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February 2007 Archives

February 1, 2007

Product Feature: Epson Perfection V750-M Pro

Jack Reznicki brings legacy files back to life with Epson Perfection V750-M Pro scanner

Like most photographers, Jack Reznicki has seen his work evolve, but lately he’s been on close terms with some of his earlier photographs. That doesn’t mean he’s reverting to what he calls his Norman Rockwell days. He’s just found a more lucrative way to breathe new life into his original body of commercial and editorial work.

“I’ve always wanted to revive my legacy files, but I couldn’t cost-effectively bring those boxes of chromes into the digital age and still get the image quality I wanted,” said Reznicki. He found the answer when he started scanning his 35mm and medium-format transparencies with the Epson Perfection V750-M Pro flatbed scanner in his own studio.

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Photo ©Jack Reznicki 

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PPA provides judges for Staples nationwide photo contest

Staples Copy & Print Centers has launched its first nationwide “Hometown Views” Photo Contest. The grand prize winner will be selected by Staples with the assistance of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Staples is offering amateur photographers a chance to have their photos viewed and sold to countless customers in Staples stores throughout the country.

Professional photographers are prohibited from entering, but you can encourage friends, relatives and clients who are photography enthusiasts to enter. Each contest entrant will receive a coupon for one free big color poster redeemable at any Staples Copy & Print Center inside every Staples store. Approximately 40 regional finalists will be selected and will receive prizes, which may include Staples gift cards and royalties of up to $5,000 from photos sold in over 1,300 Staples stores. One grand prize winner will receive an “Ultimate Photo Vacation to Iceland.”   

Log on to www.staples.com/hometownviews for contest details, how to submit an entry and a complete list of rules and eligibility requirements. The 40 finalists and grand prize winner will be announced in May. The deadline to enter Staples “Hometown Views” Photo Contest is March 15, 2007. 

Book Review: "Digital Photography Expert Techniques" by Ken Milburn

200702bc_milburncovdpet Reviewed By Ron Eggers

There are countless photography and digital imaging books on the market, and the list is growing all the time. While some do a good job at covering the topics they're supposed to, few provide as complete an overview of their subject as Ken Milburn's "Digital Photography Expert Techniques," published by O'Reilly.

It is comprehensive, informative and, just as important, very readable. It contains a lot of technical information, but it doesn't get bogged down in mind-numbing photographic formulas and incomprehensible computer jargon. The first time around, it's best to work through it one chapter after another as it's written. After that, it works as well as a reference book as it does an instructional text.

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Pro Review: Lowepro Speedster and Voyager S camera straps

By Ellis Vener

Recently I had a chance to try out two new camera straps from Lowepro, the venerable maker of camera carrying equipment. The Speedster is a relatively narrow woven nylon strap designed for use by “active photographers or photojournalists.” The Voyager S, “ideal for adventure photographers” is somewhat wider, padded, and made from softer stretchy neoprene. Both do a fine job of holding a large Canon DSLR and heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

The bits that actually connect to your camera body detach via a double-sided buckle mechanism. The buckle design is identical in both, so you could, if inclined, remove the strap to get it out of the way while your camera is on a tripod, easily swap straps for different types of use, or use the same strap on more than one camera. The Voyager strap is a fixed 41.3 inches long while the Speedster adjusts from 38.5 to 45.25 inches.

Caption: The Voyager S (left) and the Speedster (right).

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Product Feature: Lensbaby

By Bob Coates

My wife tends to refer to any new lens purchase as “adding another toy to my collection of lenses.” The Lensbaby was the first lens I brought home and actually admitted that it belonged in that category. Within a couple of days I was using it for a totally different look for some of my clients and … began using it to make money.

The Lensbaby sounds like something you might wrap around your lens for protection. Instead, it’s an inexpensive piece of gear that protects you from getting bored with your photography. Think of the Lensbaby as a cross between a Holga and a Diana that’s been put on steroids.

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All images (except Lensbaby 3G product shot) ©Bob Coates

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Product Review: PhotoGlow

200702bc_photoglow1 By Martha Blanchfield

The PhotoGlow backlit frame (patent pending) represents a coalescence of progressive science and artistic expression. Using a technology derived from his work with lasers for medicine, optical physicist Ed Sinofsky has created a line of backlit picture frames that brings eye-popping vibrancy, energy and resonance to digital photographs.

Sinofsky has made a career out of the manipulation of light. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona Optical Science Center, he designed and developed a fiber-optic cylindrical light distributor (the Lightstic) widely used in an array of medical procedures. Sinofsky’s mastery of sculpting light into desired shapes for various medical applications led him to develop a way to uniformly and efficiently light a flat plate of any size. And so PhotoGlow was born. With PhotoGlow's illumination you get the display type color-pop that no print can attain.

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Pro Review: Lowepro SlingShot 300 AW

200702bc_slingshot300 By Ellis Vener

While I understand the utilitarian purpose of backpacks, I’ve never been a huge fan of photo backpacks for a simple reason: You have to stop and take the thing off to get the lens or gadget you want. And when you take it off of your shoulders, it has to lie it down somewhere. If you are outside, the part that will be next to your back in a few minutes is down in the dirt. Or the mud. Or the snow and slush. Or if you are really unlucky, all four! It’s even worse if you are doing industrial photography. This all makes for a fine argument for traveling very light, but unfortunately that isn’t always possible.

Lowepro’s SlingShot family of bags (three model sizes: the 100, 200 and 300) are designed to keep the gear on you and still make it accessible. How do they do it? By eliminating one strap and having the remaining strap run from the upper right to the lower left corner, the bag can rotate from your back to your chest by pulling it around your torso from underneath your left arm. You open up the main compartment via the U-shaped zipper track and pull the camera directly out. Smaller items need a little more care when removing or inserting, but it isn’t anything you won’t get the hang of in a minute or less.

Putting the SlingShot on is akin to strapping on a Gibson Les Paul guitar, but infinitely less cool. Getting it off is a bit more difficult, and if you wear glasses, 8 times out of 10 the strap will snatch them off your face. But other than that the bag works well.

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Photodex introduces ProShow MediaSource, including royalty-free audio

200702bc_proshowmedia_1 ProShow MediaSource collections provide photographers with royalty-free content, including audio, images, templates and more, that can be used in ProShow slide show presentations.

Press ReleasePhotodex Corporation has release the all-new ProShow MediaSource, created specifically for photographers who use ProShow software for their image presentation. Finding and attaining rights to use appropriate, professional sounding music for digital image presentations is a time-consuming chore. ProShow MediaSource features professional content that is easy-to-use and versatile, decreasing slide show production time and increasing the production value of every show. By eliminating the need to create and search for quality content that compliments their photography, photographers can spend less time creating slide shows and more time behind the lens.

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Shooting on the Beach with LitePanels

200702bc_wpsbeachsm Professional Photographer magazine offers our readers free lighting tutorials from Web Photo School.

There are many things to consider when you leave the studio to shoot portraits outside: weather, time of day, and the background to name but a few. With its LitePanel system, Photoflex offers a way to take the control you have in the studio with you on location.

Topics Covered:

  • Assembling an Outdoor Shooting Tent
  • Adjusting the Tripod for Low Angle Shots
  • Programming the Camera Settings
  • Using LitePanels for Fill
  • Balancing Light Outdoors

Go to the Shooting on the Beach with litePanels lesson at Web Photo School.

February 8, 2007

Corel Introduces Painter X

200702bc_corelpainterxbox Next-generation art studio delivers a natural painting and illustration experience unmatched by any other software

Press Release—
Corel Corporation has announced that Corel Painter X, the world's most powerful painting and illustration software, is now available for pre-order from www.corel.com/painterx. The latest version of Corel Painter continues its focus on giving professional artists, designers and photographers a natural painting and illustration experience that is unmatched by any other software.          

Delivering the next-generation art studio, Corel Painter X blurs the line between traditional and digital art like never before. Working closely with professionals including photographers, entertainment artists and commercial designers, the Corel Painter team explored the relationship between the artist's hand and the canvas. As a result, Corel Painter X sets the standard with the introduction of unparalleled performance, new composition tools and the revolutionary RealBristle Painting System that provides an organic painting and illustration experience—right down to the individual bristles on the brush.

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Lensbabies introduces new Creative Aperture Kit

Press ReleaseLensbabies has introduced its new Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit for use with the Lensbaby 3G and Lensbaby 2.0 Single Lens-Reflex (SLR) lenses. Each Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit contains one star-shaped aperture disk, one heart shaped aperture disk, and five blank disks.  Photographers can fashion the blank disks into their own custom shaped apertures using a shaped paper punch (available at craft stores) or a sharp knife.

With the Lensbaby Creative Aperture Disks, points of light in out-of-focus areas of the photo take on the shape of the hole in the aperture disk. If the photographer uses the star-shaped aperture disk, points of light behind the subject appear as glowing stars, giving photographers one more creative tool. 

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Caption: Image taken using the Lensbaby Star Aperture. ©Keri Friedman

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February 9, 2007

Apple offers free Aperture workshops for wedding and event photographers

Registration is first come, first serve; attendees get a free Aperture Tutorial DVD

Apple has announced workshop dates in nine cities, with more to come, to introduce wedding and event photographers to Aperture software. Go to Apple's website for more information or to register online.

Cities and dates:
Feb. 20: Las Vegas (Henderson), Nev.
Feb. 22: Boston (Newton), Mass.
Feb. 26: Kahului Maui, Hawaii
March 1: Miami, Fla.
March 1: Honolulu Oahu, Hawaii
March 5: Long Island (Uniondale), N.Y.
March 13: Los Angeles, Calif.
March 13: Dallas, Texas
March 15: Atlanta, Ga.

Professional Photographer editor lends expertise to The New York Times

Professional Photographer Technical Editor Ellis Vener helps The New York Times' David Pogue bust the megapixel myth

Pro photographers have known for years that megapixels alone do not make the image, but most casual consumers and many enthusiasts make the assumption that more is always better. Still, it's difficult to explain to a client or friend that not only the number of pixels, but the sensor quality and construction, the size of the sensor pixels, the camera's image processor, lens optics and other contributing factors all work together to construct the technical quality of a digital image.

David Pogue, the technology columnist for The New York Times and host of an upcoming TV series "It's All Geek to Me" [beginning in April on Discovery HD and Science Channel], had attempted to  bust the myth for his show. But when he described how he conducted the test on his New York Times blog, many readers pointed out the flaw of his methodology. He had used Adobe Photoshop to down-res the images that he used for the lower-resolution comparison. The test effectively said more about Photoshop than camera sensors.

Ellis Vener, who along with Andrew Rodney serves as a technical editor for Professional Photographer magazine, wrote to Pogue with his suggestion for a test that could isolate the variables to only the number of pixels in the file. Pogue describes Vener's proposed test in the February 8 column: "Using a professional camera (the 16.7-megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II) in his studio, he would take three photos of the same subject, zooming out each time. Then, by cropping out the background until the subject filled the same amount of the frame in each shot, he would wind up with nearly identical photos at three different resolutions: 7 megapixels, 10 and 16.7."

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February 20, 2007

Kingston Icon of Photography: Gerd Ludwig

National Geographic photographer explains how digital photography changed his perspective on his return to Chernobyl 13 years later

Press Release
—This month, Kingston Technology Company, Inc. features images created by photographer Gerd Ludwig while on assignment in Chernobyl for National Geographic Magazine on its Icons of Photography Web site. On his first trek in 1993, seven years after the nuclear reactor meltdown in Russia, Ludwig carried close to 800 rolls of film to document the tragedy. On his most recent visit, he used Kingston CompactFlash Ultimate cards paired with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR camera.

Kingston recognizes the importance of educating and informing photographers of all levels and is proud to offer its Icons of Photography, an online forum showcasing the talents and advice from several of the world’s most respected photographers. Each month the program spotlights an icon and his/her suggestions for managing a shoot, capturing better images and improving workflow.

In this month’s tip, Ludwig discusses how the flexibility and responsiveness of digital technology, particularly with the Kingston CompactFlash Ultimate card, allowed him to recapture Chernobyl in a way that had been previously impossible using film. Hired by National Geographic to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Ludwig returned to the region to document progress.  His images have been seen in the magazine as well as exhibits internationally.

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February 22, 2007

Canon releases EOS 1D Mark III

World’s dastest sigital SLR*, EF 16-35 mm f/2.8 L II USM lens and Speedlite 580EX II flash

Press ReleaseCanon celebrates the 20th anniversary of its top-selling EOS single lens reflex camera system by announcing the EOS-1D Mark III Digital SLR, the world’s fastest digital SLR camera. At 10 frames per second, the 10.1 megapixel EOS-1D Mark III digital SLR can fire huge motor-driven bursts of 110 Large JPEGs or 30 RAW files because it employs the new Dual DIGIC III image processor engine, providing enough computational horsepower to do parallel processing at a rate unmatched by any other digital SLR. The all-new 10.1 megapixel, APS-H size CMOS sensor which is designed and manufactured by Canon, is the most light-sensitive and innovative sensor that Canon has developed to date. It features a new microlens array and a more efficient pixel structure for ultra-low noise, resulting in exceptional image quality and an amazing ISO range of 100 to 3200 with extensions to ISO 50 and ISO 6400. Canon also unveiled several new accessories, including the EF-16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens and the Speedlite 580EX II Flash.

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About February 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in February 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2007 is the previous archive.

March 2007 is the next archive.

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


 
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