Category Archives: General News

Introducing White Honeycomb Grid Inserts for the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid System

White Grid Inserts + BezelExpoImaging has today announced availability of a new White Grid Insert accessory for the Rogue Flash Grid.

Honeycomb grids attach to a flashgun, helping to create mood or drama in portrait photography. They are typically used to modify hair light, rim light, background light, or the main light to focus attention on the subject.

The White Grid Inserts were designed to scatter light from the product’s honeycomb grid cells. When directed towards a flat surface, they produce a light pattern distinctly different from traditional black grids, creating a centre spot surrounded by a glowing halo-like effect.

“Portrait photographers looking for a more gradual transition from light to shadow with their grids will be thrilled with our new White Grid Inserts for the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid,” says Erik Sowder, ExpoImaging CEO. “When used in portrait photography, the edge of the lighting pattern produced by the white grids appears much softer and gentler, compared to the rapid fall-off and more dramatic lighting effect produced by black grids. This provides an advantage for creating smoother background lighting when shooting elegant or feminine styled portraits.”

“The White Grid Inserts will not change the colour of the flash. Our experience of manufacturing the ExpoDisc White Balance Filter helped us in our search to identify the best material to use in making the white grids. The result is consistent colour from the centre grid spot to the outer edge of the light pattern,” Erik continues.

As an accessory attachment for the popular Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid for speedlights, which offers photographers the versatility to choose between a 16º, 25º and 45º spot of light, the new White Grid Inserts give photographers even more choices to help them create the style of lighting and mood they envision for their subject’s image.

To use the new White Grid Inserts, photographers need the attachment Grid Strap included with the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid (sold separately). The White Grid Inserts cannot be attached to the flash without the Grid Strap.

The White Grid Inserts are priced at £17.95 incl. VAT (RRP).

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BenQ launches dynamic new 27” photo and video editing monitor

En_XPE_PV270BenQ has launched an exciting new 27” monitor that meets the demanding needs of photographers that edit both stills and video. Uncompromising colour performance and powerful calibration tools make the PV270 the ideal monitor for professionals that require reliable colour throughout their workflow.

The BenQ PV270 is the epitome of ‘Still meeting motion’, giving professional photographers the best of both worlds. The Adobe RGB coverage encompasses most of the colours producible for photography, whereas the Rec. 709 coverage and the DCI-P3 colour gamut is crucial for video post-production work.

The PV270 is ideal for professional photographers that currently edit video, or for those thinking about moving into video.

The display includes brightness uniformity, which offers a more authentic and consistent viewing experience. The 2560 x 1440 (QHD) resolution delivers the crisp picture quality expected for close reviews and detailed editing, and the spacious 27″ wide-screen view provides greater comfort and productivity.

With a 14-bit 3D Look Up Table, professionals are able to display the most accurate colour mixture. It also improves the RGB colour blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable colour and grey tone reproduction.

Key features of the BenQ PV270

  • 5 year warranty with zero pixel defect guarantee for the first 6 months
  • 27”W Large Screen 2560 x 1440 QHD Resolution
  • 99% Adobe RGB, 100% Rec. 709, 96% DCI-P3 colour gamut with IPS Technology
  • Hardware calibration with 14bit 3D LUT
  • Palette Master Colour Calibration Software included
  • Backlight sensor
  • Color Display Clone
  • Brightness uniformity
  • Technicolor Color certified
  • Monitor hood included

This is the fourth instalment in BenQ’s professional range of colour critical monitors. Other monitors in the range include the PV3200PT (32”), SW2700PT (27”) and the PG2401PT (24”).

The PV270 monitor is priced at £788.40 incl. VAT (RRP).

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June Inspired by Colour photo competition winner announced

Thank you to everyone that took part in the ‪’Inspired by Colour’ photo competition last month. We are pleased to reveal that our June winner is Nandan from London with his captivating image entitled ‘Follow your Dreams & Stand out from the Crowd…’

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Nandan’s winning image ‘Follow your Dreams & Stand out from the Crowd…’

Image Details
Camera : Nikon D7000
Lens : 18-105mm
Focal Length : 18mm
ISO : 10
F-Stop : F/22 at 1/4sec
Location : Piccadilly Circus , London

Nandan is now the proud owner of a Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System and Rogue Indicator Battery Pouch.

NandanThis image was part of the series “Girl in the City”. The idea behind the shot was to show how busy city life is and how people are busy chasing their dreams. The image was shot at Piccadily Circus, London, so I could use the iconic billboard as the background. As you can see in the background the billboard says “choose your heart’s desire” , it worked with the theme I was trying to achieve. I have made images with similar themes across the city of London, using my friends to model for me.

A slow shutter speed was used to show the movement of the crowd trying to cross the street.

I am a based in London, so most of the images I create are cityscapes around London or showing life in London. I have a desk job which takes up most of my time but I always make sure I take some time out to spend with my camera and capturing London. I am also a travel enthusiast and most of my travel is to places where I am far away from the city life and close to nature capturing landscapes.

To make sure I develop as a Photographer, I took a resolution at the beginning of the year to post 1 photo on my Facebook page as part of Project 365. See the link below to check out my work: https://www.facebook.com/Nandanprabhuphotography

Winning the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System will help me to set up my studio, and I could start doing more portrait work. I am really thankful to Color Confidence for hosting such photography competitions and giving a chance for amateur photographers like me to showcase their work, which can be really difficult without the exposure.

Other stunning entries in the June competition included:

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Image by Rob Sandeson

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‘Cliff hanger’ by Graeme Lowe

‘Patriotic Giant’ by Wendy Williams

Enter our July competition to win the DxO OpticsPro 11 Elite Edition worth £119!

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ExpoImaging launches a useful Indicator Battery Pouch that helps photographers to keep track of rechargeable batteries

Indicator Battery Pouch Packaging

ExpoImaging, creators of the patented Rogue FlashBender 2 shapeable light modifiers for speedlights, has today announced availability of a handy Indicator Battery Pouch that offers photographers a new way to store and keep track of a variety of rechargeable batteries, without mixing charged with depleted ones.

The new Rogue Indicator Battery Pouch contains reversible green and red insert cards, making it easy to quickly tell whether batteries are charged. Simply flip the card over from green to red when returning used batteries to the pouch.

“Photographers or anyone dealing with electronics today have to deal with keeping track of rechargeable batteries,” says Erik Sowder, ExpoImaging CEO. “The new Indicator Battery Pouch is a simple yet effective way to conveniently store and carry rechargeable batteries, and to help keep track of which ones are charged and ready to go.”

The lightweight pouch is made out of a durable nylon fabric. It can hold twelve AAA batteries, eight AA batteries, four 9V batteries, or two mirror-less or point-and-shoot-sized camera batteries.

The pouch incorporates adjustable hook-and-loop straps, allowing it to conveniently attach to a camera bag strap, a belt, or to hang from a stand. It weighs just 28g and measuring at 143mm x 64mm, it won’t add extra weight or bulk to a travel kit.

The Rogue Indicator Battery Pouch is priced at just £12.99 incl. VAT (RRP).

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DxO ONE continues to redefine mobile photography with version 1.4

DxO ONE - Lifestyle AppUIDxO has announced another major update to the multi-award-winning DxO ONE Miniaturised Pro Quality Camera™ for iPhone® and iPad®. Continuing with the promise to make the DxO ONE even better after you’ve bought it, version 1.4 adds integrated copyright/author and watermarking support to help protect your photos from unauthorised use.

In addition to important performance enhancements, the update also features a dramatically improved user experience that puts all of your capture and application settings in their own, quick-access menus.

Since its initial introduction revolutionised the world of mobile photography, an array of new features have been added to every DxO ONE via automatic (and free) software and firmware updates.

Version 1.4 introduces the option to automatically add a watermark to photos shared to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and every other photo sharing service supported by Apple iOS.

The update has a streamlined user interface that provides one tap access to capture settings, all of which are now logically grouped in a consolidated design. In addition, application settings, such as the Message Center and online support, can now be accessed with one tap from the Gallery view. The net result is that the bright, beautiful Retina viewfinder of the iPhone is now far less cluttered, leaving more room to compose your DxO ONE images.

Version 1.4 also introduces a host of other features based on direct user feedback, including the ability to preview in the viewfinder, in real-time, camera controls such as Aperture and EV-bias. Users can now determine when they want their DxO ONE to go into power saving mode, and all-important firmware updates that unlock new features and functionality are now more visible via top-level notifications, so you’ll never miss the opportunity to take advantage of cool new ways to control your DxO ONE.

Every DxO ONE camera includes free access to DxO Connect, very simple but extremely powerful software for Mac and PC, that can make your best DxO ONE photos look even better. DxO Connect v1.4 now leverages the new DxO OpticsPro 11 engine, which includes even more remarkable noise reduction for high ISO, low-light images.

The new processing engine also makes use of face detection to automatically extend the dynamic range, add fill light, and improve contrast while optimising illumination on faces in your photos. DxO Connect can even automatically add micro contrast to sharpen fine details in your images, but it’s smart enough to leave those details intact with photos involving faces or with those captured at a high ISO in low light.

Mac users, who use OS X Photos as their primary photo editing software, may want to download the updated extension (DxO OpticsPro for Photos – DxO ONE Camera only) from the App Store, which lets you tap into the power of the new DxO OpticsPro 11 photo engine without ever leaving the Photos app.

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ExpoImaging launches the new Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector – Super Soft Silver

XL Pro Super Soft-openExpoImaging, creators of the patented Rogue FlashBender 2 shapeable light modifiers for speedlights, has today announced availability of the new Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector – Super Soft Silver, Frank Doorhof edition.

World-renowned Professional Fashion Photographer and Lighting Instructor, Frank Doorhof, is a master of using edgy light and contrast to create remarkable images.  When Frank first saw Rogue’s Super Soft Silver fabric, he asked for a version of the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector that incorporated this fabric. Thus, the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector, Frank Doorhof edition was born.

“Photographers looking for more contrast in their images, while shooting flash on location will love the new Super Soft Silver FlashBender 2 XL Pro,” says Erik Sowder, ExpoImaging CEO.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to create innovative lighting tools for photography professionals. When Frank suggested we tailor the XL Pro, to help him get more creative with the Rogue kit, we jumped at the chance to help. Our custom Super Soft Silver fabric gives more light and contrast than white fabrics, with a softer and more even light than highly reflective shiny silver fabrics which are prone to producing hot spots,” Erik continues.

The Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro is the largest FlashBender, measuring at 305mm x 343mm. Building on the success of the popular Rogue FlashBender light modifiers for speedlights, FlashBender 2 reflectors can be shaped to control the direction of light from an accessory flash. The FlashBender 2 improved belt and buckle design provides a faster and more secure attachment to your flash.

With the control, versatility and portability of all FlashBenders and a Super Soft Silver reflective surface, the Frank Doorhof edition FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector represents a unique new photographic tool to create spectacular images.

The FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector – Super Soft Silver is priced at £52.99 incl. VAT (RRP).

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Introducing Color Passport – the revolutionary new system for professionals working with colour

Color Passport Posters selection 1_Page_1Color Passport is the first intelligent and universal colour system in the world that reveals the true DNA of each colour. COLOR PASSPORT SYSTEM comprises of 7,810 colours that have been innovatively developed into useful tools including a reference book, fan decks, training workshops and software for professionals working with colour.

All 7,810 reproducible colours have a unique passport that reveals its scientific values, as well as its style, cultural and emotional properties. By understanding a colours true identity, you can identify ideal colour combinations.

COLOR PASSPORT SYSTEM is ideal for those specifying or selecting colour in the design, architecture and fashion industries, along with manufacturers and buyers. Professionals worldwide use Color Passport to define distinct and recognisable corporate, brand, product and collection profiles, creating consistent experiences for consumers.

COLOR PASSPORT SYSTEM helps its users to understand the types of colours that are suitable for their target consumers, the style or application and the cultural or geographical relevance of its use. Choosing and combining the right colours for your design, customer or territory has never been easier.

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Color Passport offers an intuitive training course for professionals and companies working with colour. The Corporate Training and Workshop Level 1 is a 4-5 hour course for 2-8 people. The training package includes the following:

  • The Big One – a colour reference ring-binder, with an extensive navigation system which forms the basis of the COLOR PASSPORT SYSTEM
  • The Active One – a detailed portable fan guide (subsection of The Big One), providing quick and easy access to 1,800 coated CP colours
  • Six month’s free access to The Digital One – an electronic guide featuring 7,200 colours. Store Style/Type/Culture filters for targeted colour pallets and complimentary colour identification. Export libraries and match to the closest PANTONE or other digital libraries.

COLOR PASSPORT SYSTEM is the result of 20 years of research and development by the Color Passport Institute, lead by professor and engineer Luc Van Renterghem. 

Corporate courses are now available in the UK; contact Color Confidence for further details and to schedule a convenient date.

For individuals interested in the course, a group workshop will be available later in the year. You can express your interest now, by emailing: info@colorconfidence.com.

Color Passport training and products are available to purchase from Color Confidence.

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DxO introduces new innovations in advanced RAW image processing

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DxO has announced the availability of DxO OpticsPro 11, a major update to its award-winning photo software for Mac and PC. DxO OpticsPro 11 introduces important enhancements to DxO PRIME, the industry-standard for noise reduction, and new automated tools, such as spot weighted correction, auto micro contrast and auto red-eye that leverage face detection to help bring out the subtle nuances in images — all in just a few clicks and regardless of the original shooting conditions.

What is new?

DxO OpticsPro 11 features DxO’s proprietary DxO PRIME 2016 noise reduction, which enables photographers to salvage noisy photos thought previously unusable. With DxO OpticsPro 11, photographers can capture new images at an even higher ISO by using a new version of PRIME that is better and faster than ever.

Automated Spot Weighted Corrections

DxO has designed a new enhancement to DxO OpticsPro’s Smart Lighting tool that uses face detection to apply an intelligent tone map on the entire image, to better extend the dynamic range, add fill light, and improve contrast while optimising illumination on faces. The result is genuine spot processing—after capture – with the very same results as spot metering typically provides in camera, but with the added benefit of fine-tuning flexibility.

Other enhanced tools, including new full screen mode

DxO OpticsPro 11 also adds a number of other useful tools for photographers, including an auto micro contrast mode that enhances image content while taking care to preserve faces and keep noise under control. The selective tone control produces more natural results, efficiently recovering information in shadows and highlights while avoiding flattening mid tones.

There’s also a new tool that uses face and eye detection to automatically apply red eye correction, even as a batch process on multiple photos. In addition, a brand new full screen viewer removes distracting clutter so you can focus more on selecting, rejecting and rating your images, while using new shortcuts designed to help speed up the culling process.

Even more cameras supported

Without any user intervention (apart from simply viewing your image) DxO OpticsPro will read the metadata in your photo, and prompt you to download the appropriate camera/lens module. With that module, OpticsPro automatically and intelligently applies corrections such as distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and lens softness. And with this latest release, DxO OpticsPro 11 adds support for a number of new cameras, including Nikon’s new flagship D5, bringing the total number of supported camera/lens combinations to well over 28,000!

Introductory offer: save up to 25% on DxO OpticsPro 11

To celebrate the launch of DxO OpticsPro 11, we are treating you to great savings on the Essential and Elite edition.

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Introducing the new Rogue 32” 2-in-1 Collapsible Reflector for photography professionals

2-in-1-Collapsible-Reflector-WhiteExpoImaging, creators of the popular Rogue FlashBender 2 shapeable light modifiers for speedlights, has today announced the availability of a new reflector that will give photographers greater lighting control.

The Rogue 32” 2-in-1 Collapsible Reflector is the perfect size for location photographers. It is extremely portable and collapses to a third of its 32” open size. It is compact enough to fit in a laptop sleeve or backpack, whilst still being large enough to be useful for portraiture.

The white side of the reflector incorporates a very neutral natural white fabric, unlike many white reflectors that contain optical brighteners that reflect blue-tinted light onto a subject.

The Super Soft Silver side of the reflector makes this a great tool for speedlight shooters to control the light from their flashes or as a way to shape bright ambient light. Other silver reflectors are typically made using a thin fabric with a very shiny silver surface, which often produces a harsher fill light than desirable, especially when used with brighter light sources. In addition, the Super Soft Silver fabric reflects light more evenly than shiny silver reflectors, which are prone to producing hot spots.

“Photographers working with flashes or in bright daylight will recognise the desirability of lower-contrast silver collapsible reflectors,” says Erik Sowder, ExpoImaging CEO.

“We are constantly looking at ways to improve and expand our popular FlashBender 2 range. We found that highly reflective shiny silver fabric is often too bright, with too much contrast for portraiture, where photographers are often looking for a softer light. Our custom Super Soft Silver fabric gives more light and contrast than white fabrics, while being softer than highly reflective shiny silver fabrics,” Erik continues.

The Rogue 32” 2-in-1 Collapsible Super Soft Silver/Natural White Reflector is priced at £29.95 incl. VAT (RRP).
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What are the most important features that a film editor should be looking for when choosing a 4K monitor?

BenQ PV low res

After the launch of the new BenQ PV3200PT monitor, we ask BenQ Product Manager at Color Confidence, Steve Peachey ‘What are the most important features that a film editor should be looking for when choosing a 4K monitor?’

One of the key things to consider is whether you need a 4K or 4K UHD monitor. True 4K resolution is a cinema and professional production standard and 4K UHD is a consumer display and broadcast standard.

Budget is also an important factor – these things don’t tend to be cheap!

Ensuring the monitor reaches a desired minimum standard (REC 709) is the first pre-requisite. Colour consistency is also highly desirable to ensure intermediate and transition tones are accurately reproduced.

Hardware colour calibration will ensure that the monitor is kept in the optimum condition for a moving image assessment; you may require an additional calibration device but these are relatively inexpensive and can be used elsewhere within the workflow. Brightness uniformity is another useful feature as this keeps the monitor even across its entire surface reducing ‘hot spots’.

IPS (In Plane Switching) LED backlit panel technology will ensure there is minimal colour shift and a 14-bit 3D Look-Up-Table will improve your RGB colour blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable colour and grey tone reproduction.

Finally connectivity is key. The ability to connect the latest hardware to the monitor is a must. DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI connections from computers are a given; the ability to take a feed from a HD-SDI box (either internal or external) adds functionality to the monitor.

The great thing about the modern 4K and 4K UHD monitors is that despite their size (sizes currently run from 61cm / 24” upwards) they have a small footprint, which means there is lots of room for the coffee cups for those late night editing sessions!

Our latest BenQ monitor, the PV3200PT, has taken these considerations on board. The 32” 4K UHD monitor comes with an array of impressive features such as a choice of REC709, SMPTE-C or EBU colour spaces. It offers videographers precise colour accuracy and a crisp and clear viewing quality.

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