There comes a point in your photographic life when you might consider making money with your camera. It might be a life’s goal from the start, and you put the time into assisting, attending workshops, and even taking formal lessons or enrolling in a school dedicated to the craft. But more often than not it’s something that occurs to you along the way, something that sticks in the back of your mind as you lay awake at night. You consider it because of your love and dedication to making photographs, and your feeling that making a living with something you love to do would be a good way to go through life. But the question remains—just how do you get started, how do you make the transition or the first step?
There’s no question that glossy and satin or pearl-type surfaces give an image more “pop,” but on the other hand you might want to use a matte surface to enhance the look and feel of certain images that rely less on pop than a quieter mood. It could be boiled down to a simple rule of thumb: for rich, high-saturation images you might use a glossy or semigloss; for more subtle colors it might be better to use a matte or satin. In the black-and-white realm it’s more of a toss-up but I think the same general rule applies. For example, for architectural images of adobe or stucco wall buildings I use matte; for glass and steel skyscrapers I choose glossy. Notice that I always modify the recommendations with “might”: if you really get into papers for printing you’ll make your own judgments. But there’s no denying that surface decisions play a role in overall effectiveness of the image.
It’s hard to beat the beautiful quality of “natural” light. As I write this I am looking out my studio window at dusk, right when the rays of the setting sun backlight the magnolia leaves swaying in the wind, and there are thousands of facets of illumination that move together as one. Yet, photographers face the fact that light is not always so kind and gentle, and that subjects do not sway in the wind to add grace to the moment, and that there are some times when you have to make the shot when the light is just plain lousy, or the weather, setup, and subject make it an indoors occasion in small rooms lacking any kind of pleasing, or even ambient light worth shooting in.
The Leica X1 ($1,995) is a fixed focal length, non-interchangeable lens compact with a fast f/2.8 lens and 12.9MP CMOS APS-C sensor. Introduced over a year ago in silver and recently in black, it keeps apace with firmware upgrades, the most recent of which is claimed improvement of JPEG quality and enhanced AF speed in low light.
Gerald L. Fine, of Northbrook, Illinois and Rancho Mirage, California, passed away on July 5, 2011 at the age of 85. Jerry was a kind and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was also an astute businessman who, 50 years ago, founded Neil Enterprises, Inc. and guided it to become the largest photo novelty company in the country. A marketing and merchandising expert and innovator, Jerry pioneered a myriad of photo-related promotional products, including the photo mug and photo keychain. He had a vision, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a generosity that always put people over profits.
His dedication and determination helped grow the company into the success it is today. The company is now in its third generation with Jerry’s children and grandchildren working there, including Neil Fine, the current president.
Jerry Fine was born on December 28, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Hyde Park High School and joined the Navy where he was stationed at Pearl Harbor during World War II. He returned to Chicago after the war and attended the University of Illinois at Navy Pier and received his degree in accounting at Northwestern University. In 1947, he met the love of his life, Lois Berman, at the Merchandise Mart where he worked at his uncle’s liquor store and she at her aunts’ lingerie shop. Together, they lived a charmed life, enjoyed a loving, 62-year-marriage, raised a beautiful family, and created a thriving business. He is survived by his wife Lois; his three children, Carol (Robert Jacobson), Andrea (Eric London), and Neil Fine (Karen); his nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
In this issue we feature images from the last roll of Kodachrome film ever processed. Steve McCurry’s work has always been admirable, but here the photographs have a special poignancy because they will be irrevocably tied to the end of an era in photography. These iconic images now reside in the Eastman House in Rochester, a fitting setting for them among the daguerreotypes, albumen prints, kallitypes, and other images created by processes that have become part of history. True, you can emulate the “look” of these processes with software, and even recreate some of the old paper print processes using custom-mix chemicals and old formulae, but I doubt very much that anyone is going to attempt to set up the massive machinery and chemical soups required to allow Kodachrome to be processed ever again.
On-board image processors have become more powerful and diverse in their functions, and cameras like the Ricoh GR Digital IV ($649) offer more than just point and shoot still and video recording. Indeed, the Ricoh seems designed to appeal to those who would rather have their special effects in hand than take the time to apply them later. But the camera offers more than just tricks, though there are plenty of those, and its portability, ease of use and flexibility might appeal to those who want to go beyond cell phone snapshots and effects. Its fast, fixed focus lens, aperture- and shutter-priority exposure modes and a host of Scene modes that go beyond the norm make it a fascinating study in the state of photography today.
The 12.1-megapixel Nikon COOLPIX P500 ($399.95, MSRP) is an integral lens camera with an incredible zoom range of 36x—that’s optical, not digital zoom and it gives you the equivalent angle of view of a wide-angle 22.5mm to a super tele of 810mm! The Zoom-Nikkor ED glass lens can also be used for “super close-ups” with a minimum focusing distance of 0.4”.
The new Nikon P7100 offers many function buttons and dials along with a large mode dial on the top to choose standard exposure modes like P, S, A and M. The camera offers a full automatic mode, scene modes and special effect modes (like B&W, sepia tone effect, “High Key” effect and more). In addition, the P7100 offers three user modes that can be saved as U1-U3 and accessed directly on the mode dial.