Posted on Leave a comment

MPB Appoints New Chair As It Hits £100m Revenue

MPB Appoints New Chair As It Hits £100m Revenue

Tech leader James Bilefield is the new chair of MPB, the world’s largest platform for used photo and video equipment.

| 
Industry News

 James BilefieldMPB has appointed serial digital entrepreneur turned board director, James Bilefield, as its new Chair.

James brings extensive private and public board experience to MPB having previously served on the boards of consumer marketplace unicorns Vestiaire Collective and Farfetch, and through current board roles at STEM recruiter SThree plc and financial marketplace MoneySupermarket Group plc. He is also a senior advisor at SystemIQ, supporting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and previously led Condé Nast’s digital activities across 26 markets.

MPB is fuelling circularity in the global creator economy, making photo and video kit more accessible, sustainable and affordable.  The business is set to deliver over £100m revenue this year following its recent £50m Series D funding round led by Vitruvian, fast expanding its passionate and diverse 250-strong team across the creative communities of Brighton, Brooklyn and Berlin.

Matt Barker, CEO and Founder, MPB, commented, “With our ambition to significantly grow the business globally well underway, having the right people on board is crucial. James’ experience at global consumer marketplace businesses, as well as his other extensive board experiences, will support us in delivering growth of our platform at scale.

James Bilefield, Chair, MPB, added, “MPB has a great team, an outstanding customer experience and huge market potential which offer a strong foundation for success.  I’m proud to join the leading business fueling circularity in the global creator economy at this exciting point in its development.”

 

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

How To Photograph Rocks As Patterns & Textures To Enhance Your Photos

How To Photograph Rocks As Patterns & Textures To Enhance Your Photos

Here’s our guide to shooting our rocky landscape to create abstract patterns and textures to use in other photos.

| 
Landscape and Travel

Textured Wall

 

Our landscape is abundant with rocky views from the gneiss rocks of Scotland, through the limestone pavements of the Yorkshire Dales, to the rocky Jurassic coastline of Dorset. Move-in closer and their patterns and textures provide fabulous abstract opportunities for photographers.

 

1. Gear Choices 

The beauty of this technique is any camera/lens combination can be used. No special kit is needed – just a good eye for the best viewpoint and artistic flare to determine the best composition. You could use a tripod to be sure of a rock (excuse the pun) solid view, especially when shooting patterns on the ground, as it can be harder to hold the camera rigid when you’re pointing downwards. If you do use a tripod make sure it has an option to splay the legs out wide so you don’t get them in the shot.

A standard lens is ideal, especially for rocks patterns below your feet – either a fixed 50mm or short zoom from around 35-70mm range is fine. Use a longer lens if you can’t get close enough to the rock face. This is ideal for distant coastal cliff faces or mountainsides. A lens with a close focus will be handy when the texture is more important…you can focus in close on the more intricate details of the rock’s composition.

 

2. When To Take Your Photos 

Shoot in overcast light if you want less contrast, but this can reduce the impact of the photo. Sunlight casts shadows making the patterns of rugged rocks become almost 3D. You can use the flash from your camera set to fill to reduce the shadows. If you use a camera that has flash control set the flash compensation to -1 in sun-behind-clouds situations and -2 in bright sunlight. The result will be a reduction in the density of shadow areas, but still enough to give the necessary 3D effect.

 

3. Where To Look

Some of the best patterns can be seen in strata, layers of rock that have been formed by layer upon layer of rock or soil millions of years ago. These layers have become exposed by erosion from the sea or natural earth movement or from being cut away to make roads.

Some of the best viewpoints for photography can be found on the coastline. Go to any rocky coastline and you’re likely to find interesting rock patterns and textures, whether on the cliff faces or the natural pavement you walk on. Cliff faces provide head-on views and show the strata with the most dramatic lines while the ocean bed, exposed at low tide, can provide smoother more interesting shapes.

Look for rocks covered on lichen – coastal and exposed mountain moorland areas or dense woodland where it’s likely to be regularly damp are ideal for this sort of texture. Use the lens on close focus to crop in on the minute detailed textures and patterns.

 

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition     

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

dark_lord’s latest blog : image enhancement ? still seen as ‘cheating’?

18034_1627504604.jpg

Image Enhancement – Still Seen As ‘Cheating’?

28 Jul 2021 9:46PM  
Views : 47
Unique : 46

It’s a long held belief that using software to enhance an image is the devil’s own work. I’m not talking about creating misleading, fake or fraudulent imagery but using simple basic adjustments that many images benefit from.

The idea for this blog came from reading a description of post-capture processing on an image uploaded for critique. It’s welcome to see someone detail their processing steps, so that we know what has been done to the image. It must be noted that these were bread and butter adjustments such as contrast, levels, and so on. It’s a pity the original unprocessed image wasn’t included so that a comparison and assessment of the changes could be made. Were the steps taken enough or did they go too far? That’s what’s needed in order to provide the most useful feedback. While different people will have different ideas, further small adjustments did improve matters.

18034_1627504604.jpg

Straight from the camera

That last sentence is the caveat. Ten different photographers will produce ten different results from the same image. I don’t mean because they use different gear (hough that could be the case), but give them a RAW file to work on and the same software to use you won’t get ten identical results. True, some will be quite close to one another, but some won’t. Indeed, a single photographer can easily create several versions all of which they like.

While it’s hard, if not impossible, to dial out personal choice and style, and I don’t advise anyone to go that route (unless they’re) there are good practices to observe. We all want our images to look as good as we want. It can be that we’re too close to our own work. Coming back a day later and evaluating what’s been done can be helpful. Sometimes a small comment is enough to make us see what needs to be changed. For example, on one of my images, quite a number of years ago now, reference was made to a slight magenta cast. It was there, and using the white balance picker on the white background made the image so much more viewable.

18034_1627504614.jpg

Colour Balance warmed, Shadows lifted, Curves adjustment

I’m talking about basic adjustments required in order to bring out the best in an image. Good colour, contrast, shadow and highlight detail retrieval, a crop maybe, and so forth. Nothing that creates a fraudulent result (for example removing or adding people from a street scene for political ends or creating artificial looking skin in a portrait, though those types of manipulation have ben done decades before digital appeared).

18034_1627504630.jpg

Straight from the camera

Years ago, photographers would choose a particular film for its characteristics. Velvia to a boost insipid tons in a drab northern European winter landscape, Astia for more natural skin tones. Filters would be used to control colour, polarisers to boost saturation. Not to mention the renditions of different black and white films together with contrast enhancing filters and control over the print using different contrast grades of paper. All of which are choices you have using the basic adjustments of which I described above. You’re just replicating what has always been done, albeit with a greater degree of control.

18034_1627504817.jpg

Levels and Curves adjustments and further Curves adjustment on the sky

The allegation of ‘cheating’ is misplaced and comes from a lack of understanding, mainly from non photographers who don’t understand either analogue or digital methods and would have had negative film processed at a low cost (that must mean good value and thus a good job) minilab and accepting the results as given. Even some dyed in the wool photographers at the start of digital photography regarded the greater control with scepticism, and I think, apart from the fact it was a change, considered it cheating because they didn’t understand computers and software not realising the potential and freedom to actually produce the style of images they always wished for. Yes there would be a steep learning curve, and that doesn’t suit everyone. There is also the fact that so much more responsibility was put on the photographer to come up with the goods. No more blaming it on the local photo processing lab.

There are still purists who don’t like post capture processing, preferring to accept the jpegs straight out of camera (or other device), not necessarily realising that a whole lot of processing has already been done defined by algorithms with no creative appreciation. That’s their choice of course. In the end they’re missing out on getting the best from their efforts.

So, for the rest of us, let’s continue with our adjustments.

18034_1627504831.jpg

Too far?

All text and images © Keith Rowley 2021

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Start Saving As A Rare Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM Lens Is Going Up For Auction

Start Saving As A Rare Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM Lens Is Going Up For Auction

EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM
 

As you’ve probably not managed to get away on holiday for a while or spent too much of your earnings on going out, you might want to consider purchasing a rare Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM lens that’s going up for auction in October. The slight catch is you’ll probably need over $100,000 to secure it. 

According to Canon Rumors, Wetzlar Camera Auctions will have a Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM on their 9 October 2021 auction schedule and even though we don’t currently know what the starting bid will be, other Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM lenses have sold for well above the $100,000 mark. 

Allegedly, only 20 Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM lenses were ever made, the lens weighs 16.5Kg and has a minimum focusing distance of 14-meters. So few lenses were built as the annual production volume was just two lenses. This was because it took a year to create the massive fluorite crystals. 

You can find more information about the lens going up for auction on the Wetzlar Camera Auctions Facebook page. 

If you have a little less cash to spend and don’t need a super-telephoto lens that’s quite as long, have a look at our ‘best superzoom‘ or ‘top telephoto zoom‘ recommendations.

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

johnriley1uk’s latest blog : this last week considered as a downhill motor race

johnriley1uk's latest blog : the cameras with the wonderful lenses

Profile

This Last Week Considered as a Downhill Motor Race

24 Apr 2021 4:44PM  
Views : 104
Unique : 87

Everybody got off to a bad start…but sanity will return and things to be done. One lens review completed and the second one would have been but delivery of the lens was delayed, so at the moment technical tests are complete, product shots done and it remains to go out on location and then write the review. I’m thinking that a trip back to Arley Hall might be suitable as there is a good range of subjects there in a fairly compact site. It’s also not overly busy and that is still a consideration with Covid19 continuing to lurk.

I have also started to put together another Vintage Review, so that will be interesting once the new lens is done. I have been searching through images for that, as it is something I have been using for a long time. So, not a sneak preview as these pictures are probably shot with something else, but some interesting things that caught my eye as I trawled through the back images.

Teel Cottage, Mevagissey
22471_1619278297.jpg

Charlestown
22471_1619278332.jpg

Self Shadow Portrait
22471_1619278437.jpg

Homeward Bound
22471_1619278479.jpg

Andrea by Candlelight
22471_1619278507.jpg

Jade
22471_1619278570.jpg

North Sea Sunset
22471_1619278697.jpg

The Music of Flowers
22471_1619278802.jpg

Ripon Cathedral
22471_1619278894.jpg

New Year’s Eve
22471_1619278995.jpg

There are no comments here! Be the first!

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Jeffrey A. Reyes Joins LEE Filters As US General Manager

Jeffrey A. Reyes Joins LEE Filters As US General Manager

Reyes brings extensive experience in sales and business development, connections to creative community, strengthening company’s initiatives throughout Americas.

| 
Industry News

Jeffrey A. Reyes

 

LEE Filters has announced that the company has appointed Jeffrey A. Reyes as the U.S. General Manager and he’ll be based at the LEE Filters office in California, USA. You can learn more about the new appointment from LEE Filters below. 

 

From LEE Filters USA: 

LEE Filters, a leading manufacturer of high-quality lighting gels and photographic filters and a member of the Panavision family of brands, has named Jeffrey A. Reyes to lead the company’s operations in the U.S. as General Manager. Reyes will be based at LEE Filters’ U.S. office in Burbank, Calif.

“Jeffrey’s arrival further strengthens our presence in the U.S. market, which is a cornerstone of our business,” said LEE Filters Managing Director Paul Mason. “He will be instrumental in driving our continued growth in the region while working closely with our global team headquartered in the U.K. His track record as an innovative leader and his experience developing business in Latin America will also bolster our expanding efforts all throughout the Americas. Furthermore, his background in cinematography and extensive industry relationships with distributors and end-users alike give him a thorough familiarity with LEE Filters’ products from both a sales and a creative perspective. We’re delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Reyes joins LEE Filters from equipment and expendables retailer Filmtools, where he served as sales manager for direct production and Latin America. He has also held key sales roles with Arri, ZGC, Band Pro and Samy’s Camera. Reyes is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

“Throughout my career, both creatively and commercially, LEE Filters has always represented the gold standard infiltration,” Reyes said. “I’m thrilled to be able to bring my skills and experience to this role, and I’m honoured to have the opportunity to make a difference with this innovative industry leader.”

“LEE Filters’ place within the Panavision family opens even more opportunities because of our shared commitment to supporting the art and craft of making beautiful, consequential images,” Reyes continued. “At LEE Filters and across the entire Panavision group, we’re dedicated to providing image-makers with the very best tools to help them tell their stories and realize their creative visions.”

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

Transcontinenta UK Appointed As B&W International Distributor

Transcontinenta UK Appointed As B&W International Distributor

B&W International, who are well-known for their range of outdoor cases and bags, has chosen Transcontinenta UK as their UK and Ireland distributor.

| 
Industry News

Outdoor cases

 

As of today, B&W International has appointed Transcontinenta UK Ltd as their official and exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for their outdoor cases.

Commenting on the news, Transcontinenta said: “Transcontinenta has proven in many aspects to be a very successful and loyal B&W International business partner over the last decade. Our sales and marketing approach, IT and logistic infrastructure in conjunction with our professional dedication, fits B&W International’s ambition to improve their brand position and market share. For the record, our local B&W International brand coverage focusses specifically on the outdoor case products. We are very much looking forward to representing the well respected B&W International brand.”

The news comes after Transcontinenta announced that they are now representing the famous Bushnell brand as well as Peak Design who are best known for creating camera bags such as the Peak Design Travel Backpack line-up.

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates:
Amazon UK,
Amazon US,
Amazon CA,
ebay UK

It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

dudler’s latest blog : the rest of hdr (as far as i?m concerned)

dudler's latest blog : mirrorless - and why they?re (arguably) better

The rest of HDR (as far as I’m concerned)

7 Dec 2020 7:16AM  
Views : 60
Unique : 48

11864_1607324809.jpg

So I went out for a walk to the local road bridge over the canal: standing at one end, looking down the flight of locks towards Birmingham provided a classic ‘suitable for HDR’ view. As I stood there, looking round the scene, I could see the brickwork of the abutment clearly on my left: looking straight down the canal, I could see clouds in the sky.

And there’s the problem: human eyes adapt to the part of the scene that you’re looking at, and cameras don’t. A full-on HDR image allows the viewer to see detail in both deep shade and bright highlights, without being an obvious distortion of reality. As the eye moves round the frame, it sees what it is expecting to see, from long experience of the world.

I rested the camera and lens against the right-hand abutment, and locked focus, and shot a series of images adjusting shutter speed in manual mode. This ensured that I didn’t get unfortunate ghosting of sharp and blurry versions of specific parts of the frame. And I headed home to the luxury of a desktop computer with a fairly powerful CPU – handling several 36mp files is not for the faint of processing.

11864_1607324964.jpg

I loaded my half-dozen plus frames into Photomatix software, and let it do its stuff: it then offered me a number of different options for preset styles. My (fairly limited) experience of this package is that it’s worth looking at couple of options, and – just like taking a glamour model out into a public space – the secret is not to frighten the horses. Choose one of the options that makes it look as though you haven’t shot loads of frames, and has no strange colour casts.

Now, thanks to helpful info about Nik HDR Efex that mistere and Chase gave me on Saturday, I’ve also tried loading the files into the Nik plugin within Photoshop. Definitely slower, and with my lack of experience of using Nik in this way, I’m sure the result isn’t the optimum. It is a massive TIFF file, though, and saving as a JPG was, for some reason, not possible. So I tried saving as a PSD file: smaller, but still massive. Eventually, I found that I’d got a 32-bit file, and changing that to 16-bit allowed me to save a JPG. I wish I understood all of that, by the way.

11864_1607324995.jpg

Clearly exhibiting masochistic tendencies, I then tried the built-in HDR merge that PS 2021 offers. Again, rather slower than Photomatix: I wonder if something I did along the way has clogged up a buffer or something? Once the files were merged, there were a number of options – I’ll just comment that the defaults left a bit to be desired, and the option described as ‘photorealistic’ was weird. Very, very weird.

At the end of this, I actually have more questions than answers – though the two or three answers I have matter to me, and may matter to you.

11864_1607325021.jpg

First, Photomatix gave me a better result, more easily. This may not remain true for smaller files, or fewer files, or if you persist with the other two methods until you actually know what you’re doing.
Second, you really, really need to go beyond the first preset that any package offers. Definitions of ‘realistic’ vary as much in HDR as in politics.

And third, I think I got a result from the processing that looks the way that I perceived the scene. Not clever and artful: just how I saw it.

11864_1607324917.jpg

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

dudler’s latest blog : just do as you?re told

dudler's latest blog : mirrorless - and why they?re (arguably) better

Just do as you’re told

9 Nov 2020 7:04AM  
Views : 47
Unique : 41

11864_1604905445.jpg

Remember this from school? The cry that indicated that a teacher was abandoning all the psychology of education they’d learnt, and was falling back on being in charge…

But there are times when it can be helpful to have an unexplained instruction: when you’re about to put petrol into the tank of your diesel car, for instance, it’s a good idea to heed the cry of ‘stop!’ – and check what’s going on.

After having a shower installed in a spare corner of our hall (I know – a weird place, but convenient), my wife wanted something to replace the dark wood sideboard which had stood where the coat hooks now sit. She opted for a white-finish pine cupboard unit, which I duly ordered. Last week, it arrived.

I was expecting it in one piece: it came in two cardboard boxes, and with around 20 pages of instructions, as well as a plastic bag containing all the bolts, screws, dowels and specialised fixings needed to assemble it. The graphic on page 1 suggested that it takes five hours to assemble: it took me around five, spread over two days.

I didn’t go off track much, and I’m confident that the little collection of fittings I have left (including a full set of 8 screws shown in the instructions) are actually surplus to requirements. Why a low, stable unit needs a stabilising strap, I don’t know, and I haven’t used it.

The point is that there are so many parts that it would require stunning levels of visuospatial ability to work out what goes where in advance, helpful as such a visualisation would be. So many bits of wood with weird holes in them… Much as I hate to do it, I fell back on looking very carefully at the destructions, and finding every bit and piece, matching them precisely to the diagrams, and trusting in the process.

Actually, we do this all the time with a satnav, which doesn’t give the sort of overview that writing out (or getting ready-made from the AA) a series of turns and road numbers. But if you follow the system carefully, it usually works. Does anyone remember the days when you could ask the AA to send route directions, and they came as a series of vertical-format pages with a map down one side and details on the other? I have vague memories of reading these out to my parents from before I learned to drive…

The system requires absolute trust in the person or technology you’re using, and it’s not comfortable, I find. I’m much happier if I have at least a vague overview of where I’m going, and it’s the same with the furniture.

11864_1604905477.jpg

And it sometimes applies in photography. You can leave it to the camera, or you can follow precise instructions, but some orientation always helps! And when you’re entering a new area, there’s something to be said for getting advice – preferably of the hand-on type that lockdown prevents – from someone more experienced.

My tuition is often about this. When you start using studio flash, everything changes, technically. Camera shake isn’t an issue: and program mode isn’t an option. It’s probably a big help if someone says, ‘for now, just set f/11 and 1/100, and see what happens. Don’t worry!’ Successful results then give confidence in the system, and space to explain why it does, and the significance of any given setting. Understanding the whole shooting match is likely to come slowly, and anyone wanting to know it all before they start will need considerable intellectual ability – I know I couldn’t do that!

There are current parallels for all of us, with Covid-19 and various restrictions: the number of people who have an intuitive and accurate understanding of the epidemiology, the safety measures and the risks are very few and far between: they are the scientists who work in one or more of the relevant areas. For the rest of us, it’s not a matter of civil liberties violated, but of what protects society as a whole, as well as what keeps us safe as individuals. Sir David King, a former chief scientific advisor to the British government, knows more than you, me, and the Prime Minister, and I’m happy to do what he suggests without understanding exactly why.

Anyway, the cupboard unit is complete. The instructions can go in the recycling. And the bits and pieces can go into the bottom of my toolbox. Sadly, my stock of face masks can’t, at present.

11864_1604905457.jpg

Source link

Posted on Leave a comment

dudler’s latest blog : not quite as intended and really in the moment

dudler's latest blog : mirrorless - and why they?re (arguably) better

Not quite as intended and really in the moment

6 Nov 2020 8:43AM  
Views : 101
Unique : 89

11864_1604651944.jpg

From a question George posed yesterday… He queried why I had chosen the settings I had, as they seemed rather odd. Yes, they are. More about that in a minute…

And I’m going to cite two authorities to justify what I’m going to say. Everyone’s heard of Ansel Adams, and if you’ve read his books, you will know that not everything went to plan all the time. Sone of his great images involved long tales of heroic rescue measures and ‘what ifs’ alongside the explanations of how he’d tailored the negative with care and foresight. Coming back to my 1983 editions of his three classic books (The Camera, The Negative and The Print) I can see that re-reading them will probably pay me dividends.

My own favourite technical writer, the late Barry Thornton, provides even more detail and analysis of how he made individual images in his book Elements – and with a greater sense of the dramatic than Adams, he went into the story behind the picture, as well as the story of the picture. His explanations are clearer, to my mind. The common factor that interests me is not the careful planning and precise choice of materials, but (again) the long way round that the photographer sometimes travels when he makes a mistake.

OK. Here’s the logical explanation of the settings for my portrait of Joely. I wanted a wide aperture, to allow the background to soften behind my model, and so I’d opened the aperture wide. I was working in quite low light, and with a light source that is actually a good deal less bright than it appears to be in images – as distances from the camera vary, so does the exposure.
And I know that my camera gives good results at high ISO settings.

11864_1604652185.jpg

Now, there’s one more factor to take into account here, and that’s the flow – that the process of photographing a model is dynamic, constantly moving. The photographer’s job is not to set up a series of unrelated images one after the other, optimising settings as they go, but it’s about a dynamic relationship between two people with a common goal. In this case, as is often true, two people who have not met until an hour or two before the picture was taken.

In other words, my attention wasn’t on the settings (which I’d set to give me leeway on moving away from the light: though in truth, I reckon I’d gone for my default indoors low light’ setting, and modified a couple of elements that I needed to). The rest is chance…

One other thing, in the interest of truth and accuracy. Whatever impression you may have of me and the way I work, you need to understand that I’m inherently rather lazy and careless. What I do when I get things right is the result of practice, and maybe some innate talent (which is very hard indeed for me to analyse). I take pictures because I enjoy it, and I enjoy it because they work reasonable well, reasonably often. If this sounds arrogant, it’s not meant to be: it’s more an admission of failure, in that I lack the drive and methodical painstakingness that Adams and Thornton had. And that failure can be seen writ large in the untidiness of my office…

11864_1604652199.jpg

Source link