July 31, 2007

Microsoft HD Photo image-coding technology

Microsoft’s HD Photo Technology Is Considered for Standardization by JPEG
If standardized, the new JPEG XR file format will enable the next generation of digital photography to deliver better pictures, more features for all digital camera owners.
Microsoft - Press Release - 31.07.2007
REDMOND, Wash. — July 31, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. welcomed the decision, announced today by the Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG), to introduce a new work item for the standardization of Microsoft’s® HD Photo file format. Formal balloting of this work item is being submitted to the JPEG national delegations for approval. Standardization of HD Photo, tentatively titled, “JPEG XR,” will ensure that camera, printer, display and software companies will be able to develop products with the confidence of a consistent scheme that ensures interoperability across their properties.
The HD Photo image-coding technology, incubated in Microsoft Research and developed by Microsoft’s Core Media Processing team, offers a host of new features and benefits focusing on the current and emerging needs of digital photography. The technology, which shipped in Windows Vista®, is a new file format for end-to-end digital photography that offers better image fidelity, higher image-compression efficiency and flexible editing features benefiting today’s and tomorrow’s digital-imaging applications. This next-generation digital image format unlocks new potential for digital photography capture, printing and display devices as well as applications and services.
Microsoft is very pleased that the JPEG working group is considering HD Photo as a new standard, and we are committed to working cooperatively with JPEG and its affiliated standards organizations to ensure that this file format serves the needs of the next generation of consumer and professional photographers,” said Tom Robertson, general manager of Interoperability and Standards at Microsoft. “This is an excellent example of Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar annual investment in R&D, producing a technology that represents a big step forward in multimedia innovation and tangible benefits for consumers.”
We greatly appreciate the contribution Microsoft is making to the IT ecosystem with the development of HD Photo,” said Dr. Daniel Lee, convener of the Joint Photographic Expert Group. “We are voting on consideration of this new file format for standardization because we believe it will foster breakthrough, innovative products and services in the photography and printing industries that will have widespread value for consumers around the world.”
ARM fully supports the standardization of a technology such as Microsoft’s HD Photo because it promises to improve the digital photography experience for users,” said Lance Howarth, general manager of the Media Processing Division at ARM Holdings PLC. “Higher compression efficiency offers faster wireless uploads for longer battery life and an enhanced dynamic range that will help improve photographs taken in low-light conditions with a mobile phone or digital camera that does not offer sufficient flash assistance.”
The proposed JPEG XR technology simultaneously enables dynamic range extension and preservation of precise details in highly compressed images. This capability is particularly important for applications that demand the high image quality made possible by Foveon’s X3 image sensors,” said Federico Faggin, president and CEO of Foveon Inc. “We are very excited that there is finally a compression technology that is consistent with our goals of getting the most information out of digital images and enabling uncompromising quality for the full range of digital imaging devices and systems.
As an organization, Hasselblad believes the proposed JPEG XR file format is a valuable and timely technology to standardize, promising to bring new consumer and professional success and value to the digital photography marketplace,” said Peter Stig-Nielsen, director of Digital Camera Products for Hasselblad.
As a digital camera processor provider, it would be valuable to offer this proposed JPEG XR file format to our camera manufacturer customers who can then deliver innovative products that exploit its higher dynamic range, flexible adjustment of color temperature, better compression ratio, and higher overall original image quality,” said David Chen, vice president, Novatek Microelectronics Corp.
About the Standardization Process
Microsoft submitted HD Photo to JPEG, which is considered as the premier standards organization for image compression technologies. JPEG has submitted to its national body members a new project, which would include JPEG XR as the new standard, if formally approved. JPEG XR would be the second part of a larger scope of work item called JPEG Systems, which is a forum for standardization of systems integration technologies focused on the current and emerging needs of consumer and professional digital photography.
The ballot deadline for this new project is early October 2007. Finalizing and publishing the completed standard is expected to take up to one year after that. Throughout, Microsoft will be working closely with JPEG to ensure that this new proposed standard serves the needs of the next generation of consumer and professional photographers and delivers the next experience in image display. If approved, Microsoft will offer a royalty-free grant for its patents that are required to implement the standard.
Microsoft supports thousands of standards in its products and actively participates in more than 400 standards organizations and working groups. In a marketplace of multiple competing products, standards exist to enable interoperability, helping customers achieve their goals of increased productivity and decreased costs.
About the Technology
HD Photo offers increased image fidelity, preserving the entire original image content and enabling high-quality exposure and color adjustments in the image. This new format offers the ability to decode only the information needed for any resolution or region, a key feature supporting Web imaging applications such as Windows Live™ Earth, and the option to manipulate the image as compressed data. HD Photo combines both lossless and lossy image compression in the same design, and can retain the full dynamic range and color fidelity data from a camera’s image sensor. JPEG XR introduces support for High Dynamic Range (HDR), a major and fundamental new development in digital imaging. HDR provides benefits for both the capture and rendering processes for digital images, leading to improved image success for users at both the consumer and professional level.
About Microsoft - Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

July 30, 2007

American Photo Awards - Hahnemuhle FineArt Papers

American Photo magazine has chosen the Fine Art inkjet papers from the worldwide leading Hahnemuhle Digital FineArt Collection in the category “Best New Inkjet Papers” - highlighting Photo Rag® Pearl 320 and FineArt Pearl 285.
The American Photo Editor’s Choice Award is their annual guide to photography’s best new products.
This award which is the third international decoration for Hahnemuhle after the TIPA and BIPP Award in Europe in 2007.
These genuine artists’ papers are used to print exclusive Fine Art photography, digital art reproductions and original digital art works for museums, galleries, collectors and in workshops.
The Digital FineArt Collection from Hahnemuhle has expanded over the past 10 years to encompass 21 papers. All are certified genuine fine art papers manufactured exclusively at the Hahnemuhle paper mill in Germany. Following a centuries-old tradition they are produced from premium alpha cellulose or fine cotton linters and pure spring water according to highest archival standards.
The papers are manufactured either on a cylinder mould machine or on a Fourdrinier machine. While the finest natural raw materials endow various smooth and textured papers with an elegant feel. The production process and the premium inkjet coating guarantee extraordinary prints.

July 26, 2007

Hasselblad H3D-31

Hasselblad H3D-31

Featuring near full-frame capture, the H3D-31 uses a 44 x 33mm sensor enhanced with micro-lenses to boost ISO rating one stop to a new maximum of ISO 800. The system’s new high-speed capture architecture, which is common to all H3D models and enables the fastest possible operation, also gives the H3D-31 an impressive capture rate of 1.2 seconds per image in either mobile or tethered mode. These features give the H3D-31 the highest burst rate of the H3D family and make it the camera of choice for the professional mobile photographer.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad comments: “To date, we’ve introduced the H3D-39 and H3D-22 and, in doing so, have set new standards in image quality and lens performance for digital SLR cameras. Offering a full-frame, 48 x 36mm sensor and unique features, such as Hasselblad’s Natural Color Solution, Digital Auto Correction and Instant Approval Architecture, the H3D-39 and H3D-22 deliver unsurpassed image quality, including moiré-free color rendering, and have become the cameras that professional commercial photographers aspire to. With the introduction of the H3D-31, we’re now looking to address the needs of professional mobile photographers, whose work may encompass shooting a variety of subjects on location, but who still want the image quality that high-end 35mm DSLRs don’t offer. We’re confident that the H3D-31’s additional photographic flexibility, including its faster ISO rating and faster capture rate, will make it a very attractive proposition for the professional mobile photographer.”

Developed around a brand new digital camera engine, the H3D takes lens performance and image sharpness to new levels. By focusing solely on digital camera architecture, Hasselblad is able to offer photographers the full benefits of professional medium-format digital cameras as well as the ease of use of the best 35mm DSLRs. When compared with high-end 35mm DSLRs, the H3D delivers unmatched pixel resolution, better colors and detail rendering and a new choice of viewfinders for creative image composition. The H3D-22 and its nearly double-resolution H3D-39 counterpart are both full frame 48mm DSLR’s using the sensor format 36 x 48mm. These cameras operate up to ISO400 with a capture speed of up to 1.4 seconds per capture. The H3D-22 and H3D-39 are the preferred choice of professional commercial photographers.

The H3D design has also made possible the launch of a completely new 28mm lens, designed and optimized solely for digital image capture. Image quality is lifted to a level, yet unseen in dig¬ital photography, including digital correction for color aberration and distortion. The result is flexibility for the professional photographer, including the freedom to choose between eye-level and waist-level viewfinders, digitally APO corrected lenses, and on-the-fly classification of images. The H3D offers photographers the freedom to work with film to allow shooting under extreme conditions, and Hasselblad’s Natural Color Solution delivers out-of-the-box image quality only achievable in a true digital camera system.

The new H3D-31 is available immediately worldwide through Hasselblad’s national subsidiaries and channel partners with a retail price of £13,900, excluding VAT, or 19,900 Euros, or US$ 24,995.


July 25, 2007

Ars Baltica Triennial Photographic Art 2007


Don’t Worry – Be Curious!


4th Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Art


Artists: Petra Bauer (Sweden), Anna Baumgart (Poland), Bodil Furu (Norway), Olga Chernysheva (Russia), Colonel and Khaled D. Ramadan (Denmark), Kaspars Goba (Latvia), Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen and Tellervo Kalleinen (Finland), Kristina Inciuraite (Lithuania), Sven Johne (Germany), Talleiv Taro Manum (Norway), Tanja Nellemann Poulsen (Denmark), Anu Pennanen (Finland), J&K (Germany / Denmark), Katrin Tees (Estonia), Alexander Vaindorf (Sweden), Arturas Valiauga (Lithuania), Julita Wojcik (Poland)

Curators: Dorothee Bienert, Kati Kivinen, Enrico Lunghi


Petra Bauer, Rana, 2007, Video still

   © Petra Bauer, Rana, 2007, Video still. Courtesy the artist


Olga Chernysheva, Festive Dream, 2005, Video still.

© Olga Chernysheva, Festive Dream, 2005, Video still. Courtesy the artist


Bodil Furu, My Ambience, 2005, Video still

  © Bodil Furu, My Ambience, 2005, Video still. Courtesy the artist


Kumu Art Museum in Estonia is hosting the 4th Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Art Don’t Worry – Be Curious! from August 10 until September 30, 2007. The exhibition was previously on view at the Stadtgalerie Kiel (March 31 – May 28, 2007). The exhibition will present photographs, videos, and installations by 20 artists from the countries bordering the Baltic Sea, works that address the problems and fears resulting from upheavals in present-day society.

Europe’s social, political, and economic reality is currently marked by restructuring processes that have led to a collapse in a continuity of location, a volatility in stable social relationships, and increasing individualization, on the one hand, and growing unemployment, passivity, and disenchantment with politics, on the other. These upheavals are predominantly experienced by West European countries as a crisis of the welfare state, while in East European countries they appear to be the result of socialism’s displacement by a capitalistic economic order. The sensed threat provokes similar reactions here as well as there; fear of social impoverishment, of a loss of identity, and of an uncertain future are the effects of globalization. In addition to this is the growing fear of the “foreigner” and the increasing desire to exclude the “other.”


Kaspars Goba, homo@lv, 2006-2007

   © Kaspars Goba, homo@lv, 2006-2007
  From a series of b/w photography, each 49 x 49 cm
. Courtesy the artist


The exhibition assumes that art can offer impulses and inspire reflection on participation and the power of agency. Invited are artists whose practice is based on the exploration of their social environment. The artists deal with diverse thematic fields such as migration politics, ideas of “normality” and “differentness,” the mechanisms of understanding and misunderstanding, social fears, young people’s various perspectives and concepts of life; the media’s influence on perception, thought, and knowledge; the relation between consumer culture and nature; or the sentimental value of the commonplace. What unites the works is a positive and often humorous prevailing mood that makes the observer want to engage in something new and scrutinize his or her own patterns of perception and thought.




Kristina Inciuraite, Swamp, 2006-2007, Part of the installation: Make Friends with Maumas!, Video still.

  © Kristina Inciuraite, Swamp, 2006-2007, Part of the installation:
  Make Friends with Maumas!, Video still
. Courtesy the artist


Anu Pennanen, You Don’t Realize it Used to be Different, 2006. Video still.

  © Anu Pennanen, You Don’t Realize it Used to be Different, 2006
   Video still.
Courtesy the artist.


Katrin Tees, Handbook of Creative Littering, Advanced Level, 2004. From a series of photo-book pages, 42 x 29,7 cm.

   © Katrin Tees, Handbook of Creative Littering, Advanced Level, 2004
   From a series of photo-book pages, 42 x 29,7 cm.
Courtesy the artist.


Don’t Worry – Be Curious! will open in Kumu Art Museum on August 10, 2007. The opening will be followed by a concert with Girl from Saskatoon and HGH, initiated by the artists Talleiv Taro Manum.

Further exhibition venues: Pori Art Museum, Pori (FI); Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), Berlin (DE); Andrejsala, Riga (LV); Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg (LU).


Alexander Vaindorf, Useless / Letter to the Government #2, Will You Be Profitable Little Friend?, 2006. Video still.

© Alexander Vaindorf, Useless / Letter to the Government #2
 Will You Be Profitable Little Friend?, 2006. Video still.
Courtesy the artist


Publication: An exhibition catalogue is available by Revolver Books with an introduction by the curators, an interview with Zygmunt Bauman, and texts by Petra Bauer and Annika Ruth Persson, Anders Eiebakke, Boris Kagarlitsky, Simon Sheikh, Hito Steyerl, Audrone Zukauskaite, and others.



  © Arturas Valiauga, From the series: Between the Shores, 2007
   c-print, 49,5 x 72 cm
. Courtesy the artist.


The exhibition is an Ars Baltica project of Stadtgalerie Kiel under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein and is supported by the programme Culture 2000 of the European Union, the German Federal Cultural Foundation, and institutions from the participating countries: the Danish Arts Council, the Arts Council of Finland, the Center for Contemporary Art Norway, IASPIS – International Artists’ Studio Programme, Moderna Museet – International Programme, Stockholm and the Ministries of Culture in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.


Don’t Worry – Be Curious!
4th Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Art

August 10 – September 30,2007
www arsbalticatriennial.org

July 6, 2007

Richard Long, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Richard Long: Walking and Marking
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
30 June – 21 October 2007

A major exhibition of work by one of the great figures of contemporary British art is the highlight of the 2007 summer programme at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Richard Long’s innovative, beautiful, thought-provoking and influential work, which expresses man’s relationship with the landscape, has gained him a world-wide reputation. Spanning his entire career, and selected by the artist, Walking and Marking demonstrates how Richard Long has extended his artistic practice over forty years, bringing together examples of all of his signature methods and procedures. This will be the artist’s first major retrospective exhibition in the UK since 1991.

Based on the walks that he has made since the mid-1960s, Richard Long’s work takes the form of photographs, maps, drawings and sculptures - generally lines or circles - constructed from the places that Long passes along the way. Mud, a material that has a powerful resonance in his work, and which he has used in a number of ways for much of his career, is a major theme of the exhibition. The artist will remake three of his large-scale mud wall drawings in situ, and the display also features his mud-dipped works on paper and mud-splash drawings. For the exhibition, Long has also make a large cross-shaped sculpture in Cornish slate, to be sited in the gardens at the rear of the Gallery.

Born in Bristol in 1945, Richard Long studied at St Martin’s College of Art, in London, from 1966-68. While still a student he began making simple but precise walks that were formal or ritualised (rather than simply being a means of getting from one place to another), photographing the traces that he left behind (such as flattened grass, or stones laid at regular intervals). Interested in using nature and the landscape as his subject matter, but in a manner that departed from traditional representation, he made walking into a form of art. Since the 1960s walking has remained the basis of Long’s work, and he has made walks across the world, often in remote or inaccessible places such as the Himalayas, the Sahara or Patagonia. He has also made frequent walks in Scotland.

On walks made during the 1970s Long began laying rocks or sticks in straight lines or circles. For the artist, these simple, but potent forms have a universal significance and symbolism that is easily and commonly understood. The circle is a primitive, elemental sign, used by man as a means of communing with the earth, the moon or the gods. Paths are traces of mankind’s presence in the environment, and across the world are marked in different ways, with cairns, signposts, miletones, shrines and other sacred or cultural markers. During the 1970s, Richard Long was also making sculpture of natural materials in interior spaces, so the landscape remained the basis of his work. This exhibition includes the seminal Stone Line, 1980, his first work in slate, which is in the collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Richard Long’s circles and lines are made with common, natural materials, easily found to hand, and their placement is spontaneous, made in response to the places in which the artist finds himself. Often they may be seen by no-one but the artist, and are left to be re-absorbed by the environment, their impermanence a simple metaphor for the transience and mutability of nature. Richard Long has continued to use photography to make his activities accessible, but in different ways he also employs maps and texts to convey the idea of his walks. All of these is represented in the exhibition.

Much of Richard Long’s work is concerned making marks, impressions and traces. He equates the stones and other materials he uses with fingerprints, as each is uniquely individual and different. Richard Long has also made work using his own finger- and hand prints, including a number of works made on tree sections, driftwood, and other materials that he has collected. A number of these works are displayed in Edinburgh for the first time.

Richard Long was born near the River Avon, which flows into one of the biggest tidal estuaries in the world. The river and its mud have had a profound effect on his work. Mud is a simple, direct, natural material, like water, stones or dust. It is the product of the continual flow of water over millennia, caused by the pull of the lunar tides; it speaks of the natural world and the passing of time. Using diluted mud as if it was paint, Richard Long carefully splashes it on the walls with his hands, in a way that suggests the activity of man and also the activity of nature. He also dips paper in mud, creating extraordinary natural effects. Richard Long shows that this most mundane of materials can create poetic images. For the Edinburgh show, Richard Long uses mud from the Firth of Forth.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, which reproduces many of the installation works made by Richard Long in the past five years. It will include an interview between Richard Long and the exhibition’s curator, Patrick Elliott, Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

A new collection of Richard Long’s statements and interviews, dating from 1971 to 2006 is published to coincide with this exhibition: Richard Long: Selected Statements and Interviews, published by Haunch of Venison, London. Edited by Ben Tufnell, the volume gathers together a number of key texts, many of which have not been widely available for some time.

75 Belford Road, Edinburgh

July 3, 2007

Sheikh Nahyan Visits Latifa College Exhibition at DIFC Dubai

Photo © 2007 DIFC. Courtesy DIFC

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, visited the e11even exhibition at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The exhibition is an art show created by graduates of Latifa College, a satellite campus of Zayed University.
The exhibition displayed the work of eleven graduates of Latifa, representing the students’ final work produced at the college. The graduates, who had concentrated within the majors of Visual Art and Graphic and Interior Design, explained to Sheikh Nahyan the intricacies of their artistic efforts, which consisted of photography, printmaking, furniture design and painting

The e11even exhibition was held at the DIFC’s Atrium Building 5 from June 26 to July 02. In addition to serving as a world-class centre for business and commerce, the DIFC aims to become a respected showcase for contemporary works of art. The upcoming expansion of the DIFC District will allow for further displays of art to be featured.

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July 1, 2007

S. Whettnall, I. Perez-Jofre, G. Diaz: The Journey. New Peregrinations




Gabriel DIAZ

The Journey. New Peregrinations

At Museum das Peregrinacions

and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea


The ritual ceremonies of many contemporary artistic practices, often consisting of pilgrimages similar to those of our ancestors, involve a very particular recreation of the world.

The objective of this exhibition is not to look at the act of pilgrimage from a religious point of view so much as an anthropological and –derived from that dimension- an artistic one. Some creative contemporary practices have to do with paths and trajectories, after flâneur and land art instituted a new, direct, experiential way of relating to our surroundings, through the discipline that walking involves. The povera, the conceptual, the situational shifts –to cite a few later examples- did not do more than amplify a line of work related to very old activities within the history of humanity.

The exhibition The Journey. New Peregrinations try to map, experience, and recreate the world from the point of view of the mythical, where the mythical tours that are traced in these works and initiatives are represented in paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, and photographs. In modern, contemporary language, they represent the idea of pilgrimage present in different mythologies. Walking is seen as a ritual and as art: a representation of an experience of mythical reality and an intervention in reality by the hand of artists like Sophie Whettnall, Ignacio Pérez-Jofre, and Gabriel Diaz, who will create works specifically for the display.

Each one of the pieces selected or produced for this exhibition will question reality from the perspective of the discipline, reflect on nature and experience, and show paths of communion and fusion with surroundings. They also involve a meeting with different landscapes in which something lay dormant which may soon be awoken. Just as there is something dormant in each of the artists that present themselves before the tasks that each one of the works present in the exhibition requires, because there is something in each of them that may be awoken. At the intersection of these two potentials, the landscape and the being in each of the artists, is where that symbolic space shown in this exhibition is produced.

The three participating artists assume the maximum of contemporary man, abandoning the illusion of the transcendental, but at the same time trapped in a permanent longing and desire for the great beyond that always calls to them, reviving old pilgrimage paths. In addition to their own productions for the exhibition, their paths cross in their visions of others’ works. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with texts by curator Marina Toba, CGAC director Manuel Olveira, and Museo das Peregrinacions director Bieito Pérez, in addition to an analysis of the work of Gabriel Diaz by Chus Martínez Domínguez, of Sophie Whettnall’s work by Anna Cestelli, and of Ignacio Pérez-Jofre by Javier Pérez Bujan.


Sophie Whettnall, Ignacio Perez-Jofre, Gabriel Diaz
The Journey. New Peregrinations

July 12 - August 26, 2007

Exhibition locations:
Museum das Peregrinacions and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea
Galician Center for Contemporary Art and Museum of Peregrinations

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