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DO IT YOUR WAY HOW TO CUSTOMIZE PHOTOSHOP

The Art, Culture, and Science of Photography

IMAGE INTERNATIONAL CONTEST 3 3 CATEGORIES 3 31 AWARD-WINNING PHOTOS 3 4 EXHAUSTED JUDGES

THE LENSBABY COMPOSER A SERIOUSLY FUN TOOL

ANDRZEJ DRAGAN UPSIDE DOWN TURNING PHOTOGRAPHY

Vol34_N2

March2009

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Contents

March 2009 Volume 34, Number 2 www.photolife.com

24 Regular Features Editorial.................................................................................................................6 Your View ..............................................................................................................8 News ...................................................................................................................10 Showtime ............................................................................................................48 The Contact Sheet .............................................................................................62 Looking Back .....................................................................................................66

Gallery Image International............................................................................................24 The winning images from the 2008 edition of our annual Image International photo contest. Readers’ Gallery: Peter Carroll.........................................................................64

Feature Article Profile: Andrzej Dragan, by Wes Lafortune .....................................................15 A young man with an international reputation is turning photography and “The Truth” upside down with his collection of compelling portraits.

Destination

15 Photo Life

Trekking into the Land that Never Melts, by Patrice Halley ..........................20 As far as northern parks are concerned, Auyuittuq, “the land that never melts” in Inuktitut, is remote, inhospitable, and grandiose. A destination for experienced big wall climbers and wilderness trekkers, the park is certainly not for the casual stroller. Proof is the 10-page-long Parks Canada questionnaire I had to fill out as the group leader.

March 2009 3


PHOTO LIFE MARCH 2009, Volume 34, Number 2 185 St. Paul Street Quebec City, QC, Canada G1K 3W2 Phone: (800) 905-7468 Fax: (800) 664-2739 E-mail: info@photolife.com SUBSCRIPTIONS Toll Free: (800) 461-7468 Fax: (800) 664-2739 E-mail: subscription@photolife.com

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EDITORIAL Editor in Chief Anita Dammer...................................e-mail: editor@photolife.com Assistant Editor Valérie Racine ..................................e-mail: write@photolife.com Contributing Editor Peter K. Burian Assistant Photo Editor Xavier Bonacorsi Art Director Guy Langevin ...................................e-mail: art@photolife.com Graphic Artist Marie-Pierre Roy ADMINISTRATION Publisher & Media Sales Director Guy J. Poirier ....................................e-mail: gpoirier@photolife.com Phone: (800) 905-7468 Ext. 101 Fax: (800) 664-2739 Account Executive, Media Sales Richard Payette ..........................e-mail: rpayette@photolife.com Phone: (416) 500-4347, (514) 952-0840 Distribution Manager Nathalie Beaulieu Accounting Nicole Vézina

54

56

Equipment Review: Going Crazy with my Lensbaby, by Evelyn Hein ..............................44 A wise man once told me that “a true photographer does not take a photograph, he makes a photograph.” With this theory in mind, my discovery of Lensbaby products challenged me in a whole new way. Gadget Guide, by David Tanaka .......................................................................52

PHOTO LIFE (ISSN 0700-3021) is published six times a year (January, March, May, July, September, November) by Apex Publications Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not, under any circumstances, including Cancopy, be reproduced or used in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. PHOTO LIFE is indexed in Canadian Magazine by Micromedia Limited. Back issues of Photo Life are available in microform from Micromedia Limited, 20 Victoria St., Toronto, Ontario M5C 2N8. PHOTO LIFE acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Publications Assistance Program and the Canada Magazine Fund toward our mailing and editorial costs. Canadian Publication Mail. PAP Registration No. 08144

Review: Sony Alpha 900, by Peter K. Burian ..................................................54 A prosumer grade full-frame D SLR with class-leading 24.6-MP resolution, high speed, valuable new technology, and great versatility. Review: Nikon D700, by Peter K. Burian .........................................................56 Nikon’s D700 combines the best features of the pricey D3 in a more portable body; it is an incredibly rugged, well-specified pro D SLR with a full-frame sensor for stunning image quality.

Occasionally, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies whose products and services might be of interest to our subscribers. If you prefer to have your name removed from this list and not receive these mailings, let us know by telephone, fax, regular mail or e-mail. Member of PMA, CITA and CCAB

Imaging Products Review, by Peter K. Burian................................................58

Digital Domain Another Perspective ..........................................................................................46 This feature offers you the opportunity to have your images reviewed and commented. Along with commentary on the featured image, we suggest some basic digital modifications that give your image “Another Perspective”. Be forewarned though, the end result may differ from the submitted image…

REGULAR PRICES $35.70 (1 year - 6 issues) $71.40 (2 years - 12 issues) $107.10 (3 years - 18 issues) Prices exclude applicable Canadian sales taxes. Make cheque payable to PHOTO LIFE. US residents pay in US funds and add US$10.00 per year for postage. Foreign residents pay in US funds and add US$20.00 per year for postage. Single copy: CAN/US$5.95

Do it Your Way: Customize Photoshop with Preferences, by David Tanaka.................................................................................................50 Photoshop’s features are deep and its toolset expansive. It can be intimidating. Not too far away, however, is a set of controls that allows you to customize it to your way of doing things. These settings are aptly named Preferences.

SUBMISSIONS PHOTO LIFE welcomes portfolio and article submissions for possible publication. Article submissions must pertain to the subject of photography and include images supporting the submitted text. All submissions must respect the publisher’s submission guidelines. Complete submission guidelines are available at www.photolife.com, from the publisher at write@photolife.com or by dialing 1-800-905-7468. COPYRIGHT © 2009 APEX PUBLICATIONS INC. No material from the magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Despite the care taken in reviewing editorial content, Apex Publications Inc. cannot guarantee that all written information is complete and accurate. Consequently, Apex Publications Inc. assumes no responsibility concerning any error and/or omission.

Cover photo by Véronique Lacharité

4 March 2009

(see page 24)

Photo Life


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Editorial o much has happened in this past year that we Canadians all seem to be in a bit of a funk these days. With the gloomy state of the economy and our politics, we could all use a break. And well... let’s face it, February kind of bites at the best of times. So, let’s just tuck into this issue of Photo Life. Hopefully we can generate a little creativity and motivation to help you through the winter.

S

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already since we announced the winners of Image International 2007, but here we are again. The results of 2008 are in and we’re excited as always to share them with you. The Nature category was particularly strong this year and all the judges where thrilled with the quality of work submitted. Whittling down the thousands of entries to the 31 winning images you see in this issue can be a heart-wrenching exercise, and I assure you that every detail was taken into consideration. Long, sometimes heated, discussions narrowed down the selections until we had all our winners, and what a showcase of talent we have for you.

WITH THE GLOOMY STATE OF THE ECONOMY AND OUR POLITICS, WE COULD ALL USE A BREAK. AND WELL... LET’S FACE IT, FEBRUARY KIND OF BITES AT THE BEST OF TIMES. SO, LET’S JUST TUCK INTO THIS ISSUE OF PHOTO LIFE. HOPEFULLY WE CAN GENERATE A LITTLE CREATIVITY AND MOTIVATION TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE WINTER.

Many thanks to long-time Photo Life contributor, Richard Martin, and head of the SPAQ organisation (Société des photographes artisans de Québec), Marc Pelletier, who joined our panel of judges this year and spent countless hours examining each and every entry. Your expertise and creative commentary are much appreciated! And special thanks also go out to Valerie Racine, Photo Life’s Assistant Editor, and Nathalie Beaulieu, Photo Life’s Distribution Manager, for their tireless organization of every detail of Image International—you’re both truly what keeps the whole effort on the right track!

LONG, SOMETIMES HEATED, DISCUSSIONS NARROWED THE SELECTIONS DOWN UNTIL WE HAD ALL OUR WINNERS, AND WHAT A SHOWCASE OF TALENT WE HAVE FOR YOU.

In keeping with the changing times, our whole production team has put together a number of changes for Photo Life—and hopefully, more bang for your hard-earned buck. Starting with our spring issue, you’ll see a few more regular columns—such as photography book reviews, software reviews, image editing tips and tricks, and a new feature called Photo Essay. This feature will replace portfolios and will give readers the opportunity to submit a body of themed work and add their thoughts on how they came to work with a particular theme and why—more food for thought to inspire us all. Stay tuned to see what’s new in the life of Photo Life!

COMING UP IN THE MAY 2009 ISSUE OF PHOTO LIFE

DESTINATION THE LIGHTHOUSE ROUTE, NOVA SCOTIA INSIGHT AND INSPIRATION PROFILE ON BRUCE LIVINGSTONE, FOUNDER OF ISTOCKPHOTO THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S EYE: OBSERVATIONS, INTERPRETATION, AND REVIEW INSTRUCTIONAL SHOOTING PLANTS AND INVERTEBRATES HEADLAMP LIGHTING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS DIGITAL WORKFLOW: THE PHOTOSHOP INFO PALETTE ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE NEW GEAR GADGET GUIDE WE TEST: CANON EOS 5D MARK II & NIKON D90 NEW IMAGING PRODUCTS REVIEW PHOTO ESSAY YOUR SHOTS NEW PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK REVIEWS AND MUCH MORE...

6 March 2009


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Your View WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, OUR READERS! LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS, VIEWS, AND IDEAS ABOUT PHOTO LIFE MAGAZINE, ITS ARTICLES, AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN GENERAL. SEND US YOUR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS TO WRITE@PHOTOLIFE.COM. ALTERNATIVE TO SCANNING SLIDES A subscriber inquired recently about a way to transfer his “tons of slides” to a digital format. In response to similar circumstances, I purchased a flatbed scanner to scan the slides, but I found that it was very time consuming. So as an alternative approach, I projected the slides on a white wall and used my Sony D SLR mounted on a Manfrotto tripod to “snap” each one of them. I used my off-camera remote to minimize camera shake. To make the process a bit more efficient, I went through each carousel twice, once for landscape images and once for portrait. In doing so, I only had to adjust the camera positioning on the tripod twice for each carousel. After loading the images onto the computer, I cropped the images so that only the original image remained. I’m very demanding about image quality and I’m more than happy with the results from this approach; it is very close to scan quality. Additionally, to display my digital images, I discovered a surprise benefit from a recent purchase of a 42-inch 1080p 120-hz high-definition television and Sony PlayStation 3. The digital images can be transferred from the computer to the PS3 using one of a number of different methods. I use a digital memory stick. From there, they can be grouped in playlists on the PS3 for slideshow viewing in high definition. once I was able to use the remote game controller (with the help of my young boy) and familiarize myself with the conventions used for the PS3, this became a very intuitive and enjoyable experience. If only there was a way

that I was able to transfer the “tons of negatives” to digital more efficiently. hope this helps. Basil McMonagle Edmonton, Alta. Dear Basil McMonagle, thank you for sharing this technique with Photo Life readers. It seems that the image quality you have obtained meets your needs. However, it is important to point out that for photographers intending to have their work published professionally, in a magazine or gallery, scanners are still the only way to guarantee an image quality suitable for high-definition reproduction. Since, as you mentioned, it is very time consuming, and most people want to share their images on a TV, computer screen or in a small photo format, we suggest scanning a selection of slides for high definition and using a photofinishing service or another technique for the rest. An important reminder: Always keep the original slides and negatives in a safe place. You never know when you’ll need them… NOVEMBER HUES—IN SEPTEMBER? The “November hues” challenge results in the 2008 November issue were interesting, but at least one of the photographs clearly missed the point of the challenge. Anyone living in ontario will know that “First Leaf”, while admittedly a very nice photo, could not have been taken in the haliburton, ontario, area during November. The caption for the photo even says as much (“Seeing that first leaf of the season clearly defines the transition from summer to autumn...”), suggesting it was most likely taken in September, when beautiful fall hues are all around. By selecting this particular photo (and I’m a bit suspicious about a couple of others) the editors have possibly taken space away from other photographers who honestly attempted to meet the challenge of creating good photos during the dreary, colourless days of November. Robert Graham Deep River, ont. FURTHER TO THE LETTER OF M. LEVY (PHOTO LIFE, NOVEMBER 2008 ISSUE) July: The bromoil article provides useful references to view other subjects using the process. Cover is lacklustre and dull, yet another promotion for guns/hollywood. More about Brokeback Mountain? Every gay I know ERRATUM An error occurred in the 2009 edition of the Photo Life Buyers’ Guide on page 75. The Web site address provided for Lexar memory cards should have read www.lexar.com and the one provided for SanDisk memory cards should have read www.gentec-intl.com.

E x p l o r e

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easy navigation, classy look, classifieds, articles and portfolios, subscription management, back issues, links, contests, news, and much more…

8 March 2009

Photo Life


thinks it overblown hype. Photo book reviews much appreciated—can you show more photos from each book? Panning article informative. Article on China: does the photographer have signed model releases for all of these photos? If not, could we have articles regarding this, as my understanding is that model releases are needed to sell photos of people. kaulbach’s article has great tips for family shooters. Do your camera reviews provide enough detailed information for your subscribers to be able to purchase the product? September: Values of cover shot? My brain struggles to fill in all the missing gaps/pixels, so it is a difficult photo to view. The editorial is brilliant—having worked on an encyclopaedia before computers, and now as a photographer, I can attest to the seriousness of archiving and cataloguing material and constantly updating digital files. Benson’s

article on self-publishing is excellent. heed his tips and don’t waste time searching for grants unless your project has specific social relevance. Emerging Photographers: I enjoyed seven or eight, more work of pros please. For both issues: Readers’ Gallery: come on folks, you can do better than this! You aren’t reading all the tips that the pros give. Looking Back articles can lead you on a journey you may have never expected: visit your local library or bookstore and be amazed at some of the wonderful photography books you will discover. Based on the above, I would have to say that I did find worthwhile material in both issues. Patrick o’Leary Vancouver, BC

Photo Question We would like to thank everyone who responded to the November 2008 Photo Question. The winner of the one-year subscription to Photo Life is Candra Tinis, from Devon, Alta. The question was, “How do you share your images? E-mail? Photo-sharing Web sites? And what’s the percentage of images you intended to share and never did?” Ms. Tinis answered, “How do I share my images? There are so many ways! SmugMug, Blogger, Facebook, e-mail... the list could be endless! I have created cards from my images and have printed them on Mpix, then used them as my regular stationary. I update my blog with new pictures as the mood strikes me. As soon as I finish uploading and PP new pictures, I add them to my SmugMug site and Facebook. Friends and family love to see new pictures added there because they don’t always remember to look at the other sites. I also like to include links to my sites in my signature in personal e-mails and often use them as my status on Facebook.” Here are a few of the many interesting answers to this Photo Question. Visit www.photolife.com to read more and to respond to this issue’s Photo Question. My niche is close-ups in nature that tell an unusual or interesting story. I size my favourite images (max. 768 x 1024 pixels) as required by our photo club(s) for projection.

Then I share them with receptive family and a few friends by e-mail. When the opportunity arises, I show/share/enter images in local photo club competitions to a larger audience. I find a way to share all my favourite images (one, two, or three at a time)—I’m too excited not to! However, I almost never make prints and I’m not especially interested in on-line or magazine-sponsored contests. I have also submitted images for editorial publication. Barry Grivett While I’ve looked at Flickr, SmugMug, PBase, and others, in the end, since I have my own Web site, I post my photos there. I also use FolderShare to send largenumbers of photos between friends. I post one photo per week, so there’s a long list of photos I still intend to share. Bud Ridout E-mail mostly... I have tried MyShutterspace, but I am reluctant to share intimate stuff, like family and friends, out of respect for their privacy. I am very computer literate so it is not the complexity of it, although, in my experience, some sites are quite complex for those who are just learning. I know this from personal experience, because I teach computers to adults. Lori Thibault

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Photo Life

March 2009 9


News Want more? Photo Life’s monthly newsletter complements your magazine with even more articles, equipment reviews, news, and an exclusive photo contest. Sign up for your free subscription at www.photolife.com.

Awards and Contest PRIX PICTET AWARDED TO CANADIAN PHOTOGRAPHER BENOIT AQUIN kofi Annan, Nobel Laureate and Former Secretary General of the united Nations, recently announced the winner of the inaugural Prix Pictet as Canadian photographer Benoît Aquin at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. The €50,000 Prix Pictet is the only photography prize to focus on the most important global issue of our time: sustainability. For the Prix Pictet’s inaugural year, the focus was on water. Benoît Aquin entered a series of photographs, entitled The Chinese Dust Bowl, on desertification in China. Entry to the Prix Pictet is by nomination only and, in this, its first year, over 200 photographers from 43 countries were nominated. Eighteen of the world’s finest photographers were short-listed for the prize. The judges included American artist Richard Misrach, Iranian film director Abbas kiarostami, distinguished art critic and curator Régis

Durand, Pictet & Cie art consultant Loa haagen Pictet, Sustainable Finance cofounder Leo Johnson, and Financial Times arts writer Peter Aspden. An exhibition of selected works by artists short-listed for the Prix Pictet 2008 will tour internationally prior to the launch of the 2009 award. Tour dates will be published on www.prixpictet.com.

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A new opportunity, a new career in photography or journalism. Each ten-month diploma course is equivalent to a two-year program. Register early for September, 2009 Accredited by the PCTIA Financial Assistance may be available FOR INFO: Visit: www.westernacademyofphotography.com Located in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada Phone: Toll-Free 1-866-889-1235 email: wap-office@shaw.ca WESTERN ACADEMY OF PHOTOGRAPHY

10 March 2009

ANTHROPOGRAPHIA The winners of the Anthropographia competition, which honours the best photographers involved in the field of human rights, will be presented during the Montreal human Rights Film Festival (MhRFF) at Cinéma du Parc, in Montréal. The winners will be revealed in a slideshow during the event’s opening night on February 11. Their work will be exhibited in the hall of the cinema from March 1 to 31 and at université du québec à Montréal’s Chaufferie, from March 12 to 22, 2009. The slideshows will also be presented several times during the festival before screenings. More information at www.anthropographia.com.

Exhibitions STAN DOUGLAS: KLATSASSIN Presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery from February 14 to May 10, 2009, this exhibition by Vancouver artist Stan Douglas focuses on a video and photo installation entitled Klatsassin. The work is named after a Tsîlhoqot’in chief. klatsassin was accused of leading an insurrection in 1864 that resulted in the death of 10 road workers who were attempting to build a supply route through Tsîlhoqot’in territory. Shot

on location in the Cariboo and Chilcotin districts of British Columbia, and on a studio backlot in Vancouver, the video offers a narrative of the events that initiated the so-called Chilcotin War. In addition to the video installation, the exhibition includes a group of seven location photographs. A third body of work consists of black-and-white portrait photographs of the principal characters in the video. Stan Douglas is known for his consistent and provocative exploration of the idea of historical record and narratives of location. Much of his work is thematically linked to this region and the many different peoples who have inhabited these lands. This exhibition was prompted by a recent donation of work made by the artist. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca PICTURING THE PROCESS: EXPLORING THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY As part of an ongoing series of education-based exhibitions, the Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA) presents Picturing the Process: Exploring the Art and Science of Photography, on display from February 7 through July 25, 2009. Including over 40 works from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition examines the ever-growing relationship between the field of science and the art of photography. Comprised of innovators of the medium, this exhibition includes photographic works from the mid-19th to the 21st century by photographers such as Sir John herschel, William henry Fox Talbot, Eadweard Muybridge, karl Blossfeldt, harold Edgerton, Berenice Abbott, and Linda Connor. Exploring the Art and Science of Photography showcases a variety of innovative photographic techniques, including camera lucida drawings, motion studies, X-rays, and microphotography. In support of San Diego’s first Science Festival (to be launched in March 2009), the exhibition will include handson gallery activities made available for children, families, and educators. www.mopa.org YELLOWSTONE TO YUKON: FREEDOM TO ROAM The Field Museum of Chicago is presenting 29 large-scale colour photographs by German wildlife photographer Florian Schulz until July 5, 2009. Chicago police encountered and shot a cougar roaming the city’s streets in April 2008. This is an all-too-common occurrence in western united States and Canada, where growing human populations have destroyed protected habitats and wild animals that wander into towns and cities meet almost certain injury or death. The exhibition explains the mission of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) that is dedicated to creating and maintaining a connected landscape where wildlife can migrate, and animals and humans can co-exist. on March 21, 2009, Florian Schulz will lead visitors through the exhibition, sharing the story of each image and explaining why protecting this region is vital to the survival of the flora and fauna that depend upon it. www.fieldmuseum.org

Photo Life


Industry SIGMA CORPORATION BUYS FOVEON Sigma Corporation announced that it has completed the acquisition of Foveon, Inc. Sigma has been a customer of Foveon for several years, creating D-SLR cameras for the professional and advanced amateur photography markets based on Foveon’s proprietary threelayer image-sensor technology. The sensor technology is backed by a development team in San Jose, CA, and an extensive IP (Intellectual Property) portfolio. The cameras were designed and manufactured by Sigma. The San Jose-based company will continue to develop new and innovative sensors, and Sigma has released two new cameras using the X3 sensor: the DP2 and the SD15. More information at www.sigma-photo.com or www.gentec-intl.com. LEICA HONOURS WOODY ALLEN Director, writer, and actor Wood Allen was recently offered a Leica M8.2 with a special serial number from Leica CEo Dr. Andreas kaufmann at The Rose Club in the Plaza hotel in New York City. In his latest movie, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Woody Allen had chosen a Leica camera for actress Scarlett Johansson to use in her role as a photographer. Since 1925, Leica has awarded a select list of visionaries in photography, science, politics, and arts with special serial-numbered cameras. The list of people who have received such honours includes queen Elizabeth (who asked that the cameras have her initials engraved instead of special serial numbers); photographers Alfred

Photo Life

Eisenstat and henri Cartier-Bresson; Leopold D. Mannes and Leo Godowsky Jr, the coinventors of kodachrome film, and former president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Miscellaneous TWO BROTHERS REUNITED AT LOCAL CAMERA STORE Two brothers, who had never met, were reunited thanks to a camera store owner in hamilton, ont. Both Marty Love, 51, and Ron Dickie, 53, have been customers of Bell Arte Camera for decades. Separated as youngsters, the brothers were unaware of each other. Marty Love started going to Bell Arte 30 years ago when he was a young student in photography at Sheridan. he remained a good customer even after moving to Toronto and later to Brantford, where he runs a photography and graphic-design business. Ron Dickie, another good customer since the late 1980s, is a serious photo hobbyist and stops by the store regularly to see owner and friend Robert Bagliolid. one time when he came in to look at cameras, he mentioned to Robert that he was having trouble getting a passport since the names on his birth certificate and driver’s licence didn’t match. he explained that his mother had separated from his father not long after his birth. his mother had moved from Montreal to ontario, where she married a man named Dickie. Ron took that name over his birth name, which was Love. he added that he had recently located a couple of cousins through Facebook who told him that he might have a brother out there. Robert Bagliolid then

made the link between Marty Love and Ron Dickie, and their resemblance. he mentioned Marty Love to Ron Dickie and proposed to contact him. When Robert called him, Ron Dickie confirmed that his father’s name was the same as Marty Love’s. The two brothers then met at Bell Arte, where they started getting to know each other. Ron learned that his father is still alive and healthy. he then decided that he would change his name back to Ron Love, which has simplified his passport application.

Seminars and Workshops EDUCATIONAL LECTURES AT THE CMCP Special lectures will be presented at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in February 2009 in conjunction with some of the current exhibitions. First, on February 19, In the Line of Sight with Andrea kunard, Associate Curator of the CMCP, will explore the history of the portrait in photography from daguerreotypes to Facebook. Then, on February 26, Indegenous Art curator in residence Steven Loft will present Pictures of Indians. This lecture will explore the history and use of portraiture to codify, misrepresent, and stereotype Aboriginal people, and the reclaiming of that image by contemporary Aboriginal artists. More information at cmcp.gallery.ca. WAYNE LYNCH SEMINARS Nature photographer and author Wayne Lynch will present two seminars this spring. The first, Digital Nature Photography, will be presented at uBC, in Vancouver, on Saturday and Sunday,

March 2009 11


Special Events

Š WAYNE LYNCh

Š WAYNE LYNCh

March 21 and 22, 2009. This two-day seminar will cover choosing the best camera settings, making better creative decisions in the field, the rewards of close-up photography, creative flash techniques, and avoiding familiar photo flaws on the first day. Advanced digital techniques and marketing tips will be covered on the second day. Wayne Lynch will also be presenting a one-day seminar on April 4, 2009, at the university of Calgary health Sciences Building. The seminar, entitled Managing Your Photographs Like A Pro, will focus on downloading, editing, filing, and storage of digital imagery, JPEGs versus Raw, workflow to maximize images, and professional Photoshop techniques that can be used by everyone. For more information and contact info, visit www.waynelynch.ca.

PMA 09 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW The Photo Marketing Association will be presenting its main international annual events in Las Vegas, from March 3 to 5, 2009. The PMA 09 International Convention and Trade Show will host photo retailers, professional photographers, mass merchandisers, professional labs, custom picture framers, and scrapbook retailers. The PMA 09 International Convention will feature approximately 200 business education sessions and computer tutorials, while the PMA 09 Trade Show will offer numerous picture-related products. This year’s edition also features a student video contest and a DIMA Software Tutorial Pavilion, located on the trade show floor. The complete schedule and registration forms are available on-line at www.pmai.org. EXPOSURE 2009 Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, Exposure, the Calgary-Banff Photography Festival, will take place in the cities of Calgary, Canmore, and Banff from February 1 to 28, 2009. The festival celebrates Canadian and international photo-based work and features photo exhibitions, panel discussions, portfolio reviews, workshops, and guest speakers in the Calgary/Bow Valley area. As one part of the overall programming, this year’s festival will feature works that explore, examine, and invite conversation around the theme of the environment. Following this theme, the Whyte Museum of the Rockies has organized an exhibition of large-scale works by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. For the complete schedule of events, visit www.exposurecalgarybanff.com.

Books ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS4 ONE-ON-ONE (By DekeMcClelland, o’Reilly, 512 pp., $49) Deke McClelland’s one-on-one learning system offers step-by-step tutorials, five hours of DVD-video demonstrations, and hands-on projects to improve your knowledge and hone

your skills. The book includes more than 850 photos, diagrams, and screen shots that illustrate key steps. Topics include: Photoshop’s workflow and file-handling features, Bridge and Camera Raw, and multilayered documents, including posters and flyers.

THE TRANSPARENT CITY (By Michael Wolf, Aperture, 112 pp., $60) Co-published with the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago, this book presents Wolf’s first body of work that addresses an American city. Chicago, like many urban centres throughout the world, has recently undergone a surge of new construction, grafting a new layer of architectural experimentation onto those of past eras. In early 2007, the Museum of Contemporary Photography‚ with the support of u.S. Equities Realty, invited Michael Wolf as an artist-in-residence. Bringing his unique perspective on changing urban environments to a city renowned for its architectural legacy, Wolf

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12 March 2009

Photo Life


EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHERS

chose to photograph the central downtown area, focusing specifically on issues of voyeurism and the contemporary urban landscape in flux.

P

KENYA: A COUNTRY IN THE MAKING, 1880-1940 (By Nigel Pavitt, W.W. Norton, 304 pp., $50) This collection of 720 restored photographs, many of them drawn from family archives and scrapbooks, documents the transition from a barely-explored paradise to a modern nation. It is one of the most important visual records ever published of Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The early photographers captured ceremonies and traditional attire of the native people, the machinery used in construction of the ugandan Railway, the gradual development of trade on the coast and in the country’s interior, the hardships of the East African Campaign during the First World War, and the pioneering spirit of early European settlers and farmers.

ARCTIC VISIONS (By Fred Bruemmer, key Porter, 278 pp., $45) Canadian photographer Fred Bruemmer has travelled and lived throughout the circumpolar North. Through his photos, he has captured the transition from hunter to villager as Arctic peoples began moving off the land and settling permanently in villages and towns. Today, every aspect of the Arctic has changed: dog sleds have been replaced by snowmobiles, harpoons by rifles, and igloos by houses. And the Arctic’s environmental health is of international concern as the region has been ravaged by the effects of global warming. Arctic Visions captures a past that has become almost mythological.

Photo Life is pleased to present the opening of the 2009 Emerging Photographers competition, which gives Canadian photography students, photography workshop participants, apprentice photographers, and those just beginning their careers as photographers a unique opportunity to share their vision and talent with the world.

As of this 2009 edition, participants to Emerging Photographers are invited to send their submissions exclusively via our on-line platform at www.photolife.com/emerging.php. Participants can submit up to 3 images and must provide technical information and a brief narrative/comment for each image. Please note that this competition is open to Canadian residents only. Additional submission instructions are available at www.photolife.com/emerging.php. From the submissions received, editors will select the most outstanding up-and-coming talents to be showcased in Photo Life’s September issue.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: MAY 15, 2009

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Photo Life

March 2009 13


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PROFILE

ANDRZEJ

DRAGAN BY WES LAFORTUNE

A YOUNG MAN IS TURNING PHOTOGRAPHY AND “THE DOWN TRUTH” UPSIDE UPSIDE DOWN WITH HIS COLLECTION WITH AN INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION

OF COMPELLING PORTRAITS

Thirty-year-old Andrzej Dragan is a celebrated scientist, composer of music, and yes, a photographer, who is known for the so-called Dragan effect. orn in Poland and now based in London, England, this master of the universe—who was awarded a PhD in quantum physics in 2005—rejects conventional thinking and attributes his success to steering away from what has come before. “I try to avoid it as much as I can,” said Dragan of other people’s photography. “I’m not experienced. I never follow a process.”

B

It’s an incredible statement from a man who, within the first five years of his career, is being courted by international advertising agencies; has his images regularly exhibited at galleries in Switzerland, Holland, and France, and who has scores of fans who attempt to replicate his moody, Rembrandtesque portraits. Photo Life

Dragan said that, to date, his total output of photographs was a mere 100, due to his selectivity in models and the extensive digital enhancements he embarks upon after the shutter has clicked. “The average is two weeks for post-production,” he said. It would be easy to frame Dragan’s dual pursuits of quantum physics and portraiture as a romantic exercise motivated by his intention to search for universal truths. Such a convenient summary would be absolutely wrong. “There is no deep explanation,” he said. “There is no absolute truth. I try to reveal the thing that I find appealing.” Rejecting the title of artist, Dragan said that he is attracted to photography simply because it is “interesting.” One of Dragan’s first portraits was of his mother, Anna. In the picture, she allows her eyes to travel well beyond the lens of the camera and connect with countless viewers who may see something of themselves in her. “What I like about March 2009 15


Piano tuner, 2004

[photography] is what people pay attention to,” he said. “I don’t want to go so much into philosophy.” Frequently, what people pay attention to in Dragan’s images is a sombre, disturbing tone. One photograph, titled Marta, is of an 18-year-old model suffering from anorexia. Her hipbones stick out from underneath a thin film of skin. The pain expressed in her eyes is palpable. This potent portrait, an exception to most of Dragan’s work, has had virtually no digital re-touching and stands as a straight-ahead picture of human suffering. 16 March 2009

© ANDRzEJ DRAGAN

The typical reaction of a viewer to this photograph might be to recoil. However, linger over the image and what surfaces is an unflinching examination of a young woman who is willing to be completely vulnerable in front of the camera. Is it a portrait of self-destruction, disease, or hope? It’s the ambiguity of Dragan’s images that resonates. The photographer commented that when he creates a photograph free of elaborate digital touch-ups, such as in the portrait of Marta, some viewers question what is truth and what Photo Life


Martha (1/6), 2006

AFTER TAKING THE PICTURE OF A MODEL THAT SPARKS AN INTEREST IN HIM, THE RESULTING IMAGE CAN THEN UNDERGO WEEKS OF ELECTRONIC PAINTING. OUT OF THIS MELDING OF CONVENTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND TECHNOLOGY EMERGES THE FINAL PHOTOGRAPH. is invented. “When I photographed her, she was very sick,” he said, adding, “she is much better now.” Photo Life

© ANDRzEJ DRAGAN

At the heart of what this photographer conceives and creates are portraits that often start with a chance encounter. After taking the picture of a model that sparks an interest in him, the resulting image can then undergo weeks of electronic painting. Out of this melding of conventional photography and technology emerges the final photograph.

IRONICALLY, DRAGAN’S BLURRING OF REALITY AND FANTASY PROPELS VIGOROUS DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN. March 2009 17


Old Marylin Monroe, 2008

© ANDRzEJ DRAGAN

Ironically, Dragan’s blurring of reality and fantasy propels vigorous discussion about what it means to be human. On blogs, electronic forums, and at gallery openings, the collective debate about the meaning behind this small but influential body of work carries on. “Some people claim a good portrait will reveal some truth about the model. I’m undoubtedly sad to state that these people will not find anything interesting in my photography which has no such purpose,” Dragan stated. Another photo, Allegory on the Truth, shows a model transformed into a Christ-like figure pointing to the spot on his hand where a spike has been driven through. Wearing a crown of thorns, his bloodied body scarred, the tortured man stares out at the viewer with a look of indignation; or is it salvation? For Dragan, the reactions to his photographs are integral to why he creates.

David Lynch, 2005

© ANDRzEJ DRAGAN

suitable model to photograph. “I’m limited to good models,” he said. “I’m not in a rush.” Perhaps the best way to understand Dragan’s thinking is to see the David Lynch movie Lost Highway. It’s a film Dragan has viewed 17 times. In a 1997 interview with the New York Times, Lynch explained his post-modernist film noir centred around an alienated jazz musician named Fred and his wife Renee: “It’s like when you are sitting alone, you sometimes have the feeling that there are different parts of you. There are certain things that you can do, and there are certain things that you would never do unless there was a part of you that took over.”

Another photo, Piano Tuner, is more typical of how the photographer works. “He’s a guy I met on the streets in Warsaw,” he said. “He invited me into his house.”

Still in the early days of an already distinguished photography career, Dragan is riding a wave of success that few photographers could ever hope to achieve. Thankfully, this burst of attention seems to have left him uncontaminated. He remains driven by taking pleasure in creating unique pictures that are capturing worldwide recognition.

Searching for individuals with unique characteristics, Dragan said that he can go for weeks, even months, without finding a

Summing up his career, his photography, and perhaps even his life, Dragan said, “There is no plan. I’m just trying to use myself.”

18 March 2009

Photo Life


© ANDRzEJ DRAGAN

Allegory on the Truth, Diptych: Part II, 2006

© ANDRzEJ DRAGAN

No title, 2007

BIO: Wes Lafortune is a full-time freelance writer based in Calgary. He has contributed to numerous daily newspapers and magazines, including the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Sydney Morning Herald, Vancouver Sun, Alberta Venture, and Food For Thought. Wes has covered water buffalo racing in Borneo, fire walking in Fiji, and wild rice farming in northern Alberta. A long-time contributor to Photo Life magazine, Wes says one of the highlights of his career has been the opportunity to showcase Canadian photographers. Wes owns a fancy digital SLR, but he still has a soft spot for his first camera, a Canon TX, which he purchased when he was a teenager.

Why Camera Armor?

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Camera Armor is distributed in Canada by DayMen Photo Marketing LP 55 Valleywood Drive • Markham, ON • L3R 5L9 Phone: 905.944.9400 or 1.800.432.9636 • Fax: 905.944.9401 or 1.800.640.5693 • Web: daymen.com • Email: info@daymen.com 3:28:48 PM

Photo Life

March 2009 19


DESTINATION

TREKKING INTO THE

LAND THAT NEVER MELTS

© PATRICE hALLEY

BY PATRICE HALLEY

20 March 2009

Photo Life


© PATRICE hALLEY

© PATRICE hALLEY

As far as northern parks are concerned, Auyuittuq, “the land that never melts” in Inuktitut, is remote, inhospitable, and grandiose. A destination for experienced big wall climbers and wilderness trekkers, the park is certainly not for the casual stroller. Proof is the 10-pagelong Parks Canada questionnaire I had to fill out as the group leader. oing to shoot in remote locations always triggers a series of “what if” questions—the first concern being the weight issue. In order to complete an autonomous 14-day trek and take pictures while carrying a 90-lb backpack filled with food, a tent, fuel, a stove, clothing, and a first-aid kit, the final selection of photo gear is key. Unfortunately, when you are being sent somewhere on assignment, considerations for your own comfort and the weight you must carry are secondary to the mission.

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My assignment was to focus on people that were using the park. I was planning to photograph trekkers and, if possible, climbers in action on walls that are over a thousand metres high. I convinced my friend Xavier Bonacorsi to come, along with my colleague, David Leach, and me, to help carry the load. For a photographer, being surrounded by the incredibly rugged scenery of Auyuittuq can be

FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER, BEING SURROUNDED BY THE INCREDIBLY RUGGED SCENERY OF AUYUITTUQ CAN BE OVERWHELMING. I HAD PREPARED FOR THIS JOURNEY FOR WEEKS BY BROWSING THROUGH BOOKS AND GUIDES, LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHS OF PEAKS AND CLIFF FACES BATHED IN INFINITE DAYLIGHT. Photo Life

overwhelming. I had prepared for this journey for weeks by browsing through books and guides, looking at photographs of peaks and cliff faces bathed in infinite daylight. By the end of the second day, after a slow-going 12-km hike, I had barely shot 50 frames. Exhausted, we set up camp in a boulder garden at the base of Tirokwa Peak’s West buttress. The average rock there is the size of a two-bedroom townhouse. Between two of these giant blocks of granite, remnants of the Canadian Shield, I framed my first picture of a distant Mount Thor. The inspiring 1560-metrehigh peak has a cliff face of over a thousand

GEAR LIST Nikon D300 with grip for AA batteries Nikon D200 without grip as a backup camera with three spare batteries Nikkor 16 mm f/2.8, 17-35 mm f/2.8, 28-70 mm f/3.5, 70-200 mm f/2.8 (light and compact), 105 mm micro f/2.8, and 500 mm f/4 lenses Nikon SB-600 Speedlight Flash Canon G9, with two batteries Epson P3000 Viewer Gitzo carbon tripod 4 CompactFlash 2-GB SanDisk Extreme III cards 4 CompactFlash 4-GB SanDisk Extreme III cards 3 CompactFlash 8-GB SanDisk Extreme III cards 2 SDHC SanDisk Extreme III 2 PocketWizard with cables for flash and camera to allow remote triggering 40 Energizer rechargeable batteries (I took way too many batteries, but while on assignment, why take a chance?) Singh-Ray warming polarizer Singh-Ray ND 2 and ND 3 filters CTO gel for flash Nikon MC-30 remote trigger Lowepro Orion AW bag

March 2009 21


© PATRICE hALLEY

© PATRICE hALLEY

LOCATION AND ACCESS

EXPERIENCE

Auyuittuq is located on Baffin Island and is accessible by flying to Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital. The park itself, accessible by boat or on foot, is 31 km from the village of Pangnirtung. There are daily flights from Iqaluit to Pangnirtung. One can cross the entire Akshayuk Pass, roughly 97 km, ideally from Overlord (south) to the North Pangnirtung Emergency Shelter and exit through the community of Qikiqtarjuaq. You will need to arrange boat taxis in both communities to access and exit the park, and your return flight from Qikiqtarjuaq to Pangnirtung.

If you are not extremely fit, do not consider Auyuittuq as a destination. However, if you are capable of hiking 10 to 20 km a day while carrying your gear, the park offers plenty of spectacular mountain scenery, glaciers, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and amazing geological formations, all accessible on foot. While wildflowers and tundra vegetation are present, there is almost no wildlife in the park. If you are into adventure photography, this is the place where you may encounter big wall climbers (no base jumping is allowed in the park). Come prepared and you will return with amazing photographs.

Access to Auyuittuq is either through the communities of Pangnirtung or Qikiqtarjuaq. It is possible to cross the entire park (100 km) or to explore just one section. The most spectacular and popular trail starts at Overlord and goes to Summit Lake and back. This trek is accessible from Pangnirtung. Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq are accessed from Iqaluit. Depending on your flights and itinerary, you may have to plan a night in Iqaluit. Hotels are expensive in the Arctic—$265 a night at the Auyuittuq Lodge Hotel (867-473-8955, panglodge@qiniq.com). Camping is possible in the villages; check for information at the visitor centres. You can also organize a home stay in Pangnirtung. Contact Ooleepeeka Arnaqaq at the Angmarlik Visitor Centre: 867 473-8737 or angmarlikcentre@qiniq.com. In Iqaluit, you can stay at the Nunattaq Suites B&B—great; it’s brand new and inexpensive. Contact Julie Beauchêne at 867 975-2745 or visit www.nunattaqsuites.com.

22 March 2009

metres. It has attracted climbers from all over the world and made Auyuittuq a climbing Mecca. After a frugal dinner, we quickly faded away into the warmth of our sleeping bags, but a Norse Wind God decided to blast us. We were stuck in our tents, thanks to a 100-km/h wind scorching through the fjord; we couldn’t move, and only reluctantly went out when emergencies became unbearable. Photo Life


© PATRICE hALLEY

DO NOT FORGET TO BRING - A strong tent that will withstand high winds - A light sleeping bag - A Gore-Tex shell and a good layering system, even in July - Patience and a good book or two If you want to explore the glaciers, you’ll need: - Ice crampons - A Harness - An ice axe and rope - A Topographic map (Akshayuk Pass by Chrismar Mapping Services is full of information, detailed, and waterproof!)

OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS, AS THE SAND DUST SETTLED, WE MOSTLY RESTED AND ATE GLUTTONOUSLY, TRYING TO LIGHTEN OUR LOADS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. WE HIKED TO GLACIAL TONGUES AND WATERFALLS, AND SCRAMBLED LIKE ANTS INTO AUYUITTUQ’S IMAX-LIKE SCENERY. XAVIER, DAVID AND I WERE BEWITCHED BY THE 24-HOUR DAYLIGHT. Over the next couple of days, as the sand dust settled, we mostly rested and ate gluttonously, trying to lighten our loads as much as possible. We hiked to glacial tongues and waterfalls, and scrambled like ants into Auyuittuq’s Imax-like scenery. Xavier, David and I were bewitched by the 24-hour daylight.

© PATRICE hALLEY

Himalayas, although, according to the park ranger, the bridge was “built to the highest Canadian standards.” The hike continues along the west shore, where the Weasel becomes lazy for a while. The mighty walls of Mount Odin and Thor Peak guard the entrance of the park in a warrior-like posture. Xavier, David, and I hiked into Summit Lake and returned home safe and sound. Two days after we left the park, the suspended bridge crossing the Weasel River collapsed and was washed away by a flood. Park authorities had to evacuate trekkers by helicopter and Auyuittuq remained closed for several days.

XAVIER, DAVID, AND I HIKED INTO SUMMIT LAKE AND RETURNED HOME SAFE AND SOUND. TWO DAYS AFTER WE LEFT THE PARK, THE SUSPENDED BRIDGE CROSSING THE WEASEL RIVER COLLAPSED AND WAS WASHED AWAY BY A FLOOD. PARK AUTHORITIES HAD TO EVACUATE TREKKERS BY HELICOPTER AND AUYUITTUQ REMAINED CLOSED FOR SEVERAL DAYS. GETTING THERE

If one has doubts that Auyuittuq is extraordinary land, they all vanish once you have crossed the suspended bridge over the Weasel River. Raging into a half-kilometre drop, the glacial runoff literally boils under your feet before ending in a cataract of foam. The crossing reminds me of the Photo Life

Flights to Baffin Island: First Air: www.firstair.ca Canadian North: www.canadiannorth.com For travel information on Nunanvut: www.nunavuttourism.com Contact Joavee Alivaktuk at Alivaktuk Outfitting for travel from Pangnirtung to Auyuittuq Park: P.O. Box 3, Pangnirtung, Nunavut, X0A 0R0; phone: (867) 473-8721; fax: (867) 473-8721.

March 2009 23


GRAND PRIZE Holga Landscape, Jia Han Dong, Parsippany, NJ, USA

24 March 2009

Photo Life


TM

onOne software

IMAGE INTERNATIONAL 2008 PHOTO CONTEST

THE WINNERS Once again, we had an outstanding selection of photographs entered in our annual Image International photo contest. We were excited by the quality of images submitted this year, particularly in the Nature category. Well done! We hope you enjoy our winners’ showcase from photographers all over the globe. Thank you to all of our generous sponsors for their continued support of Photo Life’s Image International photo contest: Amplis Foto Inc., Bibble Labs Inc., DayMen Photo Marketing LP, DxO Labs, Epson Canada LTD., Energizer Canada Inc, Gentec International, Kindermann Canada Inc., onOne Software Inc., Panasonic Canada Inc., VIA Rail Canada Inc.

GRAND PRIZE VIA Rail travel credit, Panasonic Lumix DMC L-10 digital SLR, Tamron AF 28-200 mm F/3.8-5.6 XR Di Aspherical [IF] Macro lens, Billingham Vest, 12” iQ Digital Picture Frame, onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Datacolor Spyder3Pro software, Bibble Pro software, DxO FilmPack software, SanDisk Sansa c250 2-GB MP3 player, Swarovski Osprey Versa pocket knife, Swarovski watch, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $7677)

1ST TO 10TH PRIZE, IN EACH CATEGORY

Photo Life

1ST PRIZE

Panasonic Lumix DMC L-10 digital SLR, Sekonic DigitalMaster L-758DR meter, Tamron AF 28-200 mm F/3.8-5.6 XR Di Aspherical [IF] Macro lens, onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Bibble Pro software, DxO FilmPack software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $3550)

2ND PRIZE

Panasonic HDC-SD9 High-Definition SD/SDHC video camera, Epson Perfection V700 photo scanner, Lowepro Rolling Computrekker AW bag, 12" iQ Digital Picture Frame, onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Bibble Pro software, DxO FilmPack software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $3006)

3RD PRIZE

Tamron AF 28-200 mm F/3.8-5.6 XR Di Aspherical [IF] Macro lens, Epson P-3000 multimedia storage viewer, PocketWizard Plus II Transceiver, 12" iQ Digital Picture Frame, onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Epson Stylus Photo RX680 printer, Bibble Pro software, DxO FilmPack softwar, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $2602)

4TH PRIZE

Epson Stylus Photo R1900 printer, Slik Pro 700 DX tripod w/ Soft Grip, onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Hoya Super Multi-Coated PL-CIR 67-mm Filter, DxO FilmPack software, Swarovski Osprey Versa pocket knife, Bibble Lite software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $2198)

5TH PRIZE

Lowepro Stealth Reporter D550 AW bag, Photoflex kit (32” 5n’1 reflector and reflector holder), 12" iQ Digital Picture Frame, onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, DxO FilmPack software, Bibble Lite software, 8.5 x 11 Hahnemühle Digital FineArt paper kit, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $1628)

6TH PRIZE

Photoflex kit (32” 5n’1 reflector and reflector holder), onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Epson Stylus Photo RX680 printer, SanDisk Sansa c250 2-GB MP3 player, DxO FilmPack software, Bibble Lite software, 8.5 x 11 Hahnemühle Digital FineArt paper kit, Joby Gorillapod SLR tripod, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $1368)

7TH PRIZE

onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Epson Stylus Photo RX680 printer, Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW bag, DxO FilmPack software, Swarovski watch, Bibble Lite software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $1128)

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onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, Datacolor Spyder2express software, SanDisk Sansa c250 2-GB MP3 player, DxO FilmPack software, Bibble Lite software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $869)

9TH PRIZE

onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, SanDisk Sansa c250 2-GB MP3 player, DxO FilmPack software, Bibble Lite software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $770)

10TH PRIZE

onOne PhotoTools Professional Edition software, Energizer prize pack, DxO FilmPack software, Bibble Lite software, SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2-GB USB key. (estimated value: $671)

March 2009 25


PEOPLE

Our planet will soon be home to 7 billion people and each individual has a they story toare—What tell. Knowing your subject is the magicthey ingredient Who they do—How do toit showing their individuality and telling their story. Show us who they are and illustrate their tale through your images.

1ST PRIZE Sisters, Stephanie Osmond, Montréal, Qué.

26 March 2009

Photo Life


2ND PRIZE Dak Nong in Rain, Hoang Long Ly, Dalat, Vietnam

Photo Life

March 2009 27


3RD PRIZE Karolla at Likerish MU by Alpha, Joseph Kamon, Bowen Island, B.C.

28 March 2009

4TH PRIZE The Velvet Suit, Lori Crewe, Guelph, Ont.

Photo Life


5TH PRIZE Boy and Goat, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Toronto, Ont.

Photo Life

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6TH PRIZE Marie, Sébastien Michaud, Chicoutimi, Qué.

30 March 2009

7TH PRIZE The Path, Polly Chandler, Austin, TX, USA

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8TH PRIZE Suspended Dream, Derek Hogue, Halifax, N.S.

9TH PRIZE Transylvanian Gipsys, Zoltรกn Balogh, Budapest, Hungary

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10TH PRIZE At the Stylist, Timothy Smith, Brandon, Man.

March 2009 31


NATURE

Our planet will soon be home to 7 billion people and each individual has a story tourban tell. Knowing your subject is the magic ingredient Landscape, or natural—Wildlife, domesticto showing their individuality and telling their story. Show whonew they or feral—Environment, oldus or are and illustrate their tale through your images.

1ST PRIZE Silence in the woods..., Tatiana Bitir, Toronto, Ont.

32 March 2009

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2ND PRIZE Antarctic Ice Sculpture, Nori Jemil, Santiago, Chile

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3RD PRIZE Frontière, Véronique Lacharité, St-Sulpice, Qué.

34 March 2009

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4TH PRIZE Vulture, Dmitri Markine, Toronto, Ont.

5TH PRIZE Freedom, Heidi Jaaskelainen, Etobicoke, Ont.

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6TH PRIZE Demoiselle, Julie Normandin, Montréal, Qué.

36 March 2009

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7TH PRIZE Pool Closed, Thomas Folke Andersen, Manly Vale, Australia

9TH PRIZE Painted Prairie, Roberta Murray, Rocky Mtn House, Alta.

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8TH PRIZE Tree in Fog, Anil Sud, Winnipeg, Man.

10TH PRIZE Elephant Parade, Marcel van Balken, Amstelveen, Netherlands

March 2009 37


TRAVEL

Our planet will soon be home to 7 billion people and each individual has a story to tell.Here, Knowing subject is the magicbeyond— ingredient to atyour home—There, showing their individuality and telling their story. Show who they Everywhere, withoutusborders are and illustrate their tale through your images.

1ST PRIZE Sheep Farmer, Tasmania, Catherine Hall, Lafayette, CA, USA 38 March 2009

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2ND PRIZE Hoi an Alley, Felix Hug, Singapore, Singapore Photo Life

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3RD PRIZE School, Dmitri Markine, Toronto, Ont.

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4TH PRIZE Contre vents et marées, Alain Tessier, Montréal, Qué.

5TH PRIZE Sunrise on the Okavango, John Kingston, Sherwood Park, Alta.

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6TH PRIZE Bondi Beach, Andrew Davoll, Perth, Australia

42 March 2009

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7TH PRIZE The Pushkar Camel Fair at the State of Rajesthan, Senthil Kumaran Rajendran, Madurai, India

9TH PRIZE For Those Who Are on the Way, Dimitry Chatrov, Toronto, Ont.

Photo Life

8TH PRIZE Sahara, Émilie Pelletier, Montréal, Qué.

10TH PRIZE Green Steps, Hoang Long Ly, Dalat, Vietnam

March 2009 43


REVIEW

GOING CRAZY WITH MY

LENSBABY

A wise man once told me that “a true photographer does not take a photograph, he makes a photograph.” With this theory in mind, my discovery of Lensbaby products challenged me in a whole new way. Once I began experimenting with Lensbabies, I remembered that I was “making” photographs not just taking them. This inspired me to shoot for creativity, expression, and fun! Lensbabies allowed me to discover new, exciting ways of creating special effects through a unique optical system. I was able to bend and distort objects through my lens and view the world with a fresh perspective.

fter experimenting with all three Lensbaby SLR lenses, the Muse, the Control Freak, and the Composer, I began to favour the Composer because of its smooth, precise control. The Composer is new to the Lensbaby family, and has an innovative ball and socket configuration. With the Composer, I was able to tilt the lens to a desired angle and gently perfect my shot with a barrelfocusing ring. At first I was sceptical, because the ball and socket required a lot of pressure for me to adjust the angle. However, the slight stiffness became an

A

44 March 2009

asset, as it stayed in position while focusing and shooting. The Composer produces a “sweet spot” of sharp focus gently surrounded by graduated blur. This gives exquisite dream-like imagery, which allowed me to “go crazy” with my imagination. I was delighted to learn that the size of the sweet spot could be adjusted. Each optical element came with a series of variable aperture disks that magnetically stick to front of the lens. Naturally, the out-of-focus specular highlights take on the shape of the hole in your

BY EVELYN HEIN aperture disk. The Creative Aperture Kit allowed me to change the normally circular specular highlights for various shapes. So far, I have experimented with the precut heart and star-shaped aperture disks, and I look forward to making my own. Like toy cameras, Lensbabies inspired infinite possibilities and, through the magic of uncertainty, I achieved surprising results. Creator Craig Strong invented the Lensbaby as a way to bring the qualities of the Holga camera to the digital age. This is fantastic for photographers like me who adore the excitement of shooting with toy cameras, but prefer the convenience of a digital SLR. When I paired a Lensbaby with a digital SLR, I eliminated the possibility of light leaks ruining my masterpieces, which is an issue I encountered with toy cameras. Lensbaby has come a long way, with exciting accessories and attachments.

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© EVELYN hEIN

I photographed this colourful tree with the Lensbaby Composer, the Plastic Optic, and a star-shaped aperture disk. Notice how the specular highlights take on the shape of the aperture disk for a unique visual effect.

Kelly Jennings

The optic system enabled me to adjust the softness of my images and gave me the opportunity to play with pinhole and macro photography. My only struggle with the Composer was that it did not have a wide-angle or telephoto attachment. I constantly found myself in awkward positions to get the composition I desired. With all the advancements they have come up with thus far, I would not be surprised to see a wideangle or telephoto attachment one day. For now, I am satisfied with what they have available, and I cannot wait to get outside and take more fun shots with my Lensbaby Composer.

Rocky Mountain School of Photography Missoula, Montana

2009 CAREER TRAINING Session I

Summer Intensive: A Foundation in Photography June 1 - August 14

Session 2

Professional Studies: Focus On Your Career Path August 11 - September 4

Session 3

Advanced Intensive: Digital & Professional Development September 8 - October 16

Attending RMSP’s Career Training program was the best step I could have taken toward getting my photographic career in line. Now that I have the knowledge – and the confidence, I am opening a pet photography studio in addition to shooting weddings and events at home and around the world. The inspiration from my peers and instructors, and the friendships I made at RMSP will last a lifetime. Kelly Jennings, 2008 Career Training Graduate Calgary, Alberta To learn more please call (800) 394-7677 or visit us online at:

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rmsp.com March 2009 45


ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE THROUGH THIS NEW FEATURE, WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO SHARE IDEAS, TIPS, AND TECHNIQUES, AND PERHAPS A FEW SUGGESTIONS, WHICH MAY BROADEN THE HORIZONS OF ALL READERS, NOT JUST THE PARTICIPATING PHOTOGRAPHERS. WE ARE NOT HERE TO CRITIQUE, BUT TO ENCOURAGE DIFFERENT WAYS OF SEEING THE SAME SUBJECT. AFTER ALL, THAT IS THE NAME OF THE GAME IN PHOTOGRAPHY: EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN PERSONAL VISION. SOME IMAGES PRESENTED WILL BE MORE INVOLVED IN TERMS OF TECHNICAL AND AESTHETIC OFFERINGS WHILE OTHERS WILL BE VERY SIMPLE. IT’S AMAZING WHAT A SIMPLE SHIFT OR CROP CAN DO FOR A PHOTOGRAPH’S VISUAL IMPACT; SOMETIMES ALL IT TAKES IS ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE. BEFORE I WAS DRIVING BACK HOME TO CALGARY FROM BANFF IN THE LATE AFTERNOON ONE CHILLY NOVEMBER DAY, AND I WANTED TO GET A SHOT OF THIS HERITAGE SITE CHURCH ALONG THE WAY. THE LIGHT WAS PERFECT AS I PULLED INTO THE PARKING LOT, BUT AS SOON I GOT MY GEAR OUT OF THE BACK OF THE CAR, THE SUN DIPPED BEHIND A BANK OF CLOUDS. SO MUCH FOR MY DRAMATIC LIGHTING SHOT! I WONDERED IF THERE WAS ANYTHING THAT COULD BE DONE TO THIS FLAT-LOOKING PHOTOGRAPH TO MAKE IT MORE INTERESTING.

© ShANE ThIRSk

SHOT WITH A CANON EOS 5D, 28-135 MM LENS; FOCAL LENGTH: 47 MM; F/10; 1/100 S.

SHANE THIRSK, CALGARY, ALTA.

D

Digital image editing has done wonders for photographers who want to rework their photographs in ways that they may not have been able to visualize when they first took the shot. Photographers can now go back to images that they once considered out-takes and give them new life. Images like the one here are perfect for experimenting and trying out new techniques.

Our first thought was to toss what subtle colour there was out the window and go with a warm duotone to give it more of a historical feel. There are numerous ways of doing this, but we’ll stick to the quick and simple technique in order to illustrate how quickly the look of a photograph can change. We’ll enhance a few other areas as well to soften the hard edges.

1

Although there’s nothing wrong with the original composition of Shane’s photograph, we wanted to show an alternate way of viewing a scene like this. In Photoshop CS3, we gave it a quick crop with the fence leading the viewer in from the left, flowing to the church slightly to the right. This crop also served to eliminate a couple of small buildings on the right, even though they were barely visible in the original.

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2

Next we zoomed in and cloned out a couple of distant telephone poles, so our eyes didn’t wander over there and spend all our time trying to figure out what they were instead of looking at the photograph. It might seem like a very small thing, but it could be distracting to some, so it’s best to just get rid of them.


3

Time to toss out the colour and convert this photo to a duotone. Before we can add the warm tone, we have to convert it to Grayscale. There are many ways to do this—some very complex—but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll go the quickest route. Under the Menu, go to Image > Mode > Grayscale. It looks flat now, but we’ll fix that.

4

To add a nice warm tone, go back to Menu > Image > Duotone. A dialogue box will appear and this will be where you select your second colour. Under the drop-down menu Type, click Duotone. Ink 1 will be Black as we’re still working with a monotone image. Click the right hand box in Ink 2 and a Color Libraries box will appear. Select your second colour by using the middle sliders. We’ve selected Pantone 130 C, which gives the image a warm, antique feel, but you could use any colour that best matches your vision. There several advanced options and you can spend hours playing to your heart’s content.

5

As a finishing touch, we added a Diffused Glow to give it a softer, dream-like quality. Under the Menu, go to Filter > Distort > Diffuse Glow. A dialogue box appears with various options. Our settings for the final image are: Graininess: 1, Glow Amount: 4, Clear Amount: 10.

AFTER This is just one of the hundreds of ways we can rework images that are sitting in our files. A completely different look, in about five minutes flat.

Please send your images to perspective@photolife.com following these guidelines:

© ShANE ThIRSk

• Maximum of one image per month • In the message, clearly indicate your name, address, telephone number, and the title of your image. If you have it, also provide any technical information on how the shot was taken (camera, lens, shutter speed, lens opening, type of light, digital modifications applied; max. 50 words), along with a short description of your image, including your desired end result, technical/compositional issues that you had, and how you think it might be improved (max. 100 words) • JPEG format only; image width from 1800 to 4000 pixels

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Winner: PercĂŠ Rock in Early Morning, Julien Robitaille, Clermont, QuĂŠ.

Oregon Seascape, Simone Koffman, Toronto, Ont.

48 March 2009

Castle Hill Lighthouse, Newport, RI, Michael Van der Tol, Stittsville, Ont.

Photo Life


SEASCAPES AND TIDE POOLS

Waves, Barbara Bender, King City, Ont.

Radiant Isle, Tashi Draper, Victoria, B.C.

Untitled, Sandy Pavel, Toronto, Ont.

2009-2010 W SHOWTIME

e invite our readers to participate in the Showtime photo contest, sponsored by Epson Canada Ltd. This issue’s first place winner will be awarded an Epson Artisan 700 All-in-one (retail value: $199.99).

THEMES

YOU COULD WIN AN EPSON ARTISAN 700 ALL-IN-ONE

Requirements: slides, colour, or black and white prints (minimum 5 x 7, maximum 11 x 14 inches), and digital documents (MacIntosh or universal format, RGB, 300 dpi, maximum final print size 8 x 10”). Maximum of five images per theme per person. To submit images by e-mail to showtime@photolife.com, the following guidelines must be respected or your entry/entries will be rejected: only submit one image per e-mail (if five images are submitted, then five separate e-mails must be sent); indicate only the theme in the “Subject” line—nothing else; in the message, clearly indicate your name, address, telephone number, and the title of the image; use your full name as the file name (if submitting more than one image, simply add 1, 2, etc. to your name); JPEG format only; image width from 1800 to 4000 pixels; files must not exceed 3 MB. To submit by regular mail, send entries to Photo Life “Showtime”, 185 St. Paul Street, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1K 3W2 with image title, your complete name, mailing address, and telephone number affixed to the back, accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to cover all return fees if you want your image(s) returned. The contest is open to Canadian residents only. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT EPSON PRODUCTS, VISIT WWW.EPSON.CA.

THEMES Canada Day Waterfalls Urban Abstract In My Neighbourhood Juxtapositions

Photo Life

DEADLINE

PUBLICATION DATE

March 13, 2009 May 15, 2009 July 10, 2009 September 11, 2009 November 13, 2009

July 2009 September 2009 November 2009 January 2010 March 2010

March 2009 49


DO IT YOUR WAY CUSTOMIZE PHOTOSHOP WITH PREFERENCES BY DAVID TANAKA

P

Photoshop’s features are deep and its toolset expansive. It can be intimidating. Not too far away, however, is a set of controls that allows you to customize it to your way of doing things. These settings are aptly named Preferences.

The Preferences Panel has long been a feature of Photoshop. Version CS3 contains more than 50 adjustments clustered into nine groupings. Several are particularly helpful for photography workflow. This article is based on the Preferences panel in Photoshop CS3, but the one in Photoshop Elements 6 is very similar. Moreover, although the Preferences panel was redesigned in CS3, many of these settings were part of earlier versions of Photoshop—you may have to look in different clusters to find them. On Windows systems, you access Preferences through the Edit menu; on Macs you’ll find it in the Photoshop menu. The shortcut is Ctrl-K for Windows or Cmd-K on the Mac.

IMPROVING PERFORMANCE I’ll start with the Performance panel because settings there can make a difference in how responsive Photoshop will be. Performance tuning is a balancing act: increasing speed or responsiveness in one

area will often degrade performance in another. The performance panel is arranged into four groups. The Memory Usage group tells you how much RAM (random access memory) your computer has and how much of that memory Photoshop would like; it has a way for you to control how much memory Photoshop gets (a slider along with a direct entry field). On my computer, which has two gigabytes of RAM, the setting is 70% and that’s generally acceptable. It leaves at least 700 MB for other tasks the computer has to perform. If you work with many applications at the same time, reducing Photoshop’s portion will improve overall system performance. On the other hand, if you normally work with large or complex images, increasing PS’s share of RAM will make it perform better. Having lots of RAM, say 4 GB, makes the balancing act easier. Related to RAM is the Scratch Disk group. A scratch disk is a portion of a hard drive

that Photoshop treats as RAM, allowing it to work as though it has more RAM than the computer actually has. The penalty is that scratch disks are much slower than actual RAM. If you have just one hard drive on your system, the best thing you can do is keep it defragmented, because the scratch disk needs a chunk of unfragmented memory. If you have more than one hard drive in your computer, you can use either to store the scratch disk. The rules of thumb are: pick the fastest drive; pick the drive with the most free-space (that you defrag regularly); if you are a Windows user, pick a drive that Windows doesn’t use for its virtual memory. External drives aren’t good candidates for scratch disks—data transfer rates are too slow (although technologies like SATA and FireWire 800 are quite speedy), and you’ll need to ensure that it is always connected. The History & Cache group allows you to adjust history states and cache levels. History states define how far back you can reach with the Undo command. You can specify up to 99 undos, but the larger the number, the more memory Photoshop will need to keep track of them. (If you get low memory warnings you can manually dump these using Edit > Purge.) Photoshop uses caches to hold low-res versions of the image you are working on, which helps speed up screen redraws. Tuning cache levels can be tricky because as you increase cache levels, screen redraws will be faster but image loading will be slower. The factory setting is 6 and a setting of 1 turns off caching. If you


THE PREFERENCES PANEL HAS LONG BEEN A FEATURE OF PHOTOSHOP. VERSION CS3 CONTAINS MORE THAN 50 ADJUSTMENTS CLUSTERED INTO NINE GROUPINGS. SEVERAL ARE PARTICULARLY HELPFUL FOR PHOTOGRAPHY WORKFLOW. want to tune your cache levels, Adobe recommends starting at level 2, and working up from there until you achieve an acceptable balance.

or system with a small screen, checking this button can be a convenience as it gets the palettes out of the image space; the downside is re-opening them often.

GENERAL PANEL

FILE HANDLING

The General Panel is something of a catch-all. The Image Interpolation dropdown menu is the most relevant to photographers. It defines the algorithm Photoshop will use to resample when you want to change the base or native resolution of an image. By default it is set to Bicubic Sharper and includes the helpful hint (the best for reduction). Since we usually want to reduce the pixel count when we resample, this is a good choice. However, if you have a batch of photos you want to “up-res,” changing this preference to Bicubic Smoother (better for enlarging) will save you from having to change this in the Interpolation dialogue box for each image you want to enlarge.

Think of this as the diplomacy panel. These settings determine how well your files get along with other platforms (Windows vs. Mac) and other software applications, including earlier versions of Photoshop. In the File Compatibility grouping, the “Prefer Adobe Camera Raw for JPEG files” item is unchecked. If you check this, when you double-click on a JPEG file the file opens into ACR rather than Photoshop. There may be some reasons why you’d want to do this, but generally it’s better to leave this unchecked.

In the Options checkboxes, “Export Clipboard” is selected by default. If your computer has limited memory and you don’t typically copy from Photoshop and paste into another application, you can uncheck this selection.

TUNING THE WORKSPACE The Interface cluster is new in CS3, although many of the selections existed in different clusters in previous versions. In the Palettes area, the “Remember Palette Location” is selected by default. If you set up your interface just so, having this checkbox selected will preserve that; otherwise your interface will revert to the factory default each time you launch PS. One situation in which you might want to go back to a default layout is if you take a Photoshop tutorial: the screens are based on a standardized layout. It will be easier to follow if your workspace looks the same. Auto-Collapse Icon Palettes is not selected by default. Selecting it automatically closes palettes when you click in the image window. If you work on a laptop

The “Ignore EXIF profile tag” is also unchecked. When this is checked Photoshop will ignore colour profile information that your camera may have written as EXIF data. If you are getting profile mismatch errors between the camera’s RGB and Photoshop’s, checking this item may resolve the problem. If you routinely save layered files in tiff format, you may want to uncheck the “Ask before saving layered tiff files” selection. This will end those nagging caution prompts. For maximizing compatibility with Photoshop’s PSB/ PSD file format you have a dropdown menu with three choices: always, never and ask (ask is the default setting). To ensure compat-

ibility with other applications or older versions of Photoshop, a flattened version is saved along with the layered image. The downside is that the file becomes bigger. Generally speaking, it is safe to select “never” or leave it at “ask” if you don’t mind the nag messages. There is one exception: if you use Lightroom to catalogue your PSDs, use the “always” setting.

ACCESS ALL YOUR PLUG-INS The Plug-Ins panel simply lets you tell Photoshop to also look for plug-ins in another location. This is useful if you use another application that has Photoshopcompatible plug-ins in its own folder or if you’ve collected third-party plug-ins in a separate folder.

ADD PRECISION TO CURSORS If you need more accuracy in locating the centre of a brush tip, select the “Show Crosshair in Brush Tip” checkbox. This works for brush-based tools. The other group in the Cursors panel allows you to choose between a standard or precise cursor for the other tools—for example, dumping the lasso cursor in favour of a more precise crosshair.

THE OOPS FACTOR By experimenting with the Preferences settings, you can create a better working interface. You might also regret the changes. If you can’t remember which settings you changed and want go back to the way things were, a three-finger salute is the path to redemption. Hold down Alt-Ctrl-Shift (Windows) or OptionCmd-Shift (Mac) while launching Photoshop and you’ll get a dialogue box: “Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings File?” Say yes and the Preferences will be restored to the factory defaults.

THE RULES OF THUMB ARE: PICK THE FASTEST DRIVE; PICK THE DRIVE WITH THE MOST FREE-SPACE (THAT YOU DEFRAG REGULARLY); IF YOU ARE A WINDOWS USER, PICK A DRIVE THAT WINDOWS DOESN’T USE FOR ITS VIRTUAL MEMORY. BIO: As a technology writer, David Tanaka has tracked digital photography’s evolution from crude curiosity into the mainstream. His work as a photographer includes magazine assignments and supplying stock to textbook publishers. You can contact David at david@eyesquared.com.


GADGETGU!DE BY DAVID TANAKA MAKE MY NEXT NOTEBOOK CARBON FIBRE Given its wide use in tripods, photographers know the benefits of carbon fibre—strong, tough, and lightweight. Sony has used this material to make the chassis of its ultraportable notebook computer, the VAIO TT. The TT weighs just over a kilogram (2.87 lb) and is just a couple of centimetres thick (less than one inch). It’s still big enough to hold an 11.1-inch widescreen LED-backlit display and a Centrino dual-core processor. The unit has an HDMI-out port so you can send whatever you are displaying on the TT to a bigger high-definition TV. Sony is waving the green flag with this model: it complies with EnergyStar 4.0 and gets an EPEAT Silver rating (EPEAT is Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool). The Backlit LED screen is mercuryfree. The VAIO TT is available in black and costs $2000. www.sonystyle.ca

HOURS, EVEN DAYS, OF RECORDING WITH DS-61

ACDSEE PRO 2.5 IMPROVES END-TO-END RAW WORKFLOW

One area of the digital domain where Olympus excelled, even when digital cameras were just crawling off the drawing board, is digital voice recorders. Today it has a wide selection from budget note takers to pro PCM field recorders like the LS-10.

Our friends in Victoria continue to build on the strong image cataloguing base of ACDSee, adding and improving functions to make it competitive with other end-to-end Raw image workflow suites like Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture. ACDSee Pro 2.5 gains the ability to make localized (and non-destructive) adjustments to Raw images. Metadata handling has also been improved with a couple of new features, such as the ability to add information to XMP sidecar files. One of the strongest features of ACDSee has been its batch processing abilities, and they continue to give the program everyday usefulness. This version has small but useful improvements that keep it in the running. For example, you now have pan-and-zoom motion effects in the slideshow generator. This software is Windows-only and sells on the developer’s Web site for $129.99. www.acdsee.com

The DS-61 covers a lot of territory. It can function as a basic (if expensive) note taker with the ability to organize 200 voice notes into each of five folders. But it can also be your near-pro quality field recorder with its ability to record compressed WMA format audio in stereo. It will also work as your music player and will play back both MP3 and WMA-format music files. Included is a software package called DSS Player, and through it you can purchase commercial content from audio.com and load it onto the DS-61. You can also register podcast feeds with DSS Player, which will automatically save them to the computer and then load them onto the DS-61 when it’s connected to the computer. The recorder includes a detachable stereo microphone as well a built-in mono one. An unusual feature of the device is its ability to work as a USB microphone or USB speaker when connected to a computer. The unit works for about 32 hours before its power source, two AAA batteries, needs replenishing. It can record up to 530 hours of audio (at the lowest quality setting) with its two gigabytes of onboard memory. The suggested retail price of the DS-61 is $319.99. www.olympuscanada.com

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GREEN TECHNOLOGIES DRIVE APPLE LED CINEMA DISPLAY Apple calls its 24-inch LED Cinema Display “the greenest Apple display ever.” The LED in the name gives away the fact that Apple is using this mercury-free backlighting technology in its big displays, just as has done with its notebook screens. The glass is arsenic-free, Apple doesn’t use brominated flame retardants or PVC in its cables and other components. It says it’s even reduced foam packaging by 44%. This model is EnergyStar 4.0-compliant and gets an EPEAT Gold rating. (Not to take anything away from Apple or Sony above, but all manufacturers that want to sell into the EU must meet its RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances standards), which bans substances like brominated flame retardants, arsenic, and a list of heavy metals.) Apple has designed the LED Cinema Display to be a good companion for its MacBooks. It integrates a MagSafe charger and three powered USB 2.0 ports. It also uses the Mini DisplayPort found on recent MacBooks. As you’d expect it also integrates and iSight camera, a microphone, and speakers. The 1900 x 1200-pixel display has a high-gloss screen surface. The price for the 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display is $999. www.apple.ca

PANASONIC GROWS IPTV VIERAS If watching YouTube on a paltry 50-inch display isn’t in your face enough, Panasonic has a solution. It has added 58-inch and 65-inch models to its line of Viera Web-ready plasma displays. Collectively, this series is known as PZ850. Members of the series are IP (Internet Protocol) enabled, which means that they can display Internet content without the need to connect an external Web box or computer. Panasonic calls its IPTV technology Viera Cast, and says it’s equally good for pulling in content from YouTube, photo sharing sites like Picasa Web Albums, or other streaming information or IPTV sites. The company says Viera Cast will automatically update itself to new Web content, and it’s free, not fee-based. While IPTV is a defining feature of the PX850 series, it also contains technologies to make it fit into other parts of the connected digital world. Its SD card reader supports the H.264-based AVCHD video codec, for example, so it can play HD video recorded on an AVCHD HD camcorder. It incorporates a feature called Game Mode, which has reduced lag time for displaying images on the screen. You can connect a computer to it. And of course, it is an HDTV. The 65-inch TH-65PZ850 lists for approximately $7500, while the 58-inch TH-58PZ850 is a mere $5000. www.panasonic.ca

The new Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Order Yours Today! The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR offers a full-frame, 21.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and continuous shooting at 3.9 frames per second (fps) for an unlimited number of full-resolution JPEGs to the capacity of the memory card or up to 14 RAW images in a single burst when using a UDMA CF card. The EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture and 30 fps as well as standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. When recording video, the camera’s rear LCD screen can be letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size.

Photo Life

Big Box Prices, Expert Knowledge.

Get the picture

Call or check our website for guaranteed low prices. 802 - 11th Avenue S.W. Calgary Ph: (403) 234-9935 Toll free: 1-888-539-9397

www.thecamerastore.com March 2009 53


REVIEW

SONY ALPHA 900

BY PETER K. BURIAN

A PROSUMER GRADE FULL-FRAME D SLR WITH CLASS-LEADING 24.6-MP RESOLUTION, HIGH SPEED, VALUABLE NEW TECHNOLOGY, AND GREAT VERSATILITY. The a900 features a full-frame sensor and some unique technology, while boasting the highest resolution available in a 35-mm-sized D SLR. Sony developed a 24 x 36 mm CMOS chip for this camera; it’s packed with 24.6 million effective pixels, but each one is quite large thanks to the oversized sensor and improved design. Aside from larger pixels for greater light gathering ability, the fullframe sensor eliminates field of view crop, so even a 28-mm lens provides a true wide-angle effect. This feature is great for those who love ultra-wide image making and don’t want to buy extremely short lenses, such as an 11-18 mm zoom. On the other hand, a 300-mm lens does not provide a 450-mm equivalent effect with the a900 as it does on an a700, for example. Frankly, that’s

not a problem with a 24.6-MP camera. Even if you crop 50% of the image area to make a subject appear larger, the photos will retain 12.3-megapixel resolution.

FEATURES AND TECHNOLOGY This is a rugged D SLR with a moderately large magnesium alloy body, moistureresistant seals, a carbon fibre shutter, and 3-inch anti-reflective LCD with 921,600 dots. The large all-glass pentaprism provides 100% scene coverage, 0.74x magnification, and an incredibly bright/contrasty view. The a900 includes the familiar sensor-shift SteadyShot stabilizer, but with a faster/more powerful motor. Note too that the a900 employs two BIONZ processors, enabling the camera to shoot a long series of images at 5 fps. The new AF system features nine

detection points plus 10 “assist” points to minimize the risk of lost focus. Like the a700, the new camera includes a very versatile Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) for increasing shadow detail during capture processing. The a900 sports a full range of analogue controls, including an Fn button that activates the Quick Navi screen for quick access to the most frequently used features. Instead of providing Live View, the a900 offers Intelligent Preview: a pre-capture image of the subject on its ultra-high resolution LCD screen. Make any modifications to exposure, white balance, or DRO settings and the preview changes accordingly. While some buyers will miss Live View, serious photographers will appreciate Intelligent Preview for achieving exactly the desired effects without bracketing.

PERFORMANCE AND QUALITY During extensive testing, the Sony a900 proved to be fast and reliable. Autofocus was particularly effective when I used a Sony SSM lens with ultrasonic AF motor. The multi-pattern metering was often accurate, although some light-toned scenes required a +2/3 compensation level. In the Standard picture style mode, the a900 produced JPEGs with slightly high contrast and sharpening, and moderate colour saturation. Naturally, I could easily achieve entirely different effects by using the many available overrides. Low ISO image quality is superlative, suitable for making huge prints. At higher ISO levels, digital noise is well controlled; the Standard NR level is the most suitable option, producing smooth but richly

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CONSIDERING THE PRICE, THE A900 OFFERS EXCELLENT VALUE IN TERMS OF EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH RESOLUTION, SPEED, AND THE BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE STABILIZER, INTELLIGENT PREVIEW, AND THE FULL-FRAME SENSOR. nature photography with very skittish subjects. The 24.6-MP resolution is great for those who frequently want oversized prints. For the optimal image quality at the edges of the frame, use the best lenses you can afford, as with any camera with an oversized sensor. detailed images. A valuable feature, Dynamic Range Optimizer works well, lightening shadow areas without affecting highlights or producing a flat, dull effect. For the best results in extremely high contrast, I strongly recommend selecting the Advanced Level 2 option. Although the a900 is very fast in most respects, it is a tad slow in displaying images in instant playback. My only other complaint is about the noise created by the shutter and oversized reflex mirror. This is not the ideal D SLR for shooting during the vows at a wedding or for

multi-platform lenses, making this brand even more attractive. If you’re in the market for a full-featured camera or for an entirely new D-SLR system, be sure to check out the options provided by Sony while comparison shopping.

FINAL ASSESSMENT This camera proved to be a fine choice for shooting stock images in Europe and during events closer to home. Considering the price, the a900 offers excellent value in terms of extraordinarily high resolution, speed, and the benefits provided by the stabilizer, Intelligent Preview, and the full-frame sensor. Sony has expanded its line of accessories and BIO: A long-time Photo Life contributor, Peter K. Burian (www.peterkburian.com) is a freelance stock photographer whose work is marketed by several agencies. A digital photography course instructor with BetterPhoto.com, he is also the author of Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging and several Magic Lantern Guides to Pentax and Sony D-SLR systems.

Work like a pro — in a flash! NEW!

The all-new BXRi self-contained flash heads from Elinchrom represent a significant addition to their already impressive line-up. The BXRi series come equipped with a built-in Skyport remote system that allow you to sync flashes and adjust them wirelessly. The multi-voltage auto-detection capability means you can use them anywhere in the world where you have access to power. And for freezing action, the flash duration is comparable to more expensive units. Sleek styling. Lots of attractive programmable features. Plus a price that represents great value. BXRi 250/500w flash heads are available separately or in convenient kits.

BUY ELINCHROM GEAR AT THESE LOCATIONS: Vistek Toronto 496 Queen St. East (416) 365-1777 1-888-365-1777 sales@vistek.ca

Vistek Mississauga 5840 Mavis Rd. (905) 593-1777 1-877-923-1777 mississaugasales@vistek.ca

Vistek Ottawa 433 Bank St. (613) 567-4700 1-888-428-4466 ottawasales@vistek.ca

Vistek Calgary (Downtown) 1231 10th Ave. SW (403) 244-0333 1-800-561-0333 calgarysales@vistek.ca

Vistek Edmonton 10569 – 109th St. NW (780) 484-0333 1-877-484-0333 edmontonsales@vistek.ca

L. L. Lozeau 6229, Saint-Hubert Montreal (PQ) (514) 274-6577 1-800-363-3535

©Gnigami Ltd. 2008 Pronounced “ni-gah-mee”

Or ask your local photo dealer – For more of the Elinchrom story or dealer inquiries, visit gnigami.ca

Photo Life

March 2009 55


REVIEW

NIKON D700

BY PETER K. BURIAN

NIKON’S D700 COMBINES THE BEST FEATURES OF THE PRICEY D3 IN A MORE PORTABLE BODY; IT IS AN INCREDIBLY RUGGED, WELL-SPECIFIED PRO D SLR WITH A FULL-FRAME SENSOR FOR STUNNING IMAGE QUALITY. Even with the best features and technology of Nikon’s flagship D3, the D700 is far more compact/affordable and 245 grams lighter. This new professional model shares the fast EXPEED processor and full-frame 12.1-megapixel CMOS chip and it’s nearly as rugged as the D3 thanks to a weather-resistant, magnesium alloy body. The primary differences are a slower 5 fps continuous drive speed, reduced viewfinder coverage (95% vs. 100%), and a single CompactFlash card slot. But the D700 gains a built-in flash (great for wireless remote flash control) and an automatic sensor cleaner; add the optional MB-D10 battery grip and it can fire long bursts at a blazing 8 fps. Other valuable features include Live View, ISO levels to 25600, a 51-

point AF system, Nikon’s remarkably effective 3D Tracking Focus, and a gorgeous 3” LCD with 920,000 dots. The D700 resembles the D300, though it’s a bit larger and heavier (by 170 g), and is even more versatile. More importantly, its larger 24 x 36-mm sensor allows any lens to provide the field of view we expected in film photography. This is a definite benefit in wide-angle photography for those who own multi-platform lenses. While the D700 also accepts the smaller DX-series lenses (with field of view cropping), resolution decreases to 5 MP as it does with the D3.

FEATURES AND TECHNOLOGY This D SLR is equipped with many analogue controls and an absolutely vast range

of items in the multi-page menu; no other camera in its league provides more userselectable options. Basic functions are convenient to access using the buttons or via the Quick Settings (info) screen, but this is definitely not a camera for D-SLR novices. The D700 also employs Scene Recognition technology that combines data from the Matrix metering and AF systems for optimal exposures, White Balance, and tracking focus. Surprisingly though, the test sample overexposed midtone scenes, easily solved with a -0.3 or -0.7 compensation setting. Nikon did not equip the D700 with a video capture mode, but that omission is not likely to disappoint the camera’s target market. This pro model does feature Live View (also available when the D700 is tethered to a computer) with two distinct AF modes. Faster autofocus—plus a live histogram and an articulating LCD screen—would have made Live View even more useful for outdoor photography. For conventional shooting, the AF system is unusually fast/reliable. It was virtually foolproof in any circumstance, including action photography, especially when I used the 11 AF point option and an ultrasonic AF-S 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens.

IMAGE QUALITY EVALUATION At any ISO level up to 800 the D700 produces beautiful JPEGs. They’re remarkably clean, free of artifacts and silky smooth, with high definition of intricate detail. Most owners will want to bump up the in-camera sharpening and saturation level for the best looking photos. Because contrast is quite high, it’s worth using the automatic Active D-Lighting option for

56 March 2009

Photo Life


THIS D SLR IS EQUIPPED WITH MANY ANALOGUE CONTROLS AND AN ABSOLUTELY VAST RANGE OF ITEMS IN THE MULTI-PAGE MENU; NO OTHER CAMERA IN ITS LEAGUE PROVIDES MORE USERSELECTABLE OPTIONS. Because Nikon did not cram the 24 x 36mm sensor with 20+ million pixels, each photosite is unusually large for superior results, especially at high ISO. My ISO 1600 images made richly detailed 9 x 13” prints; ISO 3200 was fine for sharp (but slightly grainy) 8 x 10” glossies. While there’s some obvious loss of quality at ISO 6400, the images are still useable; the higher levels (especially ISO 25,600) are primarily for problem solving. Overall, the D700 is the best D SLR that I have tested to date in terms of high ISO quality.

INTELLIGENT PREVIEW

THE BOTTOM LINE During long-term testing, the camera exceeded my expectations in responsiveness and versatility as well. The full-frame slightly greater shadow detail at all times. In very high contrast lighting, the Normal or High level is more useful although the effect is not dramatic.

sensor was ideal for wide-angle photography even with the AF-S 24-120 mm VR zoom (with image stabilizer.) While some D SLRs do provide higher resolution, 12.1 million pixels—providing exceptional quality even at high ISO—will meet many needs. Most professional photographers should be perfectly satisfied with this camera, particularly with the optional battery grip and some pro-oriented accessories. In my estimation, the Nikon D700 will appeal to a much wider range of buyers. It would be a fine choice for any serious photographer who will take advantage of the full-frame sensor, exceptional quality even at high ISO, great versatility, and the rugged, weatherresistant body.

BIO: A long-time Photo Life contributor, Peter K. Burian (www.peterkburian.com) is a freelance stock photographer and the author of Mastering Digital Photography and Magic Lantern Guides to Sony and Pentax D SLRs. He is also a digital photography course instructor with BetterPhoto.com.

Quick access for fast shooting Tenba Shootout Convertible Photo Sling Bag. In a single fluid motion, you can swing the sling around, open it, remove your camera and shoot. That’s the beauty of the Tenba Shootout Convertible Photo Sling Bag. It’s also why this single-strap sling from Tenba is quickly becoming a favourite with sports, wildlife and outdoor photographers. With removable padded walls, the convertible sling can quickly and easily convert from a camera bag to another type of carrying bag. Thanks to its water-resistant nylon exterior and weather-sealed YKK™ zippers, you can take the Shootout Sling just about anywhere. Available in different sizes and colours. BUY TENBA GEAR AT THESE LOCATIONS: Vistek Toronto 496 Queen St. East (416) 365-1777 1-888-365-1777 sales@vistek.ca

Vistek Mississauga 5840 Mavis Rd. (905) 593-1777 1-877-923-1777 mississaugasales@vistek.ca

Vistek Ottawa 433 Bank St. (613) 567-4700 1-888-428-4466 ottawasales@vistek.ca

Vistek Calgary (Downtown) 1231 10th Ave. SW (403) 244-0333 1-800-561-0333 calgarysales@vistek.ca

Or ask your local photo dealer – For more of the Tenba story or dealer inquiries, visit gnigami.ca

Vistek Edmonton 10569 – 109th St. NW (780) 484-0333 1-877-484-0333 edmontonsales@vistek.ca ©Gnigami Ltd. 2008 Pronounced “ni-gah-mee”

11:59:26 AM

Photo Life

March 2009 57


IMAGING PRODUCTS REVIEW BY PETER

K. BURIAN

The largest photographic trade show in the world, Photokina is held every second year in Cologne, Germany. While touring the show floor and meeting with exhibitors, I found a lot of great new products; because some had been preannounced, they were already covered in our January issue. In addition to the following, two very fast new CompactFlash cards were introduced: SanDisk’s Extreme IV with a higher 45 MB/s read/write speed ($329 for 16 GB) and a moderately priced Lexar 233x Pro series with 35 MB/s speed ($150 for 8 GB, estimated). Film shooters were not ignored either. kodak unveiled a new colour negative film, Ektar 100 Pro ($5.80 per roll of 36), with ultra-fine grain, and unusually vivid colour rendition. © PETER PhoToS

CANON EOS 5D MARK II

SPECIFICATIONS

SENSoR: Full-Frame 21.1-mP CmOS LENSES: multi-FOrmat eF lenSeS Only MoNIToR: 3” ISo RANGE: 100-25,600 CAPTuRE: JPeG • raw • craw • raw + JPeG SToRAGE: CF • uDma COmPliant

N k. BuRIA

AF: 9-POint • 6 aSSiSt POintS • FaCe DeteCt aF in live view • aF-S • aF-C METERING: 35-zOne evaluative • Partial area • Cw • SPOt MoDES: P • a • S • m FRAMING RATE: 3.9 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 152 x 114 x 75 mm • 810 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: unuSually extenSive

DIGITAL SLRS

Boasting a 24 x 36 mm sensor, this weather-resistant magnesium alloy camera is competitive with the pricey eOS 1Ds mk iii ($8250) in some many respects but it’s smaller/lighter and includes a 1080-pixel HD movie option with sound in live view. there’s no built-in flash but the camera offers 98% viewfinder coverage, a Digic iv processor, improved auto lighting Optimizer for greater shadow detail, and two aF modes in live view.

PRICE: $3099, STREET, BODY ONLY SIGMA SD15

SPECIFICATIONS

SENSoR: 14-mP FOveOn x3 LENSES: SiGma SD mOunt aF lenSeS MoNIToR: 3” ISo RANGE: 100-1600 CAPTuRE: JPeG • raw SToRAGE: SD/SDHC CarDS

WWW.CANON.CA AF: 5-POint SenSOr • aF-S • aF-S METERING: 8-zOne evaluative • Cw • averaGe MoDES: P • a • S • m FRAMING RATE: 3 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 145 x 110 x 82 mm • 720 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: Quite extenSive

DIGITAL SLRS

Shown as a prototype, the SD15 should be available late this spring and will be similar to the SD14 (with 4.6 million pixel locations and 14 million photo detectors), but with a larger lCD screen, some redesigned controls, and compatibility with SD/SDHC versus CompactFlash cards. a new true ii processor will provide greater speed and superior quality.

PRICE: $1000, ESTIMATED STREET

DIGITAL CAMERAS

CANON POWERSHOT G10

SPECIFICATIONS

SENSoR: 14.7-mP CCD LENS: 28-140 mm zOOm witH StaBilizer MoNIToR: 3” • OPtiCal FinDer ISo RANGE: 80-1600 CAPTuRE: JPeG • raw • mOtiOn JPeG SToRAGE: SD/SDHC CarD

AF: multi-POint aF SenSOr • FaCe DeteCt • aF-S • aF-C METERING: SPOt • Cw • evaluative MoDES: P • m • autO • many SCene mODeS FRAMING RATE: 0.7 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 109 x 78 x 46 mm • 350 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: very extenSive

a favourite backup camera among pros and serious enthusiasts, the G9 has been replaced by the G10 with greater resolution, improved autofocus, a new motion Detection feature, superior Pure Color ii lCD, new DiGiC iv processor, and a lens with more wide-angle options. this “flagship” of the line is compatible with optional Speedlites as well as a wide-angle and a telephoto converter.

PRICE: $479, STREET 58 March 2009

WWW.GENTEC-INTL.COM

WWW.CANON.CA Photo Life


CANON POWERSHOT SD 990 IS

SPECIFICATIONS

DIGITAL CAMERAS

SENSoR: 14.7-mP CCD LENS: 36-133 mm zOOm witH StaBilizer MoNIToR: 2.5” • OPtiCal FinDer ISo RANGE: 80-1600 CAPTuRE: JPeG • mOtiOn JPeG SToRAGE: SD/SDHC CarD

AF: multi-POint aF SenSOr • FaCe DeteCt • aF-S • aF-C METERING: SPOt • Cw • evaluative MoDES: P • m • autO • many SCene mODeS FRAMING RATE: 1.3 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 98 x 62 x 28 mm • 160 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: extenSive

Smaller than the G10 but with similar technology, this camera is equipped with a different lens and a slightly different feature set; it but includesing all of the important overrides. the latest aF system provides very reliable Face Detection and Servo aF for more effective tracking focus. improved motion Detection technology automatically boosts the iSO for a faster shutter speed when motion is detected.

PRICE: $419, STREET NIKON COOLPIX S710

SPECIFICATIONS

DIGITAL CAMERAS

SENSoR: 14.5-mP CCD LENS: 28-101 mm StaBilizeD MoNIToR: 3” • nO FinDer ISo RANGE: 100-12,800 CAPTuRE: JPeG • mOtiOn JPeG SToRAGE: SD/SDHC CarD

WWW.CANON.CA AF: multi-POint aF SenSOr • FaCe DeteCt aF witH Several mODeS METERING: Cw • evaluative MoDES: P • a • S • m • autO • many SCene mODeS FRAMING RATE: 1.3 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 57 x 93 x 24 mm • 155 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: extenSive

nikon’s resolution leader, this model with stainless steel body is surprisingly slim/portable and is equipped with an exPeeD processor for great speed and quality, plus a new motion Detection system and ultra-high iSO options. this is a well-equipped camera with lots of operating modes, all essential overrides, and Face Detect aF with Smile Shutter and Blink warning.

PRICE: $299, STREET OLYMPUS SP-565 UZ

SPECIFICATIONS

DIGITAL CAMERAS

SENSoR: 10-mP CCD LENS: 26-520 mm StaBilizeD MoNIToR: 2.5” • nO FinDer ISo RANGE: 80-1600 CAPTuRE: JPeG • mOtiOn JPeG SToRAGE: xD-PiCture CarD

WWW.NIKON.CA AF: multi-POint aF SenSOr • aDvanCeD FaCe DeteCt • aF-C METERING: SPOt • Cw • evaluative MoDES: P • a • S • m • 25 SCene mODeS FRAMING RATE: 1.3 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 116 x 83 x 81 mm • 373 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: very extenSive

Quite compact for a digicam with a 20x (aspherical) f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens, this model is loaded with D-Slr style capabilities; extras include a 13-fps burst mode at the 3-mP resolution level. note too that it’s compatible with (optional) lens converters and external flash units, and even supports wireless Off-Camera ttl flash.

PRICE: $450, STREET OLYMPUS STYLUS 1050SW

SPECIFICATIONS

DIGITAL CAMERAS

SENSoR: 10-mP CCD LENS: 38-114 zOOm MoNIToR: 2.7” • nO FinDer ISo RANGE: 80-1600 CAPTuRE: JPeG • mOtiOn JPeG SToRAGE: xD-PiCture CarD

WWW.OLYMPUSCANADA.CA AF: multi-POint aF SenSOr • FaCe DeteCt aF METERING: SPOt • evaluative MoDES: 25 SCene mODeS FRAMING RATE: 1.3 FPS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 93 x 62 x 22.6 mm • 152 G FEATuRE SET/oVERRIDES: mODerately extenSive

this camera can be controlled by tapping the body, from various angles, in order to access desired features and make settings—useful when wearing bulky gloves. the 1050Sw is also waterproof, freeze proof, and shockproof. it’s primarily an automatic camera but a very useful Perfect Shot Preview mode allows the user to preview the effect of certain camera adjustments.

PRICE: $330, STREET CANON EF 24 MM F/1.4

L II USM

WWW.OLYMPUSCANADA.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: all CanOn eOS CameraS oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 13 elementS, inCluDinG twO uD anD twO aSPHeriCal ANGLE oF VIEW: 84 DeGreeS FoCuSING: mF anD aF witH ultraSOniC mOtOr FILTER SIzE: 77 MM MINIMuM FoCuS: 7.7 Cm DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 87 x 23 mm • 650 G ACCESSoRIES: lenS HOOD inCluDeD oThER: ruGGeD anD weatHer-reSiStant

LENSES

ideal for any eOS camera regardless of sensor size (or for the 35-mm models), this wide-aperture version ii multi-platform lens has been extensively re-designed and features a Sub wavelength Structure Coating to dramatically reduce flare, a circular aperture, fast/silent uSm focus motor, and a floating mechanism for excellent corner-to-corner detail.

PRICE: $1840, STREET Photo Life

WWW.CANON.CA March 2009 59


CANON EF-S 18-200 MM F/3.5-5.6

IS

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: eOS Small SenSOr D SlrS (29-320 mm eQuivalent) oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 16 elementS, inCluDinG twO uD anD twO aSPHeriCal ANGLE oF VIEW: 74° 20’ tO 7° 50’ DeGreeS FoCuSING: mF anD aF FILTER SIzE: 72 MM MINIMuM FoCuS: min. FOCuS tO 0.45 m; 0.24x max. maGniFiCatiOn DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 79 x 162 mm • 595 G ACCESSoRIES: aCCePtS OPtiOnal lenS HOOD oThER: OPtiCal StaBilizer

LENSES

this very versatile lens includes Canon’s latest optical image Stabilizer, said to provide a four-shutter speedstep advantage in camera shake compensation; the Panning mode is automatically activated when appropriate. its aF motor is conventional and not ultrasonic, perhaps in order to minimize the price of the lens.

PRICE: $750, STREET CARL ZEISS VARIO SONNAR T*16-35 MM F/2.8 ZA SSM

WWW.CANON.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: SOny anD maxxum SlrS oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 17 elementS, inCluDinG twO eD anD tHree aSPHeriCal FoCuSING: mF anD aF witH ultraSOniC mOtOr ANGLE oF VIEW: 107 tO 63 DeGreeS FILTER SIzE: 77 mm MINIMuM FoCuS: 0.28 m • 0.24x maGniFiCatiOn DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 83 x 114 mm • 900 G ACCESSoRIES: lenS HOOD inCluDeD oThER: unuSually ruGGeD COnStruCtiOn

LENSES

Sony has continued to expand its line of multi-platform lenses for the a900 or any of the small-sensor cameras. this large, gorgeous multi-format model with German engineering features fast/silent high-torque ultrasonic aF, a superior optical formula for edge-to-edge sharpness/brightness, and extensive use of multi-layer t* coatings for maximum flare control.

PRICE: $2000, STREET NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 50 MM F/1.4

G

WWW.SONYSTYLE.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: all nikOn SlrS anD FuJiFilm D SlrS oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 8 elementS, inCluDinG eD ANGLE oF VIEW: 46 DeGreeS FoCuSING: mF anD aF witH ultraSOniC mOtOr MINIMuM FoCuS: 45 Cm • 0.15x maGniFiCatiOn FILTER SIzE: 58 mm ACCESSoRIES: lenS HOOD inCluDeD DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 74 x 54 mm • 280 G oThER: ruGGeD COnStruCtiOn

LENSES

this all-new multi-format lens includes the latest nikon technology such as Super integrated Coating for maximum flare control, a rounded diaphragm opening, and fast Silent wave aF motor. the entirely new optical formula is said to effectively correct sagittal coma flare and coma aberration for superb image quality.

PRICE: $559, STREET PENTAX DA* 55 MM F/1.4

SDM

WWW.NIKON.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: Pentax anD SamSunG D SlrS oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 9 elementS, inCluDinG SlD anD eD ANGLE oF VIEW: 28.6 DeGreeS FoCuSING: mF anD aF witH ultraSOniC mOtOr FILTER SIzE: 58 mm MINIMuM FoCuS: 1.1 m • 0.17x maGniFiCatiOn DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 71 x 66 mm • 375 G ACCESSoRIES: lenS HOOD inCluDeD oThER: ruGGeD, weatHer-reSiStant COnStruCtiOn

LENSES

Featuring a new aero Bright Coating technology for maximum light transmission and excellent flare control, this wide aperture lens also includes an ultrasonic aF motor, Quick Shift mechanism, fluorine coating, and a rounded diaphragm to render defocused highlights as circular for a pleasing effect.

PRICE: N/A PENTAX DA* 60-250 MM F/4

ED (IF) SDM

WWW.PENTAX.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: Pentax anD SamSunG D SlrS oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 15 elementS, inCluDinG SlD anD eD ANGLE oF VIEW: 26.5 tO 6.5 DeGreeS FoCuSING: mF anD aF witH ultraSOniC mOtOr FILTER SIzE: 67 MM MINIMuM FoCuS: 1.1 m • 0.25x maGniFiCatiOn DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 82 x 167 mm • 1040 G ACCESSoRIES: lenS HOOD inCluDeD oThER: ruGGeD, weatHer-reSiStant COnStruCtiOn

LENSES

a pro-calibre telephoto zoom with a fast/silent ultrasonic SDm focus motor, this lens also features superior anti-reflection coatings for great flare control and a Quick-Shift mechanism that allows for instant shifting from aF to manual focus while in aF mode. the front element is fluorine coated to repel dust, water, and fingerprints.

PRICE: N/A 60 March 2009

WWW.PENTAX.CA Photo Life


SONY 70-400 MM F/4-5.6

G SSM

SPECIFICATIONS

CoMPATIBILITY: SOny anD maxxum SlrS oPTICAL FoRMuLA: 18 elementS, inCluDinG twO eD GlaSS ANGLE oF VIEW: 23 tO 4 DeGreeS FoCuSING: mF anD aF witH ultraSOniC mOtOr FILTER SIzE: 77 mm MINIMuM FoCuS: 1.5 m • 0.27x maGniFiCatiOn DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 95 x 196 mm • 1490 G ACCESSoRIES: lenS HOOD inCluDeD oThER: ruGGeD COnStruCtiOn

LENSES

Sony’s longest current lens, this multi-platform telephoto features a removable tripod collar and fast ultrasonic aF (with internal focusing) that’s ideal for sports and wildlife photography. Other amenities include a focusmode/range limiter switch, three focus-hold buttons for great convenience, and a circular aperture.

PRICE: $1650, STREET HP PHOTOSMART B8550

WWW.SONYSTYLE.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

TYPE: ink-Jet PHOtO Printer TEChNoLoGY: tHermal ink-Jet • 1.3 anD 5-Pl Size DrOPletS DIRECT PRINTING: SlOtS FOr memOry CarDS • PiCtBriDGe COmPliant RESoLuTIoN: 1200 x 1200 DPi LCD MoNIToR: 2.4” MAX. PRINTABLE AREA: 13 x 19” DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 23 x 15 x 7” INk SET: 5 vivera inkS, in inDiviDual tankS PRINT PERMANENCE: “laStS FOr GeneratiOnS”, On Certain PaPerS

ACCESSORIES

this surprisingly affordable 13 x 19”-format machine targets families and scrap bookers with useful features, including versatile printer software and Bluetooth compatibility with an optional adapter. i used the Photosmart B8550 to make a 13 x 19” print from one of my own digital images; the process took 6.5 minutes and the print was absolutely gorgeous.

PRICE: $300, STREET CANON PIXMA MP980

WWW.HP.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

TYPE: ink-Jet PHOtO Printer TEChNoLoGY: tHermal ink-Jet witH 4800 x 9600 DPi SCanner RESoLuTIoN: 9600 x 2400 DPi DIRECT PRINTING: SlOtS FOr memOry CarDS • PiCtBriDGe COmPliant MAX. PRINTABLE AREA: 8.5 x 11” LCD MoNIToR: 3.5” SCreen INk SET: 6 CHrOmaliFe100 inkS (inCluDinG Grey) in inDiviDual tankS DIMENSIoNS/WEIGhT: 18 x 15 x 8” PRINT PERMANENCE: 300 yearS in arCHival alBumS

ACCESSORIES

a high-end photo printer with a built-in flatbed scanner/copier and auto Photo Fix software for optimizing images, the mP980 can be used for printing from anywhere in the home via wi-Fi or networked using an ethernet cable. it’s also Bluetooth compatible with an optional adapter.

PRICE: $375 PANASONIC EVOLTA

WWW.CANON.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: alkaline aa anD aaa BatterieS FeaTures: ultra-lOnG liFe

ACCESSORIES

Billed as the world’s longest lasting aa alkaline battery in more devices, evolta has been recognized by Guinness world records for its energy efficiency. these cells provide 30% more shots than conventional alkaline batteriess with a digital camera. they employ new cathode (manganese dioxide and oxy-hydroxide titanium) and anode (zinc) materials, and they work well with cameras and flash units.

PRICE: $4.99, LIST FOR A FOUR PACK ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS4

WWW.PANASONIC.CA

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: PrO imaGe aDJuStment anD raw-COnverSiOn SOFtware FeaTures: vaSt ranGe OF utilitieS FOr raw, JPeG, anD tiFF supporTs: COmPatiBle witH nearly all imaGe FOrmatS operaTing sysTems: maC OSx 10.411 anD HiGHer, xP anD viSta, witH FaSt PrOCeSSOr

ACCESSORIES

loaded with advanced features, CS4 includes new utilities for working with 3D images, automatically aligning layers and combining several images into one that’s perfect. extras include more convenient raw processing plus significantly improved masking and colour correction options. GPu acceleration improves speed with computers equipped with very fast processors and the latest video cards; 64-bit support has been added too, for windows only.

PRICE: $870, STREET; $199 FOR UPGRADE FROM CS, CS2, OR CS3 Photo Life

WWW.ADOBE.CA March 2009 61


The Contact Sheet

Landscape Photography and Photoshop Workshops Photoshop and Lightroom workshops I offer a variety of Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom workshops. Whether you are a QRYLFHRUDQH[SHULHQFHGXVHU\RXZLOOÂżQG a class to suit your needs. Modern computer lab, latest software, small class sizes. Spring in Moab Moab is a wonderful base to photograph the beauty of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. This is a photo tour and a workshop and offers an opportunity to go home with new skills and wonderful photographs. May 2nd to 10th. $2,450 For more info please visit the website below. www.richard-berry.com

PAY US A VISIT! YOU’LL SEE WHY WE ARE CALLED “GRAND CHEFâ€? OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND IMAGING TECHNOLOGY. 222, Notre-Dame West, Old-MontrĂŠal, Place d’Armes Metro 514-849-2291 Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Photo Life Monthly Newsletter Photo Life’s monthly newsletter features portfolios, mini reviews, a Q&A section with product expert, Peter K. Burian, and much more, including an exclusive monthly on-line photo contest. Visit www.photolife.com and subscribe to receive your issues of Photo Life’s newsletter.

Photo Life Challenge In Celebration of Winter Photo Life readers, your challenge, should you accept it, is to go outside this winter and shoot! Send us your best images and your work might be published in the January 2010 issue as part of a photo essay showing the many interpretations of our Canadian winter. Be creative—the only imperative is that your photos must have been taken over the 2008/09 winter season. • Up to five images and all texts on universal format CD • JPEG or TIFF files, RGB, image width 1800 pixels minimum (or 300 dpi, 8 x 10� final print size) • Transparencies or 8 x 10� prints are also accepted • Provide detailed captions about your photographs, including technical information, in a text file

62 March 2009

• All material must be clearly labelled with photographer’s name, address, e-mail address, and phone number • A self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage to cover all return fees must accompany all submissions or material will not be returned • Deadline: May 1, 2009 • Please do not send submissions via e-mail

Send to: Photo Life/ In Celebration of Winter 185 St. Paul Street Quebec City, QC G1K 3W2

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March 2009 63


Š PETER CARRoLL

readers’ gallery

Peter Carroll Over the years, photography has taught me a valuable lesson: appreciate and make the most of the unexpected. On a recent trip to Oregon, my intention in stopping at Cannon Beach was to capture the iconic haystack formations. This unexpected scene, however, of a sandcastle being slowly washed away by the incoming tide, more clearly captured the Cannon Beach story I wanted to tell. Travel photography has taught me that the best-laid plans are, in the end, only a starting point, and that you have to creatively work the hand you are dealt. The unexpected twists and turns along the journey in the creation of an image are the reasons why I love photography. www.petercarroll.ca Nikon D2X, 18 mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/5 s, Singh-Ray ND-3 and ND-3G-SS filters.

64 March 2009

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LOOKING BACK

JEANNE GRAHAM TEXT BY SUSAN FISHER

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hen Jeanne Graham was hired by the London Free Press in 1943, she became the paper’s first female news photographer. In fact, she was probably the first in Canada, and one of very few in North America at the time. The Second World War created a shortage of manpower, and so gave Jeanne her chance to break into the male-dominated field. Even so, she had to be persistent. According to the book 100 Fascinating Londoners, edited by Michael Baker & Hilary Bates Neary, Jeanne hounded the paper for the job, but was only hired after several refusals. She started out as a darkroom technician, but before long, began her long career as a top-notch news photographer. Before joining the Free Press, she worked as a medical photographer at Victoria Hospital.

She was the winner of five South-western Ontario Newspaper Awards for feature photography. One of her awards was for the first images of a kidney transplant at St. Joseph’s Hospital. During the war years, Jeanne and Bob Turnbull (who hired Jeanne) were responsible for much of the local photography coverage. After the war, the Free Press grew and expanded its coverage to the entire southwestern Ontario region. Stephen Harding, who worked as a photo assistant with the J.J. Talman Regional Collection, Weldon Library, at the University of Western Ontario (where Jeanne’s collection is held) feels that her “golden years” were the post war period into the early 1950s. It was an optimistic time with lots of young families, plenty of jobs, and hope in the air. This mood was reflected in the pages of the London Free Press and through Jeanne’s images.

© JEANNE GRAhAM

This diligent professional had the talent and also the guts required for such a demanding, eclectic

job. During her 36-year career at the paper, Jeanne “waded through Thames River floods, defied striking workers who threatened to smash her camera, nearly took a bullet from a sniper holed up in Hotel London, and survived the Rolling Stones riot.” In fact, the more challenging the assignment, the more eager Jeanne was to take it on. Her supervisor, Bob Turnbull, recalled that she would be miffed for days if she suspected she missed out on a difficult story because of her sex.

School children attending a Halloween party at Lord Roberts elementary school on October 31, 1949. Photo courtesy of The University of Western Ontario Archives, The London Free Press Collection of Photographic Negatives.

In the late 1950s, Jeanne broke the “men-only” barrier at the prestigious London Club while covering a business meeting. 100 Fascinating Londoners recounts that Jeanne Graham was gently chided by the club’s president for embarrassing the members. Jeanne’s retort was, “I’m not here to jump out of a birthday cake. I am here only on another assignment!”

Susan has earned her living as a writer and photographer for 30 years. She had no formal training, but learned on the job as a reporter/photographer with the Carleton Place Canadian, Almonte Gazette, and Ottawa Citizen. Since the late 1980s, she has free-lanced for magazines such as Canadian Geographic, Canadian Wildlife, and Photo Life. It was while she was doing photo research for Canadian Geographic that she developed a passion for historical images and the stories of the men and women who created them.

66 March 2009

Photo Life


R e c y c le y o u r

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O nce they no

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Go to www.call2recycle.org to register your business for free and to find nearby participating collection sites.

You can also recycle at any participating hardware supply store:

877-2-RECYCLE


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Photo Life March 2009