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.
On The Cover
This month’s issue focuses on lighting, with reports on gear, techniques, and a comprehensive roundup on the wide variety of lighting equipment available to photographers today. We also have a lab report on the exciting Fujifilm X-Pro1 and special book excerpts from two of the leading lighting/software practitioners today, Kevin Kubota and Scott Kelby. Please note that with this issue our Workshop and Events listings have gone online at www.shutterbug.com.
There are a couple of things about telephoto lenses that make them unique. First, and most obvious, is the ability to bring distant objects closer than working with a “normal” lens. Second, and the subject of this month’s Picture This! assignment, is a visual effect known as “stacking,” making subjects that sit at a distance from one another appear closer together, sometimes in an almost surreal way. We asked readers this month to send us examples of this effect, and responses ranged from nature to crowds to perhaps the most popular topic, architecture in urban centers. As you can see, there’s more to working with long teles than at first meets the eye.
After a long morning shoot throughout Death Valley National Park my wife and I found ourselves at Furnace Creek at the Borax Museum. She was intent on going inside the museum but I spotted old equipment outside that previously had been used in mining operations. Being a strict nature photographer I am normally not attracted to architectural venues or mechanical subjects. But on further examination I found the afternoon light to be pleasing, casting interesting contrasts between the illuminated equipment and shadows. I was particularly attracted to this old rusty train locomotive, one of two engines previously used in Death Valley on the narrow-gauge railroad extant during the borax mining era.
From 14 July to 28 October 2012, the American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, Bath, will stage an exhibition evocatively entitled By Way of These Eyes that will present treasures from textile designer Christopher Hyland’s comprehensive collection of American photography. Hyland, president of one of the world’s leading firms specializing in luxury fabrics and founder of the acclaimed HYLAND lifestyle magazine, describes collecting photography as one of the greatest adventures of his life.
On The Cover
In this issue we feature our annual Top Products of the Year awards, with categories ranging from cameras to lenses to bags to apps, and more. Shutterbug is the sole US member of TIPA, the worldwide Technical Image Press Association, and we’re proud to be part of the nomination and selection process. We’re also adding a host of product tests, including a special surprise, a silver printing out paper that will open new doors for pinhole, photogram, and street camera shooters.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was City at Night, and we were seeking images that capture the unique combination of energy, light, and activity that characterize the nocturnal urban scene. Readers responded with images of great monuments lit by blazing lamps and tall buildings soaring through the night sky into the clouds, yet our eyes were also attracted to images that included people, admittedly often dwarfed by the manmade environment around them, but making their way through the streets and byways nonetheless. Images like this challenge us to find the right exposure times and ISO settings under sometimes tough capture conditions.
Late in 2010 I made a trip to South China to visit my wife’s family in a village of rice and vegetable farmers. Being very hot and humid there, I always looked forward to walking the bean fields with my camera late in the day. It’s very peaceful and sometimes you can catch a cool breeze.
On December 12, 1925, the world’s first motel opened just north of Santa Barbara. At that time, the Milestone Mo-Tel in San Luis Obispo sat along the nascent two-lane highway, the “101,” and charged $1.25 a night for a bungalow with an attached garage. The era of automobiles as status symbol had begun; for it was only those with cruise-worthy cars that would stop at the Motel Inn on their way between LA and San Francisco.