In this month’s issue we feature black-and-white photography in all its power and glory with portfolios of portraiture, location, and street photography. We also hone in on a series of tests covering dynamic new cameras from Canon and Panasonic, a look at a B&W-focused inkjet paper, and an exciting close-up lens from Tamron.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was Twilight Time, the moments when the light of the rising or setting sun creates a magical light that is the delight of all photographers. Readers sent in a preponderance of nature and scenic images and each shows the beauty that only natural (and directional) light can deliver.
Ian Coble had purchased a waterproof housing for his camera earlier in the summer, and after a photo trip to Hawaii wanted to get back into the water for more shooting. So he called his friend Ben Rhodea, an expert stand-up paddleboarder, and they met up at nearby Elliott Bay, outside Seattle, Washington.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was Stacking, the lingo used to describe the optical effect that makes subjects at some distance from one another seem closely packed together through the use of a telephoto lens. But given the right point of view and arrangement of forms, some readers also sent us successful shots taken with “normal” focal lengths as well. We received a wide range of subjects, from ancient towns to nature studies, all with apt points of view and good application of technique. It all goes to show us that there are simply some images that can’t be mocked up after the fact and that there remain many ways to create an effective image in camera via composition, the proper lens, and a good understanding of exposure control. In that we can all still take heart.
On The Cover
In this issue we bring you a range of camera, lighting, and even pro-graphics-level monitor tests as well as an insider’s look at eBooks for photographers. And in keeping with our respect for and legacy coverage of camera classics, a look at a collector’s camera “bookshelf” and an exclusive report from Tokyo on prices garnered at one of the biggest user/collectible shows in Japan.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Going Around in Circles” and readers sent in what one could characterize as “active” and “passive” interpretations. The active ones literally show something or someone going around in circles, a kind of visual pun on the topic, while the passive ones are more found objects and scenes that use the circle as a starting and strong point of the composition. We appreciated the irony of the former and the point of view of the latter. We also are continually struck by the high level of image making we see from readers, and have to say that this was one of the toughest assignments for us to edit down to the images you see selected here.
The light wasn’t right on the day John Conn saw the scene, so he came back the next day at a time when the shadows would work in his favor. Then he waited. The geometry of the legs of a trousered figure striding by was distracting. “I really wanted a woman because they usually dress in lighter, more colorful clothing,” John says, “and I needed a more solid form, with more of a flow. And she had to be the right height, too.” His next opportunity was a bicyclist…who veered away from the perfect spot, spoiling the alignment. Then a woman came by and John took the photograph you see here.
In this issue we look at travel and nature photography with an emphasis on ops and issues in the colder regions. Covered gear this month includes a clever tripod kit, a new EOS Rebel, a fast Tamron zoom, and software for retouch and black-and-white magic.
The New Art of Photographing Nature: An Updated Guide to Composing Stunning Images of Animals, Nature, and Landscapes (Amphoto Books, $29.99) is from world-renowned photographer Art Wolfe and writer and photo editor Martha Hill, with Tim Grey. In this revised edition, the text has been updated throughout to reflect the dramatic changes in photography since this classic was first released in 1993. More than 50% of the beautiful images are all new, and a new contributor, digital imaging expert Tim Grey, shares sidebars throughout offering tips on digital imaging and processing.
A sense of scale is created by the juxtaposition of objects and subjects within the frame that establishes a size relationship based upon that juxtaposition. That sense of scale can be based upon distance, on the “true” relative sizes of the elements, or on the use of optics that exaggerate the relative sizes through near-to-far relationships that are established with the clever use of depth of field. While wide-angle lenses are most suited to creating the latter effect, in fact the setup can be made with virtually any lens, given a certain point of view of the photographer. In most cases a deep depth of field works best, since the mind can better grasp the intention when all objects within the frame are sharp. Readers sent in a wide range of images, some almost surreal and others that showed an awesome world in which we are merely the smallest of spectators.