Monday, September 25, 2017

Protecting your images from automated watermark removal

Image showing strong watermark with unique Image IDMany who market or sell photographs online or who just want to prevent online photo theft of the images they've posted for family and friends, often use watermarks as their first line of defense. While it's not the only defensive measure photographers can and should take to protect their images online, watermark use is sensible, practical and useful.

Although its true that someone with expert Photoshop skills can eliminate a watermark in an hour or so, even if thoughtfully constructed, watermarks still stop most thieves because it's rarely worth spending an hour or more to steal an image, especially if the final product has any telltale visual artifacts shouting, “Theft!”

This past July, at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference, Google demonstrated an algorithm capable of automating the removal of watermarks from photos. Google showed that the removal of watermarks from a series of photographs that now takes hours or days, could be done in minutes.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Planning to photograph the Continental U.S.' first total solar eclipse in 38 years?

Solar Eclipse, Libya 2006 - Copyright © 2006 NH53As long as a year ago, many photographers made reservations to ensure they would be in the direct path of the totality of the upcoming total solar eclipse. It takes place next Monday, August 21. The last total solar eclipse seen in the Continental U.S. occurred in 1979. Fortunately for photographers the totality of the approaching total solar eclipse will be seen in parts of fourteen states, so there are plenty of places to setup one's gear to make full eclipse images.

For those unsure of what it is, a total solar eclipse is when the disk of the moon completely blocks out the disk of the sun. This will be seen in a path across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina, about 70 miles wide, called the “path of totality.” Outside that “path,” those viewing the eclipse will only see a partial eclipse. The further away watchers are located from the “path,” the less sun will be hidden behind the moon.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Enhanced security tips for photographers at TSA airport checkpoints

Denver Airport Security - Copyright 2009 Dan PaluskaThis week, far sooner than anticipated, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began implementing new enhanced airport security procedures for electronics.

The new procedures, rolling out over the next few months at airports across the U.S., will enhance scrutiny of passengers' carry-ons, on both domestic and international flights. Travelers in standard TSA checkpoint lines will have to remove all electronics larger than cellphones from carry-on bags and place them in separate bins with nothing else above or below them, for X-ray screening.

Travelers in TSA PreCheck lines will be able to leave their large electronics in their bags as they do now with laptops.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lexar closing puts pressure on Nikon flagship cameras

Lexar XQD Memory CardOn June 26, Micron Technology announced it was discontinuing its Lexar retail removable media storage business. According to Micron they are closing Lexar to focus on other opportunities in “higher value markets and channels”

Lexar, along with Sandisk was one of what many thought were the premier memory card manufacturers for portable devices including cameras. Lexar also manufactured USB flash drives, memory card readers, and storage drives for both retail and OEM customers.

Micron stated that they are exploring opportunities to sell all or part of their Lexar business. Numerous sources have indicated prospective buyers, who wish to remain unknown at this time, have already contacted Micron.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

On July 4th, are you photographing fireworks?

Fourth of July fireworks at the Philadelphia Museum of ArtThe U.S. has celebrated its independence with fireworks in towns and cities across the nation since 1777. History tells us John Adams, second President of the U.S. is in large part responsible for the way we celebrate the Fourth of July. In his July 3, 1776 letter to his wife, Abigail, he said that the occasion should be celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

The first Independence Day commemoration occurred the next year in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Evening Post stated, “The evening closed with the ring of bells and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons and the city was beautifully illuminated.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

U.S. electronic device (including cameras) carry-on ban on flights from 8 Muslim countries is misguided

Nikon D750This week, the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), notified airlines that fly from eight Muslim-majority nations, that effective Friday, March 24, passengers would be banned from bringing electronic devices larger than smartphones into airplane cabins on their direct flights to the U.S. from those nations.
Soon afterward, the United Kingdom instituted a similar ban involving some different airlines and countries.

The ban includes:
  • Laptops
  • E-readers
  • Tablets
  • Printers
  • Electronic games
  • Portable DVD players
  • Cameras
  • Other electronic devices larger than a smartphone

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ned's Top 25 Tips for Travel Photographers

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, TurkeyGreat travel photography requires much the same of photographers as any photographic genre; advanced planning, preparation, a willingness to adjust when at the site of the shooting session and both technical and artistic photographic knowledge.

I've got twenty-five great tips to help you bring home quality travel images.

Advanced Planning:

Locate specific locations and events at your destination:
Once you decide on your destination(s), it's import to plan and prioritize your visit to include the specific locations and events you want to see and photograph, to ensure you'll have time enough for the ones considered essential. While planning, look for unique sites, people, landscapes, etc. to photograph.

Create shot lists:
For each destination location you plan to visit, create a list of photographs you want to make. Plan as many shots in advance as possible, both specific and general. Look for positions which may or may not be normally visited by people traveling to a particular site, to utilize for photographs.

Friday, March 10, 2017

If you change to "daylight" time Sunday, don't forget to reset your camera's clock

Clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris, FranceOn Sunday, March 12, 2015, most of the U.S. will switch to “Daylight Time” from “Standard Time,” most, but definitely not all of the U.S. Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands don't switch to “Daylight Time” in the spring, and back to “Standard Time” in the fall. They stick to “Standard Time” year-round.

The switch between “Daylight” and “Standard” time doesn't universally occur across the globe. More than 100 countries never change to “Daylight Time”, and more than a few countries switch between the two on different dates than other countries.

In Mexico the switch between “Daylight” and “Standard” time can be very confusing for travelers. Mexican border cities near the U.S. typically swap their “times” on the same dates as the U.S., but the remainder of Mexico changes in April and October, not March and November.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Popular Photography" Ceasing Publication

Popular Photography, May 1937 cover, courtesy of WikipediaIn May, 1937, many major historical events occurred:

• Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for “Gone with the Wind.”

• War Admiral won the Kentucky Derby.

• The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 21–10 (LOL – It did happen).

• King George VI of Great Britain was crowned.

• The Golden Gate Bridge opened.

• The German dirigible Hindenburg blew up while landing at Lakehurst, NJ

• And “Popular Photography” Magazine was published for the first time.