Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's winter. It's snowing . . . blue?

At the South Rim of the Grand CanyonIf you live in the northeastern US, the weather this past weekend ensured you knew it was winter. The snow came down, and some areas got as much as a couple of feet.

Many went out in the last few days to make photographs of snow scenes, only to review the photos and see blue or gray snow.

Unfortunately, digital cameras aren't as good as the combination of our eyes and brains, which are fantastic at color and contrast correction and have a large dynamic range. Whether we see snow in the sun, or shade, or even at night, unless the light illuminating the snow is colored, we see the snow as white.

Cameras don't see the same way we do. They can be fooled by blue skies or shady conditions for snow scenes. The problem is, in snow conditions, the camera often can't set the image's white balance correctly. This is even true with expensive DSLR cameras.

Photography Exhibition: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Avedon Fashion 1944-2000

Richard AvedonThe Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, periodically has terrific photographic exhibitions. In case you missed this traveling exhibition earlier in New York, the Museum has, Avedon Fashion 1944–2000, an exceptional exhibition, for a few more weeks.

If you're in the Boston area, and still haven't seen this exhibition of one of the greatest American photographers of the 20th Century, try to get there. The exhibition is the most comprehensive exploration to date of Avedon's fashion photography during his long career at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, The New Yorker, and beyond.

This exhibition will run through January 17, 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

DSLR Purchasing: APS-C vs. Full Size Sensor?

Nikon D-200DSLR's sensors are essentially digital “film.” The sensor is the camera's electronic device which captures images.

Sensors contain millions of “photosites,” essentially buckets which capture the light coming through the DSLR's lens. The light is converted to an electric signal which gets measured, optimized, and converted to a digital image by the DSLR's processor.

The size of the buckets (photosites) is important to the sensor's sensitivity and its ability to accurately gather light in a variety of lighting conditions. Bigger buckets are better than smaller ones, because more light can be stored in them, without getting over-filled. Bigger buckets have a lesser tendency to impart noise into the image.

Photography Exhibition: The Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago Cabinet: Views from the Street

Ray K. Metzker. The Loop: Chicago, 1957The Art Institute of Chicago, regularly has extraordinary photographic exhibitions. This exhibition, Chicago Cabinet: Views from the Street, features seven artists who have taken inspiration from the city's buildings, pedestrians, and vivid street life. Walker Evans, best known for his Depression-era images of the American south is one of the featured photographers.

This exhibition will run through January 17, 2011

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ned's 2010 Annual Photography Gift Guide for Travelers

Ansel Adams in the National ParksI'm publishing my guide a little later than I normally do, however, I hope you find my suggestions helpful in getting that perfect gift for the “traveler photographer” in your life.

Photography gear is generally very personal for each person, so most of these suggestions are very “general.” Whatever you get, if possible, I always suggest you have your receipt, or better yet, a gift receipt available, so that the photographer can return the gift if it doesn't quite work for them, or if they have it already.

Photography Exhibition: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - Henri Cartier-Bresson The Modern Century

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City, 1934-1935The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art often has interesting and sometimes quirky photographic exhibitions in the world. This exhibition, Henri Cartier-Bresson The Modern Century, displays some of the best works of one of the 20th century's greatest photojournalists.

This exhibition will run through January 30, 2011.