WWF Living Planet Report 2010 released Photo

WWF Living Planet Report 2010 released

World Wildlife Fund’s biyearly report on the state of our planet’s biodiversity, the Living Planet Report, has been released. This report covers the planet’s biodiversity health and also human ecological footprint on the biome in every region. The study reveals human activity has outpaced what the planet is capable of handling by 50%. Marine biodiversity has dropped 35% for freshwater biomes and 25% for marine species. The report also maps the consumption based on demographics of different countries and region. The report is available for download here. The webcast from Wild Screen is here.

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Adobe issues release candidates for Lightroom and ACR Photo

Adobe issues release candidates for Lightroom and ACR

Adobe has issued Release Candidates of Camera RAW 6.3 and Lightroom 3.3. The updates bring support for 8 more cameras including the Nikon D7000, D3100 and P7000. Canon’s G12 and S95 enthusiast compacts are also supported, along with the Samsung NX100 and TL350 (WB2000). Panasonic’s GH2 completes the octet. Release Candidate indicates that this update is well-tested but would benefit from more community testing before it is distributed automatically via an update.

Lightroom 3.3 and ACR 6.3 are available for download from Adobe Labs.

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Call for entries: Reefs in Heat competition Photo

Call for entries: Reefs in Heat competition

The theme of the Reefs is Heat photo contest is “Philippine Marine Biodiversity in Adversity”. Its aims are to document the impacts of 2010 mass coral bleaching event in the Philippines and to increase the awareness of the public about climate change, mass coral bleaching events and its potential implications on fisheries, tourism and marine biodiversity. The competition is seeking images with an emphasis on the effects of bleaching, susequent recovery, stress on reefs and people and coasts amidst climate change.

The competition is open for entries, to amateurs only, until 1 November 2010. The winning photographs will be exhibited during the National Workshop of the Integrated Coastal Enhancement: Coastal Research, Evaluation and Adaptive Management (ICECREAM) Program for Climate Change on November 22-23, 2010 at Ecotech, Lahug, Cebu City. A roving exhibit will follow in partner Universities.

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CMAS World Underwater Photography Championship Photo

CMAS World Underwater Photography Championship

CMAS are soliciting entries from national teams for the World Underwater Photography Championship which will be held at Bodrum, Turkey from 26 to 30 May 2011. The competition, which is in its thirteenth year, is a “photosub” style one in which contents of each entrants memory card will be downloaded at the end of each dive, and points awarded according to the contents by a panel of judges.

The deadline for entries is 25 February 2011.

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Review of Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific Photo

Review of Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific

A pre-publication review of the latest in the Reef Identification series that focuses on the weird, wonderful and just plain unknown inhabitants of the reefs in a vast area from Tahiti to Thailand. Many photographers will be already familiar with this series, and indeed, the Reef fish identification companion volume to this book has been around for some time. In many ways the 7-year gap between the two publications illustrates much of what this new book is about.

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An interview with Tony Wu Photo

An interview with Tony Wu

Tony Wu has just been awarded first place in the prestigious 2010 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. His image, of four sperm whales taken in Dominica, is on display in the Natural History Museum, London. For many, this represents the pinnacle of recognition, and he kindly agreed to an exclusive interview about the award and his photographic philosophy.

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RED announces HDRx and Magic Motion Photo

RED announces HDRx and Magic Motion

RED has announced the release of a potentially revolutionary way to increase the tonal range available. A new High Dynamic Range function, called “HDRx”, gives the camera operator the ability to “dial-in” expanded dynamic range capability at the time of image capture. This should give up to six more stops of latitude in addition to the 12 or so stops native to their sensors. This expanded range will now be standard on Red cameras and available to all Epic and Scarlet customers.

HD Magazine asks whether this could “be the end of blown out highlights?” Traditional film gave 15 or 16 stops, and with this new feature, RED cameras will have up to 18 stops of latitude, with “on-the-fly” adjustment. In another development, RED has also announced its “Magic Motion” post processing feature for its HDRx footage that allows the post/editor to add custom motion blur characteristics and apply them to each HDRx clip independently.

The HDR approach basically takes two exposures and combines them into one image. The brighter exposure lifts up the dark areas of the image while the darker exposure protects the bright areas from overexposing and turning pure white. For motion, this presents a fundamental problem as the different exposure times of the same moving subject will produce two different blurs, and they will not match each other precisely. This is because the shutter is open longer during the brighter frame and shorter during the darker frame. To deal with this, RED has found a way to interpret the motion blur characteristics from each of the two frames, and then blend them together with user-control.

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Coral bleaching: Worst since 1998 Photo

Coral bleaching: Worst since 1998

UnderwaterTimes.com reports that scientists have identified the bleaching event that occurred this year in the “coral triangle” as certainly being the worst since 1998, and may yet prove to be the worst such event known to science. Sea temperatures rose by as much as 4 degrees over the normal average in the area, geographically from the Seychelles in the west to Sulawesi and the Philippines in the east and include reefs in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and many sites in western and eastern Indonesia. Dr Andrew Baird, of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook Universities, commented:

“This means coral cover in the region could drop from an average of 50% to around 10%, and the spatial scale of the event could mean it will take years to recover, striking at local fishing and regional tourism industries.”

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