On The Cover
In this month’s issue we have lab test reports on two ends of the camera spectrum, the Pentax Q and the Nikon D800. The D800 will come in two versions, one without a low-pass filter, so we thought it a good time to also explore the low-pass debate and what might be ahead for digital cameras. We also look at a sampling of new gear, from lighting to lenses to software. New: Check out web-exclusive tests at www.shutterbug.com.
What began in 2004 as a social networking service for Harvard students has rapidly grown into an international phenomenon with social, political, business and cultural implications for users of all ages. With over 158 million users in the U.S. (and almost a million world-wide), Facebook now reaches nearly 75% of Internet users in our country.
Sometimes the lighting in your environment is too strong, whether daylight or artificial, and you need to soften it slightly—that’s where diffusion comes into play. In the following examples, we’ll look at how diffusion can soften “direct” light.
Ashleen is using a collapsible diffuser (26” Flexfill) to block the sunlight from falling on Anne Marie (#1). The semi-translucent fabric prevents the sun from falling on the subject, which can be seen by the shadow cast on Anne Marie. If we look at a medium close-up of Anne Marie we can see that the sunlight is filtered on her face casting an even, pleasant illumination (#2). Using this method is great if you want a one to one lighting ratio outdoors by just shading the sunlight falling on your subject. This method usually requires a helpful assistant to hold the diffuser, although some folks use a light stand and a C clamp to good advantage.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24–120mm lens, f/9, 1/250th, ISO 250, daylight balanced 5600K.
Working with color is one of the most common activities when editing photos. All photo-editors, from the most basic to the most advanced, have an abundance of tools available for altering colors. In this article, I’ll take a look at some of the basic tools that you’ll find in the most humble image processing software, even the one that came in the box with your camera.
In an age of abundant paint software and texture apps, it is easy to overlook other approaches to painterly image creation. Using moving sheets of textured glass with slow shutter speeds is one alternative approach. When combined with flowers I call the result “Floral Fusions”.
On The Cover
In this issue we feature tests on a myriad of image software programs for everything from creating unique images to speeding workflow to aids in organizing and editing your work. We also continue our Image Tech series with in-depth tests on Nikon and Panasonic cameras plus take a look at a new trend in inkjet papers as well as a handy Wacom tablet that will make working with all that software in our tests so much easier. And visit us at www.shutterbug.com for more web-exclusive content added daily.
Think of the image you capture with a digital camera as a digital negative and that you are a master printer who can take that negative and make as good a print as you have ever seen in a gallery and you begin to understand the potential of each shot. The expectation that you can do something more with an image can be built into every type of lighting condition, contrast and exposure problem you might face. It is not that you can “fix it” in software, it is that you should think beyond the exposure to what can be done to the image later, right at the moment you make the photograph. This approach can open you up to many other possibilities and make you take chances when you work; it can also raise expectations of what you have obtained beyond what you see on the playback right after the shot.
There’s a little company in Tuscon, Arizona that is literally working on some giant ideas—like a digital camera with so much dynamic range it can capture both the sun and the stars in broad daylight!
Spectral Instruments has built a 20-year reputation as a premier provider of cooled, high-end CCD-based camera systems for scientific imaging applications from astronomy to pre-clinical drug discovery. This new project, the “1110 Series,” involves a camera with a 112-megapixel, black-and-white sensor without a Bayer mask or filter of any type that could “detract from the overall image sharpness.”
Here are some suggestions for self-assignments that can aid you in getting a good handle on mastering your camera. Give each technique a full day then review the images, along with the EXIF data. As you complete these self-assignments you’ll start to make great photos every time you pick up the camera.
Sometimes we forget about all the factors that go into lighting a portrait. We might focus on the direction of that beautiful window light, the color of the fleeting sunset, the dim light in a church or that wall of light created by sun light bouncing off a building. Gaining skill in lighting means taking all four factors into consideration with each photo you take.
On The Cover
This month’s issue continues our report of the new products of 2012 based on our coverage of the annual CES/PMA trade show. In this issue we cover new tripods, bags, lenses, and lighting. We also have an in-depth report on new tech that is beginning to revolutionize how we capture images, as well as Image Tech reports on the Sony A65 and Fujifilm X10. Plus there are some new photo stamps coming, this set honoring aerial photography, that we trust all of you who still send letters will use!
Jack Robinson was a prominent American photographer throughout the 1950s and 1960s when his career was cut short by a drinking problem and he faded into obscurity—until a former boss visited Robinson’s apartment and discovered a veritable treasure trove of iconic images.
The computer needs of a digital photographer are different from someone who just wants to check e-mail and surf the Web. In this article, I’ll take a look at some of the features you should look for when considering a new computer. You can look at these suggestions as being divided into two categories: Essentials and Options. Essentials will provide the basic needs for the advanced amateur—not the pro—while Options covers those who use their camera to record video and their computer to edit it.
Photographers are always concerned that their pictures turn out as sharp as possible. Photography has a seemingly endless number of challenges, but sharpness is number one. No matter how incredible your photo opportunity is, if the images are not sharp, nothing else matters. The pictures will be worthless. Too often images are almost sharp, and this is particularly vexing because if only you had paid attention to one tiny detail or two, they would be perfect.
If you have a window with thick or dark curtains, then you have the recipe for stunning dramatic lighting. You don’t need any special equipment—just your camera, the window, and curtains. This light is great for men and women, and can emphasize the mood and the form of your subject.
Natural light is stunning and is a great way to get an intimate portrait of your subject. You do not have the distraction of bright flashing strobes of the studio or having to make large modifications to natural light using diffusers or reflectors. Instead, window light helps you keep it simple, and allows you to connect with your subject more easily and keep the mood relaxed.