Photographic portraiture prize awarded to image without a face and not taken by a camera

The Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture is a AUD $20,000 biennial national award for excellence in photographic portraiture dedicated to the memory of Australian photographer Olive Cotton.

Justine Varga Maternal Line 2017 Courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide

Justine Varga
Maternal Line 2017
Courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide

The winner of the 2017 Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture was announced on Saturday 23 July by the 2017 Award Judge Dr Shaune Lakin, Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia. The winner is Justine Varga of Sydney. Her portrait of her grandmother Maternal Line 2017 was the stand-out winner for Lakin. Dr Lakin added, “It’s a very moving portrait of the artist’s relationship with and love for her grandmother.

Yet, debates have already started about whether the winning entry should even have qualified as a “portrait.”

The first problem: the “portrait” does not figure a person at all, but rather a series of scrawls made by the artist’s grandmother directly onto a piece of film that Ms. Varga gave her to scribble on.

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Firmware Updates Fujifilm

UPDATED (Version 1.02, July 25, 2017): FUJIFILM Firmware Update (March 21, 2017) for the EF-X500 Flash

If you ever wondered how responsive Fujifilm is to its customers, check this out: apparently an EF-X500 owner found that the flash unit became very hot while in stand-by mode. Fujifilm investigated on the basis of this one complaint and found there was effectively a problem for certain EF-X500 units (a search form is provided where you can enter the serial number of your flash unit to see if it is affected) and under certain conditions. A firmware fix has therefore been issued to address this potential problem in relevant EF-X500 units

If you use the Fujifilm EF-X500 Flash, you also need to run the accompanying firmware updates for the following Fujifilm mirrorless cameras: GFX 50S, X-Pro2X-T2 and X-T1. Owners of other Fujifilm mirrorless cameras using the EF-X500 can contact Fujifilm for appropriate solutions.

Note that you need to update the firmware of the camera before attaching the flash and updating the firmware of the flash. However, according to Fujifilm latest update (July 25), if you own the FUJIFILM GFX 50S, you can conveniently update the firmware of EF-X500 by attaching it to the camera and updating only the firmware of the camera body.

The following video presents Exploring America with Elia Locardi and the GFX System (USA):
“Get a glimpse into the world of travel photography with global traveler and landscape photographer Elia Locardi.”


Updated: FUJIFILM to Release Latest Firmware Updates for EF-X500 Flash

March 21, 2017
Updated: July 25, 2017

To Our Customers Using the EF-X500 Flash: (more…)

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Firmware Updates Nikon

Nikon Firmware Updates (2017-07-25) for Full-Frame DSLRs D750 (Ver 1.12), D610 (Ver 1.02), D600 (Ver 1.03) and Action Camera KeyMission 80 (Ver 1.2): Improvements

The following video presents Nikon D750 Product video:
Free your vision with the fast, versatile, and agile D750. In a world where anything is possible, this full-frame 24.3-megapixel powerhouse gives you the freedom to dare. Packed with professional imaging technology, and streamlined for compactness, nothing holds this camera back.

The newly designed FX-format sensor delivers exceptional image quality with cleaner results than ever before at high ISOs. Phenomenally sensitive AF performance, a burst rate of up to 6.5 fps, and Full HD movie recording at 1080/60p combine with the tiltable monitor to enable full freedom of expression. Built-in Wi-Fi makes it simple to share your impressive photos in an instant.

Spectacular ISO
Capture crisper, cleaner, better-defined images at high ISOs. The ISO range of 100–12800 is extendable to 50-51200 (equivalent).

Professional AF performance
Sensitive down to -3 EV and boasting Nikon’s Group Area AF mode, the D750 locks onto your target with incredible precision even in dark situations.

24.3-MP FX-format sensor
Full detail, full freedom. The all-new sensor offers wide dynamic range plus clean performance across all sensitivities, for images with stunning sharpness and rich tonality.

Yesterday, Nikon issued the following firmware updates for the D750D610 and D600 full-frame DSLRs, plus one for the KeyMission 80 action camera: (more…)

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Colorizing B&W Images Using Deep Neural Networks and AI

Though old B&W family photos have a charm all their own, it’s always interesting to add colors to them. Adding colors to skin, eyes and hair (where the colors are known) can be pretty straightforward (though still a time-consuming process that requires expertise), but adding colors to clothing becomes a guessing game.

A team at UC Berkeley has proposed a new technique to leverage deep networks and AI, which allows novices, even those with limited artistic ability, to quickly produce reasonable results. They have written a software that knows the common colors for different objects and makes appropriate recommendations to the user. It then enables the user to provide guidance by adding colored points, or “hints”, which the system then propagates to the rest of the image. Even with minimal training and limited time—just one minute per image—users quickly learned how to produce colorizations that often fooled real human judges in a real vs. fake test scenario.

More: Colorizing Images Using the Internet

Read the full paper or download the software.


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Cameras Nikon

Nikon Develops the D850, a Full-Frame FX-Format DSLR Camera

Nikon released a teaser for the upcoming replacement to the D810. The new D850 is under development and is billed as “the next generation full-frame, high-resolution, high-speed digital SLR camera.” Otherwise, we can expect it to have similar specs to the D810, plus “a range of new technologies, features and performance enhancements that are a direct result of feedback from users over the years—who demand the very best from their camera equipment.” That’s not saying much — or a lot, depending on how you understand the statement “features and performance enhancements that are a direct result of feedback from users over the years.” Users tend to ask for the sun, moon and stars. Does this mean that, following Nikon’s new vision, they will listen more to their users and be responsive in a more timely manner to their requests (instead of waiting “years”)? Time will tell. From the teaser video below, it’s hinted that the D850 will function very well in low light (D5’s 3D AF system?), though I may be reading too much into it. There’s no mention of 4K video (though it probably should and will have it) but of 8K time-lapse (are users clamoring for this feature?).


July 25, 2017

Nikon Canada announces the development of new digital SLR camera, the Nikon D850

MISSISSAUGA, ON –– Nikon Canada Inc. is pleased to announce the development of the next generation in full-frame, high-resolution, high-speed digital SLR cameras with the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Nikon D850. This announcement coincides with Nikon’s 100th anniversary of its establishment, which is celebrated today.

The D850 will be a formidable tool for creators who will not compromise on exceptional image quality and versatility, including aspiring and professional photographers as well as hobbyists who capture landscapes, weddings, sports, fashion, and commercial imagery, as well as multimedia content creators. (more…)

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Nikon Press Releases

Nikon 100th Anniversary: President’s Message and New Vision Statement

Nikon’s President, Kazuo Ushida, released his personal message for the 100th anniversary of Nikon as a company. He also presented a new Vision Statement to guide Nikon for the next 100 years. The take-away is that “Nikon will be reborn as a solution company providing superior technologies and ideas, holding “light” as our core competency.” In other words, Nikon will start selling lots more solutions than just products: “The difference from our past strategies is that we will offer not only products, but also ideas and solutions as well.


Nikon Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of its Founding

July 25, 2017

Nikon Corporation (Kazuo Ushida, President, Tokyo) was established in 1917 (as Nippon Kogaku K.K.). Since then, we have been creating unique value all over the world by providing consumer and industrial optical equipment, including lithography systems and microscopes as well as cameras, based on opto-electronics and precision technologies.

Today, Nikon celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding. We deeply express our sincere gratitude to all of our stakeholders who have faithfully supported our development that met the needs of the last 100 years.

Over these 100 years, Nikon has contributed to industries and people’s quality of life with its state-of-the-art technologies during each era. We were able to successfully focus on and overcome continuous challenges because we were fully supported and trusted by our stakeholders.

In order for people to create progress toward a prosperous future over the next 100 years, Nikon will continue to contribute to the world.

President’s message


Representative Director

Kazuo Ushida

Today, Nikon celebrates the 100th anniversary of its establishment. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of our customers who use our products in their everyday lives, and the stakeholders who have supported our businesses, from the bottom of my heart.

For the past 100 years, consumer demand has called for convenient products that enhance daily life, and Nikon answered with its manufacturing skill and knowledge. However, society and consumer needs are rapidly changing today. We would like to effectively respond to these needs with the world’s highest-class opto-electronics, precision technologies and solutions.

The difference from our past strategies is that we will offer not only products, but also ideas and solutions as well. Nikon will be reborn as a solution company providing superior technologies and ideas, holding “light” as our core competency.

Following our corporate philosophy of “Trustworthiness and Creativity”, we hold a new vision of building the foundations of the next 100 years. We ask for your continued support as we move forward.

Celebrating our 100th anniversary of establishment today, we also introduce our new vision for the next 100 years. As well as this, we are announcing various events planned ahead including new contents in Nikon 100th anniversary site.

Our Vision

Unlock the future with the power of light

  • Unleashing the limitless possibilities of light.
  • Striving to brighten the human experience.
  • Focused, with purpose, on a better future for all.


Our Qualities of Mind

We show our passion for progress through
a wide range of interests to cultivate fresh ideas.

We warmly embrace diverse ideas
and delight in differences among people and cultures.

Inspirational Power
We share our ideas with infectious enthusiasm
to effect positive change in the world.

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Articles Nikon

Nikon 100th Year Anniversary: My Favorite Nikon Cameras

There was a time, not too long ago, when Nikon ruled the camera world. If you were thinking of getting into photography, a Nikon rangefinder or an entry-level SLR would be the ticket. For news and sports photography, pro photographers almost exclusively used Nikon SLRs and lenses, and made Nikon cameras famous around the world.

As previously announced, this July 25th, Nikon is celebrating its “100th anniversary” as a company making optical products. It started in 1917 when two of Japan’s leading optical manufacturers merged and, with capital investment from the President of Mitsubishi, formed a comprehensive, fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kogaku K.K. (Today, Nikon is still listed as one of the companies under Mitsubushi.) Nikon Europe blogged about seven Nikon Firsts and I thought I would reach back into my memory and share some of my favorite Nikon cameras, some I’ve owned and others I’ve drooled over:

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Sunset at Wilcox Lake Using Google Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro 2

Who doesn’t love a beautiful sunset picture? I find that you can get gorgeous results when the horizon is visible, as at the beach, because then you are catching the sun just as it goes down over the horizon, with all colors blazing in different layers in the sky above. Of course, what colors show up depends on the atmospheric conditions (including, unfortunately, pollution) and the presence of clouds. But when the sun sets behind a hill and trees, you will sometimes catch only the colors in the layer of the sky that is visible above the tree line.

Keeping this in mind, I headed to Wilcox Lake up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with the idea of shooting the sunset, if possible. (more…)

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