Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Water Reflections,” and readers sent in a wide variety of images ranging from abstract to actual, with every shot showing the magical quality that happens when water and light interact. Often, images of reflections display the border between the real and the fanciful, and as the wind blows those borders become even less defined. In all, the images are a celebration of light and the fluid nature of perception. (Note: You have the option to view this page upside down as well, as many of the shots take on a whole other meaning when viewed that way.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has announced the publication of Eliot Porter: In the Realm of Nature (Getty Publications/November 2012), presenting work from the acclaimed American photographer’s illustrious six-decade career spanning the 1930s to the 1980s. Known for his exquisite images of birds and landscapes, Eliot Porter (1901–1990) was a pioneer in the use of color photography during a time when most serious photographers were working with black-and-white film.
Walking along the boardwalk at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida, I was taking pictures of birds when I heard a thunderous roar emerging from under the boardwalk. I also heard a huge splash and people screaming. I knew without looking that an alligator had emerged from hiding and grabbed something in the water. Looking into the water I saw the alligator with a turtle in its mouth. My emotions elevated into help mode and my impulse was to grab a stick and hit the beast in an effort to free the turtle that was attempting to escape but caught on the alligator’s huge teeth. I also realized the alligator could severely injure or even kill me.
On The Cover
This month’s issue features the first in our series of reports from photokina, the worldwide imaging show, and features the new cameras of 2013. We’re also thrilled to bring you portfolios from Al Satterwhite, Michael Somoroff, Craig Blacklock, and Daryl and Justin Hawk, as well as a self-publishing saga by Jim Lynch and J. David Gray. Plus we have a lab test and pro essay on the exciting Nikon D4.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “In the Forest,” and judging by the number of images we received it’s clear that readers love to spend time and photograph in the forest as much as we do. As you’ll see, the photos ranged from mystical to magnificent, with patterns, color, and light and shadow play all playing a part.
This pair of cream-colored mountain goats presented themselves on one of my early morning trips to the Mt. Evans Wilderness in Arapaho National Forest, southwest of Idaho Springs, Colorado. They could have been mates, sisters, brothers, or rivals. The hair raised along their backbones, particularly the goat on the right, suggests they were spooked by the presence of people. At 13,000 feet above sea level, this scene, as well as the thin air, literally took my breath away. Only three photographers were privileged to shoot this scene, which changed a second later, for eternity. Nature and photography are funny that way.
When we received a review copy of Pring’s Photographer’s Miscellany (Ilex, $12.99, ISBN: 978-1-907579-43-1) we felt there was so much fun information about photography included that it would be great to share this book with readers. The excerpts here are just a few of the many illuminating, humorous, and at times arcane information Pring’s delivers. The book also contains numerous quotes to ponder from photographers and philosophers alike.—Editor
The Minox subminiature camera was invented in 1936 by Walter Zapp, a German living in Estonia (this modern Estonian stamp celebrates Zapp’s original patent). Unable to get it manufactured locally, he eventually established production in neighboring Latvia, but during World War II the factory was overrun, once by German forces and twice by the Russians. Production resumed in former West Germany in 1948, by which time the Minox had become the preferred equipment of real or imagined espionage agents worldwide. Grasping the attached measuring chain, the spy in a hurry could extend it to touch the secret item, shoot without using the viewfinder, and be assured of a sharp copy of, for example, an A4 or 8 1/2 x 11 inch document. The Minox uses specially cut, unsprocketed film which is advanced each time the case is closed, an action which also protects the viewfinder and lens.
On The Cover
In this issue we present lab and field tests on a variety of digital cameras, including the Nikon D800, Pentax K-01, Sony A57 SLT, Olympus OM-D, and Canon Rebel T4i. We also have studio tests of two light modifiers, plus a fascinating look at some user collectible panoramic cameras. And, be sure to read this month’s Business Trends feature on marketing your images!
This month’s assignment for Picture This! was “Made in the Shade,” photographs made solely in the shadow thrown by tree canopy or roof or even under overcast sky. While light levels might be lower, there’s nothing quite like the soft, diffuse light of shade to bring out every nuance of color and detail in a subject or scene. Using appropriate white balance and exposure settings, shade cast shots can look as if they were made using a large diffusion tent, all using natural light. And while HDR can help with excessive contrast, shade shots have the advantage in that they work entirely with one exposure and the most natural sense of light. Readers sent in a wide range of images covering nature, urban, and portraiture, all of which have a quality of light that bright, contrasty sunlit shots could never display.
During a recent photo shoot getaway at Joshua Tree National Park, my primary vision was a foreground filled with a Joshua tree and the background would consist of a large rock formation with star trails circling the scene.
While driving up to higher elevation searching for the perfect scene, it became evident that it had recently snowed and I spotted this snowman that a mother and her two young sons were just completing. I stopped for a while and enjoyed making a few images of the snowman and as I was walking back to my vehicle it dawned on me that this rare desert snowman would make a great subject for my star trail image.