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June 2007 Archives

June 1, 2007

Review Supplement: AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash

The many faces of ringflash

Images ©Stan Sholik

In the June issue of Professional Photographer, Stan Sholik reviewed the AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash. Included and optional light modifying accessories make this unit configurable in an impressive variety of ways. Here we present a visual showcase of many of its possible configurations.

The AlienBees Ringflash stripped down to its essentials, showing the two semi-circular flash tubes. ©Stan Sholik

Continue reading "Review Supplement: AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash" »

Ringflash technique

200706we_ringflashsholik Ringflash becomes a more versatile lighting tool

By Ellis Vener

Popular with fashion and celebrity photographers, ringlights create a singular look. Typically ringflash illuminates the subject in a clinical light that looks like the camera was mounted in the center of a spotlight, leaving nothing concealed. The effect offers none of the tricks of shadowing and highlight and chiaroscuro we normally use to create the illusion of three-dimensional depth in a two-dimensional medium.

Until recently, most ringlights were designed the same way, with a circular or pair of semi-circular flash tubes wrapped around the barrel of the lens. Some ringlight manufacturers include a larger outer reflector and inner deflector to spread the light out a bit more and soften the light's hardness. But now at least three manufacturers—Broncolor, Profoto, and AlienBees—are looking to make the ring a more versatile lighting tool. AlienBees has been especially creative in this regard, devising an entire set of light modifiers to use with their ABR800 AlienBees Ringflash and the similar head for the forthcoming Zeus system. I’ve used the ABR800 for this tutorial.

AlienBees Ringflash photo above ©Stan Sholik

Continue reading "Ringflash technique" »

Review Supplement: Lightroom vs. Aperture, Noise Reduction

By Andrew Rodney

[The June issue of Professional Photographer magazine featured the article "RAW Rendering: Adobe Lightroom vs. Apple Aperture." This information and illustration provides additional evaluation of the noise reduction capabilities of those applications.]

NOISE REDUCTION. I like to shoot at ISO 3200 with my 5D for subjects in available lighting. I prefer a third-party plug-in like Imagenomic Noiseware to reduce noise, but it was still useful to compare the results of Lightroom and Aperture. Both converters provide simple sliders, and here it pays to view the image at a high zoom ratio to see the results. The trick is blurring the noise while keeping detail sharp. Lightroom did a slightly better job here initially; the tiny white bulbs in the shot are sharper, while smooth areas of the building have less noise. By opening the Edge Sharpen controls, I was able to get those bulbs back in focus, but it put back some of the noise. The subtle differences are apparent in the illustration at 300% zoom. Notice the edges around the letters in this photo.


Image ©Andrew Rodney. Right-click to download a larger TIFF file showing Aperture vs. Lightroom Noise Reduction (4.61MB).

Review Supplement: Raw Rendering, Highlight Recovery in Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture

In the June issue of Professional Photographer magazine we published a look at the Raw Rendering capabilities of Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, written by Professional Photographer Technical Editor and Contributing Editor to LightroomNews.com Andrew Rodney, along with commentary from Ben Long, author of "Real World Aperture" (Peachpit Press) and co-author with Orlando Luna of "Apple Training Series: Aperture 1.5 (Peachpit Press).

One point of contention in the article was which application offered the best means in highlight recovery, getting something from nothing in a raw file. We provided our two experts with a digital image featuring blown highlights and asked them each to use their favored application to do their best in bringing back as much information as possible in the highlights without negatively affecting the rest of the image. We asked Long and Rodney to aim for an aesthetic balance between what's possible and what looks good and natural.

200706we_blowndsc_0355 At right is a low-res JPEG created from the NEF file with blown highlights provided to Rodney and Long. It has Adobe Camera Raw default settings applied. The image was taken at Bandelier National Monument using a Nikon D40 with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens at 1/80 second, f/4, ISO 400. ©Joan Sherwood

Click here to download the original NEF file for your own highlight recovery attempt.

Read on to see the hightlight recovery results from Aperture and Lightroom.

Continue reading "Review Supplement: Raw Rendering, Highlight Recovery in Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture" »

Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro: Extended Dynamic Range and Tethered Capture

By Stan Sholik

The Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro is packed with features to improve image quality as well as make life easier for professional photographers. Two of these features, Extended Dynamic Range and Tethered Capture, deserve more attention than could be given in the magazine review (June 2007). 

Extended Dynamic Range

The unique double-photodiode matrix in the Fujifilm S-series digital SLR cameras allows the dynamic range of the capture to be varied, either automatically by the camera, or manually by the photographer. In the FinePix S3 there were three settings plus Auto. The S5 includes six settings plus Auto, with three of them identical to those found in the S3.

The settings are given as percentages, from 100% with the lowest dynamic range to 400% giving the greatest dynamic range. Darin Peeple of Fujifilm explains that these percentages are a way of measuring the total availabile ability of the pixels to record information. At the 100% setting, only the larger S-pixels are used and the dynamic range is 100% of their ability. As the dynamic range is extended by choosing other settings, the smaller R-pixels come into play. In combination with the S-pixels, the R-pixels can extend the dynamic range by as much as a factor of 4, thus the 400% maximum setting.

200706we_fuji01 Caption (click image for large view): With the D-Range set to Auto, the Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro did an excellent job controlling the highlights around the sun’s reflection without sacrificing shadow information. In this instance, the Auto setting produced the same result as the 400% setting. ©Stan Sholik

Continue reading "Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro: Extended Dynamic Range and Tethered Capture" »

June 4, 2007

Beta test electronic copyright submission

The U.S. Copyright Office is accepting applications for beta testers to submit copyright registration applications and deposits using their new web-based system, electronic Copyright Office (eCO). By participating in the beta testing, volunteers will receive a reduced registration fee of $35. The Copyright Office plans to initiate beta testing on or after July 2, 2007.

Volunteers will be accepted on a first come first serve basis subject to the following criteria:

  • Type of work (visual art works, literary work, musical composition, etc.)
  • Type of deposit copy (hard copy or electronic)
  • File format (electronic deposit—mp3, jpeg, pdf, etc.)
  • File size (electronic deposit)
  • Frequency of registration
  • Published versus unpublished works
  • Individual versus company/organization
  • Type of payment

The Copyright Office anticipates their volunteer pool will begin with basic registration claims for literary works, visual arts works (including photographs), performing arts works, and sound recordings. Later the testing will expand to other types of registration, including group registration for published photographs.
The first group of selected participants will receive eCO system log-in information and instructions via email prior to the beta test launch date. Additional requesters will be invited to participate in later stages of eCO beta testing. Requesters not selected for eCO beta testing will receive email notification when eCO is released to the public later this year.

If you plan to register at least one claim in the coming months and would like to be considered for participation in eCO beta testing, visit www.copyright.gov/eco/beta-announce.html and submit an application.

Book Excerpt: "Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers" by Martin Evening

200706we_eveningcover If you've been wondering what's new in Adobe Photoshop CS3, why not get your information from the best? Martin Evening is a fantastic photographer and gifted teacher who makes time in his professional schedule to instruct photographers on digital imaging and Photoshop. Evening’s Adobe Photoshop for Photographers titles have become classic reference sources, written to deal directly with the needs of photographers and filled with a wealth of practical advice, hints and tips to help you achieve professional results.

"Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers," is published by Focal Press, an imprint of Elsevier.
ISBN: 0-240-52028-9 (old style ISBN)
ISBN: 978-0-240-52028-5 (new style ISBN)

Download What's new in Adobe Photoshop CS3 (PDF, 3.6MB), Chapter 1 of the newly released "Photoshop CS3 for Photographers" by Martin Evening.

Printed with permission from Focal Press, a division of Elsevier. Copyright 2007. "Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers" by Martin Evening. For more information about this book, please visit www.focalpress.com.

June 12, 2007

FireWire 800; 799 times better than FireWire

By Joe Farace

In 1995 FireWire (officially called IEEE 1394) was adopted as an industry standard and is a high-speed, hot-swappable peripheral interface that supports data transfer rates of up to 400 Mbit/sec.

FireWire 800, aka IEEE 1394b, is the next generation of FireWire technology and not only doubles the throughput of the original FireWire interface to 800 Mbit/sec but also increases the maximum distance (15 feet) of FireWire connections. If your computer in not already so equipped, FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) interfaces can be added to a desktop computer using a FireWire 800 PCI card or in the case of a laptop computer with a FireWire 800 CardBus card from companies such as Belkin.

Pro Review: Lexar 300X UDMA CompactFlash Card and FireWire 800 Reader

200706we_lexarudma8gb By Joe Farace

I said it last year in Professional Photographer magazine and it’s worth repeating now: All CompactFlash cards are not the same. With high capacity CompactFlash cards at rock-bottom prices, some photographers just buy whatever’s cheapest to capture their precious images. But just as choosing the correct film for an assignment was 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’s new Professional UDMA memory cards utilize the Ultra Direct Memory Access protocol that is twice as fast as the previous disk drive standard for computers. The UDMA memory card is just part of the puzzle, you also need to add some other pieces, starting with a FireWire 800 interface (See sidebar: “FireWire 800; 799 times better than FireWire”) and a UDMA-enabled device, such as Lexar's Professional FireWire 800 Reader. When used with a UDMA-enabled device, Lexar Professional UDMA cards deliver a 125-percent performance improvement over previous generation 133x CompactFlash cards. UDMA cards improve a pro’s digital imaging workflow by reducing the time needed to capture and download those images to a computer.

Continue reading "Pro Review: Lexar 300X UDMA CompactFlash Card and FireWire 800 Reader" »

June 18, 2007

Nationwide Great Output Seminar Tour Starts in September

One-day seminars designed to make photographic and fine-art printing easier, more efficient, and more profitable

Press Release—The Great Output Seminar: Printing for Profitability in the Digital Darkroom, will travel to 16 cities across the nation, beginning in Miami on Sept. 10, and wrapping up in New York City on Feb. 27. Primary sponsors for the one-day color-management, printing, and marketing seminars are LexJet and Epson.

LexJet’s technical support director, Tom Hauenstein, will teach attendees his One-and-Done method of color-managing the workflow to ensure top-quality prints while cutting lab expenditures by more than 80 percent.

Hauenstein will also provide in-depth education on making prints look like the images prepared on-screen, how to obtain and use the right profiles for different types of print materials, proven marketing techniques for using prints to bring in more business, and more.

Continue reading "Nationwide Great Output Seminar Tour Starts in September" »

June 19, 2007

Launch of the U.S. Electronic Copyright Office

In July, the U.S. Copyright Office will go online with the beta test launch of the Electronic Copyright Office Service System (eCO). Six years in the making, the site is an initiative to ensure photographers, writers and other creators an efficient and timely channel for registering their works.

The U.S. Copyright Office is now pilot testing the acceptance of pre-registration applications via the eCO system.

The eCO system is expected to reduce application processing from 6 months to a mere 2 to 3 weeks. It will generate electronic certificates of registration, as well as public records in a format that’s easy to upload into the public search database at www.copyright.gov. With the system’s dual functionality, all paper applications will be uploaded to the site upon their arrival at the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C.

Aside from increasing the efficiency of the Copyright Office, the new system will be easier for copyright applicants to use. The site will accept filing fees via credit card, bank account or the Copyright Office's Pay.com portal administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The system will store the filer’s registration information, but for privacy will not store information about the method of payment.

Continue reading "Launch of the U.S. Electronic Copyright Office" »

Correction: Cover image caption

200706we_covercorrect In the "On the cover" caption on page 6 of the June issue of Professional Photographer, we incorrectly credited James Richardson as the cover image photographer. Jeffrey Richardson, formerly a photographer with The Studio Photography, created the image of Kylee Kirk on our June cover. Jeff Richardson recently opened Richardson Studio in Bloomington, Ind., with his wife Michelle.

June 27, 2007

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 Now Available

Lightroom Update Offers New Functionality, Improved Raw Processing and Support for Windows Vista

Press ReleaseAdobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 is now available as a free upgrade for existing users, with added functionality and support for Windows Vista. Lightroom 1.1 adds a flexible image management system for multi-computer workflows, improved noise reduction and sharpening, and raw file support for 13 additional digital cameras from leading manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Phase One.

“Although the beta period has ended, we are happy to say that Photoshop Lightroom continues to incorporate user feedback with this latest update,” says Tom Hogarty, product manager for Photoshop Lightroom. “We are committed to continuing this partnership with our customer base by working together to make a program that best suits their digital imaging workflow needs.”

Lightroom enables professional photographers to import, manage and present large volumes of digital photographs helping them spend more time behind the lens and less time at the computer. Improvements in Lightroom 1.1 include a new image management system that allows flexible multi-computer workflows. A catalog-based system means photographers now can move images and information quickly between their computers. Lightroom 1.1 further streamlines the digital photography workflow with the addition of a convenient way to synchronize folders in the program with new or changed photos. Other changes include improved noise reduction and sharpening functionality, utilizing customer feedback and technology from industry-standard Photoshop.

Continue reading "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 Now Available" »

About June 2007

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

May 2007 is the previous archive.

July 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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