In this issue we take a look at and through lenses and discover some of the work by photographers who use optics in unique and clever ways. It gives us a chance to appreciate how far lens tech has advanced, and some of the wondrous ways they allow us to see the world.
While what work is produced is more interesting than how a lens is produced, there’s no question that the latest developments in lens building have opened up many exciting photo opportunities that had not been available to us in the past. One of the most exciting advances has been in Image Stabilization (IS) technology, now more common than not in new lens offerings. While putting IS (which goes under various and sundry brand names) into a fairly slow lens, like kit lenses that might start at f/3.5 or f/4 maximum aperture, and then quickly drop to perhaps f/5.6 at the tele end of the zoom, is certainly helpful, it gets much more interesting when IS goes into a fast lens, like an f/2 or f/2.8 prime or zoom.
The best photo and imaging products of 2010 were voted on at the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) General Assembly held from April 8-10, 2010 in New York. The editors of the 28 member photo and imaging magazines from nine European countries plus Canada, South Africa, and the United States met to vote on the TIPA Awards 2010 and discuss the association’s activities and projects.
In this issue we feature the TIPA Awards for products in 40 different categories and I thought you might like to know how the finalists were chosen. TIPA, the Technical Image Press Association, is composed of representatives from photographic magazines around the world, editors, who go through the process of first nominating products by a Technical Committee and then voting on what they consider the best or most innovative products in their respective categories. Editors are from pro, advanced amateur, and amateur photo magazines, including those from Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, from which Shutterbug is the sole member.
Put editors from 28 photo magazines in one room to pick the Top Products of the Year and you’re bound to have some lively discussions. That’s exactly what happened at the TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) meetings in late April this year, the results of which are in this issue. The selection process begins with numerous candidates in 40 different categories, ranging from all sorts of cameras to lighting, bags, software, accessories, and more. Then editors from Europe, Africa, Australia, Canada, Asia, and the US go through the list and finally vote, with the winners chosen by a democratic (majority) process. We’re proud to say that Shutterbug is the sole US magazine in the group and we congratulate those companies, and the people behind the products chosen, on their achievements.
Every year editors from photo magazines around the world gather to pick what they consider the top photo and imaging products of the year. This is no easy task, for the most part, as there are literally hundreds of products that could vie for the award in each category, and in fact each year there are some new categories that did not exist a few years ago.
Those who practice the craft have come to a fork in the road, having to decide whether they will enter into a new form of expression or find merit in and stick with the former route. Well, as Yogi Berra once said, "When you see a fork in the road, take it!" But...
In this issue we offer a host of camera reports covering a wide variety of models and camera types, and this gives me a good opportunity to discuss the forms our camera tests take—lab tests and what I call “anecdotal” reports. In most cases we limit a model to one type of test, except when we feel that it rates a second look and that there’s more to add by using both approaches. We also make a decision about lab or field tests when we feel overwhelmed by new cameras coming our way, and simply don’t have the space each month to cover every one of them. Plus, we offer tests that never see the pages of the magazine that can be found under the Image Tech section of our website at www.shutterbug.com.
To get a handle on the issue at hand we first have to define a "pro photographer." In the simplest terms, a professional is someone who makes money at what they do. But pros can also have another day job entirely, or do the odd photographic job on nights and weekends to help pay the rent. Indeed, many pro photographers started working for nothing or next to nothing...
There are many ways to share images these days, from social networks to clouds to full-fledged e-commerce platforms. For some, simple online albuming will do, but for others it can become an involving project that puts your images on the Internet in a very engaging way. It’s not only in the personalization of the look and feel of the wrapper around your image content that can separate your site from the crowd. It’s also the ability to work cross-platform, include an e-commerce component, and allow for a “translator” that can make your site accessible to folks and even clients around the world that can add to its attractiveness and functionality.
You can set your clock by it. A year and a half after Version XX of software comes out, Version XXI comes down the pike. But if that was all there was to do we wouldn’t have to struggle so much about deciding whether or not to upgrade; we’d just look at the new features and decide whether or not they were worth the time and money to update. But then...