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September 2006 Archives

September 1, 2006

Training: Secrets to Selling and Publishing Photography

Lyndalogo200_1 As a special bonus for Professional Photographer readers, lynda.com has granted free access to the first six sections of Scott Bourne's Secrets to Selling and Publishing Photography training series.

Scott Bourne, a professional photographer with over 30 years' experience, identifies his tried and true methods for starting and maintaining a successful career as a photographer. In Secrets to Selling and Publishing Photography, Scott explains how to make a profitable living in this demanding field by developing a professional identity, setting realistic goals, getting publicity, finding customers, getting published, and working with agents.

Go to Scott Bourne's Secrets to Selling and Publishing Photography

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School of Visual Arts to offer Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography

Press Release—The School of Visual Arts (SVA) has been authorized by the New York State Education Department to offer a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Digital Photography beginning in the fall of 2007. The new one-year degree program addresses the technical needs of experienced photographers who are looking to advance their skills in digital image capture, management and high-quality output, or make a career change into the field of digital photography. The program will be chaired by Katrin Eismann, who is currently on the faculty of the BFA Computer Art Department and the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at SVA. Eismann is a computer artist, author and educator specializing in digital photography.


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Painter tips from Karen Sperling

200609bc_sperljuly06wcphotPainting watercolor hair

By Karen Sperling

In Corel Painter IX.5 I used Digital Watercolor’s New Simple Water and New Simple Blender to turn this photo by Scott Stulberg (left) into this Winslow Homer-style watercolor painting (below).

Caption: Photo ©2006 Scott Stulberg

I made some adjustments to get brush strokes that blend more like watercolors, based on some discoveries by watercolorist Nomi Wagner. I changed the Stroke Type from Single to Rake in the General palette (Window > Brush Controls > General palette) and moved the Opacity slider to 20% and the Wet Fringe slider to 50% in the Property Bar. (You can also highlight the fields where you see the numbers, type in the values, and press return/enter.)


Caption: Painting ©Karen Sperling

I also accessed the Angle palette (Brush Controls > Angle palette) and moved the Squeeze slider to 39% and the Angle slider to 199 degrees.

The secret to painting hair is just to suggest it rather than paint it strand by strand. Painting the girl’s hair was a three-step process.

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Finessing Soft Light for Fashion

200609bc_wpsfashionlight In this and future months, Professional Photographer magazine offers our readers free lighting tutorials from Web Photo School.

Project Runway is one of the hottest shows on television and New York Fashion Week begins Sept. 8. What better time to brush up on the haute couture of photographic technique by exploring the use of delicate, soft, flattering light?

This month's lesson covers the advantages of using stylists, setting up a white background sweep, setting up and positioning lighting elements, and using lighting ratios to knock out the background naturally.

Go to Finessing Soft Light for Fashion at Web Photo School.

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Pro Review: Pentax K100D

200609bc_pentk100d By Ron Eggers

Pentax has spent the last 80 years building its reputation in photography. The first 35mm camera I bought, which I got in 1971 at a PX while in the service, was a Honeywell Pentax SP500, a less expensive version of the popular Spotmatic. Over the years I added other bodies and lenses. I shot the heck out of those cameras for the next five or six years. After that, I used them as my back-up system for another decade or so. While I don't use it anymore, I still have the SP500 and it still works.

I'm not sure if any company is producing camera equipment that would last that long nowadays, but I've shot extensively with all of Pentax's digital single lens reflex cameras, and they hold up very well.

The Pentax K100D, is a compact, light-weight DSLR camera with a 6.1 megapixel CCD that's targeted at consumers, but would do well for certain professional applications. It includes a number of advanced features, most notably, a proprietary Shake Reduction (SR) image-stabilization system.


Caption: 1/250 second at f/13, ISO 200, aperture priority, pattern metering. ©2006 Ron Eggers
Right-click the image and Save Link As or Download Image File (or similar command) to download the full-size file (5.26MB).

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September 15, 2006

Kodak introduces enhanced Portra color negative films

Ehanced films have "finer grain, spectacular skin tones, vivid color and ideal scanning permormance"

Press Release
—Eastman Kodak Company today introduced enhanced versions of its iconic Kodak Professional Portra color negative film family, comprising 160 VC, 160 NC, 400 VC and 400 NC film. These films help professional photographers create stunning images with finer grain, spectacular skin tones, and improved scanning performance for greater enlargement capability. Plus, Portra 160VC and Portra 400VC films now provide a more ideal combination of higher color saturation and lower contrast for optimal performance in high-color applications. 

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New Kodak image sensor powers Leica M8 digital camera

200609bc_kodaksensor_1 Press ReleaseEastman Kodak Company is extending its partnership with Leica Camera AG to provide image sensors for the newly announced Leica M8. The new Kodak KAF-10500 image sensor was developed specifically for use with the M8, and marks Kodak’s second collaboration with Leica, building on the success of Kodak’s interaction with Leica on the Leica Digital-Module-R.

The first digital camera to use the Leica viewfinder system, the Leica M8 extends the Leica M series into the digital world. By working closely with Leica, Kodak designed and optimized the new image sensor to meet the demanding needs of Leica photographers.

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Off The Wall shuttered by tax agency

According to reports published in the Regina Leader-Post newspaper, Off the Wall Productions appears to have been declared insolvent and had its accounts frozen by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you have paid for, but not received, merchandise from Off the Wall it appears unlikely that you will be able to obtain either a refund or the merchandise. Professional Photographers of America has received reports that Off the Wall's shipping company is holding all of the merchandise in its possession as collateral for funds owed to it by Off the Wall.

If you paid for your order by credit card, you may wish to contact the card issuer to see if it is possible to have the charge removed from your account. The telephone number listed on Off the Wall's Web site has been "temporarily disconnected."

PPA will continue to offer updates on this matter as they become available. See the original story: "Regina firm closes doors"

Canon to release new 10-megapixel PowerShot G7 in October

200609bc_canong7 Press Release—Canon’s PowerShot G7 digital camera, the new flagship of Canon’s popular fleet of PowerShot digital cameras will be available in stores beginning in October, with an estimated selling price of $599.99.* 

The 10-megapixel PowerShot G7 harks back to the look and feel of classic Canon cameras. From its retro “wet black matte finish,” leather-toned grip and the detailed knurling and analog-style “click-click” of the camera’s top side ISO Speed Dial and Shooting Mode Dial, to the  metallic accents of the body’s aluminum-finish parts and metallic-finish bayonet ring, this PowerShot G7 conveys a sense of “camera-ness” rarely encountered in the world of digital photography. Photo panache and feel appeal not withstanding, the PowerShot G7 remains true to the G-Class tradition by offering an array of the industry’s advanced photographic features.

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September 19, 2006

TetherGRIP Pro Secures Cables and Connections

200610bc_tethergrip Press Release—A new cable management device called TetherGRIP Pro is designed to support the cables of your tethered camera system, thus alleviating stress on the camera’s ports. Not limited just to digital cameras, TetherGrip has benefits for film camera users as well. TetherGRIP can be used for PC/sync cords, remote release cables, and camera power supplies.

The device’s camera-side quick-release connector loops through the camera’s L-bracket, D-ring or hand/neck strap mount, while the adjustable grip holds cables in position. It offers a refined and portable solution ideal for on-location carts, studio editing suites and laptop-to-camera tethers.

Look for an upcoming review of TetherGRIP Pro in Bonus Content.

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Adobe Announces Camera Raw 3.5 and Updates DNG Converter

Updated Camera Raw Plug-in and DNG Converter Provides Support for Over 125 Camera Models with New Cameras from Kodak, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony

Press Release (Sept. 19, 2006)—Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced an update to the Camera Raw plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS2, extending RAW file support to five additional camera models. Available as a free download from Adobe's Web site, the Camera Raw 3.5 plug-in builds on the RAW file support integrated in Photoshop CS2 for digital cameras from leading manufacturers including Nikon, Kodak, Panasonic and Sony. Adobe today also announced that the DNG Converter is available as a Universal Binary, allowing it to perform natively on Macintosh Intel-based computers. The free Adobe DNG Converter, which translates all Photoshop-supported RAW photo formats into the universal .DNG file format, gives photographers a single unified file format for archiving RAW files.

The camera RAW functionality in the Adobe digital imaging software line provides fast and easy access to the RAW image formats produced by many leading professional and mid-range digital cameras. Camera Raw 3.5 allows professional photographers to easily manipulate RAW files without sacrificing any image quality. Professional photographers can more quickly and easily import and manipulate RAW data, saving time while increasing artistic control and flexibility.

With this update, Camera Raw 3.5 and the DNG Converter now support more than 125 different cameras. New cameras supported by Adobe Camera Raw 3.5 plug-in and DNG Converter include Nikon D2Xs, Kodak EasyShare P712, Panasonic DMC-FZ50 and DMC-L1, and Sony A100. 


The Adobe Camera Raw 3.5 plug-in requires Photoshop CS2, Photoshop Elements 3.0, Photoshop Elements 4.0 or the recently announced Photoshop Elements 5.0.  The plug-in is available with the purchase of Photoshop Elements 5.0 or can be downloaded for free by going to the Adobe Web site at www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html.  The updated Adobe DNG Converter is available today as a free download at www.adobe.com/dng.

September 26, 2006

Lensbabies Launches Lensbaby 3G

PHOTOKINA, Cologne, Germany (Press Release)—Today Lensbabies, LLC launched its third generation selective focus Single Lens Reflex (SLR) lens, Lensbaby 3G, introducing new features that dramatically expand the Lensbaby product family’s capabilities.

The Lensbaby 3G SLR lens allows photographers to lock the Lensbaby in a desired bent position simply by pressing a button. Then, using a traditional barrel focus mechanism, photographers can do fine focusing and precisely place the sweet spot of sharp focus before pressing the shutter release.  The Original Lensbaby lens and the Lensbaby 2.0 lens require the photographer to manually hold the Lensbaby in a bent position while pressing the shutter release.   

Professional Photographer was fortunate to get to try one of the prototypes, and the new design works wonderfully. Simply move the barrel of the lens to the position you want, push a button to lock it into place, and then you can fine tune with the focusing rails (which we like to call the Swedish Furniture Legs) and focusing ring. With this new design that moves the focal point where you want it and locks it in, you can create gorgeous, reliable effects with a camera mounted on a tripod.

Lensbaby selective focus SLR camera lenses take photos with one area in sharp focus, with that ‘sweet spot’ surrounded by graduated blur.  Photographers can move the sweet spot of sharp focus anywhere in the photo by bending the flexible lens tubing. 


Continue reading "Lensbabies Launches Lensbaby 3G" »

Photokina Report _ 2006.09.26 17:50PM EST

Ron Eggers is in Cologne, Germany, reporting from Photokina. We'll post his updates on Bonus Content as they come in.

This is a radically different Photokina. Even before the show started, it was obvious that things were going to be different this year. The entire West Messe complex, which served as the heart of the show in past years, had been gutted. Only the exterior walls were left standing. It looked like a bomb had hit it. It reminded me a little of pictures I had seen of Dresden after World War II, just the shells of the buildings.  This year, all the action was east of the tracks that divide the massive Messe grounds.

For show goers, particularly people like me, who have attended Photokina for many many years, the main impact was totally confusion. Asking directions didn't help, since many of the people who should have known what was going on were more confused than the show-goers. It was amazing the amount of misinformation that was out there, to the point that finding some things that should have taken minutes took hours. That decreased productivity for anybody who wasn't anchored to an exhibit booth.

The show is a lot more low-key this year than it has been in the past. Many of the companies with new product announcements prereleased their introductions, so much of the anticipation that has been a traditional part of Photokina just isn't there.

But that doesn't mean there isn't much to see at the show. With more than 1600 manufacturers, distributors and suppliers from 45 countries, showing off their wares in 11 massive exhibit halls, it could still be called the center of the photographic universe, at least for the week.

—Ron Eggers

September 27, 2006

Extensis Releases free updates for Portfolio 8

Free update adds additional functionality and support for Mac and Windows versions of Portfolio 8.

Press Release—Extensis, a division of Celartem Inc., today released free updates to Portfolio 8, the digital asset management (DAM) solution for creative professionals. The updates bring improved stability and performance, updated RAW camera file support, added InDesign CS2 support, and a QuarkXPress 7 Drag-and-Drop support filter for Mac users. Registered owners of Portfolio 8 are eligible to receive the free upgrades immediately through the Extensis website at http://www.extensis.com/portfolio.

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New Epson Stylus Pro 3800 announced

200609bc_epson3800 17-Inch format printer features new print head with breakthrough screening technology, auto-sharing black inks and new sleek, space-saving design for $1,295

Press Release—Epson has introduced the Epson Stylus Pro 3800, incorporating a compact, 17-inch wide printer design, a new screening algorithm and award-winning Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink technology. According to Epson, this printer delivers print quality and longevity unsurpassed by any other inkjet printer. As many professional photographers have wished for, a new auto-sharing black ink technology allows for automatic switching between photo and matte black ink modes to maximize image quality on a wide variety of media types. Available (December 2006) for an estimated street price of $1,295, this sleek and sophisticated printer is engineered to mark another turning point in the history of printing technology for professional photography, graphic design and prepress proofing.

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Photokina Report _ 2006.09.27 16:51 EST

Things are picking up for the second day of Photokina 2006. There are a lot more people and there seems to be a lot more interest in what's being shown. Even vendors in some of the less visited halls felt better about today.

Apple's major upgrade to its Aperture image editing program has gotten a lot of attention. Version 1.5 is a major upgrade. Someone had suggested that Apple keep the revisions in sync with actual aperture numbers, which would have made this 1.4 (which is the aperture that's on the box).

Several new digital SLRs were rolled out, including Fujifilm's new FinePix S5 Pro. It has a maximum resolution of 12.3 megapixels (if you count both the S and R pixels), an expanded dynamic range, less noise, a larger buffer and Wi-Fi image transfer. There was a lot of interest in Canon's EOS 400D (the European version of the Digital Rebel XTi) and Nikon's D80, both of which had been pre-released. But this was the first show where they were available. Panasonic has the Lumix L1 that has the look and feel of a rangefinder. It's paired with the Leica D 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 aspherical lens, the first Leica lens with optical image stabilization. Targeted at pros, it should be interesting to play with.

Sigma's new SD14 digital SLR utilizes the Foveon 14.1 megapixel X3 chip. The company is going to be using the same chip in its soon-to-be-released DP1 consumer digital. That should make it the highest resolution consumer digital on the market.

Several companies have introduced the new 4GB SDHC memory cards, including SanDisk and Kingston. It's important to remember that, while these cards offer higher speeds and higher capacities, they're not compatible with older devices that take SD cards. SanDisk also introduced 12- and 16GB capacity Extreme III CompactFlash cards to their line of professional products.

—Ron Eggers

September 29, 2006

Dalsa chip incorporated in Seitz 6x17 panoramic digital camera

Press Release—Dalsa Corporation, an international high performance semiconductor and electronics company, announced that its custom designed CCD image sensor chips and support electronics have been successfully incorporated into a new series of extremely high resolution professional camera products being unveiled this week at the Photokina trade show by Swiss camera manufacturer Seitz Phototechnik AG.

The high performance image sensors, which are based on Dalsa’s Time Delay and Integration (TDI) technology, allow the Seitz cameras to take highly detailed medium format, 6x17 panoramic, and 360 degree panoramic images, all at record-breaking speeds and exceptionally high light sensitivity. The Seitz 6x17 Digital, one of several models being launched at Photokina, can capture a stunning 160-megapixel, 16-bit, panoramic image in one second, with an equivalent ISO rating of 500 to 10,000.


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Tapp and Zucker launch 2006 Digital Photo Tour

O'Reilly author Eddie Tapp takes his digital photography know-how on the road, stopping at 18 cities across the county starting early next month. Well-known portrait and wedding photographer Monte Zucker joins him on this educational journey. The seminars give serious students, enthusiasts, and professionals an opportunity to learn from the experts who have influenced successful photographers for over five decades.

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Epson Print Academy expands schedule and updates program

School will travel to five more cities offering updated tracks for both professionals and advanced amateurs featuring the Epson Stylus Pro 3800

Press Release—Based on the ongoing success of the award-winning Epson Print Academy traveling school, Epson added new dates and cities to the schedule. Additionally, the program’s content will be updated to reflect Epson’s newest breakthrough in printing technology with information about how to get the best results from the Epson Stylus Pro 3800, announced worldwide at Photokina.

The new expanded schedule includes:

  • Phoenix: Oct. 28, 2006
  • Salt Lake City: Nov. 11, 2006
  • Atlanta: Dec. 2, 2006
  • Los Angeles: Jan. 20, 2007
  • New York: Jan 28. 2007

Continue reading "Epson Print Academy expands schedule and updates program" »

Adobe Lightroom Beta 4 available

New round of enhancements in latest Adobe Photoshop Lightroom beta unites feature set for Macintosh and Windows versions

Press Release—
Adobe Systems Inc. today announced an update to the public beta of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software at the Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany. Available immediately for download from Adobe Labs, this update unites the product feature set for Windows and Macintosh platforms, giving professional photographers a new way to import, manage and showcase large volumes of digital photographs. More than 325,000 people have opted to try Lightroom during the beta period and feedback has been fueled by over 3,400 of them sharing input in Adobe online forums. The final version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is expected to ship in early 2007.

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Artistry Backdrops for Photographs

Virtual backdrops designed by Laurence Gartel and Karen Sperling with step-by-step instructions for combining figures with the backdrops in Adobe Photoshop or in Corel Painter

200609bc_artbackdrop01 Press Release—Corel Painter expert Karen Sperling, founder of Artistry magazine online, has introduced Artistry Backdrops for Photographs CDs. Designed by Sperling and renowned artist Laurence Gartel, the Artistry Backdrops for Photographs provide photographers with something new and different to offer to their clients. Just open an Artistry backdrop in Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter or any other image editing software, drop in the figure.

Included on the Artistry Backdrops for Photographs CDs are step-by-step instructions for combining photos with the backdrops in either Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. You don't have to own Painter to use the backdrops on the Artistry CDs. The tutorials include step-by-step instructions and illustrations for selecting the figure to be combined with the backdrop; changing the backdrop colors to suit the photos or a color scheme; masking hair using brushes; and adding drop shadows.

Caption: Photos by Mary Wynn Ball. Backdrops by Laurence Gartel and Karen Sperling.

Continue reading "Artistry Backdrops for Photographs" »

Toyo introduces 23D view camera for digital photography

200609bc_toyo23d Press Release—Toyo has introduced a new state-of-the-art view camera that is designed exclusively for digital photography. The new Toyo 23D has been developed from the ground up to meet the needs of today’s discriminating photographer.

Compatible with all current digital backs, the camera is available with either a Graflok adapter for use with backs featuring Live Video (such as Leaf) or a sliding adapter for those digital backs that do not. The Graflok adapter allows a digital back to be securely attached to the Toyo 23D just as if it were being attached to a roll-film camera. The sliding adapter offers two positions: one for focus and one for recording the image. Simply make your camera movements in the focus position and slide the back into the capture position to take the shot.

The Toyo 23D works with all view camera lenses, as well as those designed for higher resolution of digital backs. Standard lens boards will be available #0 & #1 shutters. There are also future plans for additional lens boards to support Hasselblad and Mamiya lenses.

About September 2006

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

August 2006 is the previous archive.

October 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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