"The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive."
After 100 years, Eastman Kodak has stopped making black and white photographic
paper that the Associated Press called "a niche product for fine art photographers
and hobbyists..." I don't think there is any such thing as "fine
art"; there is just art. Some of it may be fine, and some of it may not
be, depending on your perspective. In a bit of an oxymoronic understatement,
the AP further stated that Kodak "...will continue to make black and
white film and chemicals for processing."
Just because digital cameras capture color files doesn't
mean that black and white is dead. Sometimes the power and simplicity
monochrome images produce are more important than what color might
add. This photograph, I call "Training," was made
with a Canon EOS 20D and EF 85mm f/1.8 lens at ISO 100 in color.
Exposure was 1/800 sec at f/5 in Program mode to minimize depth
of field. Monochrome conversion was made in Adobe Photoshop CS2
using The Imaging Factory's (www.theimagingfactory.com)
Convert to B&W Pro 3.0 plug-in.
All Photos © 2005, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved
While listening to Alanis Morissette singing "isn't it ironic,"
on the same day that Kodak discontinued its black and white darkroom paper,
I received Lyson's (www.lysonusa.com)
Daylight Darkroom system. This combination of ink and software lets you use
an inkjet printer to accurately mirror traditional darkroom techniques.
Seven- and eight-channel inkjet printers expand the possibilities for black
and white printing, but the OEM printer software has typically been designed
for color, not black and white. Over the next month I'll be using Daylight
Darkroom with an Epson Stylus Photo 2200 and will let you know how it goes.
Lyson's Daylight Darkroom imaging system provides the ability
to accurately mirror traditional darkroom techniques using an
Plug-In Of The Month
In a world of unending movie sequels, PictoColor's (www.picto.com)
iCorrect Portrait marks the return of iCorrect Professional--in a slightly
different form. The skin tone technology in iCorrect Portrait is different than
what's used in iCorrect EditLab Pro and may be the best skin tone algorithm
available in plug-in form. With an all-new interface, iCorrect Portrait automatically
sets black and white points, lets you adjust brightness and contrast, and automatically
corrects color balance and skin tones with a single mouse click! You can save
corrections as Custom Settings and apply them to multiple image files. iCorrect
Portrait is Action enabled and compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS2 in Mac OS
and Windows versions.
You can't keep a good plug-in down. After being replaced
by PictoColor's EditLab Pro, iCorrect Professional is back
with a new interface and a new name but the same wonderful skin
tone technology, making iCorrect Portrait a must-have plug-in
for people photographers.
Hoppin' Hard Drive
Where do you store image files? If you shoot lots of images, having a high-capacity
external hard drive is just the ticket. Kanguru Solutions' (www.kanguru.com)
QuickSilver hard drives have a high-strength exterior alloy case that permits
heat dissipation during prolonged use and you can place the drive horizontally
or vertically depending on your desktop space. The QuickSilver is durable and
can withstand up to 200Gs of shock, but I wouldn't be the one to tell
you to test this, although it's nice to know. Available in both USB 2.0
and FireWire/USB 2.0 versions, QuickSilver drives have a high-performance 7200RPM
drive and up to 400GB storage capacity, which is the one I would recommend.
QuickSilver is compatible with Linux, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows.
Donald Brown was looking for a unique name for the new, mobile
storage solution. Playing off the name Kangaroo, to convey a mobile
product capable of hopping from one location to another, he modified
the spelling to "guru." My personal favorite is the
400GB-capacity model that sells for $399.95.