File hosting powerhouse Dropbox has added automatic camera uploads to its iOS app — a feature that Android users have enjoyed for some time now. In addition to backing up your photos in the cloud, the company is offering a new gallery view for browsing photos and 3GB of additional free space if you upload 3GB in photos (or videos).
If you’ve been using smartphones for any length of time you’ve probably heard of Bump, the app that allows you to transfer photos and contact information between two phones with a simple… well… bump. And now they’ve expanded their functionality to include a website/webapp that makes transferring photos from your phone to your computer a breeze.
All you have to do if you already have the app is log on to bu.mp, select the photos you would like to transfer from your phone, and bump the phone against the space bar (although we’re pretty sure you could just hit the spacebar with any apendage…). After that you can download them straight to your computer to get them off Bump’s servers or share them with your friends via permalink. There’s not much “professional” application here, but it’s a great way to quickly transfer photos from your phone to your desktop when you’re in a bind.
The image above is one-hundred percent fake. It has no connection whatsoever to the world of things. I created the bolts, lights, textures, and everything else in a free, open-source, relatively easy-to-use software package called Blender. It’s easy enough that even a novice user like me is able to make a pretty convincing image. If you are a photographer that makes a living shooting still-life photos, this should scare you. Read more…
After dipping its toes in Apple’s Mac App Store last July by offering Photoshop Elements, Adobe has now jumped in headfirst by listing its professional-caliber program, Lightroom 4. The download costs $150 and tips the scales at 388MB. Adobe might be a giant company, but it gets charged the same commission as any other developer: for every copy sold through the App Store, Apple pockets a cool $45.
If you’re upgrading from a previous version of the program, it’s quite a bit cheaper to just grab the upgrade from Adobe instead of subscribing. And, if you can get a student discount (which nearly anyone can do), that’ll be cheaper too—at least in the case of Photoshop, which doesn’t seem to offer a subscription for students. In the case of the Master Collection, the student subscription is cheaper than the regular student version, but still not cheaper than upgrading from a previous version. However, once you get past the two year mark, all bets are off—the subscription is more expensive than buying, even if you plan on upgrading every two years.
[...] our official recommendation is to stick with the retail versions unless you only plan on using your Adobe product for under two years. The subscription is great for the short run [...], but it’ll cost you quite a bit more in the long run.
Adobe’s John Nack also writes that one of the huge benefits of the new model is that it drastically reduces the barrier to entry. Previously you had to pay $700 to get started with using Photoshop. Now the cost is $20.
Cinemagraphs, or still images that have a dash of movement, have become very popular as of late. So popular, in fact, that Microsoft Research is jumping onto the bandwagon. The company has released a new tool for creating cinemagraphs, which they call “cliplets”:
A still photograph is a limited format for capturing moments that span an interval of time. Video is the traditional method for recording durations of time, but the subjective “moment” that one desires to capture is often lost in the chaos of shaky camerawork, irrelevant background clutter, and noise that dominates most casually recorded video clips. This work provides a creative lens used to focus on important aspects of a moment by performing spatiotemporal compositing and editing on video-clip input. This is an interactive app that uses semi-automated methods to give users the power to create “cliplets”—a type of imagery that sits between stills and video from handheld videos.
Facial recognition service Face.com has announced a new feature in its API: age detection. After analyzing a photograph of a person’s face, the software returns three values: minimum age, maximum age, and estimated age, along with the confidence level of the guesses. Applications for the new technology include enhanced parental controls and targeted advertising. If you want to test out the service yourself, you can play around with the API here (in the photo above, the correct age is ~47).
Back in January, Polaroid unveiled its SC1630 Smart Camera that’s powered with Google’s Android operating system. Now, more manufacturers may be gearing up to have the popular smartphone OS built into their cameras: Samsung and Panasonic are both reportedly exploring this idea. Regarding what this means for consumers, Engadget writes,
It could be a major breakthrough from a usability standpoint, opening up the in-camera ecosystem to third-party developers. We could see Twitter and Facebook apps that let you not only publish your photos directly with a familiar interface, but also see photos shared by your friends. A capacitive touchscreen would let you type in comments directly as well. You could publish to web-based services, utilize apps that enable post-capture creativity or receive firmware updates directly over WiFi. That hotshoe or USB port could accommodate a variety of different accessories, like a microphone or 4G modem that could be used with several models, including those from other manufacturers.
One potential downside to having an Android-powered camera may be stability — imagine having to regularly reboot your frozen camera.
Adobe is getting serious about making Photoshop a serious tool for editing video. The sample video above was made entirely using an upcoming version of the program. Regarding why this is being added into Photoshop rather than left to Premiere Pro, product manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes states,
Video is now being generated by photographers… everyone really; the 5D Mk. II really kicked it off on the DSLR, but since then we’ve seen just about every DSLR, point and shoot and PHONE generate video… most of it HD! We did several waves of research and regularly heard, “I want Photoshop for video”; “I need a workflow I understand” and for the people who had seen what we introduced in CS3 Extended – “make that easier to use.” Video is being generated by more people than ever before; it’s being shared more places than ever… and yet people are hitting a wall with what they can do with it! They know and love Photoshop… their stills are already passing through it, the fit is more natural than it sounds at first.
You’ll soon be able to do to video just about anything do with stills: filters, adjustments, etc…