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Archive for February 27th, 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