Archive for July, 2010

Some Photo Sites and Blogs I Follow

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

[by Fritz] I check Rob Galbraith’s news site every day. It’s really well done and quick to read. Rob is Canadian (Calgary), but the content is of broad interest and he’s popular on both sides of the border. They filter through all of the photography noise out there – new gear, software, announcements, photographers, web launches, trends, events, awards – and present a couple of postings with a good summary and a bit of opinion. Rob and his colleagues also do their own technical analyses of gear performance, and they understand the business of photography. A couple of years ago we were lucky enough to have Mike at Galbraith write a post about my portfolio, and we enjoyed a spike in web hits for weeks.

I monitor the Luminous Landscape website which is run by a Canadian from out east, Michael Reichmann. The site design is horrendous, but they have passionate gear reviews and they’re right on top of camera technology. They do pretty detailed analysis and opinion pieces that can be very useful.

Joe McNally has more Facebook fans than the population of the city where I live. Joe is a working photographer who’s been in the biz for years, and he’s a master of social media. His blog entries are always good for a chuckle. Sometimes they’re informative in terms of photo technique and business, and occasionally his philosophical entries verge on profound. Joe’s self-deprecating, guy-next-door style makes for a good read.

I actually do follow Vince Laforet’s blog. It can be hit and miss, but he’s a good photographer and he’s an early adopter. I think some of his suggestions are so heavy from his technology love affair that they’re a bit ridiculous, but he’s so into it that he’s on top of the trends and he’s an industry leader.

To help stay on top of developments on the software front, I occasionally check Photoshop News, Lightroom Journal and Jack Nack on Adobe.

For a creative hit, one of the places I occasionally check is Burn magazine. This used to be David Allan Harvey’s blog and now it’s evolved into Burn. It’s photojournalism – issues, often dark and moody, controversial, weird, inspirational, all over the map. Sometimes I wonder, what are they smoking? Other times I see something amazing and am really inspired.

High-ISO nights on the world’s tallest mountain

Monday, July 12th, 2010

[by Fritz] Recently I had the chance to do some night shooting on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea using my new Canon 1D Mark IV. I spent five evenings shooting on the summit in the freezing cold, and like a lot of visitors to Hawaii, I resorted to using socks for mittens. Low-tech gloves, high-tech camera – feels like science fiction. With fast lenses and ISO settings of 6,400 or higher, I can shoot in almost complete darkness and freeze stars as single points just as they look to the human eye – no more long exposures with circular star trails. Canon’s high-ISO camera combined with the new noise reduction in Adobe Photoshop CS5 produces phenomenal results.

The real sci-fi story is at the top of Mauna Kea where there’s over a billion dollars worth of telescopes, radio dishes and lasers searching the sky. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano with an elevation of 13,800 feet, and from the ocean floor it measures 30,000 feet, making it the world’s tallest mountain. In the middle of the Pacific with clear, stable conditions above the clouds, it’s one of the best places in the world for astronomy, which is why 13 international observatories are clustered on the summit. It’s the most outrageous stargazing I’ve ever done.