Full text of the review I wrote published on Photo Technique web site: http://phototechmag.com/the-fuji-x-e1-print-sized-photo-powerhouse/
I just returned from the EG7 conference (http://www.the-eg.com/homepage/welcome) in Monterey, California. The name sounds a little mysterious, but the meeting is not. It’s been around for quite a while.
A couple of quotes that might help describe the event: “a gathering of and for innovators in media, technology, entertainment and education. The conference explores our most creative enterprises, by engaging a gifted mix of people — from rising stars to living national treasures, the people who attend EG are among the most industrious and iconoclastic talents of our time.”
And… “This year at EG, Everything is Learning — and Learning is Everything. Many of the leading inventors, explorers, educators, entertainers, artists and entrepreneurs are joining us to probe these frontiers.”
Some of the “presenters” included Erich Kuhne, architecture, Nicholas Negroponte, perhaps best known for “One Laptop Per Child”, Bathsheba Grossman, Three Dimensional Thinking, Frans Lanting, nature and wildlife photography, Brant Austin, incredible full-scale photos of whales, Alison Gopnik, baby thinking, Umi Garret, a 12-year old world-class pianist, and many, many more.
A long-time working partner, collaborator, and mentor of mine, Jack Duganne (http://www.duganne.com), worked with me at the conference. We focused on making prints of portraits made during the conference – these portraits included attendees and speakers. We used the HP Designjet Z6200 and Z3200 large format printers, and we were very, very busy. Our thanks to HP and Eric DuPaul, and Jennifer Wills and Monica Wolff (of W+W Design – http://wplusw.com/) for making this part possible.
The presentations hit every note possible, in the arts, music, imaging, photography, philosophy – you name it. We all left with new ways of looking at the world, and the world of learning. Hats off to the EG7 team! Hope to see you next year!
Free Webinar: Architectural Photography and Editing With David Saffir and C. David Tobie
Join us, Thursday, April 4th from 3PM-4PM EDT, 12 Noon – 1 pm PDT as Datacolor Experts David Saffir and C. David Tobie walk you through the issues they have encountered through their years of architectural rendering and photography and offer helpful techniques to be utilized.
Architectural photography offers accurate representation of a building or structure. Achieving this is often complex. Even though photographing interiors and exteriors can be similar, they do have some differences and may require different equipment.
Perspective and context issues may arise when photographing exteriors, while distortion issues may arise with interiors. Other issues may include scale, vignette, chromatic aberration and color accuracy. Technique is key. Helpful tips focusing on low light images, various HDR options, one-point and multi-point perspective versus elevation and isometric will be shared.
An interactive Q&A will take place throughout the webinar to answer any questions you may have.
One lucky webinar guest will win a free Spyder4PRO!
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/268882242
Went out scouting for wildflowers yesterday with a friend. The weather was variable ranging from sunny and windy to overcast and moody. We found this area near Arvin, close to the junction of Rte 223 and Rte 58 (not too far from the Grapevine). Fiddlenecks and pygmy Lupine were up, some lonely poppies here and there (too early for them). My guess is that this season will give us patches of good color, but it will take a bit of hunting around over a period of a few weeks to get some good shots.
Click on the image for a larger version. Have a great weekend!
I’ve been testing a studio strobe from Adorama, the Flashpoint DG-600. Intended for use in both studio and location work, this is a 300/WS workhorse (published guide number of 58m/190ft ISO 100) that offers flexibility in many types of shooting situations. It can run on normal household power (US) or a 12v DC power pack.
The housing of the light is made of heavyweight plastic, and seems quite durable. An attached carrying handle is provided, as is a 8” metal reflector – the latter is attached using a locking bayonet-style design.
On the front end, one sees a conventional semi-circular flash tube mounted in front of an LED-array modeling light.
At the back, most controls are push-button variety, with the exception of the power switch, which provides on/AC, off, and on/DC positions.
The unit is provided with a nice long power cord (which is a good change – it seems lately that power cords are shrinking in length, or are not provided at all), and a PC/sync cord for those of use who haven’t yet gone to wireless triggers. The sync plug on the housing is of mini-plug variety, not the full-size “stereo” plugs one often sees.
Push button controls include flash test, sound on/off, modeling light, and slave operation. Flash intensity is read through a digital numeric display, and is controlled through a rotating knob. Flash intensity numbers are not linked to f/stop, but are displayed relative to total flash output, from nil to maximum.
Flash output is consistent in intensity right from start up, and stays that way throughout a shoot. Max recycling time is 1.5 seconds at max power (AC) – but at lower power settings is near-instantaneous. The cooling fan is quiet and unobtrusive. Stated flash duration is 1/800 to 1/1500/sec.
I also tested the light with a color meter. While I found that the light easily hit daylight color temperature (5500k) a from a cold start, it needed to fire a few times before settling in and stabilizing at this color temperature. (In other words, color temp varied a bit from shot to shot from a cold start to warm-up).
Once warmed up, variance in color temperature in the mid- to ¾-power range was not a significant issue. At full power, it took a bit longer for the light to warm up and stabilize – if you are shooting at full power, and the light has been resting a while, fire off five or six test shots to bring everything into line.
The modeling light is an LED array, which operates in proportion to flash output settings. This is a great idea – those of us who engage in day-long shoots will appreciate this. Completely cool, with no appreciable heat generated, so less wear and tear on umbrellas and soft boxes, not to mention one’s fingers!
Also, unlike tungsten or halogen-based bulbs, it is roughly the same color temperature as the flash tube, which is a significant convenience. However, the modeling light is challenged to provide enough illumination used with a diffuser or soft box, and I’d like to see available luminance increased. Otherwise, a brilliant idea (no pun.)
One might think that the lower power usage of the LED modeling light would bode well for its use with a battery pack – however, Adorama doesn’t recommend this.
Accessories available include a NIMH portable battery pack and spare battery, a speed ring for soft box/light modifiers, a beauty dish, umbrellas, and related items.
At this price point, $199, this light is a good value vis-à-vis overall build quality and light output, and it appears that it would deliver sold performance in the field or in the studio. In my opinion, at 300/ws, a couple of these would fill an average room nicely – even at levels below full power. All you location shooters and real estate photographers, take note!
The Flashpoint DG-600 is available through Adorama: http://www.adorama.com/FP600DG.html
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I’ve had the X-E1 for a little while, courtesy of Fuji and Photo Techniques Magazine. I’m working on an article for the magazine, and I thought I’d share a few thoughts along the way:
First Impressions, Fuji X-E1:
- A very lightweight camera body, due in part to its largely magnesium-based construction.
- Controls are well-placed on the camera body.
- LCD-based menus require some studying of the instruction manual.
- LCD is bright and easy to read, even outdoors.
- Camera automatically switches from LCD view to electronic viewfinder.
- Image quality is very good (more on this later).
- RAW processing software is subject of debate (more on this later).
- The 18-55 kit lens provided with this camera exceeded expectations.
Here’s an image taken to test resolution and color:
Just completed my collaboration with C. David Tobie in this webinar: Exploring Photographic Composition in Landscape and Still Life
Co-sponsored by Datacolor and Digital Silver Imaging
Photographic composition is a key element of photography. To master composition, one must learn the ability to see compositions as shapes, lines, forms, masses, etc., and not just as recognizable objects. You must be able to visualize how objects function as forms in space under light, and how they will relate to a two dimensional composition. This webinar gives an overview of the use of photographic composition in landscape and still life photography, drawing examples from the work of masters of photography, as well as our own photographers.
Here’s a few comments offered by those who participated in the “live” version:
-Thank you for conducting an “artists” seminar. Getting the correct exposure and color balance are important, but understanding the complexities of visual interpretation and the psychology of experiencing images is so important. Your comments relative to the “human elements” within the images were very strong. Thanks for expanding your topics to include this so a deeper appreciation of the artistic aspects can be appreciated!
-Guys… this was a simply AMAZING webinar. One of the best I have ever attended. I am teaching two classes as we speak, and you have both given me a whole lot more to include in my instruction.
-Thank you guys. One of the most interesting webinars I’ve attended.
Upcoming FREE webinar: Exploring Photographic Composition In Landscape and Still Life
With David Saffir and C. David Tobie
Sponsored by Datacolor and Digital Silver Imaging
Tuesday, January 15, 3PM-4PM EST
Photographic composition is a key element of photography. To master composition, one must learn the ability to see compositions as shapes, lines, forms, masses, etc., and not just as recognizable objects. You must be able to visualize how objects function as forms in space under light, and how they will relate to a two dimensional composition. This webinar gives an overview of the use of photographic composition in landscape and still life photography, drawing examples from the work of masters of photography, as well as our own Datacolor master photographers.
Join us, Tuesday, January 15th from 3PM-4PM EST, as Datacolor Experts David Saffir and C. David Tobie guide you through the key elements of photographic composition and how they interact to make a unified whole.
An interactive Q&A will take place throughout the webinar to answer any questions you may have.
AND THERE’S MORE! One lucky webinar guest will win a free Spyder4PRO! There will also be coupon codes for discounts from Datacolor and Digital Silver Imaging.
REGISTER HERE: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/751922338