Congratulations to Arla Patch, as her work is featured in the current print edition of B&W + Color Magazine. The article includes five images and is based on her newest body of work entitled “b. 1950”, featuring projection of images (in this case, watercolors) upon her own body. You can see (and purchase) all of the images in this body of work here.
In big news this morning, Adobe released the free beta version of the newest Lightroom product. You can read about and download LR 4 here and a more detailed explanation of the new features is here. I definitely recommend this free 22-minute video showing the new features if you are a current LR user – Michael Reichmann is definitely an expert on LR and has a practical and lucid approach to these matters.
So what are the big improvements? For me the biggest improvement is soft proofing for print – this is finally implemented, and in what appears to be a very intelligent fashion, making LR now an even more viable alternative for printing exhibition-quality prints. Other big improvements are separate curves for each RGB channel, a revised tone mapping system (blacks, whites, contrast, etc.), integration with Google Maps f0r GPS-enabled cameras, integration with Blurb for making books, and significantly improved ability to handle video. I believe the full version will be available in March or so.
So should you try this out? If you’ve never tried LR this is a great opportunity to sample the program for free. If you are a current user, it is definitely worthwhile to play around with it and see what kinds of differences there are, or to use it for special applications that require some of the new capability. I do not recommend, however, using the program for any production work unless you are very careful. I personally will not use it for ‘final’ processing of any of my images until the final program is released. Besides the possibility of errors in the code, there is also the possibility that any changes, settings, or processing you make in the beta will not carry over to the final project.
Lastly, circles and squares. There were two interesting posts on The Online Photographer in the last few days that I thought I’d mention. First, a discussion of the possibility of square sensors. I wish! There are decided technical advantages to doing so, but I’d say it is still unlikely in any mainstream product. What we will hopefully see even more of, though, is at least square crops available in-camera – I find it a decided advantage to be able to compose in the square and I miss that capability in my Nikons. There was a follow-up post on the even more unlikely possibility of a circular sensor, but a nice discussion by Michael Johnston on alternative frame shapes throughout the history of photography.