Manfrotto Announces Advanced2 Bags

From Manfrotto:
The forward-thinking collection for passionate photographers who are always ready to capture the action
Upper Saddle River, NJ – September 12, 2019 – Manfrotto, world leader in the photography, imaging equipment and accessories industry, has rolled out Advanced2, the new photographic bag collection that unites enhanced modern design with comfortable functionality. Passionate urban explorers who experience the world through their lens can now choose between the Advanced2 collection’s 6 backpacks, 5 shoulder bags and 3 holster bags to carry all the equipment they need.
Advanced2 is the new, revamped version of the globally successful Advanced collection, and like its predecessor is designed for today’s busiest advanced amateur photographers with urban lifestyles. They’re always on the move and ready to capture the perfect shots. Advanced2 bags are reliable and functional, helping you to never miss a moment and create inspiring images on your commute, between your photographic projects. Manfrotto’s new lineup caters to your everyday needs, according to individual preference, always ensuring maximum functionality and comfort. The new bags accommodate the most popular camera forms, from the latest DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, to drones and handheld camera gimbals. The larger bags are the perfect match for Befree Advanced travel tripods. The more compact solutions are perfect for JOBY GorillaPods.
The Advanced2 backpack range includes the Compact, Active, Gear, Fast, Hybrid, and Travel models, which offer a complete choice of configurations for a varying personal preferences. The range features advanced protection systems to keep photo gear safe, and is designed to maximize comfort with sternum straps and padded back panels. The collection is a combination of specially selected premium coated materials, sophisticated urban style, durability and enviable functionality, not to mention new tripod holders, smart storage systems for photography gear, laptops, tablets, and personal items. The bags are water repellent and have a special rain cover for the worst weather conditions.
The Advanced2 Compact backpack is great for traveling light with a mirrorless, and one or two extra lenses, and 13” laptop/tablet, personal gear, and compact tripod. Easy top access to photo gear, bottom access to personal items. The Advanced2 Active backpack is great for traveling light with a mirrorless, and one or two extra lenses, a 14” laptop, and has a bottom compartment to keep photo kit safely organized, a top compartment for other items, with a tripod attachment and water bottle pocket on the outside. The Advanced2 Gear backpack offers a full access front compartment for a full frame CSC, three extra lenses, foldable drone, handheld gimbal, as well as a 15” laptop and tablet. Personal items are kept in the front expandable zippered pocket and a full-size travel tripod attaches on the outside.
The Advanced2 Fast backpack holds a Pro DSLR, four extra lenses and flash, in a full-access photography gear compartment you can reach from 3 sides, which opens completely for rapid gear changes. Personal items are kept at the top and on the side, there is a special sleeve for a 15” laptop and tablet, and an attachment for a travel tripod on the front.
The Advanced2 Travel backpack holds a DSLR, four extra lenses, or full frame mirrorless with two additional lenses and a foldable drone, 15” laptop and tablet – safely organized in two quick-access side compartments, with other items at the top. The side compartments open fully, and for effortless use on the go, slip the straps off your shoulders, rotate the pack to one side to access gear. There is a dedicated pocket for a gimbal or tripod, and a travel tripod attaches to the front of the pack.
The Advanced2 Hybrid backpack is a new form factor in the Advanced2 collection, created to maximize versatility, to cater the different needs of amateur photographers. It is designed to easily transform from backpack to shoulder bag to top handle carry bag. This model has a removable camera protection unit, and dedicated pockets to organize personal gear. The Advanced2 Messenger organizes and protects gear and offers a handy quick access feature, and a chest stabilizer strap for easy carrying comfort.
If you’re looking for smaller bags, check out the Advanced2 Shoulder Bags in 4 sizes and 3 Holster bags to cater to a wide array of personal needs.
All models in the Advanced2 collection are made of high-quality materials which are durable and lightweight. The detailing and aesthetic impact perfectly embody Manfrotto carrying solutions’ urban style. All models are available at select authorized Manfrotto Dealers.
B&H carries the Manfrotto Advanced2 series of bags.

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Amazon could soon make it much easier to leave an online rating

If you never get around to leaving ratings for the stuff you've bought online, Amazon has an idea for you: star ratings that can be left in a single tap on your phone.

The speedy review system is being tested at the moment with a select group of users, TechCrunch reports, and might eventually get rolled out to the wider community of online Amazon shoppers.

A robust review system helps users, sellers, and Amazon itself of course, so it's perhaps no surprise that Amazon is looking at ways to make it more straightforward for people to leave their feedback.

With the new approach, you can put up a star rating without having to fill out the extra  fields, like a review title and a full written review, like you do at the moment.

Ratings war

What's more, the option to leave ratings is going to be available from more places on the Amazon website, and in the Amazon app – it's going to be easier than ever to register your thoughts on a product.

The system will still allow you to leave a more detailed review, if you want to, so the lengthy reviews (complete with anecdotes and illustrative pictures) aren't going away anytime soon.

Amazon will be hoping to give the reviews on its items a boost in terms of both volume and authenticity, but as yet there's no word on if or when the feature is going to become a permanent fixture on the website and in the Amazon app.

"We are testing a feature that allows customers to leave feedback easily while also helping shoppers get authentic customer ratings on products from a broader set of shoppers," an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch.

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Next-gen autonomous cloud capabilities to steal limelight at Oracle OpenWorld

More than 60,000 attendees and over 250 exhibitors and speakers from more than 90 countries are expected to take part in the Oracle OpenWorld 2019 event.

The four-day event, with over 2,200 educational sessions, will take place from September 16 to 19, at Moscone Centre in San Francisco, California, US.

This year, Oracle is bringing a more human-centred focus to its products and solutions with a focus on digital transformation, led by demos and hands-on labs.

The main absence from the event will be its co-Chief Executive Mark Hurd, who is taking a leave of absence from the company for health reasons, and his duties will be shared by co-CEO Safra Catz and Oracle co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison.

The year looks better for the cloud industry due to the global economic instability as organisations are moving to the cloud to cut costs and improve operational efficiency by using artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $ 3.74 trillion in 2019, an increase of 0.6% from 2018 while the enterprise software market will experience the strongest growth in 2019, reaching $ 457 billion, up 9% from $ 419 billion in 2018 and another 10.9% in 2020 to total $ 507 billion.

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.5% in 2019 to total $ 214.3 billion, up from $ 182.4b in 2018,

While SaaS represents a $ 95 billion market in 2019 compared to $ 80b in 2018, the biggest out of the cloud spending, it will grow to $ 143.7b in 2022.

Autonomy gains traction

Oracle's cloud-related success mostly lies with SaaS [software as a service] applications, so Oracle, a services company rather than a product company, will focus on IaaS [infrastructure as a service] and next-generation autonomous cloud database at the event.

An autonomous database is a cloud database that eliminates complexity, human error and manual management associated with database tuning, security, backups and updates; tasks traditionally performed by the database administrators (DBAs).

According to research firm International Data Corporation’s Public Cloud Services Tracker in April, Oracle gained the most market share globally out of all enterprise applications SaaS vendors for three years in a row.

In fiscal 2018, the company’s revenue from applications totalled $ 11 billion and its co-CEO Hurd said that it could be doubled to $ 22 billion by migrating its existing on-premises business to SaaS platform.

With a focus on autonomous database, Oracle will unveil updates to Oracle Database 19c, which runs both on-premises and in the cloud and reveal more details about its partnership with Microsoft in a bid to improve interoperability between Azure and Oracle's IaaS, known as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

"Autonomy is the defining attribute of a Generation 2 Cloud," said Ellison.

"The autonomous database is the most successful new product in Oracle's history. We added more than 500 new autonomous database cloud customers in the first quarter and expect to more than double that in the second quarter. We now have over 2,000 customers, paying customers, for the autonomous database."

Next growth phase

The US software giant, with decades of database software and technologies and having a strong penetration in the enterprise space, is gearing up for the next growth phase in cloud services.

 “Oracle’s response to autonomous is a critical element for dealing with enterprise-wide security as it gives a greater level of agility for organisations to differentiate and optimise their business, well beyond the competition,” Richard Smith, senior vice-president, UKII, ECEMEA and South Clusters for Technology at Oracle.

Oracle’s competitors offer the ability to automate scaling and backups but what Oracle is offering is intelligent and self-managing database by eliminating human administrative access with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning in a bid to bring a high degree of automation to routine administrative tasks.

Oracle offers two types of autonomous databases – Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) and Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP).

 “Autonomous Data Warehouse is a capability that we are seeing now in the cloud. ATP, which will be launched soon, will allow customers to deal with autonomous capabilities and also deploy in a very scalable environment to allow customers to scale up or down, with their computing requirements around transaction processing,” he said.

Based on deep machine learning and artificial intelligence, he said that autonomous capabilities are built on every component of the portfolio.

 “Data is the new battleground but businesses are struggling to keep up with tight IT budgets and the volume of data growing exponentially”, Smith said and added that Oracle is built on data applications portfolio more than four decades ago.

According to KuppingerCole, Oracle has been named as this year’s overall leader in database and big data security.

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10 Things Successful Photographers Don’t Do

Creative photographers strive to discover new patterns, color, adventure and beauty among many other things. Creativity awakens all of a photographer’s senses, adding an artistic touch to his or her final work. Many amateur photographers dream of becoming creative photography pros. There are, however, very few who actually master the trade.

best photography tips

Photo by Michael Wilson

Successful photographers have already learned to keep their creative juices flowing. They know a lot about every aspect of photography. Most importantly, they know what they shouldn’t do as professional photographers. Below are 10 things a successful photographer will never do if they want to stay creative:

1. Waste time thinking about gear

This is one of the most important things a successful photographer avoids at all costs. Photography gear may be important for enhancing shots, however, it’s not as important as core photography when taking creative photos. In fact, creative shots often come out better when they are taken naturally, without extra gadgets.

2. Leave the camera at home

Creative photography is all about capturing unrehearsed moments anywhere, anytime. Successful photographers know the pain of missing great opportunities. They make a point to have a camera anywhere they go. This enables them to capture interesting moments that other photographers miss. This is part of what makes them stand out.

what to avoid in photography

Photo by Garry Knight; ISO 1600, f/5.3, 1/50-second exposure.

3. Use the same technique over and over again

There is nothing creative about using the same photography technique all the time. Successful photographers stay away from stagnant photography techniques, which hinder them from growing their skills and experimenting. The best photographers offer variety, which can only be offered by using many techniques and being open to new ideas. Successful photographers avoid monotony at all costs.

don't do this in photography

Photo by João Lavinha; ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/800-second exposure.

4. Ignore the importance of copyrighting work

Copyrighting original work is advisable for obvious reasons (i.e. recognition and compensation). Any experienced photographer know the importance of protecting their valuable work, especially if it falls under the creative photography docket. Photographers become successful by receiving recognition and financial returns from their work. Copyrighting safeguards a photographer’s future earnings on past work and also keeps a record of their creative efforts, avoiding duplication.

5. Share technical problems with clients

Although it is important to be honest with your clients at all times, successful photographers know the dangers of sharing technical problems with their clients. Being honest when faced with technical problems does more harm than good from a professional photographer’s point of view. For instance, clients can start viewing you as unprofessional, which can hurt your reputation. Successful photographers have learned to stay mute about technical problems when dealing with clients. They go as far as planning ahead to avoid occurrences where they will be forced to share technical problems. Dealing with technical problems internally also helps to maintain focus which is important to stay creative.

6. Take each and every assignment they get

tips for budding photographers

Photo by Shannon Kringen; ISO 50, f/5.0, 1/250-second exposure.

You can’t jump at each and every photography opportunity and expect to remain creative. Creative photography is about inspiration. Successful creative photographers know inspiration is hard to come by; they choose their assignments carefully. For instance, they never take assignments just to make money. This is because they understand the importance of being in the right mind frame when working. This explains why they successful photographers don’t take assignments just to please clients. They have to feel inspired.

7. Create friction with event planners

Successful photographers also avoid creating friction with event planners at all costs. This has something to do with staying focused and being able to explore. Successful photographers understand the important role event planners play in their success–they provide photographers with the necessary support they need to do a great job. For instance, event planners obviously have a lot of influence in things like venue set up which can affect the final outcome of creative photography.

8. Try to be the life of an event

This is another mistake successful photographers avoid. Successful photographers understand exactly what their job is at any event. They know their work is to capture memorable times. This explains why they never go overboard trying to interact too much with guests. Don’t try to network or entertain guests, because you will end up losing focus.

 9. Do everything themselves

Successful photographers concentrate on their core work. They don’t do everything themselves. Doing too much at once definitely shifts focus and concentration.

photography tips to know

Photo by Jacob Surland; ISO 100, f/11.0, .5-second exposure.

10. Ignore the Internet

Finally, successful photographers never underestimate the power of the internet. They recognize what works and what doesn’t. The Internet can be a great source of inspiration for photographers looking for new creative ideas.

Aspiring photographers should avoid common pitfalls that can easily stall their creative photography careers. Although there may be many other professional photography taboos, the above information is adequate enough to guide amateur photographer in the right direction.

About the Author:
Swee Shiong Chong writes for sgeastphoto, a photography blog on techniques and equipment that is used in creating all types of photography from around the world.

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First Looks at Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens Image Quality

Image quality test results have been added to the Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM Lens page.
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Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS vs. RF 24-105mm F4 L IS Lens
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Apple is neglecting the MacBook in favor of the iPhone 11 – and that could cost it dearly

You might have noticed that Apple released a few new smartphones recently – including the iPhone 11 Pro, and while the Cupertino company gushed about its latest handsets, it became ever more apparent that it seems almost completely uninterested in its Macs and MacBooks.

I can sort of understand why. Smartphones are still thought of as exciting and modern, and they are a reliable way of getting people to fork out their hard-earned money every few years.

Laptops like the MacBook, however, are seen more as everyday workhorses that are there to do a job, but aren’t the status symbols they once were. They've lost their cool. While Apple once was a computer company, it’s now essentially a phone manufacturer.

A phone manufacturer that actually wants to be a camera maker. Surely the reason why Apple stuck three ugly lenses on the iPhone Pro, and spent most of its launch event talking about the photo and video capabilities of its new phones, was because it desperately wants to be Canon or Nikon – not Nokia. I can’t actually remember Apple talking about phone calls or 5G or anything that you’d use to make phone calls with. Using a phone to call people? Why, that’s almost as boring as a laptop!

iPhone 11 Pro in Midnight Green

Admit it Apple – you just want to make a camera

But taking photos? That’s what all the cool kids are doing, so let’s make a camera that can also make a few phone calls.

So I get it, I do. But, for anyone who still thinks of Apple as a computer company, for anyone who uses MacBooks and Macs, Apple’s neglect of that side of things is beginning to frustrate.

Falling out of love

So, what do I mean when I say Apple is neglecting its PC side of the business? After all, Apple has recently released new versions of its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. Surely, that means it still has an interest in its laptops?

In fact, I’d argue that Apple’s latest refreshes of its MacBooks is a clear sign of how disinterested Apple is in its laptops.

After all, there were no big new features, nor any changes to the designs of the laptops. Apple even stuck with the hated Butterfly switch keyboard, despite widespread reports of the keyboards failing. If Apple really cared, surely it would have at least changed the keyboard, rather than tinkering around the edges.

Instead, the only upgrades this year’s models have is slightly improved specs – certainly nothing to get excited about.

Imagine if Apple treated the iPhone like it does its MacBooks – only a slight specs upgrade every year – there’d be rioting in the streets. OK, maybe not. But the lines outside the Apple Stores on their launch days would certainly be shorter.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)

That bloody keyboard remains

New MacBooks coming?

Now, there have been rumors that a more revolutionary MacBook Pro refresh is coming at some point – with hints of a MacBook Pro 16-inch device launching with a (praise Tim Cook) new keyboard.

However, there wasn’t even a hint of that at Apple’s latest event. But if Apple is planning a major redesign, and had released the existing 2019 MacBooks as simply devices aimed at tiding people over until the new – more exciting – MacBook is announced, then this is a risky strategy.

Not only will it annoy anyone who bought a 2019 MacBook, only to find a few months later that it’s been completely superseded, but it has allowed Apple’s laptop competitors to catch up – and in some cases overtake them.

Apple used to be the go-to laptop maker if you wanted a thin, light and powerful device. However, many Windows PCs now offer premium designs that are just as impressive. Known as ‘Ultrabooks’, these Intel-powered Windows laptops offer stunning designs and performance that in many cases blows MacBooks out of the water. Apple took its eye off the ball, and companies like Asus, Dell and even Microsoft have been keen to step up.

Not only that, but while Apple is stubbornly sticking to the same tried and tested form factor, other laptop makers are trying out new and innovative designs. Sure, not all of them are successes (we weren't convinced by the dual-screen Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, for instance) but at least they are doing something different.

At least companies like Asus are innovating with laptops

A victim of its own success

In many ways, I think Apple’s neglect of MacBooks is because they do what they do so well. Apple arguably nailed the design years ago, so even without a major overhaul in the looks department, MacBooks remain some of the thinnest and best looking laptops in the world.

The solid build quality (keyboard issues aside) also means MacBooks can last years without their owners feeling like they need to upgrade. Sadly, I don’t think Apple is that interested in the type of customer that buys one of their devices once every five or six years. 

With the iPhone and Apple Watch (and to a certain extent, iPad), Apple has convinced a heck of a lot of people that they need to buy the latest version every year. That’s a money tree it’s keen to keep harvesting from, even if it leads to leaving other aspects of its business to lie fallow.

Perhaps Apple will release an exciting new MacBook. Maybe it will find its passion for laptops once again. But, there are now so many alternatives that do just as good a job – if not better – that Apple might find it’s left it too late.

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Photoshop vs Lightroom – the Power of Photoshop

The post Photoshop vs Lightroom – the Power of Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

In this video from Nick Page, he Looks at Photoshop vs Lightroom and shows some things that Photoshop can do that Lightroom cannot.

In this tutorial, Nick covers the following using landscape photos as examples:

  • How to use the Quick Selection Tool to select skies against difficult backgrounds so that you can change things like exposure, and contrast more selectively.
  • How to use the Select and Mask tool to refine selections.
  • Applying the selection as a new layer mask.
  • How to fade your opacity levels of your selection.
  • Using the Hue/Saturation adjustment.
  • How to focus stack using layers, and Auto Align and Auto Blend Layers features.
  • Using Exposure Blend and feathered brushes for realism in your photograph.
  • A handy shortcut to create a white layer mask rather that a black one.
  • How to use Levels Adjustment to alter your image contrast.


Do you use Lightroom, or Photoshop? Or both in conjunction with one another? Let us know in the comments.


You may also find the following helpful:

The post Photoshop vs Lightroom – the Power of Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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The LG G8X ThinQ has a secret weapon that makes it a gaming beast

First, a quick disclaimer: I'm the world's biggest (read: outside of Korea, possibly only) LG smartphone fan. Or at least that's sometimes how it feels in the world of tech. 

While the masses sing the praises of Apple, Samsung and Huawei handsets, I sit quietly fawning over my LG G7 ThinQ, gazing longingly at its modest spec sheet with the "that'll do pig" pride of the farmer from Babe.

But I might have an actual winner on my hands this year: the LG G8X ThinQ, revealed at IFA 2019, might be the best handset for gamers out there. And that's all down to its second screen.

The LG G8X ThinQ follows in the footsteps of the LG V50 ThinQ which was revealed at the start of 2019, by offering an optional second display, and refining the experience as seen on the earlier phone considerably.

Its core specs are impressive, with a 6.4-inch OLED, the flagship Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB of RAM, dual rear cameras, a 32MP selfie camera and a 4,000mAh battery. There's even a 3.5mm headphone jack.

But it's the additional uses of the second attachable screen that make it so compelling for gamers.

One screen game, the other screen Game Pad

At its heart, the LG G8X ThinQ is all about multi-tasking. Its detachable second screen can be used to run full screen apps side by side, using the Android Extended Display API. You could have a map on one screen, a video call on the other, or access to your image library on one screen while you edit another picture on the second display.

For gamers though, that second display can become a full-size touchscreen Game Pad. LG has its own 'built in' Game Pad application, that can be used alongside all manner of gaming apps to map onscreen controls from the main screen to the secondary display. From virtual steering wheels to designs that ape retro 16-bit control pads, the LG app lets you swipe through all manner of pad styles.

Select the right pad for you (and your game)

We have beautiful screens on our phones, perfectly suited for gaming on the go – but no-one asked you to rub your thumbs against the original Game Boy's screen did they? It's still the advantage that the likes of the Nintendo Switch or PS Vita have over mobile gaming, physical controls well away from their displays. 

Now, LG's Game Pad, which flips down onto the display in a way that makes it have a form factor similar to a Nintendo DS, doesn't have the tactility that physical buttons do. But, compared to other phones, it does have the advantage of removing the need to obscure the fullscreen gaming experience. 

Compared to dedicated gaming devices, its multiple pad layouts and key customization make it much easier to personalize to your playstyle – itself a boon for those who require accessibility controls in order to play.

Game controls appear on the bottom screen, leaving the top screen clear for the game itself

A thoughtful addition

As for the phone itself, it may not boast gamer-centric refresh rates or resolutions that devices like the Razer Phone 2 offered, but for the average player, that won’t matter. 

The specs here are more than good enough to play any mobile title you’d throw at it and, unlike 'gaming phones' that really only lean on their super-powered internals in an attempt to fulfill that gaming-focused claim, the dedicated Game Pad screen is a genuinely-useful additional feature feature that regular smart phones can't lay claim to. 

With games increasingly becoming graphical showcases, and competitive play on mobile booming thanks to the likes of PUBG and Fortnite, the fewer distractions between us and the action, the better. 

It may not be perfect, but LG's efforts are a damn sight more enticing than anything else anyone is trying.

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Tips for Creating Awesome Double Exposures In-Camera

The post Tips for Creating Awesome Double Exposures In-Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by John McIntire.

Tips for Creating Awesome Double Exposures In-Camera

Techniques for creating double exposures have been around since the beginning of film photography. While the days of being able to expose the same frame of film multiple times are mostly gone, a great many digital cameras do offer that functionality. While the technique can be unpredictable and hard to get right, that’s part of the charm of it (in my opinion) and what makes it so fun. This article provides you with a few tips to help you create double exposures in-camera.

What about Photoshop?


Photoshop (and alternatives) offer an infinite number of ways to blend exposures, but doing it in-camera can lead to spontaneous and unpredictable results.

Of course, you don’t need to do it in-camera. The almighty powers of Photoshop absolutely give you a great deal of control over blending images. You didn’t need to do it in-camera in the film days either as you could sandwich negatives together in the darkroom before putting them in the enlarger. So yes, by all means, use Photoshop to your heart’s content, but if you want to inject a bit of unpredictability and spontaneity to the process, do think about trying to create a few in the camera.

Understand the functionality in your camera

This first step may seem obvious, but every camera that I’ve run across handles the settings for double exposures in different ways. Taking the time to learn and understand how to set up your camera for multiple exposures ensures that when you get out to start creating the images, you know exactly what’s going on. For example, unless I turn on the right setting, my camera will take a single sequence of images and then revert back to normal settings. This can be (and has been) frustrating when I’m lining up a second exposure of a moving subject and find that I’m back to taking a single image.

This is probably just a matter of reading your manual and then putting it into practice a few times in your backyard or somewhere where the results don’t matter.

Start simple


While getting to grips with the technique, you can start simple with just a few moving elements to help you understand the process better.

When getting started with a technique like multiple exposures, it is easy to start snapping away without putting too much thought into it. The results can be less than inspiring and may even make you second guess the technique.

Try to keep it simple in the beginning. Instead of many exposures layered together, try to keep it to a simple double exposure until you figure out how the exposures work with one another. Of course, the results are almost always going to be unpredictable, but once you start to take a lot, you will quickly learn how to judge what two frames might look like on top of one another.

Look for bold shapes and textures

Image: Mixing silhouettes and textures is an effective way of creating bold double exposure images.

Mixing silhouettes and textures is an effective way of creating bold double exposure images.

One of the easiest ways to get results with double exposures is to overlay a texture onto a recognizable shape. Silhouettes of people work great for this. If you start your sequence with a  silhouette, you can then take a photo of something with a lot of texture and the shadows of the silhouette will reveal that texture in the final image.

Another simple one for you to try is to layer your main image on a background of clouds. The whole concept is simple and done a lot, but it is still effective. If you start with these simple processes, you will quickly start to see how you can use the technique for more complicated images.

Think in terms of design

Image: Finding things that match up together to make a cohesive image can be tricky, but when it hap...

Finding things that match up together to make a cohesive image can be tricky, but when it happens, the results speak for themselves.

Because you are layering your images, it can help if they work together with a theme or if the final image helps to convey a message. Keeping the various elements in your images (whether that be the subjects, colors, lighting, etc) in line with your intended end result can help for better images. It also helps to start with your final composition in mind. How will the various elements line up? How will they react and line up with one another? Is there a particular sort of framing that would help tie the whole thing together? Asking yourself these questions before your camera is even out of the bag can help your final images be the best they possibly can.

Go abstract

Image: The double-exposure effect can be weird and sometimes it’s best to embrace that weirdne...

The double-exposure effect can be weird and sometimes it’s best to embrace that weirdness.

Now, your images don’t have to be of anything at all. Don’t be afraid to go for the abstract (or non-objective if you prefer). You can layer a bunch of modern buildings (or the same building) together for some interesting effects where there is no real focal point.

You can do the same with multiple textures. Just roll with it and see what happens. You might find you have a bunch of images that don’t work, but you might also find that one that really, really does. Try looking for things with lines or shapes, without too much texture, that can overlap one another.

Block your lens


To manage your backgrounds while creating a double exposure in the studio, cover a portion of your lens with a black card to avoid the background being exposed twice. In the top middle of the frame, you can see where that has happened.

Block your lens if you want to photograph the same subject, human or inanimate, multiple times in one frame. You can use this trick for photographing fireworks to help control your exposure. When you’re lining up your first exposure, cover your lens with a piece of black card so that you are blocking the part of the frame that will contain the subject of your second exposure. In a double exposure, this will stop the background being exposed twice. Your backgrounds will be darker, but your subject will also be clearer where it appears in the frame.

Use grids


Turning on guides and grids in your camera can help you line up subjects between the multiple frames.

If your camera has the option for a grid overlay (rule of thirds) in the viewfinder, turning it on can help you to line up various elements throughout the multiple exposures.

It’s okay to post-process

Image: Not everything is going to go right all the time. If something doesn’t line up, like To...

Not everything is going to go right all the time. If something doesn’t line up, like Tower Bridge in this image, don’t be afraid to use Photoshop to help you get the results you were after.

Although this article is about creating double exposures in-camera, there is nothing wrong with taking your results and fine-tuning them afterward.

Did you overlay a silhouette with a texture but you don’t want the texture elsewhere in the frame? Photoshop can help. If it helps you to create what you had in your head, by all means, go for it.

That’s it

Creating double exposures in-camera is a finicky technique, but sometimes the results can be incredible. More important, it’s a technique that’s a lot of fun. I encourage you to go out and give it a try for yourself, and hopefully, some of these tips will make your results a bit more predictable.

Please share your results with us in the comments section – we’d love to see them!



The post Tips for Creating Awesome Double Exposures In-Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by John McIntire.

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IoT devices still major target for cyberattacks

During the first half of 2019, cybercriminals increased the intensity of both IoT and SMB-related attacks according to a new report from F-Secure.

The firm's “Attack Landscape H1 2019” report highlighted the threat unsecured IoT devices can pose to businesses and consumers as well as the continued popularity of Eternal Blue and similar exploits two years after the WannaCry ransomware was released on the world.

F-Secure uses decoy servers called honeypots to lure in attackers to collect information on their activities and this year its honeypots measured a twelvefold increase in IoT and SMB-related attacks compared to the same period a year ago. This increase was driven by traffic targeting the Telnet and UPnP protocols, which are used by IoT devices, as well as the SMB protocol, which is used by the Eternal family of exploits to spread ransomware and banking Trojans.

Telnet, UPnP and SMB traffic

The largest share of traffic during H1 2019 was led by Telnet with over 760m attack events logged or around 26 percent of traffic. UPnP was the next most frequent with 611m attacks followed by SSH, which is also used to target IoT devices, at 456m attacks.

IoT devices that have been infected with malware such as Mirai are likely sources of this traffic as Mirai was the most common malware family observed by F-Secure's honeypots. Mirai targets and infects routers, security cameras and other IoT devices which use factory default credentials.

F-Secure also found that traffic to SMB port 445 accounted for 556m attacks. The high level of SMB traffic indicates that the Eternal family of exploits, which were first used in 2017's WannaCry ransomware outbreak, are still being used by cybercriminals looking to target millions of machines that have not yet been patched.

Principal researcher at F-Secure, Jarno Niemal provided further insight on the report's findings, saying:

“Three years after Mirai first appeared, and two years after WannaCry, it shows that we still haven’t solved the problems leveraged in those outbreaks. The insecurity of the IoT, for one, is only getting more profound, with more and more devices cropping up all the time and then being co-opted into botnets. And the activity on SMB indicates there are still too many machines out there that remain unpatched.” 

TechRadar: Photography & video capture news

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Weekly Photography Challenge – Landscapes

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Landscapes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

This week’s photography challenge topic is LANDSCAPES!

Image: Photo by Simon Bond

Photo by Simon Bond

Landscapes are one of my favorite things to photograph. Being out in nature with your camera is a wonderful experience. So for this week’s photography challenge, I’d love for you to get out in nature and take some lovely landscape photos.  They can be color, black and white, moody or bright. Just so long as they are landscapes. You get the picture!

Have fun you awesome photographers, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Image: Photo by Adam Welch

Photo by Adam Welch

Check out some of the articles below that give you tips on this week’s challenge.

Tips for Shooting LANDSCAPES

11 Surefire Landscape Photography Tips

12 Tips to Help You Capture Stunning Landscape Photos

How to Photograph a Minimalist Landscape

The dPS Top Landscape Photography Tips of 2018

7 Landscape Photography Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier

Easy Beginners Tips for Long Exposure Photography

How a Short Versus Long Exposure Will Affect Your Landscape Images

5 Framing Tricks to Help You Capture Better Landscape Photos


Weekly Photography Challenge – LANDSCAPES

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPSlandscapes to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Landscapes appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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Best PC games 2019: the must-play titles you don’t want to miss

Welcome to our pick of the best PC games of 2019. Now that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is here, along with Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh processors, now’s the best time to get into PC games. The PC is perhaps the best gaming platform in the world – forget about your PlayStations and Xboxes – thanks to a remarkably huge catalogue of brilliant games.

The best PC games cover a wide range of genres, from platformers and point-and-click adventures, to retro favorites and action-packed first-person shooters that take advantage of the best modern graphics tech for eye-popping visuals.

The sheer number of brilliant PC games can leave you wondering where to get started, which is where our best PC games of 2019 list comes in. We've put together the definitive list of the best PC games, from oldies like the Orange Box to newer fan-favorites like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Believe us when we say you’ll want to get all of these PC games installed so you can experience them firsthand. 

If you’re a PC gaming newbie, you chose the perfect time to jump in on the platform, and as a warm welcome, we’ll dive into the best PC games you can play in 2019.

The best new PC game: Control

It’s easy to see why Control is already taking the gaming world by storm. The creative team at Remedy Entertainment made sure that there’s plenty to love in this game, paying very close attention to the intricate details. A deeply cinematic game, this action-adventure offers its players spectacular visuals, inspired environment design and standout performances, as well as a deeply satisfying combat experience.

Control places you in the capable shoes of fiery-haired Jesse Faden. You’re tasked to seek out The Oldest House, a building in New York City that’s in a constant state of architectural flux and only appears to those who desire to find it, and locate your missing brother, all while heading the Federal Bureau of Control as its director and overseeing the containment of paranatural entities.

There’s nothing quite like Control on the market, and it makes it one of the best PC games to play right now.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

best PC game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is aging like fine wine. Even four years after its release, it’s still one of the most impressive open world games that’s ever existed – mixing Skyrim’s unapologetic scale with Grand Theft Auto V’s ridiculous depth. It’s such a jam-packed game, which is why it tops our list of the best PC games in 2019. Staggering, beautiful and an absolute time sink – in a good way – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn’t just the best PC game of 2019. It might just be one of the best video games of all time.

2. Dark Souls 3

While it's debatably not as hard as earlier entries in the series, From Software's Dark Souls 3 takes everything you like about the Souls series and blends it with elements found in Bloodborne, the developer's more recent title for PS4.

We won’t sugar coat it: you’re going to die in Dark Souls 3, possibly more than once. It takes patience to master its complicated combat system, but it also plays fair, which allows it to be more approachable for casual players to take part in its bleak, fantastical world. And, on the bright side, it’s much more optimized for PC than the first two games. Now that you can pick up Dark Souls: Remastered, and see where the apocalyptic series began, there’s never been a better time to link the first flame.

3. Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter has been one of the biggest gaming franchises you’ve never heard of for years now. With Monster Hunter: World, the series broke into the mainstream and came to the PC (finally), which makes it one of the best PC games you can play today. 

Monster Hunter: World puts you in the shoes of a monster hunter, and you’ll hunt progressively bigger and nastier monsters, strip them for parts, and craft bigger, badder armor. It’s a deceptively simple gameplay loop that ends up being one of the most compelling and rewarding PC games you can play right now. 

There’s a ceaseless onslaught of content in this game, and Capcom, the developers of this monster hunting hit, are committed to bringing a wealth of free DLC to the game – not to mention a new frosty expansion in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. If you’re looking for an addictive, immersive and most importantly, fun game to play on your own or with all your best friends cooperatively, check out Monster Hunter: World. There’s no doubt it’s one of the best PC games you can buy today.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

Best PC games: Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most anticipated console ports to ever hit PC gaming, and you won’t any arm-twisting to wander back into Los Santos's hugely detailed and highly interactive world. This time, however, it’s 10 times more fun with the PC's richer graphics and smooth 60 fps gameplay.

And, don’t think you’ll be done after you’ve finished its 30-hour campaign. There’s an overflow of post-game content to enjoy, after all. Most recently, that includes The Doomsday Heist in GTA Online and even a radio station hosted by Frank Ocean.

5. Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI is the most recent title in the iconic turn-based strategy game, and it's one of our picks for the best PC game you can play to date. One of the things that make the PC the best platform for gaming on is the sheer breadth of different game genres on offer. Civilization VI might seem slow paced next to the likes of Fortnite; however, its scope is huge.

Spread your empire across the map and crush your enemies. You build up your empire from a simple settlement to a world power, and you can decide to do this through military might, technological supremacy or cultural influence. Since its launch in 2016, it has had two expansion packs that really cement this game as an epic entry in our best PC games list.  Civilization VI: Rise and Fall released in February 2018, with Civilization VI: Gathering Storm following in February 2019.

6. Alien: Isolation

Best PC games: Alien: Isolation

Set 15 years following the events of the first Alien film from 1979, Alien: Isolation is the suspense-filled game that fans of the franchise have long anticipated. Playing the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley, you’re tasked to track down and retrieve the flight recorder of the Nostromo spacecraft from the first Alien film, which has been traced aboard the Sevastopol space station.

First and foremost a stealth game, Isolation heightens the tension by giving you minimal weaponry. Its brilliant graphics shine on high-end PCs and clever AI helps ramp up the dread, leaving you trembling at every corner. This and more make Alien: Isolation well-deserving of a spot on our list of the best PC games.

7. Overwatch

Best PC games: Overwatch

Overwatch, if nothing else, has significantly altered the landscape, moving it away from the norm of gray-ish cover shooters to the dominion of competitive gaming. Its bright, vibrant colors are only made better with highly likeable characters, each coming with their own interesting backstories, which, while non-existent in game, make for a collection of amazing webcomics and cinematics.

Overwatch is also one of the best PC games, due to how well it runs on all kinds of different hardware. Sure, it’s a bit aged now, but even in 2019, it’s the best PC game for anyone with a competitive streak. If you missed out on this game before, do yourself a favor – sign in to your account and take Overwatch – not to mention, its colorful cast of characters – for a spin today. 

8. Forza Horizon 4

Microsoft's racing series is only getting better with each release, and in many ways this spin-off has exceeded the main Forza Motorsport line as the best racing games on PC at present. They're definitely more fun, adding a dash of arcade fun to the strikingly recreated cars and race tracks we've come to expect from Forza.

Forza Horizon 4 is easily one of the best PC games you can buy today, and this entry brings the racing to the UK after having explored America, France, Italy and Australia in the previous three instalments of the franchise. Now, you can rip through charming villages, seaside towns and the city of Edinburgh by way of many miles of country roads and dirt tracks in between. It's fast, frantic and a lot of fun.

You can purchase Forza Horizon 4 through the Microsoft Store. It's also available as part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, or you can buy the Xbox One version and get a download code for PC using the Xbox Anywhere feature.

9. Thimbleweed Park

Fans of classic point and click games such as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, which are some of the best PC games ever made, should add Thimbleweed Park to their must play list. Made by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, two of the people behind PC classics Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, Thimbleweed Park plays like a love letter to classic point-and-click adventure games. 

From the splendid retro artwork, entertaining dialogue and perplexing puzzles, Thimbleweed Park deserves its place on our list of the best PC games, merging the best of old school PC game design with modern technology.

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Seven years following its first release, Skyrim is as solid as ever thanks to its enormous collection of mods and high-resolution texture packs. But even if you're only interested in playing the stripped-down version of the RPG, it offers more than 100 hours of gameplay.

Add three action packed DLC expansion packs (Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn) to the mix, and it lasts even longer. That Skyrim has been likened to graphically superior but comparable RPG blockbuster The Witcher 3 is evidence of its enduring popularity. Step into Skyrim, one of the best PC games in 2019, and you too can be an adventurer – just try not to take an arrow in the knee.

If you’re looking for a more special version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda even has you covered – it can’t seem to stop releasing and re-releasing Skyrim for every platform. You can even play it in VR.

11. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

From Software is a household name when it comes to designing the best PC games. The minds behind the critically praised Dark Souls series have transported PC gamers to some of the most forsaken landscapes and through some of the most challenging yet rewarding gameplay. From Software is back at it once more, with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Sekiro places you in the shoes of the Young Wolf, a shinobi tasked with rescuing his young master. The game will take you through 16th-century Japan, but things will get eerie and supernatural: this is From Software we’re talking about. 

Don’t expect an easy time of it, however. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an awfully difficult game to master, and you’ll need quick reflexes to deflect enemy attacks, as well as to master stealth. You won’t be able to hide behind a shield all day, like you were able to in Dark Souls III.

12. Minecraft

The phrase "build it, and they will come" rings truer than ever with Minecraft, the survival-based sandbox RPG that has now been bought more than 100 million times since its release in 2009. In it, you can construct your own worlds using resources you find in the wild, or discover existing ones created by other players online. 

In Minecraft, you can either limit yourself to the numerous tools and blocks offered by the developer, Mojang, or you can install mods to truly capitalize on your investment. Moreover, sometime in 2019, you’ll be able to take part in the Super Duper Graphics Pack, an optional piece of DLC that offers more realistic lighting effects and textures to an already amazing game.

13. Doom

Id Software's Doom was a phenomenon for PC gamers in the ‘90s. The crudely rendered first-person shooter series was as controversial as it was adored, thanks in large part to its cutting-edge depictions of gore and violence that only a computer could deliver. 

Parents be damned, the franchise underwent a revival in 2016 with a fresh reset, aptly titled Doom. Although the multiplayer might not appeal to shooter fans regardless of age, the single player campaign will pit you against demons in Hell for a lengthy mission that is bloody satisfying, pun intended.

14. Fortnite Battle Royale

How could we not add what’s possibly the biggest game in the world right now to this list? Fortnite Battle Royale is a global phenomenon ­– not to mention, among the best PC games right now, if you like super-competitive online games. This is a game people keep coming back to, and that's mostly thanks to the addictive gameplay and regular updates from Epic.

Fortnite Battle Royale is actually a game mode for the Fortnite game, but this mode has become so popular, many people consider it a separate game in its own right. As with other Battle Royale games, the aim of Fortnite Battle Royale is to fight your way through an ever-shrinking map until you're the last player standing. While that might sound simple enough, there's a whole lot of depth to this game once you start playing.

15. Cuphead

Cuphead's 1930's animation aesthetics undoubtedly makes this one of the most stunning – and sounding – PC games on the list. Combining run-and-gun platforming and boss rush battles, it's an extremely challenging game – but that also makes it very rewarding. 

With hand-drawn cell animation, watercolor backgrounds and original jazz soundtrack, Cuphead is unlike anything you'll play on PC, and while the steep difficulty curve may put people off, if you're willing to hone your gaming skills, you'll be rewarded with one of the best PC games money can buy.

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article

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