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What Was New in 2003?

This page contains descriptions of changes made to this site during 2003.
Current site update information is found here.
Please check the Table of Contents for a complete overview of this site.

Current 2003 Listings are Found Here

November 30, 2003

Mike Johnston's column for this Sunday is titled Books, Nikon Bigots, and B&WP.

DPReview is one of the most popular sites for technical reviews of digital cameras, and rightly or wrongly their opinion carries a lot of weight with purchasers. They have just published their review of the Olympus E1 and it contains some strong criticisms.

November 29, 2003

My seminar on fine-art inkjet printing scheduled for next Thursday evening in Toronto has been sold-out for a while. The sponsors, The Canadian Photographic Center, have therefore scheduled a repeat presentation for Wednesday, January 28th. If you wish to attend I suggest that you register soon, as it too will likely sell out quickly. I hope to see you at my seminar on Fine-Art Inkjet Printing in January.

November 28, 2003

Have you ever dreamed about having a beautifulyy build all-metal tilt/shift lens for your Mamiya 645, Contax 645 or Pentax 645 format camera? Doesn't exists? Yes it does, and it's called the Hartblei 45mm f/3.5 Super-Rotator. Read my exclusive review to find out more. (Face it — where else but the Luminous Landscape are you going to find out about this stuff?)

November 26, 2003

Best wishes to all my readers in the United States for a warm and joyful Thanksgiving holiday. Have a safe long weekend.

Though my summer 2004 Iceland workshops sold out almost immediately, a few people that had registered have not followed through, and so a couple of spaces have just come available. If a week of photography in Iceland in mid-summer, with 24 hours of daylight and 6 hours of golden light each night appeals to you, then now's the time to act.

Attending a workshop or seminar is one of the best ways to improve your photographic skills. You may also wish to consider Steve Kossack's Death Valley Workshop coming up in March. It is being announced today for the first time.

November 25, 2003

In late summer I reviewed on these pages the Leaf Valeo 22, one of the world's first 22 megapixel medium format digital backs. At the time a version for the Contax 645 wasn't available and so I was unable to test it against my reference system, which includes the Kodak 16 Megapixel DCS Pro Back. But a few weeks ago I was visited by Leaf's Product Marketing Manager and we spent the better part of a day doing a comprehensive comparison. My revisited review of the Valeo 22 is now online. At $29,000 it isn't in most photographer's budgets, but if nothing else this report will give you an idea of where the state-of-the-digital-art is today.

November 23, 2003

Mike Johnston's column for this morning shares with us his longing for Nikon's latest and greatest — Camera Envy: the Nikon D2H.

November 22, 2003

Traveling by air with photographic equipment has become a serious problem for professional as well as other photographers, as they can no longer check their expensive equipment as luggage because of the inability to lock cases. Airline carry-on restrictions further complicate this.

In the U.S. the Transportation Security Administration has now published a new rule that allows working photographers to carry onboard aircraft an additional bag containing their delicate and valuable equipment. This policy is detailed on the TSA's web site. I suggest that you print out that page to show to the airline in case they are not familiar with the new ruling. Please contact the TSA if you require further clarification, and note that it only applies to airlines whose flights originate in the U.S.A.

November 21, 2003

I have just returned from a week-long shoot along the world-famous Hwy 1 coast road in California — from Big Sur to Medicino. A portfolio from that trip will appear online soon, and also will be featured in an upcoming Video Journal segment.

On this shoot I tested and used extensively an exciting new tilt / shift lens designed for medium format cameras. A full review will appear on these pages shortly.

This week's new article is titled Architecture as Landscape, and features images from a series done recently at an abandoned brickworks.

You should be aware of two important program updates that came out during this past week. The first is a new Mac OS X version of Capture One Pro, supporting the Canon 1D, 1Ds, 10D, D30, D60 and 300D. This is a free upgrade for current users and also is available as a 30 day trial for new purchasers. The best RAW converter on the market just got better.

Speaking of the best, the finest sharpening program that I know of — Photokit Sharpener — has just been upgraded to function in 16 bit mode under Photoshop CS. This is a free upgrade for existing owners. If you have not yet read my original review find out what you've been missing.

Finally, Digital Outback Photo has recently published their latest handbook, which explores some of the more important new features of Photoshop CS.

November 16, 2003

A week without Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column is like a week without sunshine, so even though I am currently on a shoot in California I have logged on and published this week's missive, Wedding Photography and the "$39K Schmuck.

November 13, 2003

A Gift for the Holidays

We are now into our third year of publishing the Luminous Landscape Video Journal — the world's only quarterly DVD video magazine for photographers. Now, as a special offer for the holiday season you can buy as a present for yourself, or for your photographer friends, Volume One and Volume Two of The Video Journal packaged in a special presentation case. Each of the cases contains 4 DVDs, loaded with hours of broadcast quality programming about photography.

Volume One and Volume Two are each priced at $129.95, or you can purchase both together for $239.95. And, these will be shipped to you or to the address that you specify via Federal Express at no additional charge — anywhere in the world. Give the gift of photography — especially to yourself!

Update: Current subscribers with Video Journal collections can download the package art to fit individual Amaray cases. The single Amaray DVD-Safe cases can be purchased in packs of 10 for US$6.95.

I am traveling on a shoot in the American Southwest and will be back online on Friday, November 21st. Please hold your e-mails until then. Fulfillment of Video Journal subscriptions and orders is automated and will be processed and shipped immediately, as usual.

November 12, 2003

Olympus has just started shipping the Olympus E-1 digital SLR, the first camera to become available in the new 4/3 format. In my exclusive hands-on field report I tell you what I've learned about this camera, and also share my observations on the future of 4/3.

Are you becoming a better photographer because of this web site? Is so, you can learn even more, more easily from our unique quarterly video magazine — The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Take a moment to find out why thousands of photographers like you, in more than 40 countries around the world have become passionate subscribers, and better photographers.

November 10, 2003

There is a new home page photograph that you may enjoy. It is part of a portfolio on a deserted brickworks that I have been working on. You can also view a larger version directly here. I will publish an article on how it and other images in the series were made within the next couple of weeks, and a feature on this will appear in an upcoming Video Journal.

A selection of these prints will be available for viewing this coming Friday evening at the Digital Summit in Phoenix, where I am giving the Keynote address. It's still not too late to attend. They also will be shown in a gallery exhibit in Toronto early in the new year. Details will be announced on this page when available.

November 9, 2003

Mike Johnston has been down with a cold this week and so his Sunday Morning column won't appear today.

Instead I am moving forward the publication of the eagerly awaited fourth installment of Alain Briot's Esthetics and Photography series, How to Find the Best Light.

November 8, 2003

Regular readers know that this site does not have advertising or commercial relationships of any sort. But, we do have bills to pay, and the way we pay them is through subscriptions to our quarterly publication The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Here's what a few subscribers have said about Issue #8...

Once again, a FABULOUS issue! I would pay 2X-4X what I pay now.

The Iceland segment alone is worth the price of the subscription. The videography and music are first-rate.

I just had to express my happiness with my Video Journal subscription, and #8 exceeded my expectations once again.

The production values put National Geographic Explorer to shame.

It's the single best photography investment I've made.

Take a moment to view some of the Quicktime preview videos. (Remember, the Video Journal itself is produced on broadcast quality DVDs playable everywhere in the world, on PCs, Macs and set-top DVD players).

Become a better photographer. Support this site. Join thousands of photographers in more than 40 countries around the world who are enjoying this unique photographic resource.

Subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. Oh yes, and by doing so you could win a DSLR and a private workshop worth $5,000.

Scheduled for next week....

— a new installment of Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column

— a hands-on review of the new Olympus E1

— the fourth installment of Alain Briot's Aesthetics and Photography series

— a second look at the 22 Megapixel Leaf Valeo 22 digital back

I will be the Keynote Speaker at next Friday's Digital Summit in Phoenix. It's still not too late to attend. I hope to see you there.

November 7, 2003

Photographers seem to be divided into two camps — those who love Microdrives, and those that hate them. I fall into the first camp as I have had excellent experience with the six 1GB Microdrives that I own. That's why I was very pleased to discover that Hitachi has just started shipping their new 4 Gigabyte Microdrives. I picked up a couple at B&H while I was in New York last week and have been testing them since. My review is now online.

November 5, 2003

A couple of years ago both Contax and Pentax announced full-frame 6 Megapixel DSLRs using a CCD chip made by Philips. Pentax killed it off stillborn while Contax brought theirs to market, only to withdraw it shortly afterward. Contax hasn't yet returned to the DSLR area, but Pentax has now just started shipping their first 6 Megapixel, the *st D.

I've long had a soft spot for Pentax cameras and lenses. I began my photographic career some 40 years ago using a Pentax Spotmatic, and have recently been a user of the Pentax 645 Nii and Pentax 67 II, both of which were excellent camera system. But, with the Pentax *ist D I'm afraid that they have disappointed.

My review of the Pentax *ist D is now online.

When I posted Steve Kossack's Yosemite Valley In Winter workshop (February 5-9, 2004) a few weeks ago I didn't list his correct e-mail address. That has now been corrected. If you're looking for a unique winter workshop in a remarkable location this could be the one. Recommended.

November 4, 2003

I have updated the Miscellaneous Moments page with a photograph taken last week in New York where I was attending Photo East Expo and also field testing the new Pentax *ist D. My review of this new DSLR will appear here tomorrow.

November 2, 2003

Mike Johnston's column for this Sunday morning is titled My Favorite View Camera, but with a Halloween twist.

October 31, 2003

The semi-finalist for October in the DSLR & Workshop Give-Away is Richard Gustafson from Santa Monica, CA. Congratulations Richard! Only two more months to go until someone wins a DSLR of their choice and a totally private workshop with Michael Reichmann at the location of their choice. Total value — U.S. $5,000. Are you a Video Journal subscriber yet? Find out more about how you can win.

I attended Photo East Expo in New York yesterday. It seemed to be somewhat smaller and not as well attended as last year. There also wasn't much in the way of new products. The just-announced Epson Photo R800 is an A4 sized printer that uses a new generation of Epson's Ultrachrome inks — also Epson's first in this size. What makes it unique is that it includes a Gloss Optimizer cartridge that allows it to produce stunning prints on glossy paper, also a first for these inks.

I also saw the Epson 4000 for the first time in the flesh. (I hope to have a review sample soon). But I was stunned by how physically large the printer is. It actually makes the Epson 3000 or 5500 look small. You'll need a very large desk and an understanding spouse to put this one in the family room, and it may make the Epson 7600 a better buy for many users.

I was also pleased to note that Hitachi is now shipping their new 4GB Microdrive. (Hitachi bought IBM's disk drive business last year). At U.S. $495 this is currently the lowest cost per gigabyte of any CF card, and it appears that Hitachi has made these new drives even more robust than before. I will be testing one shortly.

And finally — seen at the show — the answer to a question that nobody asked; the Leica R9 Digital cardboard mockup, promised for "Fall 2004". Right.

October 30, 2003

There are a number of ways of reducing the dynamic range of a scene so that highlights aren't blown out and shadows show detail. One of the simplest techniques to use is contrast masking, which I explain in a new tutorial titled Understanding Contrast Masking.

I am now traveling to New York city for Photo East Expo, to be followed by a shoot in the mountains of Upstate New York where I will be field testing the Pentax *istD. I will have a review of this newest digital SLR online some time next week.

If you're at the show in New York, look for me to be walking the show floor on Friday. I'll also be found at the Capture One booth between 1pm and 2pm on Friday and will have some prints on display. Hope to see you there.

October 29, 2003

I have been offline for several days leading a Fall colour workshop workshop in the Muskoka and Algonquin Park region of Northern Ontario. While I was on the road my laptop computer crashed and I lost all of the e-mail received between about Thurs. Oct. 23 and Tues Oct. 28. If you sent me any e-mail of importance during that time, please resend it. I apologies for any inconvenience. Video Journal orders placed during that week were not affected.

October 26, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week is titled Choosing A First Lens for Large Format. Even if you are not a large format photographer, you may well find it of interest.

The new issue (Nov. / Dec, 2003) of Photo Techniques USA magazine has as its feature article this month my extensive report titled The World's 25 Best Cameras.

There will be a delay of a few days in my responding to most e-mails and Forum postings as I am in the middle of conducting a 5-day Fall colour field workshop and Photoshop seminar in Muskoka, Canada.

October 24, 2003

Contributor Andy Biggs has just finished testing four new fine-art inkjet papers from the Moab Paper Company, and provides us with his exclusive hands-on review. Also, if you're going to be in New York next week for Photo East Expo, there will be a photographic exhibit at the Seven Ops Gallery, 347 W. 36th Street, 7th Floor, featuring three contemporary photographers whose works are printed on Moab papers.

Speaking of Photo East Expo — I'll be at the show, but only for one day, on Friday, October 31st. I have a crowded schedule and so won't be hosting the annual dinner that many readers have enjoyed attending in the past. If you'd like to say "hi" though, you'll find me at the Capture One booth between 1-2 PM on Friday.

My Featured Image for October has now been posted.

October 22, 2003

Attending a workshop or seminar is one of the best ways to improve your photographic skills. Here are several that you should consider...

Well known west-coast photographic instructor Steve Kossack, who assists me with most of my field workshops, is now offering a 2004 repeat of his highly regarded Yosemite Valley In Winter workshop — February 5-9, 2004.

Landscape photographer and columnist for this site, Alain Briot, has just announced his popular Navojoland workshop for 2004, to take place March 12-16, 2004.

All 24 spaces on my two Iceland workshops in June and July, 2004 have now sold out. But there are often cancellations, so I have just opened a waitlist. If you'd like to be added, note that anyone registering (no obligation, of course) will be notified on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registrations for the Digital Fine Art Photographer's Summit in Phoenix, Arizona on the weekend of November 14,15,16 are going very well, but there are still spaces available. I will be providing the keynote address at the conference on opening night.

Finally, If you live near Toronto you may be interested in a seminar on fine-art inkjet printing that I will be giving in December. It is being put on by The Canadian Photographic Centre and it is titled Tools and Techniques Explained by a Master Printer. The seminar takes place on the evening of Thursday, December 4th, 2003.

October 21, 2003

The latest in my ongoing "Understanding" series is titled Understanding Mirror Lock-Up. This is virtually a must-do for photographers who wish to extract the finest performance possible from their SLRs, yet is sadly underutilized by many. Find out what it is, what it does, and why you need to use it.

Owners of the Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 for Mamiya, Contax and Hasselblad will be interested to learn that Kodak has just updated the back's firmware to Version 3.3.4. This fixes a number of problems with each of the camera's supported, as well as adding Dynamic Pixel Mapping. This will be a real bonus for anyone who has previously discovered that the back needs to be returned to Kodak if bad pixels appear. Now, the camera does this fix automatically each time the DCS 645 is powered on.

If Kodak would just add automatic image review, an auto-turn-off time of less than 60 minutes and proper support for CF cards larger than 1GB I'd be really thrilled.

October 20, 2003

Nearly a month ago I noted on this page that Epson was demonstrating their new Stylus PRO 4000 printer to dealers in Europe. Today Epson U.K. has announced the 4000 on its web site, as did Epson U.S. This is a wide carriage printer (17"). Eight Ultrachrome inks are used in separate 110 or 220ml (2 blacks simultaneously) cartridges, making one of this printer's biggest advantages reduced ink costs over the 2100/2200 models. U.S. price is estimated at $1,795 with availability in most countries in early January.

October 18, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column will not appear this week. Take this opportunity to catch up on the dozens of previous essays and articles by Mike that can be found on this site.

October 18, 2003

Belkin has introduced a card reader for the Apple iPod. This allows you to use your iPod for more than just playing tunes, copying your camera's memory cards in the field via Firewire and under battery power. It $99 it is reasonably priced, and works with both Mac and Windows based Ipods.

While this may be a good solution for some, along with the range of other "digital wallet" type devices available, I find that a sub-notebook like the Sony TR1, Fujitsu P5000 or Apple 12" Powerbook provide a much more versatile field solution. An in-depth field discussion of this issue will be contained in Issue #9 of the Video Journal, due for publication in December.

October 17, 2003

Australian landscape photographer and frequent contributor to this site, Nick Rains, provides us with a disturbing look at how photographer's rights are being eroded in his country, and how other jurisdictions are not far behind.

October 15, 2003

I am pleased to report that the latest PC Magazine has ranked the Luminous Landscape among its Top 101 Most Incredibly Useful Sites. This follows their March, 2003 rating of this site as one of the 100 Best Classic Web Sites on the Internet.

If you have bought, or are contemplating buying a Canon Digital Rebel 300D, you'll be pleased to learn that Phase One is now making their superb Capture One software available for just $29.95. This price is good until November 15th, at which time it becomes $49.95. This software is a must for anyone working with this new camera.

Also for Digital Rebel owners — Uwe Steinmeuller has just published a new edition of of his well-regarded Digital Outback E-Booklet. This one is specific to the Digital Rebel, Photoshop Elements and Capture One for the Rebel. This is the fastest way for beginners to get up to speed on digital workflow. It sells for $17.95 and is well worth the price.

Well known photographer Scott Bourne now has a mini-review of Photoshop CS available on his web site.You'll be hearing a great deal about this new release in the weeks ahead, both here and on other web sites and magazines. It's a major upgrade and well worth the price of admission.

October 14, 2003

Seven days of traveling through seven National Parks, in two countries. After 2,500 miles (4,200 km) and 1,200 medium format digital frames exposed, The Canadian Rockies report and photo essay is now online.

In addition this write-up contains a field report on my first hands-on experience using the Contax 645 and 16 Megapixel Kodak DCS Pro Back combination on an extensive location shoot.

A reminder that while my summer 2004 Iceland Workshop #1 is sold out, there are still 3 places left on Workshop #2. If you want to join in the best photographic adventure you're ever likely to have, don't delay. Find out more now.

"I must tell you that the segment from Iceland (in Issue #8 of the Video Journal) is the very best video segment devoted to photography that I have ever seen. I am not kidding. The production values put National Geographic Explorer to shame. The beauty of the scenery is awe inspiring and the instructional aspects having to do with composition, light, etc. are just right. All I can say is WOW and thanks again".Become a better photographer, and support this site at the same time — subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

October 12, 2003

I have just returned from a week-long shoot in seven National Parks in the Canadian and U.S. Rocky Mountains. I will have a portfolio and write-up online within the week.

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week is titled The Gestalt of 35mm Tri-X vs. Digital.

Thanks to everyone that wrote to me while I was away to let me know that Delkin has now made the ASKA Cardbus 32 SpeedOver CompactFlash PC card adaptor which I recently reviewed, available outside of Japan. The online price is only $59.95. This is a must have, and is now also easy to obtain.

October 3, 2003

Alain Briot has been using the new Gitzo 2227 carbon fibre tripod with its articulated center column for a while, and now provides us with his review. Alain's continuing series of essays on the topic of The Esthetics of Photography will resume in November.

I am now offline until October 11. I am doing a Fall colour shoot in the four National Parks of the Canadian Rockies and also filming new segments for The Video Journal. This means I will be unable to respond to e-mails or Discussion Forum posting until then. Video Journal orders are processed automatically so there will be no delays in fulfilling new subscriptions.

Because of my travels this coming week I am publishing Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column a couple of days early. It is titled — Got a Question? Ask SMP.

"I must tell you that the segment from Iceland (in Issue #8 of the Video Journal) is the very best video segment devoted to photography that I have ever seen. I am not kidding. The production values put National Geographic Explorer to shame. The beauty of the scenery is awe inspiring and the instructional aspects having to do with composition, light, etc. are just right. All I can say is WOW and thanks again".Become a better photographer, and support this site at the same time — subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

October 2, 2003

There are two housekeeping announcements today...

If you are a current Video Journal subscriber and began your subscription before May, 2003, then your subscription will not automatically renew. To check the status of your subscription and whether it has expired or not, head over to our Store and select Subscriber Log-In. To purchase a renewal select Subscription Renewal from the list on the left of the Store page.

The first of my two Iceland Workshops in June, 2004 has now sold out. There are still a few places available on the second one. If you're considering joining this once-in-a-lifetime trip you'd better act quickly.

I reviewed the 16 Megapixel Imacon Ixpress medium format digital back a couple of months ago. One of the concerns that I had during field use was its lack of a built-in colour LCD screen for image review. There was only a monochrome screen displaying a histogram. Imacon has now announced the availability of the Ixpress with a colour LCD. The back is also now available with a 22 Megapixel chip as well. An upgrade program for existing users is available.

October 1, 2003

The semi-finalist for September in the DSLR & Workshop Give-Away is Gustaf Bratt from Norway. Congratulations Gustaf! Only three more months to go until someone wins a DSLR of their choice and a totally private workshop with Michael Reichmann at the location of their choice. Total value — U.S. $5,000. Are you a Video Journal subscriber yet? Find out more about how you can win.

The winner of the September Critique Competition is Collin Orthner of Red Deer, Alberta. Congratulations Collin. While there were many strong submissions Collin's best summarizes the light, the activity and the beauty of the harvest. A very fine photograph.

My Iceland 2004 workshops have now been announced. Many spaces have already been filled by people from the Waitlist. There are a limited number of spots still available on both trips. This could be photographic adventure that you've been waiting for. Find out more.

September 30, 2003

My hands-on review of the Canon Digital Rebel 300D is now online. This is the worlds first 6 Megapixel DSLR to retail for under U.S. $1,000, including zoom lens. How's the construction quality? What's the image quality like? How about that lens? You'll find the answers to some of these questions, and also my observations on the camera's market impact in my latest review.

I will be doing a shoot in the National Parks of the Canadian Rockies next week, and I will be using the Rebel there along with a full range of Canon L lenses. A follow-up to the Rebel review with my usage comments and images will appear here in a separate article later in October. The Rebel will also be featured in Issue #9 of The Video Journal, due for shipment to subscribers in December.

September 29, 2003

Photoshop 8 has been announced today. Except, it isn't called Photoshop 8. Instead the name will be Photoshop CS, which stands for "Creative Suite". It will become available toward the end of the year, likely in November, for an upgrade price (for current Photoshop owners) of U.S. $169, and for new purchasers for $649. You can read all about its features, including built in RAW file conversion and enhanced 16 bit support, on the Adobe web site.

Update: Uwe at Digital Outback Photo has just published a preliminary look at Photoshop CS, with a focus on those items which are likely to be of most interest to photographers.

September 28, 2003

Mike Johnston Sunday Morning column for this week is a review of a new book by British photographer Jane Bown titled Faces: the Creative Process Behind Great Portraits.

I have been testing the new Canon Digital Rebel 300D, and hope to have my hands-on review available early in the week. In the meantime I have added a new photograph to my Miscellaneous Moments page that was taken this weekend with the Rebel.

September 27, 2003

How would you like to be able to transfer your camera's CompactFlash cards to your laptop in the field at top speed, without the need for an outboard Firewire or USB 2 card reader? You can if you have an ASKA Cardbus 32 SpeedOver CompactFlash PC card adaptor, but unfortunately you'll need to go to Japan to get one (almost — see update).

September 25, 2003

A few days ago I mentioned on this page that in various countries around the world Epson has started demonstrating to dealers their new Stylus PRO 4000 printer, though it has not yet been officially announced. A reader has now kindly sent me a reproduction from the Dutch magazine Grafisch Weekblad which has published a photograph of this new printer.

© 2003 Grafisch Weekblad

Quite a few readers (maybe a hundred or more) have written recently to ask why I haven't yet reviewed the Canon EOS Digital Rebel — 300D, especially now that it has started shipping in both the U.S. and Canada. The answer is simple — Canon wasn't able to get me one until just this week. But, they now have and I have commenced work on my review, which I expect to have online some time next week. And, though it won't be my primary camera for the shoot (my Contax 645 and Kodak Pro Back will), I will be using the Rebel on a Fall Colour shoot in the Canadian Rockies in early October.

And speaking of the Canadian Rockies — I was in Banff National Park last week on a combined vacation and location scouting trip, and now have a small portfolio online.

A new Critique Competition entry has been added. This month's competition will close in less than a week.

The Featured Image page has been updated for September with two photographs taken this month, each of which has graced this site's home page.

I'm pleased to mention that the Yahoo Directory has listed this site as one of its top 10 Most Popular online photographic resources.

September 23, 2003

I am frequently asked about the gear that I use when shooting on location. Not just cameras and lenses — those I write about extensively — but the gadgets, gizmos and accessories that make the work of a landscape and wildlife photographer easier, more productive and safer. In The Bag details these, and explains what they are and why they are often vital to successful field work.

September 21, 2003

Mike Johnston is back in the saddle this Sunday morning with the first of a new series of articles on the topic of Taste.

If you're looking for a photography workshop in the Western U.S. this Fall consider one of the two that Steve Kossack is offering — Fall Color in the Sierra next month. Steve is one of the best photography instructors around and also highly knowledgeable about the top photo locations to be found in the American Southwest.

September 18, 2003

Though I am currently traveling and mostly off-line I have now received the following information from enough separate reliable sources that I am confident that it is accurate. But, until confirmed by Epson please regard it for the moment as simply an exciting rumour. As for me, I've already called my dealer to order one.

In various countries around the world Epson has started demonstrating to dealers their new Stylus PRO 4000 printer. This will be an A2 sized printer able to use sheet and roll paper up to 1.5mm in thickness. It will use 8 inks (with both matte and glossy black inks loaded at the same time) and the inks are Ultrachrome pigment-based as with the 2100 / 2200 / 7600 / 9600 models. Resolution is up to 2880 PPI and droplet size is 3.5 picoliter. Inks are in separate 220ml cartridges.

There will be three versions of the Pro 4000; The 4000-C8 version for photographers as described above; the 4000-4C CMYK version for the graphic arts and the 4000-PS Postscript version. No word yet on price or availability, but guesses are about $2,000 and before the end of the year.

September 16, 2003

I am now traveling, and will be off-line until Monday, September 22nd. There won't be any new content posted this week, but I'm sure that you haven't yet read the more than 1,700 pages of articles, tutorials, reviews and editorials found on the site. Here's the site's main Index, and a good place to start browsing.

Keep in mind that this site and its on-going unique content is solely made possible by subscriptions to The Video Journal — the world's only quarterly photographic publication made available on broadcast quality DVD video. Find out what it's all about. Also, don't forget to enter our Win a DSRL and Private Workshop contest. Support this site.

September 14, 2003

Update: Today's New York Times Magazine features photographer Diane Arbus as its cover story, along with several of her never-before-published photographs.

Regular readers know that I am in the process of reviewing all of the available 16-22 Megapixel medium format digital backs suitable for field use. So far I have reviewed the Kodak DCS Pro Back, the Imacon Ixpress 96 and the Leaf Valeo 22. My medium format camera of choice for these reviews, and also for use my Kodak DCS Proback is the Contax 645.

Though the Contax has been on the market for some 4 years, and is well establish as one of the three leading 645 format pro-grade cameras, a number of readers have written requesting my impressions of this camera system and its Zeiss lenses, especially when used as a digital platform. My review is now online.

Mike Johnston is taking the week off. His Sunday Morning column will return next week. New Critique Competition entries have also been added today.

September 11, 2003

When shooting with a DSLR one always faces the issue of the preferred way of transferring files to a computer, typically a laptop when shooting on location. Built in PC card slots, card readers via Firewire, USB 1 and USB 2, or a direct camera connection are all possibilities. Which is fastest? Which is best? In my new look at Card Readers I explain what works best for me.

If you're interested in the new Home Page photograph and how it was taken — it was shot in the currently being renovated and gentrified Distillery District of Toronto. The photographic challenge here was the huge dynamic range. To conquer it I took two exposures, two stops apart — one for the shadows and the other for the highlights, and then blended them using the Painted Mask technique as detailed in my Digital Blending tutorial. Exposures were 1 second and 1/4 second @ f/16.

September 10, 2003

If you live near Toronto you may be interested in a seminar on fine-art inkjet printing that I will be giving in early December. It is being put on by The Canadian Photographic Centre and it is titled Tools and Techniques Explained by a Master Printer. The seminar takes place on the evening of Thursday, December 4th, 2003. I hope to see you there.

If you live in or near Phoenix you should find out more about the Digital Fine Art Photographer's Summit in November. I'll be giving the Keynote Presentation.

New Critique Competition entries have been added today, and also, though the month is young, my September Miscellaneous Moment.

September 9, 2003

This summer I began the web's only comprehensive overview of medium format digital backs. The criteria that I established was that they had to have 16 Megapixels or higher, and be suitable for field use. So far I have reviewed the Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 and the Imacon Ixpress 96.

Today sees the publication of the third review in the series — the Leaf Valeo 22 — the world's first 22 Megapixel medium format digital back suitable for untethered field use. This is also the first review of this brand new back to appear anywhere in the world. At U.S. $30,000 it is not likely to grace the camera bags of too many photographers, but it does give insight into the features and capabilities of current state-of-the-art imaging technology.

September 7, 2003

Mike Johnston has written an editorial response to those who were upset, for various reasons, by his column last week in which he mentions the killing of photojournalist Mazen Dana by U.S. troops in Iraq. If you take issue with Mike's article — fine — but please don't write to me saying that it has no place on a site devoted to photography. As has happened before, I defend Mike's right to state his position here and do believe that his comments are relevant, and important.

I am inspired when I view first-class photographic images and when I read literate and insightful essay on the topic of photography and art in general. I'd therefore like to bring to your attention what I regard as the best regular publication on photography that I know of — LensWork. Whether you subscribe, or buy it at the newsstand, I urge you to have a look at this small magazine. Of all the publications that I buy each month this is the only one that finds a home on my bookshelf rather than in the circular file.

The new photograph that's on the home page is now the Miscellaneous Moment for August.

September 4, 2003

As photographers move in increasing numbers to digital image capture, and with many pros now working almost exclusively with DSLRs and digital backs, the market for more powerful image processing tools continues to expand. Some companies try porting older products to this new environment (see my Sept 3rd review of SilverFast DC-PRO) while others attempt to create new paradigms.

PhotoKit Sharpener is one that is blazing new ground. Written by several of the world's leading image processing experts, Martin Evening, Bruce Fraser, Seth Resnick, Andrew Rodney, Jeff Schewe and Mike Skurski, this is sharpening with a PhD.

September 3, 2003

Following my publication yesterday of SilverFast DC-Pro there has been some considerable discussion pro and con about my conclusions on various boards . And so a second opinion is always a good idea. Uwe Steinmueller the publisher of Digital Outback Photo has made the review and understanding of RAW converters something of a specialty, and he is considered by some to be one of the more experienced people regarding this topic. His review of DC-PRO was just published today.

If you live in or near Toronto, and are free tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 4th, you may wish to attend a free presentation by Ctein, one of the finest living colour printers in the world. In fact he is one of the few remaining people anywhere who have mastered and continue to pursue the art of Dye Transfer printing. Ctein is also a very fine photographic artist, and the author of Post Exposure, in my opinion the last great book on traditional darkroom technique to ever be published.

This is an opportunity to listen to a presentation by the artist, meet him, have a drink, and maybe buy a print. Doors open at 7:15pm with a formal presentation from 7:30 - 8:15. The location is Club Lucky - Kit Kat Too Restaurant (upstairs) 117 John Street, Toronto. I'll be there, and hope to see you as well.

September 2, 2003

I spent this past long weekend working intensively with SilverFast DC-Pro, the newest digital camera RAW file converter to hit the market. It weighs in against Adobe's Camera RAW and Phase One's Capture One. Does it measure up? Read my review and find out.

Not yet a subscriber to The Video Journal? Why not read what subscribers have said about Issue #8, our latest edition.

September 1, 2003

By now you're likely aware of our incredible Win a Digital SLR and Private Workshop draw. The August semi-finalist has just been announced. It's Michael Fisk of Spokane, WA. Congratulations Michael!

Each month between now and the end of the year we will be selecting one person from among those subscribing to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. The person then selected from among the 7 monthly semi-finalists, including one more name drawn from everyone subscribing during the contest period, will win a DSLR of their choice along with a private field workshop at their preferred location. Are you a subscriber yet? Why not? Support this site, gain a great new photographic resource, and have a chance at winning one of the best photographic prizes ever offered.

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Several new submissions to the Critique Competition have been added.

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Regular readers know that I am a huge fan of Imageprint. Though expensive, with the Epson 2100 / 2200 this RIP produces superb colour results, the finest B&W prints, and the easiest and most efficient workflow. I've recently discovered one other thing that it does well — virtually eliminating bronzing when printing on glossy papers with Ultrachrome inks.

August 31, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column this week is titled Rogues. In it Mike responds to critiques of last week's column, and also provides observations on several other aspects of the passing photographic scene.

August 30, 2003

Japanese companies are very strange entities. I know because I was once a senior product manager for Panasonic in Canada, and had some 5 years of experience trying to fathom their often inscrutable marketing and promotional practices. The launch of the Canon Digital Rebel (300D) is a case in point. Review samples? Some reviewers have them. Some don't. Some have been forbidden to publish actual camera images until after mid-September, some are not to be under any such constraints. In the meantime we are seeing lots of PR puff pieces but little in the way of concrete hands-on reviews.

Now someone in the Philippines has gotten their hands on a pre-launch 300D and has put it though its paces, including publishing photographs taken with the camera. Good for him, but so much for a coordinated and uniform world-wide launch program. You may find his review of interest. My review? Eventually, I suppose.

The best Southwest photograph guide and teacher that I know is Steve Kossack. He acts as co-instructor on many of my field workshops and seminars. Due to cancellations Steve has two places available on his October Fall Sierra Workshop. If you're looking for a chance to shoot in a great location with an excellent guide and instructor, this is a chance not to be passed-up.

August 29, 2003

The RAW wars are heating up. Most digital camera users know by now that shooting in RAW mode produces the greatest flexibility and highest image quality. But, most camera maker's RAW software is dreadful, and unsuitable for efficient workflow.

LaserSoft Imaging, who are widely known for their world-class scanning software, have just introduced SilverFast DCPro RAW conversion software. This new high-end product supports both Windows and Mac OSX (hooray!) and a very wide range of pro and prosumer digital cameras, including those from Canon, Nikon, Kodak, Fuji, Casio, Olympus, Minolta and Sigma. The introductory price is USD $299.

Their web site has comprehensive information, Quicktime movies illustrating program features, and a downloadable evaluation version (17MB). I expect to have a full product review available within the week.

Of course Phase One isn't sitting on its laurels. They have Capture One Pro (MS Windows) for the Canon 1Ds, 1D, 10D, D60, D30 and Nikon D1X and D100, and also Capture One LE for the Canon 10D, D60, D30 and Nikon D100. Coming soon to both Pro and LE are support for the Canon D300 Rebel and Fuji S2. Mac users currently only have the more expensive Pro version available, supporting the Canon 1Ds and 1D, but the Mac version will be updated soon to add Canon 10D and Nikon D1x support.

And, when Photoshop 8 eventually ships, Adobe Camera RAW will be built in and will offer support for almost every camera on the market.

Which one of these three programs will be the best? As you might have guessed I'll have a comprehensive shootout online once all the new versions are available.

August 28, 2003

Our regular contributor Alain Briot gives us the third of his nine part series of tutorials on Photography and Esthetics. It is entitled How to Choose the Best Lens For a Specific Composition.

New submissions to the Critique Competition have been added.

Update: Every now and then I discover that someone has stolen one of my photographs and either used it on their own web site, or in a contest or submission site. This week's thief is Mr. Rudolf Bos from the Netherlands. You can see the example of his theft at FotoSurf. Click on Photo Contest; the stolen image is #4, of the cattle in Iceland, which is found on my site here. I have informed the site managers and hopefully it will be removed soon, but in the meantime I wanted to point out Mr. Bos' theft of my propery.

Update: FotoSurf has removed the stolen photograph.

August 26, 2003

A few years ago when digital cameras were just 1 or 2 Megapixels, software for ressing up files was very popular, and the most popular of them all was Genuine Fractals. But now when even basic consumer digicams can produce excellent 8X10" prints, and pro-level cameras easily out-perform film scans, there is less interest in and reduced need for such products. In fact, many photographers have found that for the most part the use of bicubic interpolation in Photoshop is all they need for most ressing-up tasks.

But now there's a new commercial product in this category called pxl SmartScale, from Extensis. My new review examines how well it does its task, both against Genuine Fractals and the tools built into Photoshop.

August 25, 2003

Canon 1Ds owners as well as anyone interested in the whole issue of digital camera design will enjoy reading an interview on the Canon Japan web site with some of the engineers involved in the project.

If you live in or near Toronto, and are free on the evening of Thursday, September 4th, you may wish to attend a free presentation by Ctein, one of the finest living colour printers in the world. In fact he is one of the few remaining people anywhere who have mastered and continue to pursue the art of Dye Transfer printing. Ctein is also a very fine photographic artist, and the author of Post Exposure, in my opinion the last great book on traditional darkroom technique ever published.

This is an opportunity to listen to a presentation by the artist, meet him, have a drink, and maybe buy a print. Doors open at 7:15pm with a formal presentation from 7:30 - 8:15. The location is Club Lucky - Kit Kat Too Restaurant (upstairs) 117 John Street, Toronto. I'll be there, and hope to see you as well.

New submissions to the Critique Competition have been added.

Alain Briot and Steve Kossack have had a cancellation for their September Northern Arizona workshop. Click here and then navigate to the Northern Arizona workshop page for more details.

August 24, 2003

Mike Johnston is back from vacation, and his weekly Sunday Morning column begins anew. This week Mike looks at the newly announced Canon Digital Rebel (300D) and also the upcoming 8 Megapixel Sony F-828 digicam. Find out why Mike considers himself a Sony Man.

The Featured Image page has been updated with selections from my favourite photographs taken during August.

August 23, 2003

Three items of note today; I have been away for 2 days on a shoot, and while I was gone my mailbox clogged with several hundred messages generated by the Sobig.F virus. Though my system is not infected, many are, and they are clogging the Internet with millions of virus-laden junk e-mails. Consequently, for me at least, quite a few e-mails were bounced yesterday. If you sent me anything important and received a bounce notice from my ISP, please resend. As for the virus and others like it — two thoughts. One, why the hell aren't governments doing something about this? My ISP has now started blocking these emails, but it's only days or weeks till another one appears. Two, I hope that there's a special place in Dante's Inferno for the misanthrope's that write these things.

If you have read my Imageprint RIP review earlier this year you know that I regard this as a must-have for fastidious fine-art photographer, or anyone printing in a high-volume environment. The publisher, ColorByte Software, has just released ImagePrint 5.6 for both Mac and PC, and my update is now online.

Finally, one of the more popular sections on this site for a couple of years was my Critique Competition. I discontinued it last year because it simply demanded too much of my time. But, by popular demand I am now bringing it back but in a somewhat different form. The theme of the first competition is Harvest.

August 21, 2003

Since I don't run a formal testing lab I am often reluctant to publish stand-alone lens tests. But, I recently have been using the Canon 85mm f/1.2L and can't resist sharing some brief observations on how it performs at its widest aperture.

Update: For those interested in how the Digital Rebel compares to the current Canon 10D, Rob Galbraith has a very comprehensive comparison available.

August 20, 2003

As anticipated the Canon Digial Rebel, AKA EOS D300 has been announced. This is the world's first 6 Megapixel DSLR priced at under $1,000. In fact the U.S. price has been announced as "under $900". Availability will be next month — September. Here are more details as well as here.

This will undoubtedly put huge price pressure on other DSLR manufacturers. I expect to have a field review available here as soon as pre-production samples become available.

August 19, 2003

Issue #8 of the Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now shipping. Included in the 2 hours of broadcast quality video is a one hour segment devoted to landscape photography in Iceland. The featured interview is with well-known digital scientist Norman Koren, and there's lots more as well. Current subscribers will receive their copies within the next 1-2 weeks, and new subscriptions as of today will begin with Issue #8.

Quicktime video clips from this issue are now available online.

August 18, 2003

I am pleased to mention that Astronomy Magazine in its September, 30th Anniversary issue, features my May eclipse photograph on page 132.

There is a comprehensive report on PhotoNet by a photographer who compared a Canon 1Ds, Kodak Proback 645, Leaf Valeo 11 and Phase One H20 medium format digital backs. He ended up purchasing the Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 and provides his reasons why.

August 17, 2003

Your Sunday morning smile, published without editorial comment :-)

Mike Johnston is still on summer vacation. His Sunday Morning column will resume next week.

August 16, 2003

One of the most frequent questions that I receive is about digital workflow. There are already several tutorials on this site covering the topic, but nothing current, and nothing for newcomers. A Digital Workflow Primer is now online and is a basic step-by-step workflow from camera to print.

My Muskoka / Algonquin Park Fall Digital Workshop is now SOLD OUT. If you would like to register for the wait list, in the event that there is a cancellation, you may do so here.

If you were one of the 50 million people caught up in Thursday's major blackout in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada I hope that you came through without too much difficulty or inconvenience. (And some people are concerned about their cameras being battery dependant :-)

August 14, 2003

Announcing my Muskoka / Algonquin Park Fall Digital Workshop. This is the one that you've been asking for! A 4 day intensive combination field and classroom digital photography workshop. It will take place in the Muskoka region of north central Ontario, near where I have my country home. It will be during late Fall colour, when the tourists are gone and the air is crisp and cool. The dates are Friday, Oct 24 — Tuesday, Oct 28.

We will spend 4 days doing field work, shooting in the nature reserves and Provincial Parks of the region, as well as the hidden forest and lake locations that only a local knows. We will be staying at a luxury resort hotel, and after a full day of photography each evening will feature an intensive hands-on digital image processing / Photoshop seminar.

This is your chance to spend 4 days doing photography and learning landscape photography and digital imaging techniques from renown teachers and photographers Michael Reichmann and Steve Kossack. Find out more.

If you can't make this workshop in Ontario, Steve Kossack still has 2 places available for his Fall Color workshop in the Sierra from Oct 16-20.

"I am absolutely blown away by the production quality! I am not sure what I expected, but the reality far exceeded my expectations. I have found the individual segments generally very helpful, particularly the product reviews and instructional pieces, and I have viewed several of them multiple times." What does this subscriber know that you don't? Why not subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal and find out? Become a better photographer, and support this site at the same time.

August 13, 2003

The second in a continuing series of exclusive reviews of portable digital backs for medium format cameras is of the Imacon Ixpress. This 16 Megapixel back consists of a small unit that mates with virtually every medium format camera on the market, and a separate Imagebank that can record up to one thousand 100 MB files. This is the first field review of the Ixpress available on the Net.

Nikon owners will definately want to have a look at Rob Galbraith's just published in-depth preview of the Nikon D2H.

August 11, 2003

Video Journal subscribers have been asking for jewel case art so that they can better store their DVDs. The Journal is shipped in clam-shell cases to protect them in the mail and to reduce shipping costs, but many subscribers prefer to put their disks in standard CD cases for long term storage. We now have high-resolution PDF files online for each issue. These can be downloaded and printed.

Photographer and author Mikkel Aaland has just published an excellent beginner to intermediate guide to digital photography titled Shooting Digital. With all the books coming to market on this topic, why mention this one? Because a section of the book is devoted to digital exposure techniques, and is about the work and digital techniques of yours truly. I'd plug the book even if I wasn't in it. Really.

Uwe Steinmueller at Digital Photo Outback has just published his preliminary test of the Hasselblad H1 and Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 combination. If you haven't seen them yet, here are my reviews of the H1 and Pro Back.

Uwe is also reminding everyone that the early bird special price on the Digital Fine Art Photographer's Summit in Phoenix in November has just 5 days to go. This is a chance to save some money on your attendance. I'll be giving the Keynote Presentation, and I hope to see you there.

Phil Askey at DPReview has just published some test results taken with an initial production Olympus E1. He has posted two pages of tests, one showing resolution and the other ISO Sensitivity / Noise Level. These tests were done against the Canon 10D, Nikon D100 and Fuji S2 Pro. Unfortunately, it appears that the E1 isn't competitive in either area.

August 10, 2003

Mike Johnston is still on vacation this week and therefore his Sunday Morning column will not appear. Instead you may enjoy a fascinating photo essay by Mark Pelletier on Nomads of Northern Sudan.

August 9, 2003

Update: I have just heard from Pentax U.S., and the street price of the new *ist D will be $1699. With the 18-35mm zoom it will be $1899. I expect to have a field report on this new camera as soon as production samples become available. U.S. shipments are due to commence in early September, about a month from now. Due to high demand I wouldn't be surprised to see a back-order situation for quite some time.

Need a photography break? How about a long weekend workshop shooting Fall Color in The Sierra? Steve Kossack, co-instructor on many of my workshops, and an excellent teacher and photography guide, has had two last minute cancellations for his October 16-20 workshop. There are also a limited number of places still available on his Sedona workshop in early November. Go ahead! Treat yourself!

Speaking of workshops, just a brief note to everyone that has registered for my Iceland workshops in summer 2004 — I am working on the final itinerary and costing, and hope to be able to do an e-mailing with full details within the next 30 days.

For this interested in the development of the Foveon sensor, the company has now announced the specs for a new 4.5 MP version. This chip was rumoured to be considered by one of the major camera manufacturers a few months ago, but it now appears that that company will proceed with another chip instead. What is curious is that Foveon has announced the chip specs but not a camera partner at this time. Seems like a curious strategy for an OEM manufacturer.

Pentax has announced that their oft delayed 6MP *ist D will ship in early September, and has a preliminary review on their site. Possibly the most interesting angle on this is that Pentax has joined Nikon in announcing a line of lenses designed exclusively for reduced frame (16 X 24mm) digital sensors. The first of these DA lenses is the Pentax-DA 16-45 mm F4 ED AL. Again, dpreview has the details, though price and available are still unknown.

August 8, 2003

Sharpening is for many photographers the most difficult aspect of digital image processing, and often also the most misunderstood. I have written numerous articles on this subject, and reviewed several products that enhance or automate the sharpening process. But there is now something new on the scene, and it's called FocalBlade. FocalBlade is a Photoshop plug-in that provides a range of advanced sharpening tools with flexibility unseen in any other product. My review is now online.

August 7, 2003

How would you like to have personal access to some of the top digital imaging professional in the world? You can if you subscribe to a new web site called Imaging Revue. It contains in-depth articles by some of the best known and most highly regarded authors in the industry, and a discussion forum where you can get 1 on 1 personal assistance with all of your digital imaging questions.

Like most of the best content on the web, it isn't free. Membership is U.S. $125 / year, but the value is there, and your membership will help support this group of talented individuals and their goal of providing subscribers with first rate information and advice. I've become a member of Imaging Revue. Why don't you?

My African Photo Safari in January, 2004 has long been sold out. But my co-instructor on that workshop, Andy Biggs, has just scheduled a follow-on workshop from January 16 — 26th. If a photo safari is on your wish-list, why not make it a reality in 2004? You can find out more here and on Andy's web site.

August 6, 2003

The first of a series of reviews of medium format digital backs begins today with the Kodak DCS Pro Back 645. This is currently the only one-piece 16 Megapixel back available, and comes in versions for the Mamiya 645AF and AFD, Contax 645 and Hasselblad H1. A review of the Imacon Ixpress 96 will appear next week, and additional digital back reviews will be published over the next several months. If you have not done so already you may wish to read A Medium Format Digital Back Survey first.

August 5, 2003

Video Journal subscribers will be pleased to hear that Issue #8 is currently at the duplicator and will ship to current subscribers within the next week. Depending on where in the world you live (we have subscribers in more than 40 countries), you should receive your copy before the middle of the month.

Included in this new issue is a special one hour long feature on doing landscape photography in Iceland, a comprehensive overview of tripods heads, base plates and other accessories, and also a review of the Digitalcamerabattery. The featured interview is with well-known digital scientist and photographer Norman Koren, and there is a discussion with Photoshop author Thomas Knoll and Bill Caulfeild Browne about some things that are wrong with the Canon 1Ds. All this, last May's Eclipse shoot and more are found in this new issue.

If your subscription has recently expired we have already e-mailed to remind you of this. You won't want to miss Issue #8. But, many e-mails have bounced due to changed addresses. You can renew your subscription as well as maintain and update your subscription account by clicking here and selecting Subscriber Renewals.

Not yet a subscriber? What's holding you up? You can become a subscriber for as little as $9.95 / month, and get 4 DVDs a year, each loaded with 2 hours of unique broadcast quality programming about photography, photographers, equipment and remarkable locations. Of course when you subscribe you will also be automatically entered in our $5,000 giveaway, that includes a DSLR and a private field workshop with Michael Reichmann.


Update: Neatimage, the finest digital noise reduction software that I've ever tested, has just gotten better with the release of V2.6 Pro +, which now comes as a Photoshop plug-in as well as in a stand-alone version. Depending on which version of Neatimage you currently own this is an inexpensive update.

August 3, 2003

Mike Johnston begins a 2 week vacation from his Sunday Morning column, but he has just snuck one in under the wire. It's titled Odds and Ends (and More About Digital B&W).

I am also publishing today the latest in my Understanding Series of tutorials. This one is entitled Understanding Digital USM, and was written exclusively for this site by Dale Cotton and Brian D. Buck.

August 2, 2003

You are probably aware of our incredible Win a Digital SLR and Private Workshop draw. The second semi-finalist for the month of July has just been announced. It's Kristin Rush of Phoenix, AZ. Congratulations Kristin!

Each month between now and the end of the year we will be selecting one person from among those subscribing to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. The person then selected from among the 7 monthly semi-finalists, including one more name drawn from everyone subscribing during the contest period, will win a DSLR of their choice along with a private field workshop at their preferred location. Are you a subscriber yet? Why not? Support this site, gain a great new photographic resource, and have a chance at winning one of the best photographic prizes ever offered.

August 1, 2003

Before you start worrying that I'm going to be too carried away with the esoteric and stratospherically-priced world of medium format digital backs, today sees a review by Frank W. Phillips of the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro lens. This is a very specialized tool for close-up photographers, and though you may never try this type of shooting you'll likely find it fascinating to learn what tools are available when working with the very small.

July 31, 2003

Discussion boards are often filled with misinformation and half truths when it comes to digital imaging topics. This isn't deliberate. It's just that the subject is new to most people, and manufacturers have done a poor job of separating solid information from marketing BS. There are a few web sites helping to try and keep things straight, and one of them is Uwe Steinmueller's Digital Photo Outback.

Uwe has a terrific article on his site, written by Dick Merrill of Foveon, which I've just become aware of. It's on the subject of Pixel Size, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to have an understanding of this important topic. A predecessor article, also by Merrill, on Image Sensor Size and Field of View is a must-read as well if you want to understand this new technology.

July 30, 2003

As previously announced I am beginning a series of reviews of all of the major medium format digital backs. This first installment is a survey of where the marketplace stands today, what's available, and what photographers can expect from these mega-priced megapixel marvels. This first article is titled A Medium Format Digital Back Survey.

July 28, 2003

As announced a few days ago I will be publishing a major series of articles and reviews of medium format digital backs in the weeks and months ahead. The first of these articles, a survey of all 16 Megapixel+ backs suitable for field use will appear here this week. Reviews of the Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 and Imacon Ixpress 96 will be published in early August, with more to come.

This project is a recognition that this is where the bleeding edge has now moved in professional digital imaging. This site will continue to provide field reviews on a wide variety of traditional as well as digital gear, but in the months ahead you can expect The Luminous Landscape to become a leading location on the Web for information on this exciting topic.

With this as my goal I have open today a new section on the Discussion Forum devoted to the topic of medium format digital backs. Both existing as well as prospective back owners are welcome, as well as all photographers who simply have an interest in staying abreast of this topic. I look forward to your posting.


A Reminder: What are you doing in mid-November? If you want to dramatically improve your skills as both a photographer and digital darkroom worker, meet four of the country's top photographic educators and fine art photographers, and spend a weekend with others who share your passion for photography, then the Digital Fine Art Photographer's Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, is where you should be.

On the weekend of November 14,15,16 Uwe Steinmeuller, the publisher of Digital Outback Photo, and Alain Briot, world renown landscape photographer, will present a series of lectures and presentations that are bound to appeal to everyone from enthusiastic amateurs to professionals. Steve Kossack, well known southwestern photography guide and workshop instructor will be assisting, and Michael Reichmann, the publisher of The Luminous Landscape, will be the Keynote Speaker.

Attend the Digital Fine Art Photographer's Summit. It's bound to sell out quickly so act now. I hope to see you in Phoenix in November.

July 27, 2003

Our resident CT (Curmudgeon in Training), Mike Johnston writes about one of his pet peeves — Where the HECK is Digital B&W?!?. I couldn't agree more.

June 26, 2003

I am now traveling, and will be off-line until Friday, July 4th. I am in Iceland leading a small private workshop. (Don't panic — this one was never publicly announced. Members were by invitation-only from previous workshop attendees).

This trip will also serve as a scouting and logistical preparation for two major workshops there planned for summer 2004. These will be announced on this page in another couple of months, right around the time that Issue #8 of The Video Journal comes out. That issue will feature a one hour segment on photography in Iceland (based on my expedition there last year), and you won't want to miss it. You can read about that trip and also sign up for the workshop waitlist, and of course sign up for The Video Journal while you're at it. You do know about our incredable free DSLR and and private workshop offer, don't you?

While I'm away please hold your e-mails so my mailbox doesn't clog up. Also, a reminder that Steve Kossack's Fall Sedona workshop still has a few places available.

Coming in July are a large number of new tutorials, essay, travel reports and equipment reviews. On this Icelandic shoot I will be testing several new products, and I will publish field reports once I return. Have a great week. See you on the Luminous Landscape.

June 25, 2003

Canon 10D Firmware Update: Canon has just release an update to the firmware for the EOS 10D camera. It can be downloaded at Run the file to unzip it and then read the readme file. The whole process just takes a few minutes and is almost foolproof.

There is no word yet on what the upgrade is intended to accomplish, but Canon's firmware fixes are few and far between, and when one is issued it's always worthwhile.

New Product Announcement # 3: In a moderately surprising (though long rumoured move) Leica today announced their Digital-Modul-R, a digital back designed to mate with all current Leica R8 and R9 cameras. It may be user installed. It features a 10 Megapixel CCD sensor of 3876 x 2584 pixels, with a focal length factor of 1.37X. A 6.9 micron pixel size is used. All R Leica lenses may be used. Computer interface is IEEE 1394 Firewire, and the camera uses SD cards.

It looks to be a very competent package with all of the features that one could want. The fact that it allows the same camera body to be used for both film and digital makes it a world first, and an impressive one at that.

At this early stage I see a few things wrong, but also much that's to be admired. I'm am a bit concerned at the choice of SD storage cards. Professional tools like this must have CF and Microdrive support, including the new 4GB cards that are due in a few months.

Apparently the back is being designed in collaboration with Imacon (firmware) and Kodak (CCD chip), — showing good parentage — and the price is projected as being about $4,500 Euros. The bad news is that the camera won't be "introduced until Photokina 2004 — nearly 18 months from now, and Leica says deliveries won't start until December, 2004. Given the current rapid pace of development, at least by some DSLR manufacturers, the Leica Digital-Modul-R will be arriving very late to the party. We can expect Canon to have introduced one, and possibly 2 new generations of DSLRs by that point, and Nikon at least one more. Too late for Leica? Probably not, given that their anticipated audience are the Leica faithful with big current investments in bodies and glass. But, being Leica, can a green lizard skin gold plated version for the Japanese market be far behind?

So, if one owns an R8 or R9 body at the moment and has a bag full of superb Leica R glass, this is good news indeed. And, as for the inevitable question — no, there will not be a digital M series, and no, M series lenses can't be used. The laws of physics get in the way, and this has been confirmed by Leica engineers.

If I may, I must have one chuckle at Leica's expense. It will be quite funny to see a R9 with a digital back, because as you may know the R8 and R9 still have a thumb film wind lever. I wonder if the wind lever will advance the digits.

You can find out more about the Digital-Modul-R from Leica's web site.

Now, all we need to hear next is what Nikon has up its sleeves. There are lots of rumours buzzing around knowledgeable Nikon circles, but let's just wait to see what the next few weeks bring.

June 24, 2003

What is reality? When is a photograph straight, and when is it a manipulation? Is there ever such a thing as a real photograph?

In my new essay titled Levels of Abstraction I explore these issues, and more. You'll never look at a photograph in the same way again.

New Product Announcement # 1: There will be several interesting announcements this week. The first, and one that will be of interest to all Mac-heads, and indeed anyone that wants the fastest machine possible for Photoshop, is Apple's new Mac G5, announced yesterday. The dual processor 2Ghz version leaves every other desktop computer in the world in the dust, and Panther, the next version of OS X, due later in the year, is equally as stunning. Intel and Microsoft have a real challenge on their hands. Apple is back with a vengeance.

New Product Announcement # 2: As anticipated Olympus has announced the worlds first 4/3 system camera, the E1 Digital. Delivery is promised by October. I first saw the prototype at the PMA show earlier this spring in Las Vegas and was seriously underwhelmed. Now that the final production spec are available I'm a bit less jaundiced about it, but not much. Though only unofficial pricing is available at this point it looks like the camera body alone will be $2,200. This is the first stumbling block. Competitive cameras from Canon, Nikon and Fuji are as much as $700-800 less, and by October they will have dropped even further. Nothing in the E1 system justifies this kind of pricing. The other "gottacha" is that the lens line is currently quite limited, and the camera gains nothing in terms of reduced size by using a smaller sensor.

The only thing that impressed me from the announcement is the Supersonic Wave Filter which causes an ultra-high-speed vibration to occur near the sensor plate, making dust particles fall off the imager onto an adhesive tape. Sounds a bit Rube-Goldberg, but hey, it could work. The thing that impressed me least is the lack of a histogram display during post-exposure image review. Availability of histogram review is probably one of the greatest benefits to the photographer working with a DSLR. That Olympus would leave it out is very puzzling, and will diminish the camera's usefulness to many photographers.

Otherwise the camera is in the current idiom, with a 5MP CCD sensor and most of the requisite bells and whistles. The $64,000 question though is, will anyone else join the party and adopt the 4/3 system lens mount? While the E1 looks to be a very competent DSLR, and hopefully will be capable of producing fine images, as a system for more than amateur use it will be very dependant on gaining support from other camera makers and third party lens designers.

You can read more about the Olympus E1 on DP Review and on LetsGoDigital. The most comprehensive first-look at the moment is at Steve's Digicams. Here is a link to some sample photographs.

June 22, 2003

Mike's Sunday Morning column this week is for those who fret over whether to get a CLA for their new / old camera. What am I talking about? Find out in Clean, Lube, Adjust.

Though we're entering the dog days of summer, there will be some news this coming week. Olympus will officially announce their digital 4/3 system on Tuesday, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a 'leak" on the Web about a major digital camera announcement from another camera company, possibly designed to steal some of Olympus' thunder. We'll see. And if none of this amounts to much you can still look forward to a major new essay from me on Tuesday, so the week won't be a total loss. :-)

June 21, 2003

One of the best ways to improve ones photographic skills, meet other photographers who share similar interests, and to work alongside a master photographer, is to attend a field workshop. Steve Kossack and Alain Briot, two excellent photographers long associated with this site, have space available on some of their upcoming workshops.

Steve's latest workshop is just announced today — Autumn in Sedona, a 5 day workshop in November, in Sedona, Arizona. Sedona is one of the most lovely regions in the American Southwest, and few photographers know it as well as Steve — it's where he lives.

Alain Briot, a regular contributor to this site and one of the most successful large-format landscape photographers working in America today, is teaching a series of weekend workshops in the Phoenix area between September, '03 and January, '04. If you live in or near Phoenix you should check out whether there are any spaces available. These workshops are related to the series of articles that Alain is currently writing for this site on Aesthetics & Photography.

June 20, 2003

If you own a DSLR you know that there are now only two RAW converters worth considering, the Camera RAW plug-in for Photoshop, and Capture One from Phase One.

Phase One has just released updated versions of their Capture One. The new V1.2 for Windows is available in both Professional and Limited Edition versions. You can read about the feature set and workflow capabilities of the 2 versions in my previous reviews, LE — here and Pro — here. Although I have not had a chance to work with the new versions yet in depth, there are a host of new features that are common to both versions, including Image Tagging, Saturation Adjustment, Midtone Slider for the Levels control, additional keyboard shortcuts, additional zooming capability, enhanced Noise Reduction algorithms, full page thumbnail display, automatic preview cache management options, settings archive facilities, and a new integrated Help File. In addition the Pro version gets IPTC display and editing capability in addition to the other Pro-only features.

These new versions are a free upgrade to Registered Users, and the trial periods have been reset so that people who have evaluated previous versions, can run the new V1.2 versions again (the Pro for 30 days and the LE for 15 days). Downloads are available from, and a new official support forum has been set up at A new Pro release for the Macintosh (V1.1), with a slightly different feature set has also been released.

June 19, 2003

A few weeks ago I reviewed ImagePrint 5.5, a RIP that dramatically enhances productivity for the busy fine-art or professional photographer who also requires highly accurate colour printing. At the time of testing, and since, I have been particularly impressed with the neutrality of B&W prints made with the Epson 2200.

Now, New York based fine-art photographer and digital print maker Amadou Diallo provides us with a review of StudioPrint 10, a specialized RIP for large format inkjet printers, and intended for use with monochrome inks.

June 17, 2003

Contests and giveaways are fun. They're fun to enter and even fun to run. Hopefully they also motivate people to buy the product that is tied to the promotion. That's why we are now announcing the Great Luminous Landscape DSLR / Workshop Draw.

The premise is simple — the prize is fantastic. By subscribing to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal at our current special promotional price you are automatically entered into a draw to win one of three digital SLRs; a Canon 10D, a Nikon D100 or a Fuji S2 Pro, including a lens of your choice. You will also win a private 4 day location workshop with Michael Reichmann anywhere in North America. (See promotional details for rules and restrictions}.

I hope that you find this promotion as exciting as we do. I also hope that you find it to be motivation to subscribe to the most world's most unique resource for enthusiastic photographers — The Video Journal.

June 16, 2003

Both non-photographers and photographers alike sometimes respond to an eye-catching image with a comment such as, "Wow, what a great shot. Boy, you were really lucky to get it!"

Luck has little to do with it. In my new essay titled Luck I explore the related issues of preparedness and opportunity. My latest home page photograph is used as illustration, and a description of how it was taken is included. This image is also now my Featured Image for June.

Another photograph from my trip last week to Algonquin park is now featured as my Miscellaneous Moment for the month. I smile every time I look at it.

June 15, 2003

Today's Sunday Morning column is about Mike's new book, and how it came to be. If you are a Mike Johnston afffecionado, and I know that thousands of you are, then you should consider supporting Mike's efforts by purchasing his new book. Find out what it's about in his column for today — The Book, Boss, The Book!

June 13, 2003

I returned this afternoon from 3 days photographing moose in Algonquin Provincial Park in north-central Ontario, Canada. It was a productive trip, and I expect to have a small portfolio online some time next week. In the meantime, the new title page photograph, taken yesterday, was one of the first to catch my eye as I started reviewing the resulting frames. It was taken hand-held with a 500mm lens at 1/125 sec. The ISO setting was 200. I'll have more about the making of this photograph in next week's write-up, and in an upcoming issue of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

June 11, 2003

Well known fine-art landscape photographer, and regular contributor to this site Alain Briot, provides us with the second in his nine-part series on Aesthetics and Photography. This installment is titled How to Compose a Photograph. Enough fretting about lenses and sensor resolution — take a few moments to read Alain's article and to ponder the purpose of all this gear — creating worthwhile images.

Alain has just one space left in his October Navajoland workshop. Grab it before it's gone.

If you're a new visitor to this site, also take a moment to learn about what thousands of others have already discovered — The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. This is the world's only DVD-based video magazine for passionate photographers. A new issue is shipped to subscribers every 90 days. These contain up to 2 hours per issue of broadcast quality programs about photography. Included are equipment field reports, tutorials, interviews, and travel segments on some of the world's most unique photographic locations.

June 8, 2003

This Sunday morning Mike Johnston continues to explore the topic of Clichés and How to Avoid 'Em.

Well known landscape photographer, and contributor to this site, Alain Briot, has just one space left in his October Navajoland workshop. Grab it before it's gone.

June 6, 2003

At the PMA show this spring Fujifilm announced Fujichrome Velvia 100F Professional. Australian professional landscape photographer and frequent contributor to this site, Nick Rains, today provides us with the world's first hands-on review of this potentially very exciting new film.

In the few days since I first published my commentary titled Canon Controversies, which in part discusses the Canon 10D autofocus problem, I have received a very large number of e-mails on the topic, many from professionals. These are people with extensive camera and digital experience and they are very concerned at what they regard as a soft-peddling of the issue by Canon. I have now added some further thoughts on this issue to my original article.

Rob Galbraith reports that Contax has announced that their 6MP full-frame DSLR, the Contax N Digital, is no longer being manufactured, and has been withdrawn from the company's product line. I'm not surprised. It was a brave attempt, but a flawed product because of its poor imaging chip performance. It also got sideswiped by the rapid decrease in price by several other 6MP cameras, and higher resolution full frame bodies, such as the Canon 1Ds and Kodak 14N.

June 5, 2003

Last month ColorVison announced that at the end of May they would be shipping a low cost printer profiling package, consisting of a special purpose scanner and profiling software, called PrintFIX. This is the company (a division of Pantone) that make a terrific monitor profiling Spyder, and Optical software. I was intrigued, because scanner-based printer profiling has never been terribly successful.

In my just published PrintFIX review you will learn about how well the product does its intended job, and why I returned it for a refund.

>> Though it has been sold out for months, one of the members of my upcoming African Photo Safari / Workshop in January, 2004, has had to cancel his participation. This means that there is now 1 place on this unique workshop available. Are you up for the photographic trip of a lifetime?

June 3, 2003

I was on whirlwind trip this past weekend to Florida and North Carolina. On Friday In Florida I was able to do some shooting at a national wildlife refuge, and on Saturday night I had the pleasure of giving a seminar to a large group of avid photographers attending a weekend workshop at Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. I met some terrific people there, and want to thank those of you who attended for your interest and support.

There are a couple of controversies in the Canon community at the moment. One concerns the possibility that some brand new Canon 10D camera bodies are exhibiting autofocus problems, and the other concerns my supposed negative comments about the Canon 100-400mm zoom in a recent review on this site of another 400mm focal length lens. I address both of these issues in a new essay titled Current Canon Controversies. This essay contains some images taken this past weekend in Florida. The site's new home page image was also taken there that same morning.

June 1, 2003

In this morning's Sunday Photographer column Mike Johnston explores the topic of conformity and originality in his essay Eschew Cliché. Gesundheit!

May 30, 2003

Printing getting you down? Can't get Epson's printer driver set up properly? Making or purchasing profiles for your favourite paper a hassle? Do you find colour management confusing and difficult to implement? Need a vacation?

If you've answered "yes" to any one of the above (except the one about the vacation), then have a look at my just published review of ImagePrint 5.5. This program is a R.I.P. — a specialized type of software designed specifically for printing high quality photographic images on the current generation of Epson dye and pigment ink printers, like the Epson 1270 / 1280 / 1290 / 2100 / 2200. In addition to reviewing this new product I explain what a RIP is, what it does, and why there may be one in your future.

A review of of StudioPrint 10, another high-end RIP — this time for Quadtone printing — will be published here next week.

May 28, 2003

How safe are your priceless image files? What would happen if you had a hard disk crash, a computer virus, a fire or a flood? How well protected against catastrophic failure are you? In my article Safe Computing for Photographers I offer suggestions on how best to ensure the safety of your images.

May 26, 2003

Though it has been sold out for months, one of the members of my upcoming African Photo Safari / Workshop in January, 2004, has had to cancel his participation. This means that there is now 1 place on this unique workshop available. If you're interested in participating please act soon, as it is likely to be taken up quickly.

Uwe Steinmueller, the publisher of Digital Outback Photo, has just published the latest installment in his ongoing series of e-booklets. This one is titled Capture One DSLR and Photoshop Layers: Managing the Raw File Workflow features a new workflow based on Photoshop Layers. The chapter about Photoshop layers has 33 pages and may even surprise some advanced users. Otherwise the workflow is centered around Capture One DSLR (Pro or LE).

"I have just started subscribing to the Luminous Landscape video journal - it is fantastic! I have watched many of them more than 2 times, and have purchased many of the previous editions". What does this subscriber know that you don't? Why not subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal and find out! Become a better photographer, and support this site at the same time.

May 26, 2003

I received a very large number of submissions to the Eclipse photograph contest, and many of them were excellent. It was difficult narrowing the field and declaring winners, but here they are — The winners of the Luminous Landscape Eclipse Photograph Contest.

If you are looking for a workshop to attend this Fall, Steve Kossack still has a couple of places available in his Sierra Fall Color Workshop.

Brian, a friend, and the proprietor of Harrysproshop, is one of the web's most honest and reliable (and well priced) photographic equipment sellers. He has long specialized in medium and large format equipment, but has now expanded his offerings to include Canon digital SLRs and lenses. If you're looking for a good deal and reliable person to deal with, you can't do better than Brian. I've been buying gear from him for years.

May 25, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column this week is titled The Nun's Hand, and is an examination of the question of photographic taste.

May 21, 2003

Though my workshop in Death Valley last week was centered around the lunar eclipse, our group spent a total of nearly five days shooting in and around the valley. My portfolio of photographs from this shoot is now online, and one of the images from the sand dunes area is now this site's Featured Image for May.

A reminder that my seminar Digital Cameras and Workflow is coming up this Saturday, May 24th in Toronto. This is an all day seminar providing an in-depth look at the equipment and techniques necessary to make the transition to digital. I will be available during breaks and meals to discuss your particular concerns, and will also be providing a "slide show" of my recent work.

For those still following the Kodak DCS 14n saga, Phil Askey of DPReview has just published his review. Nothing in it, or Kodak's latest firmware de jour, has made me change my mind about this camera. My own review, first published in March, can be found here.

May 19, 2003

Happy Anniversary to us!

This week marks the 4th Anniversary of The Luminous Landscape web site. In that time it has grown into the largest independent and non-commercial site of its kind on the web. Just a few months ago we were named by PC Magazine as one of the 100 Classic Web Sites. We are projecting to have more than 5 million visitors to the site this year. Thanks to everyone for your continued interest and support.

Last week's lunar eclipse was a challenging photographic opportunity, and the workshop in Death Valley, CA that I organized around it turned out to be successful and rewarding. I will have an extensive portfolio and travel article online in the days ahead, as well as portfolios of photographs by workshop members.

Today I have published a detailed report on the making of my eclipse photograph, the one that has been on the site's home page for the past couple of days.

May 18, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column this week offers a change of pace in an interview with photographer Bill Brent, titled Photographing Models and Nudes.

May 17, 2003

I returned late last night from Death Valley, California, where I lead a workshop to coincide with Thursday night's lunar eclipse. We were fortunate, and had superb weather conditions that evening, and had a very successful shoot. The first of my images of the eclipse (along with a few technical details) is now on the site's home page, and a larger version is found here. I will have a more complete write-up available by Monday.

May 12, 2003

I am now traveling and offline until next Saturday, May 17th. I will be leading a workshop in Death Valley, CA which will include shooting the lunar eclipse on the night of Thursday, May 15th. As already announced, because the eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America and western Europe, everyone under clear skies will have an opportunity to try their hand at photographing it. I have announced an eclipse photo competition to make it a bit more exciting, and so that we can all see what others were able to do with the opportunity. Fingers are crossed for clear skies, everywhere.

While I am away I will be unable to respond to e-mails or Forum correspondence. Please hold your e-mails till next weekend to avoid clogging my mailbox. Video Journal subscription registrations are automated, so there is no interruption of that service.

Speaking of the Video Journal — a reminder that this is the world's only DVD-based video magazine for passionate photographers. A new issue is shipped to subscribers every 90 days. These contain up to 2 hours per issue of broadcast quality programs about photography. Included are equipment field reports, tutorials, interviews, and travel segments on some of the world's most unique photographic locations. And, like this site, the Video Journal is completely advertising free. And, it's your subscriptions that make the operation of this site possible.

Why not find out what subscribers are saying about The Video Journal — watch a couple of preview video clips, and then subscribe.

Update: Norman Koren, a retired recording technology scientists, avid photographer, contributor to this site, and a friend, recently purchased his first DSLR (though he's been writing extensively about digital image processing for years). His camera of choice was a Canon 10D and he has just published on his site a very solid review of the camera, in addition to some worthwhile observations on the state of the art. Explore Norman's site in depth. It's loaded with great technical articles on digital image processing. One of the best photographic resources on the net.

May 11, 2003

For this Sunday Morning Mike Johnston explores the issue of Getting Better as a photographer, and the one crucial sentence that we all need to to say.

May 9, 2003

Taking a photographic workshop is one of the best ways to improve ones skills, explore unfamiliar territory, and to meet other like-minded photographers. Over the years I have worked with a small group of talented photographic educators. Some have assisted me with my own workshop offerings, and with others I have co-lead field expeditions. Workshops and seminars provided by this select group are now going to be regularly promoted on this site. As new workshops are made available they will be listed on our new Workshop Index page. You can also access this page as well as the individual announcements from the Workshops drop-down that is found on the header of each page on this site.

From Alaskan Wildlife or an African Safari in July, to NavajoLand or the Sierra Nevada for Fall Colour in October, Alain Briot, Steve Kossack, Andy Biggs and CC Lockwood offer a range of workshop opportunities to meet everyone's budgets and interests. I have known and worked with these talented photographers and teachers for years, and can recommend them to you without reservation. Find out more.

May 8, 2003

If you are a regular visitor to the site (or you read astronomy magazines) you likely know that one week from today, on the night of May 15-16, there will be a lunar eclipse. It will be visible from almost everywhere in North America and parts of western Europe, with totality occurring at different times in different places. You can read all about it in my recent article titled Crimson Moon — Photographing a Total Lunar Eclipse that describes the phenomena and how and where to photograph it. I will be leading a workshop next week in Death Valley, CA, specifically to photograph this phenomena.

The reason I mention this all again is — if you live somewhere in the path of the eclipse, and most readers do, you might want to try your hand at shooting it. All it takes is clear skies and a willingness to stay up late, or get up early, if you're in Europe. To make this a bit more exciting for everyone I've created a unique competition so that we can all see some of the better lunar eclipse photographs that readers produce. There are prizes as well as a chance for fame and glory (sort of). Find out more by reading about The Great Luminous Landscape Lunar Eclipse Photography Competition.

May 6, 2003

I find that It's often the small things that make the biggest difference in the field. Having the right ball head, mounting plates and similar accessories can make the difference between being able to work quickly and smoothly, and fumbling during a critical moment. One new item that I now find indispensable is the Really Right Stuff L Bracket. Really Right Stuff is an American company that makes superb products, but they used to be a royal pain to deal with. No longer. Now, under their new owner, Joe Johnson, their tradition of fine products continues, combined with great customer service and accessibility.

May 4, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week is entitled Land of The Free. In it Mike explores the growing problem of where one can photograph. Not where is it desirable, but where is it allowed?

May 3, 2003

The good news for today is that Issue #7 of the Video Journal shipped this week to all subscribers. Depending where in the world you are located you will receive your copy in the mail within the next one to two weeks. We are a bit late with this issue (the curse of all small magazines), but expect to be back on schedule with Issue #8 this summer.

Not yet a subscriber? You don't know what you're missing! Why not subscribe now?

The bad news is that my seminar Digital SLR Cameras and Workflow, which was to have taken place today, has had to be rescheduled to 3 weeks from now, on Saturday, May 24th. If you live in or near Toronto you may want to consider attending. It is presented by the Canadian Photographic Centre as part of CONTACT, Toronto's month-long photographic festival which takes place each year in May. The seminar is based on one that I presented this past January to a gathering of some 50 of Canada's leading professional photographers. I hope you can make it on the 24th, and I look forward to a chance to meet you at the seminar.

May 2, 2003

Quite a few people contacted my this past month asking if I intended on reviewing Canon's new ultra-wide zoom, the 17-40mm f/4L. I wasn't scheduled to, but my local dealer recently called and said that they'd just received their first shipment, and would I like to have a look? Since I've been using the 16-35mm f/2.8L for the past six months, and the 17-35mm f/2.8L for several years before this, I was indeed interested.

My hands-on review of the just released Canon 17-40mm f/4L, Canon's latest ultra-wide zoom lens, and a comparison with the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L is now online.

April 30, 2003

Digicams are hot. Every week seems to bring the introduction of new models, and imaging chips have increased in size to the point now where pocket models have 5 Megapixel chips. I don't normally review digicams on this site, but I recently needed to upgrade my pocket camera and so I embarked on some research and ended up buying a Canon PowerShot S50 for my own use. My review and field test is now online.

April 28, 2003

For readers who live in or near Toronto, a reminder that my one day seminar titled Digital SLR Cameras: What you Need to Know takes place next Saturday, May 3rd. It is presented by the Canadian Photographic Centre as part of CONTACT, Toronto's month-long photographic festival which takes place each year in May.

The seminar is based on one that I presented this past January to a gathering of some 50 of Canada's leading professional photographers. I hope you can make it on Saturday, and I look forward to a chance to meet you at the seminar.

A reminder as well that the ongoing viability of this site depends on your subscriptions to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. This is a unique resource for passionate photographers, with thousands of subscribers in more than 40 countries worldwide. What do they know that you don't? Find out!

April 27, 2003

Mike Johnston is AWOL this week and so his Sunday Morning Photographer column will not appear. It will return next Sunday.

What are you looking for in a long telephoto lens? Probably light weight combined with high image quality and moderate price. Right? Well, if you're a Canon owner and are willing to live without either Image Stabilization or large aperture then the lens for you is Canon's Forgotten 400, the 400mm f/5.6L. My long awaited review is now online.

April 25, 2003

Photography is about knowing how to see. Indeed this is something that can be learned, and learning how requires practice. There is now a new essay titled On Reflection in which I look at the issue of how to read a photograph.

How about an African Photo Safari this summer? If so you'll want to know about my colleague Andy Biggs' just announced June 30 — July 11 2003, African Photographic Workshop Safari. This is a very similar workshop to one that Andy and I will be leading together in January, 2004. If you missed out on joining that one (it sold out very quickly) don't wait to join this latest one. It too is bound to sell out. You can also read more about Andy here.

Regular readers may recall that I have been a huge fan of the Hasselblad XPan since it appeared a few years ago. When I first reviewed it here and in a review for a major magazine in 2000, one of my few criticisms was the lack of a viewfinder display for shutter speeds. Hasselblad (actually Fuji, who are the real manufacturer) has just announced the XPan II.

April 24, 2003

There are only a handful of DSLRs on the market, and just 4 that are within the price range of many amateurs — the Sigma SD9, Nikon D100, Canon 10D and Fuji S2 Pro. I recently reviewed the Canon 10D, but during the same testing period I also had a chance to work extensively with the Fuji S2 Pro, kindly loaned to me by Fujifilm Canada.

This is a camera capable of taking photographs of exceptional image quality. Nikon lens owners considering a move to digital should well consider the S2. My field report on the Fuji S2 Pro is now online.

I reviewed Archive Creator favourably some months ago and now Version 2.0 has just been released. It contains quite a few enhancements, and in particular support for almost all forms of recordable DVD. An update to this review is now found at the bottom of the original. Highly recommended.

The current issue of the British Journal of Photography, the world's oldest photographic magazine, contains a review of the Kodak DCS 14n. I have not yet seen this issue or read the actual review but they have an online editorial which is worth reading.

My hosting company (Interland) experienced some network problems on Wednesday that caused this site's server to be unavailable to some users, and the Store for purchasing Video Journal subscriptions to either be sluggish or off-line. I regret any inconvenience this may have caused you.

April 22, 2003

The past few years have seen dramatic improvements in reducing noise from CCD and CMOS sensors in digital cameras. The better DSLRs are now capable of shooting at up to ISO 400 with virtually no noticeable noise at all. ISO 800 has become as good as if not better than colour film at ISO 400, and ISO 1600 is a real usable speed with cameras like the latest Canon EOS 10D.

But most digicams are still noisy at anything above their lowest speed settings, and not all DSLRs are free from noise at medium to high ISOs. Now there's Neatimage to the rescue. My new review shows why I believe it to be the best digital noise reduction software currently on the market.

I have updated my Featured Image and Miscellaneous Moments pages, and also changed the Home Page photograph (a reminder for those site regulars that come to this page directly). As you can see, even a pocket digicam can produce interesting images.

Coming to the site this week and next are several additional major reviews, as well as new workshop announcements by some of my colleagues. And an exciting new photo competition will be announced soon. Among the products that will be reviewed shortly are the Fuji S2 Pro, Canon 400mm f/5.6L, Really Right Stuff L Bracket and Canon PowerShot S50.

If you find this site rewarding, why not reward yourself further as well as help support us by subscribing to the The Video Journal? We'll both be glad that you did.

April 20, 2003

Yes — another Canon 10D article. Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week is guest authored by Mike's friend, photographer Kent Phelan. It is titled The Highs and Lows of the Canon 10D. Maybe there really is something going on with this camera.

My seminar in Toronto on May 3rd — Digital SLR Cameras: What You Need to Know — is now less than 2 weeks away. I first gave this seminar in January to a group of 50 of Canada's leading professional photographers. It is now being presented again, this time to anyone who is able to attend. The seminar is under the auspices of The Canadian Photographic Center as part of Toronto's annual May photography festival, Contact.

Photo Techniques magazine's exclusive sale of my prints is over at the end of April. This limited portfolio is for sale in their current issue and online. These are individually made original 13X19" prints that can be purchased for as little as U.S. $65 each. You can find out more here.

And, of course, a reminder that your subscription to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is what makes this site possible. Find out what you've been missing!

April 18, 2003

First — my best wishes to readers around the world for the Passover and Easter holidays. May this weekend bring joy to your family, the prospect of spring and renewal, and Peace to the troubled regions of the world.

Though it's more than a month late (don't ask!), my review of the Canon EOS 10D is now online. In addition to being a very fine addition to Canon's camera lineup I believe that the Canon 10D will drive the entire industry toward higher image and build quality, as well as lower DSLR prices. Find out why in my review titled Canon's Stalking Horse.

Finally, some disconcerting news. Lisle Kelco, one of Canada's largest photographic distributors, is reported to have gone into receivership this week. This company represents Hasselblad, Leica, Durst, Imacon, Jobo, Leaf and many other fine products in the Canadian market. Details aren't clear as yet but the state of the economy appears to have been a factor, though their product mix may have been an issue as well.

One major retailer told me that though they ordered a substantial number of Hasselblad H1 cameras when they were announced at Photokina last Fall, they have only received one unit for resale in the past 5 months. Another dealer said that the new camera's price point had proven to be an impediment to sales. On a recent call to Lisle Kelco I was told that "H1 production had been limited", and if I ordered one today I would have to wait 3-6 months for delivery! Sounds like trouble for Hasselblad. More information as it becomes available.

April 16, 2003

When Capture One was released last fall I was mightily impressed. It provided a level of RAW file control and ease of use for Canon 1D and 1Ds owners that at the time I called "almost magic". We'll the magic continues, but this time Canon D30, D60, 10D and Nikon D100 owners are the ones to be pleased and impressed, and they can do so for just $99. My review of Capture One Limited Edition is now online.

Issue #7 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now at the duplicator, and will ship to subscribers by the end of this month. In the meantime, subscribers can wet their appetites and non-subscribers can see what it's all about by viewing a selection of Preview Video Clips.

If your subscription to the Video Journal has expired with Issue 6, simply go to the store and hit the Subscriber Renewals button. If you let your subscription lapse prior to Issue 6, why not take out a new subscription? Check out our special offer!

April 15, 2003

I'm now back from a brief trip to Florida during which I was able to spend several morning shooting at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Reserve. The purpose of this shoot was to do field tests of several new cameras and lenses. These will be appearing here in the next week or so.

There are a few things to bring to your attention before some of my new product reviews start appearing online over the next few days. Firstly, Rob Galbraith has just published his review of the Kodak DCS 14n. You can access it directly here, or read my observations on it first and then link to his review from there.

Next, a reminder that my seminar titled Digital SLR Cameras — What You Need to Know takes place on Saturday, May 3rd in Toronto. You can now register and make payment online. If you live in southern Ontario, upstate New York, or eastern Michigan I hope you can make it. I look forward to seeing you there.

Though it is not a photographic product, if like me your e-mail box is inundated with spam and scams, you will find the program iHateSpam to be a must have. This program only works on Windows PCs (except Win95), and only with Outlook 2000/2002 or Outlook Express version 5 or higher. But if you fit in this category (and the vast majority of people do), and you are sick and tired of receiving junk e-mail, this is the program to get. Buy it and download it online and 20 minutes from now spam will be a thing of the past. The best $20 I've ever spent on software.

April 13, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column won't appear today. He has a print magazine deadline looming this week, but he will return to these pages again next Sunday. In the meantime this might be an opportunity to catch up on previous issues that you haven't yet read.

April 12, 2003

There is quite a bit of new software of interest to photographers. Here are some of the more recent announcements...

Breezebrowser has now been upgraded to V2.6a. Several enhancements have been made to its recently added Canon 10D support, especially the inclusion of a camera focus point overlay.

Phase One is shortly going to be bringing out new versions of their remarkable Capture One software, with support for additional DSLR camera models. Stay tuned.

Chromasoftware is a company producing a line of excellent Photoshop plug-ins. I use several of them on a daily basis and wouldn't be without them. I recently reviewed their Shadow Control plug-in, and I will review additional modules in the near future. Of interest as well as that they are bringing out this line of plug-ins for the Mac platform as well as Windows.

Last year I reviewed Editlab from iCorrect. They have now upgraded the product to Editlab 4.0 with some worthwhile enhancements. Highly recommended.

I've recently had a look at a new plug-in called Resize Magic. It's a bit awkward to use, and in my testing I saw no significant improvement over using Photoshop's Bicubic Interpolation, but it costs nothing to try out, so give it a whirl and see if it does anything for you.

April 9, 2003

Regular columnist for this site, Alain Briot, today offers us the first installment of an exclusive nine part series on Esthetics and Photography. This first installment is titled How to See Photographically.

Over the coming 8 months Alain will provide us with the following titles in this series...

1 — How to see photographically
2 — How to compose a photograph
3 — How to choose the best lens for a specific composition
4 — How to find the best light for a specific photograph
5 — How to choose the best "film" for a specific image
6 — How to determine the best exposure for a specific scene
7 — How to decide which photographs are "keepers" and which are not
8 — How to assemble a body of work
9 — How to establish a personal photographic style

Alain is also running a series of one day workshops throughout the rest of the year in the Phoenix, AZ area, related to the topic of each month's article. If you live in southern Arizona this is a great opportunity to spend a day working with one of the country's leading fine-art landscape photographers.

We have added the American Express card to our new Video Journal shopping cart. That means that you can now use Amex, Visa, Mastercard or Discover to purchase your annual or monthly subscription.

Subscribers will also be pleased to learn that Issue #7 of The Video Journal has just been sent to the duplicator. This means that you can expect it in your mailbox within the next few weeks. We will have Quicktime previews and a table of contents online next week.

April 7, 2003

Last month one of Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning columns provided a very comprehensive look at SLR viewfinders — the different types available, how the are designed, and why some types are preferable to others. To give this excellent article wider and longer lasting exposure I have now made it part of my signature Understanding SeriesUnderstanding SLR Viewfinders. If you haven't yet read it, you will surely find it of interest.

April 6, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week looks at three current film camera bodies in his essay titled Two Nikons and a Minolta.

Cambo Ultima 35

A curious merger of full-frame 35mm digital and view camera has recently emerged from Cambo called the Ultima 35. It is capable of taking either a Canon EOS 1Ds or Kodak DCS Pro 14n on one side and a range of large image circle digital lenses on the other. These include Schneider Digitar and Hasselblad MF lenses. A facinating alternative to MF and LF digital backs for the studio photographers. The Ultima 35 retails for USD $3,995 and is sold by Calumet. You can find out more from their web site. A PDF with additional information is available from the CamerArts magazine web site.

My Featured Image for March has now been added. It was a tough call deciding which one to choose since I did a couple of major shoots last month and several exhibition and portfolio grade images resulted.

April 5, 2003

I will be teaching two seminars during the month of May. The first is on Saturday May 3rd in Toronto, Ontario and the second is at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, on Saturday, May 31st.

The Toronto seminar on May 3rd is being presented by the Canadian Photographic Centre as part of CONTACT, Toronto's month-long photographic festival in May. It will be an all-day presentation on the topic of Digital SLR Cameras: What you need to know. A comprehensive look at cameras, memory cards, processing, software and storage. The cost of this all-day seminar is CDN $135.

The seminar at Grandfather Mountain is part of their May 30 - June 1 Nature Photography Weekend. The cost for the weekend is USD $60 and my presentation takes place on Saturday evening. The topic will be digital landscape and nature photography.

Bookings for both seminars are made through the respective organizations via the links above. I hope to see you there.

April 4, 2003

Last week the LA Times published a news photograph taken by one of its staff photographers in Iraq, that turned out to be a composite of two exposures. The photographer was subsequently fired. In my new essay titled Fake? we look at this controversial issue.

Announcement: The winner of Video Journal #6's Assignment Competition is Amy Kleck of Pleasant Hill, California. Congratulations Amy, you've won a one year extension to your subscription, worth $100. Every four issues we also award a Grand Prize, and the winner this year is Nicklas Kito of Hong Kong, China. Nick wins a Luminous Landscape workshop attendance worth U.S. $1,000. Congratulations Nick!

The winning photographs can be seen in Issue #7 of the Video Journal, which will ship to subscribers within a few weeks.

Update: In my tutorial earlier this week on how to photograph the Lunar Eclipse that will take place on the night of May 15th I have added a link to a site which contains an extensive list of astronomical programs that will assist you in locating exactly where the moon will rise at your selected location.

Update: The Lunar Eclipse Death Valley Workshop is now sold out.

April 3, 2003

Firstly I want to express my sincere thanks to all of the people who have taken out new subscriptions to The Video Journal. Your support is greatly appreciated! Thanks as well to all of the existing subscribers who have renewed during this promotion.

I know that the diversion page is a bit of an annoyance to subscribers — you've done your bit and want to get to the new content. But I will leave it up for another day or so as a reminder to the thousands of regular visitors who haven't yet seen it. Now on to the new content...

Travel with a DSLR is a new type of challenge, especially in exotic locations. Digital in The Desert is a new article about traveling in Africa with a Nikon D1x, by Scott L. Robertson.

Uwe at Digital Outback Photo has provided a link to a terrific article from a Japanese photography magazine. It is a comprehensive technical analysis of both the Foveon / Sigma SD9 and the Canon 1Ds, discussing how both cameras in their different ways have advanced the state of the art. It is a 30MB PDF download, but if you have the bandwidth and the time, it's well worth your while.

Update: There are still a few places available on my Lunar Eclipse Death Valley Workshop.

April 2, 2003

By now you have read our promotion page for The Video Journal. We needed to be a bit pushy today for two reasons. For this site to continue to grow and flourish we need your support, and the Video Journal is the vehicle that makes it possible. Our new $9.95 / month subscription plan makes it easier than ever for every site regular to both support the site and gain a terrific new photographic resource.

And, we want existing subscribers to know that they can now manage their subscriptions online themselves. If you are a subscriber you will receive within the next 24 hours a User ID and Password via e-mail. New subscribers now have these issued to them automatically upon subscription.

Thanks for putting up with this blatantly commercial promotion. I hope that you can find a way to support us. — Michael

"I have learned a great deal from each issue.
What you are doing is totally unique, and a real contribution to both the art and science of photography.
Thanks for the entertaining and informative hours."

Update: There is now a link on my eclipse page to a very helpful free Windows program for calculating exposure during an eclipse.

Update: There are only 6 places still available on my Lunar Eclipse Death Valley Workshop

April 1, 2003

What are you doing the evening of May 15th? No, I don't want a date. But you may want to have a date with the Moon. There will be a total lunar eclipse on the night of May 15 / 16 and it will be visible everywhere in North and South America as well as the U. K. and extreme western Europe. I have just published an article titled Crimson Moon — Photographing a Total Lunar Eclipse that describes the phenomena and how and where to photograph it.

Once you've read the article you may be interested in finding out about a very special workshop that I have planned to photograph the eclipse in Death Valley, Nevada. The combination of clear skys and and open landscape will make this a prime location for anyone wishing to do landscape photography that includes the eclipsed moon. Details on my Lunar Eclipse Death Valley Workshop are now online.

Notice to Video Journal Subscribers: Regular readers will recall that I had a hard disk crash a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, among the files that were lost were all of the Assignment Competition submissions for upcoming Issue #7 on the subject of "Quiet". We are just finishing up the new issue this week and so if you were one of the people that submitted a photograph for this competition please resend it to me, if possible, before noon Thursday, April 3rd. Thanks for your understanding.

"I recently ordered and received your Video Journal. It is money well spent!! I love the format and the information contained. Thank you for bringing this product to market and I look forward to receiving them for years to come." — What does this subscriber know that you don't? Why not subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal and find out! Become a better photographer, and support this site at the same time.

March 30, 2003

Mike Johnston's highly popular Sunday Morning Photographer column celebrates its first anniversary today, and Mike offers up his thoughts on this occasion.

Update: In my Canon TC-80N3 intervalometer release review from last year I described how it could be used to take an automated series of bracketed exposures — for example 3 bracketed frames every 5 minutes, 10 times in a row while shooting a sunset. It works, but setting the release and camera the way that you think it should, doesn't. I have now updated the review to explain the appropriate technique.

March 28, 2003

In yesterday's tutorial on Canon camera's DEP mode I gave the impression that this is available on all Canon cameras. Unfortunately it is not. I have now updated the article to reflect this, and have added a comment about the less desirable A-DEP mode found on numerous Canon models, regrettably including the new 10D.

Steve's Digicam has now published their review of the Kodak DCS Pro 14n. Sadly, Steve has found the same flaws and arrived at essentially the same conclusions as I did earlier this week — he's just been more polite about it than I was.

March 27, 2003

How to properly set depth of field on a modern lens that doesn't have a depth of field scale can be problematic. You can use tables, but they're slow and awkward, and measuring distances can be problematic and inaccurate. Many Canon SLRs, both film-based and digital, feature something called a DEP mode, but most photographers don't realize that it can be used for precision landscape work and similar applications. My new tutorial titled DEP, explores this topic and also describes a new technique for its use which you may find useful.

March 26, 2003

I have added two updates to the second part of my Kodak 14n review. The first is some insight into the colour fringing problem that has been seen. It has now identified by several experts as being colour ailiasing. The second is a brief comment from an employee of a major U.S. photographic retailer who has done his own test of the 14n.

Chris Breeze has advised me that BreezeBrowser 2.6 is now available. In addition to a number of functional enhancements the program now includes support for the new Canon EOS 10D and also the just announced Powershot S50. This is very welcome, and coincides with my receipt today (finally!) of a 10D for review. I also intend on reviewing the S50 since it's been a while since I've look at the current state of the art in digicams. Both reviews will appear within the next one to two weeks.

March 24, 2003

Part Two of my Initial Kodak DCS 14n review is now online. There are some surprises! In bright sunlight and at high shutter speeds the 14n can actually exceed the Canon 1Ds in image quality. But, even with the latest firmware revision — the one that will be included in shipping cameras — noise is very objectionable at high ISOs and at slow shutter speeds. Is the Kodak 14n ready for prime time?

Update: I have added some further thoughts to the second part of the Kodak 14n review that was published earlier today.

March 23, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week is titled — So You Say You Want to Turn Pro? The title says it all, and it's loaded with the harsh truth about making a living in photography.

The first part of my preliminary review of the Kodak DCS 14n is now complete. Part Two, a look at the camera's features, capabilities and software will be published on Monday or Tuesday.

Update: Following some correspondence with a representative from Kodak I have added an additional comment on the issue of USM and resolution to Part One of the report.

March 22, 2003

After the PMA show in Las Vegas earlier this month I spent a week shooting in the National Parks of southern Utah along with 3 other photographers. In my new location portfolio — East Of Zion — you will find selected photographs from that shoot along with a detailed discussion about how some of them were taken.

Alert: I spent Friday afternoon shooting with the new Kodak DCS 14n. My initial impressions are now online and are focused primarily on image quality and a comparison with this new camera's primary market competition, the Canon EOS 1Ds. A second segment, to be published early next week, will concentrate on features, capabilities, firmware, software and additional image quality analysis. Futher evaluations of files from my Friday test will be added here througout the weekend.

First Updated — 10:30am EST

Final Update for Today Made @ 1PM EST

If you're wondering where Issue #7 of The Video Journal is — it's late. But, it will contain my examination of the Kodak 14n and so we hope that you agree that the delay will have been worthwhile. It should arrive in subscriber's mailboxes in mid-late April.

March 20, 2003

The past 18 months have produced huge changes in the regulations and procedures associated with air travel. These have had a dramatic effect on photographers who travel extensively with their equipment to location shoots. Even the amateur traveling on vacation has been affected. In Flying with Photo Equipment in 2003 I look at whether the new regulations spell the end of photographic travel, and if not, how can we best cope with the new situation?

If you are...

A paid-up member of my January 2004 African Safari workshop, or
Previously registered for the Summer 2004 Iceland Workshop waitlist, or
Have submitted articles for publication that are not already online

Please Click Here.

March 18, 2003

The new Canon 10D has now started shipping in many markets, but Camera Raw does not have support for this camera built in. What to do?

There is a solution, but it takes a bit of work. Discussion Forum member Ken Dunham has published detailed instructions on how to modify Camera RAW to be able to read 10D files. I have checked with Thomas Knoll and he reports that the patch will work. But, please be aware that the 10D has a slightly different color space than the D60, so the temperature / tint sliders will not be calibrated accurately.

The proper solution will follow when the next version of Photoshop ships with Camera RAW capability built in. (No, I don't know for sure when this will be).

This begs the question — where is my Canon 10D review? The simple answer is — nowhere. Due to reasons which I won't go into here Canon was unable to provide me with a review unit prior the camera's official announcement at PMA two weeks ago. Then, immediately afterward I was traveling for a week. So, will there be a 10D review on these pages? Eventually — when Canon can get me a sample — hopefully next week. Of course I regret the delay. I know from your e-mails that a lot of people around the world have been waiting for my field report, but regrettably the situation has not worked out to anyone's satisfaction.

The other camera for which everyone is eagerly awaiting a review is the Kodak DCS 14n. Again, Kodak has promised me a review sample as early as possible, but the courier hasn't rang my doorbell yet. Unfortunately the seemingly endless delays and confusion associated with the 14n launch continue. One Kodak rep says that the cameras started shipping last week, and indeed some dealers have received samples. But, there are reports that real shipments won't now begin until May. It's hard to know for sure, but the delay in getting samples into reviewer's hands is not a good sign.

March 17, 2003

Epson announced several new photographic inkjet papers at PMA earlier this month, among them UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper. My preliminary review is now online — the first in print anywhere in the world. Is this the paper we've been waiting for?

March 16, 2003

It's Sunday again and that means an always fascinating new article by Mike Johnston. This week Mike looks at the SLR viewfinder. This is without doubt the best primer on this subject that I've ever seen in print.

C.C. Lockwood is one of America's outstanding nature and wildlife photographers. This coming summer he will be leading a remarkable 8-day wildlife and landscape workshop in Alaska. The workshop dates are July 12-19th, 2003. The cost of this all-inclusive exclusive workshop is $5,400.

I have known C.C. personally for several years and we have worked together on a number of occasions. He co-lead my Grand Canyon Rafting Expedition in 2002. If you've ever wanted to do an Alaska shoot in the company of an experienced photographer and teacher, this is your chance.

"Many thanks for all your work, and for the superb DVDs: not only for your input to the DVDs and the photographs shown, but also the excellent quality of the filming and sound on the DVDs, which makes them a joy to watch in their own right." — What does this subscriber know that you don't? Why not subscribe to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal and find out! Become a better photographer, and support this site at the same time.

If you are...

A paid-up member of my January 2004 African Safari workshop, or
Previously registered for the Summer 2004 Iceland Workshop waitlist, or
Have submitted articles for publication that are not already online

Please Click Here.

March 15, 2003

Landscape photographers can usually be categorized as either hunters or fisherman. By this I mean ones shooting style — slow and contemplative, or fast-paced and spontaneous. In my new article titled Fishing vs. Hunting I explore the question of these photographic styles using two dramatic, and dramatically different images which were both taken last week in Utah's National Parks.

March 13, 2003

Cone Editions announced a new version of their well known PiezographyBW system at the recent PMA show. It works with both current Epson and Canon printers and uses custom monochrome profiles instead of proprietary printer drivers. But, the previous version of Piezography remains popular and so I have now published The Final 1st Generation Piezography Review, writen by Vladimir Kabelik. I will publish a review of the new system as soon as the product starts shipping.

March 12, 2003

Yesterday the hard disk on my main desktop PC crashed. (Not the server that this site runs on — there's no problem there). All of the data on the PC's drive was found to be irretrievable (unless I want to spend an estimated $3,500 with a data recovery service, and even then there are no guarantees). The cause was a failure of the bearings in the Toshiba hard drive. The drive was only 18 months old.

Fortunately I have backups of most important files as well as all of the image files that were on the disk. And, applications can be easily reloaded on a new drive. But, I did lose some important data. This includes...

— Everyone on my January 2004 African Safari workshop or waitlist

— Everyone who has registered for the Summer 2004 Iceland Workshop waitlist

— Anyone who has submitted articles for publication that are not already online

If you are in one of the above categories please click here.

I apologize for any inconvenience. Are you properly backed up?

March 10, 2003

The current (March 25, 2003) issue of PC Magazine features its annual 200 Hottest Sites, and I'm very pleased to announce that The Luminous Landscape has been listed as one of the 100 Best Classic Web Sites. In fact this is the only web site about photography that was selected for the magazine's listing.

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning article for this week is titled The Digital Shopping Dilemma. It should be required reading for anyone contemplating the purchase of a new digital camera.

March 9, 2003

I have just returned from attending the PMA show in Las Vegas, which was followed by a 5 day landscape shoot in southern Utah. The first of a number of photographs from this trip is now online as the site's new Home Page featured image. A full report and extensive portfolio will follow in a week or so.

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning article has been delayed until tomorrow. It will also take me a few days to catch up on e-mails and Forum messages received during the past week. There will also be a number of fascinating new articles published in the days ahead. Stay tuned.

March 4, 2003

I spent yesterday at the PMA show in Las Vegas and my updated report is now online. I am now on a 5 day shoot in the Grand Staircase Escalante and Capital Reef National Park areas of southern Utah. I will be off-line for the balance of the week.

Final update: 6:30am PST.

Reminder: As you likely know this site has no sponsors or commercial relationships. No ads and no pop-ups. But, we do publish the world's only quarterly "magazine" about photography available on DVD video. These disks contain up to two hours of broadcast quality video programming exclusively about photography — including location shoots in some of the world's most remarkable locations. We also feature hands-on test reports on the latest and best equipment, and digital imaging tutorials as well as interviews with leading photographers. We are now in our second year of publication. Find out more. Support this site. Subscribe to the Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

March 2, 2003

Today sees the opening on the PMA show in Las Vegas. As information about selected new products becomes available I'll be updating my PMA report throughout the day. As mentioned previously I will not be reporting on the thousands of new digicams that are being introduced this week. I will be attending the show beginning on Monday.

March 1, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column will not appear tomorrow, but will return next week.

I spent last weekend on a shoot in Big Sur, California. This is the spiritual home of landscape photography in America; the home turf of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. It has been more than a decade since my last visit, and it was a great pleasure to explore Hwy 1, the Carmel Valley Road and the Coast Road during two and half days of landscape work. A report and portfolio are now online.

Current and prospective owners of the Canon EOS 1Ds will be pleased to learn that a mail-list devoted to this camera has just been started. The moderator is well known street photographer and screen writer John Brownlow.

February 28, 2003

Australian landscape photographer and regular contributor to this site, Nick Rains, recently visited Vietnam. He shot exclusively on this trip with his Canon EOS D60 and in this photo essay shares with us his impressions and images.

I have published today photographs made by members to my Costa Rica Wildlife Workshop which took place last month. There are some exceptional images in this collection, which I know you'll enjoy viewing.

February 27, 2003

The Canon EOS 10D (the successor to the D60), was announced today. This DSLR appears to offer a significant upgrade to the features of its predecessor, but at a reduced price. It will be available next month for less then U.S. $2,000 and likely closer to $1,500 once the initial rush by early adopters is over. I am also told by industry insiders that unlike with the D60 there will not be any shortages. Canon's new CMOS chip fabrication plant is now up to speed and there will be no supply constraints.

A preview look is now available at Steve's Digicams, where you can read all the specs, and also at DPReview. I am planning a hands-on review of a production camera and a field comparison between the Canon D60 and 10D in a few weeks.

On the Kodak DCS 14N front, Kodak has announced that shipments will finally start next week, nearly six months after the camera was first announced at Photokina. Retail price will be just under U.S. $5,000. Interestingly Kodak has also stated that the camera will ship even though there remain a few loose ends, which they expect to fix with a downloadable firmware upgrade in the days ahead. I expect to have a review sample for testing and to be able to provide a Canon 1Ds vs. Kodak 14n review some time later in March.

FYI: IBM 1GB Microdrives has now dropped to below $200. Here is an online store that has them for $199. And, to answer the question that I've been asked a thousand times — I own four 1GB Microdrives and started using them when they first came out more 2 years ago. I have used them for many thousands of frames in conditions ranging from -32C in northern Quebec in winter to +40C in Death Valley in summer; from below sea level to +11,000 feet in the Sierra. I have never had a problem with one failing or doing anything other than working perfectly. Oh yes, and they're typically just as fast as many sold state drives and have comparable MBTF ratings.

February 26, 2003

Virtually every digital camera features histogram review. I believe that the histogram is possibly the most valuable tool that the digital photographer has available to improve his or her exposures. Yet, many photographers haven't learned how to use them effectively. In my new article titled Understanding Histograms I examine how to read and make sense of this new tool.

Update: Details on Pentax's long-expected digital SLR are now available on my PMA 2003 preview report.

February 24, 2003

A Sunday without Mike Johnston's weekly column feels incomplete for many photographers. I apologize for the delay in its publication this week. I am on a 4 day landscape shoot in the Big Sur region of California and found myself on Saturday and Sunday in an area with no accessable phone service. Here then is Mike's column, titled What's an SLR Supposed to Be?, 24 hours late, but well worth the wait. I'll be back online on Tuesday.

PMA 2003 has been updated with a link to photographs of the new Canon EOS 10D.

February 21, 2003

At long last, here is my Costa Rica workshop portfolio. When I lead a workshop I always do my own shooting as well. It is only when I am working alongside workshop members that I see what they are seeing and can be of assistance. With some groups I do more of this than with others. On this particular workshop all of the photographers were technically competent and needed little in the way of advice, and so we simply ended up shooting comfortably together. This allowed me to produce a number of images with which I am pleased, and a handful which will form part of my portfolio and which will also see their way into future exhibits and books. In the near future I will be publishing the work of some of the workshop members as well.

I'm now traveling in California on a shoot and will only be online and checking e-mail intermittently until Tuesday the 25th.

February 20, 2003

Anyone working with a digital camera has to face the choice of the convenience of shooting in JPG format vs. the higher image quality yet reduced convenience of working with RAW files. No longer. Adobe has now shipped Camera Raw, a plug in for Photoshop that works with virtually every major manufacturer's RAW file format currently on the market. It seamlessly integrates within Photoshop's file browser and provides ease of use and image quality unavailable with virtually any other product.

Because of the release of Camera Raw and today's review, the publication of my Costa Rica portfolio will be postponed until tomorrow.

My PMA 2003 preview has been updated as well with new colour films and a pro digital back from Fuji.

February 19, 2003

The PMA show is now less than two weeks away and there is considerable excitement brewing. I have now started a page titled PMA 2003 which I will update regularly before, during and after the show with selected items that I find to be of interest. I'll be attending the show for a couple of days, but until the show opens I am counting on observant readers to supply me with information on new product announcements.

My African Safari / Workshop scheduled for January, 2004 has now sold out. Thanks to everyone for your interest. My next scheduled workshop will be in Iceland in July, 2004. I expect to have an announcement available with further details within a few months. You can add your name to the Waitlist for a priority notification.

In my Ultimate Shootout article of last month I made the claim that Canon's new digital SLR, the 11MP 1Ds, produced images superior to medium format drum scans. I took a lot of flack for this, even though many pros who I have spoken with and who have started working with the camera are also coming to the same conclusion. It therefore gives me a chuckle (and no small satisfaction) to report that the review of the 1Ds in this month's Shutterbug magazine by Jay Abend comes to the same conclusion as I did.

Jay is a well regarded commercial photographer with extensive film and digital experience. He owns and operates his own drum scanner. Here are a couple of brief quotes from his review. "The files look like really good, really clean, really sharp medium format drum scans." and, "It brings medium format image quality to a digital SLR..." Read the review for yourself. Many magazines this month have 1Ds reviews, but most are PR fluff. Jay's is well written and done from the perspective of a working pro.

February 18, 2003

When I discovered some weeks ago that I owned four Canon "L" series lenses covering the 24mm focal length I threatened to do a comparative review. Several readers said that they would find this of interest and so that review, titled 24 vs. 24 vs. 24 vs. 24, is now online. Don't get too excited though. These are all extremely fine lenses, and when it comes to image quality at moderate apertures there's little to choose between them.

The American magazine Photo Techniques is featuring a portfolio of my latest prints for sale in their current issue. Individually made original 13X19" prints can be purchased for as little as U.S. $65 each. You can find out more here.

A reminder — there is still just one place left on my January, 2004 African Safari Photographic workshop. Life is short. Death is long. Regret lasts. Sign up now! — SOLD OUT —

It's likely not of much significance to photographers at this point, but majority ownership of the venerable Victor Hasselblad AB of Sweden has been taken over by a Hong Kong company, their long time Asian distributor The Shriro Group. With Fuji manufacturing the XPan as well as the new H1, one would have thought that Fuji would be the natural buyer.

February 16, 2003

On this Sunday morning Mike Johnston looks at the Bronica RF645, its pros and cons, and the special promotion currently available that may make it a great bargain for anyone seeking a light-weight medium format rangefinder camera.

February 15, 2003

Did you ever dream of going on a photo safari in Africa? How about a 12 day photographic workshop with world-renown wildlife and landscape photographer Michael Reichmann, the publisher of this site?

Today we publicly announce our most exciting workshop yet — The Luminous Landscape African Photo Safari / Workshop.

This exciting trip will take place from January 2 — January 13, 2004 — just 11 months from now. Most of the available places have already been reserved by people on our workshop wait list. But, there are still a few places left. They won't last long though, so if the idea of joining the photographic trip of a lifetime has you excited — don't hesitate. Registrations are first-come, first-served. The time to sign up is now!

February 14, 2003

In addition to slowly catching up on the many hundreds of e-mails that arrived during my recent 10 day trip to Costa Rica, I am now working on the nearly 2,000 frames that I shot while there. Two images that I am most pleased with (in addition to one that is now on the site's title page) are to be found as my Featured Image for February, and also my featured Miscellaneous Moment for the month. A full article on this workshop along with many more photographs will likely appear by the end of next week.

Two of my friends — Alain Briot and Steve Kossack — each exceptional nature photographers, teachers and guides, have now teamed up to conduct an exclusive five day field workshop in the Southwest from September 25 to 29, 2003. If you're itching to do a shoot in this part of the world and want to work along side a couple of very talented photographers, this is a workshop not to be missed.

February 13, 2003

We live in a dusty world. As photographers we are constantly fighting dust — on our film, our lenses, and now on our digital SLR's imaging sensors. Any digital camera with interchangeable lenses is prone to dust. Some more than others. Since we have to live with the problem we need to understand the best tools and techniques for dealing with it. In my just published Understanding Digital Sensor Cleaning I explore the tools and techniques that photographers need for dueling with dust.

February 12, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week (slightly delayed due to my recent travels) is titled Lashed to the Mast: The Digital Odyssey. It concerns Mike's inexorable turn to the dark side. Mike also begins a new feature this week titled the Sunday Morning Photographer Book Bets Book of the Week. (We'll have to find a shorter title Mike). This week's review is of Atget by John Szarkowski.

Nikon's second VR (Vibration Reduction) lens is now starting to ship in some markets after a delay of many months. It is the AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED, and according to a first review at the Grays of Westminster site (a U. K. Nikon specialist dealer) it's a lens that Nikon enthusiasts will welcome with great enthusiasm.

Due to a couple's recent cancellation Steve Kossack's April 17-21, 2003 Death Valley Workshop has had two places open up. If you'd like to do a long-weekend shoot with one of the southwest's leading photography guides and teachers act quickly before these spots disappear.

February 11, 2003

I returned late last night from leading a very successful wildlife and landscape workshop expedition to Costa Rica. The first of my images from that trip is now online as the site's new signature image on the home page and here. A full workshop portfolio and travel report will appear shortly and will include details on the making of that image. The workshop will also be featured in a future issue of The Video Journal.

Several new articles will also appear later this week, including a tutorial on Understanding Histograms.

The days ahead will be exciting ones in photography as a number of new products near introduction at the PMA show in early March. I expect to have several hands-on reviews as well as a live PMA report.

January 30, 2003

As of today I am in Costa Rica conducting a 10 day wildlife photography workshop. I will therefore be offline until Tuesday, 11 Feb. This means that I will be unable to respond to e-mail as well as Discussion Forum messages directed to me. Please refrain from sending e-mails until mid-month so that my mailbox doesn't get backed up.

Due to my absence I am publishing Mike Johnston's next Sunday Morning Photographer article a few days early this week. It is titled Collecting Photography Books, and is one of Mike's most interesting articles in months (at least I think so). His Feb. 9th article will be published on Feb. 11 when I return.

While I'm away our automated online order system for accepting your Video Journal subscriptions and renewals will continue to function as always. If you are not yet familiar with this unique resource for passionate photographers I urge you to do so. As one recent subscriber recently wrote, "Many thanks for all your work, and for the superb DVDs: not only for your input to the DVDs and the photographs shown, but also the excellent quality of the filming and sound on the DVDs, which makes them a joy to watch in their own right." Other subscriber's comments can be found here.

Have a good couple of weeks. Do some photography, and catch up on some of the 1,500 pages on this site that you haven't yet read. I'll see you soon on The Luminous Landscape.

January 29, 2003

A separate hand-held meter is one of the most useful accessories that the serious photographer can add to his or her equipment arsenal. In my experience the most versatile such meters are made by Sekonic, and the Sekonic L-608 is the latest version. In this review I also include brief tutorials on incident and spotmetering.

January 28, 2003

Anyone shooting wildlife or sports either needs or is fascinated by super telephoto lenses. I have explored this topic recently with my reviews of the Canon 500mm and 600mm f/4 IS lenses. Today Nikon photographer Tom Hill shares with us his experience with the Nikon 600mm f/4 AF-S lens.

Sign of The Times: Sony has announced that it is discontinuing production of its 17" and 19" CRT monitors. This includes the tubes themselves, so products from their numerous OEM customers will also be discontinued. According to Sony this is due to the increasing popularity of LCD displays.

January 27, 2003

Steve Kossack's last Death Valley workshop sold out in just a few hours when I posted it here a couple of weeks ago, so he is now announcing another one in the same location, a month later. Steve is a talented landscape photographer who works primarily in the U.S. southwest, where he makes his home. This latest workshop will be in Death Valley National Park from April 17-21, 2003. (This is not a Luminous Landscape workshop. I am promoting it because Steve is a friend, often acts as my assistant on my workshops, and is highly spoken of by people who have hired him as a guide or who have attended one of his workshops in the past).

A page with selected photographs taken by members of my recent Bosque del Apache / White Sands workshop is now online. You may enjoy seeing how different photographers interpret the same scene.

January 26, 2003

This is the time of year for "the best of" lists, and for this Sunday Morning Mike Johnston gives us his photographic Best of 2002. And, just a reminder — Mike is one of the finest journalist writing about photography today. If you enjoy his column every Sunday on The Luminous Landscape, consider subscribing to his printed newsletter The 37th Frame. You'll be supporting Mike's efforts for the photographic community and giving yourself a damn good read as well.

Yesterday's article comparing high-end digital to medium format film has created quite a stir. On some of the boards I have been compared to "participants on the Jerry Springer show", and worse. (Don't you love the high level of discourse found on some boards? What some people write there is almost as good as the comments made by participants on the Jerry Springer show.)

In any event, I have received some thoughtful and articulate comments from readers and would like to share them with you on the page Shootout Follow up. I'll continue to add new comments to it, both pro and con, in the days ahead.

If you experienced trouble reaching this site, and others on Saturday it's because of the SQL Slammer worm that has infected the Net. Its effects now appear to be under control, but huge sections of the Net were slowed to a crawl on Saturday morning. There is no effect on personal computers or any web pages.

January 25, 2003

And now for something controversial. I have just published a comparison between high-end 35mm digital (the Canon 1Ds) and medium format film. Since I have recently sold almost all of my medium format equipment you may find the results of interest. The article is entitled — The Ultimate Shootout.

January 23, 2003

In late 2002 Canon introduced its 24-70mm f/2.8L lens, replacing the highly regarded 28-70mm f/2.8L that has been in their line for about 5 years. Since this has been one of my favourite lenses I was curious to find out if its replacement had more to offer than wider angle coverage and improved weather sealing.

On a winter landscape shoot last week in Mt. Tremblant National Park in Quebéc I had a chance to find out first hand. The results are fascinating.

January 21, 2003

Today sees the publication of the latest addition to my Understanding series — Understanding Digital Workflow. This was written in response to a number of requests that I've recently received for an explanation of the steps and settings that I use when working with a digital SLR. This is the second digital workflow article that I've published in the past two weeks, the previous one being on how to catalogue the vast number of RAW files flowing from your DSLR.

January 19, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this week is titled Pentax Under Glass. In it Michael considers the forthcoming Pentax DSLR and issues related to sensor size.

The shopping cart for placing a Video Journal subscription was unavailable most of Saturday and Sunday. It is now back online and the system is once again able to process your orders. The outage was due to a problem with DXCart, the company that provides us with this service. Sorry for any inconvenience.

January 16, 2003

One of the most frequent requests that I receive is for descriptions of the situations involved in the making of some of my photographs. In a new essay titled The Making of Two Photographs I look at two of my recent pictures and what went into their creation.

A reminder to both new and regular readers — this site is made possible through your subscriptions to The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. This is the world's only quarterly "magazine" about photography to be published on DVD video. Each disk contains between 90 and 120 minutes of broadcast quality video programming, and is playable on any PC, Mac or movie DVD player, anywhere in the world. It's the Luminous Landscape on TV. Read what subscribers are saying.

A reminder as well that next week, on January 22nd and 23rd, I will be conducting a two day seminar in Toronto titled — Professional Digital SLRs — Purchasing, Best Practices & Workflow. There are still a few places available if you're interested and able to attend.

I will be doing a winter landscape shoot in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebéc for the next 5 days. I will therefore only be online and checking e-mail and Forum messages intermittently until Tuesday, Jan 21st.

January 15, 2003

The Kodak DCS Pro 14n, a 14 Megapixel DSLR announced with much fanfare (and to the surprise of many) at Photokina in late September has been delayed again. According to sources at Kodak retail shipment will now commence in mid-February. The reason for the delay is given as the need for some additional image quality refinements.

This announcement was coupled with the first publication on Tuesday by Kodak U.S. of some sample images from a pre-production camera. Unfortunately these samples display quite poor image quality, showing a lot of noise (though they were shot at ISO 80) and also some posterization and other nasty effects. On the other hand some sample images that have just become available on a Japanese web site look much better, so it's hard to know what's really going on.

The Kodak faithful (or at least some of those who have pre-ordered the camera) are in a total flap over the delay and the poor samples. You can read some of the discussion that's taking place online on the Kodak SLR Talk forum of DPReview.

I expect to have a sample of the 14n for review some time in the next few weeks, and will report my impressions here once I've had a chance to put it through its paces. Until production cameras ship it's just too early to draw any reasonable conclusions.

January 14, 2003

The move to extensive shooting with a digital SLR brings with it new and different workflow issues. Over the next two weeks I will examine this topic with two tutorials. This week's is concerned with how to catalogue the vast number of RAW files flowing from your DSLR, how to name them and how to find them in future. Next week I will publish a tutorial containing a comprehensive RAW file DSLR workflow.

January 13, 2003

Steve Kossack has just announced his next workshop. Steve is a talented landscape photographer who works primarily in the U.S. southwest, where he makes his home. This latest workshop will be in Death Valley National Park from March 20 - 24, 2003.

Steve's workshops sell out quickly, so if a chance to do a few days of shooting in one of the world's most remarkable locations for landscape photography strikes your fancy, contact Steve right away. Though open to all, this workshop will be geared to those who are shooting digitally and who would like some field experience as well as advice from an experienced guide and teacher. (This is not a Luminous Landscape workshop. I am promoting it because Steve is a friend, often acts as my assistant on my workshops, and is highly spoken of by people who have hired him as a guide or who have attended one of his workshops in the past).

January 12, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning Photographer column for this week is about lens Flare — what it is, how to eliminate it and how to live with it when you must.

January 10, 2003

In a recent article entitled Whither Nikon I looked at Nikon's introduction of its new DX lens line, designed for reduced frame digital cameras. I questioned the wisdom of this move, beyond providing true wide-angle capability to existing DSLRs. In a new article titled Not So Fast, Nikon photographer Jim Norris explores the current state of Nikon lens mount based digital cameras.

January 9, 2003

Regular contributor Alain Briot continues his examination of how to sell your fine art photographs with an article titled Selling Your Photographs at Art Shows. This article provides numerous examples and illustrations derived from Alain's broad experience in this area.

January 8, 2003

DPReview has announced that the Canon EOS D60 has been discontinued. This is in anticipation of the release of a new Canon digital SLR at the PMA show in early March. Apparently the source of this information was Canon, Canada. I spoke yesterday with Canon and here is what I've been told. The D60 has not been officially discontinued. But, I was told that there is no stock, their is no ETA on new shipment arrival, and dealers have been told to stop taking orders. Draw your own conclusions :-)

As to what's coming to replace it, there is no information officially available, and likely won't be for another 6-7 weeks. Given that the D60 will have had a life span of just 12 months, and was continuously backordered during that period, we can only hope that Canon is gearing up production appropriately for its successor.

The Winter CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is now on and LetsGoDigital has created a page with reports on photographic products and announcements from the show. Since this is not a photographic show per-se don't expect too much of note. The major manufacturers are going to be keeping their powder dry until PMA.

And speaking of manufacturers, it was announced yesterday that Minolta and Konica will be merging. Interesting times.

January 7, 2003

In The Third Variable I explore how ISO has become the third active exposure variable. No longer do we choose a film speed based on our anticipated shooting needs and then have to stick with it for 12, 24 or 36 exposures. We can now change the ISO of each frame that we shoot depending on our need at the time, and on some digital cameras we even have automatic ISO bracketing.

Yesterday's move to the new server is now completed and went smoothly. The Discussion Forum had a few hiccups yesterday but is now working normally, and response times are very fast. We now have a server that is hopefully fast enough and large enough to handle our continued growth for the next year or two. For those interested, an average of 10,000 people visit the site daily, and generate some half million page views per month. Monthly bandwidth is more than 60 Gigabytes.

None of this is inexpensive, so if you'd like to enhance your photographic knowledge while at the same time supporting this site have a look at The Luminous Landscape Video Journal — the world's only DVD video-based quarterly publication about photography. We'll both be glad you did.

January 5, 2003

Mike Johnston's Sunday Morning column for this morning is a bit of a departure — it is based on a contribution to our Discussion Forum made by reader Dan Honemann in response to an earlier column of Mike's.

The Luminous Landscape is moving to a new server today. This is the second move in six months, and is designed to accommodate the continued growth of this service as well as to anticipate future expansion. Some users may experience brief service interruptions and the Discussion Forum may not be reachable until later today. I regret any inconvenience. (If you are reading this sentence you are on the new server.)

January 3, 2003

Call for Nikon Authors! I am looking for someone to become the Nikon equipment Contributing Editor to this site. If you are a professional or advanced amateur with extensive Nikon equipment experience, — especially digital and lenses — find out how you can help expand this site's coverage.

I have been informed that Epson Russia has now made the Gray Balancer and CD printing software for the Epson 2200 printer available for free download. Note that this version is in English and for the PC only!

We have heard from some Video Journal subscribers in Europe that they have not yet received their copies of Issue #6. This is to let you know that all subscribers were mailed the latest issue during the first week of December. It appears that the Holiday Season mails to Europe have been slower than usual. If you're still waiting, be assured that your copy will likely appear in the mail within the next week or so. We apologize for any delay.

This gives me an opportunity to remind new readers that the Video Journal is the world's only "video magazine" about photography. It is published quarterly on DVD video. Each issue features between 90 minutes and two hours of broadcast quality video programming — exclusively about photography. There are no ads, and the content, like this site, is completely free from commercial content. Read what other photographers are saying.

January 2, 2003

Though I always indicate the camera and lens used for photographs that I publish, readers frequently ask what lenses I own and what I think of them. I have therefore just updated the page about my Canon 35mm lens selection to reflect some recent changes and additions.

Loxahatchi National Wildlife Refuge is located in south central Florida, very much in the heart of the northern snowbird community. I spent a morning shooting there during Christmas week and look forward to returning often when I visit family in Florida.

Due to a cancellation caused by illness two openings have become available in my Costa Rica Workshop / Expedition which begins at the very end of January. If you have an interest in joining this exciting trip please drop me a note and I can provide you with information on a substantial discount available for this last-minute opportunity.

Archive Creator Version 1.1 is now shipping. If you haven't read my review of the pre-release version of this worthwhile program and need to archive large quantities of digital files, you may find that this program is just what you need.

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