The July/August issue of PMA magazine is available now

julyaugust2013_cover250x328 It’s always exciting for me to announce a new issue of the magazine, and I’m especially thrilled to unveil this one! Featuring a 5-page pictorial spread of The Big Photo Show, the July/August issue of PMA Magazine – Connecting the Imaging Communities is live and online. Read and discover how Calumet Photographics has made a big success of the three Penn Camera stores acquired a year ago; and read an article on Harrier, the U.K. photofinisher owned by District Photo, that keeps growing where others have failed.

Also in this issue:

  •  Make more money the easy way by offering photo classes – it’s all done for you, with new semesters now available, from PMA Academy
  • What determines the success or failure of a photo app?
  • How Stipple is protecting photographers from losing copyright from orphan works legislation
  • YouTube One can make your business look great on any screen
  • The trade-in debate: Should you or shouldn’t you?

Have news to share? A great story idea? Be sure to let me know!

YouTube offers capture app


One of those things that you would’ve thought was out already: YouTube now has a new app with which its users can capture video that is instantly uploaded to the sharing site.

Of course this’ll mean even more shared moments that might best be kept private if the uploader took a minute or two to think twice, as well as embarrassingly long takes that could’ve benefited from just a little editing…

“Life moves fast,” the company says. “To speed up recording, enhancing and sharing videos with your friends or the whole world, you can now use the YouTube Capture app on your iPhone or iPod touch. YouTube Capture is ready to record as soon as you open it. When you’re done filming, write a caption, select which networks you want to share to, and hit Share.”

You can control who sees your video by setting it to private (only you can view it), unlisted (only people with a link to the video can view it), or public (to let it shine to the world).

Actually, some editing is allowed post-upload: color correction, stabilization, and trimming the length, as well free background music can be done on YouTube.

It’s now on Apple’s App Store, and Android version is in the works.


YouTube, Facebook lead in online video viewing

Market research comScore reports Google’s sites, primarily, ranked as the top online video content property in July with 157 million unique viewers, followed by with 53 million, Yahoo! Sites with 48.7 million, Vevo with 44.8 million, and Microsoft’s sites with 42.7 million.

The latest Video Metrix service also shows more than 184 million U.S. Internet users watched 36.9 billion online content videos in July. 85.5 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video. The duration of the average online content video was 6.7 minutes, comScore says.

Americans also viewed 9.6 billion video ads in July, with each of the top 4 video ad properties delivering more than 1 billion video ads. Google ranked first, followed by Hulu,,, SpotXchange, and TubeMogul.

The duration of the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes. Video ads accounted for 20.7 percent of all videos viewed and 1.6 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.


Tamron teaches photography with free videos

Optics maker Tamron USA launched a new series of six how-to videos, aimed at beginners and photo enthusiasts.

Topics for the online education range from travel and macro to pet and child portraiture. The videos are approximately 6 minutes in length, the company says, and follow photographers as they explain their approach to capturing images in their signature style. Each photographer provides useful tips to help the viewer to create better photographs.

The videos will be posted on Tamron’s YouTube channel here.

Now available are “How-To Travel Photography: Nature And Scenics featuring Ian Plant,” and “How-To Macro Photography: Equipment, Lighting Tips & More featuring David Maynard.”


YouTube to blur faces

Online video leader YouTube now lets content uploaders choose to have the service blur the faces of people in the clip “with the click of a button.”

“As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them,” YouTube says. “According to the international human rights organization WITNESS’ Cameras Everywhere report, “No video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity.” YouTube is excited to be among the first.”

When users choose the face blurring option, a new copy is created with the blurred faces. They can then choose to delete the original video.

“Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube,” the Google subsidiary says.


YouTube automating 3D video conversion

YouTube will now automatically convert standard flat 2D videos into simulated stereoscopic movies for 3D viewing.

Last year YouTube offered tools to convert videos into 3D with a click, and since then users have “converted hundreds of thousands of videos to 3D,” the site says. Now its expanding the beta test by adding automatic 3D conversion for short-form videos uploaded in 1080p.

Users can select “3D viewing” in the Quality settings on the YouTube player, don 3D glasses, “and see YouTube in another dimension.”

For the conversions, YouTube adds it looks at video characteristics such as color, spatial layout and motion to estimate a depth map for each frame of a monoscopic video sequence. Also, machine learning from the “true 3D” videos on YouTube understands video depth characteristics, and applies them in depth estimations. The generated depth map and the original monoscopic frame create a stereo 3D left-right pair, which a stereo display system needs to display a video as 3D. “With this broader knowledge of 3D conversion, we then apply cloud computing scalability to make conversion possible.”

More information is here.


“Plastic camera” pics projected on the big screen

iPhone app-maker Hipstamatic says its stylized photos will be featured in upcoming “Life in a Day” screenings in theaters.

The $2 iPhone and iPod touch application emulates photography from a retro plastic camera, with shots characterized by vignettes, blurring, over saturation and discolored images.

For the “Life in a Day” program, Hipstamatic users submitted photos of their own personal day; the top 20 photos, as chosen by National Geographic photo editors, will be featured on movie theatre screens around the country, the National Geographic photography homepage, and the channel.

The “Life in a Day” project invited YouTube users to capture a single day of their lives on camera, and received more than 4,500 hours of footage from 192 countries. The resulting 90-minute film takes audiences around the world from Australia to Zambia, from the heart of bustling major cities to the most remote reaches of the earth.

More information is here.

YouTube makes “videos” without a camera

“No video camera? No problem!” says online video service  YouTube. “Create original videos with your own photos, clips or just an idea.”

xtranormal creates animations from text scripts.


As more than 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, the company says, “it’s hard to believe that anyone is left out of the YouTube experience. But the truth is, sites like YouTube do largely leave out people who don’t have a video camera.”

And so Google’s video service launched, amalgamating the video creation sites Xtranormal, Stupeflix and GoAnimate with which anyone can “make personal videos or animations.” GoAnimate and Xtranormal Movie Maker create animated videos with just a text storyline. Stupeflix combines images into a video slideshow.


Google’s Green Parrot Pictures acquisition to boost video quality on YouTube

YouTube acquired six-year-old Irish startup Green Parrot Pictures, a developer of video stabilization and enhancement tools.

YouTube says it now “sees 35 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute from people all over the world,” and while “some videos are beautifully shot by professionals or aspiring filmmakers using the very latest in HD cameras and equipment,” others are “shot using low-quality mobile phones and video cameras.”

The Green Parrot technology can sharpen images, reduce visual noise, and render higher-quality, steadier video, Google says. The “cutting-edge video quality improvement technology has been used in major studio productions from Lord of the Rings to X-Men to Spider-Man. Their technology helps make videos look better while at the same time using less bandwidth and improving playback speed.”

Examples are here.


YouTube acquires web video production company

YouTube acquired original web video content producer Next New Networks for a reported <$100 million.

Next New Networks “has built a highly effective platform for developing, packaging and building audiences around original web video programming, attracting over 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers across their partner networks of channels and shows,” YouTube says.
Next New Networks was founded in 2007, and is based in New York.

YouTube says its Partner Program of video producers grew to more than 15,000 partners worldwide, and the number of partners making over $1,000 a month is up 300 percent since the beginning of 2010 “and we now have hundreds of partners making six figures a year.”

However, the company says, “hundreds making a living on YouTube isn’t enough, and in 2011 we know we can and should do more to help our partners grow.”

And so, Google’s video site will launch a new program of grants and training: “YouTube Next” will help video makers produce more professional content. “Being a great platform for creators also means helping our partners get the tools and guidance they need to develop higher quality videos and drive bigger audiences to their work,” YouTube says.