David B. Brooks Blog

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

I got some of a drubbing due to my opinion there is not much new in Adobe Photoshop CS5 for photographers. So I took it upon myself to look at all of the evangelical video on it at www.tv.adobe.com. What I found were lots of new things art directors, ad producers, designers and many other professionals who use Photoshop will surely like for all kinds of photographic manipulation needed for production projects. But still little or nothing new a serious photography enthusiast would need or want unless it’s someone devoted to making highly modified and distorted photographic fantasies. And I have done a little of that myself, in fact it was the record industry rock and roll part of my career. But I do digital photography editing and processing today and everyday, particularly of scanned film images, and have a copy of Photoshop CS-5 I use. So far I have found nothing new in it I can’t do with CS4 in my everyday work with photographs with my computer.

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

Over the holiday season the mass media’s pundits, columnists, and political soothsayers dusted off their crystal balls and polished their moral compasses to spin their usual self-serving conventional wisdoms while obfuscating carefully not to embarrass any of their benefactors. The same exercise as any New Year brings out, but this 2008 to 2009 passage involved factors that deserved much more insight and candor, but apparently the courage and fortitude of journalistic celebrities remains tempered by the fact the mass media is the mouthpiece of corporate America and it is never wise to bite the hand that feeds one. I don’t get paid enough by a long shot to be restrained in the same manner, but at the same time I have not risen to a level of celebrity that induces an audacity to think I can see into the future.

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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: Apr 13, 2011 15 comments

The other day a reader was asking which brand/model display measuring device he should get, indicating he wanted the best. That was when I was getting the first news of X-Rites new iOne Pro line of color management tools. That’s the best of what the world’s largest color management company has to offer. But because only a few of my readers indicate they can afford the best regardless of cost, I usually do my work with tools the majority can afford. But this reader said I needed to do a shoot-out of all display color management makes and models. To me “shoot-outs” are just too deadly, so here I am settling for a little less.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jun 03, 2009 0 comments

Converge: to gradually change so as to become similar or develop something in common, is the usual meaning of what convergence is as it has been the topic of much contemporary writing about the media. But that coming together between computers and television, for instance, has been spotty, incomplete and often contentious from a business and government perspective. The partnership between AOL and Time-Warner although touted as having a goal of melding content and internet delivery was never achieved and Time-Warner and AOL have now gone their separate ways again.

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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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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 23, 2008 0 comments

I am not thinking of a series of movies and time machines, but this week’s address by Barack Obama announcing his plans and intentions to put millions of Americans back to work. Of course newspaper columnists and TV pundits have already harkened back to the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the new Deal and its WPA organization to get people working during the Depression. But for me it recalled a very small part of the WPA that produced a lasting memorial to those times by a small team of photographers including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Their photographs, many of which have become well known are now in the Library of Congress and anyone can order prints for a very nominal fee. Considering what an Ansel Adams print fom the same era would cost today, in many respects what the WPA photographers and the Library of Congress catalogue of images has provided the American public, I believe is really more “American”.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jun 02, 2010 0 comments

That Apple has overtaken Microsoft in size may be easily rationalized by Windows people claiming 80% of PC users are using Windows. But just because so many are is not a necessity to conform, in fact it may be a bad idea.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 24, 2008 0 comments

Still not finished reading forum problem posts about “prints too dark” because I was curious if an “LCD too bright” was a problem for many users. Putting that phrase into a Google search got 336,000 replies, not nearly like the 1.9 million “prints too dark” produces though, but significant. Then today a laptop user with the prints too dark problem e-mailed me, and I responded that to get better control and results when doing digital photography editing with a laptop an advantage is to plug into a desktop LCD display, and calibrate and profile it.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 01, 2010 0 comments

When I am not doing something for a column, article or testing equipment and software, I relax at night watching movies and some occasional TV dramas. The most recent I found fascinating because it was about photographs, but thankfully there was not a badly cast photographer role in the piece. Nothing like the famous Michelangelo Antonioni blow-up with David Hemmings, Sarah Miles and Vanessa Redgrave, which I am sure inspired many to become photographers, sadly. This is another British drama that is about photographs, not people who make photographs or who model for photographs. It is a 3 part BBC Masterpiece Drama called Shooting The Past. And it s really about a huge collection of photographs whose future is in doubt and the mystery of the story.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 21, 2009 0 comments

That old saw “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, is applicable to the problem of bright LCD displays causing prints that are too dark, but at the moment that ounce is one ounce of gold. The ounce in this case is an LCD display that is not too bright, that can be adjusted, calibrated and profiled to match the range of values in a print. The one brand that currently has that capability as delivered is Eizo with their CG/CE ColorEdge displays. I’ll soon be receiving their least costly, the CG222w that has a list price just under $1,500 for test and review. I realize few of my readers want to spend that much, or can afford to, even for a display that does not cause the prints too dark problem.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 24, 2011 1 comments

A newborn child in Egypt was recently given the name Facebook. In the last few weeks, not to mention last year in Iran, there have been popular expressions of unrest. If there were no cell-phones, no internet , no TV, even radio, would the changes we have read about in the news these last few weeks and months seen on TV have occurred as they have? But the news of the world is not my beat, however what is new and how that technology changes our interest and involvement in photography does concern me and will affect everyone’s interest in photography at least slightly or maybe a lot. Every day I read the technology news of the day and it paints a very different scheme of things compared to what was familiar last year,the year before and would have been unrecognizable and unimagined before the year 2000.

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

I used to obtain references to ACDsee from Windows users as it was an affordable option for image asset management over much more complex and expensive professional products. But recently I’d heard nothing of it until macWorld announced a bets is available for the mac. Apparently ACDsee for the Mac will be available in release version for $170 in 2010.

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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: 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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