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What's New Archives          Jul 01, 2007 - Jul 01, 2008

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July 3, 2007 – Seitz Roundshot 28/220 Field Review

Having read his own premature obituary in the paper one day, Mark Twain is reported to have quipped in a cable to The Associated Press – The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

The same can be said of film these days. Dealers shelves and freezers are mostly bare, labs have closed and the vast majority of photographers are shooting digital. It is reported that RIT, one of the top photo schools in the US intends on teaching film processing as "an alternative technique" beginning with the 2010 academic year.

Be that as it may, there are still many photographers shooting film, and enjoying it. Though 95% of my photography has been digital for the past 5 years, I still own film-based cameras and shoot with them from time to time. Indeed, I just bought a new one, the unique Seitz Roundshot 28/220, which is the subject of my latest field review.
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The photograph on the site's Home Page has been updated, along with my ongoing report and portfolio on The Palouse.

The Lightroom V1.0 Download Video Training Series
including a new free V1.1 update is now available for download.
Video Journal Issue #16 joins #15 and #14 as online downloads.




July 5, 2007 – More Lightroom V1.1 Learning Assistance

In addition to The Luminous Landscape's 5+ Hour Lightroom tutorial download video, there are a number of very good books available. One of the best is Martin Evening's The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book.

Martin has just put a V1.1 update on Sharpening and Noise Reduction online on the Lightroom News web site.

This is a truly valuable article, and I highly recommend it to anyone currently using Lightroom.


July 7, 2007 – Ringflash; a product review

Though the photographic equipment industry is dominated by a few very large companies, there is always room for the entrepreneur to try something new. Today Paolo Valentini gives us a look at a look at a unique new product from a small Czech company, called Ringflash.
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I just went to an opening of a wonderful new photographic & painting
show at the Art Gallery of Northumberland in Victoria Hall, Cobourg,
Ontario. The show is titled Ancient Places: Sacred Spaces and runs July
7 to August 25.

The show is special not only for its individual first-rate canvases and
photographic prints but also for its themed cross-pollination of
photography, painting and ancient symbols.

There are many fine photographs by John Satterberg exploring the rock
formations and megaliths of the Orkney & Shetland Islands and the
Scottish coastline. Ron Bolt has some stunning paintings inspired by the
same landscape and megaliths; Ron starts with a camera and paints beyond
them from the photographs he takes on location. The third artist
represented, is painter Andrew Gregg who uses ancient imagery from
petroglyphs to create mysterious and haunting images.

Well worth a visit.
– Chris Sanderson
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The Lightroom V1.0 Download Video Training Series
including a new free V1.1 update is now available for download.
Video Journal Issue #16 joins #15 and #14 as online downloads.




July 10, 2007 – Phase One P45 Plus Review

I've been shooting with e P45 for the past two years, and about a month ago received my P45+. How does is stack up to the previous back, and what about the competition?

My review of the P45+ is now online.


July 12, 2007 – Six World-Class Seminars Just Announced

During October, November and December of this year The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Print Studio will be offering a very exciting series of seminars, which are being announced here for the first time. These will be conducted by some of the finest photographic educators in the world, including Jay Maisel, John Paul Caponigro, Bill Atkinson and Charlie Cramer,

In addition Christopher Smith, one of the country's top Adobe Certified Photoshop Instructor, and Michael Reichmann, will together be offering three separate weekend days focusing on specific Photoshop techniques for photographers.

Most of these instructors have never taught in Canada before, and for some of them this is the first time that they are going to be offering their world-class seminars on the east cost.

You can find out more about these seminars, and also sign up online, by visiting our new Lectures and Seminars page. Don't hesitate to sign up if one of these special classes appeals to you, because with only 20 places available for each one they are bound to sell out quickly.


July 16, 2007 – Digital Safari Equipment Tips

For many photographers an African Safari is the dream of a lifetime. But, if you do get to experience one, how can you be certain what gear to bring to maximize your chances of success?

Nathan Myhrvoid has been on numerous safaris over the past few years, and in Digital Safari Equipment Tips gives us some insights and advice on equipment and technique.
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Australian photographer (and sometimes contributor to this site), Nick Rains, has now joined this site's list of supported photographic educators. He is currently offering an expedition to the Kimberley region. If you're an Australian looking for an expedition / workshop on your home turf, or are considering a visit down-under for the first time, Nick's latest workshop is well worth considering.
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You may notice that there is a new small map gizmo on the site's home page. This is designed to show geographic distribution of visitors to the site. I'm not sure how well it's going to work, as this site receives far more visitors than the device is designed to record, but I'll leave it up for a few days to see if it's worthwhile.
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The Palouse page has been updated again with a few new photographs from my recent shoot there.
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UPDATE: The highly influential photography curator and author, John Szarkowski, passed away yesterday at the ago of 81. His influence on the acceptance of photography as a mainstream art medium can not be overestimated.
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The October, November and December Luminous Landscape Gallery Lecture and Seminar Series was announced just before the weekend, and are now nearly sold out. If you'd like to attend one of these, don't delay.
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To help convince those of you who have not yet purchased our Lightroom video tutorial, we are offering you our new 35 minutes Lightroom V1.1 update for free. All you need to do is set up an account at our Store, enter the "free coupon code" provided, and download the 222MB file. No credit card is needed, and be assured that we NEVER provide our customer's names or other information to any third party.

ENJOY. And, if you do find our new V1.1 Lightroom Video Tutorial Update of value please consider downloading the full 5 hour tutorial. It only costs $14.95.
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"I just completed viewing your LR Tutorial.

I simply cannot express my gratitude and my admiration for the superb job that you did...comprehensive, professional, fun, enlightening...and above all clear.

Without question, from an education standpoint,
the best money I have ever spent in photography".
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July 18, 2007 – New Epson printers, and Canon MKIII focus Issue

There now seems little doubt that the new Canon 1D MKIII has an autofocus issue. Enough people (and reviewers – who may also be people) have seen something amiss that this is more than just cat photographer paranoia.  I missed the issue when I did my brief First Impressions report on the camera back in May, simply because I didn't have the camera long enough to test high-speed, wide aperture shooting, and I didn't have a MKII to compare it with. Rob Galbraith did catch it on a pre-production camera though, (which is why potential purchasers should always read more than one reviewer's opinions).

In any event, determining the exact nature of the problem has proven difficult, especially because Canon (in typical fashion) has remained mum on the issue. The most comprehensive test that I've seen yet that tries to determine the underlaying cause of the problem was just published by ProPhoto Home. The bottom line appears to be that there is a indeed a real autofocus issue with the MKIII, and it is seen in some, but not all cameras.
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Epson has several new printers coming, and showed them to a group of journalists in New York last week, which I attended. These were not supposed to be announced until August 13th – lots of time to write-up a full report.

Well, as happens all too frequently these days, someone at Epson (their UK office, this time) jumped the gun and pre-announced. You can read all about the new printers on PhotographyBlog. (Canon's pre-release specialists are their French subsidiary. What is it with European subs and secrets?)

I may still write something about the new printers, but in the meantime I'll simply add that the new Vivid Megenta ink really does visibly increase colour saturation and dMax, based on sample prints which I was shown.

As to whether it's worth upgrading from a 4800, 7800, 9800 to a 4880, 7880, 9880, I'd have to say no. And as for what's coming next from Epson, I will respect the NDA that I've signed and will have more to say on that next month.



July 22, 2007 – New Video Tutorial Coming. Current freebe coming to an end.

By the end of this coming week we will be publishing a major new download video. This is an almost 7 hour tutorial on fine art printing, titled From Camera to Print.

Filmed this summer at my Toronto studio, it features digital imaging guru Jeff Schewe and me exploring virtually every printing-related topic, from camera settings, to printer settings (Windows and Mac), RIPs, paper types and choices, softproofing, current printer models, colour management, profiling options, rendering intents, monochrome printing.....(you get the idea). If it's about printing, we cover it - in depth.

Watch for the announcement and availability of the major new video download tutorial.
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With the publication of our new printing tutorial we have to free up non-revenue generating bandwidth, and so as of Monday evening (EDT) we will be removing our complimentary 30 minute Lightroom V1.1 video update tutorial. It, along with the entire Lightroom Video Tutorial will, of course, remain available for purchase, but the free download of the update will come to a close.

If you have already downloaded this free Lightroom V1.1 update, but not yet purchased the entire tutorial, then this might be a good time to do so. It costs less than lunch for two at McDonalds, and is a lot more nourishing.
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Please Note: To support the extra traffic on the site due to the high volume of video file downloads (currently about 5 Terrabytes a month), we will be updating our server, again, on Sunday morning from about 0600 -0800 GMT/UTC. The site will therefore be offline for a while. Sorry for any inconvenience.
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UPDATE

Canon has announced an update to the firmware for the 1D MKIII. It will be available for download on Canon's web sites before the end of this month. (DPReview has the full text of the Canon press release). It is claimed to address some of the autofocus issues which have plagued this camera.

But, Rob Galbraith, who first identified the problem, has tested the new firmware and reports that it does little if anything to solve the problem that he, and others, are seeing with the camera.


July 25, 2007 – Do Curves Throw You a Curve?

The new parametric curves found in Camera Raw 4.x and Lightroom 1.x are somewhat different than those found in Photoshop. There are differing positions on the strengths and weeknesses of both, and some debates over their relative merits. Contributor Mark Segal looks at some of these issues in his new essay Do Curves Throw You a Curve published in the form of a downloadable PDF file.
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Bill Atkinson and Charley Cramer's seminar in Toronto at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in October is now sold out. But there are still a few places left in some of the other seminars being offered this Fall at the gallery. Have a look, and choose the one that you think will best suits your needs.
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Here's a reminder that Issue #16 of The Video Journal is available both as a DVD and in download form. This is the world's only video magazine about photography – now in our 5th year of publication and enjoyed by many thousands of photographers worldwide.

Our exclusive video tutorial on Adobe Lightroom, V1.0 and V1.1 is also available; containing more than 5 hours of hands-on instruction.

My 10 Year Retrospective Book and print offer is still available. The announcement page contains a slide show of the images contained in the book.
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My Palouse Portfolio has been updated.



July 27, 2007 – Four New Epson "80" Series Printers for 2007

Epson has announced four new Pro series printers (at least they've done so in several countries so far). Though not officially announced yet in the USA, Epson US has agreed to my publishing information about the new printers, and my impressions from a preview show in New York earlier this month, even though these printers have not yet been officially announced in the US.

My exclusive report titled  Four New Epson "80" Series Pro Printers For 2007 is now online. Hopefully some of the uncertainty about the new printers will now be addressed.
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UPDATE

Leica has placed an updated firmware release for the M8 on their website. Initial reports are that among other small improvements, auto white balance and high ISO performance have been enhanced.
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UPDATE


Jay Maisel's seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto in December is now sold out, as is the Atkinson / Cramer seminar in November.

There are still a few spaces available for Jean Paul Caponigro's remarkable weekend workshop in December, and in the three Smith / Reichmann Photoshop seminars in November. Find out more, and register soon, before these too are sold out.
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UPDATE

Would you be interested in a digital monochrome back? Lloyd Chambers is spearheading an effort being put forward to Phase One to provide true digital monochrome capability. A group of ardent monochrome photographers are trying to expand interest within the community and to get a proper list going. Phase One has expressed interest in proceeding. Find out more.


July 29, 2007 – From Camera to Print – A 6+ Hour Video Tutorial


Today sees the launch of a major new download video tutorial, titled From Camera to Print. This 6 hour and 40 minute video features Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe exploring in detail virtually every major topic associated with printing,

It is priced at just US $34.95 and is available for immediate download. No shipping costs,  no taxes (except for Canadians), no duties, no postal delays. Nearly 7 hours of live video tutorial.

Our second major announcement is the creation of The Luminous Landscape Endowment. This is a fund created to provide fine art photographers worldwide with financial assistance which may be used by photographers like you to pursue a special project, further formal photographic education, finance project related travel, or to mount an exhibition or show. Almost any worthwhile project associated with fine art photography will be considered.

The annuity will receive its seed financing from The Luminous Landscape Inc. Every purchase of the From Camera to Print tutorial will see 15% of revenue ($5) placed into the Endowment fund. This is made possible by Michael, Chris and Jeff relinquishing part of their profits from the tutorial to help finance the startup.

I believe that you're going to find From Camera to Print a tremendous source of information about the art and the craft of printing using today's printers and software tools. There's simply nothing else like it available. And I hope that you will also support the creation of The Luminous Landscape Endowment.

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UPDATE #1

Since the launch of the Camera to Print tutorial download Saturday afternoon demand has been extremely heavy. We anticipated this and have been beafing-up our server and bandwidth for the past while in anticipation, but still, the load has been considerable. Imagine 50 people trying to download 2GB of files simultaneously and you'll understand.

This means that from time to time the server may be slower than you (and we) would wish. Thanks for your understanding, and know that we are continuing to do everything that we can to improve server performance, and will continue to do so.

UPDATE #2

During this period of initial availability the demand on our server is very high. When you download the 7 zip files, each of which is about 250-300MB in size, please do so one at a time. If you do two, three or more simultaneous file downloads you will clog the server and slow things down for everyone. Just download the first file, which contains three segments, and then start downloading the others afterwards. Everyone will appreciate your consideration.


August 1, 2007 – Canon Powershot S5 Hands-On Review

I received two letters last week on roughly the same topic. The first chastised me for having too many "artsy" articles and not enough equipment review, while the other was critical of the fact that I did too many reviews of high-end equipment and expensive medium format digital.

Obviously, no good deed goes unpunished.

Disirregardless, today has on offer a hands-on review of the Canon Powershot S5 by Tim Penner.
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My Palouse Portfolio has been updated with a new image from that amazing location.

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Mike Johnson at The Online Photographer has a brief review of our Camera to Print video tutorial, and also The Endowment Fund.


This is a true example of the benefits of downloading!
Incredible information that is both timely while at the same time timeless.
Of all the resources available to the aspiring photographer today,
this tutorial is firmly in the #1 slot for anyone who wants to improve their printing output.


– Jeff Ball



August 4, 2007 - New Leica M Lenses. I don't get it.



Ok, here's the thing. I'm a big Leica fan. Have been for a v e r y long time. But I don't get their latest announcement, which is of four new lenses – a SUMMARIT-M 35 mm f/2.5, SUMMARIT-M 50 mm f/2.5, SUMMARIT-M 75 mm f/2.5 and SUMMARIT-M 90 mm f/2.5.

In Leica-speak, Summarit means f/2.5, which is on the slow side for prime lenses, but it also means lower weight, smaller size and lower price. Nothing wrong with any of those things.

The issue that I have with this announcement is that while these are typical focal lengths for film-based Leicas. They are mostly on the long side on the digital M8; equivalent to approximately 47 mm, 67 mm, 100 mm and 120 mm.

Now, only Leica knows for sure the ratio of M8s to film-based M7s that they are currently selling, but I would have to guess that M8s are in the ascendancy and M7s in decline.

That being the case, why issue four news lenses of which two are focal lengthsthat are less ideal for use with rangefinder cameras? These are best suited to wide angle and "normal" focal lengths. I would have thought that a couple of slow but wideish lenses would have been more in keeping with typical usage of such a camera, in this instance the reduced frame digital M8.

Call me a curmudeon, and I'm sure they'll sell a boatload to new M8 users if the prices are decent, but I would have thought there were other focal length priorities to aim at for new M8 owners. Disirregardless, it's still great to see Leica continuing to do what it does best – lenses.
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I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.

– Eleanor Brown



August 6, 2007 – Endowment Fund Takes Off. New Lightroom Book.



Regular readers will know that I am a fan of both Adobe Lightroom, and of Iceland as a photographic location. Put the two together, and for me at least it's a winning combination. A new book by Mikkel Aaland titled Photoshop Lightroom Adventure combines these two subjects, and does so in a most appealing way.

What Mikkel did was to bring together a dozen leading photographers from all over the world, along with members of Adobe's product development team. The group spent a week shooting and working closely together in Iceland during the summer of 2006, while Lightroom was in its beta period.

Let me make clear up-front that I have a strong bias in favour of this book. I was invited to be one of the members of the Adventure, and I have been a friend of author / photographer Mikkel Aaland for many years. The book contains a number of my photographs and usage hints.

With that said, I can recommend Photoshop Lightroom Adventure without reservation. It is visually a treat, and it covers the use of Lightroom in a well presented and coherent manner. It also is one of the few books on Lightroom currently available that covers V1.1.
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I want to thank everyone who has so far bought our From Camera to Print video tutorial. Feedback has been gratifyingly positive. I'd like to report as well on the progress of The Luminous Landscape Endowment.

After just one week in existence, your purchase of the printing tutorial along with direct donations have placed some US $10,000 into the fund. Thank you! In another couple of months I'll be announcing the process and criteria for applying for grants from the fund. And, even though I have not been soliciting individuals or corporations for donations (yet), these have started to come in, and are now acknowledged on the Endowment Fund page.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



August 9, 2007 – Three Updates

Mark Segal has written a significant follow-up piece to his essay from last month titled Do Curves Throw You A Curve? You can download this PDF update directly here.
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There are just a few places left for John Paul Caponegro's workshop in Toronto at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in December. If you can make it, don't let this one pass you by.
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Pikto, a Toronto based digital lab has added a new service for photographers who produce on-demand photo books. This is an online Flash version of the book, and my recent (and still available) Retrospective book may now be viewed. Here is a direct link.
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Rob Galbraith has updated his continuing analysis of the Canon 1D MKIII's autofocus issues.
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I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.



August 15, 2007 – Exercising Your Creativity

It's the dog days of summer. At least it is for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. For those on vacation and still bothering to read anything online, I hope that your travels and pass-times are rewarding. I'm on vacation as well this month, at my place in Northern Ontario. But, I know that many of you are looking for new inspiration for your photography.

It comes today in the form of a new essay by Alain Briot titled Exercising Your Creativity. This is Part 8 of Alain's ongoing series titled Reflections on Photography and Art.
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RawWorkflow.com has made a corporate donation of $1,000 to the Endowment Fund. Many thanks to industry veteran Michael Tapes for his generous support.
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Do you know everything there is to know about printing? Are you confident about the settings needed? Do you understand soft proofing? What about printer profiles? Are the ins and outs of colour management crystal clear?

If not, we have the answer for you. From Camera to Print – The Craft of Fine Art Printing is a 6 hour and 40 minute long live video tutorial available for download exclusively from this site. Hosted by Jeff Schewe and Michael Reichmann this tutorial covers almost every topic related to contemporary printing, and does so in depth.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design




August 20, 2007 – Three New Canon Cameras

Canon has announced three new cameras, the 40D, 1Ds MKIII and G9. With the latter exception their announcement is a bit anti-climatic since Best Buy spilled the beans on the 40D last week, and Amazon published full specifications for the 40D and MKIIIs on Sunday morning. Though these were removed a few hours later, tens of thousands of people had seen them, and numerous copies were floating around the web yesterday.

My initial, though now somewhat redundant comments on these new cameras are now online, along with some observations on how they fit into the current camera taxonomy.

By way of a personal comment, I would add that journalists who were already aware of the new printers under NDA, and who were preparing their articles for today's announcement, once again found themselves in a bind. Though NDAs are void once information becomes public, no one wants to annoy a big company by breaking even the spirit of the agreement, at the risk of no longer being provided with advance information.

But I have to say that since virtually every new product announcement from Canon over the past few years has been preceded by either internal or dealer leaks, it makes one wonder as to the value of the entire media NDA process. Maybe companies should realize that in the world of instant global information dissemination there has to be a better way of leveraging new product announcements than the traditional method that goes back to the days of print magazine with 3 month lead times. And, companies like Apple have shown that it is possible to keep new products secret until the moment of introduction.
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If you're interested in a more in-depth report on the new Epson 80 series printers than what has been available till now, have a look at a page posted by Joe Holmes late last week. Worthwhile reading for anyone interested in printer developments.
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George Kraniotis, a London-based photographer who was recently in Toronto for one of my One-On-One sessions has just opened his digital lab and print studio. If you're located in the UK and looking for an excellent service bureau, I can recommend George and his partner Myrto to you.
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I'm always pleased to mention workshops by some of my colleagues. If you're looking for a late summer  workshop in the American Southwest I can recommend this site's columnist Alain Briot's Navajoland Workshop, which begins September 7th. There are a couple of openings which have just become available due to last-minute cancellations.

There also are a few spaces left on John Paul Caponigro's Toronto Workshop at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in mid-December. Some spaces also remain in each of the Weekend Photoshop / Printing Seminars which I'll be doing together with certified Photoshop expert Christopher Smith at my gallery in November.

 

I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.



August 22, 2007 – Watches & Cameras – A Parable

We all struggle daily with a myriad of purchasing decisions, from breakfast cereals to house purchases. Our society produces products in such abundance and variety that sometimes how to choose the right product for ones needs becomes a challenge.

In some ways the Internet has made the process easier than it's ever been, but on the other hand the tidal wave of information that the net provides tends to overwhelm some people.

In A Watch Parable I illustrate my suggestion on how to proceeded when making a purchase decision by illustration from one of my other passions, watch collecting.
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"Michael, I was thrilled when I learned you are sponsoring a two day small-group workshop with John Paul Caponigro, and I immediately signed-up for it. I attended John Paul's sessions at NAPP's April PhotoshopWorld in Boston and I was inspired. He's a visionary and an artist with superb technical skills for translating photographic vision into print, and a superb communicator. This is a unique opportunity right here in Toronto and I'm looking forward to a memorable experience."

A FEW PLACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE
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"As a professional photographer, based in Ireland, I just wanted to say how much I have learned from the new Luminous Landscape video tutorials. I didn't actually think that I needed a tutorial on printing - as most of my work currently does not output to print (at least at my end). But the topics and information covered was a total eye-opener - really worth the money and a whole lot more!"





August 23, 2007 – Nikon Roars Back

The photography world just got a whole lot more interesting. Nikon today introduced a slew of new gear, including two new cameras, the Nikon D3 and D300 as well as several high-end lenses.

The D3 is Nikon's first full frame DSLR, calling the format FX (a new acronym for something that we've had for the past 80 years – thanks Nikon, we needed that). The second camera is the D300, the expected upgrade (and a significant one) to the best-selling D200. Both cameras will become available in November. You can read all of the specs at DPReview and other camera test sites.

Of course the release by Nikon of a full-frame DSLR is big news, Possibly the most exciting from that company in the past 8 years, since the ground breaking D1 in 1999. With its 1Ds series and low noise CMOS sensors Canon put tremendous pressure on Nikon. This was in large part due to Canon having invested heavily in its own chip fabrication facility in the '90s while Nikon was reliant on chip makers such as Sony, who make Nikon current line of sensors. The meant that Nikon was forced to take the position that reduced frame sensors had advantages (or that FF sensors had disadvantages), and of course the Nikon faithful echoed those claims. Add to this Nikon's slow introduction of VR (stabilized) long lenses, and during the first half of this decade Nikon lost a lot of market share among pros.

Their comeback though was in Prosumer cameras. The Nikon D200, especially, had a lot to offer over Canon's competitive offerings during the past couple of years. Canon has just replied (finally) with the very well speced 40D, but now Nikon has responded almost simultaneously with the D300, which matches the 40D spec for spec, and which appears to offer up some even more appealing features.

Nikon's D3 is a direct competitor to Canon's 1D MKIII, introduced this past May, and surpasses it in several important respects including sensor size, resolution, and frame rate. At 12.1 MP the D3 isn't even close to the just announced 21.1MP 1Ds MKIII, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a higher resolution Nikon to compete with Canon's flagship within the next 6 months.

Of course nothing can be said about image quality of any of these cameras at this time, since none of the 1Ds MKIII, 40D, D3 or D300 is available yet for testing and comparison.

But, the real news is that Nikon is finally back in the race, at least in the pro market. For at least the past six years dedicated Nikon users either hung in waiting for a Nikon with full frame, or higher resolution, or superior image quality, or they reluctantly migrated to Canon. Now Nikon has come back, and has seemingly done so with a vengance.

Ultimately this is of benefit not just to Nikon loyalists but also for Canon users. Canon seems to be at its best when responding to pressure. Take the pressure off and they coast. But now, with Nikon offering a new range of super-telephoto VR lenses that match or exceed Canon's, a camera with full frame capability, and a new killer Prosumer offering, Canon will no longer appear as compelling a choice as it has in recent years.

And let's not forget the other elephant in the room, Sony. They will soon be putting their full frame chip technology into a new flagship A series camera built upon the solid technology acquired recently from Konica Minolta.

This all is good news for photographers everywhere.

 

I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.



August 27, 2007 – Antarctica - A Warning and an Opportunity

A new book of photography about Antarctica is about to be published. I take strong exception to its presentation, and my commentary on this is now online.

At the bottom of this essay is notice of pre-announcement wait list registration for my next Antarctic Photographic Expedition, scheduled for January, 2009. This may be my last Antarctic voyage, so don't miss out this time.
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Ian Lyons of Computer Darkroom has written a very valuable new essay on how to set camera defaults in Lightroom and Camera Raw. This is well worth your reading.
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I will be conducting a full-day seminar at The Toronto Guild for Photographic Art on Saturday, November 17, 2007. This is open to non-members as well. Click here for further details.
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The Seitz Roundshot 28/220 which I reviewed earlier this summer is now for sale. Information on price and availability are found here.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



August 29, 2007 – Canon Canada CPS Event in September

Canon Canada is presenting a mini-trade show and seminar series called CPS-Expo in September. These will take place in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. All of the new Canon cameras as well as video and printing equipment will be on display.

Keynote and guest speakers are Pulitzer Prize Winner Vincent Laforet and Celebrity Wedding Photographer Denis Reggie. There will also be seminars by Apple, Adobe, and AutoCad. Admission is free, but you need to register in advance. More details here.

Maybe I'll see you at the one in Toronto later in the month.

 

I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.



August 30, 2007 - Capture One 4.0 Beta Preview

Phase One has (finally) announced the release of Capture One 4.0 as a free public beta. My preview report is now online. Is 4.0 too little, too late?
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I'm pleased to mention that world famous photographer and educator Greg Gorman is now represented through my Workshops page. Attending one of his week-long workshops at his home and studio in Mendocino, Ca is a remarkable experience for any photographer.

There also are a few spaces left on John Paul Caponigro's Toronto Workshop at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in mid-December.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



September 3, 2007 - Canon 40D Hands-On Report

Within the past few weeks the two big dogs of the DSLR industry, Canon and Nikon, have each announced two new cameras. Each in its own way is a critical product for these companies.

The first to come to market is the Canon EOS 40D, that company's lead product in the prosumer marketplace. My hands-on report on the 40D is now online.

 

I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.



Sept 7, 2007 – Misc Announcements

Anyone buying a Canon 40D from now on has a choice of a second raw processor in addition to Canon's DPP. Bibble 4.9.8e Pro now has support for the 40D and is a free upgrade for existing users.
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The eagle-eyed among you will note that this site now has, for the first time in its eight year history, a retailer's banner ad at the bottom of each page. The retailer is B&H Photo. If you click through to B&H and make any online purchase within three days of doing so, then The Luminous Landscape will earn a commission on that sale.

Since the site's inception I have resisted any form of advertising other than for our own products because i felt that it could be perceived as biasing my reviews and commentaries (as if they're not already biased enough). But as I've thought about it I realized that a retailer that sells just about everything is unlikely to be seen as influencing me unduly, and we certainly can use the revenue to help with the continued growth of the site.
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September 8, 2007 - High-end Camera Profiling

The profiling of digital cameras is somewhat controversial, and something not attempted by most photographers. But many professionals do profile their cameras, and one of the leading tools for anyone who wishes to do this themselves is ColorEyes Commercial.

My latest free online video report shows how this program is being implemented at Sheridan College, one of North America's leading training centers for commercial photography.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



September 10, 2007 - More on Canon 40D IQ

There is an axiom among web and print magazine reviewers that as soon as a new camera review appears there will be a flurry of postings on one of the better known discussion boards, that has brand specific forums, that decry the writer's findings. Oh no! It can't be! That's not right. What an idiot! My uncle's best friend says it's not true. My cat pictures prove that he's wrong.

Of course the fact that they may not ever have even held the camera in question, let alone shot with it is beside the point. The fact that they've been doing photography since last Wednesday, and the reviewer has been at it for nearly a half century counts for naught. If their sacred cow is being gored (sorry for the mixed metaphor) facts and experience don't matter. Also, until the patron saint of digital camera testing (you know who he is) has blessed a camera with his charts and graphs the pixel-peepers won't tolerate dissention.

Such was the case with my 40D first-look (not even a review) which was posted here last week. I was vilified online for claiming that the Canon 40D had overall IQ (Image Quality) comparable to that of the 5D. And since my commentary appeared online before any other well known equipment reviewer or pundit had an opportunity to do any testing, the Chicken Littles enjoyed a field day.

Today the highly respected photographer and photographic educator Miles Hecker, has published a brief review on his web site showing examples of the IQ differences between the 20D, 5D and the new 40D. His results and conclusions closely parallel mine (gee, I'm so surprised).

Maybe the sky is falling after all.
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Epson US today has officially announced their four new professional grade printers, the 4880, 7880, 9880 and 11880. (Yes, I know, these were the ones announced in the rest of the world last month). Epson also have a new professional imaging web site online.
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There are a few spaces left on John Paul Caponigro's Toronto Workshop at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in mid-December.
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I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.

 


September 11, 2007 - New Harman Byrata Paper Review

For any photographer with traditional darkroom experience the inkjet printing revolution has been both a blessing and a curse. While on the one hand we are now able to produce prints with greater longevity that ever before, with greater dMax than ever before, and with higher colour saturation that ever before, we can't do so all on the same paper type at the same time.

Printing has been bifurcated between so-called fine art matte finish papers, which can have lovely texture and feel, but flatter blacks and reduced saturation, and so-called photo papers with plastic bases that have higher dMax and wide colour gamut, but, which are, well, plastic, and thus not that well suited to fine art use.

Over the past couple of years there have been a number of papers introduced which have attempted to combine the best attributes of both paper types. Some have done so better than others, but none really came all that close to matching the desirable qualities of traditional fiber based glossy photographic papers. Until now.

At last year's Photokina in Cologne I met with Harman paper and discussed their intention to develop a Baryta-based paper that would address this shortcoming. Over the months since I have had the opportunity to test ever-improving implementations of this new paper, and have been very excited by what I was seeing.

I had started to work on a review scheduled to coincide with Harmon's release of Harman Gloss FB AL. But previous contributor to this site, photographer and educator Richard Lohmann, was also working on a review, and I have deferred to him on this. His commentary and review of the world's first Baryta based inkjet paper is now online.

I should add though that Hahnemuhle last week announced Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta, and I expect to have samples available for testing before long. These are exciting times for anyone involved in fine art printing.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



Sept 13 – Antarctica 2009 - Announcing my next expedition / workshop

My next Antarctic Expedition / Workshop is being publicly announced today for the first time. For two weeks in January 2009 five of the world's leading photographic instructors and six special assistants, along with 66 photographers, will be sailing from the southern tip of Argentina across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula where we will spend almost two weeks exploring the coastline, with two to three landings each day. It is our plan to cross the Antarctic Circle.

We will be sailing on the Ocean Nova, the newest ship operated by Quark Expeditions, who are one of the leading polar expedition companies. This will be my third Antarctic photographic expedition with Quark.

Our total compliment of passengers and instructors is 78 people. As of today there are only 10 berths left. All of the others have sold out over the past few days to previous workshop and expedition members and those who requested to be on the wait list.

If this admittedly expensive, though one-in-a-lifetime photographic adventure has your name on it, you'll need to act fast. The remaining berths are bound to sell out quickly.

Find Out More About
The Luminous Landscape 2009
Antarctic Expedition / Workshop


Update...
SORRY – SOLD OUT
Accepting Wait List Reservations

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I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.



September 14, 2007 - Lightroom 1.2 and Camera Raw 4.2 now available

For those with the latest generation of cameras, there's good news today. Adobe has released Lightroom 1.2 and Camera Raw 4.2. There'll be more news on these soon, but in the meantime you can find out more along with download links here.
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Those who doubt that the new Canon 40D's 14 bit data path is beneficial, or that this camera is a significant step forward in image quality over its predecessors, might wish to have a look at this article on its use in astrophotography. It is in both French and English.
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As I expected, my next Antarctic workshop, announced a couple of days ago, has now sold out. If you would like to be on the wait list in the event of a cancellation, there's a link on the workshop page.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



September 17, 2007 - Reflections on Photography - Part 9

Contributor Alain Briot continues Reflections on Photography with the ninth essay in the series – Developing Your Vision. Whether you've been eagerly awaiting this new installment, or are discovering this series for the first time, I believe that you'll find it both informative and inspirational.

Due to last minute cancellations Alain has a couple of openings on his Antelope Canyon Workshop at the end of this month.
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Art of Seeing

Intended  for professional photographers, Art of Seeing is advertised as offering a succinct, economical way to reach 3000 creative buyers, photo galleries, and stock houses. The work presented varies from fine art, to nature and landscapes, to travel shots and semi-commercial images. Produced in Hong Kong to art-book standards, the trim size is 6" x 5.25".

Alcove Books has asked me to jury and write the introduction to the 2008 edition. You can find out more about this here.
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I have downloaded the entire series and am a little over half way though watching it.
It is absolutely first rate and is clarifying a lot of questions I've had about the entire digital workflow.
I find the discussion format between Michael and Jeff particularly helpful.
I'm sure I'll rewatch many segments.




September 21, 2007 - New Hasselblad, and Raw Without FUD

Hasselblad has just announced a new medium format integrated camera system, the H3D II. The new camera is available immediately in 22, 31 and 39 MP versions. It features an enhanced 3" LCD screen, Ultra-Focus, which is a claimed improvement in the integration and positioning of the removable back and the camera body, and an available GPS accessory for placing location information into the camera's EXIF data.

This looks like an appealing upgrade to the Hasselblad line, and I hope that the company sees its way clear to get over its annoyance with me for some critical comments which I have made during the past year, and is able to provide me with a review sample of the H3 DII. Hint, hint.
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Michael Tapes, the publisher of Rawworkflow.com and the developer of the WhiBal, has just made available a new tutorial video titled Raw Without Fud (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt). For anyone who still hasn't yet embraced the gospel of the raw file, Michael's new video will be found to explain both the why's and the how's of getting superior image quality through the use of raw. If you're still shooting JPG, this new video series, available both as a download and a DVD, is well worth your attention.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design




September 24, 2007 - YES - The Photographer's Watch

One of my interests is in collecting watches. Not just any watches, but rather technical watch, ones which perform special functions.

But is there a "photographer's watch"? If you're a landscape photographer, there is. It's called the YES Watch, and among other things it can tell the time of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, as well as the current phase of the moon, all with a unique graphic interface. Oh yes, and it can do so for any place on earth until the year 2100. Find out more in my latest review.
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DSLR Remote Pro V1.5 from Breeze Systems is now available for download as a beta release. The program supports the new Canon EOS-1D Mark III and 40D including live view. In live view you can auto focus (using a contrast detection algorithm) by typing Ctrl+F or focus manually using the cursor keys or mouse wheel. Live view also includes the option to use onion skinning which is useful for animation and for lining up panorama shots. For Windows only, I'm afraid.
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I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind. 



25 September, 2007 - A Hands-On One Day Medium Format Digital Seminar

Vistek, Canada's Phase One distributor, has asked me to assist them with a specialized one day workshop for those who might be interested in discovering what's involved in working with medium format digital equipment.

This seminar is intended for both working pros as well as advanced amateurs – anyone in Toronto and Southern Ontario who might be interested in a hands-on experience with the latest medium format digital equipment.

This one-day session will take place at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Print Studio in Toronto next week, on Thursday October 4, 2007. Find Out More.
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And, possibly of wider interest is a full-day seminar at The Toronto Guild for Photographic Art which I will be conducting on Saturday, November 17, 2007. This is open to non-members as well. Click here for further details.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



1 Oct, 2007 - The Making of a Photo Book

Over the past couple of years I have written more than once about the making of books of photographs. This topic appears to be of continuing interest and so today sees a new article titled The Making of Ghana, An African Portrait Revisited, by Peter E. Randall.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind. 



3 October, 2007 – Maisel Toronto seminar opening

Due to a cancellation there is one space available at Jay Maisel's seminar at The Luminous Landscape gallery in Toronto on Dec 1 & 2. This is now available on a first-come first-served basis.

There are also a couple of spots still open for Jean Paul Caponigro's Toronto seminar weekend, Dec 15 & 16.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



4 October, 2007 - WIN an Antarctic Photographic Expedition Worth $15,000

I am excited to announce our biggest contest yet – a chance to win a berth on my next  Antarctic Photographic Expedition, worth approximately $15,000. This prize includes airfare from anywhere in the world to southern Argentine to join our expedition ship in January, 2009.

To enter this contest, and for a chance to win, all you need to do is purchase our latest downloadable video tutorial called From Camera to Print.

In fact, you will also be entered in the contest if you purchase any of our other downloads or DVDs, and every purchase made is another entry in the contest.

Why this contest and remarkable prize? Simple. We want you to find out about the value to be found in our online tutorials. They are unique, and are professionally produced with broadcast quality. There's nothing else like them.




8 October, 2007 - Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper - First Look

Fine art photography has become as much about paper as it has ink or printers themselves. We now have an abundance of papers and paper types, far more than we ever had in the chemical darkroom. But for many long-time darkroom workers the holy grail of inkjet printing has been a paper with the look and feel of a traditional air-dried F surface gloss.

Last year saw the first round of such paper offerings and now we have several more in round two. Epson, the 800 pound gorilla of the printing world has announced today a new paper, Exhibition Fiber, which aims to become a major new offering in this category.

My initial comments and report on this exciting paper are now online.
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This week begins a month-long period where I will be traveling a great deal. Bill Atkinson and Charlie Cramer are in Toronto, and we're are heading up to Algonquin Park and Muskoka in north central Ontario for some fall colour landscape shooting this week. This coming weekend Bill and Charlie will be conducting their first Toronto workshop at The Luminous Landscape Gallery.

Early next week I will be in New York briefly on business, and then at the end of that week will be heading first to France and then on a two week shoot in Madagascar. (No, I'm afraid that I will not be at Photo East this year).

To top things off I have recently received one of the first production Epson 11880 printers for testing, and also have received one of the newest DSLRs for testing on my Madagascar shoot. (No, I can't say at the moment which it is).

All in all it's going to be a busy month, but I'll keep you updated as often as possible. Look for major reviews on these products and more in early November when I return. There will be at least two more new articles and reviews before I leave for Africa though, and likely lots of announcements as Photo East draws nearer late next week.




10 October, 2007 - Last minute space available for Atkinson Cramer seminar this weekend in Toronto

Due to a cancellation today there is now one space available for the Bill Atkinson / Charlie Cramer seminar this weekend in Toronto. If you can take advantage of this, please act immediately. Though the announcement page says SOLD OUT, the store will accept ONE more registration. First come – first served. Go for it!




11 October, 2007 - Hasselblad Drops the Other Shoe

In a move which surprises no one, Hasselblad has announced that they have discontinued the H2 camera. This leaves the company only selling cameras like the H3D with removable but included digital backs, something which Hasselblad confusingly calls a DSLR. And, no other brands of digital back will interface with an H3D series body.

They have simultaneously introduced an H2F model, with the F standing for Film. (Some in the industry think that F is the first letter of another word). The H2F lacks the digital interface that the original H1 and the H2 had, and can only be used with digital backs via a sync cable. This is the case with the older Hasselblad C series cameras, and when a back is attached to a technical or view camera. The H2F will apparently cost some 20% less than a discontinued H2 did when it was available. And parenthetically, a couple of calls to dealers verified that there appear to be no H2s left in the wholesale pipeline, at least in North America.

So, almost exactly one year after they first threatened to do so, Hasselblad has turned the H series camera into a closed system. It is not longer possible to purchase a new H series Hasselblad camera with a digital back interface. Therefore anyone who currently owns an H series Hasselblad and a medium format back from another manufacturer will not be able to buy a new body in future, in the event their current H1 or H2 fails, which will mean having to abandon their back. Similarly, anyone who wants to buy into the Hasselblad system will now only be able to do so if they are willing to use it with a Hasselblad back.

Whether this turns out to be a wise decision for the company or not, only time will tell. It may well be that to ensure its survival Hasselblad has to sell high margin backs along with lower margin bodies and lenses. Allowing backs from other manufacturers to interface with their cameras reduces their revenue potential. Is this good for consumers? I don't think so. Is it good for the company's bottom line? Maybe. The marketplace eventually will determine this.


14 October, 2007 - It's About Light

I'm always on the lookout for sample images to use in my classes – ones that illustrate a certain point. One of those points is that photography is frequently more about light than it is about subject alone. Without interesting light it takes a very strong subject indeed to make a strong photograph

In It's About Light I've found just the example that I've been looking for.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



16 October, 2007 - New Olympus E3 and Canon lenses coming

With the Photo East show in New York now just a couple of days away, the new camera announcements have begun in earnest. For the first time in several years I will not be at the show and reporting on it since it conflicts with other travel plans made long ago.

This means that you'll have to fend for yourselves in the wild and wooly world of online press announcements and product previews. But, today saw announcements from both Canon and Olympus. Here they are.

Oly announced the long awaited (4+ years) Olympus E-3 Digital SLR; a 10MP DSLR. The new camera features all the latest bells and whistles, including live view, dust elimination, a swiveling LCD, in-body image stabilization ,and a pro-grade weather proof body. In addition there are three new lenses, a 12-60mm f2.8-4.0, 50-200mm f2.8-3.5, and 14-35mm f2.0. (Remember to multiply these focal lengths X2 to get their 35mm full-frame equivalents, since this is a 4/3 format camera).

Canon has announced two new lenses, a 200mm f/2 L IS and an 800mm f/5.6L IS. The 200 is a replacement for the 200mm f/1.8L which was discontinued last year. It was one of the highest resolution lenses Canon ever made, and loved by many sports photographers as its the ideal focal length and speed for indoor sports such as court-side coverage of basketball or gymnastics. With the addition of Image Stabilization for the lucky few who can afford and need it, the best likely just got better.

The 800mm is a brand new focal length in Canon's so-called Super-Telephoto line and it's bound to be a monster. I found the 600mm almost impossible to handle comfortably in the field, and I can imagine that the 800 will require a built-in Sherpa to help schlepp it around. But I'm sure it will sell like hot-cakes to sports and serious wildlife photographers. No info yet on price or availability.




17 October, 2007 - Nikon D3 - First Impressions Field Report

Contributor and professional photographer James Russell has just returned from Osaka, Japan where he shot a major sports event with the recently announced but as yet unreleased Nikon D3. His exclusive First Impressions Field Report is now online.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



19 October, 2007 - Canon EOS 1Ds MKIII First Impressions Report

During the past week or so I have been able to do some shooting with a beta sample of the new Canon 1Ds MKIII. My initial impressions report is now online.

I will be leaving tomorrow for an almost 3 week trip to Madagascar. I'll be working extensively with the MKIIIs on this shoot and I expect to have a more comprehensive report on the camera and my shooting experience with it available here in mid-November.

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UPDATE

In a version of this review which was online for a few hours on Oct 18-19, there was a discussion of antialiasing filters and how I felt that there would be advantages to the 1Ds MKIII not having one, for a variety of reasons. Due to a mix-up an early version, not intended for publication because of mistakes in my initial analysis, found its way online in error.

I regret any confusion that this may have caused.



20 October, 2007 - Off to Madagascar

I am now offline until November 9, traveling on a shoot in Madagascar. This means that there will be no new content on the site until that time. I'm afraid that you'll have to content yourself with the more than 3,000 pages of reviews, essay and tutorials previously published. Time to explore them if you haven't already.

Our Discussion Forum requires registration approval for new users. Since both Chris and I are offline now for three weeks this means that no new registrations will be accepted until we return. The Forum is therefore read-only for newcomers until then. Blame the spammers.
 
Our customer service department is on reduced hours from Oct 19-26, and so there might be some delays in responding to any issues that you may have with our online store.

See you again in early November.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



9 November, 2007 - Back From Madagascar

After three weeks on the road, in France and then Madagascar, I am now home. From Belo sur Mere, our last destination (a small fishing and boat building village on the island's west coast) to Toronto took three days of almost continuous travel. Motorized canoes, 4WDs on ox cart tracks, and an 11 hour followed by an 8 hour flight. Whew.

Now it's time to catch up on some sleep, get my tummy in order, continue taking anti-malaria pills for another week, back up and start processing over 5000 files, and catch up on about 2000 emails.
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As you may recall, I took a pre-production Canon 1Ds MKIII on this shoot. It performed flawlessly. I will have a report and an ongoing article with many photographs in the weeks ahead. I also plan on having a new exhibition at my Toronto gallery before Christmas as well as at another gallery. Details soon.

The first of my Madagascar images is now online on the site's Home Page.

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New registrations for the site's Discussion Forum were disabled during our time off line. This will be turned on again in the next day or so, and those of you who have been frustrated with not having been able to join will soon be able to do so. This was necessary to keep the spammers and nut-bars away. We regret any inconvenience.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



11 November, 2007 - Nikon SP 50th Anniversary Reminisce

Fifty years ago Nikon introduced what many regard as the finest rangefinder camera ever made, the Nikon SP. The Nikon F SLR, introduced just two years later in 1959, became one of the most significant cameras in history, and the beginning of a great camera dynasty. But for many rangefinder aficionados the SP may well be the camera of all time. My 50th Anniversary Nikon SP Reminisce is now online.
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A great many photographers use Macs, many more than in the general population. A new OS from Apple is always welcome, but it appears that Leopard (OS X 10.5) has some serious compatibility issues with a number of third party products, especially those from Adobe.

You can read more about this issue here, but be warned that if you are a Lightroom user you do not want to upgrade to Leopard until the next release comes out later this month, and CS3 not until an update due in December. CS2 and earlier owners are simply not going to be able to use Leopard, so an update to CS3 is now in order.
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If you live in France, or are lucky enough to be visiting Paris between now and Dec 30, run don't walk to the Jeu de Paume on the Place de la Concord. There is a remarkable retrospective exhibition of the work of Edward Steichen that is one of the best photographic shows that I've seen in a long time. Not to be missed.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.






13 November, 2007 - Phase One and Mamiya Get Hitched

In a press announcement released this morning Phase One and Mamiya Digital Imaging jointly announced a "strategic alliance" to develop open platform-based medium format digital camera systems.

Apparently the agreement includes technology-sharing and intellectual property assets as well as sales and marketing co-operation. Their first new camera system is anticipated to be introduced in the first quarter of 2008.

For the small but vital medium format industry this is an important announcement. Depending on whose numbers you believe Phase One has been 50% and 70% market share in medium format backs. But with the death a few years ago of the Contax 645, the introduction a year ago of the closed Hasselblad H3D, and the termination last month of manufacture of the open H2, Phase One found itself in a bit of a pickle. What camera to mount their backs on?

The other two players, Sinar and Leaf, have each signed onto the new Hy6 camera system, which will start shipping very soon. Phase needed a platform and Mamiya was the only game left in town.

Exactly what a Phase One / Mamiya camera system will look like is anyone's guess at this moment, but by combining a company with some of the greatest digital imaging depth with another with tremendous historical roots in camera and lens manufacture, there are fascinating possibilities.

What's interesting, in an ironic sort of way, is that Hasselblad's move last year to turn the H series into a closed system so that only Hasselblad digital backs would work with it, seems to have backfired. Its three back competitors, who used to at least generate camera and lens sales for Hasselblad, no longer will, since each now has been forced to have its own camera platform. The Hy6 camera and lenses are interchangeable between Leaf and Sinar, and the Mamiya system and lenses are owned by hundreds of thousands of pros and amateurs, forming a very strong installed base for Phase.

Isn't there an old phrase about cutting off your nose to spite your face?
_______________

Henrick Paul has written a very useful introduction to the new features in Leopard, Mac's new OS X 10.5. What makes it interesting is that it addresses those new features that are of greatest interest to photographers.
_______________

Due to a cancellation there is now one space available for Jay Maisel's workshop at the Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto, the weekend of December 1,2. If you can take advantage of it, drop me a line and I'll arrange for the Store to accept your registration.




15 November, 2007 - An interview with the CEO of Phase One

Following Tuesday's announcement by Phase One and Mamiya of a joint venture to produce a new medium format camera system, I had an opportunity to interview Henrik Håkonsson, the CEO of Phase One, and to find out some additional details about the new camera that's coming.

My new essay titled Phase One and Mamiya Get Hitched is now online. In it I also look at the upcoming shape of the medium format marketplace as we move into 2008.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



16 November, 2007 - Canon 1Ds MKIII Madagascar Field Report

My field report on using the Canon 1Ds MKIII in Madagascar on a two week-long shoot is now online.

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UPDATE

Adobe is in the process of releasing today a large number of product updates. Lightroom 1.3 is now available for both Mac and Windows. This update add support for a number of new cameras as well as bug fixes and a few feature enhancements. Your can read more at Lightroom News.

You should also visit the Adobe update site because Camera Raw, CS3 and Bridge are being updated today as well, in large measure due to compatibility issues on the Mac with Leopard. Speaking of Leopard, Apple has an update for it as well.


 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



19 November, 2007 – Various Updates

As previously mentioned here, Lightroom V 1.3 is now available as a free update. Ian Lyons at Computer Darkroom now has a very insightful and comprehensive report on what's new in 1.3.
_______________

Due to a cancellation there is now one spot available for my Botswana Safari Expedition next September. If you would like to take advantage of this please contact me immediately. First come, first served.
_______________

Andy Biggs, with whom I'm leading our September, 08 Botswana safari, has just announced two new Namibia photo safaris for May 2009. The first is with JP Caponigro in the northern and central part of the country , and the second later in the month with Andy in the central and southern part of the country.
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You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



21 November, 2007 – JPG Follies

No matter how much writers and educators preach the benefits of shooting raw, there are still many photographers who think that they can get away with shooting JPG, even when they don't have to.

They say – But I can change the white balance and exposure just fine in JPGs. What's the big deal?

The other day, while preparing for a lecture, I did a few quick shots to use as examples, and my new article JPG Follies is the result. This is not intended to be any sort of definitive discussion on the subject, nor is it technically rigorous, but I thought some people might find it of value.
_______________

I have been working with a production sample of the Sinar Hy6 and eMotion 75 back for the past week and expect to have my review online next week. Watch for it.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.

 



23 November, 2007 – Antarctic News

There was a news report today about a cruise ship that hit an iceberg near Antarctica and is in danger of sinking. The passengers and crew have been safely removed without reported injuries.

Thank you to the many people that have forwarded these reports to me.

Please note that this is not the same cruise company, nor one of the ships that I have used for my Antarctic Expedition Workshops. It's also worth commenting that while this is news, and we are all of course concerned for the passengers and crew, these types of occurrence are very rare. And, just as when there's an airplane crash it gives us all pause, so to when there's a ship mishap. Nevertheless, these are very rare and shouldn't give anyone undue concern about any ship-based trip they may be planning.

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My friend, photographer and teacher Nick Rains has a few places left in his April, 2008 Kimberley Workshop. If you live in Australia, or are planning a trip there, this workshop can be highly recommended.


24 November, 2007 – Outdoor Photography in Challenging Environments

Some photographers work close to home while others seek remote locales. Some shoot from the side of the road while there are those that prefer the most remote mountain top.

If you fall into the later categories or are at least an armchair adventurer, then you'll likely enjoy reading Bernard Languillier's fascinating new essay titled Outdoor Photography in Challenging Environments


26 November, 2007 - Sinar Hy6 and eMotion 75 Back Reviewed

It isn't often that a totally new medium format camera system comes to market. The last time was with the introduction of the Hasselblad H1 in 2002.

At Photokina, a year ago, Franke and Heideke the makers of Rollei medium format cameras, along with their OEM partners Sinar and Leaf, announced the new Hy6 camera. Now, 13 months later the Hy6 is in production and shipping from Sinar.

Sinar was kind enough to provide me with a Hy6 and eMotion 75 digital back for testing from among the first cameras available. My exclusive review is now online.



You have done it again, terrific series with Jeff.
It is amazing the stuff you thought you knew until you hear it explained again, properly.
Well done on a really comprehensive series on printing and all the stuff connected with it.
I will be showing sections to my students when I start back in college in late Sept.
Yourself and Jeff make a great tag team and are a font of knowledge.

Anthony Hobbs
Acting Head of Department of Media
National College of Art and Design



27 November, 2007 : Nikon – Back in The Game!

Regular readers know that I shoot with Canon 35mm digital equipment. (I also use Hasselblad / Phase One and Leica). But for some 30 years prior to switching to Canon in the late 90's I shot with Nikon (F, F2 and F4). I switched platforms in the just-pre-digital days because there were certain lenses from Canon (T/S and IS) that simply didn't exist from Nikon at the time.

I had few regrets at the switch through the first 7 years of this decade and the move to digital because it's my opinion that with its full frame sensors and superior high ISO noise capabilities Canon had a clear edge. Many other pros apparently thought so as well, and as a consequence Nikon lost some marketshare in this segment.

But with the introduction of the D300 and D3 a few months ago (the D300 started shipping last week, and the D3 will as well within days) I now believe that Nikon is back in the game – big time!

For this reason I have purchased a Nikon D300 and several lenses and will start shooting with it on a regular basis. A D3? when it comes out next year (the higher resolution version of the D3) will also be added at that time.

Am I switching from Canon to Nikon? No, absolutely not. But I feel that there is now going to be a huge resurgence in use of Nikon gear by pros and amateurs alike, and as a teacher and a writer it is appropriate for me to become much more familiar with what this platform now has to offer.

A few weeks shooting with a test sample isn't enough time to really get into a system, and therefore I've purchased a D300, and took delivery of it just yesterday. In the weeks ahead I expect to start writing extensively about Nikon gear through the perspective of an experienced Canon user. Should be fun.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



28 November, 2007 – A Review of Jeff Schewe's New Book

Real World Camera Raw has been the bible for the past couple of years for anyone interested in learning the world's most popular raw processing program.

Originally written by Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe has co-authored a major revision titled Real World Camera Raw With Photoshop CS3. The book is just been published, and is becoming available this week in stores and from online book sellers. My biased review is now online.
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If you are thinking of escaping dreary winter weather, a trip to Phoenix in February could be just the thing. And if you'd like to attend a unique series of photographic seminars by Alain Briot, then this is your excuse.




29 November, 2007 – Rescued, and a New Workshop with Jay Maisel in NYC

Just as the question with hard drives is not will they fail, but simply, when, a corollary to this is that if you shoot a lot, at least a couple of times a year you'll end up with a corrupted memory card.

This happened to me yesterday when I was shooting a seminar session being put on at a local studio. When I got back to my own studio in the evening to copy the files to disk, I found that the card was corrupt. I have no idea why, or how it happened, but there it was. My Mac couldn't even see the card and mount it, and in the camera (Nikon D300) the display said, no directory, no images.

Rather than despair I simply ran PhotoRescue overnight, and this morning had every single file recovered, including every file that had been on the card from my previous shoot, before I had formatted the card in camera yesterday morning. Simply amazing.

I'm plugging PhotoRescue here simply because it works, while numerous other such programs that I've tried over the years don't, or at least don't do so as effectively. Highly recommended!
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World famous photographer Jay Maisel is going to be teaching a weekend seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto this coming weekend. It's been sold out for some months. But, if you live in, or will be visiting New York city in December, here is another opportunity for you to work with and learn from Jay. It will take place at his amazing studio / gallery in lower Manhattan over a five day period, from December 17 to 21.

Here is a PDF which provides much more information. This is an expensive, though amazing opportunity. Do it if you can.

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For those that are interested, the Canon 1Ds MKIII started shipping in several countries this week. I know of deliveries in Canada (including mine), the US, and Hong Kong. I'm sure other countries will follow in short order, but unless you've been on a dealer's waitlist it's likely to be a few months until the demand of the initial feeding frenzy has been satisfied and shops have them in regular stock.


 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



1 December, 2007 – Achieving Personal Style, by Alain Briot

Our regular columnist, landscape photographer and teacher Alain Briot's latest article, Achieving Your Personal Style, is now online. This is Part 10 of a continuing series.
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Vistek is the largest pro camera dealer in Canada. They have just opened a new store in Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. The reason I mention this is that this store features a gallery space, and their inaugural exhibit is a selection of my work from my recent shoot in Madagascar.

Seen in the shot above as well as below is photographer and educator Jay Maisel, who is in Toronto this weekend teaching a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery.



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Due to a cancellation a space has come open in JP Caponigro's Toronto workshop at my gallery in mid-December. If you can take advantage of this, please drop me a line.


 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



4 December, 2007 - Sony A700 Field Report

Contributor and event photographer Doug Brown has been working with the new Sony A700, and today provides us with his Sony A-700 Field Report.
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The Nikon D3 is now shipping. It is Nikon's new flagship camera and has been reported to have exceptional high ISO capability. Is ISO 25,600 real, and if so how good is it? How does the D3 stack up against the equally new Canon 1Ds MKIII when it comes to noise at ISO 3200? And, what about the Nikon D300? Can it hold its own with its bigger brother?

I had the opportunity to do a brief informal test and high ISO comparison with these three cameras this past weekend, and will have my report online here before the end of this week. You may be surprised at the results.
_______________

Speaking of reviews, California based professional photographer Phil Holland has just published a report on the Canon 1Ds MKIII on his web site. His conclusions pretty much match my own, and provide interesting and informative reading.

I recently purchased Camera to Print, & LLVJ 16.

I must confess my initial motivation was one of guilt. I have been
reading your website for quite a while, and began to feel a bit
uncomfortable that I had not supported your efforts.  So I placed the order.

Having viewed them, I can say that they exceeded my best
expectations. For any photographer interested in producing better work
faster, this series is indispensable and without peer.  The ability to
go back and review portions multiple times is effortless and extremely helpful.

My advice to any fence sitters is this:

For the price of that cheap
skylight filter that you're sorry you bought
and which you don't use
because it degrades your work,
you can have 6 hours of access to two

of the foremost experts in the field whose only intent is to help you
improve your work.  And, in addition make a contribution to the LL Foundation.

It's a no brainer.





7 December, 2007 - Nikon D3, D300 and Canon 1Ds MKIII Low Noise Comparison

While current DSLRs differ widely in their features and ergonomics, at low ISOs their image quality is mostly comparable. The differences that can be seen are either attributable in JPGs to in-camera processing differences, and in raws can be easily normalized with appropriate processing tweaks.

Where the IQ differences are most apparent are at high ISO, and so this is what most pros look at when doing comparisons, especially those photographers who work at low light levels a great deal of the time.

This past week I had the opportunity to do some low light level testing of three new cameras which were just released in the past few days, the Canon 1Ds MKIII, the Nikon D3 and the Nikon D300. These were informal comparisons, but were done in the presence of 20 experienced photographers who were visiting The Luminous Landscape Gallery to attend a seminar with Jay Maisel. That comparison report is now online.
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Camera Raw has been updated to version 4.3.1. This fixes a few small items as well as provides enhanced conversion quality with some of the new cameras which are supported in the 4.3 release of last month. The Windows version is available here and the Mac version here.

If you are not using Photoshop CS3, which is needed to run the latest version of Camera Raw, and which offers support for a slew of new cameras, don't despair. Just download the latest Adobe DNG converter, batch run your raw files through it, and then load them into your old version of Camera Raw and Photoshop.
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Senior members of the Adobe Camera Raw / Lightroom Development Team
in a late night meeting in Thomas Knoll's kitchen, devouring decaf and cinnamon buns.
Thomas is the "Father" of both Photoshop and Camera Raw.


Jeff Schewe and I have just returned from visiting Thomas Knoll at his home in Michigan, where senior members of Adobe's Camera Raw development team were having a three day meeting. This was an opportunity for Jeff and me to interview the team about their plans for Camera Raw and Lightroom. This discussion, filmed by director Chris Sanderson, will appear in a new multi-hour video tutorial on Camera Raw to be released before the end of February. Watch for it. It will join our current  Lightroom and Camera to Print downloadable video tutorials.


9 December, 2007 - In This Corner

A surprising number of people got a bit bent when I compared the new Nikon D3 to the also new Canon 1Ds MKIII the other day. My comparison was only about high ISO performance, but voices were heard saying – Not fair. One is a 21MP camera and the other a 12MP. They're designed for different markets.

Yup. They are. But that still isn't going to stop me, or many others for that matter, from doing the comparison. These are the two leading company's current flagships, and they both started shipping the same week. It's was inevitable.

I'm not the only one interested in this new battle of the giants. Yesterday professional photographer and blogger John Harrington produced an amusing and insightful comparison of the two cameras. Trust me – it won't be the last that you read.

Oh yes – his high ISO results pretty much matched what I saw and reported here.

_______________

I have a lot of travel coming up from January through March, but there are still a few select days available for One on One training sessions at my studio / gallery in Toronto.

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.



12 December, 2007 - Take a Trip With Hyperdrive

Backing up memory cards in the field can be done either with a laptop and outboard drives, or with a stand-alone card reader / drive combo. The new Hyperdrive ColorSPACE offers the best of both capabilities in a single unit, and is under review.



I recently purchased From Camera to Print and wasn't sure what to expect considering the very low price.  Now that I've watched all of the series,

I just wanted to say "WOW!"  Out of all the books I've read, all of the online tutorials, all of the forum tips, and all of my experimenting your video provided the most useful information of all. 

I took notes, something I haven't done since college (many years ago) and now find myself going back to my notes or the video itself when I am working through my process.



15 December, 2007 - The View Camera in a Digital World

What is the place of The View Camera in a Digital World? Photographer and scientist Mark Dubovoy shares his thoughts and experiences.
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If you've ever hankered to do photography in Grand Teton National Park, you might want to consider joining my friend Miles Hecker, a Wyoming-based photographic educator, on a Teton Landscape Workshop in June, 2008.
_______________

 

I have just finished watching all the Camera to Print videos, and just want to thank you both very much for your clear, accessible, comprehensive and amusing presentation.
 
I have learnt so much.  Even where the material was going over ground that I have covered before, your clear exposition really helped me to better understand what I have previously been taught.  You answered questions that I wanted answers to, and even answered questions that were only vaguely forming in my foggy mind.




19 December, 2007 - Leica M8 Revisited

UPDATE

As you may have noticed this site has just one commercial sponsor – B&H Photo.

I've just received an email from them letting me know of a special promotion that runs until 11PM today, Eastern time. Here's what it says...

B&H is offering a free shipping upgrade on ALL PRODUCTS! In-Stock and shippable via UPS. Items purchased today will be upgraded to 2-Day Shipping - at no extra charge!

This offer is good on all items, including thousands that are already free shipping. Simply select standard Ground or 3-5 Day shipping, and it will be automatically upgraded to 2-Day shipping, guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.

Orders must be placed by 11:00PM Tonight

So, if you're looking to buy yourself or some photographer on your Christmas list a present, now is the time to do so. Just click on the B&H ad on the left side column of any page on this site to get to B&H. By using this link you will help generate income for The Luminous Landscape as well. Thanks.
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James Russell
, one of the top commercial photographers in the US and a dedicated SLR user, tells us about his recent epiphany with a Leica M8 in Leica M8 Revisited.
_______________

The Home Page photograph has been updated with another from my shoot last month in Madagascar.
_______________

 

"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



22 December, 2007 - Battle of The Barytas

For fine-art photographers paper is where the battle lines are drawn.  Over the past year or so paper manufacturers have tried to bring us inkjet printing papers that combine the tactile and visual beauty of fibre-based substrates with the high dMax and saturated colours of resin coated papers using photo black ink. Close, but not quite there yet in my view.

In the chemical print era Baryta-based papers were considered by many as the pinnacle. Now, three of the major paper makers have introduced Baryta papers for inkjet printing; Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta 325 , Harman Gloss FB AI, and Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk. Are these the Holy Grail of printing?

My three-way comparison report, Battle of The Barytas is now online.
_______________

On behalf of our video director Chris Sanderson, and myself, I would like to extend sincere holiday greetings and best wishes to all of our readers. May this season be safe and joyful for you and your family.
_______________



The Home Page photograph has been updated with another from my shoot last month in Madagascar. I will be having a Madagascar show and opening weekend at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto in late January. Details to come. In the meantime, a reminder that if you're in the area there is currently a display of my Madagascar work at Vistek's gallery at their new location in Mississauga, Ontario,



I recently purchased From Camera to Print and wasn't sure what to expect considering the very low price.  Now that I've watched all of the series,

I just wanted to say "WOW!"  Out of all the books I've read, all of the online tutorials, all of the forum tips, and all of my experimenting your video provided the most useful information of all. 

I took notes, something I haven't done since college (many years ago) and now find myself going back to my notes or the video itself when I am working through my process.



25 December, 2007 – Can James Russell Focus?

Whenever anyone puts themselves on the line publicly, such as publishing a web article, they are bound to receive both positive as well as negative commentary.

Last week, James Russell, one of the top commercial photographers in the US, shared with us a wonderful article about his experiences using a Leica M8 for the first time, in a piece titled Leica M8 Revisited.

He's received a great many accolades and positive feedback, but as too often happens a few mean-spirited know-it-alls in some of the online communities have written commentaries which are really unworthy of them, not to mention the wonderful contributions that James has made to the photographic community.

Today James shares with us some thoughts on this in an addendum to his original article.
_______________

Our Win-An-Antarctic-Photographic-Expedition comes to an end one week from now, on New Years Eve. If you haven't already entered, why not do so now. Your chance of winning is as good as that of anyone else.
_______________

Your purchases will also finance our The Luminous Landscape Endowment Fund, which will be closing its first round of financing next week. We expect to issue a call for applications to fund photographic projects early in the new year. Watch for it.


I recently purchased Camera to Print, & LLVJ 16.

I must confess my initial motivation was one of guilt. I have been
reading your website for quite a while, and began to feel a bit
uncomfortable that I had not supported your efforts.  So I placed the order.

Having viewed them, I can say that they exceeded my best
expectations. For any photographer interested in producing better work
faster, this series is indispensable and without peer.  The ability to
go back and review portions multiple times is effortless and extremely helpful.

My advice to any fence sitters is this:

For the price of that cheap
skylight filter that you're sorry you bought
and which you don't use
because it degrades your work,
you can have 6 hours of access to two

of the foremost experts in the field whose only intent is to help you
improve your work.  And, in addition make a contribution to the LL Foundation.

It's a no brainer.





26 December, 2007 - Oscar Peterson Video - In Memoriam

World famous jazz pianist Oscar Peterson died this week. In addition to being one of the finest jazz pianists of his era he was an ardent photographer as well.

I had the pleasure of knowing Oscar, and he was a daily Luminous Landscape visitor. A few years ago he invited us to his home so that we might film an interview about his photography. This piece is contained in Video Journal Number 7.

As a tribute to Oscar, Chris Sanderson and I are now making this interview with him freely available as a streaming video. It can be found here.

_______________



I recently purchased From Camera to Print and wasn't sure what to expect considering the very low price.  Now that I've watched all of the series,

I just wanted to say "WOW!"  Out of all the books I've read, all of the online tutorials, all of the forum tips, and all of my experimenting your video provided the most useful information of all. 

I took notes, something I haven't done since college (many years ago) and now find myself going back to my notes or the video itself when I am working through my process.



28 December, 2007 - The Mob Goes Wild

Darren Henderson is a Melbourne based commercial photographer whose passion is photographing rock concerts. A Nikon D2x has been his tool of choice for the past few years, but this past month he shot a couple of concerts with his new Nikon D3, and in The Mob Goes Wild tells us about his experience.
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And speaking of the Nikon D3, as regular readers know, during the past couple of months I have been putting together a complete Nikon system so that I can start using and reporting on the latest Nikon DSLR gear alongside my usual Canon outfit. I now have a D3, D300 and seven lenses.

My D3 will be accompanying me on a week-long vacation in Barcelona, Spain, which begins today, and its use there will form part of my initial impressions report which will appear here in early January.

Due to my vacation I will be offline until January 4, at which time I will be able to respond to any emails. The store and the site's forum continue live under the supervisions of Chris Sanderson.
_______________

Please accept our best wishes for the New Year holiday from everyone here at The Luminous Landscape. May it be safe and joyful, and may 2008 exceed your expectations.

 

"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



5 January, 2008 - Nikon D3 and D300. Nikon's Latest Compared to Canon's Best

The Christmas holiday and New Years is now past, and we find ourselves locked in the dead of winter (at least where I live). But there are exciting things going on in the world of photography, and among them has been the recent reemergence of Nikon as a heavy hitter in the DSLR marketplace with the shipment of the new D300, and their D3 flagship.

As mentioned recently on these pages, after being a Nikon user for some 30 years, and having Canon DSLRs as my main tools for the past decade, I have now purchased a D3 and a D300 with a range of lenses, not to replace my Canon gear, but so that I can report more fully on what's happening on both side of the fence, as well as provide some hopefully useful insights into the difference between the marques.

This starts today with an essay wordily titled...
and a Biased Evaluation of The Differences Between the Nikon and Canon Brands

_______________

Our Antarctic Expedition Contest is now concluded and the winner has been selected. As soon as this person has been contacted and accepted his prize his name will be announced here.
_______________

The Luminous Landscape Endowment Fund has now raised $20,000 toward funding selected photographic projects world-wlde. Full details as well as application requirements will be announced here shortly.
_______________

Just prior to the new year the TSA in the US announced restrictions on the transport of lithium ion batteries aboard aircraft. If you missed the announcement you can read about it here.
_______________




I recently purchased From Camera to Print and wasn't sure what to expect considering the very low price.  Now that I've watched all of the series,

I just wanted to say "WOW!"  Out of all the books I've read, all of the online tutorials, all of the forum tips, and all of my experimenting your video provided the most useful information of all. 

I took notes, something I haven't done since college (many years ago) and now find myself going back to my notes or the video itself when I am working through my process.



6 January, 2008 - Antarctic Contest Winner Announced -New Contest Begins

The winner of our Antarctic Expedition Contest is Donald Hartwell of Hermosa Beach, California. Congratulations Donald!

Thanks to everyone who entered and also for your participation and purchases. They help make this site possible.
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Published on Saturday...

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Our next competition has already started. Anyone who makes any purchase from our online store – books, DVDs or downloads, is automatically entered.

First Prize is the exciting new Nikon D300 camera with lens, and Second Prize is possibly the best digicam yet, the Canon G9.


"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



9 January, 2008 – Moose and the Intimate Landscape – Workshop Announcement

My next workshop is now available for registration. Titled Moose and The Intimate Landscape it will take place in Algonquin Park in Northern Ontario May 2 – 5, 2008.

My co-instructor on this field workshop will be the world famous photographer and educator Jack Dykinga. Participation is limited to just 9 photographers, so if this interests you, act quickly.

Update: Sorry. SOLD OUT.



I recently purchased From Camera to Print and wasn't sure what to expect considering the very low price.  Now that I've watched all of the series,

I just wanted to say "WOW!"  Out of all the books I've read, all of the online tutorials, all of the forum tips, and all of my experimenting your video provided the most useful information of all. 

I took notes, something I haven't done since college (many years ago) and now find myself going back to my notes or the video itself when I am working through my process.



10 January, 2007 - Workshop Almost Sold Out. RRS Shipping Nikon Plates

The Moose and The Intimate Landscape workshop which I announced yesterday now has just one spot left.

Two of the best teachers in the business, Charlie Cramer and Bill Atkinson, have just announced their Digital printing seminar schedule for 2008. As those that attended it at my Toronto gallery last fall know, this is one great experience.
_______________

Really Right Stuff has started shipping their L brackets and plates for the new Nikon D300 and D3 cameras. If you have one of these cameras on order now's the time to order your plates, because RRS is still in a backorder situation.

_______________



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



12 January, 2008 - Endowment Fund Applications Now Open

Last summer we announced creation of The Luminous Landscape Endowment Fund. Using a percentage of the revenues from the sale of our download tutorials, the purpose of the fund is to provide photographers anywhere in the world with financial assistance for worthwhile photographic projects.

The initial funding period is now concluded and there is currently US $20,000 in the fund that is available to be given to photographers like you to help begin or complete a creative photographic project.

The Fund is now open for applications. Our panel of judges, some of the finest photographers and photographic educators in the world, will award between $1,000 and $5,000 each to individuals whose applications are accepted. Awards will be granted by mid-March.

Thanks for your ongoing support of this site, and the fund, through the purchase of our tutorials, downloads and DVDs. Find out more.

 

"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



14 January, 2008 - Asian Speaking Tour Announced

I will be in Chicago this week videotaping a new tutorial with Jeff Schewe, titled Camera Raw in the Real World. If things go according to plan this multi-hour video tutorial should be available here for download within the next few weeks.
_______________

In late February and early March I will be on a speaking tour in Asia and Australia. Titled Landscape – Nature – Documentary Photography: Inspiration and Technical Insight, this lecture series will take place in Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, and Melbourne. Dates, venues, and contact information for reserving your seat for one of these seminars are found on this information page.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



18 January, 2008 - Olympus E3 Field Review / Open House at LL Gallery

Along with new pro cameras from market leaders Canon and Nikon, the past few months has seen a new top-tier model from Olympus as well, the long-awaited E3. Photojournalist Doug Brown today shares with us his recent field experiences with the E3 in his exclusive new report – Olympus Makes Its Move.
_______________

I would like to extend a cordial invitation to everyone in the Toronto area to visit The Luminous Landscape Gallery next weekend. We'll be having an open-house, and the opening of my latest show – Madagascar.

Hours are 11am till 5pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, January 25, 26, 27. I hope to see you there.
_______________


Jeff and Becky setting up a still life shoot as part of
The Luminous Landscape Guide to Camera Raw

I just returned from several days in Chicago videotaping our next major download tutorial at Jeff Schewe's studio. It will be an in depth look at Adobe's Camera Raw and how to use it, along with Bridge and Photoshop, to process raw files. This video tutorial will also include interviews with members of the Camera Raw development team, along with some fascinating insights into how and why Camera Raw was developed.

The final download tutorial will likely run between 6 – 7 hours. Watch for it here in about a month's time.
_______________

 
 
"Wow!  Uberfantabulous!  The tutorial will keep me busy for M-O-N-T-H-S….sometimes my head was just spinning when you and Jeff were talking…obviously you are both fun guys who are SERIOUSLY passionate about what you do…and I can identify with that."



20 January, 2008 - New Seminars and Workshops



Sorry – Sold Out



24 January, 2008 - The Canon G9 on The Road in Japan

UPDATE


In advance of PMA which opens this week in Las Vegas, Canon has announced the Rebel XSi (450D), replacing the previous XTi. This will be a 12.2 Megapixel camera, which has the now requisite 3" rear LCD, Live View, and 14 bit mode along with higher ISO capability (up to ISO 1600).

Throw away your CF cards though, as the XSi now only takes SD cards. That's an advance we've all been asking for, isn't it?

The camera will become available in April and will have a U.S. MSLP of $800, or $900 with 18-55mm kit lens.

As many people have suspected there will not be a 5D replacement announced this week at PMA. Recent discounting had lead many to believe that a 5D MKII was imminent, but my guess is that it will at least late Q2 till it shows up.

Two new high end Canon lenses had availability and prices announced; the 800mm f/5.6L IS is due in May at about $12,000 and the 200mm f/2L a month earlier at about $6,000.

Since I don't shoot indoor sports much I'll pass on the new 200mm, but the 800mm is due for a test this summer, as soon as I can line up a Sherpa to help me carry it.

_______________

The Canon G9 is a unique beast. It is one of the only digicams that sports usable raw capability.

What happens when a serious photographer goes on a fall vacation in Japan with his Leica M8 and also brings the new Canon G9 along as his snapshot camera. Which gets the most use?

Read The Canon Powershot G9 in Japan to find out.
_______________

Gallery and Print Studio Open House
– Madagascar Show Opening This Weekend –

I am extending an invitation to everyone in the Toronto area to visit The Luminous Landscape Gallery beginning tomorrow and this weekend. We'll be having an open-house, and the opening of my latest show – Madagascar.

Hours are 11am till 5pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, January 25, 26, 27. Refreshments will be served. I hope to see you there.

UPDATE: For the 99.99% of readers who will not be able to visit the gallery this weekend, I have create a Flash slide show of the 25 images which are contained in the show.
_______________




I recently purchased the "From Camera To Print" video tutorial and just wanted
to say how completely, utterly and absolutely satisfied I
am with the video. 

The tips, tricks and just general excellent advice
given by you and Jeff was like
having an apprenticeship with the two
of you.

I've learned more from the video than reading any book. 
As
a result of the video, my acceptance rate for images being submitted
to iStockPhoto has gone from 50% to 100% after applying the techniques
of sharpening, noise reduction and image punch.

Thanks for an
outstanding product at a very affordable price.



25 January, 2008 – Gallery Reception – Open House


Opening Reception, Jan 24

– Madagascar Show Opening This Weekend –

I am extending an invitation to everyone in the Toronto area to visit The Luminous Landscape Gallery today, Friday, and this weekend. We'll be having an open-house, and the opening of my latest show – Madagascar.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".


Hours are 11am till 5pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, January 25, 26, 27. Refreshments will be served. I hope to see you there.

UPDATE: For the 99.99% of readers who will not be able to visit the gallery this weekend, I have create a Flash slide show of the 25 images which are contained in the show.
_______________



28 January, 2008 - A Few Quick Takes

Regular readers will recall George Barr's excellent series here last year titled Take Your Photography to the Next Level.

Rocky Nook has now published a much-expended version of this series as a book, and my review is now online.
_______________

Interest in high quality pocket cameras remains as high as ever, but manufacturers continue mostly not to get it, with Canon and Ricoh among the few companies producing such cameras with raw capability.

Nick Devlin recently wrote a compelling article here on the Canon G9, and now Sean Reid has an in-depth report on the Ricoh Digital II on his subscription-only web site.
_______________

One of the world's leading fashion photographers is Melvin Sokolsky. This is not hyperbole. He is recognized as such by much of the industry and many of his peers.

I mention this because Melvin has A Three Day Workshop - February 29th, March 1st, and 2nd 2008 at Smashbox Studio in Los Angeles. This is definitly worth your while if you have the time and are in the LA area.
_______________

In this Sunday's New York Times (or subscribe online) you'll find a fascinating article in the Arts and Design section titled The Capa Cache. It chronicles the discovery of thousands of negatives by Robert Capa, taken during the Spanish Civil War, which were previously believed to be lost. This is a significant find, and an important addition to the legacy of documentary photography in the first half of the 20th Century.
_______________

A warm thank you to everyone that took the time to visit The Luminous Landscape Gallery for my Madagascar show opening  this past weekend. More than 200 people came though over three days. It was a real pleasure to meet and have a chance to chat with so many people, many of them regular site visitors.
_______________

 
 
"I recently purchased From Camera to Print. After seeing your Lightroom 1.0 tutorial, I knew that From Camera to Print would be invaluable. I was not disappointed. From Camera to Print was more than I could have hoped for: an indispensable resource regarding not only the process, but the theory, of fine art printing. It's comprehensive level of detail truly makes it worthy of the title From Camera to Print.

You and Jeff Schewe are a dynamic team, and your video tutorials are the obvious choice for Lightroom, fine art printing, and soon, as I understand, Camera Raw.

I have seen a dramatic increase in the quality of my prints and fully intend to keep up with all of your future tutorials."



29 January, 2008 - New Nikon Camera and Lenses Announced

Apparently there was a press preview of Nikon's new products in London on Monday evening. These will be shown publicly for the first time at PMA later this week.

A site called dPHOTOxpert now has fairly comprehensive details and pics available on their site, so I won't bother to do more than mention a couple of highlights, which include a D60 entry-level DSLR and several lenses.

The most interesting of these for pros and advanced amateurs, at least in my view, were a brand new line of tilt/shifts, including a 24mm, 45mm, and 90mm. The 24mm will become the first available, with the other two to follow at some future date. Canon's decade-long virtual exclusivity with T/S lenses has now come to an end.

I'll be in Las Vegas at the end of this week and hope to have some initial impressions of these and other new products from several companies with whom I have appointments scheduled.


30 January, 2008 – New Full Frame Sony Sensor. New Essay by Alain Briot

To the surprise of almost no one who follows the industry, Sony today announced a 25 Megapixel full frame sensor.

Undoubtedly this will show up sooner rather than later in a new flagship DSLR from Sony, and since Sony is an OEM supplier of sensors to a number of companies in the industry, other maker's cameras eventually as well. Canon's five-year-long dominance of both full-frame and very high resolution sensor cameras has now truly come to an end. And, the implications for medium format back makers is a fascinating question as well.

Of course trade sources have been saying that Nikon will have a 24MP camera this year to follow up on their recently released D3 camera. Since Sony is almost certainly their fabricator (if not co-designer) this is all starting to make perfect sense.
_______________

Alain Briot's latest essay titled Introduction to Composition begins a new eight-part series which will run throughout 2008. If photography means more than gear to you, don't miss this.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".




31 January, 2008 - Bruce Fraser Tribute

The tribute site to our friend, guide and mentor is now live.  www.brucefrasertribute.com 

The site provides the opportunity for Bruce's friends and fans to request a commemorative DVD of the Macworld 2007 Tribute in which industry leaders gathered to celebrate his life and achievements. The DVD is free -- with a nominal amount requested to cover shipping expenses.

Donations are also being accepted via a PayPal link on the site to help retire lingering medical bills that continue to affect Bruce's widow, Angela. As a special bonus, donors making contributions of $100 or more may request either a set of programs and etched shot glasses from the Macworld celebration or a print of the iconic image of Bruce signed by Jeff Schewe. Supplies are limited for both premium gifts.


1 Feb, 2008 – Snowbound

I had hoped to be PMA-bound today, but instead I find myself snowbound. Much of Northeastern North America is being hit by a pretty sever winter storm, and so far today more than 200 flights out of Toronto have been canceled.

So, rather than driving though a snow storm, sitting in a crowded airport waiting for a flight that might or might not take off, and possible missing my connections to Las Vegas, I decided to spend today relaxing, doing some winter shooting, and generally chill'n. Much more fun than a trade show.

I wasn't going to be reporting on the show that much here, but rather using it as an opportunity to meet with various companies and conduct some interviews.

There are a half dozen sites on the web with in-depth PMA reports (729 new pocket digicams so far and counting) so go surfing and see what's new. All the really interesting stuff (what there was of it) has already been announced in any event.

I'll have some commentary here on the state of the industry over this weekend, along with a review of the Epson 11880 printer.



I recently purchased the "From Camera To Print" video tutorial and just wanted
to say how completely, utterly and absolutely satisfied I am with the video. 

The tips, tricks and just general excellent advice given by you and Jeff was like
having an apprenticeship with the two of you.

I've learned more from the video than reading any book. 
As a result of the video, my acceptance rate for images being submitted

to iStockPhoto has gone from 50% to 100% after applying the techniques
of sharpening, noise reduction and image punch.

Thanks for an outstanding product at a very affordable price.



3 Feb, 2008 - Epson Stylus Pro 11880 Review

This is a "SUPER" few days, at least in the U.S. The Superbowl is being played today, and this week brings us "Super Tuesday", a likely decisive date in the seemingly never-ending American election primary process.

So, no better time than to publish my review of Epson's latest super printer, the Stylus Pro 11880. Will one of these find its way into your den or studio? Probably not, given its size and cost. But it is a harbinger of things to come in large format printer technology, and is therefore well worth knowing about.

 
 
"I recently purchased From Camera to Print. After seeing your Lightroom 1.0 tutorial, I knew that From Camera to Print would be invaluable. I was not disappointed. From Camera to Print was more than I could have hoped for: an indispensable resource regarding not only the process, but the theory, of fine art printing. It's comprehensive level of detail truly makes it worthy of the title From Camera to Print.

You and Jeff Schewe are a dynamic team, and your video tutorials are the obvious choice for Lightroom, fine art printing, and soon, as I understand, Camera Raw.

I have seen a dramatic increase in the quality of my prints and fully intend to keep up with all of your future tutorials."



6 February, 2008 - Reading Tea Leaves - PMA and After

Having not traveled to Las Vegas and PMA because of a local snow storm, I have been free to think about the products introduced, and their possible implications, rather than actually having to report on them in detail.

My latest essay titled Reading Tea Leaves is now online.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



7 February, 2008 - Seminars and Workshops & Video Journal #17


At long long last Video Journal #17 is available for download. Or, at least part of it is. The segments currently available include an hour-long interview and portrait of Jay Maisel, one of America's leading photographers; a short travel piece featuring elephants in a S. African game reserve, and a half hour chat with Ray Maxwell - colour scientist & colour management guru.

Coming over the next few weeks will be a half hour interview with digital imaging pioneer, industry consultant, and pixel masher Jeff Schewe, and a major travel video on our 2005 Antarctic Expedition.

This new issue is, for the first time, available as both a standard definition version and also a high definition version. The standard definition version (smaller file sizes, faster download, better for iPod conversion) sells for $9.95. The high definition version costs $14.95, covering the extra bandwidth requirements.

Remaining subscribers to our DVD edition will have to be patient until all segments are completed and a DVD can be replicated and shipped. The DVD will also not feature all of the content of the downloads due to space limitations.

If you'd like to convert your remaining DVD subscription to download please contact customer service.
_______________

I'll also take this opportunity to mention my speaking tour in Asia and Australia, sponsored by Phase One, which begins in just a few weeks. I'll be visiting Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. I hope to see you there.

_______________


More convenient for some will be my all-day seminar (click on Seminar then Download the Registration Brochure) at the Latow Photographer's Guild in Burlington, Ontario on Saturday, April 26, titled Photography and Technology, The Uneasy Alliance.


9 February, 2008 - Epson Exhibition Fiber - A Review

Few papers have been as eagerly awaited as Epson Exhibition Fiber, which is now shipping. For the past number of weeks photographer, scientist, and writer Mark Dubovoy and I have been working with this paper.  Our joint review is now online.
_______________

Another sad passing in the photographic products industry was announced yesterday – Polaroid. The company has said that it is closing its remaining film manufacturing plants and discontinuing its photographic products, both professional and consumer. This is a real blow to professional photographers who have been using products like Type 55 for decades, and who have come to rely on them.



12 February, 2008 - Canon iPF6100 Printer Review

The photographic printer market is now a three-way race, with Canon and HP both challenging Epson's 10 year hegemony, particularly in the area of large format pigment ink printers.

Canon's latest entry is the 24" iPF6100, and my review is now online.
_______________

Apple announced today the release of Aperture 2. This follows just a day after the release of the latest Leopard update – OS X 10.5.2. This update was necessary for Aperture 2.0 to support several of the latest cameras, including the Canon 1Ds MkIII and G9, Nikon D3 and D300, Sony A700, Hasselblad CF-22 and CF-39, and Leaf 75s.

Along with a slew of new features, including a revised user interface, the price of Aperture has been reduced to $199, with an update fee to previous owners of $99.

I expect to review Aperture 2 in the weeks ahead.

_______________

Applications for the Luminous Landscape Endowment Fund end today. As of this morning we have received some 210 applications, each requesting a portion of the $20,000 made available by your recent purchases of our Camera to Print video tutorial.

These applications will now be sent to the jury panel, and winners will be announced on March 11. Full details on the winning applications will be provided here at that time. Thank you to everyone who applied!








14 February 2008 - 7 Cities in 5 Countries in 21 Days + A New Photoshop Masking Tutorial

Since I am now traveling for the next three weeks (see below) I'm leaving you with something meaty in the form of an exciting new Photoshop tutorial by the exceptional landscape photographer and teacher Charlie Cramer, titled Tough Selections Made Easy.
_______________

If you've already purchased either the Hi-Def or Standard Definition download of Video Journal #17 you'll be pleased to learn that the more-than 30 minute long interview with digital imaging pioneer and pixel masher Jeff Schewe is now available for download.

If you haven't purchased it yet – what are you waiting for?


_______________

I am now on the road for the next three weeks, with stops in San Francisco, Maui, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. The first week is vacation (SFO and Maui) and the rest is my speaking tour in Asia and Australia, sponsored by Phase One and its local partners. If you live in one of these cities I hope you can make it to one of my talks.

While there will likely not be new content added until I return on March 6 (it depends on my time and Internet access, and definitely not during the first week of my vacation) site activities continue, with our store and Forum in operation under the supervision of Chris Sanderson.

There are more than 3,500 pages of essays, tutorials and product reviews, so if you're hankering for something new to inspire your photography click on one of the subject headings on the left-hand panel or use the site's Search function.



I recently purchased the "From Camera To Print" video tutorial and just wanted
to say how completely, utterly and absolutely satisfied I am with the video. 

The tips, tricks and just general excellent advice given by you and Jeff was like
having an apprenticeship with the two of you.

I've learned more from the video than reading any book. 
As a result of the video, my acceptance rate for images being submitted

to iStockPhoto has gone from 50% to 100% after applying the techniques
of sharpening, noise reduction and image punch.

Thanks for an outstanding product at a very affordable price.



17 February, 2008 - Botswana Expedition Opening

Due to a cancellation, a single opening is now available in my September '08 Botswana Photographic Safari.

If you would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity please contact Chris Sanderson. This spot will not last long.


18 February, 2008

Apologies are due to those who had difficulty completing purchases in our web store yesterday, it appears that our credit card gateway experienced a DNS 'problem'... It seems to be fixed but it may take several hours for the revived DNS to populate servers around the world.

UPDATE: The inability to connect to Internet Secure remains a problem for some customers - we apologise. A DNS change can take up to 48 hours to propagate through the internet. We are currently seeing about 80% of "normal" volume, so most ISP's have already recognised the change, but many have not. We ask for your patience...


20 February, 2008

February 19th marked the first Birthday of Adobe's Lightroom and intriguingly Photoshop 1.0 was released on the same date back in 1990. Photoshop News has a story on the coincidence of dates.

All appears 'normal' back in the Store - finally...

The opening in the September '08 Botswana Photographic Safari expedition remains unfilled. If you have ever thought about a 1st Class photographic camping trip in Southern Africa in areas where  big game abounds, you owe it t yourself to check this one out...


21 February, 2008 - Lunar Eclipse and Hello from Maui

There was a partial lunar eclipse last night, visible (weather permitting) from much of the world. I found myself in Maui, Hawaii, on vacation, and spent a while earlier in the day scoping out a good location to view, and hopefully to photograph the event. Fortunately we were on the east side of the island and had a clear view of the rising moon over the Pacific, as it did so in partial eclipse just at sunset.

My favourite photograph from last night's event is now on the home page, and though it likely won't win any awards, it's a pleasant memory. I hope that you had clear skies and a chance to view the eclipse, the last one till 2010.

This weekend I begin my Asia / Australia speaking tour and will likely continue to be mostly off-line until about March 5th.



I recently purchased the "From Camera To Print" video tutorial and just wanted
to say how completely, utterly and absolutely satisfied I am with the video. 

The tips, tricks and just general excellent advice given by you and Jeff was like
having an apprenticeship with the two of you.

I've learned more from the video than reading any book. 
As a result of the video, my acceptance rate for images being submitted
to iStockPhoto has gone from 50% to 100% after applying the techniques
of sharpening, noise reduction and image punch.

Thanks for an outstanding product at a very affordable price.



29 February, 2008 - Botswana Safari sold out

An update to inform those interested, that the Botswana Photographic Safari is again sold out.

Also for those waiting... the LLVJ-17 Antarctica video is in the hands of the music composer and the completed download video should be posted to the product within 2 weeks.


_______________



6 March, 2008 - I'm back

After being on the road, in Hawaii, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Australia for the past few weeks, I'm finally home. I arrived late last night after 24 hours of flying from Melbourne to Toronto. Body and luggage arrived safely, though my brain may have been left behind somewhere over the International Date Line. Sixteen hours of jet lag is the pits.

I'd like to express my thanks to everyone that attended my presentations. It was really enjoyable meeting you all.

I'd also like to comment on my impressions of the state of photography in Australia. I had an opportunity while there to view work by several of that county's finest photographers, and found them to be most impressive. There is also a vibrant photographic magazine and book publishing industry that puts to shame that in the US, especially considering that Oz has a population significantly less than 1/10th that of America. Good on-ya.

New articles and reviews will begin again this weekend, and we hope to have our latest download tutorial on Camera Raw available by mid-month. Our major Antarctic video will also become available for download quite soon.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



9 March, 2008 - Global Chroma Noise Reduction in Photoshop

Noise in digital image files is becoming less of a problem with each new generation of cameras. ISO 400 is now looked at as an anytime setting, whereas once it was at the high end. Cameras like the new Nikon D3 allow shooting at ISO 25,000 – previously almost inconceivable.

But, there are cameras and situations where noise, especially chroma noise, still needs to be dealt with. Today's new tutorial by contributor Andrew Masur  is titled Global Chroma Noise Reduction in Photoshop. It's easy to do and quite effective.
_______________

The Home Page photograph has been changed to one taken last week in Sydney, at Luna Park, the venue for my seminar in that city. It was shot with a Ricoh GX100, a camera which I picked up the week before in Tokyo.

I'll have a brief hands-on review of this fascinating little camera later in the week.
_______________

Our panel of judges has spent the past month reviewing applications for grants from The Luminous Landscape Endowment Fund. I am now in the process of collating their selections, and though an announcement is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, March 11, due to my recent travels it might be a day or so longer till the selection process is completed. Stay tuned.





11 March, 2008 - Endowment Recipients Announced

I'm very pleased to announce today the recipients of the 2007 / 2008 Luminous Landscape Endowments. These eight award winners were chosen by our panel of judges from more than 200 applicants.

Your purchase of our download videos, along with generous donations from our private contributors and corporate sponsors made this possible. Thank you all.

Thanks as well to our judges. I know what a tough job it was selecting from such a wealth of talent and worthwhile projects.





12 March, 2008 - Two Nikon D300 Reviews Now on Other Sites

Thom Hogan has published his Nikon D300 review this week, and today DPReview published theirs as well. An interesting alternative to the latest Eliot Spitzer reports, and never-ending Democratic primary stories. :-)



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



13 March, 2008 - Your Camera Does Matter

Enough. I can't take it any more. If I read one more time – It's not the camera, it's the photographer – I'm going to scream.

Or, instead of screaming, how about if I write an essay, which I have now done, titled Your Camera Does Matter : A Rebuttal.



I recently purchased the "From Camera To Print" video tutorial and just wanted
to say how completely, utterly and absolutely satisfied I am with the video. 

The tips, tricks and just general excellent advice given by you and Jeff was like
having an apprenticeship with the two of you.

I've learned more from the video than reading any book. 
As a result of the video, my acceptance rate for images being submitted
to iStockPhoto has gone from 50% to 100% after applying the techniques
of sharpening, noise reduction and image punch.

Thanks for an outstanding product at a very affordable price.



14 March, 2008 - What The Duck

Today's What the Duck cartoon is either a coincidence, or a most apropo rejoinder to yesterday's essay. In either event, it's funny, and I've added it to Your Camera Does Matter : A Rebuttal.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



17 March, 2008 - Free HD Video Journal Intro Online

The final segment of Video Journal #17 Download Edition, an almost hour-long travel segment on Antarctica, will be online within a couple of days. It's availability via our store will be announced right here as soon as it's online.

In the meantime we have made available the HD Introduction to Issue #17 as a free streaming video for everyone to sample.
_______________

Duhhhh!

Last week's essay Your Camera Does Matter : A Rebuttal has generated a lot of debate. That's fine. But, based on emails received and what I read on this site's forum and some others, there is a small percentage who either didn't get it, or who simply have sub-optimal reading skills.

Firstly, just because I was arguing that good and appropriate equipment is important when doing many types of photography doesn't mean that the inverse is untrue; in other words, that talent isn't necessary. This is a simple logical fallacy that is taught in any reading comprehension course, yet which some seem to have assumed to be the case.

So just for the record, and as the kids say  – Duhhhh! Of course talent and artistic skill are also necessary. How could anyone think otherwise? That's why I put the cartoon on the page. It makes that very point!

Secondly, people have said that I was misinterpreting Rockwell's article. No. I don't think so. Unfortunately, from what I have seen of his writing in the referred to essay, as well as the rest of those on his site, consistency of thought and clarity of expression are not hallmarks of his writing style. I was simply using his headlined position as a jumping off point to make my rebuttal.



18 March, 2008 - It's Up - Antarctica

At long last the Antarctica segment of Video Journal #17 is now online for purchase and download. Both SD and HD versions are available. This completes the issue. The DVD will be sent to the duplicator shortly, and mailed out to subscribers when ready.

If you have already purchased LLVJ #17 Download Edition all you need to do is go to the site's Store, Log In and then select My Account. Click on the version that you have already purchased and all download files including the two new ones on Antarctica will be available.

Please download only one file at a time as simultaneous downloads by a single user tends to clog the server.

If you ever wondered what a photographic expedition to Antarctica might be like, but lack the time or funds to go there yourself,
this hour-long video report is a must!





19 March 2008 - New Phase One 645 Camera Announced. Antarctic HD Clip Online

Phase One announced at a trade show in Japan today their new Phase One 645 AF camera. This camera was developed jointly with Mamiya, and is being released simultaneously as the Mamiya AFD III. My initial report, based on interviews with Phase One executives, is now online. A full field review will follow once a test sample of the camera becomes available in a month or so.
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We have just placed online a free HD streaming video extract from our Antarctic Expedition segment of Video Journal #17 – Download Edition. Enjoy!




20 March, 2008 - Mamiya AFDIII, New Lenses and a Leaf Promotion

I don't usually simply publish new product press announcements, but following yesterday's Phase One announcement it's appropriate to mention some further medium format releases.

Mamiya has, as expected, announced the AFD III camera, with enhanced communication abilities with digital backs, faster and more accurate autofocus, and a number of additional enhancements. The camera is scheduled for release in June.

Mamiya has also introduced three new lenses, an improved 80mm f/2.8, a 150mm f/2.8 IF, and a 45-90mm f/4.5 Aspherical – very welcome additions to the line up.

Leaf America also announced today a special promotion –  Buyers of a new Leaf Aptus 75, 65, or 22 back, or the Aptus S equivalent in Mamiya AFD mount, will receive a Mamiya 645 AFDII camera free of charge, with an automatic upgrade to a new AFDIII at no charge when it becomes available in June.

If you ever wondered what a photographic expedition to Antarctica might be like, but lack the time or funds to go there yourself,
this hour-long video report is a must!




Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



22 March, 2008 - Moose Spot Available

An opening has just appeared for my May 2 – 5, 2008 Moose and the Intimate Landscape workshop with Jack Dykinga, in Algonquin Park in Northern Ontario. If you are interested in joining please drop me a line. First come, first served. SORRY, SOLD OUT – AGAIN
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At last week's PIE show in Tokyo, Sony was showing its upcoming 25MP full frame A900 DSLR. Ship date will likely be in August or September. Can Nikon's D3x be far behind?



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



24 March, 2008 - Ricoh GX100 Review

Is that a camera in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

So someone might ask – if you had a digicam in your pants pocket. And if that camera is the Ricoh GX100, you'd have what may be the smallest yet most versatile pocket camera currently on the market. My review of the GX100 is now online.

If you ever wondered what a photographic expedition to Antarctica might be like, but lack the time or funds to go there yourself,
this hour-long video report is a must!




Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



26 March, 2008 - All Day Seminar on Photography and Technology

One month from today, on Saturday, April 26th, I will be conducting an all-day seminar titled Photography and Technology – The Uneasy Alliance. This is a much expanded version of the talk which I gave last month is Korean, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

If you live in the Northeast or Northcentral part of the continent, and think you would like to spend a day near Toronto attending what I believe you will find to be a stimulating and challenging presentation, click on the link below to sign up. I hope to see you there next month.


An all-day seminar (click on Seminar then Download the Registration Brochure) at the Latow Photographer's Guild in Burlington, Ontario on Saturday, April 26, titled Photography and Technology, The Uneasy Alliance.


28 March, 2008 - DXO Optics Pro V5 Introduction and Tutorial

Though Adobe dominates the raw file processing marketplace with Camera Raw and Lightroom, DXO Optics Pro is quite popular because of its lens correction capabilities. Today, Alain Briot, a DXO Image Master, provides us with an Introduction and Tutorial to DXO Optics Pro V5.
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Speaking of Adobe, the company announced this week Photoshop Express, a web-based photo sharing service that allows for online image editing.

UPDATE 1:

Several people have drawn to my attention the following paragraph from Adobe's "Terms of Use" for Photoshop Express, in Paragraph 8a it states...
"Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.”
Caveat emptor!

UPDATE 2:
The Draconian rights terms contained in the Photoshop Express user agreement seems to have come as a surprise to Adobe's management as well as to its prospective users. Late today a company spokesman issued a statement that their legal team will be revisiting the current terms in response to initial media and consumer reaction.
_______________

Apple today released Aperture 2.1, which introduces an open plug-in architecture that makes it easy for photographers to use third party imaging software from within Aperture. Available today as a free software update, Aperture 2.1 includes the Apple-developed plug-in, Dodge & Burn, which adds brush-based tools for dodge (lighten), burn (darken), contrast, saturation, sharpen and blur. Over the coming months, third party software developers will deliver image editing plug-ins for localized editing, filters and effects, noise analysis and reduction, fisheye lens correction and more.

This appears to be a very significant new capability, and is bound to raise the competitive stakes against Adobe's Lightroom for Mac users.
_______________



Just wanted to send you and Jeff a big thanks for your From Camera to Print video.

With the info you and Jeff provided about colour management and workflow I was able to get perfect and consistant prints right from the start and have continued to do so as I experiment to settle on my favourite matte papers.
 
So thank you to you and Jeff, you've taken an admittedly complex art and made it easy and clear enough for anyone to follow. This has taken my art to a new level and has allowed me to continue to grow as a photographer.



29 March, 2008 - LLVJ DVD Subsciption to Download Promo

Issue #17 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal has been available for download for a couple of weeks and it will begin shipping on DVD within the next two weeks.

Due to the space limitations of DVDs, the Download editions contain about one hour's more content than the DVD. The HD download edition is also of higher screen quality and resolution than the DVD.

Since there are still a number of people who have DVD subscriptions, we would like to offer them the chance to switch to one of the two download editions with a good deal.

Each paid up DVD can be exchanged for either two Standard Definition downloads or approximately one and a half High Definition downloads. Just contact our Customer Service.

Check out the high quality of the HD version here or the Standard Definition here. The shipment of plastic DVD disks will soon be a thing of the past. We urge you to switch.
_______________

Photographers with a strong interest in camera sensor technology may find this article on a site called Chipworks to be of interest. It looks at some of the factors involved in manufacturing and pricing of CMOS sensors, and even speculates as to who might be the fab for the Nikon D3 sensor.



Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



31 March, 2008 - Yes it Matters - A counterpoint essay.

In mid-March I penned an essay titled Your Camera Does Matter : A Rebuttal which fanned a bit of debate on this site's forum as well as elsewhere. Much of it, unfortunately, by those who either didn't read what I actually wrote or who wished to interpret it though their own set of mental filters.

Today author, reviewer and photographer Sean Reid provides a further counterpoint essay titled Yes, it Matters.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



2 April, 2008 - Adobe Lighroom 2.0 beta Available : DXO Article Update

I don't normally reprint press releases on this page, but today's announcement of the Lightroom 2.0 beta has a lot of meat on its bones, so here it is.

SAN JOSE, Calif. - April 2, 2008 - Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta, a public preview of new and improved functionality to be delivered in the next major release.


Lightroom is the professional photographer's essential toolbox, providing one application for managing, adjusting, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. Lightroom 2.0 beta will feature enhancements such as dual-monitor support, localized dodge and burn correction and will be the first Adobe application to support 64-bit for Mac OS X 10.5 Intel Macs and Microsoft Vista 64-bit operating systems.

"Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta provides early access to requested improvements over version 1.3 and continues our ongoing dialogue and open communication with the photography community," said Tom Hogarty, senior product manager for Photoshop Lightroom and Camera Raw. "We're excited not only for our existing customers, but also for the general public who will have an opportunity to take Lightroom 2.0 beta on a test run."

New in Lightroom 2.0 beta

An improved layout in the Library module allows for a more intuitive approach to image organization by simplifying the location of the features needed to find and filter photographs. A new feature called Smart Collections automatically updates collections with images that match desired criteria such as star-rating, keyword or other metadata. "The Suggested Keywords feature eases the task of keywording by making recommendations based upon keyword associations across a catalog as well as the use of keywords in neighboring images."

Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta includes improved memory handling through 64-bit support for OS X 10.5 Intel Macs and Vista 64-bit operating systems. Additional enhancements in Lightroom 2.0 beta include support for a dual monitor configuration that maximizes a photographer's workspace and can be easily adjusted to meet a particular workflow. Additionally, the Develop module has been updated to provide the ability to correct specific parts of an image without affecting other areas. Now, fundamental photographic techniques such as dodge and burn can be performed using the same non-destructive approach, allowing unprecedented control within the Lightroom program.

Beta Availability

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta is available as a 30-day trial for free download on Macintosh and Windows platforms at http://www.labs.adobe.com/downloads. Existing Lightroom 1.0 customers will be able to test the beta for an extended period until Aug. 31, 2008 and can invite friends to take part in this trial period. Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OSX 10.4, 10.5 1 GHz PowerPC G4 or G5 or Intel-based processor, or Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise, Intel Pentium 4 processor, 1 GBRAM and a 1024x768 resolution screen.

You can find out more, and download the beta at this Adobe Labs web page. Make sure that you also read the important information on this page.

If you're an experienced Lightroom user I highly recommend Ian Lyons' new tutorial page on Lightroom 2.0 beta. Nicely done Ian!

Jeff Schewe and I will be producing a comprehensive updated Lightroom 2.0 video tutorial to coincide with the end of the beta period. In the meantime our 5 hour-long Lightroom 1.3 video tutorial will get you up to speed on 90% of the program's features.

When the Lightroom 2.0 video tutorial becomes available there will be a special discounted price for anyone that will already have downloaded the Lightroom 1.3 tutorial, so no need to wait to get started now with Lightroom.



_______________

Author Mikkel Aaland, O'Reilly Media and Adobe have teamed up again for a Lightroom Adventure – this year in Tasmania. Last year's expedition to Iceland, which I greatly enjoyed being part of, resulted in Mikkell's Lightroom Adventure book, and this year's will as well, but will also include live updates from the field. Check it out regularly over the next couple of weeks.
_______________

Alain Briot's Tutorial on DXO Optics Pro 5.0 last week raised a number of questions. Alain was on a shoot in France at that time, but he has now returned and has written a response to these questions. This is now available as an update to his original piece.



4 April, 2008 - Red raw, the Casio EX-F1, and the Convergence of Stills and Video

There's something new in the wind – the convergence of stills and video. My new essay titled Seeing Red – Raw Goes to the Movies is now online.
_______________

UPDATE:

Adobe's lawyers have been spanked. Following up on last week's announcement of Photoshop Express, an online image file sharing service that had a pretty ridiculous rights grab by Adobe (clearly unintentional), the company has now issued the following update to its terms...
"Adobe’s Rights – Adobe has retained only those limited rights that allow us to operate the service and to enable you to do all the things the service offers. If you decide to terminate your Photoshop Express account, Adobe’s rights also will be terminated. Adobe doesn’t claim ownership of your content and won’t sell your images".


Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



7 April, 2008 - Balmoral Mist Deconstructed

What makes a great photograph? Why do some images (sometimes even ones own) speak to us, and others – often technical excellent ones – leave us emotionally and intellectually unsatisfied?

On a recent visit to Australia I met one of that country's leading photographers, David Oliver, and was captivated by one of his photographs. In Balmoral Mist Deconstructed I discus what it is that makes this particular image so resonant for me.
_______________

Issue #17 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now available on DVD. Existing DVD subscribers should start receiving theirs in the mail within the next couple of weeks. Those wishing instant gratification can always download our Hi-Def version right now.



Just wanted to send you and Jeff a big thanks for your From Camera to Print video.

With the info you and Jeff provided about colour management and workflow I was able to get perfect and consistant prints right from the start and have continued to do so as I experiment to settle on my favourite matte papers.
 
So thank you to you and Jeff, you've taken an admittedly complex art and made it easy and clear enough for anyone to follow. This has taken my art to a new level and has allowed me to continue to grow as a photographer.



9 April, 2008 - Jay Maisel Workshop Next Week in NY


I'm going to give a blatant plug to a workshop being offered next week in New York by my friend Jay Maisel. Jay has been unarguably one of the world's leading photographers for much of the past 40 years.

Issue #17 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal features an hour-long interview with Jay.





11 April, 2008 - Adobe Updates

Adobe has updated both Camera Raw and Lightroom to versions 4.4.1 and 1.4.1 respectively. These updates include bug fixes as well as the addition of support for new camera formats.

Anyone considering purchasing our 5-hour-long video tutorial on Lightroom should note that it covers 99% of the content in releases up to and including the new 1.4.1. The changes to Lightroom 1x since the tutorial was released have been almost exclusively bug fixes and new camera additions.
_______________

There has just been a cancellation on my September Botswana Safari. If you are interested in this single spot, please contact me right away.



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



12 April, 2008 - Olympus E3 Second Opinion

Late last year, after a wait of some four years, Olympus users finally got an updated flagship camera in the form of the E3. Photojournalist Doug Brown reviewed it here in January, and now UK pro Mark Pinder weighs in with his Olympus E3 Second Opinion.


Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



15 April, 2008 - Sigma DP1 Review / Camera Raw Video Tutorial / Scarlet Announced

Adobe Camera Raw Download Video Tutorial
Now Available



Chris Sanderson, Jeff Schewe and I are very pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Download Video tutorial on Adobe Camera Raw.

This nearly 8 hour long, 28 segment live instructional video covers Camera Raw in great depth, and includes detailed instruction on topics like raw workflow, Photoshop / Bridge integration, the use of Smart Objects, and more.
_______________

Sigma DP1 Review



The much anticipated Sigma DP1 started shipping just a couple of weeks ago. I have been putting this new pocket camera, which uses a Foveon technology, APS sized sensor though its paces, and my review is now online.
_______________

Scarlet Previewed



The National Association of Broadcasters show (NAB) opened Monday in Las Vegas, and the much anticipated Scarlet camera from RED was announced. Not due until early next year, and unpriced as yet, though rumoured to be under $3,000, Scarlet could well change the face of still photography as well as video production.

If you believe in the inevitability of stills and video convergence, as I do, this is a product to watch.




19 April, 2008 - Announcing a Talk

One week from today, on Saturday, April 26th, I will be conducting an all-day seminar titled Photography and Technology – The Uneasy Alliance. This is a much expanded version of the talk which I gave recently in Korean, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

If you live in the Northeast or Northcentral part of the continent, and think you would like to spend a day near Toronto attending what I believe you will find to be a stimulating and challenging presentation, click on the link below to sign up. I hope to see you there next week.


An all-day seminar (Download the Registration Brochure at this link) at the Latow Photographer's Guild in Burlington, Ontario on Saturday, April 26, titled Photography and Technology, The Uneasy Alliance.
_______________

Coming Soon...

We have the following articles in preparation and scheduled over the next few weeks:
– a review of the new and unique Casio EX-F1 crossover camera

– a review of the new Nikon 24mm T/S lens, including a tutorial on using Tilt / Shift lens

– how to use an HP Z3100 printer's built-in spectrophotometer to profile any other printer

– an introduction to videography, for still photographers

– more essays on deconstructing images 



24 April, 2008 - Casio EX-F1 Review

The Casio EX-F1 is a hybrid stills / video / high-speed camera with capabilities unlike those of any camera seen to date. Does it fulfill its promise, and is it the first of a new breed of convergence cameras? Read my review to find out.
_______________

Our Almost Spring contest ends next week. Will you be the one to win a Nikon D300 or Canon G9 camera?



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



25 April, 2008 - Free Tutorial Video Preview & Botswana Opening

We have just placed online a free video preview from our new Camera Raw Download Video Tutorial. It covers using Adobe Camera Raw to process JPGs.

Well, I just made my first pass of the Guide to Adobe Camera Raw videos (all of them). They are excellent! I have the Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3 book by Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe.

The video is a perfect companion to this book. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book, and have enjoyed it greatly so far. I like the modular arrangement of the Guide to Adobe Camera Raw videos. It means I can play only the video (again) that relates to what I'm studying in the book.

It is also nice that the book was essentially put together by Jeff Schewe who is also doing the demonstrations in the Video. Thanks for putting such a wonderful thing together.

Find out what these unique in-depth tutorials are like, and then imagine the benefit of almost 8 hours of this type of material (not to mention the pleasure of viewing Jeff's Hawaiian shirt for that long).
_______________

In September Andy Biggs and I will be conducting a Photographic Safari Expedition to Botswana. One spot has just come open. If you are able to take advantage of it act quickly and drop me a line so we can discuss it further. Sorry – Sold Out

_______________

Our Almost Spring contest ends next week. Will you be the one to win a Nikon D300 or Canon G9 camera?



"I have just purchased the excellent Camera to Print Tutorial. This
wonderful and exhaustive resource clearly and entertainingly explains
what really matters within the digital workflow from camera to print.

You and Jeff make a great and wise double act and bring passion and fun
to the topics covered. Many questions have been answered for me. I feel
I understand the fundamentals far better. I know my work will improve".



29 April, 2008 - Using the HP Z3100's Spectro to profile Other Printers

The HP Z3100 large format printers have proven to be very popular, in large measure due to their built-in spectrophotometer. This makes automatically producing high quality profiles for these printers a breeze.

Many of us have wondered whether it would be possible to use a Z3100 to produce profiles for other printers as well. After all, why let the spectro and its automation capabilities go underutilized?

Many of us have thought about it, but no one has figured it out – until now. Charlie Cramer now has an exclusive tutorial here titled Making Profiles with the Z3100 Printer.

Please note that in addition to a Z3100 printer you will also need the HP Advanced Profiling software and files which can be downloaded from this site.
_______________

The Home Page photograph has been updated with one taken with a video camera, of all things. The new Sony SR12 HD camcorder is able to shoot 10MP stills, and doesn't do too bad a job of it. More on this in the days ahead.
Ps: Before the Lolita crowd get too bent out of shape, thinking  I've gone over to the dark side, the photograph's title is a literary allusion to a poem by the 19th century British author William Blake.
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
_______________

For those interested in (or familiar with) some of the personalities in the industry the fact that after 17 years Mark Hamburg has left Adobe to work for Microsoft is news. Mark is a brilliant coder, the former architect of Photoshop, and the father of Lightroom. You can read more about him and his going-away party, which was held last week, at Photoshop News.com.




30 April, 2008 - Fund Raising Print Sale For Our Friend Alexis

Beginning today, and running through the month of May, I am offering a special print sale to help raise money for a dear family friend in the US who is unable to meet her ongoing medical care costs.

I invite you to purchase one or more of my fine-art landscape prints, with 100% of the proceeds going to our friend Alexis' ongoing medical care expenses.


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Canadian Fujifilm S5 Price Drop

I don't usually pay a lot of attention to international price arbitrage on photo equipment. I know though that a lot of Europeans, Brits and Australians do since often their prices are so much higher than in the US, or Canada.

But my attention has been drawn to a curious bit of pricing on the part of Fujifilm, so I though some might be interested in knowing about it.

The Fuji S5 camera is now selling at Canadian retailers for $999. This is a camera which when it started to ship just a year or so ago was priced at some $400 more than the Nikon D200 on which it is based.

Today, one can buy the Fuji S5 for $999 at Canadian retailers such as Henrys in Toronto. In the US I see that B&H currently has it for $1,699, and when you add it to your shopping cart it is discounted to $1,549. Since the Canadian and US dollar has been at or around par for some time this huge price discrepancy is notable.

In Europe the S5 is selling for about 920 Euro, which is $1,500 Canadian, similar to the B&H price. In the UK things are a bit better (surprising, for a change) and an S5 costs about 625 GBP, or about $1,240 Canadian.

So – without really knowing what this all implies, if you're in the market for a Fuji S5 camera Canada is the place to shop at the moment.


2 May, 2008 - Spring Prize Winners Announced

Our Almost Spring contest ended on Wednesday.The winner of the Nikon D300 is M.N. Hutchinson of Alberta, and the winner of the Canon G9 camera is Konstantin Dubinets of New York. Congratulations to both of them!

Our next contest will be announced soon, and all purchases from our online store beginning as of yesterday, May 1, will be eligible. I'll be announcing what the prizes will be and additional contest details within a few days. Purchases from the Help Alexis Special Print Offer as well as any of our DVDs, download Video Journals, and download video tutorials will be eligible.




6 May, 2008 - The Convergence of Still Photography and Video

I have just returned from a long-weekend workshop photographing moose and spring landscape in Algonquin Park. My co-teacher was Pulitzer prize winning landscape photographer Jack Dykinga. A good time was had by all, though it rained almost the whole time. (Great light though.) I'll have a small portfolio of mine as well as of the participants on these pages within the next couple of weeks. The first of my images from Algonquin is now on the home page.

This was also the first multi-day shoot in which I used the Nikon D3 exclusively, and I'll have more to say on this remarkable camera in a separate article in the days ahead.

_______________

A new essay has just been published titled The Convergence of Still Photography and Video. I have written about this peripherally in recent weeks, and now because of the importance of the subject, thought it worthwhile to gather my observations in one place. Pros should ignore this trend at their peril.
_______________

I would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming response to our Help Alexis Special Print Offer. There have been literally hundreds of orders, and every penny will be going toward helping our friend with her ongoing medical expenses. My wife Teya and I say a big thank you!

Because of the shear quantity of prints on order producing and shipping them will take some time, so please be patient. It will likely be 2-3 weeks after an order is placed until it is received.



8 May 2008 - Strange Pricing in Canada (Again)

Last week I mentioned that the Fuji S5 DSLR was selling in Canada for under $1,000 while in the US it was some 50% more expensive. (See What's New for April 30).

Today I've noted that the 24" HP Z3100 printer is available at several Canadian dealers for around $1,500. Even more curious, in one case, DirectDial.com, their online Canadian store has the printer for $1,518 while their US online store has it for $3,254, more than double the price. At B&H, though it shows as currently out of stock, the 24" Z3100 is listed at $4,095.

I'm only guessing here, but it's pretty clear that for some reason both Fujifilm and HP have decided to use Canada as an outlet for discontinued products. Given that the internet now allows for complete pricing transparency on a global basis it's hard to figure that they aren't aware that word gets around – instantly. (Readers outside the US and Canada should note that the Canadian and US dollars are essentially at par, and have been for months).

In the case of the Z3100, $1,518 is an incredible deal. At this price it costs not much more than a Eye One Spectrophotometer kit, and if you figure that you can now use the Z3100 as an automated profiling machine (as written about here last week), it's almost like getting a free 24" printer at this price.
_______________

And speaking of deals, My friend Mikkel Aaland who organized this year's Adobe Lightroom Adventure in Tasmania just told me about a contest to win a free trip for two to downunder. All it takes is filling in an online entry form.

_______________


Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



10 May, 2008 - Win Any Lens of Your Choice

It's time for a new contest. Announced today is our Win The Lens of Your Choice contest. Any lens, from any manufacturer, valued at up to $2,000.

What do you need to do to enter? Simple – just make a purchase of any tutorial download, Video Journal download, book, print or DVD from our online store. Each purchase made is counted as a separate entry. Any purchase made between May 1 and August 31 is an automatic entry. This contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Why have this contest? To gently persuade you to make a purchase. There's bound to be something which we publish that matches your needs and interests. All you need to do is click here and then on any of the informational links to find out what that might be. Thanks.




13 May, 2008 - Nikon 24mm PC-E Lens Report and Advanced Tutorial on Focusing T/S Lenses

Today sees two new articles – the first a field report in the brand new Nikon 24mm PC-E lens, and the second an advanced tutorial on focusing perspective control and view camera lenses, by David Summerhayes.

The 24mm Nikkor report also features a brief free video on the lens' features and functions.




15 May, 2008 - Misc Announcements

A few items for your attention today...

– Our customer service team is currently offline but will resume tomorrow, Friday. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Sean Reid at Reidreviews has published a review of the NEC 2490 monitor. Included are Karl Lang's comments about the monitor (Carl is one of the industry's leading lights when it comes to monitor design), and both seem to agree that the 2490 may well be the best LCD monitor yet (for the money) for photographers. Sean's site is subscription based, and well worth it.

Canon has released new firmware for the 1D MKIII and the 1Ds MKIII.

Tom Hogarty of Adobe has announced on his blog that the DNG format specification has been updated. Big deal, you say. Well, maybe so. Here's a quote to ponder...
"The definition of a camera profile for the DNG format as well as the allowance for multiple camera profiles to be embedded in a single DNG file will provide the industry with the ability to characterize raw data in an efficient and standardized format. (Think ICC profiles but for raw data)."
What are the implications of this? For the moment I'll leave it for you to ponder :-)
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18 May, 2008 - Hasselblad H3D2 Field Report

Some people accuse me of having an anti-Hasseblad bias. Nothing could be further from the truth. I own two H series bodies, five H series lenses, and use them along with a Phase One P45+ back for all my serious landscape work.

Does the system have flaws? Yes, of course it does. Which one doesn't? Does the company and its management practices do things which I am not happy with? Yes, and as with other companies and products which I find fault with I state my concerns. Does this make me biased against them? No, not at all. I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity criticizer.

In any event, when my friend Nick Rains offered to do a report on a recent shoot with an H3D2 I immediately said yes. Though I happen to own a Phase One back I have now seen enough of the newest Hassy backs to know that they are comparable in image quality. First rate.

Here then is Nick's brief fields report. Nothing to get someone familiar with the system excited, one way or the other, but of interest to anyone thinking of moving to the top level of medium format digital.


24 May, 2008 - Taping and Waterfalls

This is simply a heads-up that I have been mostly off-line for the past week and won't be adding new content now until the beginning of next week. The reason is that Jeff Schewe and I were in Niagara Falls on a shoot for a couple of days to create content for our new Lightroom 2.0 video tutorial. Subsequently we have been sequestered in my gallery / studio taping this new multi-hour video.
Jeff has been a contributor to the development of both Photoshop and Lightroom since their beginnings. Among his other professional activities he is the publisher of Lightroom News, Photoshop News, and the co-author with the late Bruce Fraser of Real World Camera Raw.
Jeff and I were joined in Niagara by the world's leading expert in colour image preservation, Henry Wilhelm, of Wilhelm Imaging Research. An interview with Henry will appear in an upcoming issue of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

The Lightroom 2.0 tutorial will be the sixth educational video that Jeff and I have done in the past couple of years. It will be released simultaneous with the shipping version of 2.0.
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The new Home Page photograph was taken on the Maid of The Mist boat excursion beneath the falls. Looks like South Georgia Island from my last Antarctic expedition more than southern Ontario though.




27 May, 2008 - Epson 2880, HP LP3065 Monitor, Noise Reference Article and Moose

Miles Hecker has just published a review of the 30" HP LP3065 monitor on his site. I second Miles' motion that when processing images destined to be large prints it's hard to beat having a 30" monitor, especially now that prices are no longer stratospheric and quality has increased.
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Epson US
has announced today the Stylus Pro R2880 printer. It is a replacement for the popular 13" 2400 model, and will appear next month with a MSLP of $799. This new printer utilizes Vivid Magenta ink, as do Epson's Pro level printers, the 4880, 7880, 9880 and 11880. Makes one wonder when an 80 series Pro 3800 will come along.
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An article titled Noise, Dynamic Range and Bit Depth in Digital SLRs appeared online this week. It's quite academic and will take time to digest, but for those that care about this topic beyond the practical level, highly recommended.
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Photographs by several of the participants in my Algonquin Park Moose Workshop last month are now online.
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My friend Jay Maisel is one of America's leading photographers and an excellent teacher. He has just announced three new workshops. These are intensive and expensive, but also possibly the most valuable photographic experiences one can have.





30 May, 2008 - New Epson Wide Format Printers Announced

Epson (at least in some countries) has announced two new wide format printers of particular interest to photographers, the Stylus Pro 7990 and 9900 – 24" and 44" versions of the same model.

These feature what is called UltraChrome HDR ink and the printers accept 11 cartridges (350 or 700ml). There is (finally) automatic switching of matte and photo black inks. Green and orange inks have been added to widen the printer's gamut along with vivid light magenta.The ink complement is now photo black, light black and light light black - plus cyan, light cyan, vivid magenta, vivid light magenta, yellow, orange, and green, along with matte black.

Much of the new head technology seen in last year's Stylus Pro 11880 is included in the new printers. This includes automatic head clogging detection and cleaning. I've been running an 11880 at my gallery for almost 6 months now and have never seen a head clog, so I can report that this really does work.

And, as if this wasn't enough, Epson takes a page from HP's playbook and makes available an optional on-board X-rite designed spectrophotometer for automated profile generation.

There's no word yet on pricing, though don't expect them to be inexpensive. Availability is said to be late Spring in Australia, which translates into Fall in the northern hemisphere.

You can read more here and elsewhere on European and Australian web sites.

Please note that Epson US has not officially announced these printers yet, though I imagine that they will eventually.
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The Home Page photograph has been updated.
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Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



31 May, 2008 - Alexis Print Offer Ending Today

This is the last day to purchase one of 20 selected prints at a special price in support of my friend Alexis.

My wife Teya and I would like to express our sincere appreciation to everyone that has purchased prints this month. This has allowed us to raise over $40,000 in support of Alexis' ongoing medical costs as she battles with post surgical treatment for a brain tumor. She is having a tough time at the moment, but is one strong lady, and has the loving support of many friends and family.

Prints ordered prior to May 15 have now been shipped. Prints ordered between then and now will be printed this coming week and mailed shortly. Thanks for your patience.

I would especially like to thank those people that made direct financial contributions. This was unexpected generosity and is most appreciated. Thank you all!


1 June, 2008 - A Decent Backpack for View Camera and Medium Format Photographers

Being a photographer means having to carry gear; sometimes lots of gear. Sometimes lots of heavy and bulky gear. When this also includes traveling and shooting in the outdoors a quality backpack becomes necessary.

Contributor Mark Dubovoy has tried them all, and today tells us about his latest finding in A Decent Backpack for View Camera and Medium Format Photographers.



Just wanted to send you and Jeff a big thanks for your From Camera to Print video.

With the info you and Jeff provided about colour management and workflow I was able to get perfect and consistant prints right from the start and have continued to do so as I experiment to settle on my favourite matte papers.
 
So thank you to you and Jeff, you've taken an admittedly complex art and made it easy and clear enough for anyone to follow. This has taken my art to a new level and has allowed me to continue to grow as a photographer.



3 June, 2008 - Some Noise About Noise

Contributor Mark Segal today provides us with a research paper and essay on noise and resolution titled Some Noise About Noise.

This work has been underway for the past month or two; during which time Emil Martinec's more academic piece, mentioned here last week, was published. Looking it over we didn't find any contradiction, where relevant, between his technical analysis and our empirical findings. But the two articles reflect very different ways of examining the same general territory, such that taken together there is something for everyone.
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Nikon announced today an update to its raw image processing software in the form of Capture NX 2. More from the press release below.
"Capture NX 2 will be available for purchase throughout the United States in late June 2008 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $179.95 (full version) or $109.95 (upgrade). A 60-day free trial version will be available today for users who wish to experience all that Capture NX 2 offers. For more information, and to download the 60-day trial version please visit www.nikonusa.com".
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Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



6 June, 2008 - Two New Shirt Pocket Cameras Reviewed

It's summer (at least on the top half of the planet), which means vacation time and short sleeved shirts. Today's questions is – what camera to put in that skimpy breast pocket when you want to have a camera along but anything weighing more than a few grams is not on?

In today's new article Two New Shirt Pocket Cameras, I review the Samsung NV24-HD and the Sony W300, one winner and one loser.
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The Home Page photograph has been updated with something a bit whimsical.
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Just wanted to send you and Jeff a big thanks for your From Camera to Print video.

With the info you and Jeff provided about colour management and workflow I was able to get perfect and consistant prints right from the start and have continued to do so as I experiment to settle on my favourite matte papers.
 
So thank you to you and Jeff, you've taken an admittedly complex art and made it easy and clear enough for anyone to follow. This has taken my art to a new level and has allowed me to continue to grow as a photographer.



7 June, 2008 - Summer Sale. Take it Off (15% that is)

We're having a sale. For the next two weeks – until June 22 – we're having a 15% off sale. Everything in our on-line store is reduced by 15%. That includes our download videos as well as DVDs.

If you've been thinking about our multi-hour From Camera to Print, Adobe Lightroom, or Photoshop Camera Raw download videos, now's the time to satisfy that itch.

Our Luminous Landscape Video Journal DVDs as well as high def download editions are also all reduced by 15%.

Come one! Got for it. You know you want to.
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Another way to get your photographic juices going as well as to improve your skills and expand your portfolio will be to attend the Sixth Annual Photography and Printing Summit being held at Bryce Canyon in early November. This event is put on by Alain Briot and Uwe Steihmueller and this year's guest instructor is famous photographer and author Tony Sweet.


9 June, 2008 - Photographers and Painters - A Symbiosis

What can photographers and painters learn from each other? Find out in an exclusive new essay by Jack Perkins (yes, that Jack Perkins) in an exclusive new essay titled Photographers and Painters – A Symbiosis.




10 June, 2008 - Do Sensors Outresolve Lenses?

Have we reached the end of the line as far as lenses go? Do the latest generation of high resolution sensors actually outresolve our best lenses?

This is not an easy subject to come to grips with, and though many have opinions few have had the rigour to put this to detailed examination.

In our latest exclusive article, Do Sensors “Outresolve” Lenses? by Rubén Osuna and Efraín García we have what may be the definitive analysis of this question.
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Canon Europe announced today the EOS 1000D, which will be called the EOS XS in North America. This is a new entry level DSLR. No word yet from Canon USA on pricing or availability.

No word yet either on the inevitable Canon 5DII, nor for that matter the Nikon D3x or D90. All should be announced soon though. (Gee, what prescience).
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UPDATE
As of today all prints from the Alexis print sale that were ordered during the second half of May have now shipped. Depending where in the world you are located it can take up to two weeks for postal delivery. Thank you again to everyone for your kind support and generosity.
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11 June, 2008 - Of Passing Interest

Michael Kamber a photojournalist working out of The New York Times' Baghdad Bureau has been working with the Leica M8 system under combat conditions, and has just placed on-line an in-depth report of his impressions. War is hell. So to can be making and selling cameras apparently.
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I've written a couple of pieces recently about the convergence of stills and video, both from a technology and an aesthetic perspective. There is now a fascinating piece on Wired's web site that explores the world of Israeli combat photographer Ziv Koren and the topic of convergence.
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The latest issue of Hammacher Schlemmer's mail-roder catalog arrived in the mail yesterday. You know – the people that sell gadgets, like the underwater Pogo stick. (I'm not kidding). In any event, I note that they are now carrying the Casio EX-F1, which was reviewed on these pages a couple of months ago. I mention this because at the time it was noted that Casio was not going to be selling the EX-F1 through mass merchants and on-line, for reasons not made clear at the time.  And, the HS catalog price is $1,200, 20% higher than when the camera was introduced. Oh well.
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It looks as if specs on the anticipated Nikon D90 have now been leaked. Funny, it doesn't feel like April.
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13 June, 2008 - Landscapes of The Spirit

This will be the last post until June 23. I am off on a shoot with some friends in Newfoundland for six days.

I will be field testing the new Phase One 645 camera along with a P45+ back and a complete suite of lenses.  I will also be shooting with my Canon 1Ds MKIII, and will be testing the new Canon Rebel XSi 450D as well. Reports on the Phase and Rebel cameras will appear here in July.
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William Neill is one of America's leading fine art landscape photographers. I personally find his work to be some of the most compelling that I have seen. His 1996 book Landscape of the Spirit is an important and beautiful work, but unfortunately has been out of print for years.

Bill has now made a downloadable Digital Edition of the book available at a very modest price. The original essay that introduced the book is our latest article, and that page contains links to his offering. Bill has also agreed to become a regular contributor to this site, and I greatly look forward to his future writings.
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FORUM NOTICE

This site has a lively discussion forum, usually without the rudeness, tribalism and childishness so often found on on-line forums. Keeping it this way takes work, and this includes managing the hundreds of spammer attacks and false registration attempts made daily. Yes daily – it's a deluge from would-be spammers and pornographers.

For this reason, while the discussion forums will remain open this week, new registrations are temporarily closed and will reopen June 22. We regret any inconvenience.

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22 June, 2008 - Nikon R1C1 Close-Up Speedlight System Review

I am now back from a six day shoot in Newfoundland with friends. A good time was had by all, and a photo essay titled Fog, Whales, and Icebergs will appear here in the weeks ahead. The first of the photographs from this series is now found on the Home Page.

New registrations for this site's discussion forum, which were turned off while I was away, are now permitted again.

A review of the Nikon R1C1 Close-Up Speedlight System is now online, along with a brief streaming video which illustrates its components and use.


Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



25 June, 2008 - Some Thoughts on Camera Collecting

Have you been involved with photography for more than a decade? If so chances are that you either have something of a camera collection, or at least wish that you'd kept some of your older cameras, if only for nostalgia's sake. (Can one be nostalgic for digital yet?)

Today, contributor Bill Caulfeild Browne shares with us his thoughts on Nostalgia : Some Thoughts on Camera Collecting.
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Just wanted to send you and Jeff a big thanks for your From Camera to Print video.

With the info you and Jeff provided about colour management and workflow I was able to get perfect and consistant prints right from the start and have continued to do so as I experiment to settle on my favourite matte papers.
 
So thank you to you and Jeff, you've taken an admittedly complex art and made it easy and clear enough for anyone to follow. This has taken my art to a new level and has allowed me to continue to grow as a photographer.



26 June, 2008 - Camera Raw 4.5 RC Now Available

Adobe has released Camera Raw 4.5 Release Candidate for download. It provides support for new cameras as well as other enhancements.
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Watch a free HD streaming video extract.



29 June, 2008 - 'Please stand by!'...

Michael is having difficulty with his wireless ISP up in North Central Ontario (aka Muskoka). It seems that competing wireless providers are overlapping each other's frequencies and causing major interference problems to the point that internet access is currently impossible. Hopefully this will be fixed within 48 hours...

New content for this week will include a review of the Phase One 645 camera  used extensively on the recent trip to Newfoundland. Also slated for publication this week is a review of the new Canon Rebel XSi. Please stay tuned! [Chris S]




30 June, 2008 - Phase One 645 Camera Review

After 24 hours in an Internet black hole I am now online again with a new ISP at my summer house in Muskoka, Ontario. I'll be here for the rest of the summer. My gallery in Toronto will therefore be closed until late September.

To celebrate I am publishing the web's first review of a production Phase One 645 camera, which I was able to test and work with on a shoot in Newfoundland earlier this month.
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Not that this has anything to do with photography, and of course it's only of significance to Canadians, but if you are in Canada and think that an iPhone is in your future, consider signing the online petition against Roger's Communications announced rip-off pricing. These are proposed to be the highest rates on the planet for iPhone service. Rise up yee oppressed masses.





1 July, 2008 - Two New Cameras Announced, by Sinar and Nikon




Two new cameras were announced within the past 24 hours. Sinar has introduced the arTec, seen above, a technical camera designed to accept medium format backs. Preliminary specifications are...
- Revolving Adapter
- Sliding Back for ground-glass composing
- Lenses 23mm to 135mm (Sinaron Digital)
- 5° Tilt/Swing, in all directions
- Shift V +25/-15mm
- Shift H +20/-20mm
- 360° turnable tripod mount
- 1.5 Kg
Availability is said to be shortly after Photokina 2008, in late September. No word yet on price.

The only curious thing is that it appears that the arTec will only be available with a Sinar Hy6 back mount, so Phase One, Leaf, Contax, Mamiya, and Hasselblad H and V owners are left out. Who thought that ignoring 90% of the potential market for this fascinating new camera was a good idea?


Not a complete surprise, because it was leaked over a week ago, the Nikon D700 is an exciting addition to that company's DSLR resurgence, started last year with the D300 and the full-frame D3. The new D700 announced today uses the same 12 MP full-frame (FX) chip as found in the D3, and should consequently have almost identical image properties.

The D700 camera is a direct competitor to the Canon 5D, which is due for a refurb any day now. The new D700 appears to be a camera of about the same size as the D300 externally but pretty-much a D3 internally. It differs from the D3 in some areas, such as 5 FPS instead of 9, though the addition of a battery grip raises it to 8 FPS, just as with the D3. One improvement over the D3 is the inclusion of dust removal by shaking the sensor, the same system as found in the D300, and of course a built in flash. Nikon's top-of-the-line 51 point  AF is also found, as is a top ISO capability of ISO 25,000.

Price is set at US $2,999 (2,599) Euro and deliveries will start worldwide by the end of this month. I expect to review this camera as soon as it becomes available.


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