A Solar Corona Composite
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
When it comes to photographing the natural world, some people tend to get all up in arms about digital imaging, compositing, and anything they deem to be a bit too fishy to be considered "real" photography. While I appreciate their sentiments and understand where they're coming from, sometimes they take it a bit too far and mistake their opinion for fact. (There are very few hard and fast rules about photography, after all. And there's no accounting for taste.) Anyway, I'm digressing. The point is that just because a digital image is composited from several photographs doesn't mean that it's somehow become less true. In fact, sometimes combining multiple exposures is the only way to do an image justice, and make a more realistic, more factual photograph. That's just what Czech photographer Miloslav Druckmüller did with his recent composite of images of the moon during a total solar eclipse. The images were composited from 40-some photographs in order to create an extra-sharp, extra-detailed, extra-realistic photographic image. This beautiful image stands alone, but it also goes a long way toward proving that sometimes digital imaging and compositing can be used to make images more realistic, not less.
Beautiful Black & White Storm Photography
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The beautiful black & white storm photographs of Mitch Dobrowner are featured in a slideshow on the CNN photo blog. Dobrowner has been chasing storms all through the west and Midwest for four years, and he has seen everything from monsoons to tornados and massive supercell thunderstorms. Working in the tradition of the great black & white landscape masters, Dobrowner's work manages to reflect a contemporary aesthetic, documenting the power and beauty of nature while still managing on occasion to deliver minimal, abstract images. If you'd like to own your own small slice of Dobrowner's work, you're in luck. Visit the Aperture foundation to purchase his new book, Storms, which includes more than 50 large format photographs and is offered at quite a reasonable price.
New Mac Pro for A New Era
Monday, June 17, 2013
I'm in the midst of pondering an upgrade to my aging Mac Pro desktop computer. It was my understanding that Apple would be ending support for the Mac Pro and moving users to a more iMac-centric experience, but last week's announcement of the new, R2D2-meets-Darth-Vader Mac Pro set me straight. It's an interesting machine in a really odd form factor, but it's got some specs that are especially intriguing—namely, dual GPUs that offer up to 7 teraflops of processing power. Teraflops are bigger than gigahertz, and that's about where my understanding ends, but the point is it's fast—built for serious photo and video processing. So now instead of upgrading my aging Mac Pro, maybe I'll wait for this new model to hit store shelves later this year. It's made to meet the demands of video, especially, and I think that means it would be especially useful in a traditional photographic workflow as well—even if you do have to buy an external Superdrive to burn DVDs. You can't have everything, I guess. Check the specs and see some pictures of this crazy looking thing at http://www.apple.com/mac-pro
Get A Kick Of Light
Friday, June 14, 2013
You may or may not be supportive of the idea of using an iPhone in place of a camera, but whatever your stance on the use of an iPhone for photography, I'm betting you'll have no problem with the idea of turning your iPhone into an LED light. No, it's not quite turning the phone itself into a light source (wouldn't THAT be a cool trick) but rather this tiny little device that slides onto the back of your iPhone and is controlled by the phone's touchscreen interface—allowing you to customize the light's output and white balance via an integrated app. At $179 it's not quite cheap enough to be a must have, but the idea certainly makes sense—especially if I were a food blogger or other shooter regularly confronting small subjects that need just a little kick of light.