CliqPass shares event photos through cloud services



New app CliqPass is billed as “the simplest way to privately exchange photos and videos too big to email.”

Palo Alto, CA-based developer MedioSphere says its “primarily built for users to collect photos and videos from family gatherings, events or group trips. This app alleviates the pain of collecting dozens of photos and videos from a group of people using smartphones or cameras. Users can send requests to friends and family members from the mobile app, without having to sign up or create an account.”

CliqPass collects photos and videos from mobile devices to “personal clouds” such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Photos and videos are transmitted at their original resolution. The app is available for Android and iOS, and free to use for three months.


From 1966: first Selfie in space

aldrin selfie

aldrin selfie

Hundreds of photographs from the early years of the space age are for sale, reports the NY Times. They include the first image taken from space, in 1946 — and the first selfie in space, shot by astronaut Buzz Aldrin twenty years later, in 1966.

The vintage prints — not reproductions — are being auctioned by a European collector. Many were “never widely distributed by NASA.”

Here is the full story.


Full-frame manual rangefinder proposed



Is this another retro throwback, or a look forward?

A team of engineers and designers is developing a compact mirrorless cameras “which is simple, pure, and holds true to the core of photography — capturing light.”

The crew at Konost — which they admit is a made-up word — is working on a “true digital rangefinder” with a 35mm full-frame 20-megapixel sensor, an optical viewfinder, and four “fundamental” manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, focus, and ISO. The “simple and minimalistic camera” will be “stripped of any unnecessary features.”

The Konost FF will work with M-Mount rangefinder coupled lenses. Future cameras are also being planned. “We envision a range of mirrorless cameras,” they add, “light and compact in size, simple and elegant in design, solid but comforting in feel; all loaded with large image sensors, and affordable to the general consumer.”

There’s more information here.


Mixbook wins photo book service test



Imaging expert Sally Wiener Grotta tested the top photo book makers for the Tom’s Guide website, and determined Mixbook provided the best results.

The testing and analyses focused on two areas, Grotta says: the vendor’s software for creating the photo book and the printed photo books themselves. In tallying our results, we gave double weight to our rating of the printed books, “since no matter how good the software is, the end result is what is most important.”

Grotta tested “seven of the most popular photo book vendors: Blurb, Lulu, Mixbook, Mpix, Picaboo, Shutterfly and Snapfish. Our Editors’ Choice Award goes to Mixbook, for its intelligent, versatile and creativity-enabling software, and the excellent quality of its printed book.”
Shutterfly came in second; Lulu came in last.

Also: we agree with Grotta’s opening statement on the overall importance of the medium:
“Is there any better way to share photos and hold on to the memories they represent than a photo book? For consumers and amateur photographers, a book is a great way to store photographs… and for serious and professional photographers, photo books are also important marketing tools, as well as products to sell.”

Here is the full article.

On the PMA Podcast: Athentech President Brad Malcolm


Brad Malcolm, athentech

With tools that includes desktop applications and plugins, mobile apps, and licensed technology for photofinishers, Athentech Imaging certainly has a wide range of photography software. But in addition to its photo-correction tools, Athentech also develops image enhancement technology for the medical and energy production industries.

In this episode of the PMA Podcast, president and cofounder Brad Malcolm tells us how this surplus of software sprang from one man’s personal solution to a photography problem, and how today new technology continues to improve our imaging experience in a broad field of applications.

You can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

25 years of Photoshop

photoshop baby

photoshop baby

How long have you been “Photoshopping” your pictures?

Personally, I first used what is now the leading image editor soon after it launched, when I was a reporter at InfoWorld. Of course, I was only trying it out on a few shots captured with an early digital camera (the venerable Dycam).

Nowadays of course, the software’s name is also a verb, and we’re as likely to read about how some famous shot was or was not ’Shopped beyond all recognition as we are about new imaging techniques in the latest upgrade.

Anyhow, to celebrate a quarter-century of improving pictures, Adobe produced this video showing the evolution of imaging techniques.

The company discusses the anniversary and future plans here.

Also: In this article, Venture Beat interviews Adobe project manager Stephen Nielson.

And here, the New York Times talks with the program’s creator Thomas Knoll, and looks at where Adobe is taking it now with the subscription-based Creative Cloud suite.

photoshop box

Here’s the full press release:
Adobe Photoshop Turns Twenty-Five
A Cultural Icon, Photoshop Shapes the Way We View the World

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Feb. 19, 2015 — Adobe Photoshop, the imaging software that continues to redefine creativity in the digital age, turns 25 today. Photoshop touches virtually all the inspirational imagery that surrounds us: the high-impact logo on your morning cup of coffee; the new app you download on your iPhone; the sleek design of your running shoes; the Hollywood blockbuster that you’ll see tonight. Photoshop continues to blaze a trail, with amazing new features added in every release and new mobile apps that extend the power of Photoshop to iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
“For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer. “From desktop publishing, to fashion photography, movie production, web site design, mobile app creation and now 3D Printing, Photoshop continues to redefine industries and creative possibilities. And today that Photoshop magic is available to millions of new users, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud.”
Photoshop is one of the most recognized software brands in the world with tens of millions of users, and is the go-to application for digital image manipulation across all media: from print, to film, to the Web. Photoshop features — such as Layers, The Healing Brush, Content Aware Fill and Camera Raw — have empowered creatives to produce their best work. Photoshop technology is also at the heart of Adobe Lightroom, essential software for both professional and amateur photographers. And to meet the needs of today’s visual artists, Photoshop and Lightroom mobile apps enable creatives to work on image files seamlessly across desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.
Photoshop’s success helped Adobe deliver the creative industry’s most comprehensive set of tools. No other company serves the creative industry with such a wide range of products and services. In addition to Photoshop, applications like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver and others have pushed creativity forward, no matter what the media. And today Adobe Creative Cloud services, such as Behance and Creative Talent Search, are helping a new generation of creatives find a global audience and market for their work.
The secret of Photoshop’s massive popularity has been its constantly evolving capabilities and an incredible pipeline of deep image science. This pipeline of innovation is now getting to customers faster than ever before, with Photoshop and Lightroom desktop and mobile apps constantly updated, as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.
To celebrate this Photoshop milestone, Adobe is showcasing 25 of the most creative visual artists under 25 who use Photoshop. To be considered, artists upload their projects to Behance and use the tag “Ps25Under25.” In the coming months, those selected will take over the Photoshop Instagram handle (@Photoshop) for two weeks and present their work for the world to see. Fredy Santiago, a 24-year old Mexican-American artist and illustrator based in Ventura, California will be the first to display his incredible images, beginning today.
The company is also launching an advertising campaign, “Dream On”, for The Academy Awards — as a tribute to 25 years of amazing art created in Photoshop. The TV commercial includes incredible work from Photoshop artists and iconic images from major motion pictures that used Photoshop in the making, including Avatar, Gone Girl, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek.

How It All Began
In 1987, Thomas Knoll developed a pixel imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother, John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1989, Adobe made the decision to license the software, naming it Photoshop and shipping the first version in 1990.
“Adobe thought we’d sell about 500 copies of Photoshop a month,” said Thomas Knoll, Adobe Fellow and Photoshop co-creator.  “Not in my wildest dreams did we think creatives would embrace the product in the numbers and ways they have. It’s inspiring to see the beautiful images our customers create, the careers Photoshop has launched and the new uses people all over the world find for Photoshop every day.”

Feds’ new rules for flying cameras

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 7.12.03 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 7.12.03 PM

Flying a remote quadcopter with an onboard camera can be fun, and potentially profitable. But possible regulatory issues have blocked many a business plan: which way would the Department of Transportation finally rule?

Well, we still don’t know the answer to that, but at least were starting to get some guidelines: the DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration proposed a framework of regulations that would “allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations,” the agencies says in a press release that presumably covers both quadcopters with cameras and more-standard non-seeing remote choppers. The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations.”

“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation,” the FAA adds.

The public will be able to comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which can be found at

There’s more information here.

On the PMA Podcast: Mylio memory evangelist Kevin Gilbert


Photo Trip to Hawaii

Photographer Kevin Gilbert has worked at the White House, The Washington Times, The Discovery Channel, and on TV productions such as “The Apprentice.”

He’s now the memory evangelist for Bellevue, Washington-based software start-up Mylio, where they are working on ways to protect, organize, and access your photos. The Mylio software runs on Windows and Macintosh computers, and iOS phones and tablets (Android is in development). You can import all your photos from your computers, mobile devices, and services such as Facebook and Flickr. From there, changes made to your library are reflected throughout your network instantly, the company says. New photos captured on your phone automatically show up on your PC; photos copied from your camera to your computer are instantly viewable on your phone. Edits on individual images on one device show up on every device right away.

In this episode of the PMA Podcast, Gilbert talks about the importance of photography to memory, his own photography service Blue Pixel, and the work Mylio is doing to ensure you never lose a photo again.
You can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

View-Master reborn: photo viewer to show 360 degrees



Building on Google’s strangely-named Cardboard technology, Mattel says it is developing an immersive digital experience for kids, rejuvenating the venerable View-Master with a “21st century twist.”

Mattel says new View-Masters can be paired with Android smartphones to let kids “immediately find themselves immersed in an imaginative and interactive learning environment… An easy-to-use and affordable platform that will empower users to take dynamic field trips where they can explore famous places, landmarks, nature, planets and more in 360-degree photospheres,”

Mattel’s new View-Master offers an easy-to-use and affordable platform that will enable users to take engaging field trips where they can explore famous places, landmarks, nature, planets and more in 360 degree ‘photospheres’. By pairing the View-Master’s ‘experience reel’ and app with an Android smartphone, kids will immediately experience an imaginative and interactive learning environment.

Mattel says its View-Master was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, “giving consumers access to spectacular 3D worlds by simply selecting a reel and looking through a device.”

The new viewer will sell for $30 this Fall. Individual “experience reel packs” are $15 “and each will feature four experience reels with themes such as nature, adventure destinations, and science.”

Here’s a demonstration video.

view-master 1

Computers taught to understand an image’s sentiments

flickr study photos

flickr study photos

Photographs convey more than just who, what, or where. They can show feeling, communicate ideas, express emotions… That is, we can infer those subjective messages from the image. Can a computer be taught to do so as well?

Yes, according to scientists at the University of Rochester and Adobe Research. In a paper presented at the recent American Association for Artificial Intelligence conference, the researchers describe a “progressive training deep convolutional neural network,” Kurzweil AI reports.

“Once trained, a computer can be used to determine what sentiments (feelings) that a given image is likely to elicit. …This information could be useful for things as diverse as measuring economic indicators and predicting elections… But no human could look at every picture shared on social media — it is truly “big data.” To be able to make informed guesses about a candidate’s popularity, computers need to be trained to digest this data.”

Here is the full article.

The research paper is here.