Monthly Archives: May 2008

Link Roundup 05-31-2008

Some really cool stuff going on out there this week!

  • Perennial Images
    Tim O’Rielly
    I was in Little Italy today dropping off some film at my camera shop and I encountered another photographer shooting in my general vicinity. I struck up a conversation with him and he turned out to be a pretty interesting guy. He’s mainly a travel photographer and he likes to focus on people in their environments. Check out the photos in his website — this guy’s been all over the place!
  • Going Pro – The Cost of Doing Business
    dilvie.com
    A quick rundown of some common expenses that a pro photographer will have to face from day to day.
  • Unsharp Mask: How Do You Actually Use That Thing?
    Photojojo
    Some tips and techniques for using the Unsharp Mask in Photoshop, including an explanation of what the slider controls actually do to your pixels.
  • The Best Photo Tip I Ever Received… What Was Yours?
    digital Photography School
    Jim Goldstein offers up the best photo tip he ever received, then he asks the readers what theirs was. Reading through the comments results in quite a few great tips!
  • digital workflow: image processing
    pro photo life
    Jim Talkington goes over his digital workflow and he talks about processing the RAW files.
  • My Photo and Computer Back-up Strategy
    Photoshop Insider
    Scott Kelby lays out his back-up techniques and some of the hardware he uses to do so.
  • How to Make a Light Box and Macro Studio for Under $20
    Beyond Megapixels
    Need a cheap DIY light box for shooting objects and macro work? Check out this one that you can make for under $20.
  • Get a Little Action In With Droplets
    PhotoWalkPro
    Ever hear of Photoshop Droplets? Here’s a handy little article that describes what they are and what they can be used for.
  • Great Photo Books You Can Buy New
    The Online Photographer
    Photo books are great things. If you’re looking to pick one up in the near future, check out this list of reissues from some amazing artists.
  • Street Photography
    Sharing My Light
    A good set of basic street photography tips.
  • Internet Acronyms for Photographers
    All Day I Dream About Photography
    Wow, a huge list of crazy photography acronyms. If you’re ever confused by the lingo, check out this list.
  • It’s Easy Being Green
    Photodoto
    Here are seven ways to be a “Green Photographer”.

New Partner: CheckCost

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Please join me in welcoming CheckCost to our list of publication sponsors! They’ve decided to grab a sidebar position and the only spot on the home page!

CheckCost deals with consumer goods, including many electronics items (plus a lot of other stuff). They provide a central location for price comparisons, reviews, and ratings of the items found on their site. For each item on their website, multiple vendors are shown along with the price they offer, availability of the item, a vendor rating, and more.

The main category of offerings that we’re probably interested in is photography, but CheckCost has a few others you might want to search through. Computers, software, and other electronics are just a few of the other categories that may be useful for us photographers.

So next time you’re in the market for some new photography equipment (or anything else you can buy online), head over to CheckCost and take a look at the prices and vendor ratings. Paying too much for something is never fun, and dealing with sleazy vendors is a nightmare — so let CheckCost be your guide.

Image Keyworder Releases ‘Alamy’ Upgrade

Hey, remember the folks behind the Image Keyworder software we mentioned a while back? They’ve been working on some upgrades to their software, and the biggest change has to do with Alamy contributors. Check out what they had to say in their latest press release.

Singapore, May 29th 2008 – OnAsia has announced the release of a significant upgrade to its Windows-based Image Keyworder software. The new version, currently available at www.imagekeyworder.com, includes a customized ‘Alamy Mode’ for users submitting images to the UK-based photo agency www.alamy.com.

The new functionality for Alamy contributors means that Image Keyworder is currently the only commercially available software that has been tailor designed to accommodate the specific annotation requirements of Alamy. The tool enables Alamy contributors to work on batches of images; speeding up the workflow for getting their images online.

“When Alamy announced that it was changing its metadata requirements a few months ago, we saw an opportunity to customize our Image Keyworder tool for a very specific group of users,” explained Yvan Cohen, Director at OnAsia. “Alamy was extremely supportive throughout this process and we now hope that their contributors will see the benefits of the customized functionality we are providing for them,” he added.

“Throughout the development of Image Keyworder we have aimed to create a tool that is tailored closely to the needs of digital photographers faced with the challenge of indexing their images and submitting to online agencies,” said Mr. Cohen.

One of the most comprehensive and competitively priced keywording programs on the market, Image Keyworder comes bundled with a thesaurus comprising over 40,000 terms, including synonyms, alternate forms, spelling variations and singulars and plurals. The thesaurus is continually being enriched and updated to ensure that users have access to a growing pool of terms.

“The thesaurus function means that with a single click you can add several relevant terms to an image. It’s much easier and faster than keywording manually,” explained Mr Cohen.

Having grown out of OnAsia’s experience as a professional keywording service, Image Keyworder also offers users a number of features aimed at combining comprehensive keywording with productivity. Groups of images can be processed in batches, templates can be created and saved for repeat image types and keywords can be selectively added and removed from sets of images.

Image Keyworder can be downloaded for a free 30-day trial from www.imagekeyworder.com. The trial includes full functionality and access to Image Keyworder’s comprehensive built-in thesaurus.

An Image Keyworder license for two computers costs just US$ 79.99 including a 12-month thesaurus subscription valued at US$ 39.99.

For more information contact support@imagekeyworder.com

So Many Cameras – So Little Time

Cameras, Cameras, everywhere. Sometimes I feel like we get so caught up in “the now” with the digital age and the boom of the dSLR, that many of us probably forget about all the other cameras out there. I’ve been doing a lot of wandering around on eBay lately (which has already caused me to buy four new cameras) and it’s quite apparent that there are a ton of cameras out there that don’t fall into the dSLR classification.

So this is just kind of a fun little post that takes a look at each of the main types of cameras still in use today. Enjoy!

SINGLE LENS REFLEX

The SLR camera is a fairly common sight these days, with digital versions covering every price range from affordable to outrageous. These cameras derive their name from how they’re made and how they work. Single Lens indicates that the camera uses one lens for viewing and recording photos. A series of mirrors and/or prisms direct the light from the camera lens to the viewfinder. The first mirror in the set is called the Reflex mirror, which sits in front of the recording media (film or sensor) and flips up when the shutter is released. Single Lens Reflex cameras typically have removable lenses and offer an array of features and controls — But this doesn’t always have to be the case. SLRs can be found in digital and analog (film) versions.

TWIN LENS REFLEX

TLR cameras are mainly a thing of the past, especially with the introduction of the SLR. These cameras have a distinct look due to their Twin Lens system. One lens is used for viewing while the other is used for recording the image to the media. The image from the upper lens is reflected onto a viewing/focusing screen with the Reflex mirror. Twin Lens Reflex Cameras (despite their clunky and old fashioned appearance) actually hold several advantages over the SLR. Simpler construction, fewer moving parts, more responsive shutter mechanisms, and sturdy build are just a few things these cameras are known for. Of course, bulkiness, sometimes awkward operation, and the tendency to have fixed lenses are a few things that the standard SLR took care of. Oh yeah, and they’re film cameras (and usually medium format)… at least, I’ve never seen a true digital TLR.

POINT & SHOOT

The Point & Shoot, or compact camera, is another type of camera that has flourished in the digital age. These little packages are easy to carry around and equally easy to operate. Though the features and controls are limited on many models, the intended use for this camera is not professional work. Most P&S cameras are autofocus and auto meter, allowing the user to focus on the subject. Point & Shoot cameras can be found in both film and digital versions. Most of the old film versions are of the viewfinder type, while many digital compact cameras don’t even have a viewfinder (instead they rely on their LCD screen).

RANGEFINDER

While the rangefinder camera has similar characteristics to both SLR cameras and compact cameras, it’s a different beast altogether. These cameras derive their name from the mechanism found in the viewfinder: the rangefinder. A rangefinder is a tool that allows you to judge distance and focus without actually looking through the lens. The major benefit of these cameras lies in their simplicity. They’re small, lightweight, and they contain fewer moving parts than the SLR. UPDATE: As Janne pointed out in the comments, this isn’t entirely true. The actual rangefinder mechanism is much more complex than an SLR camera. Thanks Janne! Rangefinders are famous for street photography, and you’ll find that many famous street photographers use (or did use) rangefinders. These cameras can be found in both film and digital versions, but watch out for those price tags! Some of these cameras (even the film cameras) cost more than professional level digital SLRs — but there are plenty of cheaper options out there… Just don’t start daydreaming about a Leica.

VIEWFINDER

Viewfinder cameras are very similar to rangefinder cameras, but they’re missing one important element: the actual rangefinder mechanism. The viewfinder on these cameras only presents the photographer with a view of the approximate framing in order to allow for composition. Focusing is either something you guess at, or something that doesn’t happen (fixed focus). Light metering is typically non existent also, but I have seen some cameras with meters external to the viewfinder, and others with a meter that attaches to the camera. These cameras are incredibly simple, and one of the most well known viewfinders is the Holga, but there are plenty of other cameras out there that are made of metal. Viewfinders can be found in both film and digital versions, but film is more common than digital. The reason being, is that any viewfinder with an autofocus mechanism is actually considered to be a point & shoot.

BOX CAMERA

Box cameras are old, and you see even fewer of them than TLRs. The camera gets its name from the fact that it’s actually a box with a lens. The lens is typically a miniscus lens with just a single element. They’re usually fixed focus, fixed lens, non-metered, fixed aperture, fixed shutter speed, fixed everything. Like I said, it’s a simple camera — it’s basically a souped up pinhole camera. These old film cameras could be fun to toy around with, but don’t expect to shoot a professional gig with one. The most famous of these cameras is the Kodak Brownie.

FOLDING CAMERA

Another blast from the past is the folding camera. These cameras look like something of a cross between the view camera and a rangefinder. The camera actually folds up since it uses a bellows to extend the lens, and everything folds into a nice rugged little case. A majority of these cameras use medium format film, but there are a few 35mm versions out there. These cameras were popular during the early 1900′s, and were probably phased out due to the introduction of high quality viewfinders and rangefinders.

SUBMINIATURE

Subminiature cameras are somewhat of a gray area, but basically anything that creates images smaller than the standard 135 format (24mm x 36mm) could be considered subminiature. These cameras take film formats such as Minox, 16mm, Super 16, 110 format, and a few others. While the cameras are still floating around out there, the films are getting harder to find (as I just found out since I bought a 110 format camera).

VIEW CAMERA

The granddaddy of all cameras… the view camera. While not the oldest type of camera, it is one of the oldest types that’s still used today. A bellows separates the lens and the film plane, and the distance and angles between the two can be adjusted. Large format cameras use the view camera setup, and many modern versions are still used today for professional needs. If you think digital photography is an expensive hobby, just do some research on these puppies and the film that goes inside them.

PINHOLE

OK, so this really is the simplest of all cameras. The pinhole camera can be nothing more than a bunch of folded up cardboard and a piece of film. No lens, no shutter, no aperture, no need to focus, no nothing. This is something I’d like to try out eventually, but I get the impression that it’s a hobby for the patient soul (ie, don’t expect to go shoot some action photography with one of these). Although native to film, pinholes have made their way into the digital realm with things such as pinhole lens caps. And if you insist that your images must be tack sharp, don’t even think about trying pinhole.

AND MORE

I’m sure there are lots of odd little cameras out there from past and present — we’ve really just covered the basic cameras still in use today. I’d encourage you all to try out different types of cameras if given the chance. Heck, maybe even buy some of your own. But no matter what kind of camera you’re using, just remember that you’re still a photographer and you’re still creating a photo — the camera is just a tool.

What Should Our Next Project Be?

I’ve been feeling the urge to run another project here at Epic Edits. We’ve had decent success with past projects such as 66 Faces of Photography and 28 Ways To Interpret A Photo. I want to do another one that’s just as exciting and inspiring. Here are three ideas I had for the next project:

[UPDATE] I’ve added links to the project results because we actually completed them all!

  1. THE $50 FILM CAMERA
    SEE RESULTS HERE
    I’ve been buying old film cameras on eBay lately, and it got me thinking about photography projects. The project would require that you purchase a film camera of your choice from a vendor of your choice for under $50. You’d run a roll or two through it, write up a short review on the camera, and post one entire roll of photos. I figured this would be good motivation for non-film shooters to give it a try, and old film shooters to get back into if for a few shots. The downside to this project is that it would require you to buy a camera and some film. The upside is that you’d have a new camera and possibly a new hobby. The point of buying a camera (even if you already have a film camera) is to show what kind of neat old equipment you can pick up for relatively little money.
  2. EDIT YOUR PHOTO
    CURRENTLY RUNNING
    Similar to the Edit My Photo project, we’d all be asked to process the same raw photo. But this time around, we could break it up into two parts: picking the photo, and processing the photo. In part one, everybody would have a chance to enter an unprocessed photo and you would all vote on which one would be used for the second part of the project. In part two, we’d do the same as last time and distribute the raw file to participants for processing.
  3. THE PHOTOSHOP ACTION COLLECTION
    SEE RESULTS HERE
    Not too long ago I talked about How To Create Photoshop Actions. I think it would be pretty cool if we gathered up all the actions from you guys and put them in a big action set for redistribution. You could use your blog or a Flickr page to describe the steps in the action and show what it does. Then, I could compile the actions in one big set and include a pointer to the web addresses for the tutorial portion that goes along with each action. Might be kind of a nifty way to share some cool actions. We could also do the same with Lightroom/ACR presets — or we could do both.

Ok, so those are three of the better ideas I have rolling around in my head right now. Maybe you love them all or maybe they all suck — I don’t know. Give me an indication as to what you’d be more prone to participate in. Oh, and comments count more than votes on the poll (most of the people who vote on the poll might not actually participate) — so if you feel really strong about a particular project or two, leave a comment and let me know.

{democracy:47}

And don’t forget to check out the results from the last poll: What’s Your Gender? I watched the numbers throughout the entire poll and the shares stayed the same: 33% female, 67% male. That’s 1/3 of you who are female! A bit higher than I expected, but not completely surprising. What IS surprising, however, is that only one out of 14 Fine Art Photoblog portfolio entries came from a female photographer. That is NOT 33% ladies… where the heck are those portfolios?

PhotoNetCast Episode 4 is Available

We just released episode 4 of the PhotoNetCast. In this episode, we spend a good chunk of time talking about photo backups and the different systems and techniques the four of us use. And on a lighter note, we each share an embarrassing or funny mistake that we’ve made in the past — good lessons to learn from. And as with each show, we bring you four new links or websites for you to check out.

PhotoNetCast Episode 4

PhotoDump 05-25-2008

More great stuff this week from the Epic Edits Flickr Pool! We’re approaching another landmark with our group — 5000 photos in the pool. I’m guessing we’ll hit it by next Sunday easy.

In other news, it’s springtime in the northern hemisphere — Flower photos in the pool were in abundance. That’s cool though… lots of great work.

 by Pfenya by TravisTrumanRiviera by TimTim74the day ahead by smiles4angelsSukhothai by tcmmanLoughborough Locals by mustanirWe can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness by sharaffThe Lifeguard by auer1816I Told Ya I'm Sick by mathias.pastwaCan I have some?  Pleeeeeeeease? by Tasha || As The Picture FadesMourning for China @ Loughborough 10 by hitkaisera pleasant surprise is coming your way by poopooramastep light by xgrayI love a sunburnt country. by the_wolf_brigadeMarissa A. Baker by Will FosterThe District Sleeps Alone Tonight by Steffen RustenPGE by skinjesterRules Don't Apply to Ninjas by auer1816jax. bella. by mrpittmanPanel E by ChamplooGhost gum and red rock by small fryTurning Pain by TimTim74Paws for thought! by Aperture Image.com by PfenyaThe Curious Stare by auer1816Bridge to Nowhere by Bernie KasperBodylicious by Marcus LibäckNoc Muzeja - Museum Night by mcvejaneed for speed-2 by Twitching Eyethe light within by s-t-r-a-n-g-eMacro Monday by vandyll.netBeauty with nature by Chica-XCafé life by Stina Stockholm"American Surgeon" by Boris Taratutinv 003 by springtree roadzig-zagging through by poopooramaVida by Miguel_LeónThe Waiting Room! by Aperture Image.comSummer Castaway by javiyTranquility by From 10 to 300mmShattered Self by laanbaa-shopping by dawn m. armfieldThe Jetty by »ishi"The Bean" by Tasha || As The Picture FadesForward to the Past by ChamplooSomewhere Over a Rainbow by Chris Nixonand this is.. by wasabifishBritish Museum Reflection - Hadrian Empire by tyt2000

Link Roundup 05-24-2008

Here’s a funny video on “Art”. Best part – “print making” – I totally didn’t get it until the very end. I’m such a goober.

Use Camerapedia.org to Research Your Next Camera

I’ve been finding myself visiting Camerapedia.org more and more lately, but I keep forgetting to mention it on the blog. This website, similar in structure to the Wikipedia, is dedicated to cameras. It’s a great tool if you’re looking for some basic information on a new camera (or an old one for that matter). Many of the articles in there also have external links to other articles around the web.

Camerapedia.org also has a Flickr group that they pull their graphics from. So if you’re prone to taking photos of your camera gear, you might consider joining the group and contributing to the pool. Who knows, your photos could get used on Camerapedia.org. And if you’re really ambitious, you can donate your camera expertise as an editor.

Camerapedia.org
Flickr Group

Ten Reasons to Love Cross Processed Film

XPRO

First of all, film is great. You guys are probably going to get sick of hearing about film from me over the next couple of months — I just bought two more film cameras (yes, both are Minoltas) and a gob of film to run through them.

I’m fairly new to film, but I’m already starting to set a few personal preferences. I’ve shot two rolls of color film: one roll of Ektachrome cross processed and one roll of Velvia not cross processed. I should’ve cross processed the Velvia too.

Don’t get me wrong, standard color film photos have their place and I’m not knocking them. But for my own artistic preferences, I find the cross processed photos to be more interesting and captivating. Here are some reasons why I love cross processed film — and I’m not talking about the Photoshop Cross Processing Technique — this is the real deal!

1: CLASSIC STYLE

Combine cross processing with the quirks and character of an old camera and glass, and you’ve got a winning combination. These photos can have such a classic look to them, often appearing as if they came from a different era altogether.

kim cathers
Creative Commons License photo credit: kk+

2: DEEP AND DARK

Cross processing tends to darken the shadows of some photos while really pushing the saturation up. This results in a very rich image with deep shadows approaching pure black. A great way to add a dark mood to your photo.

Aiming high
Creative Commons License photo credit: bricolage.108

3: BRIGHT AND COLORFUL

Colors become brighter and bolder than usual when cross processed. Blues, greens, and yellows tend to stand out the most. Additional color casts can also produce wild and unnatural results.

One sign fits all
Creative Commons License photo credit: neil-san

4: SUBTLE

Not all cross processed photos have massive color shifts, huge amounts of contrast, or extreme colors. Sometimes they turn out very subtle. That’s the fun of cross processing — you never know exactly what you’re going to get.

Jess
Creative Commons License photo credit: auer1816

5: OBVIOUS

On the other hand, some cross processed photos turn out with extremely heavy color shifts and very obvious tints. Some even appear to be duotone in nature.

...
Creative Commons License photo credit: mentitore

6: GREEN

The green shift is very common, and it’s a classic cross processed look.

Hell's Angel
Creative Commons License photo credit: Chick Dastardly

7: BLUE

Blues are also pretty typical, giving a slightly different feel to the photo. Blues and greens can often be found together.

Calcio malato
Creative Commons License photo credit: boskizzi

8: RED

Reds are less typical, but can be produced by using the right films and chemicals. Magentas also usually tag along with the reds.

west pier sunrise
Creative Commons License photo credit: slimmer_jimmer

9: YELLOW

I see even fewer yellows than reds, but the effect can be brilliant.

footsies
Creative Commons License photo credit: johnnyalive

10: EXTRAORDINARY

The coolest thing about cross processed film is that you can take a photo of something fairly ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary. The new textures, colors, and contrasts bring a whole different view to the image.

What Happens In Boracay
Creative Commons License photo credit: bullish1974

So seriously, if you’re like me and you start shooting film after digital, grab a few rolls of different color films and have them cross processed. You’re not likely to be let down by the results!