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photographic tours image Photographing France doesn’t stop at “countryside” & “buildings”…….

Observe the French Culture…..The Correzian people make fantastic subjects.
Walk through a busy market place, camera at the ready; you will not be able to resist the assortment of faces & scenes....


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photographic tours image Charm oozes from every building here in the Correzian Countryside......

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photographic tours imageYour Chance To Photograph “Forgotten France” In All It’s Splendour.

Let us at Phototours In France take you to capture the Correzian & surrounding countryside & places of interest that you thought were lost forever.....

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Filmmakers who walked on Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone get jail time and fines
24 Jan 2017 at 7:03pm

Last year, four Canadian filmmakers were arrested after photos and a video were published showing them walking on off-limits geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park. While one of the four individuals was slapped with an $8,000 fine and unsupervised probation back in November, as well as a 5-year ban from U.S. national parks, the other three faced trials, and have now been sentenced following guilty pleas entered last Thursday.

Of the three individuals, Justis Cooper Price Brown pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct by creating a hazardous condition and foot traffic in a thermal area, and was fined $3,500 and issued community service, according to the Billings Gazette.

Brown?s two companions, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Charles Ryker Gamble, both pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct by creating a hazardous condition and foot travel in a thermal area for their actions in Yellowstone.

The duo were also charged for actions performed in Death Valley, Zion and Mesa Verde National Parks. They pleaded guilty to performing commercial photography sans a permit, riding a bike in the wilderness and using a drone in a closed area. Both were sentenced to 7 days in jail, fined $2,000 and ordered to perform community service for Yellowstone Forever.

Via: Billings Gazette

Interview: Fujifilm talks GFX, X100F and getting serious about video
24 Jan 2017 at 11:30am
 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.?

Croatia in 4K: travel photographer Max Lowe on location with Canon EOS 5D Mar...
24 Jan 2017 at 11:00am

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?

Get 'em while you can: Fujifilm GF670 medium-format film cameras back on sale
24 Jan 2017 at 8:30am

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

Metabones launches four new adapters for attaching Canon lenses to Sony E-mou...
24 Jan 2017 at 8:01am

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.

Jared Polin launches 'MyGearVault' app to help you keep track of your gear
23 Jan 2017 at 7:19pm

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.

INPUT? ORGANIZE? PROTECT: NEW ?MYGEARVAULT? APP HELPS PHOTOGRAPHERS KEEP TRACK OF AND INSURE THEIR CAMERAS AND GEAR 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.

Vanguard's Alta Rise bags expand so you can cram in even more gear
23 Jan 2017 at 7:09pm

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

Samsung blames two different defects for Galaxy Note 7 battery debacle
23 Jan 2017 at 6:43pm
 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.

Fujifilm X100F pre-production sample gallery
23 Jan 2017 at 12:30pm
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.

Leica M10 real-world sample gallery
22 Jan 2017 at 11:00am
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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.

Take flight over Australia: aerial photos by Scott McCook
21 Jan 2017 at 11:00am
Take flight over Australia: Aerial photos by Scott McCook

Originally a tailing pond image, I have created a fictional piece of work to convey a story about Australia riding the mining boom, Boddington Western Australia

Scott McCook is an award winning Australian landscape photographer with a serious passion for aerial photography. All of the images that you see in this article were shot from the skies high above remote areas of Australia and New Zealand. His goals are to not only highlight the beauty in areas that are remote and far removed from the public eye, but also to illustrate the impacts that industry can have on the world around us.

To see more of his work, check him out on Facebook and Instagram.

What inspired you to begin your aerial work?

Big Lagoon Shark Bay, an isolated birrida, these birridas are gypsum clay pans that used to be saline lakes

I have two main sources of inspiration, the first of which is my drive to photograph what hides in plain sight. This started many years ago with astrophotography, which was something I pursued in my earlier days of landscape photography. The idea of something so beautiful hiding above cities and street lights every night with many people never even seeing the Milky Way with their own eyes drove me to the dark spots of Western Australia (of which there are many) to capture the incredible beauty of the Milky Way and show people here in Western Australia what?s in their backyard every night.

This concept of showing people, via my imagery, what hides just below the surface (or above your head) is what fanned my obsession for aerial photography. It?s the very same principals, the idea that these beautiful and sometimes abstract landscapes that we see every day from the ground can explode into life from the air.

My second source of inspiration is to show people the impact of mankind on nature, as in the case of my mining aerial imagery. It?s showing people areas that they would never normally be able to see on that scale. It has the possibility to empower people to make their own opinion on these landscapes and how far man will go to chase our precious resources.

I should also mention that there are a number of truly amazing landscape photographers based out of Australia that inspire me on a daily basis. The collective of landscape photographers from ND5 put life back into the aerial genre here in the last 10 or so years and their work sparked my interest in what our beautiful country has to offer from the air. Photographers like Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher and Peter Eastway have not only supplied inspiration over the years but have been great mentors for myself and many other budding landscape photographers here in Australia.

What?s your favorite aspect of aerial photography?

Shark Bay Western Australia, coastal floodplain

It really comes down to two questions: Is it the unique photography? Or the thrill of being in a plane or chopper?

I think it?s the pure thrill and enjoyment of flying that keeps bringing me back and then it?s the excitement of having no idea what incredibly unique moment or landscape you?ll capture from the air. Often with aerial photography, it feels like you?re an early explorer, going over uncharted territory, the feeling is quite amazing because often we are lucky enough to be the first people shooting a location from the air.

This is often the case because you can travel to very remote locations in a short amount of time. You can really feel the excitement come over you when you know you?re shooting something completely new. So let's go with 50% the thrill, 50% the photography, how?s that for a safe answer?

What lenses and equipment do you normally shoot with?

Perth, Western Australia. Alcoa Tailing Ponds

Everything!!! Would be my short answer, but the slightly extended answer is as follows:

My Full-frame Go to Kit:

Nikon D810 Nikon 24-70 F2.8 Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR2 Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art

My Medium Format combo:

Phase XF + IQ150 80mm blue ring Shnieder Mamiya 35mm

When it comes to aerial photography I have found shooting large sensor MF images really helps with not only print but the editing process, but the extra data can make all the difference to your creative vision and post processing.

How do you go about composing a shot from that high up in the sky?

Useless Loop salt farm, the different colors coming from varying stages of the process and product, Western Australia

You often have a very small window space to shoot from and you?re traveling 160km an hour at around 1500 ft, so the ground is going fast, very fast! This means you need to be on your game, with the camera settings tuned into something you would possibly find in sports photography: high shutter speeds, high ISO and looking for that sweet spot aperture.

Research using Google Maps is the key to this scenario ? often I will know what is coming up, so I?m preparing myself physically (putting my arms in positions thought not humanly possible) and mentally as well, thinking 'What orientation do I want this area in?' Then in a matter of seconds your shooting window comes and before you know it, it?s gone. You can ask the pilot to lock into a loop pattern over the area, but time is money and I find if you can nail it first go, you can be onto the next location and maximize your shooting time and minimize your wallet taking a beating.

How much planning goes into a single aerial photography trip?

Southern Alps, New Zealand, this is an image of the ice that feeds the Fox Glacier in the South Island

Weeks or months. I did two very different aerial expeditions last year which I?ll touch on because of the difference in planning. The first was to Shark Bay Western Australia, a World Heritage Listed area and a location that is totally mind-blowing from the air. I spent around four weeks using Google Maps (My Maps) to scan areas of Shark Bay to shoot. Once I found a potential location I would run a screen grabbed image through Lightroom and the de-haze filter, along with some minor color balance adjustments ? this helps me envision what I will be shooting when I arrive to the location.

The satellite images provided by Google are pretty good but with a little tweaking you can really get some detail from them and this helps me know what I?ll be coming across when we?re in the air. I would then save these screen grabs along with the location drawn onto a map, these will then be loaded onto my iPad and used when I?m discussing the flight plan with the pilot. This is extremely helpful because it allows our pilot to see exactly what we want to shoot and where it is, allowing him/her to be more precise.

The other shoot I did was in the Southern Alps of New Zealand in May last year. This was from a Hughes 500 Helicopter with all the doors off. Now, this shoot was different because using Google Maps to do reconnaissance is very limited. Why? Well because it?s a mountainous region it?s a lot harder to use the aerial perspective for a gauge on what you?re going to see. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the snow in such areas is highly reflective, meaning large areas of Google Maps data can be blown out.

Being in a chopper allows us to hover and hold locations, so there's no need to try and capture that one moment in a split second. We can now spot an amazing location and tell our awesome pilot (thanks Michael from Mountain Helicopters Fox Glacier, complete legend!) to head on over and bank the chopper in just the right spot. This type of aerial expedition feels far more like exploring on foot, just with the added bonus of a multi million dollar piece of machinery giving us the gift of flight wherever we want.

Okay, so slightly different than traveling by foot but I have to admit it?s an incredibly beautiful experience when you fly with all the doors off in such a location.

How do you think drones will impact aerial photography?

Shark Bay, Western Australia

How do I think drones will impact aerial photography? EVERYWHERE! That happened fast didn?t it? I?m still waiting on drone delivery of alcohol in bars, so I feel they haven?t quite achieved their full potential yet.

On a more serious note it?s impacting photography right now, the whole aerial genre has exploded in the last few years. The effect I think is largely positive, if anything it?s sparking the passion of photography in more and more people. I notice many drone operators will start off just wanting to fly drones as their primary objective and in time they develop a love for photographing the world from above, and proceed to learn the photography side of things properly.

On the not-so-positive side I?ve seen it very rapidly develop a bad name in some areas due to pilots breaking the rules and flying dangerously. This puts a bad spin on aerial photography, and in most cases the actions of very few are ruining the potential for some amazing shots for many people. But in general, I think drones are having a positive impact. Do I fly drones? Not yet, I still need my buzz! Looking at the world fly past via an iPad or iPhone just doesn?t quite do it for me yet, I like to be up there experiencing it.

What?s your favorite aerial image to date and how did you go about getting the shot?

Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia. Coastal Sand Dunes, spot the Kangaroo tracks coming in from top of frame

It's really hard to pick just one image, but I?m going to have to go with an image I captured near Dirk Hartog Island Western Australia. It was around 7:30am in the morning on our 5th and last day of shooting the an area called Shark Bay. Paul Hoelen and I had decided that we would burn some fuel and head over to a remote strip of sand dunes. This particular area wasn?t shot often because you had to spend a fair bit of time and money to just get there so we were pretty excited about finding some untouched landscape.

Upon our arrival we found what we were after, beautiful clean dunes, we shot the location and both nodded to each other in appreciation of our gamble paying off. We then spoke to our pilot Ryan and said lets head south then home, as we made our way down the coast something happened, Paul can barely contain himself, he?s just waving his arm and pointing down ?Scott, Scott, Scott!!! Down, look down!?, I look over and this gorgeous half moon shaped sand dune just appears from nowhere. It was so out of place in relation to the rest of the landscape, like mother nature had just created the most stunning sand dune possible then placed it hidden away for Paul and I to find.

I haven?t got to the really cool bit yet, so after shooting this mind blowing sand dune, we get back to our motel that night and load up the images, I go straight to the sequence of this stunning half moon dune and start looking at the images, I zoom in 50% and suddenly spot tracks, it?s kangaroo tracks! This perfect set of Kangaroo tracks is cutting into my composition and up the spine of the sand dune. I couldn?t believe it, the chances of all those things lining up were incredibly rare and it?s why I love photography so much. Yes it?s skill and creativity, but it has equal doses of luck.

How do you keep yourself inspired?

The Salt Farms of Useless Loop Shark Bay, Western Australia

I get much of my inspiration from the amazing, kind-hearted and adventurous landscape photographers I?ve made friends with along the way. It?s so cool in this amazing field we?re in, the community is a place you can draw many things from and inspiration is available everywhere. Beyond that I gain much inspiration from the people who have come before me, I read a lot and attempt to piece together the past as it helps pave the road to my future in this craft.

What are your aerial photography goals for 2017?

Arteries of coastal floodplains pump across the land, Carnarvon, Western Australia

Push the aerial genre to new heights, pardon the pun! I love aerial photography, I am well and truly hooked. I look at 2017 as my chance to challenge myself within this genre, I enjoy story telling via my aerial imagery and look forward to sharing that this year.

Behind the Scenes

This is the Hughes 500 Helicopter with all the doors taken off that was used for the flight over the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Huge thanks to Michael from Mountain Helicopters Fox Glacier!

The below video was shot when I snagged my favorite image to date. It gives you a great idea of the feverish pace at which you are taking images while shooting aerials in a plane.  

Pete Souza captures Obama's final day in the White House
21 Jan 2017 at 9:00am

Pete Souza, the official photographer for now-Former President Obama, posted a series of photos on his Instagram account showing the Obamas' final departure from The White House. Like the Former President, Souza plans on taking some time off, sleep late and 'do whatever the wife wants me to do.'

All of the photos Souza took during his eight-year tenure as White House photographer are archived here.


President Obama leaves the Oval Office this morning for the last time. What a great experience I've had the past eight years. Every photo I've posted to this account has been archived and locked at @petesouza44. This account (@petesouza) will now be my personal account so I hope you will continue to follow me. I expect to be very active on Instagram although I may not post that much initially as I try to take a little break, sleep late, do whatever my wife wants me to do, go the gym every day, see some concerts, watch some movies, read some books, drink some get idea.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Jan 20, 2017 at 11:19am PST


Another view of President Obama leaving the Oval Office for the last time this morning (taken with remote camera).

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Jan 20, 2017 at 11:58am PST


President Obama waves from the steps of Executive One helicopter following the inauguration of Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Jan 20, 2017 at 12:01pm PST



A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Jan 20, 2017 at 12:06pm PST

Homepage photo by Susan Sterner

Samsung virtual assistant rumored to use camera for object identification
20 Jan 2017 at 6:49pm

In its upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 Samsung is expected to implement a Siri or Google Assistant style virtual assistant named Bixby. According to sources of SamMobile, Bixby will include visual search capabilities and be able to analyze a photograph and identify objects within the frame. The system will also perform optical character recognition on visible text. Users will be able to launch the service via the camera app or a dedicated button on the side of the device. 

We have seen apps with similar functionalities before, for example Google Goggles, but Bixby is reportedly aiming to take things to the next level by offering a higher degree of interchange with other applications installed on the phone. For example, users will be able to use detected objects or text to order on shopping apps or perform searches.  

The Bixby technology is likely to have come from Viv Labs, a startup created by former Apple employees and Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Bringham. Viv Labs was acquired by Samsung last October. It's not quite clear at this point when the Galaxy S8 will be revealed to the public. It could be at the Mobile World Congress at the end of February or on a dedicated event as late as April. In any case, we're looking forward to the camera being used in innovative ways on the new Samsung. 

TwoEyes VR stereoscopic camera simulates human vision
20 Jan 2017 at 6:22pm

Another VR camera has launched on Kickstarter, but this one does things a little differently: TwoEyes VR features two horizontally-oriented cameras spaced 65mm apart that record footage in a stereoscopic arrangement. The resulting 3D video simulates the way someone would see the subject with their own eyes.

TwoEyes VR features two F2.0 180-degree lenses spaced 65mm apart, which is said to be the average distance between human eyes. The two cameras (CMOS 1/2.3? sensors), when used together, can record 3D videos in both 180 and 360 degrees, while recording with just one camera results in 360-degree non-3D footage. The camera also supports generating red-cyan 3D footage.

Content is stored to an internal 128GB drive, while other camera features including a 4K image processor, 2,000mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band WiFi, WiFi Direct, and a gyro sensor. The related Android and iOS mobile apps offer users live video previews from the camera, two-button shooting controls, and a post-processing tool for generating either 3D, VR, or 360 videos. 

The team behind TwoEyes is seeking funding on Kickstarter, where they have raised more than double their $40,000 goal with 36 days remaining in the campaign. A ?Kickstarter Pack? is offered to backers who pledge at least $239 ? it includes the camera and global shipping. Shipments to backers are expected to start this upcoming August.

Via: Kickstarter

Ambassadorship and $24,000 of kit up for grabs in broncolor?s Gen Next contest
20 Jan 2017 at 5:56pm
Picture by David Sheldrick, one of the winners from last year's contest

Broncolor is looking for its next generation of young ambassadors and has opened the entry process for this year?s Gen Next contest. The competition is aimed at flash users between the ages of 18 and 30 who inspire the judges and who represent what they see as the next generation of photographers. Winners will receive $24,000 worth of broncolor flash equipment and will have their photography promoted for two years through broncolor?s activities around its ambassador program.

The contest has been running for three years already and on each occasion the company has picked five young photographers to promote. Submissions should include three images that involve some use of flash, though the company doesn?t specify that its equipment has to have been used. As ambassadors the winners will be required to actively promote their use of the broncolor equipment that they won, and will be expected to produce posts for the broncolor blog ? but they will also get 20% off purchases and free loans for approved projects.

Entry closes on 6th March. For more information see the broncolor Gen Next website.

Press release

The Gen NEXT program from broncolor seeks young photographers with exceptional talent and creative vision to become Gen NEXT Ambassadors.

For a chance to become a Gen NEXT ambassador, share three of your most inspiring images to the official contest website at The contest is open to image makers worldwide, between the ages of 18 and 30, looking to push their career to the next level. Entries are accepted between January 16th and March 6th, 2017, with winners announced the following month by April 26th.

Selected winners will be named as Gen NEXT ambassadors and outfitted with $24,000 (USD) of broncolor equipment. For the next two years, their work and journey as growing photographers will be featured on the Gen NEXT website. With stunning images, behind-the-scenes content, and insight on the photographer?s artistic decisions, Gen NEXT gives an inside look at the creative growth, while promoting the ambassadors? work to broncolor?s global audience.

First launched in 2014, Gen NEXT features 15 outstanding young photographers representing a wide range of interests in the world of image making. Through their impressive work, the current Gen NEXT ambassadors have already received considerable worldwide attention and continue to lead the way with inspiring images.

First Generation
Gen NEXT ambassadors from the inaugural 2014 group of five include Benjamin Von Wong (CAN), Dustin Snipes (USA), Jason Jia (CHN), Lara Jade (USA) and Manuel Mittelpunkt (GER).

Second Generation
Gen NEXT?s 2015 group features Anita Anti (UKR), Cristina Otero (ESP), Gonzaga Manso (ESP), Lauri Laukkanen (FIN), and Yulia Gorbachenko (UKR).

Third Generation
The latest group from 2016, adds five more ambassadors; David Sheldrick (UK), Jvdas Berra (MX), Justin Lister (USA), Lara Zankoul (LB), and Natalia Evelyn Bencicova (SK).

To find out who will follow in their footsteps, stay tuned on and on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube.

Welcome to the future of photography. Welcome to broncolor Gen NEXT.

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