Posts Published in January 2010

The Complete National Geographic Collection

If the entire Calvin and Hobbes collection can be found in a complete set, then why shouldn’t National Geographic? Well now it can!

A couple weeks ago National Geographic began selling its complete collection of magazines on a 160GB hard drive through its store. The hard drive contains a digital copy of every single magazine published over the past 120 years, and includes all of the beautiful, top-notch photographs the magazine is known for.

What’s even better is the fact that the magazines are packaged in an application that allows you to search for particular topics or even photographs. The hard drive has 90GB of free space for your own use, comes with a DVD with photo tips, and costs $199.95.

Complete National Geographic 160-GB Hard Drive (via DivePhotoGuide)

Photography School Launches Camera Phone Course

Camera phone photography has been exploding in popularity in recent times — pretty much every new phone is equipped with a camera nowadays, the iPhone is the most popular “camera” on Flickr, photographer Chase Jarvis has launched a mini-empire around the slogan “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You”, the sensors for mobile phones are approaching absurd numbers of megapixels, etc… — so it’s not surprising that a UK-based photography school has launched a course dedicated to cell phone photography.

Photography Made Simple offers a variety of courses in a number of locations around the UK. The school’s co-founder, Phil Hibberd, says,

Kids have a real interest in photography but we find they can’t afford an expensive camera so we thought it would be a good idea to run a photography course focused solely on mobile phone photography as it’s still possible to take good creative photographs even with a mobile phone. The iPhone and Blackberry Cameras are very good and sometimes you can barely distinguish between pictures taken on a mobile and those that aren’t.

What are your thoughts on the recent boom in mobile phone photography?

(via PhotographyBLOG)

Surf Through Flickr Favorites with ffffl*ckr

ffffl*ckr is a new Flickr web application that’s based around the idea that the people whose work you like probably also like photographs that you’d like as well. The app aims to make finding quality photography less of a chore:

Unless your idea of art is a painting of a hotrod on velvet, explore is useless. Groups aren’t much better, since they require people to self-promote. The interface for checking them is pretty useless too. Contacts are pretty cool except that it’s impossible to actually find new photographers.

The page starts with 20 photographs — these are either someone else’s favorites, or your own if you authenticate. Then you simply click a photograph to load the last 20 favorite photographs of that photographer. Once you authenticate your Flickr account, you can favorite new photographs straight from the app.

A Bokeh Masters Kit Giveaway

Update: This giveaway is now over. The three winners were randomly selected and announced below. Thanks for participating!

When Udi Tirosh over at DIYPhotography launched the Bokeh Masters Kit a few weeks ago, we said we’d be giving away a couple kits here on PetaPixel in early January 2010. Well, here it is! We’re giving away three (3) Masters Edition Bokeh Masters Kits that each normally cost $35. Over 500 of these bokeh-customizing kits have been sold since they were introduced.

To enter, all you have to do is answer the following question:

What is your favorite book?

There’s two ways to enter this contest, and you can use both methods to double your chances:

  1. Leave your response as a comment (on this post)
  2. Tweet your answer, and include the following link to this post anywhere in the tweet:

    As long as the link is found somewhere in your tweet, you will be entered in this giveaway.

We will randomly select the three winners in two days on 1/13/10, and announce the winners in this post. Good luck!

Thanks to Udi for donating the kits for this giveaway!


This giveaway is now over. We received 159 entries via comments and 108 entries via Twitter, for a total of 267 entries. Here are three winners we randomly selected:

#194: suprspi (@suprspi)

My favourite book atm is “The Way of Shadows” by Brent Weeks – it changes constantly though.

#67: Nianya (@MagicalMischief)

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien.

#145: Saurabh (@sloth13)

Sarah Moon: Coincidences by Sarah Moon

Congratulations! Please email to claim your prize.

Thanks everyone for participating in the contest and sharing your favorite books! We’ll have another contest soon, so stay tuned!

Nadav Kander Launches YouTube Channel

Award-winning portrait and landscape photographer Nadav Kander recently launched a new YouTube channel that you might want to check out if like viewing high quality work and listening to the thought process behind the photographs. The above video features Kander discussing his project, Yangtze, The Long River. The channel only has two videos so far, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

NadavKanderTube’s Channel (via The F STOP)

CES 2010: Day 2 Photo News – Skiff, E-Readers and the Re-birth of Publications?

There hasn’t been much directly photo-related news at CES 2010 today, but the announcements of newly redesigned e-readers might be key to drawing in a wider e-reader audience and — dare we speculate? — might bring some vigor back to traditional print publications.

While promising e-reader sale increases and recovering print publication’s mojo might be an optimistic goal, the recently revealed Skiff reader design is so innovative that it might just catch on.

Skiff reader content will be designed to look much like the designed content on a physical copy of a publication. Thus, newspapers and magazines can retain their carefully designed layouts, which conveys ranked importance, dominant headlines, featured artwork and photographs.

It may be a stretch, but Skiff could potentially bridge the gap between those readers reluctant to quit their physical newspaper and magazine subscriptions and those readers who only read e-versions of publications. However, print media will still technically die (or continue its current trend of rarity) … but the content (and subscriptions and ad revenue) could be more accurately transferred onto a new medium.

In the long run, publishers could potentially stop bleeding money on printing and distribution costs, while upping their circulation — that is, if Skiff finds favor amongst thus far critical e-consumers and outbids the efforts of Amazon and other e-reader distributors.

The Skiff e-reader is extremely flexible and thin, with a display size 9 inches by 11 inches, and a thickness of 0.268 inches, and weighs 17-9/16 ounces (498 grams) — that’s roughly the weight of four iPhones . It is made of silicon thin-film-transitors on a flexible stainless-steel substrate, which Skiff says makes the display is shatter-proof and crack-proof.

The device is 3G and WiFi enabled, has a USB 2.0 port, an internal memory of 4GB, a built in speaker, audio jack, an SDHC card slot, and a battery that lasts about a week before it needs to be recharged. Where does it fit all of that?

The color touchscreen display has resolution of 1200×1600 pixels at 174 ppi.

The Skiff e-reading service is set to launch with the Sprint 3G network this year.

Skiff has also partnered with the Hearst Corporation, the major news corporation that owns several newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle, and has interests in several other major news groups, magazines, and major newspapers. LG Display and Marvell also had a hand in Skiff development, so it appears to be off to a hot start by connections alone.

Read more about Skiff and other e-readers at CNN.

Neat Photomosaic iPhone App by LEGO

LEGO recently released a free iPhone app that turns your photographs into photomosaics made with 1×1 LEGO pieces. The app obviously isn’t limited to faces, but can turn anything into a LEGO mosaic.

Sadly, LEGO didn’t integrate a way that allows you to quickly order the exact number of pieces of each color required to create the mosaics you create. That feature would have made the app much more useful and profitable for LEGO, especially if the app takes off.

Download from iTunes (via designboom)

Obama Photo Used Illegally on Billboard

We’re on a roll with controversial advertisements today. New York garment company Weatherproof has gotten the attention of the White House after illegally using a photograph of President Obama’s visit to the Great Wall of China on a billboard in New York City (41st St. and 7th Ave.)

While Weatherproof did pay the licensing fees to use the image from the The Associated Press, they didn’t ask for permission from the White House, which has a pretty strict policy of not allowing the President’s image to be used for commercial purposes.

It all started when the company’s president Freddie Stollmack recognized the coat in the photo, and had it confirmed by examining a high resolution version. After having an advertisement containing the image rejected by a few of NYC’s top newspapers, the company installed the billboard advertisement two days ago.

Since then, the White House has in fact contacted the company about the ad, and the company has agreed to take the ad down but — get this — in two weeks. In the end, Weatherproof is likely the big winner, having succeeded in generating a buzz with this publicity stunt.

(via A Photo Editor)

Image credit: Photograph by Brechtbug and used with permission.

Emma Watson’s Disappearing Leg

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson recently appeared in a Burberry advertising campaign with her brother Alex, and one particular image in the series has created quite a hoopla. In the image above, it appears as through most of her right leg has been completely edited out of the photograph. When I first saw the image, I thought the leg was simply hidden behind her brother’s left leg, but the image continues to cause a stir around the web. Do you think this is an example of Photoshop taken too far?

Update: Matt Dixon left a comment that provides pretty convincing evidence that it’s not a Photoshop disaster after all. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video:

CES 2010: Day 1 Photo News – New Polaroid Instant Cameras and More

Polaroid has been getting some viral attention today, partially from its addition of Lady Gaga to its staff, but also because it’s new nostalgic line of instant cameras. That’s right, folks, Polaroid’s back in the instant business — it couldn’t let such a good cash cow run away, after all. Several models of the PIC-1000 were displayed today at CES in Las Vegas, including this nifty wooden body camera:

Pricing and availability are still a mystery, but these cameras are compatible with Polaroid 1000 instant film. Features include a flash, self-timer and red-eye reduction.

(via Electricpig)

In other news…

  • Canon reveals three new Wireless File Transmitters for the EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D that can link up to 10 cameras, wireless, Wi-Fi protected setup, FTP transfer mode, and more. Read the press release here.
  • Camera makers are releasing new point-and-shoot cameras left and right. The Imaging Resource has a pretty comprehensive list of the announcements.
  • Casio releases a new digital picture frame that adds art effects to your photos. Read more on CNET.

Check up on us tomorrow for more news and product announcements from CES 2010.