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Tech Notes

 

 

This section will include from time to time some technical notes.

Regarding equipment: In January 2001, I switched systems from Nikon to Canon. The reason was in the extra benefits that the Canon image stabilization system (IS) brings to the type of work shown here.  I will include examples of this in individual pictures as I am able to include them in the site images.  Seven years later, Nikon had a similar system (VR), and today there are essentially no differences.  Both are great systems.  This site includes images from both.  Of course there are other great systems, and the finished image rarely has anything to do with the equipment brand.

 

Equipment tests: I ran a series of tests comparing on a lens and digital camera, namely the Canon 400mm DO (Diffractive Opitics technology) and the EOS D-60.  This led to a rather extended article with some large images.  To see this article, click on the following path: Canon Comparisons.  These tests were run in 2002, but the techniques and results remain interesting.

 

One of the program presentation that I do is called Nature Photography and the Digital Darkroom.  It has been quite popular and usually generates some good and lively discussion.  A significant part of the presentation is about techniques that require special actions in the field to be able to later apply the appropriate processing.  Examples include high dynamic range (HDR) processing, field depth extension (FDE), panoramic stitching, triangulation of foreign objects (TFO), and certain types of patching and background cleanup.  These are all adjustments or manipulations in varying degrees.  I was therefore very disappointed when the Photographic Society of America (PSA) came out with new rules that barred use of these types of post-capture edits.  I have outlined my position on these rules in an article which is available as a PDF paper:  PSA Nature Definitions -- Editing, An Alternate View.. 

In short these rules are excessively restrictive, inconsistent, hypocritical, and backward looking. I hope that PSA will quickly change their rules.  Until that happens, the serious photographer has three options: 1) comply with the rules and deny yourself many valuable benefits of digital technology, 2) don't dignify the rules by participating in events where they are operative, or 3) ignore the rules, and leave it up to judges to recognize violations, if they can. (After all, judges themselves regularly ignore the PSA rule that story trumps technical quality -- another poor rule).

Regarding editing, please realize that almost all images warrant/require some adjustment.  This is usually limited to balancing tonalities and background cleanup. My operating principle is that the image be faithful to the subject and its relevant, natural environment.  If significant manipulations are done, the image becomes called a photo-illustration.

 

 
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