Chinese Photographer receives W. Eugene Smith Grant

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A photographer captivated by the problem of industrial pollution, Lu Guang, has been named the latest recipient of the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, providing the photojournalist with $US30,000 to fund his practice.

Lu Gaung first held a camera in 1980 when he was a factory worker in his hometown of Yongkang County in China. Taking up freelancing in 1993, he has concentrated on capturing social and environmental with projects on gold diggers, small coal mines, the SARS epidemic, drug addiction, AIDS villages in Henan Province, the Qinghai-Tibet railway.

With the W. Eugene Smith Grant, Lu Guang intends to travel more widely in an effort to ˜shock authorities’ about the effects of industrial pollution.

...full story

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Epson TX700 Printer – Review – 29

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Phil Hanson says all-in-one printers have come a long way but wonders if cramming so much technology into one box delivers the quality of prints photographers expect.

Quality photo printers that take up to A4 paper have become an endangered species.

These days, people wanting a printer to work with the smaller paper sizes find they have to buy a workbench space-wasting A3 or go for a multi-purpose machine that prints, scans, copies, faxes and makes the coffee. Manufacturers obviously see advantages in offering desktop Swiss Army knives, instead of single-function dedicated printers.

The Epson TX700W is an upmarket member of the TX family whose $120-ish TX200 D-Photo reviewed last year, and which effectively dealt to scepticism about whether all-in-ones could be any good.

Costing roughly three times as much, the TX700W ups the ante in all areas and adds a really useful bonus: wireless (and Ethernet) connectivity for both PC and Mac. It’ll also print on suitable CDs.

First appearances

Styled in Italy and finished in gloss and matte blacks, the TX700 is of generally sturdy ...full story

Netbooks – Review – 29

Dell Inspiron

Harley Ogier looks at the options for people who don’t want to take their all-singing, all-dancing expensive notebook computer on the road.

Computers are essential tools for the modern photographer. However, while a notebook PC is a bulky accessory that can really weigh you down when travelling, newer ˜netbooks’ are small and lightweight.

Not only are they lighter to carry, they are also cheaper than their bigger brothers. And while they may not have the power and speed of heavier notebooks, they can give you plenty of options for storing photos and connecting wirelessly to the internet.

What are they?

Netbooks, or sub-notebooks, are miniaturised notebook (laptop) computers. There has been a surge of them in the market, with most manufacturers dipping their toes in the water to give consumers a cheaper way to get a computer.

To cut down on cost, weight and size, netbooks exclude luxuries such as CD or DVD drives ” some don’t even have a hard drive. Instead, they generally include at least one card reader, several USB ports and an inbuilt memory card to replace the hard drive.

Netbooks ...full story

PhotoWisdom of the Ages

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A new book of extraordinary artworks and interviews by their creators,PhotoWisdom is due for release in December, compiling not only the images of master photographers, but their challenges, methods and motivations.

Curated by renowned photographer, author and former creative head of Getty Images, Lewis Blackwell, the book brings together award-winning photojournalists to celebrity shooters; politicised environmentalists to elusive artists. Works from such prominent names as Andrew Zuckerman, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Chuck Close, David Goldblatt, David La Chapelle, Erwin Olaf, Jill Greenberg, Phil Toledano and Steve Pyke are but a few artists who have participated in the project.

While being a comprehensive resource on contemporary photography, the book also contributes to the innovative charity, PhotoVoice, which assists marginalised communities by providing photographic training and cameras. The organisation helps disadvantaged peoples express themselves, advocate for issues affecting them, and also offer the possibility of income.

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Photographers Aid Samoan Tsunami Relief

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In the wake of the terrible disaster that recently befell Samoa, two Wellington-based photographers decided to help out by doing what they do best. When an 8.3 Richter-scale earthquake last week, followed by an extremely powerful tsunami, the Island nation saw many of its citizens perish, and 90 per cent of its housing decimated.

Sean Aickin, who many would know from Wellington Photographic Supplies, and others from his feature in the last issue of D-Photo, is offering ten images taken during a trip to his family land in the Islands. WPS has kindly offered to meet printing costs, so 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Red Cross NZ Samoan Tsunami Relief Fund. Check out the gallery of Sean’s images at here.

Talented photographer and digital visual effects artist, Karim Sahai, who recently spoke at ...full story

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iPhotographers Get Better Camera App

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Online photography phenomenon Chase Jarvis, whose motto, ˜The best camera is the one you have with you,’ rings out over blogs across the land, has released a new application that is reportedly ˜like Photoshop for the iPhone.’

Called Best Camera, Jarvis’ customised app allows iPhotographers to process their shots a la Lightroom, while offering a number of filters, which can be stacked, removed and save at will. It also links in to an online digital photography communities, including Facebook, Twitter and Jarvis’ own bestcamera.com

On first glance, the interface is undoubtedly simple to use, although it does tend to make your images redolent of Jarvis’ own.

The software has been getting some pretty sparkling reviews, and is available over Apple’s iTunes for three ...full story

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Pentax Shoots Under the Sea

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Continuing its recent focus on cameras designed for the adventurous types, Pentax has announced the release of the Optio WS80.

The 10-megapixel point-and-shoot can dive to depths of 1.5 metres and shoot for two hours continuously, while offering all the mod-camera-cons like HD video, 5X zoom and face recognition functions. The WS80 also uses three kinds of anti shake protection for low-light situations.

Available early this month, the cameras are reportedly up for sale at $599.

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