All the Changes Coming to Your Instagram

At Facebook’s F8 conference on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg discussed how Instagram will be changing in the coming weeks. The upgrades include video chat, an Explore redesign, AR camera effects, and a bullying filter.

The new video chat feature will allow users to talk with one or more people. “You’re going to be able to just tap on a new camera icon in the top of any direct thread that you have and you’re going to be able to video chat one-on-one or with groups,” Zuckerberg explained. The chat screen can be minimized so users can use the feature while also scrolling through Instagram.

Instagram is also rolling out a new Explore design that features categories so users can choose different topic channels—like “animals,” “nail art,” and “slime”—rather than just seeing content that Instagram thinks you’ll like.

Instagram will start featuring the augmented reality effects platform that has been available on Facebook for about a year. Anyone will be able to build face filters and effects, and users can try out filters they see used by other accounts in their Stories feed.

But the brands will also be invading—third parties will be able to create custom filters. Zuckerberg announced that Instagram is debuting filter partnerships with Ariana Grande, BuzzFeed, Kylie Jenner, and the NBA, among others. Stories will also allow third-party integration with apps like GoPro and Spotify, so, for example, users will be able to share a song they’re listening to directly to their Stories feed from Spotify, instead of having to post a screenshot.

And to try to make Instagram a safer space, the company is launching a bullying filter. The new system will rely largely on machine learning to censors language perceived as harassment. Instagram says the new filter is on now for all users, but the setting can be turned off inside the app’s “Comment Controls” section.

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Adobe is now making ‘Lightroom Coffee Break’ videos for Lightroom CC



For a while now, the official Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel has produced a series titled ‘Lightroom Coffee Break.’ The collection of videos provides quick (~60 seconds) tips on how to make the most of Lightroom, and after 56 episodes, the creators have finally started to include tips specifically for Adobe’s cloud-centric Lightroom CC.

Until now, all of the videos have been based on Lightroom Classic CC. Now, the minute-long videos will include tips and tricks specifically created for Lightroom CC users—a welcomed change considering it’s becoming the go-to choice for many photographers, and there aren’t a lot of resources out there as of right now.

The first video, presented by Lightroom team members Michelle Wei and Josh Haftel, details how easy it is to salvage an underexposed Raw photograph using only four sliders: exposure, highlights, shadows, and contrast. It might seem a bit basic, but you can count on future episodes to dive into more complicated adjustments.

Even though Adobe is just now getting around to making tutorials specifically for Lightroom CC, many of the previous videos made for Lightroom Classic CC still apply, so take some time and look at the archive. At one minute each, you could get through all 57 episodes in an hour—less time than it takes to watch an episode of Game of Thrones.

And if you want to keep up with future videos, be sure to subscribe to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel.




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Nikon Confirms New Mirrorless System to Arrive by Spring 2019

Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth: Nikon has a new mirrorless camera system brewing, and the company is aiming to have it land in photographers’ hands by the spring of 2019.

NikonEye caught the confirmation in an interview conducted by the Japanese TV network NHK with a Nikon manager.

“[D]evelopment is underway, and we expect to bring one to market by spring next year,” the manager states.

NikonEye predicts that an entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera will be the first camera in the system to be announced and that the camera will have a 30+ megapixel phase-detection sensor and a new lens mount that allows existing F-mount lenses to autofocus using an adapter.

A Sony executive predicted last month that both Canon and Nikon will be releasing full-frame mirrorless cameras within a year, and this month a Japanese news outlet reported that Nikon’s professional mirrorless camera is coming along “at a rapid pace” and confirmed that it would launch by March 2019.

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Nikon Pro Mirrorless Coming Along at a ‘Rapid Pace’, Launch Within a Year

Maybe holding back from moving over to Fuji will pay off at the end .. fingers crossed for Nikon to get it right after all this time !!!

 

It appears that Sony is right, and that Canon and Nikon are furiously racing to bring professional full-frame mirrorless cameras to their customers. The latest word is that Nikon’s mirrorless camera will be released in the current fiscal year.

The Japanese business news outlet SankeiBiz reports that development of the new camera is advancing at a “rapid pace” and that the current goal is to launch the camera within Nikon’s current fiscal year, which ends March 2019.

Nikon will also probably show off the camera at a “large-scale overseas exhibition,” the article states, which is likely confirmation that Nikon is planning to bring the camera to Photokina 2018 (where Canon may announce the development of its camera as well).

Canon stated last month that it’s now willing to cannibalize the sales of its DSLR cameras to make a bigger splash in mirrorless, and the company reiterated to SankeiBiz that it’s aiming to be #1 in mirrorless camera sales in Japan.

After years of sitting on the sidelines while Sony continually wowed the industry with full-frame mirrorless cameras such as the a9 and a7 III, Canon and Nikon are finally stirring from their slumber and are now set to make their grand entrance in this emerging sector at around the same time.

(via SankeiBiz via mirrorlessrumors)

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The Selfie as We Know It Is Dead

The duck face, the fish gape, the smize—these are just a few of the time-honored poses that celebrities, influencers, and the Instagram-happy masses have relied upon to create perfect selfies. But a lot has changed since the early aughts, when people first started training their smartphone lenses on themselves. Today, selfie-takers can achieve poreless, doll-like symmetry through feature enhancing apps like FaceTune, or they can hire on-demand photographers through ElsiePic to capture their adventures for them so they can remain “in the moment.”

But is a selfie still a selfie if someone else is taking it for you? Is intimacy lost when your look is digitally modified, or is that just better living through technology? Somehow paying a photographer to art direct your life feels antithetical to the spontaneity that was once associated with #iwokeuplikethis or even the much-maligned bathroom mirror pic. Could it be the selfie has come to an end? Kim Kardashian West seems to think so. Yes, the woman who once released a coffee table book of selfies, has concluded that, in her professional opinion, the trend is basically over. Data from Google Trends has also shown a steady decline in the keyword since it was added to the dictionary in 2013.

Want further proof that the selfie is a thing of the past? The artform, like so many relics of antiquity, is now in a museum. The Museum of Selfies, currently on view in Glendale, California, is an interactive exhibit documenting the rise of the selfie and perhaps its ultimate demise. But Tommy Honton, co-curator of the museum, thinks that despite Kardashian West’s proclamation, the selfie is still alive and well. “Selfies are just another form of self-portraiture, so saying the selfie dead is like saying the era of photography is over,” Honton says. And his exhibit is proof of that, inviting visitors to look beyond the assumption that the selfie is a symbol of narcissism and instead see it as a form of artistic expression.

Cultural critic Negar Mottahedeh takes it a step further, saying that even more than a bit of digital vanity, the selfie is “a networked object that connects us with others beyond our physical environment through an online collective.” She should know; Mottahedeh teaches a class on the subject at Duke University that focuses on the global history of portraiture since the 19th century as well as our desire to document the ordinary. And in addition to making a record of the everyday, she notes the selfie has played an integral role in citizen journalism during events like the 2009 elections in Iran and the protests that gave rise to the Arab Spring.

LEARN MORE

The WIRED Guide to Emoji

Mottahedeh, who is also a member of the Selfie Research Network, explains that as corporate influence weakens social media’s capacity to create networks of resistance or solidarity amongst people, its power as a useful tool for popular politics is diminished. For her, that means the power of the selfie is dwindling too. “In the early days of the selfie it appeared as if two forms of representation were being democratized, that of the portrait and that of the proxy. I don’t find that it carries that possibility anymore,” Mottahedeh says. She hopes that Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal will bring attention to the forces behind our newsfeeds. “We need to be very aware that each click, like, and comment we make is a signal to those in power, be it corporate or governmental,” she explains.

Mottahedeh sees the younger generation embracing meme culture as the political intervention of the moment, recontextualizing politics through viral images and bringing them into the real world through the protest posters of marches and demonstrations. Conversely, those images are photographed by citizen journalists and then redistributed across social media platforms.

This is where Honton believes the selfie still has value, that it’s still the most accessible way to capture the immediacy and intimacy of the individual’s everyday experience. The goal of his temporary museum, which runs through May, is not only to include the selfie in the history of photography, but to subvert the idea that we’re just living life through the interface of our phones. “Selfies are powerful because they let us author our own stories,” Honton says. As for the future of digital self-portraiture, he believes the selfie will live on. For Honton, “even when we’re living as virtual avatars of ourselves a la Ready Player One, we’re probably still going to want to take a selfie of that experience as our virtual selves.”

The selfie may be over, but it will never truly die.

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Why You Should Consider Using Lightroom Mobile on the Go

Lightroom Mobile continues to become a more capable companion to the desktop app. This great video examines the benefits of a mobile workflow and how it can make your life easier when you sit back down at your computer.

Coming to you from Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography, this helpful video shows how using Lightroom Mobile to import and edit files can make your workflow more efficient and enjoyable. I was a fan of the iPad Pro in my review, and it continues to be a big part of my mobile workflow; in fact, with the great screen and tactile experience, I prefer working on a tablet a lot of the time. It saves me a lot of time and lets me get a head start on culling and editing. Here’s an additional tip: you can set Lightroom to automatically download images from the cloud to wherever you want, so if you keep your photos on an external drive, you can make sure they end up where they belong. To do this, simply go to Lightroom preferences, Lightroom sync, then check “Specify location for Lightroom CC ecosystem images” and choose the location. Also, note that since you’re uploading raw files to the cloud, this method works best when you’re somewhere with a relatively fast Wi-Fi connection.

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Quick Tip: How to ‘Auto’ a Single Slider in Lightroom

Lightroom Classic has long had an “Auto” feature in the Develop module that will automatically set basic sliders for you based on the image at hand. But did you know that you can now “Auto” set individual sliders?

This simple but useful trick is discussed and demonstrated in the 44-second “Lightroom Coffee Break” tutorial above by Adobe. Benjamin Warde shares how the basic Auto system has been revamped in Lightroom Classic version 7.1 to more intelligently auto adjust your photo to give you a solid starting point for your edits.

But in addition to automatically setting the values for all sliders, you can select individual sliders by holding down Shift and then double-clicking the label for the slider you wish to intelligently Auto set.

Auto setting Whites. Holding shift changes the “Reset” button to “Reset (Adobe)” (center screenshot). Double-clicking “Whites” Auto sets the value (right screenshot).

This is a simple way of letting Photoshop intelligently suggest values for some aspects of a photo while you keep others under your sole control from the beginning.

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Using the Auto Settings in Lightroom Classic CC

Using the Auto Settings in Lightroom Classic CC

Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.


About Benjamin Warde:

I live in San Francisco, work for Adobe on the Lightroom team, and am an avid hobbyist photographer. Let’s Get Connected:

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Text, image and video via Adobe Photoshop Lightroom


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Dunning-Kruger Effect: Why you’re not as good a photographer as you think you are



Have you ever noticed that as you learn more about the world of photography, you tend to realize just how little you actually know? This phenomenon is what’s referred to as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

London-based photographer Jamie Windsor recently took to his YouTube channel to explain what it is, how it affects you and your work and even shares five things you can do to overcome thinking you know more than you actually do.

A chart from the video showing how perceived ability compares with actual ability according to the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

As explained in the video, the name of the phenomenon came from two social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger. During a study, the two recognized that the less competent someone was at a given task, the better they thought they were. Put more simply, if you think you’re a great photographer, there’s a good chance you’re not nearly as amazing as you think you are.

Almost everyone falls victim to the Dunning Kruger effect at some point in their career. But the more self-aware you can become, the less likely you are to fall into the trap of being a bad photographer who thinks they’re good. To help combat this downward spiral, Windsor shares a few tips, which we’ve paraphrased and elaborated on below:

  1. Beware of feeling comfortable – If you start feeling comfortable in your abilities, try something new and expand your horizons. Don’t get complacent.
  2. Learn to let go of old work – Always try to one-up yourself and make your next shot your best shot. If you still think that shot from four years ago is your best, you probably haven’t improved much.
  3. Ask for feedback and constructive critique – It’s not always easy to hear, but an outside perspective can help you get a broader and more realistic view of your skills and ability.
  4. Always keep learning – “You have never learnt everything.” Never think you’ve finished learning something—everything is a rabbit hole of knowledge.
  5. Feeling bad about your old work is a sign of progress – Thinking your old work isn’t great means you’ve learned where you’ve fallen short and know how to improve your work.

In the end, Windsor emphasizes that no matter what you think of your work or how far you’ve come, it’s ultimately about enjoying the ride. His parting piece of advice is to ‘learn why you’re doing things, not just how to do them’.

To find more videos, head over to Windsor’s YouTube channel and subscribe.

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10 Hidden Lightroom Features That Can Change Your Editing Life

Sometimes we can use software for years without taking the time to dive deeper and unlock its full potential. Here’s a great 12-minute tutorial by photographer Jamie Windsor with 10 hidden Lightroom features that can help your editing and speed up your workflow.

Even if you feel like a seasoned Lightroom user, there may be some tips and tricks among these 10 that can help improve your photo editing life.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 things covered by Windsor:

1. Send clients an online preview (00:11)
2. Better tones with camera calibration (02:23)
3. Change preset strength/opacity (03:17)
4. Targeted adjustment tool (05:18)
5. Automatically match exposures with different settings (06:25)
6. Faster image rating and selection (07:29)
7. Individual slider automation (08:13)
8. Edit local adjustment tools (08:29)
9. Bigger sliders (09:24)
10. Precision editing view (09:50)

You can find more of Windsor’s videos by subscribing to his YouTube channel.

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