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June 2008 Archives

June 2, 2008

Kodak Digital Technology to Provide Mission-Critical Images for Space Flight

Kodak CCD Image Sensors used on both Space Shuttle and International Space Station for Key Imaging Applications

Press Release—On the current mission of space shuttle Discovery, scheduled to dock with the International Space Station today, Kodak Digital Technology will again be instrumental in capturing critical images and helping to safeguard the well-being of shuttle astronauts during re-entry back to earth.

Kodak CCD Image Sensors are a key component of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, an in-flight imaging system attached to the end of a 50-foot robotic arm that is used by shuttle astronauts to scan the underside of the orbiter for possible damage before landing. The resulting high-resolution images are then analyzed to assess any potential spacecraft damage that may have occurred during lift-off or while in flight. This system is now available throughout the entire shuttle fleet to examine critical external surfaces before re-entry.

Kodak CCD Image Sensors are also routinely used in other camera systems operated by astronauts during shuttle missions and on the International Space Station. The handheld digital cameras used by astronauts to capture images from space use Kodak Image Sensors, as does the recently launched Earth Viewing Camera located on the International Space Station. Surprisingly, these space-based products all use image sensors that are unmodified from those available from Kodak for use on earth.

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Review: Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f/2.0 SWD Lens

Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f/2.0 SWD lens

By Joe Farace

Fast powerful zoom for the Four-Thirds System

The Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f/2.0 SWD is part of Olympus’ new Super High Grade (SHG) lens system aimed at professional photographers and featuring advanced optical/precision technology and crisp, fast auto-focus. The family of Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD) lenses sport a “platinum” (blue) barrel stripe and are compatible with any Four Thirds System camera but are optimized and achieve highest autofocus speeds when used with the Olympus E-3 professional DSLR, which I used to test the lens. SWD lenses have large maximum apertures, making them ideal for available-light photography at weddings and other candid events and are splash proof if you get caught in an unexpected shower.

All Zuiko Digital lenses allow light to strike the image sensor at a near-perpendicular angle, minimizing degradation and light loss, even at the edge of the frame or when using a wide-angle lens. As befits its $2,299 price tag, the ED 14-35mm f/2.0 SWD features rugged, high-quality construction and is dust and drip-proof. The two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements minimize chromatic aberration and contribute to the lens’ superb optical performance.

SWD is the proprietary name for Olympus’ in-lens motor technology, similar to Canon’s USM (Ultra Sonic Motor) designation for its lens autofocus drive, although Canon uses two different versions of USM depending on whether it’s in an inexpensive lens or the more costly L-series. Supersonic Wave Drive technology is used in the lens to move the focusing lens group and in the camera body to actuate the Image Stabilization unit. SWD motor lenses work on any Olympus Four Thirds System body and will allow an increase in autofocus speed over non-SWD lenses.

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Tutorial: Simple Composite

By Bob Coates, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

It’s not a bad problem when you’ve captured so many good images that the client can’t narrow the selections down. It gives you the opportunity to sell more and different kinds of product. You can use the techniques in this tutorial to design pages for senior, family and wedding albums as well as framed prints. These images are from a senior portrait session with Heather, who wanted lots of different looks, from casual to fashion.

©Bob Coates

Don’t use too many images on one spread. Usually odd numbers of images work better in design. This helps to keep the eye moving around in the image. Even numbers of images tend to make the layout too static. Here we’ve combined five images to show different composite techniques.

Open all the images you’ll include in the layout. Create a new document at the final print size and resolution you want. Select the Move tool (V) and drag and drop your base image(s) to the new document window. I chose two fashion images to be the base and blended them together using a Layer Mask and Gradient Tool (below).


©Bob Coates 

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June 5, 2008

Product Review: Lexar Crucial Solid State Drive

By Shawn Soni

Lexar Crucial SSD Drive

Periperhal devices based on solid state technologies are becoming more prevalent for use as both external devices and internal drives for both portable and desktop computers. The low power consumption of SSDs (solid state drives) is especially relevant when you have a laptop running solely on battery power and you're moving data off for storage.

Lexar’s Crucial line has an interesting entry into the market with 32- and 64GB drives that work even while being shaken up by a paint shaker (see the YouTube video here). Although that’s not a recommended way to treat a drive, it’s instructive to know that it “takes a licking…” and still functions at 110 percent. The practical application of a device like this is its usefulness for storing critical data (pictures), particularly in extreme situations, after transferring the images from a memory card to a computer.

The Lexar drive as tested arrived with some assembly required. The drive itself requires mounting in a case that has an external USB interface on it. The assembly process takes about 10 minutes and a small Phillips-head screwdriver (not included). A drive enclosure/bracket kit is included and can be added into an available drive bay on a desktop computer if desired, allowing you to insert the SSD device into the computer for use as a “removable” device.

I tested the drive on both a Windows XP desktop and a Macintosh computer and neither had any difficulty recognizing the drive or mounting it as a removable device.

File copy times were not noticeably better than other hard drive devices, but that is not due to the SSD technology, but rather the USB interface. The device is capable of using an e-SATA interface, which is faster than USB for data transfer, but not all users have an e-SATA interface card or native connection on their computer.

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June 6, 2008

The Boutique Photographer: Keeping Up Appearances

By Sara Frances, M.Photog.Cr.

So many small businesses look … well … small. By small I'm referring to a quality that has less to do with physical size and more with appearances, specifically those that are unattractive to high-end boutique clientele. A dirty front door, less than spotless lavatory, untidy sales area or shop-worn samples shout limited technical expertise, carelessness with details and unresponsive customer service.

In recent years the public has been very tolerant of home-based businesses, yet going that route can easily profile you along with multi-level marketing and part-time, low-budget services. Only a really great home studio space and loads of personality can make this scenario work well over time. Yet rent and upkeep on a substantial studio space befitting the boutique operation are beyond many photographers’ resources, especially those who’ve just started out in business. Maintenance and basic service costs for our 1,400 square foot business-zoned building and two inner city lots of portrait garden is equivalent to many photographers’ annual gross income. And we already own the property free and clear.

If you’re in business for love, money and long-term commitment, purchasing a property in the right location at the right price is a great way to spread out your investment in your business, similar to how financial counselors recommend diversification when purchasing stocks and mutual funds. I believe storefront studio galleries are a rising industry trend.

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June 13, 2008

Transylvania: Travel Photographer Manages File Backup and Language Barrier with Epson Multimedia Storage Viewer

Travel photographer Bob Krist uses his photo viewers to secure backups and gain access to locals' lives in rural Transylvania.

All images ©Bob Krist 

What do a freelance travel photographer and a Transylvanian count have in common? Both are making sure that Transylvanian culture does not vanish into thin air. As Count Tibor Kálnoky preserves his family’s 13th century ancestral home seized during the communist regime, photographer Bob Krist is busy making “backups of backups of backups,” archiving his many digital photographs to document the story for future generations.
The count and photographer recently crossed paths when Krist stayed on assignment at a luxury guesthouse on Count Kálnoky’s estate in Miklosvar, Romania, a remote spot in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Miklosvar is only an hour’s drive from the tourist trap known as “Dracula’s Castle,” but this little village of 500 souls seems frozen in time.
During his many trips abroad, Krist has had a variety of interesting adventures, including being stranded on a glacier in Iceland, knighted with a cutlass during a Trinidad voodoo ceremony, and nearly run down by charging bulls in southern India.

Krist found himself on yet another adventure on the eastern edge of Transylvanian countryside. Despite the thrill of the chase, Krist admits that a travel photographer’s life has its challenges, with inevitable airport delays, lonely hotel rooms, weeks away from his family, and constant worry about how to effectively save the digital images he shoots on the road. He readily confesses that he is a “maniac” about backing up his photographs. “After years of shooting chrome, I know that the slides in my storage cabinets will be there, short of a flood or fire," he said. “But I didn’t have the same confidence when it came to digital media.”

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June 16, 2008

Nation-wide David Jay Tour to Reveal Secrets of Freedom and Success

David Jay and guests will showcase successful solutions to improve photographers' marketing, workflow, and product fulfillment in "Free To Succeed" tour

Press Release—David Jay, joined by special guests including Jasmine Star, will host one-day training sessions for wedding photographers to offer proven techniques to reach greater business success in less time. Backed by Showit, Adobe, and Couture Book, these training sessions will also reveal powerful tools to improve marketing, streamline workflow, and improve quality and efficiency in product fulfillment.

After being named one of the top 15 Wedding Photojournalists in the world by the WPJA and the #1 Portrait photographer in the world, David Jay created a wedding business that gave him freedom and fulfillment and now he's sharing his secrets with others. David was the first photographer to use a "FreeStyle" approach to marketing while using a "Hands-Free" workflow that allowed him to grow a business charging $15,000 per wedding and shooting weddings all over the world, all in less than four years.

The training sessions will last a half day and will cover the following topics:

• Freedom Packet - David Jay's step-by-step formula on how to set up your business in a way that serves you.
• Three P's of Pricing - How to ensure your pricing structure doesn't put you out of business in the years to come.
• FreeStyle Marketing - Tested techniques used by the top industry leaders that will gain you credibility and get you the dollars you deserve - fast!
• Scale yourself with Webonomics - Creating your unique web identity with the powerfully simple Showit Sites to get yourself in front of thousands of clients!
• Lightroom 2.0 - Be the first to see how to use the power of Lightroom 2.0 and "Find and Fix" correcting to edit your weddings in less than two hours!
• The Final Product - Providing your client with the revolutionary new Couture Book without lifting a finger!

The "Free to Succeed" tour will span three months and hit 21 cities in 16 states across the U.S.

Jul 29, 2008   Houston, TX
Jul 30, 2008   Austin, TX
Jul 31, 2008   Dallas, TX
Aug 3, 2008   Phoenix, AZ
Aug 4, 2008   San Diego, CA
Aug 6, 2008   Los Angeles, CA
Aug 7, 2008   Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 11, 2008   San Francisco, CA
Aug 13, 2008   Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 14, 2008   Denver, CO
Aug 18, 2008   Kansas City, KS
Aug 19, 2008   Chicago, IL
Aug 21, 2008   Indianapolis, IN
Aug 25, 2008   New York City, NY
Aug 26, 2008   Boston, MA
Aug 28, 2008   Washington D.C.
Sep 2, 2008   Charolette, NC
Sep 3, 2008   Charleston, SC
Sep 4, 2008   Orlando, FL
Sep 8, 2008   Atlanta, GA
Sep 9, 2008   Nashville, TN


Continue reading "Nation-wide David Jay Tour to Reveal Secrets of Freedom and Success" »

June 18, 2008

Don Chick Workshop: How to Become a Confident Studio Photographer

Press Release—Come and learn to see light as you never have before. Join Master Photographer Don Chick, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, D.C.Ph., for a daylong workshop to deepen your understanding of the art and craft of studio portraiture. This class will immerse you in the qualities and characteristics of light and shadow through a series of creative and easy-to-understand object lessons and demonstrations.

You will see the various classic lighting patterns, step-by-step, as they unfold before you on a “human” form, and then experience the transformation of light on a real human face for yourself through hands-on studio practicum.

Open your eyes, challenge your intellect, and stir your heart with determination to return to your studio as a more confident portrait photographer.

July 19, Fort White, Forida
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
592 South West Steadman Glen
Fort White, FL 32038

July 27, Tarpon Springs, Florida
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hampton Inn
39284 US Hwy 19 North
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Seating is limited. Early bird registration: $175
Ft. White $200 after June 30
Tarpon Springs $200 after July 12

To register, or for more information call 603-335-4448 or write don@donchick.com. 

PPA C/E: PPA members will receive one PPA service merit for attending. 

About June 2008

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

May 2008 is the previous archive.

July 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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