Does Camera Gear Matter? Hear What Five Photographers Think

Image result for Does Camera Gear Matter? Hear What Five Photographers ThinkIt’s the age old question in photography: how much does expensive photography gear matter for achieving great shots? In this 8-minute video, photographer Erik Wahlstrom puts the question to 5 photographers.

There’s no clear cut answer to the question, according to this group polled. Yes, the photographer behind the camera has massive creative input… but they couldn’t take a photo without a camera in the first place.

So yes, photography gear does make a difference, “just don’t expect it to replace a solid foundation in photography,” says Alan Brock.

“In a lot of situations gear does matter, but probably not as much as you would think,” says popular landscape photographer Thomas Heaton.

The photographers featured in the video conclude that gear does play an important part in what makes a good photo, but it is only one piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered.

“There is no lens or camera body that will transform a bad photographer into a good one,” concludes Wahlstrom. “So does gear matter? Yeah. 100% yes. Absolutely it does. Except, I guess, when it doesn’t?”

[“Source-petapixel”]

Election results: What does a hung parliament mean for education?

School books

The shock election result will come as a relief to schools leaders in particular, following months of audible protest and condemnation over Theresa May’s controversial grammar school expansion plans.

The Conservative Party is left in such a weak position that even if they form a government, ministers will in no way be able to push forward with the much contested selective schooling proposals outlaid in the Tory manifesto.

As a source close to Number 10 reportedly put it to the Times Education Supplement early on Friday morning, grammar school plans are “f***ed”.

The result will come as a huge blow to New Schools Network head and free schools advocate, Toby Young, who has championed Theresa May’s plan to build at least 100 new free schools – including selective schools such as grammars – each year.

While most agree that new school places are needed – especially given the forecasted population increase – free schools remains something of a contentious issue, with some arguing they are too costly and unaccountable, receiving huge budgets while local authority schools are neglected.

As director of NSN, Mr Young was tasked with helping to deliver the new free schools, which are autonomous from local authority.

Speaking to The Independent before the snap election was called, however, he suggested that even if the current ban on selective school expansions were to be lifted “no more than five” would realistically have been opened by 2020.

Responding the outcome on Friday morning, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The Conservative party was hugely divided over grammar schools.

“The initiative for them came directly from Theresa May and her advisor Nick Timothy – perhaps only introduced in a misguided attempt to gain voters from Ukip.

“This policy can’t possibly survive this calamitous election. Government education policy now needs to urgently concentrate on and address school funding cuts.”

Schools are already facing very real and immediate consequences as a result of the squeeze on school funding.

We’ve heard and read stories about schools closing half an hour early to save money, parents being sent begging letters asking for donations, and teachers buying art materials and textbooks using money from their own pocket.

 

Speaking on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour in the run-up to election day, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted that a Conservative Government would not increase per pupil funding in England – a disclosure union leaders said confirmed their worst fears.

The future of school funding now hangs in the air: voters have undoubtedly reacted against the Conservative’s real terms cuts of 7 per cent per pupil, as well as the much criticised plans to scrap universal free lunches for infants.

By comparison, Labour pledged to increase school spending per pupil by 6 per cent compared with present levels, and the Liberal Democrat plan would protect spending in real terms at the 2017-18 level.

Responding to the main parties’ manifestos, however, the Education Policy Institute think tank published scathing criticisms that there had been “no clear indication” as to how any party intended to make savings, with “no clear estimate” of how some new policies would cost.

Industry leaders have long called for the school spending budget to be reassessed, and now it might have to be.

“Schools and universities are in comparatively good places,” said Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

“What they absolutely don’t need is any more initiatives from governments from the left or the right which will only damage the direction in which they are going.

“That said, the cuts to the school programme needs to be urgently eased out, or the quality of education will really suffer.”

The university head suggested a National Headship College needed to be set up – something his own institution Buckingham is proposing to do –  to ensure that the quality of leadership across the country at primary and secondary levels is dramatically improved.

“Finally, teacher recruitment needs to be given a very significant boost, particularly in maths and science, and that will mean more money will have to be found.”

While schools have made headlines for their financial struggles, top UK universities have been slipping down the ranks of recent global league tables – an issue experts have blamed on cuts to funding within higher education.

Despite this, Universities Minister Jo Johnson appears to remain in favour, with vice chancellors including Sir Anthony commending his efforts to pilot new university legislation, including the Teaching Excellence Framework.

“Dropping him would be folly and dangerous,” the Buckingham head warned.

Now, it seems, is the time for industry leaders to place increasing pressure on ministers to protect the rights of overseas students by allowing free movement following Brexit, and by discounting them from UK migration statistics.

“The government needs to start welcoming and celebrating overseas students, not deterring them, and it needs to ensure the softest of soft Brexit’s that will not inflict significant damage on British higher education and science.

“This is the time for strong and stable leadership in education,” Sir Anthony added. “Most governments and most education secretaries only start understanding their subject when it is time for them to pack up and leave.  If they do what is laid out here and nothing else, they will make a success of their job. The rule is – don’t meddle.”

University and College union, which represents higher and further education institutions across the UK, said the next government must prioritise investment in further and higher education and act swiftly to end the uncertainty over the position of EU nationals.

Responding to early indications of high youth turnout, UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘It is encouraging to see that a positive message, particularly after the unpleasant Brexit campaign last year, can still inspire voters.

“Theresa May called this election expecting to secure a mandate for a hard Brexit. She has signally failed to achieve that and the next government must bring some stability in these chaotic times.

“We believe an important first step is to now guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently in the UK, including thousands of university and college staff and students who contribute so much to our economy and society.”

The outgoing President of the National Union of Students, Malia Bouattia, added: “Students want to see progressive and fair policies that will have a very real and positive impact on all our futures.

“We want a government that does everything in its power to welcome international students and keep our universities and colleges diverse and vibrant.

“We have seen the student vote play a key role in marginal seats across the UK. The student vote yesterday was about more than tuition fees… it is unsurprising that they sent a strong message in this election not only to the Lib Dems because of their betrayal, but also to the Tories and their destructive policies of cuts and privatisation. “

[“Source-ndtv”]

LG Will Be First to Introduce Phone with Android Nougat — But What Does That Even Mean?

LG Will Be First to Introduce Phone with Android Nougat -- But What Does That Even Mean?

LG (KRX:066570) has announced it will unveil it’s latest phone — the v20 — on September 6. And one thing at least is for certain. The phone will be the first to run the new Android Nougat operating system. But what does that mean exactly and how useful will the phone be for business communications?

The announcements of new smartphones and mobile operating systems are met with great anticipation because of the reliance on these devices. Customers want innovative features and useful applications to improve the way they communicate, work, play, shop and more. So it is not surprising that the level of expectation is that much higher with the announcement that LG’s new flagship phone will be the first to ship with the latest Android operating system inside.

As far as the V20 goes, the only thing LG has revealed is that it will build upon the “rich multimedia” experiences the V10 brought. (That phone was released lasted year.)

But Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company said in an official release: “The LG V20 upgrades and extends its predecessor’s cutting-edge multimedia features a step further, providing distinctive mobile experience and sets a new standard for premium phones for consumers.”

So any other features discussed in the media are pretty much speculation until LG makes more information available. However, Engadget has reported the V20 will have a “dual front selfie” camera, a second screen similar to the V10, and will be the first phone with a built-in 32-bit DAC (digital to analog converter).

The phone is slated for release in the third quarter of 2016, with no specific date set by LG.

What About Android Nougat?

Nougat is the latest mobile operating system from Android, and just like the previous versions it is named after a sweet treat (even though the popular choice amongst users was Nutella). Google made the developer preview available early, and it is now on version 5, which will be the last one before general availability.

During I/O 2016, Google said Android N (as it was known at the time) will focus on performance, security and productivity, features that are essential in today’s smartphones because they are increasingly becoming part of the workforce ecosystem.

Performance

Nougat has the new Vulkan 3D graphics API, which has been designed to allow developers to get better details into graphical frames. It can improve graphical performance on regular apps by 30 to 60 percent, making gamers that much happier.

A new JIT (just-in-time) compiler will be able to install apps up to 75 percent faster while reducing the compiled code size by 50 percent. This will result in improved battery life because it won’t tax the processor as much.

Security

The popularity of Android makes it a great target for hackers, and the way it is distributed makes it that much more challenging to secure. In order to address this problem, Nougat will implement a three-pronged approach: a file-based encryption, automatic software updates in the background, and media framework hardening to ensure the safety of the device when users are accessing media and media types.

Productivity

Smartphones are used to get things done. Activities can include work, play, shopping, paying bills and a host of other tasks.  With that in mind Nougat has introduced several productivity tools to help in these endeavors.

The new Direct Reply feature lets you directly reply to messages, emails and other form of communications directly from the notification bar. The reply options also include 72 new realistic Unicode 9 emoji glyphs, so you can make your point without having to say a word.

A new multi-window feature will allow users to Split Screen, so you can video conference on one side, while looking at relevant information on the other.

Last but not least is Daydream, Google’s new VR platform. Even though Google will have its own headset, the support in Android Nougat means phone makers that are Daydream-ready will be able to take advantage of the growing popularity of virtual reality.

Android Nougat will have a total of 250 new features, and phones such as the LG V20 will come ready out of the box so users can have a better experience when they communicate, work and play.

Image: LG

More in: Google

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

This App Claims to Turn Your Phone into a Tiny Scanner but Does it Measure Up?

The Tiny Scanner Mobile App Claims to Turn Your Phone into a Well, Tiny Scanner, but Does it Measure Up?

Usefulness
Functionality
Price

Summary


The Tiny Scanner mobile app turns Android and iOS devices into portable document scanners. It scans everything as images or PDFs.

The Tiny Scanner mobile app turns your phone into a scanner and saves documents as either a photo or a PDF.

With it you can now easily scan documents, receipts, reports, photos or just about anything. The scanner app is lightning fast and is available for both iOS and Android devices.

How the Tiny Scanner Mobile App Works

The app only requires a few permissions to access your camera, in-app purchases, wi-Fi connection information and media/photos/files. It’s really easy to use and you can operate it in two ways. You can either scan using the camera or by selecting an image already stored on the device.

Using the camera, you will be asked to choose whether you want to have the flash on or off and you can as well change the page size format.

You also have full control over the output. You have a number of (black, white and grayscale) output to choose from. You can also adjust the contrast using the options displayed on the same page.

Once you are done, click save. You will be provided with a sharing button.

The application supports a number of cloud hosting platforms like OneDrive, Evernote and Dropbox. They are, however, only available to Pro users. 

All PDF documents created by the app are available on the program’s interface. You can also find them under TinyScan > Documents or open them directly using a file explorer.

Settings

The settings allow you to make the changes to the default preferences. You may change the process (black and white, color, grayscale, photo, last filter) and the default page size, for instance.

The app allows you to add a passcode that protects against unauthorized access. Enable Wi-Fi access to be able to access your documents from other devices, a laptop or PC, for instance.

Conclusion

Tiny Scanner is an excellent portable scanner for both iOS and Android users. The app is loaded with functional features that make document scanning and sharing a breeze. The free version is perfect for both personal and business use.

The Pro version (available for $4.99 on Google Play Store) offers a number of extra features, such as the ability to customize page sizes for PDF export. There are different paper sizes available in the app including A4, Legal (8.5×14), Letter (8.5×11) and many more.

Another great feature available on the Pro version is an intuitive folder system that organizes digital files. The app allows you to also create multiple files where you can save scanned documents. You can use its powerful search features to quickly find any document too.

Image: TinyScanner

[“source-smallbiztrends”]