On the PMA Podcast: CloudCutout uses math formulas to improve background knockouts

Danish startup CloudCutout came to Vegas in January to learn if PMA 2015 attendees would be interested in the automatic background removal software they had developed. After discovering a need for greater detail preservation with green screen knockouts, particularly among school photographers, the founders changed tactics and launched a professional background knockout service.

On the new episode of the PMA Podcast, founder Jonas Pilgaard explains how CloudCutout’s technology, based on mathematics rather than color correction, preserves image details, such as individual hairs, even from white and gray backgrounds. Download the interview at www.pmapodcast.org, or listen in using the player below.

Palette offers accessory controllers for photo editing


Tired of editing photos with keyboards, mice, or touchpads? Now you can snap together modular sliders, dials and buttons to create a controller customized for your workflow.

Developer Palette says it provides “tactility and precision at your finger tips.” Designed particularly for Lightroom and Photoshop, it lets you assign built-in functions to individual magnetically connected controlers. You can “get direct control through your fingertips as you adjust a range and quickly feel where you’ve left off without having to look down.”

Pricing starts at $199.

Here’s more information.

Here’s a demo video.


On the PMA Podcast: Fly4me takes off

fly4me crewNeed some aerial imaging but don’t want to buy and crash an expensive drone of your own? “Let us fly for you,” suggests a new service. “The future of on-demand drones is here.”

Fly4Me is an online marketplace that matches customers with verified (and insured!) pilots. “You will be able to review pilot profiles and start receiving bids within 24 hours of your proposal,” the company says.

And once the drone is in the air, “you will be able to have a fully interactive experience by leveraging our ground-breaking technology,” Flight Stream, which lets you “connect with your pilot during the flight to get a view from the cockpit. You will also be able to comment on flights in progress, ensuring that the drone goes exactly where you need it to.”

The company adds that it can provide “footage that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s for a wedding, graduation or birthday party, our drones deliver high-quality images that will enhance any private event.” It’s also pursuing real estate, mapping, and other areas.

The service says is already approved by the FAA.

In this episode of the PMA Podcast, co-founder Adam Kersnowski, who tells us why they started the company, and what it can offer to photo service providers everywhere.

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

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

fly4me faa

Photoflex bought by Promark


Lighting manufacturer Photoflex reports it’s been acquired by Promark International.

Photoflex had all-but gone out of business earlier this year. (See previous coverage here.)

“Together, Promark and Photoflex will focus on delivering high quality, industry-defining lighting solutions for photographers of all skill levels,” the two companies announced.

Photoflex says “business will go on as usual” now, as it develops photographic lighting tools.


On the PMA Podcast: Kodak Professional Keepsakes Collections & Creations

Chris Van Zandt

At the Kodak Professional Pro Lab Workshop in June, Kodak Alaris unveiled the Kodak Professional Keepsakes Collections & Creations (KC2) software which has been more than a year in development. KC2 enables professional labs and photographers to prepare, present, and produce content to new revenue streams.
In this episode of the PMA Podcast, Chris Van Zandt, General Manager & Vice President of Paper & Output Systems at Kodak Alaris, describes how KC2 was developed, and why Kodak Alaris believes it will both transform the way many professional photographers work, and bring greater opportunity to pro labs.
You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

CloudCutout’s math formulas create better, cheaper knockouts

Danish startup CloudCutout came to Las Vegas in January to learn if PMA 2015 attendees would be interested in their new automatic background removal technology. After discovering a significant need for better, less expensive green screen knockouts, particularly among school photographers, the founders decided to launch a professional green screen knockout service.

CloudCutout partner Jonas Pilgaard said his company’s knockout technology is based on mathematical  formulas rather than color correction. This allows CloudCutout to detect small details, such as individual hairs, giving portraits a smoother and more natural look.

The service starts at 20 cents per image, and works on other backgrounds as well, including white and gray.cloudcutout

On the PMA Podcast: Photographers — make money for charity (and yourself!) with a contest

Mulabula-Press-1360x872 v1

It’s a new way to generate revenue from photography, and it’s a win-win-win situation: a turnkey set-up with which any charity can easily run a photo contest to bring in donations; the donors enjoy an exciting contest and give to a good cause; and photographers can benefit from a new way to market their business, bringing hundreds of potential new customers through the doors.

Keith Winn

In this episode of the PMA Podcast, MulaBula founder Keith Winn talks about his own early forays as a professional photographer, and how he’s melded that with his previous career in technology to create a simply system anyone can use to host an online photo contest.

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

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

Photoflex shuts down (Update: Or not.)


Three-decade old photography lighting provider Photoflex has closed its business.

After initial mystery, the company released notice earlier this week, saying “We do understand this may come as a surprise to most of you; however this was necessary due to health reasons of our primary holder, and industry changes that we no longer have the ability to invest in.”

Photoflex adds that it “remains hopeful… that the brand will live on in some capacity,” and it “would like to thank all of our supporters over the last 30 years.”

 photoflex 2

Update: Not so fast…

The company posted notice that it may be coming back to life
Imaging Resource has more on the story here.


Canon pro camcorder captures 4k video, 12MP stills

canon xc10

Canon says its “robust new camcorder… delivers stunning 4K and Full HD video as well as compelling 12-Megapixel still images.” The XC10 can also extract 8-megapixel still images from recorded 4K video, “making it one of Canon’s most convenient multimedia tools to date.”

The XC10 has a 1-inch sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range, and a 24-241mm zoom lens with optical image stabilization. The XC10’s still-photography features include a mechanical shutter to help eliminate rolling-shutter distortion, and it captures 3.8 frames per second.

Also, the touchscreen pivots, and the hand grip rotates “to maximize users’ ability to shoot both movies and still images from virtually any angle,” Canon adds. With its dual-band 5GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless, it can be remotely operated through a smartphone or tablet.

The $2,499 camera measures “less than five inches in every dimension,” the company says, and weighs “just 2.3 pounds fully loaded.”

Canon also updated its C300: the Mark II has 4K video captured in 10-bit 4:2:2 at up to 410 Mbps with the XF-AVC codec. It’s $20,000.

Augment school pictures with video via phone display

Live Portrait

Live Portrait is aiming to enhance school photography with augmented reality.

During a school picture shoot, Petapixel reports, “the student sits down for a portrait and then for an additional 10-15 second video interview.” Printed photographs in the yearbook look ordinary, but trigger the video playback when viewed through a smartphone.

“Your client’s photograph instantly turns into a live video moment that will be cherished for years to come,” the company adds.

There’s a video demonstration here.