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2 July, 2009 - Win a DSLR

Everybody loves a contest. Our latest one, which starts today and runs throught the end of September, allows you to win the DSLR of your choice along with a lens or lenses totaling up to a value of US $2,000.

Someone's going to win it. It could be you.

WIN A DSLR




3 July, 2009 - Landscape of Our Minds

Tim Wolcott is a very fine American landscape photographer, and pioneer of inkjet printing technology. He recently asked me to write an essay introducing  his new book, Along The Water's Edge. That essay is now republished on these pages. Tim will be writing an article for us soon on the process of designing and publishing his book.

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This is a holiday weekend, with Canada Day on July 1, and Independance Day on July 4. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

But – do come back here early on Monday – because I will be announcing an extreemly exciting new workshop coming up this November that will be of particular interest to anyone currently shooting with or planning on moving to high-end medium format digital. There are only 20 spots available. First come, first served.

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




4 July, 2009 - Frankie & Heideke R.I.P.

Rumours of the demise of Frankie & Heideke have been rife ever since the company went into reorganization a month or so ago. Following Phase One's acquisition of Leaf from Kodak last week, and their CEO's comment that the Leaf Afi camera was likely not commercially viable, the writing was on the wall.

The British Journal of Photography reports today that Frankie & Heideke, the makers of Rollei cameras, the Leaf Afi, and the Sinar Hy6, has laid off all employees and will definitively close operations by September.

This is regretable news, and a sad reflection on the global economy and its effect on the photographic industry. R.I.P.




6 July, 2009 - Death Valley / Phase One Workshop

Imagine four days of intensive photography in the splendor of Death Valley National Park with four of the world's leading photographic instructors. Imagine doing this with a brand-new Phase One 645 camera system and a 60 Megapixel P65+ back, along with a wide variety of lenses.

In an exclusive workshop being held by Phase One this coming November, Michael Reichmann, Jeff Schewe, Mark Dubovoy and Bill Atkinson – each Phase One system owners themselves – will be teaching a four day workshop sponsored by Phase One. Also attending will be Claus Mølgaard, Phase One's head of R&D, and one of the world's leading experts in digital camera and back design.

Each day will feature two multi-hour field shooting sessions as well as classroom tutorials on printing, colour management, equipment familarization and much, much more.

Limited to just 20 participants, this unique and exclusive workshop is going to sell out quickly. Find out more.

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If the timing or content of this workshop isn't right for you have a look at the various workshops being offered by some of my other colleagues. Pierre Claquin and his partner Moumina Dorgabekova have one this Fall in Bangladesh, and Jay Maisel has added some new dates at his New York facility.

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WIN A DSLR

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8 July, 2009 - JVC HM-100 Camcorder Review

The convergence of still photography and video continues to be a hot topic. The latest issue of W Magazine has a feature stills spread shot with the RED Cine camera, the Canon 5D MKII has been used to shoot a slew of music videos, commercials and even parts of feature films. Now the just-released Panasonic GH1 is being used to shoot a feature film, with a preview clip available here and some behind the scenes footage also available. (My GH1 review will be online here next week).

Which brings us to today's new review of the JVC HM-100, a pocket battleship of a camcoder designed for the indie and documentary film maker. It is unique in that it is the first camcorder to shoot directly to SD cards in XDCAM EX format wrapped in a Final Cut or MP4 wrapper. No transcoding, no rendering, no format conversion required.

With video capable DSLRs on the march, is there still room for camcorders or are their days numbered? Find out what the new JVC HM-100 is all about and watch next week for my Lumix GH1 review.

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




9 July, 2009 - Briot Interview and Two More

Alain Briot has been a long-time contributor to this site; the author of Briot's View. If you're interested in learning more about Alain, Smibs TV, an online video interview service, now has an almost 30 minute long interview with Alain online.

Philip Bloom is a UK-based film maker who, over the past couple of years, has developed an online presense with regard to creative video production techniques. Smibs also has a 12 minute long video interview with Philip.

And, if you missed it back in December, there is also an 18 minute interview with me, Michael Reichmann, available on the same site.

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WIN A DSLR

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13 July, 2009 - Why Moore's Law Doesn't Apply to Digital Photography

Moore's Law is pretty well known to computer literate folks. It's the reason why your dual processor 8 core computer doesn't cost more than a Boeing 747.

But does it apply to our camera's sensors, and if not, why not?

Ray Maxwell asks that question with his essay Why Moore’s Law Does Not Apply to Digital Photography.

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"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".



16 July, 2009 - Arca Swiss Rm3d Review

The world of medium format technical cameras is alive and well and being energized by medium format back owners looking for movement capability as well as an opportunity to use some of the extraordinary Schneider and Rodenstock digital-optimized lenses. For some, it's simply an opportunity to return to the pleasures of working in a more deliberate manner.

Arca Swiss has long been one of the industry's leading speciality camera makers, and the new Arca Swiss Rm3d continues their record of innovation and technical excellence. My review, including a free 30 minute long streaming HD video on the Rm3d's technical features, filmed with the asstance of large format expert and photographer Mark Dubovoy, is now online.

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"I had not expected this video to be this good. I already learnt a lot from your previous Lightroom videos with Jeff Schewe, but this video with Seth Resnick is really enlightening. I am now drastically reorganizing and keywording my library and making sense of it. Without your instructions I would never have been able to bring any structure into my collection. I tried a lot but this video really set me on the right track".




19 July, 2009 - Not So Fast in Dismissing Moore's Law

Last week's essay by Ray Maxwell made the statement  – Why Moore’s Law Does Not Apply to Digital Photography. That essay has produced quite a bit of informed discussion on this site's forum, but has also lead to  a rebuttal in the form of another essay, this time by photographer and scientist Nathan Myhrvold. It is titled Not So Fast in Dismissing Moore’s Law.

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Every now and then someone on a web forum makes a comment to the effect that RED's Scarlet camera is vapourware. Well, I don't think so!

In fact here is a link to a brief video taken just a couple of weeks ago at a trade show in Germany where company executive Ted Shilowitz shows a Scarlet prototype (not the final physical form) and discusses both price and availability.

Other camera makers – Be afraid. Be very afraid!

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This issue contains an interview with Pulitzer prize winning National Geographic photographer Jack Dykinga and a segment on him and Michael Reichmann conducting a spring "Moose" photo workshop in Algonquin Park.

There is also a remarkable video of our trip through The Gullet, south of the Antarctic Circle this past January – a must-see in HD.

My expedition to Madagascar is the main feature. The technical feature is a detailed look at strategies for the back-up of your images in the field.

This High Definition (720p) download video may be viewed on any Windows, Mac or Linux PC.

The HD version is just $14.95, while the SD Version is only $9.95. Any purchase makes you eligible for our new contest.




22 July, 2009 - Panasonic Lumix GH1 Video Capability Review

Panasonic's new Lumix GH1 is hands-down the most capable video equipped digital stills camera to date. I have been a big fan of the G1, and now with comprehensive video recording capability the new GH1, along with its 14-140mm (28-280mm equiv) lens, offers tremendous value – if you're interested in shooting video, that is.

I have now been working with the GH1 for a couple of weeks, testing all of its video features and modes, and my comprehensive review of this camera's video capabilities is now online.

Now if only Panasonic could manufacture enough of them to meet the demand. The camera appears to be back-ordered everywhere in the world.

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WIN A DSLR

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.

 




27 July, 2009 - Mountain Climbing Photography - A Tutorial

There are many specialized photographic pursuits, but one of the most arduous and challenging is Mountain Climbing Photography. Today's new tutorial is by Alexandre Buisse, an expert in both fields.

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Those who enjoyed Part One of the video interview from Smibs TV with our featured columnist Alain Briot will want to watch Part Two, which was recently placed online.

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Unless you enjoy reading about the folks that write the software that we all use, such as Photoshop and Lightroom, you may not be aware of the name Mark Hamburg. Mark is a former Photoshop Architect and was the founding engineer on Lightroom. Last year he left Adobe and went to Microsoft to work on new usability for Windows (two words which one usually doesn't find in the same sentance, I know).

In any event, Mark has now left Microsoft and returned to working with Adobe. Those of us who know him wish him well. If you'd like to read more, there's additional detail on Photoshop News.

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Jay Maisel is one of America's most celebrated photographers. A true photographic genius. He is also an incredible teacher.

Jay runs week-long workshops at his amazing studio / gallery building in Manhatten, and he has a few openings  in September, October and November. Totally, completely and very highly recommended!

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WIN A DSLR

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28 July, 2009 - New Training Video on CS4 Raw Processing

The Luminous Landscape Guide to Raw Processing in CS4 Using Camera Raw 5 is now online. It runs two hours in length and covers in detail the new features and capabilities of these two programs. It is priced at $19.90 and is available for immediate download.

The video also wins an Emmy for having the longest title of any product we have yet published.

You can find out more about our other video tutorials covering Fine Art Printing, Raw Processing, Adobe Lightroom and Photographic Asset Management here. All videos are downloads, which means immediate availability, no delivery hassles, no customs charges or fees. Your satisfaction is, of course, guaranteed.

These tutorials are playable on any computer system anywhere in the world and do not contain any digital rights management – which means that they can be played on any device anywhere, at any time, at your convenience.

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UPDATE

If you shoot and edit motion and video, and are on a Mac, and haven't been paying attention for the past few days, you'll be excited to learn that Apple has released Final Cut Studio 3, which includes Final Cut Pro 7, Color 1.5, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Compressor 3.5, Cinema Tools 4.5, and DVD Studio Pro 4.

Though this isn't the mega-make-over that some were hoping for there are enough new features and enhancements to make the $299 upgrade price worthwhile. For new users, the good news is that the price of the package has been dropped to $999, a significant reduction.

If you want some valuable insights into the new features in Final Cut Studio 3 check out the brief but free video tutorials at Ripple Training. And if you're just starting to climb the Final Cut learning curve check out the Final Cut 7 video tutorial at macprovideo.com. It may be a bit fast-paced for the absolute beginner, but it is well done.

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WIN A DSLR

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30 July, 2009 - Leica S2 Prices Announced

Leica announced their launch pricing on the new S2 camera system in the U.K.  yesterday.  With the time difference it took a little while for U.S. pricing to emerge, but thanks to Florida Leica dealer David Farcas of Dale Photo and Digital we now have the details, which are reproduced below.

Bodies: (Oct 09)
S2 Camera Body - $22,995
S2-P Body with Sapphire LCD Cover Glass and Platinum Service Package - $27,995

Accessories:
Multi Function Handgrip S - $1,295 (Jan 10)
Battery Charger (spare/extra) - $399

Service Packages for Bodies:
S-Body Premium Service - $1,495
S-Body Platinum Service - $3,795

Lenses:
Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH - $4,495 (Oct 09)
Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH CS - $5,995 (Nov 09)
APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 - $6,495 (Oct 09)
APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 CS - $7,495 (Nov 09)
APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 - $6,495 (Nov 09)
APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 - $7,495 (Nov 09)
Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH - $5,295 (Dec 09)
Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH CS - $5,995 (Dec 09)

Service Packages for Lenses:
S-Lens Premium Service - $495
S-Lens Platium Service - $995

Waiting for my editorial comment on this pricing? OK – here goes.

It's high. Higher than equivalent cameras and lenses from Hasselblad and Phase One. But Leica gear, especially Leica lenses, have always commanded a premium over almost anything else – and for the most part, deservedly so.

But, we're in the middle of a serious global recession, and even those with platinum credit cards are being restrained in their spending.

I don't think that anyone doubts that Leica's S series lenses will be some of the finest ever. The real question mark is the S2 body and sensor, which will have to wait for some serious hands-on testing and comparisons before any judgements can be made.  Stay tuned.

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As a rule I don't promote photo contests, but I am a long time supporter of The Nature Conservancy and so you might want to check out their 2009 contest.

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




31 July, 2009 - Moore's Law and Digital Photography - More Rebuttals

It what may be the most comprehensive dialogue on the topic found on the net to date, today we publish the third (and I promise – final) essay on this topics, in the form of a further series of rebuttals.

The essay that started this all was called Why Moore’s Law Does Not Apply to Digital Photography and the second was titled Not So Fast in Dismissing Moore’s Law. This latest follow-up is named Moore's Law and Digital Photography.

Please, please, please don't send me any more submissions on this topic, even if you have a double PhD on the topic. I'm done like dinner!

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WIN A DSLR

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4 August, 2009 - Understanding What Makes a Good Image and Learning How to Use That Knowledge

In June I published an essay titled The Quest for Good Photographs and How the Brain Perceives Images. It was written by Charles S Johnson Jr., and excerpted from his forthcoming book Science for the Curious Photographer.

Today I am pleased to publish another installment, with the title Understanding What Makes a Good Image and Learning How to Use That Knowledge. If you can tear yourself away from browsing the net in search of "how many pixels can dance on the head of a pin", you may find it of interest. :-)

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




6 August, 2009 - Just for Fun, a 1000mm Moonset Video Clip

Wednesday morning saw this month's full moon setting over Lake Muskoka in Northern Ontario. Though the "formal" full moon wasn't till that evening it's always the moonset of that day that is the best for photography, as it coincides almost exactly with sunrise.

The clouds cooperated for a change and it was a lovely, though windy morning.

I have placed a very brief video clip online just for the fun of it. I've been working this summer with the new Panasonic GH1, mostly shooting video with it, specifically a personal documentary on the Muskoka Lakes region, it's flora, fauna and moods.

Whether it's due to unanticipated demand, or simply poor production planning on Panasonic's part, the GH1 has been in very short supply in most markets, and when camera's do arrive dealers are sold out in minutes.

This clip was shot  with a Sigma 50-500mm at an effective focal length of 1,000mm. 720/P60 / ISO 400 / f/6.3 / 1/60 sec shutter. Speeded up 4X in Final Cut 7. Running time = 20 seconds. Music by Muse.




8 August, 2009 - Eizo ColorEdge CG301W vs. The Apple 30

With the passing of high-end CRTs, such as the Sony Artisan, most serious workers are now using LCD screens for image editing and production colour work. For many the 30" Apple Cinemadisplay offers a combination of size, image quality and price that's hard to beat.

But, if money is no object, or ultimate accuracy is what's needed, the Eizo ColorEdge CG301W is an excellent choice, and Mark Dubovoy today tells us why.

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I am currently testing quite a bit of new gear which will appear in reviews on these pages in the weeks ahead. One is the fascinating Canon 17mm f/4 T/SE lens. A shot taken with it just yesterday is the new Home Page image. A field review will be published here soon.

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Andy Biggs has just announced a four-day-long workshop in Sante Fe, New Mexico in early October. It is on Adobe Lightroom and Fine Art Printing, and coincides with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which will be one of the workshop's photographic destinations.

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UPDATE

Why you should be really really pissed that Panasonic isn't making and shipping enough GH1 cameras.




12 August, 2009 - You'd Be Surprised What Those Files May Contain

No matter how good our cameras get, no matter how wide the dynamic range, and no matter how low the noise, we always want more.

HDR is one way of obtaining greater DR, but it isn't without cost. In a new tutorial titled You'd Be Surprised What Those Files May Contain, Mark Segal today looks at ways of extracting the most information from your current images.

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Incidently, if you're located in Toronto, or elsewhere in Southern Ontario or upstate New York, Mark will be teaching two seperate, two-day seminars at Vistek's Mississauga location on Oct 3 and Oct 17, and then again on October 24, and 31 at Vistek's downtown Toronto store. These each take place on two seperate Saturdays, and comprise a total of 12 hours of instruction for each seminar. If you can figure this all out, then I recommend that you attend because Mark, who is a frequent contributor to this site, really knows his stuff.




15 August, 2009 - Canon 17mm TS/E f/4 Lens Review. Leica S2 Press Release

Canon has had several tilt-shift lenses in EF mount for more than a decade. Earlier this year they updated the 24mm (the Home Page shows a shot taken with the original version), and I have now had an opportunity to work with the exciting and unique 17mm TS/E. My field review is now online.

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Leica has issued a press release announcing final details, pricing, and availability of its long-awaited S2 medium format camera. I have created a page reproducing the full text in English of that release.

I expect to have a lot to say about this new system in the weeks ahead!

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




19 August, 2009 - Changing Perspective

Using longer or wider lenses doesn't just change ones field of view, it also changes perspective. Today, Peter Cox explores this topic in a tutorial titled Changing Perspective.

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"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".



23 August, 2009 - Want - Need - Afford - Pick Any Two

If an automotive magazine or web site reviews a new Ferrari no one complains at the price. It just is what it is.

But, with photographic equipment high priced gear gets the gears from many people. Even me, sometimes.

Why is this? In Want – Need – Afford – Pick Any Two I explore this topic. Nothing profound; just some observations.




27 August, 2009 - Sony A850 Initial Review

Sony has today announced several new cameras and lenses, including thier A500, A550 and A850. My report on the A550 will appear here in a couple of days, but today has the publication of my A850 report.

What's an A850, you ask? It's a full frame, 25 Megapixel DSLR, almost identical to the A900, for around US $2,000. Now have I caught your interest? My review is found here.

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DXOMark now has test results for the A850 online, though as expected they are pretty much the same for as the A900.

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As many will already know Adobe has released Camera Raw 5.5 (beta), an update with support for several new cameras, including the Nikon D300s, Nikon D3000, Olympus E-P1, and Panasonic DMC-FZ35. I would have mentioned it a few days ago but I was traveling abroad when it was announced and was offline for a couple of days.

Hasselblad has also now announced that CR 5.5 has added support for Hasselblad 3FR files, though there is no support in this version for tethered shooting and FFF files.

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.

 




29 August, 2009 - Sony A550 First Impressions

The Sony A550 is that company's new top-of-the-line consumer camera. Three camera were announced a couple of days ago; The A850, A550 and A500. My A850 report has already been published and today we have my Sony A550 First Impressions.

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After the publication of my Sony A850 review the other day (and my ongoing complaints about poor OEM raw software), I got a note from DxO Labs letting me know that in some European countries Sony is bundling this new camera with DxO Optics Pro (full Elite version) as free companion software.

Nicely done Sony. You finally got the memo. Now, how about offering this program everywhere else in the world?

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Apple started shipping Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard yesterday. If you own an Epson printer, this is the page that you should visit to download the latest drivers for your printer.




31 August, 2009 - Leica Webcast Announced for 09/09/09

Leica has just announced that they will be webcasting a press conference to introduce new products (notice the plural) next Wednesday, the 9th of September, at 10am Eastern.

For those of you who haven't had your coffee yet this morning, don't let the significance of the 09/09/09 date escape your notice. :-)

You need to register online to be able to view this webcast.

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"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".

 




1 September, 2009 - Epson 3880 Printer & Canon 7D DSLR Announced

Two major announcements today.

The first is the new Epson 3880 printer. Imagine the 3800 but with the 880 ink set and heads. In other words, Epson's UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink technology and an advanced MicroPiezo® AMC print head.

The 3880 replaces the 3800, and will be available in October with a U.S. MSRP of $1,295. I expect to have a review sample soon, so watch for my test report. Looks like the industry's best printer value just got better.

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Canon has announced today their newest DSLR, the 7D. No surpise really, as their subsidiaries in China and Taiwan leaked all the specs and pictures last week. (One year it's France, the next it's another country. I think they may be competeing for the honours). For a company that appears to be paranoid about providing product information to journalists, even under NDA, they do a pretty good job of leaking it themselves – so why bother?

The camera itself looks very exciting. It's a fresh redesign and likely will be the template for additional cameras to come. The main features are an 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a new high performance autofocus system, 8 FPS, Full HD video at 24, 25 and 30 FPS, a built-in flash capable of acting as a flash trigger, a built-in leveling sensor, and much more.

Will it have easily accessable mirror lock up? I doubt it, but I can't wait to find out. Look for a hands-on review here soon.




2 September, 2009 - It's Nice to Deal with Pros

We always hear the horror stories; the gear that fails and the company that won't fix it properly, or which makes the process a frustrating and painful one.

But, how often do we hear of a company in the photographic industry that goes out of its way to provide exemplary service? Not as often as we should, but there are such companies out there.

Today's story, called It's Nice to Deal with Pros, is about Geoff Baehr's experience with a defective Epson 9900 printer. It's a heart-warming tale, and one which we don't hear often enough. (I know you had a bad experience with Epson – but don't write to me about it. This is a good news story, maybe even a parable which others can learn from).

Geoff, by the way, is the ex-CTO of a Fortune 500 company and knows a thing or two about technology.

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Panasonic has announced today the GF1, their entry in the pocket-camera / big-sensor sweapstakes.

The only other cameras in this catagory at the moment are the Sigma DP-2 and Olympus E-P1. What makes the camera exciting are its high image quality – since it uses the same well-regarded sensor as the G1, DSLR speed autofocus (unique to this camera series from Panasonic), HD video, and an accessory eletronic viewfinder. The GF1 will have a U.S. retail price of $899.

Oh yes, did I mention the 20mm (40mm equiv) f/1.7 ASPH lens coming as well? Panasonic has several new lenses coming this year, and next, and I'll have more to say about all of these in my GF1 hands-on report, to be published here within the next few weeks.




3 September, 2009 - Epson / Snow Leopard Woes

Snow Leopard (OS 10.6) is an important new update to the Mac OS that just came out last week. But, as sometimes is the case with operating systems, there can be driver compatability issues.

In the case of Epson printers, some people have had no problems but others have, and the tale of one of these, and the solution, are now detailed in Epson / Snow Leopard Woes, by Mark Dubovoy.




8 September, 2009 - Hamilton Ontario Sony Workshop, Testing the Canon 7D, Exciting Week Coming Up

There's an exciting week coming up with new product announcements and a number of new product reviews. In fact the next few weeks are going to be chock-a-block with new cameras and reviews.

I am currently working on my Canon 7D field report and have six other new camera reviews scheduled for publication in the coming days, so come back often. The fun starts on Wednesday.

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On Sunday Oct 4, 2009 I'll be conducting a Fall Colour Workshop on behalf of Sony Canada at Webster's Falls, near Hamilton, Ontario. This is limited to just 40 Sony owners living in the southern Ontario region, so grab a spot as soon as possible if you're interested in attending. (Please note that I am teaching this workshop, not running it, so please direct any questions that you might have about it to Sony).

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When the Olympus EP-1 was introduced a short while ago I looked closely at it but decided not to do a review. Why? Primerily because my plate was full at the time, but also because I wasn't that impressed by what I saw. I also wasn't in the mood for the kind of wailing and gnashing of teeth that ensues from the faithfull when I savage a product online.

But now, Thom Hogan, one of the most insightful reviewers on the Net, has published his report on the EP-1. Since it almost exactly mirror's my thoughts on that camera I suggest that you read it if you'd like to know what that fascinating but highly flawed product is all about.

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




9 September, 2009 - Leica Announces Three New Cameras

Leica has announced today three new cameras. The basics are as follows…

Leica M9: full frame 35mm; same body size as the M8; 18.2 Megapixels CCD sensor, no antiailiasing filter, no IR filters needed on lenses.

Leica S2: a new medium format camera system with a 37.5 Megapixel CCD ensure, weatherproof body and lenses, focal plane and leaf shutter lenses; 1.5 FPS

- Leica X1: pocket sized camera with a 1.5X APS-C sized CMOS sensor and a 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit ASPH lens (non-interchangable)

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In mid-August I was invited to join a small group of journalist on a visit with Leica at their headquarters in Solms, Germany. The purpose was to preview three new cameras, the M9, S2 and X1. We were able to spend time shooting with the S2 and M9 and also had unprecedented access to Leica's executives, product development team, and engineers over a three day period.

In addition to shooting in a studio and afield with the M9 and S2 we met with a wide range of Leica executives, including the CEO, department heads, product managers, design engineers, and project leaders.

I have reviews ready of the M9 and S2, and also three in-depth video interviews with senior Leica engineers and executives. Because I don't want to put everything online all at once, I will be spreading these out over the next week, and in keeping with agreements that I and other journalists made with Leica about publication dates. 

Here's the schedule…

Today: Leica X1 Preview

Thursday, Sept 10: Leica M9 Production Camera Review

Friday, Sept 11: Leica S2 Pre-Production Camera Hands-On Report

Monday, Sept 14: Video

An interview with Stephan Daniel, Product Manager for Leica Camera – regarding the M9 camera. 70 minutes in length.

Tuesday, Sept 15: Video

An interview with Leica's chief optical designer, Peter Karbe. 44 minutes in length.

Wednesday, Sept 16: Video

Leica factory visit – building the Leica M9




10 September, 2009 - Leica M9 First-Look Report

I've shot with M Leicas, both professionally and personally, for more than 30 years. After working with a production Leica M9 in Germany last month I was taken by how that company has finally and successfully transitioned from film to digital with this new model.

While the Leica S2, (to be reviewed here tomorrow) is a fresh from-the -ground-up digital design, the M9 attempts to carry forward the essence of what made the M series – among the finest cameras ever made – into the digital realm.

The M8 and M8.2 were steps in that direction, but had their failings. But with the M9 I believe that Leica has nailed the transition. With an 18 Megapixel full frame sensor, no AA filter, no need for IR filters, and the ability to take virtually every lens that Leica has ever made over the past 75 years, the M9 has what it takes to satisfy the traditionalist as well as the most demanding digerati.

No, it's not inexpensive. But the world's best of anything never is. But, at about US $7,000 the M9 is the smallest and lightest full frame 35mm camera available, and I believe it will challenge the Canon 1Ds MKIII and Nikon D3x in terms of image quality. Not as many gizmos and features, to be sure, but it does so for a comparable price. And for some photographers, in some situations, ultimate image quality along with discrete size and low weight will trump the bricks which we call "Pro" DSLRs.

As the saying goes – "You pay your money and you make your choices".

My Leica M9 First Look Report is now online.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




11 September, 2009 - Leica S2 First Impressions

The Leica S2 is the third entry in that company's trifecta of product announcements this week. We've known about it since last October's Photokina, but now it's real, and about to ship.

During my visit to Solms, Germany last month I had the opportunity to shoot for a day with an S2 system. My first impressions report is now online. I expect to have a full production S2 camera for testing later this month or early October, and of course will provide further analysis and reporting here then.

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If you want some insightful Leica M9 reporting, have a look at David Farkas' blog. David was one of the members of our August visit to Solms. A great read.

____________________

Come back on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week for three exclusive video reports...

– A 44 minute long interview with Leica's chief lens designer Peter Karbe.

– A 69 minute long interview with Leica's Product Manager, Stephan Daniel.

– A look at the final assembly and testing process of the M9 at Leica's Solms factory.




14 September, 2009 - A Video Tour of Leica M9 Assembly and Testing

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/videos/m9-video-intro.shtml

In mid-August, 2009, together with a small group of web journalists, I visited Leica's Solms, Germany headquarters for a preview of the new Leica S2 and M9.

We were given unprecedented access to shoot stills and video in Leica's manufacturing and testing facility, and during our three days there I produced three videos – including interviews with Leica's M9 Product Manager Stephan Daniel and Peter Karbe, the company's head of lens design.

Today's video, running 18 minutes in length, is a tour of the M9's final assembly and testing clean room – astonishing for the amount of manual work involved.

The two interviews will appear here over the next couple of days.

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Over this past weekend there have been rumours circulating on various web forums that the first shipment of Leica M9s have been recalled.

I spoke with a senior Leica executive in the U.S. on Sunday morning and he subsequently spoke with representatives of the company in  Germany. I have been told that these recall reports are completely false and groundless.

The facts are that the first M9s have been on sale in Europe since the middle of last week, and U.S. and Canadian dealers will start to receive initial shipments toward the end of this week.

It's also clear that demand for the M9 is turning out to be very high, and so it may be some time until the initial feeding frenzy can be satisfied. When you've watched my video of what's involved in final assembly and testing you'll understand why. No robots, no mass production – just careful and therefore slow hand work and meticulous testing. No wonder Leicas cost what they do.




15 September, 2009 - A Video Interview with Leica's M9 Product Manager Stephan Daniel

In addition to an opportunity to work with the new Leica M9 and S2 during a visit to Leica in mid-August, we were able to spend considerable time chatting and exchanging ideas with some of the company's senior executives.

The M9 Product Manager, Stephan Daniel, was kind enough to allow me to video record our introductory session with him about the M9, and that 70 minute long interview is now online.



I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




16 September, 2009 - An Interview with Leica's Chief Optical Designer, Peter Karbe

During my visit last month with Leica in Germany for a preview of the soon to be announced M9, S2 and X1, there also was an opportunity to interview Leica's head of optical design, Peter Karbe.

There is now a 35 minute long video of that session online during which we primarily discussed the new lenses for the S series camera.

This concludes my coverage of the recent Leica product launches. We've had six featured product reports and videos in the past eight days. It's now time for me to take a break.

I'll be on vacation for the next week, and likely not online much, so you can catch up with any of the new material that you haven't yet read, or some of the more than 3,500 pages of essays, reviews, tutorials and articles on the site.

____________________

Adobe has released updates in the form of Lightroom 2.5 and Camera Raw 5.5. These include support for several new cameras, including the Nikon D300S, Nikon D3000, Panasonic DMC-GF1, and Olympus E-P1.

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It isn't often that there's a new medium format camera announced, but today we were surprised by the Hartblei Cam, which looks to offer a hybrid lens / camera / back integration system.

Whether this turns out to be a real product, and when it might come to market, remains open at the moment. More as it becomes known.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




23 September, 2009 - Proper Settings for a Correct Histogram

Ray Maxwell has written a reminder about how to best set your camera when shooting raw, in a brief tutorial titled Proper Settings for an Accurate Histogram.

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My week-long vacation in Paris has now drawn to a close and I'm on my way home. Along with too much good food, some great art, and miles of walking and people watching, I had time to shoot about a thousand frames with my new Leica M9 and also a pre-production Panasonic GF1. I'll have reports here on both cameras within the next week or so.

The new Home Page image was taken with the M9 earlier this week.

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25 September, 2009 - Canon 7D First Report

Canon has finally given its flagship prosumer DSLR a major facelift in the form of the EOS 7D. The competition in this segment is getting tough and Canon needed to really pull out the stops. The 7D is also likely the basis on which Canon will build a number of future models so it is well worth a look.

In my 7D First Look I describe what this new camera is like to work with, but because it is still a pre-production model I have not commented on image quality at this time.

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PhotoPlus Expo is on in New York City in just under a month from now. I have been invited by B&H Photo to give a talk at the B&H Event Space on Thursday, Oct 22 from 10am – 12pm. This is a free two hour lecture. All you need to do is register in advance. But, space is limited so if you'd like to attend register online now.

I look forward to seeing you there.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




26 September, 2009 - The Fallacy of Judging Image Quality Online

We've all done it. There's a photograph or a 100% crop of an image online, taken with a camera or lens that we're interested in, and we judge its image quality capabilities (at least in part) on the basis of that screen image.

Wrong!

In The Fallacy of Judging Image Quality Online I look at why, though many people do it all the time, it's really a very bad idea.

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And, speaking of image quality, one of the biggest factors in getting the most out of your digital camera's images is learning how to sharpen properly. Jeff Schewe's newly updated book, Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom is now available. It is the ultimate reference on the subject of sharpening and well worth your attention.

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My friend Nick Rains, the well known Austrailian photographer, writer, and photographic educator, is the guest lecturer on what sounds to be a fantastic cruise, a sub-Antarctic Wildlife Adventure beginning on December 1. If you've got the time and the money, this sounds like a great trip. Tell them Nick sent you and you'll get a discount.



I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




29 September, 2009 - Panasonic GF1 Field Report + Two New MF Cameras Announced

The Micro Four Thirds format continues to gain strength with recent new models from both Olympus and Panasonic.

The Panasonic GF1 caught my attention because I was already an enthusiastic owner of both the G1 and GH1, and based on its specs at least it seemed to trump the Olympus EP-1.

Panasonic managed to get a production GF1 into my hands just the day before I left for a week-long trip to Paris earlier this month. I shot with it extensively, as well as with a full production Leica M9, which I had purchased after my visit with Leica in Germany last month.

My Panasonic GF1 Field Report is now online, and my Leica M9 field report will appear here before the end of this week.

____________________

Both Hasselblad and Phase One have announced new cameras within the past few days.

Hasselblad's offering is the H4D-60, with 60 megapixel back and a number of innovative new features. Among these are some unique focusing technologies.

Phase One has announced the Phase One 645DF, along with three new high performance Schneider leaf shutter lenses, 55mm, 80mm and 110mm, all f/2.8. These lenses are a result of close collaboration between Phase One, Mamiya Digital Imaging, and Schneider Kreuznach.

The 645DF is claimed to now be the only 645 medium format camera which supports both focal plane and leaf shutters, though the forthcoming Leica S2 does as well (though not strictly speaking a 645 format camera).

Among the enhancements to the new 645DF are improved autofocus speed and pre-defined custom shooting modes.

The 645DF and leaf shutter lenses are scheduled to become available over the next few months.

I expect to soon have one of the new Phase One cameras for field testing.

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ONLY TWO DAYS REMAINING


Enter Now To Win
And Support This Site!





30 September, 2009 - Death Valley Phase One Workshop - A Few Places Have Become Available


Photographer on The Dunes – Michael Reichmann

I announced here back in July, that along with renown photographers and educators Jeff Schewe, Bill Atkinson and Mark Dubovoy I would be teaching a field workshop for Phase One in Death Valley, California in early November, part of the company's Digital Artist Series.

That workshop sold-out within a couple of days, as we expected it would. But now, a few of the attendees have had to drop out due to personal scheduling issues, and we have re-opened this workshop to registration.

Find out more here. If you want to spend five days shooting with a 60 Megapixel Phase One medium format camera system in one of the planet's most remarkable photographic locations, learn from four of the most experienced photographic educators, and spend time talking with Claus Mølgaard, Phase One's Chief Technology Officer and Vice President R&D, one of the world's leading experts on digital imaging, then this is the workshop for you.

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This Is The Last Day To Enter!!

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Please note that we will be updating our video and store server later today (Wednesday) and it therefore may be down for a few hours at some point. This means that access to the on-line Store, and the ability to download tutorials and videos may be interupted at some point. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The main site server will not be affected.




1 October, 2009 - The Leica M9, A Field Review

If there is an icon in the camera industry, it's the M series Leica. More than half a century has gone by since the M3 was introduced, and nearly two generations of photojournalists and other photographers have used it and the subsequent M4, M5, M6, M7 and M8 to take some of the world's greatest photographs.

Now the new Leica M9 is shipping. Is it the digital M3? Read my Leica M9 Field Report to find out.

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4 October, 2009 - Contest Winner Announced

The winner of our just-concluded Win a DSLR Contest is Serge Polevitzky of Marina, CA. Congratulations Serge!

Our next contest has already started. We're just not telling you what it is yet. But, every purchase made from our store (even just registration) is an entry. Past prizes have included cameras, workshops, and seminars, usually worth thousands of dollars.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




5 October, 2009 - November Weekend Workshop at the Luminous Landscape Gallery

This is to announce a brand new workshop at the Luminous Landscape Landscape Gallery and Print Studio in Toronto, on the weekend of November 21,22.

It is titled An Introduction to Digital Image Processing and is presented by Mark Segal, along with the participation of Michael Reichmann.

There are just 20 seats available, and this will likely sell out quickly. The weekend costs CDN $595, including taxes, and also includes a catered breakfast and lunch both days. A comprehensive illustrated training manual that summarizes and details all of the material that is covered in the seminar will be provided to each participant.

If you live in southern Ontario or up-state New York, or anywhere else for the matter and can make it here for that weekend, this will be a very enjoyable and productive learning experience. I hope to see you here next month.




8 October, 2009 - Pentax K7 Hands-On Report

Pentax is one of the venerable names in the camera marketplace, though in recent years they have been eclipsed by the major players.

Their new K7 is a strong contender, though not as compelling a choice as prospective owners might wish. My hands-on report on the K7 is now online.

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An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, presented by Mark Segal and first announced here on Monday, still has a few spots available.

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If you doubt the eventual convergence of stills and video, especially in commercial work, you'll likely be more than interested in this articleerr, video.

____________________

I don't often hand out endorsements, however, when I see something
unique, entertaining, educational and very reasonably priced
I must say something.
Your interviews with Jay Maisel and Jeff Schewe really helped me
understand the business ... and Antarctica .... 
Worth every penny and more, especially the HD version!




9 October, 2009 - 48 HOUR / 25% OFF SALE

Our Store was off-line for part of yesterday due to a server problem. It's now back up and we want to make up for lost time. So, for the next 48 hours everything in our Store is On Sale at 25% Off!

Update – The sale has been so well received that the server has slowed and some people have been having trouble placing their orders. We are therefore extending the sale through Monday evening, so that if you find the store slow to respond, just wait a while and try again.

Find Out More

Our Store and Forums have now been restored to normal functioning after a hardware crash last night.  The main site (which runs on a different machine) has been working normally throughout.

Some Forum postings from last night have been lost, but otherwise everything should now be back to normal.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

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Pentax K7 Update

My Pentax K7 review of a couple of days ago has not been well received by some of  the Pentax faithful.  I am actually surprised, because I found the camera to be quite competent, and said so. But I also said that I didn't find it a very compelling camera personally, because it doesn't have any one aspect of its design or performance that makes it stand out.

In any event, e-mails pro and con are currently running about 4:1 supportive of my evaluation, and that's by those that have tried the K7, so I guess I'm not alone in the wilderness.




11 October, 2009 – Phase One Achromatic Plus Back Review

Virtually every DSLR and medium format back on the market has a Bayer Filter array. This is what allows them to produce colour images. But, what if you want to shoot monochrome? You can always convert in post-processing, but we do lose some resolution to the Bayer matrix.

And what about those that need to shoot in the infrared and ultraviolet ends of the spectrum, or who need to use narrow bandpass filters for scientific applications? Almost every camera also has an Infrared blocking filter.

The Phase One Achromatic Plus back is a solid (though expensive) solution to these challenges, and my world-exclusive review is now online. This back has no Bayer Matrix, no IR blocking filter, and no Anti-Aliasing filter; simply a sensor covered by a piece of plain glass for physical protection.

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Our 25% OFF SALE on all download video tutorials
as well as all 18 Video Journals has been extended
until midnight on Monday
.

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An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at Michael Reichmann's Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, and presented by Mark Segal, still has a few spots available.

 




12 October 2009 - Happy Thanksgiving Canada

Here's wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday to all our Canadian readers.

In the Muskoka / Algonquin region of southern Ontario, where I've spent the past week shooting and vacationing, we have had one of the most intense and colourful fall foliage displays in a generation. Reason enough for thanks if you're a photographer.

The new photograph on the Home Page was taken just yesterday, and is my homage to Canadian Thanksgiving.

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REMEMBER
Our 25% OFF SALE on all download video tutorials
as well as all 18 Video Journals end tonight.

____________________




14 October, 2009 - Photofast CF and SD Cards

Memory cards continue to get bigger, faster, and less expensive on a per Gigabyte basis. There are now 32GB SD cards and 64GB CF cards shipping, and they're fester than ever.

But will they work with your camera? Today I report on a new brand called PhotoFast.

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An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, to be presented by Mark Segal in November, still has a few spots available.

 ____________________

UPDATE

Nikon has announced the D3s, an evolution of the two year-old D3, this time with 720P/24 HD video and sensativity up to ISO 102,400. Black cats in coal mines beware.

Australian photographer Marcus Bell has spent a few days shooting with the D3s, and shares his impressions on his blog.

If you'd also like to see how a talented photographer blends stills and motion, have a look at this video by Marcus.

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For those that have watched my recent videos shot at the Leica factory in Solms, Germany, but still haven't had enough, Wired Magazine now has an online essay and photo story about their recent tour of the Leica factory.

____________________

I don't often hand out endorsements, however, when I see something
unique, entertaining, educational and very reasonably priced
I must say something.
Your interviews with Jay Maisel and Jeff Schewe really helped me
understand the business ... and Antarctica .... 
Worth every penny and more, especially the HD version!




17 October, 2009 - Epson 3880 Hands-On Report

Epson dominates the photo-quality printer market, and with good reason. The company has been the industry leader when it comes to new head and ink technologies, and arguable has done more to develop and perfect inkjet printing that anyone else.

The 3800 printer has been the most popular desktop photographic printer among pros and serious amateurs now for several years. This month it is finally being upgraded to the 3880, with new K3 with Vivid Magenta inks, new head coating technology, and new dithering techniques.

I've been using the 3880 at my studio for the past few weeks, and my Epson Stylus Pro 3880 hands-on report is now online.

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An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, to be presented by Mark Segal in November, still has a few spots available.

 ____________________




20 October, 2009 - Full Disclosure

UPDATE

Canon has today announced the EOS 1DMK IV, a 16 Megapixel 1.3X factor DSLR with a new high sensitivity autofocus system, 10FPS capability, HD video with manual controls (the same video modes as the 7D), and of course (given last week's announcement of the Nikon D3s), ISOs up to 102,400. The 1D MK IV will retail for US  $4,999.

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The Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. is going to be requiring that all web sites, web authors, and bloggers that review products online disclose... "their connection, if any, with the advertisers; and also reveal the receipt of free products and or payments from the advertisers".

I believe that this is an excellent rule, and even though I am located outside the U.S., I fully support this move. In the past I have tried to be clear about my commercial relationships, but have never made a statement about it in a single place.

I have now done so here, and this page is permenently linked on the site's side panel, found on the left side of every page.

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If you have been sitting breathlessly, Platinum Visa card in hand, waiting for Leica to ship the S2, you'll now have to wait a bit longer. In the company's own words...

"Because pre-orders are at a higher level than anticipated, Leica AG has therefore decided to adapt the S-System production lines to a higher daily output without compromising quality. However, this cannot be done during a running production and this intricate process calls for further testing and optimization at various stages. Therefore, Leica AG will postpone the start of serial production the S-System. First deliveries will be made in the 2nd week of January 2010.

____________________

An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, to be presented by Mark Segal in November, still has a few spots available.

 ____________________



I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




22 October, 2009 - An Introduction to Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta

A beta release of Adobe Lightroom 3 is now available as a free download to anyone on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. You don't even have to own a previous version of Lightroom. My introductory look at this new release is now online.

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And when you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




26 October, 2009 - Canon G11 Hands-On Report & Comparison with The G10 and GF1

The Canon G11 has garnered a great deal of interest because, for what may be the first time, a major camera maker has reduced the pixel count on a new model. The G11 is 10MP while its predecessor, the G10 had 15MP.

I have been shooting with the G11 for a couple of weeks and have done some comparisons with the Canon G10 and also the Panasonic GF1, a more expensive camera but in the same weight class. My report and comparisons are now online.

____________________

An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, to be presented by Mark Segal in November, still has a few spots available.

____________________

I don't often hand out endorsements, however, when I see something
unique, entertaining, educational and very reasonably priced
I must say something.
Your interviews with Jay Maisel and Jeff Schewe really helped me
understand the business ... and Antarctica .... 
Worth every penny and more, especially the HD version!




28 October, 2009 - Capture One 5.0 Preview

One of the most popular raw processing programs among working pros for the past 10 years, especially for tethered shooting in the studio with Phase backs and Canon and Nikon DSLRs, has been Capture One.

Their newest edition, Capture One 5.0, was announced today and is now available for a free trial download as well as a paid upgrade for exisiting users. My preview is now online.

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The B3K Group is conducting an intensive one day seminar on Capture One 5.0 in Toronto next week; on Tuesday Nov 3. It is being conducted by Walter Borchenko, an expert in the software and one of Phase One's top trainers and evangelists. I'll be there. Hope to see you.

____________________

An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, to be presented by Mark Segal in November, still has a few spots available.

____________________



I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




30 October, 2009 - Backup and Data Integrity for Photographers

Our worst nightmare as photographers has got to be losing our image files. The question is not if a hard drive will fail – only when.

But, what's the best backup strategy? In an exclusive article, Geoff Baehr, previously the CTO of Networking for Sun Microsystems, offers some suggestions.

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UPDATE

RED has finally made a new announcement, with both good news and bad news. The Epic-X will appear slowly over the next few months, with priority going to existing RED One owners.

The Scarlet seems to have been further delayed, with more information apparently coming a month from now, on Nov 30.

The weakened economy as well as expected development issues and changing industry trends are to blame for the delays. Understandable.

But, I fully expect Canon to release a video camera using their full-frame sensor technology along with raw video processing capability early in the year, and that's going to put the cat among the convergence pigeons.

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31 October, 2009 - LL Holiday Gift Store Now Open - 25% Off All Products

25% OFF

The holiday season is about to begin and that brings the question of – what gift to buy for photographer friends, wherever in the world they may live?

We have the answer – a multi-hour download video from The Luminous Landscape. These range in price from $15 to $50 at our regular prices, and most are available in SD as well as HD formats.

We have four major tutorials available – From Camera to Print, Raw Processing in Photoshop, Guide to Lightroom 2, and Guide to Digital Asset Management.

There are also Issues 17 & 18 HD editions of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal available.

Between Now and December 25%
Everything in our Holiday Gift Store
is Available to Gift
at - 25% Off.

Give a Gift of The Luminous Landscape

No Taxes – No Duties – No Delays
Available World-Wide




2 November, 2009 - Canon S90 Field Report

Panasonic knocked one out of the park last year with the Lumix LX3.

This camera combined small size, raw capability, a fast high-quality zoom lens, and fine image quality, all in a shirt pocket sized package.

Now Canon has issued its challenger in the form of the Powershot S90. This is the smallest and lightest pocket camera yet with a zoom lens and that shoots raw, and it's a worthy competitor. The S90 uses the same sensor and processing engine as the new G11, all in a much smaller and more convenient size.

What's not to like? Find out in my just published S90 Field Report.

UPDATE: It appears that some folks are upset that I used Lightroom 3 Beta rather than Canon's DPP when doing my review, thus supposedly not showing the S90's raw files at their best.

Not wanting to have disadvantaged the S90 in any way, I subsequently spent some time confirming what I had already seen: when default noise reduction and sharpening are zeroed out in both programs they perform quite similarly. It appears that some Canon users have simply become used to high default levels of noise reduction in DPP.

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Another small sensor pocket camera that you might find of interest is the Ricoh GRIII. Sean Reid at Reid Reviews has just published his review. Reid Reviews is a paid subscription site, but if you're an afictionado of fine cameras and a lens lover, it's well worth the price of admission.

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3 November, 2009 - Mac / Photoshop / Epson Profiling Problems Solved

If you have a Mac running Snow Leopard, run Photoshop CS4, and use the latest Epson printer drivers, you may have a problem creating proper printer profiles. In fact, it may be impossible to do so.

This problem has been driving people nuts for many weeks, and the Net is full of complaints, finger pointing, and half-baked solutions.

Last week Mark Dubovoy encountered the problem, and being a very fussy fine art printer as well as a scientist by profession, he set out to find the source of the problem and also a solution if possible.

He polled a wide number of the industry's top printing and colour management gurus, and a very intense round-robin email discussion ensued.

Adobe computer scientist, and avid photographer, Eric Chan, researched the issue, discovered the cause, and came up with a work-around which Mark and others have tested. It works.

The nature of the problem and how to deal with it is now detailed in a new exclusive tutorial titled Solving Recent Profiling Issues With Apple Computers, Epson Printers and Photoshop.

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UPDATE

DxO Labs has today announced DxO Optics Pro 6, a major new revision which includes higher ISO noise performance, new manual distortion controls for non-supported lenses, a simpler user interface, and support for a number of new cameras and lenses, now totaling more than 1,600. My preview is now online.

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I have been field testing a production Leica X1 camera for the past week and am currently working on my report. I expect to publish it here next week. The new Home Page photograph was taken with the X1.

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6 November, 2009 - xrite ColorChecker Passport Review

Adobe's raw processing programs; Camera Raw in Photoshop, and Lightroom 2 as well as Lightroom 3 Beta, all now allow users to create their own camera profiles using the free DNG Profile Editor. This program came out in the summer of 2008 and was reviewed here at the time.

Now xrite has introduced the ColorChecker Passport, a simple and inexpensive device and accompanying software, that allows us to create custom camera profiles quickly and easily in the field for any light conditions. My review is now online.

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There are still two seats available for An Introduction to Digital Image Processing, a seminar at The Luminous Landscape Gallery and Studio, to be presented by Mark Segal in a couple of weeks.

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Please note that for administrate reasons no new forum registrations will be accepted from today until November 16. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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Many people are looking forward to my Leica X1 review, which is now schedule to be published here late next week. I spoke with Sean Reid at Reid Reviews, and he tells me that he will likely be publishing his report at the end of next week as well. Watch for both of these.

____________________

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8 November, 2009 - On The Road With Phase One in Death Valley

Today begins a five-day workshop in Death Valley, CA, run by Phase One at the famous Furnace Creek Inn. I am among the group of teachers that includes Bill Atkinson, Claus Molgaard, Jeff Schewe, and Mark Dubovoy.

Kevin Raber, Phase One's US Vice President, is blogging the workshop this week and you can follow his blog, which will be updated daily, here.

The new Home Page photograph, taken with the Leica X1 (hey –  I'm ecumenical), was taken on Saturday evening on the way to the park.

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12 November, 2009 - Leica X1 Field Report

I have now been shooting with the upcoming Leica X1 for the past few weeks, including this week on a workshop / shoot in Death Valley.

How is the image quality, and handling? Find out in my X1 Field Report, which is now online. You can also read Sean Reid's observations at Reid Reviews (a subscription site).

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15 November, 2009 - Leica X1 Update

I'm now back from my workshop / shoot in Death Valley. We had a great time. What a terrific group of participants, and Phase One did a fantastic job with the preparations and logistics.

All of the members of this workshop were given the new Phase One 645DF camera to use, along with a P65+ or P40+ back. These were the first twenty five production 645DF cameras off the assembly line, and with the exception of a few little bugs, worked flawlessly.

I am now preparing my Phase One 645DF camera review and expect it to publish here within the next 10 days. The new Home Page photograph was taken with the 645DF and my P65+ at Zabriskie Point.

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While I was away I received a production Leica S2 camera system for testing. Firmware still isn't final, but the hardware is, and I've already started putting it through its paces. My review should appear here before the end of the month.

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I published my Leica X1 field report a few days ago while I was in Death Valley, but it wasn't until I returned on Saturday that I was able to catch up on reader comments. I have also spoken with Sean Reid who has also been reviewing the X1, and I now have an update to my review online.

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I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




16 Nov, 2009 - Leaf Aptus II 10, The First Week

Buying a medium format back is a serious financial committment for a pro, and the thought process involved and a photographer's initial experience with it makes for an informative and interesting read.

Today's new article by Robb Williamson is on the Leaf Aptus II 10. It details his purchase decision process and his first week's shooting experience.

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I don't often hand out endorsements, however, when I see something
unique, entertaining, educational and very reasonably priced
I must say something.
Your interviews with Jay Maisel and Jeff Schewe really helped me
understand the business ... and Antarctica .... 
Worth every penny and more, especially the HD version!

 




19 November, 2009 - ALPA Field Report

UPDATE – 10:30am EST

It was announced today that Christian Poulsen has decided to resign from his position as CEO of Hasselblad. Chairman of the Board, Dr. Larry Hansen will now also serve as Chief Executive Officer.

This follows the recent replacement of Hasselblad USA's President Jack Showalter by Tom Olesen.

I have no editorial stance on these announcements at the moment, but one has to wonder as to the nature of the changes taking place within Hasselblad and their underlaying motivations.

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When it comes to technical cameras for use with digital backs few would argue that ALPA makes some of the most functional and beautifully design cameras on the market.

Mark Dubovoy is an ALPA user, and today he reports on his field use and testing of some new ALPA lenses, cameras and software.

Ps: If you notice a similarlity between my new Home Page shot of the so-called Devil's Golf Course and the one Mark has in his article, it's because we were shooting together that afternoon. (And if you're curious, yes, I like Mark's better then mine.)

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The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) along with the United States Library of Congress has produced the Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow project.

This is the result of two years of extensive research led by prominent ASMP members Richard Anderson and Peter Krogh, who are photographers, authors and industry experts. You can find out more on ths ite but might particularly want to download this free PDF.

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Adobe today announced the Photoshop Camera Raw 5.6, Lightroom 2.6 and DNG Converter 5.6 Release Candidates, available for immediate download on Adobe Labs. The term 'release candidate' means this update is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing to provide the highest quality experience for customers working on a variety of hardware and software configurations.

The updates add raw file support for 19 new popular camera models, including the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D3s, with additional DNG support added for the Leica M9 camera model.

The Lightroom 2.6 Release Candidate is available as a free download for existing Lightroom 2 customers, and the Photoshop Camera Raw 5.6 Release Candidate is available as a free download for existing customers of Photoshop CS4. The DNG Converter 5.6 Release Candidate is also available as a free download for all customers.

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23 November, 2009 - Phase One 645DF Camera Field Report

Most medium format users know by now that Phase One is the controlling shareholder at Mamiya, and for some time now has assumed responsibility for new product development, including camera bodies and lenses. These are marketed under both the Mamiya brand name as well as Phase One.

Their latest camera is the Phase One 645DF, and it will begin to become available to photographers world-wide beginning next month.

A couple of weeks ago, along with some 25 other photographers and instructors at the Phase One Digital Artist Series in Death Valley, I had the opportunity to spend a week working with the 645DF, and have been doing additional testing since my return.

Continuing to provide the web's most comprehensive coverage of medium format equipment, my field report on the 645DF is now online.

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25 November, 2009 - A Call For Support

It's easy to take someone or something for granted. They're there. They've been there for a while, and they'll likely be there in the future.

We'll maybe not. I'm referring, of course, to this site – The Luminous Landscape.

With nearly 4,000 pages of content, many terabytes of traffic, and more than a million unique visitors each month, just the cost of our servers and bandwidth is considerable. Add to that the time and effort of our staff and contributors, including programers and customer service, and our costs are significant.

What do we charge? Nothing. This site is free to anyone to read and enjoy. But we do ask from time to time for your support in the form of a purchase of one of our unique educational video products. We don't want contributions or gifts – just that you consider the purchase of one of our modestly priced products. 

Thank you.

To find out more, check our online store for our Guide to Raw Processing Photoshop, Guide to Asset Management, Guide to Lightroom, Tutorial on Fine Art Printing, or one of our 18 different Video Journals.

____________________

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30 November, 2009 - Leica S2 Field and Studio Review

It isn't often that a major camera maker introduces a totally new camera system. The Leica S2 is that company's entry into the larger-than-35mm market (call it medium format if you will) and it has now been some 15 months since the S2 system was first announced.

Shipments of the S2 body and its first two lenses will begin in early January. During November I have been fortunate to have had a full production Leica S2 with both the 70mm and 180mm lenses for testing, both on location and in the studio. Leica is still tweaking the camera's firmware, but the camera that I've been using is essentially production final.

What is it like? In a word – Wow! You can read my full review here.

This review also contains a 14 minute long HD video report produced by Chris Sanderson that shows a seven hour long studio testing session which took place at Toronto's Studio One last week. Enjoy.

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1 December, 2009 - Scarlet Inches a Bit Closer to Reality

Of possibly greater interest at this time to those into video (raw video in particular) then stills, RED Scarlet inched a bit closer to reality today with an announcement of features and pricing, and for the first time an actual photo of the camera rather than a rendering.

The 2/3" model with fixed 8X zoom will be $4,750 with body, lens, CF card module, LCD screen and battery, while the interchangable lens version – body only – will be $2,750; all other modular components extra. A line of new "mini-prime" lenses will cost $950 each.

The Scarlet S35 has (last we heard) a 30X15mm sensor (bigger than APS-C), will have a 13.8 Megapixel sensor, shoot 30FPS stills and video in raw mode, and has been priced at $7,000 – body only, but no other details are given. Delivery date on the two first Scarlet models is given as May/June, 2010 and for the S35 as "summer".

Glean what you can from the announcement page. There just isn't enough information on the still photo side of the ledger at this time, though the video aspects are surely enticing.

Frankly, being able to shoot 3K raw video for under $5,000 is an astonishing price breakthrough. Sleep well tonight Canon, Sony and Panasonic, particularly because it appears that the entire modular Red / Epic / Scarlet product line will consist of completely interchangable modules and components.

From stills, to commercials, to indy shoots, to Holywood feature productions, all with one interchangable component system. 2010 should be an interesting year.

____________________

When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".

 




3 December, 2009 - Four New Fine Art Papers From Epson for 2010

Epson has just started to ship four new fine art matte papers that are worth your attention. Mark Dubovoy has been working with early samples of these papers and today provides us with his exclusive review.

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DxO Optics Pro 5.36 is now available in a version for Macs  OSX. Still a generation behind the Windows version, but with support for Snow Leopard and all the latest cameras. 

Capture One 5.0.1 was also just announced and adds support for the Panasonic G1, GH1, and GF1, and also the Olympus E-P1.

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6 December, 2009 - Bill Atkinson's PhotoCard

Bill Atkinson is someone known both within the computer and the photographic community. He's a brilliant programmer as well as a very fine photographer and teacher.

Bill has now published Bill Atkinson's PhotoCard, a must-have iPhone app. My review is now online.

____________________

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9 December, 2009 - Hartblei Cam Review - Medium Format with 35mm Canon Lenses

How about a 645 camera that takes medium format digital backs along with 35mm lenses? Would you believe putting a Canon EF 24mm or 17mm T/S lens on a Phase One P65+ – with movements?

Get ready for the Hartblei Cam – designed in Germany; made in Italy, and becoming available in just a few weeks. My world-exclusive review is now online.

– – –

If you live in or near Manchester in the UK you can see the Hartblei Cam and meet the company's CEO Stefan Steib at the Peartree UK Leaf Roadshow tomorrow, December 10.

____________________

When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




11 December, 2009 - Video Journal #19 Now Available

The Luminous Landscape Video Journal #19 is now available for immediate purchase and download. This issue features three hours of HD video content, and includes...

– A photographic expedition to Namibia

– An interview with imaging scientist Norman Koren

– An interview with stock photographer and educator Seth Resnick

– An interview with photographer and canvas printer Andrew Collett

– A field report on the Xrite ColorChecker Passport

Watch Free Video Previews of Each
Major Feature in This Issue




15 December, 2009 - On the Trail With the Leica M9

Is it possible to do landscape photography with a rangefinder camera? Of course. But what are the compromises?

In A Landscape Photography Experiment – On the Trail With the Leica M9 I explore the question of whether the new Leica M9 is a suitable camera for serious landscape and nature work.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

Watch Free Video Previews of Each
Major Feature in This Issue




CMYK 2.0 - A Review

Many photographers want to prepare their own files for commercial four colour printing. This seems a deep mystery, but is actually quite manageable. When we do, as the image's creator we have much more control over final output quality than was possible in the bad old days.

A new book titled CMYK 2.0 removes much of the mystery, and we have just published a review by Ray Maxwell.

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UPDATE:

Lightroom 2.6 is now available as a free download for existing Lightroom 2 customers, and Photoshop Camera Raw 5.6 is available as a free download for existing customers of Photoshop CS4, Photoshop Elements 8 (Win/Mac) and Premiere Elements 8. DNG Converter 5.6 is also available as a free download for all customers. Click here for more information and to download the updates.

This update includes additional camera support for several new camera models including the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D3s.

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PLUG:

My good friend Andy Biggs is an African Wildlife photographer, expedition leader, and educator. He also is the designer of the Kiboko camera bag from Gura Gear. I reviewed the Kiboko on these pages a year ago.

Andy has just put online a brief video pitching the features of the Kiboko, so if you're looking for a new lightweight yet rugged camera backpack you might want to check it out.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

Watch Free Video Previews of Each
Major Feature in This Issue




A Plea For HDR - Love it or Hate it, But Understand it

HDR has been "big" this past year, but as many photographers as there are who love it, there seem to be an equal number who hate it.

In today's essay by Alexandre Buisse titled A Plea For HDR, we look at the esthetic dimension of HDR rather than simply providing another "How-To" tutorial.

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If you have read my recent review of Bill Atkinson's Photocard, a fantastic new App for the iPhone, you might be interested in this new hint from Bill on maximizing image quality.

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One of the top nature and landscape photographers working today is Art Wolfe, who, due to his books and TV shows, needs little introduction. But you may not be aware that Art also does travel workshops, and he has two coming up in February – one in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the other in Myanmar. I have also linked to them from my Workshops page.

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23 December, 2009 - Scanning with SilverFast - The Old World Joins the New

There are a great many photographers scanning film, either because they still shoot film or because they have a large slide and negative collections requiring digitizing.

SilverFast is widely acknowledged as the leading scanning software, and is found bundled with a number of top scanner models.

Mark Segal is an expert in both scanning technique and the use of SilverFast, and today provides us with a tutorial titled Scanning with SilverFast – The Old World Joins the New. In it Mark explores calibration, scanning with the new Epson V750 Pro, and techniques for an integrated workflow between SilverFast and Adobe's Lightroom.

This tutorial is in two part. The web page contains an introduction while because of its length and layout complexity the main tutorial is in the form of a free downloadable PDF, which can be read onscreen or printed out for reference. The PDF link is found at the bottom of the article.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

Watch Free Video Previews of Each
Major Feature in This Issue




26 December, 2009 - The Sony A900 - One Year Later

It's now been a year since Sony shook up the DSLR world with its 24MP A900, priced at less than $3,000. We've offered extensive coverage of this model here, including its use by me on my last Antarctic expedition.

Contributor Bill Caulfeild-Browne today provides us with his experiences and thoughts on this camera system in The Sony A900 – One Year Later.

____________________

When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




1 January, 2010 - Happy New Year

I am currently on a vacation / shoot in Spain (The Canary Islands) until mid-January, with limited internet access. Updates and new articles will therefore appear here only intermittently over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, our best wishes to all readers for a healthy and prosperous 2010.




2 January, 2010 - A Tale of Two Papers

Most would agree that this is the Golden Age of printing papers. We have more types of papers than ever in history and most are quite excellent. A few  – not so much!

The first article of this new year is titled A Tale of Two Papers. In it I review two brand new papers, both just becoming available this month  – Canson Infinity Baryta Photographique and Hahnemuhle Baryta FB.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

Watch Free Video Previews of Each
Major Feature in This Issue




4 January, 2010 - Using QuadTone RIP (PC version) to Create Digital Negatives

There is a lot of interest among photographers exploring traditional as well as historic chemical printing processes in producing digital negatives.

Tim Gray,  who does Platinum printing and who reported on this here last year, now provides us with a tutorial on Using QuadTone RIP (PC version) to Create Digital Negatives.

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If you wern't too deep in your cups early on New Years eve you may have noticed that there was a full moon. From the deck of our rental house on the island of Gomera we watched a remarkable moonrise behind a massive cliff, with wind-raked clouds racing by. My last photograph (literally) of 2009 is now on the site's Home Page.

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8 January, 2010 - Thoughts on Ansel

Ansel Adams is an ikon for some, and an inspiration for others. Many people studied with him, either directly through his seminars, indirectly through his seminal training books, or simply though a close study and appreciation of his work.

Our newest columnist, the very fine photographer and teacher William Neill, had the good fortune of working with Ansel, and in his first column for us shares some thoughts on this best known of 20th Century photographers.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

Watch Free Video Previews of Each
Major Feature in This Issue




12 January, 2010 - Heresy - Handholding the Tilt / Shift Lens

Can one effectively hand hold a T/S lens? Common wisdom says not, but in a tutorial by Rob Porter, titled Heresy, we find out how.

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I have now begun my long treck back from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Toronto. It's going to take two full days, first via a ferry to Tenerife, then planes to Madrid, then Newark, and finally Toronto.

I hear that there's snow at home, and a lot of it. Also that much of Europe has been blanketed.

Coming from two weeks in what may be the world's most benign climate it's hard to imagine it, but I guess I'll be shoveling it again soon enough – snow that is.

____________________

When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.


"I wanted to congratulate you on your LL guide to Lightroom 2 which I've just watched in a marathon single sitting while trying out the techniques demonstrated on a second monitor. Despite managing a database  of 40,000 images in Lightroom this is the first time I've really deeply understood this software. The tutorial was extremely thorough, clear and enlightening. I cant wait to incorporate this new knowledge into my daily work".




14 January, 2010 - Flying With Camera Gear Post 25 Dec, '09. What's Changed?

First we had to take laptops out of their bags. Then we took our shoes off. Then liquids needed to be in little plastic baggies. Now, after the Dec 25 aborted attack do we need to remove our underwear before boarding a plane and also refrain from peeing during the last hour of our flights? Will the indignities never end?

Not quite, but also things are a lot more stringent than they were just a few weeks ago.

I've just returned from a three week trip to Spain, and over the past few days have flown within Europe, from Europe to the U.S. and from the U.S. to Canada – all with camera gear.

Knowing I was traveling, a number of people have written asking about my experience and what if anything has changed.

You can read about this experience and also enjoy some of the images shot earlier this month in the Canary Islands in my latest essay – Flying with Camera Gear Post Dec 25, 2009 : What's Changed – What Hasn't?

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UPDATE:

If you live in Canada, and travel to the U.S. by air, read the following update to today's article on flying with camera gear.

This is simply outrageous, unnecessary, and unacceptable! What's next? Pre-boarding enemas?

UPDATE #2:

There is now some additional information available from CATSA on what items are permissable on Canada to U.S. flights. It can be found linked here.

____________________



I just finished going through again your recent seminar series on Where the #%*! Are my Pictures? with you and Seth Resnick, and I must compliment you and Seth on producing a great seminar.  I never learned so much in so little time and I have started implementing some of the strategies presented already.  

Your interviewing style seems to bring out the best in your seminar partners presenting the content as a story with a logical end.  DAM is an intimidating subject, but after watching the seminars, I walked away with a total understanding and how (with Seth’s experience) to increase my workflow process.




18 January, 2010 - The Photographer Excludes

Photographic composition and the process that we go through in deciding how to frame and crop our images is endless fascinating. Our newest essay by Peter Cox is entitled The Photographer Excludes.

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IMPORTANT CANADIAN AIR TRAVEL UPDATE

Following last week's article on air travel for photographers I have been receiving regular updates from readers and government agencies about changing regulations regarding air travel, especially from Canada to the U.S.

Be aware that Transport Canada has just issued a new advisory in the form of a consumer awareness video which I urge everyone to view, as it contains vital information on the way in which you will be treated when you travel by air in Canada.

I urge all travelers to watch it immediately.

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Regular readers will have noted that I've been shooting extensively with the Leica M9 since its introduction some months ago. I continue to be impressed by its overall image quality.

But I have also been thinking a lot about the rangefinder camera's relevance in today's environment. Later this week I will publish an Open Letter to Leica, with my thoughts on the future of the M Series camera. Watch for it.

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The Photocrati Fund offers a $5,000 grants to non-professional photographers to undertake important humanitarian and environmental photography projects. Their stated goal is to identify outstanding, up-and-coming photographers and give them the resources necessary to pursue projects that will have a tangible and positive effect on the world.

I have no association with Photocrati but because this seems legit and worthwhile and this fund is similar to the Endowment Fund which we offered here a few years ago, I thought it worth drawing to your attention.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

 




20 January, 2010 - Sanity (a bit) Returns For Photographers Flying from Canada to U.S.

There's good news today for photographers and others that fly from Canada to the U.S. with carry-on on bags. As reported by the site Flying With FishTransport Canada and CATSA have removed their onerous and arbitrary restrictions on carry-on bags, in effect since the fortunately aborted Dec 25 incident.

You can read more about it here. This means that photographers can once again travel with their photographic equipment in approriate bags, such as the Think Airport Security; Pelican 1514; Mountainsmith Parallax; and Gura Gear Kiboko Bag. Weight, of course, is still an issue, but that's always been the case.

Maybe the efforts of sites such as this in recent days, as well as industry associations and individuals who have been putting pressure on the bureacrats in Ottawa, had some small effect.




21 January, 2010 - An Open Letter to Leica Regarding a Future M10

After nearly 60 years, has the Leica M series camera finally reached its best before date? Is an optical rangefinder camera a valid holdover or an anachronism?

There's no doubt in my mind that with the Leica M9 that company has produced a digital version of the M that finally is what Leica afficionados have been waiting for. Image quality is nothing short of superb, and with full frame and no need for IR filters what more can we want?

In my Open Letter to Leica, published today for the first time, I look at the question of whether the Leica M9 is the end of that particular road, and if so what can be done to move it to the next generation of technology while not abandoning those things that make it unique among cameras.

____________________

When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt




24 January, 2010 - Another Perspective on the M Leica's Future

My Open Letter to Leica, published this past week, has as I expected it might, generated quite a bit of comment both on this site's forum and elsewhere online. A bit of browsing the discussions shows about an equal mix of those that think I'm apostate and those that agree with my suggestions. Fine. As long as Leica knows what some of us are looking for – mission accomplished.

My friend Mark Dubovoy, a well known photographer, teacher, and industry pundit, has also written some thoughts on the changes that he would like to see Leica consider for a next-generation camera, and his new essay is now online.

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Speaking of things Leica, Sean Reid has written Part 2 of his Leica S2 review, based on some weeks of using the new system in a Vermont winter. Sean was one of the other journalists invited by Leica to Germany last fall for a preview of the S2 and M9. Sean brings a different perspective than mine to the S2, as he is not normally a medium format digital user. Yet, I found his conclusions to be quit similar to mine in terms of that camera's strengths and weaknesses. Reid Reviews is a subscription web site.

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Wednesday will see the announcement of the much-anticipated Apple Tablet (iPad?). Few doubt that it will be a game-changing product in the way that the iPod and iPhone have been. But will it be a device that offers capabilities of use and interest to photographers? We'll know in a few days, and I expect to have some comments about it here not long afterward.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




26 January, 2010 - Thom Hogan Considers - What's Next For Leica?

Clearly Leica is a company whose products are well loved and respected by many. This is the only way to explain the large number of people that have written to me over the past few days with comments and suggestions on my recent Open Letter to Leica. We don't all agree on what we'd like to see next, but the fact that we care speaks volumes for the brand.

I was pleased to receive one yesterday from Thom Hogan, one of the most respected technical writers in the industry, and the leading independant authority on Nikon cameras.

With his permission I have now published his letter as an essay titled Thom Hogan Considers – What's Next For Leica?

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27 January, 2010 - What Will The Apple iPad Mean For Photographers?

What will it all mean? Clearly the Apple iPad will be a game-changing device for the publishing industry as well as consumers. For many it will be all the computer that they need, offering small size, low price, and simplicity of operation.

For others it will become their main tool for web surfing, email, as well as reading newspapers, books and magazines. It also looks to be a pretty decent game machine.

But what about for photographers? Are there features there for us? And more importantly, will the changes that the iPad makes to the publishing industry be as seismic as those created by the iPod and the iTunes Store?

I have just published a brief essay titled The Apple iPad – What it Means for Photographers. Some food for thought and hopefully some constructive debate, which I invite you to join on this site's discussion forum.




29 January, 2010 - Winter 2010 Cheer-Up Contest Announced

It's contest time again. Every once in a while we run a promotional contest to remind people that we publish several unique training videos, including The Luminous Landscape Guide to Camera Raw, From Camera to Print, our Guide to Asset Management, our Adobe Lightroom Tutorial, and nineteen different issues of our unique video magazine, The Luminous Landscape Video Journal.

The prices are reasonable, the content is terrific, and your purchases help support the existence of this site.

Our new contest offers ten chances to win a full boxed version of Adobe Lightroom 3, compliments of Adobe. Every purchase of one of our products, any product, is another chance to win. Purchases made thus far in January already count toward the contest.

There will be a new winner announced roughly every week for the next few months. One of them could be you.

Thanks for your support.




1 February, 2010 - Learning From The Best Images

How can we become better photographers? Craft and equipment have their roles, but seeing trumps everything else.

Today's new essay is by author and regular contributor George Barr, and is titled Learning From The Best Images – Yours, Mine, and History’s.

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Today's Home Page photograph is the last from a series shot on the island of La Gomera, Spain last month. I have now collected these on this page for those that might be interested, since several of them don't appear anywhere else on this site once they disappear from the Home Page.

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I am now on a private shoot for a few days in the desert in Southern California, with Chris Sanderson and Jeff Schewe. We are working on our next video tutorials, and this trip will provide both fresh images to work on and location discussions.

I'll be working with my Phase One DF camera and P65+ back, and also field testing the just-released Olympus E-P2. My report on this new small Micro-Four-Thirds Olympus will appear here later in the month.

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Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.

 




2 February, 2010 - Air Rage. Toronto Airport Is Broken

Toronto Pearson International Airport is broken and the fault lies with the GTAA. This may not be of interest to you unless you live in Canada's largest city and fly to the U.S., but if you do you need to read my latest essay titled Toronto / U.S. Travel Outrage.

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UPDATE

In the half day since Toronto / U.S. Travel Outrage was first published I have received more e-mail about it than anything else that I have ever written on this site in the past 11 years.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, support and suggestions. Unfortunately because I am traveling in the U.S this week on a shoot (which is why this was all reported on in the first place), I am constrained in my ability to reply as I would like. So please accept this as my thanks for the communications.

I would also like to point out that I received a call from a senior representative of the GTAA and we spoke for about a half hour. He was very concerned as well as understanding, and indicated that he would be investigating all of the issues that were raised, and also would reply to them in due course. I believe that the GTAA is well aware of the problems that exists but in large measure finding solutions is difficult because the airport is subject to at least a half dozen government and administrative jurisdictions, and they don't all play nicely together, even in the face of consumer outrage.

That being the case, I have decided that I will not be flying to the U.S. out of Toronto Pearson until the current situation is fixed. Porter from the Island airport is one solution, as is driving to Buffalo, which also has  less expensive air fares. And, there's always simply accepting the fact that air travel has become a major pain in the butt, and simply isn't worth the hassle anymore except when absolutely necessary.




3 February, 2010 - New Cameras - Prices Drop

One good thing about the lousy economy, it's leading to reduced prices on cameras. Two that were just announced in anticipation of the PMA show  later this month are the Hasselblad H4D-40 at some U.S. $20,000 and the Olympus E-PL2 at about $600 – both very aggressively priced in their respective catagories.

I had preview comments (under NDA) on each of these in preparation, but since both products were leaked well in advance by other sites I've decided to save my breath. In any event, I am hoping to review them when they become available for testing. For the time being you can read about them on the major camera review sites.

What I am shooting with and field testing at the moment is the Olympus E-P2, which is turning out to be a much more enjoyable camera than I had anticipated. Look for a review soon.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




6 February, 2010 - A Question of White Balance

Many photographers obsess over proper white balance. But what is more important – accuracy or looking good? My take on this is found in our latest essay – A Question of White Balance.

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We're pleased to announce the first of ten winners in our Winter 2010 Cheer-Up Contest. This week's winner is Mirek Elsner, of Bellevue, WA. Congratulations Mirek.

There will be nine more winners in the weeks ahead. You could be one of them. Any purchase of one of our video tutorials or Video Journals is a qualifying entry. Find out more.

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Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




10 February, 2010 - The Light Fantastic - Capturing the Inner Sense of the Scottish Landscape

Photography can be about literal record making or it can be about interpretation and emotion. In The Light Fantastic – Capturing the Inner Sense of the Scottish Landscape by Ted Leeming & Morag Paterson, we find a sophisticated visual and written examination of how and why to make images that stir the imagination.

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The past couple of days have seen the introduction of a number of new high-end products, including Version 3 of Apple's Aperture, a new Canon Rebel, and new lenses from Nikon. Since I don't usually publish press releases you may want to visit one of the major camera review sites that does to find out more about these.

More announcements are due over the next few days, leading up to the PMA show later this month.

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Photojournalist Peter Turnley has just returned from Haiti with a powerful photo essay, which is being hosted by The Online Photographer. Congratulations to publisher Mike Johnston for placing this online and especially to Peter for his excellent work.

If you have not already made a contribution to Haiti relief may I suggest that you do so though any of your local relief agencies, or via The American Red Cross.

____________________

When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.

You will also be automatically entered in our latest contest and win one of 10 weekly prizes.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt

 




13 February, 2010 - Olympus Pen E-P2 Field Review

The Micro Four-Thirds format continues to strengthen. Olympus is now shipping its updated E-P2, and I have just finished several weeks of field testing, including on a recent shoot in Joshua Tree National Park. My Olympus E-P2 Field Review is now online.

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Ironically, while Olympus decided to tone down the cosmetics of their MFT cameras, with the E-P2 styled in a more subdued black finish rather than the E-P1's white, Panasonic this week announced that their GF1, a direct competitor to the new E-P2, will be available in pink in certain markets. Yes, my friends, pink. I will say no more.

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I will be in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the next two weeks. If any regular readers live there and would like to say "Hi," drop me a line.

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.

 




17 February, 2010 - Composing With Color

It's been far too long since we've had an essay by our regular columnist Alain Briot. The fault is mine.

Alain's latest is Part One of a new series titled Composing With Color.

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Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




20 February, 2010 - Winners and Workshops

Today's winner in our Lightroom 3 Winter Cheer-Up Contest is Karin De Winter of Antwerp, Belgium. Congratulations Karin, and I must say a most appropriate name for this particular contest.

Who will be next week's winner? You can be if you purchase any of our download video tutorials or Video Journals. Each purchase made is another entry in the competition. There are a total of 10 prizes to be won. A new winner is announced approximately every week.

 

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Have you ever taken a photographic workshop? If you are passionate about photography this can be one of the best ways of improving your craft, inspiring your art and extending your community.

Our Workshops listing page contains a small group of some of the world's finest photographic educators. I can unreservedly recommend each of them because I have taught and worked with them each over the years. Two of them, Jay Maisel and Alain Briot, have also just announced new programs.

And, in response to many requests, I'll simply reiterate that I am taking 2010 off from tours and workshops, devoting my time to personal travel and projects. I still though am doing One-On-One sessions at my gallery / studio in Toronto.

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




22 February, 2010 - PMA / Ho Hum : Capture One 5.1 Released

Well, the PMA show opened yesterday, what few new products that were not announced earlier in the month were introduced, and life goes on.

Since the photographic industry has become indistinguishable from the consumer electronics industry we have come to expect a rush of new products even six months, or less. But the world-wide recession of the past year combined with a slowing in the rate of change in the digital revolution, means that recent developments are more cosmetic and superficial than significant. In any event, it's also a Photokina year (Sept., 2010) and so we're likely to see the next round of significant product announcements then.

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Phase One has announced the release of Version 5.1 of their Capture One software. Though it would appear to be a dot release, it's much more than that, with significant new features, capabilities and camera support. Current C1 users can download a free update, and everyone else can download a free, fully functional, 30 day trial copy.

I am currently preparing a major multi-hour video tutorial on Capture One 5.1 along with Walter Borchenko, the world's leading expert on C1 software and training. Watch for it here this Spring.

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I have been spending most of the month of February, 2010 in San Miguel Allende, Mexico. I have now started a new page containing a few of the photographs resulting from this trip. These are also appearing on the Home Page from time to time. The San Miguel portfolio page will be updated periodically during February and March.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




26 February, 2010 - What is it About? - Deconstructing an Image

When I do portfolio reviews with students and I discuss an image of theirs that I don't feel has been successful, the question that I ask is – What is it about? This seemingly innocent question is, in my experience, one which causes any photographer to reflect on their own work in a way that is necessarily part of the creative process.

A new essay titled What is it About? – Deconstructing an Image uses today's Home Page photograph as an example of how this process is done.

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Phase One has just announced the continuation of  PODAS – the Phase One Digital Artist Series, workshops to be held around the world this year that you will want to learn more about. I'll have more to discuss about these in the weeks ahead.

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Leica Camera has announced that it will bring the latest and newest Leica products to major North American cities as part of the first-ever Leica North American Road Show. Leica’s product specialists will visit 26 cities over the course of 14 weeks; the road show will commence on March 18, 2010 in Miami, Florida and conclude on June 23, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The series is designed to enhance participants’ knowledge of and familiarity with the M and S Systems.

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




3 March, 2010 - Preparation Comes First

How do you get ready to do your photography? Jack Graham shares his thoughts in an essay titled Preparation Comes First.

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Sean Reid at Reid Reveiws has just published a thorough review of the Canon 85/1.2 L II (including extensive comparisons with the Canon 85/1.8).  He also has a previous review that compares the Zeiss ZE 85/1.4 with the Canon 85/1.8, as well, so the whole trio of fast EOS mount 85s is now covered on the site. Reid Reviews is a subscription site.

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The winner of last week's Contest is Marc McDonald of Boulder, CO. Congratulations Mark! We'll be sending you a full boxed copy of Adobe Lightroom 3 as soon as it ships.

Who will be next week's winner? It could be you!

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




6 March, 2010 - Hasselblad H3D 50 II Multishot Versus Phase One P65+ / 645AF

The air is thin at the top. Whether it's Ferrari vs Lamborghini, or, of interest to photographers – Hasselblad vs Phase One – the two remaining leaders of the medium format world.

Every now and then it's fun to pitch top contenders against each other, and when they are both kings of their respective hills, all the more so.

Today we have an exclusive review by our regular contributor Mark Dubovoy titled Hasselblad H3D 50 II Multishot  Versus Phase One P65+ / 645AF.

What makes this particularly interesting is that the 50II back from Hasselblad is a multi-shot, in theory a technology able to produce higher image quality than that from a Bayer array, as used in the Phase One P65+. But the Phase is a higher resolution back, so how will it all work out?

I'll bet you'll be surprised.

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As you may have read previously here I have no field workshops planned during 2010. This is a sabbatical year for me, focusing on other business and personal projects.

But there are some very fine teachers and trips available which I can recommend.

My friend David Burren has an Antarctic Photographic Expedition planned for this coming November. The initerary includes the Falkland Islands as well as South George Island.

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Art Wolfe needs no introduction to anyone interested in nature photography. His work is recognized around the world. What you may not know is that Art is also a very fine teacher, and does a large number of lectures and field workshops world-wide.

Click here for further information, including a list of cities in the U.S. and Canada where Art will be speaking in the next few months.

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7 March - The Dynamic Range Debate

Yesterday's review here by Mark Dubovoy titled Hasselblad H3D 50 II Multishot  Versus Phase One P65+ / 645AF generated some considerable discussion on this site's forum, particularly with regard to the issue of dynamic range. Though he found the Hasselblad and the Phase backs to be very similar in dynamic range, he also wrote "The dynamic range of a typical high-end professional 35 mm DSLR is around 7 F/stops. Medium Format cameras are closer to 13 F/stops of dynamic range," and the cat was among the pidgeons.

The issue seems to be contentious because different people use different definitions of dynamic range. As one person put it, "It's like comparing apples with cassaba melons."

I have therefore just added an Editor's Note to Mark's review with my observation on the subject. Hopefully it will clarify a debate that has been  murky for some time.

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




11 March, 2010 - Composing With Color, Part II

Today's new tutorial, by our regular contributor Alain Briot, is titled Composing With Color, Part II.

"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




15 March, 2010 - The Top Two Things You Can't Do On the Internet

Confused and frustrated by all the claims and counterclaims found on the Net about image quality, DSLR vs Medium Format, this bit of technology vs that bit of technology? Ya. Me too.

Today we have an essay titled The Top Two Things You Can't Do On the Internet written by one of the industry's most knowledgable sales executives.

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The winner of last week's Contest is Spyros Triantos of Richmond, MA. Congratulations Spyros! We'll be sending you a full boxed copy of Adobe Lightroom 3 as soon as it ships.

Who will be next week's winner? It could be you!

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UPDATE

Interested in the new Pentax 645D? This fascinating new cameras was shown in production form last week at the CP-Plus show in Yokohama, Japan, and our intrepid reporter Bernard LANGUILLIER was there. We'll have his observations as well as an exclusive interview about the camera with Pentax's Product Planning executive here tomorrow – and yes, the 645D will be eventually available outside of Japan.

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




17 March, 2010 - Pentax 645D First Impressions and an Interview

Are you interested in the Pentax 645D? A lot of photographers are. With a weatherproof body, the ability to take all previous Pentax 645 lenses, and a 40MP Kodak CCD sensor without an AA filter, all at less than US $10,000, there's a lot to potentially like.

And, unlike Mamiya, with their similar but ill-fated ZD camera of several years ago, Pentax at least has some considerable digital expertise of their own because of their DSLRs.

Our colleague Bernard Languillier lives in Tokyo and today gives us his first impressions as well as an exclusive interview with Pentax Product Planning executive Yasuyuki Maekawa who shared some interesting information about the philosophy of the 645D and background behind some key design decisions.




21 March, 2010 - Two Viewing Options

Photographers who work slowly, using medium format, technical and view cameras, don't have the luxury of holding their camera up to the eye to preview composition. Some use simple plastic or cardboard viewing aids, while others use expensive auxiliary viewfinders.

A new iPhone app, called Viewfinder, just released yesterday, turns ones iPhone into a versatile device for previewing composition and lens selection. My review is now online.

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Another viewing option is the Hoodloup 3. I originally wrote this review in mid-2009, but somehow the draft was lost and was only discovered a short while ago. Though the product isn't new, it's still worth mentioning for those that haven't yet tried it.

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I wrote a couple of months ago about the revolution that the iPad and similar tablet devices hold in store for professional photography. This new video provides some compelling insights into the changes that are about to take place in our profession.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




23 March, 2010 - Lightroom 3 Public Beta Two Released

Adobe has today released a second public beta of Lightroom 3. There's a lot that's been improved behind the scenes, and quite a few new features – and of course it's still free – at least until it ships as a commercial release some time later this year. You do not need a serial number or to have owned a previous version of Lightroom.

My colleague Ian Lyons has just published an in-depth preview of Beta Two, and since Ian knows the product just about as well as anyone I know, this is the place to go for a look at what's new in the download of Lightroom 3 Beta 2.

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This site is about the art and craft of photography, and I rarely if ever use it as a platform for social or political commentary. But I can't help but congratulate the U.S. on the passage of its historic national health care bill.

The U.S. now joins just about every other country in the developed world in having (at least the beginnings) of a national health care program for its citizens. This is a day of significance for the American people, and I for one am very pleased to finally see it come to pass.

____________________

Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.




25 March, 2010 - Worthwhile Workshops

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/workshops/podas.shtml

As regular readers know I am taking 2010 off from teaching field workshops – a sort of sabbatical year to concentrate on my own personal projects and travel.

But I am frequently asked about workshops and seminars that I can recommend. That's what my Workshops page is about. It provides links to those educators and companies with whom I am familiar, who I've personally worked with in the past, and who I can recommend with confidence.

Two new ones, which were announced today are the Phase One Digital Artists series (PODAS) and also Art Wolf's lecture series on The Art of Composition, taking place this year in major U.S. and Canadian cities.

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The new Canon 17mm tilt-shift lens is quite remarkable. I used it with the Hartblei Cam late last year, and was knocked out by its performance.

Sean Reid at Reid Reviews has recently published extensive reviews of the two new Canon tilt/shift lenses - the 17/4.0 L TS-E and 24/3.5 L TS-E II.  Reid Reviews is an independent review site which accepts no advertising but instead is subscription-based. Recommended.

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When you're ready to really learn Lightroom, here's the most painless way to do so. Purchase and download our Lightroom 2 video tutorial and automatically receive a discount on our Lightroom 3 tutorial when it becomes available.

You will also be automatically entered in our latest contest and win one of 10 weekly prizes.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt

 




31 March, 2010 - Arca Cube, Take 2

If you're a serious landscape photographer better lock up your Visa card before reading our latest review. It is titled Arca Cube - Take 2.

In my experience everyone that reads about the Cube says "Oh, ya, nice, but too expensive". Then when they see and handle one they say, "Why didn't you tell me about this before? Damn; I have to have one."

You've been warned.

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If you've been looking for a 56MP medium format back that will fit almost any camera system, and which has the ability to rotate the sensor internally, have a look at the just-announced Leaf Aptus II 10-R.

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The winner of this week's Lightroom 3 contest draw is Larry Rezka, Ontario, Canada. Congratulations Larry.

Maybe next week it'll be you.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

 




7 April, 2010 - Constructing the Composition: Angkor Wat

Our new columnist, Art Wolfe, provides us today with an essay titled Constructing The Composition: Angor Wat.

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The Apple iPad arrived this weekend along with the Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs. Rabbits and eggs are pagan fertility symbols that have somehow become intertwined with the Christian holiday, but there was something of an appropriate irony in Apple choosing this particular weekend to launch the iPad, since it is in many ways a harbinger of things to come.

I've been becoming familiar with mine for the past few days and continue to believe that it's going to be a game-changer, especially for professional photographers, because of what it implies for the publishing industry. Print media will never be the same again.

There are also some new iPad specific apps that are either paticularly cool, or that may appeal to nature and landscape photographers, and one of these that I quite enjoy is Emerald Observatory.

Whether you're an astronomy buff, a time freak, or a photographer looking for information about sunrise and sunset times, as well as the moon's phase and position, Emerald Observatory will be the best $0.99 cents that you'll spend this week.

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14 April, 2010 - Imageprint 8 Review

It's been a while since I've had a review of the Imageprint RIP on this site. Two version ago, in fact. Now, Imageprint 8 is here, and contributor Markus Zuber has his exclusive review available.

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Looking for your next great photographic adventure? How about a NAMIBIA PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI with John Paul Caponigro.

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The great convergence is now starting to gather steam. Both Panasonic and Sony, two major forces in the broadcast as well as prosumer / consumer video fields, announced large sensor video cameras at the NAB show this week.


Panasonic AG-AF100

Panasonic's AG-AF100 is based on its Micro Four Thirds still camera format while Sony's as yet unnamed entry has a full 35mm sensor and and Alpha lens mount.

Let's hope that Panasonic's design engineers are better than their illustrators – because what they're showing above looks like a camcorder from 1975.


What both of these entries (due late 2010 / early 2011) bring to the market is cinema style depth of field because of their large sensors, something that current 1/4" , 1/3" and 1/2" video cameras can't offer.

One of the reasons that movie makers tolerate the horrendous ergonomics and woeful feature set of today's video DSLRs is the wonderfully shallow DOF which they offer. I believe that once this new generation of large sensor cameras become available over the next 6-12 months, the days of Combocams being used in professional production will be numbered.

Speaking of which, if you're a fan of the popular Fox TV series House, you might want to watch the season's finale episode on May 17 as it was shot entirely with a Canon 5D MKII.

And on the subject of Canon, with the Panasonic and Sony large sensor video camera announcements this week, Canon is left as the only major company in the field to not have announced an entry. Let's hope that they don't take as long as they did with their first solid state video camera offerings (3 years late), the just announced HPX 370/371.


Sony's 35mm Alpha Camcorder

Update:

FreshDV has an interview with the Pansonic product manager, shot on the floor at the NAB show. It provides insights into the new AF100 Micro Four Thirds video camera (delivery December – $6,000) and a better though still brief look at the camera's design.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




19 April, 2010 - Photographing the Aurora

Have you ever photographed an aurora, or even seen one?

Mark Dubovoy travelled to Northern Canada a couple of months ago for just this purpose, and came away with shots of a quite spectacular display.

As a physicist by profession he can't resist explaing what causes the aurora, as well as how best to photograph one when you have the opportunity. His new tutorial is titled, naturally enough, Photographing The Aurora.

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Fancy a photographic workshop in Tasmania this coming December? If so consider this one being put on by my friend (and frequent contributor to this site) Nick Rains. Nick is the Editor of one of Australia's leading photographic magazines, and a very fine photographer and teacher.

____________________

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt

 




23 April, 2010 - Ricoh GRX. Where Does It Fit?

Ricoh has always made fascinating if somewhat quirky cameras. Today, Sean Reid gives us his take on where the GRX-A12 fits in the current camera taxonomy.

Sean has also just published a comprehensive user review of the GRX-A12 on his subscription site, which I can highly recommend.

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The most recent winner in our Lightroom 3 contest is Jenny Sampson of Berkeley, CA . Congratulations Jenny. She wins a boxed copy, once it ships, of LR3 worth $300.

How did she win? Simply by purchasing one of our tutorials or Video Journals. Find out more.

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Readers who purchase our current Lightroom 2 tutorial
will be eligible for a discount on our future Lightroom 3
tutorial.

 

 




25 April, 2010 - Leica S2 Review Update : iPad Reads Raw Files

My friend, and well known Australian photographer, educator and magazine editor Nick Rains, has just completed his tests of the Leica S2.

Leica has also just announced a firmware upgrade for the S2, and Nick kindly provides us today with his brief impressions of the S2, what the firmware upgrade has accomplished, as well as what has been left unresolved.

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Another friend, well known London photographer and lecturer Drew Gardner has just completed working with kids in the townships of South Africa, teaching them about photography. Drew asked if I would link to his blog, which I am more than happy to do, as this appears to be a very worthwhile undertaking.

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A small number of iPad Camera Connection Kits (USB adaptors and SD card readers) became available over the past few days, and to everyone's amazement (at least mine) the iPad is able to read all raw camera files that the Mac (OSX / iPhoto / Aperture) can handle.

This is great news, and makes the iPad an ideal travel / storage / backup / review device for photographers working in the field.

The only bad news is that the main shipment of these adaptors won't be available for another couple of weeks.

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28 April, 2010 - Canon X300 Printer Review

Canon has a new series of high-end photo printers on the market, called the X300 series. How do these stack up against the best from Epson and HP?

Scott Martin is widely experienced with all three brands, and today gives us his in-depth review of the new Canon printers and how they compare.

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Care to see what else is coming in Lightroom 3 when it ships? Have a watch of this video from Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty. I think you'll be both pleased and impressed.

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"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt




1 May, 2010 - Panasonic TM700 Camcorder Review / Leica Accessories

Video DSLRs are hot. But camcorders keep improving as well, and for anyone looking to have a very high quality video camera for under $1,000, the new Panasonic TM700 has a lot to offer. Our in-depth review is now online.

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Do you own a Leica M8 or M9? If so, Mark Dubovoy's latest suggestions on a few must-have accessories may be just what you're looking for.

____________________

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt




6 May, 2010 - Canon Tilt-Shift Lens TS-E 24/3.5L Version II - A Review

The new Canon 24mm/TS has only been available for just a few months, but along with the 17mm/TS it is developing quite a reputation. Canon's wide angle lenses never were one of its strengths, but with these two lenses the game is newly afoot.

Today we have an exclusive review of the Canon Tilt-Shift Lens TS-E 24/3.5L Version II by Harold M. Merklinger, a respected scientist, and one of the world's authorities on lens movements.

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It's been some months since I last hit the road with my camera, (so to speak), and so before I start suffering from withdrawal symptoms I'm heading off today to British Columbia and Washington State for about a week of shooting with a few friends, mostly in Olympic National Park.

I may be online and posting new content from time to time, but that will depend on my access to WiFi and our shooting schedule.

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And finally, a friendly reminder that our ability to keep publishing this site is dependent on revenues from your purchases of our videos, the Video Journals as well as the training videos. This is our sole source of income.

Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you.




9 May, 2010 - Photographing the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland

The  Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland has certainly caught the world's attention, especially after disrupting air traffic in Europe for almost a week.

But as photographers we always want to consider the imaging opportunities inherent in any major natural event, and volcanoes are among the most visually exciting.

Today well known Irish landscape photographer Peter Cox provides us with his first-hand experience and suggestions in Photographing the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland.

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"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




11 May, 2010 - Sony Announces NEX-5 and NEX-3 EVIL Cameras

Sony has joined Panasonic and Olympus in the EVIL camera markerplace with the announcement of their NEX-3 and NEX-5 cameras. I have more details on my preview page, along with some thoughts on where this fits into the scheme of things.

I also expect to have my hands-on field review of the Sony NEX-5 here before the end of the month.

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DXO has announced DXO Optics Pro for both Windows (and this time Mac simultaniously). Several new cameras are supported, including the the Canon 550D and Sony Alpha DSLR-450. The Elite edition adds supports for the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and Nikon D3s, along with a large number of new lens modules.

As the current leader in automated raw file lens correction it will be interesting to compare DXO Optics Pro to Adobe's new auto lens correction capabilities in both Camera Raw and Lightroom 3. I expect to have a comparative review once all are on the market at the same time.
 




19 May, 2010 - Sony HX5 Field Review

Sony has been on a bit of a roll recently when it comes to their smaller cameras. I've been shooting with their shirt-pocket-sized HX5 for the past couple of months and my field review is now online.

I have just returned from a week's shoot in Olympic National Park, and the site's Home Page now has another image from that trip. I worked mainly with the Phase One 645 DF camera, five lenses and a P65+ back. I'll be publishing an extensive portfolio from there, here online before too long.

____________________

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a thousand pictures.
 
Just to let you know that I found your Lightroom Tutorial most helpful in understanding, not only which buttons to push, but the gestalt behind the program.  Especially helpful was the orgainzation.
 
All in all the best $40.00 I have spent recently".

– Jim Cassatt

 

 




23 May, 2010 - Changes at Lu-La

This week marks the eleventh anniversary of this site. There are a number of changes to report and a heads-up on some coming developments.

Mark Dubovoy and Chris Sanderson have joined Michael Reichmann, the site's founder, in becoming partners in The Luminous Landscape Inc. Mark is both a nuclear physicist and venture capitalist by profession, and is as well a very fine and widely exhibited and collected fine art landscape photographer by avocation. He is also a respected photographic educator and magazine author, and has been a regular contributor and reviewer for this site for several years.

Chris is, as many of you know, the producer / cameraman / editor of this site's numerous videos and tutorials, and has been with us since almost the beginning. Previously Chris enjoyed a 30 year career as an award winning professional film and video director.

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I would like to announce that I will be closing my gallery / print studio in Toronto shortly. There are a couple of reasons for this, including the move of my studio to near Creemore, Ontario, where I will be working and teaching from now on during the summer months.

Beginning this winter I will also be spending several months each year in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where I also expect to do teaching and workshops.

 ____________________

You can expect some more significant changes to Lu-La in the weeks ahead. No – we have not been bought by Google, Microsoft or any other conglomerate. We remain independent and are beholden to no one besides ourselves.

Rather, there are some exciting changes that we have been working on for almost a year now that will start to become visible by July. These will dramatically expand our content reach as well as our community involvement. Much more than a cosmetic make-over, I assure you.

I look forward to sharing these pages with you and continuing our adventure together in the photographic community in the years ahead.

Stay tuned. – Michael




25 May, 2010 - Sony NEX-5 First Impressions Review

The Sony NEX-5 is that company's entry into what I am now calling the MARVIL marketplace, a moniker that I just invented and which stands for Mirrorless Reflex Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens.

I've now been working with the NEX-5 for nearly two weeks. How does it stand up against the competition from Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung? Is the the MARVIL camera that we've been waiting for?

My first impressions review is now online.

 ____________________

"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk




27 May, 2010 - Reviewing Art Wolfe's New Seminar Series

Art Wolfe is possibly the best known nature and landscape photographer working today. He is also a friend, and a sometime shooting companion.

Art is in the midst of a North American speaking tour, The Art of Composition, and last week Trevor Peterson attended his NY talk and now has his review online here.

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I spent a week doing a landscape shoot in Olympic National Park in Washington state earlier this month. I have now started a portfolio page which will be updated regularly as I post new images to the site's Home Page.

 ____________________

Sean Reid is one of the most prolific writers in the field on topics related to the products that serious photographers are interested in. On his subscription site, Reid Reviews, he has just published an in-depth look at six medium-fast rangefinder lenses for the Leica M9.




1 June, 2010 - The Best Noise Reduction Plug-In Yet!

The world is a lot less noisy than it used to be. The photographic world, that is.

In the days of film, ISO 400 was noisy in B&W, and in colour ISO 800 grain looked like golf balls. The early days of digital were not that much better.

But in recent years we've grown accustomed to ISO 400 as being almost noise free, and some pro cameras now allow shooting at over ISO 100,000.

But there are still a lot of times that noisy images need to be cleaned up, and a new king of the hill appears to have emerged, in the form of Topaz Labs DeNoise 4.1. Mark Segal's exclusive review is now online.

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8 June, 2010 - Lightroom 3 Released

Adobe has today (finally) released Lightroom 3. You can download it from the Adobe on-line store for your country. It should also show up at retailers shortly as well.

Ian Lyons has his usual excellent summary online of what's new in LR3.

Jeff Schewe and I have just completed filming our exhaustive live video tutorial. It will run close to ten hours in length and will drill down into every aspect of how the program works, as well as illustrate best practices.  It will be the most detailed and in-depth tutorial on Lightroom 3 available. Look for it here in the weeks ahead.

Oh yes, and our multi-hour tutorial video on Capture One should become available here very soon as well.

 ____________________

"Video Journal 19, one of the best. Interesting and relevant topics, knowledgeable engaging guests, and a host that gently guides the conversation through terrain I want to explore. And more, it's beautifully shot in a clean, no tricks style that keeps the conversation in focus. Well done all! This one is worth twice the price".

– paul b. kramarchyk

 




9 June, 2010 - Photographing Waterfalls

After sunsets, waterfalls may be the most popular landscape subject. But, that doesn't mean that shooting them effectively is easy – far from it.

Today Mark Dubovoy gives us his thoughts on and techniques for compelling waterfall photography.




13 June, 2010 - Samsung EX-1 / TL500 Hands-On Review

So you think that Canon and Panasonic dominate the high-end pocket camera market? You'd be right, till now– but there's a new kid on the block, and he looks tough.

Samsung's just-released EX-1 (TL500 in some markets) is a very stong competitor to the Canon G11 and Panasonic LX3. Read my just published hands-on review of the Samsung EX-1 to find out how it stacks up.

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14 June, 2010 - Update on Profiling Issues With Apple Computers, Epson Printers & Photoshop

Mark Dubovoy has written an update to his posting on the problems of printing custom profiles with Apple computers, Epson printers and recent versions of Photoshop. Adobe appears to have a solution in the works.

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The much delayed RED Scarlet and Epic cameras have been delayed again. You can read more here.




16 June, 2010 - The Luminous Landscape Guide to Capture One 5 Pro

It's here – our five and a half hour long live video tutorial on Capture One 5 Pro. This is the world's first in-depth training on this remarkable raw image processing program – the choice of pros around the world.

Walter Borchenko is the world's undisputed expert on Capture One, and together with Michael Reichmann they explore virtually every feature of Capture One. It's like having the two of us sitting by your side.

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Rangefinder camera photographers might be interested in the "First Impressions" review of the new LEICA 35/1.4 M Summilux ASPH LENS that Sean Reid, of Reid Reviews, has just published. He's also now working on a review that compares this new lens to several other fast 35 mm lens options for the Leica M9.

Reid Reviews is an independent subscription site that accepts no advertising and is aimed directly at professional and serious amateur photographers.

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Special: 10% Off Until July 1

Find out more about...

The Luminous Landscape Guide to Capture One Pro

...and watch our sample training video.




18 June, 2010 - The Panasonic GH1 Video Hack

The Panasonic GH1 has been a huge success for that company. I reviewed it here when the camera first appeared last July, and have been shooting with it regularly since. Next to the Leica M9 it's my favourite travel camera.

The GH1 has been constantly back-ordered since the beginning, and remains extremly popular, and even though there have been several follow-on models, the GH1 is still the lead Panasonic Four Thirds camera, particularly because of its video capability.

But, what Panasonic giveth, Panasonic taketh away. The GH1's 1080P/24 HD video mode is flawed, and while the camera shoots really excellent 720P, its full-HD mode suffers from a poorly implemented video codec.

As a consequence Canon with its 5D MKII and 7D has run away with the video DSLR marketplace, even though the GH1 is in many ways a superior camera, at least operationally.

But users are forever resourceful, and there is now a hack for the GH1's firmware that allows for proper 1080P/24 video of exceptional quality. You can read all about it in my latest article titled The Panasonic GH1 Video Hack.

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Rangefinder camera photographers might be interested in the "First Impressions" review of the new LEICA 35/1.4 M Summilux ASPH LENS that Sean Reid, of Reid Reviews, has just published. He's also now working on a review that compares this new lens to several other fast 35 mm lens options for the Leica M9. Reid Reviews is an independent subscription site that accepts no advertising.

____________________

Now Available

The Luminous Landscape Guide
to Capture One Pro

Special: 10% Off Until July 1

Find out more and watch our sample training video.




22 June, 2010 - Leica M9 as Landscape Camera - Six Months Later

About six months ago I write about using the Leica M9 as a landscape camera, and how when it comes to a trade-off between weight, bulk and image quality the M9 offers a great deal to compensate for the fact that it really wasn't designed for this application.

My friend and occasional shooting companion Jack Perkins was intrigued by what I'd written and decided to make the jump from medium format to the M9 for much the same reasons. Today he shares with us his thoughts on the transition in The Leica M9 as Landscape Camera – Six Months Later.

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Panasonic AG-AF100 Specs Revealed

Following recent developments in hacking the Panasonic GH1's video capability, which I wrote about here a few days ago, Panasonic has revealed a bit more about their upcoming Four Thirds pro video camera, the AG-AF100, seen below. (Coincidence? Could be).

The specs are mouthwatering for anyone looking for a large sensor HD camcorder.  You can read them in this download PDF.

With Sony promising a similar device based on the new NEX format it could well be that the days of the video DSLR are numbered. Not because of their image quality (which is remarkably good – with cinema style DOF), but because they are really such lousy video devices. Panasonic's AG-AF100 looks like it plans on bridging that gap. I can't wait.

____________________

Now Available

The Luminous Landscape Guide
to Capture One Pro

Special: 10% Off Until July 1

Find out more and watch our sample training video.




25 June, 2010 - Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 - A Field Report By Nick Devlin

Back in the day – when ISO 400 was fast – high speed lenses were something to be lusted after. But now, with ISO 1600 delivering excellent quality, and some cameras capable of greater than ISO 100,000, they have lost their luster. Or have they?

For some the appeal of ultra-fast lenses is not so much their light gathering power, but rather their shallow depth of field. One of the fastest lenses currently available at affordable prices for the Leica M9 is the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1.

Today Nick Devlin provides us with his field report on this lens, based on a shoot in Olympic National Park this past May.

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JUST RELEASED

The Luminous Landscape Guide
to Capture One Pro

Special: 10% Off Until July 1

Find out more and watch our sample training video.

 




28 June, 2010 - Leica S2, First Impressions

The Leica S2 has been out for many months, and there have been a number of reviews (including my own First Impressions report from Germany last September).

Now my associate, Mark Dubovoy, has had a chance to use the S2, and to compare it with his current primary systemS, the Phase One DF with P65+, and also a Leica M9. How does the S2 shape up against the world's highest resolution digital back and also the S2's littler brother? Find out in Mark Dubovoy's Leica S2 – First Impressions.

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NOW AVAILABLE

The Luminous Landscape Guide
to Capture One Pro

Thank´s for one of the best tutorials I´ve seen so far!
It´s much easier to listen and learn when there is an educated discussion going on
between two very knowledgeable guys!

Find out more and watch our sample training video.




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