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.
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 month’s issue features the first in our series of reports from photokina, the worldwide imaging show, and features the new cameras of 2013. We’re also thrilled to bring you portfolios from Al Satterwhite, Michael Somoroff, Craig Blacklock, and Daryl and Justin Hawk, as well as a self-publishing saga by Jim Lynch and J. David Gray. Plus we have a lab test and pro essay on the exciting Nikon D4.
Earlier this month a national debate ensued after a freelance photographer captured the image of a man just before a New York subway train fatally struck him after he was pushed onto the tracks. The controversial photograph was subsequently published on the cover of the NY Post under the gruesome headline “DOOMED.”
If this were a perfect world, ice cream would be good for you, celery would be fattening, and camera manufacturers would arrange the controls on all flash units in the same place. It’s too bad on all accounts.
Even though portable flash units have buttons and dials in different places, the basic functions of the various features are the same. In this section, I will go over them and explain when to use them. You will probably need to consult the manual that came with your flash to identify where the features I discuss reside on your unit. Whenever you travel away from home, it’s a good idea to have this manual with you because if you don’t use a function for a while, it’s easy to forget where it is and how to use it.
Architecture is one of the subjects photographers love to shoot at home and abroad. Even if your passion is shooting landscapes or people, it’s hard not to get excited by a stunning work of architecture such as the B’hai temple in New Delhi or the twin towers in Kuala Lumpur. From impressive city skylines like New York and Philadelphia to a Navajo Hogan in Monument Valley, and from the interior of a Buddhist temple in Thailand to a Bavarian castle in Germany, architecture is awe inspiring. It is art in the form of stone, steel, wood, and glass. It is often a glimpse into our past, and it is so varied throughout the world that it is endlessly intriguing.
The ultra intense colors emitted from phosphorescent paint under a blacklight grab everyone’s attention. These colors exist nowhere in nature and any photographer who loves to think outside the box should experiment with the amazing possibilities this technique affords.
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!
Duke University scientists have developed an experimental camera as part of a $25 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense with the potential to change how we capture and view images in the future. Dubbed Aware-2, the camera offers remarkable resolution characteristics and could ultimately be employed by the military for aerial and land-based surveillance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.