When this old pebble balanced there by the Ice Age thousands of years ago in the Garden of the Gods Park near Colorado Springs, Colorado, tumbles from its perch, it could be the end of the world. I used a slow shutter speed to get this shot as the old boulder wasn’t shaking at the time. But who knows?
Our Picture This! assignment this month dealt with the entirely photographic and visually arresting technique built around the idea that foreground/background sharpness differentials can create both a painterly effect and a more prominent foreground subject, thereby adding a sense of dimensionality in what is essentially a 2D medium. This approach considers more than just what is sharp and unsharp, but also has a profound effect on compositional decisions, where the placement of the unsharp portion of the image can be used to juxtapose or, more likely, reinforce the color and design of the subject that sits at the main point of sharpness. Readers sent in a wide variety of images, with the preponderance being natural subjects, which for many seemed to be a perfect way to express this technique.
On The Cover
In this issue we share the work of a number of photographers with a unique point of view on the world, as well as the exciting and challenging work of “pro bono” photographers. We also have some lighting tests, a report on an exciting new medium format scanner, and Image Tech reports on unique cameras from Canon and Nikon.
As frequent visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park researching the participation of my wife’s family in many different regiments during the battle, my wife and I had a strange occurrence one morning. We always arrive at our chosen point on the battlefield well before sunrise each visit. This particular morning we were set up on Cemetery Hill facing Culp’s Hill and the soon to be arriving sunrise. The morning had good promise as there was some ground fog in place already. Suddenly, from the lower part of the valley, a thick fog began rolling in. It didn’t appear from the ground up as normally happens, but was a dense mass pushing into the valley. It covered the ground up to a knoll to our right and just left parts of the treetops visible. From then on it was just scrambling around with the camera on the tripod, hitting the infrared remote and then moving again.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Construction Compositions” and we requested images that incorporated the color, design, and abstractions that building and industrial sites offer. Readers sent in images that showed the complexity of potential for rich images these places afford through the use of an intermix of angles and textures, the hubbub of human activity that goes into building, and in some cases ironic images that show the effect of all that effort on nature and within the cities we live. We also received photos that were almost lyrical in nature, with plays of light and color that an abstract painter could admire.
On The Cover
This month’s issue focuses on new lighting gear and lighting tests. We look at a range of lights, including the new wave LEDs, and light modifiers, plus new products in on-camera flash. We also have a test of the premium Sony RX1, plus welcome a new columnist, Blaine Harrington, who will be covering the travel beat.
Photojournalists show us a world most people would never get to see. From war-torn countries to championship sports, their images convey some of the most inspiring moments as well as some of the most heartbreaking. The Museum of Photographic Arts, located in San Diego, California, through the Pictures of the Year International exhibition, celebrates the power of these images and the people who create them.
Walking on the Greenbelt along the river in Boise, Idaho, always presents interesting photo ops. This was taken when they were putting together the framework for a new building at Boise State University.
Our assignment this month was Urban Art, and I am happy to report, based on the wide range of images we received, that the art form is alive and well. Photos ranged from the wildly colorful to the nostalgic, with a good seasoning of irony and surrealism thrown in for good measure. A number of areas seemed to inspire photographs based on the artfulness and placement of work, which helped us create a list of places we’d love to visit someday with camera in hand. In all, we hope you enjoy the diversity of art and points of view as much as we did when viewing the work.
On The Cover
In this issue we focus on optics, with a roundup of some of the most intriguing new lenses introduced in 2013 and tests on a very fast lens from Sigma and a special effects 8mm super-wide. We also feature some optical how-to’s, including using graduated neutral density filters and working some macro magic. And we’ve got lab tests on the Fujifilm X-E1, Nikon D5200, and Panasonic GH3. Coming attractions: next month is our Top Products of the Year issue, where we feature the best in class in 40 imaging categories!