December 31, 2001
The end of one year and the beginning of the next are always an appropriate time for reflection. As photographers it’s a good time to review what we’ve accomplished with our work during the past year — and to select our personal favourites.
The pagePersonal Best — 2001contains what I regard as my single best work this year in each of the five categories in which I specialize —Landscape,Nature,Travel,WildlifeandStreetphotography. A small portfolio of my recent wildlife photography is also featured inWildlife — A Portfolio.
Thanks to everyone for your interest and support during 2001. 2002 is going to be an exciting year onThe Luminous Landscape.
I hope that you have a safe and enjoyableNew Years Eve.
December 30, 2001
The winner of theDecember Critique CompetitionisAttila KirjakofNew York City. Congratulations Attila! Attila wins a complimentary issue ofThe Video Journalworth $30. Have a look at hiswinning entryas well as those of previous month’s winners. The JanuaryCritique Competitionis now open to new entries.
December 29, 2001
For my last major article of 2001 I’ve picked a big topic — in more ways than one. Many photographers contemplate the use of super-telephoto lenses, especially anyone doing wildlife work. I’m no different. But, I prefer to work in medium format whenever possible.
Is medium format long-lens work possible, and if so, how and with what tools?
I have just published a review of thePentax 600mm f/4. It also includes a detailed analysis of how to tame vibration with very large, long lenses, and the specialized tools needed to accomplish this. These include theWimberleygimbal head and theManfrotto #359 Long-lens Support.
December 28, 2001
It’s time for a reminder and a sales pitch. OurHoliday Seasonpromotion for theVideo Journalis almost over.There are only 4 days left. ComeNew Years Daythe offer of afree issueof theJournalwith each new subscription will be no more.
If you subscribenowyour subscription will start with the current issue —#2,andyou’ll receive afreecopy ofIssue #1worth USD$29.95. A few weeks later you’ll receiveIssue #3, which is scheduled to ship in late January.
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December 27, 2001
Every yearPhoto Techniquesmagazine publishes theirBest 5 Camerasof the year article. This year I wrote theBest 5 Digital Cameras of 2001. It appeared in theNov/Dec 2001issue which is now off the newsstands. In the event that you missed reading it in the magazine I thought you might enjoy seeing it here.
December 25, 2001
A new contributor to this site,Fred Miranda, has provided us with a review of the newCanon 16~35mm f/2.8Llens. This article is especially useful because it features a comparison with its predecessor theCanon 17~35mm f/2.8L.
With this latest reviewThe Luminous Landscapenow has the most comprehensive selection of reviews anywhere on the Web of Canon’s latest equipment releases — including theCanon 70~200mm f/2.8L IS, theCanon 400mm f/4 DO IS, and theCanon EOS 1D.
December 24, 2001
It’sChristmas Eveand I’d like to wish all of my regular readers andVideo Journalsubscribers my heartfelt best wishes for a warm, safe and joyous Christmas.
My somewhat overdue review of theCanon 70~200mm f/2.8L ISlens is now online. It was inadvertently overshadowed by my recent reviews of the just-releasedCanon EOS 1Dcamera and the unique400mm f/4 DO ISlens, but here it is as requested by many of you in recent days.
December 23, 2001
A reminder that there are just 7 days left in our holiday-seasonVideo Journalpromotion. Place your one year (4 issue) subscription beforeNew Years Eveand you’ll receive afreecopy of back-issueIssue #1, worth $29.95.
Don’t yet know whatThe Journalis all about? Now’s the time tofind outas well as the best time to subscribe.
December 22, 2001
There’s an old old saying in photography that, "the apprentice photographs the subject while the master photographs the light". A wonderful new article by well-known landscape photographer and contributorAlain Briot,titledSeeing The Light, illustrates how true this is. Would you take forty 4X5" sheets of film of the same set-up in one hour?
There’s much to be learned from this article.
December 21, 2001
A reader has written in to suggest a usefulmodificationto thePetzl Zipcaheadlamp that I reviewed the other day.
A few days agoCanon Germany"accidentally" announced two new DO IS lenses, and then less than a day later the mention was removed from their web site. Was this a case ofpremature announceulation? Read more as anupdateto my400mm f/4 DI ISreview.
My server crashed last night and the site was unavailable from approximately midnight to 7am this morning. Sorry for any inconvenience.
December 20, 2001
On my shooting trip to New Mexico earlier this month, in addition to a wildlife shoot atBosque del Apacheand a landscape session atWhite Sands National Monument, we also visited theThree Rivers Petroglyph Site. For anyone interested in prehistoricRock Art(as I am) this site is a must. The article also shows howportable reflectorswere used on a daytime landscape shoot.
December 19, 2001
Last month’s review byAlain Briotof the newEpson C80pigment ink printer continues to generate a lot of correspondence and questions for him. He has therefore provided us with anotherupdate to his review.
December 18, 2001
Serious outdoor photography like any complex endeavor requires the proper tools. Not only photo gear but also the myriad of odds and ends — from boots, to compasses to flashlights, that make the activity comfortable, safe and efficient. A good headlamp is one of these tools, and I’ve recently discovered what I regard as the best one on the market — thePetzl Zipca.
Where else are you going to find out about this stuff exceptThe Luminous Landscape?
December 17, 2001
Pentax 67 IIowners may not be aware that a quick and inexpensiveCustom Functionby an authorized service center can allow the viewfinder to display the F stop in use rather than the frame number. I’ve had this modification performed and now have a brief write-up on what’s involved, as part of my Pentax review.
December 16, 2001
White Sands National Monumentin southernNew Mexicois a little-known yet remarkably beautiful location for landscape photography. Along with a small group of photographers I worked there earlier this month and came away with several strong images from a sunrise shoot. This was the first serious location work done with my newPentax 67II.
Two photographs, one fromWhite Sandsand the other fromBosque del Apache, are now part of my permanent portfolio and are featured on myFeatured Imagepage.
December 14, 2001
A travel article onBosque del Apache, one of the finest locations for migratory bird photography in the American Southwest is now online.
December 13, 2001
For those of you who are interested in theCanon EOS-1D, and who have read my recenthands-on reviewof a production camera, you may be interested to learn thatPhil AskeyofDigital Photography Reviewhas just published hiscomprehensive reviewof the camera. A remarkable job, as always.
December 12, 2001
What’s the best Christmas present for a photographer?The Video Journalof course — the world’s first quarterly video magazine for photographers — produced on broadcast-quality DVD.
Orders placedduring the next 48 hourswill ship to arrive by Christmas Eve (post office willing). Take advantage of ourSpecial Holiday Promotionand receive afreecopy of Issue #1 ofThe Journal— worth $29.95.
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Subscribe now, receive a free gift, and support your favourite photography web site.
December 11, 2001
My long-awaited review of the just releasedCanon 400mm f/4 DO ISsuper-telephoto lens, which uses Canon’s uniqueDiffractive Opticstechnology, is now online. I had an opportunity to use the lens on a wildlife shoot at theBosque del Apachewildlife refuge in southern New Mexico last week. This review is the first field-test of a production lens to appear anywhere in the world.
This lens will be featured in the next issue (#3) of theLuminous Landscape Video Journal, scheduled for release late next month.
December 10, 2001
In myCanon 1Dreview I mentioned that the camera comes with a 4MB card. This is an error. The camera that I was loaned had such a card included but no memory card is normally provided with the camera.
In the addendum which I wrote toSteve Kossack’sreview ofThe Ultimate BallheadI mentioned that the main control knob had a ribbed metal surface which was hard in the fingers. Acratech have been responsive to this complaint and are now making available a rubberized knob. This makes it much more finger friendly. Previous purchasers can obtain a replacement bycontactingthe company. The cost is a nominal $10, They will become available in about 2 weeks.
December 9, 2001
The next issue of theVideo Journalwill feature myEOS ID review. It is scheduled for shipment in January. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the time to sign-up, as our specialholiday promotionwith a free copy ofIssue #1has only a short time to run.
Beginning tomorrow I’ll returned to a backlog of new travel articles, equipment reviews and featured portfolios. Lots of great new content coming, including the world’s first on-line field test report of the remarkable newCanon 400mm f/4 DO ISlens.
December 8, 2001
My testing and real-time on-line review of a full production version of the newCanon EOS 1Ddigital SLR continues.
December 7, 2001
As mentioned in yesterday’s entry below I have placed all ongoing articles and reviews temporarily on hold because I have a full production version of the newCanon EOS 1Ddigital SLR available for testing. Between now and Monday morning, when the camera goes back to Canon, I am writing my impressions and presenting my test resultsas I do themin the form of aReviewer’s Diary.
December 6, 2001
Stop The Presses!(I’ve always wanted to say that).
Even with all the exciting content that’sscheduledhere for the next week or two, I’ve put everything temporarily on hold. This is because last night I received afull productionCanon EOS 1Ddigital SLR for testing. I have it until 10am on Monday morning — just 4 days, unfortunately.
Rather than wait till later next week to provide you with a full hands-on write-up I’m going to publish my impressions, test results and comparisonsas I make them. I’ll try and update this report several times a day between now and Monday. The report will be done in the form of"notebook", with all the contradictions and changing perceptions that this carries with it. Hopefully this style of reporting will give you a feel for what it’s like to test such a special new product.
My experience testing theCanon EOS 1Dis also being filmed by producer / directorChris Sandersonfor inclusion in the very next issue of theVideo Journal. This will beIssue #3— to be published in mid- January. A more formal written report will also appear in the March / April issue ofPhoto Techniquesmagazine.
To follow my experiences and discoveries drop in on myCanon EOS 1Dreview notebook regularly between now and next Monday morning.
December 5, 2001
Last night I returned from a week-long wildlife and landscape shoot in southernNew Mexico. It’s going to take me several days to get caught-up with my email, theCritique Contest, and reviewing 1,000+ digital frames as well as some 20 rolls of 35mm and 120 film.
During the next couple of weeks you will find on these pages a travel guide and portfolios fromBosque del Apache Wildlife Refugeas well asWhite Sands National Monument. On the technical side there will be a hands-on field review of Canon’s revolutionary new400mm f/4 IS DOsuper-telephoto lens, and the just-released70~200mm f/2.8L ISzoom. As they say on TV —stay tuned.
Birds of a Feather — Bosque del Apache
Canon D30 @ ISO 100 with 400mm f/4 IS DO lens. 1/250 sec @ f/5.6
This frame is a preview of what’s to come. All of this contentand morewill also be featured in the next issue ofThe Video Journal.
November 28, 2001
I will be traveling and off-line until next Wednesday, December 5and unable to respond to personal e-mails or Forum messages directed to me until then.
During that time I will be shootingSandhill CranesandSnow GeeseatBosque del Apachein southern New Mexico — one of the premier bird migration "hot-spots" in the southern US. I will also be doing some landscape work in the area, including atWhite Sands National Monument.
In addition to working several great locations I’ll be conducting an extensive field test ofCanon’snew400mm f/4 IS DOsuper-telephoto lens. It features Canon’s uniqueDiffraction Optictechnology that allows Canon to shrink this 400mm lens by 36% in weight and 26% in length over a comparable non-Diffraction Optic lens.
The second lens being field tested on this trip is Canon’s new70~200mm f/2.8L ISzoom. Canon owners have been waiting a long time for anImage Stabilizedversion of their favourite medium-long zoom, and it’s now shipping.
Regular readers know that I have recently added aPentax 67 IIoutfit to my medium format arsenal, and I’ll be field testing this as well, primarily in the dunes atWhite Sands. All of these tests will be featured in extensive reports and portfolios to be published here in coming weeks.
This shoot, and these field tests and shooting experiences will be filmed byChris Sandersonfor inclusion inIssue #3ofThe Video Journal. If you subscribe toThe Journalnowyou’ll receive the currentIssue #2in time for Christmas. You’ll also receiveIssue #1as ourfree holiday giftto you (a $29.95 value)andyou’ll get the exciting Issue #3 just a few weeks later.
Want to experience this exciting trip with me? You can if you subscribe to theVideo Journalnow. Otherwise, see you next week!
November 26, 2001
Readers who are interested in street photography may enjoy a photo essay and how-to discussion on shootingParades. This was produced a week ago at the annualToronto Santa Claus Parade.
A brief tutorial oncorrecting perspective, useful when shooting buildings from street level, is now also online.
November 25, 2001
Please make note that effective immediately my personal email address has changed to[email protected]
There are no changes to this site’s URL. All links within this site have been updated, but please make sure that you have my new address correct in your address book.
November 24, 2001
Starting to use a new camera system can be akin to finding a new love. Selling one that disappoints is like the end of an affair. This month I’ve experienced both — with the acquisition of aPentax 67 IIsystem and the sale of myMamiya 67 II.
So far I have only done some testing of the Pentax, but I plan on using it extensively on a shoot in southernNew Mexico, includingWhite Sands National Monument, beginning later this week.
November 22, 2001
To all my American readers —Happy Thanksgiving!I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday. I’ll be visiting with my in-laws in Florida this weekend and doing my best to consume vast quantities of turkey.
November 21, 2001
November 20, 2001
Wherever you are in the world, whatever your culture or religion, we are now entering the holiday season. That means gift giving. Why not givethe gift of photographic knowledgeto a friend, or even yourself?
Our gift to youthis holiday season is afreecopy ofBack-Issue #1ofThe Video Journalwith every regular or gift subscription placed between now and January 1. Normally this sells for U.S. $29.95. And, this free gift issue can be sent to anyone in the world, even yourself.
November 19, 2001
Newcomers to photography who have been working exclusively with 35mm or digital are frequently baffled by the unfamiliar jargon as well as the strangeness of some of the offerings available when considering medium format cameras. If you’re among this group then you may find my new tutorial titledUnderstanding Medium Formatto be of interest.
November 18, 2001
Dawn is just breaking and I’m back at my country place after having been out shooting theLeonid meteor showerfor the past 3 hours. Everything that could have gone wrong did, but hopefully I’ll have a few frames that work. (I’ll explain more tonight or tomorrow when my film is back from the lab). At leastseeingthe shower was a great experience.
Hopefullyyougot a few good meteor shots from last night. If you did, I’d like to see them. I’ll publish the best half dozen submitted and the one I judge the best of the lot will receive a complimentary copy of the currentVideo JournalDVD, or a one issue extension to a current subscription.
Submissions should be JPG files at 72dpi, and not more than 500 pixels in longest dimension. Deadline is this Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 8am EST.
It’s now the evening, after a very long day. My meteor shoot wasa bust. A great viewing experience but not one of my best photographic efforts. Sigh.
November 17, 2001
In late August I published my friend and colleague Steve Kossack’s review of theUltimate BallheadfromAcratech Inc.Since then I have had a chance to purchase and use one myself. Here’s my "second opinion"and a comparison with my favourite ballhead, theArca Swiss B1.
A reminder to current as well as prospective subscribers toThe Video Journal. TheAssignment Competitionfor this quarter closes on December 1, less than two weeks from now. This is a chance to win free subscription extensions as well as attendance at aLuminous Landscapeworkshop, valued at U.S. $1,000. Top contenders as well as the winning photograph will also appear and be discussed in the next issue ofThe Journal.
November 15, 2001
In North America, just before dawn on this Sunday morning, Nov 18th, we will experience what is being forecast to be one of the great meteor showers of our lifetimes — theLeonids. These appear every November, but this year could become a storm rather than a shower. This means that this will be a great opportunity for photography for those that can get out into the country, and who are lucky enough to experience clear skies.
I have just publisheda tutorial on shooting meteorsthat I hope will assist you in making the most of this opportunity.
There has beenan updatefrom theProfessional Photographers of Americaon the issue of mailing unprocessed film.
November 14, 2001
Documentary Street Shooting — An Invitation:
This comingSunday, November 18th, I will be photographing the annualToronto Santa Claus Parade. This is a major annual event in this city, and is a wonderful opportunity to do street shooting. I had planned to do this shoot with two other experienced documentary photographers, but due to last-minute scheduling conflicts both gentleman have had to cancel.
I’m therefore looking for one or two experienced documentary street photographers to join me. The shoot will be filmed byChris Sanderson,and will appear as a tutorial and documentary feature in a future issue ofThe Video Journal.
If you are in the Toronto area and interested in participating, pleasedrop me an email. In it describe your experience as a documentary street photographer and also a bit about yourself. If possible include a few representative images as attachments, or point me to a web site where I can view some of your work.
There’s only room for 2 photographers to participate, so I apologize in advance if you can’t be included. The shoot happens rain or shine. You will be required to sign an on-camera appearance release. There will be no payment involved. You will retain all rights to your photographs. You also will agree to a subsequent on-camera interview and print discussion.
November 13, 2001
Many photographers seeking to create high quality images meander through the months and years buying and selling cameras, testing lenses, and comparing equipment. Occasionally they’ll take some photographs. They then wonder why their work isn’t as strong as they would like it to be, and why they don’t have enough "A" prints in their portfolio.
InThe Three P’s and L’s of PhotographyI have tried to summarize the handful of elements that I believe are requirements for the creation of quality images. Take these to heart. Think about them. Which ones are helping you, and with which ones are you letting yourself down?
November 11, 2001
Canon EOSusers may be interested in a new review of the little knownTC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller, a very handy device for anyone doing time lapse or astro-photography.
I have added myOctober Featured Image, taken a few weeks ago along theBlue Ridge Parkway.
Smoky WorkshopmemberTony Shumnow has his workshop portfolio online.
November 9, 2001
Australian pro photographerNick Rainshas contributed a review of theEbony RSW45, a lightweight flatbed 4X5" camera suitable for landscape work.
BecauseDepth of Fieldmarkings are disappearing from many contemporary autofocus 35mm lenses, many photographers are unaware of how to use them when they are encountered, especially with medium and large format cameras. At the suggestion of a reader I have added some comments about how to use the depth of field scales on lenses that have them to quickly set thehyperfocal distance.
November 8, 2001
My tutorial onFocal Length and Depth of Fieldpublished a couple of days ago, and it’s predecessor articleUnderstanding Depth of Fieldfrom last week, have caused some considerable discussion. The issue still confuses and annoys some people.
I was pleased to receive today an email from a photographer who has come up with a perfectsituation that illustrateshow an understanding of this topic can produce a beneficial shooting situation.
November 7, 2001
Have you even had a photograph ruined by lens flare? We all have. Have you ever had a photographimprovedby lens flare? Well, this week I did.Here’s what it looks like.
November 6, 2001
Last Friday I published a tutorial titled, Understanding Depth of Field. In it I mentioned that most photographers are not aware that if the subject size remains constant, and the aperture used is the same, all lenses have the same depth of field. In other words, short focal length lenses don’t have greater depth of field than long lenses.
To illustrate this non-intuitive subject I now have onlinesome test images and a descriptionof how they were created.
November 5, 2001
November 3, 2001
There are several fascinating product review and articles scheduled for the coming week. Check back here for them beginning on Monday. In the meantime have a look at theSubject Indexto see the full range of existing product reviews, tutorials and travel articles available on the site.
For this weekend though, here’s a shameless promotion. If you’re not yet familiar withThe Video Journal, our unique new DVD-based quarterly video magazine about photography, take a few minutes to find out why I believe you’ll find subscribing a worthwhile investment.
November 2, 2001
Many photographers don’t fully understandDepth of Field, what it is and how it works.Hyperfocaldistance is also frequently a big mystery. There is often confusion about what theCircle of Confusionis and its relationship toDepth of Field.
Wonder no more. The latest article in my "Understanding" series has just been published. It’s titledUnderstanding Depth of Field.
November 1, 2001
There has been much concern among photographers about the announced and pending irradiation of mail in the USA. I have now createda pagewhich will track reliable information on this topic as it unfolds.
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Smoky WorkshopmemberJerry Wittnow has his workshop portfolio online.
October 31, 2001
Firstly, to all children large and small,Happy Halloween! To the rest of you, please drive safely this evening and watch out for little goblins crossing the road.
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Smoky WorkshopmemberJeffrey Behrnow has his workshop portfolio online.
October 30, 2001
There have not been the usual number of submission to theCritique Contestthis month and because of my travels I haven’t had the time to post many of the ones that did come in. Nevertheless, thewinnerof the October contest isWilliam Scottof Washington state. He wins a free copy of the current issue ofThe Video Journal. Congratulations William! The November competition is now open.
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Steve Kossack, co-instructor at theGreat Smokyworkshop, has now addedhis photographsfrom that recent trip.
October 29, 2001
Most landscape and nature photographers shoot from the trunk of their car. In fact, wasn’t itEdward Westonwho wrote, probably tongue-in-cheek, that if he couldn’t shoot it from the road, it likely wasn’t worth shooting? But many of us like to shoot in the backcountry as well, and backpacking is the usual way of doing so.Jim Chow, a very talented photographer whose work has previously appeared on this site has now contributedBackpacking Photography, a how-to article that most outdoor photographers will enjoy.
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All 8 available places on theGrand Canyon Rafting Adventure, which was announced on Saturday, are now taken. But, there is always the chance of a cancellation, so if you’d like to be placed on the Waitlist, and also to receive advance notice of future workshops, please fill out theWaitlist Registration Form.
October 28, 2001
If you’ve been thinking about joining theGrand Canyon Rafting Adventure, which was announced yesterday, don’t delay. Seven of the eight available places have now been taken. The last remaining spot won’t last long.
David Graham, one of the members of last weekend’sGreat Smoky Workshop,now has onlinea small portfolioof his photographs that were taken on that trip.
Stand-by for an exciting couple of weeks of new content. Scheduled for publication in the days ahead are a review of the newEpson C80printer,ColorLifepaper, an article onPhotographic Backpacking, and one onTrekking the Himalayasand photography. Also scheduled is an essay on theThree P’sand theThree L’sof photography — I’ll keep you guessing on what that one’s about.
October 27, 2001
A write-upand some images from last weekend’sGreat Smoky National Park Fall Colour Workshopare now online.
ThenextLuminous Landscapeworkshop is going to be the most exciting, lengthy and difficult one yet. Today I’m announcing theGrand Canyon Rafting Adventurewhich will take place in early May 2002.It will be the photographic trip of a lifetime. If you can afford the time and money, and can stand the excitement, this is a workshop that you must not miss.
October 26, 2001
The use ofdaylight fill-flashfor landscape and nature photography can really enhance ones work.Steve Kossackhas writtena short essayon how he approaches this subject.
The hosting company that manages this site’s server suffered a major system outage for about three hours on Thursday morning (EDT). This meant theThe Luminous Landscapewas offline during that time. Everything appears to now be back to normal. I regret any inconvenience.
October 25, 2001
Regular visitors to this site will be familiar with the writings ofAlain Briot, a frequent contributor to this site. He is a French-born landscape photographer who now makes his home inChinle, Arizona. An interview with Alain was also featured in a recent edition of theVideo Journal.
A selection of Alain’s work taken in and aroundCanyon de Chellyis now showcased atPhotoTrip USA.
October 24, 2001
Regular readers will know that I regard theImacon Flextightrange of scanners as the finest currently available. ThePolaroid SprintScan 120and theNikon LS-8000EDhave recently provided serious medium format photographers with excellent quality and reduced prices in the medium format scanner race. But, the Imacon remains theMercedesof scanners both in terms of quality, and regrettably, price. This has just changed.
At the beginning of this month Imacon announced that they had reduced the price of theImacon Flextight Phototo US$6,495 from its original price of $9,995. I have just been informed that Imacon is currently offering a limited-time US$1,500 mail-in rebate which effectively reduces the net cost to the end-user to $4,995.
This 50% price reduction is dramatic and brings theFlextight Photointo the price range of a much broader range of prospective users. It also reduces the price gap with theNikon LS-8000andPolaroid SprintScan 120to the point where purchasing the superior Imacon becomes a not unreasonable choice.
I’ve been using theImacon Photofor almost 2 years and find that it produces scans the equal of those from drum scanners at commercial labs. If you shoot 35mm and medium format and want to buy the last scanner that you’ll ever need, now’s the time to consider anImacon Photo.
October 23, 2001
I have just returned fromNorth CarolinaandTennesseewhere I conducted my most recent landscape photography workshop,Fall Colour in Great Smoky National Park.A great bunch of guys attended and I very much enjoyed working with them. I’ll have photographs and a travel write-up online later this week, and also in the weeks ahead portfolios by some of the workshop participants.
For those of you starved for new content during the past week, the wait is over. I am publishing today a review ofColor Mechanic, possible the most usefulPhotoshopplug-in program that I’ve ever used. This is a must-have program. It was just announced and released this week. Best of all, you can try it out as a free download before making a purchase decision.
October 14, 2001
I will be off-line for the next 10 days. That means that I will not be able to answer any e-mails or reply to any questions or comments on theDiscussion Forum.Chris Sandersonwill be traveling with me and therefore there will not be anyVideo Journalorder query support available either.
Our automated credit card ordering systemdoescontinue to function though, and so we are able to accept your orders forVideo Journalsubscriptions, orders for back issues, and print andMonographorders. All orders placed during this week will ship on Friday, October 26th.
Chris and I are driving from Toronto down toGreat Smoky National Parkwhere, along withSteve Kossack, I will be conducting myFall Colour Workshop. Along the way we are going to be driving throughShenandoah National Park,Skyline Driveand then the entire 469 mile length of theBlue Ridge Parkway. Should be quite a trip.
After my return there will be travel articles on all of these locations as well as portfolios. The Workshop will also be featured in a future issue of theVideo Journal. I’ll be back online October 24th. Have a great week.
October 13, 2001
Most photographers are fascinated by very fast lenses. One of the legends of photography, and one of the fastest production lenses ever made is theLeica Noctilux f/1.0. I have just begun to explore its capabilities and my first impressions are now online.
October 11, 2001
Harold Merklingeris a well regarded expert in the field of optics and author of several books on the topic. He has contributed a new article titledA Technical View of Boke. Boke (orBokehif you prefer), is the Japanese-originated concept of the difference between out of focus areas of an image due to lens design. This article will be heavy going for some, but should be of interest to anyone desiring a technical understanding of this complex and controversial topic.
October 10, 2001
Interest in digital B&W printing invariably leads to interest in fine-art printing papers. I have now added to myPiezoreview, which was published yesterday, across-reference tableofHahnemulepapers and the trade names used by various popular suppliers .
October 9, 2001
Inkjet printers have revolutionized colour printing during the past few years. But, what about B&W?Piezographyhas been available for more than a year and I have finally had a chance to do some extensive hands-on testing. My review is nowonline.
October 7, 2001
If you own a recent vintageMinoltaorNikonscanner you know that it comes with a software technology calledICEto automatically reduce the problems caused by dust and scratches. Unfortunately this software also degrades image sharpness. Regular contributorCris Daniels,anAdobe Certified ExpertinPhotoshop,shows us howto properly take advantage ofICE.
Regular readers will know that I’m a Contributing Editor toPhoto Techniquesmagazine. The current issue (Nov / Dec 2001) contains my most recent article, titledThe Five Best Digital Camera Systems.
October 6, 2001
I had an opportunity yesterday to spend some time handling a pre-production sample of theCanon EOS-1D. My brief comments can be foundhere.
W. Eugene Smithis one of the greats of documentary photograph. A book of his work titledDream Street— W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project,has just been published, and an exhibition begins next month in Pittsburgh at theCarnegie Museum of Art.My review is now online.
I regularly feature one photograph which is my best work from the previous month. For September it is a stark image fromSandbanks Provincial Parkin my home province of Ontario.
October 5, 2001
Now that autumn is here in North America it’s time for me to leave summer activities behind and begin several location shooting projects. Earlier this week, as a sort of "warm-up", photographerJohn Brownlow,Video JournalDirectorChris Sandersonand I went toSandbanks Provincial ParkinPrince Edward County, southernOntario. This article contains a brief write-up and small portfolios of images by both John and me.
October 3, 2001
Regular contributorAlain Briothas provided us with a new article titled4X5" — The Agony and the Ecstasy. The title says it all. If you haven’t yet seenMike Johnston’sarticle from last month entitledIs Large Format Reallyƒ¬BestÃƒ®?, you may wish to after reading what Alain has written. I believe you’ll find the two make fascinating reading together.
October 1, 2001
Issue #2 of The Video Journalis now shipping. Current subscribers in the USA and Canada will receive their copies within 10 days to two weeks. International subscribers’ copies may take a few days more. We have received verypositive commentsfrom subscribers about our inaugural issue. We believe that the just-releasedIssue #2is, if anything, substantially better.
New subscription orders placedas of todaywill begin withIssue #2. We are also pleased to announce thatIssue #1is now available as astand-alone back-issue. The price is only $29.95, shipped by first-class airmail to anywhere in the world.
Also available beginning today arePreview Video Clipsfrom theVideo Journal. These are brief on-lineQuickTimeexcerpts of key content from each issue. Though these small clips are nowhere near the broadcast quality of our DVDs, they are still quite large (2MB), and are intended for viewing by those with broadband Internet connections. We hope you enjoy them and will consider subscribing to theVideo Journal.
September 30, 2001
I’ve been running myEpson 2000Pabout 18 hours a day continuously for the past few weeks making prints for myMonograph. Recently I switched to theEpson 5500,which can make archival pigment-based inks almost 2.5 times as quickly and at less than half the ink cost.
I publishedCris Daniels’review of this printer earlier this year. I can now confirm everything he said frommy own experience. Great printer!
September 29, 2001
Frequently readers ask how it’s possible for me to publish this site, considering that it now has almost 1,000 pages of articles, reviews, essays and tutorials, and is constantly updated with fresh content, usually several times a week.
My answer is that as a photographic educator I do it largely as a labour of love. But, it is indeed both an expensive and time intensive undertaking. Find out how you cansupport this web sitewhile enhancing the value that you receive from its content.
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September 28, 2001
ContributorChris Danielshas provided us with a fascinating review of theImagePrint RIPfromColorbyte. For many photographers using wide-format inkjet printers for fine art printing the use of a RIP (RasterImageProcessor) has almost becomede rigueur. Even if you don’t own such a printer, Chris’ review makes for informative reading.
September 25, 2001
The long awaited Canon pro-level SLR, theEOS-1Dwas announced today. TheEOS-1Dis a 4.15 megapixel CCD-based camera based on the rock solid EOS-1V body design. It has high burst rate capabilities. But, my initial impression is that this isnotthe camera that many been waiting for. Instead, it is a newspaper and sports photographer’s solution, and an ideal one.
I’m disappointed in Canon though, not for what they produced, but for what they didn’t. If this topic interests you may be interested in readingmy thoughtson the release of the EOS-1D.
September 24, 2001
About a month agoSteve Kossackwrote a preliminary review of the newAcratech Ultimate Ballheadfor these pages. He has just returned from conducting a couple of private photographic tours, during which he used the Acratech under a wide range of conditions. Locations visited includedDeath Valley,Antelope Canyonand theGrand Canyon. Steve’sUpdateto his previous review confirms that theUltimate Ballheadis a worthy contender.
September 23, 2001
One of the aspects of digital image processing that causes a great deal of confusion is the many different ways that are available to sharpen digital files. I have previously written a description of how most pros do sharpening using LAB mode, in my tutorialInstant Photoshop. A popular commercial program for doing a better job of sharpening isnik Sharpener Pro. Then there is a novel technique that I recently published that usesHigh Pass Sharpening.
Now,John Brownlowprovides us with a fascinating though somewhat complex new technique for accomplishing "intelligent" sharpening titledA SMART SHARPENING TUTORIAL.
September 21, 2001
For several days after the terrible events of last week I found it hard to think about or do anything related to photography. It all seemed so trivial given the events that we had witnessed. In the new page titledIn MemoriamI have published my first photograph taken since then — one that attempts to summarize my feelings.
September 20, 2001
The archiving and secure storage of ones negative and transparencies is a common concern of photographers. A brief essay titledImage Securitydescribes how I protect my work from disaster.
September 18, 2001
Most serious photographers and printers are concerned with the "status" afforded inkjet prints by galleries, collectors and museums. How should these be presented, and how are they perceived? Are these true photographic prints, or something else, somehow something different? In my new essay titledHandmadeI explore this topic in some depth.
September 16, 2001
Though our hearts are heavy we will attempt beginning today to return to our normal activities.
I have just placed on-line a fascinating article which points out the problems and difficulties associated with working in large format.Mike Johnstonoriginally wrote it for the highly regarded magazineCamera & Darkroom. The article is calledIs Large Format Reallyƒ¬BestÃƒ®?Please read Mike’s introduction carefully before writing nasty letters. And, for those that are current or potential large format fans, in October we will feature an article byAlain Brioton the joys and advantages of working in large format.
September 14, 2001
Out of respect for thisDay of Remembrance,as is being observed in the USA, Canada and Western Europe, there will be no new activities on this site today. We will resume normal publication tomorrow.
September 13, 2001
After Tuesday’s horrendous events, flying in the United States is about to change in dramatic ways. Photographers who travel with a lot of bulky photo equipment will need to develop new techniques for managing the increased security restrictions and possible carry-on limitations.This new articleexplores some of the ways in which you can cope with this situation.
September 11, 2001
I’d like to express my sincere sorrow for what has happened in the U.S. today, and extend my condolences to the families of those affected. There will be no new activity on this site for the next few days as an expression of respect for those who have died as well as those who lost loved ones in this catastrophe.
September 10, 2001
A couple of weeks ago I published a tutorial / essay onDocumentary and Street Photography. Along with it was my photo essay shot at a carnivalMidway. I was accompanied on that shoot by talented street photographerJohn Brownlow. John is the moderator of theStreetphotomail-list among other pursuits.
Today I have published a selection ofJohn’s photographsfrom that shoot along with his technical data and commentary. If this type of documentary B&W photography appeals to you I think you’ll find his work fascinating.
Our shooting session together was filmed for theVideo Journal. A forthcoming issue ofThe Journalwill feature what that session was like as well as an on-camera conversation between John and me about our approaches to this type of photography, including a look at our respective prints and techniques.
September 9, 2001
Leica-Mseries owners may be interested in a review just posted of the newly released21-24-28mm viewfinder.
September 7, 2001
There are many different ways of sharpening an image inPhotoshop, but none of them can be reversed once the file has been saved. Also, the use ofUnsharp Maskcan cause a "noisy" image to become even more so.
Today’sPhotoshoptutorial is calledHigh-Pass Sharpeningand it addresses both of the above-mentioned problems.
September 5, 2001
This is an exciting day. After nearly 6 months in preparation I am very proud to announce the publication ofThe Monograph, a collection of my finest photographs covering the years 1996 — 2001. This book contains my most outstanding work created during this period. It consists of 26 hand-made giclÃƒË†e prints hand stitched and bound by one of the countries finest custom bookbinders into a hard-covered linen wrapped volume with slip case.
It is an opportunity for photographers and other collectors of fine-art landscape photograph to buy a unique collection of exceptional prints at a cost for below normal gallery prices. I invite you to read more aboutThe Monograph.
September 4, 2001
Regular contributorAlain Briotdiscusses in his September article issues relating toSelling Your Photographs. Any photographer who sells his or her photography, and especially anyone considering doing so for the first time, should read Alain’s perspective on this as he is one of the most commercially successful fine-art landscape photographers working in the USA today.
September 3, 2001
A week doesn’t go by when I don’t receive several queries about whether it’s really necessary to buyPhotoshop 6.Can’t I stick withElementsorPhoto Deluxe? They came free with my scanner, printer or whatever. Photoshop 6 is so expensive. Is it really necessary?
I’ve now updated myFAQto address this question and to specifically suggest how to obtainPhotoshop 6at a considerable discount.
Summer is usually a quiet time for me in terms of doing new photography. But, I keep apersonal pageof some of my more casual and personal efforts which I’m happy to share.
September 2, 2001
It’s theLabour Dayweekend in many countries and for many folks this means the end of summer. Back to school and back to work. Here at theLuminous Landscapethat means summer at my country place is coming to a close and many photographic activities are resuming, and new ones are being planned.
The fall season begins with two new articles. I continue to explore my renewed interest in B&W photograph with an article entitledB&W Revival, an exploration of the effect that digital image processing has had in stimulating interest in monochrome photography.
The second is a brief tutorial on how to easily makeDigital Contact Sheetsfrom your negatives.
September 1, 2001
A new article explores the concept ofVariations; variations on tonality between shooting in colour and B&W; variations in focal length when photographing the same scene, and finally, variations in timing as a subject is explored through the viewfinder.
If you’re a regular reader you may have already seen it as part of myMidwayphoto essay from a couple of weeks ago. I am referring to the photograph of the young man and midway ride, which is now myFeatured Imagefor August.
August 31, 2001
I have just finished reading the inaugural issue ofMike Johnston’snewsletter,the 37th Frame. Mike was the long-time editor ofPhoto Techniquesmagazine in the USA, is a prolific author on topics photographic, and is now a frequent contributor to this site.
Mike new publication isa mustfor photographers who, over the years, have enjoyed his opinionated and always readable prose about the art of photography as well as his perspective on quality photographic equipment — lenses in particular. At USD $18 for a 4 issue (1 yr.), subscription it’s a bargain, and it makes you realize what drivel most of the so-called popular photographic press typically publishes. I’m very impressed with Issue #1 ofthe 37th Frameand am looking forward to future issues.
August 30, 2001
Ed Hamrick, author of the highly regardedVueScansoftware hasjust writtento say that his latest version supporting theLS-8000is now available. He also explains why the scanner is limited to a maximum of 6X9cm scans and also the reason for some banding problems that have been reported.
August 29, 2001
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I would be attendingPhoto Expoin New York in early November and that I was putting together a dinner one evening for interested readers.
Unfortunately I have just learned that this conflicts with another travel commitment that I now have and so I will not be able to be in New York that weekend. Next time!
August 28, 2001
There’s been a buzz in the photographic community recently about the release of a new ballhead that is compatible withArca / Kirk / RRSplates. TheUltimate BallheadfromAcratech Inc.has now been reviewed bySteve Kossack, and it looks like a winner.
August 26, 2001
August 25, 2001
Of interest toCanon EOS D30owners — areview ofisoR, twoPhotoshopActionscreated byFred Mirandathat do a very nice job of eliminating the digital noise in high ISO (800 & 1600) images taken with this camera.
August 24, 2001
American photographerJohn Shephard, who now lives and works in New South Wales, Australia, has added his review of theNoblex 135Uto my previous comments, and includes as well a small portfolio of powerful images created with this camera.
August 23, 2001
A few months ago I gave a favorable review toiCorrect Professional, aPhotoshopplug-in that automates white and black point as well as colour balance settings. This is one of the few "automatic" programs that I’ve tried that actually does as good a job as a knowledgeable Photoshop user could do manually. Version 3.0 is now available, and my online review has been updated. A very good product has been made even better.
August 22, 2001
August 21, 2001
Today sees the publication of two new featured articles. The first is titledDocumentary and Street Photography. It discusses and illustrates techniques for doing street shooting.
The second new article is a photo essay done at theMidwayof a country fair, in this case theCanadian National Exhibition, currently on in Toronto, Canada. This shows some examples of contemporary documentary style photography using 35mm rangefinder equipment.
August 20, 2001
Beginning this monthAlain Briot, a prolific and highly successful landscape photographer, will be writing a monthly article for these pages calledBriot’s View. His column this month is calledBe Preparedand contains two of the most striking photographs I’ve yet seen from theNorth Rimof theGrand Canyon.
August 15, 2001
Together withChris Sanderson, producer of theVideo Journal, I’ll be visitingPhoto ExpoinNew York CityonFriday, Nov 2, 2001. I’m planning a casual dinner that evening for anyone who wishes to join in. If you’ll be there and would like to get together, drop mean email, and as the date gets closer I’ll try and organize something. I’ll remind everyone again here some time in mid-October.
August 14, 2001
I’ve been a big fan of LCD computer displays for photographic work for the past three years. My enthusiasm is shared by photographerAlain Briot,who wrote a review of theApple Cinema Displayfor this site last year. After 12 months of almost daily use Alain has nowupdated his report.
August 13, 2001
Where & When— An Essay on Photographic Controlhas just been published. We photographers are control freaks, but it’s important that we learn to control the right things.
I realized when posting this essay that there are now some ten essays which I’ve written during the past couple of years scattered around the site. I have therefore created a newEssay Indexwhich should make finding them somewhat easier.
August 12, 2001
Due to a cancellation there is nowoneopening for myOctoberGreat Smokey Fall Colour Workshop. This workshop has been sold out for months but now there’s an opportunity to join it. If you want to photograph autumn colour this year in one of the most spectacular locations in America, this could be the workshop to for you. First come, first served.
2pm EDT. The one open spot for theOctober Workshophas now been taken. If you are interested in future workshops please complete the registration form and you’ll be placed on the waitlist.
The next workshop, now scheduled forMay, 2002will be my most exciting and challenging workshop yet — an 8 day photographic expedition rafting down theColorado Riverthrough the heart of theGrand Canyon. It will be expensive, and will take a total of 10 days. Watch for a detailed announcement next month. But, if you think you might be interested and want a head-start advantage,drop me a noteand I’ll provide advanced details.
August 11, 2001
Today sees the announcement of a major new feature. Titled theAssignment Competition, it will provide a unique venue for photographers to display their work, challenge their skills, and win prizes including free attendance in aLuminous Landscape Workshop, worth $1,000. TheAssignment Competitionis available exclusively to subscribers to theVideo Journal.
August 8, 2001
Regular readers, Video Journal subscribers, friends and other correspondents often ask about my current photographic activities, upcoming portfolios, articles, books and workshops. To keep those who might be interested up-to-date I have createdthis page.
In case you missed it, the July issue ofPC Worldhad a worthwhile article on inkjet print longevity.That articleis now available online.
August 7, 2001
Ooops! This is a special note to subscribers to theVideo Journalwho live in the Northeastern United Statesandwhose ZIP code begins in "0". We have just discovered that our mailing and order fulfillment program has a bug which dropped the first "0" in your ZIP code. This means that many people in this part of the country who subscribed toThe Journalduring the past month may not have received their copies.
The bug is now fixed and we have also written to everyone that we can identify. If you are still waiting for your copy ofThe Journal,and have not received a private email from us,please let us know. We apologies for the inconvenience. The programmer responsible has been deprived of hisTwinkieprivileges for the next week.
August 6, 2001
This week marks the opening of a major retrospective exhibit ofAnsel Adams‘ work atThe San Francisco Museum of Art,commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth.The exhibit, curated byJohn Szarkowski,has associated with it the publication of a superb and important new book —Ansel Adams At 100.My review of this book and commentary on Adams and his contribution to landscape photography can now be foundhere.
August 5, 2001
Epsonhas released new colour inks for the870/875/1270/epson-stylus-photo-1280-review/1290printers and it looks like there is more to them than just new packaging. I have not tried them yet butRon Harris, a fellow contributor toPhoto Techniquesmagazine, has found a distinct colour shift over the old inks. I have just addedRon’s proposed adjustmentto myFAQ.
Following the above posting earlier today there is now additional information which is reportedhere.
August 3, 2001
Collecting and studying photographic art books is an important part of my involvement in photography. Over the years I’ve developed a large library of photographic books and have long wanted to write about them. My friend, landscape photographerAlain Briot,has beaten me to the punch. I’m pleased to publish todayBriot’s Books, an enjoyable essay on the most important books in his collection and a recommendation for which ones to add to yours.
This next item will be of interest to both existing and prospective Canon EOS D30 owners.Chris Breezehas just updatedBreezeBrowsertoV1.0. My initial impression is that all of the minor issues from previous versions have now been resolved, particularly the directory management problem.Highly recommended!
August 2, 2001
Fred Mirandahas just published a very nifty utility that will be of interest toCanon D30owners. It’s aPhotoshopHighlightRecovery "Action"that uses a 16 bit Linear RAW file combined with a regular 8 bit RAW file conversion of the same image, so that overly hot or "blown-out" highlights can be tamed.
Fred also has otherActionsand a Linear ICC profile for the D30 (which I haven’t tested) on his site. He is charging $4.50 for theHRutility and it can be found onhis web site. While there are other ways of accomplishing this, Fred’sActiondoes a nice job with little effort.
August 1, 2001
As predicted yesterday the long awaited70~200mm f/2.8L ISCanon zoom was officially announced today. It will be available in September at a price of US $3,000 (gulp). You can read the detailshere.
July 31, 2001
My colleagueIan LyonsofComputer Darkroomcontinue to be fascinated with getting the utmost quality from theCanon EOS D30. His articleThe Importance of White Balanceis now available on his site.
TheCanonrumour mill is in full swing again.Kai Pin, who in the past has been a reliable source of early product information, has lots of fascinating details ina messageposted toDigital Photography Review.
July 30, 2001
Anyone who might be interested in the history of lens design,Leicaoptics and cameras, and especially a superb mini-course in lens design theory and practice will be interested in my review ofIrwin Puts’new book theLeica Lens Compendium.
Putsis a regular magazine contributor and online author, and with this his first book he provides us with a superb reference on lens theory, and current as well as prospective Leica owners with a unique and invaluable new reference source.
There was a crash of the site’s server last night which lasted for several hours. It’s now fixed. Sorry for any inconvenience.
July 29, 2001
The winner of the JulyCritique ContestisChris VenHausof Waukesha, Wisconsin. Chris wins a copy of the current issue of theVideo Journal. His winning entry along with those of previous month’s winners can be foundhere. Congratulations Chris.
July 27, 2001
Contax owners rejoice. I’ve been advised byJoshua Daniels,North American rep for that the German conversion specialistsZÃ‚rkendorfer,that they are now are able to provide the12mm and 15mm Heliarlenses in a custom mount for theContax Gcameras.
July 25, 2001
One of my most fascinating recent purchases has been the12mm Voigtl”nder Heliarultrawide-angle lens. One of its limitations though is that it vignettes quite strongly. I have now added to last week’s article mytemporary solution.
July 23, 2001
The last few years have seen a resurgence of interest in rangefinder cameras and a number of fascinating new models have become available.Rangefinder Renaissanceis a survey of the current state of this market and a companion article, a review of the just releasedVoigtl”nder Bessa-Thas also just been placed online.
July 22, 2001
At the risk of appearing immodest,here is a linkto some comments and feedback that I’ve received from subscribers toThe Video Journalduring the past few days. Needless to say, thanks!
July 21, 2001
A couple of weeks ago I published a review of the new12mm Voigtl”nder Heliarultrawide-angle lens in Leica mount. This is the widest rectilinear lens available for any 35mm camera.
I’ve added todaya brief write-upon the accessorybubble levelanddouble mountshoe adaptor. A bit esoteric, but of interest to anyone considering the purchase of this fascinating lens.
July 19, 2001
I have published today a hands-on review of the newNikon Super Coolscan 8000 ED. I believe this to be the first review to appear anywhere online of a shipping version of this new medium format scanner. I amveryfavourably impressed.
There were some e-mails this morning from subscribers letting me know me that theVideo Journalhas started to arrive in customer’s hands. Everyone who placed orders during the first 2 weeks of this month should receive their copy shortly."It arrived today! Thanks a lot, and many congratulations for a great idea and a superb realization".
July 17, 2001
We don’t often get to see how different lenses for different type of cameras compare, using the same subject and under field conditions. Now you will. I have just published an article titledBattle of The Ultrawides. This is an informal comparison of the newVoigtl”nder 12mm f/5.6 HeliarforLeicamount cameras, theSigma 14mm f/2.8usable on most SLRs, and the30mmlens for theHasselblad XPan. Really interesting results, as you’ll see.
My colleagueIan Lyonshas just published a review of thePolaroid PrintScan 120scanner on hisComputer Darkroomweb site. The review includes a comparison with the far more expensiveImacon Flextight. Anyone interested in a moderately priced medium format scanner will find Ian’s conclusions of interest —" I believe that most will find that the SprintScan 120 will be able to fill the demanding needs of the photographer, from professional down through serious amateur."
July 13, 2001
Photographers, like writers and other artists, can occasionally suffer from a block — an inability to feel motivated or inspired to do their work. Similarly, photographers who practice a certain type of shooting, such as wildlife or landscape, can feel stymied by lack of time and opportunity in pursing their craft.
July 12, 2001
Last fall I wrote a highlycontroversial articlefavorably comparing prints made with theCanon EOS D30digital SLR with those from scans made with a high-endImacondesktop scanner. I received a fascinating letter today from a photographer in theCanary Islandswho owns a drum scanner and who has compared its output fromProvia 100Fwith that from theD30. His comments can be foundhere.
I’m also pleased to let everyone who has ordered theVideo Journalknow that our brief shipping delay is now over, and that all orders received prior to today will be shipped tomorrow, Friday. You should receive your first issue some time next week.
July 11, 2001
Several weeks ago I published an article explaining the concept ofBit Depth. My colleagueIan LyonsofComputer Darkroomhas just published a related article on his site onEditing Hi-Bit Images. If you’ve already seen myBit Depthpiece I highly recommend Ian’s to anyone interested in this subject.
Another excellent new article can be found at theNature Photographersweb site titledNature Photography 101. It contains a great deal of solid, basic information for newcomers to nature and outdoor photography.
July 10, 2001
Don’t know what to do with that oldCracker Jackbox? Need a new camera but only have 50 cents in your pocket? Feel like making 2 minute time exposures in bright sunlight? Well, have I got an article for you!
A new contributor,David Stein, has provided us with a fascinating introduction toPinhole Cameras. If you’ve never made or used a pinhole camera, now’s the time to find out more about them.
July 9, 2001
Oops. A large shipment of theVideo Journalwhich was supposed to go out in the mail today has had to be delayed. The pressing plant screwed up on the disk’s artwork and so we’ve consequently had to trash a large number of DVDs. This means that orders placed last week will be shipped about 5 days late. Sorry for any inconvenience.
This has been a day for technical glitches. If you tried to access this site between midnight and 8am EDT today you likely found that it was unavailable. This is because the server had crashed due to some upgrade work being done by a contact programmer. The problem appears to have been resolved, and the programmer has had his case ofJoltconfiscated. Everything is back to normal now, except my frazzled nerves.
July 7, 2001
A preliminary review of the fascinating new12mm f/5.6 Voigtl”nder Heliarlens is now online. This is the widest rectilinear lens ever made for a 35mm camera. I also have posted a brief report on the newM-Motorfor theLeica M6.
July 6, 2001
A highly informative new tutorial was added today. It is byMike Johnstonand it is entitledUnderstanding Lens Contrast. If you’ve ever wondered how to read and understand anMTFchart, or why some lenses that test well may not perform to expectation, this article is amust read.
June 5, 2001
A newFeatured Imagefor June has been added. Taken on my vacation in Italy it has become my favourite photograph taken so far this year.
Several new articles are in the works and will be appearing during the next week or so. These include reviews of the just releasedVoigtl”nder 12mm f/5.6 Heliarultra-wide angle lens, and the latestLeica M Drive. Also coming shortly will be a major tutorial onLens ContrastbyMike Johnston,as well as a couple of new portfolios. An article on pinhole photography is also scheduled for this month.
It may be summer but there’s lots of new content coming.
July 4, 2001
HappyIndependence Dayto my readers in the American colonies. Just think though — ifGeneral Cornwallishad won you’d all be Canadians by now
Here’s asmall hintthat can save everyone money on Epson inkjet cartridges.
June 29, 2001
The big day is here!The Video Journal is now shipping. After more than 18 months in developmentThe Journalhas become a reality. We are now taking secure on-line credit card orders as well as requests using postal money orders.
The Journalis a unique publishing event. Firstly, it is the world’s first quarterly video magazine to be published on DVD. Secondly, it is the first video magazine to be published exclusively for photographers. And, it is of course intimately linked to theLuminous Landscapeweb site, and published with the same integrity, humour, impeccable technical quality and freedom from commercial bias.
TheVideo Journalplays on all PC and Mac-based DVD players, anywhere in the world, and also onallRegional Codes. The disks will also play onallNTSC stand-alone home entertainment system players as found in the USA, Canada, Japan and elsewhere. The disks will generally also play on most stand-alone players in PAL format countries.The Journalis professionally produced using broadcast quality equipment, byChris Sanderson, an award winning professional film director and editor. An original musical score is by composerSteve SauvÃƒË†and the on-camera host isMichael Reichmann, the publisher of this web site.
Subscribe toThe Luminous Landscape Video Journal. You’ll be glad you did. (And so will I.)
June 28, 2001
I’m occasionally asked by readers and workshop attendees about the issue of shooting alone vs. with others, and of the possible dangers and concerns associated with backcountry photography. A new essay entitledOn Locationaddresses some of these issues.
June 27, 2001
Have you ever wanted to head out to one of the great or even hidden locations in the American Southwest to do some landscape photography? Not been sure where to go or when to go, or when you get there how to find the best spots to shoot from?
If so you might wish to contactSteve Kossack. Steve is an experienced outdoor photographer who lives in Cottonwood, Arizona. He has traveled the Southwest extensively and has assisted me in conducting some of my field workshops. Steve is now operatingF/8 & Be There, a service providing custom 1-on-1 guided tours for photographers. His prices are reasonable and he knows his stuff. Recommended.
June 26, 2001
Most people know me as a landscape and nature photographer. Indeed that’s been my predominant activity for the past five years. But, during my 35 years in photography the majority of my shooting career was as a photojournalist. So, while today I mostly work in medium format when doing landscapes, and use 35mm SLRs for wildlife and nature, I have a great love for rangefinder cameras — especially M series Leicas.
I have published today a review of the latest modelLeica M6 TTLand the equally newTri-Elmarlens. In the days ahead I’ll be covering other Leica lenses and accessories and exploring the disciplines of street shooting and documentary photography. I hope you enjoy this departure from my usual coverage of digital and landscape topics as much as I do.
June 25, 2001
The winner of theJune Critique ContestisGÃ‚¸nter Haikaof Vienna, Austria. He receives a complimentary issue of the forthcomingLuminous Landscape Video Journal. GÃ‚¸nter’s entry along with those of previous month’s winners can be seenhere.
June 22, 2001
A relatively quiet week as I review previous work, and prepare for some summer relaxation. The exciting news is that we’re almost ready to begin taking orders for theVideo Journal— hopefully some time next week. We’re just waiting for the duplicator to confirm that production has begun.
In the meantime I’ve added a couple of photographs to existing articles. One was taken just a few days ago with theCanon 100mm f/2.8 Macrolens and theCanon D30of adragonflyat almost 1:1 magnification. The other is a new addition to my section onwhimsy. In both instances clicking on the smaller version will display full screen. The one of the dragonfly is particularly interesting at a large size.
June 20, 2001
If you enjoyed my recent travel portfolio fromFlorenceandTuscanyyou may wish to now seetwo new imagesfrom that trip. I regard these as two of the most evocative photographs from that series.
June 18, 2001
My series of "Understanding" tutorials continues. The latest is entitledUnderstanding Exposure. It is intended as an introduction for beginners and not-so beginners to some of the more interesting aspects of exposure and light measurement.
June 15, 2001
Thanks to readerLin Evansfor pointing out that there is asimple work-aroundto theWindowsdirectory problem inBreezeBrowserreviewed yesterday.Lin — I’d have thanked you directly but your return email address doesn’t work
If you are enjoyingMike Johnston’snew series of articles forThe Luminous Landscapeyou might be interested in finding out about his just-announced newsletterThe 37th Frame. Mike’s next article for this site onUnderstanding Lens Contrast and MTFwill appear here in about 2 weeks.
June 14, 2001
Canon D30owners are always on the lookout for software that can do a better job of viewing and converting RAW files. A new program calledBreezeBrowserdoes the trick. My initial impressions of this still in-development software are now online.
A great many people are waiting expectantly for the release ofThe Luminous Landscape Video Journal. I’m pleased to let you know that we are right on schedule with our planned ship date ofJuly 1. The master disk is going to the replicator tomorrow and we hope to be able to start taking secure online orders next week. If you’veregistered for advance noticeand our discount offer you can expect an email announcement shortly.
June 13, 2001
I’m very pleased to announce the first publication anywhere of an important new essay byMike JohnstontitledThe Photographer as Auteur. As mentioned below under yesterday’s listing, Mike has been a high profile editor and writer on the American photography scene since the mid-1980’s.
Mike’s article andJohn Brownlow’sexceptional accompanying black and white photo essay are not an easy read or simple to view. Both require time and thought to digest and assimilate. I think though that you’ll find the effort to be worthwhile. Mike, John and I also welcome your feedback. TheGuest Photographerssection of theDiscussion Forumis a good place to post them.
June 12, 2001
Mike Johnstonwas Editor-in-Chief ofPHOTO Techniquesmagazine from 1994-2000. From 1988 to 1994 he was East Coast Editor of the late and much lamentedCamera & Darkroommagazine. Consequently he has been one of the most influential editors on the American photographic magazine scene during the past decade.
Throughout the past two decades he also was the author of a broad range of technical articles and equipment reviews, as well as several considered examinations of the art and techniques of photography.
Beginning later this week, and every few weeks from now on, I will be publishing on these pages a continuing series of Mike’s previously published writings as well as new material which will be exclusive to this site. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.
June 9, 2001
Nikonlatest digital SLR, theD1xhas just started shipping.BjÃƒËœrn RÃƒËœrslettis a talented professional nature photographer who lives in Norway. He also has been a longtime user of theNikon D1and he has just obtained aD1x. He has a very interesting web site and there you’ll findhis initial impressionsof Nikon’s latest digital SLR.
OK Canon, isn’t it time for theEOS 1Dannouncement?
June 8, 2001
In mid-Aril I reviewed theMamiya 7 II. I started that review with a not-entirely complimentary comparison to the newBronica RF645. I’m pleased to say thatMike Johnston, the previous long-timeEditor-in-ChiefofPHOTO Techniquesmagazine, has now contributed a review of theBronica RF645that provides an alternative perspective on this interesting medium format rangefinder camera.
June 7, 2001
The web siteImage Insiderhas just posted the first comprehensive review anywhere of the newKodak DCS Proback. At USD $20,000 it lies outside of the needs and means of most non-professionals, but it is a milestone product. It is a self-contained16 Megapixeldigital back for medium format cameras. Up until now MF and LF digital backs needed a tethered computer. TheKodakback still needs an external battery pack, but it has an inbuilt LCD screen as well as slots for 2 CF cards, including1GB Microdrives. It outputs a 96 megabyte file in 16 bit mode. Yum.
June 6, 2001
A new digital imaging tutorial is now online. TitledUnderstanding Bit Depthit attempts to shed some light on this often confusing topic by explaining why you may or may not want to usehigh bitscans and48 bitdigital camera files.
June 5, 2001
Every month or so I post a photograph taken within the previous 30 days that stands out, and which might end up being part of my permanent portfolio. Sometimes these are simply ones that appeal to me personally. Some months pickings are sparse and there’s nothing new to be added.
ForMay’sentry there are now two new photographs in myFeatured Imagesection. Both were taken inTuscanya few weeks ago, and while neither will form part of my landscape portfolio, both are fascinating images with strong appeal. I hope that you enjoy them.
June 4, 2001
Things have been so hectic recently that the date passed without my noticing it. Last week was the 2nd anniversary of the launch ofThe Luminous Landscape. Remarkably, since late May of 1999 this site has had more than1 million visitors. At this time we are averaging more than 2,500 visitors per day.
This is tremendously gratifying for a completely non-commercial site, and I want to thank everyone for their interest and contributions.
June 1, 2001
TheDiscussion Forumis now back online and appears to be working properly. This means that the move to the new server has been completed successfully. But, if you have any problems with theForumor any other part of the site over the next few days pleaselet me know.
While I’m updating you, I’m pleased to say that theVideo Journalis nearing publication. We should be sending the first issue out for DVD mastering and duplication within a couple of weeks. Our target is to start shipping by early July. Also, now that the site move is completed we will soon be able to start accepting your on-line credit card orders forVideo Journalsubscriptions via oursecure server. I’ll keep you posted.
May 31, 2001
The move to the new server is now complete. Most DNS servers around the world are now pointing here. If you’re reading this you’re on the new server.
But, as I feared there are problems with theDiscussion Forum. Its move from the old server to here has not gone smoothly and this means that for the momentthe Board is inoperative. Pleasedo notpost any new messages to the Board (even if you can access it) until I announce here that it is operational again. This may take a few days. Sorry for any inconvenience.
May 29, 2001
We’re moving.(Well, at virtual move at least). Over the next several days this site will be moving to a new server. This will provide us with more capacity, more bandwidth, and the ability to provide streaming video. The new server will also allow for secure encrypted credit card transaction processing forVideo Journalsubscribers.
Ideally you won’t notice any difference to what you see, and there should be no interruption of service. Theremightbe problems with theDiscussion Forum, but I’ll keep you informed on this page of any developments.
Canon EOS D30owners will be pleased to learn of a new shareware utility program calledCRW Bridge. It allows for the instantaneous on-screen viewing of full-frame images fromRAWfiles. No more squinting at minute thumbnails. A mini-review is now online.
May 27, 2001
I’ve just returned from my vacation in Italy and though a little jet lagged am starting to get back to business. If you haven’t seen it already myshort articleon the trip is now pretty much complete, though a few more images may show up over the next few days.
Thewinnerof theMay Critique ContestisJeff Aluof Irvine, CA.Congratulations Jeff!Jeff wins a copy of the inaugural edition ofThe Luminous Landscape Video Journal. The Journal will commence publication within the next couple of months.
TheJune Critique Contestis now open to submissions. Because May was a short month for the contest those received during the past two weeks will be added to June’s entries.
May 24, 2001
For some further notes on equipment used during my current trip toTuscany, observations on driving in Italy, and what this year’s well equipped tourist is shooting with, have a look at the page entitledA Digital Travel Kit.
There is also a section titled,Thoughts on Doing Landscape Photography While Vacationing. Several new photographs are also found on this page.
May 21, 2001
Because I’m traveling inTuscanythis week with a digital SLR(Canon EOS D30)and a notebook computer, I am both able to review my day’s shooting and occasionally update my web site. Consequently I’m slowly adding content to my eventual travel piece for the site.
Though it’s still very mucha work in progressyou might enjoy visiting it over the coming few days as it develops.
May 20, 2001
Though I am still on vacation and traveling, and won’t be back for another week, we’ve now settled into a rental villa inTuscanyand I am able to get online reliably from time to time.
I’ve been doing some enjoyable travel photography, both inRomeandFlorenceas well as in the Tuscan countryside. Naturally I’ll have a write-up and some images online once I’m settled back home. I’ve posted two small items today though. One is associated with the use ofEphemeris,Jonathan Sacks’handyPocket-PCprogram that allowed me to capture a lovelymoonrisethis morning at dawn. The second is apanoramic viewofFlorenceand theArno Rivertaken a few days ago. Both are additions to previously published technical reviews.
May 13, 2001
My on-again, off-again holiday plans have firmed up and Iwillbe on vacation for 2 weeks beginning today. Consequently, theCritique Contestfor May is now closed. I’ll announce the winner toward the end of the month. Any submissions received between now and then will be entered in the June contest.
I will probably be off-line most of the time (this is a vacation after all), and so will neither be on theDiscussion Forumnor able to provide any personal email replies for a while.
In the meantime, the site now contains over 800 pages of articles, tutorials, review and of course photographs.Enjoy!
May 11, 2001
In my view theSekonic L-508 IIis the finest hand-held meter on the market. Sekonic has recently updated this to theL-608and added a much-needed (and requested) enhancement by way of an illuminated display of the F/stop and shutter speed in the zoom viewfinder as well as on the side LCD panel. If you’re in the market for a hand-held meter this is the one to consider.
May 10, 2001
My plans to take a 2 week vacation starting this coming weekend are in limbo. Consequently theMayCritique Contest, which I had announced would close tomorrow, will now remain open to new submission as usual.
May 9, 2001
On May 17-19 theDPIX(Digital Photo & Imaging Expo) takes place in Chicago at theHyatt Regency O’Hare.Photo Techniquesmagazine will be exhibiting there and will feature a sale of 10 of my photographs at their booth.
The photographs will be 13X19" archival colour prints and will sell for the special price of $60 each. This is half the price that such prints normally sell for through my site. If you are in the Chicago area I think that you’ll enjoythe showand might enjoy seeing some of my original prints while there. Unfortunately I’ll be traveling that week and therefore unable to attend the show in person.
May 7, 2001
Summer is just about here inOntarioand I have started to visit my summer cottage onLake Muskoka. As I have in past years I’m starting topostsome of the more casual photographs that I will be shooting there throughout this summer. While not necessarily my best work, it serves as a visual diary of what can be accomplished in a localized rural environment during a typical summer.
May 5, 2001
If you visited myLake Powell Master Classportfolio last week you might be interested in viewing three new photographs that were added today. This completes my presentation and write-up on that trip.
As some regular readers may know, I added aMacintoshcomputer system to my digital desktop darkroom recently. This machine is dedicated toPhotoshop, portfolio printing, and related applications. I have addeda commentaryon this upgrade and also a small discussion of myexperiences networkingthe PC and Mac.
May 4, 2001
iCorrect ProfessionalfromPictographics Internationalis a powerful and very effectivePhotoshopplug-in. It automates a number of processes — including black point and white point settings, as well as colour balancing — and does so very efficiently indeed. This review is the first to appear anywhere, and is aLuminous Landscapeexclusive.
May 2, 2001
A polarizing filter is one of the most useful tools in any photographer’s kit. A newpolarizing tutorialfor beginners is now online.
May 1, 2001
Our readers have spoken. The questionnaire that ran on these pages for the past two weeks asked if you would prefer to see theLuminous Landscape Video Journalpublished on DVD or VHS tape. The responses were overwhelmingly in favour of DVD.
83%of respondents want DVD.
With returns like that there’s only one choice — DVD it is. To find out more aboutThe Journaland to be placed on an announcement list and be able to save up to $20 in mailing costs, read our newpromotion announcement.
The 6 winners of a free copy ofThe Video Journalare…
Kevin Kelliher — USA
Bob Kozachek — USA
Alan Davey — U.K.
Bernhard Gustafsson — Sweden
George Boyko — Canada
Dave Terry — USA
Congratulations all, andthanksto the many hundreds who answered the questionnaire. Your support is greatly appreciated.
April 30, 2001
ReaderMatthew Feltonhas pointed out his just-publishedonline comparisonbetween theCanon EOS D30and theKodak DCS 560. It makes for fascinating reading.
April 27, 2001
Jonathan Sachs, president ofDigital Light & Colorand author ofPicture Window, an image processing program for PCs, was a member of myLake Powell Master Classin southern Utah earlier this month.His portfoliofrom that trip is now online.
April 26, 2001
Profiling and Calibratingyour monitor is the most important thing that you can do to enable you to make prints that match your screen. Without it you’ll spend endless time and money making test prints. Thisnew articleexplains the how’s and whys of profiling.
April 25, 2001
ContributorCris Danielshas provided us with one of the Web’s first online reviews of the newEpson 5500printer. This is a heavy-duty pigment-based printer using the same type of inks and papers as theEpson 2000P,7500and9500.
April 24, 2001
We had a server crash today and lost the site’s color scheme and page headers for a number of hours. We’re in the process of fixing things, but bare with us.
The good news is that in the weeks ahead we’ll be moving to a new larger server which will provide greater capacity (the site is now more than 200MB in size). This will also give us the capacity for on-line video previews as part of our launch ofThe Luminous Landscape Video Journal.
April 23, 2001
If you found Friday’s review ofEphemerisof interest, you might like to readAn Anecdotewhich I just added to that review.
April 20, 2001
I have published a review of threemust-have programsfor photographers who own one of the newPocket PCs. Written byJonathan Sachs, they providesunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonsetdata for anywhere on Earth, as well asDepth of FieldandExposurecalculations.Palmcomputer owners will also find a link to a review of comparable programs for their platform.
April 19, 2001
Ian Lyons, is the publisher ofComputer Darkroom, and one of the Internet’s leading authorities on colour management and Epson inkjet printing. He was a member of my just concludedLake Powell Master Classand he has just contributedhis photographsand write-up on the trip.
April 18, 2001
April 17, 2001
Recently I acquired aMamiya 7 II3-lens system for use when doing landscape work on long back-country hikes. I was looking for a full-featured medium format system that would provide the largest negative, and highest image quality, combined with the lowest weight and bulk. I considered the newBronica RF645but chose theMamiya.
On my recentLake Powell Master Classin southernUtahtheMamiyaproved its mettle and I now have online afield-reportand review. (The Workshop report and portfolio will be online within a day or so).
April 14, 2001
My hands-on reports and tests of theCanon D30were among the first to appear anywhere online last Fall. Many of the conclusions were controversial at the time. In mid-February my formal review of the D30 appeared in the American magazinePhoto Techniques. That issue is now off the stands and I have therefore re-published the reporthere.
April 13, 2001
I have just returned from a 12-day shoot in southern Utah. The trip was part of a springMaster Classwhich I’d organized for 7 photographers. It included shooting together for a week on a houseboat onLake Powell,with the main focus being the canyons of theEscalante Riverarm. We also briefly visitedBryce, Zion, Capital ReefandGrand Staircase Escalantenational parks.
The workshop was a great success, and in the next couple of weeks I’ll have a full travel story, image portfolio and participant’s photographs on-line. A documentary video produced for theLuminous Landscape Video Journalwill also be made available later in the year.
I have a huge backlog of email to catch up on, but hope to be able to reply to everyone before the end of the weekend. Finally, I want to wish everyone a very warm greeting for thePassover / Easterweek.
Please note that I will beoff-linefrom April 3rd through the 13th. I will be unable to respond to any emails, critique submissions or messages addressed to me on the Discussion Forum. If you do write between these dates please don’t expect a reply until the middle of April.
This is because instead of my usualSpring WorkshopI have organized a landscape photographyMaster Class. Six other photographers and I will be spending a week shooting together on a houseboat onLake Powellin southern Utah. Our main area of exploration will be the canyons of theEscalante Riverarm.
Of course I’ll have an extensive write-up and photographs here some time later in April. This event is also being filmed for the forthcomingLuminous Landscape Video Journal. Stay tuned.
March 30, 2001
In the 24 hours since I published theDuotonetutorial I’ve received a number of emails asking how best to recreate theselenium-tonedlook we all appreciate so much. I have now addeda recipefor aQuadtonethat I’ve created which provides what I regard as an attractive selenium look.
Lovers of landscape photography will look forward to the publication of what sounds to be a remarkable new book,Ansel Adams At 100, celebrating the centenary of his birth. It will ship in August and coincides with a major touring exhibition of his work. You can pre-order a copy now atAmazon. I have.
March 29, 2001
Though colour represents 95% of the photography done these days, a lot of desktop-darkroom workers are drawn to the appeal of working in monochrome. But inkjet printers, as good as they are, don’t do a very good job printing B&W.
TheDuotonepossibilities offered byPhotoshopopen up a new world for creativity.Duotoneprints can emulate the look of the gold toned, sepia toned and selenium toned prints so many people love. In addition, they print beautifully on most inkjet printers. My newtutorialonDuotonesexplores this exciting tool.
March 28, 2001
The March Critique Contest is now closed. The winner isThomas Nash of Warrenville, IL. Thomas will receive a copy of theLuminous Landscape Video Journalwhen it commences publication later this spring. Congratulations Tom!
The April contest is now open tosubmissions.
March 27, 2001
When was the last time you were out shooting, or working in the wet or digital darkroom?Practice Makes Perfectoffers some thoughts on practicing our art and craft.
If you are planning on upgrading yourMactoOS Xbe aware that at this time there is only limitedEpsonprinter driver support, and thatnoneof theEpson Photoprinters is currently supported! Epson’s latest driver information for OS X can be foundhere.
March 25, 2001
Today’sNew York Timeshas published a review ofEpson’s America in Detail, a traveling exhibition of inkjet photographic prints visiting several US cities this spring. I have postedan essaywith comments on this show, theTimesreview, and implications for the photographic art scene.
Wilhelm Researchmissed another deadline today (aren’t they embarrassed)? The leading expert in colour print media longevity, he has been announcing new and revised test results for many months, and each time a deadline is reach it keeps being pushed back. The next due date isApril 2. I’ll be traveling that week so keep your eye on his site if you’re interested in this topic.
March 24, 2001
I have publishedan editorialrebutting a flawed anti-digital-image-processing position taken by the well regarded landscape photographer and master Cibachrome printerChristopher Burkett. He takes the position that digital is inherently lesstruthfulthan chemical means. I respectfully disagree.
March 23, 2001
Lovers of landscape photography will be interested in the bookSeeing Landscapes—The Creative Process Behind Great Photographs.Beautiful photographs from the UK, Europe and Japan along with descriptions of thewhyof their making.
March 22, 2001
The annualCeBITfair inHanover, Germanyopens today. This is not a photographic show per se, but a technology fair. Since digital imaging is a cross-over, several manufacturers have chosen it to announce new cameras.
The only high-end announcement seen thus far isKodak’s DCS 760, a 6MP digital camera based on aNikon F5body, and according to Phil atDigital Photography Reviewappearing to be simply an updatedDCS 660. More information is available at DPR’sshow report.
March 16, 2001
It appears that after a distribution life of only a few years theHasselblad ArcBodyhas been discontinued. If you are interested in this unique camera system now is the time to search one out. Since they were never very common used equipment will likely become quite rare, and in fact the whole system is bound to quickly become a collectors item.
You might want to check withBrian LewingtonatHarrysProShopin Toronto, (1-416-538-6520) as he appears to have access to some remaining inventory.
March 15, 2001
Questions on certain topics seem to come in bunches. This week’s most common question has been regarding why I use, recommend and write aboutEpson Photoprinters in preference to other brands and types. TheFAQsection now has the answer.
Anyone who has ever worked in the traditional darkroom, or for whom darkroom practice and theory is of interest, will want to read my review ofCtein’sbookPost Exposure. This is probably the last great darkroom ever to be published.
March 14, 2001
Everyone knows what photographic sharpness is, but usually not how it’s measured. Also there’s frequent confusion between the concepts ofresolutionandacutance. My new article onUnderstanding Sharpnesstries to address some of these issues.
March 13, 2001
I rarely write letters to manufacturers. But, every now and then I see a company making what I believe to be such a serious mistake that a chance to vent my opinion is needed. Consequently I have penned anopen lettertoKodakregarding their current digital strategy (or lack thereof). I welcome your thoughts on this.
March 12, 2001
I have now had a chance to test the newEpson 1280(1290) photo printer. It’s a modest upgrade to the already excellentEpson 1270. If you’re looking for the best moderate-cost photo printer on the market, then this is the one to get. If you already own anEpson 1270though, save your money till next year.
Since this review was published earlier today I have added apostscriptcomparing the apparent resolution of theEpson 2000Pto the1270and1280test results.
Kodakwill be announcing a dramatic 50% price reduction for itsDCS 550andDCS 6606 Megapixel digital cameras. List price has dropped to US $8,000 rather than $16,000. (They were originally $26,000). They must be feeling the heat from the current generation of 3-4 Megapixel SLRs as well as the forthcoming 6 MP cameras fromCanon,PentaxandContax.
March 11, 2001
Steve Kossackhas contributed an article on how to roughly duplicate asplit neutral density filterusingPhotoshop. A simple technique but one that requires a bit of experimentation to perfect.
By now, if you’ve been usingPhotoshop 6.0regularly it should have automatically directed you to the new6.0.1 Upgrade. It’s a free 6 megabyte download, but worthwhile. If you’d rather, you can order a CD for $20, (US and Canada only).
March 7, 2001
One of the most frequent questions that I’m currently receiving is whether to buy the current generation of digital SLR, or wait for the one that’s rumoured to be coming later in the year. Here’smy takeon this question.
I have just received anEpson Stylus 1280for testing and hope to have a review online early next week.
March 5, 2001
My article onContrast Maskingin Photoshop has proven to be extremely popular.Mark Finkhas suggested that there are advantages to doing the Gaussian Blur steplastso that the effect can be observed while doing it. I have therefore updated the article to reflect this. It ties in nicely as well with°ke Vinberg’sreport (a link is found at the bottom of the tutorial) on how varying the amount of Blur affects the end result.
March 4, 2001
I have published today a major new article on formalColour Theoryfor photographers. I hope that this essay will be helpful in the understanding of the theory of colour for non-art-school-trained photographers.
March 3, 2001
Though I use it sparingly one of my favourite digital techniques for enhancing images is what I callGaussian Blur Overlays. I’ve just updated the article with some new images.
March 2, 2001
Paul Elsonis a New York-based commercial photographer who shoots world-wide for Fortune 500 companies. He is also an artist whose fine-art prints provide a unique impression of the world. I’m very pleased to welcome Paul to the pages ofThe Luminous Landscapeas our latestGuest Photographer. His portfolio and fascinating essay can be foundhere.
March 1, 2001
No, it’s not spring yet —damit! But it is a good time of year to catch up on ones reading. Two books that I’d like to draw to your attention areThe Art of Bird PhotographybyArt Morris, andThe Western HorizonbyMacduff Everton. Art’s book isthedefinitive reference for anyone interested in the art and specialized techniques of bird photography. Macduff’s is for the lover of the grand Western landscape and as well those interested in panoramic photography with theNoblex 150swing-lens camera.
February 28, 2001
The current (March / April 2001) issue ofAmerican Photomagazine will be of interest to anyone following the ongoingCanon D30vs. film debate. It features a comparison review byJonathan Barkeybetween theFuji S1,Canon D30and ISO 100 color negative film.
It’s the latter comparison that interest me most because Jonathan’s results essentially mirror mine done several months ago between the D30 and ISO 100 transparency film. In his review the D30 prints (dye sublimation) are described as "absolutely grainless" while regarding the C-print equivalents from film he writes, "the film image appeared sharp but with pronounced grain". He continues, "Everyone who viewed the prints side-by-side preferred the digital images in terms of color, contrast and saturation".
Do I detect a trend?
I’ve also hadsome further thoughtson my essayThe Emperor’s New Clothes.
February 27, 2001
Thewinnerof February’s Critique Contest isRita Woolleyof Derbyshire, England. Rita is a self-proclaimed beginner, but has produced a lovely and well seen composition. Technique and the latest equipment aren’t everything. An artist’s eye counts for much more. The Marchcontestis now open to submissions.
February 26, 2001
I’ve selected one of the photographs from my newCosta Ricawildlife portfolio asFeatured Imagefor February.
The heat over myCanon D30review won’t die down. Consequently I’ve written a brief essay on the subject of testing,andtrusting one own eyes. Its calledThe Emperor’s New Clothes.
February 25, 2001
MyWildlife Portfoliofrom a recent trip toCosta Ricais now online. This was an fascinating trip and I hope it provides a flavour of what it’s like doing photography in the coastal jungle of Central America.
February 24, 2001
On my recent trip to Costa Rica I used theBetter Beamerto provide extended fill-flash while shooting birds, monkeys and other wildlife in the rainforest. Myreviewof this simple and inexpensive flash accessory is now online.
TheDiscussion Forumhas had a fascinating discussion regarding theCanon D30’scolour space during the past week. My colleague and desktop colour printing expertIan LyonsofComputer Darkroomhas just published some initialColour Space Simulationtest results.
February 23, 2001
Proper evaluation of colour prints requires viewing them under accurate daylight as well as incandescent lamps. Most of the viewing solutions offered by the graphic arts industry are large, expensive and inappropriate for the home digital darkroom. TheOtt-Liteis an inexpensive solution that anyone doing desktop colour printing will find of interest.
February 22, 2001
I’ve just returned after a week-long trip toCosta Ricawhere I was fortunate to be able to do some exciting wildlife photography. I’ll have an article along with selected photographs online within a few days.
February 15, 2001
Because the site has now become so large finding specific content has become increasingly difficult. I have therefore created a newSubject Indexthat alphabetically lists major content pages. I hope that this makes finding what you’re interested in a bit more convenient.
Please note that I will be traveling beginning tomorrow and will be off-line until Feb. 23 . Therefore,please hold your personal emails and Critique Submissions until then. I’ll attempt to respond to Forum postings addressed to me as soon as possible after my return.
February 14, 2001Photo Techniques Magazine, of which I am a Contributing Editor, has just launched a new online print portfolio sale. Photographers featured includeCtein,Howard Bond,Paul Shranzand me. If you are interested in purchasing one of my recent images at an extremely attractive price have a look at myPortfolio Pageon thePhoto Techniquesweb site.
February 13, 2001
The myth ofdepth of fieldis one that many photographers still hang on to or don’t know about. If you think that wide angle lenses give you more depth of field have a look at the new entry in myFAQ.
The current (March/April 2001) issue ofPhoto Techniquesmagazine contains my featured review of theCanon EOS D30. The article is an enhancement and summation of the controversial conclusions that were originally published here on theLuminous Landscapelast October.
February 12, 2001
It’s nice every now and then to get a pat on the back, but more importantly an affirmation of ones position.Dale Cotton, a contributor to theCanon SLR Talkforum ofDigital Photography Reviewhas done just that regarding my originalCanon D30 Vs. Filmreport of last October.
February 11, 2001
A large part of the email that I receive concern my selection and opinion of lenses — in particular those for theCanon EOSsystem which I use. What lenses do I prefer, how sharp is this one or that one, is IS worthwhile, what about zooms Vs. primes, etc?
I have just published an article titledCanon Lenses — A Personal Selectionwhich I hope will answer many of these questions.
The PMA show in Orlando opened today but the new high-end Canon digital SLR wasn’t shown. My supposition is that it will likely be announced later this Spring with Fall delivery.
February 9, 2001
ThePMA(Photo Marketing Association) show open on Sunday in Orlando and the rumours have started flying. Canon devotees should polish their French and have look atthis site. It’s non-official but it shows aCanon EOS 1Dcoming, (a 6MP full-frame digital 1V) as well as anImage Stabilizedversion of the excellent70~200mm f/2.8lens, among other goodies. Prices shown are in German Marks.
The Crash of 2001is now over. Regular visitors will have noted that some site formatting and features became corrupted earlier this week. It has taken 4 days to fix but things are now pretty-much back to normal,includingtheDiscussion Forum. (Please note that regrettably all postings to the Discussion Forum from earlier this week have been lost).
I have taken this opportunity to make some minor charges to the site. These include removing the navigation bars at the top and right side of each page. While these aided site navigation they took up a lot of screen real-estate and viewers with small screens and slow connections have complained about them. I am therefore in the process of adding alternative links to relevant content where appropriate. This will take some time as the site currently consists of over 1,000 files.
Thanks for your patience with all of this. There’s lots of new content coming, including several major new articles and reviews. Stay tuned.
February 8, 2001
Regular visitors will have noticed that this site has experienced some considerable problems in the past week. Formatting is off, navigation bars are missing andthe Discussion Forum is broken.
I am attempting to put things back to normal ASAP but for a number of reasons this may take some time. In the meantime all content remains available. I suggest that until the navigation bars are restored that you access theTable of Contentsto explore additional content.
Pleasedo notmake new submissions to the Critique Contest until these problems are resolved. Thanks.
February 4, 2001
Nikonowners will be pleased to learn that theNikon D1X / D1Hdigital SLR’s were officially announced today. TheD1Xoffers 5.4 MP capability (interpolated) and will be available this spring, while theD1His the same resolution as the original D1 but offers 5FPS for up to 40 frames. Summer delivery is promised. More details can be found atDigital Photography Review.
OKCanon— now’s the time to drop the other shoe
February 3, 2001
Today sees the publication of a major 3-way comparison and test — the just-releasedFuji Provia 400FVs.Provia 100F— my standard film. I have also compared both of these films to results at ISO 100 and 400 from the digitalCanon D30camera. The results amazed even me! This fascinating report can be foundhere.
The well respected wildlife and nature photographerGeorge Lepphas just published a report in theMarch 2001issue ofOutdoor Photographermagazine titled "The Great White Bear Meets the Canon EOS D30". He describes using hisD30to shoot Polar Bears up in Churchill, Manitoba. Anyone owning, or considering owning a D30 will enjoy reading it. His experience of shooting in arctic conditions with the D30 match my own — no problems.
February 2, 2001
I have just published a major new article titledLight, Color & Human Visionby guest contributorMiles Hecker. This tutorial discusses the nature of colour and why we see the way we do. This is the first of several major tutorials scheduled to be published here over the next few months on the subject of colour theory and practice.
My friend and sometime contributor to this site,Alain Briot, has a new web site. CalledBeautiful-Landscape.comit features several galleries of Alain’s stunning work. Not only is Alain a great artist, he is also one of the most successful fine-art photographers working in America today.
Correspondence regarding my controversialCanon D30 Vs. Filmessay of a few months ago continues to arrive. If you’ve been following the debate you might enjoyreading it.
Finally, I have a comparison ofFuji Provia 100Fand the newProvia 400Fin preparation. To make it even more challenging I also will be doing a cross-comparison with the digitalCanon D30shooting atISO 100 and 400. (Won’t that be interesting!?)
February 1, 2001
A portfolio of photographs from theLake Tahoeregion, and a discussion on shooting in the mountains in winter as well as on skis, is now online. All photographs were taken with the new digitalCanon D30and the small, light-weight and inexpensiveCanon 28mm~135mm IS zoom.
Also of interest toCanon D30owners is a simple technique forpreviewing large thumbnailswithin Photoshop. This has been added to my review of theBelkin VideoBusfrom last month.
Regular readers may have noticed that some ofthe site’s navigation featureswere inoperative for a couple of weeks. This problem is now solved, and the links at the top of each page which point to other pages of the same hierarchical level are now back.
There has been a "leak", and the word is now out thatNikonwill be announcing two new digital SLRs at the PMA show scheduled to begin in ten days. TheNikon D1Xis a 5.3 megapixel camera otherwise similar to the existing D1.
January 30, 2001
I was away for a few days on a combined shoot and ski trip to theLake Tahoeregion of Nevada. I’ll have a new portfolio and write-up online in the next day or so.
The winner of January’sCritique ContestisLeigh Perry. Leigh won the contest in August, 2000 as well. Congratulations Leigh!
Submissions made during the past week will be included in the February contest.
January 24, 2001
As good as the digitalCanon EOS-D30is, it has an almost fatal flaw — poor low-light autofocus capability. There is a solution though — theCanon ST-E2 Speed Light Transmitter, which features an infra-red focus assist capability. With this cigarette pack sized device theD30will now autofocus in total darkness.
January 23, 2001
One of the many valuable new features ofPhotoshop 6.0isSoft Proofing. Photographers and digital darkroom workers usingEpsonor similar printers that ship withICC/ICMprofiles will find this capability invaluable. A new tutorial explains what it is and how to use it.
Last October when I first published my online review of the then new digitalCanon D30,and in particular my comparison with film, I raised a lot of eyebrows not to mention some anger, over my assertion that theD30was capable for producing higher quality prints than could be obtained from top notch scans of 35mmProvia 100F.
Since then many thousands of photographers have purchasedD30sand every email that I’ve received has echoed that conclusion.One of these lettershas now been added to my review.
January 22, 2001
ContributorNorman Korenprovides photographers who shoot colour or B&W negative film with a simplified tutorial on the classicZone System.
If you are a user of ourDiscussion Forumand have problems with your password or other settings, please try andreregister, or if you still have a problemlet me know. I had a system crash this week and lost a great many passwords. Sorry for the inconvenience.
January 19, 2001
Many newcomers to digital image processing have difficulty with the concepts ofInputandOutputresolution. I have added today a new tutorial entitledUnderstanding Resolution, which will hopefully address some of these issues and make them easier to understand.
January 18, 2001
ContributorCris Danielshas added his hands-on report on theEpson 7500— smaller brother to theEpson 9500reported on here a couple of days ago byNick Rains. Both of these are wide carriage printers using Epson’s archival pigment-based inks, also used in the2000P. While on the topic, theEpson 5500, the latest generation of pigment ink based printers, began shipping this week in the UK.Here’sa link to Epson’s UK web page on this new printer.
January 17, 2001
Regular readers may know that I have been writing for the American magazinePhoto Techniquesfor several years, covering traditional as well as digital photographic subjects. I’m pleased to announce that I have recently been made aContributing Editorto that esteemed publication and I look forward to an enhanced role in working withPTon its coverage of digital topics.
January 15, 2001
Nick Rains, a widely published Australian photographer, has contributed a hands-on report on theEpson 9500printer. This very wide carriage model uses the same archival inks and papers as does the problematicEpson 2000P. Nicks comments are fascinating.
January 14, 2001
Canon D30owners may be interested in myreviewof theBelkin USB VideoBus, a small, inexpensive and simple device that lets you viewD30output on a computer’s screen at full VGA (640X480) resolution.
In addition to the books that I reviewed and recommend yesterday I have now addedJohn Paul Caponigro’simportant new book,Adobe Photoshop Master Class. If you’re a seriousPhotoshopuser this is a must-have.
January 13, 2001
During the past month I’ve come across two new photographic books which I highly recommend, as well as one onGlobalization— which is critical to our understanding of the changes taking place in our world right now. For anyone in the photographic equipment trade this book is a must. For commentary and links, clickhere.
I have been experiencing email trouble for some time with theLuminous Landscapeserver and have as a consequence not received some of your emails and submissions. I’m trying to resolve the issue as quickly as possible but in the meantime pleaseresendanything that you have not heard back from me on by emailingthis address.
January 12, 2001
A vacation trip last week to theBlue MountainsofJamaica, unfortunately disrupted by coming down with the flu, nevertheless produced a couple of interesting photographs. These are now online in a small onlineportfolio.
January 11, 2001
Do you own aHasselblad XPanand wish that you also occasionally had aMamiya 7along with you?Here’san approach that makes this avirtualpossibility — through software.
My colleagueIan LyonsofDigital Darkroomhas just published an excellent review and tutorial onPiezographyÃƒ´BW. This is an exciting new technology that allows owners of several modelEpson Photoprinters to create B&W prints that actually exceed traditionalwetprints in image quality. To learn more about this, visitInkjetmall.com. As for me, though I don’t do much B&W work anymore Ian has really created a temptation with his report.
January 9, 2001
After returning from a week-long vacation in the sun it will take me a few days to get caught-up with a tremendous backlog of email and Forum correspondence. There is a great deal of exciting new content coming this month so check back here often.
The venerable British magazineAmateur PhotographerawardedThe Luminous LandscapetheirWebsite Of The Weekin their 16 December, 2000 issue. If you didn’t have a chance to see their write-up, I’ve reproduced ithere.
Lunar Eclipse:There will be aTotal Lunar Eclipsetonight. It will be primarily visible in Europe, Asia and Africa. But, for those folks (like me) living in Eastern North America, when the full moon rises this evening it will be in eclipseas it rises. This should provide for some great photographic opportunities. The way I would shoot it would be to find a spot with a clear view to the East and use a long lens to profile or silhouette a suitable foreground, such as a line of trees, mountains or a cityscape. The problem for me is that here in Toronto it’s snowing (again!) and the chance of a clear sky this evening is essentially zip.
If you’re lucky enough to be somewhere tonight with a good view of the eclipse and capture a great photograph, let me see it. The best ones will be published here. Send submissions toeclipse.
Nikon has just announced three new film scanners — the8000 ED, the4000 EDand theCoolscan IV ED. The first two are 4000dpi models. No word yet on prices or availability. As alwaysDigital Photography Reviewhas the full scoop.
Regular as clockworkEpsonhas introduced their new line of Photo printers — the790,890and1290.Hereis a link to some early English language data.