Artist Showcase: Michael Reichmann

Darren wrote this at 4:53 pm:

The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum has published an interview with Michael Reichmann (professional landscape photographer and owner of The Luminous Landscape) by James Morrissey: Artist Showcase: Michael Reichmann.

The purpose of this interview is to educate people in our community about nature photography by presenting an accomplished nature photographer. We are thrilled to bring to you our very first interview. We are thankful that Michael Reichmann has agreed to share with us his personal life and experience of his journey to becoming one of the top nature photographers today. He is the owner of the Luminous Landscape website. He is also an avid supporter of the preservation and protection of our environment. We at NWP hope that you will find this interview informative and inspiring.

Digital Pro Shooter June Edition

Darren wrote this at 8:50 am:

Digital Pro Shooter Volume 3 Issue 7 (June 2005) has just been released.

This issue has a good article giving 10 tips on diagnosing problems with your gear if you feel your images are not up to scratch technically. I particularly like the tip “avoid consensual hallucination” – too many people read on the net about a specific problem such as a back-focus issue, and then convince themselves that their camera has that same problem. It’s kind of like hypochondria for cameras!

Also in this issue is a short field review of the Epson P-2000 portable digital image storage and viewing device.

Alain Briot Shoots Digital?

Darren wrote this at 2:45 pm:

Well-known landscape photographer Alain Briot has finally come out of the closet – he has announced that he now shoots with a 1Ds Mark II!

Until recently, Alain has mainly been shooting with a 4×5 view camera, with smaller 645 cameras for when he needed portability. The large negatives give him fantastic enlargement opportunity up to 40×50 inches, but for smaller sizes he finds that the 1Ds Mark II holds detail almost as well, and is much more convenient to work with. He particularly loves the immediacy of digital – being able to come home from a shoot and start reviewing and working with the images straight away, rather than waiting a week or two for film to be processed and scanned.

The article has some nice comparison images, as well as brief thoughts on other digital issues such as battery life, camera weight, handling, sensor dust, focusing screen, lens choice, and color spaces.

Poor Man’s IS

Darren wrote this at 8:54 am:

Here’s a neat tip for digital photographers trying to shoot at slow shutter speeds without image-stabilized (IS or VR) lenses. Actually, it can even be helpful for those using IS/VR lenses when you’re really pushing the limits of hand-holdability.

Set your camera to burst mode, frame your subject, brace yourself as firmly as you can, and squeeze the shutter button gently. Hold it down so that you fire off a burst of about 5 images. Odds are, once you get back to your computer and examine the images, there’ll be one image that’s considerably sharper than most of the others. Delete the duds, and keep this good one!

The downside is obvious – you’ll use up a lot more space on your memory cards.

If you’re shooting in JPG mode and want a quick way to tell which image is the sharpest, just look at the file sizes. The one with the largest file size is nearly always the sharpest shot. This is because the JPG algorithm tries to preserve detail – the sharper your image, the more fine detail is present, and the less the JPG algorithm is able to compress the image. Incidentally, this is why high-ISO JPGs are larger than low-ISO JPGs of the same scene – the higher noise in the high-ISO image adds lots of fine detail, so the image can’t be compressed as much.

Of course, just like real IS/VR this technique only helps with correcting for camera shake. A moving subject and a slow shutter speed will still result in motion blur in the image.

Mamiya ZD Medium Format Digital Preview

Darren wrote this at 8:10 am:

Clauss Possberg has written an article on his first impressions with a preproduction Mamiya ZD: Mamiya ZD – Almost Here.

The ZD is the first all-in-one 22 megapixel medium format digital camera. And apparently it’s about the same weight and slightly smaller than an EOS 1Ds Mk II!

The Mamiya ZD is expected to retail for around USD$12,000 or 10,000 Euros.

Dirkon – The Paper Camera

Darren wrote this at 7:20 am:

Now here’s an interesting project – complete plans for a do-it-yourself pinhole camera, made out of paper, that looks like a standard 35mm SLR. It even takes rolls of 35mm film!

Nikon Releases PictureProject 1.5.2

Darren wrote this at 9:01 pm:

Nikon has released PictureProject version 1.5.2 to fix problems with D50 RAW+JPG images, CD and DVD burning, and proper display of layouts created with older versions of PictureProject.

The downloads are here:

Wide Angle Lenses For DSLRs

Darren wrote this at 1:32 pm:

If you shoot with a small-sensor digital SLR (often called “APS-C” sensors) such as the Canon 10D/20D/300D/350D or Nikon D70/D100/D50, you’ve probably already been frustrated by the difficulty of shooting wide angle.

All these cameras have a 1.5x or 1.6x ‘crop factor’ due to the smaller sensor, so your 24mm lens has a field of view equivalent to a 36mm or 38mm lens on a film camera. It’s nice for the bird photographers working at the long end (cheap 300mm lenses become 480mm!), but it sucks for landscape photographers working at the wide end.

Photo.net has a roundup of ultrawide zooms for Canon and Nikon DSLRs that might help you choose a suitable new lens. Although they don’t review each lens, at least it’ll help you figure out what the options are and you can then Google for technical reviews of those lenses that appeal to you.

Canon Flash Photography FAQ

Darren wrote this at 4:06 pm:

If you shoot with a Canon EOS camera and use flash (even the in-built one), the Canon EOS Flash FAQ is an invaluable resource. It explains in detail all about how Canon flashes work and how to use them to achieve your desired results.

This part in particular explained some flash exposure problems I was having:

P, Av, Tv and M modes all meter for flash in different ways. See the section on “EOS flash confusion” for details. Here’s the short version, which repeats some of the points made in previous FAQ questions.

Keep in mind that the camera meters for ambient (existing) light conditions and flash illumination independently.

P (program) mode keeps the shutter speed between 1/60 sec and the maximum flash sync speed your camera can handle. It does this so that you shouldn’t need a tripod, even if light levels are low. It then tries to illuminate the foreground using flash.

Av (aperture priority) and Tv (shutter speed priority) modes set the shutter speed or aperture to expose for the existing light conditions correctly. They then fill in the foreground using flash. If light levels are low you will need a tripod to avoid blur.

M (manual exposure) mode lets you set both aperture and shutter speed to be whatever you want. The camera then automatically controls the illumination of the foreground subject using flash.

There’s a good section on the new E-TTL II system, introduced with the EOS 1D Mark II and also supported by the EOS 30V/33V/7S/Elan 7N/Elan 7EN, EOS 20D/20Da, EOS 350D/Rebel X Digital/Kiss N Digital.

It’s definitely worth printing out this page (and the ones linked from it), studying it, and keeping it in your camera bag.

Magazine for Digital Pro Photographers

Darren wrote this at 4:32 pm:

Digital Pro Photo is a great magazine, well worth the relatively low subscription price. It’s not your usual fluffy consumer mag, full of beginner’s tips and digicam reviews. This is a magazine for professional photographers, although serious amateurs will love it too.

Filled with in-depth gear reviews, articles on technique and the best inspiring images, Digital Photo Pro is the professional’s guide to going digital. In every issue, you’ll find:

  • Profiles of and best images from top professionals and photography visionaries
  • Extensive pro-level equipment coverage to show you what’s new and how to use it
  • Detailed explanations of the latest technologies—everything from Digital SLRs to software to scanners to photo gear
  • Tips and techniques that will help you create a successful studio and run a profitable photography business
  • How-to articles that show you innovative ways to use your hardware and software

The current (July/August) issue contains articles on:

  • the challenges of shooting photographs in a war zone
  • using and controlling light (two articles)
  • making custom modifications to build the perfect camera
  • asset management and copyright in the digital age (two articles)