Wednesday March 04, 2015

DP Review: As Triggertrap pulls plug on Ada kickstarter, CEO Haje Jan Kamps responds to comments from unhappy backers

DP Review (posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 06:23 AWST)

Despite a successful round of funding through Kickstarter, Triggertrap has run into difficulties developing its Ada prototype and has announced that it will not be continuing with the project. As of November last year the company had raised nearly £300,000 in crowdfunding for its latest innovation, Ada - a high-speed shutter and flash trigger. Triggertrap CEO Haje Jan Kamps spoke with us about the response he's heard from disappointed project backers. Read more

Slashdot: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 06:11 AWST)

sciencehabit writes: A patch of woodland just north of Livingston, Louisiana, population 1893, isn't the first place you'd go looking for a breakthrough in physics. Yet it is here that physicists may fulfill perhaps the most spectacular prediction of Albert Einstein's theory of gravity, or general relativity. Structures here house the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), an ultrasensitive instrument that may soon detect ripples in space and time set off when neutron stars or black holes merge. Einstein himself predicted the existence of such gravitational waves nearly a century ago. But only now is the quest to detect them coming to a culmination. Physicists are finishing a $205 million rebuild of the detectors, known as Advanced LIGO, which should make them 10 times more sensitive and, they say, virtually ensure a detection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 06:00 AWST)

rolandw writes We have daily stand-ups and normally there is at least one person missing from the room. We relay via on-line chat but the sound quality is rubbish. The remote person sounds great via our speaker when they use a headset but they can't hear what is happening in the room. We need a wireless mic that copes with a large echoing room and will stop feedback. Can you recommend one? We're not an over-funded start-up so don't have an unlimited budget...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GNOME Look: Fritter 0.7 (GTK 2.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 05:48 AWST)

ThumbnailFritter 0.7
(GTK 2.x Theme/Style)
################
Fritter 0.7
################

Fritter is a fork of the theme Turquoise Nights II. Unlike the latter, Fritter changed to a dark theme of black and green.

Before it was called "Red Gala" but it was a confusing name for a theme that contains no red. I decided to call it "Fritter" which likewise comes from a pony from My Little Pony series.

The theme is not yet complete! I'll keep updating this winter.

#############
Attention
#############

I didn't make this theme in its entirety.
As I said above, is a fork. The actual creator is the user na12 who stayed his theme in Box-look.org under the name "Turquoise Nights II" with GPL license.

changelog:
################
Changelog
################

# 0.5 #

* Some elements have been modified in green.

# 0.6 #

* Some check radios added.

# 0.7 #

* Fixed some inverted check radios.
* Now scrollbars are slightly narrower.
* More green.

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Slashdot: FREAK Attack Threatens SSL Clients

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 05:29 AWST)

msm1267 writes: For the nth time in the last couple of years, security experts are warning about a new Internet-scale vulnerability, this time in some popular SSL clients. The flaw allows an attacker to force clients to downgrade to weakened ciphers and break their supposedly encrypted communications through a man-in-the-middle attack. Researchers recently discovered that some SSL clients, including OpenSSL, will accept weak RSA keys–known as export-grade keys–without asking for those keys. Export-grade refers to 512-bit RSA keys, the key strength that was approved by the United States government for export overseas. This was an artifact from decades ago and it was thought that most servers and clients had long ago abandoned such weak ciphers. The vulnerability affects a variety of clients, most notably Apple's Safari browser.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SC Magazine: Rio Tinto sets up data analytics centre in India

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 05:07 AWST)

Mining big data.

Slashdot: A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video)

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 04:46 AWST)

The K-Board won a "Best in Show" award at CES 2015. Plus, as Timothy said, "I always like pour and stomp demos." And it's totally cross-platform. If your computer, tablet or smartphone has a USB port and (almost) any kind of music software, it works. In theory, you could hook a K-Board to your Android or iOS device and use it to accompany yourself while you sing for spare change on a downtown corner. Or noodle around to get a handle on a theme you'll use in your next major symphony. Or...?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SC Magazine: EU places bets on 5G

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 04:44 AWST)

Believes technology can help drive economic growth.

SC Magazine: Australia's $600m air systems overhaul likely to go to Thales

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 04:27 AWST)

Handed 'advanced work' for landmark merger.

Slashdot: Linux and Multiple Internet Uplinks: a New Tool

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 04:02 AWST)

New submitter Alessandro Zarrilli writes: Linux has been able do multipath routing for a long time: it means being able to have routes with multiple gateways and to use them in a (weighted) round-robin fashion. But Linux is missing a tool to actively monitor the state of internet uplinks and change the routing accordingly. Without it, from a LAN perspective, it's like having a RAID-0: just one uplink goes down and all of your LAN-to-WAN traffic goes down too. Documentation and examples on the subject are lacking; existing solutions are few and deeply integrated in firewall/routing specific distributions. To address these issues, a new standalone tool was just released: Fault Tolerant Router. It also includes a complete (iptables + ip policy routing) configuration generator.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Digital Photography School: Win One of FOUR Online Photography Courses from New York Institute of Photography

Digital Photography School (posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 04:00 AWST)

Over the past few years here at dPS, we have run some of our most popular competitions with a very valued partner – the New York Institute of Photography – to give away to dPS readers handpicked photography courses.

Due to popular demand, NYIP and dPS bring you yet another opportunity to win one of these valuable courses!

NYIP logo440x232black In Post Top and Bottom

For this competition, NYIP is giving away FOUR prizes

Each will be won by a different dPS reader. Here’s what you could win:

These are NYIP’s newest courses. They will teach you everything you need to know to take your skills to the next level in each category. These courses are all online. As a student you get access to videos and lesson materials prepared by experts in each field. You can access the course materials on any device, from anywhere in the world, and learn at your own pace.

NYIP Graphic In Post

How to Win

To win this competition you’ll need to:

  • Visit each of the above four course information pages and choose which of the courses suits your needs best. Choose one that you’d like to win.
  • Leave a comment below and tell us which one you’d like to win and WHY you’d like to participate in the course. Please note: there is a limit of ONE entry per person.
  • Do this in the next 10 days and after March 13th, the team at NYIP will choose the best four answers – one for each course – and we will announce the winners in the following days.

The deadline to enter is March 13th, Midnight PDT (GMT-7). Comments left after the deadline will not be considered.

By best – we’re looking to see if you have an understanding of what the course offers and how it suits your needs, so you’ll need to check out the course pages to put yourself in the best position to win.

There’s no need to write essay length comments to win, but we’re looking to hear what you like about the course and how it would help your development as a photographer.

This competition is open to everyone around the world, no matter where you live, but there is only one entry per person.

To enter, simply leave your comment below.

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and like NYIP on Facebook for special offers and announcements on all NYIP Courses

NYIP logo440x232black  In Post Top and Bottom

Learn more about NYIP’s online photography courses.

Disclaimer: NYIP is a paid partner of dPS.

The post Win One of FOUR Online Photography Courses from New York Institute of Photography by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Slashdot: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 03:20 AWST)

HughPickens.com writes: The Globe and Mail reports that Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, says the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor is working with American and German lawyers to return home. "I won't keep it secret that he wants to return back home. And we are doing everything possible now to solve this issue. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I'm dealing with it on the Russian side." Kucherena added that Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the condition that he is given a guarantee of a legal and impartial trial. The lawyer said Snowden had so far only received a guarantee from the U.S. Attorney General that he will not face the death penalty. Kucherena says Snowden is able to travel outside Russia since he has a three-year Russian residency permit, but "I suspect that as soon as he leaves Russia, he will be taken to the U.S. embassy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GNOME Look: Linux Lover (GNOME Wallpaper 1680x1050)

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 03:19 AWST)

ThumbnailLinux Lover
(GNOME Wallpaper 1680x1050)


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GNOME Look: MCE WinXP Unity theme based on YlmfOS 1.0.1 (GTK 3.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 03:10 AWST)

ThumbnailMCE WinXP Unity theme based on YlmfOS 1.0.1
(GTK 3.x Theme/Style)
Media Center Edition WinXP Unity theme
--------------------------------------
This theme is for Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity intended!
Not tested with any other version but it is highly possible that it's gonna work with Ubuntu 14.10

I DO NOT like M$ and I never will!
I made this theme because... I would like as many people to come to Ubuntu as it is only possible!
Even those, like my wife, who cannot operate other OS without known to them windows decoration.
You could install YlmfOS theme from NoobsLab, but this theme is for me obsolete and simply ugly, so I decided to renew it a bit and make it look like this in Media Center Edition. Big portion of this theme (98%) was taken from NoobsLab theme - Thanks a lot!
At this point I did my best and wanted to share.

Icon theme Win7 comes from NoobsLab.

changelog:
1.0.1 corrected toolbar buttons so they are not so blueish, added bg color to tabs (should be visible on pic.3)

1.0 initial issue
- rebuild close, minimize, maximize buttons with focus, unfocus, prelight etc.
- created window bars and borders,
- created unity top panel,
- changed progressbar,
- slightly rounded buttons in nautilus,
- changed bg color and some small corrections.

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Slashdot: Deutsche Telecom Calls For Google and Facebook To Be Regulated Like Telcos

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 02:38 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes Tim Hoettges, the CEO of the world's third-largest telecoms company, has called for Google and Facebook to be regulated in the same way that telcos are, declaring that "There is a convergence between over-the-top web companies and classic telcos" and "We need one level regulatory environment for us all." The Deutsche Telekom chief was speaking at Monday's Mobile World Congress, and further argued for a loosening of the current regulations which telcos operate under, in order to provide the infrastructure development that governments and policy bodies are asking of them. Hoettges' imprecation comes in the light of news about the latest Google Dance — an annual change in ranking criteria which boosts some businesses and ruins others. The case for and against regulating Google-level internet entities comes down to one question: who do you trust to 'not be evil'?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Digital Photography School: How to Retouch a Portrait with the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom

Digital Photography School (posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 02:00 AWST)

Portrait retouching Lightroom

You have probably seen several portrait retouching programs advertised in magazines or online, and wondered if they were worth buying. The answer is no. I have tried out quite a few, and the truth is that the Soften Skin preset in Lightroom does just as good a job as any of them. For most photographers Lightroom’s retouching tools all are you will ever need. For high end retouching purposes you can go to Photoshop.

It’s worthwhile taking some time to think about your personal approach to portrait retouching. Some photographers seem to like the airbrushed, almost plastic look of heavy processing. It’s a style you see used a lot in commercial photography or movie posters.

Others will go for a more natural effect, and use the retouching tools with a light touch. That’s definitely my approach, and it fits with my preference for natural light and for creating portraits that capture character.

Either way,the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom can accommodate your needs.

Retouching portraits of women

When retouching portraits of women it is conventional to use a skin smoothing technique to make the portrait look more flattering. There are exceptions of course, sometimes skin smoothing is not necessary, especially if your model has good skin and you shoot in soft light, or use a wide aperture to throw some of the face out of focus.

Portrait retouching LightroomThe first step in portrait retouching is to remove any blemishes with the Spot Removal tool. To do so, click on the Spot Removal tool icon to activate it, adjust the size of the  brush with the square bracket keys on the keyboard, and click on the spot you want to remove.

Lightroom automatically selects another area of the portrait to sample from, healing the blemish. Sometimes Lightroom won’t select the most appropriate area – in this case you can click on the circle representing the sample and move it to a more suitable location.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

Click on a blemish with the Spot Removal tool (left). In this case Lightroom’s healing algorithm worked perfectly, but if it doesn’t then click on the circle representing the sampled area and move it to a location where the skin matches the tone and texture of the area to be healed (right).

Adjustment Brush adjustments

Now it’s time to look closely at the portrait and decide what other retouching is required. It’s important that you have already made the required adjustments to tone and contrast in the Basic panel before you get to this stage. Increasing Contrast and Clarity, for example, will emphasize skin texture, wrinkles and blemishes. On the other hand, you can move the Exposure or Highlights sliders right to brighten the skin, making wrinkles and skin texture less obvious. Retouching with the Adjustment Brush should be left until last, so you know what you’re working with.

I like to start with the area underneath the model’s eyes. The skin here is thinner than the rest of the face which is why people get dark patches there. There may also be wrinkles, and some people have a strong crease along the lower eyelid.

The idea is not to eliminate these completely (unless you’re going for the heavily retouched, airbrushed look) but to minimize them. They’re a natural part of the skin’s texture and it will look unnatural if they are not there.

Portrait retouching LightroomClick on the Adjustment Brush icon to activate it. Select the Soften Skin preset from the Effect menu. Lightroom sets Clarity to -100 and Sharpness to +25. Make sure Feather, Flow and Density are set to 100, use the square bracket keys on the keyboard to adjust the size of the brush and paint over the areas under the eyes. The Soften Skin preset blurs the area that you paint in with the brush.

If the effect is too strong, hover the mouse over the Adjustment Brush pin (a grey circle with a black dot in the middle) until a double arrow icon appears (below). Hold the left mouse button down and move the mouse left. Lightroom reduces the value of the Clarity and Sharpness sliders, effectively lessening the strength of the Soften Skin preset. Stop when it looks about right. You can also reduce shadows by moving the Shadows slider (in the Adjustment Brush sliders) to the right. Every portrait is different so you have to adjust the effect by eye.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

These are the results.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

A. Original, unretouched portrait.
B. Retouched, with Soften Skin preset at full strength.
C. Retouched, with strength of Soften Skin preset reduced and Shadows slider moved to the right (subtle difference only).

Enhancing eyes

You can also use the Adjustment Brush tool to enhance your model’s eyes. This is useful if the eyes are dark due to the lighting. Be careful of overdoing this effect as it may not look natural.

Click New at the top of the Adjustment Brush panel to create a new Adjustment Brush. Set Feather to around 50 and paint in the pupils of the model’s eyes. If you need to, press O (the letter) on the keyboard to see the masked area (it is displayed in red shown below).

Portrait retouching Lightroom

Now set Exposure to around 0.50 and Clarity to 30. The effect will vary depending on the colour of your model’s pupils and the amount of light on them. It’s a good idea to zoom out and look at the entire portrait to see if the effect is too strong. You can see this adjustment on the model’s eyes below, which I think is about right.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

You can make the effect stronger or weaker on your photo using the technique described above. Hover over the Adjustment Brush pin until the double arrow icon appears, move the mouse left to make the effect weaker, and right to make it stronger (you can also just drag the sliders one by one to change the settings)

The final step is to apply gentle skin softening to the rest of the face. Create another Adjustment Brush, set Feather to 100 and paint the entire face (use the O keyboard shortcut to display the red overlay). Then select Erase in the Adjustment brush panel, set Feather to 50 and erase the eyebrows, mouth and eyes. The idea is that you only want to soften the skin, not these parts of the face. It should look something like the mask below.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

Go to the Effect menu and select the Soften Skin preset. Press O to hide the mask overlay and you will see something like the screenshot below. Remember, this is the Soften Skin preset at maximum strength so it has a strong effect on the photo.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

Use the technique we learned earlier to reduce the strength of the effect. How far you go is up to you. I like to apply the Soften Skin preset subtly to retain as much skin texture as possible. Here’s the result with Clarity reduced to -20 and Sharpness to +5.

Portrait retouching Lightroom

This video shows how I retouched another portrait, using the Adjustment Brush tool to enhance the model’s eyes and facial hair.

I’ve only touched on the number of ways you can use Adjustment Brushes in Lightroom for portrait retouching. What techniques do you use? Please let us know in the comments.


The Mastering Lightroom Collection

Mastering Lightroom ebooksMy Mastering Lightroom ebooks will help you get the most out of Lightroom 4 and Lightroom 5. They cover every aspect of the software from the Library module through to creating beautiful images in the Develop module. Click the link to learn more or buy.

The post How to Retouch a Portrait with the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Slashdot: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 01:56 AWST)

Bennett Haselton writes: Vimeo and Youtube are pressured to remove a dark, fan-made "Power Rangers" short film; Vimeo capitulated, while Youtube has so far left it up. I'm generally against the overreach of copyright law, but in this case, how could anyone argue the short film doesn't violate the rights of the franchise creator? And should Vimeo and Youtube clarify their policies on the unauthorized use of copyrighted characters? Read on for the rest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Flaw In GoPro Update Mechanism Reveals Users' Wi-Fi Passwords

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 01:15 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes A vulnerability in the update mechanism for the wireless networks operated by GoPro cameras has allowed a security researcher to easily harvest over a 1,000 login credentials (including his own). The popular rugged, wearable cameras can be controlled via an app, but in order to do so the user has to connect to the camera's Wi-Fi network. Israel-based infosec expert Ilya Chernyakov discovered the flaw when he had to access the network of a friend's camera, but the friend forgot the login credentials.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Latest Kernel Versions: 4.0-rc2: mainline

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 01:05 AWST)

Version:4.0-rc2 (mainline)
Released:2015-03-03
Source:linux-4.0-rc2.tar.xz
PGP Signature:linux-4.0-rc2.tar.sign
Patch:patch-4.0-rc2.xz

DFES Emergency Alerts: Cancellation of severe thunderstorm warning between Telfer and Murchison Roadhouse

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 00:36 AWST)

Category: Storm
Alert Summary: As at 12.00am on Wednesday 4 March 2015 the Bureau of Meteorology advises the severe thunderstorm warning within an area bounded by Telfer to Cotton Creek to Meekatharra to Murchison Roadhouse to Minilya to Nanutarra to Telfer has been cancelled. This includes people in or near Newman.
Content:

As at 12.00am on Wednesday 4 March 2015 the Bureau of Meteorology advises the severe thunderstorm warning within an area bounded by Telfer to Cotton Creek to Meekatharra to Murchison Roadhouse to Minilya to Nanutarra to Telfer has been cancelled. This includes people in or near Newman.

Thunderstorms are continuing in this region and although gusty winds and heavy showers are possible, severe thunderstorms are no longer expected.

To date, State Emergency Service (SES) has not received any calls for assistance.


IMPORTANT NUMBERS:
• If your home has been badly damaged by storm call the SES on 132 500
• In a life threatening situation call 000
• For the latest weather information visit www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 210
• For information about road conditions contact Main Roads WA on 138 138 or visit www.mainroads.wa.gov.au

After a storm SES volunteers make temporary repairs to homes that have been badly damaged, such as roofs that have been ripped off or large fallen trees on homes and cars. Please contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.

No further updates will be issued.

Publication Time: 4/03/2015 12:33 AM
Expiration Time: 4/03/2015 5:00 PM

Slashdot: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

(posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 00:33 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a case involving the conviction of a man based solely on the analysis of his "inadvertently shed" DNA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argues that this tacit approval of the government's practice of collecting anyone's DNA anywhere without a warrant will lead to a future in which people's DNA are "entered into and checked against DNA databases and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ADVICE for the northern part of Kenwick in the City of Gosnells

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Wednesday March 04, 2015 at 00:15 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: A bushfire ADVICE has been issued for people in an area bounded by Roe Highway, Welshpool Road East, Brook Road and Bickley Road in the northern part of Kenwick in the City of Gosnells.
Content:
A bushfire ADVICE has been issued for people in an area bounded by Roe Highway, Welshpool Road East, Brook Road and Bickley Road in the northern part of Kenwick in the City of Gosnells.
• There is no threat to lives or homes but there is a lot of smoke in the area.
• Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.
• The bushfire started near Grove Road and is now burning rubbish on a semi-rural property.
 

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:
• The fire is contained but out of control.
• The fire has burnt five hectares.

WHAT TO DO:
• Stay alert and monitor your surroundings.
• Watch for signs of a bushfire, especially smoke and flames.
• Close all doors and windows due to smoke in the area.
• Read through your bushfire survival plan.
• If you do not have a plan decide what you will do if the situation gets worse.

IF DRIVING:
• Be extremely careful when driving through the area.
• Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.
• Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.
• If you cannot see clearly, pull over, keep your headlights and hazard lights on, and wait until the smoke clears.
• If you have a respiratory condition and you have been affected by smoke you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
 

ROAD CLOSURES:
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.

A number of roads have been closed including:
• Coldwell Road
• Brook Road
• Grove Road
Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting www.mainroads.wa.gov.au
 

WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
• Fifty career Fire Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service firefighters from six stations are on the scene.
• Firefighters are fighting the fire and strengthening containment lines.
• WA Police, Department of Environment's Environmental Response Unit, DFES HAZMAT Field Liaison Unit and the City of Gosnells are also in attendance.

EXTRA INFORMATION:
• The incident was reported at 8.18pm on Tuesday 3 March. 
• The cause of the fire is unknown. 
• People are asked to report any suspicious behaviour to Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
• DFES is managing the fire.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.

The next update will be provided by 11am today, Wednesday 4 March unless the situation changes.

Publication Time: 4/03/2015 12:11 AM

Tuesday March 03, 2015

Slashdot: What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft?

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 23:54 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft spent billions purchasing Mojang, the studio behind the game Minecraft, and while it's unlikely to start work on a sequel anytime soon, rather than continue development of the game, it's worth considering what a Minecraft 2 will look like. After all, as a public company with revenues to justify, it doesn't seem beyond unreasonable a few years down the line, especially since a Minecraft-like game was one of the stand-out tech demos shown for the software giant's HoloLens augmented reality headset. As the author points out, Microsoft will have to tread carefully, tackling issues like whether greater graphical fidelity is actually what players will want ever — and whether to continue to support Minecraft on PlayStation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 23:13 AWST)

An anonymous reader writes 14 years after the Anna Kournikova virus took advantage of users' ignorance about file-name extensions in order to wreak worldwide havoc, virus writers and hackers are still taking advantage of the tendency of popular consumer operating systems to hide file-name extensions: Windows users still need to activate extension visibility manually – even though email-transmitted viruses depend most on less savvy users who will never do this. Additionally applications on even the latest versions of Apple's OSX operating system still require the user to 'opt in' to including a file-name extension during an initial save. In looking at some of the eccentricities of the modern user experience, this article argues that it might be time to admit that users need to understand, embrace and responsibly use the only plain-text, obvious indicator of what a file actually is.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Khronos Group Announces Vulkan To Compete Against DirectX 12

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 22:54 AWST)

Phopojijo writes The Khronos Group has announced the Vulkan API for compute and graphics. Its goal is to compete against DirectX 12. It has some interesting features, such as queuing to multiple GPUs and an LLVM-based bytecode for its shading language to remove the need for a compiler from the graphics drivers. Also, the API allows graphics card vendors to support Vulkan with drivers back to Windows XP "and beyond."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 22:31 AWST)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes A new Wired magazine story goes inside the North Korean rebel movement seeking to overthrow Kim Jong-un by smuggling USB drives into the country packed with foreign television and movies. As the story describes, one group has stashed USB drives in Chinese cargo trucks. Another has passed them over from tourist boats that meet with fishermen mid-river. Others arrange USB handoffs at the Chinese border in the middle of the night with walkie talkies, laser pointers, and bountiful bribes. Even Kim assassination comedy The Interview, which the North Korean government allegedly hacked Sony to prevent from being released, has made it into the country: Chinese traders' trucks carried 20 copies of the film across the border the day after Christmas, just two days after its online release.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slashdot: NVIDIA Fixes Old Compiz Bug

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 21:50 AWST)

jones_supa writes NVIDIA has fixed a long-standing issue in the Ubuntu Unity desktop by patching Compiz. When opening the window of a new application, it would go black or become transparent on NVIDIA hardware. There have been bug reports dating back to Ubuntu 12.10 times. The problem was caused by Compiz, which had some leftover code from a port. An NVIDIA developer posted on Launchpad and said the NVIDIA team has been looking at this issue, and they also proposed a patch. "Our interpretation of the specification is that creating two GLX pixmaps pointing at the same drawable is not allowed, because it can lead to poorly defined behavior if the properties of both GLX drawables don't match. Our driver prevents this, but Compiz appears to try to do this," wrote NVIDIA's Arthur Huillet. The Compiz patch has been accepted upstream.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Digital Photography School: The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Tripod

Digital Photography School (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 21:00 AWST)

You need a tripod for long exposures

Picture the scene – Bangkok airport and I’m settling into seat 16H on my short Thai Airways flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. The lovely hostess hands me a hot, scented towel as I shout ”Bollocks” while slapping myself firmly on the forehead.

She gives me a justified look of disdain while I apologize for my outburst and then start begging her to contact Lost & Found as soon as possible. You see, I’d stupidly left my gorgeous carbon fibre, ball head tripod, in one of those plastic trays into which all airports now force you to empty your worldly goods before being forced through the X-Ray machine.

I’d somehow managed to wander through Bangkok airport, grab a snack, check my email and then board the plane without even realizing I’d lost one of my most essential pieces of equipment. I blame it on the terror filled drive through downtown Bangkok the night before while trying to find our hotel, it was a late night.

I realize I will never see that beloved tripod again.

Night Photography requires a sturdy tripod

So I touch down in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the first thing I do is go shopping for a tripod. Siem Reap has seen some major development over the years but it’s still a galactic black hole when it comes to tripod shopping.

The best I could find was a $45 Yunteng tripod with a plastic video panning tripod head that has one of those long handles that poke you in the eye every time you try to look through the viewfinder.

It was like going back in time to the very first tripod I’d ever bought. The next four days of shooting were an exercise in rage management as it took me five times longer to set up my shots. If it hadn’t been for my ever present tuk-tuk driver and his calming influence, I would have bent that tripod over my knee and tossed it under the wheels of a bus for good measure.

No wonder so many beginner photographers quit at the tripod using stage.

A good tripod makes ALL the difference

When buying a tripod, if you go for an El Cheapo one, two things will happen:

  1. You’ll spend so much time messing around getting your camera in position that by the time you’re ready to take the shot, you’ve already lost the will to live.
  2. You’ll realize that the $45 you spent could have gone towards a proper tripod that you now know you’ll have to buy anyway.

I realize that for total beginners, spending around $400 on a tripod seems like a major financial commitment but I’ve seen so many of my workshop students struggle in frustration with shoddy tripods that it breaks my heart. When I lend them one of mine, it’s like a ray of sunshine for them. At that point they realize their cheap tripod is now junk.

Long exposure - Why You Need a Good Tripod

Speed is important

You might think that if you’re using a tripod to hold your camera in place, that means you’ve got plenty of time to frame your shot. Sometimes that’s true but more often than not, the scene changes quickly, especially when you’re dealing with nature. Weather and wildlife won’t wait for you to get your tripod set up.

Things to consider when buying a tripod and tripod head

1 – How fast do the legs telescope?

I can’t stand those rubber twist leg locks that you have to loosen and then tighten. I much prefer quick release grips that flick open and quickly drop those tripod legs. Securing the extended legs requires a quick push of the thumb and you’re done. If your tripod has four telescopic extenders with threaded grips you’ll still be setting up your shot while I’m at the next shooting location.

Tripod Comparison

2 – How fast does the ball head adjust?

Once your tripod is in place and secure, it’s time to position your camera. For me, the best ball heads are those that only require one lever to loosen and tighten. That means that with just two turns of the lever I can position my camera in exactly the right position.

It’s also important to get a ball head that allows you to quickly switch between landscape and portrait aspect. A lot of cheapo tripods have those flippable mounts that you have to loosen first then tighten once in place. These are usually abysmal as you struggle to get just the right position and then the flimsy flippable part wobbles from the impact of just your breathing.

 

3 – Easy quick release

The thing that infuriated me the most with my temporary $45 Yunteng tripod was the quick release clip which mounts the camera on to the tripod head. I longed for my well oiled Manfrotto head with its trusty quick release clip.

Mounting the camera on the tripod head should be quick and easy. When shopping for a tripod, get the store clerk to demonstrate and then try it out yourself multiple times until you feel if it’s right for you. Some of the smoothest looking quick release plates I’ve seen are made by Really Right Stuff.

Really Right Stuff Quick Release Plates

4 – How heavy should my tripod be?

This is a personal choice based on your exact needs, and how much you can carry. There’s always a trade-off between portability and sturdiness. Heavier tripods will laugh in the face of a strong wind, while super lightweight carbon fibre tripods will vibrate. You can always attach a rock filled bag to the central stem of your tripod to give it more stability in high winds.

5 – How big should my tripod be?

Again, this depends on your travel plans. Since my recent loss at Bangkok airport, I’m now considering buying a smaller tripod that will actually fit into my camera bag. A smaller tripod won’t be anywhere near as sturdy, but for the Siem Reap shoot it’s not as if I had to face high winds and extreme weather, so smaller would have been okay.

Very tall photographers will most likely have to shop for tripods that cater to their height. Sure, you can always extend your tripod’s central column, but that’s always a last resort as you’ll find it induces major wobble from just your hand contact with the camera.

6 – How much should I spend?

Here’s another important thing to consider. If like me, you’re a bit of a Gormclops, don’t buy the best that you can afford. I abuse my tripods by shooting in the ocean, rivers, deserts and mountains. If I’m lucky, I’ll get two years out of a tripod (assuming I don’t leave it in the airport) so it just doesn’t make sense for me to spend big money when I can get a very capable tripod for under $400, that already comes with a good ball head.

7 – Do I need a bubble level?Camera Bubble Level

Although not essential, it’s nice to have an accurate bubble level on the tripod stand itself, and one on the tripod head. If you’re lucky enough to have a digital level inside your camera (like my Sony A7R) you probably won’t use a bubble level much. If you have neither, you can always attach a bubble level to your cameras hot shoe attachment as pictured here (see photo right).

Why do I even need a tripod?

If you want tack sharp images (see my article on how to get super sharp landscape images) with the best possible image quality, accept that a tripod will become a part of your anatomy. For long exposures, a tripod is essential. If you shoot weddings, portraits, action and events, a tripod may just get in your way.

Which brands should I buy?

I’m not going to recommend one brand over another. I advise that you try out as many tripods and heads as you can. It’s fine to read reviews but you need to get hands on to decide which tripod and head combination works best for your needs. A specialist camera store should have a much wider choice of consumer and pro level tripods to choose from.

Enough Yunteng Bashing

Cheap Yunteng TripodTo be fair to Yunteng, I got the sturdiest tripod I believe it’s possible to find for a measly $45. It didn’t fall apart, was light, and in all honesty the tripod head was made for video, not stills. I got exactly what I paid for. I’ll keep it in my studio as a demonstration tool for showing people the difference between a $45 tripod and a $400 tripod.

What features do you look for in a tripod? Do you have any horror stories or recommendations for our readers?

The post The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Tripod by Gavin Hardcastle appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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EEV Blog: EEVblog #720 – Mailbag

EEV Blog (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 19:14 AWST)


Dave opens his mail.

SPOILERS:

Chip Whisperer KickStarter

Supermicro Xeon Server Motherboard

RF Solutions transmitters and receivers.
Bogey Board
KAPPA
BRAVO

PICop II PIC Development board

Automatic Voltage Regulator for an alternator.

Forum HERE

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DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ADVICE for eastern part of Rockingham, Hillman and East Rockingham in the City of Rockingham

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 15:54 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: A bushfire ADVICE remains for people in the eastern part of Rockingham in an area bounded by Dixon Road, Mandurah Road, Milina Road and Ennis Avenue in the City of Rockingham. This includes the suburb of Hillman.
Content:
A bushfire ADVICE remains for people in the eastern part of Rockingham in an area bounded by Dixon Road, Mandurah Road, Milina Road and Ennis Avenue in the City of Rockingham. This includes the suburb of Hillman.

• There is no threat to lives or homes but there is smoke in the area.
• Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.
• There are two bushfires in the area on Dixon Road:

o One is near the intersection of Darile Street.
o The second is near the intersection of Evinrude Bend.

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:
• The bushfires are contained and under control, but there are active hotspots in the area.

WHAT TO DO:
• Stay alert and monitor your surroundings.
• Watch for signs of a bushfire, especially smoke and flames.
• Read through your bushfire survival plan.
• If you do not have a plan decide what you will do if the situation gets worse.
• Be extremely careful when driving through the area.
• Turn your headlights on and drive slowly.
• Watch for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.
 
ROAD CLOSURES:
No roads are closed.
Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting www.mainroads.wa.gov.au

WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
• Four career Fire and Rescue Service firefighters will patrol the scene through the night to monitor hot spots.

EXTRA INFORMATION:
• The incidents were reported at 3.51am and 4.17am on Monday 2 March.
• A total of 10 hectares have been burnt.
• The cause of the fires is suspicious.
• People are asked to report any suspicious behaviour to Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
• DFES is managing the fires.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.

The next update will be provided by 11am tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March, unless the situation changes.
Publication Time: 3/03/2015 3:53 PM

OpenBSD Journal: Ted Unangst: Improving Browser Security

OpenBSD Journal (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 15:54 AWST)

In a recent post to misc@, Ted Unangst (tedu@), outlined some of his upcoming work on improving browser security. Ted writes,

A few words about a project I've started working on today with support from the OpenBSD Foundation.

Read more...

DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ALL CLEAR for Mandurah Road in the western part of Baldivis in the City of Rockingham

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 15:37 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: An ALL CLEAR advice has been issued for people in the western part of Baldivis, on Mandurah Road between Safety Bay Road and Sixty Eighth Road, in the City of Rockingham.
Content:

The following alert has been issued by the Department of Parks and Wildlife  

An ALL CLEAR advice has been issued for people in the western part of Baldivis, on Mandurah Road between Safety Bay Road and Sixty Eighth Road, in the City of Rockingham. 
 
•        The bushfire that threatened homes near Mandurah Road is now under control.
•        Firefighters have worked tirelessly together with other agencies since the fire started.
•        The danger has passed but you need to remain vigilant in case the situation changes.
 
WHAT TO DO:
•        Drive slowly and with caution due to smoke and emergency services personnel working in the area.
 
ROAD CLOSURES:
No roads are closed. Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
 
RECREATION SITE CLOSURES:
No recreation sites are closed.
 
WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
•    Firefighters are currently mopping up and will monitor the area for the rest of the day.
•        Firefighters from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, career and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service assisted with fire suppression efforts. They were supported by State Emergency Service volunteers, Salvation Army and WA Police.
 
EXTRA INFORMATION:
•        The fire was reported at 1.55am on Monday 2 March and currently there has been 7.7 hectares burnt.
•        The cause of the fire is suspicious. People are asked to report any suspicious behaviour to Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
•        The Department of Parks and Wildlife has been managing the fire since it was handed over by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services yesterday (2 March). 
 
No further updates will be issued. 
  

Publication Time: 3/03/2015 3:36 PM
Expiration Time: 4/03/2015 8:00 AM

GNOME Look: petitlepton 0.1 (GNOME Shell Theme)

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 15:32 AWST)

Thumbnailpetitlepton 0.1
(GNOME Shell Theme)
This gnome shell theme is inspired by Adwaita and Material Design.

This is my first them, the code is a bit messy (several css files to remember what is what).

It runs smoothly on Fedora 21.

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GNOME Look: How Deep Is The Ocean (GNOME Wallpaper 1920x1200)

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 14:59 AWST)

ThumbnailHow Deep Is The Ocean
(GNOME Wallpaper 1920x1200)
Copyright Vlad Gerasimov

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SC Magazine: Recognising the toughest job in enterprise security

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 13:55 AWST)

[Blog post] Introducing the Secure Computing Benchmark Awards.

DFES Emergency Alerts: Bushfire ALL CLEAR for The Spectacles and western part of Anketell in the City of Kwinana

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 13:47 AWST)

Category: Fire
Alert Summary: ​ An ALL CLEAR advice has been issued for people in The Spectacles and western part of Anketell, in an area bounded by McLaughlan Road, Anketell Road, Battersby Road and Thomas Road, in the City of Kwinana.
Content:

​An ALL CLEAR advice has been issued for people in The Spectacles and western part of Anketell, in an area bounded by McLaughlan Road, Anketell Road, Battersby Road and Thomas Road, in the City of Kwinana.

• The bushfire is contained and under control, and the area has been made safe.
• Firefighters have worked tirelessly together with other agencies since the fire was reported.
• The danger has passed but you need to remain vigilant in case the situation changes.

WHAT TO DO:
• Drive slowly and with caution due to smoke and emergency services personnel working in the area.

ROAD CLOSURES:
No roads are closed.

Avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.
 
WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
• Firefighters have left the area safe.
 
EXTRA INFORMATION:
• The fire was reported at 11.09am on 24 February 2015 and currently there has been 150 hectares burnt.
• The cause is a flare-up of a previous fire in the area.
• The fire is being jointly managed by the City of Kwinana, Department of Parks and Wildlife and DFES.
 
No further updates will be issued.
Publication Time: 3/03/2015 1:46 PM
Expiration Time: 4/03/2015 8:00 AM

SC Magazine: Govt to adopt all changes to data retention bill

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 12:11 AWST)

Likely to pass into law.

DFES Emergency Alerts: Take action now for minor flooding in the Greenough and Irwin River Catchments in the Mid West Gascoyne Region

DFES Emergency Alerts (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 11:42 AWST)

Category: Flood
Alert Summary: People who live in the Greenough and Irwin River Catchments including Eradu, Karlanew Peak and Dongara need to take action now as minor flooding is expected today.
Content:
People who live in the Greenough and Irwin River Catchments including Eradu, Karlanew Peak and Dongara need to take action now as minor flooding is expected today.
 
Water will be fast flowing and levels will rise quickly.
 
WHAT TO DO:

DFES advises you to:
• Watch for changes in water levels so you are ready if you need to relocate.
• Relocate equipment and livestock so they do not get caught in floodwaters.
• Prepare pet food or stockfeed in case you cannot return home for a few days.
• Never walk, swim or play in floodwaters as they are dangerous.
• Do not go near storm drains and pipes, ditches and ravines, as they are dangerous.
• With water moving quickly people need to stay out of the Greenough and Irwin Rivers, this includes no swimming or kayaking.
• If you are a traveller do not park or camp adjacent to rivers.

IF DRIVING:
• Floodways and river levels may rise rapidly so be careful at crossings.
• Obey road closure signs and do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.
• Take care on gravel and unsealed roads as they may be slippery and muddy, and you could get bogged.
• If your car stalls in rising water, abandon it immediately and seek shelter above floodwater.

ROAD CLOSURES:
A number of roads in the Mid West Gascoyne are closed due to flooding including;
• Wubin-Mullewa Road is closed from Mullewa to Morawa is closed to light vehicles.
• Goldfields Highway is closed from Wiluna to Meekatharra

Extreme Caution must be exercised at floodways on the following roads;
• Geraldton-Mount Magnet Road from Mount Magnet to Yalgoo
• Great Northern Highway from Mt Magnet to Wubin
• Great Northern Highway both directions from Kumarina to Meekatharra

The following roads are reopened;
• Midlands Road from Brand Highway to Mingenew
• Great Northern Highway from Meekatharra to Newman

Road information may also be available by calling Main Roads WA on 138 138 or visiting www.mainroads.wa.gov.au
 
FLOOD DETAILS:
As at 10.57am on Tuesday 3 March the Bureau of Meteorology advises there is a Flood Warning for the Greenough and Irwin River Catchments.
The river levels in the lower areas of Greenough River are expected to rise during Tuesday.
 
The Greenough River at Eradu has peaked at around 3.75 metres overnight Monday and expected to continue to fall during Tuesday.
The Greenough River at Karlanew Peak is expected to reach 3.5 metres (minor flood level 2.5 metres) during Tuesday afternoon.

The Irwin River at Dongara has peaked at around 4.75 metres (minor flood level 5.0 metres) Tuesday morning and is expected to continue to fall during Tuesday.

Latest River Heights:
• Greenough River at Pindarring Rocks 1.17m steady at 9:00 AM
• Greenough River at Mitthutharra 2.79m steady at 10:00 AM
• Greenough River at Eradu 3.17m steady at 09:55 AM
• Greenough River at Karlanew Peak 0.31m steady at 10:00 AM
Current river levels are also available from Department of Water at www.water.wa.gov.au

WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:
DFES is monitoring the situation.   

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:
• For SES assistance call 132 500
• In a life threatening situation call 000.
• For the latest flood information call 1300 659 213 or visit www.bom.gov.au/wa/flood.  

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter @dfes_wa or listen to news bulletins.
The next update will be issued when the situation changes.

Publication Time: 3/03/2015 11:36 AM

GNOME Look: varNaM-Gtk 3.14-01.010042015 (GTK 3.x Theme/Style)

(posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 11:04 AWST)

ThumbnailvarNaM-Gtk 3.14-01.010042015
(GTK 3.x Theme/Style)
For Gtk3.14

This is the varNaM theme reworked after several years on the shelf. It is a desaturated blue patterned theme.

INCLUDES
  • Gnome-shell theme

  • Metacity theme

  • Openbox3 theme

  • google Chrome theme

  • Unity

  • Ubuntu Software Center

  • MATE compatability


  • Now works on Ubuntu Vivid 15.04
    MATE works without Gtk-3.14 dependency.

    changelog:
    *For more information see download page.

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    SC Magazine: IBM sued by shareholder over alleged securities fraud

    (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 09:31 AWST)

    Claims Big Blue overvalued chip unit.

    SC Magazine: iiNet hit with $204k penalty over broadband ads

    (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 07:48 AWST)

    Updated: ACCC takes issue with prominence of minimum price.

    SC Magazine: Victoria looks for new operator to run Myki

    (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 07:03 AWST)

    Troubled system to get new manager.

    SC Magazine: Amazon avoids big cloud reboot over Xen flaw

    (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 05:07 AWST)

    Rackspace to reboot in two days' time.

    SC Magazine: HP to buy wi-fi equipment maker Aruba

    (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 04:55 AWST)

    $3.5b deal bolsters BYOD offering.

    DP Review: Lowepro launches Echelon luxury bag line

    DP Review (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 02:09 AWST)

    Lowepro has announced a line of new photography bags with a high-end design. The Echelon series includes a roller, laptop brief and attache with premium touches like leather handles and each piece includes a removable All Weather cover. We took the attache model for a spin - find out our first impressions of it. Read more

    Digital Photography School: Tips for Photographing Cars

    Digital Photography School (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 02:00 AWST)

    tips-photographing-cars-01

    The scene setup – by placing parking a car in the shade of a building on a sunny day, you can use the ambient light as your main light, illuminating the contours of the vehicle.

    Photographing reflective surfaces is no walk in the park. So, as you can imagine, photographing cars, which are essentially just giant reflective objects, is really difficult. It comes with all the same challenges, magnifies them, and adds the new wrinkle of your subject being too heavy to reposition easily. Sounds like fun, right? It can be, and it can still be pulled off without the use of a commercial studio, a giant cyclorama wall, or car-sized softboxes.

    Made in the Shade

    Take a look at the image above, you can see that I have a Tesla Model S set up in the shade of a building, on a sunny day. By positioning the car so that the ambient light illuminates the overall contours of the car and then placing lights in the shadow areas, it treats the ambient as the main light, and uses the surroundings to advantage, rather than fighting against them. This will minimize the frustration of trying to eliminate the ambient light, which would likely be an exercise in futility, especially when using small flashes.

    tips-photographing-cars-02

    The ambient light reading – by exposing for the highlights on the car’s windshield, I was able to determine which areas in which to add flash.

    Before setting up any lights it’s helpful to start by taking a test shot, getting an exposure of the car’s highlights, especially such as the windshield, which would typically be the brightest spots. This exposure will likely look pretty dark, not unlike the image above. It will allow you to see exactly what the ambient light is doing and whether you need to reposition the car to change the angles of the light falling on the car. This exposure will also help you to determine where to add your flashes. The diagram below shows the lighting diagram used for the Tesla shot.

    tips-photographing-cars-03

    The lighting diagram – after getting an exposure of the ambient light, I was able to determine where to best place my three speedlights.

    tips-photographing-cars-04

    The raw file – the shadow areas are filled in with accent lights, although some cleanup in post-processing was needed.

    I own three flashes, and I needed all of them for this shoot. When lighting reflective surfaces, you need a large, soft light source. To accomplish this, I brought several 40×60” white foam core panels with me, along with several light stands and sand bags. I set up two panels, one at each end of the car, securing them to light stands. I then aimed a full-powered flash into each panel. Since I couldn’t set up a third panel to light the middle of the car without blocking my view of it, I set my third flash on the ground, aiming it into the tire rim. The light placement was effective, although a bit of cleanup in post was still needed.

    tips-photographing-cars-05

    The lightroom settings – I chose to desaturated the image, one color channel at a time (rather than toggling over to Black and White mode or lowering the global saturation) in an effort to retain the mood in the photo.

    The most obvious issue that needed taken care of was the unsightly reflection in the car door. Though the white panel served in lighting the contours of the side of the car, it left a garish reflection. Eliminating it required something a bit more powerful of a tool than the what Lightroom’s Spot Removal tool offered. Instead, I used Lightroom to color grade the image as well as bring up the highlights in a few areas, (see above). The red highlighted areas show where I painted in a brush adjustment, raising up the Exposure, Brightness, and Clarity sliders.

    I also chose to desaturate the image, since it was already essentially monochromatic, except for the grass. Note that I kept the file in Color mode, rather than toggling over to Black and White mode or lowering the global saturation, and opted to instead desaturate the individual color sliders in the HSL panel. This is because I wanted to preserve the dark, moodiness in the image, and for reasons I don’t didn’t quite understand, the overall brightness of the image increases when I toggle over to Black and White mode. I also used the Luminance sliders to control the highlight and shadow portions of the image. For example, by lowering the Yellow slider in the Luminance panel, I dimmed the highlights in the grass, which had yellow in it, and shifted the focus back to the car.

    tips-photographing-cars-06

    The final shot – once the image was color graded and minor spots had been removed, I opened up the file in Photoshop to remove the white-board reflections, specifically the white panels at the base of the building in the background and the edge of the roof, (Figure 6). If specialized cleanup is not your forte, it’s totally acceptable (if not recommended) that you send the file off to a retoucher to finish it up for you.

    Attention to Detail

    Tips photographing cars 07

    The setup – I am not a car person. By that I mean that I couldn’t tell you one old hot rod from another. That said, I find them to be absolutely gorgeous objects to look at. So, when the owner of this beautiful machine led me back to the spot where his latest project sat, I got really excited when my eyes caught sight of the immaculately restored, 1932 Ford Roadster (I only know the name because he told me). The details were phenomenal. Though I knew nothing of its history, and didn’t even really care about driving it or even riding in it, I knew that I had to photograph it. The owner pulled out a vintage magazine photo of a similar car and asked if I could make a photo that looked like that. I smiled and said, “We can do better than that.”

    But first, the car needed to move. He had parked the car in front of a large, white door, in full view of the morning sun. This meant harsh, direct light, which was unflattering and boring. I quickly scanned the area, spotting a one-story brick building across the street, with a wall, still in the shade. I asked if he could drive the car over there, positioning it just inside the shade (see above).

    Tips photographing cars 08

    The lighting diagram – similar to the previous Tesla scenario, I used two of my lights to illuminate the front, and back ends, of the car. This time, however, I placed my third light between the car and the back wall, creating a nice separation between them.

    Since I had come to the shoot prepared to photograph portraits and not cars, I didn’t have white panels to bounce light off of. I still only had three flashes that I could use to light an entire car. But just like the previous scenario, I used the ambient sunlight as the main light, adding accent lights to the front and back portions of the car. It helped that I had less car to light. This was a two-seater roadster, and thus was about three feet shorter than the Tesla. This meant that the back rear flash was able to light both tires this time, freeing up my third light to be placed between the car and the building behind it. That created a nice separation between the car and the wall. It also served to highlight the amazing detail of the open-air hood, which allowed you to see straight through to the wall (see below)

    Tips photographing cars 09

    The final shot – my favorite part is the open-air engine that allows you to see straight through to the back wall.

    Do you have any other tips for photographing cars? If you’ve tried it share your ideas. If you haven’t give it a try and share your images and any questions you may have.

    The post Tips for Photographing Cars by Nick Fancher appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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    DP Review: In the Spotlight: Sony Alpha 7S Review posted

    DP Review (posted on Tuesday March 03, 2015 at 00:00 AWST)

    The Sony Alpha 7S is a full-frame interchangeable lens camera sporting a 12.2MP CMOS sensor. It is identical in body design to the Sony a7 and Sony a7R, but don't let that fool you. Unlike the other two, the a7S is specially geared toward video and low-light shooters. It's capable of 1080/60p video with full-sensor readout and can turn out uncompressed 4K footage to an external recorder over HDMI. Read review

    Monday March 02, 2015

    GNOME Look: Ciliora-Tertia-Cinnamon (Cinnamon Theme)

    (posted on Monday March 02, 2015 at 22:41 AWST)

    ThumbnailCiliora-Tertia-Cinnamon
    (Cinnamon Theme)
    Ciliora-Tertia for cinnamon 2.4

    ---------------

    You can also find me here: http://zagortenay333.deviantart.com/

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    GNOME Look: Ciliora-Secunda-Cinnamon (Cinnamon Theme)

    (posted on Monday March 02, 2015 at 22:39 AWST)

    ThumbnailCiliora-Secunda-Cinnamon
    (Cinnamon Theme)
    Ciliora-Secunda for cinnamon 2.4.

    -----------------------------

    You can also find me here: http://zagortenay333.deviantart.com/

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    GNOME Look: Ciliora-Prima-Cinnamon (Cinnamon Theme)

    (posted on Monday March 02, 2015 at 22:38 AWST)

    ThumbnailCiliora-Prima-Cinnamon
    (Cinnamon Theme)
    Ciliora-Prima for cinnamon 2.4


    ----------------------------------------

    You can also find me here: http://zagortenay333.deviantart.com/

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