Adobe to provide free ‘At Home’ access to students and educators who currently use Creative Cloud apps

Due to the Coronavirus, Adobe has made Creative Cloud apps available to students and educators through a temporary ‘At Home’ access at no additional cost. With many schools facing physical campus closures and moving to online learning due to COVID-19, Adobe is giving greater access to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps to facilitate distance learning. … Continued

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Watch: First Look Selection If We Say That We Are Friends in a “Socially Distant” Online Screening

Yaara Sumerek’s short film If We Say That We Are Friends was scheduled to have its New York premiere tonight at the Museum of the Moving Image’s First Look series. Of course, it’s been cancelled, along with the majority of the city’s cultural activity in the wake of the Coronavirus. But in what’s perhaps a forerunner of the way filmmakers may be responding to the screening cessations in the weeks ahead, Sumerek is going ahead with the event, but online, in a “social distant screening.” At 7:00 PM, viewers can click on this Vimeo link and use the password “Dine” […]

Adobe announces free at-home Creative Cloud service for students and educators impacted by COVID-19 outbreak

Adobe has announced it will be providing students and educators at-home access to Creative Cloud applications free of charge due to the increasing amount of remote learning current taking place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to qualify for this service, a student must otherwise only have access to Creative Cloud applications on campus or at a school computer lab.

In order to access a temporary license to use Adobe Creative Cloud software at home, an IT admin must request access for students and teachers from Adobe. The access application can be found here. Once access is granted, users will be able to remotely access Creative Cloud apps through May 31, 2020, or until their educational institution reopens if this occurs before the end of May.

Remote education can be challenging, especially for students who are only able to access certain services on campus, so it’s nice to see Adobe working to help those affected. Per PetaPixel, the initial request for help came from RC Concepion, a professor at Syracuse University. He told PetaPixel, ‘We have been running around—like every other university—quickly coming up with an action plan to keep serving our students through COVID-19. Teaching communications, we rely a huge amount on Adobe Software—reporters, cinematographers, photographers, designers. It dawned on me that a lot of student access was here at school and that with any students at universities, there would be many that couldn’t afford using the software.’

Image credit: Adobe

In addition to free at-home access to Adobe Creative Cloud for students and teachers, Adobe announced earlier this week that it would make Adobe Connect, its web conference application, free to all users until July 1, 2020. This decision has been made to facilitate remote business and education, and also allow healthcare and government institutions to coordinate their efforts in real-time. Of the decision, Adobe states, ‘We believe that Adobe Connect has a vital role to play for enterprises looking to continue business operations despite travel restrictions, canceled conferences and delayed projects, all while keeping their people safe.’

As more students, educators and other workers are forced to work remotely, access to technological services becomes even more important. It’s great to see a large company such as Adobe working to make people’s lives easier in what are trying times for many.

Adobe Enables Distance Learning Globally for Schools Impacted by COVID-19

March 12, 2020: The past few weeks have shown us that, even in times of uncertainty, our schools and business communities remain strong and resourceful, all while continuing to find creative ways to maintain learning and business continuity.

With many schools facing physical campus closures and moving to online learning due to COVID-19, we’re announcing that we’re giving greater access to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps to facilitate distance learning. We believe that doing so will make it possible to keep coursework, teamwork, and student progress on track through at-home access to Creative Cloud for students and educators.

New cover skin for the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 FE lens

The new skin is available at Alphagvrd.com.

The post New cover skin for the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 FE lens appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

12-Year-Old Autistic Boy Raises $42K+ to Publish His Miniature Car Photos

Anthony Schmidt is a 12-year-old boy on the autism spectrum who is making a name for himself with his iPhone photography. His passion is photographing model cars so that they look life-sized, and he has raised over $42,000 on Kickstarter to have his work published as a coffee table photo book.

“From an early age, [Schmidt’s] passion for cars was evident,” the ongoing Kickstarter campaign states. “He began collecting miniatures, seeking ever more realistic models that accurately capture the beautiful details of their real-life counterparts.

“Soon, he began to take pictures of them with his mother’s iPhone, casting them in increasingly elaborate scenes. These photos quickly became popular on social media, gaining thousands of followers who’ve been inspired by his ability to find a unique outlet for creative expression despite facing significant challenges.”

Schmidt has published over 2,200 of his photos to his Instagram, which now has over 7,700 followers.

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Be bus

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Ferrari Dino 246 GT

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Buick skylark

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Lincon navagotar

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Chevy 454 & Shasta

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Ford Mustang

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Schmidt’s story and work was featured in September 2019 by the local news station Q13 FOX:

Schmidt’s Kickstarter campaign has raised $42,224 from 699 backers at the time of this writing, and there are still 11 days to go.

A contribution of $15 has a mug as a prize, $25 gets you a print, and $50 or more will get you one of the first coffee table books (hand-signed and numbered) if the project delivers on its promises.

(via Q13 FOX via DIYP)

Philip Bloom’s Sony FX9 Review – Nearly Two Hours of In-Depth Video

The Sony FX9 camera review by Philip Bloom is a nearly two-hours long in-depth video review, which he shot over the last four months. Finally released, it covers many aspects of the camera – some of them very extensively. One of the most important topics is the camera’s autofocus. This article shortly summarizes his review.

Sony FX9 Review. Image credit: Philip Bloom

The Sony FX9 full-frame cinema camera has been out on the market for a few months now. Many customers already received their camera and shot projects with it. We are also working with it and are preparing tests on the camera around various aspects of it. It is an innovative professional camera with numerous innovations in multiple fields.

We have already published a few useful articles about the FX9, like the:

Philip Bloom is a filmmaker based in the UK, well known for his contributions to the community over many years. He tested various cameras throughout his career and for the past four months, he has been playing with the Sony FX9. What was initially only supposed to be a short camera review shot in November 2019 with the pre-production firmware 0.5, grew into nearly two hours long in-depth review.

Sony FX9 Review. Image credit: Philip Bloom

Philip invested a lot of time into the review and we think it could really benefit our readers who own the FX9 or who are thinking of buying the camera. That’s why we decided to publish this article about the review.

Sony FX9 Camera Review by Philip Bloom

Philip compared this review with his old review of the Sony FS7 from 2015, which was nearly 50 minutes long. The FX9 review does not cover as many aspects of the camera as the FS7 review, but it covers these topics much more in-depth.

The Sony FS7 was Philip’s main documentary camera for many years. He praised its reliability. The only two things he missed about the Sony FS7 was its low light capability and the poor autofocus performance. These are exactly the two things that the Sony FX9 aims to fix.

The Sony FX9 has been introduced in September 2019 and selected industry professionals (including Philip Bloom and cinema5D’s Nino Leitner) had a couple of hours to play with the camera. Since then, Philip spent two weeks of filming with the FX9 in November (with the pre-release firmware 0.5) and then on and off for the next three months (release firmware 1.0). Altogether, around eight weeks of work in total.

Firmware Updates

Currently, the FX9 has a firmware version 1.0, but it is still missing some features like a full-frame slow-motion, 6K resolution recording (not sure if it will ever come), 4K and 2K DCI modes, a 5K crop mode, and some other features, many of which are coming later with future firmware updates, expected in summer 2020.

Sony FX9 Review. Image credit: Philip Bloom

One of the most noticeable things to improve from the FS7 is the color science straight out of the camera. The FX9 offers a new S-Cinetone color profile, which Philip used a lot in the course of his review. It’s based on the improved color science of the Sony VENICE.

Autofocus

Many professionals in the film industry only use manual focus, but since the AF became so capable, it is important to take a look at what it can do and what it can’t do. A big chunk of Philip’s FX9 review, therefore, was dedicated to its autofocus. As mentioned in the video, autofocus in video cameras needs to really be accurate, smooth, and reliable. Only then it makes sense to start using it.

As image sensors get larger and resolutions get higher, it is becoming more difficult to keep things in focus. Better and larger screens and more accurate focus assist tools are necessary to pull the manual focus correctly. Manual focusing gets even more complicated with photographic lenses which have short focus throw and sometimes even non-linear (fly-by-wire) focus wheel.

The autofocus on the FX9 works best with native Sony glass, but it also somewhat works with adapted EF-mount glass with the SIGMA MC-11 adapter or the Metabones adapters. The face tracking was not that reliable with adapted glass. SIGMA MC-11 with new SIGMA lenses seems to have worked very well – almost like a native glass. For the best autofocus results, however, a native E-mount glass is needed.

Sony FX9 Review. Image credit: Philip Bloom

It is possible to tweak various aspects of the AF, like transition speed, sensitivity, and so on. Currently, there is no animal recognition autofocus on the FX9 like there is in the Sony Alpha series. An important note is that the autofocus only works when the camera’s frequency matches the framerate.

The Sony FX9 screen does not have a touchscreen function. There is a rumor that the display actually is a touchscreen, it is just not enabled. Sony, however, did not officially confirm this yet. Philip says that having a touchscreen for the autofocus would certainly be a VERY welcomed feature.

Face Tracking Autofocus

The FX9 offers various modes of face tracking autofocus. Face-Only Mode stays on the subject’s face and when it disappears from the frame, the camera does not refocus to the background. It will keep looking for a face and when that again reappears, it will track it and keep it in focus. Face Priority AF will focus on the subject’s face, but when there are no faces in the frame, it will refocus on the background.

Sony FX9 Review – Face tracking autofocus. Image credit: Philip Bloom

When there are more faces, the camera chooses the dominant one and keeps the focus on it. The white square is then marked with a yellow line. Users can always select a different face using the FX9’s joystick. Focus Hold is a useful function to keep the camera from refocusing when the AF-locked-face exits the frame. Philip recommends mapping Focus Hold to a function button.

The Face Registration function can keep the focus on a particular person and not care about the other faces in the frame. Philip even tried to draw different faces on a whiteboard and he tested when the camera recognizes the drawing as a face. He also tried wearing different masks.

Sony FX9 Review – Face tracking autofocus. Image credit: Philip Bloom

As a conclusion, Philip tried to really push the AF capabilities of the FX9 to their limits and at times it really frustrated him. In many real-world scenarios, however, it was performing very well and the AF was reliable most of the time. The autofocus struggles for instance with a dark face and bright background or when there are many faces in the frame. Philip sent his findings to Sony, so hopefully, they can fine-tune the AF even more with future firmware updates.

Sony FX9 Review – Face tracking autofocus did not function 100% of the time. Image credit: Philip Bloom

Philip does not think the autofocus is going to replace the manual focus workflow and focus pullers in the near future. It will only become a capable alternative for many shooting scenarios. He also said that “autofocus is not simply a switch to turn on and everything is magically in focus, it takes skill and practice to get the best out of it.”

Low Light Performance

The FX9 has a dual ISO sensor, the lower native ISO is 800 and the higher native ISO is 4000. For ISO values between 800 and 4000, Philip recommends using the higher base of 4000 and dialing the ISO down as it produces a cleaner image (tested in S-Cinetone).

Sony FX9 Review. Image credit: Philip Bloom

The low light performance is much better than it was with the Sony FS7 and the image seems fine and clean even at ISO 12.800.

Electronic Variable ND Filter

The Electronic Variable ND Filter (eND) is implemented better than in the previous Sony cameras according to Philip.

Sony FX9 Review – Variable eND. Image credit: Philip Bloom

With a lens with smooth IRIS combined with variable eND, it is possible to do a “Depth of field rack”. It changes the bokeh while maintaining the exposure by changing the ND level while opening or closing the IRIS. This offers a different tool than the focus pull – it still keeps the main subject in focus, but slowly reveals or hides everything else in the frame.

Sony FX9 Review – Variable eND. Image credit: Philip Bloom

Lens Mount

The FX9 uses the lever-lock version of the E-mount, so it is not possible to mount the lens using only one hand. It is always a two-handed operation. The advantage of this is a much more sturdy and secure lens-body connection, but you have to put your camera down to change the lens if you are doing it alone.

Slow Motion

There are more crop modes of the 3:2 sensor. Although the sensor resolution is 6K, the camera does not (yet) record 6K video (in fact, the XAVC-I codec does not support a resolution larger than 4K). The video is being downsampled to 4K. Full-frame is now also only available up to 30fps. For higher frame rates it is necessary to switch into a Super35 mode.

Sony FX9 Review – Sensor Modes. Image credit: Philip Bloom

For slow-motion in 1080p (up to 120fps), you need to change the scanning mode to 2K (full-frame), which scans the sensor in a lower resolution so it degrades the image quality a bit. The 1080p 120fps footage still looks quite nice according to Philip.

Sony FX9 Review. Image credit: Philip Bloom

Stabilization

Sony FX9 does not have sensor stabilization, but it records data from its gyroscope. This data can then be used with a Catalyst Browser to stabilize the footage during post-production.

Power

The FX9 uses the same BP-U batteries like the FS7 but it draws power more quickly – about a one third quicker according to Philip. The Sony XDCA-FX9 extension unit offers not only the V-Mount battery plate but some other extra functions like the RAW output. It is quite expensive and bulky though.

Sony FX9 Review – Accessories. Image credit: Philip Bloom

If you don’t need that many extra features, there are also third-party powering solutions (battery plates) for the FX9. many of those also allow a small BP-U battery to be inserted to the camera at the same time to provide for a hot-swap ability. Philip recommends the Wooden Camera battery plate (because it can be simply flipped up to replace the internal BP-U battery) and the Core SWX plate.

Sony FX9 Accessories

Philip dedicated a part of his review to talk about useful FX9 accessories. He said, in terms of ergonomics, the FX9 is much better and more usable out of the box than the FS7 was.

As an essential piece of accessory, he recommends getting a different top plate, because the Sony rod system for the display is not that well designed. Philip uses the Zacuto Top Plate. It offers a nice way to mount and adjust the EVF or monitor without tolls. He does not recommend changing the Sony top handle though.

Other useful, but not essential accessories could be:

  1. VCT Base Plate. He uses the one from Zacuto, which allows the camera to slide backward and forward easily.
  2. Zacuto extension arm for the grip. It has a useful quick-setup lever and it can be rotated as well. The SHAPE extension arm is also very nice.
  3. EVF like the Zacuto Kameleon, or just a Zacuto Z-Finder mounted on the Sony screen (the screen is much better than the one of the FS7).

What do you think of Philip’s FX9 review? Do you own the camera or are you considering getting one? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post Philip Bloom’s Sony FX9 Review – Nearly Two Hours of In-Depth Video appeared first on cinema5D.

Canon EOS R5 – More Details From Canon

The Canon EOS R5 will be Canon’s next flagship camera in the EOS R ecosystem. To confirm the features of this incredible mirrorless camera that can shoot 8K videos, Canon just made an announcement to give users a little bit more details about its capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at it!

CanonEOSR5_Featured

Image credit: Canon

Canon EOS R5 – Canon’s Next Flagship Mirrorless Camera

The Canon EOS R5 has been announced in February 2020. Since then, there has been a lot of noise around this camera all over the Internet. Indeed, on paper, the Canon EOS R5 features incredible photo and video capabilities, including:

  • A new CMOS sensor.
  • It can shoot 8K video, and it can down-sample 8K videos to 4K for improved image quality.
  • Dual-card slot.
  • It is the first-ever Canon camera to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS).
  • The possibility to shoot stills at up to 20 frames per second using an electronic shutter. Using the mechanical shutter, you can go at up to 12 FPS.
  • Support automatic transfer of image files from the R5 to the image.canon cloud platform.

The EOS R5 will surpass most of the stills cameras they ever created. These kinds of high-end video specs in a DSLR/mirrorless camera are usually unexpected from Canon. But recently, it seems like Canon is unleashing the beast with the release of the Canon EOS-1DX Mark III, and now the EOS R5.

The EOS R5 was first shown during WPPI 2020 in Las Vegas at the end of February, but Canon just released an update to confirm some of the details about the video capabilities of the R5.

CanonEOSR5_Featured

Image credit: Canon

Canon EOS R5 – Canon Confirms Some Details

Canon confirms that the Canon EOS R5 will be able to capture 8K video internally at up to 29.97 frames per second. Also, there will be no crop, and the EOS R5 will use the full width of the newly developed CMOS sensor when shoot video.

You will have access to Dual Pixel AF in every 8K shooting mode, and even get access to Animal Detection. Finally, Canon confirms that you can combine the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) with the Image Stabilization (IS) from Canon lenses, to get super stable results.

And that’s it; there is still no other words from Canon about the price nor availability of the Canon EOS R5. Otherwise, with the Coronavirus pandemic at the moment, Canon – like every other manufacturer out there – might issue some production delays on their latest flagship mirrorless camera. As always, we’ll keep you updated as soon as we have other information regarding the EOS R5.

What do you think about the Canon EOS R5? Does this confirmation from Canon start to change your mind about this camera? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Canon EOS R5 – More Details From Canon appeared first on cinema5D.

Photos of Frozen Waves in an Alpine Colorado Lake

Every once in a while, the natural world can surprise us, inspire us with something unexpected and unique, particularly to the eyes of an artist. Such a moment came when I made my first visit to a specific alpine lake in Colorado, revered for its location amidst towering craggy spires and the stark reflections it can cast on a calm morning.

Arriving before sunrise, the undulating surface of ice, pockmarked with minuscule hills and valleys, at first seemed unusual but understandable. After wandering the lake, scouting for compositions, a rocky section of the shoreline revealed the amazingly unexplainable phenomenon that kept me returning for multiple shoots: ice waves, as if frozen in time, reflecting the landscape in sleek, twisted curves and ridges. The lines drew me in, laying on the ice to get a ground-level view, and reinforced my intent to create images that convey an unseen perspective.

Unplanned and unprepared, the only way I could shoot at truly ground level was to lie on the wavy ice and use any soft materials available (gloves, hat) to support and solidify the camera for multiple shots with varying focal planes that enable focus stacking to create an image with sharp focus from 6 inches away to infinity.

The experience of shooting these photos will likely keep me coming back to this spot as long as I live in Colorado.


About the author: Eric Gross is a Colorado-based photographer and “wanderer.” The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram. This project was also featured on Colossal.

How I Left My Banking Job to Become a Photographer for Good Causes

In the summer of 2017, I received an invitation from my CEO at Barclays India, Uma Krishnan, who was interested in collecting some of my award-winning photography work. In order to avoid giving away my photographs for free, I asked her to contribute some amount towards her favorite social cause, and this is how the idea for Create4Cause was born.

I bought a DSLR camera with my first paycheck and I was soon bitten by the photography bug. I soon cut off TV and other sources of entertainment to learn photography on YouTube and through Google. Bloomberg got replaced by Phlearn and The Economist subscription by National Geographic Magazine.

The Art of Photography by Ted Forbes became my daily go-to YouTube channel while I slowly started getting familiar with some master photographers such as Steve McCurry, Jimmy Nelson, Martin Schoeller, and Ami Vitale. I have learned composition by studying their breathtaking work, and I’ve been glued to their Instagrams as well as some brilliant street photography tutorials by Eric Kim.

I previously wrote about why I am NOT a self-taught photographer.

Soon my photography work started getting recognized by the likes of Nat Geo and Lonely Planet. I also started getting international awards, which kept me in the game of photography. Although I used to spend time behind my camera as a side hustle, my thoughts would often be on taking it up professionally. And, as an artist, I did not want to draw boundaries or limit myself, and I definitely did not want to take that jump for the sake of just chasing more money.

Honestly, I was a happy banker due to my love for numbers, and I enjoyed my time at Barclays. I think I was just looking for a greater purpose in life to make that switch. I started looking for internal options to take a break from my routine nine-to-five and listen to my calling.

In August 2017, I took a year-long sabbatical from my banking career and went on a journey of my life to travel the world on an innovative social experiment.

The idea was simply to get involved in a photography project if the brand/collaborator was willing to donate my fees towards their favorite social cause.

Throughout the year, I curated photography workshops to support girls’ education in a remote Himalayan village, collected plastic bottles from a dump-yard to create a life-size art installation as an environmental awareness project against plastic, and worked to protect human rights of elderly widows by partnering with a local NGO in Vrindavan.

To date, I have collaborated with multiple organizations to raise more than $9,400 (700,000 Rupees) and to document unique communities across India and Europe.

The out-of-office experience was so fulfilling that I decided to leave my banking career behind and officially resigned from Barclays in August 2018 to work as a full-time photographer. I founded the Create4Cause community for likeminded individuals and brands who are interested in projects that are about more than just making money — there’s a strong emphasis on meaningful and satisfying work.

Spiti Photo Tour For A Cause

Here’s how Create4Cause works now:

1. Social Creator: Any creative professional who is ready to contribute his project fee towards a social cause. E.g. A professional photographer who would work on a product shoot for a brand and is happy to donate his project fee towards a cause s/he wants to support.

2. Social Collaborator: A brand or individual seeking creative work and is ready to match the fund. E.g. A big brand looking for a creative ad or a bride looking for a wedding photographer. You can choose anyone from a list of our social creators who will deliver your project professionally as you agree to match our professional fees towards the social cause.

3. Social Cause: Creator and Brand mutually discuss the social cause for full transparency. E.g. It could be supporting the education of your housemaid’s daughter, feeding the poor or funding a business idea of an underprivileged person(s).

Today, we’re a happy tribe of 13 social creators who have professional expertise in handling global creative projects.


P.S. If you’re a brand looking to collaborate for this worthy program then write to us at project.create4cause@gmail.com and become a social collaborator today!


About the author: Saurabh Narang is an independent portrait and travel photographer based in Sikkim, India. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Narang is the founder of Create4Cause. You can find more of Narang’s work on his website and Instagram. This article was also published here.