Archives for April 23, 2012

Adobe unveils faster Photoshop, Cloud subscription service

Adobe Systems says its new Photoshop CS6 includes “groundbreaking innovations and unparalleled performance breakthroughs that expand the frontiers of imaging science, and deliver new levels of creativity and increased efficiency.”

With Photoshop CS6, Adobe says, you can “correct, refine, and composite images with such ease and control it feels like magic. Work with state-of-the-art imaging in new tools and technologies that reinvent the way you retouch, crop, and auto-correct your images, create selections and masks of faces, and correct fisheye or wide-angle lens curvatures. These intuitive new tools help you achieve astonishing results in a minimal number of steps.”

New features of the $699 software include:

• Extended Content-Aware technologies, to “retouch, repair, and rework images with astonishing ease, control, and precision. You can remove or move selected elements within your image, and then let the sophisticated content-aware technology magically fill, patch, extend, or recompose your image… You can move or extend a selected object to another area of your image, and then watch as the tool automatically recomposes and blends the object. Now you can reposition awkward elements to create better compositions, interactively extend the top of an image to change its format from horizontal to vertical, or increase the size of an object to make it more dominant in a design.”

• An all-new Crop tool with which to ‘change the format of your images faster and with greater precision.” The hardware- accelerated Crop tool’s new design has multiple overlays, including Golden Ratio, Golden Spiral, Diagonal, Triangle, Grid, and Rule of Thirds, “to guide your crops and help ensure that key image elements are positioned at the focal point of your layouts.” It also works nondestructively: All pixels of the original photo are retained even after the crop has been applied.

• Video editing includes a timeline panel, audio controls, transitions, and even adjustment layers.

• Three photographic blur effects use “a simple new interface with intuitive, on-image controls,” and include the Iris Blur which adds one or more focus points to your photo, with which to move the on-image controls to alter the size and shape of the focus points, the amount of blur in the rest of the image, and the transition between sharp and blurred areas. There is also a Tilt-Shift option and a Field Blur.

• Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine – Takes advantage of the graphics processing unit in modern hardware to speed up imaging and editing tasks, and process large images faster.

Photoshop CS6 was released as a public beta on March 22, and Adobe says there have been nearly one million downloads of the software worldwide.

Also, the $999 Photoshop CS6 Extended version adds tools for 3D design, image and video editing, and quantitative analysis for medical, manufacturing and engineering industries. It has increased power and speed for 3D imaging, Adobe says, with user interface improvements for more efficient 3D workflows, as well as new Reflections and “drag-able” shadow effects.


• Adobe also announced its Creative Cloud subscription service, giving creative customers “a new option for purchasing and experiencing Adobe software innovation.” Creative Cloud membership provides designers with access to download and install every new CS6 application, and access to application upgrades, including new Photoshop features – before they are launched as part of a major update, as well as inventive new products and services, as they emerge, the company says.

The 14 updated CS6 applications include Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere, and After Effects.

Adobe Creative Cloud membership is $50 per month with an annual membership, or $75, month-to-month.



Mamiya Leaf offers 80 megapixels

The Leaf Credo medium-format digital back delivers “stunning, film-like quality,” says Mamiya Leaf, with a  large 53.7 x 40.3 mm, specially designed CCD sensor, “allowing you to take your photography further by capturing the highest quality, single-shot images possible.”

The 80MP CCD offers a dynamic range of 12.5 f-stops, and captures 1.2 frames per second. The Leaf Credo’s dual-core microprocessor and extended buffer enable unlimited shooting when using fast CompactFlash storage cards.

The 3.2 inch display features a 170-degree viewing angle. The touchscreen controls extends beyond the 1.15 megapixel image preview on the LCD, to “give you the resolution and processing power that allow you to check very fine details instantly and maintain greater control over your workflow, while keeping your screen clean of fingerprints,” the company says. “You can check critical focus, and level your camera with the built-in spirit level display.”

The weather-sealed construction, enclosed battery and a bright, large screen make the Credo a “perfect companion for tough, demanding conditions,” Leaf adds. It also provides FireWire 800 and USB 3 connectivity.

The 80MP Leaf Credo digital back is priced at $38,995.  Similar 40 and 60MP models are $19,495 and $32,495.

More information is here.

Shutterfly adds Lonely Planet’s John Boris as CMO

Shutterfly Inc., Redwood City, Calif., appointed John Boris as senior vice president and CMO. Also, long-time Shutterfly executive Peter Elarde was named senior vice president, new business initiatives. Boris and Elarde will report to Shutterfly’s president and chief executive officer, Jeffrey Housenbold. Their appointments are part of a broader evolution of the company’s organizational structure that reflects its multi-brand strategy, the company says. In January, Shutterfly named Karl Wiley, Greg Hintz and Cindy Wang as general managers of Shutterfly, Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas, respectively, to lead strategy for those operating units.

“I am thrilled to welcome John to the Shutterfly Team,” says Housenbold, Shutterfly’s president and CEO. “John brings proven leadership experience at marquee brands like Lonely Planet, Zagat, and His track record of deepening consumer engagement and brand loyalty will ensure that our customers will continue to be able to share, extend and cherish their everyday memories across the Shutterfly family of brands.”

As Shutterfly’s CMO, Boris is responsible for all facets of the company’s marketing efforts, including customer acquisition and retention, business development, brand marketing, creative services and corporate communications.

In his new role as senior vice president, new business initiatives, Elarde is responsible for evaluating, incubating, and developing new growth initiatives for the company, including the new Treat greeting-card business.

Elarde, who joined Shutterfly in 2001, has held several roles at the company. Before serving as CMO, he was vice president of the services business and vice president of product marketing. He also managed the successful integration of Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas‘ marketing activities to create a multi-brand marketing organization.

In Memoriam: George Davis

George Davis, Davis Studio

George Davis, co-founder of Davis Studio, died at age 90, on April 14, 2012.  He was born on Feb. 2, 1922, in Kosice, Czechoslovakia.

At the age of 12 (and speaking no English) Davis made the trip alone across the Atlantic to join his mother in America. At 17, he launched his career as a photographer by accepting the position of barker/photographer on the Revere Beach boardwalk, near Boston.

His photography career was briefly interrupted by World War II.  In 1943, he enlisted in the Navy and trained to be a radio operator aboard Grumman-built PBY Catalina airplanes, often used for submarine hunting and shore patrol.

In 1945, Davis was discharged from the Navy and opened a photography studio on Duval Street, in Key West, Fla. He sold his Key West studio a couple of years later and moved to New York City, opening a studio on 56th Street. It was there, in the early 1950s, that he became acquainted with the school photography business. He recognized the income and growth potential of the school portraits business and set his sights in that direction.

One day in 1953 an attractive, fast-talking young woman, Peggy Balish, applied for a job a the studio. A year later, he married Peggy, and she became his partner in business, as well as in life, for more than 58 years.

They moved to Mamaroneck, N.Y., opening Davis Studio in 1954. At first it was just the two of them, with George pounding the pavement as salesman to get new accounts, shooting the portraits and developing black-and-white images in trays in the darkroom, and Peggy handling the business responsibilities, taking orders, being the customer service representative and even learning to retouch prints and negatives. Over the years Davis Studio hired hundreds of staff and photographed more than 10 million children. George’s youngest son, Greg, and Greg’s wife, Roxanne, worked alongside George and Peggy for more than 25 years.

George was always exploring and incorporating the latest technology into Davis Studio’s operations. In the early 1960s he took a big financial risk and purchased color film processors, package printers, automatic cutters and all the necessary equipment to bring color photography to the school portrait market.

Less than 15 years ago digital photography was emerging. High-volume school portrait studios had not switched to digital because there was no camera on the market designed to handle 400 sittings a day with positive IDs linked to every sitting.  Added to that the system had to be robust enough to withstand riding in the back of a car and being set up and broken down daily. The captured images also needed to flawlessly interface with the high-volume printing equipment in the lab.  Recognizing the need, George contracted with a company that had both software and hardware development experience. That company incorporated the list of more than 100 specific requirements George had outlined and 16 months later delivered and placed the MDS-20 in service as the first high-volume, “long-roll” digital camera.

Davis Studio outgrew its physical facilities on several occasions. The first studio in Mamaroneck was 750 square feet.  The last move was to a facility with more than 22,000 square feet for offices, studio and lab.

George is survived by his wife, Peggy, their three sons (Geoffrey, Glen and Gregory), three daughters-in-law (PaoChen, Merrill and Roxanne) and two grandsons (Gabriel and Garrett).

Michaels Chief Executive Officer hospitalized

Michaels Stores Inc., Irvine, Texas, announced John B. Menzer, CEO, was hospitalized due to a medical condition and is stable. Michaels is currently owned by investment firms Bain Capital Partners, LLC, and Blackstone.