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By Raffy Paredes

Photo Mate, arguably the most comprehensive image viewer and Raw-developer application for Android devices, has been updated to version R3 3.2. But the best part is that it’s now available as a free ad-supported version.The new version still offers most of the features available in the full app—such as decoding and basic editing of raw files, cropping, exporting, rating, and image stacking. The workflow has just been augmented with ads, which will be visible in the gallery, and user shave to watch a video ad before switching to editing mode.Users who already own the app continue to get the full feature set and ad-free experience,while new users can decide between the ad-supported version or upgrade to the full version via an in-app purchase that removes ads and gets you access to the following extra-features:Luminance and Sharpening, Layer editing, Custom export presets, Organizing and filtering of images in a library, Batch renaming and export, Custom watermarks, Display calibration, Side-by-side image comparison. Visit the Photo Mate website (www.photo-mate.com) for more information and Google Play downloading (dpreview.com).

  • Mother & Daughter (Juanchito Paner)

  • Playa La Caleta (Noel Arcilla)

  • Stobosa Art Mural (Yoca Mariano)

  • Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (Jojo Bulseco)

  • Curiosity at One (Mark Henry De Leon)

  • Untitled (Kenneth Manalo)

  • The Revamped Japan (Gian Harvey Cristobal)

  • Christmas in Zamboanga 2017 (Christian Quilalang)

  • Mayon (Kim Maynard Go)

  • Hold On (Mandy N. Buenconsejo)

    Sony has just announced its Imaging Edge Software suite. The suite comes with three key pieces of software: Remote; Viewer; and Edit. Sony says it will speed up workflow and allow users to “unleash the full potential” of the Pixel Shift technology in the new a 7R III. Viewer provides a cataloging system that allows you to search and filter images by ratings.Edit allows you to process raw files by adjusting brightness and color, apply Creative Styles,crop, and straighten. You can also then export the edited raw to JPEG or TIFF formats.The Remote application allows for live tethered shooting. You can adjust the camera’s settingson your computer and display the Live View output on the screen. This means you can “shoot images seamlessly while adjusting the shooting settings.” Photographer Brian Smith reports that it allows for easy composition adjustments thanks to grid overlays, as well as Aria focus and zoom displays helping with precision focusing. It also supports Pixel Shift Multi Shooting, allowing you to produce higher resolution images by combining four pixel-shifted frames into a single higher-resolution image. You can download the new Imaging Edge software suite for free from the Sony website (PetaPixel).

    This year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has raised an interesting philosophical question—one that may become a challenging ethical conundrum for society in years to come.What made news was the winner of the third prize: Finnish photographer Maija Tammi’s portrait of an android—a robot designed to look human, named Erica. Tammi shot the picture at an experimental laboratory in Osaka, Japan. “I had half an hour with Erica and a young researcher in which to take the photograph,” Tammi tells the BBC. “The researcher told me that Erica had said that she finds Pokemon Go scarier than artificial intelligence.” Some people questioned the award, given the contest’s rules requiring that photos should portray “living people,” noted PetaPixel. But Tammi entered the photo in the contest to underscore the increasingly blurred lines between mankind and machine in the age of artificial intelligence. “I did write in my application quite bluntly that this is a robot, just in case, because I didn’t know how big or small the judges viewed the images, I had to be sure that they knew,” she told UK’s Evening Standard newspaper. “It was just a test: I wanted to see if the time is right.” The New York Times took note of Tammi’s photo in September, when it was shortlisted for the competition. “It was felt that the subject of this portrait, while not human, is a representation of a human figure and makes a powerful statement as a work of art in its questioning of what it is to be alive or human and asks challenging questions about portraiture,” said Laura McKechan, a senior communications manager at the UK’s National Portrait Gallery, which sponsors the competition (ai-ap.com).

    And now to our featured readers.

    The photo titled “Christmas in Zamboanga 2017” comes from Christian Calalang, 5th year BS Industrial Engineering student of the Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City. He writes:“I caught this boy witnessing one of the Christmas landmarks here in Zamboanga. I took this shot with a forced perspective technique, the wings’ lights created horns on his head.”

    Kenneth Manalo sent in the untitled silhouette photo with water reflection and background lightning. “My plan was to capture only the lightning but I realized to make myself the subject instead,” writes Kenneth.“So I set my camera timer, long exposure, and for 10 continuous shots. Realizing that the lighting strike was too close, I got scared and had second thoughts of taking the picture. But I toughened myself up to get a photo with the lightning strike. I didn’t expect to get a really good photo out of it, getting the perfect lighting from the lightning strike. Taken in San Teodoro, Mabini, Batangas.”

    From Gian Harvey Cristobal is the silhouette port photo, “The Revamped Japan” taken in Oita, Japan.

    Jojo Bulseco shares his photo of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.

    Kim Maynard Go contributed the photo of Mayon Volcano taken from a unique perspective.

    Seafarer Mandy Buenconsejo relates that he took his black-and-white photo titled “Hold On” at Burias Island,Masbate while on a church mission.

    Mark Henry De Leon submitted the birthday photo, “Curiosity at One.”

    Yoca Mariano sent in “Stobosa Art Mural,” a photo from the Stobosa Hillside community in La Trinidad where houses have been painted over as a giant artwork.

    The silhouette photo, “Mother and Daughter” comes from Juanchito Paner.

    And from Noel Arcilla is the photo, “Playa La Caleta” taken in Bataan.

     

    Readers may now view issues of Picture Perfect including this column at www.mb.com.ph. For comments, suggestions or just to share an image or idea, email throughalensclearly@yahoo.com or rfyparedes@yahoo.com.

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