your camera’s viewfinder using your dominant eye? You may assume that you do, but that might not be the case.

If you’re not sure which of your eyes is dominant, there’s a simple way to find out that’s called the “Miles test”:

The observer extends both arms, brings both hands together to create a small opening, then with both eyes open views a distant object through the opening. The observer then alternates closing the eyes or slowly draws opening back to the head to determine which eye is viewing the object (i.e. the dominant eye). [#]

Here’s a 30-second video animation that shows how this test is done:

Do you use your dominant eye when looking through the viewfinder?


Do you use your dominant eye when looking through a camera’s viewfinder?

Fstoppers also highlighted the fact that there’s no direct analogy between handedness and eyedness. It’s estimated that 70-95% of people are right-handed and about 66% of people are right-eye dominant, but it’s not uncommon to be right-handed but left-eye dominant.

Which are you?


What is your handedness and eyedness?

And regarding eyedness and photography: perhaps you first learned to do photography using your non-dominant eye and have stuck with that decision ever since. If that’s the case, you may want to try switching and see if that does anything to change how you see the world you’re shooting.

Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Laitr Keiows and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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Fujifilm Acros 100 Film to be Killed Off in October 2018, Report Says

It may soon be time to say goodbye to another popular film among analog photographers. A new report is saying that Fujifilm’s Neopan 100 Acros will be discontinued in October of this year.

Casual Photophile reports that the news comes from translations of documents that were distributed to film dealers in Japan.

“As of this writing, consumers and US-based distributors haven’t seen any direct announcement from Fuji and my requests for confirmation from Fuji have not yet been answered,” Casual Photophile writes. “That said, this is technically a rumor, but these sources should be reliable and this follows a historically consistent pattern.”

Fujifilm has been slowly winding down a number of its film lines (and branded film emulsions such as Agfa Vista) in recent years while its Instax film has been booming. The discontinuation of 4×5 Acros 100 was announced in late 2017 and will take place in May 2018, and now it seems that the 35mm and 120 versions of the same film will be meeting the same fate, putting an end to the Acros line completely.

Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros. Photo by Markus Winkler, markuswinkler.de, License CC-BY

Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros is a professional ortho-panchromatic (i.e. reduced red sensitivity while being sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light) black-and-white film that’s praised for its sharpness and grain.

“The film is particularly suited for night and long exposure photography due to its reciprocity characteristics,” Wikipedia states. “[I]t does not require adjustments for exposures shorter than 120 seconds, and only requires a ½ stop of compensation for exposures between 120 and 1000 seconds.”

Due to its popularity, the apparent imminent demise of Acros will be a heavy blow to film photographers. If Acros is among your favorite film stocks, now might be a good time to start stocking up.



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SA Conservation Society honors local developers at annual awards dinner

The San Antonio Conservation Society on Wednesday evening hosted its 69th annual Historic Preservation Awards, which honors local developers, architects, craftsmen and others who have played a significant part in preserving and redeveloping some of San Antonio's most important historic structures. At the dinner held at the San Antonio Country Club, the Conservation Society gave out several awards and honors, including 10 Historic Building Awards for excellence in redeveloping historic sites around…

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This virtual reality project shows you what it’s like to be homeless

As virtual reality becomes more available and widespread, there are more interesting applications of this technology. Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford has created a VR experience that lets you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. In their project, they use VR to show you what it’s like to be homeless. The name of […]

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Full frame vs. crop sensor: is it really worth switching to full frame?

Full frame vs. crop: which one should you buy? Whether you’re getting your first camera or want to upgrade from the one you already own, this is one of the decisions you need to make. Photographer Sheldon Evans shares his experience with both types of DSLRs. He switched from full frame to APS-C, now he’s […]

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7 Tips for Creating a Time-Saving Design for Users

Users have short—very short—attention spans. That’s probably evident just looking through your website analytics. This makes it more important than ever to deploy design techniques that help users scan and get the most information from your website in the shortest time possible.

It is your job to understand what users need to glean from the design at a glance and help them get that information, so maybe they’ll stick around and explore your website. Here are a few ways to do it!

1. Think Minimally

easy design

A design without a lot of choices can be quick and easy for the user. While at first, “think minimally” might make you think about a minimal design style, it’s more about streamlining elements and effects. (But a minimal design pattern can work as well.)

Overall, the goal is to limit information overload and the number of decisions a user has to make to meet the goal of the design.

  • Keep navigation simple with a handful of choices.
  • Use simple typefaces that are easy to read at a glance.
  • Amp up the contrast between elements so that calls to action are easy to find.
  • For every page, or scroll, in the design, stick to a single thought or action.
  • Goal conversions – carts, forms, etc. – should be accessible at all times.
2. Encourage Action with Visual Content

easy design
A website is a visual medium; make the most of it.

Strong visuals, including photography and videos, are an easy way to grab user attention and when paired with an actionable element, it can help generate an immediate click.

Getting from Point A to B in a design should be a quick process. Think about it in terms of e-commerce. A user sees a pair of shoes on social media, clicks to get to the website and must then be able to see the item (or how to find it immediately) to keep interacting with the website.

A time-saving design would show the shoes with a button to buy now. The user can what they want and how to get it without having to fumble through multiple pages or clicks. Here’s another tip with it comes to saving user time with visuals – use the same image for off-site and on-site promotions. A different picture of those same shoes might not register as quickly with the user as the same image.

This works because most people can process an image more quickly than reading words that “say” the same thing. A website is a visual medium; make the most of it.

3. Break Complicated Elements into Pieces

easy design

Create a story so that you can break a complicated design down into smaller, more digestible pieces. Smaller blocks or chunks of content can be easier to understand quickly, helping users move from element to element.

Try user interface elements such as “read more” links, card-style blocks and parallax scrolling animation to create engagement and break down complicated designs.

4. Cut Down Forms

easy design

One of the easiest ways to make the design quicker for users is to cut down on asking for information that you don’t need. Forms don’t have to ask for layers of information.

  • Only ask essential information, such as name and email address, and follow up later for forms designed to generate leads.
  • Use forms that validate data so users know if they’ve entered something wrong (and where) so corrections are quick and easy.
  • Minimize typing and use buttons or checkboxes in forms where applicable. (This is especially time-saving for mobile users.)
  • Don’t ask for repetitive data, such as the type of credit card and credit card number. (The card type is recognizable from the number.)
5. Design Bold CTAs

easy design

Make the design quick to use and easy to finish with a bold call to action design that users can’t miss.

Bright colors and elements that are oversized can help users see what they are supposed to do with the design immediately. Further, provide content within buttons that tells users exactly what to do and what will happen when they “click here.”

In order to be seen, a CTA should have plenty of contrast so that it doesn’t blend in with surrounding elements and draws attention to itself. (And don’t forget to make sure the CTA is easy to find on mobile screens as well.)

6. Edit, Edit, Edit

easy design
Sometimes a good edit means bringing in a third party to read everything and ensure it makes sense to someone else.

Nothing saves users time, like doing your due diligence before publication. Edit everything in the website design and then edit it again. A time-saving website design has written copy that’s easy to read and understand.

This means that words are free of spelling errors or typos, sentences use proper syntax, grammar, and sentence structure. And everything is organized in a logical manner.

Sometimes a good edit means bringing in a third party to read everything and ensure it makes sense to someone else. An extra set of eyes can help you understand where hidden errors lurk or if the content is too packed with too much jargon for the general reader.

You can also try using a tool such as Grammarly to check spelling and posts in your CMS as you prepare to publish new content.

7. Be Consistent

easy design
Headlines, body text, and images should follow a consistent style.

A consistent design includes repeated elements, actions, and interactions that work in the exact same way throughout the design. Simply, that means that a button should always look like a button, have the same color and font, same hover state and work in the exact same way no matter where the button leads the user.

Repeat this idea for any element in the design that gets used multiple times, such as icons, the cart, forms, links and social media buttons.

Be consistent with other elements as well. Headlines and body text and image usage should also follow a consistent style. (This is why defining elements and styles in the CSS and then using appropriate tags is vital.)

That consistency makes every page of your website design look like it belongs. The user never has to guess or experiment to figure out how something works.

Conclusion

Quick. Click. Done.

That’s probably the most common user pattern around. Whether users think about it or not, they are looking to do things in a hurry on your website, finish tasks or meet goals and move on to something else. The more your design works with users to save them time while accomplish goals, the more user-friendly it will be.



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Comedian Mike Myers Finally Sells Soho Penthouse for $14M

mike-myers-sells-penthouse

Steve Zak Photography/WireImage/Getty Images; Compass

Groovy, baby. Comedian Mike Myers has finally sold his SoHo penthouse for just under $14 million, as reported by 6sqft.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the “Austin Powers” star bought the 4,200 square-foot Manhattan abode with a private roof deck back in 2007 for $7.9 million, just after it was built. The comedian initially listed the duplex in 2015 for a hefty $16.95 million, the first time this apartment was offered.

The funnyman may have justified the massive price hike after undertaking a renovation of its current sleek and modern interior, including floor-to-ceiling custom bookshelves, a custom sound system, and a landscaped outdoor space that includes a dining area with pergola, trees, and roses.

After the property bounced on and off the market, with a price drop to $15.95 million, the winning number appears to be the current asking price of $13.95 million. The listing is currently in “pending sale” status on realtor.com®. Even with the price drop and renovation bill, Myers still brings the mojo when it comes to real estate.

The buyer must have gone wild for the well-appointed boutique building from 2006, the high-floor views that rise above roof levels on the seventh floor, and loft-style living with 14-foot-high ceilings.

Living room with custom built-ins and floor-to-ceiling windowsLiving room with custom built-ins and floor-to-ceiling windows

realtor.com

Open kitchenOpen kitchen

realtor.com

Terrace with covered dining areaTerrace with covered dining area

realtor.com

Master bedroomMaster bedroom

realtor.com

Landscaped gardenLandscaped garden

realtor.com

The elevator opens directly into the apartment, with a living room that wows with floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, and an adjoining kitchen with maple and aluminum cabinetry and stone counters. A powder room and an additional bedroom suite that could also be used as an office, plus a balcony, all grace this floor.

Stairs with an overhead skylight lead to a rooftop terrace with multiple seating areas, landscaping, and outdoor dining, along with panoramic views of the city. The lower level houses the master suite, complete with closets and bathroom. Two more bedrooms and a laundry room complete the home. White oak floors run throughout the unit.

SoHo is certainly a draw, known for its cobblestone streets and cast-iron facades. It offers not only the old and historic but the chic and new, with high-end shopping and dining, and markets like Dean & Deluca, along with art galleries. Now, of course, there are also the wealthy celebrities. The lively neighborhood is close to Tribeca and the West Village.

The actor also reportedly engaged in a less-than-successful real estate flip in Tribeca, unloading a never-lived-in condo for $14 million in March 2017 that he had purchased the previous December for $14.675 million, the Real Deal reported.

With real estate transactions out of the way, the Canadian star may now decide to focus on his day job in the movies. He is set to appear in the thriller “Terminal,” and stars in the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s also rumored that there will be an “Austin Powers 4.” Shagadelic!

The post Comedian Mike Myers Finally Sells Soho Penthouse for $14M appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.



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Ep. 266: Photography Could Get You Shot – and more

Episode 266 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
Download MP3 –  Subscribe via iTunesGoogle Play,  or RSS!

Featured: Photographer and filmmaker, Adam Karnacz

In This Episode

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to rate and review us and help us move up in the rankings so others interested in photography may find us.

Show Opener:
Photographer and filmmaker, Adam Karnacz opens the show. Thanks Adam!

Sponsors:
– Get 20% off at XritePhoto.com with offer code PetaPixel20
– Get 10% off at TetherTools.com with offer code PetaPixel10
– More at LensShark.com/deals.

Stories:
A real estate photographer gets shot when he surprises a homeowner. (#)

Lytro is shuttered. (#)

An update in the photojournalist whose gear was mistaken for a gun. (#)

Moment introduces an anamorphic lens and more. (#)

The story behind that familiar shutter sound. (#)

GoPro licenses its technology and introduces a budget HERO. (#)

Outtakes

My other podcast with Brian Matiash, the No Name Photo Show.

Connect With Us

Thank you for listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast! Connect with me, Sharky James on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (all @LensShark) as we build this community.

We’d love to answer your question on the show. Leave us an audio question through our voicemail widget, comment below or via social media. But audio questions are awesome!

You can also cut a show opener for us to play on the show! As an example: “Hi, this is Matt Smith with Double Heart Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and you’re listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast with Sharky James!”



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A camera lost at sea reunites with its owner after 2.5 years

A few days ago, a group of children was cleaning up the beach in Taiwan when they found an unusual “rock” covered in barnacles and shells. Upon a closer look, the kids and their teacher Park Lee realized that they’d actually found a camera – and it was still working inside its underwater case. They […]

The post A camera lost at sea reunites with its owner after 2.5 years appeared first on DIY Photography.



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How to Choose the Best Portrait Lens According to Three Professional Photographers

Here on dPS, we’ve covered this topic in previous articles. For example: How to Choose the Perfect Portrait Lens.

In the following videos, see which lens these photographers chose and why.

85mm versus the 70-200mm f/2.8

Portrait photographer, Manny Ortiz takes you to a live shoot in this video. Watch as he shoots the same subject, in the same location with both the 85mm f/1.4 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses.

See how they differ and watch all the way to the end to find out which is his favorite lens and why.

Is there such a thing as the “best” portrait lens?

In this next video, Gabriel Sanchez (Gabe) talks about the four lenses he uses most often for portraits and which are his go-to and favorites.

He goes over the 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2, and a Sigma 85mm f/1.4, and the benefits and results you can get with each lens. See why he says there is no “perfect” or best portrait lens, watch to the end.

Favorite lenses – fashion photographer

Finally, get a different point of view from fashion photographer Julia Trotti as she explains why the 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.2 are her favorite lenses.

Which lens do you use for portraits?

So at the end of the day which lens are you going to choose for doing portraits? Do you have any favorites? Tell us which lenses you use and why in the comments below.

If you’re still undecided here are some more dPS articles to help you out:

The post How to Choose the Best Portrait Lens According to Three Professional Photographers appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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Library to host talk on 19th century spirit photography - Cecil Daily

ELKTON — On Tuesday, the Elkton Library will play host to a talk from author Peter Manseau about spiritualism, technology and his book “The Apparitionists,” which tells the story of William Mumler, a photographer who during the 1860s and 70s, took ...



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Zooming in on a decade: Red Wing Photography Club big on collaboration - Republican Eagle

Neither Marcus nor Miller describe themselves as "joiners" and, as it turned out, the Red Wing Photography Club did attract a fairly high number of creative loners who lack the same experience knowing what a club "should" be. This really gave RWPC the ...



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A camera lost at sea reunites with its owner after 2.5 years

A few days ago, a group of children was cleaning up the beach in Taiwan when they found an unusual “rock” covered in barnacles and shells. Upon a closer look, the kids and their teacher Park Lee realized that they’d actually found a camera – and it was still working inside its underwater case. They […]

The post A camera lost at sea reunites with its owner after 2.5 years appeared first on DIY Photography.



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NMU Seniors host photography exhibition - ABC 10 News NOW

MARQUETTE — A month-long photography exhibition by students from Northern Michigan University's School of Art and Design was featured at Thursday night's Lake Superior Art Association's gallery. 'SEEN/UNSEEN' is the collaborative effort of 18 students ...

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Couple reimagines Old Tyme Photography - The Durango Herald

I want to make my own art – beautiful portraits of people that they can hand down but also preserve Old Tyme Photography for what it is, that fun, costume side.” That includes a hope to enlarge the Old West costume selection to better reflect the many ...



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Cheap DIY Photography Gear From the Dollar Store

I’m generally not a big fan of cheap Chinese crap, but there are occasionally exceptions – especially when it involves re-purposing and adapting inexpensive consumer items for photography. In this article, I will share a selection of twenty one items ranging from $1 to $4 that I have found at my local Dollar Store that […]

The post Cheap DIY Photography Gear From the Dollar Store appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Cheap DIY Photography Gear From the Dollar Store

I’m generally not a big fan of cheap Chinese crap, but there are occasionally exceptions – especially when it involves re-purposing and adapting inexpensive consumer items for photography. In this article, I will share a selection of twenty one items ranging from $1 to $4 that I have found at my local Dollar Store that […]

The post Cheap DIY Photography Gear From the Dollar Store appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Thursday, March 29, 2018

This is Huawei P20, the first phone with a triple Leica camera

Just like they announced earlier this year, Huawei has launched P20 Pro: the world’s first smartphone with three rear cameras co-developed with Leica. The triple-cam technology brings you 40 MP images and 5x hybrid (optical and digital) zoom. It has caused quite a hype among phone photographers and it has earned whopping 109 points at […]

The post This is Huawei P20, the first phone with a triple Leica camera appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

Macro photography can be incredibly rewarding. However, it can also be frustrating if you find yourself shooting the same photographs over and over again, struggling to improve. You find yourself uninspired. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Clemantis macro photography

But there are a few simple tips that you can take to improve your macro photography, right now. The tips that follow will help you take your macro photography to the next level, and they won’t bog you down with technical details, either.

1. Move in close (and keep going closer)

You might be tempted to shoot subjects such as flowers the way that you would a headshot – putting space around the subject, so that flowers are fully recognizable as, well, flowers. However, I urge you not to take a step back, but rather to take a step closer. If you can, think not in terms of “flower” and “background,” but in terms of shapes and lines.

If you have a dedicated macro lens, use it. Experiment with high magnifications and see how that opens up whole new worlds for you to shoot. Look for abstract compositions that make use of shapes and color.  Fill the frame completely with your subject.

dahlia macro photography colorful

I used my macro lens to emphasize the lines and colors of this dahlia.

2. Consider the light

Lighting is incredibly important in macro photography. However, you can boil things down to a few simple rules of thumb:

  • Photograph in the morning.
  • Photograph in the evening.
  • Only photograph at any other time of day if it’s cloudy.
Photograph in the morning and evening

When I say “morning,” I’m talking about very early, during what photographers often call the “golden hours“. Essentially, these are the first two hours after sunrise.

The same goes for the evening. If it is sunny, I suggest you wait until two hours before sunset. One hour before is even better.

flower macro photography golden

I took this image in the evening, which ensured some great golden light.

These morning and evening hours are the times when soft, golden light falls on your subject. Not only does this result in a more evenly lit subject and an easier exposure, but the golden cast simply looks beautiful.

If conditions seem a bit too bright, you can also create really interesting images by using the shade. For instance, try working with a subject that is in the shade, while the background is lit by the (hopefully setting) sun.

flower macro sun shade - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

I photographed this flower as the sun was setting, positioning myself so that the background was well lit, but the flower itself remained shaded.

Photograph in cloudy midday light

Midday sunlight tends to be incredibly harsh and results in photographs that are very washed out and contrasty.

Hence: if you’re shooting in the middle of the day, make sure that it’s cloudy. The clouds will serve to diffuse the light, allowing for wonderfully saturated colors.

coneflower macro color - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

I photographed this coneflower on a cloudy day, ensuring that the colors were nicely saturated.

If you find yourself in a situation where you absolutely must take images and you cannot wait until conditions become better, then you can try to offset the harshness of the sun by shooting in the shade, using a reflector, or by using a flash.

daisy background night macro

The artificial lights plus this flower made for a fun photography session.

3. Consider the angle

One of the mistakes that I made most when I was first starting macro photography was not thinking about my angle to the subject. For instance, I would point my camera down at a 45-degree angle, so that I would capture subjects as if I were a few feet in front of me as I walked.

While intuitive, this approach often results in a less appealing image. It causes elements of the subject to become messy, to cross over one another. It also tends to distort the shape of the subject, so that the overall impact is lessened.

Instead, I recommend two main approaches:

First: place the subject at eye level. For instance, if you are photographing a tulip, crouch down so that the tulip is directly before you. If you are photographing an insect, you should be staring directly into its face.

macro flower pink - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

By photographing this flower at eye level, I was able to create an even composition.

Second: place the subject directly below you. That is, you should be looking straight down so that the petals of an open flower are parallel to the camera sensor.

Hibiscus flower macro photography

By composing from directly above this hibiscus, I was able to emphasize its geometry.

Of course, these are just starting points. Pleasing images can be made from many angles, and a lot depends on the subject itself. But these are good places from which to begin.

4. Think about the subject quality

This tip is very simple – before taking an image, look your subject over. Is it at its peak? Or is it on its way out, wilting, or dying?

If the latter is the case, then try to search for a better-looking flower. Unfortunately, such elements can really detract from an otherwise excellent image.

Rose macro close up - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

I found this rose in excellent condition.

Also, look for things like bugs, dirt, and torn petals. These are all indicators that you should search for a better subject.

Though it’s worth noting that sometimes wilting flowers can make for very interesting images. Just be sure that, if you are photographing a subject that’s on its way out, you compose with that in mind.

daisy macro - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

I focused on this wilting daisy in order to create a more somber photograph.

5. Consider the background

One final tip for really enhancing your macro photographs is to think about the background before taking that shot. This is probably the most important of all these tips because careful attention to background can make for incredibly special images.

What should you consider?

First and foremost, look for backgrounds that are simple and uncluttered. A background that doesn’t distract is often enough to ensure a great image. However, it can also pay to be creative, by shifting your position so that colorful elements, such other flowers, or a sunset, sit behind the subject.

You might also use bright spots to your advantage, working so that they frame your subject.

flower macro cosmos - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

The colorful flowers behind this subject made for an interesting background.

In Conclusion

By moving in close, considering the light, angle, subject quality, and the background, you can quickly improve your macro photography. Hopefully, you’ll have a lot of fun doing it as well.

If you have any other tips for people just starting with macro photography, please share them in the comments below.

peony macro flower - Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level

The post Five Ways to Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level appeared first on Digital Photography School.



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Watch: Canon demonstrates the power of their new 120MP camera sensor

It’s been a couple of years since Canon announced a 120MP camera sensor. Now they have released a video which demonstrates how powerful this sensor is. In this video, you can see the comparison between the footage in full HD and 60 times higher resolution of the new Canon’s sensor. Canon explains that movie shooting […]

The post Watch: Canon demonstrates the power of their new 120MP camera sensor appeared first on DIY Photography.



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Supermodel and Photographer Helena Christensen Talks Huawei P20 Pro Project, and Love For Retouching - Forbes

While she's known to the masses as one of the original supermodels, to Danish-born model slash photographer Helena Christensen, photography has always been a first priority. Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Huawei joined forces with the 5 feet 10 ...

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