ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Archive for May 2007

Adobe has released Camera Raw 4.1, and rather than a small update just for new cameras, this one is major. New features and new functionality are showing up in a long awaited upgrade of Camera Raw’s sharpening controls, a new control called Clarity, enhanced noise reduction and two new defringing controls in lens correction. All told, there is a surprising amount of “new” in Camera Raw 4.1. (via Photoshop News) 

There’s a lot more covered in the article. Check it out and get the download.

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If you’re like me, you’ve perhaps wondered about those little caps that you can screw onto the end of your lens that claim to help you get “perfect white balance.” Is there such an item? If so, what is the cost? Is the cost worth it? Well, I found an article where someone has done the research on those little white balance caps and you’ll be surprised with the results.

White balance is an age old problem that is becoming all too modern with so many people moving to digital SLRs. Today’s cameras all have a pretty decent auto white balance settings, from the basic point/shot cameras to the pro SLRs. There are also several “fixed” settings on many of the simple cameras and most of the SLRs like Sunlight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, etc. But as many of you may know, these settings are not always perfect, and sometimes far from it.

Color balance is a long, deep discussion that can go on for days. But here, we are going to talk about a series of products of the type known as “over the lens white balance caps”. You may have seen these from companies like expoimaging.com with their ExpoDisc Digital White Balance Filter and the ExpoCap.

With the cost of the ExpoCap being around $80.00 and the ExpoDisc at $120.00 for my lens size, I decided to see what else was out there to compete with these products. With little effort, I found one from a company called Mennon that claims to do the same basic thing as the ExpoCap, but the price difference was extraordinary.

I searched on Ebay for “white balance cap” and was presented with over several products besides the ExpoCap. The one I found for my lenses was under $10.00 shipped! Could this be? Is it possible that a sub $10 item could compete with the $80 ExpoCap? I was anxious to see for myself. (Read the rest of the article to find out the results.) (via L7 Photo).

The good news over at Conscientious today is the beautiful photography of Michael Vahrenwald. The first time I saw this kind of ‘spotlight’ photography was when I first saw some of my college professor’s work. Granted the similarities may be somewhat difficult to find and the differences may stand out more, but the obvious similarity I noticed most was the form of lighting Vahrenwald and Stallworth choose to use. Each are photographing at night and it appears they are using something akin to automobile headlights to lighten the area that they are photographing. This kind of selective spotlighting with the natural darkening of night in the background is fascinating to me. I like the way the light draws the viewers attention to a particular area where the light is and then slowly we move outward with the light. It’s natural and yet something I have not seen much of in photography. Fascinating stuff.

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I was reading David Ziser’s Digital Photography April 2007 Newsletter and came across a great little video of how to create a signature brush in Photoshop. It’s perfect timing, because I’ve been attempting to do just that with some of my fine art photos lately. Check it out.

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with those old computer parts that just don’t work anymore and really aren’t even any good to donate to Goodwill, here are a few good suggestions. Click here for some more good ideas.

computerparts_2.jpg

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An 1839 camera that was found in an attic – and billed as the ‘world’s oldest’ – has sold for nearly £400,000, shattering auctioneers’ predictions. (via Amateur Photographer

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If you are considering submitting any work to a magazine, you must read the Photocritic’s article on just that topic, because…

The most important thing you need to remember is that magazine production is hectic stuff. That means that decisions are often made quickly, and if you do your submission wrong, you may not get another shot… (via the Photocritic).

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