Password Protection of the Year Award

Nikon Password Protected

Nikon is an innovative company and although I like Canon (though not a fan boy) I do appreciate a lot of their cameras.
Nikon has also just gone up in my appreciation value with their new patent that has been filed in Japan. The patent states that with certain lens/body combinations a password would be required to use the camera. The technology would most likely be based on lens and camera serial numbers with a pre-selected password.

Why do this?
It could be a form of theft prevention in the long run if thieves know that the camera will be useless when stolen but with everything computer based I am sure in the long run thieves will find a way around the system. I also wonder if you can detach the lens without inputting the password therefore still having a good operating camera body.

This is all in a patent application and it is good to see that camera manufacturers are looking out for their customers.

Environmental Photographer of the Year Award

Image © Michele Palazzi, courtesy of CIWEM’s Environmental Photographer of the Year 2013 via BJP

Italian Photographer Michele Palazzi has been named the Environmental Photographer of the year with his image “Gone with dust #2”. The competition was tough with over 3000 entries. Michele has won the prize of £5000, while Eleanor Bennet won the competition in the junior category (under 18), walking away with £1000.

This is a good news story but I was most disappointed with a comment on the British Journal of Photography’s news page with this story. A commenter posted ;

I’m sure Michele is elated, but I am disappointed that once again a seemingly enhanced or altered photo has won a competition that clearly stated images must be original in their rules and regulations.

I am getting really annoyed with people who automatically say that an image is photoshopped. It annoys me because we all Photoshop our images and as I have written about before, rules about photoshopping are ambiguous. In looking at the image I can’t see any clear signs of major photoshopping that wouldn’t have been and couldn’t have been done in the darkroom.

In looking at the image, the scene was taken in low light conditions a diffuse quality. The colour temperature is quite cold and there are no long shadows. The depth of field falls out evenly with the focus being on the boy with the Spiderman costume and then dropping out soon afterwards. There is lens vignette which in my opinion seems even and heightened in the foreground from being burnt in. The contrast seems natural except where the image has been burnt in.

It is easy to sit behind an anonymous name and say “photoshopped” but the skill of the photographer is in their eye and their technical ability to take the shot. It is my opinion that if you have to spend hours in Photoshop to make an image amazing then you are doing something wrong.

I wish the photography community amateurs and professionals a like, could stop crying foul at every competition winner and praise them on their work. The competition was judged on the images; impact, composition, originality and the photographers technical ability.  A slide show of short listed images can be found here http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2013/feb/21/ciwem-environmental-photographer-2013#/?picture=406897756&index=0

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