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Archive for the ‘News & Notes’ Category

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.

Canon USA and the Arbor Day Foundation Set to Sow the Canon Forest Program

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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.

Helping consumers make a difference in the environment, Canon U.S.A, Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announced it will bring back the Canon Forest Program, working with the Arbor Day Foundation, this Earth Day.

Beginning on May 1 and running through August 31, for every 10 Canon Generation Green products registered on the Canon U.S.A. website, Canon will plant a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation. Introduced on Earth Day last year, the Canon Forest Program was so successful that the original target date was met three weeks early and 20,000 trees were planted throughout the U.S. In addition to the product registration campaign, Canon will plant one tree for every new hardware item purchased from the Canon eStore from April 23 – May 7.

“Canon’s commitment to the environment is an inherent part of our corporate philosophy of Kyosei – all people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “The smallest of efforts can add up significantly when everyone participates, ultimately helping us achieve our collective goal of a sustainable environment.”

Canon’s Generation Green line of products, which includes its PIXMA Inkjet Printers, imageFORMULA DR-Series scanners, imageCLASS printer products and CanoScan and LiDEscanners, offers paper-saving technology and energy-saving measures, as well as minimal product packaging, all helping to contribute to the overall sustainability of the environment.

Canon believes that accountability is vital to its sustainability initiatives; this is why Canon, along with the Arbor Day Foundation, will enable customers to keep track of the program’s progress by visiting http://www.usa.canon.com/green, when the program commences on May 1. Here visitors can register their new and existing Generation Green purchases, view a tree counter that will show where and how many trees have been planted, learn more about how they can maximize the efficiency of their Canon Generation Green Products and other features on the site.

In addition to Generation Green, Canon U.S.A. protects future generations by helping to preserve nature’s most valuable resources through the support of a wide range of environmental education and conservation initiatives, including the Canon Envirothon, one of North America’s largest high school environmental education competitions; the PBS NATURE series; and scientific research and educational programs at Yellowstone National Park. Canon also established the industry’s first and longest-running Toner Cartridge Return Program in 1990. To date, more than 150,000 tons of toner cartridges have been diverted from landfills. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com/environment.

Written by jeremyparce

April 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Nikon Receives NAPET Manufacturer Service Support Award 8 Years in a Row

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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.

For the eighth consecutive year, the National Association of Photo Equipment Technicians (NAPET) awarded Nikon Inc. the Martin Strauss Memorial Manufacturer Service Support Award. This award recognizes Nikon’s continued commitment to quality and the efficiency of its National Service Department, Service Relations Department, and Parts Department.

“Being recognized by the photo industry as the leading provider of excellent service in our Service Department, Service Relations Department, and Parts Department is an accomplishment to be proud of,” says Arnold H. Kamen, Vice President of Operations & Customer Services. “Being recognized eight years in a row goes beyond our expectations and demonstrates our commitment and dedication to our customers.”

The efficiency of the Service, Service Relations and Parts Departments is integral to the success of Nikon’s retail partners, as it provides their customers with a valuable resource and deters product returns.

The Nikon Service Relations Department is available for active support to retail partners, authorized repair stations, and consumers seven days a week, 18 hours a day.

Jonathan Singer Photographs Flowers With a Heavenly Touch

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Jonathan Singer’s flower images have been called a marriage of art and science. Dr. Singer is a botanical photographic artist whose images of plant life is awe inspiring.

Jonathan Singer in front of his photograph of a Hippeastrum ‘Toscana,’ a new hybrid amaryllis. (Photo Credit: Howard Schatz via the artist’s Website)

Jonathan Singer in front of his photograph of a Hippeastrum ‘Toscana,’ a new hybrid amaryllis. (Photo Credit: Howard Schatz via the artist’s Website)

His credits include being named a consulting photographer to both the U.S. National Arboretum and the U.S. Botanical Gardens; a guest lecturer in photography at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts; and the first American photographer/artist to speak and have a handmade book accepted in the Swedish Royal Academy of Science.

Click here to view an interview with Singer offered by CBS News.

Written by jeremyparce

April 21, 2009 at 6:27 am

Hasselblad Wins Third Award in Three Months

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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.

Hasselblad has won the Technical Image Press Association’s TIPA award – one of the photo industry’s most prestigious awards worldwide – for “Best Medium-Format D-System in 2009,” making it the third honor bestowed on the company this year. In January, the H3DII-50 won Professional Photographer’s coveted Hot One Award. Earlier this month, the camera was named Product of the Year at Russia’s Photoforum 2009.
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As announced on TIPA’s Website,  on April 17, editors of 25 renowned photography magazines from 11 European countries honored the Hasselblad H3D system, when they convened this week in Budapest, Hungary, to select the industry’s top European imaging products from the past 12 months.

In making its choice, the TIPA jury said, “Hasselblad’s H3DII-50 is the first camera to feature Kodak’s 50 megapixel sensor, measuring 36x48mm and twice the physical size of the largest 35mm DSLR sensors. The H3DII-50 provides full 48mm coverage and has been designed to provide an ideal solution for any photographer who demands both creative flexibility and ultimate image quality and resolution.”

In a secret vote for the best photographic and imaging products introduced in Europe during the past year, TIPA editors took into account innovation, the use of leading-edge technology, the design and ergonomics of the products, and their ease of use and price/performance ratio.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad, commented: “Hasselblad is again proud to accept this prestigious award. This honor demonstrates Hasselblad’s vision of providing the world’s best photographers with the most advanced camera system, enabling them to create the world’s best images. With H3DII-50, new components including the HCD 35-90mm zoom lens, HTS 1.5 Tilt & Shift Adaptor, and Phocus software, Hasselblad is helping photographers break creative barriers and achieve image quality that was not possible even six months ago.”

Advisory From Sigma Lenses

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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 Sigma Corporation will no longer include EX warranty cards with its lenses, according to a media release of the company’s Website.
The media release states the same 4 year warranty STILL applies to these lenses. Consumers are advised to keep the proof of purchase for all warranty repairs. For additional questions, contact Sigma.

The company’s mailing address is: Sigma Corporation of America, 15 Fleetwood Court, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779. To request assistance by telephone, call 631.585.1144 or customer service at 800.896.6858. The customer service department is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday.

Nikon Posts New Podcast Featuring Nikon’s Latest Announcements

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Nikon podcast host Mark Ellwood sits down with Nikon’s Steve Heiner to discuss the recent announcements by Nikon.

To view the podcast, click here.

Written by jeremyparce

April 17, 2009 at 8:44 am