Lollipop – Android’s Latest Upgrade

Lollipop Upgrade

Since many of us now consider our smartphones an integral part of our photography hobby, I thought I would give you a quick perspective regarding the much anticipated Android operating system. I realize that many in the photography arena are huge iPhone fans. The global smartphone market share numbers break down to approximately 82% for the Android operating system and 14% for Apple IOS, according to the research firm IDC. Thus I suspect a healthy percentage of our readers are using Android phones. In the USA, the market share for Android and IOS is almost a dead heat at roughly 47.5% apiece. My comments below are based on upgrading a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone from KitKat to Lollipop.

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Ads on Photography Life

PL Advertising

As you may have already noticed, we have been experimenting with advertising here at Photography Life over the weekend. After several days of trying out Google’s advertising, we decided to settle on a few locations on the website and we have now pretty much settled on showing advertising on the sidebar and the main content area of the page. While we have tried to do our best to make ads as unobtrusive as possible, our old-time readers who have been enjoying the ad-free environment for so many years might get a bit annoyed and might wonder why we had to resort to introducing advertising on this site. Unfortunately, it all has to do with our rising costs.

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Sports Not So Illustrated?

Sports Illustrated Logo

Since Sports Illustrated’s (SI) announcement that it would lay off its staff of 6 professional photographers last week, there has been the traditional wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media. The responses have ranged from the stereotypical demonization of capitalism to lamentations for a skill set no longer appreciated. Others predict SI’s demise due to the inevitable (so they claim) decline in the quality of its photos that will result from this decision. You may recall a similar outrage when the Chicago Sun Times laid off its entire staff of full-time photographers.

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DSLRs To Catch-Up With Smartphones?

Nikon D750 vs D810

DSLR customers have had a nagging sense that manufacturers were far more interested in having them upgrade their cameras than providing additional capabilities to the customers that already purchased DSLRs. Back in the days of mechanical film cameras, it would have been a challenge for OEMs to deliver upgraded capabilities to existing customers. Customers would have had to bring their equipment into a local shop or send it to the camera manufacturer to be retrofitted with new capabilities – a prospect not very practical or financially attractive for manufacturers or customers. In a digital world, however, enhancing just about any product has become a simple software download and installation process. Thus the idea that any digital product (particularly a sophisticated and expensive one) should remain relatively static over its lifetime has become obsolete. It appears that Nikon may be ready to acknowledge and address this growing concern.

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Happy Holidays from Photography Life!

1 Merry Xmas

A very warm and merry Christmas and upcoming Happy New Year to all readers of and visitors to Photography Life! Below is a selection of Christmas lights in London that I photographed tonight to celebrate the festive spirit (with the exception of the first image which was shot 2 years ago). Warm congratulations to all contributors and readers on their photographic endeavours this past year. May your success continue well into the New Year, with greater focus, passion and undiluted pleasure. Here’s hoping Santa brought you all the gear you asked for!

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Big Site Changes and New Hosting

Photography Life

If you have been checking our site during the past week, you’ve probably noticed that we had a few outages and changes. We have been working hard on migrating the site to a new hosting platform, so we decided to make a few changes while at it. The first major change is security – the site is now fully secured through 2048 bit SSL encryption! If you look at the URL, you will notice that it now starts with “https://”, whether you are looking at an article, or logged into the site with your account. We want to encourage our readers to register and participate in our forums and articles, so we want to make sure that your information is protected. In addition, we want to host a few contests (more on this later) and we want to be prepared!

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A Heartfelt “Thank You” for our First Year Together

Thomas Stirr (8)

I can hardly believe that it was over a year ago when Nasim contacted me out of the blue and asked me if I could write a review of the Nikon 1 V2 for Photography Life. I was both stunned and honored by his request. I had been a loyal reader of this site for a number of years since its “Mansurovs” days and I never dreamed that I would ever pen an article here.

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Magnum Photographer René Burri Passed Away Today

René Burri

After a long battle with cancer, legendary Swiss photographer René Burri passed away today at the age of 81 in Zurich. If you are not familiar with René Burri’s work, he was the photographer that captured such famous people as Che Guevara, Pablo Picasso, Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon and make others. He covered wars and conflicts with his storytelling imagery and created some of the most iconic images in photography history. You can read more about René Burri on this Wikipedia article. He worked for Magnum since 1956 and you can see a lot of his work on this page at Magnum Photos.

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The Nikon D810 Visits Jackson & Yellowstone National Park

Moose

This summer’s adventure brought us to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. We almost went back to Banff National Park for the third year in a row, but wildlife and landscape photos from 500px and flickr, as well as conversations with fellow travelers, convinced us that it might be worthwhile to explore the beautiful state of Wyoming. We were also aware that some of Hollywood’s western classic films, such as “Shane” and “Spencer’s Mountain,” had been filmed in the area. By April, we decided to make plans for our August adventure.

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Welcome to the New and Shiny Photography Life!

Photography Life

We have been working hard during the past couple of weeks on completely redesigning Photography Life and we are happy to announce the new and shiny look that hopefully our readers will appreciate. Over the past few months, we have been gathering feedback from our readers, friends and our team, with the goal to completely revamp the feel of the site, and address some of the design problems of the past. Being a photography site, our number one concern was image size – we just did not want to be limited to showing small images to our readers anymore. So the first thing we did was increase images shown in the site by 50%! In addition, from now on, we will be posting images at much higher 2048 pixel long resolution in our in-depth articles and reviews. For example, most images in our Nikon D810 review and Fuji X-T1 review have very high resolution, which dramatically increases the viewing experience, especially on high-resolution monitors. With the growing popularity of 4K monitors, we will be doubling the resolution of provided images in the future as well.

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