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Sending holiday cards can be a pain in the butt, right? As busy as you are, it's pretty easy to let the project drag out into the New Year. Luckily for PPA members, Marathon Press has stepped in to help ease some of the stress!

PPA has teamed up with Marathon Press to offer PPA members another Extreme Deal--a free holiday greeting card design collection of your choice and an unheard of Buy One Get One Free on all holiday greeting cards.

Yes, FREE. 

Holiday cards are more than just for your family and friends. As a professional photographer, they are another opportunity to take your customer service to the next level. Especially since you can provide top-notch images!

With this extreme deal, you'll get:

   A free Holiday Greeting Card design collection (a $30 value).

   Unlimited Buy One Get One Free on Holiday Cards.

The offer expires November 30, so don't miss out!

Since there are actually two deals here, there are two ways to redeem! Log in to PPA.com{LINK} to get the promo codes!

Marathon Press is the leading provider of press printed products and marketing services for photographers. Their exceptional employees and state of the art color management are the keys to outstanding print quality. Always going above and beyond to please their photography clients, they provide 7 paper options, 1 -2 day turnaround on all press printed card orders placed in the Store and free shipping.

Extreme Deals are short-term, ridiculously good (extreme!) deals that are available only to PPA members. 
Keep checking for the latest and greatest deals here.

onOne Software, Inc. has announced Perfect Photo Suite 7 for Adobe® Lightroom®, Photoshop®, Apple® Aperture® and as a standalone application. Improved to give photographers even more ways to maximize their creativity and solve common problems in digital photography, Perfect Photo Suite 7 now offers new easy-to-use, yet powerful tools to develop stunning black and white images, enhance, stylize and correct images, retouch portraits and prepare all images, including mobile snapshots, for enlargement and print. Perfect Photo Suite 7 includes the brand new module Perfect B&W, Perfect Effects 4, Perfect Portrait 2, Perfect Layers 3 and Perfect Resize 7.5 Pro-powered by Genuine Fractals technology, Perfect Mask 5.2 and FocalPoint 2.

Improved workflow integration and a significantly redesigned user interface allow photographers to focus on their image editing while working seamlessly within their preferred workflow. Users can select their image from Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Aperture, send it directly to the Perfect Photo Suite 7 module of their choice, make adjustments, then immediately return it to their original photo editing or organization application.

The new modules in Perfect Photo Suite 7 also include the new Perfect Brush giving users the ability achieve precise edge-detected masking quickly. It smoothly applies or removes adjustments to the specific areas being worked on without crossing over the edges around it. A redesigned browser with Search functionality and a Favorites panel allow users easy access to the specific effects and presets they're looking for. Photographic effects, designed by industry experts specifically for onOne Software, are also easily accessible alongside manual controls to give photographers the option to create professional looking images with one click or fine-tune adjustments to create the specific look they desire.

Availability and Pricing
The new Perfect Photo Suite 7 will ship in late October 2012. Pre-orders are available immediately and will include a complimentary Perfect Photo Suite 7 Creative Companion DVD with purchase through September 20, 2012. The Creative Companion DVD includes training and inspirational videos, Photoshop templates from Graphic Authority and unique presets for the suite. Owners of Perfect Photo Suite 6, Perfect Photo Suite 5, and Plug-In Suite 5 or earlier can upgrade to Perfect Photo Suite 7 for $149.95. Perfect Photo Suite 7 is available to new users for $299.95. Pre-orders may be made at http://www.ononesoftware.com/store. For more information on Perfect Photo Suite 7, visit http://www.ononesoftware.com.

For those who have purchased Perfect Photo Suite 6 on or after August 1, 2012, onOne Software will issue a complimentary upgrade to Perfect Photo Suite 7 via download when it is available in late October 2012.

Along with the release of Perfect Photo Suite 7, onOne Software has announced Perfect B & W, part of the new Perfect Photo Suite 7.

Perfect B&W is a completely brand new product that offers photographers the easiest way to develop stunning black and white digital images. It includes powerful and intuitive tools that give photographers instant results and complete creative control to replicate time-honored black and white processing techniques. With Perfect B&W, photographers can add dramatic, elegant and classic monochromatic looks to their images, and create the many moods black and white photography can evoke--resulting in beautiful and provocative imagery.

Availability and Pricing
The new Perfect B&W is now available for pre-order as part of the Perfect Photo Suite 7 for $299.95, which will ship in late October. It will be available later this Fall as an individual plug-in and standalone product for $99.95. For more information on Perfect B&W, visit http://www.ononesoftware.com/perfect-bw.  
StickyAlbums, a platform enabling professional photographers to create branded photo album apps for their clients, is now making it even easier for clients to share albums with family and friends. An upgrade announced introduces new social media sharing features that allow clients to effortlessly share their photographers' branded album app directly to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The feature streamlines the sharing of clients' images across social networks, on which professional photographers are able to generate valuable word-of-mouth marketing for their studios.

Designed for photographers by photographers, StickyAlbums allows professional and prosumer shooters to create a unique slide show app for their client. The StickyAlbum, which runs on any iOS and most Android devices, save a custom app icon  to the home screen of the client's phone or tablet. As images are increasingly shared via smartphones, tablets and utilizing social networks,photographers need solutions that allow them to safely monetize their digital images while delivering the shareability that clients demand. StickyAlbums serves both purposes by optimizing image display for mobile devices and tying the infinitely sharable images to the photographer]s brand and website to generate more referrals.

Promoting a shoulder-to-shoulder sharing experience, StickyAlbums makes the images--and the photographer who took them--a point of conversation. Friends can maximize the show-and-tell factor by opening their personalized app and flipping through their professional photos just as they would open any mainstream app on their device. With this latest social media upgrade, clients can also share their personal app via a website link on their Facebook pages, Pinterest boards or Twitter feeds. Users need not install special apps from the App Store, instead one  StickyAlbum link works across all devices.

Offered as a subscription-based service, StickyAlbums provides a free basic demo level to allow new users to test-drive the service first-hand. Users can then upgrade to either the monthly Starter subscription (which offers photographers unlimited access to the service and lifetime album hosting) or the annual Professional subscription for full white labeled branding. To try out the free demo, or for subscription pricing, visit www.stickyalbums.com.

Enter PPA's Facebook giveaway by August 13 to win 1 year membership to StickyAlbums-Pro.
ChromaLuxe has announced the expansion of its Creative Border offerings with new shape additions to its line of Creative Border Photo Panels and Creative Border Ornaments. Capable of bringing unique style to accent any home, office or public space, Creative Border Photo Panels have added five brand new eye-catching shapes while Creative Border Ornaments have added two uniquely decorative shapes that compliment any holiday decor with personalized images and messages.

New Creative Border Photo Panels
Creative Border Photo Panels can either stand alone as individual pieces or be grouped together with ChromaLuxe's other distinctive HD Metal Photo Panels to create a one-of-a-kind decorative scheme unique to the client's taste and style. Clients will not only be drawn to the stunning image detail of  ChromaLuxe's Creative Border series, but will also appreciate their archival-quality, highly scratch-resistant surface that is waterproof and resistant to UV rays and other damaging elements that would easily destroy standard paper prints.

The latest photo panel shapes added to ChromaLuxe's Creative Border series include the Prague, Pamplona, Belfast, Crete and Berlin designs, and will join the existing lineup which features the Fiji, Milan, Sydney and Benelux shapes. Creative Borders range in size from 7.5"x7.5" to 21.8"x15.6" to fit any desired decorative layout and are available with a gloss white finish.

Added Creative Border Ornaments
Made with the same great quality as the high definition photo panels, the two new shapes from the Creative Border Ornaments lineup were inspired by the new Creative Border Photo Panels. They join an existing lineup of HD Metal Ornaments that come with the highest level of color clarity and depth of image. With their durable scratch-resistance surface, clients can create a fully customizable ornament that will be on display every holiday season for years to come.

The latest ornament shapes added to ChromaLuxe's Creative Border series include the Berlin and Prague, and will join the existing lineup which features London and Benelux. Ornaments are available in a gloss white finish in the following four sizes: 3"x3", 3.99"x2.75", 2.99"x2.99", and 3.95"x2.76".

For more information about the Creative Border Photo Panels and Ornaments, or to learn more about ChromaLuxe's complete product line or to find a full listing of participating professional photo labs, visit www.chromaluxe.com.  
mitsubishi_cp_blog.JPGMitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, Inc. has announced a new free 2x6 Multi-cut Function driver upgrade for the CP-9550DW professional photo printer, making the CP-9550DW a perfect solution for high-speed production, event and photo booth applications.

"Our engineers have developed another profitable solution for our customers with the addition of the 2x6-inch Multi-cut Function to the CP-9550DW," said James Chan, vice president of marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America. "This feature fills a need in the event printing market because of increased demand for photo-booth style prints. The release of the free Multi-cut Function driver upgrade has expanded the versatility of the CP-9550DW to include photo booth applications."

Mitsubishi Electric's CP-9550DW is a high-speed, high-volume professional photo printer that offers outstanding print quality at a low cost. Its unique, dual-line color reproduction system and adaptive thermal head management improves print head resolution.

The CP-9550DW is equipped with a choice of two print modes: Superfine for high-quality photo prints, and Fine for high-speed photo production. Plus, with a unique roll-type mechanism to help ensure jam-free reliability and the flexibility of six different output sizes (2×6-, 3.5×5-, 4×6-, 5×7-, 6×8- and 6×9- inch), the CP-9550DW provides a solution for all photo-printing applications.

The CP-9550DW Multi-cut Function driver download is available for free from the Mitsubishi Electric website: http://www.mitsubishi-imaging.com/.
Sigma Corporation of America  has announced that the Sigma DP2 Merrill compact digital camera will be available in the United States on July 12 for the street price of $999.
 
This upgraded, high-resolution, compact digital camera with a fixed lens is named in honor of Richard "Dick" Merrill, the co-creator of the Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor technology that powers Sigma's unique lineup of cameras. It differs from its predecessor, the DP2x, because its resolution has grown by moving from Foveon's 14.6-megapixel APS-C size image sensor to the 46-megapixel APS-C image sensor found in the company's flagship SLR, the Sigma SD1 Merrill. The full-color Foveon X3 direct image sensor ensures outstanding resolution, richly gradated tones and images with a three-dimensional feel. A focus ring and custom Quick Set (QS) mode also improve the user interface.

The Sigma DP2 Merrill boasts a telecentric 30mm F2.8 lens, which is the equivalent to a 45mm lens on a 35mm SLR camera. The camera is compact and lightweight, and features Super Multi Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting.
 
Other features of the  Sigma DP2 Merrill camera include:

  • A dual, three-layer responsive ultimate (TRUE II) engine that now incorporates two TRUE II processors to improve the processing speed and overall quality of the final image
  • RAW and JPEG format recording to retain the full image detail of the utmost quality captured through the direct image sensor, as well as a JPEG recording format for convenience
  • Sigma Photo Pro processing software to convert RAW data quickly and easily
  • Manual focus for use when autofocus or focus-lock is not desired
  • Easy-to-use auto focus with a "nine-point select mode" which can select the desired focusing point from nine different frames, and a "free move mode" that allows shooters to select their desired focusing point
  • An advanced user interface complete with a custom QS menu and the metallic command dial to improve usability
  • Continuous shooting capabilities to capture up to seven RAW images per sequence
  • A large, highly visible, three-inch TFT color LCD monitor for great visibility
  • A hot shoe for the use of the dedicated external flashgun EF-140 DG (optional)
  • Movie mode for movie recording with VGA (640×480) size, with 30 shooting frames per second
For information about Sigma Corporation of America or information about the companies cameras and lenses, visit www.sigmaphoto.com
What makes LensPen® products such an effective tool for cleaning lenses, screens and DSLR sensors? In a word: carbon. Carbon has the ability to absorb huge amounts of oils and contaminants, including fingerprints, while leaving no residue on glass surfaces.

Cleaning tips and pads on LensPen products are all impregnated with a unique carbon compound similar to the one found in printer's ink - the reason why newspapers have been used to clean windows for generations. High tech meets old tech.

LensPen puts carbon to work in products specially designed to clean lenses of all shapes and sizes, iPad and tablet screens, and DSLR sensors.

All LensPen lens cleaners include a soft, retractable brush for removing loose dust and a carbon-impregnated cleaning tip for removing fingerprints from lenses of all sizes, from DSLRs to cell phone and iPad cameras.
 
When a lens is touched, it's usually by mistake. When an iPad or tablet is touched, it means it's being used. SideKickâ„¢ is designed to remove fingerprints from iPad and tablet touchscreens. The cleaning pad on a SideKick is thicker and larger than the cleaning tip on any LensPen lens cleaner. SideKick replacement cleaning pads are available.

Sensors aren't touched, but the LensPen carbon compound still plays a key role. Carbon helps remove the electrostatic charges that build up on the sensor surface. SensorKlear II™, with its carbon tip and articulating head, is designed to work with the SensorKlear Loupe® to clean DSLR sensors.

For LensPen product information, go to www.lenspen.com.
 
sigmablog_0612.JPGSigma Corporation of America has announced the availability of its new Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens starting in July 2012. Pricing is still pending.
 
The addition of the 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM speaks to Sigma's versatile product lineup with this multipurpose zoom lens that offers Optical Stabilization (OS) and covers wide angle to telephoto to macro photography. It differs from Sigma's current 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM lens with its even more compact size, its macro capability with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9 and the use of Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material currently used only by Sigma.
 
TSC, which is incorporated into the lens barrel and is often compared to polycarbonate, has a high degree of elasticity and exhibits little variation in its structure in extreme temperature conditions. This means that internal barrel expansion and contraction due to extreme temperature variations is less prevalent. TSC also contributes to the lens' size reduction. The non-macro 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 without TSC weighs 22.2 ounces and is 3.1 by 4 inches in diameter, whereas the new macro lens is 16.6 ounces and 2.9 by 3.5 inches in diameter.
 
Sigma optimized this lens' power arrangement by incorporating double-sided aspherical lenses and reexamining the design to achieve a more compact filter diameter. The lens has an approximate 13x high zoom ratio with a filter size of 2.8 inches in diameter. Sigma's unique OS system, as well as one Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass and three aspherical lens glasses, compensate for camera shake and enable correction of color aberration, respectively.
 
The new 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens is also equipped with Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) to ensure fast and quiet auto-focusing, and a rounded, seven-blade diaphragm to create an attractive round blur to the out of focus areas. The lens features a brass-made bayonet mount applied on the surface to reinforce strength for long-term use and enable high accuracy and solidity.
 
This lens will be available in Sigma, Sony, Nikon, Canon and Pentax mounts, starting with Canon mounts coming in July, 2012. Pricing and all availability for other mounts have yet to be announced.
 
For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit www.sigmaphoto.com

Slideshow tool provider, Photodex, has announced the release of StylePack 5, the latest volume in its popular ProShow StylePack product line. StylePacks are collections of pre-made effects that instantly transform photos and videos into exciting layouts and animations for use in ProShow slideshows. StylePack Volume 5 includes 25 new slide style combos that add an exciting punch to slideshows. Users can experience 3D visual effects like never before with dozens of new styles now available.

ProShow is an intuitive tool that lets people easily mix photos, video clips and music into a polished video slideshow. With StylePack 5, users can mix and match effects to create unique shows to help them tell great stories.

Some of the key highlights of StylePack Volume 5 include:

  • Dozens of impressive new 3D tilt effects exclusively developed for ProShow 5
  • New broader support for square photos uploaded from sites like Instagram and Hipstamatic
  • A multitude of versatile caption and title options
  • Large selection of multi-photo montages
  • Maximum versatility to ensure new effects work great with any kind of show
A sample video featuring each style in this pack can be seen on the Photodex website at: http://youtu.be/-Xl35yCmKZc

Pricing and Availability
StylePack volume 5 is available now for $19.95. You can download the file directly from the site, or order it for physical delivery from www.photodex.com or by calling 1-800-37-PHOTO (1-800-377-4686). Requires ProShow Producer 5 or ProShow Web.
PhotoShelter has released its latest free guide, "The Photography Blog Handbook".

The 2012 Photography Blog Handbook offers photographers key insights on how blogging can help market your photo business, grow a following, and bring more potential clients to your site. This handbook includes firsthand interviews with photographers including Lisa Devlin, Lauren Major, Jared Wickerham, and Greg Basco. Each photographer offers tips on how to master a blogging routine that works for your busy schedule and to create engaging content that promotes your brand.

The handbook has key insights including:

  • Tips from photographers having success with blogging, plus strategies on how to target an audience.
  • Steps to manage a successful blog workflow, including setting a focus, establishing major blog topic categories, and integrating social media.
  • A list of engaging blog topics that can attract readers.
  • Analytics tips to understand how your blog is performing vs. your goals.


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