News

Family life: My father and the Polish soldier bear, plus snails in herb and sherry gravy

Readers’ favourite photographs and recipes

After working at the BBC for 33 years, I retired and my partner and I decided to have a bit of an adventure – we drove from our home in west London to southern Italy. We had a loose plan to visit some of the battlefields from the first and second world wars. At the age of 18, my Polish-born father had fought in Monte Cassino in Italy so we made a beeline for the town.

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Sport picture of the day: Nico Rosberg's F1 focus

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has a determined and focused look on his face as he waits in the garage ahead of practice in Shanghai; Rosberg will be looking for his sixth consecutive Grand Prix victory in Sunday’s race

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Caravaggio contested and bacon-smelling boxers – the week in art

The British Museum explores Sicily’s gorgeous heritage, east London bids farewell to an anarchic venue and the V&A strips to its smalls – all in your weekly art dispatch

Sicily: Culture and Conquest
The island of Sicily has been a prize fought over by all the cultures of the Mediterranean world since ancient times. This exhibition tells how Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans conquered and reconquered Sicily. In spite of enmity and war, their arts merged and fused to create such multicultural masterpieces as the Cappella Reale in Palermo, with its gorgeous mixture of Christian and Islamic styles. A great advert not just for Sicily but for the unexpectedly enlightened Normans.
British Museum, London, 21 April-14 August.

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Malick Sidibé: the photographer who changed the idea of black beauty

The photographer, who has died aged 80, was known for his hugely influential shots of post-independence Mali

With his electric style, Malick Sidibé, who has died aged 80, was the Malian photographer who changed the idea of black beauty in fashion.

His most celebrated shots were the street photography that documented the jubilant fizz of post-independence in Bamako. With his 35mm camera, he captured the new urban elite: the Malians who had absorbed the stylistic cues of Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and James Brown.

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‘As Barack Obama came in, my two-year-old daughter threw herself on the floor’

Laura Moser’s daughter throws a tantrum at the White House

It was just before the president walked in the room that I had to tell Claudia, my two-year-old daughter, “No, you cannot take your clothes off.” She wanted to wear a sheet, which is what she likes to do at home. She started screaming. As he walked in we said: “Look, Claudia, it’s Barack Obama.” That’s when she threw herself on the floor.

This was our seventh Passover seder at the White House. The tradition started on the campaign trail in 2008 when my husband Arun (who was then Obama’s videographer; he’s at the back of the picture) and a few other staffers held an impromptu seder, the traditional Passover meal, in a hotel in a small town in Pennsylvania. Obama has hosted one at the White House for roughly the same 20 people every year since. We read out the Emancipation Proclamation, which is an Obama innovation. It is really powerful to hear the first black president read aloud about freeing the slaves, which is what Passover is all about, but in a different context.

Related: Donald Trump impersonator meets Donald Trump, Las Vegas, February 2016

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Cream of the crop: on the roads with Milkman of the Year - in pictures

Once a daily sight on every British street, a dwindling but resilient band of milkmen and women still head out before dawn to deliver bottles to the nation’s doorsteps. By selling other goods and embracing the internet, the few thousand remaining workers have breathed new life into the tradition. Leon Neal went along for the ride with Milkman of the Year Neil Garner

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Erik Kessels: 'All the great photographs have already been taken'

It’s the backstory that matters, says the Deutsche Börse prize nominee, who has transformed his father’s old Fiat 500 and some mundane snapshots into a poignant portrait of a quietly extraordinary life

Last week, a vintage car was hoisted high on a crane above central London and slowly lowered though an opening in the roof of the Photographers’ Gallery. It now stands in the centre of the fifth-floor exhibition space, its pale grey doors and front fenders lying flat by its sides on the floor, surrounded by photographs chronicling each stage of its painstaking refurbishment from a rusty shell to an object of pristine formal beauty.

The car belongs to Erik Kessels’s father, who spent much of his retirement restoring old Fiat 500s – known in Italy as “Topolinos” – until he had a stroke in 2014. He has hardly been able to move or speak since.

Related: The world's weirdest photo albums

Related: Deutsche Börse photography prize shortlist: drones v the women of Tahrir

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Pelican lightens up with Air cases

DP Review News - Fri, 15/04/2016 - 14:00
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Pelican cases have a reputation for sturdiness and reliability, making them a go-to for pros who want to guarantee their gear makes it to the shoot and back intact. Today Pelican has introduced the Air series of cases, boasting the same level of protection without all of the weight. The Air series cases are up to 40% lighter than their Protector series counterparts.

At launch, the Air series will include six sizes including an overhead compartment-friendly wheeled version, and Pelican plans to introduce 20 sizes over the next year and a half. The new cases are made of an HPX2 resin and will be offered in four configurations: no foam, with customizable cubed foam, with padded dividers or with Pelican's TrekPak rigid dividers.

The Pelican Air series are available for pre-order now at pelican.com/air and will ship starting May 1, 2016. Prices range from $180 for the 1485 Air up to $340 for the 1615 Air wheeled check-in model.

Press release:

Pelican Products Introduces Pelican™ Air Cases That Are Up To 40% Lighter

TORRANCE, CA — April, 15, 2016 – Since 1976, the Pelican™ classic Protector™ case has been the go-to protective case solution for millions of people worldwide. It has made an impact in industries ranging from military and aerospace to photography and hunting. Today, Pelican is proud to announce the outcome of a relentless quest to offer Pelican users more versatility than ever before: Introducing Pelican Air cases. These new cases have been engineered to maintain the same standard of durability, but reduce the weight of each case by up to 40 percent and offer new size selections not currently available in the Pelican classic or Pelican Storm lines.

Available in six long-form, travel-ready sizes, Pelican Air cases are constructed of lightweight HPX2 resin, the next generation of Pelican’s proprietary formula that rebounds to stress without breaking. With the busy traveler in mind, the 1535 Pelican Air case (Wheeled Carry On) complies with overhead bin standards and the 1615 Pelican Air case (Wheeled Check In) complies with current airline check-in size regulations. 

Additional models are currently in development with more than 20 new sizes making their debut over the next 18 months. Each case passes the same performance tests (impact, drop, submersion, high and low temperature) that Pelican users have come to trust and is backed by the company’s legendary lifetime guarantee of excellence.

 “The Pelican brand is synonymous with protection and has set the gold-standard in the protective case market for more than 40 years,” said Lyndon Faulkner, President and CEO of Pelican Products. “While using the Pelican classic case design as the basis for the new line, our engineers have spent the past two years reimagining the classic case with a focus on taking out weight while maintaining the same high level of performance customers have come to expect from Pelican. This revolutionary Pelican Air case design underscores Pelican’s continuing commitment to innovation and making a legendary product even better.”

To construct a lighter case, Pelican’s engineering team faced the challenge of building lightness into every facet of the design without compromising Pelican’s renowned durability. By working with a team of materials scientists, Pelican was able to construct cases that are the lightest protective cases on the market today.

Pelican Air cases are available with several configurations:

  • No Foam (empty)
  • Pick N Pluck™ foam – manually customizable cubed foam
  • Padded Dividers – newly redesigned with a fully-sewn tub, felt exterior and high-visibility yellow interior, making it easier to identify equipment
  • TrekPak™ - a completely new divider system with rigid, customizable panels and locking pins

Pelican Air cases are available through select dealers, distributors and retailers starting May 1, 2016. For more information on Pelican Air cases and the full Pelican line, visit http://pelican.com/air

Pelican Products, Inc. is a portfolio company of Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm based in New York and San Francisco. 

Categories: News

Malian photographer Malick Sidibé dies aged 80

Photography world pays tribute to the ‘Eye of Bamako’ and his dynamic black-and-white images of 1960s pop culture after Malian independence

Malick Sidibé, the Malian photographer who chronicled his country’s burgeoning pop culture in the years after independence, has died at the age of 80.

Related: One nation under a groove: Malick Sidibé's photographs– in pictures

RIP to the great Malick Sidibé who told beautiful stories through his phenomenal work.

© Jennifer Morgan Davis pic.twitter.com/vNf9uxCNUA

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I walked 2,000km to trace my grandfather's escape from a Russian gulag

Polish photographer Michal Iwanowski tells The Calvert Journal about following in the footsteps of a treacherous jailbreak during world war two

My grandfather and his brother survived one harsh winter in a Soviet prisoner camp during the second world war before they made a daring escape to the relative safety of Poland.

It was a treacherous 2,200km journey which saw them separated from their friends during a military ambush, shot at and chased, and took more than three months to complete as they hitched rides on freight trains and dodged Russian troops.

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Calm, chaos, canvas: the studios of Picasso, Monet and Koons – in pictures

From Parisian ateliers to London lofts and Jeff Koons’ primary-coloured playground, see inside the workspaces of modern art’s most famous names

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The good shepherds: spring greens for men – in pictures

Raf Simons, Liberty and J Crew help your menswear look spring into action

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DxOMark Mobile report: HTC 10 rises to the top

DP Review News - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 21:04

Announced earlier this week, the HTC 10 is the Taiwanese manufacturer's latest flagship model and comes with a top-end camera specification. A 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor is combined with a fast F1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. The attention to camera spec detail has evidently served the device well, as it shoots to the top of DxOMark's mobile rankings to share the first spot with the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

Categories: News

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams showcases ISS photography equipment

DP Review News - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 20:36

NASA astronaut and Expedition 47 flight engineer Jeff Williams posted a video recently detailing some of the equipment he uses to capture his incredible view of the planet from the International Space Station. So what kind of specialized gear does one use in space? Turns out the crew uses 'regular photography equipment' to capture still images and videos, with the Nikon D4 being one of several cameras used. A variety of lenses are used as well, including the massive 800mm lens (with 1.4x teleconverter, no less) shown in the video.

In addition to the photography equipment, Williams introduces viewers to the Cupola, the 'window on the world' that gives astronauts a full view of Earth from a single vantage point. Other windows are used to capture handheld photos and videos as well, and Williams explains that some videos are animated panoramas made from stitched still images.

You can see Williams' photos on his Instagram and Facebook pages.

Via: SLR Lounge

Categories: News

Major Leica SL firmware update brings better AF, new top shutter speed

DP Review News - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 19:45

Leica has introduced firmware version 2.0 for its SL (Typ 601) camera that brings a major change to the camera’s focusing as well as a new top shutter speed of 1/16,000sec. The firmware takes the number of AF points available in single point mode from 49 to 529. Leica claims it has also made improvements to the autofocusing system’s speed, accuracy and tracking abilities.

Exposure compensation gets a new access point with the update and can now be controlled via the top dial and the thumb wheel on the camera’s rear, while the longest exposure timed by the camera goes from 60 seconds to 30 minutes. The company says that it has created a new top shutter speed of 1/16,000sec by using the fast-reactions of the aperture in the system’s SL lenses.

General image quality of JPEG files is also said to have been optimized, as has the focus peaking feature, and Raw files can now be magnified in review mode.

For more information see the Leica firmware download page.

Press release:

Leica releases firmware update 2.0 for Leica SL mirrorless camera system

New firmware enhances camera performance, handling and workflow

Leica Camera has released a new firmware update for the mirrorless Leica SL camera system. Firmware version 2.0 can be downloaded by registered Leica SL owners from the Leica Owners’ Area (https://owners.leica-camera.com). Alternatively, customers can bring their camera to any Leica Store or Leica’s Customer Service department in the UK, for a complimentary update service.

The numerous new features included in firmware update 2.0 have been designed to further improve the performance of the Leica SL and enable a faster photographic workflow. For example, the autofocus function has been revised and optimised. Already impressively fast in combination with SL-Lenses, it now offers even faster focusing, increased precision and optimised subject tracking. A further enhancement increases the number of AF focusing points available for the single point AF setting to 529.

Also new in firmware 2.0 is direct exposure compensation controlled by the top dial and the click wheel on the back of the camera, in the three automatic exposure modes, P, T and A. The firmware update also extends the range of shutter speeds. Timed exposures of up to 30 minutes can now be captured automatically without additional support and, thanks to the fast, electronically-controlled aperture of the lenses, exposures can be made with the highest shutter speed of 1/16,000s.

Additional improvements have been introduced with regard to JPG quality, white balance, the video menu, Auto ISO options and the focus peaking function. Pictures taken in DNG format can now be magnified for better image evaluation, and the camera is also now compatible with all Leica flash units. An update to the app to allow the use of the optimised functions, and three noise reduction settings, complete the improvements provided by this latest firmware update.

More information can be found at uk.leica-camera.com.

Categories: News

Meyer-Optik launches Kickstarter campaign for 50mm 'Soap Bubble Bokeh' Trioplan lens

DP Review News - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 19:06
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German optical manufacturer Meyer-Optik Gorlitz has begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce a modern 50mm F2.9 version of its Trioplan lens. The Trioplan design is known for its exaggerated circular bokeh which earned it the nickname 'Soap Bubble Lens' in its original version. The company has recently released a 100mm F2.8 Trioplan after a similar Kickstarter campaign that raised almost $360,000. On this occasion the company is hoping to reach an initial target of $50,000 – which is going swimmingly, as it met that goal within hours of the campaign going live.

The new lens will be an updated version of the company’s original 50mm Trioplan but using glass from the Schott factory and with modern coatings and production standards. The new 50mm Trioplan also has a movable front element that allows much better close focusing and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4.

The lens uses a basic Triplet design with three elements in three groups with a 12-bladed iris designed to help produce smooth and circular out-of-focus highlights at all apertures.

Meyer Optik plans to produce the manual focus lens in mounts for:

  • Canon EF
  • Nikon F
  • Sony
  • FujiX
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • M42
  • Leica M (rangefinder not supported/focusing via live view)

The expected price is $1299 though discounts can be had by backing the Kickstarter campaign. For more information visit the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz website.

Press release:

Today Is the Day.
Support the Historic and Innovative Trioplan 50 Now!  

We just launched our Kickstarter for the Trioplan f2.9/50, a special new lens that returns the tradition of a versatile soap bubble bokeh lens to the Meyer Optik line up. Order the art lens that you will always keep attached to your camera body now!  In addition to its regular focus element, the Trioplan f2.9/50 features a second front focus element that opens a whole new horizon of creativity to the world of photography.

These elements and the quality of the glass used takes the legendary Trioplan 50mm soap bubble bokeh lens to a wider variety of creative photographic situations, including events, travel, street, nature, portraits, macro and so many more scenes.  

The new Trioplan f2,9/50 is the one lens you can use for every situation. It is ultra compact and features an innovative front focusing element putting incredible amounts of creative opportunity into the palm of your hand. The movable front lens reduces the minimum focusing distance to less than 30 cm (under 12 inches) and raises the image ratio up to 1:4.

This feature takes the Trioplan 50 into the Macro-Spheres.  Carrying a heavy set of lenses is something that most photographers choose to shed at some point, but they do not want to cut back on their creativity. We give you the best of both worlds in one lens – with only 200 g or about 7 ounces -- it has never felt so light to be this prepared.

The Trioplan 50 produces smaller, finer soap bubbles that turn into a small swirl effect in the corner of the image. Sharpness and contrast are also the highest yet of any Trioplan lens.  

Surprisingly, for a 50 mm lens it is a perfect tool for portraiture especially including awesome landscapes in the image. Moreover the possibilities in street photography are awesome and the macro capabilities are stunning. This is more than just a nostalgic art lens. It is the most modern innovative lens you can imagine.

The lens will be available with mounts for
* Canon EF
* Nikon F
* Sony
* FujiX
* Micro Four Thirds
* M42
* Leica M (rangefinder not supported/focusing via live view)

The most creative historic lens you have ever held in your hands is available to Kickstarter Backers starting at $ 449!

The lens is estimated list price is $1299. Restore 100 Years of Tradition with the Most Versatile Soap Bubble Bokeh Lens.

What better way to bring back the Trioplan lens than with the most versatile version possible, the f2.9/50 with its new innovative front variable element? Innovating upon the classic, modernizing the traditional, extending soap-bubble bokeh creativity to a new modern era. Help us bring back the Trioplan 50. Pledge your support now !  Click the Link to visit our Kickstarter campaign.

Sincerely,
Dr. Stefan Immes and the whole MOG team.

Categories: News

Zeiss unveils super-wide Batis 18mm F2.8

DP Review News - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 15:46
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Zeiss has added the 2.8/18, a super wide-angle autofocus lens, to its Batis line for Sony E-mount. The full-frame lens joins the current 25mm F2 and 85mm F1.8 offerings. The 18mm lens provides the same dust and weather seals as its siblings, along with an OLED to display focus distance and depth of field information.

The Batis 18mm F2.8 comprises 11 elements in 10 groups, and four of those elements are aspheric on both sides. The lens provides a minimum focus distance of 0.25m/9.8in. Weighing in at 330g/0.74lb it measures 80mm/3.1in in length.

Scheduled to arrive in May, the Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 will cost $1499/€1260. 

 Press release:

New ZEISS Super Wide-Angle Lens with Autofocus

ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 Expands Full-Frame Lenses for Sony Cameras with E-Mount

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 14/04/2016.

The ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 expands the Batis range of lenses with a super wide-angle lens. For the Sony1) á system with E-mount the new lens, which features a diagonal angular field of 99 degrees, is currently the shortest full-frame fixed focal length with autofocus. The new ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 with innovative OLED display to show focus distance and depth of field is also impressive thanks to its high image quality across the entire image field. The lens will be available from May 2016.

“The ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 follows on from the highly successful first two focal lengths the ZEISS Batis 2/25 and the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85. In spite of the extremely wide angle, we have succeeded in adapting the image quality of the ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 perfectly to the two different lens types,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Product Manager of ZEISS Camera Lenses. “With the expansion of the ZEISS Batis range of lenses, we are offering creative and discerning photographers yet another professional tool,” says Pollmann. With the ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 customers can now enjoy the super wide-angle full-frame lens they’ve been waiting for. 

A vast range of applications

The new ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 is impressive on account of its high image quality across the entire image field. “By virtue of the large diagonal angular field of 99 degrees, this lens is ideal for capturing unique images in landscape, architectural and astro photography and for impressive interior shots of small spaces,” continues Pollmann.

Features for discerning users

The super wide-angle camera lens has 11 lens elements in ten groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and seven are made from special types of glass. The Floating Elements design permits constantly high image performance in the focal plane – from the minimum object distance to infinity.

The new ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 also features an innovative OLED display to show focus distance and depth of field depending on the camera sensor used. “The electronic display is easy to read even in low light,” explains Pollmann. The fast, quiet AF drive with linear motors keeps the subject sharply in focus. In addition to the autofocus, a handy, rubberized focus ring supports precise manual focusing – meaning the photographer has full creative freedom when it comes to image composition. ZEISS Batis lenses are also equipped with dust and weather seals, allowing them to be used in even the harshest weather conditions. All ZEISS Batis lenses support all the operating modes and functions of the current range of E-mount cameras.

The origins of the name Batis

Since 2013, new ZEISS lenses in one series have been given the same family name that conveys a common identity. These family names have been derived from the Latin names for birds. The name Batis is derived from a small bird that is found in the forests and scrub of Africa. These birds are characterized by great speed, excellent reflexes and boast a plumage rich in contrasts. Metaphorically speaking, this also applies to the ZEISS Batis lenses, whose fast autofocus enables photographers to capture stunning shots rich in contrasts.

In addition to the ZEISS Batis range of lenses, there are two further ZEISS ranges for Sony E-mount cameras: the ZEISS Touit and the ZEISS Loxia. 

Available from May 2016

Orders are now being accepted for the ZEISS Batis 2.8/18. The lens will be available from May 2016. The suggested retail price is €1,260 or US$1,499 (excl VAT) 2).

Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 specifications Principal specificationsLens typePrime lensMax Format size35mm FFImage stabilisationNoLens mountSony E (NEX)ApertureAperture ringNoOpticsElements11Groups10Special elements / coatings4 aspherical, 7 'special glass' elementsFocusMinimum focus0.25 m (9.84″)Maximum magnification0.11×AutofocusYesMotor typeLinear MotorFull time manualUnknownFocus methodInternalDistance scaleYesDoF scaleYesPhysicalWeight330 g (0.73 lb)Diameter78 mm (3.07″)Length80 mm (3.15″)SealingYesColourBlackFilter thread77.0 mmHood suppliedYesTripod collarNo
Categories: News

Sport picture of the day: the bird tifo of Benfica

Before their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich, the Benfica players lined up beneath an impressive giant tifo of their bald eagle mascot Vitória sitting atop of the competition’s logo, mimicking the club crest. The bird performed its usual pre-match ritual of swooping around the Stadium of Light before landing on top of the club crest, completing it

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Categories: News

CaptionBot is Microsoft's latest AI experiment - and at least it isn't racist

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 13:43

After the difficulties experienced by Twitter bot Tay, the new service is providing amusement while learning how to automatically caption images

After the somewhat awkward experience last month of having an AI Twitter bot go full-on racist in a few hours once it interacted with humans, Microsoft have released a new AI experiment on to the internet - CaptionBot.

The idea is that you upload a photo to the service, and it tries to automatically generate a caption that describes what the algorithm sees. You are then able to rate how accurately it has detected what was on display. It learns from the rating, and in theory, the captions get better.

Microsoft's image captioning tool sees through the so-called "moon landings" https://t.co/WWr7O1XeE3 H/T @robmanuel pic.twitter.com/BDd9X4KdNp

I was hoping to get a definite answer from https://t.co/b5DYRwRxWz but it's raised a lot more questions pic.twitter.com/WVz4gC9kLi

A mixture of amazing, complementary and wrong from https://t.co/zMWockgew4 :-) Really great work @Microsoft pic.twitter.com/AfNTfJzhuf

Lol. https://t.co/CcyyDR1Vus #startrek pic.twitter.com/bIiZ1cxQYW

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Categories: News

Microsoft Lumia 950 camera review

DP Review News - Thu, 14/04/2016 - 13:00

In addition to strong camera specifications like a 1/2.4"-type 20MP Sony sensor and Zeiss branded F1.9 lens, the Lumia 950 boasts some tantalizing mobile photography features like Raw capture and extensive manual controls. Unfortunately, its imaging feature set is behind the competition in some notable ways. Read more

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