BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for February 2009

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.”

Photo Critique 5: ‘Colombia’s Endless Mountains,’ by Gabriel M.

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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 Gabriel, a friend of mine in Miami, Florida from his trip home to Colombia.

'Colombia's Endless Mountains,' by Gabriel of Miami, Florida.

'Colombia's Endless Mountains,' by Gabriel of Miami, Florida.

General Overview:
Gabriel, this is a great idea for a landscape image. You found a beautiful location and you waited until the right time to make the image. You have a great eye for natural beauty and it shines through in this image. I know landscapes are relatively new for you since most of your shots are portraits so it’s nice to see you branching out and trying other genres.

I like the idea of using the barbed-wire fence in the foreground. I think it helps set an interesting contrast. You have the fence, which depicts captivity and then the background of mountains that seem to never end. I think it’s a nice play on the theme.

Very well done.

Improvements
There are a few improvements I will suggest. First, the sun in the right corner is too distracting. In order to capture the dark background, you needed to use a slower shutter speed, thus causing the sun to appear overexposed. There’s a few ways around this. On camera, you could use a neutral density or a split density filter to help offset the overexposure or you could have selected an area where the sun was not so imposing. In post production, you could have cropped out the sun or used the dodge tool to help bring it back into proper exposure.

Second, the mid-ground is a little too underexposed. I think you should have dodged the sun, burned in the mid-ground and it would have made a better image.

For your reference, I did a quick edit. See if you like the difference or not.

A quick re-edit by Jeremy Schneider. (Photo Credit: Gabriel M. of Miami, Florida)

A quick re-edit by Jeremy Schneider. (Photo Credit: Gabriel M. of Miami, Florida)

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 submissions@brickhousephotoschool.com.

Written by jeremyparce

February 24, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Canon U.S.A. Renews Sponsorship Agreement with the New York Yankees

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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.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. – Canon U.S.A., Inc., on Tuesday announced that it has extended its sponsorship with the New York Yankees, one of the most storied franchises in professional sports, through 2011.

As part of the agreement, Canon will be the “Official Digital Camera, Copier, SLR Camera and Printer of the New York Yankees.” The sponsorship will include signage on Yankee Stadium’s left field wall as well as a home plate rotating advertisement. Additionally, as part of a special Canon promotional day, scheduled for May 20, the first 18,000 fans in attendance will receive a cap featuring both the Canon logo and Yankees logo.

“Canon and the New York Yankees are two iconic brands that have complemented each other well throughout our partnership over the last decade,” said Jack Suzuki, senior director and general manager, Corporate Communications Division, Canon U.S.A. “Being partners with the Yankees as they usher in a new era with the opening of their new Stadium is going to be a gratifying and a proud moment for both brands. We hope to see many Yankees home runs hit over our sign throughout the season.”

“We are excited to be continuing our long term alliance with Canon. It is a fully-integrated relationship from premium signage and a giveaway day, to the installation of Canon copiers in the Stadium’s offices,” said Michael J. Tusiani, Yankees Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales & Sponsorships.

Written by jeremyparce

February 24, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Sigma announces the launch of the new 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM lens

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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.

This autofocus fisheye lens is designed for use with digital SLR cameras equipped with APS-C size image sensors. The Nikon version produces a diagonal angle of view of 180°(154° for Sigma, 167° for Canon).
The diagonal field of view of this fisheye lens produces striking images with exaggerated perspective and distortion. The minimum focusing distance of 5.3 inches, and maximum magnification 1:3.3 allows subjects to be as close as 0.7 inch from the lens’ front element.

Sigma's 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM lens. (Photo Credit: Sigma Photo)

Sigma's 10mm f/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM lens. (Photo Credit: Sigma Photo)

This close focusing capability allows close-up photography and also it is possible to make use of large depth of field that covers wide range of subjects. The Integral hood blocks out extraneous light and the Super Multi-Layer Coating minimizes flare and ghosting, creating superior image quality. The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures fast and quiet autofocusing and allows full-time manual focus override by rotation of the focus ring. This lens is supplied with a gelatin filter holder at the rear.

The lens is now available for Sony/Minolta digital SLRs, and Pentax digital SLRs.
The street value of the lens in about $1,000 US.

Ritz Camera Centers files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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Ritz Camera Centers Inc., the largest U.S. specialty camera and imaging chain, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Beltsville, Maryland-based company filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Ritz operates Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, Kits Cameras, Inkley’s and The Camera Shops, Ritz Camera Interactive in addition to companies not related to the photographic industry.

Written by jeremyparce

February 23, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Posted in News & Notes

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