Polaroid launch new instant film camera

Polaroid have launched a new camera which instantly prints business card-sized photographs.

The Polaroid  300 has four scene settings and features an automatic flash.

Polaroid, who recently appointed popstar Lady Gaga as their creative director said: “The new Polaroid 300 Instant Camera has everything you loved about instant photography back in a fun and one-of-a-kind Polaroid way.

“With four lighting settings and an auto-flash, your photos will be perfect every time.”

“Take the 300 Instant Camera with you to capture the fun instantly,” Polaroid added.

Follow the link for more information on the Polaroid 300 Instant Camera.

>> Whatever your camera, learn how to take better pictures on a
photography holiday with Philip Dunn

People photography – the relaxed way to learn

With another Photography Holiday in Menorca coming up very soon, I’ve been looking back at some of the photographs I’ve taken while working alongside my students during these relaxed weeks of photography tuition.

people photography in MenorcaI don’t often get much time or opportunity to take my own photographs during the week –my efforts are more concentrated on ensuring that all the photographers get the help and attention they need to improve their own pictures. My view is that is their pictures that matter – not mine, and while we are out on location I am constantly moving from one photographer to another to see how everyone is getting along.

Of course, some photographers prefer to be left to their own devices, and that’s fine. But my students know I’m always on hand to help if they need it. I’m appalled when I hear of photography tutors who send their photographers off to take pictures (‘go and be creative’) while they themselves sit in the bar and wait until they come back – probably no wiser. That is just simply cheating the customer in my view.

Anyway, every now and again while I am working alongside my students I do manage to point a camera at something worthwhile – especially when I am demonstrating how to capture candid photographs of people.

The picture here was a quick snap of a chap I saw in a bar in Ciutedella, Menorca. It was taken on my little Canon G9. Ciutedella is one of the locations we all really enjoy because of its old and narrow alleys, fish market and harbour. There is always something to photograph here and it is a fantastic training ground for anyone who wants to learn more about travel photography and photographing people and towns.

I’ve said it before and I say it again – in Menorca there are NONE of the problems associated with photographing people in Britain. It’s a place to relax, learn and gather wonderful photographs.

If you are wondering what the reaction of the man photographed reading his newspaper was when he spotted me taking his picture – it was typical of the response we always get here – his face lit up with a smile.

The May Photography Holiday is fully booked but there is just one place remaining on the Menorca Photography Holiday in September – don’t miss your opportunity for a wonderful and instructive Photography Holiday BOOK NOW

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Adobe Lightroom 2.7, ACR 5.7 & DNG Converter 5.7 released

Adobe has released Lightroom 2.7, ACR 5.7 and DNG Converter 5.7 for download at Adobe.com

Adobe’s Lightroom 2.7 is now available as a free download for Lightroom 2 customers, and Photoshop Camera Raw 5.7 is available as a free download for Photoshop CS4, Photoshop Elements 8 (Win/Mac) and Premiere Elements 8 customers.

The DNG Converter 5.7 is also available as a free download for all customers.

These are final versions of updates that were originally posted on the Adobe Labs site.

The latest versions provide final RAW support for the following nine recent cameras:
– Canon EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/ EOS Kiss X4 Digital)
– Kodak Z981
– Leaf Aptus-II 8
– Leaf Aptus-II 10R
– Mamiya DM40
– Olympus E-PL1
– Panasonic G2
– Panasonic G10
– Sony A450

Follow the link for more information on the Adobe updates.

Better camera and flash on ‘new iPhone’

Apple’s next iPhone will feature a bigger and better camera with an in-built flash plus a front-facing camera for video-chat.

That’s according to the latest rumours from some of the most respected gadget and Apple-watching websites.

Gizmodo.com have reported that a prototype of Apple’s next iPhone was discovered at a bar in Redwood City in America.

The new iPhone includes a host of improvements to Apple’s hugely popular iPhone 3GS, including a front-facing video-chat camera and an improved regular back-camera, which has a ‘noticeably’ larger lens.

There is also an in-built flash, a clearer screen and second microphone.

Read more details on the ‘new iPhone’ at Gizmodo.com.

>> Learn how to take better pictures whatever you’re camera on a photography holiday with Philip Dunn.

Photography Holiday dates freed up

The photography holiday in Menorca 3-10th September was reserved for a camera club, who intended to bring 10 members. However, the club secretary has now realised that the dates clash with a major event at the club.

This has freed these dates which are now open to all photographers interested in learning the art of travel photography while having a great holiday in the sunshine.

If I can get 8 photographers to commit to the holiday – it will definitely go ahead.

You can register your interest by filling in and sending the form below. When I have 8 photographers I will ask you to commit with your £100 deposit. Until then, please do not send any money or book your flights.

These holidays amount to a very special photography experience – you will have NONE of the problems associated with taking pictures in public that you get in the UK.

Menorca is the idea place to learn – a place where photographers are made welcome. The picture shows Lynne Cameron, who came on a photography holiday last year, photographing Pedro – one of our favourite subjects.

Please fill in the form to show your interest in the Photography Holiday in Menorca Sept 3-10th 2010 – I hope I’ll see you in the sunshine.

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Digital Economy Bill Clause 43 kicked out

Clause 43, part of unelected goverment Minister Lord Mandleson’s Digital Economy Bill, hase been dropped after strong opposition from the Conservatives.

Thank you PhotoActive Blog reader James Richardson for letting me know.

All right-thinking photographers can breathe a sigh of relief that this dreadful piece of legislation, which amounted to legalised theft of photographers’ copyright, has been defeated by good sense. It was a close run thing and Mandelson almost got away with it.

During a late sitting of April 7th, the House of Commons agreed to pass the Bill – after the government backed down and removed Clause 43, which would have given the Minister of State (Mandelson until the May General Election) the power to grant authorisation to third party organisations (quangos) to license specific orpan works.

You can read the full story on The British Journal of Photography website.

Victory! I for one will certainly remember what the Labour Government ‘led’ by Mandelson is capable of come the election in May.

Two places remaining for Photography Holiday

The Photography Holiday in Menorca in May is now fully booked. There are just two places remaining on the September Photography Holiday, so please do not leave it too late if you would like to come.

Photography holiday Menorca La MolaTwo of the people coming in May are returning for the second time, and it is very common for photographers to join us for a second or even a third time. In fact one photographer booked onto the Photography Holiday in September is coming back for the fifth time. I am hugely proud of this level of return clients for these holidays. But I cannot claim full credit for their success – much is down to Norene, who works so hard to ensure everything runs smoothly.

A huge amount of credit is also due to the S’Algar Hotel, our base for the holidays. The place is lovely, the food is excellent and the staff really work hard to make sure everyone feels welcome. It is a winning combination.

Norene’s tasks include everything from the holiday organisation to providing sticking plasters for stubbed toes when we are out on location with our group of photographers.

I have posted here just two of the hundreds of wonderful images produced by our photographers on these holidays – just to give you an idea of the diversity of the subjects we cover. The theme of the holiday is Travel Photography and all that that can involve.

The first picture is by Ina Beeston and shows the extraordinarily spooky building of the old military prison at La Mola. This is a fascinating place and we always try to include it in our schedule because it offers such an enormous range of subjects – everything from flowers to derelict building and old military vehicles. In this image I love the way Ina has captured the atmosphere by placing the shiny white trees against the building and those black empty windows.

The other picture by Peter Martin shows the ladies of the fish market at Ciutedella looking at some of the prints of the pictures I have taken of them on previous visits. Peter has captured a lovely moment as the ladies faces light up. As I have said before, photographing people and street photography in Menorca is a joy. There are absolutely none of the problems you get in the UK – people here are sensible and welcoming to photographers. There is no paranoia. You are fee to take photographs of people in the street – and almost anywhere else for that matter.

So, come and join us – but don’t leve it too late to book!



Brits take photographs of smells, says Nikon

Brits are so in tune with their senses that they can recall the smell associated with a scene or location – just by looking at a photo of it.

That’s according to research released by Nikon to celebrate the launch of its new range of COOLPIX compact cameras.

The study, which was conducted across 23 countries, revealed that 47 percent of Brits can remember the scent associated with a photograph, while just under a quarter said they would actively take a picture of something based purely on the way it smells.

The results also show that British women are more likely to pay attention to the scent of their surroundings when taking a picture than men, with over a quarter stating they would capture a photograph of something that smells appealing – for example a rose garden.

Commenting on the research, Dr Rachel Herz, a leading world expert in the psychological science of scent and Professor at Brown University, said: “This research shows just how powerful the link between our memories and the sense of smell really is.

“While a photograph can visually remind us of a particular moment in time, if it is accompanied by scent it will elicit even more emotional and evocative memories – more than any other memory trigger.”

When asked to rate a list of scents that were most likely to trigger a memory, over 53 percent of Brits named the smell of freshly cut grass as their top ‘memory scent’.

The research of 11,500 people was conducted to mark the launch of the new range of Nikon COOLPIX compact cameras, including the S8000, the S4000, P100, L110, L21 and L22.

Britain’s top 5 scents of a memory:

1. Freshly cut grass – childhood sports days and playing football

2. Sunscreen – the beach and summer holidays

3. Baby talc – newborn baby

4. Candy Floss – carnivals / fairgrounds

5. Farmyard – time spent on a farm or in the countryside

Digital Economy Bill a shambles

Unelected Government Minister Lord Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill has shown itself for what it really is – a shambolic con trick.

By using Mandelson’s own dubious sense of  ethics and all the underhand techniques which photographers have been warning against for many months, the Labour Party’s election campaign has become a source of ridicule right from the start.

Their ‘Ashes To Ashes’ poster, featuring actor Philip Glenister has won wide acclaim for its ineptitude and lack of integrity after misappropriating an image of the actor. The BBC, who, it seems, own the copyright, are not pleased.

To quote from Jeremy Nicholl’s blog:

“…how did the Labour party get permission to use the Glenister image? The answer is: they didn’t. In the Clause 43 spirit of log on, go everywhere, steal everything, the image was apparently downloaded by a Labour Party activist, adapted by advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi, then approved by government ministers David and Ed Miliband. Alarm bells, anyone?”

Yes, Saatchi and Saatchi put the ad together – so it just shows how big advertising agencies and publishers will make use of The Digital Economy Bill in the future.

For Mandelson and the Labour Party I think this episode could be described as ‘shooting oneself in the foot’.

You can read more about this here: http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/04/05/uk-digital-economy-bill-turns-to-ashes/

‘Tennis Girl’ poster photographer dies

Martin Elliot, the photographer who took the iconic ‘Tennis Girl’ poster has died of cancer, aged 63.

The photograph, taken in 1976, shows a young woman lifting up her white tennis dress and touching her bare bottom.

Mr Elliot sold the image to the poster chain Athena and it became one of the world’s most famous pictures, selling millions of photography prints.

The model in the picture was Mr Elliot’s 18-year-old girlfriend at the time, Fiona Butler, who borrowed the white tennis dress, racket and balls for the shot.

Mr Elliot was a student at Birmingham School of Photography when he took the picture at the university’s tennis courts in Edgbaston.

Retaining the copyright of the ‘Tennis Girl’ photography print, Mr Elliot went on to make a fortune from the poster sales.

He died at his home in Cornwall following a 10-year battle with cancer, aged 63.

>> Buy photography prints by former Sunday Times travel photographer Philip Dunn