David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 25, 2010 0 comments

When Canon announced a 9600 optical resolution Canoscan 9000f flatbed scanner, I got on the phone and got a loaner to test and report on. For all the enthusiast photographers with film collections they want to scan into digital files, this new Canoscan made me wonder, is it an ideal answer? It’s priced right with a list of $249. But how well does it work and what quality of scans does it reproduce from 35mm film? Of course from my mail I knew many readers would be interested, but I didn’t get an assignment to do a user report.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments

How many things do we continue to do out of habit that we don’t change until circumstances force us to? That questions as far as tradeshows go seems to be one that 2009 is answering. I followed what was happening at the MacWorld show in San Francisco via the Internet, and what was reported was mostly disappointment overall. A lot of the anticipated new products from Apple did not materialize, so maybe besides having his own health problems, Steve Jobs did not make his annual keynote presentation just out of habit. Why bother in these difficult times doing something just for show and to keep an unneeded function alive? Like Jobs my health is a personal issue but more important I don’t need to go to a tradeshow to learn what new products there are available, the companies that have anything of interest to me have already sent me a news releases by e-mail. The only thing I found new shown at the Moscone Center floor of MacWorld is a neat, new inexpensive software package to design, format and output words and pictures in a Acrobat .PDF documents called iPublisher from iStudio (http://www.istudiopublisher.com/index.php/home/home/). Of course thats not all that was new, beside another MacBook model, Apple upgraded their functional software suites iLife and iWork with their usual evolutionary efficiency improvements.

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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: Apr 12, 2009 0 comments

I came across a YouTube video of Stephen Shore the photographer commenting about photography and his approach to it. In one scene about his experience teaching, Shore comments that photography is a solitary occupation that involves visual thinking, but teaching is a verbal activity that requires words that express those visual ideas. I had a parallel experience for a different reason than Shore’s, interviewing photographers first as a staff editor at Petersen’s PhotoGraphic magazine and then later on for a time as editor of PhotoPro magazine. I found many photographers are like Shore described, used to the solitary, purely visual experience of making photographs, and often not prepared or comfortable verbalizing what they did with a camera or why.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 19, 2009 1 comments

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.” - Stephen Hawking (1942 - )

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 09, 2008 0 comments

As Chrstopher Hitchens, our transplanted British intellectual gadfly alluded recently on Larry King (CNN) one of the America's ugliest and cultural lowpoints, the nastiness of our election campaigning, will be over for awhile and then no more torturous embarrassment. But this election period is ending on an even sourer note with a financial crisis and an impending world-wide recession that the most astute economists see as being both deep and long. It may seem like a poor time to start something new, but for me I see it as therapy and an immunity from personal recession depression.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 03, 2010 0 comments

No this is not an article about politics, the Progressives against the party of NO!, both confronted by those apparently drinking something stronger than “tea” that want to blow up, destroy, or whatever to everything governmental. The computer world is beginning to also be a tangle of conflicting paths going in different directions with a mystery goal no one is talking about.

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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: Nov 13, 2010 0 comments

Up until now software products have been dominated by elephantine applications like Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Photoshop. Software companies have made them huge, full of functions and features one individual may never need or want; but to get the essential core you need you have to buy an expensive package. I need some of both of these huge applications but never use more than a fraction of what they contain, and of course have to buy the whole to get just the part I need. This is an advantage to the companies that own these monopolies, but not to the individual users.

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

An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about some who cling to film reveals as much about life as it does about photography. One quote in particular caught my attention and got me thinking. “With digital, you’re only as good as your Photoshop technician,” Mark said. “He’ll take heads off bodies and switch them around. It’s a totally different medium.”, followed by another concluding statement regarding those who still cling to film, “-we’re a dying breed.”

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 16, 2011 7 comments

I have gotten into numerous discussions about how to securely save digital image files. My method of using gold-gold CDR discs for this purpose has not altered, I have an established system so making a change would not serve me well. But the only alternative in the past I could recommend were then expensive RAID-1 mirrored hard drives. They are now affordable, so are a reasonable alternative. This came to my attention in a MacWorld report I received via e-mail, featuring a Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini 640 GB external drive for as little as $180.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jun 30, 2009 1 comments

I try to be as aware of as many reviews of digital cameras as are published, particularly on the web. That is natural as it is a significant aspect of what my work as a digital photo writer involves. A recent imbroglio with a photographer about dSLR image quality got me thinking that most of what is written in reviews of camera is largely subjective, or comparative, one camera against another regarding image quality performance. But that is not all that helpful to anyone, so is there a way to measure dSLR image quality performance objectively? I think so if we can first agree on a definition of what photographic image quality is. What I believe would concern most photographer is how accurately a digital camera capture represents reality. In other words what degree of color fidelity to the subject is there in a dSR created image file?

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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: Nov 27, 2008 0 comments

If you are buying yourself a Christmas present or someone is that needs some guidance, a new LCD display for digital photography selection is getting better and more affordable this season. Among the prime manufacturers NEC is sporting a new, high performance “P” Series, with the new 22 inch Multicynch P221W model. It is designed for professional graphics users and is built on the success of the highly rated 90 series NEC displays. This new model is sold with a kit including a calibration and profiling sensor based on the the X-Rite i! Dispaly 2 hardware and software. The NEC Multisynch P221W LCD display is slated to be available in store in December 20008 at a street price of $636.

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