“Tools, Techniques & Creativity”

Readers of Shutterbug will recognize a change in this issue, one that has been in the works for a while and that came to fruition through the energy and effort of all the staff, especially Art Director Richard Leach. Our aim in this design change is to continue to bring you all the information and images Shutterbug has delivered in the past with a fresh look and approach. We made a similar effort on our website a few months back, led by Ron Leach, web editor, Jon Iverson, and Jill Rahn, all of whom continue to make this one of the most exciting and dynamic photo/imaging websites today. Recently we added a special Gallery feature to the site, where you can post images and give and take critiques from visitors. I encourage you to join in, register and make regular visits to www.shutterbug.com, where lively debate, new daily features, and our rich archive of articles, features, and tutorials await you.

All of what's happening here represents a continuing evolution in the magazine and a respect for the interplay between print and web, and how each serves a role in the growth of the Shutterbug community. That community encompasses all who are serious about their photography and see it as both avocation and profession, as a dynamic visual art that serves as a principal form of expression in their lives. It includes the varied forms of photography practiced today, including those by digital and film photographers, as well as the many ways in which photographers communicate their creative vision. The so-called "digital darkroom" has made a profound change in both the engagement and heightened artistic vision of all photographers, whether those images are captured digitally or through scanned film.

We will continue to bring you Test Reports on topnotch equipment written by experienced photographers, How-To articles that cover everything from lighting to software techniques, tips on how to find the best gear, and profiles of photographers who have something special to show us all in their images and approach. Join us throughout the year and I guarantee that you'll always find something to provoke your creativity and add to your knowledge about this ever-changing art and craft.

As this issue goes to press we are preparing to head out to the annual Photo Marketing Association show in Orlando, the biggest photo/imaging trade show in the US, held this year close to world headquarters in Titusville. We have a major complement of reporters attending who will cover the show floor to bring you reports on products, services, and technological changes that may well affect all photographers in the year and years ahead. Our staff will be looking at the latest cameras, lighting solutions, software, lenses, portable products for on-the-go photographers, and, of course, our "wacky and weird" stuff, items that only a photographer could love.

Yes, we put the time and effort and assignment of resources into this coverage because we know that gear is important, but we do so to also take a comprehensive look at the state of photography today. We know that all these tools are means to an end, but also recognize that in many ways the practice of our art and craft has become increasingly defined by those tools. New products and developments continue to streamline what has become known as "workflow," and we all look forward to the day when time spent in making and seeing images is not overwhelmed by the mechanics of the digital realm. That's why our new logo includes "Tools, Techniques & Creativity," our watchword for the mission we strive to accomplish in each and
every issue.