Saturday, June 1, 2013

A trip to the garden

Naturally, it's the Brooklyn Botanic Garden one of the city's true gems and the original intent of this visit was to enjoy the rose garden that opened today,  June first. The roses were wonderful but what caught my eye was a patch of peonies of disparate colors. The camera was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 with an Olympus micro four thirds zoom.

RAID style mirrowing card a reality

Just like RAID back up  hard drives, we now have RAID back up CF cards. Nice.

Japanese company Amulet is   releasing a CompactFlash card that allows images and video files to be backed up instantly using RAID-style 'mirroring'. In mirroring mode, the card effectively becomes two storage devices, and records images to both partitions simultaneously. As such, a 64GB card offers 32GB of actual storage space in mirroring mode.
Many professional DSLRs offer twin card slots to allow for backup storage (in case of hardware failure) but the new Wise CF Card Duo effectively manages this trick in a single CF card.  This may appeal to photographers because a corrupted image  means a bad  screw up.  But the two card system is better. If the card fails would not be rational to think that both partitions will also fail. This is after all not a mechanical device. We shall see.
In its standard mode, the card offers 60/50MB/sec read/write speed, which drops to 30/25MB/s in mirroring mode, making it suitable for recording still images and HD video in both modes. The card can be switched between standard and mirroring mode at will, although formatting is required after switching. The 'Wise CF Card Duo' will be released on June 14th in 64GB (32GB mirroring) capacity - price and availability still to be confirmed. So what else is new.

Friday, May 31, 2013

With patience, you get the smile

Children are very difficult subjects. This child, at an event by Family and Children's Association, an old client, was very sad and I had to be very patient and creative to finally elicit a smile of sorts.

Death be not proud....

We have stated many times in the past, professional cameras and professional photography are nearing death. In the sphere of photojournalism with all the phones and cameras always present, any event will be recorded in real time. There is no need for the pros. There's no need for the fancy show off cameras. I am surprises as how fast this is all happening. After all this is progress and it cannot be stopped. With all the money I can save on new and improves cameras I can take more trips and eat at better restaurants. The silver lining? You bet.

Chicago Sun-Times lays off entire photo staff: switches to freelancers

May 30, 2013 

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance reporters and photographers in future to save costs. The layoffs, which are believed to take effect immediately, were announced to the 28-strong photo staff on Thursday morning. In a statement issued by the paper, it suggested that the move was in response to a demand for 'more video content' from its audience.

Statement from Chicago Sun-Times

"The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network."
The Sun-Times is Chicago's oldest continuously-published newspaper. Today, the paper laid off its entire 28 person-strong photo staff. 
The Sun-Times is the oldest continuously-published newspaper in Chicago's history, and began life in 1844 as the Chicago Evening Journal. It has won numerous awards, including eight Pulitzer prizes, two of which were for photography. One of those Pulitzers was won by photographer John H. White in 1982; he is believed to be among the full-time staff members who lost their jobs today.
We spoke to Dean Rutz - a staff photographer for the Seattle Times about today's news. Dean is from Chicago, where his father was an executive at the Tribune. Here's what he had to say:
'It's incredibly disheartening to read news like this. And it's incredibly short-sighted. The Washington Times and Newsday did the same thing, and it didn't work out too well for either. It's a terrible overreach by executives who don't appear to understand their own product. They haven't connected the dots on how this affects their product. It's a reactionary cost-savings measure that ends up creating other costs and problems they haven't considered. It denigrates the product, and they'll recognize that in very short order.'
[...] Newspapers that see photo departments as service organizations - meaning pictures are an accompaniment to a story, versus something that stands on its own - see that service as something that can be provided by anyone.'
[...] they don't understand the soul these guys brought to the printed page - and that's what's about to happen to the Sun-Times: the soul is going to be cut right out of it. The personality of this very vibrant city is going to be lost on the printed page. Those images that gave it character and presence and heart and emotion will be replaced by something less [...]. There's a price to be paid for that. It's just a question of when they feel it.'
 Pure BS. The photos may actually be better, Not as contrived.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

They are now in season

The clematis are now in season. They do not last long but they put on a great show. These were shot with the Canon 5-D.

Another milestone for Canon

Back in the days, it used to be all Nikon if you were a pro. Things changed when the EOS mount was introduced and Canon began its ascendancy.

Canon just produced their 90-milionth EF-series lens

Canon-EF-line-up-2013.jpgCanon has seen several milestones since they began production of their EOS film SLRs back in 1987, and on May 23rd, they achieved yet another. While producing EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM lenses that day, Canon surpassed the 90 million mark for their entire EF-series of lenses. If you remember, just this past August they were celebrating the creation of their 80-millionth EF lens. 10 million new lenses in just 9 months is pretty amazing, so we can see why Canon is so proud of this accomplishment. The bad news was that all the old and great canon FL and FD lenses became obsolete. Nikon never did that. I can use really old Nikkors on my latest Nikon DSLR's.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

La campagna toscana

The Tuscan countryside is full of colors that are emphasized by the bright sun. These shots have been posted before but they are worth a second look. They were shot back in April of 2007 with the Nikon D-200.


Can this be it?

Leica has been teasing us with the hint that a mini M will be released on June 11. Can this be the one? To bea true M, it must have a viewfnder. Leica M stands for 'Messsucher', which is German for "rangefinder."  
Go figure. It may sport an EVF made by Panasonic but with a Leica brand name that doubles it's price.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where are all the people?

These photos shot in a beautiful April afternoon in downtown Philadelphia show a wonderful civic center but for a New Yorker used to see throngs of people it left me cold. I just love the crowds, the noise, the energy that the multitudes produce. I know; it's just my personal preference.

Greetings from New York

After the rain in Madison Square Park on a wintry evening.

Panasonic LX-7

Monday, May 27, 2013

The perils of a super wide zoom

These shots of  Piazza San Marco in Venice were made with a Sigma 12-24 mm zoom on the 1.5 X factor sensor  of the Nikon D-200 that resulted in an actual wide  angle of 18 mm. Still pretty wide but not as problematic as a real 12mm on a FF sensor like the Nikon D 700 or on any regular 35mm SLR. I did play  with some   perspective control on Photo Shop but just  slightly as it can get very messy real soon if this tool is not used carefully. The best thing is to be careful when shooting the original image.

One from the back yard

Shot with the Panasonic DMC-GX1 and a Nikkor 24mm F 1:2.8 at F 8. The versatility of this camera is amazing.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A few from Lucca

I have posted images from this lovely Tuscan walled city before and I keep finding more interesting things to post.