PMA and CES to Co-Locate in 2012

PMA and CES Announce Colocation at 2012 International CES

PMA announced on May 4, 2011 a partnership agreement with the CEA, owner and producer of the International CES, to move the September 2011 PMA International Convention and Trade Show (a.k.a. CliQ 2011) to colocate at the 2012 International CES, which scheduled for January 10-13 in Las Vegas.

According to a press release distributed by PMA, PMA@CES will offer industry-specific content and display products representing all aspects of digital imaging, including the educational programs that PMA is known for.

“PMA colocation with CES creates a great opportunity for our combined audiences to learn from each other, grow, and take full advantage of the integration and connectivity of personal content (in the form of digital photography) and home entertainment,” said Ted Fox, executive director, PMA. “This convergence will expand with continued enhancements to camera phones and tablets.”

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO for CEA said: “This collaboration will significantly enhance the 2012 International CES digital imaging product offerings for our retail and other audiences,” adding, “Technology is speeding the rapid convergence of digital photography and home entertainment systems. The breadth and scope of digital imaging product offerings that PMA will now bring to CES will complement and further expand the extensive growth of CES in this product category.”

According to Fox, “Our agreement [with CES] is an excellent example of two trade associations coming together to constructively and proactively address challenges and provide new opportunities.”

— D.B.

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PMA Launches CliQ and the CliQworld.com website

It seems there’s a new photography tradeshow in town. Well, its actually a rebranded show. The Photo Marketing Association’s annual show, which had previously been for the trade only, has now been rebranded from PMA 2011 to CliQ 2011.

The CliQ show, which runs from September 8-10, 2011 in Las Vegas will feature presentations from well known photographers, workshops by industry experts, photo walks, seminars and the world’s largest annual photo trade show. The CliQ 2011 tradeshow will feature interactive zones, spotlighting technology, tips and techniques in these major areas: the Shooting Zone, Mobile Zone, Software tutorial Zone, Innovation Zone, 3D Zone, and Video Zone.

According to Ted Fox, executive director and CEO of PMA, the show organizers, “The PMA convention will continue to offer the same leading-edge programming for the retailers, custom framers, studios and chain stores.” He adds, “PMA members will recognize classic convention features, like the DIMA Printer Shootout, the DIMA Photo Book Showcase, Retailer Hot Picks, Photographer Hot Picks, DIMA Innovative Product Awards, and the Official Business Session.”

The GoingPro Bootcamp photography business seminar will also be featured at CliQ 2011, designed to assist the aspiring pro gain the knowledge and business know-how needed to be successful. In addition to graduates of photography programs, a growing number of soccer moms, or what PMA calls Jennifer, the Gen X mom, are becoming more educated about photography and becoming part time shooters. With the recent addition of the somewhat recently formed Professional Wedding and Studio Photographers Association International (PWSPI) to the PMA family, the association has expanded its reach to the pro photographer and videographer. PWSPI was founded by industry veterans Skip Cohen and Scott Bourne.

The mainstay of the Photo Marketing Association is the retailer and lab owner segments that make up a large part of their membership. The association plans on providing a lot of content on the cliqworld.com website that ties site visitors back to their local dealers, for both educational opportunities as well as a marketing tool.

The first three days of the CliQ tradeshow, September 8-10, will be open to the trade only, which includes professional photographers, imaging retailers, lab owners and custom framers. DIMA and other regular pre-PMA show programming will be offered as usual. A day-long educational program for photographers will be held on September 9, and the GoingPro Bootcamp will be held September 10-11. The show floor will be open to enthusiasts only on September 10.

CliQ’s more than just a show

cliqworld screenshot for picture-soup.com article

According to the press release, CliQ is a community, united by passion for still and motion images. It’s the source for all things photography and all levels of photographers; featuring industry news, product reviews and more. CliQ creates direct dialogue between manufacturers, retailers and photographers to help them learn, discover and share. The website cliqworld.com will present all that’s happening in imaging. “CliQ is a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week commitment on the part of the association to provide content and tools for everyone involved in photography, from consumers to aspiring pros, to retailers and professional labs,” says Fox. The CliQworld.com website offers how-to articles, news, an event calendar, contests, information about CliQ 2011—with more to be added in the future.


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New Camera Gear from Pentax

Pentax today announced a new DSLR camera, lens and two P&S cameras, one of which we’ll be discussing later. Now onto the DSLR body and interchangeable lens.

K-r DSLR

New on the DSLR front is the Pentax K-r DSLR offering a wide range of automatic and manual features sure to appeal to most DSLR shooters. This 12.4MP camera is being offered in three colors: traditional black, classic white and Pentax red.

The K-r is the newest DSLR introduced by Pentax. It will be available in black, white and red.

Features of the K-r include a large 3-inch LCD, widescreen HD video capture (720p HD video at 25fps), maximum 1/6000 of a second shutter speed, large ISO range of 100 – 25600, and 6 fps framerate that can capture 25 images in a single sequence. Other features of the camera include a viewfinder focus point indicator, improved in-camera HDR mode including a Night Scene HDR mode, and improved noise performance.

Pentax offers two options to power the camera: a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA-size batteries which means that if you’ve forgotten your charger or suddenly find yourself with a dead battery on vacation, you will be able to power the camera with four AA batteries using the optional AA Battery Holder (D-BH109).

The K-r also features infrared data transfer compatible with the IrSimple high-speed IR data transmission system for transfer to the web or other IrSimple-compatible devices. The K-r DSLR is packed with features. The K-r utilizes Pentax’s own shake reduction mechanism and dust removal mechanism.

The new smc Pentax DA 35mm f/2.4 AL lens.

Creative types will love the addition of a wide-range of in-camera image processing and special effects filters. These include custom image functions, digital filters and cross processing modes. The camera ships with the Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 software package that includes a RAW processor.

Pentax will be shipping the K-r in October. MSRP for the K-r body is $799.95, MSRP for the K-r with the 18-55mm lens kit is $849.95, MSRP for the K-r double lens kit including the 18-55mm lens and 50-200mm lens is $899.95, and the MSRP for the K-r double lens kit with the 18-55mm lens and 55-300mm lens is $999.95.

35mm Lens

Pentax also announced the smc Pentax DA 35mm f/2.4 AL standard lens. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.3 meters. The new 35mm lens is also expected to ship in October with an MSRP of $219.95.

Optio RS1000

Although we usually feature DSLRs here on the Picture-soup.com blog we wanted to mention the new 14MP Pentax Optio RS1000 P&S camera.

The Pentax Optio RS1000 on the left and some of the included skins on the right (note, skins are not to scale).

This compact P&S model is unique in that it comes with 11 different skins that allow users to customize the camera to their own personality. In addition to the included skins, Pentax is also including a Skinit gift card so users can order a high quality, pre-cut 3M vinyl skin from www.skinit.com. Other ways to personalize these compact cameras include using the included stencil on printed photos or other unique printed pieces to use as skins; or download the Pentax personal skin designer software that lets you import a photo and save the skin as a PDF for printing.

For more information, go to www.pentaximaging.com.

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Sony Adds New Alpha DSLRs & Lenses to Line

Alpha a55 and a33 DSLRs

The Sony Alpha a33 DSLR

Late last month Sony added to its Alpha DSLR line with new camera bodies and lenses. The products include cameras that feature Sony’s newly-developed Translucent Mirror Technology. This technology means the cameras can continuously and quickly focus while shooting stills and video, even full HD.

The new 16.2MP Alpha a55 can capture up to 10 fps, and the 14.2MP a33 can capture up to seven fps. Both cameras utilize Sony’s proprietary Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, BIONZ high-speed image processing engine and 100% Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder.

The Translucent Mirror technology enables light to pass through the lens, and simultaneously be received by the image sensor and AF sensor, so there’s no need to raise and lower the mirror, hence the cameras are significantly more compact than traditional DSLRs.

Rear of the Sony Alpha a55 DSLR with its LCD folded out

Other features include: a newly developed 15-point AF system with continuous Phase Detect AF. While shooting video, the cameras can maintain continuous focus, which means it will be easier than ever to get great video footage; full-time Live View, using either the viewfinder or LCD;  large 3-inch, fully articulated LCDs; and an ISO range from 100-12,800.

Also new is the Auto HDR feature which gives photographers the ability to capture High Dynamic Range photographs with ease; 3D Sweep Panorama technology that creates two images from a single frame, for viewing in 3D on compatible 3D systems and other devices that support 3D technology; and Sony’s Multi-Frame Noise Reduction The Alpha a55 also incorporates a built-in GPS.

Alpha A560 DSLR

Sony Alpha a560 with its built-in flash popped-up

In addition to the Alpha 55 and 33 cameras, Sony also added the A560 to its line. This new DSLR features a number of proprietary Sony technologies include Sony’s Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor, BIONZ image processor, Multi-frame Noise Reduction, Sweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama and full HD video capture.

At 14.2MP, the A560 also features Quick AF Live View, seven fps continuous shooting and Auto HDR. The camera features a 3-inch LCD that tilts 90 degrees up/down. In addition to the regular Quick AF Live View, the camera utilizes a Focus Check Live View for critical framing and focusing. The camera also has a wide ISO range up to 25600.

All three DSLR cameras accept Memory Stick PRO Duo (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media.

While these are not necessarily pro-level DSLR bodies, we do expect to see them in the gear bags of pro photographers who are Sony shooters as back-up cameras; as well as with semi-pros and enthusiasts looking for a more affordable camera.

Camera Pricing and Availability

The a55 and a33 cameras will cost about $750 and $650 (respectively) for the body only and about $850 and $750 (respectively) for the body and kit 18-55mm zoom lens. The a33 is expected to hit store shelves in September and the a55 in October

The a560 model with the camera body and 18-55mm kit lens has an MSRP of $750 and will be available in October. Body only MSRP is $650.

Three New A-Mount Lenses

(l. to r.) Sony's three new A-mount prime lenses: Carl Zeiss Distagon T*24mm f/2 ZA SSM, DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM, and 85mm f/2.8 SAM lenses. (Images are not to scale.)

Sony is expanding its A-mount lens line with three new prime lenses including the Carl Zeiss Distagon T*24mm f/2 ZA SSM, DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM, and 85mm f/2.8 SAM lenses. MSRP for the three new lenses are  $1,250, $200, $250 respectively. The lenses will be available in October.

— Diane Berkenfeld

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The Ultimate Playlist About Photography

By Diane Berkenfeld

Photography and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. Well, maybe not like PB&J, but there are a lot of songs out there about photography, which in a way is a blending of art forms. Google “songs about photography” and the results will include many compilation lists that have been put together through the years. I’ve been thinking about compiling a list of my favorite photography focused songs (yes that pun was intended) for years and finally got to working on it, only to find there are many, many more songs that I had been aware of. Seeing how an editor’s job is doing the grunt-work for your readers, I’ve compiled what I think is the ultimate list of songs about photography, complete with links to Wikipedia pages about the songs or musicians/albums and interesting tidbits from those Wikipedia pages.

In my research, I found that some lists included songs that have the word “picture” in the title even if the song doesn’t talk about a photographic picture. These didn’t make my cut. I’ve included only songs with lyrics that really focus on photographs, cameras or the like.

The list includes almost every genre of music, from Paul Simon’s Kodachrome (the quintessential photo-related song) to Outkast’s Hey Ya! with the line “Shake it like a Polaroid Picture”.

Interestingly, eight different songs on the list are titled “Photograph”.

The songs are in no particular order.

Song: Kodachrome

Album: There Goes Rymin’ Simon

Musician: Paul Simon

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodachrome_(song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: Paul Simon didn’t start out to write Kodachrome about the iconic film, but the lyrics he was working on weren’t as catchy as Kodachrome turned out to be.

Song: Girls on Film

Album: Duran Duran

Musician: Duran Duran

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_on_Film

Wikipedia Tidbits: According to the above mentioned Wikipedia page, a Canon camera’s motor drive was used to create the effects for the beginning of the song. Also, the uncensored full-length music video of the song was made before MTV launched in the U.S.

Song: Hey Ya!

Album: Speakerboxxx

Musician: OutKast

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hey_Ya!

Wikipedia Tidbit: The lyrics “Shake it like a Polaroid picture” and the song’s success helped to revitalize the Polaroid Corporation.

Song: A Photograph of You

Album: A Broken Frame

Musician: Depeche Mode

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depeche_Mode

Song: Photographic

Album: Speak And Spell

Musician: Depeche Mode

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depeche_Mode

Wikipedia Tidbit: The song was originally recorded on the band’s debut album.

Song: Freeze-Frame

Album: Freeze-Frame

Musician: J. Giles Band

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeze_Frame_(The_J._Geils_Band_album)

Wikipedia Tidbit: Freeze-Frame has been released as a download for Guitar Hero.

Song: Centerfold

Album: Freeze-Frame

Musician: J. Giles Band

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centerfold_(song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The song has been covered by Euro-Pop, Indie-Rock, Ska-Punk, and Fun-Metal bands.

Song: Kamera

Album: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Musician: Wilco

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilco

Wikipedia Tidbit: After being recorded, Wilco’s label cut them loose, and gave them the album gratis. They began streaming it on their website, and were picked up by another label. (Incidentally, both labels were owned by the same conglomerate.) Yankee Hotel Foxtrot turned out to be Wilco’s most successful album.

Song: Picture Book

Album: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

Musician: The Kinks

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kinks

Wikipedia Tidbit: The Kinks are considered a British Invasion Band.

Song: People Take Pictures of Each Other

Album: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

Musician: The Kinks

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kinks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kinks_Are_the_Village_Green_Preservation_Society

Wikipedia Tidbit: The album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is #255 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time List.

Song: Photograph

Album: All The Right Reasons

Musician: Nickelback

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickelback

Wikipedia Tidbit: In 2009, The Word magazine readers voted Nickelback “Worst Band In The World”.

Song: Photograph

Album: Pyromania

Musician: Def Leppard

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photograph_(Def_Leppard_song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The song was written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

Song: Photograph

Album: Ringo

Musician: Ringo Starr

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringo_Starr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photograph_(Ringo_Starr_song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The song was written by Ringo Starr and George Harrison

Song: The Camera Eye

Album: Moving Pictures

Musician: Rush

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_Pictures_(album)

Wikipedia Tidbit: Moving Pictures is one of two Rush albums listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Song: Camera

Album: Reckoning

Musician: R.E.M.

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.E.M.

Wikipedia Tidbit: Reckoning took somewhere from 11 to 25 days to record in the studio.

Song: Photograph

Album: Born to Choose

Musician: REM with Natalie Merchant

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_to_Choose

Wikipedia Tidbit: Born to Choose is a compilation album, released as a benefit album with proceeds supporting NARAL.

Song: Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)

Album: Listen

Musician: Flock of Seagulls

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Flock_of_Seagulls

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wishing_(If_I_Had_a_Photograph_of_You)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The song is performed almost entirely on the black keys of a keyboard.

Song: Pictures of You

Album: Disintegration

Musician: The Cure

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cure

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pictures_of_You_(The_Cure_song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: There are multiple remixes of this song including the original album version, multiple 12” vinyl single versions, as well as 7” vinyl versions, CD singles and extended remixes of the original album.

Song: 3×5

Album: Room For Squares

Musician: John Mayer

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mayer

Wikipedia Tidbit: 3×5 is not on the original album, but was added to the Columbia re-release of Room For Squares.

Song: Miniature Secret Camera

Album: Love Hysteria and Pump Up The Volume Soundtrack

Musician: Peter Murphy

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Murphy_(musician)

Wikipedia Tidbit: Murphy is known as the Godfather of Goth.

Song: All the Negatives Are Destroyed

Album: Telephono

Musician: Spoon

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_(band)

Song: I Turn My Camera On

Album: Gimme Fiction

Musician: Spoon

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_(band)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The song is a popular YouTube dance tune for the Japanese robot Keepon, which has over 2 million hits.

Song: Photograph

Album: Catching Tales

Musician: Jamie Cullum

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Cullum

Wikipedia Tidbit: Cullum likes to beatbox during his concerts.

Song: Picture Of You

Album: The Tennessee Fire

Musician: My Morning Jacket

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Morning_Jacket

Wikipedia Tidbit: The band’s moniker comes from the monogram MMJ, once seen on a discarded coat by guitarist Jim James.

Song: F-Stop Blues

Album: Bushfire Fairytales

Musician: Jack Johnson

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Johnson_(musician)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The son of surfer Jeff Johnson, Jack had a very brief stint as a pro surfer till an accident at Pipeline, on Oahu’s North Shore resulted in 150 stitches and a few knocked out teeth.

Song: Paparazzi

Album: The Fame

Musician: Lady GaGa

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paparazzi_(Lady_Gaga_song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: There are over two dozen remixes and edits of the song that have been done around the world.

Song: This is Not a Photograph

Album: Signals Calls & Marches

Musician: Mission of Burma

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_of_Burma

Wikipedia Tidbit: Contemporary music critics point to Mission of Burma’s work as a pivotal turning point in North American Indie music. Some of the many bands that cite the group as inspiration include Nirvana, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, Pixies, and Moby.

Song: Take A Picture

Album: Title of Record

Musician: Filter

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_a_Camera_(song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_(band)

Wikipedia Tidbit: The album is the band’s most popular hit, and a departure from their normal industrial rock sound.

Song: Please Just Take These Photos From My Hand

Album: A Hundred Million Suns

Musician: Snow Patrol

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Patrol

Wikipedia Tidbit: The band founded Polar Music, a publishing company run through Kobalt Music, which signs bands of all genres.

Song: Picture

Album(s): Cocky (Kid Rock)

The Best of Sheryl Crow (Sheryl Crow)

Musician: Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheryl_Crow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocky_(album)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kid_Rock

Wikipedia Tidbit: Crow plays 12-string guitar, bass and sings vocals. Rock sings Vocals, and plays lead guitar, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, Dobro, banjo, steel guitar, synthesizer, turntables, organ, piano, and bass.

Song: Photograph

Album: Weezer

Musician: Weezer

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photograph_(Weezer_song)

Wikipedia Tidbit: During live shows in 2005, the band would close out their first set by having Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson take lead vocals and guitar on “Photograph” while lead singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo played drums.

Song: Photograph

Album: Villains

Musician: The Verve Pipe

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Verve_Pipe

Wikipedia Tidbit: Photograph was the first single released by the band.

Song: Panorama

Album: Panorama

Musician: The Cars

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panorama_(The_Cars_album)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cars

Wikipedia Tidbit: The band emerged from the early new wave music scene in the late 1970s.

Song: Camera

Album: After the Storm

Musician: Crosby, Stills, Nash

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crosby,_Stills_%26_Nash

Wikipedia Tidbit: With Neil Young on board, the group’s second gig was at Woodstock.

Song: Photobooth

Album: The Forbidden Love

Musician: Death Cab for Cutie

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Cab_for_Cutie

Wikipedia Tidbit: In 2001, the band released the LP The Photo Album.

Song: Pictures of Lily

Album: Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy

Musician: The Who

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pictures_of_Lily

Wikipedia Tidbit: David Bowie has covered this song.

Song: Camera Shy

Album: Naturaliste

Musician: Lucksmiths

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lucksmiths

Wikipedia Tidbit: Lyrics often feature wordplays or puns.

Song: Pictures of Me

Album: Either/Or

Musician: Elliott Smith

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_Smith

Wikipedia Tidbit: All instruments were played by Smith on this song.

Song: Carry This Picture

Album: A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

Musician: Dashboard Confessional

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboard_Confessional

Wikipedia Tidbit: The album peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard charts.

Song: Distant Camera

Album: Silver and Gold

Musician: Neil Young

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Young

Wikipedia Tidbit: The album was accompanied by a live concert film.

Song: Into The Lens

Album: Into The Lens

Musician: Yes

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_(band)

Wikipedia Tidbit: Yes is regarded as one of the archetypal bands and pioneers of the progressive rock genre.

Song: Photographs and Memories

Album: Photographs and Memories

Musician: Jim Croce

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Croce

Wikipedia Tidbit: Photographs and Memories is a greatest hits album released posthumously.

Song: Fades Like a Photograph (Dead Angel)

Album: The Trouble With Angels

Musician: Filter

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trouble_with_Angels_(album)

Wikipedia Tidbit: Release date: August 17, 2010

If I’ve missed any songs, please use the comment field to add it to the list—and happy listening!

A special treat for your listening pleasure (for scrolling this far)…

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Photographer Grows Her Brand from Flickr Beginnings

The photography of Natalie Dybisz a.k.a. Miss Aniela

By Diane Berkenfeld

The ubiquity of the internet has allowed artists far and wide to reach a much larger audience than they would have been able to by traditional means. This is true of Natalie Dybisz a.k.a. Miss Aniela, (www.missaniela.com) a photographer and artist who has turned her self-portraiture, initially created and posted on Flickr for her own enjoyment, into a brand, complete with a new liveBooks powered website, two self-published books, exhibitions and more to come.

Natalie Dybisz a.k.a. Miss Aniela's website homepage. All images © Natalie Dybisz.

“Aniela is my middle name. I wanted a kind of alter-ego to serve as a name to use on Flickr,” Natalie says. Once she started exhibiting her work, she says it felt right to stick with that name as her artist’s moniker.

Natalie explains that she was fond of snapping photos as a teen, when she first began to shoot self-portraits. Her interest in photography blossomed when she went to university. It was at this time that she discovered online photo sharing as well as the joys of digital processing.

Early on she used Sony compact cameras and lacked a tripod. Natalie then graduated to a Sony R1, which features a swivel screen that makes capturing self-portraits convenient, and a tripod. She used the R1 for about two years. In September 2008 Natalie transitioned to her first DSLR, a Canon EOS 40D. She recently upgraded yet again to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a larger, sturdier tripod and flashes.

Natalie Dybisz a.k.a. Miss Aniela's website. All images © Natalie Dybisz.

Natalie’s first website was created in 2007, as a place on the web where she could display a gallery of her photos and write about herself. She transitioned to a liveBooks site this year. “I liked the look of their sleek, fast Flash sites. It looked ideal for displaying photography, and I also liked that I was able to talk about my ideas and have the designers create a custom site based on my vision for my brand,” she says. Adding, “I also like being able to edit my site whenever I want, to edit text, and to add or remove pictures, which is easy enough in the editSuite that comes with the site.” The liveBooks site is the portfolio or gallery, for Natalie’s more refined work, as well as a place to disseminate information about her books, prints and her contact information. “The website is a showcase, a place that is generally consistent. My blog, (www.missanielablog.com) however, is a place with constantly updating information, a place to share essays or thoughts, or to promote my events,” she says. “The way I choose to use Flickr is rather like a studio, where I share lots of images, to see which gauge the most reaction or comment, or just for me to see images build and then to determine which ‘do it for me’ in the long term, and I may then add them to my galleries on my main website. I use Facebook and Twitter to link through to blog posts or to Flickr posts,” she adds.

Miss Aniela and Rossina Bossio. Photographs © Natalie Dybisz and Rossina Bossio.

Miss Aniela. Photograph © Natalie Dybisz.

Miss Aniela. Photographs © Natalie Dybisz.

In addition to a number of exhibitions and speaking engagements, Natalie has produced two books which are available on Blurb (click here): Self-Gazing, a collection of self portraits taken over the course of three years; and Multiplicity, with images taken over the course of more than four years that showcases her evolution of multiplicity photographs. As savvy a businesswoman, as she is a photographer, Natalie also offers fine-art prints of her work and commercial licensing opportunities.

Natalie has also collaborated with other artists. The books She Took Her Own Picture, Selections from the Female Self Portrait Artists’ Support Group available on Blurb (click here), features the work of 44 female self-portrait artists on Flickr including images from Miss Aniela; and In Her Own Image, Selections from the Female Self Portrait Artists’ Support Group also available on Blurb (click here).

(l. to r.) Natalie's two self-published books: "Miss Aniela: Self-Gazing" and "Miss Aniela: Multiplicity" and two books she's collaborated on, as part of the Female Self Portrait Artists' Support Group: "She Took Her Own Picture" and "In Her Own Image"

Q: What inspires you?

A: I have an assortment of inspirations. I don’t look at as many photography books and exhibitions as I should, and I spend too much time online looking at photo-sharing sites. I am inspired by anything from childhood thoughts to dreams, to raging depressive thoughts, from the joy, yet futility of life, to the chilling mystery of death.

I like the work of several people I have seen online, like Rossina Bossio and Rosie Hardy. I also admire the work of Gregory Crewdson, Julia Fullerton-Batten, and Ellen Kooi.

Miss Aniela. Photograph © Natalie Dybisz.

Miss Aniela. Photograph © Natalie Dybisz.

Q: How did you know you were onto something with the Miss Aniela brand?

A: It wasn’t easy for me at first to see Miss Aniela as a brand, probably because my work is so personal, so it was like the images were not just my work, they were me. The stage, therefore, of separating myself from my brand whilst also being able to accept that my brand is very personal, was a challenging step. So, whilst I saw from 2007-2008 that my work was becoming popular and I wanted to go further with it and do it for a living, it still took me a while to see that my artwork can be considered as a brand and a business, something I can sell without feeling as if I were selling myself. As such—I could objectify the self-portraiture as one aspect of what I do, and not the sum total of my being.

Q: What did you think when you realized the large number of people that were viewing your images on Flickr?

A: I was surprised and pleased but always aware that it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Just because a load of people have clicked on your work doesn’t necessarily validate one’s images. It just meant I had the attention of an audience for an unforeseen length of time, and yet, the audience wasn’t all mine to play with, it was an audience through Flickr. I try to use that audience the best I can in encouraging them to visit my site, join my mailing list, join me on Facebook and Twitter, etc. Even then, the number of people following you and your updates doesn’t often feel like it means anything till someone actually offers me an exhibition or buys a print.

Q: How have you been able to grow your photography into a brand?

A: It has been fairly easy to self-publish books and to make these available to people online, and also to show and sell them at presentations and events. Exhibitions are an aspect that is harder to achieve, as they require collaboration with galleries or other venues. Most of my exhibitions have been offered to me, so the whole scene of approaching galleries is something new to me. I try to keep my brand consistent across books, gallery shows, and my website, in terms of graphic identity, but with the exhibitions, it is harder because the gallery will present the exhibition on their own terms.

Q: What direction do you think you’re going to take your work into next?

A: I would just like to carry on doing what I do, producing images I am artistically engaged with, and pursuing exhibitions and print sales. I would like to have a large-scale exhibition that is accessible to both the art scene and the general public. Another angle to my photography goals is to broaden my experience and my learning of the technical side to the art so I can teach workshops in the UK and beyond. I would like to become a published author (outside of my self-published books) and write books on photography and art, something that I will hopefully begin this year.

The 'About Me' page on the Miss Aniela website. Photograph © Natalie Dybisz.

All you have to do is take one look at Natalie’s work to see that she’s got a great eye for photographic composition and design, and we expect to see much more of Natalie Dybisz a.k.a. Miss Aniela in coming years. Go to the website www.missaniela.com to see more of her work, or check her out on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.

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Impressions of PhotoPlus Expo 2009

Having just recouped from three days of attending the PDN PhotoPlus Expo (www.photoplusexpo.com), held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC, I thought I’dlogo_main share my impressions of the show. PhotoPlus is designed for professionals in the photographic and imaging industries, and showcases the latest in photography. October 22-24, 2009 marked the 26th consecutive year of the show.  This year there were a number of companies that chose not to exhibit, including Fujifilm, Pentax, The MAC Group, Calumet, and Adobe. However I didn’t feel that made a big difference in attendance. There were also a number of new companies to the industry showing product for the first time.

Although no registration figures have been released yet—I felt the show was well attended. You see, for someone who has attended dozens of tradeshows over the last 10 years, I judge the attendance on the tradeshow floor by how easily one can navigate through the aisles. If you’ve got to weave among other attendees and stop often to wait for others to let you through, then its pretty crowded. If you can easily and quickly walk the show, then its not that crowded. Well, I’m pleased to say that even though we’re in the middle of a recession, PhotoPlus Expo 2009 was well attended—all three days. Normally the show which is held Thursday through Saturday is more well attended on the weekdays than on the Saturday, however this year there were just as many folks walking the tradeshow floor on Saturday as there were earlier.

In addition to the hundreds of exhibiting companies, over 100 special events, seminars and hands-on workshops were held over the three days of the show. Topics ran the gamut from portrait/wedding, commercial/editorial, lighting, marketing and business, Photoshop and color management, and more.

Stay tuned to the Picture Soup blog for more from PhotoPlus Expo 2009.

[By the way, if you want to put next year's dates in your calendar now, PhotoPlus Expo 2010 will be held Thursday, October 28 - Saturday, October 30, 2010.]

— Diane Berkenfeld

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Product Review: Auto FX Software's Photo/Graphic Edges Platinum Edition v.7

By Diane Berkenfeld

I’m going to begin the review of Auto FX Software’s Photo/Graphic Edges Platinum Edition v.7 at the beginning—with installation. Photo/Graphic Edges will take about 30 minutes to install, not the five to 10 minutes that the installer says. And it may not look like it is doing anything right away, but be patient because it will install correctly. The software is Mac and Windows-based PC compatible and will work as a plug-in with Photoshop versions 7 through CS4 or as a stand-alone program. on a computer running at least MAC OS X (on an Intel or PPC Mac) or on a Windows-based PC, running Windows 2000, XP or Vista.

This version of Photo/Graphic Edges includes 32 new edge, border and frame effects. With all of the edges, frames, borders and overlays, adornments and embellishments you have thousands of options. For the pro photographer who wants to be able to add edges to a wide variety of images from baby and child photography to teens, seniors, couples and families, Photo/Graphic Edges provides edges, borders and frames appropriate for all. The software also features powerful tools to alter the edges, frames and borders. Many of them can be tweaked in a number of ways, from changing the hue, opacity, and other characteristics.

One of the additions to this version is the ability to add multiple layers to create unique images. You can save these new borders, edges and frames as presets so you can use them again. Photo/Graphic Edges Platinum Edition v.7 includes 300 pre-made layouts and instant effects, as well as the ability to add your own presets. Other new features include new storyboards and the ability to brush on edges. Auto FX Software has also improved the program with the addition of a new rendering engine and interface updates. An example of this is larger content previews. The content collections have also been reorganized so it’s easier to find what you want. And a favorites feature has also been added.

Using Photo/Graphic Edges

The software is simple to use, as a Photoshop plug-in or a stand-alone product, you launch the software, open an image and choose an edge, frame or border. You can add embellishments, adornments and overlays. If you don’t like the edges you’ve chosen, simply delete that layer and choose another. The edges and frames load pretty quickly too, so you won’t find yourself waiting.

When you are done with one image, and want to move on to another, you just open the new image and that automatically closes the first. It would be nice in a future version to have a ‘close image’ choice in the File menu, if only because everyone associates the word with the act of closing a working file.

When working with Edges, regardless of the one you choose, they reshape to fit the dimensions of the photo. When you are working with Frames, the Transform tool allows you to scale and position the photo as you want. There are actually two transform tools, transform frame/edges and transform photo so you can tweak the frame or edges and the photo exactly how you want. Auto FX notes that the Transform tools are dynamic and non-destructive.

Images can be saved as Bitmap, JPG, TIFF, and PSD files, however the software saves the PSD files flattened but with full transparency, so you can’t make any changes among the layers when opened in Photoshop. You need to do all photo editing and manipulation in Photoshop before you import the photo into Photo/Graphic Edges. One other thing you need to be aware of is that when you’re working with an image and Quit out of the stand-alone program, it will quit without asking if you want to save what you’re working with, so just don’t be too quick with your keyboard shortcuts. When you’re working with the plug-in, and Quit, it cancels the plug-in and returns you back to the host program, for example Photoshop.

I love the photo realistic darkroom edges like the filed out film holders, Polaroid film and Polaroid transfers. One of the cool things about the software is that you can add backgrounds for a full layout. Backgrounds include colors, gradients, textures, and more. Many of the frames and edges are for a single image, but there are also two-up and quad frames that can each hold a different photo. You can add text to images as well. There are frames that are designed to look like actual frames, as well as scrapbook style frames, embellishments and layouts. There are also geometric, digital, traditional, artistic, and more modern edges and frames as well as vignettes.

For software that incorporates so much content—a thousands items—you’ll have plenty to browse from, to find that exact frame or edge for your images. Photo/Graphic Edges Platinum Edition v.7 offers photographers such a wide range of options, that practically anything is possible. So much so, in fact, that you should definitely take a look at the manual before you begin, it comes as a PDF file. You might also want to view the free video tutorials on the Auto FX Software website.

For more information, go to the website at www.autofx.com.

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Product Review: Jill-e Chocolate Brown Suede Medium Camera Bag

By Diane Berkenfeld

Jill-e Chocolate Suede medium bag with leather accents.

Jill-e Chocolate Brown Suede medium bag with leather accents. Note the double row stitching on the pocket flaps and handle straps.

Take a look in my gear closet and you’ll find almost a dozen different camera cases. I’ve got cases on wheels, backpacks, hip-packs, a messenger bag and a few standard-style bags in different sizes. Except for a small grey camera bag and deep blue tripod bag, all the other cases and bags I own are black. Pretty much all of them are made of the usual Denier nylon exterior material. Do they look like camera bags and cases? Of course.

The latest camera bag to join my collection however looks nothing at all like the others. It’s a medium sized camera bag from Jill-e. (Dimensions: (l.) 14 x (w.) 8 x (h.) 9.5 inches) The exterior is chocolate brown suede with brown leather accents to give it style and flair, and has the look and feel of a quality product. The bag has plenty of outside pockets with snap closures and a large back pocket that you can easily slip paperwork or maps into.

The bag, like other Jill-e models, has dual handles and a removable shoulder strap. One of the really useful accessories is a little pouch that can be tethered to the interior of the camera bag. I’ve found it to be great to house personal items like cash, keys and ID. Like most camera bags and cases, the Jill-e bag has moveable Velcro partitions, which allow for a variety of configurations based on your equipment needs. The interior is light brown with polka-dots, making it easy to see loose items when you’re in a hurry. Most of the time I carry a camera, three lenses, flash, media card case and a few other accessories. The medium Jill-e bag easily held all of that equipment with plenty of room for more. The main compartment has a wide zipper closure that is easily opened or closed with one hand.

Jill-e chocolate suede medium camera bag. Note the accessory pouch tethered inside the bag at the top left, moveable partitions, and accessory netting on the inside of the top flap.

Jill-e chocolate suede medium camera bag. Note the accessory pouch tethered inside the bag at the top left, moveable partitions, and accessory netting on the inside of the top flap.

Jill-e burst onto the photography scene in June of 2007 with the line of stylish camera bags that has changed the camera case landscape for the better. I really like the line of Jill-e camera bags. Just because you want to look stylish doesn’t mean you’re any less of a professional photographer. If we weren’t meant to have a choice of color, style and design then all luggage would look alike. With my Jill-e bag, I don’t have to sacrifice style just because I’m carrying around camera gear.

Jill-e added its Jack line of stylish bags and cases for guys in October 2008. They include medium, messenger and rolling cases in brown distressed leather.

The Jill-e line includes a range of bags, in different sizes from pouches and small to medium bags, as well as two sizes of rolling bags in a variety of great colors including pink, red, bone, pale yellow, and combo designs, to suit the needs of any fashionista photographer. Many of the bags are leather with leather accents, a few are suede with leather accents.

MSRP of the chocolate suede medium bag is $239.99. Check the website at www.jill-e.com for more information.

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Inspiration Hits in Threes; Book Launch & Talk Tonight

book cover image courtesy of Amazon.com

book cover image courtesy of Amazon.com

Languishing in layoffs, feeling hostile in the humidity, down on your luck or just over it,  - sometimes life can seem routine, like a laundry list of chores, commitments and disappointments. We are used to processing thoughts and images a mile a minute. But pay attention. From the most common moments, the dawn breaks, the sky opens and inspiration hits. This was particularly the case for photographer Ed Kashi who was lying in bed one day when the idea for his new book Three came to him. In some ways it would be his life’s work.

That morning he dreamt of images from his vast archives flowing around in threes, like a comic strip on steroids. Particularly, he saw photos from Brazil in his mind’s eye: the leathery skin on the back of an old fisherman, calm waves of the ocean and the curve of the man’s body as he plummeted into the salty liquid bliss. Here’s how Kashi explains his vision:

They moved as a group, transformed by their relationship to each other.

Each grouping of images in the book are presented like a triptych, an artform dating back to the Middle Ages which is divided into three sections. Traditionally, carved panels were hinged together and folded. The middle panel was typically the largest and flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels.

The trifecta idea became the impetus for Kashi to comb through more than 20 years of work looking for, as he puts it:

Visual connections, visual language and visual poetry of three.

description

Ed Kashi

No over stimulation here. In his book, images are presented with no context, no captions. Some come from the same story or location, but many only resemble each another visually. Each triptych’s order is deliberate and meaningful for some sensual purpose. This is not just a picture book but a feeling book. Kashi’s images are sometimes bittersweet and examine current issues of social and political significance, as well as the simpler things in life, bringing together the joy, sorrow, destruction, and reconstruction of a world in flux.

Still, you leave being inspired in some way.

Be sure to check out an amazing multimedia slide show produced to accompany the book launch here: http://edkashi.com/three.php

Join Kashi for the Book Launch and World-Premiere Screening of the Multimedia Piece THREE.

WHAT: Film begins 7:30 PM / Book Signing 8:30 PM
Followed by Panel Discussion and Q & A with Ed Kashi, Daryl Lang (
Photo District News), and Sean Corcoran (Museum of The City of New York)

WHEN:
Thursday, July 16, 2009, 7 PM – 9 PM

WHERE: powerHouse Arena
37 Main Street
Dumbo / Brooklyn

RSVP @ powerHouseArena.com. For more on Kashi visit his website at http://www.edkashi.com/.    –Alysha Sideman

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