What Was New in 1999?
Wednesday, December 29, 1999
If you've been involved in photography for a couple of decades or more there is bound to be some lens or camera that you once coveted and which now comes across your path. Such was the case for me with the Vivitar Series 1 800mm Solid Catadioptric lens. Is it as good as reputed and remembered?
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
A major new portfolio by Guest Photographer Alain Briot has been added. Originally from France, Alain now lives in Chinle, Arizona and is a full-time landscape photographer who derives his livelihood from print sales.
Monday, December 27, 1999
I have once again updated the section on color system calibration. This should be of interest to anyone doing digital darkroom work who wants the best possible colour matching between what's on your film, what appears on your monitor after a scan, and what comes out of your printer.
There is a great deal of myth and misinformation regarding lens resolution, what's important, and what ends up on film. Here is a fascinating new article that explores this topic in some depth.
But, here is a rebuttal that points out flaws in the above presentation. Make of it what you will. As for me, I'm going out to take pictures.
Thursday, December 23, 1999
A PhotoShop plug-in called Genuine Fractals 2.0 has had some publicity recently. It is purported to provide the ability to res-up a digital photo file with little loss of quality. I find otherwise.
Monday, December 20, 1999
Antelope Canyon is one of the icons of landscape photography in the American Southwest. There is now a new major photo essay on-line featuring several of my previously unpublished photographs taken at this remarkable location.
Saturday, December 18, 1999
With the December blahs having set in and the first of some planned shooting trips in the Southwest still weeks away, I've been reviewing my archives. The following are a number of previously unpublished photographs that I've just placed on-line. Foggy Sunset at The Sea Ranch; Moonrise & Venus; Moon Over Zion; Zion Cliff & Tree; Sea Ranch Flora.
Don't get caught-out by the season's most annoying photographic foible ‹ badly exposed snow scenes. Learn how to properly expose for snow.
Epson's Photo printers dominate the fine-art printing scene. I had always assumed that this had to do with their image quality as much as anything else. No so! Find out why by reading this update.
Friday, December 17, 1999
During the past week I have heard rumours (now confirmed by multiple sources) of several new Canon EOS as well as digital camera releases scheduled for February. Click here for what little information is currently available. More as I hear of it.
Monday, December 13, 1999
Some new brief essays on Zen and The Art of Landscape Photography have been added. Also further experimentation with the mosaic stitching capabilities of the Canon S10 digital camera and associated software are explored.
Saturday, December 11, 1999
The long-term inkjet print-fade test started two months ago has now been concluded. Results are now on-line. If you read last month's report you won't be surprised to learn that the results are essentially unchanged.
Thursday, December 9, 1999
A new section called The Urban Landscape has been created. My primary love is the natural landscape, and in particular the U.S. southwest, but I do urban photography as well from time-to-time.
Wednesday, December 8, 1999
The consumer digital camera market is red-hot right now. In addition to my more serious efforts in landscape photography, like most people I take snapshots when I visit with family or take a vacation. I've just purchased Canon's latest digital point-and-shoot the PowerShot S10. Have a look at my hands-on review as well as links to useful digital camera web sites.
Polaroid has officially announced the availability on-line of Insight 4.0 for the Polaroid 4000 scanner. David Hemingway, their on-line representative has written a brief description of this long-awaited software release.
Saturday, December 4, 1999
Anyone using wide format and panoramic cameras such as the Hasselblad XPan and the Fuji GX617 knows the problems that scanning can present with these non-standard formats. This new article explains how best to accomplish this.
These cameras and also some extreme wide-angle lenses for standard format cameras suffer from edge illumination fall-off, and the use of a Center Neutral Density filter is recommended. For those that sometimes forget to use one, I have written a description of how to simulate the use of a Center ND filter digitally in PhotoShop.
Friday, December 3, 1999
Thursday, December 2, 1999
I was fortunate enough to see a major Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition in Paris a few years ago called The Europeans. There is now a new Bresson exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. It's titled Tête à Tete: Portraits by Cartier-Bresson and runs though January, 2000. The show consists primarily of portraits of famous people. While some of these images are totally familiar, many are rarely seen. This show is a must-see for anyone who loves photography and the history of the 20th century. Also, do read the excellent essay by Philip Brockman.
Wednesday, December 1, 1999
It now appears that production Nikon D1s are starting to appear in photographers hands. As one might expect the feedback and debate has started as well. A new section on high-quality Digital Cameras has been created, because the months ahead are going to be full of product announcements, tests and debates. It should be fun.
A final photograph from last month's visit to Death Valley is now here.
Monday, November 30, 1999
Regulars readers likely know that I'm a big fan of the Hasselblad XPan camera. I have a hands-on review scheduled to appear in a few months in one of the major U.S. photography magazines. Of current interest is that Hasselblad has finally announced the long-rumoured 30mm ultra-wide angle lens for the XPan. I have done a brief write-up and provided a link to Hasselblad's press announcement.
An updated image from Mono Lake has been added.
Tuesday, November 23, 1999
I had an opportunity today to have a demo of the new Nikon digital SLR, the D1. It's impressive, but as I expected doesn't have enough resolution for most applications. Photojournalists and newspaper photographers will love it though. My comments have been appended to a write-up I did when the camera was first introduced this past summer.
Colour Management issues continue to fascinate and frustrate me. I have recently added a custom profile from inkjetmall.com for the Epson 1200 printer when using Pictorico Hi-Gloss film. This report now forms part of my on-going exploration of system colour calibration.
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
The article on colour calibration has been updated with details on how to properly calibrate a Windows 98 / PhotoShop 5.5 / Epson 1200 system.
There is an excellent article on how three large-format fine-art photographers mix traditional and digital techniques in the current issue (Nov/Dec 1999) of View Camera magazine. Highly recommended.
Tuesday, November 16, 1999
A separate page for landscape photographs from rural Ontario, Canada taken during 1999 has been created, and three new images from this past weekend have been added.
Monday, November 15, 1999
Two new photographs have been added; from Yosemite a beautiful interpretation of The Gates of The Valley by contributor Steve Kossack, and a recent image of mine from the Lake Sabrina region of the Sierra.
I have had some further thoughts on the use of Pictorico Hi-Gloss paper and there are some comments by the company on my recent archival test results.
Saturday, November 13, 1999
After much research I have upgraded my medium format scanner to the new Imacon FlexTight Photo. Though it will be used primarily for medium format work a brief comparison with the Polaroid 4000 has been written, along with a look at what the other choices were, and why they were rejected.
Thursday, November 11, 1999
About a month ago I wrote an article comparing the use of the Lee Colour Enhancing Filter to doing similar corrections in PhotoShop. This exploration has now been expanded with a comparison between the three major brands of enhancing filters, Lee, Sing-Ray and Tiffen.
One of the most exciting PhotoShop plug-ins for landscape photographers is Four Seasons by RAYflect. This program will completely change the way you do landscape photography. It could make it a lot better or, a lot worse. Either way, you must read this article.
Konica Camera has announced a new camera, the Hexar RF which will compete directly with the Leica M6. You can read all about it here. Who would have thought that the rangefinder camera, the oldest segment of the 35mm camera market, would come alive again at the end of the 20th century with new entries by Hasselblad / Fuji (the XPan) and now Konica?
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
First results are now available from my long-term Archival Print Test. The results are very surprising! A must read report for anyone using ink-jet printers.
Because of the number of requests that I've received for fine-art prints I have decided to formalize the ordering process. Information about how to obtain a large format archival print of one of your favourite photographs from these pages can now be found HERE.
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
A new mail list for Rollei 6000 system user has been started. If you're at all interested in this camera system you owe it to yourself to subscribe.
Monday, November 8, 1999
Ink jet prints have come a long way over the past few years. How do they compare though to the finest archival quality continuous-tone prints from a LightJet 5000 printer on Fuji Crystal Archive paper? Read a review comparing the LightJet 5000 and the Epson 1200 printers. The results will surprise you.
A brief essay on Zen and The Art of Landscape Photography offers some insight into how to do "mindless" photography.
A new selection of large format photographs has been started.
Friday, November 5, 1999
The Rollei 6008 camera system isn't as well know in North America as it is in Europe. This is a shame because it's likely the finest high-end medium format system available, and very well suited to field use for landscape work. Following my recent trip to the Eastern Sierra, where it was one again exposed to extreme location conditions, I have written some further comments on how this camera system handles in the field.
Thursday, November 4, 1999
Jim Chow is an American photographer currently living in Japan. Previously he has contributed his photographs of Japan to these pages and he now has submitted a beautiful new portfolio of images taken this summer and fall on visits to the Western U.S.
Wednesday, November 3, 1999
Tuesday, November 2, 1999
Monday, November 1, 1999
A review of the APS film adapter for the Polaroid 4000 scanner has been added. The quality obtainable is remarkable, and for me turns APS from strictly family snapshot use to a serious alternative for candid street photography.
For anyone considering a brief trip to the Southwest to do some landscape photography I written some thoughts on how inexpensive such an adventure can be.
Sunday, October 31, 1999
Today marks five months since this site went on-line. We also recorded this morning our 10,000th visitor. While by some standards this isn't many, I'm very pleased, and I want to thank all our regular visitors for your support and interest. The best is yet to come.
If you've not looked at the Eastern Sierra section in the past couple of days, do revisit it as quite a few new photographs have been added to the various locations.
Saturday, October 30, 1999
I've been evaluating scanners with an eye to upgrading my 3 year old Agfa Duoscan which I use for medium format work. One of the scanners tested was the $15,000 Imacon Precision II. I had a chance to compare it with my Polaroid 4000 for 35mm work and came up with some interesting results.
Friday, October 29, 1999
There is now so much new content in the Eastern Sierra section that I have split it into 5 separate pages; Route 168 & The June Lake Loop, Mono Lake, The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Death Valley and Yosemite National Park. Look for additional new photographs in all of these sections over the next couple of weeks.
A very worthwhile and long overdue book on Canadian Landscape Photography has just been published. Check here for a mini-review and link.
Wednesday, October 27, 1999
I have just returned from from an exciting 5 day shoot in the Eastern Sierra. There are 52 rolls of 120 film to be reviewed, and I have only just started that process. To see these images as they are scanned and uploaded check back here often during the next few weeks. Descriptions of the various locations visited including Mono Lake, fall colour locations in the Sierras, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Death Valley and Yosemite National Park are included as well.
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
There won't be any further updates to the site until late in October. I am off on a week-long shoot in the Eastern Sierra. Locations to be visited will include Mono Lake, the Bistlecone Pine Forest, the Eureka Dunes and Racetrack areas of Death Valley as well as the Alabama Hills. Fall colours should be found in the area from Reno south through Lone Pine.
When I return, in addition to any new photographs, I will be writing extensive travel notes on these locations. I am also working on a report about a very exciting new PhotoShop plug-in, and I will also have a review of the APS adaptor for the Polaroid 4000 scanner.
A link to Carol Leigh's excellent web site calphoto.com featuring landscape and nature photography in California has been added to the Links section. This is the resource for up-to-the-minute wild-flower and fall colour information pertaining to locations in California.
A new B&W photograph taken in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario has been added to the Monochrome section. Also, a lovely field of poppies in England, taken a few years ago but only just printed, is now found in my international section.
Monday, October 18, 1999
An update to my on-going test of archival papers and inks has been added to the article on Archival Digital Processing. This is a test of MediaStreet's best cast-coated paper called JET Drive Photo-Realistic Paper.
I have also now tested MIS' archival colour inks and the results of this test are located here. Briefly, this appear to be the same product as MediaStreet's Generations archival inks and neither are compatible with the best papers such as Epson's Glossy Film or Pictorico's Hi-Gloss Film.
Friday, October 15, 1999
Monday, October 12, 1999
Death Valley holds a special fascination for me. In fact I'll be returning to shoot there again in late October. This picture of Zabriskie Point, taken with a Noblex 135u panoramic camera, helps explain the appeal.
Sunday, October 10, 1999
A new section on the use of filters has been added. The first article discusses the use of colour enhancing filters and their relevance and usefulness compared to digital image processing techniques. Polarizers and graduated filters will be examined in future articles.
Fall foliage has been muted this year but for me this image captures the soft quality of light in the fall on a country morning.
Saturday, October 9, 1999
Set your VCR for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13th. PBS is broadcasting the first of 3 one-hour documentaries titled Photography: A Century of Images. Apparently more social history than detailed study of photography itself it nevertheless should make for interesting viewing.
Friday, October 8, 1999
It was pointed out to me that in my review of Generations archival colour ink I had neglected to discuss whether MIS Quadtone inks were compatible with Pictorico Hi-Gloss paper. The answer is yes, and a discussion of this has been added to the article on Archival Digital Processing.
Anyone interested in the art and technique of landscape photography should run over to their local bookseller or AMAZON.COM and pick up a copy of the Better Picture Guide to Landscape Photography by Michael Busselle. Highly recommended. A must read for our Workshop members. A link to the book's information and order page on AMAZON is located here.
Thursday, October 7, 1999
An initial review of MediaStreet.com's Generations archival pigment inks is now available. A description of an on-going archival test of inks and papers is to be found here. The page containing both the Pictorico paper and Generations inks review is called Archival Digital Processing.
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
A brief review of Pictorico Hi-Gloss film has been added. This is an exceptional ink-jet printing paper capable of excellent image quality.
Photographers considering a new lens purchase often have a hard time visualizing what differences the various focal lengths produce. Here is a page showing five different focal lengths and an example of their coverage.
Tuesday, October 5, 1999
If you wonder what selection of focal lengths to get for your new camera system, or are considering adding a "missing" lens to your existing kit, have a look at About Focal Lengths, a brief essay on using the logarithmic ratio of F stops to choose lens spacing.
Monday, October 4, 1999
The fall colours in Ontario are not yet at their peak. While this year is likely to be subdued compared with 1998 there are some outstanding exceptions. The Credit River Valley and the Rouge River Valley, both within an hour's drive of Toronto offer ideal locations for discovering nature's fall show. Here is one of the first pictures from this season.
Sunday, October 3, 1999
Regular visitors may know that I'm preparing a hands-on review of the Hasselblad XPan camera for a leading U.S. photographic magazine. (Publication is scheduled for Spring '00). I've been using the XPan as my primary personal travel camera since last winter and have found it to be more versatile than an M series Leica, and just as easy to tote. Image quality is superb in both regular 35mm format and wide-format 24X65 mm. An interesting variation on the traditional Eiffel Tower photograph, taken just last week, is to be found here in my preliminary XPan comments page.
A new black & white panoramic image taken near Desert Hot Springs CA, has been added here.
Saturday, October 2, 1999
Fall always presents a unique opportunity for landscape photography. The light is soft and of course the colours can be magical. This special time only last for a few weeks and it's best to make the most of it. I know I plan to. The first new image of this season is one of a flight of Canada Geese.
For the past several days the Pictorico web site has been down, and therefore the link mentioned below has become inoperative.
If you own a scanner and ink-jet printer, in particular one of the Epson Photo series, you must visit DigitalDarkroom, a site located in Singapore. A well designed and run site loaded with useful information.
Saturday, September 25, 1999
I will be off-line until October 2nd. One of the nice things about web sites though is that they continue on, even in ones absence.
Some regulars may know that I have been preparing a review of Pictorico Photo Gallery High-Gloss White Film. This should be on-line within a couple of weeks. What I can say for now is that this paper is whiter, brighter and heavier than the previous paper champ, Epson Glossy Film. If you have a inkjet photo printer and want the highest quality, waterproof (archival) paper available, you owe it to yourself to order a package. More details soon.
Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Two new images have been added to the Monument Valley portfolio and travel guide. They serve to show the remarkable variety of light and subject that this remote venue provides.
Tuesday, September 21, 1999
Robert White Inc., a major U.K. photographic equipment distributor and dealer, has added a Gallery section to his web site. I am pleased to say that he has chosen to feature yours truly. You'll find his Gallery page HERE. Also, my exploration of the difficult topic of System Colour Calibration continues. This page has been updated with corrected printer setting information, and some new web references are cited. Finally, a new image from Canyon De Chelley has been added to the section on Digital Manipulations.
Saturday, September 18, 1999
There is a new article titled White Sky Blues. It describes a simple Photoshop technique for adding convincing and pleasing skies to those landscape images suffering from plain, boring white skies. You use a polarizer and and tinted grad filters, don't you? Well, why not apply similar filters with your digital imaging system?
There are now 6 digital imaging articles on these pages. Digital Manipulations, A Digital Printing Class, An Introduction to Digital Imaging, Gaussian Blur Overlays, Black & White Digital Printing, and the new new article, White Sky Blues. If you'd like to read about my current digital image processing gear, look in Digital Processing.
Friday, September 17, 1999
It's a technique that has been around for a while and was first discussed by George Lepp. If you have a Canon EOS system, both the 1.4X and 2X tele-extenders and a 12mm extension tube, you can achieve 2.8X magnification with many of your long lens', with infinity focus. I was asked about this recently, so here's how.
Tuesday, September 14, 1999
A new article is available on Black & White Digital Printing. It explores the use of Quadtone gray-scale inks in Epson printers. These allow superb monochrome prints to be made. There is also a discussion in the article on the emerging controversy regarding shooting colour film exclusively, even when B&W prints are desired.
Monday, September 13, 1999
All positions for the Monument Valley In Depth Workshop have now been filled. We have created a waiting list In case any registrant drops out between now and next April. If you wish, please feel free to complete the Registration Wait List Form and we will inform you, in order of priority, if there is a cancellation. Thanks to everyone for the strong interest shown in this Workshop.
Wednesday, September 8, 1999
Exciting news! We are announcing today an in-depth Landscape Photography Workshop, scheduled for April 14-18, 2000, in Monument Valley, Arizona. Limited to 6 participants, Michael Reichmann and Steve Kossack will spend 3 exciting days and nights (from before sunrise to after sunset) working with you to develop your photographic skills and portfolio. We will be shooting in one of the most remote and exciting landscapes in the United States, if not the world.
Read more about this Workshop HERE. Space is limited to 6 participants and is, of course, first come first served. Start the Millennium right with the type of landscape photography Workshop that you've been waiting for!
Wednesday, September 1, 1999
A new photograph of a window arch and petroglyph has been added to the travel article on Monument Valley.
Monday, August 30, 1999
Nothing is more frustrating than slaving over a hot monitor to produce a beautifully colour balanced image and then to have the print come out too light, too dark, or off colour. An essay on how to setup System Colour Calibration helps explain how to solve this problem.
Tuesday, August 24, 1999
During the past few weeks I have upgraded my image processing systems, including computer, scanner and printer. Comments, and reviews on digital darkroom gear are to be found HERE.
Friday, August 20, 1999
Images from the solar eclipse and of my travels to Bucharest have been added to the report at Total Solar Eclipse.
Saturday, August 14, 1999
I have just returned from observing the Total Solar Eclipse on August 11, 1999 from Bucharest, Romania. Images from that trip will appear later in August when I again have access to an E6 film lab and scanner. In the meanwhile here is an essay describing my travels, observing, photography and thoughts on this unique experience.
Friday, August 6, 1999
Heating up the high-end digital camera pot Kodak has announced the DCS330, a three-megapixel digital camera based on the Nikon Pronea 6i body.
Thursday, August 5, 1999
Updated delivery information on the forthcoming Microtek ArtixScan AS4000t has become available.
Thursday, July 29, 1999
A link to a site with unique and luminous photographs of Antarctica has been added here.
Sunday, July 25, 1999
Two books, of special value and interest to anyone visiting and doing photography in the American Southwest are referenced.
Wednesday, July 21, 1999
Monday, July 19, 1999
Friday, July 16, 1999
A Visitor Comments page has been added.
Thursday, July 15, 1999
Sunday, July 11, 1999
A Table of Contents page has been added. The site has now grown to a size such that finding content is becoming more difficult. This page shows the hierarchical design of the site with direct links to all major pages. A link to it has also been added to the bottom of each page.
Friday, July 9, 1999
Thursday, July 7, 1999
I owe an apology to all those who do not use Microsoft Explorer. Many of the smaller images on these pages that have text wrapped around them have not been displaying properly in Netscape. Examples are seen lower down this page. But, I have now taken steps to remedy this and in future every effort will be made to ensure that both major browsers display these pages properly.
Tuesday, July 6, 1999
A web site Link-Exchange Program has been created. Anyone with a photography-related web site can insert a site description and create a link to their site. To see these links and register your site, click here.
Monday, July 5, 1999
A feature article on Zion National Park has been added to the newly created Travel Articles section. Also added is a brief look at Bryce Canyon. All previous travel articles have been moved to this new section as well.
Thursday, July 1, 1999
FYI: Outdoor Photographer Magazine has an issue currently on the new-stands devoted to Landscape Photography. It features some fine photography as well as feature articles. Readers outside of North America may wish to track down a copy while it's still available.
Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Though apparently not yet officially announced, Microtek has a new 4000 DPI scanner to compete with the Polaroid 4000. Click here for the first detailed information on the Internet regarding this new scanner.
Sunday, June 27, 1999
A discussion on web publishing, and some insights into how a site like this one is created can be found here.
Thursday, June 24, 1999
A brief essay About Light, and how it affects the way in which landscape photographers work, was added to The Art of Photography. Also, automatic e-mail notification of postings has been added to the Discussion Board. Click here and then select Announcements to find out more.
Wednesday, June 23, 1999
A pair of comparison images showing a high resolution view of a SprintScan 4000 image has been added to the Polaroid SprintScan 4000 Review.
Tuesday, June 22, 1999
Monday, June 21, 1999
I have finally had a few days to test and start using the Polaroid SprintScan 4000. Here is a more comprehensive review, elaborating on my initial in-store findings last week. As well, a new composite digital image is to be found here, in the Digital Manipulations section.
Friday, June 18, 1999
As discussed on the Digital Processing page I am in the process this summer of upgrading my whole computer and imaging system. Many have expressed an interest in the how's and why's of choosing equipment for my new state-of-the-art image processing system. Yesterday, I decided on the new Polaroid SprintScan 4000 35mm scanner, and my initial test results are here. I have also selected and ordered the Eizo FlexScan L66 Flat Panel monitor, and have a few initial comments here.
Wednesday, June 16, 1999
Tuesday, June 15, 1999
Friday, June 11, 1999
The Discussion Forum is finally operational. Please join us to discuss any photography, travel or digital imaging topic.
Monday, June 7, 1999
An examination of The Issue of Aspect Ratio is discussed. What shape should your pictures be and what influence does your equipment have on that decision?
Also, enhanced analysis of the Canon EOS system and details of an announcement of 4 new long focal-length Canon IS lenses.
Sunday, June 6, 1999
A number of new links have been added, to newsletters and web sites that I consider musts for landscape photographers.
Friday, May 28, 1999