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‘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

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.”

Photographers You Should Know: George W. Ackerman

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Information for this article came from the U.S. Archives
George W. Ackerman was one of the many U.S. government-employed photographers who made images during the Great Depression. Ackerman started with the Bureau of Plant Industry for an annual salary of $900.

Unlike his peers, Ackerman’s photographs often depicted farmers utilizing modern farm machinery and the modern advances that had come to the U.S. agriculture community. He traveled the nation, documenting how farmers labored. Many of his peers during the Depression often focused on the poverty and difficult conditions many rural people faced, yet Ackerman showed hope in his images by focusing on the positive things that were happening in rural America.

'Farm Family Listening to Their Radio.' (Photo Credit: George W. Ackerman, August 15, 1930 National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Extension Service)

'Farm Family Listening to Their Radio.' (Photo Credit: George W. Ackerman, August 15, 1930 National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Extension Service)

Ackerman said he tried “to paint the rural scene as I saw it, modern and up-to-date in many respects.”

During his tenure in federal service, Ackerman made an estimated 50,000 photographs during his 40-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many of which appeared in private and government agriculture publications. Often, those images were not credited to him.

Making the Switch to a DSLR? Cameras to Consider

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If you’re planning to switch from a point-and-shoot camera to a digital SLR, then congratulations, it probably means you’re ready to get serious about photography.

DSLRs allow you tons more creative freedom than do point-and-shoot cameras. With the vast selection of lenses and lighting equipment, you can really start to control the way you make images.

There are many DSLRs to choose from and all of them offer various features that will appeal to different users. So, let’s first determine what kind of user you are.

User Profiles
In order to make this simple, I’m going to categorize users into three categories: family event photographers, hobbyists and students.

Family event photographers, as the name implies, utilize a camera mostly for special events: birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. They need a camera that’s user friendly and relatively low priced.
Hobbyists are photographers who explore photography. They go beyond candid photos and snapshots and make composed photographs. The need a camera that allows more creative freedom and often look for mid-range priced cameras.
Students are photographers who either want to make photography a career or at least a serious part of their lives. They need a camera system that grows with them as they advance in photography.

With these categories in mind, let’s examine some entry-level DSLRs that can fit the bill for the various photographer categories.

Cameras for Family Event Photographers

  • Canon Rebel XS with 18-55mm IS Lens Kit: This is a great camera for the family photographer. It’s easy to use, relatively lightweight and at 10.1 megapixels, you can make great prints. Street value: Around $600 US.
  • Nikon D40 with NIKKOR 18-55mm Lens Kit: This camera features a 6.1-megapixel image sensor with easy-to-use controls all packaged in a very lightweight body – about 17 ounces. Street value: Around $500 US.
  • Olympus Evolt E-410 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm Lens Kit: With a 10-megapixel image sensor, a handy dust reduction system and a kit that contains two lenses, the Olympus Evolt E-410 is a great deal. The camera is easy to use and the controls are quite intuitive. Street value: Around $650 US.

Cameras for Hobbyists

  • Nikon D90 body only: Honestly, I would tell hobbyists to skip the Nikon D60 and D80 and go straight for the D90. It’s a great camera that will meet any challenge you throw at it. The D90 is built well, designed well, has a 12.3-megapixel image sensor and all the controls are very intuitive. Even if you never use the video capture mode, the D90 makes beautiful still images. Street value for body only: Around $1,000 US.
  • Canon EOS 40D body only: This camera has a 10.1-megapixel image sensor, Canon’s Integrated Cleaning System to help reduce dust on the image sensor and boasts a whopping 6.5 frames-per-second shooting speed. This is a fast little camera that will be a great tool for hobbyists, especially those who shoot sports and/or wildlife. Street value for body only: Around $1,100 US.

Cameras for Students

Students are a unique category. As a student, you have two choices: Either buy a camera listed for hobbyists in order to see how far you want to go in photography or if you’re absolutely CERTAIN you want to be a pro photographer, buy one of these cameras so you won’t need to upgrade later.

  • Nikon D300 body only: This cameras has it all – a 12.3-megapixel image sensor, 6 frames-per-second shooting speed that can bump to 8 fps with the optional battery pack, and a great ISO range with low noise in the higher ISOs. This is the camera that will get you through school and will work well in your early career. Street value for body only: About $1,800 US.
  • Canon EOS 50D body only: At 15.1 megapixels and 6.3 frames-per-second, this is a workhorse camera. Canon serves up some great cameras and this is one of them. You won’t be looking for an upgrade for this camera for quite some time. Street value for body only: About $1,400 US.
  • Olympus E-3: The Olympus E-3 is the flagship camera of the Olympus DSLR lineup. It’s a great camera built for heavy-duty use. It shoots fast – 1/8000 second is the highest shutter speed and has the ability to shoot 5 frames-per-second. Olympus also has a great lineup of lenses to compliment this camera. Street value for body only: Around $1,700 US.

Equipment Profiles: Canon’s EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens

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Canon’s EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens is a must-have piece of equipment for any serious amateur or professional photographer. This lens provides razor-sharp images in a lightweight but well-constructed design.

Canon's EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Who Needs This Lens?
This lens needs to be in the bag of every serious amateur and professional photographer. Macro photography not only is fun, but it’s a way to bring both a new look to your images and a whole new world of photographic possibilities. With a macro lens, you can get closer than you’ve ever been to a subject and bring out details that will wow both you and those who observe your images.

If you want to add an additional “wow” factor to your image making, then a macro lens is the way to go.

Because of the 100mm range of this lens, you can unobtrusively photograph otherwise skittish subjects, such as birds, butterflies and other insects.

Where Will I Use This Lens?
This is a great all-purpose lens. Want more interesting portraits? Then aim this lens at your subject and get close. Have a backyard garden? Perfect. This lens will allow you to photographically capture all the life thriving in your garden. For up-close photos of flowers to the insects that live among the plants, you’ll be able to capture sharp images and show incredible detail. With this lens, you’ll soon discover a brand new field of photographic imaging.

By the Numbers
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Lens Construction: 12 elements in 8 groups
Focusing: Auto Focus and full-time manual focus even in AF mode.
Price: $490-$600 US