Archive for August, 2008

Epson Artisan 700 & 800 Printers

August 27, 2008

LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 27, 2008 – Epson America Inc. today introduced the Artisan™ 800 and Artisan 700, two new all-in-ones that are likely to become the envy of the industry based on their superb performance, highly sought-after features and stylish piano black finish. The Artisan series is perfect for the modern household where many users can share a single product and fits well in a living room or home office environment.

“The Artisan series basically gives users everything but the kitchen sink in terms of features and performance,” said Steve Semos, product manager, consumer ink jets, Epson America Inc. “More importantly, these benefits enable users to express their creative side in ways never before imagined. At Epson we’ve built our reputation on giving our customers the industry’s best image quality, and this flagship line is a key milestone in that tradition.”

Overview

  • 4 in 1 with WiFi: Print / Copy / Scan / Ultra Hi-Def Photo
  • Up to 38 ppm, photos in as fast as 10 sec1
  • Auto Photo Correction; preview on LCD
  • Professional quality CD/DVD printing
  • Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking
  • Two-sided printing saves paper
  • Two-year limited warranty with registration1
  • Scan and restore faded photos
  • Ultra Hi-Definition photos last 4x longer than photo lab prints
  • Two paper trays always ready to print photos and documents
  • Print personal note paper & greeting cards

Epson America Introduces Artisan All-in-One Printers (Imaging-Resource.Com)

Eye-Fi Collaborates w/ Nikon for “Eye-Fi Connected”

August 27, 2008

Eye-Fi, Inc.(www.eye.fi), makers of the world’s first wireless memory card for digital cameras, today announced that it collaborated with Nikon Corporation, a world leader in digital imaging and precision optics, to deliver enhanced integration of its Eye-Fi cards with Nikon’s newly announced digital SLR camera, Nikon D90. The D90 is Nikon’s second “Eye-Fi Connected” camera, following the Nikon D60, which was released earlier this year. Eye-Fi Connected cameras make it easier for photographers to use their Eye-Fi cards to wirelessly upload images to their computer or favorite online photo sharing site.

Eye-Fi Official Press Release.

Trip to Jim Thorpe, PA

August 27, 2008

I spent three very enjoyable days (August 21-24) on a photography and mountain biking trip to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Jim Thorpe is a very small town (named after the famous athlete) located in the Western Pocono Mountains, approximately 2.5 hours from New York City.

I went to Jim Thorpe with the intention of photographing a 25 mile organized bike trip I was making through the Lehigh Gorge. As it turned out, the biking was fantastic but the photography was poor due to the very bright harsh sunlight encountered on the day of our trip. Since light is everything in photography, I packed my camera in my Lowe-Pro Slingshot bag and left it there unused for the entire 5 hour ride. I could have tried using a polarizing filter to cut glare or made images in the shade, or used fill flash to shoot portraits but decided against these options preferring to enjoy the beautiful scenery and bike ride instead.

One important aspect of photography I have learned over the years is knowing when to shoot and when not to. I will rarely if ever, photograph in bad light even when presented with a good subject. It’s just not worth it.

I spent the next two days in Jim Thorpe photographing architecture and old trains very early in the day and again in the late afternoons and early evenings. I carried with me my Nikon D300 with the new Nikon 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 ED VR lens. I really liked using this lens. I found it equally as sharp and much lighter in weight than my professional 17-55 2.8 ED zoom when stopped down to an aperture of f8. There is some barrel distortion that shows up at the 16 to 24mm settings which affected some my architectural photos but this is a normal phenomenon common to most consumer and some professional grade zoom lenses. The Vibration Reduction feature built into the 16-85 was a godsend and worked as advertised allowing me to shoot at 3 stops below the recommended minimum shutter speed of 1/focal length for hand-holding. With VR activated, I was able to shoot down to 1/15 sec. and obtain sharp photos.

If you are an outdoors oriented individual and enjoy bike riding, hiking, historical sites, fishing, scenic drives and photography, a visit to the town of Jim Thorpe will be worth the time and expense.

A few examples of the images I made on this trip are presented below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New Nikon D90 Digital SLR Adds High-Def Video Recording

August 27, 2008

Nikon D90 Adds High-Def Video Recording – Yahoo! News.

Nikon on Wednesday announced its new D90 D-SLR, an update to the PC Magazine Editors’ Choice D80. The D90 has an almost identical look as its predecessor, but boasts notable improvements including 12.3-megapixel capture, a new “Expeed” image processor for faster captures and improved picture quality, a “Live View” option, and the ability to capture high-definition video at a resolution of 1280-by-720 at 24 frames per second.

The new D90 from Nikon is the digital SLR designed for those looking for high quality at a cost effecient price.  Nikon has been known for years to provide quality images and with a 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and the ability to shoot 4.5 fps, the tradition of Nikon shall continue; however the D90 will bring a twist.  High quality video far superior to that in point and shoot digital cameras. The D90 has the ability to record cinematic-quality movie clips at up to 720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels) in Motion JPEG format utilizing Nikon mounted optics.

Available in September 2008, the D90 is the perfect combination of point and shoot conveniences and professional quality all for an effecient price.  An excellent introduction to Digital SLRs for aspiring photographers as well as an excellent back up body for professional photographers.

Olympus Unveils Tap-Controlled Digital Camera Stylus 1050 SW

August 26, 2008

Here’s a camera that implements the same sort of technology found in the current generation of game consoles: tap and motion detection control its various operations.

From newsfactor-via-yahoo:

[T]he camera’s main claim is that it can be controlled by means of a simple tap on its top, back or sides. The camera’s built-in 3-D accelerometer detects the direction of the force impinging on the camera’s body and converts it into individual commands. To activate the camera’s flash or built-in shadow-adjustment technology, the user simply needs to tap twice on the camera’s side.

The tap technology could come in handy whenever users operate the device under less-than-optimal environmental conditions, such as when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. For example, users forced to wear gloves will find it much easier to tap on the camera’s body than push a button or adjust a knob.

Even better, the lightweight, aluminum exterior of the Stylus 1050 SW mates with interior rubber gaskets and O-rings that tightly seal out the elements. According to Olympus, the seals enable the new camera to function normally while submerged to depths of approximately 10 feet (three meters).

The Olympus site has a nice presentation of the new cameras here.

Olympus Unveils Tap-Controlled Digital Camera – Yahoo News.

Canon Announces Two New Selphy Compact Printers

August 26, 2008

Canon U.S.A., Inc. a leader in digital imaging, today announced two new additions to the popular SELPHY compact photo printer line: the SELPHY ES3 and SELPHY ES30. A first for a Canon compact photo printer, the SELPHY ES3 will now include one gigabyte of internal flash memory for storage of memorable photos. With significantly more creative options to embellish photos, digital photographers and scrapbookers will be able to customize their photos more than ever before using these new printers.

Canon Press Release Of SELPHY Printers

New Canon PowerShot E1 10 Megapixel Digital Camera

August 26, 2008

Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging, is expanding its iconic PowerShot digital camera line with the introduction of its new, stylish and easy-to-use PowerShot E1 digital camera, targeted to the teen and tween markets. Whether taking photos with a “BFF” at a slumber party, snapping shots while watching a hot band perform or capturing cap-and-gown moments for a scrapbook or brag book, the PowerShot E1 digital camera offers just the right combination of intuition and style.

Sporting a rounded and curvy, yet trendy form factor, the camera comes packed with the features and technology consumers have come to expect from Canon.  Ideal for the on-the-go, fashion-conscious teen who relishes being a trendsetter, the PowerShot E1 digital camera is available in three new eye-catching colors including white, blue and pink. Teens and tweens can now capture every “OMG moment,” with the option of 17 shooting modes, including Easy Mode and Scene Mode. In Easy Mode, the camera limits the shooting and playback functions to the basics for easy operation, creating ease-of-use for even the most entry-level camera owner. What’s more, consumers will never miss a shot, either home or away, because the camera uses readily available AA batteries.

Press Release For Canon Powershot E1.

Microsoft site makes digital photos into panoramas

August 22, 2008

Screenshot of Microsoft's newest online photo tool, Microsoft recently launched Photosynth from the Microsoft Live Labs. The site lets you combine photographs to create panoramic views – and a bit more.

Imagine being able to share the places and things you love using the cinematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world. With nothing more than a bunch of photos, Photosynth creates an amazing new experience.

You’ll be asked to install the photosynth plugin (under Firefox) or ActiveX Control (IE) to view the “synths.” I found no noticeable difference between the two.

To get you started, here’s a direct link to Rick’s Potting Shed, a walk around the potting shed of one of Photosynth’s fathers.

Microsoft site makes digital photos into panoramas

Upcoming Photo Classes

August 13, 2008

There are three classes being held at Unique Photo in the next couple of weeks that will be of interest to intermediate and advanced photographers interested in learning lighting techniques and color management.

The first course is Lighting Techniques for the intermediate and advanced photographer scheduled for Thursday, August, 28 from 6 to 8PM. This course is for photographers who want to become more proficient in the use of professional strobe lighting equipment. In this class, you will learn how to create professional quality portraits using Butterfly/Hollywood Glamor Lighting, 45 degree Rembrandt Lighting, Profile/Rim Lighting, Loop Lighting, Split/Hatchet/Slash Lighting, Ring Lighting and Hard and Soft Lighting set-ups. The instructor for this class is Jim Morton. Jim is the Director of Educational Sales at Dyna-Lite, Inc. located in Union, New Jersey. Jim will be demonstrating Dyna-Lite professional flash equipment during his presentation.

The second class is Learning the Nikon Wireless Flash System with Christopher Knapp from Nikon Technical Services. In his two-how presentation on Thursday evening, September 11, from 7 to 9PM, Chris will demonstrate how to use Nikon’s complete line of Speedlights including the new SB-900 flash.

The third session held on Wednesday, September 24, from 6 to 8PM is titled, “Understanding Color Management”. The instructor for this program is Joe Brady who is the manager of graphic arts and color systems with the MAC Group, in Elmsford, NY. Joe will present a detailed and comprehensive overview of color management and describe why its critical to digital photographers. In addition, Joe will demonstrate color management software and tools available from the MAC Group.

To register for these courses please click on the following link: www.unique-university.com

Hot-Air Balloon Photography

August 11, 2008

On July 25-27, 2008, I attended the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ. This event has been held annually at this location since 1983. If the weather conditions are ideal as far as wind and storms are concerned, photographers have the opportunity to shoot as many as 150 balloons in the air at one time.

Photographing hot air balloons is more difficult than one might imagine. In order to produce high quality images of hot air balloons, photographers need more than a basic understanding of composition, exposure, camera settings and lens focal lengths.

If you are a beginner, make sure you are familiar with your camera so you can operate it quickly without hesitation when action is happening fast. Based on my experience, the ideal lens for balloon photography is a zoom in the range of 18-200 mm (on a cropped sensor DSLR) with vibration reduction or image stabilization capabilities. In addition, make sure you have extra batteries and a high capacity memory card (s).

Hot air Balloon Photography Tips:

  • Shoot creative and unique compositions using your artistic design skills. Try to avoid the typical tourist or record shot.
  • Tell a story with your photos by shooting a variety of images including flight crews at work, balloon inflation, balloons in flight, balloons landings, balloon glow (inflation of balloons in the late evening or in the dark) as well as the many spectators present (especially kids).
  • Zoom in tight and fill the frame with the balloons to empahise their color, detailed patterns and shapes.
  • In addition to tight close-ups, use a wide angle lens to capture the dozens of balloons that will be in flight at one time.
  • Make as many photographs as possible at the beginning or start of a launch before the balloons get too high in the sky.
  • If possible, try to obtain access to the launch area to get shots of the flight crew setting up and inflating their balloons.
  • I prefer to compose my images with many balloons instead of one singe balloon. This leads to more interesting compositions.
  • Attempt to capture the local scenery along with the balloons. Look for reflections in bodies of water if possible.
  • Action happens very fast. Get in position early and be thourghly familiar with your camera’s features, settings and controls.
  • Shoot as many images as possible when action is happening. This isn’t the type of photography to be conservative as far as saving memory card space or using film.
  • Don’t waste time reviewing your images on your camera’s LCD. Wait until later and do this on your computer
  • Include people in your photographs to provide a sense of scale
  • Balloons launch early and late in the day so the light is usually ideal. Work with front, side and back light
  • Shoot in RAW if your camera has this setting. Since you will be working quickly, exposure and white balance errors can be fixed later in post proccessing.
  • Be sure to shoot in both the vertical and horizontal formats. Many of my most successful images are shot vertically.
  • You may need to shoot at a higher IS0 (depending on the intensity of the light) to keep your shutter speeds high and allow for greater depth of field.

The next balloon festival I will be attending is the Pocono Balloon Festival at Shawnee Mountain, PA on October 17, 18, and 19. Hope to see you there.