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May 2006 Archives

May 1, 2006

When good cards go bad, a personal testimonial

By Joe Farace

Memory cards fail for lots of reasons. Sometimes it’s the card’s fault, other times the camera's and often it’s (heaven forbid) the user who creates the problem. Laying blame is irrelevant when you just want your files back.

When my 4GB Lexar Professional CompactFlash card failed, I reached for PhotoRescue software, which will usually recover images from reformatted cards. But it couldn’t solve this particular problem. Next I tried ProSoft Picture Rescue, but it wouldn’t work on this card either. The Image Rescue software included on every Lexar Professional CF card can recover lost or deleted JPEG, TIFF and RAW files from erased, reformatted, or corrupted memory cards, but after recovering just a few files, it stalled.

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The CompactFlash card speedway

How fast is your digital experience?

By Joe Farace

All CompactFlash cards are the same, right? All you need to do is buy whatever is cheap to capture your precious images. Wrong! Just as choosing the correct film for the assignment is important in traditional photography, choosing the right memory card is critical for digital capture. Here’s why:

They’re not all the same speed. Lexar was the first company to rate the speed of its flash memory cards and currently provides ratings for its Platinum and Professional lines. Most other memory card manufacturers also rate their products’ speed, but what does it really mean? The rating refers to the speed that data can be written to or read from a flash memory card.

Photographers often think their memory card’s speed and performance only make an impact when the card is in their camera, but speed impacts workflow when transferring data with a card reader, too. A “sustained speed-rating” is important because it allows the photographer to capitalize on the camera’s built-in functions, such as burst rate and video capture. When a card exhibits inconsistent high-speed performance, either function can be interrupted.

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Soft proofing in Adobe Photoshop

In the May issue of Professional Photographer, color management columnist Andrew Rodney references his column from Sept. 2004, "Soft proofing explained." For your convenience, we provide it here for download (PDF).

Review: Studiotool-Stm STS-Model 1

By Ellis Vener

Sts2 The Studiotool-Stm STS-Model 1  marries the image shaping controls of a monorail view camera—moving either the lens or the sensor/film independently of each other—to a Digital SLR body. You need a Sinar P series view camera (P, P2, C or X chassis, but not the Sinar F variants) and a Canon or Nikon DSLR body. The full kit consisted of a Sinar lens board modified for using Mamiya RZ lenses; flexible Neoprene bellows connecting the Sinar lens standard to a DSLR; a camera-mounting bracket that replaces the removable format frame /groundglass assembly on the rear standard of the Sinar; an Arca-Swiss based quick release plate connecting the DSLR to the bracket; and a depth-of-field sticker marked for the 24x36mm format for use with the built-in Sinar depth-of-field and tilt-angle calculator.  The Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II, a 35mm-style DSLR with a large sensor, is the best choice for the DSLR.

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Review: Aperture 1.1 update

By Andrew Rodney

Five months after releasing Aperture, Apple released version 1.1 to address bugs, RAW conversion issues and add new functionality. After working with 1.1 for a few days, I can say that Apple has now addressed many of my initial concerns with the original product. In addition, Apple has significantly lowered the price of the software from $499 to $299. Those who purchased the original product can receive a $200 coupon to use on the Apple Store.

RAW conversions
My biggest beef with version 1.0 of Aperture was the quality of the RAW conversions. While I felt the initial color rendering was very nice, examining a full resolution rendered image showed nasty artifacts that where soon labeled the “Parquet Floor” effect by users on the Aperture forum. The effect manifests itself in horizontal streaking in many areas of an image and can be seen at high (200%-plus) magnification.  Other users reported white speckles or other artifacts not visible when processing the same RAW data with other RAW converters. Apple spent considerable time looking at customers' RAW files and updated the RAW decoding algorithms in version 1.1.

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May 5, 2006

Aperture 1.1.1 Update

On May 5, Apple released Aperture 1.1.1 Update, reported to fix "several issues related to performance, stability, color correction, and display compatibility." This update is recommended to all Aperture users. 

According to Apple, fixes included with the Aperture 1.1.1 Update are as follows:

- White balance and Tint value controls have been fixed to deliver more accurate results.
- Import from iPhoto has been updated so that you can browse and select specific images from iPhoto Library for import.
- Addresses a bug that was causing Aperture to get the wrong results in a minimum display hardware check, thus preventing users with certain VGA displays from being able to use Aperture.

Note: You must first update to Aperture 1.1 and Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later before installing Aperture 1.1.1.

May 8, 2006

Outdoor Portrait Lighting Lessons

In this and future months, Professional Photographer magazine offers you free lighting tutorials from Web Photo School. To kick off the feature, we've got two great lessons.

Senior Portraits Using Litediscs Outside


Outdoor Bridal Portraits

Please use the Comments section below to let us know if you found the lessons valuable and to offer topics for future lighting tutorials.

Adobe Announces Camera Raw 3.4

Updated Camera Raw 3.4 Plug-in Now Supports Over 120 Camera Models

Adobe Systems Inc. today announced an update to the Camera Raw plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS2, extending raw file support to eight additional digital camera models. Available as a free download from the Adobe Web site, the Camera Raw 3.4 plug-in builds on Photoshop CS2 RAW file support for digital cameras from leading manufacturers such as Canon, Epson, Leaf, Olympus, Pentax and Samsung.

New cameras supported by Adobe Camera Raw 3.4 plug-in and DNG Converter include Canon EOS 30D, Epson R-D1s, Leaf Aptus 65 and Aptus 75, Olympus EVOLT E-330 and SP-320, Pentax *ist DL2 and Samsung GX-1S.

The Adobe Camera Raw 3.4 plug-in requires Photoshop CS2, Photoshop Elements 3.0 or Photoshop Elements 4.0 (Macintosh or Windows) and can be downloaded for free by going to the Adobe Web site at www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html.

May 9, 2006

Painter tips from Karen Sperling

Blending the "Smart" Way

Corel Painter IX.5, a free download from the Corel site for owners of Painter IX, has some nifty new palettes for speeding up the steps for turning photos into paintings.

The new Smart Blur feature streamlines the process of blending, which many photographers use to give faces a painterly look. Blending involves painting stroke-by-stroke with one of the Blenders' category brushes. Now Smart Blur does the blending for you. Here is a photo by Mary Wynn Ball before and after Smart Blur was applied.


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Art of Photography hits SoCal

200605bc_artophotogburma This spring, San Diego boasts more than nice scenery. The 2006 “Art of Photography Show” was culled from 9,535 images submitted by 2,700 artists around the world, in the largest art competition in the city’s history. Arthur Ollman, director of the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, was charged with choosing the 100 best images for an exclusive presentation. He actually picked 104, for a collection that thrills event organizers.

Caption (right): "Suspended, Burma 2005," Monica Denevan, 1st Place

There were no categories for the exhibition. Instead, organizers asked artists to submit images that excited them. The only guiding principle was the exhibition’s theme and the title of the show, the “Art of Photography.”


Caption (above): "Nan on Porch," Craig Johnson, Honorable Mention

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May 12, 2006

Review: Samsung Digimax Pro815

200605bc_pro815 By Joe Farace

Out of the box

At first glance, the Samsung Digimax Pro815 looks exactly like what is: a fixed lens, EVF (electronic view finder) SLR. Picking it up, you’ll see that it's a solid piece with excellent build quality. At 3.5 inches, the Pro815 features the largest LCD currently available on a digital camera. When you're shooting portraits, the large screen makes it easy for a subject to see how they look and is better and faster than any Polaroid test print you’ve used in the past. You can show it to a subject and ask “how do you like your hair?” and the screen is big enough for them to know the answer.

The 3.5-inch LCD uses Samsung’s Transmissive with Micro Reflective technology, but as far as I could tell presents all of the same advantages and disadvantages of any other preview screen. The screen lets you see a histogram for checking exposure, and you can superimpose a “rule of thirds” grid for composition that might be helpful for keeping horizon lines straight.

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May 15, 2006

Gyroscope Interactive Photography use REALVIZ Stitcher for virtual tour of ‘The O.C.’

Petros3 California-based Gyroscope Interactive Photography is a leader in TV show virtual tours, and has produced countless QTVR tours for shows such as; The West Wing, Beverly Hills 90210, That 70s Show, 7th Heaven, Charmed, Pasadena, 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Young & the Restless, and The OC. Founded by Tim Petros in 1996, many Gyroscope projects have been with the entertainment industry, for clients like Warner Bros., Disney Online, Fox Interactive and Buena Vista Pictures.

Photo: Tim Petros of Gyroscope Interactive Photography

"A primary goal of Gyroscope Interactive Photography,” explains Petros “is to develop useful commercial applications for interactive images, beyond the simple capability of just being able to look around 360º;  i.e. using a 360ºinteractive image as a visual ‘browser’ or selection tool to trigger further events, such as selecting a product in a store, or an item on the set of your favorite TV show, in order to purchase that item or get more information about it.”

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Call for entries: 2006 O'Reilly Photoshop Cook-Off Contest

Fire up Adobe Photoshop This Summer and Get Cooking

All-Star Judges Includes Katrin Eismann, Deke McClelland, Bert Monroy, Eddie Tapp, Vincent Versace, and more

O'Reilly Media today announced The 2006 O’Reilly Photoshop Cook-Off, a contest featuring eighteen top Photoshop experts as judges, including Mikkel Aaland, Katrin Eismann, Harris Fogel, Tim Grey, Deke McClelland, Bert Monroy, Eddie Tapp, Vincent Versace, and John Beardsworth, among others. O'Reilly is aiming to inspire creativity and discover new and promising talent from the ranks of the 4,000,000 plus Photoshop users. The winners will be recognized with awards and fabulous prizes which will be presented at an event at PhotoPlus Expo in New York on November 2, 2006.


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May 17, 2006

Photons to Ink Workshop

June 24-25, 2006 in New York City
The Lifecycle of a Digital Photograph, with Katrin Eismann and Jack Reznicki

Katrin Eismann (Photoshopdiva and bestselling author) and Jack Reznicki (award-winning photographer and popular instructor) are pleased to announce a new workshop — Photons to Ink an information-packed and fun-filled weekend workshop that addresses:

  • Capturing, processing and refining digital files.
  • Using Photoshop to make your images look their very best
  • Making inkjet prints that are truly WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get!

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About May 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in May 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2006 is the previous archive.

June 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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