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.

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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.

More WIRED Culture

  • What does “self-care” mean amid the barrage of news and social media?
  • The strange history of one of the Internet’s first viral videos
  • Where did the word ‘doggo’ come from? Wouldn’t you like to know, fren

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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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All the Ways Smartphone Cameras Have Improved Over the Years

Year after year, smartphone cameras have become more capable, more versatile, and more of a reason to leave your DSLR at home. So what are the tech innovations that have made the Pixel 2, the iPhone X, the Galaxy S9 and others such good photo takers compared to that old iPhone 6 or Galaxy S5?

Obviously, in the technical aspects of photography and cameras can get very nuanced. But in broad strokes, here’s a look at the ways some key technologies have improved over the years to make you ‘grams sharper and you snaps brighter.

More megapixels

At the core of the camera spec is the number of megapixels i captures—simply put, the resolution of the image that gets captured. It was by no means the first smartphone with a camera, but for comparison purposes the original 2007 iPhone came rocking a 2-megapixel rear camera with a fixed focus, capable of capturing images 1600 x 1200 pixels in size. Today’s Galaxy S9 and iPhone X have 12-megapixel cameras.

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In the early days of smartphone cameras, megapixels were the yardstick that these components were measured by: More megapixels meant a better camera, generally speaking. But that isn’t necessarily true now and it wasn’t necessarily true then, because there are a whole host of other factors that affect image quality, as you can see from the extensive list below.

The problem with cramming more pixels into the same-sized sensor is the pixels get smaller, and let in less light. Remember the HTC UltraPixels introduced in 2013? That was an attempt to reduce megapixels, increase pixel size, and therefore capture more light (and therefore detail) as the camera shutter flashed open for a split second. HTC was on to something, because today the megapixel race has all but ended, with smartphone makers making improvements elsewhere instead.

Bigger sensors

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the bigger the image sensor in a camera, the better the end result (essentially, it lets the camera capture more light and more color detail). With any camera, you’re relying on several components working well together, but the image sensor is a crucial one.

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It’s a shame then that there’s not much room inside smartphones—mobile camera sensors tend to be between 1/2.3 and 1/3 inches, much smaller than those inside DSLRs and even quality point-and-shoot cameras, though manufacturers are often coy about the specs in this regard. In fact, sensor size hasn’t changed much over the years in smartphone photography, because of those physical limitations, and it’s usually been in other areas where improvements have been made.

You’ll have a hard time digging down into any phone’s specs to find the image sensor size for the camera advertised, but the Nexus 6P was an exception—its 1/2.3-inch sensor is on the larger end of the scale, particularly for 2015, though sensor size alone isn’t a spec where modern-day devices are all that much better than phones of yesteryear. Note too the 6P’s 1.55 μm (micrometer) pixel size, larger than the 1.4 μm pixels in the Pixel 2, with a 1/2.6-inch sensor.

And of course for all the cameras that don’t advertise their sensor size, enterprising teardown artists do the work, and usually reveal that what we’re working with is teensy.

Wider apertures

GIF

On smartphone cameras as well as regular cameras, aperture controls the amount of light that gets to the image sensor. In a regular camera, aperture is manipulated to optimize for lighting conditions, blur, and desired depth of field, but in the world of smartphone cameras, in which optics are severely constrained, phone makers tend to optimize for having the widest aperture possible. This allows cameras to capture lots of light in all of those dark settings in which we all love to take photos, while keeping the shutter speed quick enough that your photo doesn’t come out blury. (Super-wide apertures have their downsides, but we’ll set them aside for now.)

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Aperture size is measured in f-stops, and the smaller the f-stop, the wider the aperture (or opening). Last year the LG V30 camera set a new high watermark with an f/1.6 aperture, since surpassed by the dual aperture tech on the Samsung Galaxy S9, which lets you switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures, depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your pictures. You can get a great close-up look at the mechanism in this JerryRigEverything video.

Wider apertures have been made possible through the years as lens manufacturing quality has increased—something that’s of paramount importance if you’re letting more light in and want to keep a sharp, focused picture.

Better flash

Maybe not as important as some other components, but the on-board camera flash has made strides in the years that smartphones have been with us. Older phones, particularly Nokia and Sony models, made use of Xenon flash—very bright, but bulky and power-hungry too.

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Today, phones use LED or dual-LED flash to produce a more subtle effect.. In the case of dual-LED, two LEDs are used with slightly different color temperatures, theoretically producing an end result with a better balance of colors that isn’t completely unnatural. Look closely at the flash on the back of your phone and you may well see the two tiny bulbs.

The most recent iPhones include even more improvements, and show how various smartphone camera specs work together to produce better results than the previous generation. As well as introducing quad-LED flash in 2016, the 2017 models debuted a feature called Slow Sync: It keeps the shutter open longer to capture more light and reduce the light needed from the flash, which can flash less brightly for less time.


Faster focus

Maybe you’ve never thought much about the focus on your smartphone’s camera if you’re not shooting sports or wildlife, but it’s pretty significant in the overall quality of your shot. It works by moving the camera lens on tiny motors to make the object of your photo nice and clear, but a host of other hardware and software factors are at play—and down the years, phone autofocus has become much more accurate, and much faster.

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Before 2015, phone cameras focused solely based on the contrast they could detect in a scene. Starting with the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6, phase detection was added, built right into the sensor: It uses the information coming in from both sides of the lens to calculate where the perfect focus is (where the points of light should meet). It’s faster than the standard contrast detection method, but it’s still not great in low light.

Enter more smartphone camera tricks. The dual pixels used on the most recent Galaxy phones, for example, turn every pixel into a little phase detection system, improving performance in darker scenes. For its Pixel phones, Google went with a time-of-flight infrared laser to measure distances quickly in any lighting situation. Again, it shows manufacturers getting creative, and in different ways, to improve photos taken on mobile.

Optical image stabilization

GIF

Optical image stabilization is more important than you might think: It doesn’t just keep your shaky videos steady, it also means that when you’re taking a photo, the shutter can stay open for longer without any blur, and again that’s crucial in terms of collecting light. In other words, your phone camera isn’t only relying on image stabilization when it’s shooting sports.

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On the most basic level, optical image stabilization uses floating lens and miniature electromagnetic motors to move them. As the technology has become more advanced, phones have become better able to incorporate other data (from the gyroscope, for example), to further factor out shakiness. In fact there’s a whole host of different ways that manufacturers do this, both mechanical and non-mechanical.

OIS was actually cut from the original Pixel in favor of software adjustments, though it did appear in the Pixel 2. It’s also one of the small differences between the dual cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X—the more expensive handset has OIS on both cameras, not just one. It’s a tech that has been refined, rather than revolutionized, in the time that smartphones have been around.

Dual cameras

What do you do when you can’t increase the size of your camera lens or your image sensor, because your components need to be as compact as possible? You add an extra camera to the mix. This is an approach now being adopted by phone makers across the board, with the LG G5 and the Huawei P9 the first to try it in the modern era. Two rear cameras had previously been seen on the HTC M8 and even before that, though they weren’t used in tandem as they are now.

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The key benefit is clearly are more data for the camera to work with, whether that’s more data on color or contrast or being able to make use of a lens with a wider angle. All the restrictions we’ve talked about above can be overcome to some extent if you add another sensor and lens set to the mix. Of course, as phones have become more powerful, they’ve also become better able to crunch the information coming in from two cameras simultaneously.

Use a telephoto lens for the secondary camera and you can suddenly get 2x optical zoom, as Apple did with the iPhone 7 Plus. Huawei phones, like the Mate 10 Pro, have a monochrome sensor behind the secondary camera, used to gather extra brightness and contrast information. Two cameras also make it easier to assess depth in a scene, because they have slightly differing perspectives—and that opens up the possibility of the blurred bokeh effect that’s available just about everywhere now.

Improved processing

Finally, some of the biggest leaps forward in smartphone camera quality have come not through better optics, but through better software processing made possible by more powerful phones—as is the case with the Pixel 2 and the smart processing chip it has on board and which is now available to other apps.

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One of the benefits you can see on a Pixel 2 phone is the way HDR effects can be calculated and applied in real-time as you frame your shot—if you’ve owned a smartphone for a while, you might remember the way HDR used to take a few seconds to process, and only then after you’d snapped the photo. Slowly but surely, processing power and algorithms are overtaking the physical limitations of the smartphone camera.

Another key area this affects is noise reduction, cleaning up the areas where the phone camera just can’t match a full-sized DSLR in terms of the light it can capture. Improved processing is also evident in something like Portrait Lighting, now available on the 2018 iPhones: using software smarts and in this case the grunt of the A11 Bionic chip to match a professional camera setup.

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How Technology and the Internet Weren’t Necessarily Good for Photography

We generally think of technology and the Internet as a good thing for photography: digital cameras continue to make more things possible at a higher quality than ever, and the Internet makes the dissemination of one’s work both easier and vastly more widespread than ever. Nonetheless, it’s not all positive, and this interesting interview takes an honest look at how things have changed.

Coming to you from L2inc, this great video features an interview with Rick Smolan. Smolan is a photojournalist who has worked with Time, Life, National Geographic, and more and is currently the CEO of Against All Odds Productions. He also recently released "The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice." Having worked as a photojournalist in the film era, he has a very interesting perspective on how technology has changed the landscape for photographers. While ultra-connectivity has certainly made aspects of a photojournalist’s job easier, the financial viability of the profession has eroded. As Host Scott Galloway points out, it seems that the inherent value of such imagery has gradually been siphoned from the photographer to the platforms that distribute it. The interview is pretty enlightening and a great watch.

You can buy "The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice" here.

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Gnarbox 2.0 SSD Announcement

Having just reviewed both WD My Passport Wireless SSD and the original Gnarbox, I came to the conclusion that both were half-baked solutions (with each having its own list of pros and cons) due to all the performance, hardware and software issues I encountered. It looks like while I was busy reviewing the Gnarbox, the team behind the product was already busy releasing the next iteration, “Gnarbox 2.0 SSD”. After looking at the details of this major release, it appears that most of my concerns have been addressed.

Gnarbox 2.0

Gnarbox 2.0

First of all, the performance of the built-in SD card reader has been pushed all the way to 75 MB/sec, which is impressive compared to the original Gnarbox that could barely push 22 MB/sec. According to the released benchmarks, this should put it ahead of the speed of the WD My Passport Wireless SSD. Second, the new Gnarbox 2.0 now features a USB Type C connection, which should make it a breeze to connect with the latest laptops, as well as provide the ability to transfer data at up to 450 MB/sec. Third, storage concerns have also been addressed – now you can get Gnarbox in 512 GB and 1 TB configurations, which means that you no longer have to carry an extra storage device to fit your data needs when traveling. Fourth, the software has been completely revamped, allowing Gnarbox 2.0 to integrate with Adobe Premiere, Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic, LumaFusion and Dropbox.

Gnarbox 2.0 on Desk

Gnarbox 2.0 on Desk

You can now cull through your photos and rank them, which saves the metadata in sidecar XMP files, so that the information gets transferred over to your image editing platform of choice. For those who shoot video, it will be possible to export edits to XML Project files, so that the data can be imported back into Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro software. Fifth, there are now buttons and a small LCD screen on the device itself, which allow one to back up data without having to connect any device, simplifying the backup process:

Gnarbox 2.0 Interface

Gnarbox 2.0 Interface

Sixth, for those, who want to preview or showcase their photos and video, it will be possible to output their work to an external display or a TV screen via the provided HDMI port. Seventh, the Gnarbox 2.0 will be IP67-Certified, allowing the device to be submerged into water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes without damage, as well as protecting the device against dust and debris. Just like its predecessor, it will be shock-proof as well. Eight, its battery will be easily replaceable, something that was not possible on the original Gnarbox:

Gnarbox 2.0 Removable Battery

Gnarbox 2.0 Removable Battery

And lastly, the Gnarbox 2.0 will feature Intel’s 2.4 Ghz Atom processor with up to 4 GB of RAM, which makes it a pretty powerful device for its size. To make sure that the device does not suffer from overheating issues like its predecessor, Gnarbox engineers designed the chassis with much better heat dissipation – there are now heatsinks installed right above the main board:

Gnarbox 2.0 Heat Sink

Gnarbox 2.0 Heat Sink

Speaking of the chassis, it is now a little longer in size, but slightly narrower as well compared to the original, which should make it easier to pack it in a camera bag, or carry inside a pocket.

Below is a promotion video from the current Kickstarter campaign:

As you can see, the Gnarbox 2.0 is a whole different beast compared to its predecessor. This is not an incremental update that we are used to seeing in most other products – the Gnarbox 2.0 is a completely new platform with pretty large updates to make it an appealing choice for traveling photographers.

And here is the live demo of the product from one of the Gnarbox founders:

For now, Gnarbox 2.0 is only available for backing on Kickstarter, so if you want to jump in on an early deal, you can back the project through different options from $299 for the 128 GB version, all the way to $599 for the 1 TB version (no longer available, but you can get the 1 TB model + extra battery for $699). Gnarbox has announced the project today and they have already far surpassed their goal of raising $180K ($316K at the time of writing this announcement), so this product is most likely going to see the light of the day, something many other Kickstarter projects often fail to do. As of today, it looks like the product is set to ship at the end of 2018.

Here is a comparison of the Gnarbox to its main competitor MyPassport Wireless SSD, along with other laptops:

Gnarbox Comparison

Gnarbox Comparison

Below is an official press release from the company:

(Los Angeles, CA)​ – MYGNAR INC., the developer of rugged backup devices for cameras, proudly announces aKickstarter campaign to support the development of the second generation of their core product GNARBOX​, launching globally on April 3rd, 2018​.

GNARBOX 2.0 SSD ​is a rugged backup device for content creators who prefer to travel without a laptop. Unlike other portable hard drives, GNARBOX has assembled an ecosystem of mobile applications that serve the professional workflow from the field to the studio.

“We believe in making the creative process easier for anyone with a camera. Since the launch of GNARBOX 1.0, we’ve worked with our active community of photographers and videographers to understand the goals of content creators.” said Tim Feess​, co-founder and CEO of MyGnar Inc. “GNARBOX 2.0 SSD is designed for professionals who want to reliably back up their cards in the field and advance their mobile editing workflow. The goal is leave your laptop at home and streamline a process that can otherwise be a burden to creativity. With this product, you can get more work done in the field so you spend less time at home in front of your computer. It’s water, shock, and dust resistant, ​yet packed with the power to review RAW photos and render ProRes videos while in the field.” continued Feess.

Since shipment of its first units in Spring 2017, GNARBOX is quickly becoming the industry-standard mobile workflow platform for on-the-go content creators. The market for backup devices has expanded in early 2018 with the introduction of the Western Digital MyPassport Wireless Pro SSD and LaCie DJI CoPilot. GNARBOX 2.0 SSD will be the highest-powered, most versatile, premium option on the market. With software tools for creative independence, hands-on customer support, and the most third party integrations on the market, GNARBOX has demonstrated its clear position as the leader in this space.

New to the redesigned GNARBOX is an on-box OLED display and button array, allowing users to backup files faster than ever before. When a card is detected, the box prompts you to kick off a transfer with the single press of a button. With a second tap, you can direct the transfer to a preset folder tree for automatic organization. This new tool is designed to save creators meaningful time in the field, and add needed reliability to their creative process.

GNARBOX 2.0 SSD is proud to offer key integrations with widely-used software tools, including LumaFusion, AdobePremiere Pro, Adobe Lightroom and Dropbox:

  • GNARBOX + LumaFusion Integration​: GNARBOX integrates with LumaFusion by leveraging its processing power in support of the most powerful multi-track timeline video editor available on iOS.
  • GNARBOX + Adobe Premiere Pro/Final Cut Pro Integration​: GNARBOX integrates with Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro to create a frictionless ​video editing workflow that starts in the field and follows you back to your production studio.
  • GNARBOX + Adobe Lightroom Integration​: GNARBOX integrates with Adobe Lightroom CC to create a direct connection to the industry-leading photography app.
  • GNARBOX + Dropbox Integration​: GNARBOX can sync folders with Dropbox to create a seamless transition to your cloud storage.

GNARBOX is also launching four new mobile applications with the 2.0 product:

  • Safekeep:​ The most powerful field backup experience, with tailored file/folder organization and sleek tools to manage file movement across your devices.
  • Selects:​ Super-fast preview of RAW photos, ​making it easy to mark your selects with EXIF metadata and prepare for editing in Lightroom Classic/CC.
  • Sequence:​ An accelerated rough-cut assembly app that acts as a bridge to Industry-Standard editing tools like Premiere Pro and FinalCut Pro. You can review videos, prepare bins, and send your sequences to your favorite timeline editor with the widely-used XML format.
  • Showcase:​ The laptop-free way to project your photos and videos on a big screen, wherever you are.

Complete Technical and Hardware Specifications of GNARBOX 2.0 SSD:

  • CPU: Intel Quad Core, 2.40GHz
  • GPU: 4 Core Intel HD Graphics GPU
  • WiFi: 867mbps 802.11 ac/b/g/n
  • RAM: 2-4GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: NVMe SSD up to 1TB
  • SD Card Backup: 75-100MB/sec write speeds
  • USB-C Backup: 400-500MB/sec read/write speeds
  • Ports: 2x USB-C, SD & microHDMI
  • Battery: 3200mAh 7.4v removable lithium ion
  • Battery Life: 5 hours backup / 3 hours editing
  • Weather-Sealing: IP67, Waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes
  • Dimensions: 6” x 3” x 1.16” / ~1.1lb

GNARBOX 2.0 SSD will offer several storage capacities in association with special pricing for Kickstarter rewards throughout the campaign, which are listed below along with MSRP:

  • GNARBOX 2.0 SSD (128GB) – $399 USD
  • GNARBOX 2.0 SSD (256GB) – $499 USD
  • GNARBOX 2.0 SSD (512GB) – $599 USD
  • GNARBOX 2.0 SSD (1TB) – $999 USD

Each pledge for a GNARBOX 2.0 on Kickstarter will receive an extra battery along with a USB-C to C cable and custom wall plug for superfast charging. With a Kickstarter goal of $180,000, MyGnar intends to begin manufacturing in September 2018 and shipping to backers in December 2018. International pledges are encouraged as the product will ship globally.

Three years after the first successful Kickstarter for the original GNARBOX (now aptly titled GNARBOX 1.0) whichraised over $500,000 in 30 days, the brand has developed a strong, supportive community of experienced content creators; ranging from professional photographers, videographers, adventure/travel bloggers and even field reporters and journalists.

“GNARBOX 2.0 is a tool that we expect to be in everyone’s camera bag before long,” said Will Africano​ co-founder and CMO of MyGnar Inc. “We’ve heard from many of the industry’s most decorated photographers and videographers, our own community of GNARBOX users on live chat and Facebook, and the YouTube reviewers who helped share our story. We’re confident in how innovative 2.0 will be for the world of creators.

”GNARBOX prides itself on offering unparalleled customer service which includes personal one-on-one guidance and assistance from their internal teams who maintain expertise in media production workflows and troubleshooting. In addition, GNARBOX also crafts workflow-specialist-led tutorials and reviews designed to support the skills and development journey of a streamlined content creator via Youtube.

An active community of production industry experts also supports the GNARBOX Ecosystem with reviews and testimonials, including support from Chris Burkard, UnboxTherapy, Peter McKinnon and PhotoJoseph.​ GNARBOX Insiders​, a forum-like Facebook community, ​gathers creative individuals dedicated to streamlining their workflows; connecting GNARBOX users and sharing their latest content and workflow tips and tricks. Insiders also provides an exclusive look at software and product releases before they are publicly announced.

In 2017, the GNARBOX Pro Team was introduced as a group of photo/video professionals who are both creators as well as educators. As Pro Team members, they actively aid in creating public conversations around GNARBOX, and provide GNARBOX-related education at workshops and industry events. The original device is now referred to as GNARBOX 1.0 with differentiating storage versions of 128GB or 256GB. This entry-level GNARBOX will continue to be supported and will see the same software improvements from future 2.0 software releases and updates. GNARBOX 2.0 SSD will provide significant improvements to backup speeds, transcoding times and on-board functionality that are not available to GNARBOX 1.0. There are currently no plans for an upgrade or trade-in program. With single-step backup, fast file review and culling, and integrated access to professional editing software, GNARBOX 2.0 SSD will save content creators time and make them more reliable creators.

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Adobe Releases Major Lightroom Update: It’s a Whole New, More Modern Editing Workflow

NOTE: This update spreads across the whole Lightroom universe: It’s for Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, Lightroom Mobile and even Camera Raw over in Photoshop.

Adobe just changed the way we work in the Develop Module forever, and it’s awesome! So much to share, so let’s just get right to it:

OTHER NOTE: If you’re a KelbyOne member, we’re releasing a full-length in-depth course today on this new update to Lightroom featuring the new workflow, all the profile stuff, and more to get you up and running fast!

A Profile-Based Workflow
If you read this first, it will make all this make that much more sense. When you shoot in JPEG mode, your camera applies all sorts of edits to your image right in the camera — everything from adding lots of contrast, sharpening, vibrance, noise reduction — a whole bunch of stuff to create a fully processed nice-looking image pretty much ready to share.

When you switch your camera to shoot in RAW, you’re telling your camera, “Turn off all that contrast, sharpening, vibrance, noise reduction, and so on, and just give me the flat-looking RAW image my camera captured. I’ll add that all contrast, and sharpening stuff myself later in Lightroom.” However, the image you see on the back of your camera (and the one that first appears on screen in Lightroom) is still a JPEG (that sharper, more colorful, more awesome-looking image). Then, in Lightroom, you see the word “Loading” on screen. That’s it rendering the actual RAW image. When it does this, it needs to use some math to interpret this RAW image, and since the beginning of Lightroom (nearly 11 years ago), by default, it has applied a RAW profile called “Adobe Standard.” It’s a very accurate rendering of your image tonally, but also a very flat-looking starting place for tweaking your RAW image. I’ve joked for years at my Lightroom seminar that this Adobe Standard profile is misnamed — it should have been called ‘Adobe Dull’ because the resulting RAW image looks…well…dull. Nothing like the JPEG preview you saw on the back of your camera.

By the way — you could see this color profile (and even apply a different profile — more on this in a moment) in the Camera Calibration panel, and the reason to do this was to make your RAW image look more like that colorful, vibrant, contrasty JPEG you saw on the back of your camera.

Today, Adobe fixed that. And then some!
Today we have a new default profile for our RAW images called Adobe Color, and it’s a much more pleasing starting place, but that’s just the start. First, Adobe moved access to the profiles to the right at the top of the Basic Panel (where I believe they belonged from the start).

Above: Now right near the top of the Basic Panel you can change your Color Profile — and yes, you could change your profiles back in the Camera Calibration Panel, but these new Adobe RAW profiles are significantly better than the legacy profiles that were previously available. For example, here’s what Adobe says describing this new default RAW profile:

“Adobe Color was designed to greatly improve the look and rendering of warm tones, improving the transitions between certain color ranges, and slightly increasing the starting contrast of your photos. Since Adobe Color is the new default (but only for newly imported photos), it was designed to work on the widest range of photos and ensures that regardless of the subject, your photo will look great.”

I think they did a great job with this profile. It is noticeably better without making your image look overly processed. It’s not a night-and-day difference from Adobe Standard (and that’s a good thing — if it looks a lot different, it wouldn’t be an accurate rendition of the RAW image your camera captured), but it’s certainly a better-looking more modern interpretation of the RAW image.

The other Adobe RAW profiles are all a big step up, compared to the original RAW profiles we’ve been using for 11 years, which are still accessible through the Profile Browser (seen at the top of this post).

To access these new profiles, just choose “Browse” from the Profile pop-up menu at the top of the Basic Panel (as seen here), or click the icon with four tiny rectangles to the far right of the Profiles pop-up menu (circled in red above).

More than just RAW profiles — Creative Profiles!!!!
Adobe just dipped it’s big toe (and maybe an entire leg or two), into creating “looks” — one click effects that are more like Filters. Here’s why: Presets move sliders to preset locations for you, right? These don’t. You can apply a Creative Profile, and it doesn’t move a single slider, so you get these cool looks, and then you can still tweak to your heart’s content using all of Lightroom’s tools. This is a whole new world, and I love it!!! (Note: these use a form of color look-up tables to make their magic happen).

Above: One thing I love about these profiles is that you can hover your cursor over them and it gives you an on-screen preview of how the profile would look it you applied it (as seen here).

Holy Cow there’s an Amount Slider!
With these Creative Profiles, you can control the amount of the effect of each profile (just the Creative Profiles — not the Adobe Raw profiles) — it’s right at the top of the Profile Browser. Click on the Thumbnail to apply the look, then use the Amount slider to dial in just the right amount.

Really nice B&W Profiles are here, too!
These are pretty awesome (and just to note: the B&W panel is missing from the HSL / Color panel — now it only appears when you choose a B&W profile. When you close the Profile Browser, you’ll see that where the HSL / Color panel used to be is now the B&W panel).

Look! The Dehaze slider is finally where it belongs
It’s moved from the Effects panel to the Basic panel (right below Clarity). No more “out of sight, out of mind” for this brilliant slider.

Plus…
The Tone Curve is larger to make working with it easier, and the algorithm for the Face Tagging feature has been improved (that’s a win because…well…ya know). Plus, lots of bug fixes, new camera, and new lens support.

Lightroom Mobile Gets Some New stuff, too!
Like a new Geometry panel where IOS (iPhone) users will find the Upgright Feature, and even Guided Upright (yes, in Mobile, but the Mobile app is called Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC). Android users instead get the Sharpening and Noise Reduction panels (already in the IOS version, but not the profile stuff yet as far as I can tell. The Android version always lags, feature-wise, the IOS version which was developed first).

Hope you found that helpful. 🙂

If you’ve been waiting for the update of my Lightroom book…it’s on the printing press now!
We’ve known this new workflow was coming for a while now, so we intentionally delayed publishing the book until now. We didn’t want to release a version of the book earlier and have it already become obsolete today — so this new version, with all the new profile and all the latest features is already at the printers and should be out soon. This is my biggest update to the book EVER, and it includes the most updated version of my Simplified Lightroom Image Management (SLIM) System, too!

You can pre-order yours and be the first to get your copy from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Heads up KelbyOne members — my new Lightroom course on all this comes out today!
I cover all the new stuff in-depth and how to make the most of this new workflow. Lots of cool stuff to share in that course. Over at KelbyOne.com

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m off to Venice, Italy today. Whoo Hoo!! Follow my trip and pics over on my Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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