David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 19, 2008 0 comments

A report on imaginginfo.com today says half of America’s photographic history will disappear. The research was done by a reputable company, GFK you can look up at www.gfk.com, and it was underwritten by ScanCafe, www.scancafe.com whose business self interest is an obvious incentive to fund such a poll. But in this case their self-interest does not make me have any doubts, based on the information Shutterbug magazine readers have been providing over the last decade. The reports of home stored photographic images that have been lost to fading, fungus and mildew and just plain poor storage in a damp environment, would have me guess what is lost may be even more than half.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 17, 2008 0 comments

Dynamic range was not a term that was often used in film days for those subjects which had a subject brightness range in f/stops grater than could be squeezed onto film, especially the six or so stop range of color transparency films. But digital has introduced a relatively easier fix for taking effective photographs of a cityscape at night, the interior of an old European cathedral or in a rain forest. So now it is a bit of a rage, if it can be done, so let's all do it! I received a review copy of a book by Jack Howard titled PRACTICAL HDRI that should have been encouraging, and decided not to review it. Besides covering only Photoshop HDR and a few 3rd party odd-ball solutions, the results printed in the book would inspire me only to say why would I want to do this.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 16, 2011 7 comments

I have gotten into numerous discussions about how to securely save digital image files. My method of using gold-gold CDR discs for this purpose has not altered, I have an established system so making a change would not serve me well. But the only alternative in the past I could recommend were then expensive RAID-1 mirrored hard drives. They are now affordable, so are a reasonable alternative. This came to my attention in a MacWorld report I received via e-mail, featuring a Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini 640 GB external drive for as little as $180.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 26, 2009 0 comments

No my sex-life has not improved. I haven’t been looking for a new squeeze. But I have been looking for an inexpensive LCD display that will work for digital photographers. Actually I discovered it among numerous models LG Electronics has listed on its web site awhile ago. But a request to LGE for a loan to review it for Shutterbug was denied because it is a 2008 model that is not being offered in the 2009 product lineup.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 12, 2009 0 comments

I was just reminded by a list of currently established luminaries in the photography world, that what I knew and the names and images that inspired me during my early, formative years as a photographer are no longer current, replaced by names and images that are unfamiliar and don’t have an iconic role in the photography niche of contemporary culture. What has changed is not the quality of photographic work being done, but that there is now a greater volume of public information in a digitized cultural venue that is huge and rapidly evolving. Today’s photographic talent is simply lost in a deluge of image media of every kind and description. Magazines, newspapers and books still exist but even TV has been displaced partly by the internet and YouTube. How different it is when a movie star, Selma Hayek on a mission to Africa assisting in a campaign to reduce the high death rate of infants, is covered by ABC News in scene where she breast feeding a baby of a local woman who had gone dry. This most humane gesture caught on video has now gone “viral” on the internet. I find nothing to criticize, but in such an instantaneous global village of images, that will soon fade with the next “viral” pop news event, can any image attain a lasting iconic status, much less the person behind the camera who made the image?

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Apr 04, 2011 3 comments

Besides photography I enjoy music and just saw an interesting documentary made for PBS called Music Instinct: Science and Song. It was about how the latest in scientific investigation using brain activity scans is indicating humans are wired for sound, that musicality is something that comes with being human. I think the same thing can be said about art, making pictures has been recorded as a human activity way back in pre-history with cave paintings and hieroglyphs embedded in stone cliffs.

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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: Feb 07, 2011 0 comments

The other day I received an e-mail press news release about a new handheld light meter. I had not seen any news of handheld light meters in some time, so of course I read it. In style and content it was much like what I probably read twenty years ago. But what struck me strangely, now that virtually all cameras are digital, is the fact a digital camera is really just a light measuring device that records the light readings of millions of pixel sites and records them in an image file. Of course that does not preclude the value of a narrow angle spot or an incident light meter, they are useful in measuring the light on and from a subject to make an informed decision on making a photographic exposure with digital or on film.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Aug 23, 2009 0 comments

I cannot say I have been at all successful with these last months trying to understand and find a solution to the “prints too dark” problem so many have reported. Oh! Yes! A few have reported that what I have written has been helpful to them and they have resolved the problem for themselves. But many more either do not get it, do not want to understand, or really don’t care all that much and are just happy to make prints the way their printer driver tells them it should look. But right now, is not a good time for reality, for truth with today’s politics and economics putting everyone at each other’s throat battling realities and fantasies, lies and truths with much confusion. I am maybe expecting too much.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jan 07, 2009 0 comments

Some months ago a photographer posting in the Shutterbug Forum mentioned he had purchased a Kodak Kodachrome K3 IT-8 profiling target slide from B&H. I must confess I did not know Kodachrome IT-8 target slides existed only those made on Ektachrome for calibrating and profiling a scanner. I thought I had kept up with Kodak Color Management, but maybe the company never catalogued or made public the existence of Kodachrome IT-8 target slides, but on the internet in the Kodak FTP site I did find an Index File to enable using the Kodachrome K3 IT-8 I purchased from B&H, And then after borrowing a Color Management suite from X-Rite containing software to make input profiles I was able to use the Kodachrome IT-8 to profile my scanners and run some tests.

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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: Jan 26, 2009 1 comments

I was at least subliminally aware of LG Electronics between 2 and 3 year ago when I searched through their LCD Display offerings and decided to purchase one of their Flatron L2000C 20 inch displays. At that time in America LG Electronics was a barely known brand name, but has gotten more cache in the last year or so, but mostly for cell phones and TV’s, and little awareness in the LCD display market for computers. Since I purchased my 20 inch LGE display I have acquired two more different brands and tested and reported on several more, including LaCie and Eizo, both of which are familiar brands only in the niche pro-graphics market.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jun 27, 2009 2 comments

In the July issue of Shutterbug my answer in Digital Help to Rich Zahren’s question about HD format slide show authoring elicited a good number of suggestions from readers. One involved maybe the easiest, cheapest to implement and best ways to present a slideshow using a large LCD HD TV that are now so popular. Set up your LCD HD TV as a display for your computer:


“It's very easy to use your personal computer to present digital photo "slide shows" on HDTVs. Connect a 15-pin VGA cable from the computer's "monitor" connector to the HDTV's "PC Input". Make sure you've set the computer's Display Properties settings to match your TV's resolution (1920 x 1080 for full-HD 1080p sets; 1280 x 720 for 720p TVs). Most computers made in the last 10 years can be set to these resolution values, including some laptops. (If your TV lacks a "PC Input", buy a cheap computer video card with a DVI output connector, and use a DVI-to-HDMI cable to connect the computer to one of the TV's HDMI inputs.) Then run one of the many free photo-viewing programs on the computer (they're packaged free with most cameras, or can be downloaded on the Internet). The full-HD results can be spectacular--much better than trying to view the photos via a DVD player or a card reader connected directly to the TV.”
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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 11, 2009 0 comments

LG Electronics is one of world’s two largest producers of LCD screen products, and supplies many of the computer displays that brandish all different kinds of brand names. You can get a picture of their wide range of products, including numerous models of computer displays at www.lge.com/html/gate.html. On that globals site there is one fairly new model professional 24 inch RGB LED LCD display with exceedingly robust specifications, the W2420R model. It is apparently available in Europe, but you will not find this display included on the LGE web site for the United States.

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