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PPA Today: February 2011 Archives

February 2011 Archives

ted _haviland.jpgTheodore "Ted" Haviland Jr., of New Jersey passed away January 31, 2011, at the age of 89. In 1949, Ted started his studio, Photography by Haviland, in his home, moving to his own building in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., in 1966. For many years, he was the most sought-after man behind the camera for weddings, family portraits and high school graduations. A Life Member of PPA, Ted took his craft seriously and earned PPA's Master of Photography degree. His utmost love in life, however, was his family--nothing on earth brought him greater joy. He helped many others capture such joy via his photography. In fact, several past clients and friends wrote on his northjersey.com obituary, thanking him for all the memories they were able to keep because of his work. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and the many lives he has touched.

Dear PPA Member,

Looking for a different avenue to share information about your photography business? Want to connect with potential clients who are looking for your services? You may want to look to trade shows and expos.

PPA (and PPA Affiliates) often exhibit at industry trade shows because they're the perfect venues to introduce who we are, what we offer, and why we are the oldest and largest photography association in the world. We love the opportunity to meet photographers, answer questions and help them become new members. Oftentimes, our existing PPA members will stop by our booth and share their knowledge (and testimonials) about the benefits of membership.

If you have a passion for your business (and we hope you do!), then this week' Vital Signs article may open up a different path to new clients...the path to the trade show floor.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

onOne Software, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of the major update to it's wildly popular application for remotely controlling Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras using Apple iOS devices. Specifically designed for the iPad, the new DSLR Camera Remote HD includes a redesigned interface that takes full advantage of the larger screen on the iPad, improved gesture-based preview functionality and the addition of starting, stopping and monitoring video from supported HD DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon.

In addition to DSLR Camera Remote HD, onOne Software also updated DSLR Camera Remote 1.3 to version 1.4 by adding support for the Canon 60D and the Nikon D7000. The original DSLR Camera Remote (not the HD version) is designed to run on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Owners of DSLR Camera Remote 1.3 can add video start and stop functionality through an in-app purchase.

"DSLR Camera Remote has been very popular with professional and hobbyist photographers who value the ability to shoot remotely and we are extremely pleased to offer a new and separate version that adds iPad support and the ability to start, stop and monitor video in direct response to their requests," said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. "We look forward to continuing to take advantage of new platforms in the ever evolving digital photography market to provide customers with tools that help them spend more time behind the camera and less behind the computer."  

New Features in DSLR Camera Remote:


NEW iPad Version:
Taking advantage of the larger screen, a new, separate version of DSLR Camera Remote HD for the iPad features image thumbnails and larger previews in addition to faster access to options like the intervalometer and auto bracketing. DSLR Camera Remote HD for the iPad also includes the new Video start, stop and monitor mode at no additional charge.

NEW Video Mode:  Start and stop video recording on supported cameras and even remotely monitor video on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Video mode is included with the new iPad version and is available as an in-app purchase for the original DSLR Camera Remote 1.3 for the iPhone and iPod.

More Cameras: Both versions of DSLR Camera Remote include support for the latest cameras including the Canon Rebel T2i/550D, 60D and the Nikon D7000.

Free Version:
Introducing a DSLR Camera Remote Free version for those who want to try the application first. The free version allows photographers to remotely fire their camera. This is a no risk way to try the app before making a purchase as photographers can see exactly how to set up DSLR Camera Remote and try it before making the purchase.

Improved Previews:  Browsing images is now easier in DSLR Camera Remote through support for gestures which enable zooming and panning of preview images by pinching and swiping the image.

Save Local:  Photographs can now be saved as low resolution images to the connected iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to enable quick remote sharing via email, MobileMe, Facebook or any other sharing service. Saved images can also be edited with other iOS applications.

Availability and Pricing

DSLR Remote Camera Remote HD for the iPad is $49.99 and DSLR Camera Remote 1.4 for the iPhone and iPod is $19.99 and are available in the Apple iTunes App Store. For more information visit http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/dslr-camera-remote/.

Owners of DSLR Camera Remote Pro 1.3 for the iPhone and iPod can get the updated camera support for the Canon 60D and Nikon D7000 at no cost with the 1.4 update. However, adding the start and stop video feature will be a $9.99 in app purchase to add this advanced functionality.

DSLR Camera Remote Free is a free version offering the ability to fire or release the shutter of the camera, for those who wish try the app before purchasing.

There is no upgrade path from the iPhone or iPod Touch version DSLR Camera Remote 1.3 to DSLR Camera Remote HD that is designed specifically for the iPad.

After purchasing any of the editions from the iTunes App Store, users will need to download a free application that runs on their supported Mac or Windows computer. This free application is required to communicate between the iOS device and the supported Canon or Nikon DSLR camera, connected via USB or Firewire to a WiFi enabled computer.
Canon's EOS 5D Mark II has been met with enthusiasm by major motion picture studios, independent filmmakers and professional videographers. The consensus was that the EOS 5D Mark II is a phenomenal tool but needed to include manual exposure control within video to be fully utilized.

Canon has announced a free downloadable firmware update that enables manual exposure controls while shooting video including: ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

This update transforms the EOS 5D Mark II into the first full frame 24mm X 36mm DSLR with manual exposure video control.
In our digital world, it is highly likely that your photographic work has fallen victim to online infringement at some time. PPA recognizes this fact and encourages Congress to provide copyright owners with a method of pursuing widespread infringers.  

In a letter to all 535 members of Congress on February 15, 2011, PPA reminds Congress of the importance of securing the Internet and developing enforcement mechanisms to address infringing websites.  The letter touts S.3084 - Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act (COICA), introduced in the 111th Congress, and urges them to once again put forward legislation that will protect both creators and consumers by strengthening the laws that protect against online piracy.

Read more here.
Dear PPA member,

I love spontaneity. It has its place in life--and it can be liberating to decide on a whim to book a trip, call a friend and just go. There are (hopefully) no expectations when you don't plan, so you shouldn't be disappointed. However, when you plan, you can make sure you go on a day the museums aren't closed, the hot restaurant has a reserved table for you, and the room you reserved has the view you will remember forever.

If you run your business spontaneously, you shouldn't be disappointed if you don't get the results you want. Planning, whether it's for your marketing pieces or your taxes (oh please say that you've started on your taxes!), is important to stay in business. This week's Vital Signs gets you in that planning frame of mind. Now, if it could only get you those coveted reservations!

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience
As the 112th Congress takes up debate over the 1099 reporting mandate, photographers will want to keep one eye on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress seem poised to pass a bill to repeal the 1099 mandate made law by Section 9006 of last year's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. PPA has plugged into the current debate and is making photographers' concerns with the existing mandate known. Learn more about what's on the table and how you can take action here.
Induro, makers of tripods, heads and accessories designed for demanding professional photographers, has announced the new Adventure AKP Series Tripod Kits.

For ease of operation, the popular Adventure Series tripods feature non-rotating aluminum alloy legs with a quick flip lock system and come complete with a matched head. The unique three-way Panhead provides precise camera positioning as well as rapid camera deployment via a snap-in quick release plate.  And the new patent-pending folding handles make it easy to pack for transport. The new AKP series consists of three models - the compact four leg section AKP0, and the heavy-duty three leg section AKP1 and AKP2.

"These new Induro Adventure Series tripod kits are perfect for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts looking for the convenience of purchasing a complete tripod and head combination that's made to last," said Jan Lederman, President of Induro. "Built to the same standards, and having the same enhancements as top-of-the-line Induro professional tripods, Induro has created an outstanding and easy-to-use tripod outfit at a very affordable price."

Features of the Induro Adventure Series Tripod Kits include:
  • Wide stance magnesium alloy spider with V-pattern crossbraces for greater core system stability and strength
  • Rapid action quick lock leg system makes setup literally a snap
  • Oversized center column locking collar provides better grip and vibration-reducing support for the column and top mounting plate
  • Matched unique three-way Panhead with folding handles for easy packing and transport
  • Engineered three position leg angle locks provide optimum contact between the legs and the spider for greater stability at any angle
  • A unique threaded accessory mount socket lets users attach articulated arms, clamps and other mounting devices directly onto the tripod
  • Elegant non-reflective scratch resistant professional finish
  • Reversible Center Column -- allows low angle shooting
  • Built-in Bubble Level -- for critical alignment of panning, stitching and tripod head movements
  • Spring Loaded Weight Hook -- allows hanging additional weight for added stability during windy conditions
  • Closed Cell Foam Grip -- provides comfortable, positive handling during cold or wet conditions
  • Non-Rotating Leg Sections -- for quick and easy setup
  • Included Tool Kit and Deluxe Carrying Bag and Strap
  • 5-year limited U.S. Warranty -- 2 years (+3 with online Registration = 5 total)

The Induro Adventure AKP Series Tripod Kits are available in three sizes from retailers throughout the United States at prices ranging from $164 - $219 depending on the model.
Gary Fong, Inc. has introduced two new value-packed bundles containing the wildly popular Lightsphere Collapsible, the definitive portable flash diffuser, and a variety of unique camera tools. Combining several of Gary Fong's most sought-after flash tools into two unique packages offers the ultimate in one-stop shopping for photographers looking to elevate their creativity on every shoot.

The Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible has provided photographers with the ability to achieve studio-style lighting effects at weddings and other location shoots with one simple diffusion tool.  The travel-friendly qualities of the collapsible Lightsphere made it a staple of gear bags everywhere and now two new packages offer photographers even more ways to take advantage of the Lightsphere Collapsible's unique attributes, including:   

Lightsphere Collapsible Basic Kit: Designed for both the professional and the aspiring amateur, this introductory kit includes the Lightsphere Collapsible, the White Dome, the AmberDome, the ChromeDome and the Gel Kit.  

Lightsphere Collapsible Pro Kit: Created for customers looking for more advanced shooting options, this package starts with the Basic Kit and adds the PowerSnoot (with PowerGrid), a chrome-plated snoot with a grid that allows you to achieve high-fashion, dramatic lighting effects, maximize strobe efficiency and gain directional control using regular speedlight equipment.

"When we realized how popular the Lightsphere Collapsible had become, we started to recognize that there was an opportunity to give our clients even more bang for their buck by creating unique kits combining the multipurpose Lightsphere with some of our most sought-after products," said Gary Fong, internationally renowned photographer and CEO of Gary Fong, Inc.  "These unique combinations of devices will certainly help Lightshpere users make the most of this dynamic diffusion tool. By offering all of these items in two convenient packages, professionals and prosumers alike can take their abilities to the next level without crushing their budgets."

The Lightsphere Collapsible Basic Kit is available for $119.95 MAP and the Pro Kit is available for $169.95 MAP. Both kits represent a savings of more than 20% over individually purchased tools.  For more information on these exciting new kits, or to purchase any Gary Fong products, visit http://www.garyfonginc.com.
onOne Software, Inc. has announced that its popular webinar series is now available as the onOne University Webinar Podcast in Apple iTunes. Photographers can now download copies of the onOne University Webinars locally to their computers, using iTunes, and sync them to their iOS devices, to watch them whenever and wherever they like. Podcasts currently include sessions hosted by Seth Resnick, Dave Cross, Scott Stulberg and onOne's Brian Matiash, with more to come.

The onOne Software University Webinars are free hour-long webinars hosted by acclaimed photographers, Photoshop Gurus and onOne team members. Designed to inspire attendees with stunning photography, while providing valuable tips and techniques, webinar topics range from lifestyle, landscape, portraiture, wedding, travel and HDR photography. To see the current onOne Software University Webinar schedule visit http://www.ononesoftware.com/webinars/.

Availability
To subscribe to the onOne University Webinar Podcast channel, visit iTunes and search for 'onOne Software' or go to http://bit.ly/i7ATSQ.

Recorded webinars can also be accessed on onOne Software's website at http://www.ononesoftware.com/university/?p=webinars.
brycox_blogheadshot.jpg"My goal is to create something so outstanding that my clients won't want to change a thing...and will actually want to buy more pages," says Bry Cox about designing wedding albums for his clients. "This means that the design has to be beautiful and emotionally driven on each page. And my second goal is to do all of this quickly!"

Luckily for us all, Cox will share how he meets those goals--quickly creating beautiful, emotional, story-telling albums--in his upcoming "Award-Winning Wedding Album Designs" webinar (Feb. 22, 2:00pm).

Cox knows how easy it is for photographers to get bogged down in an album design (there are a lot of images involved). In fact, the use of too many images is one of the album design mistakes he often sees. "Many feel that more images are better, even if they aren't all great shots," he explains. "The truth is that fewer and more powerful images will better tell the story and have more impact."

Along with trying to fit too many images onto a page or spread is another common design mistake: over-designing. Using too many ideas on one page will actually lessen their impact. Cox would rather make a bigger album that follows the rule, "less is more," than try to fit everything into a smaller book.

"A photograph, in and of itself, is powerful!" Cox adds. "There are many secrets and tactics that we can use to embellish and enhance an image through design and layout. However, in the end, we really need to edit down the images to those few, great images that have the most impact.  This will help us create a design with emotion, power and simplicity."

Not only will Cox's webinar help you improve your designs, it will also help you better use your time. "Many photographers take way too much time designing books, spending lots of time retouching each image and designing page after page," he says. "The sheer time involved eats up any profit in the end and can eventually cause the photographer to become tired, worn-out or discouraged."
 
Ready to make even happier clients with amazing albums (while avoiding burnout)? Mark your calendar and register now for this "Award-Winning Wedding Album Design" online class. 
Do you frequently register groups of your published images with the U.S. Copyright Office? Have you thought about registering your images but found the paperwork too burdensome?

If so, there may be an opportunity to make registering--and therefore protecting--your images a bit easier. On January 24, the U.S. Copyright Office launched a pilot program to enable photographers to complete an Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) online copyright application for "group registration of databases that predominantly consist of photographs" as well as "group registration of published photographs."

The goal of this pilot program is to not only determine whether eCO has the capacity to accept registration claims of this nature, but also make the registration process less time-consuming (especially for those who would otherwise be required to complete a paper application). Using the online system is also advantageous to copyright owners because applications submitted via eCO are processed significantly faster than paper forms.

Interested in taking part in this e-Group Registration pilot program? Here's your first step: Determine your eligibility (prior to completing a registration application) by contacting the Visual Arts Division of the U.S. Copyright Office at 202-707-8202.

PPA is excited to remind you of all the upcoming PPA District Photographic Competitions coming up. And you know what that means...it's time to get your images ready!

These competitions are great opportunities for photographers like you to learn and grow by having your work judged by international jurors. And remember that images receiving a score of 80 or above in these district competitions will automatically earn an exhibition merit when submitted to this year's PPA International Photographic Competition (placing you closer to earning your Master of Photography degree).

This is an exciting time to be a part of such a revitalized, energized competition. In fact, you can now enter either prints or digital files, and image formats are no longer restricted to 16 x 20. That's right, PPA has listened to its members and implemented some wonderful changes while maintaining the integrity of this world-class competition.

Start or continue your journey today to earn a degree recognized throughout the world. This PPA District Photographic Competition is the first step--get your images ready to submit!

Upcoming Competitions:


2011 PPA Southeast District Photographic Competition
  • Includes the Commercial and Electronic Imaging Competitions, which all PPA members are eligible to compete in (regardless of home district)
  • Online Registration: 2/25/2011 - 3/18/2011

2011 PPA Northcentral District Photographic Competition
  • Online Registration: 3/3/2011 - 3/24/2011

2011 PPA Western District Photographic Competition

  • Online Registration: 3/10/2011 - 3/31/2011

2011 PPA Northeast District Photographic Competition
  • Online Registration: 3/17/2011 - 4/7/2011

Note: if you are in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, then you are in the Northcentral District (www.ppa.com/northcentral ). If you are in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, then you are in the Northeast District ( www.ppa.com/northeast )

Note: Forgot your district? Check out the map.

Collages.net new websiteCollages.net (www.collages.net), the first to bring selling images online to professional wedding and portrait photographers in 1999, today announced the re-launch of its website making it easy for photographers to get started and to sell more images. As part of this re-launch, photographers can also now link video highlights to the image sharing sites that they post - at no extra charge. To celebrate these product improvements, PPA members can now receive four months of FREE posting and until March 1st, photographers can also enjoy 50% off large prints. PPA members sign up for free and receive their four months free by using promo code PPA4FREE during the sign up process. Current Collages.net customers can call for 50% off a new album sample.

Dear PPA Member,

Did you watch this year's Super Bowl? If you did, you may have enjoyed some of the commercials just as much as the game itself.

Some commercials were selling new products and services. Others were reminders that the products and services were still out there, standing the test of time (or, in the case of Chrysler's two-minute ad with Eminem, it was a notice that they were coming back from the brink).

Some commercials hit emotional notes, some made you think, some made you want to go out and buy. In addition, some commercials fizzled, missed the mark, and ended up causing companies to backpedal or defend themselves. (Groupon? HomeAway? I'm still shaking my head.)

What makes marketing work? Knowing your clients (and potential clients), understanding what you're trying to do, and having a unified campaign. That's what works. You don't need to spend almost $9 million dollars like Chrysler did (you will probably need to spend a little, though). And here's some even better news: With the insight of PPA members who've had success in creating effective campaigns, you won't end up like Groupon.  

Cheers!

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

DxO Labs has announced the immediate availability of DxO Optics Pro v6.5.4 for Mac and Windows that adds RAW support for the Olympus E-PL2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and for the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 in both its Standard and Elite editions.

Further, 69 new DxO Optics Modules are now available to DxO Optics Pro users, covering numerous Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic, Pentax and Sony cameras.

Availability and price

DxO Optics Pro v6.5.4 for Windows and Mac, Standard and Elite editions are available from DxO Labs' e-store and selected resellers at the following prices:

DxO Optics Pro v6.5.3 Standard edition: $169

DxO Optics Pro v6.5.3 Elite edition: $299

All customers who purchased DxO Optics Pro since June 1st, 2009 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 6.5.4.

About DxO Optics Pro

DxO Optics Pro is an award-winning automatic image enhancement software for enthusiastic amateur and professional photographers shooting in JPEG or RAW format. World-renowned for its unique automated optical corrections (distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, lens softness), and its state-of-the-art RAW conversion, DxO Optics Pro addresses the entire spectrum of image quality issues, including noise removal, exposure optimization, keystoning correction, color control and dust removal. Its fully-customizable and easy-to-use interface makes it an unrivaled productivity tool, able to process hundreds of images in just a few clicks.

For more information, visit DxO Labs' website at www.dxo.com.
Online video creation service Animoto has announced that it is launching a significantly enhanced version of the popular service for photographers. Now even easier to use, the new Animoto utilizes a brand new render engine allowing for the creation of 720p HD videos and 10x faster video rendering. Also announced today is a completely redesigned Web site (www.animoto.com) designed for a smoother video creation and distribution experience.

"All of these new features and enhancements announced today are a continuation of our efforts to provide photographers with a high-end video creation tool unrivaled in ease of use," commented Brad Jefferson, CEO and Co-founder of Animoto.  "Our photography focus really took off last year with the creation of eight new video styles designed in collaboration with professional photographers. 2011 will see continued expansion of our Pro product and as always, professional photographers will play a major role in product development."

Key Features of the New Animoto

Thanks to a new render engine, Animoto now features 360p web-quality videos, 720p HD video upgrades, and 10x faster video rendering. Starting today, the Animoto render engine is moving from CPU (central processing unit) to GPU (graphics processing unit) - the same ultra-powerful graphics processors used in motion pictures and gaming. With Amazon.com as an early investor, Animoto became a poster child for cloud computing on CPU. Now, Animoto is one of the first companies to build around Amazon's GPU-driven cloud.
 
Animoto's 720p HD-quality video and 360p web-quality video will initially only be available on the most popular video style, the Animoto Original, but will soon be available across all video styles over the coming months. The new 720p HD-quality video represents a substantial improvement over a previous highest quality output of 480p (DVD-quality). Pro account users can create unlimited HD and DVD-quality videos at no extra cost.

In addition, Animoto's Web site (www.animoto.com) has been completely redesigned to offer users improved functionality. Its first major redesign since its launch in 2007, this sleek makeover makes it easier for new users to find the right product, and learn about the features they care the most about. The redesign also includes an aesthetic redesign of the video creation interface, and the addition of numerous back-end features that will make Animoto even easier to use
Sigma Corporation of America has announced the pricing and availability for three lenses that incorporate the company's new, weather-resistant design.

The Sigma APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM and APO MACRO 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM were first introduced at Photokina in September 2010. Those lenses will be available for purchase in late February and the end of March for the U.S. manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4,700 and $1,600, respectively.  In April, they will be joined by a weather-resistant update to another old favorite, the 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM, for the U.S. MSRP of $1,400. All lenses will be released in Nikon and Canon mounts first, and will be available in Sigma, Pentax and Sony mounts shortly thereafter.

"We've updated these popular lenses with our latest technology and design, while maintaining their compact size," said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. "The 120-300mm and the 150mm are now optically stabilized (OS), and all three lenses contain our new, weather-resistant design, which will offer protection from water and dust. These are fantastic upgrades to already-great lenses."

In addition to sharing the pricing and availability of these three lenses, Sigma Corporation has also revealed plans for its DP2x, APO 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, and MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM. The DP2x is a successor to the DP2 that will now include Analog Front End (AFE) and high speed auto focus, and the new 50-150mm will replace its predecessor and offer Sigma's proprietary OS technology. The new Macro 105mm is an upgrade that includes the company's Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and OS technologies, as well as the new, weather-resistant design. Pricing and availability for these products have not yet been announced.

In the meantime, Sigma is sharing more details about the three new, weather-resistant lenses that will be available in the coming months:

Sigma's new 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM is an update to the 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM, which has been a photographer favorite since it was first introduced in 2002. Revisions to the lens include the weather-resistant design, as well as the inclusion of one Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element and four of the company's new "F" Low Dispersion FLD glass elements to compensate for color aberration and provide high image quality. FLD glass is the highest level, low dispersion glass available with extremely high light transmission and performance equal to fluorite glass. The new 12-24mm contains three glass mold elements and one hybrid aspherical lens for advanced performance and compact and lightweight construction. It also features Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, and a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) to ensure quiet and high-speed autofocus, while allowing full-time manual focus override. Its minimum focusing distance is 11 inches throughout the entire zoom range; its maximum magnification ratio is 1:6.4. This lens will be available at the end of April for the U.S. MSRP of $1,400.

The APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM is the successor to the APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG HSM that was introduced in July 2005. This telephoto lens' new features include weather-resistant design and OS technology, and the inclusion of two FLD glass elements, along with one SLD glass element. This lens also contains Super Multi-Layer Coating, HSM, and a design that incorporates an inner focusing and inner zooming system to ensure sharp images throughout the entire zoom range. Improved optical performance provides excellent correction of sagittal coma flare, and ensures ultra-high resolution, comparable to a fixed focal length lens. When it becomes available in late February, the new 120-300mm lens' U.S. MSRP will be $4,700.

The APO MACRO 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM is a large aperture medium telephoto macro lens. As the successor to the APO MACRO 150mm F2.8 EX DG HSM, which was first introduced in October 2004, the new version now includes the OS technology and a weather-resistant design that is for convenient outdoor use. A floating focusing system in the 150mm moves two different lens groups in the optical path to different positions. This system compensates for astigmatic aberration and spherical aberration, and provides extremely high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 Macro. The lens also contains three SLD glass elements for correction of all aberrations, Super Multi-Layer Coating, and HSM. It will become available at the end of March for the U.S. MSRP of $1,600.

To locate an authorized Sigma dealer near you, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/where-to-buy-sigma. To use Sigma's Lens Finder Tool to find the best lens to suit your needs, visit http://www.sigmaphoto.com/sigma-lens-finder. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit www.sigmaphoto.com.
Olympus has announced the release of three new cameras: The SZ-10, VR-320 and the VG-110.

The SZ-10
is a lightweight, super-slim camera that reinvents the ultra-zoom category. The Olympus SZ-10 will enable you to capture it all with its 18x ultra-zoom 28-504mm wide-angle lens, 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD and 720p HD video. Whether you're taking portraits at a family gathering or telephoto action shots on the athletic field, this sleek and portable camera will enable you to chronicle all your adventures like a true travel journalist without the bulk.

Click here to read more about the SZ-10.

The VR-320 has a 12.5x extra-wide-angle optical zoom lens (24mm-300mm equivalent in 35mm photography) and an ultra-compact all-metal body that easily fits in your pocket. Aside from its extremely powerful optics and 14-megapixel sensor for super-detailed images, the VR-320 has Magic Art Filters to add a new level of creative expression to images and videos, Dual Image Stabilization to take the blur out of photography and a 3.0-inch LCD to compose and show off your work at the end of the day.

Click here to read more about the VR-320

The VG-110 is a pocket-sized point-and-shoot with a 12-megapixel sensor to create large prints and 4x wide-angle zoom to help you capture your memories. The VG-110 also boasts Magic Art Filters to achieve a new level of artistic expression, AVI movie, AF Tracking to capture fast moving subjects, Digital Image Stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD, all for the affordable price of $89.

Click here to read more about the VG-110

Want to grow your sales, keep more money and take back your life? It's all part of running a smarter photography business, and that's what PPA and our Studio Management Services (SMS) workshops can help you do. Start planning now to attend a workshop that can help you take control of your photography business:

2-Day Business Basics Workshops
Get on the right track with this small group workshop focused on the fundamentals for business success. (Geared toward new and emerging studios.)

March 26-27, Atlanta, GA
June 20-21, Ann Arbor, MI (Great Lakes Institute of Photography)
November 5-6, Atlanta, GA

3-Day Business Workshops
Prepare to grow your business with our in-depth program that includes a one-on-one financial and marketing consultation. (Geared toward well-established studios.)

March 28-30, Atlanta, GA
July 11-13, San Francisco, CA
November 7-9, Atlanta, GA

rheebevere_headshot.jpgRhee Bevere began photographing at a young age, introduced to the art by her father. In fact, he gave her a manual Argus Camera with three lenses when she was in the sixth grade. She then graduated to his Pentax K100 when he realized that she had a true talent. But her father probably never guessed that the little camera he got his young daughter would lead to her making a difference in the lives of others, from brides to families in need.

Despite her skill, Bevere didn't consider photography as a career until years later. And it was her then-current "boss" who gave her a push in the right direction!

While working in the advertising industry, she gave her creative director an 8x10 image as a Christmas gift. "She came barging into my office to say, 'You know, you're pretty good at advertising, but THIS is what you should be doing,'" recalls Bevere of her inspiration to go pro.

She describes it as her "light bulb moment," and it led her to open her business 9 years ago.bevere1.jpg

Today, Bevere's business--Rhee Bevere Photography in the South Bay area near San Jose, Calif.--has succeeded, thanks to her photojournalistic style of photography and how much she cares for her clients and their stories.

"I love the moment--being in it as well as catching it," she says. "I thrive under pressure and getting it right on the spot. I think I'm better than the average bear at seeing a moment about to unfold, and I'm so blessed that I've been able to hone my timing to catch things most photographers miss."

When she first started her business, Bevere focused mainly on catching those moments during weddings. Now, she has begun adding family photojournalism to her services.

bevere2.jpg"The wedding industry is changing (as it always does), and wedding photojournalists are faced with demands for more portraiture and more 'stuff' included in the packages. I'm working more without earning more," explains Bevere about her decision to expand product lines. "And as I see my couples come back with this baby or that baby...well, I see the signs."

Not only did Bevere 'see the signs,' she also wanted to act on them. Yet she knew nothing about portrait product lines. Luckily, PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) was there to help her out.

Bevere attended a 3-Day SMS Business Workshop. By the end of it, she felt comfortable moving forward with her new product lines. "By taking the SMS course, I was able to jump into portraiture with a lot fewer cold water goose bumps," she says with a smile. "I knew what kind of cost of sales I'd face and how to price everything we would offer. I rave about SMS to everyone who listens!"

With SMS' help, Bevere was able to shift her work from 98% weddings to an 80-20 splitbevere3.jpg between weddings and portraits last year. This year, she's on track for a 60-40 split. "My goal is to take less than 10 weddings a year in the next two years and still stay at the same gross," she adds.

However, her success in both the wedding and portrait markets is not what Bevere believes is her biggest accomplishment. Her charitable work is.

Three years ago she started Project Smile, a charitable team that works with HomeSafe, a transition housing project for women and their children who have escaped abusive relationships. During the spring, Bevere, several other photographers and stylists (the Project Smile team) create portraits of the HomeSafe residents. Each mother and child is paired with a stylist for 45 minutes and then has a 45 minute portrait session with a photographer. Bevere and her assistant also create mini-albums of the portraits for the residents.

bevere4.jpg"The director of HomeSafe said that all the women walk a little taller and feel more alive and beautiful for weeks after that," says Bevere.

That just goes to show that in the right hands, photography is more than art, more than a career--it can make the day a little brighter.

Read more about Bevere here.


Rhee Bevere Headshot  © Kim Sayre
All Other Images © Rhee Bevere
Jennifer RoggiKnowing that you need to market your wedding photography services is one thing...knowing what message you're marketing and where is quite another!

"Today's brides and grooms were raised on the Internet," says Jennifer Roggi, Cr.Photog., ABI, CBM, of Stephen Charles Photography. "This has changed the way we reach them and the way they communicate."

In her upcoming online class (or webinar), "Marketing Weddings," Roggi will share how her studio addresses these changes and reaches out to clients. You'll learn her tips and recommendations for effectively using social media, e-mail and blogs, along with considering vendor relationships, effective bridal shows and displays, and even print advertising.

"Working with businesses around the country, I am finding that there is no magic bullet," adds Roggi. "Everyone has a different thing that is working for them."

For example, while Roggi does get friend and family referrals, it is not enough of a new market to sustain her current level of business. She finds that nurturing relationships with wedding venues is also very important, for it brings in brides who may not have heard about Stephen Charles Photography before. "And we, too, are learning more and more about managing the social media aspect and are excited about new opportunities in that market," she explains. "It is a never-ending process."

Yet however important finding the right method of communication is, you must also send the right message. "With today's market so saturated with new photographers, it is more important than ever to define what sets you apart...so you can convey that message in your marketing," says Roggi.

Her advice is to try and think like your potential client--not like a photographer: "What we think of as obvious differences between ourselves and our competitors may not be so obvious to potential buyers."

Ready to learn more advice and recommendations for clarifying and spreading your marketing message? Register now for her online class, "Marketing Weddings" (February 15, 2:00pm Eastern).

Tenba has announced the new Vector Collection of consumer/prosumer camera bags. This unique collection of camera bags includes small camera pouches and top load bags for point-and-shoot cameras or an SLR camera body and one lens, plus shoulder bags and a daypack to fit larger camera systems with lenses. All bags are available in Krypton Green, Oxygen Blue, Cadmium Red and Carbon Black.

"This new Vector line of striking and trendy camera bags offers photo enthusiasts a range of solutions to fit their needs," said Jan Lederman, President of MAC Group. "The materials and hardware used in each bag in this collection meet the 'Crafted Without Compromise' level that has continued to be Tenba's signature."

Every zipper, clip, D-ring, rain cover, lens cloth and piece of fabric featured on every bag in this collection is custom-dyed in any of the three of the latest trend colors (plus black) and made to match exactly.

Tenba Vector bags are extraordinarily lightweight, and constructed of water-resistant fabrics for protection in wet weather conditions. Top Loads, Shoulder Bags and Daypacks all include Tenba's exclusive WeatherWrap, the fastest deploying all-weather cover around, plus color-matched, microfiber lens cloths.

The Vector collection includes three pouch sizes, the largest of which is designed to be a perfect fit for the Canon G12, Nikon P7000 or Sony NEX with a 16mm lens. For an SLR with a single lens there are two sizes of Top Load bags that can be used with the supplied shoulder strap or attached to a belt. Small-, medium- and large-sized Shoulder Bags fit cameras with extra lenses, flash and accessories. And the Daypack is a comfortable and supportive way to carry both a camera system and the other items a photographer might need during a full day of shooting, like food, an umbrella and a jacket.

The new Vector camera bags are available now at suggested retail prices ranging from $12.95 to $79.95.

To find more information about Vector Collection, and to see a full video demonstration of all Tenba products, visit www.tenba.com.

PPA Members can get discounts on Tenba products. Read more here.
DriveSavers Data Recovery, the worldwide leader in data recovery services, announced at Imaging USA that 750 images were successfully recovered from a camera that had been submerged in 60 feet of frigid Alaskan waters for 3 days.

Bernard Zink had just completed the trip of a lifetime - shooting photos from a seaplane while flying over Alaska.  Upon landing in Juneau, Zink slipped as he stepped off the seaplane. In an attempt to save his camera, mid-fall he pitched it ahead of himself onto the dock where it slid off the end, subsequently hitting the water shortly after he did.  While Mr. Zink was rescued from the water, his camera did not fare so well, sinking 60 feet into the brisk 46 degree water.     

Two days later, the airline hired a diver to retrieve the sunken camera.  Desperate to rescue the irreplaceable photos he had taken during his trip, Bernard took the camera card to a local computer shop. A technician inserted the card into a flash memory card reader connected to a computer and, miraculously, his photos appeared on the screen.

Bernard then asked that the photos be transferred to a CD. However, the technician had already removed the camera card from the reader. When he reinserted the card, nothing appeared on the screen. After several failed attempts, the shop determined that the card was now unreadable.

Two weeks later, in a last ditch effort to retrieve his precious memories, Mr. Zink turned to the experts at DriveSavers Data Recovery.  Within a couple days, DriveSavers recovered 750 of the 800 images taken during the trip.  "I was devastated that the camera shop in Juneau was unable download my images," said Zink. "My outlook completely changed when DriveSavers told me they recovered the images. After everything I had been through, it was wonderful to have a happy ending. Thank you, DriveSavers."

DriveSavers was the first company to successfully recover data from digital cameras and is recommended by all digital camera manufacturers to perform data recovery on their digital media products.  To learn more about DriveSavers Data Recovery services for digital cameras and special programs for digital arts, visit: http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/devices-supported/digital-cameras/.

PPA Members save on data recovery services with DriveSavers Data Recovery.
onOne Software has just added new Valentine's Day themed content to the recently launched free content site.

Helping photographers give their images and layouts the perfect finishing touch, the free content, available as layered Photoshop files, will save photographers time and money when designing albums and cards for their clients. The free content includes over 300 album pages, edges and template design variations and is available for download from the onOne Software website as layered PSD files that can be edited with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

The free content will be available for download after creating an account on the onOne Software website at http://www.ononesoftware.com/free/templates. The layered PSD files can be used within Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. The content does not require the purchase or use of any onOne Software product.

Dear PPA Member,

The Internet is a big black hole. It will suck you in and send you off into another part of space. And if you're not careful, it will spit you out onto a page where cats play piano or worse...Rick Astley sings "Never Gonna Give You Up." (If this has ever happened to you, the term is "rickrolled." You can find out more about it...on the Internet, of course.)

So how do you make sure that the Internet does what you want--bring clients to your site instead of '80s pop sensation Rick Astley? It's all about metadata, keywords and fresh content. This week's Vital Signs gives you some road signs for the big black hole that is the Internet, as we discuss search engine optimization (SEO).

Go ahead. Click on through to the article. We promise that Rick won't serenade you.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

spiderholster_image.jpgSpider Holster, a company specializing in unique holster-style carrying solutions for photographers, today announced the immediate availability of its Spider Holster Black Widow Camera Holster, which offers photographers a comfortable and secure carrying solution that ensures quick-draw access for entry-level DSLRs, as well as camcorders, and other small-body cameras such as point-and-shoot, micro four thirds, and new mirrorless interchangeable lens models.

The Black Widow Camera Holster secures the camera firmly to the photographer's hip and eliminates the neck, shoulder and back strain caused by cameras dangling from traditional neck straps or shoulder bags. The lightweight Black Widow follows in the footsteps of the popular professional tool, the SpiderPro, and is now available in conjunction with several exciting accessories perfect for shooters who want to keep their hands free at all times. Combining the strength of stainless steel and heavy-duty resin, the lightweight and durable Black Widow was designed to take cameras from hip to hand in a flash.  When the camera is slid into the holster, the Black Widow responds with an audible click from its built-in locking mechanism, providing users with peace-of-mind that the camera is secure for hands-free carrying and protected from a snatch-and-grab threat.  

The Black Widow Camera Holster comes packaged with the required Spider Pin which attaches directly to the camera's tripod mount or to the accessory Black Widow Plate, and is the key to the Black Widow's quick access. Designed primarily for photographers using quick-release tripod plates, the Black Widow Plate permits fluid movement, as its unique design ensures the camera lens is always pointed away from the ground. This positioning allows users the freedom of natural movement, like kneeling, sitting down, or climbing stairs without risking an accidental collision with the ground.   

"Too often photographers miss the perfect shot because they're rooting through bags for their point-and-shoot or they didn't pack their DSLR because it was too cumbersome," said Shai Eynav, President of Spider Holster. "With the Black Widow Camera Holster, the camera stays put at the photographer's hip, providing maximum comfort while ensuring that the user is in the best possible position to capture life's memorable moments. The success of the SpiderPro proved the merits of our design concept and the Black Widow will allow a new audience of casual shooters and photography enthusiasts to comfortably carry their camera to places they never would have thought possible before."

Along with the availability of the Black Widow, Spider Holster is pleased to announce several new accessories for the product.  While the Black Widow easily threads onto any leather belt, Spider Holster is also offering its own Black Widow Belt. The Belt complements the holster's light-weight design to sit comfortably on the hips, and is perfect for use with slightly heavier cameras or when shooting for extended periods of time. Also available as an accessory to the Black Widow Belt is the Black Widow Pad, a comfortable, cushioned extension of the belt that provides a resting place for the camera against the user's body.  The Black Widow Pad will also seamlessly attach to any standard strength leather belt.

The Spider Holster Black Widow Camera Holster is compatible with most small, medium-lightweight cameras and will retail for $49.99. The Black Widow Belt will be available for $15.99 and the Black Widow Plate will retail for a suggested $15.99. Additional Black Widow Pins can be purchased for $7.99 and the Black Widow Pad will retail for $8.99.  To find a local retail outlet or purchase direct, visit the Spider Holster website at: http://www.spiderholster.com/blackwidow/
Portrait Professional is the world's first commercially available software that is trained in human beauty. This makes it both faster, and much easier to use than ordinary photo editing software for faces.

The software has analyzed thousands of photos to learn what makes people look attractive or unattractive. With this knowledge, it knows how to improve any aspect of the face. For example, if the face has a double chin, Portrait Professional 'jaw slider' will recognize that, and automatically reduce it.

The results are fully customizable via a simple slider interface, so that users can get exactly what they want. There are over 200 sliders, giving the user total control of all aspect of the face and hair.

Uniquely, Portrait Professional 10 keeps learning. The software is constantly receiving more training, so it is continually getting better at enhancing faces. And as V10 buyers will get free and frequent upgrades, their software will just get better over time. The software incorporates a unique intelligent edge finding touch up brush. Instead of just selecting everything under the brush, the brush actively looks for defects within its radius, and only removes the defect, leaving good skin untouched. This both gives better results, and makes the brush very fast and easy to use, as accuracy is not required.

The software also contains a unique automatic 'skin regeneration' capability. Conventional skin touch up software simply filters the skin. This works OK for small defects, but fails with bigger problems. This is because when a large defect is removed what remains is featureless skin with no texture. Our solution is to automatically 'graft in' real skin texture where the defects used to be, and this is precisely what our (patent applied for) 'Clearskin 2®' software does. And depending on the age and skin type of the subject, the user can even choose different skin textures to fine tune the result.

New in Portrait Professional 10

Greatly improved face beautification - Portrait Professional 10 has benefited from a massive amount of new training in face enhancement, and is now far better at improving different face types, and much better at male faces. This training initiative is continuing, so each new minor release of V10 (free to buyers of V10) will show further improvement.

Greatly improved ClearSkin® 2 skin defect removal & re-generation technology - Portrait Professional 10 incorporates the latest generation of our ClearSkin® skin enhancing technology. This enables real skin texture to be regenerated and now incorporates a better algorithm and different textures for different types and ages of skin. This enables to make it easy for any skin look great, while keeping it looking natural - no more plastic-looking airbrushed skin!


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