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August 2007


How-To

  • As Simple As Black And White


    Shoot in B&W or convert in Photoshop? That is the question...



    If you’d like to simulate the results produced by specific films or film/developer combinations, reach for Exposure from Alien Skin. Based on detailed analysis of actual film stock, Exposure not only re-creates the film coloration and contrast, but also actually reproduces the size, shape and color of the film grain. If you like the look of push-processed Kodak TRI-X, for example, you can re-create it digitally—with authentic results. Exposure performs other editing functions as well. The options include a monochromatic toning filter set (blue, gold, sepia, selenium and sulphide) that allows you to re-create the look of old-fashioned image recording techniques.
  • Luminosity Control In Photoshop


    What does it take to visualize luminosity in black-and-white and color photography, then see and control it in Photoshop?



    Luminosity is represented in a photograph by tones of black, white and gray. Luminosity is light. It represents all that we can see about the world we photograph. Every object, event and mood depends upon visible light represented by luminosity in the photograph.
  • Extreme Neutral Density


    Taking super-long exposures with ND filters can add an artistic component to your photography



    Fish don’t see water, birds don’t see air, humans don’t see time...but photography does. When a film or digital sensor is exposed to light, a subject is recorded in relation to time. For example, a bird in flight photographed at 1/4000 of a second looks entirely different than if photographed in the same situation at 1/8 of a second. The difference is time. A film or digital sensor can record the passage of time, be it seconds, minutes or hours.
  • No-Light Landscapes


    Sunset isn't the time to put away your camera



    Once, on a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, I was sharing the Sunrise Point Overlook with half a dozen other shooters, all of us lined up with our expensive SLR cameras and carbon-fiber tripods, shooting away as the sun set (yes, it’s called Sunrise Point, but it’s equally spectacular at sunset). As Old Sol hovered over the western horizon behind us, most of the hoodoos in the valley before us fell into shadow while the distant buttes were catching the last rays.
  • On Landscape: A Sense Of Scale


    Be versatile, and you can build perspective into your landscape images



    One key compositional technique in landscape photography is the use of scale. By including foreground subjects such as rocks or trees or flowers in front of mountains, for example, the photographer can convey depth in the scene, giving a stronger sense of the locale and of "being there." In many uses for photographs, such as editorial use, it’s important to clearly describe the subject. Objects of known size give us clues as to the scale and depth.
  • The Changing Landscape Of Printing


    The digital print gives photographers more freedom and control in getting great images.


    For landscape photographers, the print has gone beyond a simple record that goes on the wall. With printing so accessible to all, photographers have the opportunity to create dramatic, large-format prints that demand attention.
  • When Does Digital Match Film?


    Film and digital can't be simply compared by using math. There's much more to the images than numbers.



    About 15 years ago, digital imaging started to capture the attention of the press, including photography magazines. At that time, a lot of this was gee-whiz stuff, and most photographers saw it mainly as a curiosity or something that might work for scientists or other specialized use. Many pundits at the time made rash pronouncements of the technology, using all sorts of techniques to compare film and digital, but mainly they all came to the conclusion that it would be a very long time, if ever, before digital image capture could match film. And they all said that film would be around for a very long time. Obviously, that has turned out to be wrong.

Gear

  • Full-Frame vs. Small-Frame Digital (Does It Matter?)


    Digital sensors come in a variety of sizes. Is bigger better?



    Like film cameras, digital SLRs come in a wide range of formats. But with D-SLRs, the format is based on the size of the image sensor, not on the size of the film. Sensor size has several ramifications for the photographer. First, larger sensors cost a lot more than small ones, in part because of the difficulty in manufacturing them. Second, larger sensors "see" more of the image formed by a lens and thus provide a wider field of view with any given focal length. Third, for a given pixel count, larger sensors contain larger pixels, which, all other things being equal, collect light more efficiently for better low-light and high-ISO performance. Finally, larger sensors generally require larger camera bodies.
  • In Focus: August 2007


    Take landscape and nature shots with finely tuned color using the Sigma DP1. This high-end compact camera features the same unique Foveon X3 direct image sensor, with 14-megapixel color photosites, used in the SD14 D-SLR for capturing full and accurate color image information. The sensor uses three silicon embedded layers of photo sensors, stacked to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. The sensor is physically as big as sensors on other compact digital cameras by a factor of 10 to 12. The DP1 features a 16.6mm ƒ/4 lens (35mm equivalent of 28mm), a 2.5-inch LCD and shoots RAW and JPEG formats.
  • Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye


    A creative approach to nature photography provided by this ultra-wide-angle zoom



    Tokina’s AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 fish-eye zoom lens is the most fun I’ve had with a lens in a long while. It features an incredibly wide 180-degree field of view, and with its zoom, something unique for fish-eye lenses, it also acts effectively as a wide-angle lens (albeit with some barrel distortion).

Columns

  • Delta Mountains, Alaska



    A five-hour drive north of Anchorage, Alaska, brings you to the eastern section of the Alaska Range and the beautiful Delta Mountains, where jagged peaks, splintered glaciers, boreal forests, turquoise lakes and milky rivers can be found. The Delta Mountains are the most accessible mountains in the range and are surrounded by three of Alaska’s main highways—the Glenn, the Richardson and the Alaska.
  • Landscape Lenses


    Focusing On Focal Lengths • Cave Photography • What You Should Bring • Tilt/Shift Lenses For Landscapes



    One of the questions asked most frequently at my seminars is, What’s the most desirable focal length for landscape photography? I always answer that I use all focal lengths, and I tend to use the extremes—long telephotos and extreme wide angles—quite often. It’s all about perspective. If we can show the scene to the viewer in a different way than they see it on a day-to-day basis, there just might be a reason for them to look at our pictures.
  • Sharpening Techniques


    A strong use of Radius in Unsharp Mask may help your nature images



    Sharpening is a critical part of the digital process, yet it’s often misunderstood. Sharpening isn’t about making a blurred image sharp; it’s about getting the optimum sharpness from a photo that was shot sharp. An image direct from a sensor or a scanner isn’t at its optimum sharpness. There are a number of reasons for this because of the technologies involved. So that image has to be sharpened in order for it to look as good as the lens that created the image on the sensor or film.

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