David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 12, 2011 4 comments

Thanks to a remark made by Ansel Adams in the late 80’s to an interviewer, regarding his overseeing the printing of one of his books of photographs that was reproduced by scans of his images, Ansel stated he was impressed that digital editing could accomplish adjustments to images he could not make in his own darkroom. For me that was handwriting on the wall, that the future of photography was in digital imaging. During 1989 I began my shift from analogue film photography to digital. It went slowly and haltingly, there weren’t many products that supported digital imaging with computers. But little by little more and more scanners became available, as well as software to edit images with a computer. So I learned mostly from personal experience using scanners and software and talking with a few colleagues on internet forums about how a scanner worked and the beginnings of image editing with a computer.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 31, 2009 2 comments

Color is a part of our environment and a part of our awareness of it from early on. We take it for granted and usually learn to identify colors by name before kindergarten. Our first foray into mixing paints teaches us that mixing red and blue produces purple and mixing yellow and blue, green. And if we have the benefit of science teaching and physics that color is a property of light and behaves in certain ways. Otherwise color is taken for granted, even for photographers whose awareness can be expanded to understand that the primary components of color in light are red, green and blue, and the colors of inks and dyes are their complements, cyan, yellow and magenta.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Oct 18, 2009 0 comments

I have been following the various commentaries about Windows 7 for almost a year. There were lots of user annoyance complaints that have gotten nearly all of the attention and to an extent seem to have been resolved. Most technical experts reporting on Windows 7 have been positive based on testing both beta’s and the early release version more recently. Most were positive as far as they went, but that was superficial. When you get into particular features then there is much less review feedback, or almost none. And so far the performance that effects serious digital photography editing and processing is not apparently an issue of any concern. In fact I was surprised some of the key color management experts have not given Windows 7 that much attention.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 20, 2008 0 comments

The popular phrase that acknowledges differences in “worlds” that may have particular advantages unique to each, took on new meaning to me today. I was upgrading an Apple Mac application called Parallels from version 3.0 to version 4.0, and realized the extent to which this software that supports running the Windows operating system on an Apple Mac seamlessly has changed the old concept of Apple vs Microsoft as an ether/or proposition to something else. I used to run both Apple Macs and a PC with Windows, but since Apple switched to Intel processors and became capable of also running other operating systems like Windows, I took advantage of this possibility and instead of replacing my old PC with a new one, just upgraded my Apple Mac and installed Parallels.

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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: Sep 15, 2010 0 comments

There was a time in my life when Will Rogers often stated, “I know only what I read in the newspapers.” had a resonance with people. No one has taken his place in American culture and spoken for what can be learned from TV, or what they read on-line. Maybe it is just changing too fast to make any sense. It sure is when it comes to managing color on a computer system. When that began to become popular, to buy a sensor and software to measure and color manage the differences between a computer monitor and a color printer, it worked for a few of us pretty well. I had been reading, studying and experimenting with color management for years hoping it would finally be realized for most of us with computers and then Adobe released Photoshop 5.0/5.5 and it was then a real possibility for everyone.

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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: 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: May 13, 2009 0 comments

I have been preoccupied now and for some time by the challenge of defining an affordable platform for inputting digital photographs and then printing them with matched color and density to an LCD display image. There are quite a few LCD display choices at $1,500 and up which support both color and density print matching with a color managed workflow. But an affordable consumer LCD display ($300) has been the elusive goal of a lot of searching. And from what I have heard from industry insiders is that the major display manufacturers in the immediate future are cutting back on their support for high-end, niche pro-graphics market displays.

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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: Nov 15, 2008 0 comments

Human vision is incredibly adaptive so you can see in bright sunlight on a ski-slope during mid-day and at night on the highway to drive home. But this adaptability being essentially automatic and subliminal can be a disadvantage because your perception of small brightness differences between screen and print is not obvious until the print becomes a physical reality that makes it apparent.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 08, 2010 0 comments

Photography is approximately a 140 year old technology, but among the younger set using the latest cell phone models photography is often an integral part of this newest communication mode, take a picture with the phone and send it to someone else. When I first began doing photography almost 60 years ago it was a lot more of a challenge to participate than pushing a button or two, there weren’t even any reliable light meters then to use to calculate the film exposure, plus the many other things that all had to be done individually like focusing the lens on the subject, setting the aperture relative to the shutter speed, all relative to the ASA speed and type of film you were using. In other words photography in the 1950’s was a demanding technology to perform and of necessity had to be a concentrated single-minded experience.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 12, 2008 0 comments

The last two days have been a bleary-eyed ordeal reading as many forum posts as I could on “prints too dark” from a Google search on that phrase, which obtains almost 2 million results. What I was looking for was as complete a picture as possible why people trying to make photo prints were getting unacceptably dark print output. I didn’t get very far into the almost 2 million results before my eyes gave out reading the forum posts, but I did find that a lot of users have discovered the cause of dark prints is an LCD display that is too bright. But confusion reigns when it comes to how to fix the problem, very often involving color management and the idea of using Photoshop’s “soft proofing”. Some forum gurus have been recommending adjusting the display brightness to match the print output, and actually that practical philosophy was used before there was such a thing as Color Management, but it largely precludes color matching using CM and a calibrated and profiled display, if in reality an LCD display can be reduced in brightness to actually match the range of print densities or the CRT monitors of the past. Some users found that instead of having their photo editing application control color, select having the printer driver control color, which with some printer drivers does provide an output print density adjustment and yields satisfactory print brightness results, but the downside is that some printer drivers will automatically adjust print density and others don’t, as well as color matching with what you see on-screen is not usually supported.

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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: 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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