New look, new owner

 Dear Photography Friends,

Today I am announcing some new changes here at CoolPhotoIdeas. There has been a change of ownership and a layout update as well!

Well, Kerry handed me over the website, so I am the new owner. With this post, I want to introduce myself along with my new ideas and layout.


VSCO FILM 03 for Lightroom released

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We're big fans of the VSCO presets for Lightroom - which emulate the look of various films - here at CoolPhotoIdeas. Admitedly if used wrongly they can be a bit too Instagram, but used wisely they can give your shots an authentic film look.

The latest pack offers yet another selection of film-emulating presets to give images the feel of the likes of Polaroid and Fuji films. There's also new custom camera profiles for Fuji, Canon and Nikon.

VSCO Film 03 is said to utilize Lightroom’s 2012 process, as well as RGB curves, to result in even greater realism in film emulation and control of color tones.

Penguin-cam helps BBC get amazing shots

Some people say that a good photographer can get great shots whatever camera they are using. But sometimes it helps to have a dedicated tool for the job … like the BBCs Penguin-cam.

To help them get close-up footage of Emperor penguins in Antarctica, wildlife producers hid 50 cameras in a series of disguises ranging from rocks and eggs to penguins.

Nikon celebrates 80th NIKKOR anniversary with lens-making movie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nikon recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Nikkor brand … and decided to commemorate the achievement by releasing a video offering an insight into how its lenses are made nowadays.

The three-and-a-half-minute movie takes viewers through lens-making process; from forming the glass, to meticulously checking and polishing it before fixing it in a barrel ready to mounted on your camera.

It's a fascinating insight into process you probably take for granted, and certainly a great way to celebrate the 80 year history which began with the first shipment of Nippon Kogaku’s Aero-Nikkor aerial photographic lenses.

Sony ridicule DSLR users who use automatic settings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sony think it's daft that so many people buy expensive DSLRs and then leave them on automatic settings, so they sent out professional photographer Gary Heery to investigate why.

In a video which has gone viral online, Heery can be seen chatting to a number of photographers about how they use their cameras, an what they know about them.

It soon becomes apparent that many people may as well be wearing expensive necklaces as their DSLRs, because they are just for show and they don't know how to use them.

Eyeist launches photography review service

has launched an online photography review service which will see experts review users work and provide private guidance and feedback on their images.

With an interface which built from the ground up, paying users can submit up to 30 images and get comprehensive feedback within 72 hours, schedule a private, 20-minute live session with an Eyeist Reviewer.

The team of over 50 reviewers, including Photo Editors, Publishers, Photographers and Photo Agents will also help you get your presentation, portfolio, or book organized.

Google shows off backpack camera system

It's no secret that Google as got some pretty cool technology, and that includes their photography tech used for producing Google Street View.

Google recently showed off a wearable backpack camera system which has been used to capture images of the Grand Canyon.

The device - which features several cameras positioned in a sphere raised above the wearer's head - was used to capture 360-degree images of the breathtaking landscapes.

Google acquires Nik Software

Google has announced that it has acquired Nik Software, makers of standalone and plug-in image editing tools, in a bid to take on the Facebook acquisition of Instagram.

It's thought that the move was driven by a desire to own Snapseed, a photo editing and sharing app, and that the technology could be incorporated into Google services including Picassa and Google+.

A spokesperson for Nik said: "We are pleased to announce that Google has acquired Nik Software. For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, “photography first”, as we worked to build world class digital image editing tools.

Photoshop Touch Is Now Retina-Friendly on the iPad

Photoshop Touch
is one of our favourite photo-related iPad apps, and it's only going to get better after Adobe announced it was releasing a Retina-friendly update.

In addition to letting you see your images "like never before", Version 1.3 also allows users to work on high-resolution images (up to 12 megapixels)  and add two new Effects: Shred and Colorize.

There's also smoother animation and scrolling in the organizer, tutorial browser, and file picker and a three-finger tap toggles between 100% view and fit screen

Compare the sensor size with

One of the biggest factors in determining the image quality a camera is able to produce is the size of the sensor. But despite this, it's sometimes hard to know how big a sensor is in any specific camera.

Well it used to be, but the newly-launched website hopes to solve that by letting users visually compare sensor size of any camera in its database.

Users simply tag a selection of cameras and are then presented with a diagram showing how big the image sensors are, along with technical specifications.

BJP launches redesigned iPhone Edition

The British Journal of Photography has launched a redesigned version of its publication specially designed for the iPhone.

The 158-year-old publication decided to completely recreate its pages for the smaller screen of the iPhone and split the 100 page monthly magazine into smaller, more frequent editions.

A spokesperson for BJP said: "Uploading print pages into an app is easy for publishers, but the result is a page that you have to keep pinching and zooming to read.

Engineers create 50 gigapixel camera … yes 50 gigapixels

Even the 36-megapixel Nikon D800 has got nothing on this. Engineers from Duke University have created a prototype camera that can capture up to 50 gigapixels of data -- that's 50,000 megapixels.

The camera’s resolution is five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field and is actually created by synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device.

"Each one of the microcameras captures information from a specific area of the field of view," said researcher David Brady.

Camera porn: Vintage rangefinders get restored

It's sad whenever you see a battered old camera sitting in the middle of a car boot sale, knowing it hasn't beed used in quite a while, and probably won't see a fresh film any time soon.

So it's nice to know that some of these cameras will get picked up by the like of the folks over at who caring restore vintage rangefinders.

After giving them a good clean the cameras are patiently brought back to life and good mechanical condition before being given a new skin, often in the form of a wood veneers.

Video shows making of the Leica M9-P Edition Hermès

With a price-tag in the region of £30,000 we think it's safe to say that not too many CoolPhoto readers will get to enjoy the delights of the Leica M9-P Edition Hermès.

But that doesn't mean you cant enjoy the camera porn which is this 'Making of' video which shows things like the leather being cut to shape and the numbers on the dials being hand painted.

The three and a half minute video - which goes some way towards justifying the Leica costs - shows the technical skill and dedication involves in constructing the camera.

School photographer video goes viral online

It must be hard being a school photographer - trying to make kids smile can be hard at the best of times -- but this grumpy snapper wasn't going for that.

A video showing a faux school photographer trying to elicit frowns for his photos has become a viral hit online, and it's not hard to see why… especially if you've ever spent time photographing children.

The Webby-nominated short film School Portrait from director Nick Scott sees the photographer telling children things like "there isn't a pet heaven" and "repeat after me, university tuition fee."

Jesper Bruun the most popular man of stock photography

You've probably never heard of Jesper Bruun, but that doesn't mean you don't know of him, he's one of the most photographed and featured men in the world.

That's because the Danish model is the star of the stock image circuit and has been used to front countless advertising campaigns around the world. Something that many true photographers are not happy about.

So Câmera Clara Photography Studio recently set out to meet Jesper and find out a bit more about him and what he thinks about stock photography being used in the place of commissioned photo-shoots for advertising.

Scott Kelby's Lighting Recipes released as free iPad app

Lighting can make or break a photograph, yet most of us pay surprisingly little time ensuring we are getting it right. However, this iPad app aims to change all that.

Scott Kelby's Lighting Recipes sees the pro photographer going through 20 shots from his portfolio and discussing the lighting setups which enable him to get the impressive images he consistently does.

The commentary is added to by lighting diagrams and gear guides which are presented over 45 minutes and are packaged in 13 lessons.

1-Bit Camera: Take Your iPhone Pics Back in Time

Cameras are constantly getting bigger and better, take the iPhone camera for example, it's got 8-megapixel sensor and is capable of taking some spectacular images… normally.

However, if you want to give your iPhone snaps a somewhat more retro-digital feel you could always download the 1-Bit Camera app and enjoy a 1-bit dynamic range and 150 kilopixels.

Sure your images -- which can still be shared on social networks -- look like they have come from a 1980s, but that might just make them stand out from the Instagram hoards.

Could you take a portrait of a President in 90 seconds?

You probably look at portraits of world leaders and think they have taken ages to create -- but as this video shows, they can be a somewhat rushed affair.

Earlier this year, Straits Times photographer Desmond Lim was tasked with the job of getting a portrait of Myanmar President Thein Sein. The problem… he'd have only 90 seconds to get the job done.

Preparing for the daunting task he set up a backdrop and three lights, an hour before a planned interview began.

100-year-old camera hacked to take digital photos

Photography fan Jason Bognacki wanted to use his nearly 100-year-old camera, but he also wanted digital images… so he hacked the aging Piccolette Contessa-Nettel together with a considerably newer cam.

After hacked the old camera so that it produced an image on the sensor of his Canon 5D mark 2 Bognacki snapped some lovely photos of his dog and shots of local streets.

And the results are pretty impressive, sure they have an old-timey feel to them, but what do you expect from an camera which was last cutting-edge in 1919!