What is the optimal ISO setting for each shot? How do you decide on the ISO setting to balance shooting needs and image quality? Given that the lowest ISO possible gets you the best image quality, how do you make decisions based on lighting conditions and shooting needs, such as when you need increased shutter speed for hand held shooting or narrower apertures for increased depth of field? How do you decide whether ISO 100, 400 or 800 is best?
Think of the image you create with your digital camera as a negative and that you are a master printer who can take that negative and make as good a print as you have ever seen. When you adopt that mindset you begin to understand the potential of each shot. The expectation that you can do something more with an image can be built into every type of lighting condition, contrast and exposure problem you might face. The attitude should not be that you can “fix it” in software, it is that you should think beyond the exposure to what can be done to the image later when you download it to your computer and work with it in software.
Now is the time for all good photographers to set aside their high-tech digital cameras and exotic lenses—at least for a day or two—in preparation for next month’s Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD). This thirteenth-annual event occurs on April 28, and everyone is invited to participate.
On The Cover
This month’s issue features the latest on new cameras seen at the CES show, including the latest in “connected” cameras and a novel take on 3D shooting. We also have reports on some new film and film cameras, as well as a new test on a production model Canon EOS-1D X (our lab test on www.shutterbug.com was on a preproduction sample). Inside you’ll also find news on some accessories that may just catch your eye, plus a revealing look at the fine art photography market.
Mixing monochrome with color is a fun technique, and one of my personal guidelines about any software use is to have fun with your photography. In all of the manipulations and screen shots in this article I used Adobe Photoshop (www.adobe.com), but you can use any image-editing program that lets you apply Layers. There are a number these days, including the less-expensive Adobe Photoshop Elements and even plug-in programs like onOne Software’s Perfect Layers 2 (www.ononesoftware.com) that allow you to work in Layers from programs like Lightroom and Aperture, and Nik Software (www.niksoftware.com) products that make any adjustment you make a Layer within the file itself.
It doesn’t matter what you call it—available light, unavailable light, available darkness or low light photography—often the most rewarding photographs are produced when working under the most challenging lighting conditions. Photographs made under these lighting conditions are different from those made on a sunny day and often have a more eye-catching look. They also open the night and low light to making photos, times you might not have thought about as presenting fun photo ops in the past.
Many of us continue to look for a Raw converter or image-editor that is easy to work with right out of the box. ACDSee Pro version 5 for Windows (www.acdsee.com) may offer the solution you seek. It’s a no-nonsense Raw converter that also offers image-editing under one roof—if in a semi-detached house.
The latest iteration of ACDSee Pro for Windows presents a slightly revamped interface, with 5 key modules, each with its own set of Menu commands. You enter the program in Manage mode where you can import images from any media or device onto your working drive and catalog them at that time or catalog and work with existing files in place, without importing them. All popular formats, including 16-bit Raw from numerous cameras, are supported for import and export, but not DNG export. If you move image files after cataloging or working on them, do so from within ACDSee to ensure that all linked files, notably XMP metadata, are moved together.
While we usually devote this column to discussing trends in camera technology, every so often our industry does something special that’s worth a nod—in this case, a program to provide free portraits to the families of those currently serving in the U.S. military. Dubbed “Portraits of Love,” this project was developed by the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) and will be showcased at the upcoming Big Photo Show in Los Angeles.
On The Cover
In this month’s issue we are featuring an insider’s look at the portrait photography business from a number of pros who have made their mark in the field. We’re adding in a number of lighting tests on strobes and monoblocs, as well as light modifiers, plus we’ve got lab tests on a Sony SLT and two compact cameras. Plus our photokina reports continue with a look at some really fascinating cameras.
You can create remarkable multicolored and monochromatic abstracts by dropping individual drops of food coloring in to water. The way the color mixes with the water is endlessly fascinating, constantly changing, and it produces images that are worthy of being framed.
A vocabulary word I still remember from high school chemistry is immiscible. This refers to the fact that some liquids can’t mix together to form a homogenous solution. Oil and water are an example. When oil is mixed with water, no matter how long you stir, they will never blend together to become one liquid.
We spent a full week in Las Vegas earlier this month exploring the crowded halls of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, but it only took about an hour to confirm that the long-discussed convergence of mobile phones, tablets and camera technology is no longer a theoretical topic for discussion; it is a full-fledged reality. As you might expect, iPhone/iPad accessories targeted at the general consumer abounded, but there was also a wide array of innovative technology for the advanced photographer as well.
On The Cover
This issue features the work of a number of photographers who have dedicated their time and energy to a personal project that we are happy to share with you. We also have continuing coverage of the photokina show, with reporting on new tripods and heads and camera bags and carriers, as well as a very special report on the state of stock photography today. We also have lab reports on two exciting new cameras, the Samsung NX20 and the Panasonic G5.
One of the more interesting projects I’ve explored in photography is shooting birefringent crystals. Birefringence is the splitting of a light ray by a crystal into two components that are at different velocities and are polarized at right angles to each other. What this means in terms of photography is that when light passes through the crystals, you can see rainbow colors in the unique and beautiful forms that make up the crystal.