David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments

From my experience from a lifetime of photography I have learned better than a new lens, or camera, any gadget or gizmo the best resource for getting better pictures and enjoying making photographs is information, understanding the tools I already have and how they work. The only way to get out of a camera all that it can reproduce is to know how it works, the only sure and easy way to control the photographic process to reproduce the images that you imagine and hope for is to understand how the photographic process functions.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 23, 2010 0 comments

I just received one of many statements from photographers that the current digital technology is complex and confusing, so it’s hard to understand. I could assume from that many think digital follows what analog film photography established. But that also assumes that the photographic process was understood as it has been for over a century, but sadly both assumptions are mixed up by many mythical and fantastic ideas and beliefs that have confused many if not most for as long as the 50 some years I’ve been a photographer. And it has not been helped by an industry and technology that now uses terms like resolution, which on film meant how fine the detail was resolved sharply, to its digital meaning that defines the size of an image in pixels.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 30, 2009 0 comments

Yes, I am biased in my perspective on what works best for digital photographers. But what is bias other in my case of having acquired a lot of experience with computers and digital photography doing it every day now for almost a quarter of a century. Some of that experience has been good, some not so and on that basis I have formed some opinions of what might be a better choice among all those that are out there. And, I believe it is because of this very bias due to experience readers look to me for advice, besides the fact what I do and have done for all these years is try out all kinds of new hardware and software to find out how it works and if it is worth having.

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David B. Brooks Posted: Jun 02, 2011 60 comments

First of all, what does a computer do? In our world today the word compute |kəmˈpyoōt| means to make a calculation, especially using a computer: modern circuitry can compute faster than any chess player. So is a photographic image made by a calculation of number values? Yes, to some extent with a digital camera. But graphics, an image on-screen was a side effect of computing, a part of the in and out communication with a computer. It was not what the computer did but how it communicated its answers after the question were typed into a computer with a keyboard. A monitor was just a convenient way to make a computer respond so its output could be read by human eyes.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 12, 2009 1 comments

As happens every so often, I was taken to task for presumably denigrating an individual’s photo activities by my use of the term “snapshot’ in reference to the on-line services that provide inexpensive printing from JPEG files. Although there can be considerable crossover between snapshots and photographs, the pictures serious photo enthusiasts refer to, in my perspective of things, is not a value or status distinction.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 08, 2008 0 comments

On October 14 Apple announced new MacBook notebook models. One of the performance features was for both ends of the model spectrum, new more powerful and robust video processing chips, something that photographers using laptops in the field should welcome. But hidden and overshadowed in these MacBook announcements was an entirely new Apple LCD display that is configured specifically to complement these new MacBooks.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 28, 2010 0 comments

In the last issue of Shutterbug I reported on Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, and this week Adobe is celebrating their 20th anniversary of Photoshop. Usually when I have a product report like Elements 8 in an issue it results in some questions in my e-mail box. This time most were whether Elements 8 has any more 16-bit file support than previous versions. The answer is that Adobe for now considers 16-bit support professional and so the user should have Photoshop CS 4 which does offer that and much more. Are there any other options? Yes, fortunately we still have many competing manufacturers making many products like automobiles, so we are not stuck with one choice of what to drive.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 01, 2008 0 comments

I would guess the casual consumer when confronted with images displayed on computer screens probably assumes there is some color standard involved that regulates what red, blue or yellow should look like that governs the manufacture of these displays. But that is an incorrect assumption as all color reproduction devices are what the industry calls “device independent”. In other words it is a “free market” and a maker of display screens, as well as printers and scanners, in fact any device that reproduces color information, is not held to any standard in terms of the observed color reproduced as the result to the specific RGB computer data sent to or received from the device.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 18, 2010 0 comments

About a month ago I wrote a blog here about a new LED lamp made by Fobsun in China. And here is the essential information I had at the time: “I took interest in Fobsun because they sent me a news item about a downlight they make that has a standard lamp socket as used in America and white light output near 6500K color temperature. This lamp is also about as bright as a 40 watt incandescent lamp. To me its color temperature close to that of an LCD computer display and moderate brightness makes it an ideal candidate as an illumination source for environmental lighting where computer digital photography is done and prints are being made, in a light source matching the computer screen. It is a Fobsun Horizon Down Lights Adopting SMD LEDs, FLB-E27-90W-H, E27 base SMD bulb, 38*160mm, 90LEDs,7W,100-260VAC, white color, 6000-6500k,630lm.”

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 07, 2010 0 comments

For too long there have been few LCD displays available that fully support a digital photographic color managed workflow. Now LaCie has added another, their 324i with desirable specifications in a P-IPS 10-bit 24 inch LCD display. The screen image should be sharp and detailed too with a 1920x1200 pixel resolution. Most important of course is its color range that is specified at 98% of Adobe RGB. But these days with ultra-lite and flimsy un-adjustable home-office LCD displays in the box stores, the LaCie 324i has a solid, full-featured stand and supports portrait orientation. Like any good, current LCD display the LaCie has a wide range of input connector options like Display Port, DVI and HDMI.,BR.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 14, 2009 0 comments

Although “free market” self-governance may seem to smack of a political issue, its application affecting technology business has had an affect that has been to no one’s advantage. What I am alluding to is a well known example, the old fight for dominance between Sony Beta and VHS and the recent similar competition with Blu-Ray’s win for HD-DVD media dominance. In the Beta/VHS outcome the lower cost but inferior recording technology won and users, as well as VCR business suffered as a result. it is too early to tell if Blu-Ray dominance will be a loss for all sides, consumers and producers alike, but history forgotten has a habit of repeating itself.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 09, 2011 6 comments

I don’t know about you, but I often relied on sunglasses, “shades” when I was driving west in the afternoon. They helped a lot to see the road clearly reducing the extraneous direct light from the sun obscuring my view. The same idea applies to your LCD display. If you keep it shaded from extraneous light in the room where your computer is set-up you will see the image on screen more clearly and free from different and conflicting strays of light. Even in my north-facing room that’s dedicated as my lab, even with special Fobsun LED lamps for my environment lighting, and with a hood protecting the screen, my new Dell Ultrasharp U2410 has a cleaner, brighter screen image now that it has shades.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jun 27, 2009 2 comments

In the July issue of Shutterbug my answer in Digital Help to Rich Zahren’s question about HD format slide show authoring elicited a good number of suggestions from readers. One involved maybe the easiest, cheapest to implement and best ways to present a slideshow using a large LCD HD TV that are now so popular. Set up your LCD HD TV as a display for your computer:


“It's very easy to use your personal computer to present digital photo "slide shows" on HDTVs. Connect a 15-pin VGA cable from the computer's "monitor" connector to the HDTV's "PC Input". Make sure you've set the computer's Display Properties settings to match your TV's resolution (1920 x 1080 for full-HD 1080p sets; 1280 x 720 for 720p TVs). Most computers made in the last 10 years can be set to these resolution values, including some laptops. (If your TV lacks a "PC Input", buy a cheap computer video card with a DVI output connector, and use a DVI-to-HDMI cable to connect the computer to one of the TV's HDMI inputs.) Then run one of the many free photo-viewing programs on the computer (they're packaged free with most cameras, or can be downloaded on the Internet). The full-HD results can be spectacular--much better than trying to view the photos via a DVD player or a card reader connected directly to the TV.”
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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 18, 2009 0 comments

Almost every paper and web photo publication has reported on Canon’s newest G-11 model high performance P&S camera. Some have noted that this new model has a lower megapixel count of 10 MPX, compared to the 14.7 megapixel G-10, that is still featured for sale on the Canon web site. One pundit even quoted without naming his source at Canon “They have also changed up the sensor, keeping it the same size, but making the pixels bigger. The result is a lower 10-megapixel resolution, but they claim the trade-off is better image-quality, especially in low-light situations. A Canon rep mentioned that it's because the G-11 is focused on providing the best quality in the form of a still image.”

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 27, 2008 0 comments

I am thankful for three days of gentle rain here in southern California ending a wildfire season that has been one of the worst.

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