Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GIMP Magazine Debuts!

Sometimes it seems as if Photoshop is the only game in town, when it comes to photo/image manipulation software, but that never has been true. GIMP is an alternative to Photoshop that has garnered quite a few loyal fans. However, there is one major difference. Whereas you have to spend several hundred dollars to pick up a copy of Photoshop, GIMP is free to download. You see, GIMP is open source software and in the true spirit of the open source mindset, it doesn't cost anything. And it offers much of the same functionality that Photoshop is known for. Mind you, Photoshop offers a lot more options for doing everything, but most folks who use GIMP are more than happy with it.

Now there is going to be a GIMP users magazine and like the software itself, it will be free to download in PDF form. The first issue will be available September 5th and you can find it here. Starting with the second issue, they plan to offer a print version as well.

If you are interested in trying out GIMP software, check it out here. This is also a good place to learn more about it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A New Paradigm for Photography?

So Nikon has announced a new point-and-shoot digicam, the Coolpix S800c. What sets it apart and why it possibly signals a significant change in photography is the fact that is the first, at least as far as I know, Android-powered camera. Android, as in the mobile phone operating system. So the S800c will have Wi-Fi, GPS, full HD-video, a 16 MP sensor, and a 10X optical zoom (25-250mm equivalent) and you will be able to upload instantly all your stills and videos to the social media platform of your choice. I  would assume, though I could be wrong, that you can also run Instagram and other similar apps on this camera, too. It will be priced around $350.00.

Through most of the history of still photography, the end product has always been physical prints on paper. With the rise of social media, more people are interested in posting their images online and never seeing prints of their photos. This camera addresses this change and I expect more cameras will follow suit. For myself, most of my casual, everyday photos are done with my Droid phone through Instagram and posted on Instagram (Hermonator), Facebook, and Twitter (Hermonator56). Sharing photos through social media is where the medium is going and Nikon is smart to give us a camera that will handle it. Good job, Nikon.

UPDATE: Samsung is rumored to be working on a Galaxy-based camera, which uses the Android OS. Since Photokina is this year, there's a chance it might debut at the show. I'm sure we'll see more of these cameras.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Skin Smoothing Photoshop Tutorial

Photoshop Roadmap has published a video tutorial from photographer Lee Varis. You can watch the video here. It follows an unusual, but straightforward technique for smoothing skin tones. As these types of techniques go, this one is simpler than some, but maybe not as useful for handling extremely rough complexions. Varis recommends it for portraits that need only a subtle smoothing of the skin tones. It's worth checking out.