Forum Login

What Was New in 2006

November 13, 2006

Regular contributor Alain Briot is back with his latest installment in the series Reflections on Photography, titled The Eye and the Camera. In it Alain explores the differences between the way the human eye and the camera record the world around us.

- - - -

Those photographers who are interested in shooting with the Pentax 67II medium format camera may be aware that these have been withdrawn from European dealers shelves due to their use of lead solder, as have several other cameras. I have no information as to whether the Pentax 67 II has been officially discontinued worldwide, though a quick check around the net shows 67II camera bodies to have been removed from a number of vendor's web sites, including Robert White in the UK, Vistek in Canada, and Adorama and B&H in the US. B&H continues to list new lenses and accessories though.

I have been informed by my friend Brian at Harry's Pro Shop that he has just received in a fresh stock of Pentax 67 II bodies. These may be among the last available if the camera is in fact being phased out. Thought you'd like to know.

- - - -

Those who are interested in following the Leica IR saga might wish to read an article on the diglLoyd site that looks in detail at the root of the problem.

__________________________________________________________________________

November 11, 2006

There are two heated topics on the Net discussion boards at the moment. One is with regard to the Canon G7 and its lack of raw capability. While it is indeed a case of either colossal stupidity or arrogance that Canon removed this from the G7, and in fact all of their digicams, whether or not any particular photographer needs raw mode remains a topic for debate. There are those that say that a camera without raw is like shooting a Polaroid – fine, but you've thrown away the negative. Then there are those that say that jpgs are good enough.

There's no one answer. Some people will care about this to a greater or lesser extent based on their personal needs and experiences. There's no one right or wrong answer. The animosity that this debate creates between photographers would be better spent redirected in a positive way toward Canon, so that they are sent the message that camera owners want to be able to choose on this issue for themselves.

The other cause celebre at the moment is the image quality problems being discovered by early Leica M8 owners. On a personal level this has reflected badly on me because, though I did mention in my review that the camera suffered from poor low light auto white balance, and had excessive infrared sensitivity, my review did not mention the green blob / banding and purple response issues.

Well – it did. I discovered these during my initial testing and put them in my review. I then sent my draft review to Leica, as I always do with manufacturers, for their comments. The company subsequently requested that I hold off mentioning these latter items because they were looking into them and hoped to have a response in short order. I acquiesced to this request, not wanting to delay my review, and expecting that I would be able to publish a follow-up quickly that not only mentioned these problems but also their potential solution.

This did not happen. Instead, after the problems became obvious to new users and were being discussed openly on net forums, Leica eventually published a statement, which was issued to some other web sites, but not to this one. At least one such site thus was able to claim credit for waiting to publish their review "while Leica worked closely" with them to resolve it. How nice for them.

And me? Well, in some circles my name is mud because I apparently failed to mention these obvious problems in my review. Now you know why.

Should I have held off with my review until this issue was resolved? Should I have gone ahead and published it as originally written, even though the company had requested that I hold off on these topics? 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing, as is Monday morning quarterbacking. But, in the end I would do what I did again, simply because I felt that potential owners needed to know what I had learned in my testing, without delay. And, I would have held back again on the issues that I was requested to because that's the proper way to deal with manufacturers, who one assumes will take their responsibilities to journalists seriously. Enough said.

- - - -

Update:

Why did I agree to Leica's request not to publish some of the problems that I saw during my testing?

Of the 500 odd photographs I took during about a week of testing I only saw the magenta cast issue in 2 images and the green blob issue in 1 image. That's well under 1% of the shots take.

I was therefore loath to mention the problems because I felt that they might have been anomalies that others might not encounter, and I didn't have the benefit then of the hindsight in now knowing the nature of the problem. I did identify the low light level white balance issue and also the excessive IR sensitivity and discussed them in the review.

Asking a manufacturer for feedback on a review, particularly with regard to potential factual errors is the norm. Most reputable reviewers do this as a matter of course.

Leica appropriately asked me to hold off on some of the problems that I saw, because, I believed, they wanted to identify whether these were anomalies or systemic. A fair request. I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

In any event, my enthusiasm for the M8 is undiminished and I did end up purchasing one for myself, even knowing what I did. So anyone that feels I deceived them has to accept that I did so without mal intent, since I put my own money where my pen is.

Did You Know That –

Issue #15 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal, the world's only DVD video magazine exclusively about photography, is now shipping. You can view preview video clips of issue #15 here and visit our store here.

Due to a few cancellations there are a handful of berths available for my February 2007 Antarctic Expedition – the photographic adventure of a lifetime.

__________________________________________________________________________

November 9, 2006

There has been much discussion, both pro and con, about the new Leica M8's infrared sensitivity. I recently decided to see for myself what this was about, and my preliminary report is now online. I have created two new discussion forums today – one for Apple's Aperture, and the other a private forum for members of my upcoming February, 2007 Antarctic Expedition.

__________________________________________________________________________

November 8, 2006

I have now added a Postscript to my Canon G7 review of earlier this week.

__________________________________________________________________________

November 4, 2006

The marketing machine of the major camera makers continues to pour forth a stream of new digicams and DSLRs with ever higher megapixels counts and lower prices. Most market niches are filled many times over. But one segment continues to elude the Asian camera giants. This is the small high quality digital camera with an optical viewfinder, good quality lens of wide aperture, and raw mode (which of necessity should include the ability to take more than one shot every eon (err...12 seconds).

This hole in the marketplace remains unfilled, but Canon has taken a fresh shot at it with its new Powershot G7. It comes close to meeting a good many of the requirements for a quality pocket camera, but unfortunately and inexplicably drops the ball by omitting raw mode. My review of the Canon G7 is now online.

___________________________________________________________________________

November 3, 2006

Apple has just made available Aperture 1.5 as a 30 day trial. Mac owners who were hesitant about giving Aperture a try due to the cost can now see for themselves whether Apple's flagship image processing program meets their needs.

___________________________________________________________________________

November 2, 2006

For those of you caught up in the Leica M8 excitement, Sean Reid has just published Part 3 of his ongoing M8 Review. Note that Reid Reviews is a subscription site, and well worth the modest annual subscription charge that he asks for his insightful essays and excellent camera and lens reviews.

Phase One has released Capture One 3.7.6, featuring Live Preview. Live Preview currently supports Phase One's P 45, P 30 and P 21 digital backs after modification, and will be an out-of-the-box feature with all the coming P+ digital backs. Capture One 3.7.6 also includes improved support for the Leica M8, Canon 400D/Rebel XTi; Nikon D80 and Sony α (alpha) DSLR-A100.

___________________________________________________________________________

November 1, 2006

Adobe has announced the availability of Camera Raw 3.6 for Photoshop CS2, Elements 3, 4 or 5. With this update, Camera Raw and DNG Converter 3.6 now support more than 140 different cameras from 14 manufacturers. New cameras supported include Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi/EOS Kiss Digital X), Fuji FinePix S6000fd, Fuji FinePix S9100/9600, Leica D-LUX 3, Leica Digilux 3, Leica V-LUX 1, Nikon D80, Olympus E400, Olympus SP-510 UZ, Panasonic DMC-LX2, Pentax K100D, Pentax K110D and Samsung GX-1L.

The Windows version is available for download here, and the Mac version here.

- - - -

Several people have written asking if I'll be reviewing the new Canon G7. This answer is that I've been working with one for the past week, and I'll have a review online later this week or early next. Today's Home Page photograph was taken with it.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 30, 2006

There are few cameras that have been as eagerly awaited as the new Leica M8. Anyone who appreciates the place that Leica holds in photographic history, or who has ever owned a Leica themselves, has been wondering for months how the digital M8 would turn out.

After a week of constant use shooting many hundreds of frames, and making dozens of prints, I'm happy to report that the M8 is a winner. Perfect? No, of course not. But the M8 contains so much inherent Leica goodness that it's clear that coming late to the digital party definitely doesn't mean being an also-ran. The Leica M8 definitely delivers. My Leica M8 Hands-on Field Review, a portfolio, and a new videoblog all are now online.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 27, 2006

Today sees the publication of Part Two of – Focusing in The Digital Era, by Gary Ferguson. Part One was published here earlier this week and should be read first.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 26, 2006

I mentioned last week that my field review of the Leica M8 would appear this week. Because the M8 is such a rich product (no pun intended) testing is taking longer than I had expected, and so I now plan on publishing my full report next Monday. What I can say at the moment is that this camera is outstanding, producing some of the most remarkable image quality that I've ever seen from any camera, film or digital. Much more next week.

My regular column, DSLR Workshop, in the new issue of American Photo magazine, is titled Is Bigger Still Better. It is a look at the place of medium format digital backs in the marketplace vs. DSLRs.

- - - -

A number of people have written to ask if I will be attending Photo East Expo next week in New York. Since I was just at Photokina a few weeks ago, and because of a scheduling conflict, I regret that I won't be there this year.

- - - -

___________________________________________________________________________

October 25, 2006

Is accuracy of focusing any more critical now that it was when we were shooting film? Is digital really more demanding? If you haven't yet considered this issue you may wish to read Part One of – Focusing in The Digital Era, by Gary Ferguson. Part Two will appear here in a few days.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 23, 2006

Sean Reid, the author and publisher of Reid Reviews, has once again scooped other English language web sites with Part Two of his Leica M8 review. This installment includes photographs taken with a full production M8 and Sean's evaluation of the shipping camera's image quality. Note that Reid Reviews is a subscription site, and well worth the modest annual subscription charge that he asks for his insightful essays and excellent camera and lens reviews.

My own field review of a production M8 will appear here within the next week. (Please note that while review copies of the M8 are now being made available, the official release date for the camera is not until some time in the second half of November. Anyone wishing to purchase one would be well advised to place an order now, as this exciting new camera will likely be in a back-order situation for quite some time).


© 2006 – Sean Reid

___________________________________________________________________________

October 21, 2006

The current issue of Photo Techniques magazine (Nov / Dec 2006) is now on newsstands. It contains a digital master print class article written by me, titled Seeking Emotional Rather than Literal Truth. I'm also pleased to mention that the cover photograph is mine as well, one which I shot in Huangshan, China late last year.

I don't usually tout PT magazine issues here, even though I'm a contributing editor. But, this issue also contains excellent printing tutorials by photographic educators Bruce Barnbaum, John Paul Caponigro, Paul Shranz and John Sexton. All well worth your attention.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 20, 2006

Adobe has posted Beta 4.1 of Lightroom. This version has no new features, but resolves external editor conflicts, corrects export orientation for constrained portrait images, resolves missing image errors with large web galleries, and provides Photo Binder platform compatibility on optical media.

If you are using Lightroom, this is a worthwhile upgrade. If you have not yet tried Lightroom for Windows or Mac you're missing an opportunity to try out next-generation image processing and management software at no cost.

Lightroom Beta is now also available in a Japanese language version.

- - - -

Firmware for the Leica M8 has now been frozen, and production test samples are being provided to reviewers over the next week or two. I expect to have an M8 for testing shortly, and will be conducting a first-look field report as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 19, 2006

Pros and amateurs work quite differently, and one of the areas where this is most apparent is in the studio. There, working tethered is the norm, and shooting speed is always at a premium. Of course the common wisdom is that a DSLR can shoot faster than a medium format digital back. But is it true?

Craig Samuel, proprietor of Studio One, a high-end professional multi-studio / image capture / equipment rental facility in Toronto, recently set out to test that assumption, and invited me to his facility to witness the process and results. My article and videoblog titled When Slower is Faster is now online. The results will surprise you.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 17, 2006

I spent this past weekend conducting a private field workshop in Algonquin Park and Muskoka, in north-central Ontario, with Giles Lean, the winner of our recent subscription competition. Giles had traveled from Melbourne, Australia for this shoot (combining it with a business trip to the US).

Over four days we had some sun, but also some rain, some snow, and some very cold temperatures – much colder than is typical for this time of year. Also, fall colour was a bust. The leaves in Ontario this year mainly turned brown and fell off. None of the glorious displays that we usually have here, and also what colour there was happened about two weeks earlier than normal.

Nevertheless, we have a good time, and got some worthwhile images. The first of these is now on the site's Home Page. More will follow over the next few weeks.

- - - -

Though I don't go out of my way to sell prints via this site (I usually reserve this for my gallery shows), I do get some requests to be able to see images from certain shoots so that an overview is possible, and a purchase decision made. I have therefore just posted a small slide-show of images from my recent Namibia shoot. If you are interested in purchasing prints, please refer to this page.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 14, 2006

Contributor Gerard Kingma gives us today Fancy Graphics Galore, his review of Gamutvision and PrintFIX Pro. It's a fascinating read as well as an insight into these two complex products.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 12, 2006

Readers will recall that I was highly critical of the Panasonic L1 lacking a dynamic buffer, which caused the problem of not being able to continue shooting in raw mode while the camera is writing to the card. A firmware update that addresses this problem is now online. Panasonic is to be commended for responding so quickly to the problem. If only other companies paid equal attention to their product's more egregious failings.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 11, 2006

I'm always interested in unique photo gear – the stuff that we read about from time to time, but no one we know seems to actually own. Well, someone's got to, otherwise the manufacturer's wouldn't make the stuff. Right?

One such item is the 800mm ED(IF) lens for the Pentax 67. Contributor Michael Thompson has tested one, along with a 1.4 extender, and tells us what he's discovered.

- - - -

Alain Briot, who needs no introduction to regular readers here has a new book coming out next month. It's called Mastering Landscape PhotographyThe Luminous Landscape Essays. Alain is going to be offering signed copies via his web site, and the book can also be purchased from Amazon and through book stores once it becomes available. As well, Alain now has a comprehensive tutorial DVD based on his Printing Mastery Workshop available through his web site.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 9, 2006

Those photographers with a keen interest in the upcoming Leica M8, as well as those currently using film-base M Leicas, will want to read Erwin Puts' just published review of the new 28mm Leica Elmarit-M f/2.8 lens. If you are not aware of Erwin's prolific writings on Leica lenses, and his book the Leica Lens Compendium, you should know that it is now also available as a download. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Leica lenses, or even just photographic optics in general.

The Home Page photograph was updated today with one from my recent shoot in Iceland.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 7, 2006

There's a lot happening in the area of raw processing. If you're not yet aware, Beta 4 of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom became available last week. This version has some excellent new features (check out the live interactive histogram), and it puts the Windows and Mac versions just about at parity. It is still a free download, and will be the last public beta until the commercial version ships in the new year.

Photoshop guru Jeff Schewe and I have a DVD training video on Lightroom available. It features two and a half hours of tutorials to help get you up to speed quickly on Lightroom. There are also a few online tutorials covering changes to Beta 4's features, one by Ian Lyons with an overview of the update, and the other two on charges to the Library Module and the Develop Module, both by Martin Evening. Michael Tapes also has the first of a series of Beta 4 videos online.

- - - -

Adobe has just released a beta of Camera Raw 3.6. New in this release is support for a number of recently released cameras, including the Canon 400D / Rebel XTi, Leica D-LUX 3 and Leica Digilux 3, Nikon D80, Panasonic LX2, and Pentax K100D. The Windows version is available here, and the Mac version is here.

- - - -

And, if you missed the announcement a few days ago, Apple has announced Version 1.5 of Aperture available as a free downloadable update. For anyone owning a previous version, or contemplating a purchase, this is great news. V1.5 has addressed what I regard as Aperture's single biggest flaw, its unitary database. This new version is now able to work with externally referenced files and also features a number of other worthwhile enhancements.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 6, 2006

The last of my Videoblogs from Photokina, #8, called This and That, is now online. In it I look at a number of new products, including two new medium format cameras from Alpa, as well as a new model from Silvestri, the Seitz's 160MP scanning camera, and several others.

I hope that you've enjoyed these blogs. Because of the positive response that I've received on them I expect that I'll be using this format again in the future when the subject matter warrants.

Sean Reid, the creator of Reid Reviews, has just published an excellent essay on Street Photography, a subject near and dear to me. The modest annual subscription charge that he asks is well worth it for his insightful essays and excellent camera and lens reviews.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 4, 2006

I'm pleased to announce that we are now shipping Issue #15 of The luminous Landscape Video Journal, the world's only DVD video magazine exclusively about photography. These DVDs are playable on any set-top or computer based DVD player, anywhere in the world. The latest issue contains 2 hours and 25 minutes of broadcast quality video, filmed and produced by award winning professional film maker Chris Sanderson.

This issue's content includes a stunning documentary on a photographic workshop in Bangladesh, a country rarely visited by westerners. It also includes an interview / tutorial on colour management and profiling with industry guru Bill Atkinson. There is as well a featured interview with Lenswork magazine publisher Brooks Jensen, and much more.

You can view preview video clips of issue #15 here and visit our store here. Thank you for your support of this site.

- - - -

In addition to the mainstream cameras from major manufacturers there are a small number of specialty camera builders producing some remarkable products, essentially by hand. One of the most fascinating of these is Dr. Gilde, and my interview with him and a look at his Gilde 66-17 MST Super 3D Camera is the subject of my latest Videoblog from Photokina.

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

___________________________________________________________________________

October 3, 2006

There are a number of items of site interest today. Tomorrow will see a new Videblog with a close look at a wonderful hand-made camera that shoots multiple formats as well as film, digital and 3D. You're going to be amazed.

With regard to my Videoblog of yesterday on the Sigma SD14 and Fuji S5 Pro, I seem to have (as I expected I would) upset a few people. Regrettably many have taken it to be a criticism of image quality from these two cameras. Well, no, not really. If one watches this video report with any attention what you'll see is that I am chastising Sigma and Fuji for displaying mediocre sample prints showing clearly visible defects. For all I know these as yet unreleased cameras are capable of producing fine images. It's just that Sigma and Fuji put up sample prints that were quite nasty. As I have said, only a proper test report will determine if either camera is a worthy successor or competitor. But both companies could have and should have done better in creating display samples. Those wishing to vilify me as the spawn of the devil on some web forums are now free to return to their usual channel.

- - - -

Due to a few cancellations there are a handful of berths available for my February 2007 Antarctic Expedition – the photographic adventure of a lifetime. If you are able to join us, now is the time to act, as these spaces won't last long. Contact information is available at the bottom of the workshop information page. If you are able to join us, now is the time to act, as these spaces won't last long. Contact information is available at the bottom of the workshop information page.

- - - -

On a more modest financial scale, and somewhat closer to home for many, is a one day Introduction to Color Management workshop that I will be conducting on 11 November 2006, 10am - 5pm, at Pikto in Toronto. The cost is CDN $175, and the course is limited to just 30 participants. The downloadable PDF catalog description reads as follows...

In this intensive one-day course, photographers will learn a basic overview of approaching and understanding colour management, as well as how to create a colour-managed workflow. The course will cover screen calibration and profiling, creating printer profiles and understanding appropriate colour spaces. This is not a course just about theory. It is intended to provide students with full understanding and command of the tools and techniques used by pros to streamline their workflow and produce prints of optimum quality.

Registration and further information is available from Pikto.

- - - -

Also for those living in or near Toronto, I will be speaking to the Toronto Camera Club next week, on October 12, about new industry trends from Photokina, as well as showing a slide presentation on my recent photographic expedition / workshop in Namibia. A brief overview of Lightroom will also be included.

- - - -

I'm pleased to report that Issue #15 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now at the duplicator. We'll have more information on content and availability in a few days.

- - - -

The French language Canadian photography magazine Photo Selection has just published their 25th Anniversary issue. I am pleased to mention that one of the articles in this issue is on the 25 top influencers in Canadian photography. I'm proud to have been included, along such internationally recognized names as Edward Burtynsky, Yousuf Karsh, Freeman Patterson, and Jeff Wall.

- - - -

The site's Home Page photograph has been updated with one taken in 2004. Usually I put recent work there, but I was preparing some images for a book project recently and this one has increasingly become one of my favorites, so I thought it worth reposting.

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

___________________________________________________________________________

October 2, 2006

UPDATE:

The Sigma SD14 and Fuji S5 Pro Videoblog which had an erroneous segment has now been re-edited and is back online.

- - - -

I published a Videoblog on the Sigma SD14 and Fuji S5 Pro earlier today. In it I was critical of image quality displayed by both new cameras on prints displayed in their booths.

In the Fuji segment we had been quite critical in one part of the report of images which we believed to be from the S5 Pro, but which were in fact done with a Fuji S9600. I have therefore removed the entire report until it can be re-edited. I regret the error and any confusion that it may have caused.

___________________________________________________________________________

October 1, 2006

If you've been offline for the last week or so and just returned, you should be aware that both Apple and Adobe have announced at Photokina new downloadable versions of their raw processing software.

Adobe now has Lightroom Beta 4 available as a free download for both Mac and Windows machines. This new version has quite a number of improvements, and finally brings to parity both the Mac and Windows OS versions. This will be the last beta release for Lightroom. The commercial version will be released in early 2007.

Apple announced Version 1.5 of Aperture available as a free downloadable update. For anyone owning a previous version, or contemplating a purchase, this is great news. V1.5 has addressed what I regard as Aperture's single biggest flaw, its unitary database. This new version is now able to work with externally referenced files and also features a number of other worthwhile enhancements.

___________________________________________________________________________

September 30, 2006

Possibly the most controversial new product introduction at Photokina was the Hasselblad H3D. I covered it in my Medium Format Videoblog several days ago, but there still is a lot of confusion, both among photographers and dealers.

I have now addressed this topic further in my essay Hasselblad H3D Concerns.

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

___________________________________________________________________________

September 28, 2006

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone that has written over the past few days with their comments on my Photokina Videoblogs. I appreciate the feedback, which I'm pleased to say is overwhelmingly supportive and enthusiastic. Some have questioned the technical quality of the video and audio. All I can say is that it bears absolutely no resemblance to the broadcast quality video with professional camera work, superior audio, sound mixing and editing found in The Video Journal. The Videoblogs are best regarded as quick and dirty productions whose primary intent is content, with production values taking a back seat due to time (and talent) constraints. Video production is very much Chris Sanderson's forte, not mine. But, I must say that I'm having fun producing these, and hope that you find them informative.

Medium format is high on my list of interests, and I have spent much of the past couple of days at the show looking at several new products, and speaking with industry executives and pundits. There are some fascinating changes afoot, and in my Medium Format Videoblog, just published this morning, I look at several of the new products as well concerns that this show has produced.

- - - -

It is now early morning on Thursday here in Cologne, and I am about to begin my last day at Photokina. Friday will be spent traveling home. My show reports and Videoblogs will resume over the weekend and likely will continue into next week. So drop back here regularly over the next few days to see what's new.

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

"My copy of your Adobe Lightroom Beta 3 Video Training DVD arrived earlier this week
and I have learned more about Lightroom and Adobe's ethos... during the last 48 hours
than all my time with the three Beta versions of this intuitive programme to date.
Presentation and production values are first rate. The ultimate learning tool!"


Now Available – Adobe Lightroom Beta Video Training DVD
with Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe

___________________________________________________________________________

September 27, 2006

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

I had an opportunity yesterday afternoon to have a hands-on session with the new Leica M8, as well as to interview Christian Erhardt, Leica USA's Marketing Manager. My Leica M8 Videoblog report is now online.

___________________________________________________________________________

September 26, 2006

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

Late Afternoon in Cologne

I have just returned to the press lounge after a full day of working the show. I must stay that trying to digest a show of this magnitude is like trying to drink from a fire hose. Simply overwhelming.

My next videoblog, hopefully available tomorrow morning, will have some items on today's highlights. But what has become most clear today is that the industry, especially that part of it located in Europe, is going through some significant consolidation. The acquisition by Leica of Sinar, is but one example, and I'll have more on this in tomorrow's blog.

Photokina VideoBlog Index Page

Early AM in Cologne

Once every two years in late September, the world's photographic industry meets in Cologne, Germany for Photokina. This years show has just begun, and some 1,500 exhibiters will be showing new products. Unlike some web sites I have no plans on reporting on the hundreds of new digicams being offered. Rather, I will be focusing (no pun intended) on products that are interesting to me personally, and hopefully to you as well. I also have no intention of simply regurgitating press releases. Rather, I will be providing you with first hand impressions and opinions on the products that come to my intention.

Rather than do so as I have in the past, with just written show reports, this year I am trying something new – a Videoblog. The first of these will appear later today, so stay tuned, and check back to this page often during the next few days.

- - - -

Over the weekend prior to Photokina I attended Phase One's dealer meeting. I was invited to be their conference's guest speaker, and so had an opportunity to learn in advance about their upcoming product line. The news embargo has now been lifted, and so here is what Phase One will be announcing today. (A Videoblog on this event and new product line is also available today).

Phase One has updated their complete product line with the new Plus series of medium format backs, available for all currently supported camera models. This includes the P21+, P25+, P30+ and P45+. These backs feature new high resolution screens which are bright and crisp both indoors and out. The Plus backs also feature new very clean high ISO capability, offering up to ISO 1600 on the P30+ and ISO 800 on P45+ ( with full size, not reduced resolution). Long exposure capability has been increased up to 1 hour exposure time at 15C, and from between 4-5 hours at 0C. Continuous shooting is now possible due to a doubling of the back's RAM buffer size, and comparability with the latest ultra-fast CF cards, such as the Sandisk Extreme 4.

Tethered Live Preview in colour in also now offered on all Plus series backs, and also current P21, P30 and P45 (not P25) backs can be upgraded to that capability at the factory beginning in November. Anyone seeking such an upgrade will be loaned another back of the same model while their back is in Denmark being upgraded. The new Plus series backs will start to ship in January. Anyone purchasing one now will receive a non-Plus back right away, and it will be swapped out for a Plus model when they start to ship in a few months.

Capture One 4.0 has also been announced. The LE version will ship before the end of the year, and a Pro version will be coming before the end of the second quarter '07. Of note is that Capture One will be supporting the DNG format on both input and output! In the demonstration that I saw I was also particularly impressed with the new program's speed, claimed to be 300-500% faster than previously. Thumbnails were almost instantaneous, even from the largest raw files, and raw processing of huge P45 files were astonishingly fast, in the order on 12 seconds on a 2 GHz dual core Intel machine.

Also announced was that Phase One are providing both Apple and Adobe with their full proprietary IIQ file format for P backs, which will allow upcoming version of Aperture, Camera Raw and Lightroom to "officially" process these files. Choices!

Finally, Phase has announced a partnering with Mamiya. Discussions are still ongoing, but the intention is that Phase One's technology will be used in upcoming Mamiya digital camera projects.

- - - -

Fuji has announced that they will have a new DSLR, the S5 Pro, to become available in early 2007. It is based on the Nikon D200 body, which looks to be a significant improvement over the previous Nikon platform used by Fuji. The pixel count is either 6M or 12M, depending on how you count, due to Fuji's proprietary SuperCCD SR sensor design.

- - - -

At a reception on Monday evening, prior to the opening of Photokina, Apple announced Aperture 1.5. I will have a Videoblog shortly, but I can report that my major earlier concern with Aperture, its unitary database structure, has now been fixed. One can have externally linked files, and these can reside on any number of external drives, whether online or not. There are several other major enhancements to Aperture as well, but it's enough to say that the program has now become a very strong contender indeed. The best news of all is that it ships this week, and the program will be a free online upgrade for current Aperture owners.

- - - -

Two new printers have been introduced today by Hewlet Packard, the Designjet Z2100 and the Designjet Z3100. The Z2100 is an 8 pigment ink printer, and the Z3100 is a 12 pigment ink printer. Each will be available in one of two size; 24" and 44". I have a brief report online with more details on these new printers, and also a Videoblog, filmed at HP's large format printer headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

___________________________________________________________________________

September 25, 2006

Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom beta 4.0. By the way, to my mind Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is an unfortunate naming decision. Adding the word Photoshop would appear to be a "protective" strategy; one designed to help people to think of Lightroom as a part of the Photoshop universe. Confusing and unnecessary in my opinion. People will simply call in Lightroom. A rose by any other name....

- - - -

Epson is announcing at Photokina the new 17" Epson Stylus Pro 3800. This is a 9 ink printer, meaning that (hurray) it handles both photo black and matte black ink cartridges at the same time. There is a changeover process required, but apparently it only takes a few minutes and involves only a minor loss of ink. Not as user friendly as Canon's true simultaneous blacks on the 12 ink iPF 5000, but better than the half hour and $75+ dollars in lost ink of the 4800.

While the Ultrachrome K3 inks are the same as in the Epson 4800 and larger printers, the 3800 uses smaller 80ml cartridges, and doesn't have a roll paper option. It is priced at US $1,295, some $700 less than its stablemate the Epson 4800, or the competitive Canon iPF5000. I'll have more information on the 3800 in my upcoming Photokina Videoblog.

____________________________________________________________________________

September 22, 2006

With Photokina opening on Tuesday the focus of the world's photographic community will turn to equipment, and so far as my own personal interest goes, the more exotic offerings. So what better way to end this week than with a hands-on review of one of the more exotic lenses introduced last year, the Sigma 300-800mm f5.6 zoom, otherwise known as the Sigmonster. The review was written by photographic educator, and contributor to this site, Miles Hecker.

- - - -

Be sure to visit here regularly next week as I plan on publishing a series of Videoblogs from the floor of the Messe at Photokina, beginning on Tuesday morning. What's a Videoblog? You'll see.

Update:

A number of people who have just bought Nikon D80 and Canon 400D (Rebel XTi) cameras are wondering whether the newest version of Adobe's Camera Raw supports them, and if not, when it will. Here is the "official" word from Camera Raw's author, Thomas Knoll...

...this update does not support the Nikon D80 nor the Canon 400D [Rebel XTi] yet. We receieved these cameras too late in our development cycle to make the cut for this release. We understand there are a lot of users now getting these cameras who want support as soon as possible.

There are also a bunch of other cameras models likely to be announced at Photokina which will want to support as soon as possible.

Because of this demand, we are planning to make the time gap between the ACR 3.5 and 3.6 releases shorter than usual, so you will not have to wait all that long for support.

Also, we are nearing completion of the Beta 4 release of Lightroom. This will be released fairly soon (before the release of ACR 3.6). Lightroom is currently in a free public beta program:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom

Beta 4 of Lightroom will have preliminary support for both the Nikon D80 and the Canon 400D.

So in the time period the Beta 4 release of Lightroom (soon) and ACR 3.6 (shorter cycle than usual), you will be able to process your Nikon D80 and Canon 400D files using Lightroom Beta 4. You will also have the option of using the Beta 4 build Lightroom to convert the Nikon D80 and Canon 400D raw files into DNG format, which can then be used with ACR versions as old as 2.4.

____________________________________________________________________________

September 20, 2006

Update:

Zeiss will be announcing a number of new lenses in Nikon, Hasselblad V, and Leica M mount at Photokina. There is some preliminary information available online, with more to come soon, I'm sure. One that intrigues me is the Distagon T* 18mm f/4 ZF, just the thing possibly to put on a Leica M8, yielding a 24mm equivalence.

- - - -

Today looks to be a slow news day in the lead-up to Photokina so I'll take the opportunity to remind you that a few openings have come available for my February 2007 Antarctic Expedition. This could well be the photographic opportunity of a lifetime, so if time and money permit, don't let it pass you by.

- - - -

On a more modest financial scale, and somewhat closer to home for many, is a one day Introduction to Color Management workshop that I will be conducting on 11 November 2006, 10am - 5pm, at Pikto in Toronto. The cost is CDN $175, and the course is limited to just 30 participants. The downloadable PDF catalog description reads as follows...

In this intensive one-day course, photographers will learn a basic overview of approaching and understanding colour management, as well as how to create a colour-managed workflow. The course will cover screen calibration and profiling, creating printer profiles and understanding appropriate colour spaces. This is not a course just about theory. It is intended to provide students with full understanding and command of the tools and techniques used by pros to streamline their workflow and produce prints of optimum quality.

Registration and further information is available from Pikto.

- - - -

Also for those living in or near Toronto, I will be speaking to the Toronto Camera Club on October 12, about new industry trends from Photokina, as well as showing a slide presentation on my recent photographic expedition / workshop in Namibia. A brief overview of Lightroom will also be included.

____________________________________________________________________________

September 19, 2006

I always get a thrill when some company comes out of left field and trumps the rest of the industry (even if it's in a specialized niche market). This is about to happen at Photokina with the introduction by Swiss company Seitz (makers of Roundshot) of their Seitz 6x17 Digital, a 6X17 scanning camera.

Scanning, not one shot, you say? Not interested? Well, how about the fact that it is a 160 Megapixel camera generating a 21,250 pixel by 7,500 pixel image, that produces an almost 1 Gigabyte 48 bit file, and uses a custom Dalsa chip to generate an image in just a half second! Yes, I thought you might be interested. Oh yes, and it uses standard large format lenses when they are mounted in a Seitz helical mount. The camera will become available in January 2007 with a price of 28,900 Euro for the field version.

I'll be having a very close look at the Seitz 6x17 Digital at Photokina next week, and hope to have a report online soon after.

- - - -

Update: Adobe announced today the availability of Camera Raw 3.5, adding support for an additional five cameras, including the Nikon D2Xs, Panasonic L1, and Sony A100. Adobe also announced that the DNG converter is now available as a Universal Binary, allowing it to perform natively on Macintosh Intel-based computers. The Camera Raw update can be downloaded here and the DNG update can be downloaded here.

____________________________________________________________________________

September 18, 2006

Our regular columnist Alain Briot continues his series Reflections on Photography & Art, with installment number four, entitled – Of Cameras and Art. Insightful and provocative, as always.

____________________________________________________________________________

September 16, 2006

Those who are curious about the new Leica M8 (and how many red-blooded photographers aren't) will want to read Part 1 of a review by Erwin Puts that was just published today. It offers quite a different slant on things than we have otherwise seen thus far. And for those that may disagree with Erwin's assessment – fine – but just be aware that he is a leading authority on optics, and an expert on the Leica system, with several books on the subject to his credit.

If you have not already done so, do also read his provocative essay on the current state of the industry, Leica, film, digital and much else.

____________________________________________________________________________

September 15, 2006

Hartblei is a Ukrainian company that makes some weird and wonderful lenses. Their latest offerings are three tilt / shift lenses called SuperRotators, a 40mm Carl Zeiss Distagon f/4 T*, 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar T* f/2.8 and a 120 mm Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* f/4. Yes, you read that right – Zeiss! Hartblei is now using Carl Zeiss glass and formulations for these lenses along with their own mechanical assemblies.

These three lenses will be available in mounts for Canon and Nikon cameras, and because they are based on medium format designs, are able to cover full frame 35mm film and digital. (My review of the medium format Hartblei 45mm f/3.5 Super-Rotator from a few years ago may be of interest with regard to these lens' unique construction).

- - - -

The medium format segment gets a refresh today with three new models from Leaf; the Aptus S-Series, which will includes the Aptus 75S, Aptus 65S, and Aptus 54S. These backs are claimed to offer shooting speeds of up to 0.8 seconds per frame — or as many as 75 frames per minute — with unlimited burst depth. Ultra-fast cards such as the Sandisk CompactFlash Extreme IV are needed to achieve these speeds. The S series incorporate Firewire 800, a first in any medium format back or camera, for faster tethered shooting.

_____________________________________________________________________________

September 14, 2006

UPDATE!

Though scheduled for the 15th, since it is now (noon EDT) already the 15th on the other side of the international dateline, Leica has granted permission for the following official announcement...

This is the day that many photographers have been waiting for for a long time – the formal announcement of the Leica M8. Sean Reid has been testing the new Leica and shares with us a brief preview of what we can expect. His more in-depth review is to be found on his subscription web site, ReidReviews, linked from our preview page.

As a 40 year M Leica veteran I was as eager as anyone to both read Sean's comprehensive review, which just went online this morning, as well as to have a look at and test the Leica M8 myself. I'll be doing the former as a videoblog report from the floor of Photokina in a bit more than a week. I also expect to receive my own review sample as soon as production units are available. In the meantime Sean's preview here, linked to the full report on his site, is now online.

Update: DPReview now has an M8 Preview online as well. The other Leica news is that they are (as previously) rebranding several recent Panasonic offerings. These new models are the D-LUX 3 (Panasonic LX-2), V-LUX 1 (Panasonic F50), and Digilux 3 (Panasonic L1). Leica claims that though these cameras are essentially the same optically and mechanically as Panasonic's, their image processing routines are Leica's own.

- - - -

Canon has announced today its latest G series PowerShot camera, the G7. This new model features a 10 Megapixel sensor and is the first camera to feature Canon's updated DIGIC III custom processor. What may make it of particular interest to some is its traditional styling, with top-mounted ISO setting and shooting mode dials. The camera also features ISO settings from 80 to as high as 1600, and an f/2.8-4.8 6X optical zoom lens (35-210mm, 35mm equivalent). Optical image stabilization is also featured.

Whether the G7's 10MP sensor will prove to have acceptable noise characteristics will have to await a hands-on test. And in a move that is bound to be to many people's chagrin, raw mode is absent. Who at Canon thought that was a good idea? Kiss goodbye to a lot of potential sales, Canon. This could have been the small walk-around camera that many serious photographers were looking for, but not without raw.

Oh yes, and the Canon G7 features Face Detection AF/AE technology. What this means is that if you try to take a head shot of someone whom the camera doesn't recognize, the shutter will lock and the camera will display the following message on the rear 2.5" LCD – "Warning! Unrecognized humanoid. Please confirm acceptability of subject". Face recognition. Humbug!

- - - -

FLASH – My February 2007 Antarctic Expedition sold out within 48 hours of being announced last spring. But recently, due to a few cancellations, there are a handful of berths available for this remarkable photographic adventure of a lifetime. If you are able to join us, now is the time to act, as these spaces won't last long. Contact information is available at the bottom of the workshop information page.

- - - -

Peter Gregg has just published an on-line instruction video (two in fact) on how to build your own bounce flash attachment. It's simple, and quick, and does a remarkably good job. Highly recommended.

- - - -

Congratulations to Pentax for supporting the DNG raw format in their new mid-range K10D DSLR. Now if only Canon and Nikon would wake up and smell the coffee, and do the same, the industry would be the better for it.

Pentax is also to be commended for recognizing that ISO is a third variable in digital cameras. The K10D allows you to set a high and a low ISO point, and then the camera can vary this the way that it varies aperture and shutter speed. I asked for this capability in an essay here four years ago. Pentax is the first company to respond. Well done Pentax. (I've been informed that Pentax has had this on some previous models as well. I hadn't noticed. Also Nikon has something similar on the D200, but, it isn't as comprehensively conceived).

- - - -

Olympus has announced in Europe the E-400, a 10MP DSLR which they claim will be the world's smallest and lightest camera of its type. Curiously though, this model is purportedly not going to be available in the U.S. market. Hopefully the logic of this decision will become evident by Photokina. Let's Go Digital has a preview online.

Of potentially greater concern though to Olympus Four Thirds brand faithful is that the long awaited replacement for the once pro-level E-1 is nowhere to be seen. The official Olympus Photokina product announcement list shows it to be AWOL. It's hard to imagine how Olympus can hope to compete any longer in the pro environment without a pro level camera in its line up.

- - - -

A new company called Proxel has just announced a program called the Proxel Lens Corrector. This Photoshop plug is designed to correct for the optical distortions inherent in almost all lenses designs. It consists of two modules; the first allows you to create your own analysis of any camera / lens combination's distortion characteristics, and the second is the plug-in itself. The program sells for € 34, and is available for MS Windows only. There is a free downloadable demo version available. (I guess that the 40-50% of the pro photographers who are Mac users must not use lenses that suffer from distortion).

_____________________________________________________________________________

September 13, 2006

It's corporate leak time folks.

After a press announcement was accidentally posted (briefly) by one of the major digicam review sites a couple of days ago, Pentax Canada appears to have also jumped the gun on its US and corporate parents by posting information on the as yet unannounced K10D. This is a 10.2 Megapixel DSLR with built-in Shake Reduction, and a Dust Removal system. It also features a weather resistant body with 72 body seals.

UPDATE: DPReview now has a preview of the K10D online. I guess the cat's out of the bag.

- - - -

I am leaving tomorrow (Thursday) for a two week trip to Europe, which will include a meeting with one of the major printer manufacturers, a presentation to a world-wide dealer conference, and also attending Photokina for four days. During Photokina it is my intention to publish daily streaming video reports here, with an inside look at some of the more interesting products as well as interviews with industry pundits and luminaries. More information on this next week.

- - - -

There will be a great deal of new content posted during the next couple of weeks, even though I'll be on the road. But, please keep in mind that this site has no advertising or commercial relationships. We exist based on financial support by subscribers to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal, the world's only DVD format publication about photography, now about to publish our 15th edition. These disk will play on any computer or set-top DVD player, anywhere in the world. We now have subscribers in more than 40 countries. Are you a supporter?

_____________________________________________________________________________

September 12, 2006

The photographic printer market has been dominated by Epson for most of its 12 year history, and especially since 2000 with the introduction of pigment-based inks. But no marketplace can remain secure for just one vendor for long. Earlier this year we saw the introduction of the first of a series of pigment printers from Canon, the iPF 5000. Though announced in the spring, HP's entry, the B9180 has now finally started to ship as well.

My in depth review of that company's first challenger, the HP Pro B9180, is now online.

- - - -

With Photokina now opening in less than two weeks, the cavalcade of product announcements has begun. Adobe has just announced Photoshop Elements 5.0 and Premiere Elements 3.0, both for Windows. These two still and video editing programs each have many of the features and capabilities of their bigger and more expensive brethren, but at a much more affordable price. In the U.S. these products can be purchased separately, or together as a bundle for $149.99.

- - - -

Pete Myers, a frequent editorial contributor to this site, has just published a very insightful essay over at Digital Outback Photo, titled – Dude! Where’s the Ansel Adams Button? With everyone salivating over new Photokina announcements in the days ahead it's worth taking a moment to reflect on Pete's cogent words.

_____________________________________________________________________________

September 9, 2006

The photographic world is awash with new technical book titles. But every now and then one rises above the rest. Stephen Johnson's just published On Digital Photography is one of these exceptional books. My brief review is now online.

_____________________________________________________________________________

September 7, 2006

As frequently happens with workshops scheduled as much as a half year in advance, there are inevitably cancellations. We had one recently for my May, 2007 Amazon Expedition Workshop. If you would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity, please act immediately as it is not likely to remain available for long. Sorry – Sold Out

_____________________________________________________________________________

September 5, 2006

The introduction of a number of new fiber-based papers able to print with photo black inks has been greeted by some observers, this author included, as a great step forward in inkjet technology for the fine art printer. But, not everyone is in agreement.

Today, contributor Richard Lohmann provides us with his essay titled The Surface of Things – Reflections on Recent Digital Paper Offerings.

- - - -

I will be conducting a one day Introduction to Color Management workshop on 11 November 2006, 10am - 5pm, at Pikto in Toronto. The cost is CDN $175, and the course is limited to just 30 participants. The downloadable PDF catalog description reads as follows...

In this intensive one-day course, photographers will learn a basic overview of approaching and understanding colour management, as well as how to create a colour-managed workflow. The course will cover screen calibration and profiling, creating printer profiles and understanding appropriate colour spaces. This is not a course just about theory. It is intended to provide students with full understanding and command of the tools and techniques used by pros to streamline their workflow and produce prints of optimum quality.

Registration and further information is available from Pikto.

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

September 2, 2006

Epson has announced three new consumer level Ultra Hi-Definition printers, consisting of the Epson Stylus Photo R260 and R380 photo printers, along with the Epson Stylus Photo RX580 photo all-in-one. These are dye ink printers using a new ink type called Claria™. The Epson Stylus Photo R260 will be available in September for an estimated U.S. street price of $129.99. The Epson Stylus Photo R380 and RX580 will be available in October for an estimated street price of $199.99.

Nothing here to excite the pro or fine art printer, but an interesting development as the printer wars continue to heat up.

- - - -

The winner of our Amazon Expedition Contest is Marylou Howard of Orlando, Florida. Marylou is an ardent wildlife photographer and subscriber to The Video Journal. Congratulations Marylou!

Who knows what our next contest will be? Even I don't, yet. But, when it is announced anyone that is a subscriber to The Video Journal will be automatically entered. The winner could be you! Why not become a subscriber now, and enjoy the world's only DVD video magazine about photography. We are now in our 5th year of publication with thousands of satisfied customers in more than 40 countries worldwide.

- - - -

I will be conducting a one day Introduction to Color Management workshop on 11 November 2006, 10am - 5pm, at Pikto in Toronto. The cost is CDN $175, and the course is limited to just 30 participants. The downloadable PDF catalog description reads as follows...

In this intensive one-day course, photographers will learn a basic overview of approaching and understanding colour management, as well as how to create a colour-managed workflow. The course will cover screen calibration and profiling, creating printer profiles and understanding appropriate colour spaces. This is not a course just about theory. It is intended to provide students with full understanding and command of the tools and techniques used by pros to streamline their workflow and produce prints of optimum quality.

Registration and further information is available from Pikto.

September 1, 2006

Being behind the camera is one thing. Being in front of it is another. But how about being behind-the-behind-the-camera? In his latest expose on PhotoshopNews.com, Jeff Schewe (my former friend:-) has placed online a photo essay about the making of our latest project together, the Adobe Lightroom Beta 3 Video Training DVD.

In typical Schewe style he leaves no secrets hidden, baring all (or at least a lot). The truth (at least Jeff's version) is out there.

_____________________________________________________________________________

August 31, 2006

Though only available outside of North America thus far, the Mamiya ZD holds considerable interest for photographers, since at this time it is the only available 22 Megapixel medium format camera. Pentax has one promised for introduction at Photokina, and other surprises may be in store, but for the moment the ZD stands alone, and certainly offers considerable value for the money compared with medium format backs. The two articles published here earlier this year about the Mamiya ZD garnered considerable interest – more than 70,000 readers.

Today I am publishing a second opinion on the ZD, this time by two Spanish photographers, Efraín García and Rubén Osuna. Efra is a professional fashion and advertising photographer, and Rubén a University Professor at the UNED, Madrid.

- - - -

The Home Page photograph has been updated again with a new one taken earlier this month in Iceland. A complete Iceland portfolio from that trip will appear here in the days ahead.

_____________________________________________________________________________

August 27, 2006

I have now had a few days to work with Canon's latest offerings, the just introduced Rebel XTi / EOS 400D camera, and 50mm f/1.2L and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. You can read about my initial impressions of this new equipment, the first to appear anywhere online, in A Rebel Grows Up.

- - - -

Long time readers will be familiar with the name and writing of Mike Johnston, who contributed more than 100 columns to this site over the years. Mike has today contributed his impressions of the new Pentax K110 and K110, and helps locate them within the taxonomy of current DSLRs in his essay titled Totally, Completely...Okay.

- - - -

Chris Sanderson, Jeff Schewe and I are pleased to announce that our new and totally revised Lightroom Beta 3 video tutorial is at the duplicator and will begin shipping within the week.

This DVD, playable on any DVD player or computer anywhere in the world, contains 2 hours of live hands-on tutorial about Adobe's latest (Windows and Mac) beta release of Lightroom. The disk also contains a video interview with Mark Hamburg, Lightroom's principal architect, and George Jardine, Adobe's Pro Photography evangelist, filmed on location at Adobe's headquarters in San Jose, California. Learn about the origins of Lightroom (aka Shadowland) and its position in the Photoshop universe.

The Lightroom Beta 3 video tutorial sells for just US $14.99. Anyone who is a current Video Journal subscriber or who has purchased any product from our store since Nov, '05, or who has registered with our store, will have received a $5.00 discount coupon usable toward the purchase of the Beta 3 DVD, reducing the price to just $9.99 plus shipping.

Adobe Lightroom is likely to be in your future. Why not find out how to use it from two of the program's alpha testers?

_____________________________________________________________________________

August 24, 2006

Canon has introduced today a new camera and two new lenses. These are the Rebel XTi / EOS 400D as well as a 50mm f/1.2L and 70-200mm f/4L IS. I will have a hands-on report on all three items here before the end of the weekend. You will also find a comprehensive write-up on the camera here and on the lenses here, both on Rob Galbraith's site.

- - - -

Panasonic recently announced two new digicams, both 10MP upgrades to existing models. My Quick Take review of the DMC-FZ-50 & DMC-LX2 is now online.

- - - -

A news report today on Bloomberg gives some insight into the changing scene with regard to DSLR sales in Japan. The entry of Sony with its A100 has had a large impact over the past couple of months, affecting Canon most strongly, though Nikon as well. How this plays out internationally, and long term, remains to be seen. Panasonic's entry has likely also had some affect, though less so than did Sony's, because of the L1's price point. Other stats of note are that Olympus' market share continues to drop, now below 3%, and Fuji doesn't even make the chart. Both companies really need to refresh their product lines by Photokina to remain players in this market.

- - - -

Norman Koren has just announced the availability of Gamutvision, a seemingly powerful new tool for learning color management, exploring its functions, and proofing color workflows. Gamutvision is currently only available for Windows PCs.

 

The Home Page photograph has been updated again with a new one taken earlier this month in Iceland. A complete Iceland portfolio from that trip will appear here in the days ahead.

- - - -

If you are a recent visitor to this site, please note that we are non-commercial. No ads, no pop-ups, no scrolling banners with product ads. We have no commercial affiliations. We survive financially on subscriptions to our unique DVD video magazine format publication, The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Please support this site with your subscriptions and single issue purchases. Also, if you subscribe or renew before September 1st, you will automatically be entered in our Amazon Expedition contest (linked immediately below). You could win an all expensive paid photography workshop on the Amazon River, including air fare from anywhere in the world.

_____________________________________________________________________________

August 22, 2006

Regular readers know that this is one of the few (if not only) web sites that regularly reviews medium format digital backs. The reason for this is in large measure because these are the tools that I use for my own landscape photography.

I have now had an opportunity to work on location with a Leaf Aptus 75 back for the second time in a few months, this time using both the Aptus 75 and a Phase One P45 with the same body and lenses at the same time. My field report is now online.

______________________________________________________________________________

August 19, 2006

I try on these pages to present as wide an assortment of articles as possible on the technology, art, and craft of photography. Today we provide an insight into runway fashion photography, by Douglas Brown, titled Life With The Riser Crew and the Rule Of The Square.

The Home Page photograph has been updated again with a new one taken earlier this month in Iceland. A complete Iceland portfolio from that trip will appear here in the days ahead.

______________________________________________________________________________

August 17, 2006

It isn't every month that one of the major electronics companies starts shipping a new DSLR, let alone for the two largest Japanese consumer electronics firms to do so almost simultaneously. Both Sony and Panasonic have just made available their previously announced digital SLRs; Sony the A100 and Panasonic the Lumix L1.

The Panasonic L1 was shown for the first time at the spring PMA show, and generated a great deal of interest, in part because it is built around the 4/3 format, which till now has only had a single champion in the marketplace, Olympus. The second appeal was that the L1 was to ship with what looked to be a rather exciting lens, a Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5, equivalent to a 24-100mm.

The wait is now over. I have had a chance to shoot for a week in Iceland with the new Lumix L1. How did it fare? Can in run with the big dogs? Is the lens all that promised to be? Find out in my excusive Panasonic Lumix DMC L1A Field Report.


______________________________________________________________________________

August 15, 2006

With a rash on new gear about to appear, and a series of test and show reports coming here in the weeks ahead, it's worth taking a moment to consider a few of the smaller things that may be of interest to photographers. You can read about several that I consider worthwhile in Three Quick Takes.

The Home Page photograph has been updated again with a new one taken earlier this month in Iceland. A complete Iceland portfolio from that trip will appear here in the days ahead.

______________________________________________________________________________

August 10, 2006

Firstly – thanks to the many dozens of people that have written with their concern for my health following my trip to Iceland. There were far too many for me to respond to individually, so please accept this as my sincere thanks to everyone that has written and called. The good news is that I am on the mend, and hope to be back in fighting form in just a few more days. But, having said that, it's my plan to take the rest of August off, relaxing at my place in the country. No travels for at least a month!

I do have quite a few new articles underway though, including an updated field report on the 33MP Leaf Aptus 75 digital back for medium format cameras, and the fascinating new Panasonic L1 DSLR, which I also field tested in Iceland last week. These will appear here in the next couple of weeks.

- - - -

It's that time of year again – new camera introductions, except this year is expected to be one full of some significant announcements, because it is a photokina year. The show opens in just 6 weeks in Cologne, Germany. Starting the deluge today was Nikon, with its new D80 DSLR. There's full information available on all of the usual review sites.

Another new camera announced today that you won't read about on any of the digital review sites is the Horseman 3D. Developed in a joint venture between Horseman and Rolleiflex this unique stereo film camera features a unique 24x65mm size electronically controlled focal plane shutter that allows perfect synchronization of right and left images up to 1/1000sec. shutter speed. Features of this 35mm split-image Rangefinder focal plane camera include an aperture priority AE system, automatic film winding, and rangefinder focusing. There is a pair of 38mm F2.8 lenses and the camera weighs 900 grams. The Horseman 3D is marketed in the US by Direct Source Marketing. It's great that there are still companies willing to design and develop not just a new film based camera, but a rangefinder, and a stereo rangefinder at that. I call in ballsy.

- - - -

With new digital cameras coming in the weeks and months ahead, many with higher resolution sensors, photographers will be asking themselves whether or not it will be worthwhile to upgrade. To help understand the pros and cons of sensor sizes and design I have today published a new article titled Sensor and Sensibility.

- - - -

The Home Page photograph has been updated again with a new one taken last week in Iceland. A complete Iceland portfolio from this trip will appear here in the days ahead.

- - - -

UPDATE:

Due to an apprehended terrorist threat, effective immediately no hand baggage whatsoever will be allowed on any flights departing or transiting through any airport in the UK. Only tickets, passports, wallets and the like will be allowed. For photographers this means no cameras whatsoever in hand baggage, because there is no longer any hand baggage. News reports state that this new rule will likely not remain in effect indefinitely. You can currently read more here and here.

______________________________________________________________________________

August 7, 2006

The Adobe Lightroom Adventure 2006 in Iceland is now over. It was a remarkable experience to work closely for more than a week with a dozen of North America's and Iceland's top photographers. These men and women came from various disciplines, including documentary, corporate, advertising, sports, fashion, and event photography. Oh yes, and landscape and nature photography as well, something that everyone seemed to enjoy getting their hand in in this most photogenic of countries.

Bill Atkinson and I shared a small 4WD vehicle and used it every day to explore some of the more remote regions of Iceland's highlands. Each day one of the other photographers would join us, and we share not only the shooting opportunities but also stories about our careers and experiences.

As you may have read yesterday on the O'Reilly site there was some additional drama on tap for me. On the day before our departure from Reykjavik I became ill, and after a check-up in hospital it was found that I had something generically called Labyrinthitis. This causes dizziness and nausea, and it laid me low for two days. This is day three, the symptoms are abating, and I'll be flying home later today in the care of my sometime nurse and good friend Video Journal producer Chris Sanderson.

- - - -

Listening to the Print Inside the Image is the title of a new essay being published for the first time today. What do your photographs have to say?

- - - -

The Home Page photograph has been updated with a new one taken last week in Iceland.

______________________________________________________________________________

August 3, 2006

George Jardine, Adobe's Pro Photography Evangelist has just posted a new iTunes Podcast, with an interview in Iceland with Bill Atkinson and me. At the moment it can be downloaded from George’s iDisk, and shortly as well on iTunes by searching under Podcasts for “Lightroom”. The title is Podcast #11: Michael Reichmann and Bill Atkinson.

There is now also a small gallery online of photographs taken this week by several members of the Iceland team. The web gallery was (of course) created with Adobe Lightroom. (Note that there is a bug with the Safari browser on Macs, and that those gallery web pages sometimes display as raw HTML code. Just hit Refresh if this happens).

______________________________________________________________________________

August 1 , 2006

We're now half-way though the Adobe Lightroom Adventure 2006. This is being a remarkable trip, with a dozen leading photographers from North America and Iceland working together to document our impressions of this remarkable country. Since we are out shooting in the midnight sun for some 18 hours a day, as well as working on our files in Lightroom, attending seminars, discussions, and making prints, there is no time for me to do more than post a quick "Hi!", and suggest that you check on the Adobe Lightroom Adventure 2006 for a new selection of images from several of the photographers, which will have been posted there as of midnight, today, GMT.

______________________________________________________________________________

July 27, 2006

As the saying goes, I am now winging my way to Iceland, for a landscape shoot; my fourth summer photographing in that remarable country in the past five years.

As mentioned on this page a couple of weeks ago, this particular trip is to be part of the Adobe Lightroom Adventure 2006, a week-long sponsored shoot which begins tomorrow. The photographers selected for the Adventure are Mikkel Aaland, Michael Reichmann, Peter Krogh, Richard Morgenstein, Maggie Hallahan, John McDermott, Bill Atkinson, Martin Sundberg, John Isaac, Ari Magg, Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson, Christopher Lund, and Derrick Story. George Jardine, Russel Brown and Addy Roff of Adobe Systems, and video producer / director Chris Sanderson round out the team.

The concept is simple. We will each be out shooting from before dawn till after dusk each day (all 18 hours of it), with a break each afternoon for all of the photographers to get together, process our files using Lightroom, and to compare notes. There will be blogs, videos and other commentary available online both during and after the shoot, as well as a follow-up book on the adventure by Mikkel Aaland.

Keep your eye on the O'Reilly site, and after the trip I'll have lots of coverage here as well.

- - - -

My kit for this trip consists of a Hasselblad H2 with Phase One P45 back. Leaf has also provided me with the loan of an Aptus 75 back in H mount, and so for the first time I will be able to shoot with both the P45 and Aptus 75 with the same lenses, at the same time. A second body, an H1, will allow me to shoot quickly with both backs, and the fact that I'll be working with Bill Atkinson, who also uses an H series system, will mean lots of opportunity for testing and comparisons between these two state-of-the-art backs.

I also have received a production Panasonic L1 DSLR for testing during my Iceland trip. I expect to be able to produce a full field report and have it ready for publication not long after my return.

- - - -

It's always informative to learn how other photographers produce their final prints, taking a latent image and turning it into a finished work. Today's new essay is by contributor Pete Meyers, and is titled Long Road Down – The Making of a Fine Art Photograph.

______________________________________________________________________________

July 25, 2006

New digicams come and go from the scene at a frightening pace. No sooner does one seem to rise above the pack than a competitor offers a compelling alternative, or a revised model appears on the horizon. Into this maelstrom comes the Powershot S3 Pro IS, Canon's latest entry in the hotly contested super-zoom category.

Super-zoom digicams are a fascinating breed. Not quite shirt-pocket sized, but easily coat pocket-able, these camera offering very high quality lenses with extraordinary focal length ranges, along with moderately high image quality. Not quite in the league of DSLRs, but offering decent image quality and great versatility at an affordable price.

Today sees the publication of my review of the Powershot S3 Pro IS, Canon's latest entry in the super-zoom competition.

______________________________________________________________________________

July 22, 2006

Part 3 of Alain Briot's Artist in Business Series is now online. This one is titled How You Can Do It Too.

_______________________________________________________________________________

July 19, 2006

Sooner than some people believed, and later than other had hoped, it's happened – Adobe's Lightroom Beta 3 is now available for Windows (as well as OS X, of course).

This release for Windows is almost identical to the current Mac beta, with a few exceptions. As discussed by Jeff Schewe on PhotoshopNews.com, there is no Web module in Windows Beta 3, the Identity Plate is missing, there is no music yet for the Lightroom Slideshow, no “Lights Out” screen mode, and no drag and drop importing, except when using the Auto-Import feature.

It is said that these will all come when when Beta 4 is released, at which point both the Windows and Mac versions will have parity. In any event, the few small missing items are not critical for anyone wanting to become familiar with the new software, which is likely to become one of the most popular raw image processing programs on the market.

Lightroom Beta 3 is a free download, and will remain free until the program's commercial release some time later this year.

Mac users know that we currently have a Lightroom Tutorial DVD available, as well as my original First Look Review which is online. My Lightroom Tips page may also be of interest. There is also a dedicated Lightroom section on this site's Discussion Forum.

Jeff Schewe and I have created a new updated Beta 3 tutorial DVD for both Mac and Windows versions of Lightroom. It has just completed being edited, and will be heading soon to the duplicator. If you buy the current Lightroom Tutorial DVD you will be able to obtain the latest Beta 3 disk at a discount when it's released. Details to come.

In the meantime, download a free copy of Lightroom for Macs or for Windows. It is representative of what the next generation of image processing software is all about.

UPDATE: Ian Lyons has a brand-new Windows Beta tutorial which new user will find very useful.

UPDATE: Sandisk has announced this afternoon a new line of Extreme IV cards, in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB sizes, as well as a new high-speed Firewire card reader to match. The news here is that these cards are rated at 40MB / sec, twice as fast as any other card currently on the market. Rob Galbraith has run some tests and found that these numbers aren't hype. Just the thing for those with medium format backs, and also photographers who shoot high speed bursts with DSLRs. Makes downloading that much faster as well.

________________________________________________________________________________

July 17, 2006

Have you visited a computer or big-box store recently? If so you'll have noticed that CRT monitors have virtually ceased to be available. LCDs are now the norm, and at the high end, with the demise of the Sony Artisan a couple of years ago, there is no real alternative to the LCD monitor.

But these devices come in a range of qualities, as well as sizes. The very high end now has a new king of the hill, the NEC MultiSync 2180WG-LED. My first impressions review is now online.

- - - -

How would you like to spend two weeks on a photographic expedition / workshop cruising the Amazon river next April? How about if this $9,000 trip, plus airfare from anywhere in the world, was free? Well, it can be. And, you could be the winner. Just enter our newest and biggest contest. You'll also be supporting this site with your subscription or renewal. Click below!

________________________________________________________________________________

July 12, 2006

There is a disturbing new force in stock photography which many pros may already be concerned about. It's known as the Micro-Payment Agency. Today contributor George Munday shares his thoughts with us on this disturbing trend.

- - - -

Many will recognize the name Erwin Puts as belonging to one of the most respected independent researchers and writers about photographic lenses. He is the author of the invaluable Leica Lens Compendium. Irwin has just published a fascinating comparison test between the new Canon 85mm f/1.2L II, the Sonnar T* 2/85 ZM and the Leica Apo-Summicron-M 2/90mm and 2/75mm ASPH. Great reading.

- - - -

Leaf back owners will be very pleased to learn that the company has just officially released Capture 10.0.3. It is a dual binary, so it will run natively on the newer Intel Macs as well as older PowerPC models.

________________________________________________________________________________

July 11, 2006

Take O'Reilly Digital Media publishing, Adobe LightRoom, the Iceland Tourist Board, and a half dozen other commercial sponsors, mix in a dozen or so leading photographers, the spectacular country of Iceland in mid-summer, and what do you get? The Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop Adventure 2006, of course.

This is a week-long sponsored shoot in Iceland beginning on July 28. The photographers selected for the Adventure are Mikkel Aaland, Michael Reichmann, Peter Krogh, Richard Morgenstein, Maggie Hallahan, John McDermott, Bill Atkinson, Martin Sundberg, John Isaac, Ari Magg, Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson, Christopher Lund, and Derrick Story. George Jardine and Addy Roff of Adobe Systems, and video producer / director Chris Sanderson round out the team.

We will each be out shooting from before dawn till after dusk each day (all 18 hours of it), with a break each afternoon for all of the photographers to get together, process our files using Lightroom, and to compare notes. There will be blogs, videos and other commentary available online both during and after the shoot, as well as a follow-up book on the adventure by Mikkel Aaland. Keep your eye on the O'Reilly site, and after the trip I'll have lots of coverage here as well.

_________________________________________________________________________________

July 10, 2006

Because the Amazon Expedition Workshop sold out so quickly, I am now ready to announce our greatest contest yet. The prize is a free two week trip aboard a riverboat on the Amazon, together with photographers and educators Michael Reichmann, Andrew Rodney, and Jay Maisel. World famous naturalist Fiona Reid will be our guide.

Why are we having this contest? Very simple. Like any contest, its purpose is to get you to buy something, and in this case it's a subscription to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

This berth is worth US $9,000, and we are also including free airfare from anywhere in the world. The total value of this prize is therefore potentially more than $13,000.

What do you have to do to win? Read the contest terms and conditions page, and then take out a subscription. That's all it takes. It could be you on that expedition next April. And if you're not the winner – you'll still receive both a valuable new photographic resources and will be supporting this site with your purchase.

_________________________________________________________________________________

July 9, 2006

I am pleased to announce my latest workshop – A 12 day Photographic Expedition / Workshop aboard a Riverboat on the Amazon River. As of the evening of the 8th there is one spot left, the others having been spoken for by those on my workshop waitlist.

UPDATE: This workshop is now SOLD OUT. You may add your name to a waitlist in the event that there is a cancellation.

- - - -

I'll shortly be announcing details on the biggest contest that this site has ever offered. The prize will be a free passage on the Amazon Expedition Workshop – with a total value in excess of US $10,000.

How do you enter? Simple. Just subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Anyone placing a new subscription or renewal will be included in the pool of possible winners. Existing subscribers will also be eligible to win. Single issue purchases are not included. More details on the contest will be coming soon, but if you subscribe now you'll be in the running. (Anyone who has signed up for the workshop, and who is lucky enough to then win the contest, will receive their passage free).

_________________________________________________________________________________

July 8, 2006

This site's server suffered a senior moment last night, and was down for a period of about 9 hours. Nothing major. It just got to the fridge, looked inside, and couldn't remember what it had been looking for.

No harm done though. It is now taking its meds again, and all should be well for the next year or so. We apologize for any inconvenience caused, including the necessity of your having to have watched summer re-runs on TV yesterday evening instead of being able to enjoy this site.

- - - -

The seach for a new design template for this site is concluded. The winner is Henrik Paul of Finland. You can see a rough of his proposed design, but please be aware that neither is the page functional, nor is the design finished. There's lots of works to be done over several months before the more than 3,000 pages on this site can be converted properly.

Paul wins a Big Kahuna subscription to The Video Journal.

_________________________________________________________________________________

July 7, 2006

We have always (well for the past 7 years in any event), been one of the few places on the web to publish reviews of specialty photographic equipment – items like panoramic cameras, technical view cameras, medium format digital backs, and specialized accessories. I'm therefore pleased to continue that tradition with today's newest review.

What do you get when you marry a DSLR to a technical view camera? Something like the Horseman LD, which is examined in detail by contributor Bernard Languillier.

- - - -

Update:

DxO Labs will be announcing today DxO Optics Pro v4, slated to be available on Macintosh and Windows platforms in September. Among other enhancements will be a radical overhaul of the application’s ergonomics as well as many important enhancements to the workflow. Image processing speed is reported to have been increased by up to 500% compared to the previous version. DxO Optics Pro v4 will also be optimized for Mac/Intel processors.

Possibly the most exciting new feature will be a provided Plug-in for Photoshop, which will allow users to directly access core DxO image correction features when opening RAW or JPEG images.  

DxO Optics Pro V4 is planned to be available for Windows, Intel Mac and Macintosh in September 2006. All purchasers of DxO Optics Pro v3.55 after June 20, 2006 will be eligible for a free upgrade. Pricing of upgrades and full versions of DxO Optics Pro V4 will be announced at a later date. A downloadable Windows beta of V4 will be available later in July.

- - - -

Thank you to everyone that submitted site redesign proposals. The contest is now closed. The next problem is dealing with the fact that a new CSS doesn't solve all of the problems, so additional work is needed. I'll keep you informed about who the winner is when we've solved these issues.

_________________________________________________________________________________

July 4, 2006

After 4 years without a change the design of this site is getting a little tired. So, for those of you who know how to create and design Style Sheets, here's a proposal...

Submit a redesign for this site in the form of a new CSS. The winning submission will receive a free Big Kahuna subscription to the Luminous Landscape Video Journal. This competition closes whenever I get a submission that I like. Send your submissions here.

If I really like your work I may even ask that you quote on a commercial assignment to redesign other of the site's pages and design elements.

Ps: I well realize that there's more needed that just a change to the CSS, but it'll serve as a first step once an acceptable design is put forward.

- - - -

SPECIAL PRE-ANNOUNCEMENT

Within the next week or so I will be announcing my next workshop – A 12 day Photographic Expedition / Workshop aboard a Riverboat on the Amazon River. I will be joined on this trip by three remarkable instructors – a world famous naturalist, and two of the world's leading photographic instructors.

This is a heads-up announcement. Before details on the workshop are announced publicly they will be sent to those on my workshop waitlist. If you would like to add your name to this list (it will not be used for any other purpose), please drop me a line. Just put the word workshop in the title and the body of the email.

I will also be announcing at the same time the biggest contest that this site has ever offered. The prize will be a free passage on the Amazon Expedition Workshop – with a total value in excess of US $10,000.

How do you enter? Simple. Just subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Anyone placing a new subscription or renewal as of today will be included in the pool of possible winners. Existing subscribers will also be eligible to win. Single issue purchases are not included. More details on both the workshop and the contest will be coming soon, but if you subscribe now you'll be in the running.

_________________________________________________________________________________

July 2, 2006

Our regular columnist Alain Briot returns today with Part 2 of his new series – Being a Artist in Business. Part 3 will appear here soon.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 30, 2006

Though only likely to end up in the hands of a small number of photographers, interest in the high end of the market – medium format backs – is always very keen. These devices define the state of the art in digital imaging.

Earlier this month I went on a shoot in the coastal mountains of British Columbia to test the Leaf Aptus 75 back, and to compare it with the Phase One P45. The results of that test drive are now online. The second installment, shooting with both backs on a Hasselblad H2 in Iceland in August, will appear here later in that month.

- - - -

Alain Briot has several new workshops planned for next year. These are to be found, along with the workshops of some of my other colleagues, on this site's Workshop Page. Alain also has several new articles coming. The first of them will appear here next week.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 29, 2006

Andrew Rodney and I conducted a small experiment over the past few days. I printed out a target containing 918 colour patches, using two different Canon iPF 5000 printers. These were sent to Andrew and measured by him for consistency. The results were not that impressive. They can be read about on this site's Discussion Forum here.

But, this is too limited a sample (just two data points) to draw any firm conclusions from, other than that more testing of more different copies of this printer, and of the same printer over a period of time, need to be done so that users and potential users can learn whether Canon's new printer can truly compete with the Epson 4800.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 28, 2006

A fairly large percentage of my work is in B&W. It just depends on the subject matter. My Epson 4800 using the Imageprint RIP has been the backbone of my monochrome printing technique for quite a while now. As I've increasingly started using the Canon iPF 5000 though I missed the superior image neutrality and toning ability of the Imageprint RIP. As reported yesterday this is still a few months away from being available for the new Canon.

But by chance I discovered that the Canon iPF5000 actually has a superb monochrome printing capability built in. (Discovery is the operative word, since there's no documentation to speak of). It's found in the 16 Bit Export Plug in, and is explained in today's printer report update.

UPDATE

The new F surface papers from Hahnemuhle, Innova, and Museo, which I've written about in recent weeks, have taken fine art printers by storm. Now Booksmart Studio has published a very well done review and comparison which is well worth your attention.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 27, 2006

UPDATE #2

Following just 24 hours after the announcement of Adobe's acquisition of Pixmantec comes word that iView Multimedia has been acquired and is now part of Microsoft Corporation. For more information you may read the Acquisition FAQ. Here is another perspective on the sale, by Peter Krogh, the author of The DAM Book.

- - - -

Over the years my Understanding Series of articles have become something of a primer for those just getting into digital imaging. These don't go into any great depth, but they hopefully provide simplified insights into sometimes seemingly complex subjects.

Today's addition is Understanding Soft Proofing. It looks at why, even when you have a profiled screen and printer, your prints and what you see on the monitor don't necessarily match. And, it tells you what you can do about it.

UPDATE #1

If you have already read my Canon iPF 5000 printer review, you'll want to read the update which I added today. In it I uncover the reason why some observers have seen non-continious tone results, and reveal what to do about it. I also report on when we can expect to see an Imageprint RIP for the 5000.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 26, 2006

There's a supposedly Chinese originated curse that says something like... "May you live in interesting times." Indeed!

PRESS RELEASE: Adobe Further Extends Leadership in Digital Photography Raw File Workflows

Adobe Acquires Technology Assets of Pixmantec ApS

SAN JOSE, Calif. - June 26, 2006 - Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced it has acquired the technology assets of Pixmantec ApS, makers of digital imaging software that provides advanced workflow management and processing capabilities for digital camera raw files. The acquisition strengthens Adobe's leadership position in raw processing.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"With high quality digital cameras now within reach of every photographer, customers are gravitating to raw file formats that allow them to get more control over final results," said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions at Adobe. "By combining Pixmantec's raw processing technology and expertise with our own, we're continuing to deliver on the promise that even your existing raw files can be processed with increasing quality as our software technology evolves."

Pixmantec is a privately held company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark and currently ships the RawShooter(r) line of digital photography software products. Adobe plans to integrate Pixmantec raw processing technologies into Lightroom(tm) and wherever customers will be working with raw files.

In preparation for this integration, the Pixmantec RawShooter Premium product is being discontinued, though the free RawShooter Essentials product will continue to be available until the Lightroom public beta program is completed. Existing Pixmantec customers will continue to be supported by Adobe and will be provided with an upgrade path to the Adobe digital imaging product family.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 24, 2006

Andy Biggs leads photographic safaris in East Africa. He's one of the best in the business, with an in-depth knowledge of Tanzania, and excellent teaching skills. Andy and I have worked together in Africa a couple of times over the past few years and I can vouch for his professionalism and dedication.

Andy has a few openings in two of his workshop / expeditions this September, due to last minute cancellations. If the idea of an African photo safari is one that you've nurtured, then now's the time to make it real. His September 3-15, 2006 safari and September 13-25, 2006 safari both have a few places available.

- - - -

The ImagePrint 6.1 RIP is now available for the Epson 2400 printer. Great news for many who have been waiting patiently (and some not so patiently) for this announcement.

- - - -

Bibble Labs, Inc. has announced the available of Bibble Pro and Bibble Lite Upgrade 4.8. This free upgrade is available to existing Bibble 4 license holders, and represents the third such major upgrade of 2006. New features in this release include a redesigned and more powerful Lens Correction tool enabling correction of barrel and pin-cushion distortion, as well as chromatic aberration and vignetting.

- - - -

UPDATE

Sometimes ironic commentary works online, sometimes it doesn't. But Mike Johnston's latest absolutely tickles my fancy. Mike has a way with words, especially softly barbed ones.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 22, 2006

The recently introduced Canon iPF5000 printer has generated a huge amount of interest among fine art photographers and printers. It represents the first real challenge to Epson's pigment ink based printer hegemony.

With this new printer Canon has taken direct aim at the Epson 4800. The iPF5000 uses 12 pigment inks, including four blacks, all of which are mounted at all times, obviating the need to change black inks when switching from glossy to matte papers. Roll paper can remain loaded even when sheets are being printed, and printing is fast and quiet. Best of all, image quality is superb.

My comprehensive review of the Canon PROGRAF iPF5000 is now available.

UPDATE: Ink cost as stated in the article when first published on Wednesday evening were based on erroneous data. This has now been corrected and updated. I apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.

- - - -

Those awaiting further information on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 will be pleased to note that dpreview now has an exclusive preview of this new camera online.

- - - -

Please don't forget to support this completely non-commercial site with your subscriptions to the unique Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 18, 2006

Since the dawn of digital capture, effective long exposure recording has remained the domain of film. But now, with the P45 medium format back, Phase One has set a new benchmark for effectively noise-free long exposures. I have done exposures of up to 20 minutes and found little visible noise. My report is now online.

The Home Page photograph has been updated with another taken last week in British Columbia, .

My review of Canon's new 12 pigment ink iPF5000 printer is now complete. Expect for it to be published here mid-week.

- - - -

UPDATE (From the just for fun department)

DALSA Semiconductor Delivers World’s First 100+ Million Pixel CCD Image Sensor Chip to Semiconductor Technologies Associates (STA)

Waterloo, Ontario, June 19, 2006 – DALSA Semiconductor, a division of DALSA Corporation (TSX:DSA), an international high performance semiconductor and electronics company, announced today that it has successfully fabricated and delivered the world’s highest resolution image sensor chip to its customer, Semiconductor Technology Associates (“STA”) of San Juan Capistrano, California. The CCD device, which measures approximately four inches by four inches, has a total resolution of over 111 million pixels (10,560 pixels x 10,560 pixels at 9µm). It is the world’s first imager to break the 100 million pixel barrier.

STA developed the record-breaking chip for the Astrometry Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory (“USNO”), funded by the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research Program. The device will assist USNO in the determination of the positions and motions of stars, solar system objects and the establishment of celestial reference frames. DALSA Semiconductor manufactured the device for STA at its wafer fabrication facility in Bromont, Quebec.

No mention of price, and likely over six figures, but anyone wanting to manufacture a large format single shot back now has available the sensor to make it possible.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 14, 2006

Adobe Lightroom Beta 3 for OS-X has just been released. Jeff Schewe, publisher of PhotoshopNews.com, has a very good first-look at the new version. Jeff and I just completed our second Lightroom training video, and it is currently being edited. We hope to have it available in July. Watch this page for an announcement. And, yes, Lightroom for Windows is coming – soon.

Ian Lyons of Digital Darkroom also has just placed online a very comprehensive look at Lightroom Beta 3.

- - - -

Harald Heim today provides us with a look at a very specialized photographic genre, with his essay titled – Photographing Dance Shows.

- - - -

I have just returned from a shoot in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. The new Home Page photograph is from a forthcoming series that was produced there.

While in BC I had the opportunity of working with the new Leaf Aptus 75 as well as my own Phase One P45 medium format back. My report on this will appear here in the days ahead. I also had the pleasure of shooting for a few days with Brooks Jensen, the publisher of Lenswork magazine. We filmed an extensive interview with Brooks, which will appear in an upcoming issue of The Video Journal. We also had the pleasure of working alongside and interviewing Ray Maxwell, a colour science engineer, and Yair Shahar, a Leaf European country manager. Interviews with both Ray and Yair will also appear in upcoming issues of The Video Journal.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 8, 2006

There has been a bit of a revolution in fine art printing papers taking place during the first half of 2006. Paper makers have figured out how to make fiber-based papers that accept gloss black ink. Thus far we have seen, and I have tested here, Crane Museo Silver Rag and Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl.

The newest offering is from the British paper maker Innova, and is called Innova F-Type FibaPrint Gloss Ultra Smooth. My exclusive review is now online.

- - - -

I will be off-line until Wednesday, June 14. I will be doing a landscape shoot in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. What will make this all the more interesting is that I will be accompanied by two representatives from Leaf. This will allow me to shoot with both the Phase One P45 and the new Leaf Aptus 75. It's my intention to produce an Aptus mini-review as well as a comparison of these two state-of-the-art medium format backs. The cameras that we'll be using include a Hasselblad H2, Hasselblad C, Mamiya AFD, and Linhof 679cs.

- - - -

Since I mentioned last week that I am currently testing the new 12 pigment ink Canon iPF 5000, many people have written, asking my impressions, and also when the review might be ready. There is obviously a great deal of pent-up interest in this printer.

The review won't appear for another couple of weeks. The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, my travel schedule. I've recently been out of the office more than in, and testing a printer obviously requires many hours at the computer. Secondly, this is a very complex product, with a great many features to be explored. I'd rather take my time to ensure that I understand all of them properly than rush the results.

Rather than keep you in suspense though, here are some initial comments, particularly in comparison with the Epson 4800. These are subject (of course) to revison....

– Quieter and faster than an Epson 4800. – Generally wider dynamic range. – The new additional red, blue and green inks offer their most visible improvements in the blues. – Able to print with matte and glossy black without switching carts. – No need to unload roll paper when printing from the paper tray. – 16 bit mode Photoshop Export plug-in offers dramatic improvements in dynamic range and tonal variations. – Completely continuous tone (unlike what's been reported elsewhere).

There are some negatives as well, including a truly dreadful HTML manual, and an initially confusing series of warnings caused by mismatches between the driver settings and the printer's front panel settings. The iPF5000 also doesn't come with the roll paper adaptor as standard, and with it included ends up being more expensive than the Epson 4800.

My full review should be available here before the end of June.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 7, 2006

The elves at our disk duplication factory have been working overtime, and their steam powered DVD press has now been repaired. This means that the Measuring Megabytes DVD ROM is now shipping, and should start to arrive in mailboxes next week. If you have not yet purchased a copy, note that the price only remains at $9.95 until a week from today, June 15th.

We have also created a new Four Disk Presentation Pack of Video Journal Issues 9 – 12. If you are a recent subscriber, this is a good way to become familiar with some of our more current issues.

Please remember that this site owes its continuing existence to, and is solely supported by, your single issue purchases and subscriptions to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. If you find this site to be of value, please provide us with your support by considering a subscription today. Thank you.

- - - -

World famous portraitist Arnold Newman passed away on Wednesday at the age of 88. One of the photographic greats is gone.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 7, 2006

One of the frustrations of working with Adobe Camera Raw and Bridge is that CR's default set-up is with its AUTO functions on. While some of the time this can speed image processing by giving users a head-start on processing their raw files appropriately, more advanced users can be frustrated by having to turn off the Auto functions each time a new file is loaded, or a different camera used.

In my new tutorial titled Taking Control of the Auto Function In Adobe Camera Raw (snappy title, I thought), I show how this feature can be turned off once and for all.

- - - -

For the past few days Jeff Schewe (the publisher of PhotoshopNews and general all-around image processing maven) and I have been holed up in a secret location (my summer cottage) along with director / cameraman Chris Sanderson. We have just completed filming our Lightroom Beta 3 Tutorial for Windows and OSX. Yes – you read that right. A Lightroom Beta for Windows. It is coming!

We now have some weeks of editing until the video is ready for publication, but we'll keep you informed of details, pricing and availability as we can.

And speaking of availability, we had hoped to be shipping the Measuring Megabytes DVD ROM this week, Unfortunately our replicator had an equipment breakdown at their plant, and several days were lost. Hopefully these disks will go out next week.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 2, 2006

gobsmacked
adj : (British; informal) utterly astounded

Within the past 48 hours two products have entered my office, each of which is an exciting development, but which combined leave me gobsmacked. (See the definition above if you live outside the UK, or don't watch enough British TV to get the reference).

The products in question are Innova F-Type FibaPrint Gloss Ultra Smooth paper, and the Canon iPF 5000 printer.

I expect to have my Innova Fiba review completed by this time next week. What's exciting about it is that it is the third new entry in the alpha-cellulose glossy paper sweepstakes. In other words, glossy paper that's really paper, rather than plastic. How does it compare to Crane Museo Silver Rag and Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl? Drop back next week to find out.

It will be several weeks until the new Canon review is completed. This is in part because I have two shooting trips coming in the next couple of weeks, but also because it is a complex product, and needs to be compared to the Epson 4800, its intended competition in the fine art printing marketplace. Also, because tests need to be done with a variety of different papers, both glossy and matte. But let it be enough said for the moment that if my initial impressions hold firm, the Canon iPF 5000 printer is going to knock everyone's socks off.

_________________________________________________________________________________

June 1 , 2006

With the transition to digital the world of medium format photography has become expensive and rarified. The ranks of both users and sellers continues to become depleted. Yet, medium format remains as it has always been, the Goldilocks of photography, offering an almost ideal compromise between 35mm and large format, both in terms of features as well as size and performance. And in the world of digital, medium format backs offer the ultimate in single shot image quality.

Standing at the top of the medium format pile is Hasselblad. Its H1 camera system, introduced in 2002, has become a favourite of a great many commercial, portrait, and fashion photographers, among other pros, as well as well many heeled amateurs. In 2005 Hasselblad started shipping the H2 model, offering some advances in digital back integration. This new camera is now the subject of my latest review – Hasselblad H2: 21st Century Ubercamera or Dinosaur in Waiting?

iView MediaPro has now been upgraded to V3.1 for both Mac and Windows. The Mac version is now a Universal Binary running in native Intel mode on new Dual Core Intel Macs. This is a free upgrade.

The Home Page photograph has been updated with another taken last month in Kolmanskop, Namibia.

_________________________________________________________________________________

May 30, 2006

The 2006 Raw Survey Report is now available as a 2MB PDF download. If you are in any way interested in how other photographers perceive the photographic industry, the equipment they use, the raw processing software, and the cameras they choose, this independent and rigorous survey is a must-read.

_________________________________________________________________________________

May 28, 2006

A new essay on the sometimes ephemeral difference between postcards and art, titled When Pretty Isn't Enough, is now online.

- - - -

Friday's edition of The International Herald Tribune has a very interesting discussion between three experts in Japanese equities regarding the stock market, the global competitiveness of Japanese companies, and trends to watch. The follow is an excerpt relevant to the changing photographic industry. Though Pentax specifically is mention, it really is about the changing nature of the entire digital camera business.

"Abe: Let me discuss Pentax, of which we hold 21 percent. Pentax is an optical technology company that is known for making single-reflex lenses. Japanese camera makers have their roots in lens making and optical technology. Leveraging its technological strength, Pentax has diversified into endoscopy, an area that Japanese companies monopolize (......)

The mistake that Pentax and other camera manufacturers made was in digital cameras, which as a business are not like cameras but more like home electronics, with short product cycles. It's not an efficient business for camera manufacturers to be in. We have been in talks with the Pentax management and have been suggesting that they exit from digital camera manufacturing. (......)

Musha: One needs to understand that competitive Japanese companies are not built on the "Silicon Valley model." Taiwan and Korean manufacturers in principle follow this model, where you make use of the basic prototype of the business, the technology and the equipment, and you pour in capital and rapidly achieve a certain scale. Your competitors can play catch-up very easily. Japanese semiconductor companies were typical [in how they lost to the competition] and the digital camera business falls in the same category. It's a winner-take-all game where unless you become the winner, you lose all your profits in the process of competition. Japanese firms that have been in those types of businesses have all been destroyed."

_________________________________________________________________________________

May 24, 2006

About five years ago a small company called Acratech shook up the industry a bit with its very small and light weight ballhead. Several manufacturers have followed with their interpretations, but now Acratech has responded with a new version called the V2 Ballhead, as well as a new Leveling Base. I've been using these two new products in the field for the past month or so, and my Quick Take Review is now online.

Speaking of shaking things up, Pentax seems to be back in the game with two new DSLRs, the K100D and K110D. Both are 6 Megapixel entries. The real point of interest from a feature point of view is the fact that the 100D has an anti-shake system in the body, similar to that used by the late lamented Konica / Minolta, and to be seen again soon in the new Sony Alpha series cameras. Vibration reduction is achieved with a wide range of existing current Pentax lenses.

The Pentax K100D is reported to be due in July, at a MSRP of $699 with a SMC 18-55mm AL lens. The K110D (without Shake Reduction) is due in August, with the same lens, for $599. This will likely make it the first DSLR with kit lens to retail for under $500. And best news of all (just kidding) is that Pentax has finally abandoned the ridiculous *ist name. The K100 designation is a reference to the Pentax K1000, one of the most popular inexpensive 35mm SLRs of all time, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. More information on these new cameras is available on DPReview.

The Home Page photograph has been updated with another taken last month in Kolmanskop, Namibia.

_________________________________________________________________________________

May 20, 2006

One of the pleasures of photography, for me at least, is that it helps me to see the world more intensely. When I'm photographing, my awareness of the moment is heightened, and I'm also left, of course, with an indelible record of what was seen.

On a recent trip to South Africa I had an opportunity to go an a safari and spend a fantastic morning photographing elephants. My brief photo essay, Oh No! Not More Elephants, is now online, as is a new Home Page photograph taken in Namibia last month.

On A Personal Note – It was very disheartening when I was told about a thread on one of the online forums (not this site) in which Bill Atkinson, Charles Cramer and I were accused of falsifying, or rigging the results of our Measuring Megabytes test.

I have a pretty thick skin. Over the years I've been accused of all sorts of things online, and I suppose it comes with the territory. But Bill and Charlie are low profile kind of guys, and it pains me to see them accused of anything other than the best intentions and the most generous spirit when it comes to their contribution to this effort. Frankly, that type of know-nothing slander simply makes people who would otherwise be willing to make contributions to the online community back away from it. Many of the most passionate photographers I know refuse for this reason to be interviewed or to appear online, simply because they know that they will have to put up with this sort of uglyness on the discussion forums.

I also have a pet peeve, which I'll get off my chest here, now that I'm venting a bit, and that's the people who insist on adding to the online dialog those hoary old chestnuts – "It's the photographer, not the equipment". "A good photographer can take great pictures with any camera". "We have enough megabytes, now we need to turn our attention to doing photography".

Gee thanks. I never knew.

Come on folks. It's a big complicated world out there. There are millions of people pursuing photography around the globe, and each has different interests and needs. Keep an open mind. Listen and read a bit. Lighten up. Have some fun. And above all try and not see the world only though the prism of your own narrow needs and interests.

Good. I now feel a lot better.

_________________________________________________________________________________

May 19, 2006

Soup 2 Nuts is coming. Now in its fourth year, this is a fantastic Photoshop conference taking place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 23, 24. Among the presenters are Photoshop's creator Thomas Knoll, along with Scott Kelby, Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe and many more of the usual suspects. Unfortunately I have prior commitments that weekend. But if you don't, and are anywhere near that part of the country, this is a great event and a wonderful chance to meet some of the top names in the Photoshop community. And, the proceeds go towards a local educational cause.

- - - -

There are still a couple of spots left for the all-day seminar which I will be teaching at Pikto, titled From Capture to Print, on Saturday May 27. This workshop costs $175, and the blurb reads as follows...

"Michael Reichmann will explore and explain digital workflow in this one-day workshop. This intensive workshop will involve classroom sessions, on-location shooting within the historical Distillery District of Toronto, and print making.

The schedule for the day includes outdoor shooting (rain or shine), file ingesting, use of Digital Asset Management tools, organizing, storage and cataloguing strategies. Michael will also discuss RAW processing with Lightroom and Photoshop, basic image processing, and let you in on some of his tried and tested tips and tricks. He will finish off the day by preparing images for printing with a discussion on profiles and sharpening. After printing and evaluating the outcome, participants are welcome to join Michael for a further informal discussion at a local pub. Workshop members will be required to bring their own laptop computer, tripod and camera".

- - - -

Just an interesting observation. In the three days since Measuring Megabytes first appeared here it has been read by more than 100,000 people. But curiously, less than 200 people have bothered to purchase the available disk containing raw files. That's 0.2% of the article's readers who are interested in seeing for themselves how these image files compare. Fascinating.

_________________________________________________________________________________

May 17, 2006

A few news item of note today.

Photoshop CS2 (AKA Version 9) has been updated. You can download the Mac update here, and the Windows update here.

Reports of Mamiya's demise seem to have been premature. In this press release, issued yesterday, Mamiya quotes Mr. Tsutsumi, President of Cosmo Digital Imaging, the company acquiring the Mamiya Camera & Optical Division; "We will concentrate our efforts on expanding development of the Mamiya ZD Digital Camera, the Mamiya Digital Back, and the continuation of the current series of Mamiya cameras and lenses."

I take note of the mention of the Mamiya Digital Back, which in this reporter's opinion is the product that the company should have produced first, addressing the needs of hundreds of thousands of current Mamiya 645 camera owners. Good news for the medium format industry, if it all works out as stated.

If you aren't aware of The Online Photographer, you're missing one of the most lively and literate photography oriented sites on the Net. This is the new home of Mike Johnston, who provided us with so many informative articles on this site over many years.

My apologies to regular readers who encountered a slow down in this site's server on Tuesday. With the publication of Measuring Megabytes we were experiencing as many of 450 simultaneous viewers, and recorded a record 55,000 visitors for that one day. Things should return to normal (and the server will stop creaking) in another day or so.

__________________________________________________________________________________

May 16, 2006

Imagine being in a studio with Phase One P45, P30, and P25 digital backs, along with a Hasselblad H1, Mamiya 645AFD, Canon 1D, Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 5D, Linhof 679cs, Linhof 4X5, and enough lenses available for each camera to choke a reviewer. Then add three experienced photographers, who between them have more than 100 years of professional experience, all of whom are photographic educators and journalists, and one of whom is a respected imaging scientist.

What do you get? You get Charles Cramer, Bill Atkinson and Michael Reichmann working at Bill's studio / lab for a day, followed by many, many hours of printing and evaluation; producing...

Measuring Megabytes – The Great Luminous Landscape
2006 State-of-The-Art Shootout

This article is now online, providing details on the tests performed, image samples, and our individual conclusions. Of particular interest to many photographers will be a disk which we are producing containing some 4 Gigabytes of raw files from each of the cameras, backs and lenses tested. This disk is available for purchase at a very low cost, for those wishing to do their own evaluations. The disk will also contain a full-featured 30-day trial copy of Capture One Pro, allowing you to raw processes all of the files. A number of sample Phase One P45 files taken on a shoot in Redwoods National Park by Charlie, Bill and Michael are also included.


Available until June 15, 2006 for just $9.95 + S&H,
or free with a new subscription to
The Video Journal, or a renewal.
___________________________________________________________________________________

May 13, 2006

Making a living as a photographer is tough. But being successful in the business of fine art landscape photography has got to be one of the most difficult ways known to make a living. But some people succeed at it.

Alain Briot is one of the more successful fine art landscape photographers working in America today. In Part 11 of his ongoing series Aesthetics and Photography, Alain shares with us the first of a new three part column, titled Being an Artist in Business.

___________________________________________________________________________________

May 11, 2006

The publication here last week of An Approach to CMYK by Nigel Williams produced a lively debate on this site's Discussion Forum, which is still ongoing. One of the participants in that discussion is Andrew Rodney, the author of the acclaimed book Color Management for Photographers.

As a counterpoint to Nigel's original article, Andrew today provides us with an excerpt from Chapter 7 of his book, titled Printing to a Press. My recommendation is that unless you are a pre-press professional that you have two cups of double espresso prior to reading either article. If you manage to get through both of them at one sitting, and the online debate, a couple of Advil will likely complete the prescription.

Do note the existence of these two articles though, because for working pros, as well as many fine art photographers, the day when you have to deal with CMYK output will eventually come, and you'll need to be prepared. My recent experience with self publishing is a case in point.

- - -

Visible Dust has released today a much improved new version of their excellent sensor cleaning tool, the Arctic Butterfly 724. My brief comments are less than this product deserves. Highly recommended.

- - -

The Home Page photograph has been updated with another image from Namibia.

- - -

Dave Girard of ars technica was one of the first and most insightful critics of Apple's Aperture. He has just published his updated review of Version 1.1, and it is well worth reading by all current and potential owners of Aperture.

___________________________________________________________________________________

May 9, 2006

How about a photographic adventure this August? How does two weeks photographing the Arctic scenery and wildlife from an icebreaker in the company of some of the world's best photographic instructors sound?

The Luminous Landscape has secured 30 spaces on each of two expedition to the Canadian Arctic this summer, operated by Quark Expeditions, the same folks that operate my Antarctic workshops. We are offering 20% discounts over the regular price for these voyages, as well as world-famous instructors such as Steve Johnson, Jeff Schewe, Seth Resnick, Bruce Fraser and Tony Hobbs.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a great photographic adventure as well as a chance to attend seminars on a daily basis with some of the best teachers to be found. Find out more and register soon. These workshops will sell out quickly.

___________________________________________________________________________________

May 7, 2006

4Gb SD cards have recently hit the market. But will your card reader handle them? Find out which do and which don't in a new article by contributor Stan Jirman titled, SD Card Readers and 4GB Card Compatibility.

The Home Page photograph has been updated again with another bizarre image from Deadvlie, Namibia.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the announcement of two exciting Workshops in the Arctic this coming August. Five of the finest instructors will be leading two separate two-week-long expedition / workshops. What are you doing on your summer vacation?

- - -

Adobe Camera Raw 3.4 is now available for download. It adds support for a number of new camera models.

___________________________________________________________________________________

May 5, 2006

Most photographers don't have to deal with CMYK. (Thank goodness). But pre-press people do, and anyone working with a book publisher should be somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of the printing trade's colour space.

In an exclusive article for this site, Nigel Williams provides us with his personal Approach to CMYK.

- - -

Please support this site with your subscriptions to the The Video Journal, the world's only DVD video magazine about photography. Without your ongoing support we can not continue as a non-commercial, unaffiliated and independent voice for photographers.

- - -

The Home Page was updated yesterday with one of the most dramatic photographs taken on my recent Namibia expedition. Lot's more, including several new articles, coming in the days ahead.

___________________________________________________________________________________

May 3, 2006

A major shoot half-way round the world entails numerous equipment choices, potential hazards, and lessons to be learned. Find out how my three weeks in Namibia and South Africa went in my latest article titled On Safari in South West Africa – What Worked, and What Didn't. The article also contains a number of new photographs taken on that trip.

___________________________________________________________________________________

May 1, 2006

Since it's the beginning of a new month, today is a good day for a number of announcements of interest.

The winner of the Win a Private Workshop contest is Giles Lean of Thornbury, Australia. Congratulations Giles, and thank you all for joining. Giles says that he's going to travel to Canada for the workshop, and will include some US travel as well.

- - -

I have two events coming up in Toronto in May, which if you live nearby may be worth your attention.

On Saturday May 6, I will be conducting a 2 hour walk-around at The Brickworks. This will include a brief presentation followed by a walk through the Quarry. The title is, An Introduction to Nature Photography. This will be a small informal session and will not include access to the building interiors. It is also not designed as a "shoot", but rather an opportunity to familiarize beginning photographers with the concepts behind nature photography. For additional information please contact Lynsey Kissane at the session's sponsors – Evergreen, via email, or by phone at 416-596-1495 X263. The cost of this session is $25.

- - -

On Saturday May 27, I will be conducting an all-day seminar at Pikto titled From Capture to Print. This workshop costs $175, and the blurb reads as follows...

"Michael Reichmann will explore and explain digital workflow in this one-day workshop. This intensive workshop will involve classroom sessions, on-location shooting within the historical Distillery District of Toronto, and print making.

The schedule for the day includes outdoor shooting (rain or shine), file ingesting, use of Digital Asset Management tools, organizing, storage and cataloguing strategies. Michael will also discuss RAW processing with Lightroom and Photoshop, basic image processing, and let you in on some of his tried and tested tips and tricks. He will finish off the day by preparing images for printing with a discussion on profiles and sharpening. After printing and evaluating the outcome, participants are welcome to join Michael for a further informal discussion at a local pub. Workshop members will be required to bring their own laptop computer, tripod and camera".

- - -

Several months ago OpenRAW conducted a survey of photographers about thier habits, practices and preferences when it comes to raw image processing. The results of that survey, based on feedback from nearly 20,000 professionals and amateurs worldwide is now online. It is well worth your while to spend some time reading the resulting statistics. They tell us a great deal about how photographers are working with their digital camera files in the first half of 2006.

While the survey covers many topics, one whose results should be read and taken to heart by camera makers is as follows...

"90% of respondents agreed that "once a digital image is written to a file by a camera, data in all parts of the image file should belong to the photographer who captured the image.Camera makers should publish full and open descriptions of all parts of the RAW image files their camera produce." Only 4% of respondents disagreed with this statement, and only 6% neither agreed nor disagreed.

Respondents have exceptionally strong opinions on this topic. Camera makers that do not recognize and take account of these perceptions are at significant potential risk that their customers may decide to make future equipment purchases from firms that share their views and values concerning the information stored in RAW image files".

- - -

Photographers doing any commercial still, film or video work in National Parks in the US should be aware of new rules which take effect in two weeks time. They mean that a permit will be required and fees will be charged. Fine Art and other non-commercial photographers should not be affected, but I've had enough run-ins with NP staff and rangers in the past to know that the sight of a tripod and pro level gear is going to elicit some heated debates in the days ahead. And, if you've ever tried to argue with a state trooper over a speeding ticket, you've already had a dress rehearsal for how those conversations are going to go.

- - -

May Day / May Day

We're having a May Day sale. In fact it's a May Month Sale. Among the specials are our Lightroom Tutorial for less than $10.00. (20% Off – Just $9.56), and the Lightroom Tutorial bundled with Video Journal #14 also at 20% off – just $23.96, or only $2.01 more than the single copy price of LLVJ-14. Check out what else is on sale.

- - -

Yet another photograph from Namibia now graces the Home Page. One of my favourites. Articles on the expedition, with many more photographs, will appear beginning his week.

April 29, 2006

Every photographer knows that stopping a lens' aperture down produces greater depth of field. Common wisdom holds that most lenses are sharper at a couple of stops down from wide open. But few also know that stopping a lens down too far actually reduces resolution. And fewer still know that some of the very best lenses are actually at their best wide open. The reason for all this is diffraction. Find out more in our newest article titled Understanding Lens Diffraction.

You only now have until Sunday midnight EDT to enter the win a private workshop contest. Someone's going to win it. Why not you?

Another photograph from Namibia graces the Home Page. Later in the week a series of articles on our Namibia expedition will begin.

___________________________________________________________________________________

April 27, 2006

It is being reported today by the Apple rumour board Think Secret, that the company has let go the bulk of the Aperture engineering team, leaving the future direction of the program somewhat in doubt. Since Think Secret has, in the past, proven itself to be quite well informed on things Applish, and has been enough of a thorn in that company's side to have lead to some court pissing contests, it's quite likely that there is more than a germ of truth to the report.

Once I'm back in my office (later today) I hope to download Aperture 1.1 and put it through its paces. I also want my $200 rebate certificate. Small consolation for being an early adopter. But, hope springs eternal.

___________________________________________________________________________________

April 26, 2006

I am now in Cape Town having been off-line for the past three weeks. Our Namibia workshop / expedition was a great success, and this past week, spent on a game reserve in South Africa, was very enjoyable as well. 80 GB of files later, I'm ready to go home.

But first there's a bit of flying to be done – 12 hours from Cape Town to Frankfurt, a 7 hour layover there, and then a 7.5 hour flight from Frankfurt to Toronto. I'll finally be home Thursday evening.

There's a great deal of new content coming to these pages, beginning this weekend. Watch for it.

There have been a few industry events of note, which you may be aware of. On the good news side of the ledger, Apple has released Aperture 1.1, and lowered the price. I expect to update my comments on Aperture over the next few weeks. Apple has also just announced the availability of the new 17" MacBook Pro. This is the upgrade I've been waiting for, and I expect to place my order once I get home.

On the distressing news side, there's the announcement that Mamiya has decided to terminate its camera business. Many industry observers (including this site) have been forecasting this for some time. Mamiya now joins Contax, Bronica, and Konica / Minolta among the recently deceased, swept away by the digital juggernaut. Now only Pentax and Hasselblad remain in the mainstream medium format category.

Imaging Resource has as much of the story as has been officially announced thus far. But along with the official obfuscation there is some additional information from a correspondent in Japan. Apparently the sale of Mamiya OP's assets and obligations to Cosmo Digital Imaging was for 100 million Yen (less than a million dollars). This new company currently has only two employees, though this will increase as some Mamiya staff are transferred. My guess is that Cosmo will simply take over responsibility for parts and service, with all manufacturing and R&D to come to an end, if it hasn't already. Cosmo's parent, Cosmo Scientific, appears to be too small a company to undertake a revitalization of the Mamiya brand, though it would be wonderful if my surmise is proven wrong. In the meantime Mamiya America Corp., reportedly has merged with its advertising agency ChristopherMax Studio. How this all will play out in the end remains to be seen, but the Mamiya ZD, regarded by some last year as the company's potential salvation, appears to have been simply too little, too late.

The Home Page photograph has been updated with the first of a new series from Namibia.

A reminder – there are only a few days left to win a private workshop with me in Algonquin Park this October. The winner will be announced next Monday. It could be you!

___________________________________________________________________________________

April 6, 2006

I am now offline until April 27th. I will be in southwest Africa on my Namibia Workshop for nearly two weeks, and then on a private photo expedition in South Africa for a week. Once I return there will be a very full slate of new reviews, tutorials and essays.

In the meantime, explore the nearly 2,000 pages of article on this site. Please also remember that because we have no commercial advertising our continued existence is reliant solely on your subscriptions to The Video Journal. Why not find out more? Why not read what current customers are saying? Why not watch some Quicktime Previews? Why not subscribe?

And don't forget that one lucky new subscriber this month will win a private workshop in Algonquin Park this October.

See you again on the 27th.

- - -

Update: I have updated my FAP review with comments on the issue of Optical Brightners, and also the claimed dMax of this new paper.

- - -

In case you missed the announcement, Apple has introduced a public beta of Boot Camp, the ability to run Windows XP on an Intel Mac. This capability will be built into Leopard, the next version of OS X, but for now is available to run under OS X 10.4.6. Your last excuse for not owning a Mac has now disappeared.

- - -

Charlie Cramer, whose article on this site last month – 4x5" Drum Scanned Film vs. 39 Megapixel Digital – caused quite a stir, has now continued his work with his new P45 back, and reports on this as well as his experience using Raw Developer vs. Capture One with these files in a new essay found on outbackphoto.com.

- - -

We all have both good and bad experiences from time to time with retail as well as online merchants. When I find one that's good, I mention it in one of my articles. When I find one that's poor, I also do the same. This is one of those times that I have to give a big thumbs down. The company that's in the doghouse is Sandisk, and their e-commerce partner esend.com.

I wanted an 8 GB Ultra II card for use with my P45 back. With only 22 files per Gigabyte, big cards are a necessity with this back. None of my usual local or online merchants had this in stock so I ordered from the Sandisk web site where it was available. I ordered 8 days before my Africa trip, and specified and paid for delivery by courier. On the day before my departure, when the card was a week overdue, I called esend to get a tracking number. "Oh, I'm sorry sir, your order was put on hold by our credit department." No phone call. No email. Nothing.

Fine, if that's the level of incompetence of esend, then both they and Sandisk deserve a sold thumbs down. A fine product sold online through a very incompetent merchant. Thought you'd like to know.

___________________________________________________________________________________

April 3, 2006

There seems to be a revolution happening in printing papers – glossy papers made from real paper rather than plastic. The latest, due to ship later this month, is Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl. The appeal of glossy papers has always been their higher dMax, because of the use of glossy black ink. But matte papers are much preferred by fine art photographers because of their more appealing surfaces as compared to the RC (plastic) surface of glossy papers. Now Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl joins Museo Silver Rag, reported on here just a few weeks ago, as the second glossy paper with a surface similar to a traditional silver gelatin N surface. My exclusive preview is now online.

- - -

There are several other new products that have just been announced that are worthy of your attention. Vincent Oliver, the publisher of the photo-i web site, has just an instructional video titled A Guide to Digital Photography.

Sean Reid, the publisher of reidreviews has a number of new camera reviews and articles on his subscription web site. Reporting as a photographer, not a technologist, Sean is one of the most insightful camera reviewers on the web.

And Michael Tapes, the man behind RAWWORKFLOW.COM, has just announced Generation 6 of his WhiBal White Balance Reference Card. I'll be bringing one with me to Namibia later this week. Recommended!

___________________________________________________________________________________

April 1, 2006

Regular readers will know that we run a contest here about once a year. The purpose of the contest is to motivate you to consider subscribing to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. This is a DVD based video magazine offering between 2 – 3 hours of broadcast quality content each issue. It is published 3-4 times a year. Subscriptions to The Video Journal are this site's sole source of income. We accept no advertising, and have no commercial relationships of any kind. These DVDs will play on any DVD player, or Mac, or PC, anywhere in the world.

Our new contest runs for the month of April. The prize is quite unique. A private one-on-one 4 day workshop with Michael Reichmann, in world-famous Algonquin Park in northern Ontario, . This will take place on October 6 – 9, 2006. All expenses are paid, including your airfare from anywhere in North America.

Why not find out more? Why not read what current customers are saying? Why not watch some Quicktime Previews? Why not subscribe?

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 29, 2006

Hasselblad is rapidly becoming the Last Man Standing in the medium format marketplace. It's also going though some interesting changes, especially in the US. Today contributor Pete Myers provides us with an exclusive interview with Jack Showalter, president of Hasselblad USA.

In my report earlier this week, Counting Ants, I mentioned that our group had discovered a bug with the use of P45 backs in combination with Sandisk Extreme III cards, when the temperatures are low. Phase One has responded quickly to this, and will be publishing a firmware upgrade today (V 2.0.4) that fixes the problem on P21, P30, and P45 backs.

Don't miss the announcement coming on Saturday of our latest contest! It's definitely not an April Fool joke.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 27, 2006

In my article from earlier this month titled The Ultimate Digital System I mentioned that I would be doing my first shoot with this system in California in mid-March. I've now been back from that shoot for nearly a week, and have had time to both work on my files as well as write down some thoughts on how all this equipment worked for me in the field. This is now found in my new article titled Counting Ants – Seven Days in the Field with a Digital View Camera.

The Home Page photograph has also been updated.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 25, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, in association with the publication of an article here titled The Mamiya ZD Saga, I mentioned that I would be pleased to publish a review of this new camera by anyone in Europe who had an opportunity to use a full production version. (There is no indication at this time that the ZD will ever appear in the US market. If anyone from Mamiya America Corporation would care to comment on this, I'm sure that a great many people would be interested in the actual situation).

Dutch magazine author Eduard de Kam has now provided us with just such a Review of the Mamiya ZD.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 24, 2006

The Times They Are A-Chang'n – It was announced this week that both Pentax and Hasselblad have withdrawn certain products for the EU. These products include the Pentax 645 and 67 cameras as well as the Hasselblad X-Pan. The reason for this is ostensibly that a new EU regulation against the use of lead-based solder is now in effect, and that the cost of reengineering these products accordingly, to exclude the use of lead, would be too expensive, given the diminishing overall sales of film-based cameras.

Though just an industry rumour at this point, I have now heard from numerous sources that the Hasselblad V line (their traditional cameras and lenses) will be going out of production, and will cease to be available worldwide once current inventories are depleted.

On a more upbeat, though curious note, Franke & Heidecke, the company now responsible for Rollei professional equipment , and Komamura, the makers of Horseman cameras, have signed an agreement to integrate their product lines. Since both company's have always been innovative it should be interesting to see what comes of the marriage of east and west. They have also formed a new entity called Direct Source Marketing to market their combined product lines in the US.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 23, 2006

I'm now back from a week's shoot in California. I was using my new Linhof 679 technical camera with Phase One P45 back. I'll have a comprehensive article on how this new kit performed for me by the weekend. The Home Page photograph has been updated with an image from that trip.

Have you ever taken the time to analyse the photographs of others, or even your own? I don't mean pixel peeping – I mean for content. What is the photograph of, and what does it tell us about the world that we see and experience?

In my new essay titled Image Deconstruction I look at one particular image and attempt to interpret its contents. Some food for thought.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 13, 2006

I am now offline until Wednesday, March 22nd. I will be in California – Redwoods National Park and the north central coast – doing a landscape shoot with friends. This will give you an opportunity to catch up on some of the nearly 2,000 pages on this site. These contain product reviews, tutorials, and commentaries on the photographic scene.

It's also an opportunity for you to save money. From now until March 22nd when I return, everything in our store is 15% off. Yes, everything – subscriptions, single issues, renewals, books, portfolios – the works.

Why not find out what thousands of passionate photographers around the world have discovered – The Luminous Landscape Video Journal – now in our fourth year and 14th issue. The world's only broadcast-quality DVD video magazine about the art and science of photography. These DVDs will play on any computer or set-top DVD player, anywhere in the world. It's the Luminous Landscape on TV.

- - -

The Mamiya ZD Saga and The Ultimate Digital System have both been updated with reader correspondence.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 11, 2006

Though the Mamiya ZD has been shipping in Asia for a few months, and became available in Europe earlier this month, because of its non-availability in the US there is a paucity of English language information about this fascinating new medium format digital camera.

Today therefore sees the first instatement of first-look reports and user reviews by both professional and amateur photographers who have had an opportunity to test or to start using the Mamiya ZD. I also expect to publish a more comprehensive review by a Dutch author (don't worry, it'll be in English), within the next couple of weeks.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 10, 2006

I'd like to draw your attention to a few things today.

- - -

Mikkel Aaland has just written a new book titled Photoshop CS2 RAW : Using Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, and Photoshop to Get the Most out of Your Digital Camera. In addition to having one of the longest titles of any book published since the 19th century, it also is worth your attention because of how good it is. If you're new to raw imaging and Photoshop, then this book is definitely worth your attention. Full Disclosure – Mikkel is a good friend of mine, and I wrote the Foreword to this book.

- - -

One of the more exciting products to be shown at PMA was the Jobo Giga Vu Pro. This truly does look like a next-generation field storage and review device. Rob Galbraith now has a detailed first-look at this fascinating new product.

- - -

The latest (March / April 2006) issue of Photo Techniques magazine is now on the newsstands. In it you will see that the magazine is offering a special edition of Collector Prints from my recent work in Bangladesh, China and Antarctica. These are custom made archival 13X19" prints and are priced at just $75 each, or $65 each for four or more. You can also order these prints online.

- - -

The latest (March / April 2006) issue of American Photo magazine contains my new column D-SLR Workshop. This issue's topic is the Expose To The Right technique for shooting raw.

- - -

A show of my recent work titled From China to Antarctica opened March 1st at the Pikto Gallery in Toronto. The show runs though the end of this month.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 9, 2006

Working with most of the high-end DSLRs to become available over the past 5 years has convinced me of one thing – the best sensors are limited in their resolving power by a combination of lens quality and user technique. Only when the best prime lenses are used in combination with the most rigorous shooting technique (heavy tripod / high shutter speed, optimum aperture, mirror lock up / remote release, precision focusing) can a sensor like that in the Canon 1Ds MKII really be challenged. When shooting with a typical zoom lens, hand-held, and with casual technique, the resolving capabilities of the sensor usually are not being seriously tested.

But with medium format digital, when doing landscape work I had assumed, since I almost always was working with prime lenses, tripod mounted, and with careful technique, that a Phase One 22MP sensor and the Zeiss lenses on my Contax 645 would be a match. Well – I was wrong.

When I started shooting some months ago with a Cambo Wide DS together with my P25, using a Schneider Digitar lens, I immediately saw that the back wasn't the limiting factor, the lenses were – just as I'd found with my Canon system, The Schneider glass so dramatically outperformed my Contax's Zeiss primes, that they weren't even in the same league, at least in combination with the P25 back. This then begged the question – If I upgraded to the new 39 Megapixel Phase One P45, what would be the point? Since the P25 was already lens constrained, would all I would get with the P45 be larger files?

This lead me to a search for The Ultimate Digital System, and is now the topic of my latest feature article.

- - -

Update: This article has now been updated with a look at the issue of field-worthyness.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 6, 2006

Scanning film successfully is largely dependent not only on the quality of the scanner being used, but also the scanning software. One of the most highly regarded scanning programs is Silverfast, but it can be a daunting program to learn. Contributor Mark Segal today provides us with a tutorial on Scanning with Silverfast.

- - -

The long awaited (is it soup yet?) Mamiya ZD appears to be ready to start shipping in Europe, following its introduction in Japan last December. It was shown by several dealers at the recent Focus show in the UK, and Calumet in the Netherlands now lists it.

MAC, the US distributor for Mamiya, is completely mum on the subject (could it be because they are also the distributor for Leaf digital backs in the US?) For this reason it may be that photographers in the US won't be seeing the ZD at all, or there might be a delay till the politics are sorted out.

This is therefore a request to those photographers in Europe who will be buying a ZD in the weeks ahead – I would be pleased to consider any early use report or review of the ZD that you might care to write for this site. All I can offer is fame and glory (and about unique 750,000 readers each month from some 120 countries). If you have experience with high-end digital equipment, and find a Mamiya ZD sitting on top of your tripod any time soon, I'd love to hear from you.

- - -

Digital Outback Photo has just published a 300 page e-book titled The Art of Digital Fine Art Printing. It provides a very comprehensive overview of the subject, and is well worth the $39.95 being asked for it. Recommended!

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 4, 2006

Looking for a new digital camera that'll get your creative juices going? If so, you might want to check out spending $20 buying something like the Funkycam – the subject of my latest test report.

- - -

Moving from the ridiculous to the sublime, I took delivery yesterday of a Phase One P45 back, all 39 Megapixels of it. It is being married to a Linhof 679cs and a set of four Rodenstock HR lenses, producing what I believe to be the highest resolution digital camera system that current technology makes possible. This will now become my main system for landscape work as well as my primary tool for a long term architectural commission that I'm engaged in.

I'll be using this new kit for the first time on a shoot in Redwoods National Park next week, and then in April on a workshop / shoot in Namibia, Africa. My initial report on this system and its components will be online later this week.

___________________________________________________________________________________

March 1, 2006

PMA, the most important photographic trade show of the year in the US, has just taken place in Orlando, Florida. Besides the new cameras, printers, and accessories that we all are curious about, there's also the question – what does it all mean? Where are we going? What can we expect in the future?

I've been polishing my crystal ball as well as talking to some industry insiders. My report titled A View of the Photographic Industry From 30,000 Feet is now online.

- - -

The latest (March / April 2006) issue of Photo Techniques magazine is now on the newsstands. In it you will see that the magazine is offering a special edition of Collector Prints from my recent work in Bangladesh, China and Antarctica. These are custom made archival 13X19" prints and are priced at just $75 each, or $65 each for four or more. You can also order these prints online.

- - -

The latest (March / April 2006) issue of American Photo magazine contains my new column D-SLR Workshop. This issues topic is the Expose To The Right technique for shooting raw.

- - -

A show of my recent work titled From China to Antarctica opens today at the Pikto Gallery in Toronto. The show runs from March 1 – 31. The opening reception is tomorrow, Thursday evening, from 6-9pm. Please join me there if you can. Refreshments will be served (sushi & wine), courtesy of Canon Canada. This is my third show at Pikto in three years.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 24 – 28, 2006

The PMA-2006 show report page has been updated.

On Wednesday, March 1, I will publish an article titled PMA 2006 – the View From 30,000 Feet. This will be an overview of the current state of the photographic industry. Don't miss it.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 23, 2006

Though digital camera now rule the roost, there are still a great many people shooting film, and therefore many people still scanning. This task can be especially problematic with colour negative films, because with their orange masks they were never intended for scanning. In his latest article contributor Mark Segal now provides us with an up-to-date look at the tools and techniques required, titled From 35mm Colour Negatives to Near Digital Quality.

- - -

One of the most fascinating new products to be announced this pre-PMA week is the NuLOOQ Navigator software and NuLOOQ Tooldial from Logitech. Find out more about these on my PMA-2006 page.

- - -

Canon's naming of the 30D is really fodder for the late-night humorists. Except that they likely could care less what a Japanese company calls its latest techno toy. But, all is not lost, for we have our favourite balloon popper, Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer, to tell it like it is. (Pentax actually holds firm to their gold medal position for the dumbest camera name of all time (*st D), but Canon continues to lead the field when it comes to naming confusion.

- - -

I will now be mostly offline until Thursday, March 2nd. I am performing an obligation required of all true Canadians at this time of a year – a winter vacation in Florida. I will also be attending the PMA show in Orlando next Monday. Depending on Net access at my hotel I may be able to file some show reports prior to my return.

In the meantime, don't forget to support this site with your subscriptions to The Video Journal. Issue #14 is now shipping.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 22, 2006

Yesterday's announcement here of the Canon 30D was quite sparse. The reason for this is that for reasons unknown Canon did not provide me with any in-depth information prior to announcement. So – if I don't get it, you obviously can't get it. It's as simple as that.

I write this for two reasons. The first is that a number of people have written asking why, whereas I usually am able to provide insights and information on new Canon releases in a timely manner, this did not happen. Secondly, because I found out this afternoon in an email from a reader that the 30D has a 3 second self timer with mirror lock-up in addition to the usual 10 second timer.

This is, as regular readers know, something that I've been begging Canon for for the past 5 years. I won't even say – It's about time. I'll simply say, on behalf of photographers everywhere who've been asking for this – our sincere thanks.

Update: On the other hand – maybe not. Another reader writes that what the specs say is "Self-Timer: 10-sec. delay, 2-sec. delay with C.Fn-12-1 (mirror lockup)". In this case, I retract my thanks to Canon. (This is why it's a good idea to get new products into the hands of reviewers. Hint, hint.)

Oh yes, and there are a slew of new Canon printers coming. Unfortunately I have no information from Canon on these that I'm at liberty to release, so I'll simply refer you once again to Robgalbraith.com who provides comprehensive details.

- - -


Click on Image for Larger Version of this invitation

There are two announcements today of a personal nature.

The first is that I will be having a one-man show of my photography from China and Antarctica at the Pikto Gallery in Toronto. The show runs from March 1 – 31. The opening is next Thursday evening, March 2nd, from 6-9pm. Please join me there if you can. Refreshments will be served (sushi & wine), courtesy of Canon Canada. This is my third show at Pikto in three years. Click here or on the copy of the invitation above for more details.

The latest (March / April 2006) issue of Photo Techniques magazine his just shipped to subscribers, and should be on newsstands in the US and Canada by next week. In it you will see that the magazine is offering a special edition of Collector Prints from my recent work in Bangladesh, China and Antarctica. These are custom made archival 13X19" prints and are priced at just $75 each, or $65 each for four or more.

The magazine will be updating their web site to include this offer within the next few days, and when they do I'll link to it here. This will allow people outside of North America to avail themselves of this special promotion.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 21, 2006

One of the myths of photography is that it is an accurate representation of reality. The truth is that what we choose to include or exclude in our framing, the choice of lens used, final cropping and the like all play major roles in how we as photographers present our subject matter. Then there's the hairy can of worms called Interpretation.

The new Home Page photograph has elicited a lot of comments from people who have seen it, and so I wrote an essay on its creation, which I hope you may find to be of interest.

- - -

Issue #14 of the Video Journal is now shipping, along with a special Lightroom Beta DVD. There are now Quicktime video clips online so that you can see what the new issue is all about.

- - -

UPDATE: – In what may be one of the more underwhelming new camera announcements of 2006, Canon has today introduced the EOS 30D. No, it's not Groundhog Day, and the camera is not the D30. It's the 30D. Got that? This is from the company that has brought us the confusingly named 1D, 1Ds, 1D MKII, IDs MKII and 1DMKIIn.

The 30D is essentially a revamped 20D (same imaging chip) but with a larger rear LCD (2.5"), larger buffer, spot metering, more durable shutter mechanism, and ISO adjustments in 1/3rd stop increments. Oh yes, and that absolutely vital new Direct Print button. In other words, similar features to those that were first seen in the Canon 5D last fall. (What's wrong with the name 20DMKIIn? At least it would have been consistent).

On a more serious note – all of these are worthwhile enhancements to an already fine product. The fact that there was no increase in megapixel count may mark an interesting transition point in the development of the industry, as we may be at or at least near the end of that particular race in some market segments. The D30 (ooops...30D) will be available in a few weeks at a selling price of about $1,399 in the US.

Canon has also introduced the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, a revised version of their popular but extremely expensive ultra-fast 85mm lens. It is claimed to have 1.8X faster autofocus that the first version. There is also a EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens for use on Canon's current reduced frame models.

If you want all the details there is a comprehensive report on the 30D to be found on Rob Galbraith's site.

And ... that's all folks. You can now turn the Winter Olympics back on. Let's see, how many months is it till Photokina?

- - -

With the PMA trade show in Orlando, Florida less that a week away, I have created a page to report on new product announcements titled (appropriately enough) PMA 2006. As new products that catch my fancy are announced in the coming days they will be reported there as well as on this page. I will be at the show next Monday, and filing a report on what I found to be of interest and significance.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 19, 2006

Issue #14 of The Video Journal is now shipping, along with a supplementary DVD containing a one hour long tutorial on Adobe Lightroom-Beta. These are available as a combination, or individually. Anyone that was a subscriber prior to today will receive the tutorial DVD free of additional charge. Thanks for your support.

This new issue contains a comprehensive interview and location shoot with one of America's premier large format landscape photographers, Clyde Butcher. Included as well are a look at how medium format backs are manufactured and tested. There is a segment on street photography in China using contemporary DSLR techniques, and lots, lots more. More than two and half hours worth of broadcast quality video on a DVD that will play on any DVD player, Windows PC or Mac computer, anywhere in the world. No zone codes.

There are now Quicktime video clips online so that you can see what the new issue is all about.

You are visiting this site because you're interested in photography. Probably more than just interested. Dare I say passionate? Well, if that's the case then you should be subscribing to The Video Journal. Join the thousands of other regular visitors to this site that have discovered what it's all about. You'll also be providing this site with your financial support, ensuring that we remain free of commercial advertising. What have you got to lose?

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 18, 2006

A few weeks ago I reported here on an exciting new paper, Crane Museo Silver Rag, in a Quick-Take report. Now, regular contributor Pete Myers provides us with an in-depth report on this important new paper for fine art photographers. Find out more about Crane & Co. Museo Silver Rag in this exclusive new review.

- - -

Last year contributor Sean Reid wrote a report for this site on the then new Epson R-D1, the world's first true rangefinder digital. He now follows up on that article with a long-term report on the R-D1, which can be found on his subscription web site, Reid Reviews. Sean now writes exclusively for his own site, so if you want to read some of the most insightful camera reviews on the web, you'll likely find a subscription to his frequently updated site worthwhile.

- - -

I am only able to conduct a handful of workshops and seminars each year. But I also work closely with a small group of highly regarded teacher, and I use the Workshops Page on this site to promote their offerings. These are all photographic educators that I know well, and have worked with in the past.

Alain Briot, Craig Samuels and Seth Resnick have new workshops available, and most of the other teachers have openings coming up later this year as well. There is no better way to improve your skills and your eye than attending a photography workshop. See if there's not something interesting that meets your needs and budget.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 16, 2006


Photograph by William Hawkes

A sure sign that Spring is just around the corner (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere at least) is that the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition hit the newsstands yesterday. What may draw this to the attention of photographers (besides blatant prurient interest, or a fascination with the latest swimsuit fashions) is that photographer William Hawkes used the new 39 Megapixel Phase One P45 back to take this shot for a Budweiser beer ad.

The reproduction size in the magazine is one of the largest ever; a fold-out measuring 11”x34” (27.94cm x 86.36cm). This ensures that almost every teenage boy in America will paste this large poster to their bedroom wall. The fact that it's an ad for beer will likely never enter their consciousness, and that it was shot with a P45 back, not at all. But those of us interested in the latest photographic technology will take note. When you purchase your copy of SI this week, be sure that you let the pharmacist knows that you're purchasing it purely to look at resolution figures.

- - -

Many readers are waiting for my review of the P45 back. It will arrive within the next two weeks, and will be inaugurated along with a new Linhof 679cs technical view camera with Rodenstock HR lenses on a 4-day landscape shoot that I'll be doing in mid-March in Redwoods National Park in northern California. What will make this all the more interesting is that I will be shooting alongside three other photographers, each of whom will also be shooting with their own new P45's. These are the well known photographers and educators Charles Cramer and Bill Atkinson, and also Kevin Raber, Phase One's U.S. VP of Sales and Marketing – a friend, and frequent shooting companion. Chris Sanderson will be filming this shoot for an upcoming issue of The Video Journal. Stay tuned for more details.

- - -

Reader Martin Krzywinski has written to let me know about a new technique that he has developed (at least it's new to me), called High Dynamic Time Range Images. You may find the approach of interest and a spur to your own creative juices.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 14, 2006

So – you have an Epson 4000 and are still wondering if it's worth upgrading to an Epson 4800. The improvement in image quality is well recognized, though the need to swap blacks when printing on either Matte or Glossy paper is an expensive pain. But, is there more to the equation?

There certainly is, as photographer and economist Mark Segal explains in his new article – Tracking the Cost of Printing with an Epson 4800. You'll be surprised at the reality.

- - -

UPDATE: Adobe has just released Beta 2 of Lightroom. This version provides a number of new capabilities and refinements, the most important of which is a cropping and rotation tool. With this addition, Lightroom is now nearly a fully usable program, though a great many additional features and enhancements will appear in future releases. (A spotting tool is still a must). I now have a report on what's new in Lightroom Beta 2 in my Lightroom Tips and Tricks article. (No Windows version yet, unfortunately. Beta 2 is a Duel Binary though, so anyone with an Intel Mac (all 9 of you) can now give it a shot in native Intel mode).

- - -

Behind The Lens, a new column in which I look at recent photographs, and describe interesting location situations or processing techniques, has just been updated with a new entry.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 12, 2006

At this point Adobe Lightroom lacks the ability to save multiple versions of a file in its internal database. This will come eventually. But in the meantime, here's a simple way of creating the equivalent of different versions of the same file.

- - -

UPDATE: The most comprehensive and authoritative suite of tests for memory cards is the database published by Rob Galbraith. It has just been updated with new data on the Canon 5D and Nikon D200. The database covers almost all of the major CF and SD cards on the market.

What cards do I use? For the past year or so I have switched to 2GB Sandisk Extreme III cards. I have four of them. The 4GB Hitachi Microdrives that I've been using for the past several years have now been relegated to standby and secondary application status. (I have had almost no issues with Microdrives after some 5 years of use, either original IBM's or those from Hitachi, with usage ranging from high elevations, to deserts, to Central American jungles, the Arctic and Antarctic. I simply feel that solid state cards are likely to ultimately be more reliable in the long run).

- - -

UPDATE: The Online Photographer reports today that Pentax has announced a major reduction in its line of 35mm film SLRs and also lenses. Apparently this only appears at this point on the company's Japanese language web site. The industry bloodletting continues.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 11, 2006

Anyone that does a lot of printing knows the benefits of using a RIP. The primary ones are more comprehensive control over page layout, and superior print output due to customized profiles and drivers. A RIP essentially replaces the operating system's, imaging program's, and printer maker's drivers, to talk directly to the printer's hardware.

My favourite RIP, and the one that I have been using now for about three years, is Imageprint. It has been reviewed here on several occasions, most recently with reference to their Phatte Black upgrade, which allows printing with both Glossy and Matte black inks simultaneously on the new generation of Epson K3 ink printers.

ColorByte has just announced a new upgrade for owners of Imageprint 6.1. It is called the Imageprint Print-Through Application. What the PTAPP does, is allow you to print through Imageprint, using its profiles and drivers, directly from within any other application. So, if, for example, you're enamoured of a program's page layout and formatting capabilities, (Adobe Lightroom comes immediately to mind), you can use these, yet still pass the file through Imageprint's superior profiles and driver. If you're an Imageprint owner, this is one upgrade you have to see to believe.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 9, 2006

Issue #14 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal has just gone to the duplicator. This means that it should start to mail-out to subscribers in about 2 weeks, and will begin to arrive in people's mailboxes around the end of the month. This is a unique double disk issue, with the second DVD containing a one hour long live video tutorial on Adobe Lightroom conducted by Jeff Schewe and Michael Reichmann.

This special double issue is available at the usual subscription or single issue price, but only until Issue #14 ships in a couple of weeks. After that date LLVJ #14 along with Lightroom Tutorial disk will sell for a premium price. However, the tutorial will also be available for purchase as a separate DVD. Windows as well as Mac users will want this tutorial, because it won't be that long until they too will be able to download a beta of Lightroom.

- - -

My article from last week on DSLR Infrared has now been updated with a further look at the issue of infrared focusing.

- - -

Regular readers know that Stephen Johnson was one of the famous instructors on my recent Antarctic Workshop Expedition. His efforts on this trip received accolades from many of the students. Stephen now has a Fine Art Printing Workshop at his studio / gallery in Pacifica, California, just a month from now, on March 9-12. Stephen is a photographic educator with exceptional talent and dedication. His talents as a teacher are no less than his skills as a master printer. Anyone wishing to become a better printer themselves could do no better than to attend one of Steve's Fine Art Printing Workshops.

- - -

And, speaking of Adobe Lightroom, my seminars next Wednesday in Toronto, still have a few seats available. If you live in or near Toronto, this is a great way to get up-to-speed on what promises to be one of the most exciting changes in the way photographers work on their images since the invention of Photoshop. Hyperbolic? Come to the seminar and find out for yourself. I hope to see you there.

- - -

There is now an article about the Luminous Landscape on the Croatian language web site Fot-o-grafiti.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 8, 2006

Nick Rains is a landscape photographer with a gallery in Brisbane, Australia. He has been a long-time contributor to this site.

Working mainly with 4X5" and medium format film till now, Nick recently had an opportunity to work with a Phase One P45 back on a Horseman SuperWide D Pro. His report on this combination, and his comparison with his favourite camera and film combinations is now online, in an article titled – An Even More Expensive Point and Shoot.

I know that I'm going to hear from some readers, asking why another P45 review and comparison with large format film? The answer is, because their is huge interest among landscape photographers as to whether digital has reached the point where it can hold its own with sheet film for fine-art work. Hardly anyone questions any longer how DSLRs have supplanted 35mm film in terms of image quality (though the kicking and screaming a few years ago was frightful), but now the same questions are seriously being asked about the P45, because it is the first shipping 39 Megapixel back that has actually gotten into the hands of users.

And, to answer the obvious question– no, I haven't received mine yet. Phase One says that they have now shipped more than a thousand P45s worldwide, but not yet in Contax mount, which is what I use. But, I will be doing a shoot in the Redwoods of Northern California in mid-March, and in Namibia and South Africa in April, and I am told that I will definitely have a P45 for these. So, if you like this coverage of the current state of the art in digital imaging technology – stay tuned for more. If you don't, well, I guess you can get your money back on your admission ticket.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 5, 2006

That cultural extravaganza, the Superbowl, is capturing many people's attention today. But for those whose interests turn to matters photographic, our regular contributor Alain Briot gives us the latest instatement in his new series, Reflections on Photography & Art. It is titled Subject Matter & Print Size.

Alain has also been working with DXO Optics Pro 3.5, and has a new article on his site providing his thoughts on this image processing software.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 4, 2006

Want to hobnob with the pixel elite? Thomas Knoll (the original author of Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw) is back again, teaming up with Scott Kelby, Bruce Fraser, Katrin Eismann, Jeff Schewe and many more of the photo industry's best. Ann Arbor's famous Photoshop Soup2Nuts Conference will be opening its doors on June 23 and June 24 for an awesome two days of the very best in workshops, speakers, networking, and events encompassing the entire genre of digital imaging and workflow. Whether you're new to the world of photography, or an old hand, there is a place for you among the experts and the fun.

I have prior commitments this year, and therefore can't make it myself, but if you're anywhere near the Ann Arbor, MI area this summer, this is a must-attend event. And proceeds go to a worthy cause as well.

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 3, 2006

Yesterday's article on DSLR Infrared has generated a lot of correspondence. Several people have raised the issue of false colour conversion, and I have now added a new section to the article briefly covering this topic

___________________________________________________________________________________

February 2, 2006

When I first saw a spectrum chart as a teenager, I was fascinated by the thought that visible light, radio waves, gamma rays and the like are all really the same thing. Wouldn't it be great if we could see radio?

Well, though it's now the 21st Century, we still can't see radio waves (TV doesn't count). But, with the right photographic tools we can see into the parts of the spectrum close to visible light, the Infrared and Ultraviolet. Infrared (IR) photography has been possible for some time, but the tools and techniques available till now have made it problematic for some. Now though, there is the ability to have a regular DLSR modified to shoot in the Infrared with no loss of functionality or reduction in ease of use. My latest article, DSLR Infrared, looks at this possibility.

- - -

I received an email today from Mike Johnston in which he mentions that his computer has recently died, and it will be several days till he's back online. The reason I mention this is because he's been receiving a great many responses to his recent article here on the DMD: The Decisive Moment Digital, and wants people to know that he isn't ignoring them.

- - -

There will be a show of my 2005 work from China and Antarctica at the Pikto Gallery in Toronto throughout the month of March. The opening reception will be on the evening of Thursday, March 2nd – one month from today. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be served, thanks to the support of Canon Canada. I'll have more details on the show here shortly.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 31, 2006

Our old photographic friend, Mike Johnston, returns here today with his thoughts on a new genre of digital camera – DMD: The Decisive Moment Digital.

Once you've read Mike's article, ponder this – who could make a great DMD? Leica? Of course! But alas, what we're to eventually get from them is the M Digital, probably the best damn 1954 digital camera that money can buy. Come on Epson / Cosina. Hire Mike as your design consultant and let us have something more functional than a digital antique with a red dot on it.

- - -

Another past contributor to this site, Sean Reid, has just published his fourth camera review in as many weeks on his web site, Reid Reviews. His review of the Canon 1Ds MKII joins that of the Leica DMR, Canon 5D and Ricoh GR digital. Curious as to how these camera compare with each other? Sean has some pointed answers. Note that Sean Reid is a photographer, not a technologist, and therefore his reviews are written though the eyes of someone who understands the end goal of what these tools are to be used for. His reviews are available by subscription. Recommended.

- - -

If you use Phase One's Capture One raw processing software you know that one of its lacking features is a convenient way to convert output files to grayscale. JFI Color Labs has introduced a set of moderately priced monochrome profiles for Capture One that do an excellent job. Other than the fact that their web site needs to go back to Marketing 101, and, that even the briefest of instructions on how to load and use the profiles would be appreciated – I found these profiles to be worth their modest price.

- - -

The OpenRAW initiative is still alive and well, and much in need of your support. They are conducting a survey. If you care about the future of raw, please take a moment to participate.

- - -

UPDATE: X-Rite announced today that it has acquired Amazys Holding AG, the parent company of GretagMacbeth. More industry consolidation.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 30, 2006

There are two new additions today. The first is a new column called Behind The Lens, in which I look at recent photographs, and describe interesting location situations or processing techniques associated with the shot. For several years I ran a series of columns called Featured Images and Miscellaneous Moments. This new column follows in that tradition, and this first entry is about the photograph that currently graces the site's Home Page.

Today also sees a couple of new additions to my Lightroom Tips and Tricks. And, if you're a Lightroom experimenter / user, remember that you'll receive a free 1 hour long DVD video tutorial on Lightroom if you are a subscriber to the The Luminous Landscape Video Journal at any time prior to the release of Issue #14, at the end of February. Beginning in March this tutorial will be sold for $14.95 as a stand-alone product.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 27, 2006

Apple's Aperture and Adobe's Lightroom point the way to next-generation image processing software. I predict that a year from now these two products will have begun to dominate the workflow of a great many photographers.

But in the meantime most of us are still using Bridge, Camera Raw (ACR) and Photoshop. One of the frustrations of using Bridge and ACR is that though they call upon each other, they are separate applications. This makes working rapidly with a large number of raw files slower that it could be for the busy pro who has to process a lot of uniform images quickly.

Peter Krogh, the author of The DAM Book from O'Reilly, has just introduced a new program designed to solve this problem by providing ACR functionality from within Bridge. My review of RapidFixer now online.

- - -

Taking a 30 day lead on the competition, Olympus has decided to announce its new cameras for the PMA trade show a month early. In addition to a handful of digicams, Olympus has announced the Evolt E-330 DSLR. This is a 7.5MP camera with a poro mirror prism, and featuring a "live" LCD display and an articulated screen. This is accomplished in one of two ways – through the use of a second sensor in the optical path, which creates the LCD image, or through locking up the main mirror (blanking the viewfinder) and feeding the main sensor's image to the screen. Very innovative.

DPReview has a preview report online.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 25, 2006

Last week I spent two days in Chicago filming at Tutorial on Adobe Lightroom Beta One. My on-screen colleague for this was Jeff Schewe, a long-time Adobe consultant, and leading digital imaging authority.

We have decided to release this hour-long video tutorial as a stand-alone disk, accompanying Issue #14 of The Video Journal.

Issue #14 and the Lightroom Tutorial will be shipped to subscribers in late February. The Lightroom DVD will be included at no extra charge. But, only to those people that are LLVJ subscribers before the date of first shipment, or who have purchased Issue #14 itself prior to late February.

In other words, if you are currently a subscriber – you get the Lightroom Tutorial DVD at no extra charge. If you are not currently a subscriber, or have not pre-ordered Issue #14, then now's the time, because after ship-date in late February, the Lightroom Tutorial DVD will be sold separately for $14.95 plus shipping.

If you're a Windows user, don't think that Lightroom doesn't apply to you. It will be available under Windows very soon, and you'll kick yourself for not having taken advantage of this promotion.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 23, 2006

Photographers have never had it so good when it comes to inkjet printer papers. Especially matte papers. There are now many excellent 100% cotton rag matte papers with surfaces to suit almost any taste. But as lovely as matte papers can be, the blacks are always somewhat lacking, since Matte Black inks must be used instead of the glossy Photo Black that produces the high Dmax seen on glossy and semi-gloss papers.

But there's a new paper on the way. Called Crane Museo Silver Rag, it is the closest thing that I've yet seen to an "N" surface traditional fiber-based printing paper. It is a 100% cotton rag paper, without fluorescent brighteners, but with a smooth finish. The tonalities, especially on B&W prints, are simply delicious, looking very much like Platinum prints. A full review of this paper by Pete Myers will appear here in late February, when the paper is officially introduced at the PMA show in Orlando. But I have a Quick-Take on this exciting new paper now online.

- - -

Last week's publication of Charles Cramer's comparison of the new 39 Megapixel Phase One P45 back Vs 4X5" drum scanned film caused quite a ruckus. He has received a fair bit of email over the weekend, some questioning his conclusions, and so he has now provided us with an update in response to questions received.

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

January 20, 2006

The whole film-vs-digital debate has now pretty much become history, not to mention something of a bore. There are those that still shoot film for a variety of reasons, but the majority of pros have now switched. In the amateur market film has largely been supplanted. But, there is one area where film has continued to reign supreme, and that's in fine-art large format photography. Pros using large format (catalog houses and the like) switched to medium format digital a couple of years ago, in large measure due to workflow advantages. But, the fine-art 4X5" world seemed unassailable, at least till now.

One of the most highly regarded large-format landscape photographers in the U.S., a 30 year practitioner as well as educator, is Charles Cramer. Recently Charles, along with his friend and colleague Bill Atkinson, did a comparison of the new 39 Megapixel Phase One P45 back Vs 4X5" drum scanned film. His report on that test as well as his conclusions are now found in an exclusive article on this site.

- - -

Adobe has released Camera Raw 3.3, which adds support for several new cameras, including the Canon 5D, 1D MKIIn, 20Da, Mamiya ZD, Nikon D200, Sony DCS-R1, and a number of other new cameras from Kodak, Fuji, Olympus and Pentax. Things are now pretty much up to date – at least for the next few weeks, until the PMA show at the end of February, when a basket-load of new models will be announced and Thomas will have to start work on ACR 3.4.

- - -

John Shaw is one of the top names in outdoor photography. The author of more than a dozen books, and a highly regarded educator, John works with the well known Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris.

John has a series of Master Photographers Weekend Seminars coming up in the weeks ahead, in Orlando, Tucson, Portland/Vancouver, Cincinnati, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. John is an excellent photographer and a very fine teacher. Highly recommended!

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 18, 2006

Carl Zeiss announced today (after a month-long teaser campaign) that it will be releasing a line of "ZF" lenses in the Nikon F mount. The first two lenses to be offered are a 50mm f/1.4 Planar and an 85mm f/1.4 Planar, both due in early 2006, with additional lenses coming later in the year. The information provided by Zeiss at this time is sparse, and based in seeing a traditional aperture coupling prong on one of the lenses on Zeiss' web site, I will be curious to see the level of exposure automation available. These are also not autofocus lenses, which many potential purchases will find disappointing.

While Zeiss was tied up contractually with Kyocera and the Contax brand for some time, Leica has had no such constraints. It always struck me as very curious that Leica never bothered to make their lenses available in other brand mounts. Given how disappointed many Canon users are with that company's wide-angle offerings when used on current full-frame digital cameras, Zeiss and Leica producing lenses in Canon mount would be most welcome.

UPDATE: Konica Minolta has withdrawn completely from the photographic equipment and supplies business as of March 31, 2006. They will be transferring their camera, lens, and lens mount technology to Sony, who will continue to develop digital SLRs compatible with this system. Sony will also take over service of KM cameras and lenses.

The writing has been on the wall for some time. KM closed their Canadian operation last year, with no meaningful explanation, and at that time there began serious discussion within the industry about KM's future. They join Agfa, Bronica, and sadly, quite a few others, in that great camera store in the sky. The industry will be poorer for it, as both Konica and Minolta made great contributions over the years, and their recent A2 and 7D cameras were among the most intelligently designed of their genres. Real photographer's cameras. Konica Minolta will be missed.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 16, 2006

Today's article is rather specialized. If you own the Imageprint 6.1 RIP, use an Epson 4800, 7800 or 9800 printer and Colorbyte's Phatte Black ink, have a spectrophotometer, and like or need to make your own printer / paper profiles – then Custom Profiles With ImagePrint Phatte Black will be of interest to you.

- - -

Sean Reid has just published his very comprehensive review of the Leica R9/DMR back. ReidReviews is where Sean's insightful camera reviews and other articles are found. He has written for this site in the past, and now has his own site. It is non-commercial, and is supported though subscription. Highly recommend to those of you who value reviews written by photographers rather than technologists, and who don't mind supporting those writers who put so much effort into their writing but who do not accept commercial advertising. Hmm. Sounds like the demographics of people who regularly visit this site.

- - -

I'll be mostly off-line until Thursday. Chris and I are traveling to Chicago to film a series of interviews and tutorials with Jeff Schewe at this studio in the Windy City. Several people have written, asking if I have the time to get together with them while I'm there. Unfortunately, my time is very tight, and I'm going to have to decline your kind invitations.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 14, 2006

A couple of years ago I reviewed a printer profiling device from ColorVision called PrintFIX 1.0. I was not impressed.

ColorVison has just started shipping this week a brand-new profiling device called PrintFIX Pro. Jack Winberg's exclusive review of PrintFIX Pro is now online, and it appears to be a dramatically improved new product, and at a very attractive price.

- - -

Lightroom Tips and Tricks, my Antarctic Archive, and the Antarctic Workshop Member's Page have each been updated today.

- - -

I will be having a month-long exhibition of my photographs at Toronto's Pikto Gallery in March. This will be the third year running that I will be exhibiting my work there.

This year's show is titled Michael H. Reichmann – New Work, 2005 : From China to Antarctica. The opening reception (public welcome) will be on the evening of Thursday, March 2nd, and the show will run at the gallery until March 31. I'll have more details as the date approaches.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 12, 2006

Adobe's new Lightroom Beta One has caught the interest of a great many photographers. In the first 36 hours following publication of my Lightroom Primer it has been read by more than 60,000 people.

I have started a new column today, called Lightroom Tips and Tricks. It will contain information on how to use Lightroom, that may not be readily found anywhere else – information from other users, Adobe's developers, as well as things I've discovered myself. Even if you're a Windows PC user, bookmark the page, because a version of Lightroom for Windows will be along soon enough, and you'll be able to find out what Mac users are discovering for themselves this week.

Two commercial announcements: I will be teaching two 3-hour seminars on Lightroom in Toronto, on Wednesday 15 February, a little over a month from now. One session will be in the afternoon, and another in the evening. Sign up before it sells out.

Next week Chris and I will be in Chicago to film an introductory Lightroom Training Video with Jeff Schewe. Jeff is a leading Photoshop instructor. He has been involved with Photoshop since its earliest days nearly two decades ago. He has been an early Alpha tester for Lightroom, and is the publisher of PhotoshopNews.com. This video will appear in late February in Issue #14 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Why not reserve your copy now? Better yet, save money and order a four-issue subscription, beginning with the current issue, which will arrive right away.

Regular contributor Alain Briot has just published a new article on his own web site about Rock Art photography at the Coso Range. Alain, you may recall, is one of the leading photographers of early Native American art. Alain's next essay for this site, in his Reflections on Photography and Art series, will appear here shortly.

A sign of the times – Nikon has announced that they are ceasing production of most of their film-based cameras, large format and enlarging lenses, and most manual focus lenses. The relatively new Nikon F6 camera and certain manual focus lenses will still remain in production.

Finally – pBase.com Magazine has just published an interview with me. It appears in Issue #4, just published yesterday. It can be downloaded for free from their site as either a PDF or a ZIP file.

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

January 9, 2006

Adobe announced today the release of a major new image processing and management software program – Lightroom – Beta One. Lightroom provides users with a comprehensive suite of tools for ingesting, sorting, rank, processing, presenting and printing digital image files. Lightroom is able to process more than 100 different raw file types, as well as handle most other major image file formats.

Lightroom is available immediately as a free public beta release, initially for Mac OS X computers, but with a Windows PC version to follow shortly. Lightroom will be released commercially some time later in 2006. Till then Adobe will be requesting user feedback on features and functionality through its new Adobe Labs web site, where the program can be downloaded, and which also hosts a user feedback and discussion forum.

My exclusive First Look and Primer is now available online. It features a comprehensive review of the program's major features as well as observations on where Lightroom fits into the scheme of things for digital photographers. This report is based on my experience as an early tester for the program, as well on interviews with Lightroom's designers.

Issue #14 of The Video Journal, scheduled for release next month, will feature an in-depth video tutorial on Lightroom. A Lightroom section has also been started on this site's Discussion Forum.

Finally – I will also be running a series of introductory Lightroom training seminars in Toronto during February, in conjunction with The Canadian Photographic Centre. Details soon.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 7, 2006

UPDATE: Hasselblad / Imacon has just heated up the digital medium format wars by introducing a new 39 Megapixel back and camera. These use the latest 39 Megapixel chip from Kodak – currently the largest CCD sensor commercially available. These join Phase One, which started shipping its P45 39 Megapixel back, which uses the same chip, last month. (My review is to come, as soon as I get a sample of the P45 in Contax mount – hopefully later this month ).

The new Imacon back comes as a bundle with the H2 camera, as a stand-alone back in mounts for all major camera systems, and as an integrated back / camera with the H2 body. The stand-alone back will also be available in a multishot configuration. No word yet on price or availability. Looks impressive though.

- - -

Yesterday, Adobe announced the launch of Adobe Labs. In their announcement Adobe is quoted as saying that it "will provide an unprecedented opportunity for developers and technology enthusiasts to experience, evaluate, and share feedback about new and emerging Adobe innovations, technologies, and products before they go to market. In return, Adobe will benefit from insightful feedback and the opportunity to make adjustments to product strategy before shipping". You can read the full press release at PhotoshopNews.com.

I'd also draw your attention to a news item on PhotoshopNews.com. I won't say any more, other than that you may want to drop by here real early on Monday morning

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 6, 2006

Last week I asked that anyone wanting to be on the waitlist for my February 2007 Antarctic Expedition and Workshop should send in their names. A great many people did, and the workshop is now almost sold out.

There are just two cabins available – a suite, and a twin cabin with private bath. If you would like to join this exciting expedition next February, now's the time to act. You can find out more on the expedition page, which is now being made public for the first time.

__________________________________________________________________________________

January 5, 2006

One of the excellent instructors on my December, 2005 Antarctic expedition / workshop was Steve Johnson. Steve is a pioneer of the digital revolution, and a superb teacher. His latest newsletter provides some comments and thoughts on our recent trip.

Katrin Eismann is a a leading Photoshop educator, and co-author of the book Real World Digital Photography. She has recently been working with a Phase One P25 medium format back, and her essay on this experience is now found on her book's web site.

I have received quite a few emails during the past couple of weeks asking when I will be reviewing the new Phase One P45 back, and comparing it to my P25. The answer is – soon. I am waiting for a review sample in Contax 645 mount so that I can do comparisons using the same camera body and lenses. I am also looking forward to testing the P45 on the Cambo Wide DS with the Schneider 35mm Digitar, a lens which visibly outperforms any other that I have ever used. I'm told that I can expect a P45 back for review some time later in January.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 4, 2006

Apple's release of Aperture a few months ago caught a few people off guard – not the least of whom was Adobe.

I have now been using (sort of) Aperture for about 4 weeks. It holds tremendous promise, but it also falls far short of expectations. My non-review of Aperture is now online.

My Antarctic Archive and workshop member's page have both been updated.

___________________________________________________________________________________

January 2, 2006

The beginning of a new year is an appropriate time to look toward what might be coming our way in terms of new photographic equipment. The annual PMA (Photo Marketing Association) trade show takes place in late February in Orlando, Florida, and already the drumbeat of leaks, pre-announcements and rumours has started.

A couple of items of interest come from two of the pillars of traditional photography, Carl Zeiss and Leica. Zeiss is running some teaser ads for what appears to be a new line of their lenses (ZF) specially made for Nikon mount SLRs and DSLRs, and Leica is starting to reveal more about their long-awaited Leica M Digital.

One of the most respected writers about optics, and Leica equipment specifically, is Erwin Puts, the author of the authoritative Leica Lens Compendium. He has recently written a fascinating and enjoyable essay which touches on a number of intriguing topics, including the impending M Digital. Worth reading.

- - -

If one of my workshops to places like China or Antarctica isn't exotic enough, I have just the ticket for you. My colleague, Pierre Claquin, with whom I conducted last year's Bangladesh workshop, has a photographic expedition planned to Gorno-Badakhshan – Tajikistan for this coming July. Only 9 people can be accommodated. Wow!

____________________________________________________________________________________

What's New listing for prior years are also available...


2005

2004 Sept - Dec
2004 Jan - Sept
2003

2002
2001
2000
1999


Filed Under:  
  

show page metadata