Monday, July 30, 2012

JA QUICKIE: Photoshop CS 6 Seminar

Just took the Kelby Photoshop CS 6.0 Seminar at Javitzs in NYC today.

More new stuff than I thought.  Best news is that there is a new rudimentary video editor geared toward PHOTOGRAPHERS.  It is not as Hollywood geared as Final Cut or endlessly re-engineered as iMovie.

Have not tried it but it looks like what Freud would say "What do Photographers Want?"

Other items were improvements geared toward retouching for my portrait business, a great intro to CAMERA RAW, its cross pollination with Lightroom 4.0 and other commercial and illustrator applications.  You KNOW you cannot put off upgrading too long.

HINT: With more and more skin smoothing techniques and HDR, there are fewer and fewer reasons for plugins.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


How does the quote go. "I will gladly pay you today with PHOTO CREDITS for a Hamburger." Maybe not, but it is close. David Sanger gave me this years ago in a quote from the late great Stock Artists Alliance newletter. Photographers are always expected to be grateful for requests and be given PHOTO CREDITS. 
Check out David's site, he is VERY GOOD.

FOLKS, WE CAN'T EAT THOSE PHOTO CREDITS or PAY THE RENT!  Here is the text of a mail sent to him by a friend that was asked for free photography (naturally) for a church.  These days it is likey to be a freelance author or a 501(c)3 NGO Non-profit with highly paid CEOs.

"Just a question ... are you paying for printing of the brochures and bulletins? Do you pay someone to host (and/or set up) your website? We photographers often are asked for the free use of our work. Non- profit organizations generally view it as normal to pay printers or software developers or web hosts, and yet at the same time expect that photographers should bear the cost of producing images and donate their images without compensation. Photography incurs costs, just as printing and other services do. I'm the owner of a business and businesses that don't produce income don't stay in business. Being acknowledged as the producer of an image doesn't pay my bills, although it remains a necessary condition for copyright protection.

I appreciate what you're doing and that you need to keep your costs at a minimum. If all of the above are being donated for you, then I'm willing to donate the use of my image without a fee, as well. If not, then the use of my image requires us to negotiate a license fee, which I can keep to a minimum."

I think I am going to start carrying copies of this for aspiring authors who approach requesting free images. Remember: If it can be downloaded, it is worthless.

Visit the Cat Gallery.  Too damn adorable.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

I was afraid this would happen.   Been living with my new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens and I don't want to take it off the camera.  Except to use the "bird lens," the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS.

It took me so long because my old SIGMA 18-200 performed so well in so many circumstances that I was reluctant to give up the convenience having the 18mm instantly available.  It was when the lens locked up my camera last year that I began to have this sickening feeling my stomach that the lens was flawed, and indeed Error 99 was fixed by mounting a Canon brand lens.

So here are the results of the comparison tests.  The first under not so challenging conditions:
At 24mm for The Canon:

At 24mm for The Sigma:

No real differences in sharpness or contrast.  This is why it took me so long.

Now at 105mm for the Canon:

105mm for the Sigma:

Same Story  No real differences in sharpness or contrast.

So I tried under challenging conditions simulating a sunset or a concert with bright light coming straight into the lenses.

The Canon at 24mm.  Some flare, some loss of contrast around the timer.

The Sigma at 24mm - noticeable ghosts, flare and loss of contrast over a larger part of the image.

The Canon at 105.  Some loss of contrast and flare.

The Sigma at 105:  Not acceptable.  Contrast and flare are awful.

Check your credit card balance and expectations.  Draw your own conclusions.

Here the link to my UK Gallery where I used lenses including the 24-105, and the 70-200.