Saturday, December 26, 2009


See the New ( DPG ).

New graphics and focus on learning Underwater Photography. We will be there to help.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"It's the Nut Behind The Butt"

Photographs are effective if other people respond to them. Period. The iconic photo by Eddie Adams, of a Vietnamese prisoner being executed, is a case in point of a negative response.

Technically the photo was a little blurry, but it still stands as one of the most memorable of that very photographed war. It catapulted Eddie Adams career as the consummate pro. At the same time, it probably would never be accepted by my Stock Photo Agency as professional quality. Blurry. "Poorly defined"

Cameras are a lot like Golf clubs and Tennis rackets. You must learn the game and practice, otherwise, the results will be pedestrian and technically correct snapshots. People will continue to lust after more, more features, especially more megapixels. Teenagers in particular are more versed in iPod features than History. Wrong. We need to produce pictures that others care about. Sharing is the objective of most of photography.

As an Army friend once told me regarding rifle specifications, "it is the Nut behind the {rifle} butt." The meaning is, it is the skill and knowledge of the operator that counts, not the instrument.

The Photo below was taken in the wonderful town of Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. The endearing Siamese Cat knew to get positioned perfectly for lunch morsels. Don't you just melt at those blue eyes? I shot straight down to take advantage of the Tile background against the white fur. The camera? A defunct 2.0 megapixel Minolta shirt pocket camera. How much better would the latest 20+ MB DSLR performed? Aside: I HAD the Shirt Pocket camera with me and AVAILABLE to shoot.

We need to lust after the camera features that people should care about: larger sensors, intuitive controls, low shutter lag, low light performance, manual control, quick shooting capability, low noise, not megapixels. In other words make digital more like film.

Still, "It's the Nut Behind The Butt."

Click here to see more from the Italy gallery of the Amalfi Coast.

Friday, December 4, 2009

HDR #2 - High Dynamic Range - Using Photomatix Pro

There are different versions of Photomatix, but this post is designed to give you an idea of the controls you can use to effect an illustrative effect that the plug-in is capable of producing.

Rule #1 for Photomatix is don't be afraid to "play."

I like to use the dashboard more or less in order, starting at the top and working down. Be bold with changing settings to experiment.

Strength On the dashboard of controls, you will get the biggest "bang for the buck" by starting with Strength at 100%. It will give the most photo illustrative effect. The lower you go, the more photo-real it will appear.

Saturation at 100 is more Illustrative. At low settings, you can produce B&W.

Set Luminosity at 10 to begin and adjust from there.

Light Smoothing has five radio button settings. I usually like the second button. Experiment.

Microcontrast settings are a matter of taste and small adjustments count for large swings.

The remaining controls will have a less dramatic impact on the image but experiment to see what you like. Below is the product of combining the seven exposures and using Photomatix Pro.

Click here to see a larger version of this photo and more HDR.