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Panasonic Announces Pricing for Lumix GH1

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Panasonic recently announced pricing for the highly-anticipated LUMIX DMC-GH1, the new Micro Four Thirds digital camera with Full-High Definition (HD) video recording ability, which will be available in early June for a suggested retail price of $1499.95. The LUMIX DMC-GH1 includes the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens as part of the kit. The new lens, designed to support HD movie recording, features a silent motor and continuous auto focusing (AF) capability – a differentiator from traditional DSLRs.

In the U.S., the LUMIX GH1 will be available in black and has advanced photography features, such as the ability to record AVCHD 1080p/24p High Definition video, yet is easy enough for entry-level users to understand and take beautiful photos and videos. With Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – a user-friendly setting made popular in the LUMIX line of digital point-and-shoot camera products, both entry-level and more experienced DSLR users can enjoy a complete suite of technologies that allow beautiful photo-taking and engage automatically – no setting adjustments needed.

For those looking for more creative control in their digital camera, the LUMIX GH1 can adjust shutter speed during motion recording, giving the videos a special look, particularly suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. Also, the LUMIX GH1 allows users to control the aperture, which is convenient when there are several subjects at varying distances.  By adjusting the aperture, the user can focus on the foreground and blur the background – or vice versa – even during video recording.

“Since redefining the traditional DSLR category last year with the LUMIX G1 – which eliminated the internal mirror and thus dramatically reduced size of the camera body and lenses – Panasonic has been working to expand its award-winning LUMIX G Micro Four Thirds System line.  Panasonic wants to offer increasingly innovative products and features that make photography fun and easy,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The introduction of the LUMIX GH1, allows photographers of all levels to take superior quality photos and shoot HD video with a more compact, easy-to-use camera that provides increased creative capabilities.”

The LUMIX GH1 provides cutting-edge video recording features, including the ability to record high-resolution full HD (1920 x1080) video at 24 fps or smooth HD video (1280 x 720) at 60 fps using an AVCHD format (MPEG-4/H.264), which provides the important benefit of doubling the HD quality recording time compared with Motion JPEG. The LUMIX GH1 features a dedicated video record button on the back of the camera which lets users instantly start recording videos, even while shooting still photos – removing the fear of potentially missing a must-see video moment.
For more information about the Panasonic LUMIX G Micro Four Thirds System, including the award-winning LUMIX G1, and to place a pre-order for the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH1, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

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Picture Perfect!: National Park Foundation Announces 2008 Winners of the Share the Experience Photo Contest

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

The National Park Foundation (NPF) recently announced the 2008 winners of the Share the Experience Photo Contest, the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal lands, sponsored by NPF in partnership with Olympus and the federal land management agencies. The photo contest encourages Americans to explore and experience the best of our country and share the experience with all Americans when they enter their souvenir photos online.

“We’ve been hosting this contest for nearly a decade and it has become an important way that we connect Americans to their parks and federal lands,” said Vin Cipolla, Vice Chairman of the National Park Foundation. “We’re proud to be working with Olympus and all the federal agencies to inspire Americans to discover our nation’s most treasured places.”

The winners of the 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest are:

Grand Prize Winning Photo: Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Photographer: Mark Cromwell, Enid, OK

Grand Prize image by Mark Cromwell of Enid, OK.

Grand Prize image by Mark Cromwell of Enid, OK.

Mark Cromwell (60) has spent much of his life exploring the backcountry of America’s protected lands. His winning photo was taken during a bird-watching trek with his wife. Of his photo, Mark said, “The day I took this shot we were up before dawn to catch the morning light. A few cranes settled in shallow water in front of me and it was serendipity!” As the Grand Prize winner, Mark’s photo will grace the cover of the 2010 America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass. He will also receive a trip to a National Park of his choice and an Olympus E-3 digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera kit.

Second Place Winning Photo: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Photographer: Dan Sorenson, Glendale, AZ
Dan Sorensen (31) became passionate about photography at a young age with the support of his parents and a few disposable cameras. Of his winning photo Dan said, “A group of our friends rented a houseboat on Lake Powell. This photo was taken just as the sun was just about to dip behind the western walls of the canyon. My friends were frying up some striped bass around a campfire and breaking out acoustic guitars. Me, I was taking pictures.” As the second place winner, Dan will receive an Olympus E-520 DSLR kit.

Third Place Winning Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park
Photographer: Eric Feder, Aurora, CO
A retired school teacher, Eric Feder (42) and his wife have enjoyed traveling and taking pictures throughout the country. Of his winning photo of Rocky Mountain National Park, Eric said, “My photo is one of many I took as a bull elk was testing the waters. After the elk had drunk its fill, the magic was over, but the experience was ours to share.” As the third place winner, Eric will receive an Olympus SP-570 UZ.

Fourth Place Winning Photo: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Photographer: Kuang-Yu Jen, San Francisco, CA
Kuang-Yu Jen (31) says her interest in photography stems from her appreciation of the natural world. Of her winning photo, Kuang-Yu said, “I had been trying to find some time to get away from the city to do some nature photography so I picked up my gear and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Headlands. The sun, the clouds, and the light came together perfectly and allowed me to capture this spectacular moment.” As the fourth place winner, Kuang-Yu will receive an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW.

To view the 2008 winning photos and honorable mentions visit www.nationalparks.org/photocontest.

Sponsored by Olympus Imaging America Inc. and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, the Share the Experience Photo Contest showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands and draws entries from all across the United States.

The 2009 Share the Experience Photo Contest will launch on May 4, 2009.

KODAK Gallery Launches First Ever Mom-a-Thon by Giving Away One Million Free Photo Cards for Mother’s Day

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

KODAK Gallery recently announced that it is giving away one million free personalized Photo Cards as part of Mom-a-Thon 2009. KODAK Gallery is calling upon all children, fathers, spouses and friends – both young and old – to participate in this first ever Mom-a-Thon.

People simply visit www.kodakgallery.com/freephotocard, create a one-of-a-kind personalized printed Photo Card featuring a photo and message and share it with someone they love on Mother’s Day.

“KODAK Gallery’s Mom-a-Thon makes it easy to show mom how much she’s appreciated on Mother’s Day. Moms share a special bond with their children and they deserve more than a typical card and flowers,” said Peter Brumme, Senior Director of Marketing, KODAK Gallery. “We are not just giving away one million free cards, we are giving away one million personalized cards and each one is as unique as the mom who receives it.”

KODAK Gallery needs help to get these free cards in the hands of one million deserving mothers:

1. Consumers visit www.kodakgallery.com/freephotocard and browse the Gallery’s exclusive designs in a variety of shapes and sizes.
2. Choose the design that best reflects their relationship with mom. Select a favorite photo and add a personalized message.
3. That’s it – one more mom will be smiling this Mother’s Day!

KODAK Gallery encourages people to celebrate all the relationships in their lives with a free personalized Photo Card or one of the Gallery’s other unique personalized photo gifts. Gallery makes it easy to create high quality, affordable personalized gifts like Photo Books, Calendars, Mugs, Mouse Pads, and more that mom will treasure for years to come.

Shipping is an additional charge. Offer entitles consumer to a $2.49 credit toward any photo card. Offer expires May 16, 2009.

Written by jeremyparce

April 29, 2009 at 6:22 am

Polaroid Acquired by Hilco Consumer Capital, L.P. and Gordon Brothers Brands, LLC

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

A joint venture led by Gordon Brothers Brands, LLC (“GBB”) and Hilco Consumer Capital, L.P. (“HCC”), which includes private equity fund Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners and other institutional investors, announced today the Federal Bankruptcy court for the district of Minnesota approved its acquisition of substantially all the assets of Polaroid(R), including the Polaroid brand, intellectual property, inventory and other assets. Jeffrey Hecktman, Chairman and CEO of The Hilco Organization, and Michael Frieze, CEO of Gordon Brothers Group, are proud to have Polaroid associated with their organizations and as a leading brand in their distinguished portfolios.

The joint venture partners, who recently acquired The Sharper Image, Linens ‘N Things and Bombay brands, plan to develop a full-scale global licensing and marketing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail (DTR) and e-commerce businesses to leverage Polaroid’s innovative and pioneering heritage.

Stephen Miller, Co-President, Gordon Brothers Retail Group stated, “Polaroid is an iconic brand known globally for their technical innovation and high-quality products that deliver on its reputation of ease-of-use. As a Boston-based company, it’s a privilege to keep Polaroid’s roots in America while expanding the brand internationally.”

“The Polaroid brand has immense global appeal that translates into almost all categories,” commented Jamie Salter, CEO of Hilco Consumer Capital. “This is a terrific opportunity to unlock Polaroid’s brand value and transform its multi-channel platform of diverse and unique consumer products using leading technologies and trend-setting innovations.”

During its 72-year history, Polaroid has developed one of the world’s most widely recognized consumer brands. The joint venture recognizes that Polaroid’s unique “innovation-made-simple” brand platform has global appeal across a wide demographic and can be expanded to numerous product categories. The Polaroid brand began with polarized sunglasses, evolved into instant film, camera and camera accessories, and expanded well beyond into flat panel televisions, portable DVD players, digital photo frames, digital HD camcorders, waterproof digital cameras and more.

Always on the cutting edge of the latest “instant” technologies, Polaroid is also responsible for the world’s very first ZINK enabled printing device. The Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer offers the capability to print and share 2”x3” borderless, color images from a camera cell phone or digital camera in under a minute. In 2009, Polaroid unveiled a digital camera with the same printing capabilities, the palm-sized PoGo Instant Digital Camera.

The flexibility of the Polaroid brand offers limitless potential to embark on additional product opportunities, ranging from consumer electronics to commercial imaging. The joint venture intends to partner with a number of global institutions in the ongoing development of the Polaroid brand.

Written by jeremyparce

April 28, 2009 at 6:12 am

Astrophotography: The Beautiful Images from the Hubble Space Telescope

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Probably since the beginning of time, we have looked at the night sky and wondered, “what’s up there?”

Star-Birth Clouds M16: Stellar “eggs” emerge from a molecular cloud. (Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, STScl, J. Hester and P. Scowen, Arizona State University)

Star-Birth Clouds M16: Stellar “eggs” emerge from a molecular cloud. (Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, STScl, J. Hester and P. Scowen, Arizona State University)

Space and its mysteries have been the topic of books, movies, comic books, poems and songs. But thanks to technology in imaging, we are able to see what composes the our universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded images that not only provide scientists with valuable information about the universe, but also are artistic masterpieces. The HST is a space-based telescope that was launched in 1990 by the U.S. Space Agency. It is located 380 miles above the Earth. In its first 15 years, it has recorded 700,000 images. More than 4,000 peer-reviewed papers based on Hubble data have been published.

The HST moves around Earth at about 5 miles per second. To compare, if a car could travel that fast, a road trip from LA to New York City would take about 10 minutes. It completes its orbit of the Earth in 97 minutes and travels more than 150 million miles every year.

The images captured by Hubble have been featured in multiple magazines and websites. While many enjoy the images, some people wonder about the color of the photos taken by the HST. An explanation is given that these are false colors used to show differences and separate the various elements of the subject.

From the Website, “Taking color pictures with the Hubble Space Telescope is much more complex than taking color pictures with a traditional camera. For one thing, Hubble doesn’t use color film — in fact, it doesn’t use film at all. Rather, its cameras record light from the universe with special electronic detectors. These detectors produce images of the cosmos not in color, but in shades of black and white. Finished color images are actually combinations of two or more black-and-white exposures to which color has been added during image processing. The colors in Hubble images, which are assigned for various reasons, aren’t always what we’d see if we were able to visit the imaged objects in a spacecraft. We often use color as a tool, whether it is to enhance an object’s detail or to visualize what ordinarily could never be seen by the human eye.”

Furthermore, filters are used to recreate colors as explained, “Many full-color Hubble images are combinations of three separate exposures — one each taken in red, green, and blue light. When mixed together, these three colors of light can simulate almost any color of light that is visible to human eyes. That’s how televisions, computer monitors, and video cameras recreate colors.”

Written by jeremyparce

April 27, 2009 at 7:54 am

Nikon Posts Newest Podcast

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Nikon USA has recently released its newest podcast “Behind-the-Scenes with Michael Lichter and the D3X” on its Website. The podcast focuses on Lichter during a studio shoot featuring Arien Ness motorcycles.

The podcast can be viewed here.

Lichter’s Website features many of his works including his famed motorcycle photography.

Written by jeremyparce

April 26, 2009 at 6:14 am

2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Breaking News Photography

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Information for this article came from the Pulitzer Prize media release.

The Pulitzer Prize is one of – if not THE- most coveted awards in journalism. The list of 2009 Prize winners were recently released. Here’s a look at those men and women who earned a Pulitzer in a photographic category:

The criteria for the “Breaking News Photography” category is defined by the Pulitzer committee as “a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black-and-white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both.” The winner is awarded the Prize and $10,000 US.

Clayson Menthor, 13, holds out a small pot for some beans and rice provided by a church outside Cabaret. (Photo Credit: Patrick Farrel, The Miami Herald, September 10, 2008 via the Pulitzer Prize website)

Clayson Menthor, 13, holds out a small pot for some beans and rice provided by a church outside Cabaret. (Photo Credit: Patrick Farrel, The Miami Herald, September 10, 2008 via the Pulitzer Prize website)

This year’s winner is Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald for his “provocative, impeccably composed images of despair after Hurricane Ike and other lethal storms caused a humanitarian disaster in Haiti,” according to the Prize media release.

Farrell has been a staff photographer at The Miami Herald since 1987 and is a native of Miami. He graduated in 1981 from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in television and film production. He has won numerous awards including Southern Photographer of the Year and twice named the National Press Photographers Association’s Region 6 Newspaper Photographer of the Year.

In 2008, The Miami Herald sent Farrell to Haiti, which was devastated during the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season. He was in Haiti the night Hurricane Ike, which was the fourth storm to hit Haiti in a month – hit the country. In all, more than 800 Haitians died and more than 1 million were left homeless by the series of storms.