Fujifilm rents pro cameras

fujifilm rents2

fujifilm rents

Customers can now “experience an X-Series product” without buying one, Fujifilm says — and photographers can rent bodies and lenses during a repair.

The new Fujifilm Professional Rental program is aimed at “enthusiast and professional photographers who want to experience” an X-Series camera or Fujinon XF lens, the company says, “for a limited time during a special event, a weekend getaway, or just for fun while out taking pictures.”

There’s more information here.


NatGeo photographer ascended Everest with Windows Phone

alverez microsoft

alverez microsoft

What do you give a photographer who could shoot with any camera? A Windows phone, apparently: Microsoft this week profiles National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez took “smartphone photography to the next level” by climbing Mount Everest without any “real” cameras in hand.

The two-week trek up Mount Everest in April 2014 was shot with a pair of Lumia smartphones, and “it’s likely… he was thinking how lucky he was to not need to schlep a five-pound, professional-grade SLR up the world’s steepest incline,” the company says.

Alvarez has worked with National Geographic for 20 years. The magazine “asked him to photograph the Seven Natural Wonders of the World using only Microsoft smartphones.”

After the event, Alvarez commented that “the digital jump didn’t surprise me so much, but the miniaturization of cameras into telephones I never really saw coming. Now, when I have to go back to the big SLRs for work, I sometimes forget how huge they are. I mean, just how gargantuan is a pro SLR with a lens on it? They’re great imaging devices, but at the cost of an awful lot of weight, and an awful lot of money.”

It’s not just the weight differnce: “Alvarez manages to easily capture the kind of genuine human moments you have to finesse a bit while packing a full SLR rig,” the profile adds. “Everyone knows I’m a professional photographer,” Alvarez said. “Yes, I’m shooting for Microsoft; yes, these pictures will be used commercially; yes, they’ll sign releases. Everyone’s happy with it. But using a smaller device is just a lot less intimidating, because even though they know all that stuff, the camera that I’m putting in front of them is something that even people in the Khumbu Valley see every day. They all have smartphones and they all use them.”

It’s an interesting read: The full profile is 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.

Eye movement tracked to see what makes a good photograph



In an new study, participants were able to tell whether a photograph was made by a professional or an amateur 90 percent of the time, the National Press Photographers Association reports.

The research sought to answer the question: When images are shared around the world in an instant — what makes a photograph worth publishing?

To find out, they compared the responses to 100 photographs taken by professional photographers, and 100 contributed for publication by the general public.

“The eye movements of study participants were tracked with a device that allowed us to record and analyze complex and statistically significant findings: what people were drawn to in a photograph, how long they looked, if they read captions, and more,” the report says.

Top findings include:

• More time was spent, on average, with professionally generated photographs than with user-generated images.
• Professional photojournalists took each of the 25 photographs rated highest from the collection of 200.
• The 20 most memorable photographs were also taken by professionals.

Here is the full story.


PhotoShelter offers photo storage for corporations



PhotoShelter says its new business service “offers a best-in class photo library that’s easy to set up, accessible anytime, anywhere, and gives you complete control over the use of your company’s imagery.”

Libris” offers a centralized image database, advanced search, user access control, sharing functions, archiving, and image rights management. Venture Beat reports it’s “kicking off with 70 paying client companies” and is priced at $5,500 per year for five editors, an administrator, and an unlimited number of end users such as photographers or marketing agencies.

The New York City-based company has offered professional photographers image management tools and services for 10 years, hosting 200 million images for more than 80,000 pro photographers, the company says.

There’s more information here.


Photosolutions.pro launches hybrid video system for event/souvenir photographers


PhotoSol_LOGO_300Three well-known names in the imaging industry, Will Crockett, Dan Foster, and my own former colleague at PMA, Jeff Frazine, have launched a cool new company in the hybrid photography space, Photosolutions.pro. The startup provides a remote auto-editing and auto-uploading video system for high volume photography applications. The final product is a combination of a pre-roll video, graphics, music, and post-roll video, wrapped around an individualized 10 to 45 second video clip — delivered in a texted or emailed URL, in 720HD, in less than 4 minutes.

“We are committed to growth in the souvenir and event photography business through the delivery of a value added personalized video product,” Jeff said. “The millennials expect a more dynamic, personalized and easily shared memory of their life moments. By combining the action of video with the crystal clear audio that the  system enables, our customers have a more desired product to offer at their high volume venues.”

Launched at the iconic SkyDeck in the Willis Tower in Chicago in early December 2014, Photosolutions.pro grew out of the founders’ vision to develop a system that would create a short video, fully expressing the excitement and emotions experienced while visiting a memorable location or event — then quickly share that with friends and family via text or through social media channels.

“Photosolutions.pro is sharply focused on bringing hybrid photography and the automated production of eProducts into photo mainstream — as we believe that the electronic, moving, talking photo will one day replace the still printed photo product as the moneymaker for almost all of photography,” Jeff added. “What was once thought of as ‘impossible’ in the photo world, is now working well and creating happy customers for hybrid photographers.”

Night photography from way on high

VV above NYCs

VV above NYCs

How high? Try 7,500 feet over New York City — leaning out the open door of a helicopter on a dark night.

That’s high enough to be looking down on not only the city — but other aircraft. It’s higher than a chopper should go…
Daredevil shooter Vincent Laforet says it was “both exhilarating and terrifying all at once… the scariest helicopter photo mission of my career.”

Why the trip? “These are pictures I’ve wanted to make since I was in my teens,” he says, “but the cameras simply have not been capable of capturing aerial images from a helicopter at night until very recently. Helicopters vibrate pretty significantly and you have to be able to shoot at a relatively high shutter speed (even with tools like a gyroscope) and that makes it incredibly difficult to shoot post sunset.”

You can read the full story and gander at the images here.


See how to succeed in the Future of Imaging


2015_AIE_button_250x108It’s a tumultuous time for all of us in the photography industry, with constant changes in how people capture, share, print, and enjoy pictures.

To better prepare our businesses, the Future Imaging Summit looks ahead into the next five years of imaging technology and its impact on photography.

What new sensors, processors, and other technology will be in next year’s cameras? What apps, sites, and services will people use to share and view photos? How will they permanently display their favorite shots in albums or wall displays?
At the Future Imaging Summit, top imaging executives will focus on the most important trends and technology coming to market, and look ahead into the next five years of imaging. There are no presentations or sales pitches — just lively debate! To forecast photography’s future, they will participate in four in-depth panel discussions:
• Capture: Upcoming technology for taking better pictures.
• Sharing: Changes in photo viewing caused by online imaging and smartphone sharing.
• Software: Desktop and mobile apps for managing, editing, and enhancing images.
• Output: Tools, techniques, and materials for physical photo display.

mylio-blackThis year’s Summit sponsors include image management developer Mylio; print providers HP Indigo, CeWe Color, Mixbook, Mailpix, Digipix, and Kodak Alaris;  camera makers Panasonic and iON; and software providers Athentech and MediaClip.
Additional speakers from Fujifilm, Imaging Resource, Magisto, muvee, Photo Finale, Ricoh, RPI, ColorCentric, and Samsung are confirmed, with more to come.

The Future Imaging Summit is Jan. 4–5 2015, at Bally’s in Las Vegas — immediately preceding the 2015 PMA trade show during CES.

If you make a living in photography, you can’t miss out on these informative sessions.
Click here to register now!

Customizing cameras at National Geographic

national geographic customizer

national geographic customizer

Off-the-shelf cameras are getting better every year, but some extreme use cases call for some extreme alterations.

At National Geographic, Kenji Yamaguchi has a shop that “could be mistaken for Sid’s workbench from Toy Story, a place where mangled lenses and broken shutters crowd out bare areas of his workspace.”

In a basement office “filled with drill presses and electric saws… surrounded by robotic motors, modified macro lenses, and custom flashes, Kenji builds contraptions that can’t be bought,” the magazine says. “When a photographer needs to fasten a camera onto a thirty-foot pole to capture a bird in her nest, or build a wide-angle macro lens to identify pollen on a flower with mountains in the background, he’ll call Kenji.”

The full story is here.

Photographers become self-publishers

photographers self publish

photographers self publish

Time Magazine looks at the business side of publishing a photography book — when the publisher is also the artist.

“An increasing number of photographers are bypassing traditional photo book publishers, setting up, instead, their own imprints,” the article says. “Progressively, photographers who choose to self-publish are taking it to the next level. They’re turning one-time hits into more permanent structures that release works by other artists. Many have chosen this avenue as a way to snub the major publishers who are increasingly asking their authors to bring not only a great body of work, but also a check.”

The full story is here.

Also: Time presents its picks for the best photography books of the year here.