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February 2008 Archives

February 1, 2008

Refocus on elements of photographic vision and form your own conceptual framework

By JR Geoffrion

Are you sometimes uninspired and wanting to get your groove back? Are you trying to develop your very own photographic style? Or are you simply looking for a fresh and new approach to creativity?

Whether you are an amateur or seasoned professional, all can benefit from using a conceptual framework to improve your photography.

Unlike a signature style, a conceptual framework has no rigid rules or recipes. Instead, it is a set of broad and free-flowing concepts open to your own interpretation, based on your unique experiences and journey through life. As such, a conceptual framework allows you to leave your mark on the images without having to fall into a mold that would inhibit creativity. The framework is ever evolving and changing, ensuring endless possibilities.

Defining your conceptual framework

As a wedding photographer, clients often ask me about my approach to photography. Rather than having a checklist of images I must capture, I shoot each wedding very differently by drawing inspiration from its unique elements, details, and from the personality of the couple. In other words, I react to my environment. Though the images I capture look very different from wedding to wedding, something below the surface ties them together. What is this invisible theme linking my images?

To identify what it was that linked my images, I selected more than 100 of my favorite photographs and looked for common recurring themes. How could these images be related to one another? What are the common threads? Why did I capture them the way I did and not another way? Why do I find these images appealing?

What emerged from this study were six distinct elements that are at the foundation of photogaphic style and vision. They are always at the basis of my images but in different proportion. Drawing a parallel to cooking, I didn’t have a recipe but rather signature ingredients on which I based my dishes.

These elements are shapes, colors, lighting, textures and patterns, movement, and point of view.

Continue reading "Refocus on elements of photographic vision and form your own conceptual framework" »

February 4, 2008

Review Preview: Nikon D3 and ISO examples

Nikon D3

In anticipation of our upcoming in-depth review, Professional Photographer provides you with notes from our Nikon D3 reviewer Ellis Vener on its most notable features and functions that made a big impression. 

IMPRESSIVE

This is Nikon’s first full frame (24x36mm format) D-SLR—no crop factor. Nikon calls this format FX. While the resolution is only 12.1 megapixels, roughly equal to the resolution of the Nikon D300, the larger physical area allows Nikon to employ a second layer of micro lenses to really focus the light down into the pixel wells resulting in:

• More clear resolution of fine detail than I’ve seen out of other 12 megapixel format cameras.

• Large dynamic range when using the 14-bit per channel NEF format, especially in the highlights, about one and a half stops over the D2X. (This is also a result of the EXPEED processor technology implemented  in the D3.)

• Very low noise at high ISO settings, about two to four times the quality of the D2Xs.

• Much greater resolution of shadow detail than many other similar cameras.

Continue reading "Review Preview: Nikon D3 and ISO examples" »

February 13, 2008

Product Review: Lowepro Cirrus TLZ 25

By Joan Sherwood

Lowepro brings simplicity to camera bags with its Cirrus TLZ line. These top-loading bags have a single compartment, two Velcro-attach supports, and a memory card pocket.

I tested the Cirrus TLZ 25 bag, largest of the line, initially intending to use it with the Nikon D200. The interior dimensions are listed as 6.1Wx4.1Dx8.3H, but the Nikon D200 body is just a little too chunky for it at 5.7x4.4 inches across the back. If you have a more compact DSLR, however, the size is optimal and can even handle a relatively long lens or leave room for cable storage at the bottom of the bag. My Nikon D40 fits perfectly at 5x3.7 inches across the body, with room to slip my fingers around the grip.

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Image above ©Joan T. Sherwood 200802we_Cirrus110.jpg

So your pro DSLR won't fit, but it might be a good choice for your carry-around or backup camera. Lowepro announced new 110, 120 and 140 models for the Cirrus line at PMA this year that should be a better fit for bigger pro models. The new Cirrus bags are available now. (Right: Lowepro Cirrus 110)

 

Continue reading "Product Review: Lowepro Cirrus TLZ 25" »

February 14, 2008

Review: RAW without FUD: How to Shoot RAW without Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

By Ellis Vener

There are those who like to learn by reading, there are those who prefer classes, seminars and workshops, there are those who like video instruction, and there are those who’ll take it anyway they can get it. Each approach has its merits. Good DVDs in particular blend several of the strengths of other instruction forms: they are portable, and there’s a human leading you through the process, and best of all, you can go at your pace.

How to Shoot RAWMy first impression of the “RAW without FUD: How to Shoot RAW without Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” DVD was amusement at the FUD acronym; I’d never heard it before. But according to the Wikipedia.com entry on FUD, it stands for  “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.” FUD has explicit roots as a way of describing political disinformation tactics—like those used by many politically oriented talk radio show hosts. But FUD-ing really gained traction in the corporate world in the early 1970s, and since “1991 the term has become generalized to refer to any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon" according to Eric S. Raymond’s “The Jargon File.”

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment: who among us hasn’t felt fear, uncertainty and doubt when confronting digital processing? Like it or not we are now not only photographers but also the lab, and to large extent the equivalent of being film manufacturers as well as being photographers and business owners. It’s all on our (or our assistants') shoulders, folks. That can be scary, and many people still stick to a JPEG-based way of working to get around it. That’s not good because to do so means losing a competitive qualitative edge.

Michael Tapes’ educational goal with the “How to Shoot RAW without Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” DVD of video tutorials is to dispel your phobias about raw processing, engender confidence in your raw workflow abilities, and thereby help you become a more confident photographer.

Continue reading "Review: RAW without FUD: How to Shoot RAW without Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt" »

February 20, 2008

Lighting & Digital Training Camp with Jack Reznicki

Press Release—Canon Explorer of Light and author Jack Reznicki is on tour, presenting a full day of “Need to Know” lighting and digital information. If you have ever wanted to work with studio lighting but didn’t know where to start, or you are a pro looking for new ideas, this seminar will be perfect for you.
 
L O C A T I O N S

New York, March 3
Philadelphia, March 4
Atlanta, March 6
Kansas City, March 8
St. Louis, March 10
Portland, March 12
Irvine, March 14

TOPICS

• Creating “natural” light with strobes
• Basic one-light Portrait lighting with live model
• Histograms, camera white balance, and other camera essentials
• Importing, processing, and printing files
• Masking and professional Photoshop techniques
• Copyrights and copywrongs

Full day of live photographic training: $99
Click here for more information and to sign up for the Jack Reznicki Lighting and Digital Training Camp from Software Cinema.

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February 22, 2008

Speed Test: Photoshop Actions vs. Lightroom vs. Manual

By Rick Ralston 

As part of a Photoshop actions tutorial I wrote for Professional Photographer Magazine (coming in the March 2008 issue) I did a speed test comparing Photoshop's actions, Adobe Lightroom and the manual process. I took 100 raw images and ran them through a series of tasks. The results are a little surprising.

Lightroom has taken some of the functionality of Photoshop, made it easy to apply settings to multiple images and added some other niceties such as building slideshows and advanced printing—all aimed at the professional photographer. But you still need Photoshop to edit images at the pixel level and for compositing. Lightroom works with raw files and only applies settings to the images upon export.

The Results:
Photoshop actions: 14 minutes, 32 seconds (including action creation time)
Adobe Lightroom: 25 minutes, 20 seconds (including droplet creation time)
Manually: 52 minutes, 10 seconds

pslightroom.jpg

Continue reading "Speed Test: Photoshop Actions vs. Lightroom vs. Manual" »

February 26, 2008

PPA Member Brian Phillips Lands Grace Ormonde Wedding Style New England Cover

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style NE 2008Press Release—Watertown, Mass.—Brian Phillips, one of New England’s leading documentary style wedding photographers and fashion photojournalists, has landed the cover of the 2008 Grace Ormonde Wedding Style New England magazine. Phillips’ cover shot was taken on La Gondola on the Providence River in Providence, Rhode Island during a bridal fashion shoot for the magazine.  

“When I looked at this photo I knew it had to be our cover,” said Grace Ormonde, editor in chief of Wedding Style New England. “Brian has an amazing eye. He’s one of the best photographers in the country … and this is one of the best covers we’ve done.”

“It is an honor to have my work selected for the cover,” said Phillips of Brian Phillips Photography. “Grace Ormonde is a true wedding authority and receiving such support and recognition from her makes it that much more meaningful.”

Phillips has been a regular contributing photographer for the New England and National editions of Wedding Style since 2006, shooting fashion and editorial assignments like Fashion Week in New York, as well as a featured wedding in 2007. Several of Phillips’ images are published throughout the 2008 issue in addition to the cover.   

Based in the Boston area, Brian Phillips regularly photographs weddings across the region and further afield. He specializes in documentary style wedding photography, as well as fashion photojournalism. Phillips is a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association and placed among the top 15 wedding photographers in the world in one of the Association’s annual photography competitions.

About February 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in February 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2008 is the previous archive.

March 2008 is the next archive.

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


 
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