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Archive for February 2009

Olympus E-620 Digital SLR Inspires Consumers To ‘Color Outside The Lines’

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., – As children, our imaginations run wild and finger-painted artistic creations are proudly displayed on our family refrigerators. But as we grow older, we learn to color inside the lines, and have less and less time for art. We often lose touch with how satisfying it is to create something uniquely our own. Olympus delivers the new E-620 digital single lens reflex camera to bring back that free-style experimenting and the magical feeling of being inspired by our own art.

The new camera’s easy-to-use Art Filters and Multiple Exposures (built right into the camera) are fun for consumers – whether you’ve been shooting for years or picked up your first digital camera today. Enjoy capturing creative images on the go – without being tethered to a computer and editing software! Now it is possible to easily customize your images so they’re worthy of posting on the gallery wall (or at least the family fridge).

“Experimenting and creating your own unique masterpieces has never been easier or more fun,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Pop Art, Grainy Black & White, and Pin Hole are just a few creative options that can be effortlessly found on the camera’s mode dial. The access is easy, and the results are fun and limitless.”

The new camera’s freedom of expression is matched by its freedom of mobility. First, the camera travels with you to more places, thanks to its compact size and light 16.76-ounce body. Second, as the world’s smallest DSLR with in-body Image Stabilization, the E-620 adjusts when your body moves to remove blur caused by camera shake (with any lens attached). Finally, add Live View shooting with a swivel 2.7-inch HyperCrystal™ LCD that frees you to cover subjects from a range of angles, and this 12.3-megapixel DSLR seamlessly combines motions with emotions – proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.

Make Your Vision Come to Life with Art Filters
If you’re hoping to get more out of your camera than simply capturing and documenting a scene, and enjoy enhancing or customizing an image to make it your own, then you will value the camera’s Art Filters. The filters, which are built into the camera, provide incredible individual artistic control over an image, and remove the need to spend time altering images on the computer with editing software.

This camera was made for free-style shooting, experimenting and engaging with events and subjects. Enjoy the freedom of Autofocus Live View and dramatic effects to transform your day-to-day shots into compositions that you can be proud of with the following in-camera Art Filters:

  • Pop Art:  Enhances colors, making them more saturated and vivid, creating high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feeling of the Pop Art style of the 1960s;
  • Soft Focus:  Creates an ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere that renders subjects in a heavenly light without obscuring details; Pale & Light Color:  Encloses the foreground of an image in flat gentle light and pastel colors reminiscent of a flashback scene in a movie;
  • Light Tone:  Renders shade and highlight areas softly to lend an elegant air to the subject;
  • Grainy Film:  Evokes the feeling of documentary footage shot in monochrome with grainy, high-contrast film; and
  • Pin Hole:  Reduces the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center of the picture.

Art Filters are easily activated with the mode dial on the right side of the camera body. The effects are viewable right on the new camera’s 100 percent accurate swivel 2.7-inch Live View HyperCrystal™ III LCD when using the E-620 in Live View mode or when reviewing the captured image.

Express Your Inner Artist’s Multiple Personalities
With the new camera’s Multiple Exposure function you are free to tell a visual story your way, whether in a portrait, a landscape or a combination of both. For instance, capture an image of the spring leaves on a new tree and then overlay an image of your child’s face into the leaves for a stunning image that expresses the newness of the season. The image capture options allow you to shoot one shot, then another, or to capture both shots separately and combine them in the camera later. Or superimpose your own portrait with a starry night sky to create a photo with the impact you desire. Let your imagination lead you to new creative discoveries.

Ready, Steady, Go with In-Body Image Stabilization
The E-620 travels with you to more places, thanks to its compact size and light 16.76-ounce body. Capture sharp images on the go with the camera’s in-body Image Stabilization, which virtually eliminates blur with any lens attached. Three IS modes handle any situation. The IS-1 mode is for general shooting and adjusts the sensor on both the horizontal and vertical planes to compensate for movement by the photographer so images stay sharp in low light even at slow shutter speeds. To capture the motion of moving subjects, the E-620 offers two specialized modes: IS-2 mode is ideal for capturing a runner or cyclist traveling by in the horizontal mode, preserving the sense of motion while panning; IS-3 mode achieves the same effect when the camera is held vertically. In either mode, the artistic effects of panning enhance the shot and render the subject in sharp detail with blurred background. Moreover, the E-620 is the world’s smallest DSLR with built-in Image Stabilization, so you’ll feel comfortable taking it on the road with you to capture the action.

Superior Image Quality
The new camera’s high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to reduce noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas.

Its Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus’ TruePic III+ Image Processor, which produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible. The new image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies, and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Written by jeremyparce

February 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Santa Monica College Pays Tribute to Slain Artist, Photojournalist, Activist Dan Eldon

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SANTA MONICA, CA – The Santa Monica College Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery presents “JOURNEY: Images of War/Celebrations of Peace,” a powerful tribute to the late Dan Eldon, a young artist and photojournalist whose images of war-torn and famine-stricken Somalia reverberated throughout the world.

"Boy with Gun." (Photo Credit: Dan Eldon, via MarketWire)

"Boy with Gun." (Photo Credit: Dan Eldon, via MarketWire)

The traveling exhibit contains not only photographs taken in Somalia, but also large reproductions of the collages he created in his journals, as well as art supplies and personal belongings. The exhibit continues through March 21.

In the summer of 1993, Eldon, who was on location covering the Somali conflict for Reuters, was asked by Somali locals to photograph destruction caused by the mistaken bombing by the U.N. of what they believed was the house of a warlord. Amid the ruins, and the frenzy that ensued, Eldon and four other journalists were stoned to death by the enraged mob. Dan was 22 years old when he died.

Eldon’s mother and sister, Kathy and Amy, who both reside in Los Angeles, continue to honor Dan’s legacy and spirit through their foundation, Creative Visions Foundation (, which supports creative activists like Dan who use media and the arts to create awareness and inspire positive change in the world. CVF sponsors the traveling exhibit and also provides vital assistance such as mentoring, networking and financial support to other creative activists.

“JOURNEY: Images of War/Celebrations of Peace” has toured six countries and has been opened by more than four heads of state, including the President of Kenya and former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson. Journalist Dan Rather opened the show at Columbia University and Tom Brokaw spoke at Duke University when the exhibit opened there.

Gallery information can be found here.

Photographers You Should Know: Dorothea Lange

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'Migrant Mother, Florence Owens Thompson.' (Photo Credit: Dorothea Lange, via U.S. National Archives)

'Migrant Mother, Florence Owens Thompson.' (Photo Credit: Dorothea Lange, via U.S. National Archives)

Information for this article came from the Oakland Museum of California.

Photographer Dorothea Lange was a major influence in the development of modern documentary photography. Her touching and poignant photographs of people during the American Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration shaped the way people viewed the hardships and struggles of American farmers and migrant workers.

Lange’s photographs showed her compassion for her subjects and her ability to capture the essence of the subject.

Lange began in the 1920s as a commercial portrait photographer in San Francisco. Some of her earliest documentary work was of Native Americans made on her trips to the American Southwest with her first husband, painter Maynard Dixon.

Lange’s Great Depression photos show the struggles of migrant workers who were leaving the American Midwest Dust Bowl, and moving to California to find work and start a new life.

During World War II, Lange began documenting Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps, and women and minorities working in wartime industries.

Photo Critique 6: ‘Untitled,’ by Renier DP.

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I love critiquing photos. It’s the best way to learn and get new ideas for photo shoots. Today, we’re going to critique an image made by Renier, a former student of mine in Miami, Florida.

'Untitled,' by Renier of Miami, Florida

'Untitled,' by Renier of Miami, Florida

General Overview:
Renier, I really enjoy this image because of its simplicity and homage to documentary photography. It looks like an old photo from the days of Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac. I think your image finds great depth and beauty in an otherwise simple setting. I know a lot of your images follow in the documentary vein, as you document the lives of your friends. My one suggestion in this regards is this: start looking for a message or idea you want to express. Try some storytelling and see how that works.

Whether intentional or not, I like the contrast between the typewriter your subject is using and the computer in the background. By all accounts, the subject looks very modern: A flatscreen television, computer, etc. But here his, in his pearl-button shirt and typewriter working away. It makes us, the viewer, want to know more. Good job.

This is a very well done image.

There are a few improvements I would like to suggest. First, the light coming from the window above the subject’s left shoulder is causing over-exposure. This is because the light in the room was much less than the light in the window, causing the meter to adjust for the room light and not factoring in the window light. Knowing that you use Adobe Photoshop, I would recommend you dodging the window light a bit in an effort to reduce the overexposure.

Secondly, I would lighten the area on the subject’s face to bring in just a tiny bit more detail. Burn in the face a little more and you’ll have it quite nice.

Finally, I would suggest that you use a larger aperture setting in order to make the depth of field a bit shallower. This is because there’s a going on in the room and it’s easy for the background to distract from the foreground. According to the information recorded in the image’s metadata, you used a shutter speed of 1/13 of a second with an aperture of f/3.5. If you could use f/2.8 or f/1.8, you would get both a faster shutter speed and a shallower depth of field, both of which could help you.

One more tip: Your ISO setting was recorded at ISO 100 equivalency. I would highly recommend using a higher ISO setting for this type of image for two reasons: One is a higher ISO will allow for more grain. More grain would give the image an “old” look by replicating the black-and-white film types used in early documentary photography. Second, a higher ISO would give you the ability to use a faster shutter speed.

Renier, you always do a great job. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing some more images from you.

Thanks for the submission, good luck and keep shooting!

If you would like to submit a photo for critique, e-mail us at

Written by jeremyparce

February 27, 2009 at 12:23 am

Olympus E-3 DSLR to Capture Earth’s Beauty from Space Station, Raise Awareness for Environmental Protection

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases as needed for space.

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., – Olympus Corporation commemorates its 90th anniversary by creating the “Olympus Space Project” to photograph the majestic beauty of our planet and raise awareness to protect it. The company’s flagship E-3 digital single lens reflex camera and ZUIKO digital lenses will journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on the next Space Shuttle Discovery mission.

Dr. Koichi Wakata, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut, will take images of the earth with the Olympus E-3 throughout his three-month mission on the ISS. Specifically, he will stay in the “Kibo,” which is the Japanese Experiment Module. It is located in the ISS and is Japan’s first manned facility where astronauts can conduct experiments for long periods of time. ‘Hope’ is the English translation for Kibo, and Dr. Wakata will be the first astronaut to inhabit the new experiment module. Images captured by Dr. Wakata will be available on Olympus’ Web site.

“For 90 years we’ve continued to develop innovative products that help improve peoples’ lives every day – from capturing memories to documenting environmental changes,” said F. Mark Gumz, president, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Olympus cameras are used by the National Park Service to track air quality at our nation’s parks and by wildlife photographer Mitsuaki Iwago, whose images focus on global environmental issues and nature preservation. We’re taking this commitment to the next level by capturing our planet’s delicate beauty from space.”

Designed for professional and aspiring photographers, the E-3 offers amazing image quality, splashproof and dustproof durability, and a magnesium-alloy body that survives the toughest shooting environments. The E-3 complies with NASA’s standards for use in space. Olympus continues to be an innovator, developing new technologies to expand the frontiers of digital photography and leading where others have followed.

Details on the ISS, JAXA, the Japanese Experiment Module, Dr. Wakata and the next mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery are available here.

‘Smithsonian’ Magazine Opens Entries for 7th Annual Photo Contest

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Smithsonian magazine on March 2 will begin accepting submissions for the 7th Annual Photo Contest. The magazine will also announce the 50 finalists for the 6th Annual Photo Contest.

For the past five years, Smithsonian editors have judged a total of 72,000 photographs from more than 90 countries around the globe.

“As we enter our sixth year, we have a clear sense of what makes a photograph a Smithsonian winner. Technical quality, clarity and composition are all important, but so too is a flair for the unexpected and the ability to capture the right moment. We are excited when we can see the photograph through your eyes—through your skill, your passion, your vision,” stated a media release on the magazine’s Website.

Written by jeremyparce

February 26, 2009 at 12:31 am

‘Arkansas Catholic’ Newspaper Sponsoring Photography Contest

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From the Arkansas Catholic Newspaper

David G. Turner's photo of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers was featured on the cover of the 2009 diocesan directory. (Photo Credit: David G. Turner via the 'Arkansas Catholic' Website)

David G. Turner's photo of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers was featured on the cover of the 2009 diocesan directory. (Photo Credit: David G. Turner via the 'Arkansas Catholic' Website)

The Arkansas Catholic newspaper is holding a contest to choose a photo for the cover of the 2010 diocesan directory. Any professional or amateur photographer in Arkansas can enter their photo of a Catholic church or institution in the diocese. March 20, 2009, is the deadline to enter the contest.

Dave Turner of Lowell, Arkansas won last year’s photo contest with a photo of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers, Arkansas. His photo was featured on the cover of the 2009 Catholic Diocese of Little Rock Directory.

Complete rules and an entry form are available on the Arkansas Catholic Website. For more information, call Emily Roberts at (501) 664-0340.

Written by jeremyparce

February 26, 2009 at 12:05 am

Leica Workshop Scheduled in Delray Beach, Florida

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A workshop with Justin Stailey, Leica’s product specialist will be held March 21 at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in Delray Beach, Florida. The workshop is hosted by The Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 55 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach, FL.

This workshop will allow for a unique opportunity to learn how to take better pictures with a Leica Rangefiner. Stailey, joined by a Leica representative and the trained staff of The Palm Beach Photographic Centre will give workshop attendees great pointers and share their experience. Attendees will receive hands-on experience with the latest Leica rangefinders and the latest M-lenses.

This workshop is limited in size. For more information, contact The Palm Beach Photographic Centre at 561-276-9797.

Keep Your Eyes Open and Be Patient

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Since photography is a form of visual communication, it seems a little silly to tell photographers-in-training to keep their eyes open. Once you start concentrating on composition, camera adjustments and the like, however, it’s easy to forgot to just stop and look.

There’s a whole world going on outside of your camera lens and you have to train yourself not to be too myopic. It’s not easy. As you’re learning the steps to go through to make a good image such as making sure you have the correct ISO, white balance, aperture and shutter values selected and making sure a ton of other things that can go wrong, don’t, you simply forget to look.

Digital cameras have made the whole photographic process much easier and has brought photography to even more people, which are all good things. The downside, however, is that people spend less time composing good images and more time “spraying-and-praying,” a term I heard once for someone who just takes a whole lot of pictures and prays one of them turns out OK.

In photography, we measure time in fractions of a second and as any photographer knows, a whole lot goes on in 1/250th of a second. That’s why it’s important to keep your eyes open and learn to anticipate an event.

Patience is also a virtue not lost on photographers. I know I have spent countless hours waiting for something to happen in front of my lens and it seems right when I’m about to give up hope, an opportunity presents itself.

Be patient and keep a lookout for good images to appear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Be patient and keep a lookout for good images to appear. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

I use for an example this picture of a little boy riding the lamb. I was sent to cover a fair in Gallup, New Mexico, and it was the last assignment of the day. It was hot and I wanted nothing more than to shoot the assignment and go back to the hotel and in the air condition. Yet, nothing was visually pleasing. It was the typical fairground scene and there were no images that really made me happy. Then I heard over the loudspeaker an announcement asking any children who wanted to participate in the “mutton bustin’” to report to the arena.

I decided I would go and see what “mutton bustin’” was because it at least sounded interesting. Then I saw this little boy with his flame-throwing helmet and I knew the image was going to happen.

An occasional good image may be chalked up to accident or luck. To successfully, time-after-time, make good images isn’t luck or happenstance. It’s training and using your knowledge to work to your advantage.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Written by jeremyparce

February 25, 2009 at 12:21 am

Photographers You Should Know: Edward S. Curtis

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Information for this article was received from the Smithsonian Institution.

Edward S. Curtis is one of the most widely recognized, and sometimes criticized, photographers of American Native people. For more than three decades, he traveled the American West and Alaska photographing Native Americans.
Born February 16, 1868, in Wisconsin, Curtis took an interest in photography – then an emerging medium – at an early age. He built his first camera when he was a teenager and by the age of 19, he owned part interest in a photography studio in Seattle, where his family had moved.

‘Sioux Chiefs.’ (Photo Credit: Edward S. Curtis via the Smithsonian Institution)

‘Sioux Chiefs.’ (Photo Credit: Edward S. Curtis via the Smithsonian Institution)

In his twenties, Curtis began photographing Native American in the Puget Sound area as they dug for clams and mussels. One of his earliest photographs of Native Americans was of Princess Angeline, the daughter of Sealth, the Suquamish chief after whom Seattle was named.

In 1899, at the age of 31, Curtis became the official photographer of the Harriman Expedition into Alaska. After this, he began his 30-year quest of documenting Native Americans in the United States.

Curtis funded his expeditions personally – acquiring a tremendous amount of debt – and by soliciting funds for his work. Some of his donors included President Theodore Roosevelt and railroad tycoon John Pierpont Morgan.

Curtis documented nearly 80 Native American tribes and made nearly 40,000 photographs and 10,000 recording of Native American speech and music. Like most scholars of his time, Curtis believed the Native American culture would be lost as Native Americans were brought into the mainstream culture. He wanted to create both an artistic and academic volume of work before the cultures “vanished.”

Curtis died in 1952 and the bulk of his work was forgotten. During the 1960s and 1970s, however, his work was “rediscovered” and is now recognized as one of the “most significant records of Native culture ever produced.”