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May 2007 Archives

May 1, 2007

Professional Photographer wins GAMMA magazine association awards

Press Release—Professional Photographer magazine, the official magazine of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), received 10 “GAMMA” awards and an honorable mention for its website design from the Magazine Association of the Southeast (MAGS) on April 26, 2007.

Of special note was the Service Journalism Gold award won for the Studio Management Services (SMS) Benchmark Study, made possible through months of research, writing, and editing by PPA's CFO and Director of Studio Management Services Scott Kurkian; Ann Monteith, M.Photog.Cr.Hon.M.Photog.,CPP, ABI, past chairwoman of the board of PPA; Professional Photographer Features Editor Leslie Hunt; and the entire SMS team. The judge described the special report as “compelling, focused, specific, impeccably researched and relevant to its audience.”

For 100 years, Professional Photographer has striven to help readers advance careers in the photographic industry through innovative reporting on the artistic, business, and technological sides of photography. Professional Photographer was awarded four gold awards, three silver, three bronze, and one honorable mention in the GAMMA Awards competition, which recognizes editorial and design excellence in magazine publishing.

2007 GAMMA RESULTS

GOLD
Best Feature: "Senior Style, 3 Ways" by Jeff Kent (Sept. 2006)
Best Service Journalism: "How You Can Make More Money” (Nov. 2006 )
Best Single Cover: Photographed by Greg Gorman/Imaging USA issue. (Jan. 2006)
Best Photography: "Action Packed” Paul Aresu (Dec. 2006)

SILVER
Best Design: November 2006 issue
Best Photography: "Pupil Becomes Master" John Russo (April 2006)
Best Service Journalism: "Hot One Awards" (Jan. 2006)

BRONZE
Best Single Issue: January 2006
Best Feature: "Tough Customer" by Jeff Kent (March 2006)
Best Single Cover: Photography by Matthew Jordan Smith (Nov. 2006)

HONORABLE MENTION
Best Magazine Website

Review Supplement: Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 images

Ron Eggers reviewed the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 in the May issue of Professional Photographer. Here we provide several additional photos and details to show the camera's performance in a variety of settings, subjects and lighting conditions. All images ©2007 Ron Eggers.

Downloadable image details are 500KB or less and were saved using Adobe ImageReady CS2 Save For Web at Quality: 81.

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ACTION
Exposure: 1/160 second at f/10, ISO 100, auto white balance, auto exposure.
Click/right-click here for detail.

Continue reading "Review Supplement: Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 images" »

Pro Review: DxO Optics Pro v4.1

By Thomas White

DxO Optics Pro v4.1 starts with a great concept: analyze the images from professional digital cameras and lenses in combination to determine corrections needed for the RAW capture files. Hasselblad and Leica have both incorporated lens-specific corrections into their digital cameras' raw processing. Most raw converters include camera-specific adjustments to the images they process without taking into account the way that different lenses may affect the captured image. Changing automatic raw processing to correct for known lens aberrations like vignetting, chromatic aberration, or distortion should give a better developed file.

The DxO installer warns that a fast internet connection is required to install the program. To complete the install process you must choose your camera and matching lenses from a list that includes most of Canon and Nikon’s professional and prosumer cameras. The installer then downloads modules for the specific camera body and lens combinations you have chosen and installs only those components. With a 1.5Mbps internet connection at my office installation took 50 minutes for a selection of five camera bodies and eight lenses; using a faster DSL 5.6Mbps connection at my home the same installation required about 15 minutes.

The DxO raw processing engine can be accessed either from a stand-alone program or as a plug-in to Adobe Photoshop (not yet supporting Adobe Photoshop CS3). The stand-alone version can be used in three different processing modes: automatic, guided or expert. Users locate images using the application’s file browser window. The files that you select for processing are bundled into projects. Depending on which run mode you have selected, you choose the appropriate processing settings for your image. Then the program batch processes the images into the final output types of your choice.

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Caption: Though the batch processing performance of DxO Optics Pro v4.1 works exceptionally well, a non-intuitive interface and cryptic documentation make the Expert processing mode difficult to learn. [Click image for larger view.] ©Thomas White

Continue reading "Pro Review: DxO Optics Pro v4.1" »

Pro Review: Image Trends DustKleen and SensorKleen software

Is this what Mom meant when she said you’d clean up in photography?

By Joe Farace

Is dust the bane of your existence? Lady Macbeth a personal hero? Image Trends now offers two applications to get rid of the dust bits that can make an image look so untidy. DustKleen is a dust removal program for files scanned from any media, including negatives, slides or prints. It is designed to identify defects that are not part of the image and remove them without harming the photograph. SensorKleen is a standalone application with a SmartBrush that removes artifacts created by dust on a digital SLR’s imaging sensor. It uses camera and lens metadata to differentiate between content and defects and aims to remove only artifacts while restoring the underlying image content. Both programs are currently Windows-only applications.

DustKleen
Start the dust-busting process by opening a scanned image and selecting Image Types from a pop-up menu that includes choices for Default Scanned Print (B&W), Scanned Print (Black and White Dust), Scanned Negative Film (White Dust), or Scanned Slide (Black Dust). Next, check the Active box in the Automatic Correction section of the attractively designed and functional control panel that floats over your image. DustKleen then automatically finds and removes dust specks. Turn on the highlight button and DustKleen identifies any dust by highlighting it in yellow. If you don’t get it all in the first pass, you can adjust sliders for dust size, amount and aggression. The interface quickly reflects any changes with visible on-screen results and delivered better-than-acceptable performance on my aging Windows XP computer.

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Caption: DustKleen cleans scanned images from negatives, slides, and prints. It automatically detects dust, dirt, and scratches on your scanned image, and lets you optimize results with manual brushes and controls. Unlike most applications, DustKleen’s interface is a floating palette that hovers over an image so you can move it around as you make changes and corrections. [Click image for larger view.] ©2006 Joe Farace

Continue reading "Pro Review: Image Trends DustKleen and SensorKleen software" »

Product Feature: Crumpler Bags Brazillion Dollar Home

By Joan T. Sherwood, senior editor

If you've seen their giant cardboard box castles at a photo trade show, you've probably seen Crumpler Bags. Who can resist all that colorful nylon and the beautifully stacked boxes complete with window spaces designed just to intrigue a weary show-goer?  Walk inside and you're greeted with one funky logo and a lot of confounding model names for undeniably well put together gear bags. The latest model for photographers is the Brazillion Dollar Home.

200705we_brazillion1 The Brazillion Dollar Home is a massive laptop and camera case for the photographer who's built up the back and shoulder muscles to haul a big kit like this and won't use a wheeled bag because there are some places wheels just don't go.

I swear, it looks like it's just a trailer hitch away from the all-purpose versatility of a mobile home. Without the wheels, of course. Don't let the funky, trendy, stylish image fool you, though. These bags are solidly built out of durable material, and the function design is top notch down to the small details. The Brazillion Dollar Bag can hold two DSLRs with lenses, speedlights, and a 17-inch laptop.

Continue reading "Product Feature: Crumpler Bags Brazillion Dollar Home" »

My Life Designs adds charm to photo bags

200704we_mylifebagcharm Press ReleaseMy Life Designs and Gina Alexander have partnered to deliver custom photo bag charms to Gina Alexander customers. For photographers in the My Life Designs Professional Photographer Program who struggle with not being able to customize photo handbags, this is a great way to put your studio logo on the back of the tag, and a photo that complements the bag's image on the front. For the Professional Photographer Program, the bag tag is $38 for a one-sided tag, $48 two-sided. Your customers can not only add a new photo to their bag, but collect and carry various photos with their custom photo bag.

Designed by My Life Designs and sold under the Gina Alexander brand, the new photo bag charm uses My Life Designs proprietary manufacturing process to preserve the photo and makes it resistant to water and sunlight, enabling it to last for generations. The charm is made of solid pewter, measuring 2x1.5 inches, and attaches to any bag with a black grosgrain ribbon.

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Pro Review: Adorama Flashpoint II 320 Monolight

200705we_flashpointii320 Compact size, bargain price for on-location portraiture

By Joe Farace

I’ve always preferred compact monolights for on-location portraiture. Most of my reasons are practical; small lights take up less space, pack well for travel, and cost less than big ones. With their variable flash power output settings, easily replaceable flash tubes and modeling lamps, and built-in slaves, Adorama’s affordable Flashpoint II monolights are clearly designed for professional use. At PMA 2007 the company announced some additions to its Flashpoint II family. The first is the compact Flashpoint II Model 320 that’s engineered for the budget of aspiring pros and professional photographers who make on-location portraits. The Flashpoint II Model 320, which should be available in June, has the kind of features that are expected in a workaday monolight, yet it’s compact, lightweight and delivers the performance that portrait and wedding photographers need to go to work.

Light, as they say, is light
The Flashpoint II Model 320’s main housing is a metal shell trimmed with plastic elements to absorb the kind of abusive handling that usually happens on location. A rear-mounted handgrip allows quick positioning of the head on a light stand and makes it easy to schlep around. The Model 320 features a modeling lamp, continuously variable flash power output, and a built-in slave allowing it to be tripped by another flash, even an on-camera unit if you like. It can also be fired with the supplied sync cord with a mini-jack connector and plugged into to your camera’s PC (Pronto-Compur) outlet. Since some digital SLRs lack a traditional PC connection, the optional ($9.50) Adorama Hot Shoe-to-PC Adapter will solve that problem. More important, flash sync voltage is six volts—so you won’t fry your brand-new digital SLR.

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Lighting a fashion head shot

200705we_wpsfashionhead Professional Photographer magazine offers our readers free lighting tutorials from Web Photo School.

The this lesson from Steve Dantzig provided its own unique set of challenges. The model, Johanna, is a beautiful young lady of Filipino and Spanish descent. Her facial features are soft yet distinctive, and her thick dark brown/black hair is stunning. Dantzig wanted to photograph her in a way that accentuated both aspects of her beauty and create a sense of mystery about her.

Choosing a dark backdrop to emphasize the intrigue, Dantzig shoots with three different films and conducts and entirely unscientific comparison between some of today's finest transparency films.

Topics Covered:

  • Shooting Black on Black
  • Highlight and contrast control
  • Posing and position
  • Comparing films and color

Go to Lighting a Fashion Head Shot lesson at Web Photo School.

May 4, 2007

May mea culpa: Stroboframe PRO-RL correction

The May issue of Professional Photographer features a Product Close-up on flash brackets. With much embarrassment, we have found that the Stroboframe PRO-RL bracket was incorrectly oriented with the camera during our evaluation. The camera should have been mounted so that the hand grip was positioned in front of the camera, below the lens, not in back as the article states and shows in the product photos. Since reviewer Stan Sholik commented that the hand grip on the PRO-RL "takes a little getting used to," we'll try again, mounting the camera in the correct orientation this time, and provide our readers with a reevaluation as soon as possible here in Web Exclusives, and also in the print magazine. Our sincere apologies to Stroboframe and to Professional Photographer readers for the error.

May 7, 2007

Sinar Bron Launches New Sinar Hy6 Digital Medium-format Camera

200705we_sinarhy6 Press Release—Sinar is bringing to market its much-anticipated Sinar Hy6 medium-format digital camera system. The Sinar Hy6, which received the Photokina Star 2006 award for most outstanding new product, is the result of collaboration between Sinar, Jenoptik and Franke & Heidecke (Rolleiflex). Designed to capture images using both digital and conventional film backs, the Hy6 offers photographers a true 6x6 cm medium-format size with the flexibility of a 4.5x6 cm camera. 

“The Sinar Hy6 embodies the technological know-how, precision engineering and manufacturing of three world-renowned companies whose single objective was to create a medium-format camera system that is intuitive in design and second to none in performance,” said Cathy Strobel, President, Sinar Bron Imaging.  “A fully integrated digital system, the Sinar Hy6 will support the entire Sinar digital product line-up.”

The Sinar Hy6 is based on an open system design and can easily adapt to advancements in future chip technology by allowing the insertion of larger (higher-resolution) image sensors of up to 56x56mm.

Continue reading "Sinar Bron Launches New Sinar Hy6 Digital Medium-format Camera" »

May 16, 2007

Tenba Introduces Airbook Protective Portfolio Cases

Press Release—Tenba has introduced a new collection of specialized, highly-protective cases for carrying and shipping portfolios and mounted prints. The new series, called Airbook, is based on the same time- and travel-tested framework as Tenba’s equipment shipping cases, used by photographers and other creative professionals to transport photo, lighting, and computer equipment for over twenty years.

The core of the Airbook is Tenba’s patented Air Case frame—a multi-layered skeleton of air-channeled plastic panels, high-density foam, and specially-molded framing components—all wrapped with soft, brushed tricot to protect, cradle and elegantly present the contents. The Airbook interior has two special modifications specially suited for portfolios: corner cutouts, to protect mounted prints and delicate books (leather, Lucite etc.) from shipping damage or accidental drops, and hand cutouts on each side that allow easy removal of the contents. A variety of additional storage compartments inside the lid provide space for comp cards, cover letters, return shipping documents and business cards.

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Canon imagePROGRAF Line adds iPF6100 and iPF5100

Press Release—Canon U.S.A. has unveiled two new large-format printers, the imagePROGRAF 12-color pigment ink large format printers, the imagePROGRAF iPF6100 and imagePROGRAF iPF5100, which replaces the iPF5000. The most significant changes introduced are a built-in printer calibration system, reformulated black inks, and a print driver feature that allows users to create proofs that take ambient light viewing conditions into consideration. 

Capable of 24-inch wide and 17-inch wide prints respectively, the imagePROGRAF iPF6100 and iPF5100 printers represent the next generation of Canon large format technology. Each comes equipped with a 12-color pigment inkset, using new formulations and better ink drop control for improved dot patterns and reduced dot graininess. The new formulations also reduce bronzing and provide better ink adhesion for improved scratch resistance.

Both new imagePROGRAF models support next generation Kyuanos color management technology for Windows, to deliver output color suitable for different viewing conditions such as fluorescent lights, incandescent lights, or sunlight. Each model also includes easy-to-use color calibration to help ensure output color consistency and accuracy. The combination of Kyuanos and Canon’s color calibration aims to provide users with an easy solution to achieve consistent and accurate color output from print to print, and machine to machine, and to provide suitable output color for different lighting conditions.

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Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100

Professional senior and family portrait photographers in particular may find useful applications for Canon's new enhanced poster creation software, PosterArtist 2007. With PosterArtist 2007, an Auto Design feature allows users to  designate images to be incorporated into a poster, and the PosterArtist automatically uses the images to create professional-looking posters for immediate use. The Auto Design feature significantly cuts down on the time it takes to go from design to output. Also PosterArtist 2007 allows users to take advantage of Kyuanos technology for advanced color management of their poster output from Canon 12-color models, to be viewed favorably under various light sources. A template filtering feature allows users to source and apply a pre-loaded template quickly and easily from a library of hundreds of templates. PosterArtist 2007 will be available through authorized Canon U.S.A. dealers in July 2007 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $799.

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May 18, 2007

Kingston Icons of Photography Answer Reader Questions

Press Release—Kingston Technology Company has posted questions submitted by visitors from around the world to its Icons of Photography microsite as part of its Ask the Icon interactive feature. Each question was answered by one of Kingston’s four Icon photographers: Harry Benson, Colin Finlay, Gerd Ludwig and Peter Read Miller. Through Ask the Icon, visitors are encouraged to submit questions on any topic to the photographers.

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Product Feature: Capture One PRO and MediaPro

Fashion photographer Drew Gardner weighs in on workflow solutions

Top pro photographers customize their workflow in a manner that best suits their work style and requirements. Just as there are no two photographers who shoot alike, so there appears to be no one-size-fits-all software solution. Photographers instead prefer to choose what works for them.

“In my experience, the all-in-one solution does not provide the in-depth toolset and breadth of features that a professional needs and that I’ve found by using the best available tools for a given job,” said Drew Gardner, British fashion photographer who was recently nominated for the AOP awards, and whose work for the BBC primetime series Roman’s Empire has drawn critical attention. “It’s no different from choosing cameras or lenses; I’m not going to compromise on quality.”

Gardner’s choice for his digital workflow includes RAW capture and processing tool Capture One PRO, from Phase One, and MediaPro, the digital asset management software created by iView Multimedia.

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From the Alice in Wonderland series ©Drew Gardner; Designer: Kirstimairie

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May 28, 2007

Book Review: “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book” by Martin Evening

200705we_lightroomeveing By Ellis Vener

Some how-to books are heavy slogs, poorly structured and jammed to a degree of incomprehensibility. You might refer to them occasionally, but only when you absolutely have no other choice, otherwise they make fine doorstops. Others, written in a breezy jokey style, try to make work seem like capital-F-U-N! Unfortunately either approach buries the truly valuable information, and like a goldrush miner you end up sifting a lot of gravel to find the nuggets. For Lightroom users, Martin Evening’s “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book” leads you right to the mother lode.

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May 31, 2007

Adobe Camera Raw 4.1 Update Makes Big Changes

Press Release—The latest update to Adobe Camera Raw includes more than just added camera support. ACR 4.1 features improved noise reduction and sharpening tools as well as raw file support for 13 additional camera models and camera backs.This update also builds on the raw file support integrated in the Photoshop family of products.

Sharpening improvements include new slider controls: Amount, Radius, Detail and Masking. To see the hidden preview for each control, hold opt/alt while you move the slider. Under the Lens Correction tab, and new control called Defringe helps fix the effect of specular sensor flooding that results in purple, red or magenta lines fringing hot specular highlights. The new Clarity control is part of the main panel and is a combination of using Unsharp Mask with low Amound and high Radius settings and a technique called MidTone Contrast Adjustment.

Visit Adobe PhotoshopNews.com for Jeff Schewe's detailed review of the new features in ACR 4.1.

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About May 2007

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

April 2007 is the previous archive.

June 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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