Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7

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New Releases: Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7 both offer a single application for every type of creative or artistic document creation. Instead of requiring three or more separate programs to edit photos, or create web graphics, illustrations, or page layouts, Xara Designer is one super-fast, easy-to-use program that does it all. They are the world’s highest performing graphics software titles with their speed enabling more complex and realistic graphics to be created more easily and in less time.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7 are powerful, flexible bitmap and vector graphics programs, making them perfect for any design that combines drawing, photos and text, from simple button or logo designs to incredibly detailed illustrations, posters, multi-page brochures, photo compositions and web graphics and they can produce animations too, including animated GIF, AVI and Flash.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 is ideal for any graphics enthusiast, small company or academic user that requires a single general purpose photo and graphics design tool.
Xara Designer Pro 7 includes all the same features, but adds a range of advanced Website design features, plus support for tools that might typically be required by professional designers such as PANTONE®,  CMYK colors, color separations and PDF/X. It also supports multiple processors for even faster performance. Xara Designer Pro 7 is the ultimate all-in-one creative tool for everything from advanced illustrations, DTP and PDF documents to web graphics and websites.

New features in Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and Xara Designer Pro 7 include new fly-out galleries with advanced docking options, a new magnetic snap feature that makes positioning and alignment of items on the page much easier, cut/copy/paste of whole pages including their attributes and layers within and between documents and an amazing photo erase feature that seamlessly erases objects from photos and replaces the space with an appropriate background sampled from other parts of the photo.
Xara Designer Pro 7 is Xara’s top of the line product that also includes all of the new features of the recently released Xara Web Designer Premium 7. These include the ability to create web slideshows for web presentations and Webinars, a new range of advanced photo and text animation ‘eye-catcher’ widgets, footers which automatically move as the page is resized, the ability to anchor graphics and photos into flowing text, automatic updating of repeating objects such as NavBars, headers and footers, and a new ‘live copy’ feature that enables the creation of multiple ‘live’ copies of vector or photo objects which all automatically update when any one is edited.
“Xara software has always been regarded as the easiest graphics software to learn, despite offering the highest performance. Xara Designer Pro 7, our flagship product, carries on the tradition by adding new innovations that will appeal to our professional users, as well as useability enhancements to make the software even easier for our growing audience of novice customers.” says Managing Director Charles Moir.

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 costs just $89 for US customers, £69 for UK (inc VAT) and €69 (inc VAT) for the EU.
Xara Designer Pro 7 costs just $299 for US customers, £249 for UK (inc VAT) and €279 (inc VAT) for the EU.
Upgrades to Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 cost $39 for US customers, £29 for UK (inc VAT) and €35 (inc VAT) for the EU
Upgrades to Xara Designer Pro 7 cost $99 for US customers, £79 for UK (inc VAT) and €89 (inc VAT) for the EU.
It operates on Windows XP/Vista/7
For more information see - xara.com/products/designer
Example website tutorial - designer.xara.com

Hasselblad Ships Hasselblad H4D-200MS

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After careful testing for stability and color accuracy, the H4D-200MS - first announced at Photokina last September - is now available. Based on the H4D-50MS platform, the new camera is capable of creating 200 megapixel files for the ultimate in resolution.
Since 2000, Hasselblad has continuously developed its multi-shot technology. In 2008, the company announced the first integrated multi-shot camera - the H3DII-39MS - which was followed more recently by the H4D-50MS. As a further development of the H4D-50MS technology, the H4D-200MS utilizes Hasselblad’s patented piezo frame module, which now captures 6 shots and combines them into an astounding 200 megapixel file.
Designed for studio photographers whose work requires the ultimate in resolution, extremely fine details and exact color information, the H4D-200MS is ideal for capturing images of stationary items such as cars, jewelry, artwork and other high end products where there is no room for compromise in image quality. In addition to its extended multi-shot capabilities, the H4D-200MS offers standard multi-shot and single-shot modes as well. Naturally, this extraordinary capture device offers all the benefits of the H4D family of cameras such as True Focus, Ultra Focus and Digital Lens Correction, to name just a few.
The H4D-200MS is available now for 32.000 Euro (plus tax). H4D-50MS owners have the option of upgrading their systems for 7.000 Euro (plus tax) by sending the camera to the factory in Copenhagen, Denmark. While the camera is being converted, the service team will make sure that the firmware and hardware is updated to ensure that the piezo modules’ strict tolerances, which are necessary for precise multi-shot capture, are met.

Mamarazzi: Every Mom’s Guide to Photographing Kids

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MAMARAZZI: Every Mom’s Guide to Photographing Kids
The old saying “never work with animals or children” is the first thing that comes to mind for many mothers when it comes time to wrangling up the kids and capturing a memorable photo. While photographing children can be frustrating, it can also be quite rewarding. Done right, it can result in photographs that will last forever and really capture the spirit of the moment. Thanks to the accessibility of digital photography, there’s a new breed of photographer that just can’t put the camera down when their kids are around: the mamarazzi. Stacy Wasmuth, a card carrying mamarazzo, exposes all of the professional secrets for getting great photos of kids in her new book, MAMARAZZI: Every Mom’s Guide to Photographing Kids (Wiley; May 2011; $29.99; 9780470769102). Packed with beautiful examples and written in a down-to-earth style from one mom to another, this book helps moms everywhere take better photos.
Chronicling childhood in photos is meaningful, fun, and sometimes, exhausting. Luckily, this book reveals the techniques professionals use to not only capture childhood memories, but the singular nature of a child’s personality. MAMARAZZI teaches mothers to photograph children with the style, clarity, color, and beauty seen in professional photographs. This fun guide combines humor with solid know-how to show mothers how to compose shots, handle cameras from basic compacts to advanced dSLRs, take portraits or candids, create prints that impress, and even work with kids. Coverage includes:

  Techniques for capturing genuine expressions instead of staged smiles
  Tips for photographing every age from toddlers to teens
  Photography basics including composition, lighting, exposure, focus, and white balance
  Camera settings and lenses, plus techniques to use with any type of camera
  Why the experience matters more than the perfect shot
  Creating effects with different lighting techniques
  How to pick ideal locations for taking pictures
  Simple editing tips to make photos even better
For any mom who can’t get enough shots of her children, but wants to get better, more artistic photographs, MAMARAZZI is the book to turn to for answers. Mixing information, inspiration, and fun for women who want to take better photographs of the children in their lives, moms can now charge up their camera batteries and start reading.
About the Author:
Stacy Wasmuth is a professional photographer and a mamarazzo who freely admits that photographing her own children may be her most challenging assignment. Stacy’s client list includes celebrities as well as many not quite famous, but equally fabulous families and children. View her work at bluecandyphotography.com.
About Wiley:
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.
Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley’s global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company’s Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

18 Stunning Self Portraits

This post is by Anna Gay – creator of our newest dPS eBook – The Art of Self Portraiture – currently 25% off until 31 May.

For thousands of years, artists have used self-portraiture as a means of perfecting their technique. From ancient cavemen, to the classical masters, to Salvador Dali in the 20th century, artists have looked to self-portraiture not only to discover new aspects of their artform, but also as a means of self-discovery.
Today, photographers world-wide are stepping out from behind the camera, and placing themselves in front of the lens. Thanks to photo-sharing websites that display thousands of beautiful and unique self-portraits, many photographers are finding that not only is self-portraiture a wonderful, exhiliarating way to practice composition and lighting – amongst many other skills which are valuable to portrait photographers – it is an honest expression of self, and a way to share their experiences with other photographers.
Each of the photographers whose work is featured in this post has their own unique way of expressing themselves in front of the camera. Some use natural light, while others use studio lighting. Some take a more natural approach to post-processing, whereas others take a more conceptual route. Whether you consider yourself an amatuer, or a full-blown artistic self-portrait photographer, these self-portraits are sure to inspire you to step in front of the lens.

by Ali Uher
by Lila Limited
by Kelly Kardos
by Brian Day
by Boy_Wonder
by Miguel da Silva
by Bunny Spice
by ICT_Photo
by Zack Ahern
by Misha
by Viva Deva
by Steve Pontbriand
by *iNiNa*
by Zee Anna!
by KatB Photography
by FaceNorth
by sparkleplenty_fotos
by Lucem
Interested in improving your Self Portrait Photography? Check out Anna Gay’s eBook – The Art of Self Portraiture.

Read more: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/18-stunning-self-portraits#ixzz1NUp0Ye1R

Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD Named Lens of the Year

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Tamron’s 60th Anniversary Model Is The World’s Smallest And Lightest1 15x Zoom Lens For Digital SLR Cameras (APS-C Size)
May 19, 2011, Commack, NY — Optical equipment manufacturer Tamron Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Saitama City, Japan / President and CEO: Morio Ono) that is celebrating its 60th anniversary last year has won the first Camera GP 2011 Lens of The Year held by the Camera Journal Press Club (Japan). That award was won for Tamron’s 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD*2 (Model B008), the world’s smallest and lightest 15x zoom lens.
The following highly acclaimed aspects are the reasons for selection as Lens of the Year. The lens incorporates the new Piezo Drive (PZD) autofocus drive system2. It has a more compact and light optical system, even while achieving high image quality. It is equipped with a vibration compensation (VC) image stabilization mechanism that is even more compact than before. And it is a lens symbolizing Tamron as a pioneer in all-in-one zoom lenses that is always striving for more.
Reason for Winning The Camera GP Award (excerpts)
Achieves compactness and light weight for excellent portability at 3.5” long
and 15.9 oz., even though it is a 15x all-in-one zoom lens.
Equipped with Tamron’s first Piezo Drive (PZD) standing wave ultrasonic motor system with excellent quietness and quick focusing.
Improved optical performance by employing features such as high refractive index aspherical lenses and low dispersion glass that compensate well for various kinds of aberration

Has a 13 group 16 element construction with two fewer lenses than previous models for compactness and lightness.
Equipped with the new vibration compensation (VC) image stabilization mechanism that achieves up to approximately four-stop compensation effect converted to shutter speed.
Made to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Tamron’s founding.
About The Camera GP Award
The Camera GP, held since 1984, is an extremely prestigious award where winners are selected through an open vote by a panel made up of Camera Journal Press Club members, top editorial staff of the member publications, academic experts, camera technical writers, professional photographers, and TIPA as a special member of CJPC. Lens of The Year added this year to Camera GP2011 was given to the best lens out of those released in Japan from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 as selected by a 57-member panel.
About Tamron
Tamron is a recognized leader in the manufacture of precision optics offering a broad selection of meticulously engineered interchangeable lenses for professional photographers and photoenthusiasts. Founded in 1950, Tamron’s passion for innovation brought forth the groundbreaking development of mass-produced hybrid Aspherical elements, giving way to enormously popular compact, wide-range zoom lenses. Dynamic research and development , committed to advanced optical engineering, has produced a stream of award-winning Tamron lenses and defined the All-in-One zoom lens category, exemplified by 2010’s 18-270mm Di II VC PZD. Astonishingly compact and lightweight, this 15X zoom features proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) technology, effectively counteracting image-degrading blur caused by camera shake along with a fast, quiet PZD (Piezo Drive) autofocus mechanism. Tamron lenses deliver a superb fusion of performance and value, enabling today’s high-resolution digital SLR cameras to perform at their peak.
1 For digital SLR all-in-one zoom lenses with a 15x zoom ratio surveyed by Tamron as of May 2011.
2 PZD (Piezo Drive) is a standing wave ultrasonic motor system developed by Tamron. The motor is faster and quieter than DC motors when the AF drive is operated. It also has an actuator that facilitates lens design and reduced size compared with ring type ultrasonic motors.

Picaspot.com Launches

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New Website Helps You Find the Best Spots to Take Pictures Anywhere in the World
A new website called picaspot.com helps travelers and photographers find the best spots to take pictures. Users post a picture and then share detailed information about the spot where it was taken. They can also vote and rank all postings to help create a list of the top photo spots in the world.
Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) May 19, 2011
Need ideas to try out that new SLR camera you just bought? Going on a trip and want to find the best street to photograph the locals? How about a new location for your model shoot? Recently launchedhttp://www.picaspot.com can help you find the best spots for all your pictures.
Picaspot.com was created with the purpose of sharing detailed information about the specific spot where a photo was taken so other people can find it easily and be able to create their own great photographs at that location. A very common question people ask in forums is ” Where are the best spots to take pictures in…(fill in the blank)”. Picaspot.com simply puts all the answers to those questions, for any city in the world, in one place.
“The main value offered by our website is information about the exact location where a picture was taken,” said co founder Juan Jose Reyes. Details such as exact location, how to get there, parking, fees, subway stops, things to avoid, the best times to get pictures at that location etc, is what differentiate picaspot.com from other photo websites. Users post a picture of the location along with the information to give users an idea of all the possibilities available to create a great shot. Users can search posted spots either by geographic location (city or place) or by category ( city, landscape, park, beach etc) or keywords (graffiti, street scenes).
“Our intention is to create a free resource where photography enthusiasts of all levels can learn all about a location before they go,” said Reyes, an avid photographer himself. “Many times there is just not enough time to walk around for hours looking for a good photo spot. That’s when picaspot can be useful,” he added. It can be used by the amateur photographer going on a trip or by advanced photographers to find locations that are best for professional photo shoots, such as weddings, model or commercial photography. People can share their favorite street corners, an original angle to photograph a famous landmark or a little known park outside the touristy areas. The purpose is to take great photographs.
The site has GPS maps generated when a file contains those coordinates to help find the location but the main idea is to have users tell about the photo spot as if they were telling all the details to a friend.

Leaf Capture 11.5

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Leaf Redesigns Aptus-II User Interface with release of Leaf Capture 11.
Intuitive, User-Friendly Design Improves Handling
TEL AVIV, May 23– Leaf Imaging, a leading provider of digital camera backs for medium format cameras, today announced that its latest release of Leaf Capture software delivers a newly designed touch screen GUI (Graphic User Interface).
This redesigned Leaf GUI is more intuitive and user-friendly. Designed with the needs of professional photographers in mind, it offers improved workflow processes and quicker access to important tools through its new menu - favorite settings. The new Leaf GUI’s outdoor theme also makes exterior shooting much easier by improving visibility in high glare and reflection situations.
The new Leaf GUI is available for all models in the Leaf Aptus-II series including Leaf’s latest product, the Leaf Aptus-II 12,  an 80 megapixel digital back. In addition to the new GUI,  the release of Leaf Capture 11.5 includes support for lens calibration when shooting to a CF card. Leaf was the first digital back producer to offer customers a touch screen display, which at 3.5” is currently the largest available in the market. 
Leading photographers who have already tested the new GUI have said:
 “Works like a charm, very easy to find everything. Love the outside theme, very cool.” Frank Doorhof)
 “I like it.  I like the camera settings area especially.  The GUI seems to simplify my handling even more.” (—Robb Williamson)
Leaf Capture 11.5 also extends the existing Leaf Capture automatic lens calibration feature from tethered mode to enable its use while shooting on the go. Lens calibration files fix effects like lens fall-off and color casts which can appear when shooting with wide angle lenses. Leaf Capture 11.5 is free and available now for download from the Leaf website, at http://www.leaf-photography.com.
About Leaf Imaging
Leaf Imaging has been a pioneer in professional digital photography. In 1992, Leaf introduced the world’s first commercial digital camera back. Today, the Leaf Aptus-II digital backs are the choice of leading photographers. Leaf is dedicated to improving the quality of its products, technologies and services to support the advancement of professional digital photography. For more information, visit the Leaf website at http://www.leaf-photography.com Leaf Capture is a registered trademark of Leaf Imaging. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Leaf Imaging is a Phase One company. You can also follow Leaf on http://twitter.com/leafimaging.

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