Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Photography's Evolution at Philadelphia Museum

by Ken Johnson @ New York Times

PHILADELPHIA, June 17 — Hardly anyone today doubts that photographs can be works of art, but that has not always been so. It took tireless campaigning by certain passionate advocates to convince the world that photography could be more than an entertaining novelty or a useful recording tool. In the United States, Alfred Stieglitz was photography's best-known champion. Less well known but nearly as important was the art and photography dealer and collector Julien Levy (1906-81), who is the subject of an illuminating exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art called "Dreaming in Black and White: Photography at the Julien Levy Gallery."


Monday, June 26, 2006

Adobe Adds to Lightroom by Acquiring Pixmantec ApS

Adobe today announced that it acquired the technology assets of Pixmantec ApS, makers of digital imaging software that provides advanced workflow management and processing capabilities for digital camera raw files. According to Adobe, the acquisition strengthens Adobe's leadership position in raw processing. Adobe plans to integrate Pixmantec raw processing technologies into Lightroom and wherever customers will be working with raw files.

Macs Only News

The next generation of inkjet papers

by Eric T. Kunsman @ Booksmart Studio

The introduction of new papers from Hahnemuhle, Innova, and Museo have everyone scrambling for these papers, as they are suppose to be the reason to finally come out of the darkroom. After all, B&W silver gelatin paper manufacturers are starting to disappear, causing more artists/photographers to convert to digital printing methods. This does not mean that we should start expecting these paper companies to create exact replicas of our favorite silver gelatin papers. We as a community, need to start suggesting what we would like them to change about their current papers rather than asking them to match paper that is oriented to a completely different process. These three papers are derived from exactly that, all three companies listened to the cries of those tired of RC semi-gloss or luster papers. The papers they produced are a tremendous accomplishment for the first generation of a new product, remember these papers are first generation.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New System Blocks Unwanted Video & Still Photography

Newswise — Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have completed a prototype device that can block digital-camera function in a given area. Commercial versions of the technology could be used to stymie unwanted use of video or still cameras.

The prototype device, produced by a team in the Interactive and Intelligent Computing division of the Georgia Tech College of Computing (COC), uses off-the-shelf equipment – camera-mounted sensors, lighting equipment, a projector and a computer -- to scan for, find and neutralize digital cameras. The system works by looking for the reflectivity and shape of the image-producing sensors used in digital cameras.


Printing Issues with Adobe Photoshop CS2 9.01 upgrade

There apparently is a problem with Mac OS 10.4x and the Photoshop 9.01 update. Ian Lyons at Computer-Darkroom has run some tests, written about his results, and workarounds.

"Many readers will already know that Adobe recently released an update to Photoshop CS2 (i.e. 9.01), the purpose of which was to fix a small number of performance and stability issues. Unfortunately, the update has exacerbated a previously intermittent printing problem that had apparently effected relatively few users with the result that it's more widespread than before."


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

DALSA Delivers World’s First 100+ Million Pixel CCD

DALSA Semiconductor, a division of DALSA Corporation (TSX:DSA), an international high performance semiconductor and electronics company, announced today that it has successfully fabricated and delivered the world’s highest resolution image sensor chip to its customer, Semiconductor Technology Associates (“STA”) of San Juan Capistrano, California. The CCD device, which measures approximately four inches by four inches, has a total resolution of over 111 million pixels (10,560 pixels x 10,560 pixels at 9µm). It is the world’s first imager to break the 100 million pixel barrier.

Press Release

Monday, June 19, 2006

Memento Mori

by Leslie Camhi @ The Village Voice

"All photographs are memento mori," Susan Sontag wrote in On Photography (1977), her groundbreaking collection of essays. So one could hardly imagine a more fitting memorial to the writer, who died two years ago, than this show of photographs organized around her reflections. In that book, Sontag pinpointed the moment when she lost something akin to her critical virginity, at age 12, while looking at "photographs of Bergen-Belsen and Dachau which I came across by chance in a bookstore in Santa Monica in July 1945. Nothing I have seen—in photographs or in real life—ever cut me as sharply, deeply, instantaneously . . . I felt irrevocably grieved, wounded, but part of my feelings started to tighten; something went dead; something is still crying."


Friday, June 16, 2006

Gravity defying camera tripod

MonsterPod™ Sticks and grips..

"The MonsterPod™ has no telescoping legs, clamps, beans, straps, glue, or suction cups, not even magic. Instead, the MonsterPod™ sticks to surfaces via a patent pending “viscoelastic morphing polymer.”

It's not a tripod, a monopod, or hovering robot. It's MonsterPod™, the gravity defying tripod that holds your digital camera motionless, vertically, horizontally or upside down!"

Shipping is scheduled to begin on June 20, 2006.


Press releases

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Customizing Aperture books

Ben Long has posted an excellent tutorial on using the advanced features of Aperture's book making options.

"Apple's Aperture provides a large number of output options. In addition to printing, and several kinds of web output, Aperture can also take advantage of the book printing services that Apple released with iPhoto several years ago. Aperture scores over iPhoto's book printing service with more sophisticated design features that give you a lot more flexibility when laying out your book. Check out these tips and tricks to get the most from your Aperture books."

Complete Digital Photography

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Paris : Photographs by Eugene Atget and Christopher Rauschenberg

"This exhibition presents a survey of the George Eastman House’s exemplary holdings of the work of Eugène Atget (1857–1927) alongside a contemporary interpretation of the project by the artist Christopher Rauschenberg. Atget, known for his encyclopedic and comprehensive record of the French capital in transition at the turn of the last century, is today considered one of the seminal photographic modernists. Rauschenberg’s project is both an homage to Atget and an artistic study of Paris in its own right. While not attempting to replicate the exact angles and perspectives of Atget's photographs, Rauschenberg evokes their aesthetic and emotional tone."

The exhibition is curated by Alison Nordström, Curator of Photographs, George Eastman House
June 9 through August 27, 2006 @ International Center for Photography
ICP website

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Adobe Lightroom Beta 3

Adobe released the latest beta version of Lightroom last night. "The beta 3 release includes support for several new raw camera foramts, and many new features and enhancements. Review the Release Notes for a complete list of changes that can be found in this new beta."

Adobe Lightroom

Monday, June 12, 2006

'Unknown Weegee,' on Photographer Who Made the Night Noir

By HOLLAND COTTER @ New York Times
Photographs by Weegee/International Center of Photography

WATCHMAN, what of the night?

"Whadda you kidding? It's a zoo out there. Two deli stickups at 12 on the dot; one of the perps getting plugged. I got the picture. Roulette joint bust on East 68th. Society types. You shoulda seen the penguins run. Three a.m.: Brooklyn. Car crash. Kids. Bad."

"Four a.m., bars close. Guys asleep in Bowery doorways. But just before dawn is the worst: despair city. The jumpers start, out the windows, off the roof. I can't even look. So that's the night, New York. Ain't it grand? What a life."

The imagined speaker is Arthur Fellig, better known, and very well known, as Weegee (1899-1968). From the 1930's into the 1950's, he was a photographer for New York tabloids, the kind of papers Ralph Kramden might have read. Tireless, loquacious, invasive, he cruised the wee hours. For him the city was a 24-hour emergency room, an amphetamine drip.


Friday, June 09, 2006

The Digital Journalist

The June issue of the Digital Journalist has been posted, featuring new work by Burke Uzzle and Peter Turnley.

"Renowned photographer and TDJ contributor Peter Turnley has for the past two years been commissioned to produce major photo essays for Harper's magazine. Harper's has given him carte blanche to seek out stories around the world. Peter has used this privilege well. He does not go after hard news per se, but rather produces essays that probe the contradictions of our complex world in the early 21st century. Peter has assembled excerpts from seven of his Harper's photo essays for this month's cover story. Claude Cookman, one of America's top scholars of 20th-century photography, provides an introduction to this rare and remarkable collaboration between a gifted, humanist photographer and an enlightened publication committed to the all-but-lost tradition of pure, long-form photo essays.

In this age of bumper-sticker patriotism in the U.S., it's refreshing to find a more perceptive and profound patriotism on view in Burk Uzzle's latest book, A Family Named Spot. We are pleased to offer it as our second feature this month. Through his ever-quirky, always-intriguing vision, Burk shares some of the eccentricities and idiosyncrasies that make this country great, indeed unique. Executive Editor Peter Howe writes of Burk's back-roads America in his introduction: "The stuff he finds is an America of unashamed individualists, often oppressed, but always surviving with a dignity that he relishes. He reveals their rugged characteristics through multiple layers that he leaves the viewer to peel back, one after the other." Dirck Halstead, Editor

The Digital Journalist

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Temple of Mysteries

John Banville on Mark Rothko @ TATE, Etc.

On a trip to Sicily some years ago I came one day unexpectedly upon the Doric temple of Segesta, in the countryside not far from Palermo. Segesta, built around 450BC by the indigenous Elmyans with the assistance of Greek colonists, is refreshingly lacking in tourists. It was a very beautiful spring morning when I was there, yet the place was deserted. I simply turned a bend in the road and there it was, standing above a blossoming meadow in its own silence, seeming, as all Greek temples do, to be tilted at a slight angle to the earth and rapt in contemplation of the sky. I thought at once of Martin Heidegger’s essay The Origin of the Work of Art, in which the philosopher meditates on the way in which the temple not only “encloses the figure of the god”, but is an agent of physis, by which the Greeks meant, according to Heidegger, the “emerging and rising in itself” of all things. “The temple’s firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air.”


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Arnold Newman dies at 88

By ANDY GRUNDBERG @ New York Times

Arnold Newman, the portrait photographer whose pictures of some of the world's most eminent people set a standard for artistic interpretation and stylistic integrity in the postwar age of picture magazines, died yesterday in Manhattan. He was 88 and lived on the Upper West Side.

The apparent cause was a heart attack, said Ron Kurtz, the owner of Commerce Graphics, which represents Mr. Newman.

A polished craftsman, Mr. Newman first learned his trade by making 49-cent studio portraits in Philadelphia. He went on to become one of the world's best-known and most admired photographers, his work appearing on the covers of magazines like Life and Look, in museum and gallery exhibitions and in coffee-table books.

Mr. Newman was credited with popularizing a style of photography that became known as environmental portraiture. Working primarily on assignment for magazines, he carried his camera and lighting equipment to his subjects, capturing them in their surroundings and finding in those settings visual elements to evoke their professions and personalities.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Canon Prograf iPF5000 - reviewed

Having received the new Canon Prograf iPF5000 on Monday May 15, we began setup and printing immediately. This article is an initial impression of the setup, software, print quality, media compatibility, and speed of the printer.

The iPF5000 is Canon's answer to the Epson 4800. It is obviously built with the professional photographer / print maker in mind - people who naturally want long lasting photo and art prints. Like the Epson, the iPF5000 has a pigment based inkset - dubbed the Lucia system by Canon. The Lucia system, is a twelve, yes twelve, ink setup designed to offer a wide color gamut and black and white photo reproduction. You can print on media up to 17" wide including sheets and rolls.

A big plus is that both matte and photo black inks are on-board at the same time. This means no down time or wasted ink when you switch media types.

Read on @ Red River Paper

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sony Alpha 100

Sony Alpha 100 : Since Sony and Konica Minolta announced that Konica Minolta consigned their camera service operations for Konica Minolta, Konica Minolta brand cameras and related equipment to Sony, the news of a Sony digital SLR camera is a hot topic among digital SLR camera enthusiasts. Some weeks ago we unveiled the name and the design of the new Sony digital SLR to you; today we bring you the (unofficial) specifications of the Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR camera. Thanks to Darren of the Australian site Digital Photography Blog who published an extensive list of Sony Alpha 100 specifications, you are able to get the latest news of the upcoming Sony digital SLR camera. Sony will unveil the official specifications this month.

Read on at "Let's Go Digital"

dpReview article

Friday, June 02, 2006

Aftermarket Inks Fading Fast?

Lyra Research, the digital imaging authority, has announced findings from Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR) showing that the image permanence of photos printed with aftermarket ink jet cartridges and photo papers is far inferior to that of photos printed with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink jet cartridges and photo papers.

Newton, MA (PRWEB) May 25, 2006 -- Lyra Research, the digital imaging authority, has announced findings from Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR) showing that the image permanence of photos printed with aftermarket ink jet cartridges and photo papers is far inferior to that of photos printed with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink jet cartridges and photo papers. The results of this study were published in the May issue of The Hard Copy Supplies Journal. The testing examined the image permanence of prints made with store-brand ink jet cartridges, ink jet cartridges refilled at franchise refill shops, and other aftermarket ink sets, using OEM and third-party photo papers. It also compared the permanence of photos printed with these aftermarket products to that of photos printed with inks and photo papers from Canon, Epson, and HP using the respective OEMs’ consumer photo printers.


Hard Copy Supplies Journal


Tomorrow's photographers confront the present

by Leslie Camhi @ Village Voice

Pity the poor critic tasked with reviewing "reGeneration," a lively yet vexing survey of 50 emerging photographers on view at the Aperture Foundation.
Now, if someone organized a show called "Fifty Old Photographers of Yesterday," I'd be pretty interested. After all, the past is as mysterious as tomorrow; the stories museums spin about it are mostly convenient fictions; and as far as photography's concerned, I'm still recovering from the insights of the 19th century. Living inside the art world's center, where next is always best, one feels the pull of yesterday's dusty corners—they're pockets of resistance to the daily onslaught of novelty and forgetfulness.


photo: Valerie Rouyer/Aperture Foundation
reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow
Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
Through June 22

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Photoshop Automator Actions

Ben Long has released version 2.2 of this plugin that allows Automator to string actions within and outside of photoshop. Very handy.

"Mac OS X 10.4 ships with Automator, a powerful workflow automation tool that lets you easily automate the operation of any AppleScriptable application. While Automator can control many applications right out of the box, it lacks the ability to automate Photoshop. For Photoshop control, you need The Photoshop Action Pack, which provides everything necessary to drive Photoshop CS and CS2 using Automator. This updated version provides support for Intel-based Macs, several bug fixes, additional features, and new actions."

Complete Digital Photography Site

Microsoft takes on .jpg

"Microsoft is taking a shot at removing the JPEG file format as the standard for images. At this week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, the company showed off the new format which will be supported in the upcoming Vista operating system.

The company claims that the new image format can display better images with file sizes only half of those of a .jpg. Microsoft has been demonstrating 24:1 compression Windows Media Photo format files that are noticeably more detailed than the JPEG and JPEG 2000 formats.

According to Microsoft, the new specification offers multiple colour formats for display or print, fixed or floating point high dynamic range image encoding, lossless or high quality lossy compression, efficient decoding for multiple resolutions and sub-regions and minimal overhead for format conversion or transformations during decode.

Of course, the issue of licensing immediately comes to mind. Both the JPG and the rival GIF format were hampered by licensing claims. However, Microsoft is asserting that 'licensing will not be a restriction'."

If you ask me Microsoft is screwing everything digital these days!

Microsoft Info

PC World Techlog

Digital Inspiration Blog

The Rise of Crowdsourcing

Claudia Menashe needed pictures of sick people. A project director at the National Health Museum in Washington, DC, Menashe was putting together a series of interactive kiosks devoted to potential pandemics like the avian flu. An exhibition designer had created a plan for the kiosk itself, but now Menashe was looking for images to accompany the text. Rather than hire a photographer to take shots of people suffering from the flu, Menashe decided to use preexisting images – stock photography, as it’s known in the publishing industry.