There are a few things being posted around the web that are of interest and here they are:
Instagram is one of those things that people seem to either love or hate, and I fall on the side of loving it, and PetaPixel has published a list of ten Instagram users that are worth following. The list includes a National Geographic photographer and even General Electric. You can see them here. By the way, PetaPixel is a great website and one that I regularly follow.
Lately, Adobe and Photoshop have been the subject of much gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes because of their decision to only offer future versions of Photoshop as downloads as part of their Creative Cloud. No CDs to buy from here on out. Since I signed up for Creative Cloud late last year, this wasn't all that big of a deal for me, but I can see how it might upset others. So, Digital Photography Review has put out an article called, "10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop)." They include programs like Lightroom 4 and Photoshop Elements 11, which is something of a cheat, since they are both Adobe products, but there you go. They also showcase programs like ACDSee Pro 6 and Photo Editor, Aperture 3, and DxO Optics Pro 8, and several programs that I'm not real familiar with. There are even some free programs like GIMP that are included in the article. For several years I've been using Lightroom for RAW image processing and Photoshop for image editing and printing, and don't feel a need to shake things up, at least for now. But you can read the article here.
And finally, if you run on Mac and use Canon DSLRs, Kuuvik Digital has a new program called Kuuvik Capture for tethered shooting. It has a lot of neat features and definitely looks more usable and flexible than Canon's own Utility program for tethered shooting. The price starts at $79.99 and that price is good through June 30, 2013. You can see and order Kuuvik Capture here.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Photographic lighting has undergone several changes over the years. The first lighting was based around tungsten bulbs. Then quartz lighting proved to be more stable with less color temperature fluctuations. Then electronic strobes took over most of still photography, especially in the studio, and that seemed to solve most of the problems that photographers faced when using artificial lighting. With flash, they had short exposure times with adequate depth of field at low ISO ratings. Seemed ideal, but a funny thing happened when photography started to include movie making with digital HD-SLRs. Now flashes didn't work at all and the search was on for better lighting sources for video and filmmaking. For a while, florescent lighting was used, and still is a little, but then LED lighting was tried and that proved to be a significant innovation.
With LED lighting, you could have fairly bright lights that could compete with quartz lighting in terms of output, but LEDs were radically cooler. And by this, I mean that the lights remained cool to the touch. The main handling problems with high wattage tungsten and quartz lighting is that the light housing could heat up so much that you couldn't safely touch them after you were finished using them. You had to wait several minutes before they were cool enough to touch without burning yourself. LED lights don't heat up like this.
Until now, most LED lighting consisted of flat panels of LED bulbs arranged in a tight grid. And petty much what you saw was what you got. There were little or no light modifications you could use with them. But now, Fotodiox has changed that with the introduction of their new LED light, the LED100WA. This is an LED light based around a strobe style housing and made to be compatible with standard Bowens flash accessories, like umbrellas, softboxes, barndoors, snoots and more. The LED100WA is rated at 600 watts and is available in either 5600K (daylight) or 3200K (tungsten) color temperatures. It will sell for $324.95, and it can be purchased directly from Fotodiox.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Olympus, even with their financial woes, has been stepping up their game in the last few years. And now they're introducing a couple of new cameras. The first is a mid-range model, the E-PL6, but the real news is a new top of the line PEN camera, the E-P5. It will be available in three colors, Chrome, White, and Black, and it has the same 16 MP sensor that the popular OM-D EM-5 uses. In fact, the E-P5 seems to compete with the EM-5 in a lot of ways. Both have all metal construction and five-axis image stabilization, but the EM-5 is weather sealed and has a built-in electronic viewfinder. On the other hand, the E-P5 is the current champ in focusing speed and includes built-in Wi-Fi. The E-P5 is a bit smaller, but that difference diminishes when you put the accessory electronic viewfinder VF-4 on the camera. The styling of the new E-P5 is an obvious nod to the original PEN half-frame cameras, which is nice. Looks like Olympus is still on a roll and being a long-time Olympus user, I'm glad they're still going strong. The E-P5 is a classy looking camera.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Zeiss is launching a new line of lenses for Sony E-mount and Fuji X-mount cameras. Called the Touit series, named after a small Central American parrot, the first lenses are a 12mm f/2.8 and a 32mm f/1.8. Known for their image quality and their impeccable construction quality, Zeiss is making a smart move in making lenses for these two camera formats. Both Sony, with its NEX 7 and NEX 6, and Fuji, with its X-Pro 1 and EX-1, are making serious in-roads into professionals' camera arsenals, much to the chagrin of Canon and Nikon, so having top quality lenses for Zeiss for these cameras is just going to make them even more desirable. I'm sure they won't be cheap, but serious A-level equipment seldom is cheap.
Friday, April 26, 2013
I recently went to New York City on business and here are a few images I took with my phone. Looking at these made me realize how far cameras and cell phones have come.
The John Dory Oyster Bar
The Flatiron Building
New York Public Library
Grand Central Terminal
New York Night