On The Cover
In this issue we present lab and field tests on a variety of digital cameras, including the Nikon D800, Pentax K-01, Sony A57 SLT, Olympus OM-D, and Canon Rebel T4i. We also have studio tests of two light modifiers, plus a fascinating look at some user collectible panoramic cameras. And, be sure to read this month’s Business Trends feature on marketing your images!
Portrait lighting sources have 4 major characteristics: color, direction, quantity and quality. When working with any light source, from speedlights to moonlights, the best way to improve the quality of your lighting is with modification devices such as an umbrella or a lightbank. Each one has their own advantages and disadvantages. But no matter which one you chose, each device is governed by this important rule. The closer a light source is to the subject the softer it is; the further away the light source is, the harder it becomes.
Rain or shine, you can always depend on an umbrella to give you soft, even illumination on your subjects. Whether using tungsten lighting, photofloods, or flash activated monolights, pointing the light into the umbrella will provide a controllable source of lighting. What follows are just some of the possibilities you have at your disposal with umbrellas. Changing the positioning of the unit(s), the output, the color of the umbrella, adding a gel and changing the background can make any subject a work of art.
Tabletop photography can be a small product or it may be a fantasy world in miniature. It can be used to make flattering images of things you want to sell online, as a way to catalog a collection you own or as a photographic exercise for a rainy day.
Given the impressive pace of technological innovation in the photographic industry, there’s very little that makes us pause and say, “Really, you’re kidding, right?” But that was exactly my response after hearing from the head of Swedish startup Memoto who is preparing to launch a truly unique micro-device intended to let you “effortlessly travel back in time to that moment when you met the first love of your life, the day your daughter took her first step, or that night you laughed away the night with friends.”
All the elements were right for Robert Beck to try something different. Shooting for Sports Illustrated at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Robert’s coverage included both the qualifying and medal rounds of the men’s aerials event in freestyle skiing, so there was plenty of opportunity for him to capture not only the razor-sharp peak-action images that typify SI coverage, but also to modify his technique to take a shot or two at turning prose into poetry.
On a clear, moonless night, far away from the glow of city lights, the universe opens up above me. Pinpricked with ancient points of light, the night is breathtaking. Lying on the ground and looking up at the sky on clear nights, it’s obvious that the universe is three dimensional. I’ve had moments of vertigo. I’ve had moments of awe. Our galaxy sweeps away in the bright clear arc of the Milky Way, so beautiful and complicated and ancient and unlikely that it makes my heart race. The sky is unforgettable.
On The Cover
In this month’s issue we explore the travel photography market with a candid conversation with pros who earn their living from it. We also look at the gear side of travel with two handy guides to roller cases and “compact folder” tripods. We also have reviews on a nice macro flash setup, an affordable printer, and a dynamic matte surface printing paper. Our cover photo was taken by Karen I. Hirsch. You can see more of her work at: www.karenihirsch.com.
In all my years of shooting in the field, I have yet to meet a photographer who did not like the look, isolation qualities or the sharpness modern telephoto lenses offer.
When it comes to possibilities, they seem endless. Wildlife is at the top of the list for many, perhaps to focus in on that bright cardinal outside your window or to record that special wolf pack in Yellowstone. Whatever your subject, a long telephoto will bring it in closer, sharper and with more detail than you’ve ever experienced before. Buying a telephoto lens might mean spending as much or more than the camera in your hands right now, so knowing what to get, and what it will get you, is an important part of making any purchasing decision. With that in mind, here’s a number of frequently asked questions on the subject of telephotos.
On The Cover
This month we have two points of view on how to make money with your camera—a successful stock photographer tells our reporter about her business, and Maria Piscopo gets the lowdown on today’s calendar and greeting card markets from a panel of pros. We also get an inside look on sports photography from two pros who share their very unique points of view. For more on photo business, just type “Business Trends” into the Search box at www.shutterbug.com.
There are three general metering patterns available in most cameras—pattern (evaluative, matrix or other nomenclature, depending on the brand), center-weighted averaging and spot. Of all of them, spot gives you the greatest personal control over brightness and tonal values, which is how you become more engaged in your work. But being in the realm of personal creativity and decision-making means it demands more attention in return. In this article we’ll cover why you might want to give this least-used metering pattern a try.
One of the first workshops I ever attended when I began my career over 30 years ago was with the legendary Don “Big Daddy’” Blair. One of the things Don was known for was his almost fanatical obsession with posing, especially hands. Things have changed a great deal since then and posing as a rule has become much more relaxed, but there are still some basic “rules” that can serve as guidelines that can be incorporated into your own style.
Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have used stained glass as the inspiration to develop a unique method of creating sharp, full-spectrum color images at 100,000 dots per inch (dpi) without the need for inks or dyes. In comparison, existing industrial inkjet and laserjet printers only achieve 10,000 dpi, while research-grade methods can only dispense dyes for single-color images.
By shooting with continuous studio lights photographers can enjoy the benefits of both studio strobe control and natural light aesthetics. With the explosion of D-SLR video capabilities, more companies have begun making continuous lighting options for photographers including florescent lights, LED panels, tungsten video lights and more.
For the past few years we’ve watched the popularity of camera phones grow exponentially, as devices on the Android and Apple iOS platforms have offered more and more features, higher resolution cameras, and the ability to download a myriad of both free and paid apps of interest to photographers and the general consumer.