Photo malpractice: Everyone is mocking TIME’s cover

Time's virtual reality cover does little to make VR appealing.
Time's virtual reality cover does little to make VR appealing.

Time’s virtual reality cover does little to make VR appealing.

The August 17th issue of TIME magazine contains a cover story about the rise of virtual reality. Unfortunately for TIME, it’s not the article that has gotten the attention of the internet; it’s the cover subject. For a humorous take on this floating photo, head on over to PetaPixel where a gallery awaits some showing some Photoshop fun.

Requiem for Photoshop Touch: an app users loved or hated

Adobe Touch

— by Hans Hartman

Adobe Photoshop TouchAdobe announced here that it will discontinue Photoshop Touch, its comprehensive photo editing app, as part of a strategy to release apps with narrower use cases, such as Photoshop Mix (compositing), Photoshop Sketch (drawing), Adobe Shape (bitmap-to-vector conversion), and the soon-to-be-released Rigel, for retouching.

Customer Feedback
Let’s look at what Photoshop Touch users thought of the app. We did a qualitative analysis of 125 iTunes reviews in March of 2013, back in the heydays of Photoshop Touch for iPad (the iPhone and Android versions came out later), as part of an analysis of the potential for tablet-specific photo apps (although dated, there might still be valuable takeaways in the white paper; you can download it here).

Three things stood out:

  • Photoshop Touch’s overall user ratings were low (3.5), as was the case for some other well-known and not “mobile-first” brands that struggled to make their mark in the app world (Shutterfly for iPad was even lower, at 2.5).
    Photoshop-Touch
  • “Features” were an important factor as to why some liked Photoshop Touch and others didn’t. They liked the features because there were so many of them – not unlike Photoshop on the desktop. They didn’t like the features because they were hard to master and, most importantly, because retina support was missing at the time. Telling for the perceived complexity of the app was that quite a few reviews blamed Adobe’s tutorials for their struggles, e.g. “The app is fantastic if you know how to use it. But if you do not and try to follow the tutorials, you will just end up confused and frustrated. Please improve the tutorials.”touch postive
  • As one of the highest priced photo apps ($9.99), price was actually an important reason why they liked the app, summarized as e.g. “Are you KIDDING me? I can hardly believe all I can accomplish in this one app. And, seriously, it’s TEN DOLLARS people. The desktop version is SIX HUNDRED.”

 

Justifiable Strategy
The last point is one that Adobe is not highlighting in its discontinuation announcement. With a slew of excellent, multi-faceted photo editing apps on the market – many of them free and virtually all priced less than $10 – Adobe was simply not in a position to raise its Photoshop Touch price anywhere near enough to that of its desktop program to mitigate cannibalization from the mobile app with many of the same features.

From Adobe’s perspective, the discontinuation of Photoshop Touch and release of single use case apps makes a lot of sense. With its Creative Cloud service in place, Adobe can now offer narrower use case apps, allowing its customers to access their images and continue working on them in different single use case apps and even on different devices.

In addition, Adobe can now afford to offer these apps for free and attract new users to its 25-year-old Photoshop franchise, making the connecting glue – an upsell to a Creative Cloud subscription – the real winner, while killing any cannibalization in the interim.

Hans Hartman is president of Suite 48 Analytics and co-host of the Mobile Photo Connect conference.

 

 

Interesting ad approach: Olympus will “cure DSL-ARM”

olympus slr arm

olympus slr arm

in an effort to promote the size and weight benefits of its smaller interchangeable lens cameras, Olympus is lampooning a poor enthusiast picture-taker whose arm has stretched grotesquely due to his SLR’s weight.

“Many people living with DSL-ARM are suffering silently,” the video proclaims, “unaware that there’s a cure… DSL-ARM can only be cured with a smaller, lighter camera. …You’ll get all the power of a DSLR without all the size. Don’t you think you’ve suffered long enough?… Let the healing begin.”

What do you think — a good approach to marketing the completive differences in ILCs?

Here’s the video.

Apple acquires multi-image sensor developer LinX

linx module

linx module

SLR image quality in a phone?…
Last year we reported on the LinX’ technology that captured high-resolution images using an array of lower-res sensors. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reportedApple acquired the developer for approx. $20 million.

The Israeli company last year claimed it could match SLR image quality with lower-cost components thanks to its arrays and algorithms.

In 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, the developer of a 3D-sensing imager.

_________________________
From our previous coverage:

Mobile module combines cameras
“The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end,” claims LinX Computational Imaging. So, of course, they say they have a new route, by developing miniature multi-aperture camera modules.
The mobile modules “are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera and are capable of creating stunning color images,” the company says… Its ““multi-aperture imaging technologies” combine multiple images “captured from different points in space.” It also has overcome problems such as registration errors and occlusion-related artifacts arising from combining multiple images. The technique also captures accurate depth information, and creates a depth map that can be uses for 3D reconstruction.
There’s more information here.

PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax honored with Small Business of the Year Award

MullinaxGaby_2013

MullinaxGaby_2013PMA President Gaby Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, Calif., is having a good year. In January, she was honored with the PMDA Visionary of the Year award, and, of course, the following day, she was elected president of PMA – becoming the first female president in our 90-year history. Now, she is being honored again, this time with the Small Business of the Year award, presented by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business of the Year award recognizes businesses for extraordinary achievement in a number of key areas, such as involvement in the community, service above self, outreach, ethical business practices, length of service, innovation, leadership, environmental awareness, and ability to promote wellness and learning for employees.

“Those of us in the imaging industry are very familiar with Gaby’s remarkable vision, her business acumen, her creative genius, and her generous spirit, so it’s certainly no surprise to see her being recognized once again for her achievements. That she is now being honored by her local community with the Small Business of the Year award is just another reason for us to be proud and confident to have her leading PMA as president in this critical year of reinvention,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe.

The Small Business of the Year award will be presented to Fullerton Photographics at the Chamber’s Business Achievement Awards Dinner on June 17.

In memoriam: PMA Australia’s Les Brener

Les Brener and his wife, Jessica
Les Brener and his wife, Jessica

Les Brener and his wife, Jessica

PMA and the entire industry have lost a great friend: Les Brener, who served as the first Executive Director of PMA Australia, died on March 20.

“Les made so many contributions to the industry, and was vital to the establishment, growth and success of PMA Australia,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe. “We’d like to extend our condolences to his family, and his friends all over the world. He will be greatly missed.”

“He did so much to establish PMA in Australia that he will be remembered by many as ‘The Father’ of the organization in this country,” said Peter Rose. “He was a good man and passionate about the members and the organization he worked for.”

The funeral will be held Sunday, March 22 at 12 noon at the Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, North Ryde, NSW, Australia.

Photo organizers unite

APPO

appo

The Association of Personal Photo Organizers is now officially affiliated with The National Association of Professional Organizers, as NAPO focuses on “building collaborative relationships with organizations whose missions are in alignment with NAPO’s focus on promoting professional organizer and the organizing industry.”

At the NAPO2015 conference in Los Angeles this year, APPO will lead a session on best practices in the growing niche of digital photo organizing.

APPO says it now has more than 500 members throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom. They offer monthly training and certification.

IEEE updating image quality ratings

ieee_logo_mb_tagline

ieee_logo_mb_taglineIEEE says its industry-wide effort will “develop and deliver a standardized, metrics-based rating system for mobile device image quality” — and they’re asking others to join in the effort.

“Stakeholders globally… (are) invited to participate,” says the professional organization dedicated to advancing technology. “The IEEE Camera Phone Image Quality conformity assessment steering committee is engaging carriers, mobile-device camera designers and manufacturers in creating a rating system that is easily understandable for consumers.”

The goal is “development of a standardized approach to testing and certifying smartphone cameras. This standardized approach will provide great value to players throughout the camera phone supply chain, as well as consumers,” IEE says. The standards association adds that “There is a need in the marketplace for a clear, concise and comprehensive definition of image quality that consumers of current and future mobile imaging devices worldwide could use in comparing products. We envision a rating system that would eliminate ambiguity about the image quality to expect from a given device, and help consumers make better-educated buying decisions for their specific needs. In these ways, these efforts bring clarity to the marketplace and ultimately fuel innovation of higher-quality devices and overall market growth.”

There’s more information here.

 

Tiffen wins Oscar award

Oscars2015_Tiffen

Oscars2015_Tiffen

It’s Oscar time for the Tiffen Company.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Steven Tiffen, Jeff Cohen and Michael Fecik for their efforts in developing dye-based filters that reduce infrared contamination when neutral density filters are used with digital cameras.

The Academy says Tiffen “identified the problem and rapidly engineered a series of absorptive filters that ameliorated infrared artifacts with lenses of all focal lengths,” and bestowed the Scientific and Technical Academy Award of Commendation. “These widely adopted filters allow cinematographers to work as they have done with film-based technology,” the Academy adds.

“We stand committed to continuing to support this industry that we love,” Steve Tiffen said, “and we find it so wonderfully pleasing that in this world of digital technology, Tiffen optical filters are recognized as a staple for professional imagemakers across the globe.”

There’s more information here.

oscars 86th

In Memoriam: Tim Jones

tim jones

tim jonesSad news has been confirmed: photographer and retailer Tim Jones died Monday while pursuing his passion of aerial photography.

Covering the Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race, Jones was shooting from a Cessna 172 plane that crashed into Storm Bay, Hobart, in Tasmania. The 61-year-old photographer was the sole passenger of pilot Sam Langford, 29. No trace has been found of the two men, reports today indicate. An oil slick has been found in the area, and debris from the plane has been picked up. There was no distress call from the plane before it crashed. “It was flying at around mast level and plunged nose-first into the water,” one witness reportedly said.

Jones was “one of Australia’s most-respected yacht photographers,” according to the Mercury.au news report. “He was a well-known figure in Tasmanian photography circles as owner-operator of Perfect Prints Hobart for 32 years.”

Colleague Wolfgang Glowacki says Jones was “a fantastic guy — very, very friendly, a good business partner, and very well known in the Hobart photography industry.” Photographer John Swainston knew Jones for 25 years and says “He was generous to a T, thoughtful. He was just a thoroughly good bloke. He had become very adept as an aerial photographer.”

Jones was the father of two sons and a daughter.
Our thoughts also go out to the family of pilot Sam Langford.