Apple announces the end of their image editing software Aperture

Apple introduced a new Photos app during its Worldwide Developers Conference that will become the new platform for the company. As part of the transition, Apple have announced that they will no longer be developing their professional photography application, Aperture.

The Photos app, which was shown off only briefly during WWDC, will combine with iCloud Photo Library, replacing both Aperture and iPhoto. While Photos will allow users to store, search, and edit photos via the cloud on Apple devices, it is unlikely to include the more robust, professional-oriented tools found in Aperture. 

Aperture which was once the front runner in the image organising and editing space has been losing ground to Adobe Lightroom for several years now and this news will be a blow to die hard fans who were hoping for an Aperture 4.

Tokina Announce AT-X 70-200mm f/4 Lens

Tokina has launched a 70-200mm telephoto lens with built in camera shake correction. The lens first came to light at CP+ back in 2013.

The AT-X 70-200mm f/4 PRO FX VCM-S lens has been officially announced in Japan, and is currently only available for Nikon FX mount DSLRs. 

The lens also features a ring-type ultrasonic motor for autofocus and its coil motor driven image stabilisation system will offer three stops of stabilisation. There will also be a tripod collar available as an optional accessory. It will focus internally, offering a minimum focussing distance of 1 meter.

The lens is set to be available in Japan from the end of May for around £880 at current exchange rates. For more information, take a look at the Tokina Japan website

Corel has announced new AfterShot Pro 2

Corel has announced new AfterShot Pro 2, which is now 30% faster and offers a 4x faster performance advantage over the competition. 

AfterShot™ Pro 2 gives photographers a more responsive and productive way to work with RAW photos.

Corel AfterShot Pro 2 Key features:

  • 64-bit power: Now 30% faster! Get even more processing power and remove memory limitations with new 64-bit architecture. Enjoy greater stability and responsiveness app-wide. AfterShot Pro 2 is 4x faster than the competition—delivering faster results and saving you more time.
  • Updated RAW camera profiles: Adding 26 new profiles, AfterShot Pro 2 supports more than 250 camera profiles, including RAW formats from all major camera manufacturers. New camera profiles will be updated throughout the year. Read more about supported cameras at www.aftershotpro.com.
  • Workspace enhancements: Enjoy a more fluid workflow with a modern, streamlined interface. Enhanced Zoom delivers better previewing of smaller images, and a new Image Reset button lets you undo all your changes and view your original photo in a single click.
  • Complete High Dynamic Range (HDR) tools (Windows): Now available in the Windows version and coming later this summer to Mac and Linux, new HDR tools make it simple to create stunning photos with intense visual contrast. Combine multiple exposures to create a single, stunning HDR photo. Apply Smart Photo Fix, White Balance, Brightness/Contrast, Fill Light/Clarity, Local Tone Mapping, High Pass Sharpening, and Digital Noise Removal.
  • Easier batch processing: Redesigned batch processing controls make it simpler and faster to configure any batch processing task.
  • Red Eye Removal: New manual Red Eye Removal gives you precise control when cleaning up your photos.
  • Local Contrast: Recreate the look of a high-end camera lens and make objects within an image ‘pop’ by bringing out the texture and dimension in your photos.
  • Bigger Images, Better TIFF performance: 64-bit performance supports much larger images including files of up to 250 Megapixels and TIFF files larger than 30MB.
  • Noise reduction by Athentech: Optimize your images with new Athentech Imaging Noise Removal. This award-winning technology automatically adjusts lighting for every pixel in a shot while maintaining true color and zero clipping.

AfterShot Pro 2 is available now for £57.99. Existing registered users can purchase for the upgrade price of £45.99. For a limited time, AfterShot Pro, PaintShop Pro X6, Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom 5 registered customers may purchase AfterShot Pro 2 at the upgrade price. For more information, take a look at the Corel website

Phase One Introduce 40-80mm Shutter Lens

Phase One today announced the immediate availability of the Schneider Kreuznach 40-80 mm f/4.0-5.6 leaf shutter zoom lens. This is the second zoom lens designed for the Phase One 645 camera platform, and it offers workflow versatility without compromising image quality.

The new Schneider Kreuznach 40-80 mm f/4.0-5.6 leaf shutter zoom lens is the latest result of close optical collaboration between Schneider Kreuznach, Phase One and Mamiya Digital Imaging. It complements the existing Schneider Kreuznach 75-150 mm f/4.0-5.6 leaf shutter zoom lens. 

“Designing a zoom lens with excellent optical qualities throughout the zoom range is always a challenge,” said Senior Product Manager Espen Beck, Phase One. “When the zoom range goes from a fairly wide angle perspective to a normal perspective, as our new lens does, this only adds to the design complexity. This lens has 15 optical elements, two of which are aspherical, arranged in 11 groups. We have invested greater design and engineering resources into this lens than any of those before it, and we are very proud of the results. I think that this lens will be a perfect companion for on-location photographers.”

The Schneider Kreuznach 40-80mm LS f/4.0-5.6 lens is priced at 6.990 EUR / 8,990 USD. The lens system is available now through Phase One photography partners worldwide. 

For more information on the new lens, please visit the Phase One website

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 Announced

Create and Manage Beautiful Images in Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5

Photoshop CC, part of the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, was updated, with stunning new features — as part of a milestone release of Adobe Creative Cloud (see separate press release). Features for photographers, include:

  • Perspective Warp – The recently introduced capability for fluidly adjusting the perspective of a specific part of your image without affecting the surrounding area.
  • Blur Gallery motion effects – Two new additions, Path Blur and Spin Blur create a sense of motion, even if not originally captured with a camera, enabling photographers to tell their story or express just the right feeling in an image. There’s also faster performance when creating blur effects with the Mercury Graphics Engine delivering a performance boost with OpenCL.
  • Focus Mask – Lets Photoshop CC create the first step of a mask by automatically selecting the in-focus areas of an image. The Focus Mask feature works great with headshots and other images that have shallow depth of field.
  • Content-Aware colour adaptation improvements – Previously when using Content-Aware features, if a selected area contained smooth gradients, it didn’t necessarily appear in the final image. Now retouched images using Content-Aware Fill, Move, and Patch gets more seamless and realistic. Additionally, new technology blends areas containing gradients, like skies, to give exceptional results.
  • Improved stylus support and experimental features for Windows 8.1 – Enjoy smoother brush strokes and a simple out-of-the-box experience with expanded stylus support for Windows 8.1. Turn on experimental features for touch and gesture controls and bigger touch targets on devices like Surface Pro 3.

The Creative Cloud Photography Plan includes Lightroom 5 desktop software, a staple for all photographers, making digital photography easier, faster, and more amazing. Photographers can experiment without limits in a nondestructive editing environment and perfect shots with advanced controls for tone, contrast, colour, and more. Efficient organising tools help sort thousands of photos and make it simple to share them almost anywhere.

Mobile Solutions Takes Serious Photography Work Anywhere

Following its April 2014 release on iPad, Lightroom mobile is now available for iPhone. Lightroom mobile for iPhone and iPad provide the most efficient way to manage and edit images across desktops, mobile devices and the Web. The apps can automatically import images from the iPhone camera roll and sync back to a Lightroom catalogue on the desktop. Lightroom mobile provides photography essentials, including non-destructive processing of files using Smart Preview technologies to enable professional class photo editing from the confines of the desktop. Quickly apply star ratings, flag or reject images and edit them on iPhone and iPad. Edits and metadata changes automatically sync back to the Lightroom catalog on the desktop and are also viewable from any Web browser at lightroom.adobe.com. Lightroom mobile photo collections are also accessible for users of Adobe Voice, the recently introduced free animated video storytelling app.

Photoshop Mix, provides a connected mobile workflow to Creative Cloud, aimed at anyone who wants access to powerful editing tools on their mobile device. Open Adobe Photoshop documents, individual layers from PSDs, and images from Lightroom mobile. Easily apply looks, create advanced selections and masks, and access advanced Photoshop features like Upright, Content-Aware Fill, and Camera Shake Reduction to take creativity on the go. Then export your layered and masked composition to Photoshop CC for further refinement on the desktop. Share work, or even save it to a Photoshop document for a mobile workflow that works seamlessly with Photoshop CC.

Technology Optimised for Mobile Photography

The Creative Cloud Photography Plan’s desktop and mobile apps are connected by a powerful technology designed to enable users to edit and sync photos non-destructively from anywhere. By combining the same non-destructive editing pipeline found in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw, with Adobe’s renowned Smart Preview technologies, the amount of information being moved between apps is minimised, without compromising the end result. This gives users confidence that edits will be saved while being able to access their images with unprecedented speed, no matter what device.

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You don’t need to necessarily have previous skills with doing this, we just need someone who likes to talk and share things!

Please email us at [email protected] if you’re interested or to find out more.

Important changes to legislation for UK photographers

Two major new pieces of legislation coming into effect in the forthcoming months are due to make substantial changes to the contractual rights of consumers.

The first set of regulations will affect all traders, but will in particular be of relevance to those who supply digital content, or who enter into contracts with consumers over ‘distance’ means such as the internet, or face-to-face in places other than the their own business premises.

If you sell digital media (including USB memory sticks or DVD’s) then once any seal on these is broken then they will be unable to refuse to pay you, this also includes giving access in any way to downloads (such as JPG images). If you don’t already seal your media when you present it then now might be a good time to invest in some stickers.

The second legislative development is a far-reaching project to update, clarify and codify a large proportion of the existing consumer-facing legislation.