Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Computer Model Spots Image Fraud The UK, France and Norway are considering legislation to require digitally altered images to be labelled as such

From Scientific American

"Scientists in the United States have come up with a tool for automatically analysing digital photographs, making it possible to gauge the extent to which images have been altered or retouched.
Advances in image-manipulation softwarehave made it trivial to radically alter the appearance of models and celebrities in photos, notes Hany Farid, a computer scientist who studies digital forensics and image analysis at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Farid created the analysis tool with his colleague Eric Kee, also at Dartmouth College. The promotion of unrealistic body images in some advertisements and magazines is thought to have a role in triggering eating disorders, explains Farid, and some countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Norway, are now considering legislation to require digitally altered images to be labelled as such.
The idea is to use the software to generate a scale that can be printed next to published images, say Farid and Kee, so that readers can tell how accurately they represent the originals. The hope is that this will shed light on the culture of 'airbrushing' in the advertising and fashion-magazine industries. The software could also help to deter fraud in scientific images, they say.
However, simply labelling manipulated images is not the solution, says Farid, because this would tar all altered images with the same brush — even those that used legitimate adjustments such as cropping and colour modification. Farid and Kee's solution, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, is a system that can score on a scale of one to five how much an altered image has strayed from reality.
Compare and contrast
Farid and Kee first compared more than 450 pairs of images before and after manipulation, quantifying their dissimilarity according to eight different statistical parameters. These ignore any global changes, such as cropping, and instead focus on local geometric modifications—for example, by how many pixels the shape of a person has altered—and photometric changes such as smoothing or sharpening.
To combine these parameters into one metric, the researchers asked more than 350 volunteers to compare the same pairs of images, ranking them on a scale of 1 (very similar) to 5 (very different). These ratings were then used to train a machine-learning algorithm to extract a single score from the measured values that would faithfully reflect the perceptual judgement of the volunteers.
The resulting system is able to rate the extent of manipulation in new pairs of images with an accuracy of about 80%, says Farid. Although the technique is currently specifically tuned to images of people, Farid says that the underlying algorithms could easily be adapted to analyse scientific images, using journal editors and scientists during the training process.
Farid notes that image manipulation is a growing problem in the scientific community, calling it "extremely disturbing”. He explains that it has become all too easy for some researchers to misrepresent their results, enhancing DNA bands in a gel, for example, or scrubbing out background blemishes, either to innocently make images look better or, in some cases, to skew the results deliberately.
Picture imperfect
It is not clear why scientific image fraud is a growing problem, says John Dahlberg, director of investigative oversight for the Office of Research Integrity in Rockville, Maryland, whose division investigates cases of alleged research misconduct. “It seems the scientific community is very aggressive about beautifying its images,” he says. “About 70% of our cases involve questioned images.”"

Monday, 28 November 2011

America in pictures: The story of Life magazine

Not to be missed set your recorders 

Thursday BBC 4  at 21:00

"Life was an iconic weekly magazine that specialised in extraordinarily vivid photojournalism. Through its most dynamic decades, - the 40s, 50s and 60s - Life caught the spirit of America as it blossomed into a world superpower. Read by over half the country, its influence on American people was unparalleled. No other magazine in the world held the photograph in such high esteem. At Life the pictures, not the words, did the talking. As a result, the Life photographer was king.

In this film, leading UK fashion photographer Rankin celebrates the work of Life's legendary photographers including Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, who went to outrageous lengths to get the best picture - moving armies, naval fleets and even the population of entire towns. He travels across the USA to meet photographers Bill Eppridge, John Shearer, John Loengard, Burk Uzzle and Harry Benson who, between them, have shot the big moments in American history - from the assassination of Robert F Kennedy, the Civil Rights struggle and Vietnam to behind the scenes at the Playboy mansion and the greatest names in Hollywood.
These photographers pioneered new forms of photojournalism, living with and photographing their subjects for weeks, enabling them to capture compelling yet ordinary aspects of American life too. Rankin discovers that Life told the story of America in photographs, and also taught America how to be "

InterClub PDI Championship Results

From SPA - Malden Camera Club cam 15th

Friday, 25 November 2011

Policeman just having a word

This image was judged by Bob Turner FRPS in the projected image competition held at Malden Camera Club on the 24th of November.  I used my new compact camera an Olympus XZ-1 to video the Judges comments and posted  the video on Youtube

policeman, just having a word

Monday, 14 November 2011

RSPCA's Young Photographer of the year award

RSPCA's Young Photographer of the year award

The 10 finalists in the RSPCA's Young Photographer of the Year Award. The winner will be announced on December 16
Gallery of images

Friday, 11 November 2011

Photography exhibitions worth seeing in London

I highly recommend making a visit to London  to see these exhibitions

 "Take a View: Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011"   

5  December – 28 January at the National Theater on the South Bank
This popular annual award, now in its fifth year, culminates in a stunning exhibition of over 100 photographs that show the dramatic beauty and variety of our country, reminding us to safeguard this precious legacy.A full colour book will be available from the NT Bookshop.
This year’s Awards are held in association with Network Rail and Natural England, with the exhibition sponsored by Epson UK.
Charlie Waite, Awards founder, will be giving guided tours of this year’s exhibition on 13 & 14 December and 23 & 24 January at 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Please note that numbers are limited and early booking is advisable.  Tickets are priced at £8.
Seeing Landscapes:  Charlie Waite will also be giving talks on his approach to landscape photography on 13 & 14 December and 23 and 24 January at 7.45pm in the NT Bookshop.  Tickets are priced at £5.
Exhibition opening times:
Monday - Saturday from 9.30am - 11pm
and Sunday 11 Dec and 1 Jan from 12pm - 5.30pm
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Competition National Portrait Gallery

10 November - 12 February 

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 offers a unique opportunity to see sixty works by some of the most exciting contemporary portrait photographers from around the world.

Through editorial, advertising and fine art images, the entrants have explored a range of themes, styles and approaches to the contemporary photographic portrait, from formal commissioned portraits of public figures to more spontaneous and intimate moments capturing friends and family.

This year the competition attracted over 6,000 submissions from 2,506 photographers ranging from gifted amateurs and talented young students to established professionals. The selected works for the exhibition, many of which are on display for the first time, include the five prize-winners and the winner of the ELLE commission

Friday, 4 November 2011

Kodak may face cash crisis if patent sales fail

Eastman Kodak has warned it must raise new funds to survive the next year.
The 131-year old photography firm said it may raise the cash through patent sales or by taking on additional debt.
The US firm revealed that its cash balance at the end of September totalled $862m (£537m) after it ran up a $222m operating loss over the preceding three month
Experts said Kodak took too long to move from its traditional film business into digital cameras.
The firm does stress that its inkjet printer and inks unit is performing well. Third quarter sales were 44% higher than the previous year.
But Kodak warned it may need to slow investment in the printing business "if liquidity needs require".
The firm announced in July that it was exploring selling or licensing around 1,100 of its digital imaging patents - around 10% of its library.
The company said it had no intention of filing for bankruptcy, but some experts believe its fate depends on a sale of its innovation rights.
"Kodak's at a point where one of two things have to happen," said Shannon Cross of Cross Research.
"Either they have to raise more money or they have to complete the sale. Otherwise, they're not going to be able to continue."
However Kodak's chief executive, Antonio Perez, said investors should not read too much into the company's cash balance warning, which it had been required to file under US law.
"These requirement statements should not be misunderstood in any way as dampening the optimism our ability to complete the sale of our digital imaging patent portfolio, which is very high," he said.
Missed chance
However, one former executive called for a more radical restructure.
"I think you are going to see Kodak getting broken up and the various parts of the company will go to where they add the most value and therefore Kodak captures the most value for creditors and stock holders," the firm's former vice president Don Strickland told the BBC.
Mr Strickland left the company in 1993 after he failed to get permission to release a digital camera. He claimed the firm's current problems could have been avoided.
"We developed the world's first consumer digital camera and Kodak could have launched it in 1992.
"We could not get approval to launch or sell it because of fear of the cannibalisation of film... a huge opportunity missed."

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

England riots: One photographer's baptism of fire

BBC Reports 
"When photographer Lewis Whyld of the Press Association arrived on Tottenham High Street on 6 August, the first and fiercest night of this summer's riots, he soon saw three other photographers being attacked. For the next hour he was forced to shoot on his mobile phone, and only pulled out his cameras once it was dark.
Shooting by the light of the police helicopter searchlight, Whyld captured these images that went right round the world. Here Whyld reveals how he documented a night of unrest in north London."