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Dramatic skies and autumn colors: Behind the scenes with a pair of landscape photographers

Imaging Resource - Do, 19/10/2017 - 20:00
Who doesn't love a good photography vlog? We have a pair of landscape-centric videos to share with you today. The first video is from Gary Gough, a photographer and educator. Gary was recently in the Isle of Skye in Scotland leading a five-day workshop. He considers the Isle of Skye one of the best places in the world for landscape photography due to its dramatic skies. In the video below, we go behind the scenes with Gough in Scotland and see him work. He discusses different images, which is a great way to learn some nice tips...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Wiral LITE cable system lets you capture cinematic shots almost anywhere

Digital Photography Review - Do, 19/10/2017 - 19:28

A simple cable cam system called Wiral LITE has launched on Kickstarter, where the campaign has already blown away its funding goal, raising nearly a quarter-million dollars in just a few days' time. The system is comprised of a motorized, remotely-controlled device that rolls across a cable fixed to two poles or similar structures. A camera can be attached to the bottom of Wiral LITE, which itself rolls across the cable while the camera records cinematic motion shots.

The cable cam system is being presented as an alternative to portable motorized slider devices, offering the ability to record motion shots over much larger distances than the average portable slider.

Wiral LITE features a standard camera mount on the bottom and can handle camera/lens weights up to 3.3lbs / 1.5kg. The system includes a ball joint, a GoPro mount, cable, quick reel for retracting the cable, a tightening strap, end stop clips, batteries, and a battery charger.

The cable system offers multiple modes, including a time lapse mode that moves with a minimum speed of 0.006MPH, but the device's top speed is 28mph / 45kmh.

The team behind the device explains that the Wiral system takes 3 minutes to setup, which involves attaching both ends of the reel to a pair of objects, tightening the cable between the two, and then mounting the Wiral LITE onto the cable. In other words, setup is a breeze:

And once you're set up, you can capture long-range panning shots like this with ease:

Wiral LITE is being sold to backers for a pledge of $200. Bundles are also available for those who want to pledge a bit more, such as an 'Ultimate Kit' for pledges of $250 or an 'Extreme Kit' for $1,700.

To learn more or put a pledge in yourself, head over to the Kickstarter page.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Are you looking for a Lightroom alternative? Macphun teases their next big Luminar update

Imaging Resource - Do, 19/10/2017 - 18:00
With yesterday's news from Adobe regarding Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC, many photographers are interested in learning more about alternative digital asset management software. Photo software developers Macphun will be releasing a new update to their popular photo editing application, Luminar, for Mac and Windows next year. Following yesterday's Adobe news, many photographers have already contacted Macphun to ask about the company's plans for creating a digital asset manager, like Lightroom. Macphun reached out to...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

How to create images that are in focus from the foreground through the background

Imaging Resource - Do, 19/10/2017 - 17:30
When you are capturing landscape images, it is common to have a foreground element in your frame. However, it is often simultaneously the case that you want the background to be sharp. For example, suppose you are shooting an image of a mountain with a field of flowers in your foreground. You want the flowers and mountain to be sharp. How can you do this in a single frame? You can stop your lens down all the way, but even that might not be enough and you will have to deal with diffraction. Alternatively, you can focus stack two or...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Macphun responds to Lightroom CC release, teases its own photo manager

Digital Photography Review - Do, 19/10/2017 - 17:06
Macphun's own Digital Asset Manager (DAM) is coming to Luminar in 2018... and it'll be a free upgrade. Photo: Macphun

It's no surprise that not everyone is exactly thrilled by Adobe's Lightroom announcement. The end of standalone Lightroom, and the birth of Lightroom in the cloud, has a lot of legacy users looking for a new way to organize their photos into a perpetual library they don't have to 'subscribe' to. There are already tons of options out there, but if you're a fan of Macphun's editing applications, take heart: the software company has their own solution in the works.

Earlier today, we heard from Macphun that they're working on their own Digital Asset Manager (DAM), which will work with both hard drives and cloud storage platforms.

The Luminar photo manager's single image view. Photo: Macphun

"It’s going to be a perfect tool for organizing and managing images," says Macphun. "Moreover, users will be able to run it along with LR library to compare both DAMs side by side and choose which fits them better."

Here's a quick video 'preview' (read: teaser):

The DAM will be added to Luminar in 2018, and the best part of it all is that it will be completely and totally free for current Luminar users.

For now, those are all of the details we have, but if you're unhappy with the latest update to Lightroom and you're looking for an alternative DAM and photo editor combo, check out the preview above and keep an eye on Macphun in 2018.

Kategorien: Fotografie

AI-powered Pholio hard drive is an offline alternative to Google Photos

Digital Photography Review - Do, 19/10/2017 - 16:36

If you feel uncomfortable with your images being stored on cloud servers the Pholio device is a new offline alternative that offers many of the features we are used to from cloud services like Google Photos.

Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos, either at full size or smaller 'optimized' versions. If you choose the latter Pholio provides a link to the full size-version.

Pholio comes as a standard version with a 500GB capacity or as a 'Pro' variant that offers 2TB of storage. 20,000 built-in descriptors allow for automatic tagging and easy searching, but the system is capable of learning if you want to add your own keywords. Face detection allows to find images and create albums for a specific person and the software is even capable of finding still shots within a video clip. The Pholio makers say an update will expand the backup services and include encryption.

You can now reserve a 500GB Pholio by pledging £200 (approximately $260) on the project's Kickstarter page. If the funding goal is reached delivery is expected for January 2018.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Shutter Release: Large format landscapes, light metering guide, digital back for film camera & more

Imaging Resource - Do, 19/10/2017 - 15:45
After a busy day of Adobe announcements yesterday, we're back to our regular Shutter Release feature. Today we have four pieces of photography content to share with you, starting with a neat video about using front tilt in large format photography. Next up is an article explaining metering modes. Third is a video with professional photographer Brian Smith about using strobes on location. We finish with a Kickstarter campaign to turn old 35mm film cameras into digital cameras leveraging the power of Raspberry pi. Shutter Release...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

The Samsung 360 Round camera can capture 360° 4K 3D video at 30fps

Digital Photography Review - Do, 19/10/2017 - 15:42

Samsung has just unveiled an interesting new gadget at their annual Samsung Developer Conference. Meet the Samsung 360 Round: a 3D VR camera.

The new device uses 17 total lenses—eight horizontally positioned stereo pairs and one upwards pointing single lens—to capture and livestream 4K 3D panoramic video at 30 frames per second. Each camera module features a 1/2.8’’ 2MP sensor and F1.8 aperture. All of this is housed in a compact and rugged (IP65 water and dust resistance) uni-body that Samsung claims can handle all weather conditions.

PC software for controlling the camera and stitching is included, and the camera features a range of interfaces for connecting external microphones, storage devices and more.

“The Samsung 360 Round is a testament to our leadership in the VR market. We have developed a product that contains innovative VR features, allowing video producers and broadcast professionals to easily produce high quality 3D content,” said Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team. “The combination of livestreaming capabilities, IP65 water and dust resistance and 17 lenses makes this camera ideal for a broad range of use cases our customers want—from livestreaming major events to filming at training facilities across various industries.”

The Samsung 360 Round will be available in October in the United States, and should be introduced to other markets over time. Samsung says the camera is aimed at VR professionals and enthusiasts, and will be 'reasonably priced'... although the company hasn't yet specified exactly what that 'reasonable' price will be. For more information, visit the Samsung website.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Throwback Thursday: the Samsung NX1 is still impressive three years later

Digital Photography Review - Do, 19/10/2017 - 14:00

We usually dig a bit further into the past for Throwback Thursday, but decided to make an exception for the Samsung NX1. Announced just three years ago, the NX1 is the camera that still leaves us wondering what might have been had Samsung decided to remain in the camera market. Alas, we'll never know.

On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well... unfinished when it arrived. Samsung diligently improved the camera through a series of firmware updates over the following months, and the NX1 ultimately became a much more refined, responsive machine.

On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well... unfinished when it arrived.

The 'post-multiple-firmware-updates' version of the camera delivered technical innovation, pro-level performance, and a fantastic user experience all in a single package, earning it one of the highest scores we had ever awarded to a camera at the time, and winning the 2015 DPReview Innovation Award.

In addition to impressive performance, the NX1 held up well in extreme conditions. When shooting in 0ºF (-18ºC) conditions the camera kept going as long as I did.

We highlighted this innovation in our review of the NX1, writing "One can almost imagine a group of Samsung engineers sitting in a conference room and having the spec sheets of every leading APS-C and four thirds camera dropped in front of them, along with a directive to outperform the whole lot. And here's the crazy thing – to a certain extent they seem to have pulled it off."

The NX1 was a mirrorless camera that looked and performed like a high-end DSLR. It included a hybrid AF system with 205 phase detect autofocus points covering 90% of the frame, and in burst mode could shoot up to 15fps. Impressively, in our testing the AF system was able to keep up.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The AF system on the NX1 was very quick to keep up, even when shooting fast moving subjects at close range at 15fps in burst mode. In this example, the camera tracked Richard with a cloud of AF points that covered his body and the bike and kept him in focus, though there are minor differences in terms of where the camera focused on him between frames. Manually selecting an single AF point would have given us more precision. (Samsung 50-150mm F2.8 S at F2.8)

It also delivered the goods when it came to image quality. Built around a 28MP BSI sensor, it held its own against the best APS-C cameras of its day. The ISO-invariant sensor also made it possible to push shadows 5EV in post without paying any additional noise cost (when shooting at base ISO).

Even the ergonomics and shooting experience were excellent. It was comfortable in the hand, with most dials and buttons in easy to reach places. The bright and crisp OLED EVF had no perceptible lag (a common challenge back then), and was the first electronic viewfinder I really fell in love with. In our review I commented, "Once I started shooting with NX1 it was easy to forget that I was using an EVF and I just got on with taking photos."

The NX1's OLED electronic viewfinder impressed us with its bright, crisp image and fast performance. Its layout was also well-designed and easy to use.

The NX1 also excelled at video. Unlike many cameras – even some the ones we encounter today – there was no sense that video was wedged in to fulfill a spec sheet requirement. On the contrary, the NX1 was clearly designed with video in mind. The interface was excellent, included tools such as peaking and zebras, and the oversampled footage exceeded the quality of the Panasonic GH4, our reference camera for video at the time.

Ironically, the only major complaint we had about the NX1's video was that it was a bit too forward looking.

Ironically, the only major complaint we had about the NX1's video was that it was a bit too forward looking: it relied on the advanced H.265 codec, something that many computers and editing systems are just now beginning to handle well.

Samsung also gets a nod for having the first (and still one of the best) Wi-Fi + Bluetooth implementations we've seen.

Video on the NX1 was outstanding, exceeding the quality of the Panasonic GH4, our reference camera for video at the time. The user interface for shooting video was also good, taking advantage of touchscreen controls for many functions.

There seemed to be a lot of commitment from Samsung to getting the NX1 right, including numerous firmware updates that improved performance and added functionality over time. (A bit ironic when you consider the fate of the camera.) Let me share one behind-the-scenes anecdote about how all those updates impacted our review of the camera.

I actually wrote two entire reviews of the NX1. The first review was less than a week from publication when Samsung released a big firmware update; it included so many performance improvements and feature updates that I had to scrap the entire review, go back and re-test the camera, then write another one. The review you read on the site was actually the second one I wrote.

Despite its age, the NX1 is still remarkably competitive with today's top APS-C cameras, and Samsung seemed to be investing a lot to develop a strong line of pro quality lenses as well. It's interesting to think of what the camera market might look like today had Samsung not exited the business.

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Kategorien: Fotografie

The Story of CSS Grid, from Its Creators

A List Apart - Do, 19/10/2017 - 13:52

A note from the editors: We want to thank the Microsoft Edge team for sharing transcripts of the interviews they conducted with many of the brilliant people who have contributed to the development of CSS Grid. Those transcripts proved invaluable in compiling this history. You can watch the short video they produced from those interviews, Creating CSS Grid, on Channel 9.

On October 17th, Microsoft’s Edge browser shipped its implementation of CSS Grid. This is a milestone for a number of reasons. First, it means that all major browsers now support this incredible layout tool. Second, it means that all major browsers rolled out their implementations in a single year(!), a terrific example of standards success and cross-browser collaboration. But third, and perhaps most interestingly, it closes the loop on a process that has been more than 20 years in the making.

Not a new idea

While the modern concept of a “grid layout” has been with us since the Industrial Revolution, grids have been a design tool for centuries. As such, it shouldn’t come as a shock that grid-based layouts have been a goal of CSS since the beginning.

According to Dr. Bert Bos, who co-created CSS with Håkon Wium Lie, grid-based layouts have actually been on his mind for quite some time.

“CSS started as something very simple,” Bos recalled. “It was just a way to create a view of a document on a very simple small screen at the time. Twenty years ago, screens were very small. So, when we saw that we could make a style sheet for documents, we thought, Well, what else can we do now that we have a system for making style sheets?

Looking at what books and magazines were doing with layout was a great inspiration for them.

“Independent of the content on every page, it has a certain layout,” Bos said. “Page numbers are in certain places. And images are always aligned to the certain sides—left or right or in the middle. We wanted to capture that.”

Early on, browser makers wrote off the idea as “too complex” to implement, but grid layout concepts kept cropping up. In 1996, Bos, Lie, and Dave Raggett came up with a “frame-based” layout model. Then, in 2005, Bos released the Advanced Layout Module, which later turned into the Template Layout Module. Despite enthusiasm for these concepts from the web design community, none of them ever shipped in a browser.

Once more, with feeling

With grid concepts being thrown at the wall of the CSS Working Group with some regularity, folks were hopeful one of them would stick eventually. And the idea that did was a proposal from a couple of folks at Microsoft who had been looking for a more robust layout tool for one of their web-based products.

Phil Cupp had been put in charge of the UI team tasked with reimagining Microsoft Intune, a computer management utility. Cupp was a big fan of Silverlight, a browser plug-in that sported robust layout tools from Windows Presentation Foundation, and initially had planned to go that route for building the new Intune. As it happened, however, Microsoft was in the planning stages of Windows 8 and were going to enable building apps with web technologies. Upon learning this, Cupp wanted to follow suit with Intune, but he quickly realized that the web was in desperate need of better layout options.

He joined a new team so he could focus on bringing some of the rich layout options that existed in Silverlight—like grid layout—to the web. Interestingly, folks on this new team were already noticing the need. At the time, many app developers were focusing on iPhones and iPads, which only required designers to consider two different fixed canvas sizes (four, if you consider portrait and landscape). Windows had to support a ton of different screen sizes, screen resolutions, and form factors. Oh, and resizable windows. In short, Microsoft needed a robust and flexible layout tool for the web desperately if the web was going to be an option for native app development on Windows.

After working extensively with various teams within Microsoft to assemble a draft specification, Cupp and his team shipped a grid layout implementation behind the -ms- vendor prefix in Internet Explorer 10 in 2011. They followed that up with a draft Grid Layout spec, which they presented to the W3C in 2012.

Of course, this was not the first—or even the third—time the W3C had received a grid layout spec to consider. What was different this time, however, was that they also had an actual implementation to evaluate and critique. Also, we, as developers, finally had something we could noodle around with. Grid layout was no longer just a theoretical possibility.

A handful of forward-thinking web designers and developers—Rachel Andrew, an Invited Expert to the W3C, chiefly among them—began to tinker.

“I came across CSS Grid initially at a workshop that Burt Bos was leading in French. And I don’t really speak French, but I was watching the slides and trying to follow along,” Andrew recalled. “I saw him demonstrate … the Template Layout spec. I think he was really talking about it in terms of print and using this stuff to create print layouts, but as soon as I saw that, I was like, No, we want this for the web. This is something that we really need and its feasibility to properly lay things out. And so I started digging into it, and finding out what he was doing, and building some examples.”

“Then I saw the Microsoft implementation [of the draft Grid Layout spec], which gave me a real implementation that I could build examples to show other people. And I wanted to do that—not just because it was interesting, and I like interesting things to play with—it was because I wanted to get it out there and get other people to have a look at it. Because I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know that specs often show up, and then no one really talks about them, and they kinda disappear again. And I was absolutely determined that Grid Layout wasn’t gonna disappear, it was gonna be something that other people found out about and got excited about it. And hopefully we’d actually get it into browsers and be able to use it.”

The spec evolves

The draft spec that Cupp presented to the W3C, and that his team shipped in IE10, is not the Grid Layout spec we have today. It was a step in the right direction, but it was far from perfect.

“The one [Phil Cupp submitted] was a very track-based system,” recalled Elika Etemad, an Invited Expert to the W3C and an Editor of the CSS Grid Layout Module. “There was only a numeric addressing system, there were no line names, there [were] no templates, none of that stuff. But it had a layout algorithm that they … were confident would work because they had been doing experimental implementations of it.”

“The original grid that Bert [Bos] came up with … was really the reason I joined the CSS Working Group,” recalled Google’s Tab Atkins, another Editor of the CSS Grid Layout Module. “At the time, I was learning all the terrible layout hacks and seeing the possibility to just write my page layout in CSS and just have it all, kinda, work was astonishing. And then seeing the draft from Phil Cupp … and seeing it all laid out properly and with a good algorithm behind it, I knew that it was something that could actually exist now.”

It was also a compelling option because, unlike previous proposals, which specified rigid layouts, this proposal was for a responsive grid system.

“You can [be] explicit about the size of a grid item,” Etemad explained. “But you can also say, Be the size that your content takes up. And that was what we needed to move forward.”

However, the draft spec wasn’t as approachable as many on the CSS Working Group wanted it to be. So the group looked to bring in ideas from some of its earlier explorations.

“What we really liked about Burt [Bos]’s proposal was that it had this very elegant interface to it that made it easy to express layouts in a way that you can intuitively see,” Etemad said. “It’s like an ASCII art format to create a template, and you could put [it] in your code, like the width of the columns and the heights of the rows. You could embed those into the same kind of like ASCII diagram, which made it a lot easier to see what you were doing.”

Peter Linss, then Co-Chair of the CSS Working Group, also suggested that they incorporate the concept of grid lines in the spec (instead of only talking about tracks). He believed including this familiar graphic design concept would make the spec more accessible to designers.

“When we were thinking initially about CSS Grid, we were thinking about it in a very app-centric model,” recalled Microsoft’s Rossen Atanassov, who is also an Editor on the spec. “But grid is nothing new. I mean, grid’s been here for a very long time. And that traditional type of grid has always been based on lines. And we’d been kind of ignoring the lines. When we realized that we could marry the two implementations—the app side and the typography side of the Grid—this for me, personally, was one of those aha moments that really inspired me to continue working on Grid.”

So the CSS Working Group began tweaking Microsoft’s proposal to incorporate these ideas. The final result allows you to think about Grid systems in terms of tracks or lines or templates or even all three at once.

Of course, getting there wasn’t easy.

Refine, repeat

As you can probably imagine, reconciling three different ideas—Microsoft’s proposal, Bos’ Advanced Layout, and Linss’ addition of grid lines—wasn’t a simple cut and paste; there were a lot of tricky aspects and edge cases that needed to be worked out.

“I think some of the tricky things at the beginning [were] taking all the different aspects of … the three proposals that we were trying to combine and coming up with a system that was coherent enough to gracefully accept all of that input,” Etemad said.

Some ideas just weren’t feasible for phase one of a CSS grid. Bos’ concept, for instance, allowed for any arbitrary descendent of the grid to lay out as though it were a child element of the grid. That is a feature often referred to as “subgrid” and it didn’t make the cut for CSS Grid Layout 1.0.

“Subgrid has been one of those things that was pointed out immediately,” Atanassov said. “And that has been a blessing and kind of a hurdle along the way. It was … one that held back the spec work for quite a bit. And it was also one that was scaring away some of the implementers. … But it’s also one of the features that I’m … most excited about going forward. And I know that we’re gonna solve it and it’s gonna be great. It’s just gonna take a little while longer.”

Similarly, there were two options for handling content mapped to grid lines. On the one hand, you could let the grid itself have fixed-dimension tracks and adjust which ending grid line the overflowing content mapped to, based on how much it overflowed. Alternately, you could let the track grow to contain the content so it ended at the predefined grid line. Having both was not an option as it could create a circular dependency, so the group decided to put the grid-snapping idea on hold.

Ultimately, many of these edits and punts were made in light of the CSS Working Group’s three primary goals for this spec. It needed to be:

  1. Powerful: They wanted CSS Grid to enable designers to express their desires in a way that “made simple things easy and complex things possible,” as Etemad put it;
  2. Robust: They wanted to ensure there would not be gaps that could cause your layout to fall apart, inhibit scrolling, or cause content to disappear accidentally;
  3. and Performant: If the algorithm wasn’t fast enough to elegantly handle real-world situations like browser resize events and dynamic content loading, they knew it would create a frustrating experience for end users.

“[T]his is why designing a new layout system for CSS takes a lot of time,” Etemad said. “It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of love from the people who are working on it.”

Where the rubber meets the road

Before a Candidate Recommendation (aka, a final draft) can become a Proposed Recommendation (what we colloquially refer to as a “standard”), the W3C needs to see at least two independent, interoperable implementations. Microsoft had implemented their draft proposal, but the spec had changed a lot since then. On top of that, they wanted to see other browsers take up the torch before they committed more engineering effort to update it. Why? Well, they were a little gun-shy after what happened with another promising layout proposal: CSS Regions.

CSS Regions offered a way to flow content through a series of predefined “regions” on a page, enabling really complex layouts. Microsoft released an implementation of CSS Regions early on, behind a prefix in IE 10. A patch landed support for Regions in WebKit as well. Safari shipped it, as did Chrome (which was still running WebKit under the hood at the time). But then Google backed it out of Chrome. Firefox opposed the spec and never implemented it. So the idea is currently in limbo. Even Safari will drop its experimental support for CSS Regions in its next release. Suffice it to say, Microsoft wanted to be sure Grid wouldn’t suffer the same fate as Regions before committing more engineering resources to it.

“We had implementers that immediately said, ‘Wow, this is great, we should definitely do it,’” recalled Atanassov of Grid. “But [it’s] one thing … saying, ‘Yeah this is great, we should do it,’ and then there’s the next step where it’s adding resources and paying developers to go and actually implement it.”

“There was desire from other implementers—one of the spec editors is from Google—but there was still hesitancy to actually push code,” recalled Microsoft’s Greg Whitworth, a member of the CSS Working Group. “And … shipping code is what matters.”

In an interesting turn of events, the media company Bloomberg hired Igalia, an open source consultancy, to implement CSS Grid for both Blink and WebKit.

“Back in 2013 … [we] were contacted by [Bloomberg] … because they had very specific needs regarding defining and using grid-like structures,” recalled Sergio Villar Senin, both a software engineer at and partner in Igalia. “[T]hey basically asked us to help in the development of the CSS Grid layout specification, and also [to] implement it for [Blink and WebKit].”

“[Igalia’s work] helped tremendously because then developers [could] see it as possibly something that they can actually use when developing their sites,” Whitworth added.
But even with two ready-made implementations, some folks were still concerned the feature wouldn’t find its footing. After all, just because a rendering engine is open source doesn’t mean its stewards accept every patch. And even if they do, as happened with CSS Regions, there’s no guarantee the feature will stick around. Thankfully, a good number of designers and developers were starting to get excited about Grid and began to put pressure on browser vendors to implement it.

“There was a pivotal shift with CSS Grid,” Whitworth said. “Starting with Rachel Andrew coming in and creating a ton of demos and excitement around CSS Grid with Grid by Example and starting to really champion it and show it to web developers and what it was capable of and the problems that it solves.”

“Then, a little bit later, Jen Simmons [a Designer Advocate at Mozilla] created something called Labs where she put a lot of demos that she created for CSS Grid up on the web and, again, continued that momentum and that wave of enthusiasm for CSS Grid with web developers in the community.”

Grid facilitates both traditional and (as shown here) non-traditional layouts. This is a Grid Layout example from Jen Simmons’ Labs, as seen in Edge 16. If you’d like to see it working in Edge but don’t run Windows, you can also view it in BrowserStack (account required).

With thought leaders like Andrews and Simmons actively demonstrating the power and versatility of CSS Grid, the web design community grew more excited. They began to experiment on sites like CodePen, sharing their ideas and developing their Grid layout skills. We don’t often think about it, but developer enthusiasm has the power to bolster or bury a spec.

“We can write a spec, we can go implement things, but if there isn’t developer demand or usage of the features, it doesn’t really matter how much we do with that,” Whitworth said.

Unfortunately, with ambitious specs like Grid, the implementation cost can often deter a browser vendor from making the commitment. Without a browser implementation enabling developers to tinker and experiment, it’s hard to build enthusiasm. Without developer enthusiasm, browser vendors are reluctant to spend the money to see if the idea gains traction. I’m sure you can see the problem here. In fact, this is partly what has doomed Regions—performance on mobile chipsets was another cited reason—at least for now.

Thankfully, Bloomberg willingly played the role of benefactor and got the ball rolling for this new incarnation of CSS Grid. So, with its help, Google landed an implementation of CSS Grid in Chromium 56 for Android in January of 2017. It landed its Chrome implementation in early March, just two days after Mozilla shipped its own implementation in Firefox. Before the month was over, Opera and Safari had also shipped support for CSS Grid.

Ironically, the last company to ship CSS Grid was Microsoft. But it released its implementation in Edge earlier this week.

“With features on the web platform … you’re waiting for a sweet spot,” Whitworth said, just prior to Grid’s release in Edge. “You want a solid spec, you want implementer interest, and you want tons of demand from web developers. Late 2016/early 2017 was that sweet spot. All of that happened. We upgraded our implementation and are stoked to ship it.”

“I don’t recall a feature ever shipping like CSS Grid has shipped. Every major browser will have shipped it within a matter of a single year, and it will be interoperable because we’ve been… implementing [it] behind flags, testing it, making future changes behind flags, and then when it was deemed stable, all the browsers are now shipping it natively.”

“With everybody shipping at approximately the same time,” Atkins said, “[Grid] goes from an interesting idea you can play with to something that you just use as your only layout method without having to worry about fallbacks incredibly quickly. … [It’s been] faster than I expected any of this to work out.”

What Grid means for CSS

With Grid support no longer in question, we can (and should) begin to make use of this amazing tool. One of the challenges for many of us old timers who have been working with CSS for the better part of two decades, is that CSS Grid requires a whole new way of thinking about layout.

“It’s not just attaching your margins and properties to each individual element and placing them,” Bos said. “[Y]ou can now have a different model, a model where you start with your layout first and then pull in the different elements into that layout.”

“It is the most powerful layout tool that we have invented yet for CSS,” Atkins said. “It makes page layouts so ridiculously easy. … [P]eople have always been asking for better layouts. Just for author-ability reasons and because the hacks that we were employing weren’t as powerful as the old methods of just put[ting] it all in a big old table element—that was popular for a reason; it let you do powerful complex layouts. It was just the worst thing to maintain and the worst thing for semantics. And Grid gives you back that power and a lot more, which is kind of amazing.”

“CSS Grid takes all of that complicated stuff that we had to do to [achieve] basic layouts and makes it completely unnecessary,” Etemad said. “You can talk to the CSS engine directly[—]you, yourself, without an intermediary translator.”

CSS Grid offers a lot of power that many of us are only just starting to come to grips with. It will be interesting to see where we go from here.

“I think it’s going to be transformative,” Etemad said. “It’s going to take CSS back to what it was meant to be, which is styling and layout language that lifts all of that logic away from the markup and allows that clean separation of content and style that we’ve been trying to get from the beginning.”

“I’m excited about the future of CSS layout,” Whitworth said. “CSS Grid is not the end; it’s actually just the beginning. In IE 10 … [we shipped] CSS Regions as well as CSS Exclusions. I think as web designers begin to utilize CSS Grid more and more, they’ll realize why we shipped all three together. And maybe we can continue what we did with CSS Grid and continue to improve upon those specifications. Get vendor desire to implement those as well. Get the community excited about them and push layout on the web even further.”

“I think that now we have Grid, Exclusions makes absolute sense to have,” Andrew said. “It gives us a way to place something in [a grid] and wrap text around it, and we don’t have any other way to do that. … And then things like Regions … I would love to see that progress because … once we can build a nice grid structure, we might want to flow content through it. We don’t have a way of doing that.”

“[A]s far as I’m concerned, this doesn’t stop here; this is just the start.”

Getting into Grid
Kategorien: Webdesign

Gallery: Fujifilm X-E3 sample photos

Digital Photography Review - Do, 19/10/2017 - 13:00
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The looks of a classic beauty in the body of a modern camera, the X-E3 is Fujifilm's latest rangefinder ILC and also a lot of fun to shoot with. Sporting the brand's latest 24MP sensor and offering the latest JPEG 'Film Simulations,' we took the X-E3 along on a tour of the town. Take a peek through our sample gallery to get a sense of what it is capable of, in terms of image quality.

See our Fujifilm X-E3 samples gallery

Kategorien: Fotografie

Selecting the right camera gear: The best camera for you may not be the best camera for everyone

Imaging Resource - Do, 19/10/2017 - 11:00
We recently shared a video created by Thomas Heaton, which discussed the importance of gear in the context of comparing APS-C, full-frame and medium format cameras. This is a big topic and as someone who has been asked by many people over the years for camera recommendations, I wanted to throw my own $0.02 out there. I'd like to tackle two related primary questions. Firstly, does gear matter? Secondly, why and how does it matter? Let's get one thing out of the way quickly, yes, gear matters. It matters for many reasons, but not...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

RIP Lightroom 6: Death by subscription model

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 22:58

In all the fanfare of the launch of its more cloud integrated, edit-anywhere Lightroom CC software, Adobe has made a lot of noise about ease-of-use and faster speeds, but it also quietly made reference to the death of the standalone desktop version, Lightroom 6.

With it, it feels like Adobe is turning its back on a certain type of enthusiast photographers: those users who enjoy and care about their photography enough to buy Adobe's products, but don't need to edit 'in the field' or have clients to justify the ongoing cost of subscription software.

What's that, Granddad, software in a box? How do you get it onto your phone, then?

With the company stressing ease of use of the latest version, they probably don't see it that way, but it's clear that the user who upgrades their camera and their software only occasionally has no place in Adobe's shiny new future in the cloud.

In my look back at my excitement surrounding the development and launch of Lightroom v1.0, I said I felt that the subscription model "runs counter to the longevity benefit of building a database around my images". I stand by that.

The tension at the heart of Lightroom

As I understood it, Lightroom was almost two pieces of software in one. In part it was an attempt to provide all the tools a broad range of photographers needed, without the cost and complexity of buying Photoshop. Photoshop's success and name recognition had meant that lots of users who didn't really need most of its capabilities, felt they had to buy it. Lightroom gave them an affordable alternative, and allowed Adobe to focus on their professional users (in both photo and non-photographic fields), with Photoshop.

archiving: the creation of a long-term library of work that you might want to refer back to and perhaps update

But, equally, Lightroom was Adobe's attempt to bring an asset management tool to a wide range of photographers who suddenly found themselves generating and needing to process and store many more images than they had done before. Part of that management is archiving: the creation of a long-term library of work that you might want to refer back to and perhaps update.

The move to subscription only for Lightroom undermines both the idea of an affordable alternative also, significantly, the idea of an usable archive. While it's true that most households readily spend $10 per month for online streaming services, and many times that for mobile phone and data services, there will be a lot of users who object to the idea of having to pay, in perpetuity, for the continued ability to edit their own archives. Especially if their needs haven't necessarily changed and where there isn't necessarily an ongoing cost to the company.

most households readily spend $10 per month for online streaming services, and many times that for mobile phone and data services

Adobe seemed to recognize this when it chose to continue Lightroom 5 and then 6 as a standalone products alongside its CC software, and said it had no plans to move to subscription only. But it probably should've been obvious that this position had changed as the company buried the link to the standalone version in ever more obscure corners of its website.

Change vs long-term plans

Of course, there'll be plenty of users who are quite happy to pay for online storage and the access-and-edit-anywhere capability of the new system. Given how many attempts Adobe has made at solving this problem (I'm looking at you, Carousel/Revel), it'll probably be pretty good, despite my reservations about the effect on quality/stability that the move to constant updates has had on Photoshop. Overall, it's just unfortunate for people who don't particularly want that product.

The idea that your existing work becomes less controllable, less dynamic, is uncomfortable.

At the risk of sounding older and more curmudgeonly than I really am: it's the principle of the thing. I've never had much sympathy for people expecting perpetual upgrades from Adobe, for free: if you spend hundreds of dollars on a new camera, it seems unrealistic to expect a corporation to accommodate that choice, unpaid. After all, you still had exactly what you'd paid for.

With a subscription model, that's no longer true. Instead you end up paying for support for ever more cameras you don't have and features you don't necessarily want, in the knowledge that you'll lose most of the software's capability if, for whatever reason, you don't choose to continue your subscription. The idea that your existing work becomes less controllable, less dynamic, is uncomfortable.

Why I'll be looking for other options

The idea of losing the ability to edit my existing files, even though my needs haven't changed is obnoxious enough that I don't want to further commit myself and my images to a Lightroom database.

That means foregoing the temptation to squeeze the last life out of Lightroom 6 by using the DNG Converter that Adobe, to its credit, updates for free to retain compatibility. Because one day there'll come an operating system that LR 6 won't work with, and my supposedly long-term solution will be reduced in utility.

All purchases are ultimately a balance between what the customer wants and the company is willing to give them, for the money. With this latest move, it feels to me like that balance has been lost: the move favors Adobe much more than it benefits me. The Lightroom I loved is dead, because apparently it's not a product Adobe wants to make anymore.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Hello Lightroom CC: Embracing the future

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 22:58

I'm an avid Lightroom user who uses a NAS with 12 TB of local storage. Yet I agree with Adobe's decisions. Am I crazy?

It's an inevitable truth that Adobe, like any other company, can't please everyone. Today's news of a new, all-cloud Lightroom CC has definitely ruffled some feathers among loyal users. But it might just be time to embrace the future – consider some important points here:

  • The current version of Lightroom is not going away. It's just going from CC to Classic CC. Oh, and it got much faster.

  • The standalone version of Lightroom is entering sunset. That doesn't mean you won't be able to keep using it for new cameras in the future: you'll just have to use DNG Converter to first convert your files to DNG format.*

  • To continue to benefit from updates to Lightroom, though, you'll have to go CC (Classic or not).

  • To benefit from consistent access of your entire library from every device, as well as AI features to help you manage, search, curate and more (a la Google/Apple Photos), you'll want to go with Lightroom CC.

Whether or not you like the subscription based model, either way you pay for software updates, whether it's when you buy a new version (upgrading from 5 to 6) or continually via a subscription method. Some would even argue the latter is a better user experience, as you don't have to worry about 'versions'.

Who is Lightroom CC for?

Good question. If you're a staunch NAS user or have a hard drive for each of your shoots, it's not for you. But there's a reason that Director of Product Management is calling this new release a bigger deal than even the inception of Lightroom. According to TechCrunch's conversation with Hogarty, "The new reality of photography [is one] where users tend to take a lot of their photos on their phones - and take a lot more images in general. [Many of them want] a powerful tool that allows them to communicate but doesn’t require them to spend a lot of time to learn."

In other words, Adobe is trying to find a way to be Google or Apple Photos for the both the masses, and the enthusiasts/pros. Time will tell if it'll succeed, but it's an approach that is certainly future-focused.

In fact, we expect the cloud-based version will quickly improve and gain features beyond what Classic CC will offer. The AI features will help you organize, search, curate, and maybe even edit faster by learning your tastes. With storage getting progressively cheaper, internet (upload) speeds increasing, and the decreased sales of PC/laptop and the increased expectation to be able to access your files from anywhere, this is Adobe looking to the future, while still offering the present for the foreseeable future.

This is Adobe looking to the future, while still offering the present for the foreseeable future.

Inevitably, there will be some teething pains, for which Adobe is still offering Classic CC. But we expect that in the not-too-distant future, even pros will appreciate the instant access and AI features that will ease workflows. And while I'd be happy to say goodbye to my hard drives, I probably won't, since having my entire library locally on my NAS will always ensure the fastest editing experience at home.

Understandably though, many of you have questions...

We're a studio and need multiple licenses across many computers

That's what CC business is meant for. You can have 10+ licenses with the same account across all your computers (each license serves up to 2 computers, and you can dynamically switch which two computers whenever you want). And if you're installing a standalone on more than 2 computers today, you're breaking the law. Multiple licenses are simply not an issue with CC.

I need multiple libraries, though

Do you really? Back in the days of physically limited hard-drives, many would assign one drive or another to one shoot. You can still work that way with Classic CC.

But in the future, with increased cloud storage at lower prices, and hopefully increased internet service provider (ISP) bandwidths, that segmentation won't be necessary.** Everything will live on the cloud, and you can still organize by albums if you wish. Better yet, you'll have access to increasingly intelligent AI that will allow you to find the photos you're looking for simply by searching for the content in it (in text form). Segment as you wish, or just search.

In that world - you may not find multiple libraries as useful anymore. It's already a headache - I've gone to work on days where I needed the library on one drive that was, you guessed it, at home.

What if Adobe pulls the plug on Classic CC?

Certainly a valid suspicion. But one you may not have to be so worried about. First, we'll likely see CC rapidly catch up to Classic CC. That raises the concern if Classic CC is itself at risk of being pulled.

Maybe. But likely not for quite some time. More importantly, if Classic CC were to run off into the sunset, do you really think Adobe would only offer a cloud-based version of Lightroom?

I don't think so.

Much more likely - and this is just my opinion (and suggestion to Adobe) - would be CC simply offering an option to 'Disable cloud storage. I don't need access to my files on any device.' Done. Problem solved. Remember that CC already has an option to keep all files locally (as well as in the cloud), so retiring Classic CC would almost undoubtedly see CC gain an option to not work in the cloud. Until ISP limits are definitively not an issue and privacy concerns are completely addressed, I can't see Adobe offering no option to only work with files locally.

You can't always get what you want... but you might get what you need

This is Adobe modernizing and considering the future. And the current masses of Google and Apple Photos users that are surprised and delighted daily at the auto search and curation functionalities, or the auto-generation of collages, video clips, and sharing of shots of your kid with your immediate family. This all depends on cloud-storage and AI. It's the future, and it has a lot of potential benefits that you may loathe the idea of today, but might come to rely on, nigh even need, in the future. Imagine AI learning your editing tastes and doing them for you as a starting point so you have less work to do. It's not that unreasonable to imagine, and is something even pros would appreciate.

This video was auto-generated by Google Photos. Yes, it's only 720p and a bit amateurish, but if this is where we're starting today I'd say: bring on the future. This is the promise of AI: I was surprised and delighted when my phone popped up a notification saying 'I made this video from your weekend excursion!' Even photos auto-transferred to my phone from my Sony a7R II full-frame ILC were cut together - even to the beat of the music like many of the video clips if you pay close attention. Even pros could benefit from starting points like this, and then change the music, theme, or even the individual photos or sections of videos used if desired.***

And as long as privacy issues are considered, sharing - both with family or with clients or collaborators - becomes far easier in a cloud-only approach.

Accessing your library on multiple devices has been clunky up until now - with manual selection of images that are synced, and a different user experience of LR based on what device you're on. Lightroom CC's promise is a consistent experience across all devices, and the removal of the headache of selecting images you wish access to. Not to mention the issues with editing 'Smart Previews'.

And you might even find the perks of AI on top of this irresistible one day. But until that day, you still have options that allow you to continue working exactly as you did yesterday.


* That's actually probably a good thing. DNG can take a 96MB Nikon D850 NEF and make it into a 49MB Raw with no visual loss in quality (LZW and gamma curve compression done right provide visually lossless compression). DNG Converter is even scriptable if you want to automate the process. And if you need to save the original Raw (say because you want to access Dual Pixel Raw for some Canon files in the future), you can always embed, then later export, the original Raw. The only concern I see here is if future OS versions don't support the final version of LR.

** ISP bandwidths and data caps are a valid concern. My current Comcast upload speed is 1MB/s with a data cap of 1TB/month, with a two months grace period if I run over in one year (I'll pay on the third month I run over). That will likely still serve most users and even enthusiasts but may be an issue for pros shooting enormous amounts of images monthly. We'll be following up with Adobe about their views on this issue, but for now we do expect the growth of cloud-based services to force ISPs to offer solutions.

*** Or, more advanced users and pros can themselves select the exact photos and sections of videos used in an easy-to-use timeline manner right on their phones, and Google Assistant will stitch together a video for you. The auto-generated video is a great starting point to start your edits from, though, as it intelligently chooses the best photos and sections of video. Over time, AI can learn what you consider 'best', or your tastes in editing and processing.

Kategorien: Fotografie

How to capture wildlife photographs in a challenging rainforest environment

Imaging Resource - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 19:00
22-year-old British wildlife photographer and filmmaker Sam Rowley is the latest guest on NatureTTL's new YouTube channel. Sam's new video is focused on how to capture great wildlife images in a rainforest. Shooting in a rainforest presents unique challenges, including dangerous animals, unpredictable and harsh weather and difficult lighting conditions. Rowley remarks that it can be difficult to deal with the climate of a rainforest while shooting, which pushes your photographic skills to their limit. Not only are you challenged,...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Godox XPro-N wireless flash trigger for Nikon boasts TTL, HSS and more for just $70

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 18:48

Godox has launched a Nikon version of the XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger it announced for Canon last month. The new model—aptly titled the XPro-N—is equipped to control Godox's X1 system, and is currently listed by online retailers as available for pre-order with shipping planned to start on October 31st.

This Nikon version will be joined by models for Sony, Fujifilm, and MFT throughout the remainder of the year.

As with the Canon version, the new XPro-N model sports a large dot-matrix LCD alongside five physical buttons. The display shows five groups, one group per physical button, as well as data pertaining to each group. The trigger supports HSS (up to 1/8000), TTL, and manual (1/1 - 1/256) control. There's also support for TTL-Convert-Manual (TCM) functionality, which allows you to meter flashes in TTL, then switching to manual mode with the settings automatically adjusting to keep an equivalent output.

The XPro-N is listed for pre-order at $70 on Amazon.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Sigma expands product warranty to cover hurricane damage from Harvey, Irma and Maria

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 18:18

In a move that's being praised by the photo community at large, Sigma has temporarily extended its product warranty to cover repairs for damage caused by the hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The only catch being that Sigma must receive your damaged product before December 31st of this year.

This information comes from a statement Sigma provided to Fstoppers, which is reporting that any products that can't be repaired will be replaced at a special discounted price that is determined on a case-by-case basis. Repairs and return shipment of the products are provided for free, but customers must provide their sales receipt as proof-of-purchase.

Sigma says that customers who no longer have the receipt should contact the company.

You can read the full statement on Fstoppers.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Detu launches F4 Plus professional grade 360-degree 8K VR cam

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 18:12

Chinese manufacturer Detu has launched the F4 Plus: a professional grade 8K panoramic VR camera that can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at a whopping 8K resolution. In other words, at 7680 x 3840 pixels.

Image data is captured using four 200° fisheye lenses coupled to 12MP Sony IMX117 1/2.3" CMOS sensors. For livestreaming, the camera be connected to a computer via Ethernet cable, and wireless livestreaming to YouTube, Facebook and other 360° enabled platforms is possible via 2.4G and 5G dual frequency Wi-Fi.

The images recorded by the individual cameras are stitched together in the DetuStitch software and Detu says its optical flow algorithm is suitable for dynamic stitching in case you're capturing scenes with a lot of motion.

The camera comes with a copper and aluminum frame and an air duct cooling system for efficient heat dissipation during livestreaming. The 4800mAh lithium-ion removable battery allows for up to 120 minutes of continuous shooting and a microSD slot supports cards up to a capacity of 128GB. Audio is recorded via two built-in microphones. Finally, the camera can be controlled, and footage edited and shared, via dedicated iOS and Android apps.

The F4 Plus camera's professional target clientele is reflected in its hefty $2,600 price, but the camera promises to deliver a lot of bang for that buck. For more information or if you'd like to see sample images captured with the F4 Plus, head over to the Detu website.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Adobe updates Photoshop CC with new tools, 360° image editing, HEIF support and more

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 17:47
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The all-new Lightroom CC (and newly-renamed Lightroom Classic CC) might be hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX 2017, but Adobe didn't forget to throw some love Photoshop's way. In addition to the standard performance enhancements you expect with every update, Photoshop CC has been gifted with a slew of new features, including: the new curvature pen tool, 360° spherical image editing, HEIF format support, Select and Mask improvements and more.

All of the improvements are summarized in the list below, and while none of them will blow your mind, there's plenty there for regular Photoshop users to be happy about:

According to Adobe, the most requested improvement that ships with the new version of Photoshop CC is actually the enhanced Brush Presets and Brush Preset Management, which you can see demonstrated in the video below:

And with the explosion of 360° images into the mainstream and the release of iOS 11, the ability to open & edit spherical 360° panoramic images in Photoshop, as well as HEIF format images, is a big deal as well.

Other notable improvements include the new color and luminance range masking tools that were also added to Lightroom CC, the Curvature Pen Tool that Adobe teased us with just last month, and improved Select & Mask functionality overall. You can see these new features in action in the YouTube videos embedded below:

As with all previous updates to Photoshop CC, you won't have to pay anything extra if you're already a subscriber. The $10/month Creative Cloud Photography Plan now includes 20GB of cloud storage, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC; or you can upgrade to 1TB of storage for $15/month until next year, when that price will go up to $20/month.

To learn more about these updates from Adobe itself, head over to the Adobe Photoshop blog by clicking here.

Kategorien: Fotografie

The 'Nude' app uses AI to detect and hide NSFW images on your iOS device

Digital Photography Review - Mi, 18/10/2017 - 16:50

If you've got NSFW (read: nude) pictures of any kind on your smartphone storage, chances are you don't want them to be seen by just anyone. And while there are apps that allow you to move private images into protected locations, this tends to be a largely manual process... well not anymore.

The so-called 'Nude' app automates the process of finding and hiding your most ... sensitive images.

The app scans your device for nude images using artificial intelligence. If any files are detected, they are immediately moved into the app's protected vault and deleted from the camera roll and iCloud. Under iOS 11, image recognition is undertaken on-device but under iOS 10 and older operating systems data has to be transferred to cloud servers.

The makers of the app say Nude is also useful for keeping images of ID cards, credit cards and other important documents in a safe place, but there is no mention of an automatic detection function. The app is protected via PIN or Touch ID, and records any attempts to access your photos. There is also an integrated camera, so images can be recorded directly in the app.

The app is free to download on the Apple App Store, but requires a $1 monthly or $10 annual subscription to use. For now, Nude is only available for iOS devices, but an Android version is under development.

Kategorien: Fotografie