For photo enthusiasts, Google’s new Google+ social network is something like Flickr mixed with Facebook. It has the social sharing power of Facebook while providing features and tools Flickr users would appreciate thanks to the fact that Google runs a full-fledged photo-sharing service in Picasa (soon to be brought into the Google+ fold and renamed Google Photos). One such feature is the EXIF data section, easily accessed for each photo by Action->Photo Details. Most Facebook users would likely be confused by having a histogram pop up for their images, but for loyal Picasa users using Google+ for sharing and viewing photos, it’s quite a nifty option.
We shared a video of Canon’s Image Stabilization technology in action in the beginning of the year, but that was on a pro telephoto lens and inside a glass display case. What would the same technology look like in a cheaper, consumer lens? Preston over at Camera Technica decided to find out, disassembling a Canon 18-55mm kit lens to capture this short video of the IS mechanism in action. I had no idea the thing used springs, did you?
What if you could take perfect group photographs by first shooting multiple frames and then selecting the best portions of each one? Microsoft amazed us with this concept last year with its Photo Fuse technology, and now we may soon be seeing something similar coming to mobile phone cameras (and hopefully compact cameras as well). Imaging technology company Scalado gave the above demonstration at a conference earlier this month showing off Rewind, a super-useful feature that shoots a burst of full-res photos, then lets you select the best faces for each person in the image. Next up on our wishlist: Content Aware Fill.
Twitter has just announced that they will be launching their own photo-sharing service that will let you attach photographs directly to Tweets, competing with services like TwitPic. Rather than host the images themselves using their own servers or Amazon’s S3 storage, they’ve decided to partner with photo-sharing giant Photobucket. It’ll be interesting to see whether photographers feel more comfortable sharing their images on Twitter now that the functionality will be baked into the service itself, especially after recent brouhahas involving third party services. Read more…
The superheroes that line Hollywood Boulevard for tourist pictures may have a tiny taste of stardom while on the job, but what are their lives like when they put down their masks and capes? For his project “Super Heroes”, photographer Gregg Segal followed a number of superheroes home to document their not-so-super lives when not on the job. Read more…
“Alphabet Truck” is a project that took photographer Eric Tabuchi four years and thousands of miles of driving to complete. He photographed the giant logo letters found on the back of 18-wheelers, capturing one for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. The end result is beautiful, creative, and difficult to replicate.
Here’s a glimpse at how selecting an autofocus point works on the upcoming Fujifilm Finepix X100. The hybrid viewfinder — which overlays an electrical viewfinder view over the optical view — provides a rich user-interface previously impossible for fully optical viewfinders.
Panasonic wants to move portrait retouching off of computers and directly into cameras. Their Lumix FX77 compact camera released last week has a “Beauty Retouch Mode” that allows users to make all kinds of edits to faces immediately after capturing the photo:
The Beauty Retouch Mode makes it possible to virtually makeup the faces. In Esthetic Mode, various effects can be applied to the face including clearing the skin texture, whitening of teeth and so on. In the Make-up Mode, you can choose the color of foundation, lips, cheeks or eye-shadow. [#]
The photoshopping capabilities aren’t limited to what can be done naturally — users can also do chin lifts and eye enlargements! Read more…
A new German company called X-Pire wants to give you a little more peace of mind with photographs you share online by allowing you to share them with a time-based “self-destruct” feature. According to Yahoo News,
The software should prevent the increasingly frequent occurrence of someone being refused a job or running into other embarrassing difficulties after posting a photo that maybe should have been kept private.
Before the user posts the photo, he or she drags it into the programme which assigns it an electronic key that is valid for a limited time period, said Michael Backes, founder of X-Pire.
If someone wishes to view that photo later, the server checks whether the photo has “expired” and blocks it from being displayed if its time is up.
While this might be effective in dealing with certain privacy situations, it doesn’t prevent people from downloading the “protected” photos since anything that’s visible online can be downloaded (e.g. a screenshot of it can be taken). Still, it’s an interesting attempt at a solution for people wary of having embarrassing photographs come back to haunt them in the future. It’ll be available by the end of Jan 2011 with a subscription-based cost of €24 ($32) per year.
PBS NewsHour recently aired this interesting and inspiring video profiling photographer Alec Soth, providing a glimpse into what it’s like to work as a fine art photographer. Here’s an interesting quote by Soth in the video,
In a world where there are 500,000 pictures a second being uploaded onto Facebook, what does it mean to be a photographer in that environment?
Soth’s career got a jump start after he was selected for the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and he became a member of Magnum Photos in 2008. Visit Soth’s website here.