Archive for October, 2008

Tracking Fast Moving Subjects

October 29, 2008

This past summer, I acquired a Nikon D300 DSLR to use for action photography. Using the new autofocus system built into this camera, my percentage of sharp and in focus images of fast moving subjects has drastically increased.

As most of you know, I spend a lot of time shooting nature and wildlife. Last week, I traveled to Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge in NJ to photograph waterfowl and wading birds. As usual when visiting this refuge, I came home with some very nice wildlife portraits using my 500mm lens. In addition to the 500mm, I worked with my 70-200 2.8 AFS VR lens to capture some action shots.

The D300 with the 70-200mm AFS VR (with and without the TC14E 1.4 converter attached) is a killer combination for action photography. With the 1.5 crop factor applied, the 70-200 2.8 becomes a 100-300 2.8 (150 – 450mm f4 with the 1.4).

In order to capture action shots, I set my camera to the continuous focusing mode and select the 51 point autofocusing option. In my experience, the 51 point option works best for action photography of birds and waterfowl. My technique is to allow the camera’s AF system to lock onto a target while the subject is some distance away and select the left AF point placing it on the subject’s head. This technique assures good composition and allows the camera to track the target accurately.

Don’t expect to produce tack sharp and in focus images of fast moving subjects 100% of the time even with the latest technology. It takes a lot of practice and experience using these systems before you can ever get anywhere close to this number.

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

Night Heron in Flight

Snowy Egret in Flight



October 26, 2008

Chicago, October 26, 2008 – At Graph Expo, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging and office solutions, today unveiled its new black-and-white imagePRESS 1135/1125/1110 and imagePRESS C1+, the first color device with clear toner for the light production and proofing markets. In addition, Canon’s recently introduced imagePROGRAF iPF6000S and iPF6200 will be making their Graph Expo debut this week at the Canon booth


Kodak Thermal Platinum Digital Plate Brings Improved Productivity and Performance to Printers in the United States and Canada

October 26, 2008

Chicago, IL, October 26 — Kodak announces improvements to its award winning family of preheat thermal digital plates with the introduction of the KODAK THERMAL PLATINUM Digital Plate. This exciting new plate technology offers enhancements to image quality and consistency while gaining production efficiencies through improved imaging latitude, faster processing speeds, longer chemical cycles, and increased durability that reduces the need for post baking in many applications.

Kodak News Release.

Apple Aperture 2.1.2 Upgrade

October 21, 2008

What’s New in this Version Aperture 2.1.2?
– The Aperture 2.1.2 update improves the printing quality of books, cards and calendars ordered through the Aperture printing service. The update is recommended for all customers using Aperture 2.

Aperture 2.1.2.

Canon Introduces New 24″ S-Series Printer

October 17, 2008

LAKE SUCCESS N.Y., October 15, 2008 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leading provider of office imaging systems, inkjet technology and digital photography equipment, today announced the release of the imagePROGRAF iPF6000S, a 24-inch wide large format printer using eight colors of LUCIA pigment ink, specifically targeted for graphic art professionals and print-for-pay (PFP) establishments.

The iPF6000S is a new addition to Canon’s award-winning, speedy, eight-color large format printer line, the S-Series. The new iPF6000S can print up to 24-inches wide, both on roll and cut sheet while maintaining a speed that is more than 30 percent faster than its 12-color sibling, the iPF6100*. The iPF6000S can finish an A1 (23.6 inches x 33.1inches)-sized print on glossy photographic paper at 2400 x 1200 dots-per-inch (dpi) in the high-quality print mode within 4 minutes**. Using LUCIA pigment ink and microscopic four picoliter droplets, the iPF6000S produces high-quality, vivid photographic images at notably high speeds.

Canon Press Release.


October 16, 2008

On October 14th the photographic community mourned as William Claxton passed away from complications caused by congestive heart failure one day short of his 81st birthday. William Claxton was by trade a photographer, but to those who met him he was so much more than that. Claxton saw his subjects for what they were and not who they were. In a time when Jazz artists were portrayed as always in dark, smoke filled bars Claxton would frequently take his subjects outside into the light as they walked the beaches or drove in their convertibles.

His subjects which included the whose who of musicians like Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, and Frank Sinatra. The rest of Hollywood soon came calling for his style of portraiture as he created enduring images of movie stars like Steve McQueen, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlene Dietrich. Mr. Claxton often said he succeeded in celebrity photography by promising not to portray subjects in a negative way or capitalizing on any of their weakness.

During a break in a recording session with Ray Charles in 1962, Mr. Claxton led Charles from instrument to instrument so he could feel them, the equivalent for the sightless singer of seeing them for the first time. Charles was thrilled, and Mr. Claxton captured images of Ray that perhaps no other photographer would have captured. His compassion and understanding of Charles’s blindness allowed Ray to simply be Ray, and not Ray Charles the musician.

By the time he started photographing musician’s full time he searched for ways to define them as people, not just as performers. He wanted to capture the innate drama in their lives, the fun, the anxiety, and their eternal youthfulness. This was near the dawn of the LP, when record covers held vast artistic potential; while scouting for ideas, Claxton created his style. “Most of the jazz photography before me showed sweaty musicians with shiny faces in dark, smoky little bars,” he says. “That was jazz to most people. But being on the West Coast, I wanted to bring out the fact that musicians here were living in such a health conscious environment. So I purposely put them on the beach or in the mountains or on the road in their convertibles.”

Claxton had done such a fine job capturing the true essence of his subjects that soon they began in a way to document him. In 1956 Shorty Rogers wrote and recorded “Clickin’ with Clax”; Al Cohn followed suit that year with ” Sound Claxton!” Then in 1990, a young Canadian sax player named Dan St. Marseille called Claxton to ask if he would photograph him for his first CD. Years later Dan composed a tune for Claxton that he called it “Claxography”.

Through his career Claxton worked with a variety of celebrities from both the film and music industries. His way of seeing his subjects for who they were generated some of the more open and honest images you will find. Just as they opened up to him, he would at times open up to them. What some would view as a photographer and a subject, others saw as just William and Steve. There friendship began one day when Claxton met with McQueen and before they began taking pictures they spent the majority of the portrait time by comparing their sports cars (McQueen’s Ferrari and his Porsche) in the studio parking lot. He then let McQueen play with his camera and focus on him so McQueen could sense the joy of taking pictures; similar to the joy they both spoke of in driving their cars. This event was the beginning of what later became a book based on years of images taken during the course of their friendship.

In an age of paparazzi and TMZ, celebrities are under constant surveillance and scrutiny and more often then not they have to live up to how they are perceived 24/7. The photographic style of William Claxton has helped define a generation of musicians, actors, but also any photographer who has followed his work. Although he is now gone, his images will carry on and continue to inspire the photographers of tomorrow with the images of yesterday.

William Claxton

William Claxton

Canon Releases the imagePROGRAF iPF6000S

October 15, 2008

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leading provider of office imaging systems, inkjet technology and digital photography equipment, today announced the release of the imagePROGRAF iPF6000S, a 24-inch wide large format printer using eight colors of LUCIA pigment ink, specifically targeted for graphic art professionals and print-for-pay (PFP) establishments.

About Canon: Press Room > Press Release.

Adobe CS4 Is Now Available!

October 15, 2008

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Oct. 15, 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the immediate availability of the Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 product family, the highly-anticipated release of industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow. Delivering radical breakthroughs in workflow efficiency – and packed with hundreds of innovative, time saving features – the new Creative Suite 4 product line advances the creative process across print, Web, interactive, film, video and mobile.

Customers can choose from six new versions: Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, Web Standard, Production Premium and Master Collection. The combination of Creative Suite and the new capabilities of Adobe Flash® Player 10, also available today (see separate press release) deliver new levels of creativity and expressiveness across media channels. Designers using the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product family will gain unprecedented creative control using the new expressive features and visual performance improvements in
Adobe Flash Player 10 to deliver breakthrough Web experiences across multiple browsers and operating systems.

Official Press Release from Adobe PDF

Nikon Press Center – NIKON D Series Digital SLR Camera wins J.D. Power & Associates Award 2 Years In A Row!

October 14, 2008

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Oct. 14, 2008) – For the second consecutive year, Nikon D Series Cameras rank “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Digital SLR cameras,” according to the latest “J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction Study.” On a 1,000-point scale, Nikon’s D Series digital SLR cameras scored 823 index points, making them among the highest-ranked products in the D-SLR camera category. The Nikon D Series, which ranked in a tie this year, performed particularly well with consumers in the areas of performance, ease of operation, and appearance and styling.



October 9, 2008

MELVILLE, NY (Oct. 9, 2008) – Everyone loves to look great in pictures, yet so many of us are uncomfortable whenever someone yells “cheese!” and more often than not, dissatisfied with our picture. Nikon Inc. today announced a unique new series called Look Good in Pictures starring style guru and television personality, Carson Kressley. Beginning October 9, Carson shares entertaining and helpful insights at Throughout the fall series, Carson will give real practical advice on how to embrace photogenic qualities in a variety of everyday situations such as vacations, holidays, nights out on the town and weddings.