Digital Outback Photo conducted an interview with classic B&W photographer Roman Loranc in his studio in Modesto, CA. His photos of the California Central Valley and his amazing photos of Polish churches are something to behold. Some of his images can be viewed at, and the interview can be downloaded and listened to, at outbackphoto.com.
OK, this is really stupid. It appears that the PS3 has been barred from UK Jails, because it could be used by prsoners to “send and receive radio signals” as a result of the PS3's in-built Wi-Fi. According to that official statement, “Advice was issued to all prisons in December 2005 that the Sony PlayStation 3 was barred from the prison estate because of the equipment's ability to send and receive radio signals.”
Who out there thinks that jail birds shouldn't have access to things like PS3's, HDTV's and other tech in the first place?
EMI announced that it will be dropping DRM file protection for its entire digital library of songs. EMI says their DRM free songs will have much higher quality than older digital versions and that there will be a choice of bit rates. iTunes are to be the first download service to offer the new songs. EMI indicates that the music will have up to twice the sound quality of the songs offered with DRM and that consumers will be able to pick bit rates all the way up to CD Quality and will sell for $1.29 each. Owners of older DRM-protected songs will be able to upgrade to the DRM-free version for 30 cents. For more info visit The EMI Group.
Shorpy's 100 Year Old Photo is not really 100 years old. However, the Blog, which is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a boy who worked in an Alabama coal mine near the turn of the century (19th century that is), is worth a look-in. The site even has the look of a turn of the century newspaper or daily magazine. It features a nice collection of old photos and some interesting and personal stories. The features cover both black & white and color photography from the last 100 years or so, much of it from before the end of WWII. Visit Shorpy and have a look and a read.
Professional Photographer magazine have posted a feature on Infrared based travel photography by Joe Farace. I've always had a fascination of near visible light based photography and the effects it has on everyday objects, flora and fauna especially. The online article can be found here and contains many useful hints and tips. The images in the article are also very useful references for those who want to see what is achievable. There are also some very useful links contained in the article.
Ok, so it's not really 100 years old, but the Blog is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a boy who worked in an Alabama coal mine, near the turn of the century (19th century that is). The site has the look of a turn of the century newspaper. Visit Shorpy and take a look ... some quite interesting photos.
The Tamrac Velocity 7x and Velocity 8x Photo Sling Packs are single strap bags which ride across your left shoulder with the main pack slung around the back. To access the bag, you simply rotate the strap to pull the bag around front. Pop the top, pull out your camera and start shooting. It's great in theory, but Tamrac's execution isn't perfect. The top cover opens away from you, which is in fact perfect for a sling bag, but opening and closing the top is awkward, not the smartest design for a sling bag meant for quick access. At least it's an improvement over the reverse opening design of the previous Velocity series. The shoulder strap padding is adequate but doesn't extend far enough; when the bag is slung forward for access, the thin part of the strap hits your shoulder and starts digging in quite quickly making it uncomfortable to use the bag slung in front for more than a few minutes. When loaded, the narrow opening of the 7x is too tight for full size digital SLRs. For anything larger than a Nikon D40 or a Canon Digital Rebel 400, opt for the Velocity 8x instead. The bag material is strong but thin and lightweight, offering less protective padding against external bumps and grinds than we'd like to see. The interior velcro dividers are also thinly padded, offering only basic protection for sensitive gear. The Velocity 7x and 8x cost less than the top-rated Lowepro SlingShot 200AW and KATA T-214 Torso Pack. Reasonably comfortable on the back while prowling for photo ops, especially if you use the hideaway waist belt. For full size SLR camera gear, choose the Velocity 8x. 2 out of 5 stars
Many of the tech news sites have been having great fun with the tradition of April Fools Day. On this day throughout my life I've seen many people poke fun, crack jokes, and try to fool their friends and foes alike. But what exactly is behind this tradition? What are the rules? According to the Wikipedia, that cornucopia of useless and untrustworthy information, the source of April Fools Day may lie in the vernal equinox which happens around this time of the year. Some suggest the French were the originators of this tradition; others claim the Dutch. In ancient times the Romans celebrated the New Year around the beginning of the April. This continued till 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII, ordered that a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) replace the old (Julian Calendar). The new calendar celebrated New Year's Day on Jan. 1. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and also shifted New Year's Day to Jan. 1.
According to a popular lore, many people either refused to accept the new date or did not learn about it, continuing to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Folks began to make fun of these traditionalists, carrying out pranks and tricking them, this practice eventually spread throughout Europe.
This explanation fails however to take into account records of pranks being carried out previous to 1582. There are many ancient traditions of mirthful entertainment around the end of March and the beginning of April. The Romans had a festival named Hilaria which was used to rejoice in the resurrection of Attis. The Hindu calendar celebrates Holi, the Jewish Purim, the Celts had their new years festival around this time too. There are also theories about All Fool's Day coming directly from the medieval Feast of Asses or Feast of Fools, the latter of which was a very popular French festival. With the time of year being all about rebirth, winter becoming spring, the idea of light-hearted celebrations seem likely.
I remember in my youth being told that April Fools jokes were only valid if they were played before noon on the day, and anyone trying to play one after was considered to be a victim of their own prank, or even someone to be cursed with bad luck. No idea on the validity of this rule, but for me and many I know this was accepted.
One of the best explanations was offered by a Joseph Boskin, who as a Professor of History at Boston University also offered great credibility. He explained to a reporter for the Associated Press that the celebration began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire.
Constantine was deeply amused and allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for a day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event. The explanation was another hoax, but played well with the public having fooled the press with the very subject matter they were reporting on.
Also known as All Fools Day, or Poisson d'Avril in France, whatever the history, the idea is to poke fun. I hope you enjoyed your experience of April Fools Day.
Breeze Systems have released Downloader Pro 2.0, which is a major upgrade to their powerful yet simple tool for transferring digital photos from camera to PC. New features in Downloader Pro 2.0, include automatic geo-tagging, the creation of track log files for GPS data, the ability to view thumbnails on a memory card and IPTC XMP data support. Visit Breeze Systems for more info...
Alien Skin Software have released the Eye Candy Effects Collection , which bundles Eye Candy 5: Impact, Eye Candy 5: Nature, Eye Candy 5: Textures, Xenofex 2, and Snap Art plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop and other photoshop plug-in compatible applications. The Eye Candy Effects Collection includes 54 special effects filters with over 1000 presets.
These filters allow digital artists and graphic designers to create chrome, fire, smoke, lightning, clouds, comics and dozens of other effects with a single click.
These plug-in can be downloaded, including 30 day demos, at the Alien Skin Website. The Eye Candy Effects Collection retails for $399.