David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 27, 2009 0 comments

Before digital I spent a lot of time in my darkroom often experimenting, trying different kinds of chemistry, modified techniques, something old, something new, and often learning just how limited the silver halide photographic process is. Since Photoshop and image editing I found digital photography to be pliable to an almost boundless extent. Of course the abandon you have to change the values of pixels has a different kind of limit by producing images that have no redeeming qualities what so ever. From that experience of course one should learn just because you can do something does not mean you should.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 18, 2009 0 comments

An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about some who cling to film reveals as much about life as it does about photography. One quote in particular caught my attention and got me thinking. “With digital, you’re only as good as your Photoshop technician,” Mark said. “He’ll take heads off bodies and switch them around. It’s a totally different medium.”, followed by another concluding statement regarding those who still cling to film, “-we’re a dying breed.”

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 14, 2009 0 comments

Although “free market” self-governance may seem to smack of a political issue, its application affecting technology business has had an affect that has been to no one’s advantage. What I am alluding to is a well known example, the old fight for dominance between Sony Beta and VHS and the recent similar competition with Blu-Ray’s win for HD-DVD media dominance. In the Beta/VHS outcome the lower cost but inferior recording technology won and users, as well as VCR business suffered as a result. it is too early to tell if Blu-Ray dominance will be a loss for all sides, consumers and producers alike, but history forgotten has a habit of repeating itself.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 10, 2009 0 comments

From what the blogosphere reflected from Las Vegas Photo Marketing Association show was as discouraging as what most of the news media has been about of late. Fewer people on the floor of the show and a dearth of new higher-end dSLR camera models. Many of the point-and-shoot cameras offered had already been introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. In other words there did not seem to be much confidence expressed by either the vendors or the press on hand. But really with retail camera stores becoming fewer year after year undercut by Walmart and other box stores, and even chain giants like Circuit City closing its doors, what purpose do “closed to the public” sales shows like PMA serve any more? Other than to keep a tradition going and have an excuse to schmooze with old friends, I don’t get it.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 05, 2009 0 comments

I am an admitted oddball, as well as a gadfly, so it is not unusual that the Apple product announcements today had me rather enthused by a new version of the Mac Mini computer. I have been favorable to Mac Mini’s since first introduced, and the last version I believe is the best choice for a digital photography enthusiast on a budget. And, with the new upgrade, chiefly much more powerful Nvidia graphics, which in previous models was maybe the weakest aspect of performance in terms of digital photography processing. But why this odd, ultra small Apple Mac? First at $599 as the entry level price it’s affordable even if that does not include a keyboard or mouse, and you have to also add a display. And that you have to choose a display is a great advantage, because for digital photography it is probably more important factor than the computer that’s running the display. Also new from Apple is a new compact wired USB keyboard similar to the recent and current but smaller Apple keyboard that are the best I have used. As for a mouse, you won’t believe this, but the USB Microsoft mouse that is optical and supports both PC’s and Mac’s, is the best both for ergonomics and right click support that is very efficient working with photo image applications. The one thing Microsoft makes that is the best!

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 02, 2009 0 comments

Today I counted 17 news pieces posted on the internet about Epson’s plans to re-release their Leica-like rangefinder digital camera now to be designated the RD-1X. Why are so many waxing eloquent and so obviously excited about this still 6 MPX digital camera. Now if it had a contemporary 12 MPX sensor chip, that would be something this jaded old reprobate would be jumping up and down about it and at the heels of my editor to be on top of the list to test and review it, if in fact it will ever reach these shores. But so far the news is that it is for the Japanese market and that’s all. That makes some sense as the Japanese market is replete with collectors of classic Leica cameras, and other similar era rangefinder cameras that have the same lens mount. So there may be more of a market there that was not tapped by the first go-around of the RD-1.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 25, 2009 0 comments

Maybe it’s just me, my peculiar life and perspective, but I was just reminded by an article about jazz in the New York Times(Home Life With Mikes: A Jazz History by Nate Chinen, February 17, 2009) that included a part of W. Eugene Smith’s life defining a connection between music and a photographer. I suspect the connection is enhanced in my mind in part because in high school my ambition was to be in music as a singer, and I participated in several choral groups as well as took voice lessons for a couple of years. After high school four years in the military intervened and provided the opportunity to become interested and get into photography. I was not sorry I got detoured because having a deep voice myself, and baritones became eclipsed in those years by singers like Johnny Rey and his pop song “Cry”. Regardless, even though I embraced photography completely, I still enjoy music, especially jazz.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 21, 2009 0 comments

That old saw “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, is applicable to the problem of bright LCD displays causing prints that are too dark, but at the moment that ounce is one ounce of gold. The ounce in this case is an LCD display that is not too bright, that can be adjusted, calibrated and profiled to match the range of values in a print. The one brand that currently has that capability as delivered is Eizo with their CG/CE ColorEdge displays. I’ll soon be receiving their least costly, the CG222w that has a list price just under $1,500 for test and review. I realize few of my readers want to spend that much, or can afford to, even for a display that does not cause the prints too dark problem.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 16, 2009 2 comments

In this morning’s in-box was a news release that Samsung has an 8 megapixel camera/cell phone it is releasing to the market after showing it in Spain over the weekend. At this same event Sony-Erricson had a prototype camera/cell phone with 12.1 megapixels. This news immediately asks questions about the possible affects on the digital camera market, but more significantly is this going to further a trend we have already seen of major news events recorded by cell phone users on the scene at the time, and then broadcast around the world. How will this impact culture? Will Facebook and YouTube become even more significant to peoples lives?

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 12, 2009 0 comments

I was just reminded by a list of currently established luminaries in the photography world, that what I knew and the names and images that inspired me during my early, formative years as a photographer are no longer current, replaced by names and images that are unfamiliar and don’t have an iconic role in the photography niche of contemporary culture. What has changed is not the quality of photographic work being done, but that there is now a greater volume of public information in a digitized cultural venue that is huge and rapidly evolving. Today’s photographic talent is simply lost in a deluge of image media of every kind and description. Magazines, newspapers and books still exist but even TV has been displaced partly by the internet and YouTube. How different it is when a movie star, Selma Hayek on a mission to Africa assisting in a campaign to reduce the high death rate of infants, is covered by ABC News in scene where she breast feeding a baby of a local woman who had gone dry. This most humane gesture caught on video has now gone “viral” on the internet. I find nothing to criticize, but in such an instantaneous global village of images, that will soon fade with the next “viral” pop news event, can any image attain a lasting iconic status, much less the person behind the camera who made the image?

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