Colorizing History

time colourized

Yes, Abraham Lincoln lived in color, not B&W — but his own words describe his complexion as dark, and his eyes as gray — not blue.

That’s one criticism circulating online about Time Magazine’s colorization of famous photos of the famed President, as well as such shots as the famed WWII victory kiss on the streets of NYC, and the poor during the Depression. The other criticism is that many subjects — such as the Depression — are more suited to gray than Day-Glo color. And, of course, that the photographers behind the shots composed them for black and white, and added color, while perhaps more “true,” betrays the artist’s intent.

However, Time says “Technology has given us an incredibly wide-ranging view of modern presidents…The photo archive of Abraham Lincoln is a much smaller set due to the technological limitations of the time; most of the existing photographs of the 16th president are posed portraits, the majority of which only show Lincoln from the chest up—and all are black-and-white. But TIME commissioned Sanna Dullaway to create a more vibrant document of Lincoln through a series of colorized photographs produced in Photoshop. After removing spots, dust and scratches from archival Lincoln photographs, Dullaway digitally colorizes the files to produce realistic and modern versions of the portraits, which look like they could have been made today.”

The colorized photos are here.

Debunking fake photos from Hurricane Sandy

fake sandy pic

As the storm raged over New York City and much of the northeast US, photos of flooding a and fired hit the Internet — many of them faked, or simply copied from disaster movies.

Some sensationalistic forgeries were spotted quickly; others required a bit of expertise, or at least, some online footwork. The newsite Pando Daily spotlights the story of one journalist who exposed the fakery here.

The Atlantic continues to post true and false photos here. That great double rainbow over Manhattan shot? Real.

Kodak posts large loss



As it shifts its business from photography to commercial printing, Kodak continues to lose money: its third-quarter net loss grew 41 percent from a year earlier — from $222 million to $312 million.

Revenue for the three-month period ending in September fell 19 percent to $1.02 billion. “This reduction reflects strategic decisions to focus on profitable businesses and accounts, lower sales of traditional products, unfavorable foreign exchange impact, and soft industry demand as a result of the broader economic downturn in some businesses and regions,” Kodak says.

In its announcement, Kodak reported “continued progress in segment profitability in third quarter… as a result of tightened focus on the company’s most profitable customer accounts and businesses, and a substantial reduction in costs.”

The Rochester, N.Y. company says its focus on cost reductions and profitability “resulted in a decrease in selling, general and administrative expenses of $63 million, a 24% reduction from the same period in the prior year.” Kodak’s worldwide cash balance was $1.13 billion at the end of the third quarter.

Kodak has now lost more than $3 billion since the end of 2007, according to Reuters.


InfoTrends studies end-user photo printing habits

infotrends logo 7-12

Connected devices such as smartphones and tablets will play a very important role in the development of the photo print market over the next few years through apps and simplified ordering processes, research firm InfoTrends says — and “consumers still need to understand the value of print to stay in the habit of printing photos, with whatever device photos are taken with.”

InfoTrends’ most recent survey research shows “most consumers are still printing photos.” Nearly 73 percent of participants say that they print photos at least occasionally.

The real change is happening in the devices used to take photos, the company says, as 45 percent of survey respondents say they own a smartphone, which is up from 31 percent in 2011. 30 percent of smartphone owners use the phone most often to take photos, which is up from just 17 percent in 2011. The percent of respondents that own a tablet is also up considerably, from just 6 percent of respondents in 2011 to over 17 percent in 2012.

InfoTrends says it is “encouraging” that more than 20 percent of respondents say they are not printing photos now — but plan to in the future.

InfoTrends recommends retailers and vendors educate consumers on the archival benefits of printing photos as well as promoting redundancy for safeguarding photos. “More consumers need to be made aware of the importance of photo printing, and stakeholders in the photo market need to work together to make sure it is easy to order prints from connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or connected cameras” the firm says. Also, vendors must focus on the development of more intuitive photo printing apps to facilitate printing from mobile devices.

InfoTrends’ 2012 U.S. Photo Printing End-User Survey is available here.


Belkin adds night vision to WiFi camera

belkin webcam

The NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with night vision “allows you to monitor your home on your smartphone or tablet from anywhere,” manufacturer Belkin says.

The camera features infrared night vision “for clear viewing even in low or no light,” the company adds, “plus wide-angle video to get a better view of more of your room.” The NetCam also provides audio “to listen in on your room as well as see it.”

The $130 NetCam sets up with any iOS or Android device, and connects directly to a WiFi router without a computer. It can save live video to a mobile device with the free NetCam app, which also provides email alerts, “notifying you when motion is detected and sending you a snapshot.”


OmniVision updates 8MP architecture


OmniVision Technologies says its 8-megapixel solution for smartphones and tablets is built on an improved pixel architecture that offers best-in-class pixel performance and enables full resolution high-speed photography at 30 frames per second.

The 1/3.2-inch sensor’s 1.4-micron pixel “delivers dramatically improved sensitivity of 1000 mV/(Lux-sec), a 20 percent improvement over the previous-generation,” the company says. “Other performance improvements include a 20 percent improvement in low-light performance and a 25 percent improvement in full-well capacity.” The OV8835  also captures 1080p video at 30fps or 720p at 60fps.

“These performance and functionality improvements make an ideal upgrade for next-generation smartphones and tablets,” the company says. “The OV8835’s fast frame rates, excellent pixel performance and low power consumption are critical performance benefits for manufacturers.”

The CameraChip is available for sampling and should enter volume production in the fourth quarter of 2012.

OmniVision also announced a “cost-optimized” quarter-inch 5-megapixel camerachip sensor. The OV5645 provides picture-in-picture architecture for dual camera systems, with 720p/60 and 1080p/30 HD video capture. It has excellent sensitivity and improved SNR, the company says, at a “significantly reduced overall cost” for the lower-end of the mobile handset market.

On the DIMAcast: Ed Monahan discusses Kodak’s recovery strategy, upcoming 2013 DIMA, PSPA/SPAA Conference keynote


Ed Monahan

Ed Monahan, world wide strategy director of Eastman Kodak Co., will be a keynote speaker at the 2013 DIMA and PSPS/SPAA conferences coming up in January. In the new episode of the DIMAcast, Monahan explains Kodak’s strategy for recovery, and then addresses changing consumer behaviors, and how the imaging industry can embrace them for greater success.

Listen to the interview here, or use the player below.

November/December issue of PMA magazine is now online


The November/December issue of PMA Magazine – Connecting the Imaging Communities is live and online. Top features include a preview of PMA@CES 2013; advice on managing your online reputation from 2013 DIMA and 2013 PSPA/SPAA Conferences keynoter Janine Warner; and tips for making your cash register jingle this holiday season from 2013 DIMA Conference Social Media instructor Georgia McCabe.

Also in this issue:

  • PRO, IPI and Foto Source to hold member meetings at PMA@CES 2013
  • How SmugMug beat the odds
  • Image authentication company Fourandsix fights fakes
  • Author Darrell Young explains how to move consumers beyond the point-and-shoot
  • Why Skip Cohen says your staff needs to be at PMA@CES 2013
  • What you need to know about accepting mobile payments
  • PPFA Annual Convention to co-locate with West Coast Art & Frame Expo

Microsoft enlivens tiles on Windows Phone 8


With new models from Nokia, Samsung and HTC, Microsoft debuted its latest smartphone operating system, promoting its “Live Tiles” interface as “the heart and soul of Windows Phone.”

On Windows Phone 8, “people can arrange the iconic Start screen however they want by pinning their favorite people, apps, music, games, photos and more,” the company says. “Three sizes of Live Tiles and 20 bright color choices including cobalt, crimson and lime mean you can personalize your Start screen to be unmistakably yours.” Also, the Live Apps deliver real-time information to the Start or Lock screens, showing deals of the day, flight information, or news headlines.

Windows Phone 8 can handle payments via near-field communications, and its Wallet stores debit, credit, loyalty and membership card information.

New photo features in the phones include:

The Nokia Lumia 920 “offers state-of-the-art photography that fits in your pocket,” Microsoft says, “and it is the world’s only smartphone to include Optical Image Stabilization.”

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC “also breaks new ground in optics with 1080p video recording, f2.0 aperture and a dedicated HTC ImageChip on the main 8-megapixel camera,” Microsoft says, “and an ultra wide-angle lens on the front camera that lets you fit up to four people in the frame for a premium Skype experience.” It’s $200 with a two-year Verizon contract.

More information is here.


Google offers Nexus in three sizes


“People increasingly have more than one device, and they switch between them many times a day,” Google says. And so the company announced three new Nexus devices, “in small, medium and large.”

The Nexus 4 smartphone is made by LG. It has a 4.7-inch display with 320 ppi resolution “that’s perfect for looking at photos and watching YouTube,” Google says. A particularly cool addition: wireless charging. “You just set the phone down on a charging surface to power it up, no wires needed.” The Nexus 4 starts at $300 for 8GB storage unlocked and without a contract, or $200 with a 2-year contract.

The Nexus 7 mini tablet is “a slim, portable package that fits perfectly in your hand,” Google says. It’s $200 for 16GB storage or $250 for 32GB.

The Nexus 10 “is the ultimate tablet for watching movies or reading magazines,” the company says. Made by Samsung, it is “the highest resolution tablet on the planet” Google claims, “with a 10.055-inch display at 2560 x 1600 (300ppi) –  that’s over 4 million pixels right in your hands.” The Nexus 10 starts at $400 for 16GB.

Also: With “Jelly Bean,” Android 4.2, Google says it has “reinvented the photo experience with Photo Sphere, which lets you capture images that are larger than life.” It looks a lot like Microsoft’s PhotoSynth to us, but Google says it “snaps shots up, down and in every direction to create stunning 360-degree immersive experiences that you can share with friends and family, or add to Google Maps for the world to see. Up, down and all around you, it’s like no camera you’ve ever seen.”

And the Android Beam feature shares photos and videos “with just a simple tap — just touch two NFC-enabled Android devices back-to-back, then tap to beam whatever’s on the screen to your friend.”