Archive for June, 2008

Jun 24 2008

NIKON CAPTURE NX 2 IMAGE EDITING SOFTWARE IS NOW AVAILABLE AT AUTHORIZED NIKON DEALERS AND IN THE NIKON MALL

Published by Vincent Versace under Uncategorized


MELVILLE, N.Y. (June 20, 2008) – Nikon is pleased to announce that  Capture NX 2 image editing software is now available for purchase at authorized Nikon dealers and through the Nikon Mall online store.  The latest generation of Capture NX provides photography enthusiasts with a suite of powerful tools operated by simple yet visually intuitive controls to streamline the photo editing process.  Capture NX 2 utilizes revolutionary U Point® technology to give photographers access to powerful Control Points that enhance color, exposure, and other image quality settings quickly and easily.

Capture NX 2 offers users a wealth of new technologies focused on photographers, including the innovative new Selection Control Point that places a commanding suite of image editing tools at the user’s fingertips to simplify and accelerate the image editing experience.  Additionally, Capture NX 2 adds an advanced Auto Retouch Brush for seamless retouching, an improved yet simple user interface, updated menus, browser functionality and an increase in performance.

Whether users choose JPEG, TIFF files, or take advantage of advanced RAW (NEF) processing capabilities, Capture NX 2 is an asset to any workflow.  With a minimal learning curve, users are able to take advantage of simplified image browsing, selection and labeling and improved batch-processing capabilities.
To download the 60-day free trial (Mac and PC versions) and sample the powerful creative possibilities of Capture NX 2, please visit http://www.capturenx.com.  To purchase the unlimited full version users can to obtain a license through the trial, visit their local imaging retailer, or shop securely online at the Nikon Mall by logging onto http://www.nikonmall.com.  The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $109.95 to upgrade from version one, or $179.95 for the full version.

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. Nikon D Series digital SLR cameras are recognized as “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with digital SLR cameras,” according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2007 digital Camera Satisfaction Study. Nikon Corporation, the parent company of Nikon Inc., recently celebrated its 90th anniversary and announced the production of over 40 million NIKKOR SLR interchangeable lenses. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-UX or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web’s most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.

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Jun 23 2008

EPSON STYLUS® PHOTO R2880 CREATES 13-INCH EXHIBITION QUALITY PRINTS WITH EPSON ULTRACHROME K3™ INK WITH VIVID MAGENTA

Published by Vincent Versace under Printers

Professional and Fine Art Photographers Now Have the Ultimate in Creative Control When Producing Black & White and Color Prints with the Epson R2880

LONG BEACH, CA – May 27, 2008 – Epson, the overwhelming brand of choice among professional photographers, today announced the Epson Stylus Photo R2880, a professional printer designed for photographers who seek the highest-quality sellable photographic and fine art prints.   Incorporating the same technology as the Epson Stylus Pro printer line, the 13-inch Epson R2880 features Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink technology, and a high-performance print head for professional photographic output. The printer also features Radiance™ Technology, an innovation that smoothes color transitions and optimizes highlight and shadow detail. The Epson R2880 replaces the Epson R2400 as the flagship of Epson’s 13-inch printer lineup.
“Photographers will demand this printer for one primary reason – it will enable them to create the world’s finest exhibition-quality prints,” said Patrick Chen, product manager, Epson America Inc. “After three years of uncompromising development, the 13-inch wide Epson Stylus Photo R2880 will redefine the standards for creative control and print quality photographers expect from Epson.”
Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta
Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink technology is the industry standard by which all other professional-level ink technologies are judged. The ink set features a newer, high-density form of magenta pigments that produce a wider color gamut – dramatically improving reds, blues and purples. In addition, three-levels of black – black, light black, and light light black – deliver unsurpassed gray balance and stunning tonal range in black-and-white output.
Radiance Technology
Radiance Technology is a breakthrough mathematical architecture featured exclusively on the Epson R2880 and Epson R1900. Co-developed by color scientists at Epson and the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.), Radiance Technology optimizes how individual Epson R2880 inks are mixed to dramatically improve color transitions and reduce grain. The technology is built into the printer software, allowing for improved highlight and shadow detail as well as consistent color under different lighting conditions.
Unrivaled Control of Photographic Output
The Epson R2880 affords photographers and fine artists creative control, allowing the user to explore their creative options.  Epson’s advanced black-and-white mode, included within the printer driver, enables precise control for neutral or toned black-and-white prints.  Photographers can choose from one of four preset menus – neutral, warm, cool, or sepia – or further fine-tune images with custom slider bars and the color wheel.
More about the Epson Stylus Photo R2880
∑ Professional Print Head – Features the same award-winning MicroPiezo™ AMC (Advanced Meniscus Control) print head found on the Epson Stylus Pro models for extremely sharp and accurate ink droplet placement
∑ Superior Media Flexibility – Creates professional quality prints from 4”x 6” to 13”x 44” on glossy, luster and matte papers; supports 1.3mm art boards, roll media, including canvas, and fine art media including Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper
∑ Direct CD/DVD Printing – Prints directly onto inkjet printable CDs and DVDs, making it easy to create professional digital portfolios
∑ Archival Print Longevity – Offers print permanence ratings as long as 200 or more years for truly sellable color and black-and-white prints
∑ Enhanced Connectivity – Allows two computers to simultaneously connect to the Epson R2880 via two hi-speed USB 2.0 ports for seamless printing from either computer
∑ Epson PreciseColor™ Manufacturing – Applies colorimetric calibration to the permanent MicroPiezo® print head at the factory through an enhanced manufacturing process, eliminating the need for internal calibration devices or constant calibration
∑ Exceptional Reliability – Features a new ink-repelling coating on the print head prolonging the life of the head and decreasing maintenance time; a built-in sensor also allows for automatic print head alignment and nozzle checking
For more information on the Epson R2880, please visit www.epson.com/SPR2880. For information on Epson products and services, visit Epson.com.
Pricing, Support and Availability
The Epson R2880 will be available in June 2008 for an estimated street price of $799.99 through direct market resellers, specialty photo stores, computer superstores, online retailers, and Epson’s retail Web site at www.epsonstore.com.  The printer is backed by the one-year EPSON Exchange Limited Warranty and is supported by the Epson ConnectionSM, a customer support technical assistance line.
About Epson America Inc.
Epson offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, business, photography, and graphic arts markets. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) printers and transaction terminals for the retail market. Founded in 1975, Epson America Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, a global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality technology products that meet customer demands for increased functionality, compactness, systems integration and energy efficiency. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif.

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Jun 17 2008

Caponigro & Versace – Free Weekend Workshop in Iceland

Published by Vincent Versace under Uncategorized

Focus on Nature (Photography Workshops in Iceland) announces the combined forces of John Paul Caponigro and Vincent Versace in a special weekend. John Paul and Vincent will work on location discussing their varied processes before, during, and after making images. Participants will be able to photograph side-by-side with John Paul and Vincent and ask them questions as they work. The weekend (August 16 & 17) is free to participants of their workshops.

Read more about Vincent’s workshop (August 11-15) here.
Read more about John Paul’s workshop (August 18-22) here.

Focus on Nature (Photography Workshops in Iceland) recently announced 15% discounts on their 2008 workshops. The discounts are made possible by excellent response from sponsors.

Enroll now! Space is limited.

What’s Iceland like? Stay tuned for future posts!

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Jun 10 2008

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR IMAGES: NIKON INTRODUCES UPGRADED CAPTURE NX 2 PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE

Published by Vincent Versace under Uncategorized

Powerful New Tools Make Photo Editing Quick and Easy

MELVILLE, N.Y. (June 3, 2008) – Nikon Inc., today introduced the latest generation of its robust image processing and editing software, Capture NX 2 for Mac and Windows, which provides photography enthusiasts with a suite of powerful tools and a simple, visual operation to streamline photo editing. Capture NX 2 utilizes revolutionary U Point® technology to give photographers access to powerful Control Points that enhance color, exposure, and other image quality settings quickly and easily. New technologies abound in Capture NX 2, including the innovative new Selection Control Point that places a commanding suite of image editing tools at the user’s fingertips to simplify and accelerate the image editing experience.

In addition, Capture NX 2 adds an advanced Auto Retouch Brush for seamless retouching, an improved yet simple user interface, updated menus, browser functionality and an increase in performance. Whether you choose JPEG, TIFF or RAW (NEF) files, Capture NX 2 is the perfect complement to the growing Nikon Digital System. It also offers advanced RAW (NEF) processing capabilities, simplified image-browsing, selection and labeling as well as improved batch-processing capabilities, superior color management and comprehensive system compatibility with Nikon’s EXPEED image processing concept.

“We have listened carefully to the requests of current Capture NX users and photographers in developing this powerful new software. This is an economical solution for the photographer who requires non-destructive image editing and wants to quickly and easily process their images,” said Michael Rubin, senior manager for Software Products at Nikon Inc. “With the addition of revolutionary new tools, photo enthusiasts as well as professionals will be able to reap the benefits of Capture NX 2.”

While providing incomparable editing options for Nikon’s Electronic Format RAW (NEF) files, Capture NX 2 enables simplified editing and processing for most JPEG and TIFF files regardless of camera manufacturer or model.* Its broad range of editing tools makes image retouching, enhancing and editing simple and intuitive, allowing users to immediately see the effects as they are applied. Whether a professional photographer, enthusiast or casual shutterbug, many will find Capture NX 2 to be a great stand-alone photo editing solution, while others will discover that Capture NX 2 is a remarkably effective addition to their existing photographic workflow.

New Additions to Capture NX 2
Capture NX 2 is complemented by a myriad of features and tools that include the following:

Selection Control Points: Now users can selectively edit photographs without the need to manually outline or mask the area for editing. Simply place a Selection Control Point anywhere on the photograph then choose from almost any adjustment such as D-Lighting, Unsharp Mask or noise reduction, while limiting the “reach” of that adjustment to just the selected area.

Auto Retouch Brush: Capture NX 2 adds an automatic retouch tool to its image editing toolbox, allowing users to seamlessly remove blemishes, dust, and other distracting elements from photographs while maintaining the integrity of the image.

Shadow/Highlight Adjustment: With just a simple slider adjustment, users can easily open up shadows or recover blown out highlights.**

Redesigned GUI with Customizable Workspaces: As part of an interface redesign, the new Capture NX 2 includes a Workspace feature that maximizes the tool and palette layout for the task at hand. Users can create unique custom workspaces ideal for working with single or multiple monitors. All palettes and windows within can be docked or undocked or hidden as needed. Predefined workspaces include: Browser, Metadata, Edit, or an optimized combination of each. In addition, users can access their most used folders with the new “Favorite Folder” feature.

Improved Edit List: Nikon’s Capture NX 2 also incorporates an improved edit list that allows users to apply common enhancements to images with ease. Common tools like tone curves, exposure compensation, contrast, and highlight and shadow protection are just a click away via the Quick Fix menu. The improved edit list allows for camera and lens corrections like color moiré reduction, dust off, auto color aberration, auto red-eye correction, vignette control and fisheye lens correction.***

Simultaneous Use of Tools: Users can now complete image editing faster than ever before with the use of simultaneous tools. For example, users can adjust the brightness and contrast of an image while boosting the color of the image at the same time.

Filters, Ratings and Sorting Toolbar: Capture NX 2 offers an advanced filtering system in its tool bar, affording users an efficient way to filter through hundreds of images by user-defined labels, ratings, file types and file attributes. What’s more, these new filters, ratings and sorting tools are integrated into the metadata palette, allowing users the ability to easily edit and view XMP/IPTC information.

Nikon’s new Capture NX 2 for Mac and Windows,software represents the core of Nikon’s integrated digital imaging systems, including cameras, lenses, software, speedlights and accessories, and allows photographers of all skill levels to experience the highest performance their Nikon equipment has to offer.

Capture NX 2 will be available for purchase throughout the United States in late June 2008 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $179.95 (full version) or $109.95 (upgrade). A 60-day free trial version will be available today for users who wish to experience all that Capture NX 2 offers. For more information, and to download the 60-day trial version please visit http://www.capturenx.com/.

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Jun 08 2008

Believing is Seeing: Being Taken by Pictures


The most frequently asked question I get is, “How do I take better pictures?” The answer is a simple one; stop taking pictures. Instead, consider what the photographer Ernst Haas suggests; be taken by your pictures.

So what does it mean to be “taken by your pictures?” Being taken by a photograph is very much like the moment you first fell in love. The person you fell in love with took you, and if you were lucky enough, they were taken by you. Imagine if you could have that happen with every one of your photographs. You were so taken by the events you saw through the lens that you made a photograph, and when someone views that image they will be taken to same place you were.

Okay, that’s a great metaphor, the moment you fall in love thing, but the pressing question is, Do I have pictures to show the difference between taking and being taken? Yes I do; I have four. I was recently in Morocco… …teaching a class for the Palm Beach Photographic Workshops. (Here’s the link to the images on flickr .) I was in a swiftly moving crowd in the Medina in Marrakech when I saw a boy on his father’s shoulders. He turned his head to look at something and as he did, I focused and shot. No thought other than his pulled me through the camera and caused my finger to fire.

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Then, being the paper trained Hollywood photographer that I am, I proceeded to take three more images in which I filled the frame with just good ol’ text book composition. What I got was three boring shots.

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So let’s look at the first shot, the decisive moment, where my attention went in the direction the boy took me. What is it that took me and why? The photographer, Jay Maisel, believes that there are three key components to a photograph: light, gesture and color. Because I’m me, and I can rarely leave well enough alone, I think there are four components: light, gesture, color and time. What we both strongly agree on is that in a photograph gesture reigns supreme and that should be your primary focus.

What took me was the strength of this boy’s gesture and what I got as a bonus was timelessness. Also, because of the strength of the gesture, everything in the image works. There is a sensation in the photograph that there was a moment before and after – that motion was caught with stillness, and the only still thing about the image is that the picture is not moving. That element is lacking in the three subsequent frames.

How a photograph can be timeless has to do with the very nature of how we experience time. There is always a where and when with time. If someone asks you to meet them at a certain place, you will always ask “when?” If someone asks you to meet them at a certain time, you will always ask “where?” What is unique about a photograph is that it has the ability to capture a when and a where and have that past moment be in the present over and over again.

Ahh but I digress….

In my opinion, one of the big issues that keeps many a photographer from being taken by their photographs is that they are too worried about following the rules of composition while they are shooting. We are so frequently busy making sure we follow the rule of thirds, quadrants, asking ourselves the question to bulls eye or not to bulls eye, or Grecian mean, that we either miss or avoid being taken by a shot because we are so busy trying to consciously “compose” it correctly. The problem with this approach is it’s like taking apart your watch and then expecting to be able to tell the time. I think it’s best to follow the wisdom of the Dali Lama here, “learn the rules completely so you can then break them correctly.”

The problem is that we operate under a belief that one actually composes a photograph. Unless you are in a studio doing a still life, where you can move the objects in your image around, you don’t compose a photograph, you frame it. That’s a big difference in how you conceptualize your images. To prove this point let’s test it. When you are shooting a picture and there is a tree that’s in your way, can you move the tree or do you move? If the answer is that you move then you’re framing. If you are moving the tree, then you brought a backhoe with you….nice…. In any event, when it comes to framing, there are many more things at play then just the simple rules of composition. The bio-mechanics of the way the eye sees comes to mind as just one example. (Which is a whole other blog.)

But what does this have to do with being taken when taking photographs? We get back to those ancient words of wisdom “Learn the rules.” Know the rule of thirds and so on, and take the time to practice them when you are at home, walking around the block, going to get coffee, and just going about the day to day. I suggest carrying a camera with you wherever you go and go crazy spending the day doing nothing but following the rule of thirds, or everything to the right – whatever floats your boat. Do this so that when you are in the field, on a trip or wherever you find yourself shooting, you can be so adept that you can “break the rules correctly”. When you can do that, you’ll find yourself being taken to the place in your photographs that you fell in love with in the work of others.

A photograph, as Ernst Haas believes, should be “less descriptive – more imagination, less information – more suggestion, less prose – more poetry.” Which gets us to the core of this rant and that is – What is a photograph if it is not a visual poem? Which begs us to ask the question what is poetry? Poetry is the language of heightened emotion. Prose is what we use to describe things while poetry is what we use to express how we feel.

We did not decide on photography as a hobby or a vocation because we needed a place to spend money so we have enough equipment to start a camera store. We came to photography because the world moves us in such a way that we want to photograph what we see so others can be moved the way we were, at least that is why I do it.

So what I invite you to consider is this, next time you go out to shoot, slow down to the speed of life instead of trying to see the world according to a predefined “check list for photographic success” which does not allow for random acts of life. What happens when we confine ourselves to someone else’s definition of correctness is we come up with images that are the same and we take them over and over again.

It is in absolutely spontaneity that we find absolute truth. To be taken by a photograph is to tell the truth of the moment. It is through spontaneity that we find the ability to take extraordinary photographs of simple things. It is easy to take a mundane photograph of an extraordinary thing, the extraordinary thing does all the heavy lifting. But to have the ability to take extraordinary photographs of the everyday…. Not only will you have been taken when you do this, but you will have created an image that will take others there with you. The architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, expressed this concept the best, “An interesting plainness is the most difficult precious thing to achieve.” Think about all the great photographs that moved you, that took you, were they not of the simplest of things?

So again, I invite you to slow down to the speed of life, make visual poems that take the viewer the way you were taken. To visually speak poetically and to write with light using the language of heightened emotion. But most importantly be sure to make it so you always allow yourself the buzz of being taken by your photographs.

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