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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Sony World Photography Awards & Festival

Sony to hold London festival – Sony World Photography Awards and the World Photography Festival come to London, April 2011.

Press Release:

For the first time in its history, the Sony World Photography Awards is being held in London on April 27, 2011. Previously held each April in Cannes at the prestigious Palais des Festivals, the move to London heralds an exciting new chapter for the world’s largest photographic awards programme. Billed as the global photographic event of the year, it celebrates the very best in photography from around the world, from the next generation of emerging photographers through to the esteemed masters of the art.

Image by Ian Muttoo via Flickr

The awards will take place during the annual World Photography Festival & Exhibition which is being held at Somerset House from 26 April 2011, with the Festival running to 1 May and the exhibitions through to 22 May. This is the first time that London will host a major international photographic festival, and the programme will be packed with an eclectic mix of events, talks, seminars, workshops and exhibitions of the winning images from the 2011 Sony World Photography Awards. Honorary Judges for the 2011 Awards will be present and participating in the Festival, including Pulitzer prize winning photographer Liu Hueng Shing, world renowned photographer RJ Muna and industry leaders such as Elisabeth Biondi (Visuals Editor, New Yorker) Mike Trow (Photo Editor, British Vogue) and Caprice Horn (Director, Gallerie Caprice Horn).

Following World Photography Festivals in Shanghai in September 2010, San Francisco in November 2010, and Sao Paolo in March 2011, the six day Festival in London is open to everyone with a passion for photography – professionals, amateurs and students and, of course, the photo-loving public.

Astrid Merget, Creative Director, the World Photography Organisation comments: “Throughout the year, we run many international photography events, engaging with thousands of photographers world-wide. Each event culminates in the principal World Photography Festival which we’re thrilled to be holding in London for the first time this year, at Somerset House, and will offer public events, exhibitions and the Sony World Photography Awards. This annual Festival brings together the largest network of global industry leaders and celebrates photography whilst supporting participating photographers.”

Gwyn Miles, Director of Somerset House comments: ‘Somerset House is delighted to be hosting the first ever London-based World Photography Festival, and we are looking forward to working with World Photography Organisation to establish the Festival and Exhibition in the UK. Somerset House is committed to celebrating and showcasing photography in all its different guises, from established photographers to emerging talent and previous photographic exhibitions include Norman Parkinson and Nick Knight. We’re thrilled to be taking part in this prestigious, international event.’

Festival programme highlights include:

  • In the Photographers’ Studio – A five evening series of intimate conversations with some of the greatest living photographers. Discover the personal journeys that internationally renowned photographers such as Tom Stoddart and Pedro Meyer, have taken through the years, as they converse with other known industry folk such as Jon Jones (Director of Photography for the Sunday Times Magazine) to reveal their stories and showcase both known and unknown work.
  • The Sony World Photography Awards 2011 Winners’ Showcase – See hundreds of images on display from the winners and runner-ups of the 2011 Awards programme. Experience a vast collection of international contemporary photography, spanning all genres including Documentary, Sport, Portraiture, Landscape, Fashion and more.
  • Intensive workshops covering such topics as book design, photographic curatorship, compiling your portfolio, portraiture photography and merging film with stills.
  • Student focused workshops on the business of photography, how to network, how to build a portfolio and creating a unique identity.
  • World Photography Seminar Series including a panel debate on the London Photography Scene and a photojournalism roundtable.
  • iStockalypse event brought for the first time to London by iStockphoto
  • The Save the Children Project

For further details please visit the World Photo website.

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Google Earth 6.0 Offers a Full Walking Tour Experience

A high resolution of Downtown Los Angeles as v...
Image via Wikipedia

Google Earth 6.0

A virtual walking tour with a mouse scroll wheel is one of the new features in Google Earth 6.0. The streets available to tour on Google Earth are in selected city locations and highlighted in blue. Google Earth 6.0 also makes it significantly easier to access historical images. Backgrounds in Google Earth are now filled with 3-D constructs.

Google  introduced a major upgrade for Google Earth on Monday that gives users the ability to zoom in on many locations on the planet and instantly transform the perspective to a view from the street. The free Google Earth 6 release also includes other new features for exploring the planet virtually, including historical images for selected urban locations.

Though Street View took its inaugural bows in Google Earth during 2008, the new release now fully integrates the virtual walking tour experience. “You can journey from outer space right to your doorstep in one seamless flight,” noted Google Earth Product Manager Peter Birch in a blog.

Google Earth at Ground Level

The streets available for conducting virtual walking tours are all in selected city locations. To switch to Street View mode, drag the Google Pegman icon at the top of the zoom control onto any road highlighted in blue, Birch wrote.

“Unlike our earlier Street View layer, you can now move seamlessly from one location to another as if you’re walking down the street by using the scroll wheel on your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard,” Birch wrote. “If you want to visit somewhere farther away, simply click the ‘exit’ button and you’ll immediately return to an aerial view where you can easily fly to your next destination.”

Google Earth 6 integrates a huge array of photos of major urban areas, including major landmarks and tourist attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. When visiting these locations using Google Earth, users are able to pan 360 degrees to view everything else in the area.

Though historical photos have been available in Google Earth since 2006, the new release makes it significantly easier for users to discover and access these images. “When you fly to an area where historical imagery is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen,” Birch wrote. “If you click on this date, you’ll instantly be taken back in time to view imagery from that time period.”

Enhanced Realism

With Google Earth 6, the goal is to enhance the program’s realism by shading in previously empty backgrounds with 3-D constructs of buildings, trees and landscape. Over the past few years, Google has learned how to represent trees in a realistic way that can scale  to cover places in Google Earth where trees exist en masse, such as urban parks and large forests.

More than 50 different tree species are currently available in 3-D views of downtown San Francisco and Golden Gate Park, as well as in major park areas of Chicago, New York City, Athens, Berlin and Tokyo. “With 3D trees in Google Earth, we’ve brought characteristic trees to life, from the palm trees that dot San Francisco’s bay-front Embarcadero Street, to the olive trees that cling to the Acropolis in Athens, to the flowering dogwoods found in Tokyo’s parks,” wrote Google Earth Program Manager Raleigh Seamster in a blog.

The Google Earth window is full of data  that in dense urban areas will clutter the screen. However, the controls on the left side of the window give users the ability to click on or off the data points they wish to see — from roads, photos and 3-D images of major buildings to icons representing local businesses, parks and government offices.


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