Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Heroes Have Always Been Photographers*

AP Photo by Eddie Adams
I first met Eddie Adams in 1972, Allen Dutton another hero, took me to a program that had several famous photographers speaking and showing their work. Eddie Adams was one of the speakers. I had never heard a photographer speak with that kind of passion. I still remember the stories he told and the amazing images... it was a day I will remember as long as I live, it was the day I decided to become a photographer.

I was privileged to assist Eddie on several photos shoots and to staff his workshop. He was a complicated personality, brutally honest and extraodinarily compassionate and I believe you can see those traits in his images. To read stories about Eddie, written by those who knew him best, click here. To see a few of the exceptional images he made, click here.

*With apologies to Willie and Waylon. Cowboys make good heroes too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Portraits Portraits Portraits!

People are, for me, the most challenging and rewarding of subjects. I spent Saturday hanging out with longtime friend Don Giannatti. Don was sharing his extraordinary knowledge of lighting with a group of talented photographers. It was an exceptional workshop and has rekindled my desire to shoot portraits. As attendees share some of the images they made I hope to post them here.

In the meantime I thought I'd go back and revisit some of my early heroes. Photographers who inspired and taught through the images they made. It quite a diverse group. It will probably take several posts to visit them all. I hope you'll journey back with me.

First, for no particular reason, is Philippe Halsman. His images always looked so simple and felt so powerful. Click here to view his Retrospective Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. He's also credited with one of the great photographic quotes.

"I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for the money." -- Philippe Halsman

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Go Navy!

My hometown of Phoenix, Arizona is blessed with an abundance of talented photographers. Gary Ward of G MAN Studios is one, he's also a Chief in the Navy Reserve. Prior to joining the reserve Gary spent five years on an aircraft carrier and four year serving at the White House.

Gary shared this video with our Arizona ASMP Chapter, check it out, I think you'll enjoy it. To quote Gary, " The Navy is an incredibly diverse organization with multiple missions. This link highlights those missions through wonderful images captured by US Navy photographers and journalists, of which I am honored to be one.

Thanks Gary!

Friday, August 25, 2006

13 Computer Do's & Don'ts!

Don't let your pet sleep, lay or play next to your computer. This is another reason to keep your computer off the floor and on your desktop. One photographer brought her computer in after only two months complaining that it smelled funny. When the case was opened we found the interior full of dog hair. The rear case fans were so full of fur they couldn't be turned by hand! To read the rest of the article click here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Joe Rosenthal Dies at 94

Joe Rosenthal, whose photograph of U.S. servicemen raising the flag over Iwo Jima in World War II became an enduring American symbol, died Sunday at age 94.

He died at an assisted living center in San Francisco, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, the newspaper where he worked for 35 years until his retirement in 1981.

Though his photography career spanned more than 50 years, Rosenthal is best remembered for his single shot of the flag raising at the top of Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. To read all of Daryl Lang's story for PDN click here.
I had the privaledge of meeting and visiting with Joe when I was part of the Black Team for the Eddie Adams Workshop, "Barnstorm 6". He was friendly and humble and answered all of my questions. In the ultimate ironic twist the man who made the most famous photograph of Marines was unable to serve as a Marine because of poor eyesight. Godspeed Joe.

3 Click Color Correction!

Now that we’ve determined where the lightest white and the darkest black areas, of our image,

are located we can quickly and easily correct the color.

To learn the "3 Click Color Correction" Technique click here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Finding The First White & The Last Black

Knowing the exact location of the highest (lightest) and lowest (darkest) values in your image can be very valuable information. It is useful in almost every facet of color workflow management from original capture to final output.

For example, it can help you understand how your image will look when: you upload it to your web site... you make an ink jet print... your color lab prints it... your client prints it...

To learn how to quickly find this info in Photoshop click here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nice Tats!

Through Each Others Eyes
"We explore the world through photography, promoting understanding and respect for all cultures, and enriching lives by seeing more clearly... through each other’s eyes."

Image by Ken Ross

Since 1987,
TEOE has sponsored more than 19 international photographic exchanges involving more than 65 volunteer photographers and thousands of students on three continents.

It's hard to believe that this unique project is approaching it's twentieth birthday. It was a privilege to have served as a board member for 17 years. I believe it is one of the most unique projects in all of photography.

Check out their website to see some wonderful images by gifted photographers. Better yet, check your calendar and theirs you might be able to catch a print exhibit in person!

Monday, August 21, 2006

New Digital Darkroom Available!

Visualville's latest digital darkroom, the Xtreme C2D is now available!

An amazing amount of bang for the buck! Xtreme C2D includes:

Black Matrix Case
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Processor
Intel D975X Chipset Premium Mainboard
PCI Express Video Card w/512MB DDR2 RAM
4 Gigabytes RAM
2.5 Gigabytes of RAM available to Photoshop CS 2!
More than a Terabyte of Hard Drive Capacity (Server Duty Rated)
1-80 GB SATA 7200 RPM Hard Drive
2-500 GB SATA 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Thermaltake 680 Watt High Performance Power Supply
Plextor 16X 8 in 1 DVD/CD Combo Writer
ATech Flash Media Reader, 8-USB 2.0 Ports, 5-Firewire Ports, 7.1 High Def Audio, Gigabit Lan, Multi-Media Keyboard w/Optical Mouse, Windows XP Pro Operating System

Only $2595.00 Plus Tax (AZ Residents) Plus Shipping (US Only)

For more info Click Here

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is Your Tiger The Wrong Color?

You've calibrated your monitor and you've purchased custom paper profiles for your printer but your new Apple Mac running OS X "Tiger" isn't giving you the same "dead on" prints that you've had in the past. You may need to download Update 10.4.7 Combo PPC. Notice the line close to the bottom "compatibility with third party applications and devices" that's the line we are most interested in because it is directly related to how your 3rd party drivers work with the operating system.
"What’s New in this Version
- The 10.4.7 Update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for the following applications and technologies.
It includes fixes for:

- sharing using AFP, SMB/CIFS, NFS and FTP file sharing protocols
- reliable access to Open Directory, LDAP and Active Directory services
- login and authentication in a variety of network environments
- file access and byte range locking with AFP file sharing
- network access when using proxy server automatic configuration files
- connecting to Cisco VPN servers using IP/Sec and NAT
- AirPort and Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- RAW camera support, including updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
- usability of Dashboard and widgets
- searching iWork '06 and Microsoft Office documents with Spotlight
- saving Word documents automatically when using a network home directory
- viewing of QuickTime streaming media behind a firewall
- audio playback in QuickTime, iTunes, Final Cut Pro, and Soundtrack Pro applications
- ensuring icons are spaced correctly when viewed on desktop
- determining the space required to burn folders
- synchronizing contacts, bookmarks, and calendars to .Mac and mobile phones
- mounting and unmounting iDisk volumes
- time zone and daylight savings for 2006 and 2007
- Address Book, AppleScript, Automator, Dictionary, Font Book, iCal, iChat, DVD Player, Keynote, Mail, Preview, Safari, and Stickies
- Disk Utility, Keychain Access, Migration Assistant, and Software Update
- compatibility with third party applications and devices
- previous Mac OS X updates and standalone security updates"

After installing the update and restarting your computer you should see a difference in your print outputs. This tip comes to us via the Apple web site from longtime friend, fellow photoshop instructor and inkjet guru Steve Burger. Thanks Steve! You are the Man!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mahatma... Where's The Love?

"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."
Mahatma Ghandi 1869 -1948

If you would like to read quotes about photography by famous photographers and other well known persons check out some great stuff. Found several that I wish I'd said.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

You Heard It Here First!

Don Giannatti, a good friend and great photographer, is producing, "Lighting Essentials 1", a DVD that will share some of his lighting secrets. In this DVD he makes some beautiful images of a model with lighting equipment that you can purchase at any Home Depot or Lowe's for less than $100!!!

Don's Lighting Workshops are attended by photographers from all over the country, and with good reason. Within his specialty, lighting women for beauty and glamour, he is one of the very best. Don't miss the opportunity to have Don as part of your learning library, Click Here for more info and to take advantage of the "pre-release" price.

Click here to see Don's images on Flickr.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

And Speaking of The Museum of Photographic Arts...

This wonderful rescource gets my unconditional recommendation. The staff is friendly and very knowledgable. It's a must see when visiting San Diego.

"One of the few institutions in the country devoted to the photographic arts, the Museum of Photographic Arts houses more than 4,000 works, representing the entire history of photography, its aesthetic movements, and technological advancements. Illustrating the complex and varied history of the medium, the museum's collection is particularly strong in modern and contemporary work, specifically social documentary photography and photojournalism. The museum is also home to a state-of-the-art movie theater."

"Portrait of America" - The Gigapxl Project

I had the privilege of viewing images from the Gigapxl Project in person when they were on exhibit at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego California. The mural sized prints ranged from 12 to 16 feet long and contained jaw dropping detail. I have never viewed any photographic image that parallels these amazing prints. To learn more about the project and view some of the images, click here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bloggers Comb The Wires For Suspicious War Photos

I had hoped that the bombing photo I posted on Monday was an isolated incident.

"In the past week, critics writing online have challenged the accuracy of several news photos from Lebanon, forcing news agencies to correct photo captions and, in one case, fire a photographer. News agencies have corrected a few obvious errors and deny that their photographers would participate in covering staged events." Read Daryl Lang's story at

© TOP: Issam Kobeisi/Reuters, BOTTOM: Hussein Malla/AP

Two news photos, taken by different photographers two weeks apart, appear to show the same woman.

A Digital Camera That Fights Crime? Holy SLR Batman!

A new camera from Fuji could help law enforcement catch criminals. The FinePix S3 Pro UVIR is a 12-megapixel digital camera that can also photograph in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. Ultraviolet photography can capture gun shot residue, blood and semen stains along with altered writing. Infrared photos could help police in night surveillance situations.The camera is meant to capture evidence that is normally invisible to the human eye and a live CCD preview feature is included to help.

Unlike other digital cameras the FinePix S3 has 6.17 million pairs of photodiodes which, according to Fuji, has four times the dynamic range of normal cameras. One diode captures mainly brightness information, while the other takes in mainly color information. Onboard hardware combines the information to produce the final picture.

The FinePix S3 UVIR can shoot up to 2.5 frames/sec and has image sizes ranging from 4256 by 2848 pixels down to 1440 by 960 pixels. Photographers take pictures in either 14-bit RAW mode or in the ever popular JPEG format. The FinePix S3 takes Compact Flash cards

The FinePix S3 Pro UVIR will be available in September for $1800.

Fuji also believes the camera will be a hit with infrared enthusiasts like yours truly and wedding photographers. Wedding Photographers? Let's see, gunshot residue, blood and semen stains... insert your joke here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Digital Infrared Photography

I've always been facinated by infrared photography. Back in the day... I shot a fair amount of it but it was something of a hassle. Now there is a company, Life Pixel, that can convert your digital camera to shoot infrared images. "With an infrared conversion it is now possible to photograph infrared images hand held at low ISO speeds without the need for infrared filters." How cool is that?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Shame On You!

I truly enjoy teaching Photoshop to professional and amateur photographers. It's a wonderful tool, but like any tool it can be misused. As a former photojournalist I was shocked to see Reuters, a very large and powerful news agency, post a "news" photo from Lebanon that was, (even to the untrained eye), obviously altered in Photoshop or some other Photo software. I have no idea what the photographer was thinking or the editor that allowed it to be published. Did he want to make the events he was covering appear more tragic in order to improve the chance of being published? Does he have a political agenda? Both motives are diametrically opposed to the code of ethics that professional journalists aspire to and risk their lives serving. This should send a chill through every news agency and turn the stomach of every honest journalist. To see what other photographers are saying about this scandal go to

Friday, August 04, 2006

Visualville Launches New Site!

We're very pleased to announce that Visualville's new website, designed by Don Giannatti @ Steelid, will publish tonight. Adstock Photos is finding a new home there as well. Drop by... kick the tires... honk the horn!