David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 16, 2010 0 comments

It is what you see on-screen that allows you to perceptually adjust and change a digital photograph. I have said what I believe to be true, if you can’t see it, you cannot control it. So I have thought of all things computer, the display is the most important part for digital photographers. However, some think I make too much of it, but then the display gets me more questions in my mail than any other subject.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 02, 2010 1 comments

Most of the dream cameras I have read about concentrate on mechanical attributes of the camera itself. Actually in that vein, I want something very practical, not dreamy.These days of course digital and with a large image sensor, but not quite fill-frame. A 3:4 aspect ratio would suite me better. As for a lens, I would be happy with a modest, fixed (not interchangeable) modest speed zoom with a focal length range equivalent to a 35mm camera a 24 to 150mm range, but with a true macro focus capability at about the equivalence of 80mm. Auto-focus is now quite reliable, so my desire would be to have an efficient and comfortable zoom, optical viewfinder. And even an LCD viewer on the back of the camera I find is not needed if it is replaced with a plug in 7 inch tablet screen. Of course this plug-in screen should be made with a built in folding shade, and has its own separate battery power.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 23, 2010 0 comments

I just received one of many statements from photographers that the current digital technology is complex and confusing, so it’s hard to understand. I could assume from that many think digital follows what analog film photography established. But that also assumes that the photographic process was understood as it has been for over a century, but sadly both assumptions are mixed up by many mythical and fantastic ideas and beliefs that have confused many if not most for as long as the 50 some years I’ve been a photographer. And it has not been helped by an industry and technology that now uses terms like resolution, which on film meant how fine the detail was resolved sharply, to its digital meaning that defines the size of an image in pixels.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 15, 2010 0 comments

Usually I do not write about things I read in others writing I receive in RSS feeds. But a blooming new creativity interest using flatbed scanners is something I could not resist. It is called scanography, using a flatbed scanner as if it were a digital camera to take digital pictures of 3D objects. So considering a lot of photographers have flatbed scanners these days, how about getting more use out of it to create photographs when it is too cold and nasty to go and shoot your camera outdoors? You can easily take a look at what others are doing with their scanners by visiting a web site all about it at: http://www.scannography.org. In this new web site you will find there is a Scannography.org .PDF file you can download that provides a detailed look at the work of many people using scanners as cameras with lots of fascinating examples of their images.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 13, 2010 0 comments

Up until now software products have been dominated by elephantine applications like Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Photoshop. Software companies have made them huge, full of functions and features one individual may never need or want; but to get the essential core you need you have to buy an expensive package. I need some of both of these huge applications but never use more than a fraction of what they contain, and of course have to buy the whole to get just the part I need. This is an advantage to the companies that own these monopolies, but not to the individual users.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 07, 2010 0 comments

For too long there have been few LCD displays available that fully support a digital photographic color managed workflow. Now LaCie has added another, their 324i with desirable specifications in a P-IPS 10-bit 24 inch LCD display. The screen image should be sharp and detailed too with a 1920x1200 pixel resolution. Most important of course is its color range that is specified at 98% of Adobe RGB. But these days with ultra-lite and flimsy un-adjustable home-office LCD displays in the box stores, the LaCie 324i has a solid, full-featured stand and supports portrait orientation. Like any good, current LCD display the LaCie has a wide range of input connector options like Display Port, DVI and HDMI.,BR.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 03, 2010 0 comments

Many of you have mentioned printer profiles as a part of your digital photo workflow. Sometimes it is a problem that you find you have to work around. And most of you have a computer with a calibrated and profiled display, as well as often one of the many flatbed scanners I have reported on in recent years. You may even have Lasersoft Silverfast software to run your scanner. That’s all to the positive side towards getting a way to profile your printer, you are part way there already. That includes the Epson Perfection photo scanners, the Canon Canoscan photo scanners and all the recent Microtek photo scanners as well as the Artixscan M1.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 01, 2010 0 comments

When I am not doing something for a column, article or testing equipment and software, I relax at night watching movies and some occasional TV dramas. The most recent I found fascinating because it was about photographs, but thankfully there was not a badly cast photographer role in the piece. Nothing like the famous Michelangelo Antonioni blow-up with David Hemmings, Sarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave, which I am sure inspired many to become photographers, sadly. This is another British drama that is about photographs, not people who make photographs or who model for photographs. It is a 3 part BBC Masterpiece Drama called Shooting The Past. And it s really about a huge collection of photographs whose future is in doubt and the mystery of the story.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Oct 17, 2010 0 comments

A Shutterbug reader, Tracy Valleau, e-mailed me suggesting I take a look at the Dell Ultrasharp U2410 LCD display. I did and found it to be one I can recommend for digital photography. I purchased one to test and for my own personal use. This Dell U2410 is a 24 inch widescreen LCD display with 1920x1200 pixel resolution. What makes it suited to digital photography and professional graphics is its wide color gamut of 96% of Adobe RGB and its white luminance is adjustable to 80-90.0 CD/m2 providing a high reproduction screen image quality. Its 12-bit internal processing assures a smooth rendition of tones on-screen that’s in a bezel and stand that is sturdy but light with an excellent design that’s carefully manufactured. In all respects this Dell Ultrasharp U2410 is much more affordable at a list price of $599 while entirely competitive with more expensive brands favored for a color managed digital photography workflow.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Oct 15, 2010 0 comments

In just a few days after the November Shutterbug hit the streets, I have received 3 questions reacting to the following comment I made in Digital Help, "That you are working with Microsoft Vista, considering it does not support using a color managed display, is also curious." This is not the first time I have said as much about Microsoft Windows Vista since I first reported on the operating system in 2007.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Oct 03, 2010 0 comments

Personal introspection, thinking about who you are and why you are that way, has a bad name in America, it’s like “gazing at your belly button”. In other words American culture is outer directed and tends towards the practical. People should not waste time thinking about themselves, do something useful. But then, can you answer the question of why you like this and not that? Do you know why you enjoy taking pictures of some subjects and others don’t interest you. That is a part of you just as much as anything is, yet you take it for granted and give it little thought.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Sep 21, 2010 0 comments

To: Editorial, Shutterbug
Subject: Brooks in Shutterbug Sept 2010

Editor,

I have followed David Brooks and the dark prints saga in Shutterbug's "Q&A for Digital Photography" for some time. As a color scientist, I have constant concern regarding his reference to a paper having a luminance of 90 candelas/square meter. At best this is confusing and at worse it is incorrect. The issue is not the 90 cd/m^2 recommendation, but the use of luminance associated with a paper. (There is sufficient justification for the 90 value based on that being the typical highest luminance of CRT's. However, to hobble a bright/high luminance display seems completely counter productive.)

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Sep 15, 2010 0 comments

There was a time in my life when Will Rogers often stated, “I know only what I read in the newspapers.” had a resonance with people. No one has taken his place in American culture and spoken for what can be learned from TV, or what they read on-line. Maybe it is just changing too fast to make any sense. It sure is when it comes to managing color on a computer system. When that began to become popular, to buy a sensor and software to measure and color manage the differences between a computer monitor and a color printer, it worked for a few of us pretty well. I had been reading, studying and experimenting with color management for years hoping it would finally be realized for most of us with computers and then Adobe released Photoshop 5.0/5.5 and it was then a real possibility for everyone.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Sep 11, 2010 0 comments

As the FCC is embattled between consumer advocates and media corporations for net neutrality, that access to broadband should not be controlled by private profit interests, the media itself is changing. Yes broadcast TV mostly delivered by cable, remains the dominant source of information and entertainment. But how people access the content is no longer so much with a traditional TV set in the living room, but with cell phones and most recently the iPad. But this popular media source is also rapidly shifting to access through the internet. TV programs, movies and music are now streamed live or downloaded over the internet, making broadband access by computers evermore important to many Americans.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Sep 09, 2010 0 comments

We are now on the eve of the hoped for shopping season and the trade shows that precede them. But many of the digital camera makers are already on-line with announcements of what new to find in the stores shortly.

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