David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Oct 14, 2009 0 comments

In 1769 about 60 Spanish settlers gathered together in what was to become in 2009 a multi citied conglomerate from the Pacific to the desert, north and south almost 200 miles now generally called Los Angeles, California. As more and more people arrived it grew from a village to hundreds of towns and cities without any plan or particular design, as many have said it grew like Topsy. Good, bad, indifferent, it is a place so many came to and more stayed, but why? I lived and worked in Los Angeles a good part of my life, and left out of a need to preserve my sanity and humanity. Most I have met who have had a similar experience I think would find it difficult to explain Los Angeles, and few would want to return willingly.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 16, 2008 0 comments

This old saying can be taken as a blessing or a curse, and its origins may be Yiddish or ancient Chinese, but if you are into digital photography the next few years may well be interesting times. Two pieces of news today are indicative of changes ahead. One is relative to my blog post recently about being connected. Apparently the FCC chairman Kevin Martin, a lightening rod of controversy is reported to have backed down on taking a Commission vote on a dubious proposal to auction vacant airwaves to provide a “free” broadband connection capability. Now of course making broadband internet connection more widely available everyone can afford is laudable on the outset; but some of the provisions and the way the proposal was worded in detail gives great pause that public benefit really was the goal of what Martin wanted the FCC to approve.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 26, 2010 0 comments

This Wednesday, May 26, 2010, Apple Computer overtook Microsoft as the leading technology company in the world. In todays trading the result was that Apple reached a value of $227.1 billion over Microsoft’s $226.3 billion for Microsoft.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 05, 2009 0 comments

I am an admitted oddball, as well as a gadfly, so it is not unusual that the Apple product announcements today had me rather enthused by a new version of the Mac Mini computer. I have been favorable to Mac Mini’s since first introduced, and the last version I believe is the best choice for a digital photography enthusiast on a budget. And, with the new upgrade, chiefly much more powerful Nvidia graphics, which in previous models was maybe the weakest aspect of performance in terms of digital photography processing. But why this odd, ultra small Apple Mac? First at $599 as the entry level price it’s affordable even if that does not include a keyboard or mouse, and you have to also add a display. And that you have to choose a display is a great advantage, because for digital photography it is probably more important factor than the computer that’s running the display. Also new from Apple is a new compact wired USB keyboard similar to the recent and current but smaller Apple keyboard that are the best I have used. As for a mouse, you won’t believe this, but the USB Microsoft mouse that is optical and supports both PC’s and Mac’s, is the best both for ergonomics and right click support that is very efficient working with photo image applications. The one thing Microsoft makes that is the best!

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 20, 2009 0 comments

I receive all too many reports from people who have purchased a new dSLR camera that they cannot open the camera Raw files, or their computer doesn’t recognize the file format. The same thing with Adobe Photoshop, Elements and even LightRoom users, they can’t access the images from the Raw files their camera saves. Sometimes it as simple as downloading the latest upgrades of Adobe Camera Raw from the Adobe web site. But too often it’s is not that easy. Older Photoshop versions for instance do not support the latest versions of upgrades to Camera Raw, or even the computer operating system will not support these newest dSLR Raw file formats.

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

At the beginning of a new year many make resolution that are usually idealistically self-serving and short lived. I’m too old for that game, and in respect of that after selling my big dSLR system bought a very small but serious new camera just out. And with a completely new camera something also new that’s been an old friend, the just released X-Rite Color Checker Passport, which is an ideal tool to find out and control how my new camera performs.

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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: Sep 25, 2009 0 comments

I always like to work with the newest and best, but the reality of my budget is always the deciding factor. So I upgrade a bit less often than I would like. This time I had no say in the matter. A freak accident wrecked one of my Mac Mini’s and its external hard drive with backup in one fell swoop. Panic time and calls to Apple for help. Even though not responsible Apple was generous in helping with the recovery, although I had to spend some money too, plus invest a lot of work time. But the recovery is almost complete.

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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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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 08, 2008 0 comments

On October 14 Apple announced new MacBook notebook models. One of the performance features was for both ends of the model spectrum, new more powerful and robust video processing chips, something that photographers using laptops in the field should welcome. But hidden and overshadowed in these MacBook announcements was an entirely new Apple LCD display that is configured specifically to complement these new MacBooks.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Apr 28, 2010 1 comments

In the old days of computer digital imaging those big heavy CRT monitors at least matched printers and printer paper in brightness, so no too dark prints. With today’s LCD displays most are now made as cheap as possible for home/office computing and are two to four times as bright as those old CRT monitors, which for most computing is is an advantage, but not for digital photographers who want to color anD brightness match screen and print.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 03, 2011 32 comments

Almost every day I see announcements of new stuff, and I just pass along because it’s not anything I need. Better quality and more efficient printing of my images will stop me in my tracks. Specially when this new Epson R2000 is an improvement on the Epson R1900 the printer I use most.

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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 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: Jan 03, 2011 4 comments

The holiday season this time provided me with some time to concentrate on personal photographs that have been on my mind, but only as ideas. This year I have not had any article projects pending or new products to investigate, so once in a very long time I am doing my own thing. And that has been digging out old film images and making new scans. The goal is to approach the image in ways that correct for weaknesses and frustrations in what the photo was as a film image. Primarily it is much more than just physically scanning the film, but rethinking the image, applying a different sensitivity to what it is, and hopefully producing something both different and the same, but better than the picture I first saw in the viewfinder, and then as an image on film. The final step in this process is to make a test print to see if my on-screen editing actually results in a print that matches my expectations.

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