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.
The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida will present an exhibition that reflects a transformative moment in photographic history during the tumultuous interwar years. On view from October 9, 2012 through January 6, 2013, The Modern Impulse: Photography from Europe and America Between the Wars will explore how the newly portable 35mm camera was celebrated as an instrument of poetry, analysis, and social change. Covering the years between 1918 and 1945, the exhibition will highlight over 40 artists who expanded the new medium and changed the way we perceive the world. Celebrating technology while embracing spontaneity and improvisation, these artists captured the spirit, vitality, and invention of a new age.
Colors define a lot about our world and ourselves—the season, our personalities and moods can be reflected in the colors surrounding us. National Geographic Books is showcasing the power of colors in a stunning new photography book, Life in Color: National Geographic Photographs (National Geographic Books; ISBN: 978-1-4262-0962-8; on sale now; $40 hardcover) with a foreword by designer Jonathan Adler.
On The Cover
In this month’s issue we explore the travel photography market with a candid conversation with pros who earn their living from it. We also look at the gear side of travel with two handy guides to roller cases and “compact folder” tripods. We also have reviews on a nice macro flash setup, an affordable printer, and a dynamic matte surface printing paper. Our cover photo was taken by Karen I. Hirsch. You can see more of her work at: www.karenihirsch.com.
On The Cover
This month we have two points of view on how to make money with your camera—a successful stock photographer tells our reporter about her business, and Maria Piscopo gets the lowdown on today’s calendar and greeting card markets from a panel of pros. We also get an inside look on sports photography from two pros who share their very unique points of view. For more on photo business, just type “Business Trends” into the Search box at www.shutterbug.com.
There’s no question that do-it-yourself photo books have captured the imagination of photographers, from pros to those who simply want to create a remembrance of a journey or to gather family photos. While just about every imaging software and online picture service, from iPhoto to Shutterfly, offers quick and easy bookmaking, there are some companies dedicated to serving the higher-end market, generally pros but also including every photographer who wants a stylish, custom-designed book. Software to help design the book is a key ingredient, as are options for book materials and binding. And in the end, the quality of the images reproduced, and the facility of ordering and making images ready, is what makes the bookmaking process a creative, fun project that will result in a book that will be cherished for many years.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Deep Depth of Field,” creating compositions that rely on focus being sharp from near to far using all the tools of the deep focus kit—wide-angle lenses, closeness of camera to foreground subject, and as narrow an aperture as the lens and light could support. Readers responded with nature, scenic, urban, and abstract images, all made using some or all of the techniques described. There is something that is completely “photographic” about this technique, as the eye cannot “see” this without the aid of photography—it flicks around the real world from point to point quickly enough, of course, but there’s no set moment—except the photographic one—that makes all sharp from the nearest blade of grass to the farthest mountain.
At the Goodyear Blimp hangar in Pompano Beach, Florida, I was struck by the stark geometry of the common site of the blimp. The preparation platform makes a distinct linear comparison to the round shape of the blimp seen nose on. I must say, too, that the sheer size of the hangar and blimp are quite remarkable. The blimp took off within 15 minutes of this photo and it was quite a sight.