Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One more photograph from previous set up

This is another one from that $70 2-"cool"-light set up, slightly toned.

Monday, January 07, 2008

What I'd like to see in the digital progress

I'd like to see sensor improvements in noise handling far more than a pixel count (which has already reached an above-needed level, especially in small cameras). Call it "Quality over Quantity".

There should be a focus on cutting down the noise AND some strict standard of testing for such, by which ALL manufacturers would have to go by - well, that's a pipe dream.

I'd like to see serious effort on manufacturer's part, to put some R&D into a DSLR (for starters) that has replaceable guts, especially the sensor, CPU, and buffer, so we stop spending money on the box, instead we upgrade what really counts. And while at it, why not make it an OPEN standard so third parties can come in and HELP along the way.

There should be more focus on file format development, so JPG is scrapped entirely (and ANY lossy format prohibited from ever reaching the market). Here I do believe, that there is no reason to continue with JPG for any longer than necessary. I'm not talking RAW as we know it now (and forget TIFF altogether), I mean a format that does not loose or restrict anything from the original and NEVER will. Here may I mention the OpenRAW effort (which it seems has gone nowhere). What I'd like to see is a format that gives me what film always has - I shoot, I take care of archiving with best methods available, but what I shot is accessible to ME forever, no camera maker, no software developer will EVER have a chance to change that. NONE of these things are currently true.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Simple portrait in B&W

This simple portrait was shot using a $70 2-"cool"-light set-up with umbrellas. Not ideal, but quite satisfactory. Some more tweaking and would be even better.

Elements of Black and White Photography, review

Written by George E. Todd and subtitled "The making of twenty images". I have recently purchased this wonderful book for $5.00 and this is one of the better five bucks I have spent in recent times. I thought it would be only logical to review it here.

What struck me most at first , were the great many images that span the whole book. It's quite refreshing to see that in a photography techniques publication.

Book pertains to traditional B&W photography and covers just about every aspect, from exposing film to printing. Author uses a phrase from a fortune cookie to get the reader on the right track:

"None of the secrets of success will work, unless you do"

The layout is quite interesting and Mr. Todd takes the reader through the "... making of twenty images" by explaining entire thought process, from what he had found at the "scene", how it was evaluated, how it was shot, processed and printed. All technical data is given for every image.

Above is a sample page. The proof is shown along with the chosen frame, which will eventually become the final image.

As he goes through the paces of making a photograph, he focuses on certain aspects of the process, that was unique to that particular image. By the end of the book, most technical corners are covered.

Zone System isn't forgotten either, including a short but accurate discussion on defining ones personal film speed. In addition printing with the SplitGrade system is also covered as well as archival permanence, matting and exhibiting. Add to that a few good points on composition and you have found yourself a fantastic book that should help most aspiring photographers better their technique, even take it to a whole new level.

This however, is NOT the all-in-one book. So until you see it in person, don't throw away the rest of your library just yet.