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.
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.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Silhouette,” using exposure and composition to create an iconic form within the frame. The exposure technique involves choosing a brightly lit background, making a reading of that value and then having the form, or subject, sit between you and the light source. Readers responded with a host of subjects ranging from sculptural figures to wildlife to natural forms. We were excited by the many great images we received and choosing from among them was one of our toughest editing assignments yet.
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.
Photographers can now trigger and quickly set ratios for three groups of radio controlled Qflashes and/or Trios. Set lighting ratios on the fly, right from your camera. Simply turn three controls on the CoPilot to instantly adjust lighting ratios as you shoot.
Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is once again joining forces with several of the country’s acclaimed national parks to offer free photography workshops to visitors this summer. The Canon Photography in the Parks Program provides participants with free equipment loans and professional photography instruction as they take part in a guided walking photo tour. Following the tour, participants have the opportunity to print images for free and take home a CD of their image files. Visitors of all ages and experience levels are welcome to participate.
Bicycles are integral to the city of Amsterdam’s lifestyle and while traveling there, I decided to give myself an assignment and carve out time to concentrate on them alone. I set up in the open window of my hotel room along a busy, narrow thoroughfare with a designated bicycle lane, next to the Amstel River, and began to shoot. I recorded an incredible variety of bikes, including some for hauling everything from pets to freight, but this one, which I call “Rush Hour,” has become my favorite.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “At the Flea Market.” The amazing diversity of material found at flea markets and antique malls is grist for a photographer’s mill. Not only are there odd and unusual items aplenty—from castoffs to treasures unknown—there’s also the element of the yet-undiscovered art directors, the dealers and vendors who arrange these items in sometimes random, sometimes ironically intentional ways. When photographers talk about capturing “found art” they needn’t go farther than their local flea market to find all they need.
Traveling in winter on the train from Dresden, Germany, the mostly overcast countryside zipped by as the train quickly moved along on its way to our destination in Prague, Czech Republic. Occasionally the sun peeked out from the clouds and lit up the houses and the industrial areas we traveled through. At first I thought my images might be impaired by a too slow shutter speed and the reflection in the train windows, but I quickly decided to use those problems to my advantage. The photos I ultimately made (and named “Views From the Train”) clearly indicate movement, low light, and reflections; qualities that mirror both the literal and metaphorical aspects of the country we traveled through.