Snapseed updated with improvements – v1.1.0

An update is available for Nik Software’s Snapseed iPad app today.  Details below of what has been up updated.

At the moment I cannot open a RAW file as the update suggests.  When I choose to open an image I have imported with the connection kit then Snapseed opens only the embedded jpeg rather than doing a RAW conversion.  This is what happened before with the original version so I cannot see what the different is with v1.1.0.  I must say though that it was quicker opening the file with the new version and the image seems clearer.

What’s New in Version 1.1.0

In Version 1.1.0 Snapseed
+ Supports RAW images transferred with the Camera Connector kit
+ Preserves EXIF data on saving
+ Visual enhancements
+ Performance optimizations
+ Various bug fixes and interaction tweaks

Start-up company Lytro are developing a light field camera

Start-up company Lytro have announced they are developing a consumer camera with a light field sensor. They say that it will be “Portable and stylish enough to bring along, from the beach to the bistro.”  Lytro are also saying that it will available to consumers this year.

Light field – definition:
The light field is a function that describes the amount of light travelling in every direction through every point in space. (source: Wikipedia)

So what is a light field camera anyway? It’s a camera with a sensor that not only records colour but also records the angle at which the light rays hit the sensor. With this extra information, a bunch of clever algorithms and some substantial data processing you can decide after having taken the photograph which part of the image you would like in focus. This includes choosing a narrow depth of field, where that focus point is, or choosing to have everything in focus throughout the entire image!  It is also possible to view a 3D effect without the need for 3D glasses.

If this camera comes to fruition it will be interesting indeed.  Interesting to see what consumers make of it and if major manufacturers sit up and take notice.  Only time will tell if it is a game changer but the potential is certainly there.

See the Lytro website for more information. The examples are pretty cool so go and have a play. Be sure also to download and digest Ren Ng’s dissertation on the matter!

Engadget have a video which is an interview with the Lytro CEO Ren Ng where he demostrates the effect of capturing the light field information. It is well worth a look.

DxO Labs releases FilmPack 3

DxO Labs FilmPack 3DxO Labs has released it’s latest incarnation of the highly regarded film simulation software, FilmPack 3.

From the press release:
“DxO Labs today announces DxO FilmPack 3 for Mac and Windows, the latest version of its reference software simulating silver halide film rendition based on DxO Labs’ unique 10 years of recognized expertise in calibration. DxO FilmPack 3 allows photographers, from experts to beginners, to recreate the magic of dozens of black & white or color film stocks in one click, offering limitless creative options for their digital images.”

DxO FilmPack 3 plug-in for DxO Optics Pro and upgrades to DxO FilmPack 3 plug-in for DxO Optics Pro are available immediately from the DxO Labs e-store ( at a special introductory discount. Customers purchasing this plug-in or its upgrade will have free access to DxO FilmPack 3 standalone or Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture plug-ins when available.

This software is of particular interest to me because for the last few years I have mostly been working in monochrome and FilmPack allows me to keep a look and feel across a collection of images rather than each one looking different in terms of the tonal representation of the colour.

There are discounts to be had if you purchase before the 31st July. I shall be buying my upgrade.

More details on DxO Labs FilmPack 3

Marketing Fine Art Photography by Alain Briot

Marketing fine art photographyMarketing Fine Art Photography is a new book by Alain Briot. I came across this on Amazon about five or six months ago. I ordered it straight away and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Finally it is almost here. It is available from Alain Briot’s website now but in the uk I am expecting Amazon to ship it round about the 15th June. Once I have had a chance to read it I’ll write a review.

Press Release

Marketing Fine Art Photography—New from Rocky Nook

Santa Barbara, CA — In recent years as the field of photography has exploded, many photographers consider selling their work to make a profit and to help defray the high costs of equipment. But, many photographers don’t have the business and marketing knowledge required to successfully sell fine art photographs; and many of those who have tried have been met with disappointment. Until now, little information of value has been available.

In Marketing Fine Art Photography (Rocky Nook, $44.95 USD), Alain Briot offers practical, up-to-date and field-tested marketing techniques from the viewpoint of a fine art landscape photographer who earns a living from the sale of his fine art prints.

Briot teaches that by taking control of the selling process, you can increase your profits and, ultimately, direct your own destiny. Briot’s approach is based on offering quality not quantity; and offering something unique, rather than something that is mass-produced. Though directed toward selling fine art, this method can be applied to other products.

After a series of trials and errors, Briot devised a marketing system that allowed him to get out of debt, pay for a state-of-the-art studio, and purchase his first home, all from the sale of his photography. Briot has taught fine art photography marketing to numerous students in seminars, through one-on-one consulting, and through his Marketing Mastery tutorial DVD.

Topics include:
· Defining fine art photography
· Wholesale, retail, and consignment
· Knowing your customer
· Where to sell and how to price fine art
· Fundamentals of marketing and salesmanship
· Profitability and honesty in business
· Packing and shipping fine art
· Common marketing mistakes
· The unique selling proposition (USP)

About the Author

Alain Briot is one of today’s leading contemporary landscape photographers. Originally from Paris, France, he attended the Academie Nationale des Beaux Arts where he studied drawing and oil painting from 1977 to 1980. Briot then began his study of photography at the American Center in Paris.

After visiting the American Southwest, Briot became enthralled with the artistic potential this landscape afforded and in 1986 he relocated to the U.S. He began his study of photography at Northern Arizona University, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in 1990 and his Master’s Degree in Visual Communication in 1992.

From 1995 to 2002, Briot lived at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, in the heart of the Navajo Nation. Living there allowed him to become intimately familiar with Native American arts and culture, which is evident in the frames and matting designs he uses.

Briot’s goal is to create the most exciting and beautiful photographs possible. His equipment—be it cameras, software, etc.—is chosen for the ability to make this possible.

Alain Briot is a columnist on the highly respected Luminous Landscape website, and is a popular teacher of photography workshops. He currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Natalie. Learn more about Alain at

Snapseed iPad app from Nik Software

Nik software have entered the iPad application market with their newly released Snapseed app.  Nik Software are better known for their excellent Photoshop and Lightroom plugins, like Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro, and now they have applied their skills and knowledge to bring this new app to the iPad with the claim that it “makes any photograph extraordinary”.  Here’s the introduction text from their web page:

Snapseed for iPad makes any photograph extraordinary and is brought to you by Nik Software, the recognized leader in digital photographic products and technologies. With Snapseed, enhance your photos with one tap. Tweak photos to perfection with Tune Image or selectively adjust only a part of your photo with revolutionary Control Points. Add incredible effects with innovative filters like Drama, Vintage, and Grunge. Share photos with your friends and family with social network support, or print your photos directly in Snapseed.

I have had a quick look at this app and it seems to be rather good.  It has the usual adjustment options, like brightness and contrast, but the features that sets this apart from other ‘photography’ type apps that I have tried are the style presets allowing you to create a cool look to your photograph and then to adjust those presets too.

snapseed screenshot

I use an original iPad and it seemed to be pretty fast and certainly acceptable in terms of speed and responsiveness.

One feature that appears to be missing, or I have not found yet, is a resize option.  I would have expected it to be bunched with the regular adjustment options but I could not see it.  Resizing an image is important to me because I don’t want to be emailing or uploading images that are several thousand pixels across or several megabytes in size so I hope the option really is there and I have just missed it.

Details of Snapseed can be found at Nik Software and I’ll get a more detailed review on here shortly.