Monday, January 29, 2007

The Digital Gray Card

If you're shooting RAW, then you need a digital gray card. This is not for exposure; it's used for color balance. I've been using a WhiBal for about a year now. It is a LIFE SAVER!

Adobe Photoshop LIGHTROOM

Lightroom 1.0 has just been released for purchase for all you Digi Photo folks. It is $200 until April 30, then it goes to $300. It will ship out mid-February. I think this will be another benchmark for digital photography. Apple's Aperture is the only other competetor out there right now. And since Aperture doesn't run on a G4, I guess I'll be using Lightroom.

You can't tell this as I'm writing, but I'm actually drooling just a little bit.

Click HERE for more info about Lightroom.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Da Bidness

For those of you with a nose for news and an interest in making it as a professional photographer, check out John Harrington's blog for the inside scoop HERE. He also just released a pretty decent book called "Best Business Prectices for Photographers." However, the blog is free.

Here's a fun EXAMPLE that might hit home with some of us! I definitely have to agree with John on this one.

Eye Candy

I was at Joseph Beth over the weekend. They really have a nice selection of photographic periodicals (a.k.a., magazines), and not a bad collection of books either. (What I would especially recommend are the ones that deal more with the art of photography and the creative process, not just gear and techinical stuff.) They had a new magazine that caught my eye called JPG. Some really nice articles, such as how to retrofit your digital SLR with a Holga lens and a number of excellent photo essays.

So maybe next weekend, grab a friend, go to JB's, get a cup of coffee, and check out some of their great magazines.

(Within walking distance: Sqecial Media also has some excellent photo mags; just try not to get too distracted by all the awesome toys.)


For all of us shooting and printing with traditional black and white materials, there is an excellent opportunity brought to us by the folks at Ilford and Calumet. They are having there 2nd annual silver-print competition (a.k.a., a black and white photograph). The entry deadline is coming up in the next few months: between February 15 and March 16 to be exact. There will actually be a conference, although making it to Pasadena, CA during the last third of the semester might be a long shot. Entry fees are only $15 to submit 3 entrees for students! First prize for students is $1000!!! We should all seriously consider this opportunity. If you do it, I'll do it. Let's talk after class.

For more details click HERE.

The Nature of a Photograph

One of the things that seems most powerful about a photograph is its ability to capture the ephemeral. It reveals the essence of a certain place or person in a moment. That moment becomes an eternal pause, allowing our eyes and mind to contemplate a reality that might not have be visible without the camera or photographic medium.

And perhaps too, that is why it is so difficult to create the photograph that lasts. All things must come together at once: light, subject, composition, and the magic if a specific moment, frozen in time.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Some Phaidon 55 Links

55's as seen in class at Calumet
Try this link at Amazon.
This is a Listmania link at Amazon.
Here is one at Barnes & Noble.

And if you hurry, they actually have a lot of these books at the Fine Arts Library up on the second floor in the TR section!!!

B&H Shopping List for UK

Here are some links to recommended materials at B&H:

Fiber Based Paper
Ilford Multigrade IV Variable Contrast Fiber Base Paper $62.39

Ilford HP5plus $3.49
Ilford Delta 400 $4.59
Kodak T-Max 400 $4.99
Kodak Tri-X $3.69

Negative Sleeves
Print File 35-7b $5.95

3 Ring Storage Box (Work Box)
Besfile Archival Binder $8.95

Delta Thermometer $4.95

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back In The Saddle Again

Alright, 2007. The break is almost over and we're just about ready for the Spring semester. Time to actually wake up from hibernating and do something. How about making photographs!

My break was pretty nice. Santa was good to me this year. Apparently he stopped by and picked up a load of photo books for me. My favorite, Elliott Erwitts "Snaps." If any of you made it to see him at R.C. May Lecture last Fall, you got a taste of this book. This is a 540+ page book of excellent photography. You'll have to see it to believe it. #2, I got a beautiful book of Abelardo Morrell's work (pictured above). Phaidon Press, what else do I need to say? Some technical books I got: Michael Grecco's "Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait," (not bad at all) and "Designing a Digital Portfolio," by Cynthia Baron, an outstanding resource. Oh yeah, and John Harrington's book, "Best Business Practices for Photographers," (a serious business book, which is a bit over my head).

I also had a great treat yesterday. I went with Jeff Rogers and Matt Anderson to Louisville for a photo workshop with Michael Wilson. If you remember before, he was on my Hero list. It's pretty cool when you get to meet someone you admire, and Michael was really nice. He seems to be the "quiet waters that run deep" kind of guy. I also got to go out to lunch with him. If you'd like to see some of his work, check out his site here. He's well know for his portraiture of musicians, such as Over the Rhine, Lyle Lovett.

Sorry I haven't written in a while. Things get hectic after Thanksgiving and into finals, as if you didn't know already. Actually, I got stuck on the island of "Lost," trying to look cool...or was that a cemeteray in Louisville.