Archive for March, 2010

Mar 25 2010

Adobe to unveil Creative Suite 5 on April 1

Published by Vincent Versace under Uncategorized

Adobe has announced that it will launch Creative Suite 5 on April 12, 2010, Adobe provided a first look at the changes to the bundle of applications in the suite including, presumably, Photoshop CS5.

You can register now to watch the launch event, which is expected to run about 30 minutes.

The video below, recorded during a February 2010 presentation by Kevin Connor, Vice President of Imaging at Adobe, shows some of the photo-related features likely to make their debut in Photoshop CS5.

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Mar 23 2010

Adobe Releases Second Public Beta of Photoshop Lightroom 3

From Scott Kelb’s blog Photoshop Insider


Adobe has just released a 2nd public beta version of Lightroom 3 (called Public Beta 2), with some new features, enhancements, and tweaks based on your feedback from Public Beta 1.

Here’s a quick look at what’s new/changed/updated in Lightroom 3 Public Beta 2:

• There’s a significant overall all speed increase in the Library module, so you’ll find scrolling, viewing things in Loupe View, and just generally
• Lightroom 3 now supports the import of video shot with your DSLR, and it adds a icon in the corner so you can easily see which thumbnails are video. You can treat the video files like any other thumbnails (ranking and flagging them, zooming in to Loupe view, putting them in collections, etc.)
• It now display the time stamp so you can see the length of each video.
• If you click on the camera icon, it launches your default video player and plays the video.
• There’s a tweak to Publish Services for uploads, where you now have more control over file naming, and you can limit the file size (instead of just the quality).
• Three enhancements to the Import Window: (1) You can start importing faster because it no longer renders all the images in folder’s you’re not looking to import; (2)  There are more options in the compact version of the Import window, and (3) They’ve made the folder browsing a lot easier using something akin to “Solo Mode,” where you double-click a folder (that has subfolders inside it), and it just shows that one folder.

Man, was I psyched to see this one!!!! I tried it this past week, and not only does it work just great, but it is, hands-down, the fastest tethering I’ve ever used—the Raw images appear faster in Lightroom than I’ve ever seen!!! This alone would have sold me. (By the way; at this point it supports tethered shooting from most, but not all, of the latest DSLR cameras from Nikon and Canon).

They added a number of nice tweaks here, including:
• An inset feature that lets you inset your text from the edges of your document
• If you’re using a text watermark, you can add a drop shadow to your watermark and control the opacity, angle, offset and radius. (This is not currently available in the Windows version of Lightroom 3 beta 2)
The size of the watermark can be set proportionally or to fit or fill the image dimensions

• Enhanced Noise Reduction (the Luminance slider was grayed out in the first public beta, but it’s working now, and it’s really quite incredible).
• You can swap the cropping aspect ratio you can now just press X on your keyboard
• They added back in the choice of the original Post Crop Vignetting effect (By the way—yeech!)
• You now have the option to use a FULL traditional point curve version of Curves right in Lightroom (like the one in Photoshop).

• There’s a checkbox for Prepare Previews in Advance, so your slideshow renders all the images first, so it doesn’t choke half way through your presentation (why you would ever turn this checkbox off—I have no idea).
• You can now have watermarks on your images here as well (helpful, since more people will be sharing slideshows now).

• They added a “Rotate to fit” option and a “rotate cell” command to the new Custom Print Package layout tools (both good additions by the way).
• They raised the maximum print resolution to 720ppi

That’s a quick look at what’s new in LR3, Public Beta 2. Terry White did a great video touching on all the new enhancements and features over at his Create Suite Podcast, and if you’ve got a minute, I’d definitely check it out right here. To download the new free Lightroom 3, Public Beta 2, visit Adobe Labs (here’s that link).

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Mar 12 2010

Texas Removes Thomas Jefferson From Teaching Standard

Published by Vincent Versace under Uncategorized

By David Knowles
A musician and a novelist, David has covered politics for AOL for the past three years. His writing has appeared in such publications as USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Widely regarded as one of the most important of all the founding fathers of the United States, Thomas Jefferson received a demotion of sorts Friday thanks to the Texas Board of Education.

The board voted to enact new teaching standards for history and social studies that will alter which material gets included in school textbooks. It decided to drop Jefferson from a world history section devoted to great political thinkers.

According to Texas Freedom Network, a group that opposes many of the changes put in place by the Board of Education, the original curriculum asked students to “explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present.”

The Texas Board of Education is dropping President Thomas Jefferson from a world history section devoted to great political thinkers.

That emphasis did not sit well with board member Cynthia Dunbar, who, during Friday’s meeting, explained the rationale for changing it. “The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Dunbar said.

The new standard, passed at the meeting in a 10-5 vote, now reads, “Explain the impact of the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Sir William Blackstone.”

By dropping mention of revolution, and substituting figures such as Aquinas and Calvin for Jefferson, Texas Freedom Network argues, the board had chosen to embrace religious teachings over those of Jefferson, the man who coined the phrase “separation between church and state.”

According to USA Today, the board also voted to strike the word “democratic” from references to the U.S. form of government, replacing it with the term “constitutional republic.” Texas textbooks will contain references to “laws of nature and nature’s God” in passages that discuss major political ideas.

The board decided to use the words “free enterprise” when describing the U.S. economic system rather than words such as “capitalism,” “capitalist” and “free market,” which it deemed to have a negative connotation.

Serving 4.7 million students, Texas accounts for a large percentage of the textbook market, and the new standards may influence what is taught in the rest of the country.

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Mar 04 2010

John Paul Caponigro Workshop: The Power of Color! May 3 – 7


The Power of Color

May 3 – 7

Master color!

Learn to think about, see, and adjust color in new ways.

Today’s possibilities are astonishing!

- Achieve unprecedented accuracy
- Master advanced color adjustment tools and techniques in Photoshop
- Control spatial relationships in your images
- Expand your understanding of color perception and color theory
- Learn strategies for creating successful color relationships
- Explore your personal relationship with color
- Find out what your color preferences can tell you about yourself and others
- Refine a signature style all your own

Color is one of my favorite subjects. As both a photographer and a painter, color has been a life-long passion for me. You won’ t find this perspective anywhere else.

You can find many related color resources in my Lessons and DVDs.

Find out more here.

Register now!  <>

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Mar 04 2010

Nik Software Adds World-Renowned Photographers and Sponsors to The 2010 Nik Summit

Nik Software's logo. Click here to visit the Nik Software website!

San Diego, CA – March 4, 2010 – Nik Software announces today the addition of professional photographers Douglas Dubler and Vincent Versace to the roster of professional photographers who will be leading educational workshops during the 2010 Nik Summit on May 13-16, 2010, in San Diego, CA. Master Digital Photographer Douglas Dubler, and specialist in natural light photography

Vincent Versace, will bring their unique qualities, skills and teaching methods to this first of its kind multi-day educational event.

“The 2010 Nik Summit will be a unique experience designed to help photographers dramatically improve their photography by shooting with and learning from some of the world’s leading photographers and educators,” said Tony Corbell, Sr. Manager of Product Education and Planning for Nik Software. “Photographers of all levels can join two half-day photo shoots at some of the most beautiful locations in San Diego, California, listen to industry leaders discuss the future of photography, and see demonstrations on digital workflow and editing solutions featuring the latest technology.”

Taking place at the picturesque Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, San Diego, CA, attendees will learn to improve their photographic, digital workflow and image-editing skills after photographing some of the most beautiful areas in Southern California. Keynote presentations by Robert Beck and Joe McNally, two of the world’s finest working photographers, educational workshops presented by Dubler and Versace, and panel discussions with industry leaders and digital imaging engineers will inspire attendees to not only become better photographers but better editors of their own work. Relaxing “fireside chats” with peers, leading professionals, and imaging product specialists will be the perfect ending to each day. More information and registration details for The Nik Summit are available at

Nik Software also announces the addition of five co-sponsors of the Nik Summit made up of industry leaders and educational powerhouses, including Epson, Nikon, Wacom, White House Custom Colour, and X-Rite.

Event Details
Attendees can register for the event at

When: Thursday, May 13 through Saturday, May 15, 2010; optional morning shoot Sunday, May 16
Where: Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, San Diego, CA
What’s Included:

All on-location shooting sessions, workflow and hands-on lab seminars presentations/panels, and fireside chats
Breakfast and dinner at hotel
Transportation for on-location workshops
Sponsor gifts and prize drawings
Event ambassadors available to ensure personalized attention

Cost: $599.95 / $479.95 early bird registration until March 15, 2010. Discount room rates of $149.00 per night are available when booking through the hotel. Mention “The Nik Summit” when making reservations.

Speaker & VIP List
Speakers and other working professionals scheduled to appear include:

Joe McNally – National Geographic, Time, Nikon
Robert Beck – Sports Illustrated
Tony Sweet – Landscape, Nature Photographer, Team Nik member
Tony Corbell – Photographic educator and lighting specialist, Nik Software Sr. Manager of Product Education & Planning
Mike Strickland – Senior photographer Disney World, Orlando
Rick Sammon – Photographer, book author
Vincent Versace – Smithsonian Award Laureate, photographic educator, author, Team Nik member
Bill Hurter – Editor, Rangefinder and AfterCapture magazines
Chris Robinson – Editor, Outdoor Photographer and Digital Photo Pro magazines
Douglas Dubler – Leading Fashion Photographer, digital workflow expert
Rob Sheppard – Photographer/author, former editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine
Janice Wendt – Renowned image retoucher, trainer, and speaker, Nik Software Education and Training Manager
Laurie Shupp – Award-winning nature and landscape photographer, Nik Software Operations Manager

About Nik Software
Nik Software, Inc., ( is a privately held company that develops software solutions for the growing digital imaging and photography markets. Established in 1995, Nik Software has become the recognized leader in digital photographic filter development and produces award-winning technology and software products for digital photography and imaging professionals including U Point® technology (, Dfine®, Viveza®, Color Efex Pro™, Silver Efex Pro™, and Sharpener Pro™ software.

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Mar 04 2010

Hidden Gas Source Could Speed Global Warming

Published by Vincent Versace under Uncategorized

Gregory Mone
AOL News
(March 4) — Scientists have uncovered a powerful source of a leading greenhouse gas that is venting into the atmosphere at unprecedented rates. The permafrost beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, a relatively shallow section of the Arctic Ocean, has been pumping 7.7 million tons of methane into the air each year — roughly the amount released into the atmosphere by the rest of the world’s oceans combined.

The researchers, who report their work in the March 5 issue of Science, caution that their findings in this previously unstudied region raise more questions than answers. The amount of methane released, though higher than expected, represents only a fraction of total global methane emissions.

But further warming could trigger added leakage of the greenhouse gas in the area, potentially leading to a positive feedback cycle. “The current global change might contribute to this process. It might accelerate this process,” says University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Natalia Shakhova. “The subsea permafrost is significantly more sensitive to further warming.”

Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team
Scientists are concerned about the amount of methane being released from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, an area that has not been studied until recently.

Methane ranks third on the list of greenhouse gas culprits, after water vapor and carbon dioxide, but its concentration in the air has more than doubled in recent centuries. In the past, atmospheric methane levels have varied between .3 and .7 parts per million. Currently, the numbers are up to 1.85 parts per million — a 400,000-year high. Above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, this figure is even greater.

“They’re measuring very high concentrations that aren’t observed elsewhere,” says University of Florida climate scientist Ted Schuur, who has studied climate change in the region. “Carbon is moving between different parts of the earth system every year,” he explains. “The question for the future is whether we are losing some kind of balance and going into a new carbon state.”

The study by Shakhova et al. does not answer that question, Schuur says, but it highlights the East Siberian Arctic Shelf as a potentially critical hot spot for further research. Though that’s a paradoxical description: It is a barren, frozen and thoroughly unpleasant region where “warm” temperatures are those just below freezing.

Shakhova and her colleagues braved the conditions, conducting eight separate research trips to the area over several years, ultimately taking more than 5,000 measurements at sea. Schuur and other scientists had studied the release of methane from the permafrost on land, but no group had analyzed the region below the water.

This underwater source has been subject to massive change. At various points in Earth’s history, it has been a frozen plain that effectively traps its methane stores. But that plain was flooded as the world warmed since the last ice age, and it now sits under seawater significantly warmer than the air in the surrounding region. So while the terrestrial permafrost has remained frozen, its subsea counterpart has thawed, sending its methane stores into the atmosphere.

Shakhova explains that while the rate of release the scientists measured on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is already high, relative to the rest of the world’s oceans, it could still increase further. Several major rivers flow into that sea, and increased temperatures in the area could lead to more runoff.

This warmer river water could raise the temperature of the sea further, driving the release of still more methane. Shakhova estimates that even if just 1 percent of the methane stored in the permafrost were released into the air, it could triple atmospheric levels of the gas.

The broader implications of the findings are hard to gauge — Shakhova said it is too early to tell how her research could affect the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But she and other scientists will be monitoring that icy hot spot for years to come.

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Mar 01 2010

The Newly-Redesigned Cintiq 21UX!!!!

Available April 2010


The combination of a color LCD with industry-leading pen input capabilities allows photographers, designers, animators and other creative professionals to work naturally and intuitively directly on the surface of the large-format, 21.3″ screen.

The new Cintiq 21UX detects 2048 levels of pressure, giving you even more control over pressure-sensitive pen effects such as line weight, opacity, and exposure. With Wacom’s new Tip Sensor, the pen now features a lower activation force that captures even the most subtle nuances of pressure.

The ambidextrous design of the second generation Cintiq 21UX features a pair of rear-mounted Touch Strips, along with accompanying Touch Strip Toggle Buttons. In this manner, you’ll gain instant control of up to four application-specific Touch Strip functions on each Touch Strip, such as brush size, zooming, scrolling and canvas rotation. Sixteen ExpressKeys™ (eight on either side of the display) boost productivity by providing quick access to keyboard shortcuts and modifier keys.

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