TWiP #243 – Nokia, 500px, and Flickr
This week on TWiP: Nokia throws down the 41 megapixel gauntlet, 500px and Flickr get make-overs, and Arizona wants to legislate Photoshopped images.
Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Derrick Story, Sara France, and Ron Brinkmann
According to DPReview, “Nokia has made the startling announcement that it has created a 41MP smartphone, the Nokia 808 PureView.” The panel dives into this announcement, picking it apart and going into both, the technology, and its implications.
Ron sifts through the hype around the 808 PureView, pointing out which parts of the technology in this device are truly new and exciting, and the implication they can have for cameras in general. Ron also has some thoughts on what this could mean for Nokia as a company.
Derrick and Sara also chime in with their thoughts on what this means for Nokia and the competition from Apple and Google. The recurring topic of cameraphones replacing point-and-shoots comes up again with this new announcement, with Frederick still holding fast to his prognostication.
Photo-Sharing Site 500PX Gets a New Look, Photo Market, While Flickr Gears Up for a Makeover
Popular Photography reports that the guys at 500px apparently aren’t keen on letting Yahoo’s behemoth catch up, as 500PX got a serious facelift. The main page is now populated with photos in varying sizes and orientations. The profile pages have been updated as well, and the stories (blog posts) have been given more prominent placement.
Also new is the Market, which allows customers to buy HD digital downloads of images for $2.99 or rather large canvas prints of the photos for $500. Presumably, there will be more options in the future if the program proves to be successful. The rates of pay for photographers varies from $200-$250 on canvas prints and works out to $2 on digital downloads.
Meanwhile, Markus Spiering, Flickr’s product manager told BetaBeat that Flickr is going “to be making extensive changes to the Flickr interface,” and that the interface is being “completely revamped. Suddenly the photos look more than four times their current size and lie neatly justified on the page, somehow jigsawing together without cropping or changing the order in which they appear.”
The panel is somewhat ambivalent about Flickr’s announcement. Frederick is pleased to report good news about Flickr, for a change, and Derrick loves Flickr, but Ron is much more skeptical about their prospects. He admits, though, that he too has a Flickr Pro account (there’s a bit of a hostage situation developing between Ron and his Flickr account – listen for more details).
For Derrick and for TWiP itself, the public groups are a big draw, and Derrick talks about Flickr’s prospects optimistically. Sara has some great takes on the redesigns at 500px and Flickr and how they relate to her, even though she doesn’t use Flickr.
The Marketplace is a great new resource, according to Sara, and there’s some discussion about the conversion of pixels into physical products, which Derrick is enthusiastic about. Tune in to the show to hear more on this topic – and on a tangential conversation surrounding the new Facebook timeline too.
Popular Photography reports:
A new bill is up for debate in Arizona, which would require advertisers who alter photos add a disclaimer, stating: “Postproduction techniques were made to alter the appearance in this advertisement. When using this product, similar results may not be achieved.” Sponsored by Rep. Katie Hobbs, she knows the bill has little chance of succeeding, but wants to bring it to people’s attentions as part of a discussion of body image issues among young women. This is part of a larger, international backlash against overly edited photos of women, which has popped up in a number of places at a number of times.
Ron’s initial snickering will likely give the game away when it comes to the panel’s general opinion of this endeavor, but the discussion that follows is well-nuanced, going into the issue in some detail. Besides talking about the problems surrounding the enactment and enforcement of a law like this, there is also a great discussion of body image, and how it relates to women.
Sara has some really good insights into this part of the topic, and goes into a Dove campaign that highlighted this very important and relevant issue. The panel talks about how the issue of retouching affects working photographers today. Derrick and Sara respond to questions from Frederick, and describe the moral and ethical issues they face around the topic of “Photoshopping” images.
Adobe’s Photoshop Touch has been out for Android tablets since late last year, and the company has now delivered on its earlier promise to release a version for iOS. The new version, which is compatible only with the iPad 2, is now available from the App Store for $9.99.
Frederick directs listeners to the review of PSTouch on thisweekinphoto.com. Please feel free to go in and comment on the article, and let us know what you think of this new app.
Warren Verity asks via Facebook:
Hey all, how do I go about choosing a background setup. What are things to look for? What do I need to consider? Should I include a green screen? (This will be a for a home studio with standard size rooms).
Derrick: Don’t go for a green-screen. There are a lot of challenges with lighting a green screen, and there’s a high potential for a lighting mismatch there. It’s more rewarding to work with physical backgrounds. I recommend getting some old lightstands or some PVC and making a frame, then using some muslins or roll paper background. Savage Roll Paper is a good option.
Ron: Agreed. Green screens are very challenging to work with. You have to get light even on a green screen for it to work. There’s a high risk for “green-spill,” too, where the light bounces off the green screen and “wraps” around the subject. You also have to light the foreground the way the background is lit, matching direction and intensity. It’s not my first choice.
David Barnas from our FaceBook page asks.:
I’m looking for a very strong portable light that can be backpacked into pitch black photo shoot situations. I would specifically be using this on Urban Explorations, in abandoned rooms/buildings in jet black/no light situations. Flash light beams are too concentrated, I’m looking to diffuse the light to illuminate an entire room. Furthermore, I’d also be using it to illuminate cave rooms and cave tunnels/large walk-able drains, where there is, again, NO light. Any suggestions?
Ron: Use a tripod and a flashlight with a bounce card to gather a combination of ambient and artificial light, and “light paint” the area. A company called Fenix has some immensely powerful LED flashlights you can use for this. Multiple exposures and light painting let you tease out shadow details later. Some folks have even used road flares.
Derrick and Sara: The Ice Light from Westcott is pretty cool, though they may not light as much as David does.
Sara: The Lowell iLight might be a good choice too.
Picks of the Week!
Derrick: Epson iPrint iOS app
Frederick: SmugMug Camera Awesome
Derrick Story: www.thedigitalstory.com
Producers: Suzanne Llewellyn
Bandwidth provided by Cachefly
Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro