Monday, October 22, 2007

Photography Values & Ethics

Bison Sunset, Bison bison
Yellowstone National Park, 2006

From doing shows I have found that people like to know that there are wild places still out there somewhere. That these wild places do still exist. It seems to give them comfort. Some people ask, "is this real?" What they are really asking is "did you use Photoshop?" My short answer is always "yes". Nearly everyone printing photos today uses Photoshop. My slightly longer answer is "my photographs are true to real life."

For some people modify in camera is fine but modify post production is not fair game. Photography is pure art. It is all interpretation. Each person's eye sees something different. There is not just one kind of photography or approach to photography. The whole question of image manipulation comes down to what you feel you want to convey with your photography. I once ran into a photographer who had a collection of animal eyes and sky’s that would be added to photographs to make something completely different. This seems like cheating, but it's one way of getting a great shot.

I photograph for fine art. In addition to fine art many of my wildlife photographs have editorial uses, which has a different set of ethics from fine art. Each photographer has their own set of ethics and each photographer needs to decide what their ethics are. Here is my list of ethics to assist you in coming up with your own list:

  • I have a strong view that my photographs should have some sense of veracity. I use Photoshop to make the colors and mood look the way I remember them. I want to invoke the same feeling I had when I took the photograph while keeping true to real life.

  • I don't add anything to my photographs.

  • I do clone out litter or power lines from landscapes but I try to take them without these elements if I can.

  • I do clone out sensor dust.

  • I do composite images to make panoramas.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New 30-inch Monitor

Eizo is a company known for their high quality monitors and have just released the FlexScan SX3031W, a 30-inch monitor to compete with the 30-inch Apple, Dell, HP, Samsung and Gateway. It is claimed to reproduce 97% of the Adobe RGB color space which is cool. If memory serves (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) the Apple 30-inch can reproduce 96% of the Adobe RGB color space. Not much of a difference but a welcome feature.

One funny feature but was probably a freebee was the Eizo "Picture-By-Picture" feature. This allows two computers to use the one monitor so you get dual monitor from one 30-inch. I guess this is cool, but I personally prefer the lower price of the Apple and the firewire hub built in. All other specs seem to be virtually comperable. I'm sure they use the same LCD panel and the other difference is the backlight. The Eizo does give you a 5-year warranty compared to Apple's 1-year. But Considering the Apple is $1,799 vs the Eizo quoted $2,555, I'd take the Apple. Eizo could send me a test unit so I could compare against my Apple.

Canon Fall 2007 Rebates

Today Canon announced their fall rebates. There are a bunch of lenses available and the 580EX II Speedlightwith between $20 and $125 off. Go to B&H Photo for an instance rebate. This rebate runs from October 18th 2007 to January 12th 2008.

Canon also has a rebate program on the Canon XTi, EOS 40D, EOS 5D camera with a purchase of a either a PIXMA Pro9000 or Pro9500 printer if you buy them at the same time on the same reciept. This rebate runs from October 14th 2007 to January 12th 2008.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Canon Lenses Shown at Photo Plus Expo

Since Photo Plus Expo is just around the corner the camera announcements are starting to show up. Yesterday Canon made such an announcement with this press release that they will be exhibiting two new lenses that are under development. The new lenses are a Canon EF200mm f/2L IS USM and EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM. The 200mm f/2.0 to replace the discontinued 200mm f/1.8 which was mourned by many photographers since it was one of the sharpest lenses Canon ever made. I'm sure the new 200mm will live up to its predecessor’s expectations but only testing will tell. The 800mm I’m sure will be larger than the 12lb 600mm, so I'm sure not many photographers will just carry this around casually. I wish they'd replace the outdated 100-400mm with a similar 200-400 f/4.0 like Nikon has.