Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doesn't everyone love a parade?

Phillies fan at 2008 World Series victory paradeWhat do you think? Is the old adage, “Everyone loves a parade” true?

When we travel, there are often photographic opportunities at parades. In some cases we just get lucky that there is a parade where we’re visiting. In many cases we traveled to be at the parade, or at least include it as part of our journey.

For hundreds of thousands each year the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro are destinations unto themselves. The nightly parade at Walt Disney World is attended by millions each year. The oldest new year’s parade in America, the Mummers Parade, with its classic string bands and guady costumes, continues to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors, each year, to Philadelphia from every corner of the Earth.

You might happen upon a special parade like the one in my example photographs, the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Victory Parade, which more than 3,000,000 attended. Travelers to Philadelphia that day got a big treat to be able to photograph and attend that parade.

Photography Exhibition: The Getty Museum - Irving Penn: Small Trades

Irving Penn, Mrs. Amory Carhart, New York, 1947The Getty Museum has become one of the premier museums exhibiting great works of photographic art.

At the Getty Museum they are currently showing the work of Irving Penn, a great American photographer in the exhibition Irving Penn: Small Trades.
This exhibition will run through January 10, 2009

“Working in Paris, London, and New York in the early 1950s, photographer Irving Penn (American, born 1917) created masterful representations of skilled tradespeople dressed in work clothes and carrying the tools of their occupations.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Do filters for digital cameras make sense?

Traditional color filters for film photographyBefore the advent of high quality digital cameras, professionals, and advanced amateur film photographers traditionally used filters to modify both the color and intensity of light exposing the film, as well as to generate special effects.

Digital cameras operate in a different world with respect to color. Photographers can easily modify color in their cameras, or during post processing in their computers, via controlling white balance for scene color accuracy or effect.

Warming, cooling, and filters which convert fluorescent light to look like daylight, may be required for film, but digital cameras can achieve the same effects by their internal manipulation of the image’s digital data.

The use of traditional photography filters for modifying the color of the light, is unnecessary for digital photography, but other filters can work well for digital photography.

Photography Exhibition: The National Gallery of Art - In the Darkroom: Photographic Processes

Darkroom: Photographic ProcessesThe National Gallery of Art has an extensive collection of photographic images, however, most are not regularly on display. This exhibition, In the Darkroom: Photographic Processes, will take 90 photographs from its permanent collection. It will be a treat to see them. 

This exhibition will run from October 25th through March 4, 2010

Monday, September 14, 2009

Getting my camera ready for the day's travel photography

Nikon D200 DSLRWhile traveling, or for that matter, during any photo shoot, for a variety of reasons, photographers may vary any number of major camera settings which control exposure metering, focus, shutter mode, etc. By the end of the day, one’s camera’s settings may be significantly different than when the day began.

The next morning, it’s likely we won’t remember how the camera’s settings were left at the end of the prior day. That can result in  photographs which need extensive retouching and repair, totally blown shots which can only be discarded and missing great shots all together.

At some point this happens to everyone, but it is avoidable.

Photography Exhibition: Phoenix Art Museum - Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture

Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic PortraitureThe Phoenix Art Museum periodically runs wonderful photographic exhibitions. Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture looks to be one of the year’s best photographic exhibitions in the US.

The exhibition will run from September 19, 2009 through January 10, 2009.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Should you use your camera's digital zoom?

It is unfortunate, but more and more digital point and shoot camera manufacturers are choosing to describe their camera’s zoom capability as “total zoom,” instead of quoting the camera’s optical and digital zoom capability separately.

Most people are familiar with the concept of zooming, but I’ve found that few understand the difference between optical and digital zooming. As a result, many travelers are devastated when they come home from a fabulous trip, with highly digitally zoomed photographs, to find them blurry, with the jaggies, and lots of noise.
Lens cutaway view showing the lens elements

In optical zooming, the individual pieces of glass (The are the glass elements -seen above in the cutaway view of the lens; the vertical pieces in the photo having convex and concave shapes.) of the lens are mechanically moved to manipulate the image the photographer wants to capture. By realigning the glass elements of the lens, the subject of the image is either magnified or reduced in size, with the angle of view either narrowed or expanded.

When zooming optically, all the magnification or reduction of the subject in the image is manipulated by the lens itself, so that the photograph captured uses the entire sensor area of the digital camera. This is true from the widest angle shot (wide angle focal length) with the least magnification, to the narrowest angle shot (telephoto focal length) with the maximum magnification.

Photography Exhibition: Museum of Contemporary Photography - Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture

From Reversed Images: Representations of ShanghaiThe Museum of Contemporary Photography, in Chicago, IL has some of the most exciting exhibitions of contemporary photography in the US. Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture looks like it will be another wonderful exhibition at the Museum. If you’re in the Chicago area, don’t miss this exhibition. I plan to go myself, if at all possible.

The exhibition will run from September 25, 2009 through December 23, 2009.