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Adobe hopes to empower students with Chromebook release of Creative Cloud applications

Imaging Resource - vor 4 Stunden 7 Minuten
    Chromebook users who have felt left behind relative to software updates and releases, Adobe has you covered with the release of six updated Android applications optimized for Chromebooks. The six applications are Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC and Creative Cloud Mobile. Adobe hopes that the updated applications make an impact in classrooms. The company has also released findings of a global study on creativity in schools and its implications for the workforce of tomorrow. The...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Gaming the System…and Winning

A List Apart - vor 4 Stunden 8 Minuten

Good intentions usually drive the “gamification” of websites—adding points, badges, and leaderboards to make them more engaging. It sounds like a great idea, but borrowing game design elements out of context is a risky way to design experiences, especially experiences intended to bring users back to a site.

Not everyone wants to spend more time on your site just to get a badge; some people simply aren’t motivated by such extrinsic rewards. When game designers include elements intended to promote deeper engagement, they look at their users through a very different lens than those of us in web design. Understanding how and why they do this can help us craft more engaging web experiences.

A game designer and a web designer looking at the same user research will most likely come up with totally different personas. Talking about many people as though they were one person can be a strength;it gives a clear vision of who we need to serve. But it’s also a limitation because this method of clustering requires us to pick certain axes and disregard others. Web designers cluster people by their needs and abilities, but in doing so, we tend to disregard their personalities. Game designers are more likely to fixate on interaction styles; they embrace personality.

Let me show you what I mean. Pokémon Go has seen a meteoric rise in popularity since its release, possibly because of how well it caters to people with different personalities. In Pokémon Go, people who like to compete can “battle” in gyms; those who prefer to collaborate can go on “pokéwalks” together; and anyone with a drive to explore and push boundaries can try to “catch ’em all.” Even if a player enjoys all of these options, they’re likely to find one more motivating than the others. Ensuring that the game caters to each interaction preference enhances its appeal to a wide audience.

The same is true of web design. Adding gamification elements to draw in more visitors—but only elements that cater to competitive people—can overlook the wider audience. UX design that doesn’t target a variety of interaction styles is going to be hit-or-miss.

Game designers (and educators and psychologists) segment people in ways that complement web design and user experience. I’ve put together this guide to show you how they think and how (and where and why) we can use their models. Along the way, I’ll show how those models might overlap to create one bigger framework that we can use to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in our designs.

Making it fun

Emotional design—the practice of moving interfaces beyond merely usable—is a growing field of interest among UX designers. (I highly recommend Designing for Emotion and Seductive Interaction Design.) Unsurprisingly, game designers have a theory of fun, too.

A recent study performed a contextual inquiry of hardcore and casual gamers, plus interviews with their friends and family members, identifying four types of fun (PDF) that relate to interaction preference.

  • Hard Fun comes from pursuing a goal—earning rewards according to progress.
  • Easy Fun focuses on something other than winning. It encourages learning and emphasizes feelings of wonder, awe, and mystery.
  • The People Factor caters to interaction with others; the interface becomes a mechanism for social engagement.
  • Altered States attract people to engage in a social context to feel something different (e.g., to gain pleasure from acting upon or inciting those around them).

These styles are easy to spot on social networking sites:

  • Competing for likes or followers (as on Twitter) is Hard Fun.
  • Casually browsing to find humorous new posts (as on Tumblr) is Easy Fun.
  • Engaging with a social network to connect with other people (as on Facebook) is a People Factor.
  • People who experience excitement from messing with other people (as on Reddit) are enjoying Altered States.
Bartle’s four player types

There are numerous ways of grouping people by interaction style, including Hallford and Hallford’s six categories of player behavior and Yee’s statistical clustering of three player types (PDF), but I find that these approaches roughly map to Richard Bartle’s 4 player types (particularly the three non-Troll ones). Bartle’s theory is among the most common approaches chosen by game designers (Fig 1).

Fig 1: Bartle’s player types are one common way that game designers segment player experiences.

Suppose you have an ecommerce site for people to buy snakes. An Achiever may be motivated to engage by extrinsic factors: How many snakes can she collect? How many reviews of snakes can she write? The Explorer may be motivated by learning more about snakes: What’s the length specification on the new python? Where can she read more about novel uses of snakeskin? The Socializer will be motivated by interactions with others: What types of snakes are her friends buying? Is there a discussion forum where she can connect with others over her love of snakes? And you’ll probably have to deal with a couple of teenaged Trolls who just want to make fun of everyone else’s snake-buying experience.

Bartle also examines pairwise interactions between player types. This leads him to the following sorts of conclusions:

  • The ratio of Achievers to Trolls is like the ratio of rabbits to wolves. When there are too many Trolls, the Achievers leave, but without interesting victims, the Trolls leave and the Achievers return.
  • Providing opportunities for exploration is key. When there aren’t enough Explorers finding new things and telling others about them, the Achievers eventually get bored and leave, causing the Socializers and Trolls to leave, as well.
  • Trolls keep the Socializer population in check. To reach the widest audience possible, a few Trolls are necessary because they keep the Socializer population from expanding exponentially and pushing out the Achievers and Explorers. (The only other stable equilibria involve fewer player types: either a balance of just Trolls and Achievers or else a community almost exclusively composed of Socializers.)
Motivating people

Another way of segmenting people is by identifying what motivates them. At a recent conference, I saw a presentation of a study of a mobile fitness coach. The presenters said that people’s motivations for exercise tend to cluster into distinct categories. Bartle himself didn’t focus much on motivation, so it was fascinating to see how closely the presenters’ categories align with Bartle’s: one extrinsically motivated, one self-motivated, one socially motivated.

In addition to the two dimensions considered by Bartle (Players versus World and Acting versus Interacting), a third axis should be taken into account: the players’ motivations for choosing to engage. Unlike the binary nature of acting OR interacting with the player OR the world, motivations fall along a spectrum of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Fig 2).

Fig 2: Each player type falls on a spectrum from intrinsic to extrinsic motivation.

Ryan and Deci’s Self Determination Theory (PDF) is a framework illustrating how player types vary according to source of motivation (Fig 3).

Fig 3: Ryan and Deci represent levels of motivation.
(adapted from Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 61)

How we can motivate people to engage with a site or app depends on where their interaction style falls along this spectrum. What player type we cater to also determines how likely people are to stick around.

  • We can motivate Achievers (or the Achiever side of people) by adding extrinsic metrics they can use to compete with others. Achievers, being extrinsically-motivated, will eventually grow bored and leave. Gamification techniques like points, badges, or leaderboards motivate Achievers extrinsically but can also give them a way to measure their growing competence (encouraging intrinsic motivation).
  • Explorers set their own goals and are self-motivated to interact with your website. Because they’re intrinsically motivated by enjoyment of the task itself, they tend to stick around longer. (Bartle says that changes in numbers of other player types doesn’t usually impact the number of Explorers.) To promote long-term engagement of Explorers, it helps to introduce unexpected achievements. Hinting that there are some Easter Eggs hidden in your site could be a great way to encourage explorers to stick around.
  • Socializers will stick around as long as there’s enough social interaction for them. We can motivate them by adding ways to add their own thoughts to site content, such as comments on an epublishing site or reviews on an ecommerce site. If they don’t get enough external feedback from other people, they’ll leave. Adding a way to “Like” reviews or respond to other users’ comments can help to provide this feedback.
  • Trolls set their own goal of annoying other users, but they require feedback from others to know that they’re actually being annoying. The expression “Don’t feed the Trolls” means removing this feedback loop, which we can do with moderation tools and community posting guidelines.

How you choose to present rewards will encourage people with different preferred interaction styles to engage with your product. Conventional cognitive psychology wisdom suggests that irregular rewards at irregular intervals motivate continued engagement most effectively. (Expected rewards can be problematic because if people know that a reward is coming, they may work for the reward rather than focusing on the task itself.) Yet, having a variety of expected rewards can help people set goals, thus promoting Achievers.

Helping people learn to use your site

When we make fairly complicated sites, people may cycle through different player types as they learn to engage with them.

To see what I mean, consider the Experiential Learning Cycle of Kurt Lewin, which contains four stages (Fig 4).

Fig 4: Lewin shows how we learn.

Viewing this cycle through Bartle’s player types, it’s possible to align player characteristics with aspects of Lewin’s cycle: Achievers concretely experience the world, Explorers reflect upon what they see, Socializers abstract the world into a context they can discuss, and Trolls premeditate their approach to interactions. This mapping also works with Bartle’s axes (Fig 5).

Fig 5: Lewin’s learning model can be overlaid upon Bartle’s player types.

For example, someone coming to a large content site focused on do-it-yourself projects might initially be motivated to engage by their own experience with home improvement. Once they’ve engaged regularly with the site for a time, they might move to a more reflective mode, exploring more of the site. If they really get interested, they might join in the discussion forum, discussing projects with others, and this discussion will give them new ideas for projects they can create in their own life. Application of the ideas to the real world moves back to the Achiever quadrant, but may impact people in that world as well (the Troll quadrant). Thus, if we want people to engage deeply with a site or app over time (learning different aspects of it) it helps to support the many different interaction styles that people may use to engage while learning.

Making it engaging

Of course, when we make websites, we often talk about supporting immersion through an experience of flow. Game designers again bring light to this form of interaction. Salen and Zimmerman, authors of the seminal textbook on game design, note that four parts of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow model are necessary for flow to occur:

  • Challenge
  • Goals
  • Feedback
  • Control

All four player types need all four of these to engage fully, yet each prerequisite of flow might be aligned with a player type and learning stage (Fig 6). 

Fig 6: Csikszentmihalyi’s four prerequisites of flow can be mapped to the same axes as Bartle’s player types.
  • Achievers seek challenge. (They don’t set their own goals as much as Explorers, but will tackle whatever extrinsic challenge you put in front of them.) Challenge is actively experienced.
  • Explorers set their own goals to create challenge for themselves. These goals project into the future with reflection upon observation.
  • All players need feedback from the game, yet Socializers thrive upon feedback from other players.
  • Trolls seek control. (To prevent trolls, building in some form of moderation system is a way of taking away their control.)

For example, a photo-sharing site might create an immersive experience by challenging people to upload a certain number of photos, letting them set their own goals for organizing content, allowing other people to give feedback about the quality of the photos or collections, and giving everyone a comfortable sense of control over their own photos and collections. Introducing artificial difficulties, like saying “Try only uploading black and white photos this week” can make the experience more game-like, presenting a challenge that people can choose to use as their own goal or not.

Bringing it all together

Here is a fully overlaid model based on my own interpretation of how they’re related (Fig 7).

Fig 7: All of the models can be overlaid upon each other to form a diagnostic tool.

This model might be expanded further using other four-part models from game design such as Hallford and Hallford’s four reward types or Callois’s four game types. To examine how people progress through the learning stages, we might overlay David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle (which is built upon Lewin’s model for learning).

I haven’t tested all the variables here, but I hope that this grouped model can be a useful diagnostic tool, as I’ll show with the following three examples. (If you encounter evidence supporting or refuting this way of overlaying the models in your own work, please leave a comment at the end of the article explaining what you’ve found.)

The model suggests that if a new feature does not succeed right away, it may largely be due to the interaction styles of the people engaging with the site or app. For example, on a start-up site I worked on, the most engaged users were the ones who had created their own reviews. When we added a discussion forum, it initially didn’t get a lot of use. One possible diagnosis of this slow beginning is that most of the people we’d attracted were Achievers, who learned through their own experiences and enjoyed the challenging hard fun of seeing who could write the most reviews. We dialed back the discussion experience to focus the site more directly on these Achievers. Another approach might have been to add a competitive element to the discussion itself; you’ve probably seen forums that rank their participants, which is a way of luring Achievers to be more social (and thus creating a more diverse community for Socializers).

The Troll quadrant is certainly the one least directly mapped to by other models. One possible explanation of this is that we try not to design for Trolls. An explanation I consider more likely is that in a socially-moderated setting, there’s little opportunity for Trolls to exist. If your site is having difficulty with Trolls, the model suggests that making it more difficult for people to act upon people can mitigate the problem. Moderation tools can take away the control that trolls require, making it difficult for them to create altered emotional states.

Bartle found that Explorers are rare and difficult to attract, but necessary for the long-term survival of a site. They’re the ones who try out new features to give the rest of the community things to do and discuss. One conventional approach to trying to increase site engagement is to add “gamified” elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards. But such an approach may actually harm long-term engagement because such extrinsic motivators are unappealing to the Explorers who help the community evolve. Looking at what interaction types a site appeals to and then adding elements to appeal to others can help the site to grow a well-rounded, sustainable audience.

There’s much more that can be brought from games to make the web fun and meaningful. I hope that a greater understanding of how game designers make experiences engaging can empower web designers to craft a more intriguing and inviting web for a wide variety of people.

Kategorien: Webdesign

Matching clients with photographers: 500px’s new photographer directory, Adobe Stock integration

Imaging Resource - vor 7 Stunden 8 Minuten
    Global online photography community 500px has announced the launch of a new, easy-to-use global photographer directory to allow clients such as Airbnb, The Travel Corporation, Google and Lonely Planet among many others to search for photographers by specialty and location. In addition to the new directory, 500px has also announced a collaboration with Adobe to introduce a select set of 500px images to Adobe Stock users within the Adobe Stock Premium Collection. The directory is currently in beta, but over 50,000 photographers...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Interview: Fujifilm talks GFX, X100F and getting serious about video

Digital Photography Review - vor 7 Stunden 38 Minuten
 Makoto Oishi, Billy Luong and Yuji Igarashi from Fujifilm

Following the launch of the GFX 50S, the X100F and the X-T20, we spoke to Fujifilm executives about their models, their ambitions and what we might be able to expect in the future in terms of medium format, the XE range and video. 

We spoke to Makoto Oishi, manager of Fujifilm’s Sales and Marketing Group, Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products division, Yuji Igarashi, general manager of Fujifilm's Electronic Imaging Division, and Billy Luong, Manager for the Technical Marketing and Product Specialist Group. They answered our burning questions as best they could: Will the GFX series gain phase detection AF? Will it ever have a fixed lens model? How is the X-E series faring?

GFX 50S: who is it for, and what's next?

As you’d expect, we started by discussing the GFX 50S and who it’s for. ‘Fashion, commercial and landscape photographers are the main targets,’ says Oishi. ‘And especially when it comes to landscape, it’s not just professional photographers, but also amateur photographers.’

‘The tonality and dynamic range also mean it’ll appeal to wedding photographers,’ adds Luong. 'And architecture,' says Oishi: 'But you can see from the weather sealing that we want landscape and outdoor photographers to feel confident using this camera.’

Consequently, these users groups will direct which lenses the company creates for the system. ‘We’ve already announced our first six lenses but we’re thinking about what comes next,’ says Oishi: ‘We have some ideas but haven’t decided yet. For example maybe a wide-angle zoom for landscape photographers or maybe something like a 200 or 250mm and so on. We want more feedback from users about what to make next.’

Image quality and autofocus

In the early days of the X-mount system, the company said it had chosen to prioritize image quality even if it that meant using a design with slightly slower focus. This compromise wasn’t necessary with the GFX, Oishi says: ‘The first priority must be image quality, of course. After our experience with the X-series we’ve developed a series of technologies in lens design as well as autofocus motors.'

The GFX 50S is designed to be relatively small and swap easily from being a studio camera to a field camera. The 50mm-equivalent 63mm F2.8 lens focuses pretty quickly despite the absence of phase-detection elements or a linear motor to drive focus.

'Some of the first [GF] lenses have linear motors, whereas the 63mm has a different motor, more like the one used in the 23mm F2. The autofocus speed is already very good: we haven’t had any complaints. Instead we’ve had some users surprised by how fast the contrast-detection system is.'

This doesn’t mean the GFX series will never have phase detection, though. ‘This is our first development of this sensor,’ says Oishi: ‘we’d have needed more time to develop on-sensor phase detection. The image quality of medium format is our first priority. From a technical point of view, maybe in the future we might incorporate phase-detection pixels. On the other hand, we’re already developed advanced CDAF algorithms.’ There’s no image quality cost to using phase detection, he says.

'We’re designing all our GF lenses to work with 100 megapixels, so there’s just as much of a challenge of resolution' - Makoto Oishi

This need for optimal image quality got us wondering: which is more difficult to design, an F1.4 lens for APS-C or an F2.8 lens with the IQ expectations but less dense sensor of medium format? ‘The fundamental design doesn’t change,’ says Oishi: ‘things like the availability of an appropriate autofocus motor to deal with bigger, heavier lenses in medium format always adds problems. They’re both difficult, both to design and manufacture.’

‘The medium format lens is physically bigger which seems like it should be easier to manufacture but you have to pay just as much attention to how sensitively each element is aligned. I’d say they’re both difficult. Differently difficult.’

‘One thing to remember is that we’re designing all our GF lenses to work with 100 megapixels, so there’s just as much of a challenge of resolution.’

‘As the sensor becomes bigger, that means chromatic aberration becomes bigger: it’s proportional to the size. In GFX we’ve minimized aberrations optically and the used digital compensation only to refine the final result, and it depends on lens.’

Makoto Oishi shows-off the GFX 50S's 44x33mm sensor

As with the X series, Fujifilm has decided not to use in-body image stabilization. ‘Some of the lenses we’ve already announced have OIS built in,’ Oishi points out: ‘but basically our image circle is perfect for the 44 x 33mm sensor size.’

The undeniable appeal of the X100 series

The discussion then turned to the X100 series and its role in the company’s lineup, now that a 23mm F2 lens is available for the X-mount system.

‘Of course using the 23mm F2 on one of our X-mount cameras, you get the same sensor, the same processor, but they’re two different things,’ says Oishi. ‘The X100 lens and sensor are optimized to work together, [whereas] on the ILCs, the sensor has to work with every lens. This means the X100’s image quality can be very good but the lens remains small. The 23mm F2 [XF] lens is also good, the size is a bit bigger but the autofocus can be a bit faster. Then, of course, the X100 series has the optical viewfinder.’

'A good proportion of our customers are saying the X100 brought back their passion for photography' - Billy Luong

‘The X100 also has a leaf shutter and built-in ND filter, which make a big difference,’ says Luong: ‘The faster sync speed is an important difference for anyone using flash. Then there’s the silent operation.'

But the appeal is about the format, as much as the specs, suggests Oishi: ‘The X100 series presents a great opportunity: the body size means it works as a second camera for anyone: not just Fujifilm users. If they fall in love with your system then maybe they’ll consider your cameras in future.’

Luong concurs: ‘It’s an iconic shape, it has a distinctive style. Some customers are at the point where they’re done with interchangeable lens camera, they just want the one focal length.’

 'The X100 series continues to perform well. In the US, each generation has sold better than the last,' says Yuji Igarashi.

So who is the X100 series customer? ‘Normally 30% of buyers are people who already use an X100 series camera. But we’re always attracting new customers, too,’ says Oishi.

‘We look at how we retain our customers,’ says Luong: ‘the X100 is often photographers’ first foray into the Fujifilm system. The size, the weight, the image quality. A good proportion of our customers are saying the X100 brought back their passion for photography. That type of person is very much part of the equation.’

Could these same benefits be applied to medium format, we asked. ‘Of course it could be an idea for medium format,’ says Oishi: ‘it depends on demand and the market. The GFX 50S is one style: the ‘S’ means 'SLR-style.' Another way to do it would be a rangefinder style camera. Maybe an ‘R’ could be a rangefinder: we’re always considering other options and possibilities.’

‘If mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is too big as a rangefinder style, a fixed lens camera could be smaller, like the GF670.’

X-T20: putting X-T2 image quality in a smaller body

The SLR-style has wide appeal, Luong explains: ‘The SLR style targets a wider audience. We find pro and enthusiast photographers gravitate towards the SLR-style camera. Back to the GFX camera, that’s why we went with the SLR style.’

What does this tell us about the X-T20 target customer, then?

‘There will be a lot of X-T2 and X-T1 users wanting a second body,’ says Luong. ‘Then, of course, there’ll be people wanting X-T2 image quality in a more compact body. It could be a step up from the X-A series or a step over from an entry-level DSLR to a mirrorless type camera.’

‘We wanted to expand the range of users with the X-T10,’ says Oishi. ‘The X-T20 has more capability than ever before, in autofocus, for instance. For casual users, AF speed is important, especially compared with other cameras, such as DSLRs.’

Touchpad AF

However, the X-T20 doesn’t offer the increasingly popular ‘touchpad’ function to control the AF point with the camera to your eye. Mr Oishi explains why: ‘It’s possible. We know some people have difficulty with their nose operating the focus. We think our eight-way joystick is better in many circumstances but we’ll listen to feedback about a camera like the X-T20.’

The FujiFilm X-T20 offers X-T20 image quality in a smaller body. Despite having a touchscreen, it can't offer touchpad AF control. For now...

This makes us wonder how the company decides which models feature touchscreens and which don’t. ‘It’s a question of the customer response,’ Oishi says. ‘The X100 has an optical viewfinder so it doesn’t make sense to put a touchscreen behind that. Maybe the joystick is better. With the X70, though, it’s a much smaller camera and you have to use the screen so it made sense to control with the screen.’

‘On the X-T20, we were trying to keep the camera small, so there wasn’t room for a joystick. So it depends on the product. It’s not about whether it’s seen as professional or not: the GFX has one.’

‘Product design for each model is focused on certain priorities,’ explains Luong: ‘X100 is about design. Even making it a couple of millimeters thicker to incorporate a touchscreen or tilt screen would make a big difference. It could change the design completely.'

‘We always think about the real target user’s priorities,’ says Oishi. ‘What does the target user want to use?’

Don't count the X-E series out

The release of three SLR-style cameras in a row (X-T2, X-T20 and GFX 50S) doesn’t mean the company is abandoning the rangefinder style, though. ‘XE is an important series for us,’ Oishi says: ‘There are so many XE1, 2 and 2S users in the world. We are always thinking about the next model, whether that’s XT, XE or X-Pro. Obviously we can’t confirm anything at this point but we are aware there are many requests for this type of camera.’

Unmet needs?

With the X-series lineup looking increasingly mature, both in terms of lenses and bodies, what unmet needs remain?

‘Video is a big growth area for us,’ acknowledges Luong: ‘Our latest cameras such as the X-Pro2 and X-T2 show there’s a lot we’ve learned.’

 The Fujifilm X-T2 is a significantly more capable video camera than we were expecting.

And there’s an audience for video, he says: ‘If you look at who’s producing material, there’s a generation of YouTube content providers. People are increasingly watching content on their computers, on YouTube, rather than traditional TV.’

‘In Japan the developers worked very closely with production studios. A lot of their feedback shaped the outcome of the X-T2’s video quality and the way it operates.’

‘Features like Film Simulation, taking them from stills to video they found really useful but things such as bitrate, file format and compression, that came from us listening to feedback.’

'Video is a big growth area for us, the X-Pro2 and X-T2 show there’s a lot we’ve learned' - Billy Luong

There are challenges, though, says Oishi: ‘Movie AF is very difficult: it depends on the subject. Sometimes you want it to be quick, other times you want it to be slower and smooth.’

‘Whether it’s an algorithm that recognizes a tap on the screen should be a smooth focus pull, or potentially a custom setting, we’re very serious about getting it right,’ says Luong.

Does this mean we could expect an even more video-centric camera, given that all the X-series lenses are essentially in the Super 35 format?

‘We already have cinema lenses that are Super 35,’ Luong reminds us. ‘We’re continuing to develop video features, so we’ll continue to investigate.’

‘There’s a market there,’ Luong says.

Listening to customer feedback

Since the idea of user feedback had come up so often in the discussion, we ended by asking what the company’s process was for collecting feedback.

‘Our X Photographers: professionals who use the camera day in, day out, that’s the first line of feedback,’ says Luong: ‘It’s quite a large group. With the GFX we had something like 50 photographers around the world using pre-production cameras.’

‘We also monitor the comments on our YouTube channel and I personally scour through DPReview and try to work out which things are a must and which are ‘would be nice’.’

‘We don’t systematically seek feedback from our existing users,’ says Igarashi: ‘but we try to listen to everyone and evaluate those opinions.’

Kategorien: Fotografie

Croatia in 4K: travel photographer Max Lowe on location with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Digital Photography Review - vor 8 Stunden 8 Minuten

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is Canon's latest full-frame DSLR, aimed at enthusiast and professional photographers. As well as 30MP stills, the 5D IV can also capture HD and 4K video, at up to 30p. 

Late last year, we joined travel photographer Max Lowe on location in Croatia. Over the course of several days, Max documented the people and beautiful scenery of the Dalmatian Coast, while we filmed the experience entirely using the EOS 5D Mark IV.

Read our in-depth review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

This is sponsored content, created in partnership with Canon. What does this mean?

Kategorien: Fotografie

Get 'em while you can: Fujifilm GF670 medium-format film cameras back on sale

Digital Photography Review - vor 10 Stunden 38 Minuten

Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the cameras were discovered at a B&H warehouse – they were found at a US Fujifilm warehouse by the manufacturer.

The public will soon be able to purchase new units of the discontinued Fujifilm GF670 film rangefinder folding camera thanks to a cache reportedly found in a Fujifilm warehouse. The information comes from The Phoblographer, which reports it was informed about the matter during a recent Fujifilm event in New York City.

B&H Photo's website lists the GF670 as 'back-ordered' with an availability date of early February. The price is currently listed as $1799 and includes a one-year warranty.

Fujifilm introduced the GF670 in 2008; its was discontinued in 2014.

Via: The Phoblographer

Kategorien: Fotografie

Metabones launches four new adapters for attaching Canon lenses to Sony E-mount cameras

Digital Photography Review - vor 11 Stunden 7 Minuten

Lens adapter manufacturer Metabones has announced it’s to release four new models that will improve the experience of those mounting Canon EF fit lenses on to Sony E camera bodies. Two of the adapters, the Canon EF-E mount T CINE Speed Booster ULTRA and the Canon EF-E mount T CINE Smart Adapter, are aimed specifically at those who want to use EF lenses on Sony motion picture cameras, such as the PXW-FS7 II.

The other two models, Canon EF-E mount T Speed Booster ULTRA II and Canon EF-E mount T Smart Adapter, are more general purpose and will suit stills photographers as well as those using A7 bodies for video. The Cine models feature a ‘positive-lock’ that users can turn to add extra security to the connection between the lens and the adapter while a similar lock on Sony’s FS7 II does the same for the connection between the adapter and the camera.

Each of the new adapters will feature a rubber gasket to protect the join between adapter and lens from the ingress of moisture and dust, and a new LED keeps users informed of what modes are operational. A switch on the adapter can be used to control in-body stabilization modes when used with a camera that offers the feature.

Autofocus in contrast detection mode is supported by all four adapters, as is aperture control from the body, smooth aperture control in certain modern lenses and auto magnification in manual focus mode when used with a lens that provides distance information.

The two Cine adapters will be available in February, but no on-sale date has been announced for the Canon EF-E mount T Speed Booster ULTRA II and Canon EF-E mount T Smart Adapter.

For more information see the Metabones website.

Product Specification and pricing

Canon EF-E mount T CINE Speed Booster ULTRA (MB_SPEF-E-BT3)
Dimension / Weight (H:91cm W:88cm D:26.5cm / 242g), Suggested Retail Price USD699

Canon EF-E mount T CINE Smart Adapter (MB_EF-E-BT6)
Dimension / Weight (H:91cm W:88cm D:31cm / 207g), Suggested Retail Price USD449

Canon EF-E mount T Speed Booster ULTRA II (model number MB_SPEF-E-BT3)
Dimension / Weight (TBD), Suggested Retail Price TBD

Canon EF-E mount T Smart Adapter (MB_EF-E-BT5)
Dimension / Weight (TBD), Suggested Retail Price TBD

Press release

Metabones Unveils Fifth-Generation Smart Adapters on Fifth Anniversary

They are EF to E CINE Smart Adapter™, EF to E CINE Speed Booster ULTRA, EF to E Smart Adapter V and EF to E Speed Booster ULTRA II.

The headline feature of EF to E CINE Smart Adapter and EF to E CINE Speed Booster ULTRA is a positive-lock EF lens mount carried over from the critically acclaimed Metabones EF-FZ CINE Smart Adapter, a perfect companion to the positive-lock mount of the new Sony FS7 Mark II camera.

All 4 new products are equipped with a rubber gasket to protect the E-mount connection from dust and moisture. To promote ease-of-use, an LED indicates the adapter's operation mode, optical image stabilization operation and communication status. A dedicated switch controls in-body image stabilization (IBIS) on Sony cameras equipped with SteadyShot INSIDE.

EF to E CINE Speed Booster ULTRA and EF to E Speed Booster ULTRA II feature the same world-renowned Speed Booster ULTRA optics by Caldwell Photographic and WB Designs that make lenses brighter, wider and sharper.

Metabones recounts the beginnings of the world's first fully electronic EF to E mount adapter 5 years ago, with only aperture control and auto-magnify (requires lens with distance information) but no autofocus support back then. Over the years firmware work has significantly expanded its capabilities. Today, the very same original Smart Adapter, though long discontinued, can still be upgraded to leverage the latest firmware benefits such as smooth iris (lens support required), fast contrast detection autofocus on all E-mount cameras, eye-AF, direct manual focus (DMF), zoom and distance display (requires lens with distance information), assignable custom button and 5-axis image stabilization (requires camera support).

Since the advent of the original EF to E Smart Adapter 5 years ago, Metabones has assumed a pivotal role in the mirrorless revolution. Cinematographers and photographers all over the world are armed with unprecedented flexibility of lens and camera choice.
EF to E CINE Smart Adapter will be available in February 2017 for USD 449 plus applicable taxes, duties and shipping, and EF to E CINE Speed Booster ULTRA will be offered at the same time for USD 699 plus applicable taxes, duties and shipping. Availability and pricing of EF to E Smart Adapter V and EF to E Speed Booster ULTRA II are to be determined.

New key features

· CINE models feature a new positive-lock EF lens mount. (Patent pending)

· Rubber gasket protects E-mount connection from dust and moisture.

· Compatible with Sony FS7 Mark II camera

· Status notification LED light

· Dedicated switch controls in-body image stabilization (IBIS)

Electronic features

· Fast contrast-detect AF on all E-mount cameras.

· Phase-detect autofocus support on A7RII, A7II, A6300 and A6500.

· Smooth iris support with the latest Canon (2009+), Tamron (SP series 2013+) and Sigma (2016+) lenses

· Supports 5-axis in-body image stabilization of A7II, A7RII and A7SII. (Distance information from lens required; 3-axis IBIS if lens does not transmit distance information.)

· Powered by camera body. No external power source required.

· Aperture control from camera body.

· Custom function button assignable to more than 50 functions on A7 series and A6300/A6500.

· High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply.

· Supports image stabilization (IS) lenses.

· Supports electronic manual focusing (e.g. EF 85/1.2L II and discontinued EF 50/1.0L)

· EXIF support (focal length, aperture, zoom range)

· Distance and zoom display on VG and FS series camcorders, A7 series and A6300/A6500 (lens with distance information support required).

· Auto magnify (lens with distance information support required)

· Auto "APS-C Size Capture" on full-frame cameras.

Optical (Speed Booster models only*) /Mechanical Features

· Increase maximum aperture by 1 stop.*

· Increase MTF.*

· Makes lens 0.71x wider.*

· Advanced 5-element/4-group optical design incorporating ultra-high index tantalum-based optical glass by Caldwell Photographic in the USA (patent).*

· Felt material flocked inside the opening to reduce internal reflection.

· The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins, and Photo Clam ball heads.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Found Fuji film cameras: B&H locates unopened (discontinued) Fuji GF670 cameras in warehouse

Imaging Resource - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 22:00
    If you missed your chance to grab a new, sealed Fujifilm GF670 6x7 folding medium format film camera during its production run, you will have another chance soon. B&H has reportedly found an unspecified number of brand-new GF760 cameras in one of their warehouses. The rangefinder camera accepts 120 and 220 roll film and uses a Fujinon EBC 80mm f/3.5 lens, complete with bellows. The camera has a built-in light meter, allowing the use of an aperture priority exposure mode in addition to fully manual shooting. Its electronic shutter...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Jared Polin launches 'MyGearVault' app to help you keep track of your gear

Digital Photography Review - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 20:19

You probably know him as that shouty man on YouTube with the big hair, but for the past few months, Jared Polin (aka 'Fro Knows Photo') has been working on a new app called MyGearVault. It's designed to help photographers keep track of their gear and make sure it's properly covered if anything goes wrong.

The app launched over the weekend, and we've been using it for a few days. So far, we're impressed. MyGearVault is one of the most straightforward ways we've found to keep track of a collection of photo equipment, and features like .CSV file export and an option to generate insurance quotes from within the app make it a potentially very powerful tool for enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

We caught up with Jared last week to get the low-down on what MyGearVault is, and how it works.

Download MyGearVault

Why did you make an app?

Two things. We all know that photography is more than a hobby, its also an investment. Like other photographers, I have a lot of gear, and keeping it organized is essential. This free app primarily acts as a way for creatives to organize their equipment, and includes features to help them safeguard that investment.

Far too many photographers either don't have insurance, or have the wrong kind. That’s why I created MyGearVault – to educate creatives about the proper insurance coverage so they can finally get the right protection. 

MyGearVault isn’t just me. My partner in this project is an insurance industry veteran of 15 years who has overseen the formation of multiple insurance companies.

How does MyGearVault work?

MyGearVault has three major functions – it helps you to input, organize and finally protect your gear. Adding your cameras, accessories, computers and more to your vault is an extremely easy process, and if you don't find your item in our database you can manually enter it.

If your item is in our database an image will already be populated along with the manufacture and model name. If you would like to change the image you can load one from your phone or take a picture of your item.

One of the most important features and my favorite is the ability to take a picture of your receipt and upload it to MyGearVault from your phone. Your receipt will be safely and securely stored inside your vault. This is important if you ever need to file a claim with an insurance company or supply a copy of your receipt for a warranty repair.

As you enter gear you will see your 'total vault value' listed at the top. As you enter different categories you will see the total value of that particular category. This is a great way to know what you have and what it’s worth.

We’ve also built a simple way for you to organize your gear into 'kits.' For example you can create a wedding kit that includes everything you would take to shoot a wedding. From the bodies and lenses to memory cards, computers, flashes, stands etc. At the top of each kit you will see 'total kit value' so you know what you have and what it’s worth. 

Finally, there's the protection aspect. We understand the importance of protecting your gear. That’s why we’re working with licensed professionals with access to top rated insurance companies to find a solution that fits your needs. Right now inside MyGearVault you can take a short questionnaire to receive an insurance quote. And in about one business day you can expect to have full comprehensive coverage from one of our licensed insurance partners.

What does your service offer that others don’t?

MyGearVault stands above anything else out there because it not only lets you input and organize your gear simply and elegantly but also lets you protect it. This is an interface designed for creatives by creatives, so its easy to understand and fun to use.

We are also working on features that help photographers protect their gear, such as serial number recognition in the case that gear gets stolen or misplaced. Additionally, we’re working with licensed professionals with access to top rated insurance companies to find a solution that fits a photographer / videographers needs. 

In the weeks ahead we will be rolling out videos to help creatives understand the insurance world so they make sure they have the proper coverage. Insurance my not be sexy, but understanding it and protecting your gear is very important.

$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_5812076312","galleryId":"5812076312","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"standalone":false,"selectedImageIndex":0,"startInCommentsView":false,"isMobile":false}) }); I’m not a pro. Why do I need MyGearVault?

Simple, MyGearVault helps you keep track of what you have and what its worth. Many of us have a significant amount invested in our photography. Whether you're a pro or not, it makes sense to organize your investment, and protect it.

If you make any money from your photography / videography, or if it's your livelihood, MyGear Vault is a simple way to track and protect your gear.

I am a pro, and I already have insurance - why do I need MyGearVault?

If you’re happy with your insurance by all means stick with it. But I would suggest you still download and utilize MyGearVault because it can help you keep track of what you have, what it’s worth, and organize your receipts and serial numbers. When I entered all my gear into my personal Vault the first time, I realized I had more gear than I was currently insured for. MyGearVault helped me see what I had so I knew how much coverage I needed.

With MyGearVault you’re able to export a complete listing of all your gear, with its value and serial numbers, or just the gear within a specific kit or category as a .CSV file. Simply send this to your current insurer each year when they ask for it. In the future we will include an option to export this data as a PDF, which will include your sales receipts. 

Even if you currently have insurance it might be a good idea to compare your current policy to one offered by our insurance partners. You can get a no obligation insurance quote under the insurance tab of MyGearVault.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable uploading information about my photo equipment - is the data secure?

When you use MyGearVault, data is sent to over a secure https protocol (the same thing used when you’re doing online shopping or logging in to your bank account). If you want to get technical, we’re serving API calls over https using token authentication. We will never share your data with anyone. When it comes to device security, you can secure the MyGearVault app with a touch ID or passcode, and there's an option for Facebook login.

How are you making money from MyGearVault? The short answer is that right now we're not. MyGearVault is free, and in the long run, we hope that it becomes a revenue-generating service. For now though, we want photographers and video creatives to use it, tell us how it should evolve, and help us create the next version.  How are you hoping MyGearVault will evolve in future?

Right now we’re focused on helping both enthusiast and professional photographers / videographers keep track of their gear and protect it with this free app. As the community grows, we’re looking forward to offering additional resources to help them creatively and professionally.

  • Photographer and Instructor Jared Polin of FroKnowsPhoto created this service for creative professionals and hobbyists
  • Free App available today on the App Store
  • Photographers and Videographers can organize all of their equipment in their own secure personal “Vault”
  • App educates on how to protect gear and help users find insurance options

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 23 2017) - Announced today and now available, MyGearVault is a new app for creatives (photographers / videographers) to help organize and protect their investment in expensive equipment. Jared Polin, also known as FroKnowsPhoto, created the app to help creatives and professionals understand what gear they have and what its really worth, while educating users and offering choices for protecting their own equipment.

“I get more emails than I should with stories of how someone’s gear was stolen, and they want to crowd fund replacements, because they didn’t have insurance. The truth is, its not entirely their fault. There’s not a lot of education out there about proper insurance for creatives. That’s all about to change. Whether you’re a working professional, a beginner, or a seasoned photo enthusiast, odds are you have a significant investment in your photo / video gear, which NEEDS to be organized to be protected,” Said Jared Polin.

Input and Organize

Knowing what you have and what its worth is the first step to protecting yourself. The interface of the MyGearVault app is easy to use, and allows users to input all of their equipment into their own secure, personal “Vault.” It’s simple to store all the important information about your gear, including a verified serial number, picture of your receipt, date purchased and much more. To speed up the process, the app has an auto-populate function that recognizes what the user is typing and completes fields. Recognizing that users have a lot of gear, the app helps organize it in unique and effective ways.

Each item can be saved into a specific category, such as Cameras, Lens, Computers, Data Storage, etc. When users click on a category, the total value of items based on the gear inside will appear. users can also create custom kits of gear, such as a specific gear assortment for weddings, travel, studio, video, astro -the possibilities are endless. This is a great way to know the value of gear you’re taking with you for any given vacation, project or job. All of this data can be easily exported as a CSV file and sent as needed for insurance, repair purposes or to friends and colleagues.


MyGearVault works in a few ways to help protect you: First, your vault is a record of your purchases, receipts and serial numbers, which makes it easy to account for your gear if the unfortunate happens. Your serial number is registered, so if the item is stolen, we will let you know if it is registered within another vault. MyGearVault educates users on the best option for insuring their gear. While not an insurance company, MyGearVault has partnered with licensed insurance professionals to helps users find a solution that fits the unique needs of every type of creative professional.

We understand how important insuring gear is, but also how confusing it can be, and that’s why we’re working with licensed professionals with access to top rated insurance companies. Right now inside MyGearVault you can take a short questionnaire to receive an immediate, no obligation insurance quote. In approximately one day, you can have full comprehensive coverage from one of our licensed insurance partners. “I have seen too many times that people are denied coverage, don’t have an adequate policy, or no coverage at all,” says Polin. This is the first step users can take to protect themselves.”


The MyGearVault app is available now, free of charge in the Apple App Store®. To download the app, click here:

An Android compatible version of the app is planned for the future. Contact Jared Polin with questions regarding MyGearVault -

Be sure to check out for more information. Please check out our YouTube playlist for “how-to” videos.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Vanguard's Alta Rise bags expand so you can cram in even more gear

Digital Photography Review - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 20:09

Vanguard's Alta Rise bag series, which debuted at Photokina, includes three messenger models, two backpack models and one sling bag model. The entire lineup offers what Vanguard calls a '+6 size expanding feature' for increasing or decreasing a bag's size as needed.

The lineup features the Alta Rise 28 Messenger ($109.99), Alta Rise 33 ($119.99), Alta Rise 38 ($129.99), Alta Rise 43 Sling ($99.99), Alta Rise 45 Backpack ($129.99), and the Alta Rise 48 Backpack ($159.99). The +6 expansion system extends the size of each bag by 6cm via unzipping a single zipper. All six bags can generally fit three to five lenses, a DSLR, and other items including a tablet or, depending on its size, a laptop.

Other universal features include a ‘quick action’ access point, protective padding, and a ‘total coverage rain cover.' Some other non-universal features include an Air System for comfort in certain bags, accommodation for up to a 15-inch laptop, a discreet 'Magic Pocket,' and feet on the bottom to keep the bottom of the bag off the ground.

Via: ThePhoblographer

Kategorien: Fotografie

Three easy ways to create background separation in your portraits using speedlights

Imaging Resource - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 20:00
    Photographer Manny Ortiz has a number of excellent tutorials on his YouTube channel to help budding portrait photographers get better results without breaking the bank. His videos showcase how to achieve excellent results with only speedlights rather than large, expensive studio lights. He even has videos geared toward getting great results with a single off-camera flash. His latest video is focused on three easy ways to separate your subject for dynamic portraits. His first technique is to put a grid on a speedlight and aim the...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Samsung blames two different defects for Galaxy Note 7 battery debacle

Digital Photography Review - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 19:43
 Galaxy Note 7 battery testing at Samsung. Photo via Samsung

After some information had already leaked last week, Samsung has today officially communicated the outcome of its investigation into the Galaxy Note 7 battery debacle. We already knew the problem was battery and not hardware-related, but now the Korean company has clarified that there were two different defects on the original Note 7s and the replacement units.

According to Samsung, on the original units the problems could be traced back to a design flaw in the upper right corner of the battery. Electrodes could bend too easily which led to a 'breakdown in the separation between positive and negative tabs, causing a short circuit.' The replacement units were shipped with batteries from a different supplier. Apparently the latter was in a rush to meet the demand which resulted in a manufacturing error that again could cause the battery to short circuit and ignite.

The report is the culmination of efforts from 700 members of staff who worked on the investigation which involved 200,000 devices and 30,000 additional batteries. Results have been backed up by three independent testers, UL, Exponent, and TÜV Rheinland.

Via Samsung

The battery flaw in the original devices could have detected through X-rays, for the replacement units disassembly would have been required, but none of those steps were part of Samsung's QC-procedures. However, this has now changed and the company has introduced an eight-point inspection process to prevent similar problems in the future.

Samsung's upcoming flagship device Galaxy S8 will undergo the new testing procedure which is presumably part of the reason why, contrary to expectations, it won't be released at the Mobile World Congress at the end of February. Instead consumers will reportedly have to wait until some time in April for the new high-end phone to arrive.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Capturing history as it’s made: The high-pressure task of the White House photographer

Imaging Resource - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 17:00
    With a new president having taken office in the United States, that also means that a new official White House photographer will be taking over as well. DigitalRev In Focus explores the job and its history. John F. Kennedy was the first US president to work with a full-time photographer, Cecil W. Stoughton. After Kennedy, all of the presidents except for Jimmy Carter have had an official photographer, although the position remains optional. The official White House photographer is tasked with following the president every day and...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Fujifilm GFX launch: Hands-on with the GFX, X-T20, and X100F, plus more questions answered!

Imaging Resource - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 16:50
    Last Thursday evening, Fujifilm held its formal coming out party for the GFX 50S in The Refectory at the High Line Hotel, a spectacular, historic room in what was once part of an Episcopalian seminary. The company packed the room with a dozen or so GFX 50S cameras, all three of the new GF lenses, vertical grips, a handful of other GFX accessories, and plenty of X-T20 and X100F bodies as well. Down at one end, there was a small studio set, where party attendees could have their pictures taken with models dressed like a royal...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Fujifilm X100F pre-production sample gallery

Digital Photography Review - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 13:30
Fujifilm X100F at ISO 320, 1/125 sec, F3.6. Photo by Richard Butler

The Fujifilm X100F is the fourth iteration in the company's series of compact-yet-capable fixed lens cameras. Though this model carries over the previous iterations' 23mm (35mm equivalent) F2 lens, the lens takes on new life in front of a 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor found in the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

In the span of one weekend, our beta X100F has traveled from the east coast of the United States to the west, from candid street portraits to puppies, and there is an awful lot in between. Enjoy, and keep an eye out for an updated gallery with a full production model in the coming weeks.

Samples shot with a beta X100F, so many not exactly represent final image quality.

Kategorien: Fotografie

This week's sponsor: GatherContent

A List Apart - Mo, 23/01/2017 - 06:01

GATHER CONTENT: Stop content delaying website launches with custom collaborative online templates and workflow. Try it free!

Kategorien: Webdesign

Caffeine Priority: Hands-on with the hands-off photo editing software, Photolemur

Imaging Resource - So, 22/01/2017 - 12:00
    Wake up with IR! Here's today's cup of Caffeine Priority... We covered Photolemur in early December. Since then, I've had the opportunity to use the MacOS software and see what it offers photographers. To brief you on what Photolemur is, it is a piece of automated photo editing software. Claiming to be the "world's first automatic photo enhancement solution" on its website, Photolemur uses artificial intelligence to automatically enhance your photos, including adjustments to exposure, white balance, saturation, contrast and...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

COSYSPEED Camslinger Streetomatic + Review: Compact, well-designed bag

Imaging Resource - So, 22/01/2017 - 12:00
    In early December, I wrote about COSYSPEED’s new camera bag, the Streetomatic +. It is compact, but larger than its predecessor, capable of holding a DSLR camera rather than the mirrorless camera the the original Streetomatic was designed to carry. What makes this bag particularly interesting is how it is made to be used with a single hand. The primary feature of the Streetomatic+ is its magnetic Fidlock closure. Fidlock is a German company – as is COSYSPEED – who worked with COSYSPEED to design the closure. It is a clever design...
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Kategorien: Fotografie

Leica M10 real-world sample gallery

Digital Photography Review - So, 22/01/2017 - 12:00
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Archaic focusing system, no video mode, no USB socket: the Leica M10 isn't for everyone (and at $6600 body-only is prohibitively expensive), but it's absolutely lovely. Announced earlier this week, a pre-production unit found its way into our hands. In case you missed it in the excitement of announcements earlier this week, take a look at our first samples from Leica's newest digital M rangefinder.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Broncolor offering photographers $24,000 in gear, discounts, exposure and more in Gen NEXT contest

Imaging Resource - Sa, 21/01/2017 - 12:00
    If you are between 18 and 30 years old, you can win broncolor gear worth $24,000 in their Gen NEXT competition. You can submit up to three images falling within any genre of photography, such as sports, still life, portraits, etc. Submissions are open until March 7 at midnight Central European Time. Broncolor is not publishing any information on the judging process except that it will be done internally. Winners will not simply receive broncolor gear, but they will also be subject to terms and conditions, which you can read in...
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Kategorien: Fotografie