“[T]he decision to integrate with Photoshop is exclusively based on feedback from Loupedeck’s invested community, many of whom utilize the imaging and graphic design software in their editing workflow,” Loupedeck says. “The Loupedeck+ will permit more intuitive and faster editing, providing more accuracy on controlling Photoshop’s functions.”
Loupedeck+ can be configured to match your Photoshop CC workflow. Here’s a list of things you’ll be able to do with the pairing:
Intuitive features that make editing faster: swap between current and previous tools, reset blending or to fit image on screen by just a press of a button
Ability to focus on the image instead of navigating: minimize mouse pointing, list scrolling and target practicing with tiny icons
More direct access to tools, functions, layers and other Photoshop options to save time
Excellent layer control by moving, grouping, merging, adjusting opacity, fill, visibility or masking
Ability to run smart filter with Loupedeck+’s configurable buttons
Custom mode that gives even more possibilities for mapping different Photoshop functions on Loupedeck+
Ability to create your own actions and run them with Loupedeck+´s configurable buttons
Here’s a 10-minute video showing Loupedeck+ in action in Photoshop CC:
“In our ongoing mission to make the editing processes of both professional and amateur photographers more intuitive and efficient, we continually work to integrate Loupedeck+ with the editing suites they utilize and cherish most in their workflows,” says Loupedeck founder and CEO Mikko Kesti. “Members of our dedicated user community emphasized their eagerness to use the console to edit with Photoshop and we listened.”
Facebook Bug Exposed Unpublished Photos for Up to 6.8 Million Users
Facebook revealed today that it discovered a software bug that exposed the unpublished photos of up to 6.8 million users.
The bug was in the photo API and affected users who have granted permissions to third-party apps to access their photos.
For 12 days, between September 13th and 25th of this year, some of those apps may have had a much broader range of access than the users or Facebook had granted. Instead of only being able to “see” photos that have been publicly shared on a user’s timeline, those apps could see even photos that were uploaded to Facebook but not yet published.
“For example, if someone uploads a photo to Facebook but doesn’t finish posting it – maybe because they’ve lost reception or walked into a meeting – we store a copy of that photo so the person has it when they come back to the app to complete their post,” Facebook explains.
The apps also had access to photos posted in Facebook Stories and in the Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook currently believes the bug affected up to 6.8 million users and 1,500 third-party apps built by 876 developers. If you may have been affected, Facebook will present you with a notification in its app along with a list of apps that may have had incorrect access to your photos.
The company is also working with app developers to figure out which users might have been impacted by the bug and to delete any photos that may have been obtained.
A IKEA Desk Pad Can Help Remove Stuck Lens Filters
How hard is it to remove a stuck filter on a camera lens? If it happens with a slim profile filter, you are left with less of a surface to grip.
I tried the rubber band method, tapping method, oil drip method, hair dryer method, and plier method. Trust me, none of them worked. Adam Savage needed a bandsaw to remove his stuck filter, but too bad I don’t own the tool or a cool workshop.
As I was almost giving up and was shopping for a lens filter wrench — yes, there is such a tool — the solution hit me out of nowhere. I tried it on the stuck UV filter, and immediately out it came. A week’s worth of frustration just went poof.
I then tried the same method on my Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens with a dented UV filter, and it again worked like a charm. That was a few months of frustration that evaporated in an instant.
Place the front of your lens with the filter face down on the pad, apply some force onto the lens, and turn the lens in the direction that removes the filter.
Viola! Tool-less removal of stuck lens filters.
I hope this trick helps other photographers who find themselves with the same issue I had.
About the author: Ng Chia Liang is a wedding, architectural, and motion 360 photographer living in Malaysia. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.
This is the First Photo Shot Inside the Sun’s Corona
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on a mission to explore the Sun’s corona (basically its atmosphere), and the robotic spacecraft recently made the closest-ever approach to a star. NASA just shared a remarkable photo share by Parker: the first photo ever shot from inside the Sun’s corona.
“[T]he science data from the first solar encounter is just making its way into the hands of the mission’s scientists,” NASA writes. “It’s a moment many in the field have been anticipating for years, thinking about what they’ll do with such never-before-seen data, which has the potential to shed new light on the physics of our star, the Sun.
“Parker Solar Probe’s imagers […] will have a new perspective on the young solar wind, capturing a view of how it evolves as Parker Solar Probe travels through the solar corona.”
The photo above was captured on November 8th, 2018, while Parker was about 16.9 million miles from the Sun’s surface. Just for reference, the Sun’s diameter is 860,000 miles, and the distance from Earth to the Sun is about 91 million miles.
In the middle of the frame are at least two ejections of solar material, known as coronal streamers, which are usually found in regions on increased solar activity.
And that bright spot of light seen right under a streamer? That’s Mercury, the first planet from the Sun.
Parker is set to get as close as 4.3 million miles (6.9m km) from the center of the Sun, traveling as fast as 430,000 mph (690,000 km/h) in the process.
P.S. As an aside, Parker is the first NASA spacecraft ever named after a living person. It was named to honor University of Chicago professor emeritus and physicist Eugene Parker. Mounted on the spacecraft is a memory card containing photos of Parker, the names of 1.1 million people, and Parker’s 1958 scientific paper that predicted important things in solar physics.
Image credits: Photo by NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe
sRGB vs Adobe RGB vs ProPhoto RGB: Color Spaces Explained
Have you ever exported a photo, uploaded it to the Web, and then noticed that the colors looked off on your monitor? The reason is likely the color space of your photo. Here’s a helpful 15-minute video by PHLEARN that provides a crash course on color spaces and how to use them.
“A basic understanding of how color space works in Photoshop can save you some serious time and headache,” PHLEARN says. “[W]e break down the differences between LAB, Adobe RGB 1998, ProPhoto RGB, and sRGB while offering general tips on how to choose what color space to work in and what color space to use when exporting your final photos.”
Here are the things covered in the video and when they’re found:
00:57 Brief Background on Color Spaces 01:37 Common Color Spaces 03:04 Color Space Uses 04:32 Color Settings in Photoshop 09:32 Assigning Color Profiles to RAW 12:50 Color Settings from Lightroom to Photoshop 14:08 Color Settings for Export from Lightroom
LAB Color is ever possible color the human eye can perceive, so it’s the standard by which all other color spaces are compared.
ProPhoto RGB is a newer color space that has a much wider gamut than Adobe RGB and is more in line with modern digital cameras.
Adobe RGB 1998 features a wide gamut and compatibility with many software programs and displays.
sRGB has a relatively narrow gamut but is designed for consistency and compatibility. For this reason, you should make sure all the photos you share on the Web are sRGB.
Unlike Mr. Dawood, I am an amateur photographer, though I am a veteran of many years in the photographic hardware business. I presently use the Sony a6500 camera, an excellent APS-C camera.
The pictures I shoot tend to be pictorials and scenics, and of course the mandatory family shots. I live retired in a small town in remote Southwest Oregon.
While I own and use the superb Sony 18-135mm OSS Zoom lens, I have always preferred to use prime lenses whenever possible for best possible image quality. The best lenses I presently own and use are the E-mount Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and Sigma 60mm f/2.8. The 30mm f/1.4 Sigma is justly famous; the 60mm f/2.8 rather less so.
The fate of the Sigma 60mm lens is unfortunate. It is an outstanding piece of glass, lightweight, superb resolution, and very reasonably priced, albeit a bit strange looking. It is my lens of choice for many pictures. It accomplishes its mission with an elegant design featuring low dispersion glass and two aspherical elements. It has a silent linear motor for focusing.
But it molders in obscurity. Sigma has been developing and pushing their Art series of lenses, and indeed my superb 30 f/1.4mm lens is one such. But the longer, high-speed lenses, while truly magnificent efforts, are rather spendy and physically quite heavy.
There are basically three reasons why a photographer might want a high speed longer focal length lens. One is for a very narrow depth of field, to isolate a subject. Another, closely related, is for bokeh, to avoid distracting the viewer of an image. Without question, modern high-speed lenses deliver razor-sharp images, very narrow depth of field, and great bokeh. (“Bokeh” — from the Japanese for, “A lot more money”.)
The third reason — the traditional one — is for extra light gathering in low light situations. But this is somewhat problematic. For one thing, when using digital imaging, it is easy to simply raise the ISO to insane levels with minimal loss of quality. And again, in most low light shots, shallow depth of field is not desirable. In such cases, the higher ISO is the usual solution, not higher speed glass.
Also, mirrorless cameras function beautifully with slower lenses in low light situations, not needing the extra f/stops for enough light to compose and focus, thanks to light magnification of the electronic viewfinder. (I am mystified that more people are not aware of this huge benefit of mirrorless cameras.)
So guess what? I — and many photographers like me — simply have no compelling need for a high-speed moderate telephoto, such as an 85mm f/1.4 lens or the like, even though the companies and much of the media push “bokeh” as hard as possible and as the measure of quality of a lens, instead of contrast and sharpness. Yet, many photographers do not need nor want bokeh for their pictures.
Instead, we want sharpness from front to back. Terrific sharpness. Yes, the modern high-speed telephoto will deliver this, stopped down. But we want modern high-resolution autofocus lenses that are lighter to carry around instead of today’s glass bombs, and we don’t want to break the budget buying them. Yet, all the firms supplying E-mount lenses today are concentrating their efforts to bring out — yup — fast, expensive high-speed glass — not the lenses I hope to see and would want to buy.
I keep wishing for a longer modern lens that would be somewhere between 100mm and 135mm, light in weight and commiserate in cost. An aperture of f/3.5 or even f/4.5 would be absolutely fine.
Sigma started in this direction with their “DN” series of lenses, offering 19mm, 30mm, and 60mm lenses for the E-Mount, all f/2.8… and then essentially abandoned the line, with no further additions, and no advertising or marketing for them.
In the meantime, at least for E-Mount cameras, all the major suppliers are scrambling to bring out me-too look-alike high-speed lenses. Most of them are excellent and offer pretty much the same feature set. But are bigger apertures always better? Does size always matter? Should bokeh be the measure of excellence?
Lens manufacturers seem to have a split approach: high-speed primes for the pros, and slow zooms for the masses. But why can’t they also offer exquisite slower prime lenses with stunning resolution? Clearly, the major suppliers have the knowledge, capability, and tools to offer them if they so wished…
Counting on bokeh to sell lenses may prove to be very dangerous in the long run. Post-processing programs already can create excellent bokeh effects. As AI technology finds its way further into post-processing, it will surely offer better apparent bokeh-style isolation, even with variable slider controls, for both stills and video. Optical bokeh may well soon be largely a thing of the past. Kind of like dark slides… And when this happens, guess what the pros will be buying? It won’t be massive glass bombs.
Are manufacturers afraid less expensive lenses would cannibalize their pricier offerings? Probably so, but in doing so they are ignoring a potentially significant market. And very possibly, in the near future, they may soon find Chinese manufacturers with no legacy loyalties exploiting it for them. Better you should hurt your own product line sales by introducing another line that will cannibalize some existing sales than have a competitor completely destroy those sales for you.
A huge photographic market disappeared with the advent of the smartphone, as consumers wanted something smaller and lighter and easy to carry that could offer quality pictures, and they got it. Why is the photo equipment industry so intent on ignoring amateur photographers who value image quality? Can the industry really afford to drive more customers away?
Dear Camera Companies: Please make some slower, lighter prime lenses between 50mm and 150 mm!
About the author: Bob Locher is a retired veteran amateur photographer who spent many years in the photography hardware business. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Locher has written over 50 magazine articles as well as two books. You can find more of his work and writing on his website.
Social media posts of the comparison have been shared tens of thousands of times, and even certain media sites have used the images as proof that photographers are using dishonest perspective and framing to turn tiny insignificant fires into giant blazes that seem to show Paris burning.
“Perspective matters, and so do dates and places… because these two photos were taken on two different days in two different places, in Paris,” AFP writes. “Criticism of media coverage is legitimate, but this isn’t the best example of it.
“These photos were taken on 2 different days in 2 separate places… and AFP did not find a single photo combining a scooter on fire and the Arc de Triomphe in the background.”
And although AFP is being accused of this deception, neither of the photos were shot by AFP photographers or handled by AFP editors.
What’s more, AFP also found that the two photos weren’t even shot on the same side of the Arc de Triomphe.
The juxtaposition of two photos from two different weekends is a clever move: by positioning oneself on the spot where the burning scooter was photographed, on Friedland avenue in Paris, the perspective of the Arc de Triomphe is the same https://t.co/bumLxiGMkR 6/8 pic.twitter.com/HGKqlqIsEo
The two photos aren’t of the same place. The Hans Lucas photo was taken exactly on the other side of the Arc de Triomphe, on Foch Avenue. This is verifiable by looking at: 1) this lamp post 2) this stoplight 3) this fence and the beginning of Traktir Street on the right 7/8 pic.twitter.com/LOvBcuhBbV
Lightroom Dec 2018 Update Brings a Customizable Develop Panel
Adobe has released the December 2018 update to its entire photo ecosystem, bringing new features, improvements, and bug fixes to Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic CC, and Lightroom CC for Mac, Windows, Android, ChromeOS, and iOS.
Here’s a rundown of the notable changes across the different apps (a full list of changes can be found here):
“In the December update for Lightroom Classic CC, we’ve focused on workflow and performance improvements,” Adobe writes.
Customize Develop Panel
You can now customize the order of (or hide) tools found in the Develop module for your own personal flow. Right click (or Ctrl+click on Mac) on any panel header and select “Customize Develop Panel” to bring up the box for reordering and hiding tools.
Auto-import to collection
You can now auto-import photos directly into a collection. By setting up a watched folder, you can have new images in that folder automatically imported and added into a collection. Visit File menu->Auto Import Settings and select “Add to Collection”.
Grid snap in Book Module
“In the Book Module, photos now snap to align with other photos by default, and a new option was added to allow photos to be aligned to grid lines, making precise layouts super simple.”
“[Y]ou’ll notice faster grid scrolling as well as up to 5x faster switching between the Library and Develop modules on 4K and 5K monitors.”
Lightroom CC for Mac and Windows
Set as Target Album
“With the new Target Album feature, you can quickly add photos to a target album from anywhere in your library with a single shortcut.”
Right click (or Ctrl+click on Mac) an album or click the three-dot menu and hit the “Set as the Target Album” option. Once this is selected, anytime you hit the ‘T‘ key the select photo will be added to the target album.
Album sharing improvements
“When sharing your Lightroom albums with friends and family, you can filter which images are shared based on picks and star ratings, enabling you to share an entire album but ensuring that only the best photos are accessible by anyone else.”
“We improved import speed, making it faster for you to import images into Lightroom CC from an SD memory card or camera connected over USB. We also improved how quickly faces load in People view.”
Lightroom CC for Android and ChromeOS
New shared albums tab
“In addition to the Library Tab, there’s a new tab that provides you with access to all of the photos and albums that you’ve shared to online to lightroom.adobe.com.”
Ad-hoc photo shares
“You can now create an online share of photos with a arbitrary assortment of photos. Instead of creating an album and sharing that album, you can now select any number of photos that you want to share, tap the 3-dot menu at the top-right of the screen, and then select Share to Web.”
Wired ethernet support
“You can now access the internet via wired ethernet, a feature often requested for running Lightroom Android on ChromeOS.”
Lightroom CC for iOS
“This release has a number of small tweaks and performance improvements as we prepare for some exciting features that will be coming next year.”
You can start using these new features and improvements now by updating your Adobe app to the latest version through the Creative Cloud or through the app store you use.
Having learned photography in the time of manual analog film cameras, I know digital feels different. And for me, it’s all about the “left and right of photography.”
Analog photography is predominantly a left-handed pursuit but digital is predominantly right-handed. The question that begs to be asked is “what influence does this have on creativity?”. Or more importantly, your images?
I personally find that the right-hand operation of shutter and aperture makes for a rather clumsy interface. I suspect, however, that being left-handed is only part of the reason.
Left and Right of Photography Ergonomics
Digital cameras often use the right-hand for both carrying and to change aperture and shutter settings. The “index finger/thumb” wheel and the other settings buttons are for the right-hand on most digital cameras. Leica and Fuji are different, and we will come to that. But this general modern design requires a strength and dexterity that is unnecessary considering the left hand is so underemployed.
Creativity, Artistic and Technical
While the jury is still out on left or right brain dominance, there is a general acceptance that different brain halves are effective in different tasks. Indeed studies on people with brain damage have reinforced the abilities being oriented in this way. Disputed is mostly the belief that we are either/or in our thinking and not that the brain has separation.
Other studies have shown that people with brain damage can sometimes not even know what they have chosen when being asked to select objects from a bag. This led the researchers to deduce that communication between the analytical and abstract areas are distinct and independent.
This all may or may not be true, the whole story or not even close. But one has to ask: has anyone in the mainstream photography companies checked?
Have they tested the artistic composition with photographers on the two very different systems?
Perhaps this is a little unfair, but it seems that the mainstream companies are tripping over themselves to meet the features and megapixel counts while ignoring the most important component in photography, the photographer!
Composition and an artistic eye seem to count for so little in today’s post-production and spray-and-pray photography. Yet even if this left-hand influence affords a slight increase in artistic influence it could give us the edge.
Leica/Fuji/Analogue Retaining the Lefty Way!
Surprising in the modern photographic world is the persistence of Leica in retaining much of the older approach. More surprising is the fact that they still have a dedicated following. Fujifilm cameras similarly have focus and aperture left-handedly. Older film cameras from other manufacturers are also seeing a strong resurgence and appreciation.
Many will point out that most other digital cameras allow the left hand to control aperture and focus. However, the aperture control and focus go round and round without any tactile confirmation of position. The feeling in the fingers for the end stops and clicks are missing and automation in these cameras is the expected norm.
Cameras with a retention or reassertion of the lefty way can’t all be because of the visuals, cost, weight or effort with film usage. There must be some artistic and ergonomic benefit. It appears to me that most people using these cameras are artists.
Is this the “secret” to the Leica/Fuji/Analogue following?
Affordable digital lefty system
Like me, most will be faced with a cold hard reality that a Leica with the glass is an unaffordable dream. The best I have come up with is a Nikon DSLR with the older AIS lenses; wonderful glass and the combination needs no adapter. This gives me the engagement and immersion that I so sorely missed with affordable automated digital camera setups.
Fujifilm’s X100, and others cameras, also provide the more traditional hand balance. Interestingly, I feel as comfortable and creative with my father’s X100 as I do with my hybrid Nikon setup.
Hybrid digital-analog lefty based digital setups can be created from Canon, Sony and the others too. So individual manufacturer preferences are by no means restricting a little personal experimentation. Best of all is the cost to experiment is actually cheap. Good manual legacy glass and an adapter for under $100 is realistic.
So does it affect pictures?
Clearly, this question is only open to those who try and compare. With my personal experience of both manual analog and modern digital, I can say, for my creativity and images it does. I feel more engaged, immersed and connected with my subject. I am also happier with the composition and timing in my portrait, street and event photography, something I find difficult with a right-hand dominant camera.
Is this only personal and a left-handed thing or is it a “creative something” that could impact all photographers? I don’t know but I think we need to test and debate this!
About the author: Alex Jackson-Smith has been a photographer for over 30 years. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Jackson-Smith’s work on his website and Flickr. This article was also published here.
Location of New Giant Cave Being Kept Secret to Thwart ‘Instagram Tourists’
A giant cave has been discovered in British Columbia, Canada, and the opening is large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside. But the location of the cave in Wells Gray Provincial Park is being kept a closely guarded secret in order to keep Instagram tourists away from the spot.
The New York Times reports that the cave was first noticed back in early spring when a group of researchers in a helicopter conducting a wildlife census noticed a “black hole” in a snowy slope.
After being made aware of the sighting, geologist Dr. Catherine Hickson raised some funding and assembled a team to visit the location once the snow melted in September.
What they found upon arrival after a 50-minute helicopter ride to the northeast corner of the park was one of the biggest caves in Canada and one that was previously undiscovered. The opening is about 330 feet long, 200 feet across, and at least 450 feet deep (but it’s believed to be deeper).
“As far as North America goes, this is a honking big cave,” Royal Canadian Geographical Society governor John Pollack tells the Times. “It’s one of the biggest in Canada,” he said, “and certainly one of the most spectacular.”
The cave is tentatively being called “Sarlacc’s Pit” due to its resemblance to the desert pit creature in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
And to prevent a sudden onslaught of adventure and photo seekers from impacting the cave, researchers aren’t revealing exactly where it is.
“The exact location of the cave has not been divulged, partly to discourage Instagram tourists and amateur climbers,” the Times writes.