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Welcome to the Vertus blog; news, reviews and special offers

Olympics – History Captured On Film

There are SO MANY historical moments in Olympic history that they just can’t be squeezed into a Top 10 list.

So think of this list as ‘some’ of the moments that stuck in our minds, rather than a ‘this is the OFFICIAL Top 10. Fear me, now. Grrr’  kind of list.

Not listed in order of importance…as you will soon see…‘cos the first is…

1) Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards at the 1988 Calgary Ski Jumping Winter Olympics

Plasterer by trade, blind as a bat and a bit too chubby to ski-jump.

But in true Olympian style, he pressed on anyway, funding the whole feat out of his own pocket (as there was no sponsorship).

And ski-jump he did…

…pretty badly – so bad his shadow just plain refused to jump with him.

Eddie may well have come last in both jumps (the 70m and 90m) – but his feat endeared him to tens of thousands of people who loved him for trying, for believing he could do it when the odds were stacked up against him, for having the audacity to boldly go where no plasterer had gone before.

Eddie, I raise a carton of Ribena in your honour, man.

2) Why, Ben, Why?

Ben Johnson was a popular athlete with a number of medals under his belt including two silvers at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 1982, a bronze at the 1984 LA Summer Olympics and gold at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

So when he bagged gold at the World Championships in Rome in 1987 and at the Seoul Olympics the following year, it was no less than what he deserved …that’s, ahem, had he not flavoured his cup of Tetley’s with anabolic steroids.

All hell broke loose, the media had a field day, and Ben was stripped of his medals and shown the door (I wonder if he jogged, sprinted or walked out of it?)

He made a comeback in 1991 after his suspension ended, but bombed. In ‘93, he was kicked out for good after tests showed ‘Ben done did it again’ following a race in Montreal.

‘Stoopid’. Beyond.


3) Tommie Smith’s & John Carlos’ Black Power salute…

Mexico City. The 1968 Olympics. Tommie Smith & John Carlos, I’m sure, had made their mothers proud by bagging gold and bronze respectively in the 200m race.

Receiving their medals, they step onto the podium with no shoes on except for black socks.

Each has a black glove on.

Lowering their heads, they each raise a fist to the sky as the Star Spangled Banner plays.

Star Spangled Banner. Black Power.

Star Spangled Banner. Black Pride.

It was a bold and defining moment …a defining moment that greatly inspired many…

… and p*ssed off some…hugely… such that both men were banned from the Olympics and ostracized when they returned to the US (yep – the very country they were representing).

All the same, nothing takes away from that day in 1968 when the personal became political.



4) Cathy Freeman: 1994 Canada Commonwealth Games – 2000 Sydney Olympics…

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Freeman became the first Aboriginal to run for Australia, lighting the Olympic flame, then getting her groove on by winning gold in the 400m. It was an undeniably significant moment, an amazing moment, but a shame that it happened as recently as 2000 and not way, way, way before that.

Prior to that, bearing similar political echoes to Smith and Carlos, when Cathy won her first medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, she wore both the Aboriginal flag and the Australian flag over her shoulder as she ran her victory lap. Upon winning her 2nd medal in the same event, she ignored the warnings of the head of the Australian team and sashayed round the block again, head held high, with both flags in tow.

She won in more ways than one.

5) Jesse Owens – Berlin Olympics, 1936

Hitler sure didn’t know what he was in for when Jesse Owens turned up. No, siree.

Owens not only bagged a gold medal in the 100m, but won gold medals in the 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay, setting 3 world records and an Olympic record for good measure.

Definitely got a certain Aryan’s moustache a-twitching – what a novel way to well and truly SET YOURSELF UP.

6) Carl Lewis – Los Angeles Olympics, 1984

Is it a bird? Is it EasyJet? No, it’s King Carl!

Long jumper and sprinter, Carlton Lewis, is up next because almost 50 years later, he matched Jesse Owens’ Berlin achievements medal-for-medal. Yep, 100m, 200m, long jump and the 4x100m rely.

Both athletes were very close in age, too. Jesse Owens was 22 years old when he showed Hitler where it was at. Carl Lewis was 23.

7) Nadia Comaneci’s Perfect 10…
Nadia Comaneci was just 14 years old when she scored a perfect 10 in a gymnastic event at the Montreal Summer Olympics in 1976. It was the first time anyone had been awarded such a score.

To show how unexpected this lovely miracle was, the scoreboards weren’t even equipped to show 10s.

The Romanian gymnast went on to score six more 10s over the course of that competition, going home with five medals (3 gold, a silver and a bronze).



8) 1972 Olympic Games, ‘The Munich Massacre’ …

In the early hours of September 5th, and 2 weeks into the Games, a Palestinian terrorist group called ‘Black September’ broke into the Olympic village and abducted 11 Israeli team members.

Two hostages were shot dead after trying to attack some of the terrorist members. Then, in an unsuccessful attempt to free the hostages, nine abductees were killed along with 5 of the terrorists and one policeman.

The three remaining terrorists were caught but later released when a Lufthansa plane was hijacked by a group of Palestinians.

Surprisingly, the games weren’t cancelled or suspended for any significant amount of time. A deeply insensitive move? Or an impassioned middle-fingered response to terrorism? Who knows?

9) Abebe Bikila…the bare-foot runner…

It’s 1960. It’s the Summer Olympic Games in Rome.

Stifling hot, the 26.2 mile marathon had been set in the evening.

Abebe Bikila runs the marathon – barefoot – and wins, setting a new world record and becoming the first African to win a gold medal.

In all fairness, he tried wearing shoes before the race, but found the ones the sponsors (Adidas) provided quite uncomfortable.

He’d go on to successfully defend his title at the Tokyo Olympics 4 years later (with shoes on this time).

10) Steve Redgrave – 2000 Sydney Olympics…

The former British rower, Sir Steve, just didn’t know how to stop winning gold – which is why he just kept on doing it for five Olympic Games in a row (‘xcuse the pun) from 1984 to 2000 (Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney).

His 5th gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics was significant – monumentally so – as that win made him the first ever Briton to have achieved that milestone.

He retired soon after, aged 38.

What’s just as amazing is that he achieved these in the face of continuous ill health, having been diagnosed with colitis and diabetes.

What a spirit.

Posted on: August 7, 2008 Discussion: 1 Comment Posted in: Off-Topic

The Most Iconic Sporting Images?

In honour of the long and hopefully hot sporting sumer ahead we have picked our most iconic sporting images over the past few years. I’m sure not everybody will agree with all of these, if you want to suggest your own nominations in the comments, if we get enough we may open up a poll in a couple of weeks time to find your definitive sporting image!
(p.s. Not listed in order of importance)

1) Muhammed Ali vs Sonny Liston rematch (1965)

First minute, first round, an anchor punch, and the former heavyweight champ, Sonny, was down. He quite literally didn’t know what hit him (or stung him).

Adding insult to injury (‘xcuse the pun), Ali then stood over him and yelled for him to get up.

I personally would have stayed away after the first match, but obviously, Sonny boy had teeth to spare.

2) Maradona (Argentina v England – 1986 World Cup, Mexico)

The first goal in which Maradona touched the ball with his hand (or with the ‘Hand of God’ as he later on said)… well, God saw what happened. Unfortunately, the referees didn’t.

But let’s not let it distract us from the stunning 2nd goal, people.

Did you see it? Did ya? Sheer poetry in motion.

Maradona weaved himself past not 1, not 2, but 6 England players to score that amazing goal. Ok, so they might have been traumatised by the first goal, but WAKE UP ENGLAND, he’s about to score a second one ….with his feet this time.


Picture Credit


Picture Credit

3) Paul Gascoigne bawling at the World Cup semis.

It’s 1990. It’s the semi-finals. England’s playing against West Germany. Football widows abound.

Towards the end of the match, Gazza’s shown a yellow card, and realising what this means (potentially missing the final if England wins), cries his little heart out (while revealing a very fine six-pack indeed – yum!).

England went on to lose the semis, but the picture of Gazza crying remains a classic as it embodied the feelings of millions of fans.

Picture Credit

4) Flo Jo wins gold…

The 1988 Seoul Olympics. Florence Griffiths-Joyner wins the 100m gold and sets a world record of 10.49secs.

Though it was one of four medals she won at that particular event, it was the picture of her smiling – her multi-coloured fingernails raised to the sky in triumph – that remains in the hearts and minds of many.

5) Pele & Bobby Moore swap t-shirts…

1970. Mexico World Cup. England vs Brazil.

Final score: Brazil 1; England 0.

At the end of the game, Pele and Bobby Moore swap t-shirts.

A beautiful picture, it showed the great respect these two amazing players had for each other.

Picture Credit

6) Tommie Smith & John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics

Smith had won the 200m race, while Carlos had clinched the bronze. On the medal stand, each athlete wore a black glove. And as the US anthem played, they both bowed their heads and raised a fist in a Black Power salute to highlight the civil rights climate and celebrate black pride.

It caused a wave of uproar amongst many white Americans (proving Smith’s & Carlos’ point, don’t you think?). They were subsequently banned from the Olympics and ostracized upon returning to the US.

Nevertheless, their stand remains a defining moment, a powerful silent act of courage that empowered many black people in the US …and beyond.

Picture Credit

7) Bobby Moore – World Cup, 1966

England: 4. West Germany: 2.

Balanced on his team-mates’ shoulders, Bobby Moore raises the Jules Rimet cup in the air for England. He had the look of a man who really couldn’t ask for more, a man whose beans on toast wouldn’t taste quite the same the next morning, a man who, like Gazza, epitomised the nation’s love of the beautiful game.

Picture Credit

8) Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics, 1936

Oh dear, things didn’t quite go according to plan for Hitler at the Berlin Olympics, did they? The super-duper world-class athlete, Owens, disproved Hitler’s theories of Aryan superiority several times over by winning 4 gold medals (100m, 200m, long jump and 4 by 100m relay), breaking and setting 3 world records and one Olympic record in the process.

Picture Credit

Posted on: June 23, 2008 Discussion: 6 Comments Posted in: Off-Topic

Latest release Fluid Mask 3.0.6 for Win and Mac available

We have made the following fixes available on Fluid Mask 3.0.6

Mac OS:

* MacOS Leopard

Mac version now uses Leopard installation technology. Since Mac OS Leopard was released we identified some incompatibility issues which have been fixed in Fluid Mask 3.0.6.

* “Repeated” prompt for registration cured

Some users reported that they repeatedly had to activate Fluid Mask 3 again with their serial key on the same machine as before. A change in our licensing will cure this problem – users who experienced this please download the update from the usual location or use the “Check for updates” option under “Help” in Fluid Mask 3.

Windows:

* We added a few other minor tweaks to the way the full version of Fluid Mask 3 is installed on Windows Vista. Users who had trouble when installing as admin, but used Fluid Mask 3 without admin rights should definitely download the update.

All platforms:

* New trial period

Some users of the trial version didn’t get the chance to test Fluid Mask 3 before their trial was expired. Fluid Mask 3.0.6 will now provide a fresh trial period of 14 days

* Change of serial key format

The format of our serial keys has changed – the ‘#’ sign is no longer used at the end of the key, and we’ve added a new prefix at the beginning of the key. Please note that existing registered customers do not need to worry about this change unless instructed by our support team.

* Can save tiff as .tiff as well as .tif

The stand-alone version of Fluid Mask 3 can now save .tiff as well as .tif files on both Mac and Win now.

* Minor tweaks

Textual changes in error reports and manual registration requests for more efficient support

Fixed causes for crashes that were reported

————

Important Update Installation Instruction:

1. Do _not_ uninstall your current version of Fluid Mask 3. The update will replace your current version automatically.

2. Go to the Fluid Mask download page (look up your order confirmation e-mail – it’s the same link) and choose the Mac or Windows version of Fluid Mask 3.0.6 for download. If you can’t find the link please do contact our support team at support@vertustech.com

3. When the download is complete please do close all programs (especially Photoshop) before running the installation.

4. Double click the downloaded file to start the installation. Click “OK” in case see a warning message that “a version of Fluid Mask 3 is already installed”.

5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

6. Done!

——–

Posted on: December 11, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Announcements, Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

Applelinks.com Review of Fluid Mask 3 – 5 Apple Rating

We would like to thank Gary Coyne & Apple Links for writing such an in depth review on Fluid Mask 3. We feel Gary has really put our software through its paces – over to you Gary…

“Photoshop is filled with redundant features. For every task there needs to be a variety of mechanisms to accomplish the same thing, because every image is different. And because every image is different, some tools work better in one image while other tools work better in other images. Amongst those redundancies, none of them have more redundancy than selection tools. I just made a mental count of about a dozen different ways to create a selection in Photoshop, and when it gets right down to it, that’s not enough. That’s why there are third-party solutions, and I have to admit that of all of the solutions I’ve seen, none creates as good of a selection as Fluid Mask 3. With great power comes great responsibility, however, and that means that Fluid Mask has a greater learning curve and is a bit more challenging to learn. But the results you achieve will be exactly what you wanted.” read the full article >>

Posted on: November 16, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews

Fluid Mask 3 is awarded 4.5 stars by MacWorld.com

We are delighted to announce our recent review on www.MacWorld.com

Here is an excerpt:

“Fluid Mask does an excellent job of isolating and cutting out objects that have high contrast or sharp edges from an image background. But the product really shines in difficult situations where foregrounds and backgrounds are similar, or where objects have soft, unfocused edges. Fluid Mask analyzes an image and creates outlines at the edges of areas with distinct color and texture, breaking the image into regions that you can choose to keep or to delete. It also blends image edges to avoid artificial-looking, hard-edged cut-outs. The initial edge analysis occurs automatically and without noticeable delay.”

To read more on the www.MacWorld.com review by Jan Kabili click here>> 

Posted on: October 30, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Reviews

Windows update: Fluid Mask 3.0.4 available

We have an update for Fluid Mask 3 of Windows available on our download pages. The latest update is 3.0.4 (instead of 3.0.3) for technical reasons, so it’s not that you missed a whole version or anything ;o)

Before you download and install please read this

– Do _not_ uninstall your current version of Fluid Mask 3. It is not necessary and will save you time and a re-registration. Simply go to the usual download page, download and run the new installer. Fluid Mask will ask you if it is okay that it overwrites the previous version. And yes – that it okay 🙂

Changes in this release:

– some users experienced that they had to re-register their copy of Fluid Mask 3 although they had already done so. This was connected to the licensing technology that we use and has been sorted out now

– problems installing and registering FM3 on Vista (a user who installed as admin was not able to use FM3 when logged in as a standard user. There was a workaround available in the past. This workaround is now redundant and the problem fixed with 3.0.4.

– a few improvements to usability during the installation and registration process – this was necessary mainly for our Vista users

– this new version will not remove the license file any more when a users uninstalls FM3 (this was not the case for Windows versions up to 3.0.2). That’s a good thing because a user will not have to register again after uninstalling+reinstalling

Questions and postcards to support@vertustech.com, please ;o)

Kat

Posted on: October 25, 2007 Discussion: 4 Comments Posted in: Announcements, Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

Vertus / DxO Bundle Ending this Sunday 14th October

Only a few days left to get the most out of your photos by creating high quality digital compositions easily and fast

Dear Photographers,

October 14th is coming round fast and this means there are only a few days left to benefit from these amazing bundles we’re offering with DxO Labs.

We know that making quick masking selections and correcting optical defects in photographs can take forever and sometimes (OK, mostly!) the end results are not exactly what we set out to achieve.

If you would like to add realistic film effects, correct optical defects and apply professional masks to your photography all at the click of the mouse then this offer is just for you!

We have put together 3 bundles to suit your needs:

Fluid Mask 3 + DxO Optics Pro Standard
You save $109!

Fluid Mask 3 + DxO Optics Pro Elite
You save $139!

Fluid Mask 3 + DxO FilmPack
You save $109!


Over 20% Discount Guaranteed!

20% Discount Guaranteed

Learn more >>>

Posted on: October 11, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Discounts & Promotions

Completed: Maintenance work on Registration server

For all users trying to register/activate Fluid Mask 3 – the maintenance work that we announces earlier has been completed – and a lot faster than expected. So the activation process is available again.

Kat

Posted on: September 24, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

Maintenance work on Registration server on Sept 24th, 2007

The Fluid Mask registration server that is used when you as a user activate your software is undergoing some maintenance work today, Sept 24th, 2007. Maintenance will be complete at around 5 pm GMT. Users who have not registered/activated Fluid Mask 3 yet are asked to wait with the registration until then.

Posted on: September 24, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Fluid Mask, Technical Issues & Troubleshooting

Vertus & DxO join forces…

For all photographers…

We’ve teamed up with the amazing DxO Labs to bundle together our Fluid Mask 3 with DxO Optics Pro (Standard & Elite) & FilmPack.

We’ve seen a great response to this promotion already and with so many of you opting for these bundles I thought it would be good to comment on how our award winning software could be used together.

Fluid Mask 3 with Optics Pro (Standard & Elite)

You would use Optics Pro to correct your photographs before applying your masks with Fluid Mask. DxO Optics Pro allows users t perform batch enhancements of their digital images eliminating distortions, optimizing exposure, dynamic range, and correcting noise (to name just few corrections) in a few clicks of the mouse. This bundle is an awesome time saver that delivers impossible results!

Here are some of the key features:

DxO Optics Pro: Fluid Mask 3.0.2:

Fluid Mask 3 with DxO FilmPack

If you want to add excellent ‘old school’ film effects to your digital compositions then FilmPack is the application for you. It allows users to mimic the style and grain of the most celebrated conventional films, by reproducing the aesthetic properties of these film types and applying them with a single click. Apply this to your final composition and see your digital images take on a new life – with a click of the mouse.

DxO FilmPack: Fluid Mask 3.0.2:

For more information on this offer check out https://www.vertustech.com/promopages/dxo_bundle.htm

I hope these products will help to improve your digital workflow – enjoy!

Steveo
Vertus

ps. these bundles are available until Oct 14th

Posted on: September 10, 2007 Discussion: No Comments Posted in: Discounts & Promotions

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