Thessaloniki 2011

During my three-week stay in Thessaloniki in February 2011, Thessaloniki caused me to take by far the greatest number of photographs I have ever taken in a major city. This album features visions which, I think, make Thessaloniki unique. All of my photographs have been taken with a very simple Fujifilm Finepix E550.

During the three weeks of my stay in Thessaloniki in February 2011, Thessaloniki, caused me to take, by far the largest number of photos I've taken a great city. This album features dreams, which I think makes Thessaloniki unique.

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Nana Slimba δημιούργησε αυτό το Δίκτυο Ning.

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Leica expands 'a la carte' program to allow customers to customize the M Monochrom

The Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) shown in cement leather and silver chrome

Leica has announced that its M Monochrom (Typ 246) will now become part of the company’s 'a la carte' program, where photographers can choose a range of custom options to personalize their camera. The M Monochrom has only been available in a discrete black chrome finish until now, with black leather and no traditional Leica red dot in case it attracted unwanted attention. Now that the camera is in the a la carte program a polished silver chrome version will be available as well as black laquer, and the leather finish can be chosen from 10 different colours including shades of red, blue, green and brown.

The service also allows users to decide if they want the image field selector lever that previews the effects of different focal lengths (it costs more to have it removed), to choose between Gorilla and sapphire glass on the LCD, and a choice of color for the strap to match or complement the color of the body. Users can also request no engraving on the camera’s top plate, or indeed request their own lettering or signature for the top plate and/or the camera’s rear.

The customization can add over £1000 to the cost of the body on top of a charge of £840 for the service. Leica has created a simulator so that users can choose their options online, and Leica stores will also offer the service. For more information visit the Leica Camera website.

Press release:

Made to measure: Leica M Monochrom à la carte

Leica à la carte programme extended with the addition of the Leica M Monochrom, with silver chrome finish available for the first time

Leica Camera has today announced that its successful Leica M à la carte camera personalisation programme has been expanded with the addition of the Leica M Monochrom, bringing the entire portfolio of bespoke options to this special digital rangefinder model.

The Leica M Monochrom, which incorporates a unique black and white sensor, can now be ordered with a multitude of tailored features, including a choice of classic black chrome or black paint body. Furthermore, for the first time and exclusively via the à la carte programme, customers can also select the camera body in a stunning silver chrome finish.

Among the custom options are a top plate with – or without – the iconic Leica ‘red dot’ logo on the front, and an extensive collection of leather trims, from classic black to subtle shades to rich, eye-catching colours such as khaki, red or deep blue.

For the ultimate personal touch, the Leica M Monochrom à la carte can be delivered with fine engraving on the top surface and rear of the top plate. Meticulously hand-crafted in Germany, each camera can be transformed into a personal ‘object of desire’ – a unique and unmistakeable example of precision and quality – with the application of its owner’s signature, custom text or special markings.

An array of high quality camera carrying straps completes the Leica M à la carte portfolio, in colours and materials to match those chosen for the camera’s leather trim.

Allowing the simulation of all possible variations, and selection of the final combination chosen by the customer, an online configurator is available now on the Leica website at uk.leica-camera.com. Orders for the personalised Leica M Monochrom à la carte camera can be placed via official Leica Stores and Boutiques, where customers are able to view a variety of samples, illustrating the full range of options offered by the programme.

MIT Museum exhibition 'Images of Discovery' highlights science photography

MIT Museum has opened a photography exhibition called 'Images of Discovery: Communicating Science through Photography,' running through January 2017. The exhibition showcases photographs from Berenice Abbott, Felice Frankel and Harold ‘Doc’ Edgerton, all three of whom ‘explored a range of scientific questions’ through their photography while working at the university.

All three aforementioned photographers spent time working at MIT; Frankel is a research scientist and science photographer in the MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering; Edgerton was an MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and is known, among other things, for his Milk Drop photograph; and Abbot worked for MIT in the late 1950s, contributing images for a physics curriculum.

Speaking about the exhibition, MIT Museum Director John Durant said:

"Wherever you look in science, you see the historical importance of finding new ways of visualizing things, leading to greater understanding of the world. From Galileo's use of his own hand-built telescope to explain the movements of the earth and other planets, to the latest imaging technologies in everything from nanotechnology to neuroscience, the making of images remains central to our ability to make new discoveries."

The exhibition includes half a dozen ‘Image Making Stations’ that give visitors the opportunity to better understand and make their own similar science photographs. Image Making Stations including ‘Water Drop,’ ‘Capture Movement,’ ‘A Bouncing Ball,’ ‘Water Waves in a Ripple Tank,’ ‘Photographing Ferrofluid,’ and ‘Zoom Scanner.’

The MIT Museum is located at 265 Massachusetts Ave, Building N51, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Via: wbur

20x24 Studio will stop producing Polaroid 20 x 24 film next year

20 x 24 camera designed and built by Tracy Storer, Operator of Polaroid 20x24 Studio West

The Polaroid 20 x 24 is facing extinction as the last company producing the large-format instant film, 20x24 Studio, has announced plans to stop production at the end of 2017. 

The studio and its owner John Reuter originally purchased an original Polaroid 20 x 24 camera from Polaroid after it declared bankruptcy in 2008, as well as hundreds of cases of existing film for it. The company sought to keep the format alive by producing its own iteration of the cameras and film, but a lack of demand and other issues have forced it to abandon that dream.

In a statement posted on 20x24 Studio’s website, Mr. Reuter said:

“Our hope now is that we can work on some great projects with many of our legacy clients as well as new artists who have yet to experience the ultimate in instant analog image making. Our original business plan was for five years with the inventory purchased and for a variety of reasons we have not worked through the material. Instant film will not last forever and despite storing the film stock in cold storage and mixing the chemical reagent only as needed the studio projects that they can maintain the quality for two more years."

Elaborating on this to the New York Times, Mr. Reuter said it would take a massive ‘multimillions’ investment to continue producing the film, something that isn’t feasible for the company given the relative lack of demand. As it stands, the camera itself costs $1750 to rent per day and each film exposure costs $125. Mr. Reuter anticipates the existing stock being used up by the time 20x24 Studio closes its doors next year.

Take a look below at the 20x24 camera in action as Douglas Doubler photographs ballet dancer Rachelle di Stasio. 

Via: New York Times

Lights on! White theme extended to forums, now default for new visitors

You may have already noticed that following a few weeks of tweaking and bug squashing we’ve extended the new ‘light’ theme to the forums and deployed a new unified header that is shared between both dark and light versions of the site. The beta pop-up has been banished from the site and a new permanent ‘Reading Mode’ switch placed at the top right corner of the site.

Use the 'Reading mode' switch (top right of every page) to switch between black and white themes. Your choice is remembered.

White is the new black

As of the today the ‘light’ reading mode will be the default. If you want to switch to black and forget this ever happened, go ahead – your choice will be remembered.

DPR has had the same basic ‘look’ since it launched in 1998, and there’s no doubt that the white-on-black design has always been an instantly recognizable part of our identity – our brand. And we know – because you’ve told us through polls and comments – that many of our regular visitors and forum pros are very happy with the current design and have no appetite for change, hence the decision to offer this as an option, forever.

If you want to switch to black and forget this ever happened, go ahead – your choice will be remembered.

But we also know that a large number of our visitors found the old design visually off-putting and hard to read, and a switch to a more conventional ‘black on white’ design has been the single most requested change seen via our feedback system for at least ten years. So we decided to see if we could, in relatively short order, knock together a quick alternative with the emphasis on readability for those that struggle with white text on a black background. What you see today is the outcome of that experiment. Not a lot has changed – we flipped the colors and made the body font a little larger, but this is a new coat of paint, not a foundation-up rebuild.

White theme forum index White theme post view

We asked, you answered...

For those of you that managed to get this far down the page before scrolling straight to the comment section, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of visitors who took the time to give us feedback on the new theme during the beta. I personally read every single feedback email, all the comments on the original news story announcing the beta, and as many forum posts as I could find. 

The feedback (after filtering out all the complaints about the pop-up asking for feedback and those that took the time to tell us they had no opinion) pretty much all fell into one of four buckets: those that loved the new design (most common words: ‘thanks!!’ and ‘finally!!’), those that prefer the old design (most common phrase ‘don’t fix what ain’t broke’), those that didn’t like either and had their own suggestions for background colors, and a few who hadn’t read the story or the pop up and were under the impression that we were going to replace the old design with the new one, which made them angry. Like, really angry.

I’m not complaining – we were really appreciative of ALL the feedback, and it informed many of the decisions we made and will make in future design changes. 

..and the results are in

Overall the feedback was split 63:37 in favor of the lighter theme, though in the last two weeks the gap widened to about 70:30 as we finessed the design and annoyed more people into giving us feedback (thanks Mr Pop-up!).

The most common themes we saw in favor of the darker theme were

  • The original color scheme sets DPR apart from most sites on the internet and is a fundamental part of our identity.
  • The new theme is too bright and is hard to read (quite a few people claimed it ‘burns my eyes’)
  • Photos look better on black and photo apps such as Lightroom have a similar theme.

We agree that generally color images look better on a dark background, so we didn’t re-skin galleries, challenges, slideshows or the expanded image view in forums.

Just to reiterate...we may be defaulting to the white theme... but the dark theme is not going away. Ever.

It’s probably worth mentioning too, that in the month or so that we ran the beta we saw a significant difference between those using the white and black versions of the site, with those opting for the lighter theme spending almost twice as long and reading almost twice as many pages as those who stayed with the black theme. This is not conclusive proof (for reasons too longwinded to go into here), but it did confirm our long-held belief that the old theme was actually putting people off reading our content.

I hope you give the new ‘Reading mode’ a try – especially the forums, which we just launched. Please share your opinion of how we might make it better below.

Desktop users wondering where the switch for the 'classic' (yellow on gray) forum skin went - it's at the bottom of every forum page (below the index of threads). Again, this setting is remembered between sessions (as long as you retain our cookies).

Just to reiterate, we may – for now - be defaulting to the white theme (because based on the feedback and the data it’s the right choice), but the dark theme is not going away. Ever*.

That’s all, folks.

*OK, it's been pointed out to me that saying the black theme won't 'ever' go away is quite a commitment, and maybe I should say 'until no one is using it, or until the dying Sun consumes our planet, whichever comes sooner'.

Sigma announces pricing and availability for sd Quattro and EF-630 flash

Sigma Corp. has announced pricing and availability for its sd Quattro mirrorless camera, a bundle including the camera and a 30mm F1.4 Art lens, as well as the EF-630 external flash.

The sd Quattro is a mirrorless camera with an APS-C-size Foveon sensor (which Sigma claims is 'equivalent' to 39MP), hybrid autofocus system, 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder and 'Super-Fine Detail' mode that combines seven exposures into one for high dynamic range. The sd Quattro will priced at $799 body-only when it ships in July.

The sd Quattro will also come bundled with Sigma's 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art lens for $999.

The company also released pricing for its EF-630 external flash. It will initially be available for Sigma cameras, with Nikon and Canon versions to follow. The flash covers a range of 24-200mm (and can go down to 17mm via its built-in wide panel), supports high speed sync and offers an easy-to-use interface via its dot matrix display. The EF-630 will set you back $379 when in ships in July.

Press release:

Sigma Announces Pricing and Availability for sd Quattro, new sd Quattro bundle and Sigma EF-630 Flash

Pricing and availability announced for the Sigma sd Quattro camera, a new sd Quattro camera and 30mm 1.4 Art lens bundle, as well as new EF-630 Flash

Ronkonkoma, New York — June 24, 2016 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, DSLR lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced the pricing and availability of the sd Quattro camera along with a new bundle including the sd Quattro and 30mm 1.4 DC HSM Art lens, as well as pricing for the new Sigma EF-630 external flash. The Sigma sd Quattro features an APS-C sized sensor and a redesigned mirrorless system among other advancements, and will be available in July for the street price of $799 USD. The sd Quattro and Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC HSM Art bundle is expected to be available in July for the street price of $999 USD. The Sigma EF-630 flash is the latest external flash from Sigma and boasts an overhaul from previous models, including a new docking station that allows users to update the flash via personal computer. The ideal match with the new sd Quattro, the new Sigma EF-630 flash will be available in July for Sigma mount for the street price of $379 USD, along with its dedicated USB Docking station for $79 USD. Additional mount availability for systems including Nikon and Canon are to be announced at a later date.

“Our goal with the sd Quattro and 30mm 1.4 Art bundle is to make our new camera available to more photographers interested in the unique aspects of our Foveon Quattro sensor,” stated Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President of Sigma Corporation of America. “The cameras are truly exciting and showcase some great advancements including a new mirrorless design, updated auto-focusing system, a rugged build, and paired with our renowned 30mm 1.4 Art lens make for an extraordinary pair. Additionally, our new EF-630 flash system shows Sigma’s dedication to photography with updated performance from previous models, and makes for an ideal pairing with our new sd Quattro cameras.”

About the sd Quattro and 30mm 1.4 DC HSM Art
The sd Quattro utilizes our proprietary Foveon Quattro sensor renowned for its high-resolution capabilities. A magnesium alloy body makes the sd Quattro durable and rugged, while a dust and splash proof design make it ideal for photographers facing harsh conditions. On top of the new design, these cameras boast a list of useful advancements. These include a two-mode Autofocus detection that combines Phase detection for focus speed and Contrast detection for focus accuracy. The focus settings have also been enhanced with such modes as Movement Prediction, Face Detection, Free Movement, Focus Peaking and a variety of others. The new 2.3 megapixel viewfinder displays close to 100% of the field of view, and when placed in “Auto” will toggle between the viewfinder when the user has the camera to their eye and then to the LCD when the user lowers the camera. A new “Super-Fine Detail” mode brings out the full potential of the Quattro sensor by capturing seven different exposures with one shot and merging them for exceptional dynamic range (images can be extracted individually as well). The Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC HSM Art is a staple prime lens in Sigma’s lineup. This compact prime lens is designed for APS-C sensors and touts a bright 1.4 aperture. Part of the Sigma Global Vision lineup, every Sigma 30mm 1.4 Art is individually tested before leaving our single factory in Aizu, Japan and can be updated and fine-tuned with the Sigma USB dock and Sigma Photo Pro software. 

About the Sigma EF-630 Flash
Compatible with most well-known digital SLR cameras, the EF-630 flash will be available in Sigma mount in July with additional mounts, including Canon and Nikon, in the future. The FP Flash function of the EF-630 makes flash photography possible at shutter speeds greater than the normal sync speed, which is typically limited at shutter speeds up to 1/250 second for most cameras. The FP Flash function for high shutter speeds is necessary when setting a larger aperture to limit depth of field when shooting in daylight, as high shutter speeds are used to balance the daylight and the flashlight at any shutter speed.  

EF-630 features:

  • Intuitive user interface: dot matrix LCD screen for improved menu visibility, D-Pad and dial settings controls, and easy one-click disengage function improve ease of use
  • Slave flash function: for use with multiple flash systems
  • Modeling flash function: check for intense reflections and shadows before capturing the shot
  • AF assist light: accurate auto-focus in low light conditions
  • Auto Power-off: flashgun automatically powers off after a period of non-operation to conserve battery life
  • Manual flash power level control: manually set the flash power level from 1/1 to 1/128

The new EF-630 Flash can be updated with the latest software from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Flash USB Dock FD-11 (sold separately).

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