David B. Brooks Blog

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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: 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 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: 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: 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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