David B. Brooks Blog
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David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jun 21, 2009 0 comments

A friend recently forwarded a link to a web site that had a detailed listing of some 40 on-line photo magazines. Many if not most of them were as well done as any paper magazines of the recent past when the internet was still an idea for the future. Like in days of the past some are largely focused on the tools of the trade, cameras lenses and now software for computes, other were about images, and some about photographers and what they do, like photojournalism. Exploring many of the 40 was interesting and occassionally enlightening, particularly for an old-timer like me, that todays photographers make images distinctly unlike what previous generations. I think part of the reason is that so much of the world and what is in it has already been made familiar by iconic images made by the great photographers of the past. A young contemporary photographer, to grab attention and become recognized has to create images that are unfamiliar, that stop the viewer and holds their attention, and photographs of subjects already familiar can’t do that, as soon as the image is recognized as familiar the viewer moves on. You aren’t likely to see a portfolio of photographs of Yosemite in any web photo-zine, unless it is a retrospective of the work of a long dead lensman.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jun 27, 2009 0 comments

In the July issue of Shutterbug my answer in Digital Help to Rich Zahren’s question about HD format slide show authoring elicited a good number of suggestions from readers. One involved maybe the easiest, cheapest to implement and best ways to present a slideshow using a large LCD HD TV that are now so popular. Set up your LCD HD TV as a display for your computer:


“It's very easy to use your personal computer to present digital photo "slide shows" on HDTVs. Connect a 15-pin VGA cable from the computer's "monitor" connector to the HDTV's "PC Input". Make sure you've set the computer's Display Properties settings to match your TV's resolution (1920 x 1080 for full-HD 1080p sets; 1280 x 720 for 720p TVs). Most computers made in the last 10 years can be set to these resolution values, including some laptops. (If your TV lacks a "PC Input", buy a cheap computer video card with a DVI output connector, and use a DVI-to-HDMI cable to connect the computer to one of the TV's HDMI inputs.) Then run one of the many free photo-viewing programs on the computer (they're packaged free with most cameras, or can be downloaded on the Internet). The full-HD results can be spectacular--much better than trying to view the photos via a DVD player or a card reader connected directly to the TV.”

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jun 30, 2009 1 comments

I try to be as aware of as many reviews of digital cameras as are published, particularly on the web. That is natural as it is a significant aspect of what my work as a digital photo writer involves. A recent imbroglio with a photographer about dSLR image quality got me thinking that most of what is written in reviews of camera is largely subjective, or comparative, one camera against another regarding image quality performance. But that is not all that helpful to anyone, so is there a way to measure dSLR image quality performance objectively? I think so if we can first agree on a definition of what photographic image quality is. What I believe would concern most photographer is how accurately a digital camera capture represents reality. In other words what degree of color fidelity to the subject is there in a dSR created image file?

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jul 04, 2009 0 comments

Three generations ago when I was a public school student Charles Dickens “Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe” was one of his novels that was required reading. And in those days a young pupil’s curiosity was encouraged by teachers. Today I think if a student is too curious it may be reason to be prescribed Ritalin; our schools are not preparing young minds to be critical thinkers, but passive, obedient worker bees for corporate employment at some mindless task.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jul 12, 2009 1 comments

As happens every so often, I was taken to task for presumably denigrating an individual’s photo activities by my use of the term “snapshot’ in reference to the on-line services that provide inexpensive printing from JPEG files. Although there can be considerable crossover between snapshots and photographs, the pictures serious photo enthusiasts refer to, in my perspective of things, is not a value or status distinction.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jul 19, 2009 1 comments

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.” - Stephen Hawking (1942 - )

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Jul 26, 2009 0 comments

No my sex-life has not improved. I haven’t been looking for a new squeeze. But I have been looking for an inexpensive LCD display that will work for digital photographers. Actually I discovered it among numerous models LG Electronics has listed on its web site awhile ago. But a request to LGE for a loan to review it for Shutterbug was denied because it is a 2008 model that is not being offered in the 2009 product lineup.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Aug 05, 2009 0 comments

As I have written before, my holy grail is an affordable LCD display that supports digital photographic editing and printing. I just recently discovered one that has some essential attributes, and even bought one, and LGE L227WGT. A reader just commented he purchased a display he is pleased with that was quite affordable, an AOC Verfino 22 inch with LED backlight (http://us.aoc.com/lcd_monitors/v22). But even the added new feature of LED backlight, which has distinct advantages, still leaves the basic problems that can cause “prints too dark”, as well as the added expense costing as much or more than the LCD, a colorimeter and software to calibrate and profile the display.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Aug 23, 2009 0 comments

I cannot say I have been at all successful with these last months trying to understand and find a solution to the “prints too dark” problem so many have reported. Oh! Yes! A few have reported that what I have written has been helpful to them and they have resolved the problem for themselves. But many more either do not get it, do not want to understand, or really don’t care all that much and are just happy to make prints the way their printer driver tells them it should look. But right now, is not a good time for reality, for truth with today’s politics and economics putting everyone at each other’s throat battling realities and fantasies, lies and truths with much confusion. I am maybe expecting too much.

David B. Brooks Blog
David B. Brooks Blog Sep 16, 2009 0 comments

There are so many words which are available to express the idea of balance between things in nature and life. There are also many practical considerations, like if you want to use a swing in a playground, the other person on the far end of the swing must balance your weight if you want to use the swing enjoyably. If you are on a lake with a canoe on a camping trip, you take care loading the canoe so it sits in the water evenly from stem to stern if you want the canoe to be easy to paddle and control. If you have a truck you are careful loading the cargo area so the front part of load is a bit heavier than the rear so weight is not taken off the front wheels of the truck making it steer poorly. On and on, balance is an essential part of ideal functioning.