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Camera advice from Consumer Reports

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 23, 2012 06:00 AM

By Consumer Reports magazine

Unless all you ever do with photographs is text them or upload them to Facebook, you need a real camera. Even models that are barely larger than a phone offer optical zoom (some as high as 10x), along with a wider variety of controls than a phone. Advanced models let you shoot more types of subjects under more varied conditions, including very low light.

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'Famous Places' contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 19, 2012 06:21 PM

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography

As an editor and curator, I look at a lot of images every day and, by necessity, have to look at them from the standpoint of their potential application. This particular contest, Famous Places, lends itself to that concept quite easily. So I thought it might help fellow shooters out there to look at their potential shots from that standpoint, and in particular for three specific applications: magazine, book, and CD covers.

Which means there are heavy technical considerations to take into account when shooting.

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Featured Photographer: Ben Rifkin
Life and wildlife in Madagascar

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 19, 2012 12:21 PM

RifkinHostFather.JPG

Ben Rifkin's host-father in the village of Faux Cap, Madagascar
Photo by Ben Rifkin


By Ben Rifkin
Sudbury

For years before I started college, I knew I wanted to spend a semester studying abroad, but I wasn't sure where. By my junior year at Brandeis, I made up my mind to travel somewhere off the beaten path, and, of course, Madagascar is pretty far off the beaten path for someone like me.

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A photo guide to Cape Cod -
with GPS coordinates!

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 17, 2012 01:49 PM

BassHoleWalkwayOpt.jpg

Bass Hole Walkway
Photo by Arnold J. Kaplan


Everybody likes to take great photos at scenic locales, but sometimes it's hard to know exactly where to go to get that fantastic shot that's going to end up framed over your fireplace, given as a treasured gift, or - hopefully! - sold at a show.

Well, now you don't have to worry about finding wonderful scenes on Cape Cod: We heard from a RAW friend, Arnold Kaplan, about his new guidebook to taking photos of some of the best scenes on the Cape.

What's all the more remarkable about this project is that Arnold is 96 years old! He also wrote the guidebook "How to Find and Photograph Photo Scenics In Vermont", and has been taking photos for more than 80 years. He was awarded the high honor of "Associate" (APSA) by the Photographic Society of America in 1974, and two years later, was awarded the title of "Artiste" (AFIAP) by the Photographic International de L'Art in Europe for outstanding achievement in photo education, photo exhibitions, and skill as a photographer.

He writes:

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August contest theme: Center It

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 1, 2012 04:13 PM

With all we have learned about the Rule of Thirds -- and seen how effective it is -- why would you ever center your main subject in a photo? Here's what some of the pros say:

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Local photo exhibits:
Russell duPont, Griffin, Panopticon ...

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 1, 2012 10:55 AM

Some local photo exhibits worth visiting:

Toward Beacon Hill by Russell duPont
"Toward Beacon Hill"
Photo by Russell duPont
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Canon EOS M is coming soon

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 24, 2012 06:00 AM

Canon's long-awaited entry to the mirrorless market has arrived, and DigitalCameraHQ isn't entirely sure it was worth the wait (if you were waiting at all).

Essentially a slimmed-down version of the new T4i, the M's claim to fame is the multi-touch screen from which most of the camera's settings are controlled. The camera is thus aimed squarely at the low end of the market, sure to please the audience with its slim size and impressive autofocus, but not bogged down with the external controls or viewfinder an enthusiast might crave.

The most interesting thing about the new system isn't the camera itself but the lens it comes packaged with, a 22mm f2 pancake lens.

Read more about the M on DigitalCameraHQ.

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Featured Photographer:
Paul Marotta of Arlington

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 23, 2012 09:00 AM

Even though we usually highlight amateur photographers in this feature, I thought it would be helpful to have Paul Marotta, who judges many of our RAW monthly contests, talk about how he moved into the professional ranks and give us all some photo tips. You can see a sample of his work in a gallery linked at the end of this entry. To see his work in person, visit the Artful Heart Gallery in Arlington or Workbar in Boston.

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography, Arlington

Photographer Paul Marotta.jpgCan anyone ever be thankful to have been let go from an executive position during the economic downturn? Would someone deliberately undertake building a photography career at this stage of life? These are questions I wouldn't begin to presume to answer for anyone else, and at times I'm not sure I even have my own answers!

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How AP will photograph the Olympics

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 22, 2012 04:28 PM

Here's a pretty interesting video by the Associated Press in which photographers and editors show off some of the underwater and remote-controlled cameras and equipment they will use to cover the Olympics in London, starting this week.

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Photography apps for your phone

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 20, 2012 02:20 PM

Thinking of ditching your separate camera and moving to just using your phone for all your photos? What apps should you go for?

Instagram made headlines recently after being bought by Facebook for $1 billion. What does it include, and what else is out there?

Check out this gallery of photo apps.

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Photo sites worth seeing

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 20, 2012 01:52 PM

By Hiawatha Bray
Globe Staff

It’s mid-July, prime photo-taking season, and by now your digital cameras and cellphones probably need a break. Time to offload those snapshots to an Internet site that will let you look at them any time, and share them with family and friends.

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'Outdoor Sculptures' contest winners

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 02:00 PM

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography

For me, there are, perhaps, two ways to shoot sculpture: straight documentary style, cleanly capturing the work by the artist in a technically proficient manner; and a more interpretive manner, adding some additional emotional dimension to the work already created by the artist without losing its meaning.

In both of these, all the technical issues discussed in the terrific links Teresa posted in the initial contest outline come into play to some degree or another: background clutter, separation between subject and surroundings, interplay of light and shadow, composition, color, does the structure of the photograph enhance the form of the work, use of positive and negative space, rule of thirds, depth of field, and more.

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dpreview on the Nikon D800 and D800e

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:30 PM

NikonD800.jpg


From dpreview.com

With the D800 arriving in camera shops alongside its chief competitor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, we have two well-built photographic tools that are capable of outstanding images.

While the 36MP D800 has the resolution advantage over its 22MP rival, it's wise to take note of other differences, like maximum frame rate; here the 5D Mark III takes the edge at 6fps vs 4fps (FX mode). Canon has also managed to take a very complex AF system and ease the learning curve with a well-presented series of presets.

The D800 counters with the ability to output uncompressed HD video and a range of useful crop modes, including the APS-C sized DX format. Most notably though, Nikon has provided a high end offering that comes in at a street price that is US$500 less than the 5D Mark III, representing very strong value for the consumer.

dpreview significantly expanded its review recently to include detailed analysis of the performance of the D800 alongside its closely-related stablemate the D800E. They also added samples and analysis of the D800/E's uncompressed video feature.

Read the complete and thorough review of the D800 here.

By the way, a real estate photography site posted photos that an agent took of some houses for sale using the D800E's in-camera, three-frame HDR capability. He used just ambient light, and the photos are really nice. See them here.

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Two new Nikon lenses on the way

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:19 PM

The Japanese website digicame-info.com says that Nikon will soon announce - and then release on June 28 - two new lenses: a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR and an 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DX VR.

Nikon Rumors translated some of the specs for the 24-85mm:

  • Camera shake correction VR with 4 stops shutter speed compensation

  • SWM AF motor

  • Lens design: 11 - 16 elements, ED element

  • Internal focusing

  • Minimum aperture: f/22-29

  • Filter diameter: 72mm

  • Minimum focusing distance: 0.38m

  • Lens diameter: 78mm

  • Lens length: 82mm

  • Weight: 465 gr.

  • Lens hood: HB-63

  • Lens case: CL-1118

Some of the features of the 18-300mm include:

  • DX format 16.7x zoom lens with versatile 18-300mm focal range (FX/35mm equivalent:27 to 450mm)
  • Vibration Reduction II (VR II) stabilization system enables more flexible hand-held shooting and lets you use shutter speeds that are up to 4 stops slower.
  • Maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the telephoto end of the range.
  • Zoom-lock switch keeps the lens secure when not in use.
  • 9-blade rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements blend together smoothly.
  • Three ED glass and three aspherical lens elements ensure high resolution and superior contrast.
  • SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for fast, whisper-quiet autofocus.
  • Compact and lightweight design for a lens with this range.

Keep track of developments on NikonRumors.com.


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Olympus 16.1MP E-M5 rugged mirrorless camera

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:18 PM

OlympusOM-D.jpg

Luminous Landscape writes:

It doesn't take a genius to figure out which are the hot cameras at any one time. Last year it was the Fuji X100 and Sony NEX-7. So far this year been it's the Nikon D800/e, the Fuji X-Pro 1, and the subject of this review, the Olympus OM-D E-M5. How to know if a camera is hot? Just try and buy one during the first six months or so.

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 has quickly found itself in the uber-desirable category.

The bottom line on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (other than its convoluted name) is that it's the best Micro Four Thirds cameras yet, and highly competitive with the current mirrorless segment market leader, the Sony NEX-7.

Panasonic will undoubtedly have a strong response product later this year, but they'll have to really up their game if they're going to compete with Olympus in terms of features and functions. No doubt the next Pany will have killer video capability (which is not the O-MD's strong suit), but right now when it comes to fit, finish, features, ruggedness, and all-around camera goodness, the O-MD will be a tough act to follow.

Simply put, the Olympus O-MD E-M5 is a winner, and has now become my preferred camera for travel and urban walk-around shooting. The Nikon D800/e is still my main squeeze – an awesome camera in almost every respect – but, for its price ($1,000 for the body) and size it's hard to top the new O-MD.

Read the very through and detailed review here.


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Popular waterproof cameras for summer

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:17 PM

NikonCoolpixAW100.jpg

Thinking of picking up a waterproof point-and-shoot for those summer days at the beach and pool?

Amazon.com tracks the 100 best-selling digital cameras, and DSLRphoto.com picked out the 9 bestselling waterproof cameras from the past week. The top three are:

  • Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video ($239.95 - pictured above)
  • Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof with 3x Optical IS and 2.5-Inch LCD ($244)
  • Canon PowerShot D20 12.1 MP CMOS Waterproof with 5x IS 28mm Wide-Angle Lens ($309)

Read the complete list here with links to more details about each camera.

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How to use AE lock to control exposure

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:16 PM

AELockExposure.jpg

Digital Camera World has a quick tutorial on what to do to get well-exposed images by pinpointing an exact area of a scene. In these instances, your camera’s AE lock function can prove extremely useful. Sometimes you’ll find that there won’t be an AF point in the right position for the area you want to take a spot metering from.

Here's the full explanation.


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Photo Review looks at the Sony SLT-A57

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:15 PM

Sonya57DSLR.jpg


Photo Review says to buy the entry-level Sony SLT-A57 DSLR if:

  • You’re looking for a capable, high-resolution DSLR that is exciting to use and can shoot stills and Full HD video clips.
  • You want relatively noise-free high ISO settings.
  • You’re prepared to shoot and edit both JPEG and ARW.RAW images.
  • You could utilize some of the multi-frame and high-speed shooting modes.
  • You want body-integrated image stabilization that works with all lenses.

They advise you not to this camera if:

  • You need an integrated GPS receiver.
  • You don’t like electronic viewfinders.

The body retails for $799, but Sony has it on its website for $749 with an 18-55mm lens. Read the full review here.

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Kodak to auction more than 1,100 patents

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 01:00 PM

Reuters

Eastman Kodak filed a motion Monday seeking approval of bidding procedures for bankruptcy auction of its Digital Capture and Kodak imaging Systems and Services patent portfolios, which together comprise more than 1,100 patents.

Kodak's motion outlines a sale process such that only the winning bidder and the successful bid amount will be publicly announced at the end of the auction, it said in a statement.

Kodak, now in bankruptcy, expects the motion to be heard by the Court on July 2, with the auction being held in early August and the winning bidder being announced by Aug. 13.

"In filing these proposed procedures in advance of the June 30 deadline in our lending agreement, we are moving ahead as quickly as possible with the process of monetizing our digital imaging patent portfolio," Timothy Lynch, Kodak's chief intellectual property officer said.

The company's financial adviser, Lazard, has marketed these assets over the past 12 months, and 20 parties have signed confidentiality agreements to date, the company revealed in a statement.

Kodak, which invented the handheld camera and the digital camera, filed for bankruptcy protection Jan. 19.


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Portrait re-touching using Lightroom 4

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 12, 2012 12:30 PM

DPS Portrait Lightroom.jpg


From Digital Photography School

Lightroom can be a powerful advanced editor, and we often use it for portrait retouching.

While it does not much of the advanced editing tools you will find in Photoshop, it can be quite efficient and powerful for more basic portrait retouches. The advantage of this is that you do not have to take the additional step of taking the image into Photoshop.

In this three-part article we will take you through how we use Lightroom 4 for portrait retouching, from basic post production to blemish removal, skin softening and detail enhancement.

Advanced Portrait Retouch on a Male Subject in Lightroom 4

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3


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Two more contest results are in

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 7, 2012 10:17 AM

Photographer Paul Marotta has sent me the results of his judging of the "Outdoor Sculptures" entries, and John Blanding, assistant chief photographer for the Globe, sat with me last night and judged "The Color Yellow" contest.

I'll post the Sculpture results today and the Yellow results tomorrow.

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June contest theme: My Backyard

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 4, 2012 12:22 PM

SpiderWeb.jpgPollen accentuates a spider web connected to several iris plants in a Pembroke yard.

Globe Staff Photo / John Tlumacki


Let's take advantage of the long days this month - the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is June 20 - and rediscover beauty that's close to home.

Walk out your door and photograph something in your yard or around your house or apartment building. It can be something as sublime as a butterfly on a flower or as gritty as graffiti on a dumpster.

Your image will be judged on composition, lighting, and creativity.

Your photo must be taken this month, and it must be taken outdoors. As usual, one image per photographer.

JUNE 'MY BACKYARD' CONTEST GALLERY AND SUBMISSION PAGE

By the way, what do you think of these upcoming themes?

July: "The Need for Speed." Have you ever tried photographing a moving object? This is your chance. Take a photo of a moving car, bicycle, motorcycle, runner, animal, whatever. You can shoot the main subject as stationary with the background or foreground blurred, or you can convey speed by letting your subject(s) blur as it races past. You can start shooting this one now, or dip into your archives.

August: "Center It." Let's throw the Rule of Thirds out the window and see how our photos come out when we place the main subject smack dab in the middle of the frame. This one will have to be shot during the month of August.

Have any other suggestions?

By the way, judge Paul Marotta is working on our contest backlog right now. More later.

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40 powerful photographs

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 4, 2012 11:50 AM

TiananmenSquare608.jpgThe iconic photo of Tank Man, the unknown rebel who stood in front of a column of Chinese tanks in an act of defiance after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

(AP photo / Jeff Widener)


The author of this compilation calls these "40 of the most powerful photographs ever taken," but I don't agree. Tiananmen Square, of course. But a couple kissing during the hockey riots in Vancouver?

What do you think?


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Is Photoshop's fill flash ethical in photojournalism?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 4, 2012 11:29 AM

Three professional photojournalists - including former Globe photo editor Peter Southwick, who once judged a RAW contest for us - give their opinions on whether the use of Photoshop's fill flash function in post-processing is ethical for photojournalists.

View of John Long, chairman of the ethics committee for the National Press Photographers Association

View of Peter Southwick, director of the photojournalism program at Boston University

Opinion of Steven Raymer, a photojournalism professor at Indiana University and former staff photographer for National Geographic

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Attention April contestants

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 21, 2012 03:33 PM

Many of you submitted only AFTER photos in our Photo Editing contest. You must submit both versions of your photo so the judge can see the changes you made, and compare the condition of the original photo with the work you did on it.

When you submit your BEFORE images, just put a note in parentheses under your caption that tells me you have already submitted. I'll match them up before I post them.

Thanks!

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April contest theme: Photo editing

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 3, 2012 09:30 AM

I just finished editing a bunch of photos I shot at a friend's daughter's Confirmation and my niece's wedding shower, and I realized how important photo editing is to presenting your family, friends, and potential buyers with nice pictures they can enjoy for years.

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January contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 8, 2012 02:17 PM

Hello my patient friends,

Our photo upload tool is finally working again, so I am extending the deadline for the January contest to midnight March 31 so that those who entered, but whose photos didn't show up, can re-submit, and those of you who didn't enter have a chance to.

I'm emailing everybody whose entries showed up with no photo so you can re-submit.

Here's the link to the original entry, with a link to the upload gallery at the bottom:

http://www.boston.com/community/photos/raw/2012/01/january_theme_whats_that_v3.html


I'll also post the theme for April.

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Contests update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 9, 2012 10:47 AM

Hi folks,

I wanted to let you know that the reason I haven't posted the February theme yet is that we are having technical difficulties with our photo upload tool. In fact, I'll have to extend the deadline for the January contest because several photos did not come through with some of the contest submissions you made.

The developer who built the tool for us is working on the issue along with our system administrators, and I hope things are back on line soon. Meanwhile, we'll get past contests judged -- including last year's Scavenger Hunt -- and announce a new theme as soon as the tool is working again.

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Kodak: No more digital cameras

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 9, 2012 10:39 AM
KodakEasyShare.jpg
In this Jan. 5 photo, a Kodak Easyshare digital camera is displayed at B&H Photo & Video in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Eastman Kodak Co. said today that it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames, marking the end of an era for the company that brought photography to the masses more than a century ago.

Founded by George Eastman in 1880, Kodak was known all over the world for its Brownie and Instamatic cameras and its yellow-and-red film boxes. But the company was battered by Japanese competition in the 1980s, and was then unable to keep pace with the shift from film to digital technology.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based company, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, said it will phase out the product lines in the first half of this year and instead look for other companies to license its brand for those products. Once the products are phased out, Kodak said its consumer business will focus on photo printing and desktop inkjet printers.

Kodak said it's working with its retailers to ensure an orderly transition. The company will continue to honor product warranties and provide technical support for the discontinued products.

The moves are expected to result in annual savings of more than $100 million. The company didn't say how many jobs would be eliminated as a result of the decision, but did say that it expects to take a charge of $30 million related to separation costs.

---------------------------------------------------

Do you own a Kodak camera? What's your reaction to this news?

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Karsh is History

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 3, 2012 08:59 AM

Surfing channels last night, I stumbled upon a PBS show about Yousuf Karsh, the famed portrait photographer whose iconic images of the famous (Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, Ernest Hemingway) in the 1940s and '50s helped elevate photographic portraiture to an art form.

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January theme: "What's That?" v.3

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 9, 2012 12:11 PM

It's our recurring January theme: Take a photo in which an object is difficult to identify. We then hold a follow-up contest asking people to guess what the item is ... and award prizes to those whose guess is correct or comes the closest.

These were the winners in 2010 and 2011:

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You got camera stuff
for Christmas. Now what?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 27, 2011 05:10 PM

Kerry Garrison of cameradojo.com talks about gear, looks at common holiday presents, and talks about what accessories you may need to get next.






In the Comments section below, tell us what photography gear you got, and whether you need help with anything. We'll ask some experts from local camera shops to help you out.


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How do they take those time lapses
from the International Space Station?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 27, 2011 05:09 PM

Have you ever wondered why there are so many amazing videos of Earth from orbit nowadays? The answer is simple: the amazing low-light performance of current DSLR cameras, like the Nikon D3 used by Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum.

Watch him explain how he does it to NASA astronaut Mike Massimino on Gizmodo.


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Imperfect photography
can be great photography

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 27, 2011 05:09 PM

John Kennerdell writes at The Online Photographer that even as an arts and humanities guy, it took him years to appreciate how much of photography turns out to be non-intuitive or even counter-intuitive. The hard part is explaining why.

"While most photographs don't aspire to be art, ultimately their value to us depends on something that art teaches us: direct emotional response."

Great food for thought. Read his entire blog entry here.


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A look at the Ricoh GR Digital IV

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 27, 2011 05:08 PM

Ricoh GR4


Although Paul Giguere at SeriousCompacts.com says his examination of the compact Ricoh GR Digital IV isn't a full review, his first impression may provide enough insight to help you decide whether this is the camera for you.

He looks at the camera's size, focusing speed, snap focus, image quality, dynamic range, and LCD quality. As a GRD3 owner, he was interested in discovering whether it was worth the extra money to upgrade (a GRD3 is about $380, a GRD4 about $600), and he concluded that it was - for him, anyway.

First impression of the Ricoh GR Digital IV


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How to take great photos
on Christmas morning

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 22, 2011 06:57 PM

By Joanne Rathe
Globe Staff

Christmas morning, opening presents
It’s magic. Christmas morning is full of great expressions and happy moments all ready to unravel in a mostly predictable fashion. It’s what a photojournalist would call a “loaded situation”. Where, basically, you can’t miss – as long as you are ready and anticipate.

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'Rule of Thirds' photo contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 22, 2011 04:48 PM

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography

I think I must have changed my mind at least a dozen times on both the Top 10 and the Top 3 ... so many in the Final 50 had wonderful and redeeming qualities, both in terms of technical characteristics and content.

And in the end, what it should come down to is an image taking the eye directly to the subject matter, not any of the technical issues. If the subject or content is strong enough, has enough meaning, and strikes a response in a viewer, then other things can be overlooked.

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Consumer Reports reviews
compacts and subcompacts

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 7, 2011 06:00 AM

Even though most of you use full-featured DSLRs, many also carry around a compact camera that's more convenient for weddings or other events, easily slipped in your pocket or purse. Some Globe photographers carry a Canon PowerShot G10, G11, or G12; I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix P7100 to go along with my D300.

Or perhaps you're looking for a camera for a relative or friend. This Consumer Reports piece, which ran in the November issue, should help.

By Consumer Reports

If you look closely at the cameras in recent weekend retail circulars, you might be surprised. A lot boast 14 or even 16 megapixels. Camera makers appear to have injected new life into an old marketing scheme: More megapixels mean a better camera.

Consumer Reports’ latest ratings include 58 recommended cameras, from basic to SLR. CR’s camera tests have shown for years that cameras with more megapixels don’t necessarily produce better images than those with fewer. Under the best of circumstances, models with more megapixels can produce images with greater detail, but that’s not very important unless you need giant enlargements.

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'Rule of Thirds' photo contest Final 50

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 6, 2011 12:00 PM

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography

Three rules for Rule of Thirds: Edit in the camera, edit in the camera, and edit in the camera. It is vitally important in photography to pre-visualize, i.e. how and what do you see in a shot or a moment. And, that includes everything from color to emotion to composition and more. And Rule of Thirds is all about composition: Where to position a subject and how to compose a shot are both critical elements to Rule of Thirds.

That being said, there were many extremely lovely images in this round, some that made the Final 50, and some that did not.

READ MORE

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Manfrotto ML120 Pocket LED Light

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 5, 2011 05:55 PM

ManfrottoLEDLight.jpg

ePHOTOzine says that if your camera already has a built-in flash, you won't get much benefit from this array of LED lights that attaches to the hot shoe on the top of your camera.

But if you don't, or if you're shooting macro or video, it could be a valuable accessory.

Manfrotto ML120 Pocket LED Light Review


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Samsung NX200 reviews

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 5, 2011 03:20 PM

SamsungNX200.jpg

If you're interested in a new compact DSLR, check out the Samsung NX200. Ilse Jurriën reviews the 20.3-megapixel camera at LetsGoDigital, and says it's an improvement over the Samsung NX100 and delivers strong image quality. The camera retails for about $900 and comes with an 18mm-55mm zoom kit lens and on-camera flash. She writes:

"Two months ago, Samsung introduced the successor to the compact Samsung NX100 system camera. The new Samsung NX200 is even more compact than its predecessor, which makes the NX200 system camera very easy to carry around. The lightweight metallic Samsung NX200 is equipped with a new APS-C CMOS sensor with a large ISO range of 100 to 12800. The large sensor can catch more light, so that the amount of noise is reduced and more details are captured. The resolution is increased to 20.3 megapixels. The revolutionary i-Function lens, that was implemented for the first time in the NX100, is also found in the Samsung NX200."

Read the complete review here.

Other Samsung NX200 reviews:

Photography Blog: "A serious investment ... an enticing new entry"

Pocket-lint: Four out of five stars

dpreview: "A significant step up"

ePHOTOzine: "Highly recommended!"

c|net video review: "Promising but pricey"


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High-speed photography tips

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 5, 2011 02:27 PM




Brian Davies
, a photographer and retired educator based in Hull in the United Kingdom, is posting tips on the DIY Photography site about how to shoot high-speed photography.

He explains about using a flash unit, event triggers, sound triggers, and the problems with wireless shutter releases.




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December theme: 'Group Portraits'

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 2, 2011 01:07 PM

LyricStageActors.jpg

(Photo by Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)


Young actors at the Lyric Stage in Boston.



We've had a few contests recently where we photographed inanimate objects, so let's return to the realm of the living with this month's theme: Group Portraits. It's the time of year when we gather with family and friends, and if you're known as the photographer of the bunch, your ability to assemble people into a coherent whole for a photo that everyone will want to keep forever will be tested.

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Paul Marotta: 'Occupying the Frame'

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 30, 2011 07:56 PM
OccupyTheFrame.jpg
Image from Paul Marotta's "Occupy The Frame" project

A local photo essay project by Paul Marotta of Arlington, one of our regular contest judges, has been chosen by Kickstarter - a funding platform for creative ideas - to be eligible for completion funding.

That funding, which consists of online donations from supporters, will allow Paul to turn it into a national project complete with potential gallery exhibits, online and print media publication, and even perhaps a book.

Paul writes:

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Contests update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 14, 2011 04:44 PM

Hi folks,

I'm happy to say that Paul Marotta of Arlington, who has been a terrific judge for us, has agreed to help me catch up on outstanding contests, judging them one at a time over the next several weeks.

Paul had offered to do so earlier, and when I recently received a press release about a cool honor he has received, I decided to take him up on his offer. (More on his honor in a subsequent post.)

As for the Scavenger Hunt contest, I will finish checking all the submissions by the end of this week and have it judged next week.


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November theme: 'Famous Places'

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 4, 2011 03:58 PM

There are thousands of locations around the world that are iconic places to visit not just for the experience, but also to capture an image by which to remember your journey.

And if you're a photographer, you'll challenge yourself to take that image from a different and interesting perspective.

This month, we're interested in seeing your take on famous places around New England, the United States, or the world that are popular destinations for photographers.

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October 'Yellow' photo contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 3, 2011 06:58 PM

Hey, folks ... the deadline for the October 'Yellow' contest is near: midnight Sunday, Nov. 6. So far we have 83 great entries, and are awaiting another 5 - those photographers' images didn't show up with their submissions.

It does help if you're able to reduce the size of your photo a bit before you try to submit it ... our photo upload tool chokes on massive image files. But if you don't know how, and a second try fails, then I let people email the photo to me and I'll post it for them.

You can check out the October photo contest entries here.

PS The November contest theme is Famous Places. More tomorrow.


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MIT's Discover Product Design program

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 3, 2011 05:37 PM

FernandoNPhoto.jpg

Photo by Fernando N

You may recall that last fall we featured a project by one of our RAW regulars, Justin Lai, and the Discover Product Design (DPD) team at MIT that involved students taking photos. They ran the program again this fall.

Lai and Geoff Tsai's program finished up recently and they're ready to show off the students' photography. Justin was a Master's student and Geoff is currently a PhD student, both under the supervision of their advisor in mechanical engineering, Professor Maria Yang. The program was sponsored in part by MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Here's Justin's description of the project:

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'Grill It!' photo contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 17, 2011 01:04 PM

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography

One of the problems with shooting food is lighting. (Well, there are numerous issues, not least of which is NOT judging photos while you’re hungry, but that’s another story!) Aside from the usual issues of color and composition, light presents a significant issue for the photographer because of the deep contrasts between flaming embers and fire and shadows. There must be light in some way, whether natural or flash, but being aware of the light differences can make all the difference in the world.

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'Singular' photo contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 14, 2011 03:00 PM

In choosing her Top 10, judge Susan Vermazen of the Globe Photo Dept. relied on my original instructions for this theme:

"We all yearn for simplicity in our busy, oft-complicated lives. So let's illustrate that desire with sparse, simple pictures of just one subject. Strive for peace and quiet - the zen of life."

Her choices:

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'Singular' contest Final 50

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 13, 2011 06:05 PM

Susan Vermazen, the Globe photo editor who judged the 'Singular' photo contest for us, evaluated the overall field of photos as "a really interesting, thoughtful effort." She has some good, basic advice that in summary, really says, "Slow down!"

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Nikon D800 rumors: 36MP, $4,000?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 4, 2011 11:11 AM

The Japanese camera site Digital Camera Info (warning: the link is a Google translation of the Japanese language site, and the translation is not perfect) has released what it says are specs for the new Nikon D800, and the camera looks to be a behemoth.

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October contest theme: 'Yellow'

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 3, 2011 04:20 PM

The color yellow, in US culture, is the color of optimism, energy, warmth, happiness, creativity. The sun is yellow, are as school buses, taxis, lemons, and most pencils. (it's also the color of cowardice!)

Artists say that yellow emerges from colors surrounding it, so use that to your advantage.

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September theme: 'Outdoor Sculptures'
(and an August contest extension)

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 6, 2011 11:22 PM

First, August contest news:

Some of you wrote to me asking if the deadline for the August "Rule of Thirds" contest could be extended because so many people in New England were without power for several days after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene struck. And you can lose even more days just getting back to normal after a situation like that.

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Meet the June and July judges

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 6, 2011 10:32 PM

I've tapped the Globe's excellent Photo Dept. for our judge for the June 'Singular' contest: Susan Vermazen, who has been with the Globe as a picture editor and multimedia editor since 2000.

Before arriving at the Globe, Susan, a graduate of Boston University, had quite the interesting and varied resume:

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May 'Reflections' Top 10 ... I mean 12

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 18, 2011 03:44 PM

By Paul Marotta
May contest judge

These Top 12, I think, really grab a viewer’s attention and hold it, making them look for all of the elements that are present: color, composition, structure, unusual subject, and even, in some cases, confusing the viewer.

Looking at a strong image that is a reflection and hard to decipher or even confusing is actually quite fun, and even technical flaws can be overlooked if the image is compelling.

The Top 12, and especially the top three, should and do make other photographers say, “Wow, I wish I had done that!”

Getting to the Top 3 winners wasn’t easy. It never is in any competition, and this was no exception.

At this stage, all the finalists have something strong going for them, and it’s usually either a tiny flaw or something subjective that creates the order. All three here had good form and structure on their side, strong technical editing, good reflections, as well as that something extra I define as having passed the “so what” test.

Congrats to all who entered, and special kudos to the top three. Herewith are more specific thoughts.


FIRST PLACE - $100

Yellowlegs Reflection

Yellowlegs Reflection
Photo by Hans Zimmern of Newburyport

Sometimes the perfect shot is not always the most complex. The photographer may have done tons of work on an image to get it where they want, or they may have done nothing, letting it speak for itself. But if it seems effortless and elegant and powerful all at the same time, then that is perfection.

I really liked the simplicity in this image. The white background removes any distractions and focuses the eye on the bird itself. I see a very slight blue haze around the head in the reflection, implying that perhaps the background may have been brushed out? The bird is simple and elegant all at once.

The horizon line is not visible, but is implied as it splits the image. The green grasses and the yellow legs provide a subtle and elegant touch of color. The reflection is strong and clear; the image could be virtually turned upside down and not lose any effect. Is this bird a tern? Where was it shot? The bits of brown in its feathers are perfect.

In its simplicity it holds my eye for a long time; there is a lot to look at in the image despite its simplicity. Nice - bravo!


SECOND PLACE - $50

View of the world above

View of the world above
Photo by Elizabeth Swain of Medfield

Wow, I really liked this image. There is a lot going on here. The colorful glass beads cut across the image from top left to lower right corner perfectly. The colors are subtle. The three glass beads create a perfect pattern of thirds structurally, and the fill the frame nicely.

Not sure how exactly how big these are in real life. Did the photographer shoot these in macro mode? How close was the photographer? Where are these? Was the image cropped or edited in the camera, so to speak? Where are these? Were other angles possible? This wonderfully subtle image has me asking a lot of questions, which is always a good thing in an image.

My only caveat would be that a round reflective image is always hard to shoot. It’s in essence a "fisheye", so getting out of the shot is not easy, and the photographer is reflected in the image. I wonder if moving around it would have yielded a different shot? The sky is nicely reflected as is the garden arbor. My personal rule of thumb as a photographer? Stay out of the shot!

However, well done, and this subject warrants another outing!


THIRD PLACE - $25

Double Boats

Double Boats
Photo by Elliot Gilfix of Acton

There is a lot going on here, and I always like to see complexity and simplicity combined in a photograph.

First of all, the colors are great, as is the strength of the reflection itself. The little bits of stuff floating in the water help define the difference between the reflection and the actual subject.

More importantly, the subject fills the frame, but the smaller boat steals the show, so to speak, just at the perfect position in the image, splitting the mid frame. And that something extra in this image is the juxtaposition of smaller boat against the larger one.

The contrast between the two, combined with the reflection and everything else going on in this image, make it a terrific shot. Well done!

ED. NOTE: The rest of the Top 12 photos are all Honorable Mentions, in no particular order. Here's a gallery of all Top 12 winners.

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Shooting a triple play

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 17, 2011 10:02 PM

Globe staff photographer Jim Davis explains how he captured all three elements of the Red Sox triple play against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night.


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May 'Reflections' Final 50 ... er, 51

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 8, 2011 04:12 PM

Judge Paul Marotta of Perfect Bokeh Photography liked your "Reflections" photo so much that he chose 51 instead of 50! He also has chosen the Top 10, but is having a bit of a tough time deciding which to make the Top 3 winners. He'll get me those results tomorrow.

Meanwhile, he wrote some very thoughtful and thorough comments for you about the field of photos:

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August contest theme: The Rule of Thirds

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 3, 2011 02:48 PM

The Rule of Thirds is an important rule to know and practice in your photography, one that often yields dynamic, interesting images. (Of course, rules are made to be broken, but you have to master them before you can break them!)

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Hikers arrested for taking photos

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 2, 2011 06:00 PM

A group of friends visiting an ultra-Orthodox Jewish town north of New York City ended up getting harassed for taking photos and eventually arrested for refusing to provide identification.

Read the full story on pixiq.

Video of part of the incident:

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Kingston 16GB memory card for $19.99

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 2, 2011 05:50 PM

Kingston Memory Card
Photography Bay reports that one of Amazon's Gold Box deals is a discount on the Kingston 16GB Kingston UltimateX 100x SDHC card.

Read more here, then check out your Amazon account.

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Choosing the right battery for your camera

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 1, 2011 06:11 PM

BatteriesFrom pixiq.com: Cameras nowadays use mostly proprietary batteries so there’s not much to worry about in that area. Still, if your camera uses AA batteries you have to decide which are best for you … and the short answer is nickel-metal hydride or NiMh, if your camera can take it.

Read the full report here.

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New photo printers from Epson

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 31, 2011 06:16 PM

(NOTE: This is a press release from Epson, and as such, is rather breathless in its descriptions of the products. Always comparison shop and check with other photographers before making a major purchase.)

Epson Artisan 837

Epson America, a provider of desktop printing solutions, has introduced the Epson Artisan 837 and Artisan 730 wireless all-in-one printers for photo and technology enthusiasts who demand fast, reliable and better than lab-quality prints at home. The new Artisan line combines power and convenience in a sleek, compact design, featuring new midnight blue accents and a three-times-brighter emerald green smart touch panel display for easy PC-free navigation.

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New photo paper from HP

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 30, 2011 07:46 PM

The Digital Journal of Photography chats with one of HP's ink gurus, and announces HP's new Premium Plus Photo Paper with porous coating technology for inkjet printers.

Read the complete post here.


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Meet the May contest judge

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 21, 2011 02:27 PM

Our judge for the delayed May contest (sorry) is a local guy who has achieved quite a bit in the field of photography. His bio:

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July contest theme: Grill It!

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 1, 2011 12:00 PM

As I announced last month, the contest theme for July is Grill It!

It's a challenge to get creative with an everyday event, so let's see what you can do. I am talking about grilling food -- not photos of sewer grills or the braces on somebody's teeth.

For you apartment dwellers, if you can't get yourself invited to an outdoor cookout, then indoor George Foreman grills or stovetop grills are fine.

I'm looking for creative shots of food on the grill, closeups of the grill itself, grilling accessories, the grillers doing their magic ... just remember these aren't quick snapshots for the family album. Good framing, lighting, perspective, and creativity are necessary.

Just a few rules:

Your photo MUST be taken this month.

The deadline is midnight July 31.

One photo per photographer.

Here's the gallery where you can see others' photos and enter your own.


AUGUST CONTEST

We'll try our hand at demonstrating the Rule of Thirds for the August contest. Those photos can be taken any time, so you can start work on that now, or find something exceptional in your portfolio.

Here are some good tutorials:

Digital Photography School - Rule of Thirds by Darren Rowse

Photo Composition Articles

Pixiq - The Rule of Thirds

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Comparing tiny mirrorless cameras

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 6, 2011 03:19 PM

Photographer Peter K. Burian recently posted another comprehensive review on pixiq.com, this time of two Micro Four Thirds cameras: He compares the Olympus E-PL2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2.

Olympus.jpg

Lumix.jpg

He writes:

"Digital SLR cameras are very popular because they accept interchangeable lenses for great versatility and are loaded with features. But a DSLR with a lens is somewhat bulky and heavy.

"That's why Panasonic and Olympus developed the Micro Four Thirds system of smaller cameras in 2008. The downsizing was achieved by removing the reflex mirror and the pentaprism; this also shed quite a bit of weight. (Since then, Sony and Samsung have also introduced non-reflex or "mirrorless" cameras.)

"Recently I tested the latest Micro Four-Thirds models, the Olympus E-PL2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2."

Peter looks at the cameras' large sensors, their features and operation, movie mode, performance, ISOs, and more.

You can read his complete review here.

Also, dpreview.com reviewed the Olympus E-PL2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 earlier this year.




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June contest theme: 'Singular'

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 1, 2011 07:17 PM

We all yearn for simplicity in our busy, oft-complicated lives. So let's illustrate that desire with sparse, simple pictures of just one subject. Strive for peace and quiet - the zen of life.

The rules:

Your photo MUST be taken this month. No appeals this time!!!

If you know how, please resize your photo to 500 pixels in height.

One photo per photographer.

The deadline is midnight June 30.

* BONUS *

The July theme will be "Grill It!"

It's a challenge to get creative with an everyday event, so let's see what you can do. I'm telling you about it now so you can plan enough cookouts to get a good photo -- and yes, your photo will have to be taken during the month of July.

I am talking about grilling food -- not photos of sewer grills or the braces on somebody's teeth.

And for you apartment dwellers, if you can't get yourself invited to an outdoor cookout, then indoor George Foreman grills or stovetop grills are fine.

I'm looking for creative shots of food grilling, closeups of the grill itself, grilling accessories, the grillers doing their magic ...

* BONUS 2 *

The theme for August will be "The Rule of Thirds." Those photos can be taken any time. More later.


Here's the gallery where you can submit your June entry and see those of others.


Questions?


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May contest entries -- wow!

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 1, 2011 07:08 PM

You RAW Dawgs have outdone yourselves ... your "Reflections" photos are really terrific. And close to 250 entries. Just fantastic.

If you haven't seen them all yet, here's the gallery. And the June and July themes are coming right up.

May "Reflections" photo contest entries

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Calling the April contest winners

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 30, 2011 10:58 PM

Lauren of Whitman (Second Place) and Mark of Chelmsford (Third Place): I need your home addresses so I can send you your gift card prizes. Please write to me at raw@boston.com. Thanks.

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April 'Humor' contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 23, 2011 05:28 PM

I think judge Michael Cevoli had a good time looking through your April "Humor" entries. How could he not? They were clever, silly, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Glad you had some fun.

Here are Michael's thoughts on the overall field, followed by his Top 10 winners:

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Meet the April contest judge

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 19, 2011 08:26 PM

Michael Cevoli is a Providence-based photographer and educator.

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May contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 19, 2011 07:36 PM

Hi everybody ... sorry for the absence. My project is starting to ease a bit. I still don't have a producer to help me, but hope to hire one soon. Meanwhile, I wanted to clarify one of the rules for the May contest:

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March 'Human Form' contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 4, 2011 02:02 PM

FIRST PLACE - $100

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"Triathlete"
Photo by Robert Terry of Boston



SECOND PLACE - $50

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Untitled
Photo by Helen of Acton



THIRD PLACE - $25

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"33 Weeks"
Photo by Lauren Silverio of Methuen



You can find all of the Top 10 winners in this gallery.
Here's a look back at the Final 50, and here's the full gallery of all entries.
Congratulations to all!


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Two contest updates

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 4, 2011 12:05 PM

Hi folks,

For the May "Reflections" contest, I received pleas from several people to let them use photos of reflections that they have in their portfolios from trips, etc., so I've decided to eliminate the rule that your photo must be taken this month.

That rule is meant to encourage people to get out and explore and shoot, but I also understand that if you captured a terrific image in the past, you would want to show it off for this contest.

For the March "Human Form" contest, I have the Top 10 choices of our judge, Mark Sarver, but I still don't have his comments for each of the Top 3 finishers. As soon as I get those, I'll publish the winners.

But if I don't get them by 2 p.m., I'll publish the winners anyway and add his comments later. Don't want to leave you hanging!


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March 'Human Form' contest Final 50

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 2, 2011 01:54 PM

My name is Mark Sarver and I was honored to participate as a judge in the Boston.com photography contest.

My background is as a photographer and a teacher of digital imaging, printing, and design, and as a digital technician hired by many photography professionals to enhance their images and realize their vision.

The theme this month was "the human form." I interpret "the human form" to mean the study of the human body using design, shape, and light. Many great portraits, editorial portraits, and action shots were submitted, but they didn't quite fit the theme.

Within the Final 50 were some images that would have been better with a simple crop. Others could have been enhanced by shooting in RAW and using better image processing.

The images I ranked highest were those using design, shape, and light to say something about the human form.

Thank you for this opportunity to participate as a judge.

Mark Sarver

Here is a gallery of Mark's Final 50 choices. Look for his Top 10 on Wednesday.


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May contest theme: Reflections

Posted by Teresa Hanafin May 1, 2011 12:00 PM

Let's take photos of reflected objects this month. Not simply reflected light -- make sure it's objects or people that are being reflected. The reflecting surface can be something shiny, glass, plastic, water, your car, a mirror, a wine glass, an eyeball ... use your imagination.

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March contest judge

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 27, 2011 06:33 PM

I know you all think I have been in Timbuktu for awhile, but I've actually been on two major projects. I apologize for neglecting you. But some good news: We have a terrific judge for the March "Human Form" contest: Mark Sarver, a freelance photographer and technical consultant who formerly taught at the New England School of Photography.

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Somerville Open Studios this weekend

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 27, 2011 06:00 PM

Close to 80 photographers will have their images on display this weekend during the annual Somerville Open Studios event - this year, it's being held from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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Welcome to Hooksett?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 27, 2011 05:30 PM

From our friend Richard of imagesbyrich fame:

WelcomeToHooksett.jpg

"Yesterday, while driving down Hooksett Road in Hooksett, N.H., I noticed an interesting display of a citizen's dismay with the town of Hooksett.

"I believe the broken sign reading 'Welcome to Hooksett' is referring to the current state of the town council and their decision-making processes. The toilet must be referring to the environmental mess the Hooksett sewerage plant caused by releasing millions of sewerage disk filters into the Merrimack River, which are littering the Eastern Seaboard.

"Quite the interesting display."

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Camera Eye Seminar I

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 27, 2011 05:00 PM

Camera Eye's May workshop starts May 5. It's Seminar I and is an intensive workshop where students will explore photographic seeing and visual thinking. In a small class setting, the class will discuss photographs in technical, formal, and conceptual terms.

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Russell duPont photo exhibit

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 27, 2011 04:30 PM

TheSenator.jpg

"The Senator" / Photo by Russell duPont

Local photographer Russell duPont has another intriguing exhibit: "Boston, 1960-2011: Photographs by Russell duPont", this one on display in the Main Floor Atrium Gallery of the Moakley Federal Courthouse on the Boston waterfront.

The exhibit runs through June 30, and the gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.




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Grabbing a client's attention

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 27, 2011 03:30 PM

A Virginia commercial photographer, Casey Templeton, came up with a unique way to introduce himself to potential clients and help his pitch stand out from others. Pretty interesting stuff! If any of you are trying to turn your photography into a business, perhaps shooting weddings on the weekend or portraits of kids, you may get some ideas here.


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An honor for another RAW regular

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 7, 2011 08:45 PM

Lee Cullivan of Belmont, aka shoothead on Flickr and a two-time First Place winner of our monthly contests (the Motion theme and the Jobs theme), has been nominated as an AMD VISIONary photographer.

READ MORE

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April contest theme: Humor

Posted by Teresa Hanafin April 1, 2011 10:00 AM

After the hard work you all did on the Scavenger Hunt and trying to get provocative shots of the human body, let's relax and indulge ourselves a bit. We want photos that make us laugh (after all, it's April Fool's Day).

But remember: This contest is always about skill and creativity, so while you're taking your funny photo, make sure the composition, lighting, framing, etc. are top-notch.

You must take the photo this month. One photo per person.

We'll go back to using our internal gallery; here's the link to the gallery.

Meanwhile, post any questions below.

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Of super moons and silky blooms

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 21, 2011 10:20 AM

CapitolMoon.jpg

The "Super Moon" rose behind the Capitol Dome in Washington, DC Saturday.
(Reuters Photo / Hyungwon Kang)

I went out on my back deck late Saturday to see the so-called Super Moon -- at its closest point to the Earth in 18 years -- as well as to play with a new iPhone app called Star Walk (well, new to me).

Well, I couldn't see very many stars or planets because the moon was almost blinding!

If any of you captured any images of that moon, we'd love to see them. Just upload them to this gallery along with you name, town, and any EXIF information you can grab:

Super Moon gallery




FlowerShowOrchid.jpg

Orchid on display at the Boston Flower and Garden Show.
(Globe Staff Photo / Bill Greene)

Meanwhile, I visited the Boston Flower and Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center Saturday and thought I was going to get crushed by the crowd.

But I spotted LOTS of people with cameras, so if you were one of them, or if you've gone on other days and captured some images of flowers, plants, or overall displays, here's another gallery where you can display your work:

Boston Flower and Garden Show gallery

Thanks.


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Scavenger hunt update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 21, 2011 09:59 AM

Yikes, I did not anticipate how long it would take me to go through 1,919 photos to make sure each one met the criteria of the contest. I'm still reviewing them, so please indulge me awhile longer.

READ MORE

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Photo Essay: Behind-the-scenes ballet

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 16, 2011 05:20 PM

Mich Cardin of Boston is an arts & culture writer and photographer who freelances full-time, combing the city for unique events and personas. She recently spent a morning at a Boston Ballet practice.

Mich Cardin's Photo Essay




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Man taking photos of tsunami
in Calif. swept out to sea

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 11, 2011 04:14 PM

By Jeff Barnard and Jaymes Song
Associated Press / March 11, 2011

Crescent City, Calif. - A tsunami swept at least five people watching the waves out to sea Friday and ripped docks out of harbors in California, spreading the destruction of a devastating Japanese earthquake to the shores of the United States.

READ MORE

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'What's That?' guessing game winners

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 9, 2011 03:54 PM

I've heard back from all but one of the Top 10 winners in the "What's That" contest - those who had the best, most intriguing, most mysterious photos.

We looked over all of your guesses and chose those that came the closest. I have added the winners names to the Comments section of each of the photo blog entries where you guessed.

Thanks a lot for taking part, and congratulations to all of the winners.

You can find all of the blog entries here.

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Featured Photographer:
Kati Mai Seiffer

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 4, 2011 12:00 PM

Photo by Kati Mai Seiffer

Long-exposure shot of the Pacific Grove coastline in California after sunset.

By Kati Mai Seiffer
Westford

Talk about starting 2011 off with an unexpected bang: I'm having my first gallery exhibit. I will be showcasing my photography at the Parish Center for the Arts this month.

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Guessing game update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 4, 2011 11:38 AM

We'll close guesses for the January 'What's That?' Top 10 photos at 2 p.m. today. Then I'll consult with the photographers to choose the winners, and I'll post the results Monday.

Thanks for joining in!

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March contest theme: The human form

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 1, 2011 09:00 AM

We've done several themes lately in which we haven't had to include people in our photos, so let's challenge ourselves to capture images of people while at the same time celebrating the human body.

READ MORE

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It's time to start guessing!

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 27, 2011 02:56 PM

It's finally time to start guessing what the Top 10 images are. Please read the guidelines carefully:

* Please don't cheat by trying to find the photos on the photographers' Flickr accounts. That's not good sportsmanship.

* If you are one of the finalists, please don't tip off a relative, friend, or neighbor about your photo. I know these RAW insulated mugs are like gold, but please play fair.

* Finalists are welcome to post a guess on each other's photos.

* You can post a guess on as many of the 10 photos as you like, but only one guess per person per photo.

* Be as specific as possible. The difference between winning a valuable RAW mug or not may be how well you describe what you think the photo is.

Sorry to have to sound like a scold, but past experience makes it necessary, I'm afraid. With that out of the way, have at it!

You can find all 10 entries here.

Good luck!

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January 'What's That? contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 27, 2011 11:44 AM

We had a bit of a glitch in the January contest, folks, which is why I delayed posting the Top 10 winners for you to guess. I had to disqualify the 2nd place finisher because he didn't take his photo during the month of January 2011.

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January 'What's That?' contest Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 03:00 PM

FIRST PLACE - $100

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Photo by Timothy DeWitt of Chilmark

Judge John Blanding of the Globe Staff said: "This is a scary photo! It has a human element, yet I don't know what it is. The photographer got this shot at just the right angle to use the light really well."

SECOND PLACE - $50

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Photo by Simone Brogini of Quincy

John Blanding said: "This photo has beautiful colors. Many of the photos were one color; this one conveys fun with the whole rainbow - the prismatic effect. It's captivating."

THIRD PLACE - $25

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Photo by Lynn Cianfarani of Saratoga Springs, NY


Here's a gallery of all Top 10 winners. Congratulations!

AND NOW ... more fun begins. I'll post the Top 10 winners in separate entries at noon tomorrow, and as soon as those links are live on the RAW homepage, you can start guessing what the items are. The descriptions that come closest to what the object is, and is posted first, will be the winner. I'll have each photographer choose the winner. Please -- just one guess per person.

I'll send the 10 winners a cool RAW insulated mug. Woo-hoo!


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A farewell to a friend

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 02:00 PM

BarbaraBaileyNoreaster.JPGPhoto by Barbara Bailey
"Nor'easter" - 10th Place, Stormy Weather contest, September 2010

The other evening I received one of the nicest, most gratifying notes from Jan Claffey, a RAW regular. Although it contained sad news, it made me realize the importance of the community we've formed here. Rather than characterize the note, I'll just run it in its entirety:

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A new Epson Stylus printer

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 12:20 PM

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If you're interested in printing your own photos rather than sending them to a lab or taking them to your local camera shop, you may be interested in Epson's announcement that it will release a new printer in March.

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Nikon and Canon lenses better than Zeiss?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 12:15 PM

Pixiq says that recently published tests suggest that even the cheap Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, which costs $100, can be better than a Carl Zeiss Planar T50 f/1.4 that costs $725.

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Carl Zeiss Planar T 50 f/1.4

DxO, the company that tests lenses and cameras, published tests that, looking at the numbers, "places most of the Carl Zeiss line of lenses behind, sometimes far behind, its Canon and Nikon siblings," according to Pixiq.

Read the entire entry and judge for yourself.

I've always been jealous of anyone with a Zeiss lens. Anybody here own one? Do you like it?

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DPS: Understanding Lightroom Collections

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 12:10 PM

If you use Lightroom, you may or may not have tried your hand at organizing your photos into what Lightroom calls "Collections."

Photographer Helen Bradley writes on Digital Photography School that "Collections in Lightroom are a key tool for organizing images. There are some benefits to working with collections and some things that it helps to know about working with them."

She takes you through whether to use regular or special collections, how to sort images, set a target collection, gather images without duplication, find images, manage temporary collections, and more.

Read the entire tipsheet on the DPS website.

Do you use Lightroom? Do you like it?

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Saving money for your photography

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 12:05 PM

"The path of photography is not always cheap," writes The Phoblographer. "As a family man and photographer, I really have to look at how I spend money.

"A person can go broke or in debt, trying to acquire and maintain cameras, lenses, and other equipment. People today have less money to begin with due to the economic downturn.

"With patience, one could save money for their photography needs. To me, it’s about anticipating what’s needed and wanted long before buying it."

Here's a list of his tips for saving money to buy your photo supplies.

How do you afford this expensive hobby?

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Strobist: Building a studio

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 23, 2011 12:00 PM

Start with a half-empty garage with nice, 12-foot ceilings but a budget of just $200. The goal: Build a photo studio by getting control over the space, control over the light, and enhancing the ambiance a little.

Strobist blogger David Hobby is undertaking this project at his home, and chronicling his progress on his blog.

Light Remodeling: Part 1

Light Remodeling: Part 2


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January 'What's That' contest Top 25

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 13, 2011 09:31 PM

Ah, another great contest with some amazing photos. And our judge, John Blanding of the Globe Photo Staff, had a good time making his choices. He told me, "As someone who has photographed rotting food in my kitchen sink, I love this kind of photography!"

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Scavenger hunt contest update

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 9, 2011 08:45 AM

I've been looking over your terrific entries in the scavenger hunt contest - there are some really excellent images in the group. I'm glad that you have been able to fulfill the requirements of the list and be artistic at the same time -- bravo!

I do have some thoughts about the photos. If we get a lot of entries, we may have to be picky in terms of who met the criteria of the list items, so here are some suggestions that may increase your chances of making it to the finals.

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Sony unveils two new Cyber-shots

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 4, 2011 09:16 AM

HX100V

Sony press release

Sony has unveiled two new 16.2-megapixel Cyber-shot digital still cameras that offer Full HD video shooting capability at the touch of a dedicated movie button. Recording video at 60 progressive frames per second (1920x1080 60p), both cameras can capture fast-moving action with exceptional smoothness and clarity.

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Kati Mai Seiffer exhibit in Westford

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2011 01:53 PM

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Sunset before a storm rolled in at Menemsha Beach on Martha's Vineyard.

The opening reception for "Capturing Beauty", an exhibition of landscape and nature photography by Kati Mai Seiffer, will be held this Sunday, March 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Parish Center for the Arts in Westford.

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Feb. contest: Photo Scavenger Hunt

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 1, 2011 12:00 PM

HuntsLogo2.jpgThe details of this contest took a little while to sort out, but I'm really excited about it, and hope you will be, too. I'm also happy to announce that the value of the gift certificates is being increased for this contest, and even better, they are being supplied by Hunt's Photo and Video (appropriate name). More on that later.

We're going to try a Photo Scavenger Hunt for the first time. The rules are extremely important, so I am going to post them first.

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GearGuide reviews the Samsung NX100

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 31, 2011 08:24 PM

Camera GearGuide says the Samsung NX100 compact system camera makes a compelling option for photographers looking to travel with all the benefits of their DSLR camera (image quality, control, and lens options) minus the weight and burden of a much larger camera system. In most regards, the NX100 achieves the goals of a compact system camera, and innovations like the i-Function lens capability certainly help to distinguish it from the growing number of competitors. But all is not perfect; read the full review here.

Camera GearGuide makes another interesting point: The growth of compact system cameras or “mirrorless” cameras on DSLR sales in the interchangeable lens camera market. Olympus and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) cameras are relatively popular, and Sony has been making big waves with its NEX camera system. But according to GearGuide, Samsung seems determined to make an impact on this market as well.


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Nikon introducing a new D700?

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 31, 2011 07:58 PM

PhotoWalkPro sums up the buzz about a rumored Nikon press event Feb. 9, and speculates that the company will announce a replacement for the D700 that could include full HD video like the D7000 and D3100, 1080p resolution, and 18 megapixels.

Read the entire post here. Do you have a D700, and are you happy with it?


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Last call for 'What's That?' entries

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 31, 2011 04:57 PM

The January 'What's That?' photo contest ends at midnight today ... we have 118 submissions so far. Remember, your photos is supposed to be unrecognizable. Once our judge chooses the Top 10, we'll hold another contest and ask you to guess the item in the photos -- and we'll award some nice trinkets to those winners.

Here's the description of the contest, and here's the form to enter.

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Nikon and Canon lens mugs

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 30, 2011 12:52 PM

Nikon, Canon, Adorama, Photojojo, Fotodiox, and others are selling cups and insulated mugs that look like lenses -- they're pretty cool!

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Canon 24-105mm IS lens insulated mug

Canon has cups and mugs that look like its 70-200mm lens, its EF 24-105, and more.


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Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 lens insulated mug

I know about Nikon's AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8; there may be more.

Prices appear to be in the $25 to $35 range. Here's a Google shopping results page for Nikon mugs or Canon mugs.


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Canon's profits soar

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 30, 2011 10:30 AM

Even though it had a tough 4th quarter, Canon finished 2010 with an 87% increase in profits in its worldwide operations.

And although much of that profit comes from its office products, Peter K. Burian writes on Pixiq that its photography business contributed quite a bit as well.

Peter looks ahead to 2011 and emerging markets in this piece on Pixiq.

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Featured Photographer:
Ryan Prentiss

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 24, 2011 07:41 AM

Sea kayakers from above Marin Headlands in Point Bonita, California

Kayakers, Marin Headlands, Point Bonita, California.


Just point and shoot

By Ryan Prentiss
West Roxbury

I am a dad of four with a passion for photography and the outdoors. I lead a busy lifestyle between family and work, so when I'm running across rocky ridges, hanging from a ledge, climbing vertical ice, or paddling out in the open ocean, I don’t have a lot of space or time to fiddle with technical aspects of photography. I’ve found that with some basic skills, a few tricks of the trade, and a decent point-and-shoot (P/S) digital camera, you can capture amazing adventure photos.

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Tipsheet: The equipment trap

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 18, 2011 05:20 PM

Charlie MacPherson has started a tipsheet blog on his Boston.com profile page, and that's where he'll post his tips for us. We'll get his RSS feed to automatically show up in the Tipsheets section in the left column below, but until then, here's a link to his latest tip:

Don't fall for the "better equipment" trap!

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The December 'Photo Titles' Top 10

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 14, 2011 03:09 PM

FIRST PLACE - $100

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"Seriously???"
by Jamie Mastrio of Wilbraham

Judge Charlie Mansbach said: "The single word and three punctuation marks seem to animate this photo, explain the look on the face, the body language, an attitude, and all the wonders of emerging girlhood. With no title, or with a title giving only her name, I would spend much less time looking and would appreciate the photo far less."

SECOND PLACE - $50

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"Hot Dog"
by Jill Henry of Revere

Judge Charlie Mansbach said, "The clever double use of the term makes the viewer look carefully at the photo. And the title comes across as affectionate, a celebration of the lad and all that sustains him."

THIRD PLACE - $25

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"The Blizzard is Coming, The Blizzard is Coming"
by Patrick Gookin of the North End

Judge Charles Mansbach said, "I know: Paul Revere probably never said, 'The British are coming.' But this title still has fun with our historical lore and with our Boston landmarks. If the viewer doesn't recognize the snow-covered statue in the photo, the title furnishes a gentle nudge."

Here is the gallery of all Top 10 winners.

Congratulations!

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Photo Challenge: Shooting sweets

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 14, 2011 03:00 PM

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(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)


With Valentine's Day approaching, we thought it would be fun to practice shooting sweets: candy wrapped in shiny, colored paper; chocolate (solid or melted); hard candy, soft candy ....

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A life of approaching strangers

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 13, 2011 02:00 PM

The PBS NewsHour, via Twin Cities Public Television, profiled Minnesota photographer Alec Soth, who uses an 8x10 format camera and has an exhibit at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center.





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The December 'Photo Titles' Final 50

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 13, 2011 01:09 PM

Judge Charlie Mansbach enjoyed himself reviewing your entries and narrowing them to a Final 50. His thoughts:

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Casio in 2011: HDR, social, cellphones

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 13, 2011 01:08 PM

Michael Rubin, director of product marketing for the Digital Imaging Division of Casio America, sat down with Michael R. Tomkins of The Imaging Resource this week for a chat about the future of digital cameras and Casio's plans for 2011. Among the highlights:

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Photos and videos of the next big storm

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 11, 2011 11:38 AM

Okay, you hardy New Englanders -- time to clean your sensors and charge your videocam batteries: we're counting on you once again to help us document the severity and extent of the storm that's about to land on our doorstep.

Here are some suggestions, illustrated by your photos from the recent blizzard:

1. Show the severity of the storm without putting yourself in danger.

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Photo by Randy Arseneau of Scituate


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Photo by Dave S. of Charlestown


2. Show how deep the snow is in your area. You don't have to drop your kid into a snowdrift up to his eyeballs, but use some other object, such as a car or patio furniture, to provide some context for the snow.

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Photo by Purna of South Weymouth


3. Photograph or videotape something unusual. You may have read that the Charles River turned a weird yellow color during the last blizzard. A few MIT and Cambridge folks submitted photos of it to our last snowstorm gallery, and the Globe reprinted two of them in the paper -- including the one below. So keep your eyes open!

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Photo by Jingjing of Cambridge


4. Make 'em laugh. There's something absurd about the weather in these parts, and maintaining a sense of humor as these storms wallop us sometimes is the only way to get through them.

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Photo by Katie of Boston


5. Find the beauty in the storm. Enough said.

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Photo by Gerry Larvey of Randolph


Here's the form where you can upload your photos and see the images others have submitted.

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The remarkable nanny/photographer

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 11, 2011 11:03 AM

RAW friend Nancy Bray of Harwich, a former Featured Photographer, sent along a video that tells a remarkable story.

It's the tale of Vivian Maier, who worked as a nanny in Chicago, but on her days off, took thousands of photos on the streets of the city. Her stash of undeveloped photos were discovered in a storage locker by a young guy researching a book about Chicago, and he and a friend have made it their mission to scan what he estimates is 100,000 negatives. Experts are calling her work stunning, and have even said her photos may rank with those of Walker Evans.

This video tells the story and shows some of her photos:



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Tipsheet: Capturing sunrise

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 10, 2011 07:36 PM

By Charles MacPherson
The Amazing Image, Scituate

Sunrise is one of my favorite things to shoot. Even a lousy sunrise is still pretty darn good!

Here are a few tips for your next attempt at capturing the color and drama of a sunrise shoot:

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Featured Photographer:
Charlie MacPherson

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 4, 2011 12:00 PM

We usually feature just amateur photographers in this space, but I'm making an exception for Charlie because I want to use this venue to introduce him to the RAW crowd: He has graciously agreed to write tipsheets for us on a regular basis. Watch for his work in both the Gigabytes section and the Tipsheets section on the RAW homepage.

I got my first whiff of photography as a teenager when I discovered my Dad's Argus C3 "brick" camera -- and it was love at first sight!

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Wainwright wins Book Festival Award

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 4, 2011 11:08 AM

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Paul Wainwright was a recent Featured Photographer here on RAW in which he discussed the project that resulted in the book that won the award. Here's a press release about his prize:

New Hampshire photographer Paul Wainwright's new book, "A Space for Faith: The Colonial Meetinghouses of New England", has received the prestigious New England Book Festival Award for best Photography/Art book of the year.

Wainwright works with a wooden large-format camera, sheet film, and develops all his images in his darkroom. Every photograph is carefully and individually created. He prefers to create a photograph rather than "shoot" or "take a picture" and uses traditional processes which force him to slow down and really think about what he wants his images to be.

Bruce Haring, director of the New England Book Festival, said: " 'A Space for Faith' shows a true artist's eye for detail and serves as a wonderful guide to a part of the region that deserves more attention."

The New England Book Festival Award will be presented at the Festival's award ceremony at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. The Parker House is the grand literary hotel where Thoreau, Emerson, and Longfellow met at the legendary Saturday Club for poetry readings and high-minded discussions.

"A Space for Faith: The Colonial Meetinghouses of New England" is a collection of Wainwright's classic black-and-white photographs that paints a composite portrait of these once ubiquitous landmarks of the New England landscape. Only a few remain as they were – touched only by time – and Wainwright's photographs give us a glimpse into an age when life was simpler.

"I am extremely honored by this award," says Wainwright. "New England's meetinghouses embody a large part of our nation's history, and my work photographing them was aimed at bringing their story to a broad audience."

Wainwright, who has long considered himself to be a "photographer with a day job," discovered his creative passion with his first darkroom at age 12. In 2001, when the job he had held for 24 years at Bell Laboratories was eliminated, he embraced his love of photography and re-created his life.

"I took a leap of faith," Wainwright says. "I'll admit that like many of us who suddenly find ourselves without a job, I was scared. But that leap of faith led me to create 'A Space for Faith', a book which wouldn't exist if I'd still been working in the corporate world." Wainwright is now a successful landscape and architectural photographer.

Drawn to capture images that reflect our Puritan heritage, Wainwright says, "They were religious dissidents who came to New England so they could live apart from the Church of England. Their lives were simple, and their belief in God was central to their lives. I believe my meetinghouse photographs reflect the Puritans' simple, well-ordered lives and inspire my quest to simplify my own life."

For review copies and author interviews, call 603-362-6589. Additional information and photos may be found in the Media Room section of the book’s web site, www.aspaceforfaith.com.

A Space for Faith: The Colonial Meetinghouses of New England by Paul Wainwright (ISBN 13: 978-0-9817898-5-9) is published by Peter E. Randall Publisher of Portsmouth, NH.


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LetsGoDigital review: Canon PowerShot S95

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 22, 2010 08:00 PM

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LetsGoDigital says, "The Canon PowerShot S95 is not much different from its predecessor (the S90).

"The bright, 3.8x zoom lens has remained and the 3-inch format display with 460.000 dots resolution is also back.

"The Canon S95's compact format makes it appear as an automatic, but the camera also offers the possibility of shooting with full manual settings.

"In short, it is a camera for the beginner photographer, but it also sparks the interest of serious photographers that are looking for a handy little camera on the side."

Full review of the Canon PowerShot S95 from LetsGoDigital

PhotoInduced also weighed in on the S95.

Own this camera? Upload a sample photo you've taken and write your own review.

More camera, lens, and equipment reviews.


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A camera with 3 thumb drives

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 21, 2010 05:00 PM

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Have a teen-ager who likes to take lots of photos and share them with friends right away?

A clever designer at the Samsung Art and Design Institute, Jung Eun Park, has come up with a small camera with 3 USB ports. She can just grab her friends' thumb drives and transfer photos instantly.

Student Jung Eun Park’s UCIM camera.


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