Archives for November 2012

The Camera Versus the Human Eye


It’s the kind of article that makes me more aware of how little I know — and the comparison of lenses and the human eye is a reminder that my human eyes will likely soon need added lenses themselves… glasses, that is — but LensRentals founder Roger Cicala writes a fascinating discourse on optics.

Posted at enthusiast site PetaPixel, the article “followed an online discussion about whether a 35mm or a 50mm lens on a full frame camera gives the equivalent field of view to normal human vision,” Cicala writes. “This particular discussion immediately delved into the optical physics of the eye as a camera and lens — an understandable comparison since the eye consists of a front element (the cornea), an aperture ring (the iris and pupil), a lens, and a sensor (the retina).”

The full article is here.


Altering images in ancient ages


“Man Juggling His Own Head,” ca. 1880.

Last night I watched an episode of the BBC’s 1980’s Sherlock Holmes series in which an 1880’s European king’s reign was threatened by one incriminating photographic print.

“I guess a picture was evidence enough, before Photoshop,” my girlfriend said. “Actually, forged photos came soon after truthful ones,” I replied (although perhaps not quite that eloquently)… And the very next morning, I see  PBS proving the point, with an article on an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York showing how photographers “regularly employed techniques of manipulation in their work…long before the digital era.”

Today, the article notes, “just about every photograph we encounter, whether it’s on a computer screen or in a magazine or on a billboard, has been retouched or manipulated digitally in some way….Photoshop has dramatically changed the way we use the medium of photography. Or has it?”

Read the full article to learn more, and see collection of altered images through the ages.



“Man Juggling His Own Head,” ca. 1880.


Animoto animates annual ending


Want to see all your online photos from the last year instantly added to an animated video? Assuming your shots are on Facebook, you’re in luck: just click here.

“The end of the year is nearing and we here at Animoto believe there is nothing quite like an awesome video to recap your awesome year, “the imaging service says, “so, we have made it dead-simple to create one.”

All you have to do is choose music and a theme. It’s a clever way to entice you to try out the service, which goes beyond slideshows with its movie-like use of photos.

The added bonus of tying into Facebook: the resulting video will have not only the shots you’ve uploaded yourself, but also the ones in which your friends and family tagged you. (Don’t worry, you can excise unwanted images.) Unlike Facebook’s own video feature, Animoto uses already-added captions as well.


AmEx shares business achievement secrets


All I get from American Express is a large monthly bill… But the financial services company also provides advice, and tips for successful small businesses.

AmEx’ Small Business Monitor talked with “high achieving” business owners to find some key behavior.

Some of the tactics include asking for feedback from customers; taking more risks; planning for growth; and capital investments.

More information is here.




Swann takes its camera Outback

As I actually live in some remote mountains myself, this might be the surveillance camera for me: The OutbackCam from Swann is billed as a heavy duty security camera that’s suitable for use outdoors, built to withstand the harshest weather conditions, and “a camera that’s tougher than the Australian outback!”

The $150 video device is battery powered, and so “perfect for remote areas.” It automatically switches on when motion is detected, to prevent “useless empty footage.”

The 5-megapixel camera is housed in an anti-corrosive, lockable shell. Video footage and still photos are stored on SD cards, with time and date stamps (as well as, for some reason, the phase of the moon!). The units night vision is good up to 32 feet, and with 15 infrared LEDs, it works in 0 lux illumination.

Swann was founded in 1988 in Melbourne, Australia.


Email marketing for photographers


The generous folks at PhotoShelter are providing another free guide for the imaging industry: this one helps photographers better market their services through email.

The guide will show how email marketing can grow your photo business, and includes tips from photographers who use email marketing to attract new clients.

“If you want to build your photography business, reach more clients, and solidify your brand, email marketing is key to your workflow,” they say. “You’ll also learn how to segment your audience and pick content that appeals to each group, showcase your personality and establish a consistent brand, and engage your audience and build relationships that last.”

The guide is available here.


SpencerLab updates printer tests

Pretty sure my little printer wouldn’t pass this test: SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory has updated its suite with an expanded level of testing capabilities covering additional test objectives, target markets, and color options.

Version 4.5 provides “a comprehensive tool for Print Quality analysis and Benchmarking digital printing,” the company says, “an invaluable resource for digital print providers and major users.”

SpencerLab says more than a dozen firms sponsored development of Version 4 including Adobe, Canon, Kodak, HP, and Xerox.


Russian personalized printing startup lands funding

From Moscow with ink: provides personalized printing on a wide variety materials with what it says are advanced digital printing technologies. Now The Next Web reports it’s secured $700,000 funding, and plans to expand out of Russia.

The company says it is fielding partnership offers from the US, Britain, Germany, Singapore, and other countries.





Hot Wheels races car with video camera


Sadly, I never had toys like this — but as of today’s purchase, my nephews will. [I hope they don’t read this or it’ll spoil the surprise!]

Mattel has added a video camera to its Hot Wheels race car — and the toy will capture images when its racing around on its own, or when the kid wears it as an action camera.

The $60 Vide Racer [online for $23!] records 12 minutes of video. It even has a built-in LCD for instant playback. It comes with clips and straps to attach to “bikes, helmets, skateboards, or almost anything,” the company says.

Videos can be edited online with Hot Wheels’ software. The car charges via USB.

More information is here.


Inside Leica’s labs

Even CEOs have to wear hairnets: The Bloomberg news service visited high-end camera-maker Leica’s manufacturing headquarters in Solms, Germany, and now offers an interesting online video story here.

The reporter notes that Leica spent €15 million to launch its own retail shops — and that’s apparently paid off as profits have risen 8x in two years.