David B. Brooks Blog

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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: 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 2 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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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 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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