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What's New Archives          Jan 01, 2009 - Jul 01, 2009

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1 January, 2009 - Contest Winner Announced

The winner of our December Anti-Depression Contest is Hugo Marrero-Sepulveda of Puerto Rico. He has selected the Nikon D90 as his prize. Congratulations Hugo!

We'll be announcing a new give-away soon, and every purchase made as of today, Jan 1, will be eligible.

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Two low-cost folios by Michael Reichmann
now available from Lenswork Publishing




4 January, 2009 - Sony A900 and Canon 5D MKII - The New Market Leaders Duke it Out

The DSLR marketplace is changing (again). It used to be that to get the largest sensor with the highest resolution and the best image quality one had to spend really big bucks. But with the D700 Nikon last year Nikon changed that equation, and with the full-frame 21MP and 25MP Canon 5D MKII and Sony A900 those two companies have now made class-leading image quality available for under $3,000 – within the reach of most advanced amateurs and pros.

How do these two young guns stack up against each other? Find out in Sony A900 and Canon 5D MKII – The New Market Leaders Duke it Out.

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UPDATE

In the first couple of days since publication there have been a few emails and some rather unpleasant online postings on some discussion forums to the effect that I am wrong regarding the 5DII not registering settings when the center of the joystick is pressed, and that I should take up piano tuning instead of camera reviewing. Well, sorry folks, but I am correct. It works exactly as I've described.

The confusion probably stems from the fact that pressing the center of the joystick does make a selection when accessing items from the main Menu button, but it does not do so when one wishes to set an item from the quick access screen. In that case the screen simply goes dark. One needs to use the Set button instead, rather than the center of the joystick, which is what I was referring to in the article.

In fact, now that this is brought to light its clear that this is the type of interface confusion that can drive photographers nuts in the field, where a control works one way in one situation and another way in another.


5 January, 2009 - Capture One 4.6 Now Available

Phase One now has V4.6 of Capture One available for immediate download. This is a free updated to existing 3.x and 4.x owners and is also available as a free 30 day trial for others.

Among a number of new features are tethered capture for the following cameras –  Nikon D3, Nikon D700, Nikon D300, Nikon D200, Nikon D80, Nikon D60, Nikon D40x, Nikon D40.

Raw suppport has also been added for several new cameras including the Phase One P 65+, Canon G10, Nikon D3X, Olympus E-30, and there is also improved camera support for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 50D: sRaw1 and sRaw2 now being supported.

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7 January, 2009 - This Month

I am now off-line until January 26th on my Antarctic Expedition, so sorry – no new content until then. But there are hundreds of reviews, tutorials and essays here that I'm sure you haven't read, so dive into the table of contents page for each of the major categories, Locations, Essays, Columns, Reviews, Techniques, Tutorials and the Understanding Series to catch up on the things that you might have missed. We've been publishing now for ten years, so you have a lot of reading to do.

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As for the Expedition and what I'll be shooting with, it's quite a selection. Nikon, Canon, and Phase One have all been kind enough to lend me their latest cameras for testing and review, so I'll be able to work with the new Nikon D3x, Canon 5D MKII, and Phase One 645 with their exciting new 60 Megapixel P65+ back. I'll also have along my current long-terms test system, the 25 MP Sony A900.

Commercial director and producer of the Video Journal, Chris Sanderson, will be using the Canon 5D MKII as his primary video camera to film the expedition. Frequent contributor to this site, photographer and long-time Canon shooter Nick Devlin, will be on the trip as well working with a 5D MKII. Both gentleman have field reviews for these pages in mind, so you can expect more coverage on this camera and how it made out in Antarctica here at the end of January.

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–15% SALE NOW ON

While I'm traveling our customer service and technical support staff will be on the case, so please feel free to visit our on-line store and consider purchasing one of our highly acclaimed multi-hour video tutorials, Camera to Print, Lightroom 2, or Photoshop Camera Raw, as well as The Video Journal.

In fact we're having a SALE for the next few weeks – our annual While the Cats Away Sale. From now until January 26 every product in our online store is on sale at 15% off.

Subscribers and regular readers of The Video Journal are probably wondering where the latest edition is. Needless to say, it's late. Very late. No excuses, but the reason is simply that Chris has been very busy the past twelve months producing all of our new video tutorials. He promises that the next Video Journal is now his top priority.

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Lenswork has just published their Jan / Feb 2009 issue and it features a portfolio of my work as well as an interview with me by publisher Brooks Jensen. The magazine's cover photograph is from that portfolio and was shot in Madagascar last year. Lenswork is also publishing two moderately priced original print folios of my work to coincide with this issue, which if you're a print collector you might be interested in.

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My best wishes to you for the start of 2009. See you back here at the end of January.

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Here is the weather forecast for Palmer Station, roughly in the area of the Antarctic Peninsula where we'll be in mid-January.

Oh yes, at this time of year near the Antarctic Circle sunset is at midnight and then sunrise is less than three hours later at about 2:45 am. Shooting light – 24 hours. For photographers sleep is not an option.
 




24 January, 2009 - On The Way Home

It's mid-day, Saturday, and I am now in Buenos Aires on my way back from Antartica. I'll be home Sunday, and my brain should catch up with my body some time mid-week.

The trip was extreemly successful, with a wonderful group of photographers and some remarkable photographic opportunities. We spent nearly two days south of the Antarctic Circle and had a rare opportunity to sail through The Gullet, a narrow glacier-shrouded channel between two mountain ranges that is very rarely traversed, as few ships sail this far south and it is usually ice clogged.

I have started an Antarctic 2009 Portfolio page which will be updated with new images in the weeks ahead.

I'll have equipment reports and lots more here in the days ahead.

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Adobe has today released updates to both Camera Raw and Lightroom providing support for the Nikon D3X and Olympus E-30 as well as some bug fixes.

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Note that our While the Cats Away Sale ends on January 26. Till then every product in our online store is on sale at 15% off.

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The new issue (#80) of Lenswork magazine is now shipping and it features a portfolio of my work (including the cover) as well as an interview with me by publisher Brooks Jensen.

Two low-cost folios by Michael Reichmann
are now also available from Lenswork Publishing




27 January, 2009 - Slot Canyons of the Southwest

The Slot Canyons of the American Southwest have become a photographic cliche, but they still attract thousands of photographers each year, and with good reason. They are quite spectacular.

In our newest locations article Ben Hattenbach provides us with a guide to this exciting locale.

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My Antarctic 2009 Portfolio page has been updated with another image from south of the Antarctic Circle.

 

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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".



29 January, 2009 - Why are Icebergs Blue?

One of the pressing questions for photographers who photograph icebergs and glaciers is – why are they so blue?

One of the photographers on my recent Antarctic expedition was my friend Mark Dubovoy, a nuclear physicist by profession. He was unsatisfied with any of the explanations offered by the expedition staff and self appointed experts. On his return he researched the subject and now provides us with his explanation.

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I have updated my Antarctic 2009 Portfolio page with another new photograph, of a blue iceberg, of course.

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Under the heading From the Sublime to the Ridiculous  today brings a press release from Leica that they have produced a limited edition Leica M8.2 in olive green paint finish and a silver anodized LEICA ELMARIT-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens in a 'Safari' edition.

Let me know when they produce a verison covered in reticulated Ostrich testicles and I just might be interested.

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The new issue (#80) of Lenswork magazine is now shipping and it features a portfolio of my work (including the cover) as well as an interview with me by publisher Brooks Jensen.

Two low-cost folios by Michael Reichmann
are now also available from Lenswork Publishing




1 Feb, 2009 - Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough?

We are coming to a significant crossroad in the evolution of digital photography. There is a convergence of factors underway that is changing the way in which we perceive the merits and value of the equipment that we purchase.

On the one hand we have a rapidly flattening slope on the image quality side of the ledger, where it takes a serious additional expenditure to derive what is often only a moderate increase in image quality.

On the other we have the worst global economic environment of our lifetimes, which is causing photographers to more seriously evaluate the value proposition of their purchases than ever before.

The third hand holds the issue of numeric analysis vs. the evidence of ones eyes. What do we do when the test numbers tell us one thing and ours eyes tell us another?

Today I am publishing the first of a multi-part series of essays that will appear here during the month of February, which will attempt to address these issues. It is titled Quality vs. Value – When is Enough Enough? I invite you join our discussion forum if you'd like to express your thoughts on this and future essays in this series. Let's have a dialog about it.

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I have updated my Antarctic 2009 Portfolio page with another new photograph, this one taken with the 60 megapixel Phase One P65+ back.

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Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




3 Feb, 2009 - Eyes vs. Numbers - Which to Believe

DxO Labs has just today published test results, using their DxOMark metrics, of four medium format backs, from Hasselblad, Phase One, Leaf and Mamiya. Unfortunately the numbers fail to jibe with the reality which I and many other photographers experience on a daily basis. Why is this?

In a new essay titled Eyes vs. Numbers – Which to Believe I explore this topic, and point to several likely explanations of this growing disconnect.

This is the second of a multi-part series of essays on the changing face of digital photography and the new approaches that we will be required to adopt in adjusting to a rapidly changing environment.

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I have updated my Antarctic 2009 Portfolio page with another new photograph, this time taken with the Sony Alpha 900 at ISO 800.

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From Today's Official Nikon UK Press Release

"Nikon UK is proud to announce the P90, compact camera that boasts an impressive 24x wide angle optical zoom. Its high-performance super-telephoto zoom, wide-angle capabilities and other powerful features are combined in an easy-to-use camera, making it ideal for users looking for the infamous Nikon quality, in a camera that’s compact and portable".

A gentle reminder to Nikon UK's Copywriter – Definition of the word infamous...

\ˈin-fə-məs\
Function:
adjective
Etymology:
Middle English, from Latin infamis, from in- + fama fame
Date:
14th century
1 : having a reputation of the worst kind : notoriously evil <an infamous traitor>
2 : causing or bringing infamy : disgraceful <an infamous crime>
3 : convicted of an offense bringing infamy

Update: This typo has now been corrected on web sites around the net. But since everything on the net is forever, the mistake now lives on in infamy.

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The new issue (#80) of Lenswork magazine is now shipping and it features a portfolio of my work (including the cover) as well as an interview with me by publisher Brooks Jensen.

Two low-cost folios by Michael Reichmann
are now also available from Lenswork Publishing

 




5 Feb, 2009 - Giant Used Equipment Sale

Regular readers will be aware that in addition to writing and teaching I also review products that interest me. I've been doing so for about 20 years in magazines, and for the past 10 years on this site as well. I am not an equipment reviewer per-se, but am interested in how, as a photographer, various tools meet my needs.

Manufacturers will lend, and I will accept the loan of cameras and lenses, but these are usually available for only a week or two at a time. Since this is far too short a time to really get to know a piece of gear I therefore will buy various products for long term testing. Seems extravagant, I know, but it's the business that I'm in. At the end of some months, or in some cases years, I will sell the gear and use the proceeds to purchase new equipment for long-term field testing.

It's time for spring cleaning (or at least late winter cleaning). I have quite a bit of kit that's built up over the past couple of years – some of it for testing, some for projects or assignments that are now concluded. All are now for sale.




7 Feb, 2009 - Antarctica : What Worked, What Didn't

Seventy seven photographers aboard an expedition ship in Antarctica bring a lot of equipment with them. A combination of weather, knocks and other mishaps always take their toll.

It's also interesting to note what gear that was brought along did its job, and waht was superfluous.

This is all discussed in today's new report titled Antarctica – What Worked, What Didn't.

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




10 Feb, 2009 - Sinar Artec - An interview with Rainer Viertlbock

Architectural photographers have very specialized needs, especially now that most are working with medium format digital backs.

Sinar introduced the Artec at Photokina last Fall, and it was very well received. But where did the concept for the Artec come from? From a leading architectural photographer, of course, and in today's exclusive article we offer an interview with the photographer behind the Artec concept – Rainer Viertlböck, conducted by Michael Heinrich who also looks at the new camera on location.

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Two very worthwhile and interesting products just started shipping within the past few days. The first is the Really Right Stuff L bracket for the Sony A900. RRS makes what are to my mind the finest mounting equipment in the world and their latest L bracket doesn't disappoint.

I have just received my order from CameraQuest of a Leica M to Micro 4/3 adaptor for the Panasonic G1. I'll have an initial report soon, but my first impressions are that this adaptor really is an exciting option for owners of Leica M mount lenses.

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The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




12 Feb, 2009 - March Exhibit Opening and Conference Presentation

If you live in Toronto, Southern Ontario, or upstate New York, you are invited to two events in March.

I will be having a show of new work at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto. There will be a preview reception at the gallery on the evening of Thursday, March 12, and then an open house on the weekend of March 14, and 15.

Full details on the Surprise and Delight Exhibit are found here.

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Also in March, on the weekend of March 20,21,22, in Grand Island, New York, the Niagara Frontier Reginal Camera Clubs are having their Annual Spring Convention. I will be conducting an all-day presentation on Raw Processing, Printing and Fine Art Photography on Saturday, March 21. You can find out more here.

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The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




14 Feb, 2009 - Canon 5D MKII Video Report - A Stretch

If you've been following the reports on my Antarctic workshop expedition last month you'll have noted that Chris Sanderson had planned on shooting a video report using the new Canon 5D MKII. Things didn't quite work out the way we planned, but an article documenting his impressions of this camera as a video tool are now online in Canon 5D MKII – A Stretch.

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Traveling Light

I am now away until February 22nd on vacation. (No, Antarctica doesn't count as a winter vacation, though it was warmer there than Toronto last month). I am warming up in Costa Rica this week, traveling light.

But of course I'll have a camera. My choice for this trip is the Panasonic G1, the two available Micro 4/3 lenses, and also some Leica M lenses with the CameraQuest M adaptor. I'll be using the Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA for travel storage, since I've decided not to bring a computer – making this a real vacation.

I was quite taken with the G1 (as have been many other reviewers) but since my initial review haven't taken it on an actual trip. This vacation, and the need to simplify and travel light,  seems a good opportunity to really put it though its paces. My backup will be the Panasonic LX3, also reviewed here last Fall, and which has also garnered a lot of enthusiastic attention. A field report on the G1 will follow, and I'm also looking forward to PMA in Las Vegas early in March when I anticipate that both Panasonic and Olympus will extend the Micro 4/3 format with new bodies and lenses.

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Photographer / Reviewers

To my mind there are currently only two "photographers" who write with insight and depth on the non-tecky aspects of new cameras and lenses. These are my friend Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer and Sean Reid at Reid Reviews.

I mention this because Sean has just published the second of what is now a two part analysis of the Panasonic G1. His is a "pay" site, but well worth the modest investment for Sean's considerable insights into cameras and lenses as tools for photographers.

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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 Feb, 2009 - Camera Metrics - A spreadsheet for helping to choose a new camera

I've just returned from a week-long vacation, enjoying the warmth of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Today's Home Page image is from last week's trip and I'll have a brief report on some of the equipment that I used there within the next few days.

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There are many factors to be considered when purchase a new or replacement camera. Image quality is an important one, of course, but so is price and resolution capability.

DxOMark has in recent months provided us with a standardized set of measurements for evaluating image quality, and though not without controversy, it is turning out to be quite useful when doing some types of comparison.

But DxOMark does not take into account sensor resolution or price, two critical metrics which any photographer has to consider when making a purchase decision.

Today, our regular contributor Mark Segal, an economist, mathematician, and ardent photographer, provides us with a new tool in the form of a spreadsheet for using DxOMark data in combination with price and resolution information.

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Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




25 Feb, 2009 - In The Works

Regular readers may recall that I shot in Antarctica last month with a Phase One 645 camera and the just-shipping P65+ 60 Megapixel back. A few pictures with this combo have already appeared as part of my on-going Antarctic Portfolio.

Following my return I ordered an upgrade to a P65+ from my P45+ (yes, I obviously believe it's a worthwhile upgrade) and I also ordered a Phase One camera body and set of lenses, replacing my Hasselblad H2.

I did not want to write my review until I have spent more time with both the back and the camera system. The new kit arrives later this week and next week I'll be shooting for a few days with it in Zion National Park, following a day spent at PMA in Las Vegas. Readers can therefore now expect my P65+ review by mid-March.

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If you live in Toronto, Southern Ontario, or upstate New York, you are invited to two events in March, both now just a few weeks away.

I will be having a show of my new work at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto. There will be a preview reception at the gallery on the evening of Thursday, March 12, and then an open house on the weekend of March 14, and 15.

Full details on the Surprise and Delight Exhibit are found here.

   _____________________

Also in March, on the weekend of March 20,21,22, in Grand Island, New York, the Niagara Frontier Reginal Camera Clubs are having their Annual Spring Convention. I will be conducting an all-day presentation on Raw Processing, Printing and Fine Art Photography on Saturday, March 21. You can find out more here.

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Don't Forget About Our New Contest!

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




27 Feb, 2009 - Landscape Blurs, by Alain Briot

In his newest essay Alain Briot explores an area of landscape photography quite different from anything that we've seen from him before. Find out more in Landscape Blurs - Notes on a Process and Approach.

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Ever wonder if your Mac is configured properly for Photoshop? In Optimizing Photoshop Diglloyd provides some useful hints.

_____________________


"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".



2 March, 2009 - The Nikon D3x - The World's Best DSLR, but...

The Nikon D3x was a long-time coming, but when it did, building on the success of the D3, and featuring a 25 Megapixel sensor of exceptional quality, photographers greated the announcement with great excitement. But... oy vey, the price!

Nikon Canada kindly loaned me a D3x just in time for my January Antarctic Expediton Workshop, and following a year working with the D3, here are my observations.

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I am pleased to announced that world-famous nature photographer Art Wolfe is now a contributor to this site. He will be writing a regular column, the first of which will appear here within a week. In the meantime check out Art's upcoming workshops.

_____________________

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




3 March, 2009 - Franke & Heidecke Insolvent. The Hy6's future?

A press announcement was made on Monday to the effect that Franke & Heidecke GmbH, Feinmechanik & Optik, has filed for insolvency. English PDF of announcement.

Franke & Heidecke are the manufacturers of the Hy6 medium format camera which is sold by Rolleiflex, Leaf and Sinar under their own brands.

The Hy6 was a fascinating camera which I reviewed here back in November, 2007 in its Sinar incarnation.

This is a real blow to the medium format industry, and since the Hy6 is the primary platform for most of the digital backs from Sinar and Leaf it raises questions about where this leaves both of these companies and their product lines.

As always there's more to this story than meets the eye or that has been publically announced. As there are further developments I'll do my best to keep the medium format community informed.

For those not yet aware, this site's Discussion Forum is a focal point for all of the major medium format companies to communicate with their customer base, and counts among its members hundreds of professional photographers from around the world that use medium format digital on a daily basis.

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Don't Forget About Our New Contest!

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




4 March, 2009 - Panasonic G1 and LX3 Field Notes

Which camera to take on vacation? That's a question that we all have to answer from time to time. On a recent week-long beach vacation on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica I decided to excercise the Panasonic G1 and LX3. Also, for the first time in years, I didn't carry a laptop, instead relying on the Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA.

My Field Notes from this trip are now online.

Speaking of Panasonic, that company just introduced their GH1, a promised update to the G1 with HD video capability. I'll have more on this and anything else that catches my eye at PMA over the next few days, assuming that I have Internet access while traveling.

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I am now in Las Vegas for the annual PMA (Photo Marketing Association) show and then a couple of days of photography in Zion National Park. It's been quite a few years since I was there last, and though this isn't the best time of year to shoot in Zion, it will no doubt be fun.

I'll be shooting with the Phase One 645AF camera and P65+ back, which I just acquired, and which arrived only a few days ago. This experience, plus my work with a borrowed Phase system on my recent Antarctic trip will provide the material for my upcoming Phase One camera and P65+ review to be published here before mid-March.

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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".



9 March, 2009 - New Essay Series by Art Wolfe Begins

Art Wolfe is one of the world's foremost nature and wildlife photographers, and host of Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge a new TV series currently seen in the US on Public Television.

I am pleased to publish today the first of what will be a regular series of articles to be written exclusively for this site by Art. It is titled Seeing Like a Painter.

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I have just returned from the PMA show in Las Vegas, and a brief shoot in Zion National Park with the new 65 Megapixel Phase One P65+ back and camera system. Today's home page photograph is one taken just a couple of days ago, and more will appear here as part of my extensive P65+ review, which is scheduled for later this week.

I also expect to have online some comments on what caught my eye at PMA (not much), within the next few days.

By the way – because it is so awesomely beautiful (literally) it is hard to take a bad photograph in Zion. But, because it is so popular with landscape photographers it is also really hard to take a good (or at least new) photograph there. But, no matter what, it's a great place to spend a couple of days. Just be sure to do so during the off-season when it's possible to drive the park road yourself rather than have to use the bus service.

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A final reminder that I will be having a show of my most recent work at The Luminous Landscape Gallery in Toronto. There will be a preview reception at the gallery on the evening of this coming Thursday, March 12, and then an open house on the weekend of March 14, and 15.

Full details on the Surprise and Delight Exhibit are found here.

   _____________________

Also in March, on the weekend of March 20,21,22, in Grand Island, New York, the Niagara Frontier Reginal Camera Clubs are having their Annual Spring Convention. I will be conducting an all-day presentation on Raw Processing, Printing and Fine Art Photography on Saturday, March 21. You can find out more here.




12 March, 2009 - Phase One P65+, 645 Camera, and Lens Review

Every now and then a product comes along that defines a new level of quality or excellence. I believe that the Phase One P65+ 60 Megapixel medium format back is such a product.

I shot with a review sample on a Phase One 645 camera in Antarctica in January and again recently with my own new unit on a shoot in Zion National Park in Utah.

My comprehensive field review of this back as well as the new Phase One camera and digital lenses is now online.

I should add that at $40,000+ for the back alone this is in Ferrari territory for most photographers. But, just as automobile fanatics enjoy reading Ferrari test reports in car magazines, so too I believe do photographers, who might never own a P65+ but are keen to find out what they're all about.

_____________________

Don't Forget About Our New Contest!

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




14 March, 2009 - The Making of a Seven Gigabyte Eight Foot Wide Print

I opened a new show at my Toronto gallery this past Thursday evening, and have an Open House there this weekend (11am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday).

What caught a lot of people's eye at the opening, and elicted a great deal of comment (and nose grease on the print) was an 8 foot long panoramic made from 13 stitched 60 Megabyte files from a Phase One P65+ back, which I shot in Antarctica in January.

If you're in Toronto I invite you to come by the gallery this weekend and see the print, as well as the rest of the show. But if you can't stop in, I now have an article online titled The Making of a Seven Gigabyte Eight Foot Wide Print which includes a reduced image (to only 8,400 X 1,998 pixels from the original 34,815 X 8,280 pixels), which you can view online and download and print yourself. It will make a 24" print at 360 ppi. No watermarks or protection other than your good sense and goodwill.

_____________________

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




18 March, 2009 - Seitz D3 6X17

In the days of film there were always a number of weird and wonderful cameras to challenge and delight photographers. For all of the advances of the digital era we seem to have sacrificed originality, with most cameras seeming to be wonderplastic clones of each other, in form if not in function.

Setiz is one of the small European companies that has always followed their own path, and with their new Seitz D3 617 Panoramic Scanning Camera they bring that sense of adventure to the digital world.

David Osborn, a UK based photographer, today gives us some insight into this fascinating new camera.




20 March, 2009 - Video Journal #18 HD Download Now Available

The HD version of Issue #18 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now available.

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 on our trip through The Gullet, south of the Antarctic Circle this past January – a must-see in HD.

A feature on my expedition to Madagascar last year will be added soon (something to look forward to), and the technical feature in this edition is a detailed look at strategies for backing up your images in the field.

This High Definition (720p) download video may be viewed on any Windows, Mac or Unix PC using a free Quicktime player.

The DVD version will be available to exisiting subscribers in a few weeks.

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

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




23 March, 2009 - Phase One Sensor+ Technology Changes The Game

It isn't often that really new and useful technology comes along in photography. Yes, digital has seen a lot of innovation over the past ten years, but much is simply building on what came before and represents incremental improvements.

Following my review here last week of the new P65+, 60 Megapixel medium format back from Phase One, I now have an exclusive review of their Sensor+ technology, which is out of the lab and in production, and available in shipping P65+ backs as well as as a free upgrade for existing P65+ owners.

By "binning" four pixels together Phase One is able to produce files which, while 4X smaller (just 15 Megapixels rather than 60) are 4X cleaner at high ISO – an improvement of two full stops. Even if a P65+ is never to be in your future, it's interesting to see what is being done at the leading edge of sensor technology.




25 March, 2009 - Gekko B&W Papers Reviewed

Gekko is the brand name given to four B&W printing papers from Pictorico. My review of these new  papers is now online.

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The HD version of Issue #18 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now available.




26 March, 2009 - Phase One Acquires Major Financial Interest in Mamiya

Phase One and Mamiya Digital Imaging announced today that Phase One is making a significant financial investment in Mamiya Digital Imaging, thus becoming a major shareholder in the company.

It was also announced that Phase One will take on strategic leadership for the companies’ R & D, marketing and distribution management.

Like the companies’ flagship 645 camera system announced one year ago, future digital backs based on Phase One digital expertise will be marketed under both the Phase One and Mamiya brands.

The above is a paraphrase of the press anouncement deleting the legalize and marketing bumph. As to what the broader implications of this annoucement might be, I hope to be able to interview some Phase One executives in the days ahead and report on this here in greater detail.

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




27 March, 2009 - Canon 5D MKII Field Report & Phase One / Mamiya Details

Today sees two new articles. The first is a field review of the Canon 5D MKII by Nick Devlin, based on his use of this camera during our January, 2009 Antarctic Expedition.

If you're looking for spec lists, graphs and menu diagrams – look elsewhere. But if you want an experienced photographer's impressions based on real-world usage, Nick's review is bound to please.

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The announcement yesterday that Phase One has made a major investment in Mamiya, and that they now are taking the lead position on both company's joint efforts in R&D, marketing and world-wide distribution, sent some waves through the industry.

Curious to find out more than what was in the press announcement I had the opportunity to interview Phase One's president and CEO, and an article based on that interview is now online.

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The HD version of Issue #18 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now available.




30 March, 2009 - Photo Imaging Expo Report

Our correspondent in Tokyo, Bernard Languillier, attended the Photo Imaging Expo show in Tokyo last week and today provides us with his show report.

I am currently in Miami Beach shooting a multi-hour instructional video with famous stock photographer and educator, Seth Resnick. It will be titled Where The %@# Are My Pictures, and will be an in-depth look at image management, archiving, key-wording, and backup, by the creator of D-65 Workshops. Watch for it here within a couple of months.

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UPDATE

A couple of the shots on Nick Devlin's 5DMKII review were orginally mislabled, and taken with his 1DsMKIII rather than the 5DMKII. A few people have gotten a bit bent over this.

The fact of the matter is that Nick shot with both cameras in Antarctica, and when he chose the shots to include simply selected the ones that he liked the best.

While it's true that the article was about the 5D MKII, the reality is that it makes not a wit worth of difference which camera was used, since the shots shown were not intended to llustrate any aspect of technical quality.

Take a deep breath folks. This stuff isn't worth getting agitated about.

_____________________

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!

 




2 April, 2009 - Alpa TC Field Report

Are Things Really Simple at the Top? That's a play on Alpa's (a small Swiss speciality camera company) slogan. It's also the title of a new field review by contributor Mark Dubovoy.

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




3 April, 2009 - Phase One Releases Capture One 4.7

Phase One’s Capture One version 4.7 was released on Thursday with a new  file format designed to make it easier to share adjusted Phase One digital back-generated RAW files called EIP. It also permits adjustment of both JPEG and TIFF files. Additionally, 4.7 adds tethered shooting support for the Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D3X. 




5 April, 2009 - Adventures on the Dark (and Noisy) Side

Doing nighttime urban photography intimidates some photographers. And it should, since it's all too easy to have ones intentions misinterpreted by our potential subjects.

Last week I was in Miami Beach shooting a new video tutorial, and spent a couple of evenings cruising the South Beach area with my camera. In Adventures on the Dark (and Noisy) Side I discuss some of the issues involved in doing this type of shooting, and show some of my more "publishable" images.

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We have now been publishing the Luminous Landscape Video Journal for some 9 years and 18 editions. Initially these were available only on DVD and then we also added Standard Definition as well as HD downloads. Our current issue, #18 will be the last to be available on DVD. It is currently available as an HD download. All future Video Journals will available either as SD and HD downloads.

We are now starting to make all of our back issues available as downloads. Issues one through four have just been made available at a price of just $9.95 each, the lowest that we can make them.

While some of the product reviews in the older issues may be a bit dated, the technical articles, interviews with famous photographers, and travel segments continue to be both relevant and fresh. Chris and I hope that you enjoy them.

_____________________

I will be mostly offline for the next week on a shoot with some friends in Arizona. Whether there will be new content this coming week depends on Net availability while I'm travelling.




12 April, 2009 – A primer on night landscape photography

Now that summer is approaching and the days are getting longer, (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) there are night landscape photography opportunities to be explored.

Irish landscape photographer and educator Peter Cox today gives us an essay on some basic techniques for this in his tutorial Irish Nocturne.

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I have been offline for the past week, on a shoot with a small group of friends in southern Arizona. The first of a sampling of images from this trip is now the new home-page photograph.

____________________

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!

 




14 April, 2009 - So You Think Medium Format Digital is Easy?

Joseph Holmes is one of the pickiest photographers that I know of. He's a talented and widely published and collected landscape photographer, and is a highly respected inventor and patent holder in the field of digital imaging.

Joe is among a group of well known landscape photographers, including Bill Atkinson, Charlie Cramer, Mark Dubovoy, Tim Wolcott, and Michael Reichmann who previously worked with large format film and who now shoot with medium format digital Phase One backs in the 39MP – 60MP range on a mix of Hasselblad, Mamiya / Phase One, and technical camera bodies.

We are all driven by one compulsion – to achieve better than large format image quality – which we mostly do, but regretably not all of the time.

Being an absolute stickler for precision, and more importantly knowing how to achieve it, Joe has now written two articles on what's involved in achieving the absolute best from the latest generation of medium format digital systems.

These articles are currently available on Joe's site. The first is titled MEDIUM FORMAT DIGITAL CAMERA OPTICAL PRECISION while the second is GETTING TOP QUALITY FROM MEDIUM FORMAT.

Read 'em and weep!

_____________________

The HD version of Issue #18 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now available.




15 April, 2009 - Medium Format - Superior Technique Rules

Yesterday's links to two recent essays by Joe Holmes (see the 14 April entry below) has generated some considerable discussion. It also prompted me to put down a few notes on the importance of using optimum shooting techniques, which are now online.

_____________________

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




16 April, 2009 - Alexis' Passing and Thanks

Eleven months ago I held a fund raising print sale to assist Alexis, a very close friend of my wife and mine who lives in the U.S. She had a brain tumor and no health insurance. A great many people from all over the world purchased prints to help Alexis, and this money has been of invaluable assistance to her over the past year, making care and treatment available which would otherwise not have been possible for her. Alexis was amazed with and incredibly grateful for everyone's generosity.

It is therefore with great sadness that I report that Alexis passed away this past Tuesday. She will be missed by everyone that knew and loved her. Thank you again for your caring generosity last year. It made a very big difference during her final year.




18 April, 2009 - Leica S2 - Preliminary Thoughts

Leica introduced the medium format S2 camera system at last September's Photokina with the intention of shipping in mid-2009. That time is now approaching.

I had an opportunity to briefly handle a pre-production camera at last month's PMA show, and today provide some thoughts on how the camera seemed to me, and what it might mean for the company when it is finally launched.

_____________________

Early Edition Video Journals Now Available as Downloads




21 April, 2009 - Doing a Shoot in Exotic Madagascar

Not that long ago, together with award-winning film maker Chris Sanderson and documentary photographer Pierre Claquin, I spent two weeks exploring Madagascar with an eye to possibly conducting a future photography expedition / workshop. The country proved to be one of the most exotic and visually stimulating that I have ever visited, but so lacking in basic infrastructure that I eventually decided that conducting a workshop there wouldn't be viable.

A 45 minute long HD documentary on our shoot in Madagascar is now available as part of Issue #18 of the The Luminous Landscape Video Journal. The cost of the entire download issue is just $14.95. This issue also includes a segment on my recent expedition to Antarctica, an interview with  Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Jack Dykinga, and more.

This HD video is available for immediate download. Those who have previously purchased Issue #18 simply need to log onto their account on the site's Store to access the new video.

Oh yes – and your purchase makes you eligible for our latest contest, a private two-day field workshop with Michael Reichmann.

_____________________

The HD version of
Issue #18 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal

containing a 45 minute-long documentary on doing a shoot
in Madagascar is now available.




23 April, 2009 - CameraQuest Leica M to Micro 4/3 Lens Adaptor

Is the Panasonic Lumix G1 the new digital Leica? No – not that it's a rangefinder camera – but with the addition of a Leica M series lens adaptor it can take all of your M lenses, and do so with a body that is as small, light and disrete as an M8, and with excellent image quality as well as a low price.

_____________________

UPDATE:

What used lens costs more than an S Class Mercedes? A Canon 1200mm f/5.6, currently available from B&H Photo. Paypal accepted.

I'll take a pass though. No Image Stabilization.

_____________________


"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".



25 April, 2009 - From Reality to Iconic

The greatest challenge that we as photographers face is how to translate the jumbled real world into a simplified iconic representation of what we see in our mind's eye.

We have now placed online a free HD excerpt from a 45 minute-long segment on doing photography in Madagascar that illustrates the issue. This is from the latest Video Journal.

Please note that this is a true streaming HD video, and therefore requires a monitor with at least 1280 X 720 resolution and a high speed connection.

_____________________

If you're interested in the history of the digital SLR then you'll absolutely want to download The DCS Story - 17 years of Kodak Professional digital camera systems - 1987-2004, written by Jim McGarvey, Kodak's lead engineer on the DCS cameras. It is being made available by NikonWeb.com.




28 April, 2009 - Fuji F200EXR, Panasonic ZS3, and Canon SX200 Compared

Are you getting a bit bored with all the chatter about high megapixel and megabuck DSLRs and medium format backs? Thought so.

In these mean economic times a look at cameras which are somewhat more affordable (and pocketable) is in order, and so today I offer you The Pocket Camera as Visual Notebook – the Fuji F200EXR, Panasonic ZS3, and Canon SX200 Compared – a hands-on look at three of the newest and smallest pocketable super-zooms, all priced at under $400.

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




30 April, 2009 - Phase One, Nikon Canada and LL Announcements

We are pleased to have just placed online four new download editions of previous Luminous Landscape Video Journals. These were only available till now as DVDs. They are each priced at just $9.95 and are available for immediate download.

 
 

_____________________

Several dealers let the cat out of the bag a couple of days ago (tsk, tsk) but Phase One has today officially announced, and has available for immediate delivery, their latest medium format back, the P40+ with Sensor+. This is a 40 Megapixel back.

UPDATE:

Phase One has also today made available Capture One 4.8, an update with support for the new P40+ and enhanced support for the P65+.

_____________________

Nikon Canada has announced a new free service program for its D3 and D3x customers. This provides...

– Unlimited preventative maintenance cleanings

– Routine adjustments as necessary resulting from normal usage, excluding cosmetic “wear and tear”

–  Two comprehensive check-ups and cleanings; one in the first year of ownership and one in the second

This program is effective as of today on all new D3/D3X cameras purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer and is applicable for an initial period of two years from the date of original purchase. Also, D3/D3X cameras which were purchased new from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer prior to March 30, 2009, are also automatically covered.

Seems like a pretty attractive offer to me, especially since the other guys seem to be getting a bit of a black eye of late among some Canadian customers when it comes to warrenty service and repair practices.

 




2 May, 2009 - Our Tenth Anniversary

May brings with it the tenth anniversary of The Luminous Landscape. I'm not sure which day the site went online, but as I recall it was in the first half of the month. The first What's New entry was on May 28, 1999 and I recall that the site had been online for at least a couple of weeks before that.

Originally the site was simply intended as a new home for some articles which I had written over the years for various magazines, including Photo Techniques where I was a Contributing Editor. But I slowly began adding original material, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today the site has more than a million unique visitors monthly, as many as a dozen new essays, product reviews, and tutorials each month, and a discussion forum that is among the most civil such places on the Net, populated with many of the industry's leading experts, and with a large group of knowledgeable and helpful regulars.

Where will the next ten years take us? My crystal ball is a bit cloudy today, but I can say that there are steps underway to greatly expand the educational as well as community aspects of the site, and I look forward to having you along as we enter our second decade.

_____________________

DVDs Coming to an End

For anyone still interested in back issues of the Luminous Landscape Video Journal on DVD – all DVDs and DVD sets are 50% off from now until the end of May.

At that point DVDs will be removed from our catalog and will no longer be available. All new Video Journals and tutorials from now on will be available as download only.

Those who still have DVD subscriptions will receive LLVJ-18 as normal after it ships in about a week from now; you can likely expect it in your mailbox by mid-June. If you have moved in the past three years, PLEASE make sure that Customer Service has your updated mailing address. Note that an address change made in our Store database does not mean that the shipping database for DVDs kept by Customer Service has your correct shipping address!

Subscribers who still have DVDs beyond LLVJ-18 in their subscription are urged to contact Customer Service to explore the options for conversion to any of our Download products including Tutorials.

 




5 May, 2009 - Hunting The Great Alaskan Aurora

Northern Lights (aurora) are best seen in far northern latitudes. Along with Iceland, Alaska is one of the best places on earth to view aurora. In a new exclusive article for this site photographer Ben Hattenbach and astonomer Henry Throop share their experience and knowledge about Hunting The Great Alaskan Aurora.

Aurora are most common during peaks in solar activity. The next solar maximum is due in 2010 / 2011. These take place in 11 year cycles, and this next one is anticipated to be the strongest since 1958. This means aurora could be visible and therefore photographable from dark sky sites in mid-latitudes. Time to start honing your shooting techniques.

____________________

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




7 May, 2009 - Issue #18 DVD Now Available & All Back Issues Now Online as Downloads

Issue #18 of The Luminous Landscape Video Journal is now available on DVD. It joins our already available HD download edition.

Please note that this DVD will only be available for another 30 days. On June 1st we are discontinuing all of our DVD products, and our tutorials and Video Journals will then only be available as downloads.

Our remaining inventory of DVD back issues of the Luminous Landscape Video Journal on DVD and all DVDs and DVD sets are available at 50% off from now until June 1st.

____________________

All Early Edition Video Journals Now Available as Downloads

   

Click on an Icon to Find Out More About That Issue




9 May, 2009 - Epson 7900 / 9900 Printer Review

Are the new Epson 7900 / 9900 printers the best printers in the world? Quite possibly. Find out what I really think in my just published review.

This review includes a free streaming video showing the 7900 in action in my studio.

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Around The Net

It's the weekend, and if you're in the northern hemisphere it's mid-spring, the birds are chirping and the trees are budding, and the flowers blooming – so get out and enjoy, and of course do some shooting.

But, if it's raining today where you are, here are a few new items on the Net that you might be interested in... (or read them at work on Monday morning).

Lloyd Chambers at Digilloyd has published a couple of interesting articles on Optimizing Lightroom and Optimizing Photoshop.

Sean Reid at Reid Reviews has published reviews of the new Leica 21/1.4 Summilux Aspherical and 24/1.4 Summilux Aspherical lenses.

Michael Tapes at Rawworkflow.com has introduced a Long Ruler Kit for his terrific LensAlign product. Highly recommended.

 ____________________


"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".



13 May, 2009 - Landscape Blurs - Part 2

Our regular contributor, Alain Briot, today provides us with his 51st essay for this site, titled  Landscape Blurs – Part 2.

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You have just over two weeks remaining in which to enter our exclusive contest which entitles you and a spouse or friend to a private workshop with Michael Reichmann in Northern Ontario this summer or fall.

Remember – our remaining inventory of DVD back issues of the Luminous Landscape Video Journal on DVD and DVD sets are available at 50% off from now until June 1st. And, all Video Journals are now also available as downloads.

What are you waiting for?
Someone's got to win it.
Why not you!

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




15 May, 2009 - New DxOMark Data for P65+ and H3DII 50

I was on the road shooting in the Niagara region all day Thursday (a very lovely but blustery spring day) and so am a bit late in reporting two items of interest. The first is that DxO Labs has published DxOMark ratings for two new medium format backs, the Phase One P65+ and the Hasselblad H3DII 50. Of note is that the P65+ receives DxO Labs' highest rating of any camera or back to date. You can read more about it here.

____________________

On a much sadder note, essayist and photographer Bill Jay passed away yesterday. Bill was well know for his Endnotes column in Lenswork magazine and his highly insightful book Occam's Razor: An Outside-In View of Contemporary Photography, which if it isn't in your library, should be.

Bill and his writings will be greatly missed.




17 May, 2009 - A Workflow Combining Capture One and Lightroom

We have some excellent choices available to us in raw processing software. Among the best are Capture One and Lightroom. I am very partial to Lightroom for its overall image processing, printing, and digital asset management capabilities, and find that Capture One is among the best when it comes to the image quality produced by its basic raw processing. (I also use C1 because it's the only software that currently supports my Phase One P65+ back).

Consequently I have developed a streamlined workflow for integrating Capture One and Lightroom, which is the subject of my newest tutorial.

____________________

All Early Edition Video Journals Now Available as Downloads

   

Click on an Icon to Find Out More About That Issue




20 May, 2009 - Field Tethered Shooting Using Medium Format

Unless one is doing an art-directed location shoot, few medium format photographers bother shooting tethered in the field. Regardless of the advantages of doing so using a regular laptop without the aid of an assistant is simply too much of a hassle.

But, there's at least one solution in the form of a unique 7" Japanese UMPC  / Netbook. My newest review – Field Tethering Medium Format Backs looks at this solution.

____________________

If you're interested in photojournalism you just visit LENS, a new site published by The New York Times. It features some of the best contemporary documentary photography in a beautifully presented format.

____________________


"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".



25 May, 2009 - 7 Days Remaining in Our Win-A-Private-Workshop Contest

There's now just one week left in our current contest, an opportunity to win a private photographic workshop for two with Michael Reichmann at his country home in Muskoka, Ontario, including airfare from anywhere in the world. This is worth up to $10,000!

A purchase of any product from our secure online store is all that's needed to enter, and each purchase counts as a seperate entry, increasing your chances of winning.

And remember our 50% Off Clearance Sale of LLVJ DVDs 1-17 ends May 31!

What are you waiting for?
Someone's got to win it.
Why not you!

 

The above graphic says it all.
Enter our latest and greatest contest yet
through your purchase of any of the download videos
and tutorials available on this site.
Thank you!




26 May, 2009 - Night Fisherman : A New Essay by Art Wolfe

Today, our newest columnist Art Wolfe provides us with his latest essay, entitled Night Fisherman.

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There are now just 6 days left to enter our win a private photographic workshop for two with Michael Reichmann contest. And remember, our 50% Off Clearance Sale of LLVJ DVDs 1-17 also ends May 31.

____________________

All Early Edition Video Journals Now Available as Downloads

   

Click on an Icon to Find Out More About That Issue

 




29 May 2009 - The Rise of Digital imaging and the Fall of the Old Camera industry

When one is living through a revolution, be it political, social, or technical, it is usually impossible to have an immediate perspective on trends and developments. For this we usually need pundits and academics.

Christian Sandström is a PhD student living in Sweden whose research concerns disruptive innovation and the challenges this presents for established firms.

In an exclusive essay for this site titled The Rise of Digital imaging and the Fall of the Old Camera industry Christian helps us understand the forces at work in the transition that the photographic industry has been going through for the past decade.

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If you live in or near Toronto and are interested in learning more about medium format photography there are seminars available next Wedneaday and Thursday, June 3 and 4, at the Studio 1 Group facilities. These are being given by Walter Borchenko.

Find Out More
____________________


If you have a Canon 5D MKII and are using it for video you'll be more than pleased to learn that Canon has a firmware update coming next Tuesday, June 2nd, which will allow manual control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO during filming. This update may be downloaded from any of the national Canon web sites. Here are the links for the US and Canada.

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There are now just 3 days left to enter our win a private photographic workshop for two with Michael Reichmann contest. And remember, our 50% Off Clearance Sale of LLVJ DVDs 1-17 also ends May 31.




1 June, 2009 - Tested and Recommended

For the past ten years on this site, and a couple of additional decades prior to that in photo magazine, I have been writing about the photographic products that I have field tested.

Today I am launching a new feature called Tested and Recommended, which lists all of the products reviewed on this site over the past few years  – the ones that are still commencially available, and which I can personally recommend, because, these are the ones that I myself use.

The page also contains links to the B&H Photo pages where these products are available, or in the case of products which B&H doesn't sell, their respective maufacturers or vendors.

Why B&H Photo? Because they are this site's only commercial sponsor; they are product agnostic, and they provide excellent service and pricing. And, it should be mentioned, when you buy anything from B&H after clicking on a link from this site we get a small commission – which helps keep us on the air. Thanks for your support.

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The winner of our most recent contest will be announced with the next 24 hours.




4 June, 2009 - Platinum Printing - An Introduction

Platinum / Paladium printing is one of the most beautiful photographic processes ever invented. Sadly, it is both expensive and difficult to do.

But, there are still some devoted practitioners, and even some newcomers. One of these is Tim Gray, and today, in a tutorial written specially for this site, Tim provides us with An Introduction to Platinum Printing using digital negatives.

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The winner of our just concluded Private Workshop Contest is Shawn Lingo of Eugene, Oregon. Shawn will be coming to Ontario for his workshop in October. Congratulations Shawn.

Remember – any and every purchase made from our online store is an entry in our next contest. What's the prize? It's a surpise at the moment, but like all our contest prizes in the past it'll be an exciting one.

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8 June, 2009 - John Paul Caponigro - On Composition

One of the great photographic artists of our time is John Paul Caponigro. He is also a wonderful educator.

Notice that I call JP a photographic artist, and not just a photographer. This is because what he does in photography is bring a new and unabashed vitality to the use of digital tools in pursuit of his creative vision.

With On Photographic Composition, published today for the first time, I am pleased to welcome JP to the site as our newest Columnist. We can look forward to new essays from him in this series on an on-going basis.

Michael, I just finished From Camera to Print, and I want to thank
you and Jeff for a seminar in which I feel like I learned to fly!
I learned so much that now I need to go back and watch again,
and take some serious notes.
I've made some nice prints in the past,
but with all this new knowledge,
I can only imagine what those old prints will
look like when I apply all this new knowledge.

So, a heartfelt "Thank You" to you both!

For those of you who think haven't bought it, what are you waiting
for? If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by it. It may be
over six hours, but the conversational manner in which it is taught is
entertaining AND educational.

I'm starting on the Lightroom tutorial as I write this.
Great stuff, Michael.




12 June, 2009 - Understanding Split ND Filters

HDR and other digital techniques have replaced the use of graduated neutral density filters for many photographers. But, their use is still valid and they are still used by many landscape shooters.

In a new tutorial by Peter Cox we look at Understanding Graduated Neutral Density Filters.

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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 June, 2009 - How the Brain Perceives Images

Today we're in for a real treat. Our newest article is the first of a two part essay by Charles S. Johnson, Jr. It is titled How the Brain Perceives Images and is excerpted from his forthcoming book, Science for the Curious Photographer.

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Sean Reid has just published Part One of a review of the new Sigma DP2 on his subscription site, Reid Reviews. If you appreciate camera and lens reviews by a real photographer, rather by a technologist, you'll find Sean's site very worthwhile.

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Not quite as small as the DP2, but destined to appeal to a similar user looking for a small form factor but large sensor camera is the Olympus E-P1, which was officially introduced today. This is Olympus' first Micro 4/3 format camera and I expect it to garner quite a following. I'll be testing one and reporting on it here as soon as a review sample becomes available.




19 June, 2009 - Where The #%*! Are My Pictures?

"This new video course has really hit the spot for me! I knew I'd got a problem and now I know what it is! Brilliant!"

Where The #%*!
Are My Pictures?

"You and Seth have come up with a great topic and real world experiences, as I (like many others) don't have the time or money to experiment. Your experiences are highly regarded by serious amateurs like me". – GH




23 June, 2009 - Video DSLRs vs Camcorders - The Dirty Little Secrets

UPDATE – New Lightroom & Camera Raw Camera Support

Adobe has just made available updated versions of Lightroom and Camera Raw with raw file support for  a wide range of new cameras, including the Nikon D5000, Canon T1i (D500), Panasonic GH1, Pentax K7 and just about every other new camera released in the past several months.

Of long-term importance for all of us, Adobe has also released an update to its Digital Negative specification (DNG). To quote from the press release...

DNG 1.3 now includes opcodes, a defined list of operations and their parameters for performing complex activities in the raw file conversion process. These activities include corrections and enhancements that are beneficial when performed prior to the demosaic process but are difficult due to a camera's limited processing power. They also include corrections and enhancements that can only be performed after the demosaic process such as lens correction. By utilizing opcodes, photographers can maintain the advantages of raw mosaic data, giving them increased opportunity to improve their photographs with the maximum amount of image data preserved. The DNG SDK has also been updated to reflect the changes to the specification.

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Video DSLRs vs Camcorders

It seems like every new DSLR that hits the market has video capability. The Canon 5D MKII particularly has taken the video industry by storm, expecially now that its crippling auto everyhting feature has been disabled with the latest firmware update.

The first half of 2009 has now seen the Canon Rebel T1i (500D), Nikon D5000, Panasonic GH1, and Pentax K7 introduced, with many more to come in the months ahead.

But, is a video DSLR a real alternative to a video camcorder? Things are not always the way they seem, and in my newest report – Video DSLRs vs Camcorders – I explore the dirty little secrets of both technologies.

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Kodachrome R.I.P.

Unfortunately this time Mama really is going to take our Kodachrome away.

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Magic Lantern

In keeping with today's publication of Video DSLRs vs Camcorders comes a report that there is now a beta release of a new unofficial firmware update for the Canon 5D MKII that adds a range of new video recording features and which also opens the door to developers producing even more nifty enhancements.

This is very cool, as long as Canon doesn't act the spoil-sport and release official firmware updates down the road that break it the way Apple does on hacked iPhones.

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"I found Where the #%*! are My Pictures to be well worth purchasing.

Even after purchasing your Lightroom 2.0 video that you put out last year I found this one very helpful. In fact I have now set up presets for importing like the way Seth has done. I am also going back and redoing those images (nearly 15,000) I have already imported and changing the file names. 

Even though I have a fairly good handle with Lightroom I seem to always be learning something new."




25 June, 2009 - Phase One to Acquire Leaf

Below is a verbatim press release issued this morning by Phase One. The company is planning to acquire certain Leaf assets from Kodak. It had been rumoured in the industry for quite a long time that Kodak wanted to divest itself of Leaf.

It appears that Leaf and its products will continue under the Leaf brand, which is good news for current and prospective Leaf owners.

Broader implications of this marriage will need to be digested over the weeks and months ahead, but my view is that the continuation of Leaf and its product line is a very good thing for the medium format industry.

COPENHAGEN and TEL AVIV, June 25, 2009  -- Phase One A/S, in conjunction with senior management employees of Leaf, today announced that they have created a new entity, Leaf Imaging Ltd., to purchase certain assets of the Leaf camera business.  The assets include the “Leaf” brand product names, engineering design and production tools. The new entity will also enter into an intellectual property license with Eastman Kodak Company that is royalty bearing to Kodak. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In collaboration with Phase One, high end Leaf digital camera equipment will continue to be developed in Israel and marketed under the “Leaf” brand through a global network of specialized and dedicated value added resellers.

Leaf high quality digital camera backs with up to 56 Mega pixels and superior resolution and image quality can interface to all leading medium and large format cameras.

“We are committed to exciting future developments for the Leaf brand of products through innovative engineering, worldwide marketing and customer service,” said Henrik O. Håkonsson, President and CEO, Phase One.  “Leaf customers will benefit from the many synergies with Phase One.”

“Since introducing the world’s first digital camera back in 1992, Leaf has been recognized as a worldwide leader in the professional photography market. Our extensive digital imaging and color management knowledge, combined with Phase One’s software and hardware capabilities creates a unique opportunity for the world’s leading photographers,” said Dov Kalinski, General Manager, Leaf.




27 June, 2009 - Meditations in Monochrome

Our newest contributor, American landscape photographer Willam Neill provides us with food for thought this weekend in his latest essay – Meditations in Monochrome.

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"I found Where the #%*! are My Pictures to be well worth purchasing.

Even after purchasing your Lightroom 2.0 video that you put out last year I found this one very helpful. In fact I have now set up presets for importing like the way Seth has done. I am also going back and redoing those images (nearly 15,000) I have already imported and changing the file names. 

Even though I have a fairly good handle with Lightroom I seem to always be learning something new."




30 June, 2009 - Helicon Focus Review

Digital tools continue to expand photographer's horizons. Using stacked images to extend depth of field isn't all that new, but the latest version of Helicon Focus now carries that capability to a whole new level.

Contributor Mark Dubovoy provides us with his in-depth review. Goodnight Dr. Scheimflug, wherever you are.

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