In our January ’93 issue we gave you the inside scoop on the New York Institute of Photography in our “Can You Learn Photography at Home?” exposé (page 52), but it didn’t reveal the identity of the secret student whom we actually sent through the course.
Many who photograph the Grand Canyon stand at the rim and try to include the entire vista in the viewfinder. In Eliot Porter’s The Grand Canyon (Prestel/ARTnews, New York, $50), the world-renowned nature photographer generally avoided the sweeping canyonscape in favor of a smaller, more intimate study of its jutting rocks, buttes, waterfalls, lava flows, gorges, creeks, and chasms.
Eugene Richards’ ongoing body of work documenting crack neighborhoods won both the Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism (for his documentary on drugs called “Crack Is Killing Us”) and the Canon Photo Essay Award (for his work entitled “The Family of the ’90s”) at last year’s 49th annual Pictures of the Year Competition.
A wooden camera? But of course, you’re saying, wooden cameras are a revered genre in the craft tradition: the delightful Deardorff, the wistful Wista, the toney Tachihara . . . Hold on a second, sport. We’re not talking about a wooden field/view camera here, but a 35mm—a 35mm autofocus point-and-shoot compact, to be exact—done up in wood.
Eternal pessimists that we are, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that photofinishers aren’t inundated with soggy Kodak Fun Time 35’s. Why? Voit Sports Inc. is marketing snorkel and mask sets in various nifty colors. Our underwater enthusiasts tell us they’re reasonably good-quality items at a decent price; no problem here.
If you are like most readers of this magazine, you probably have a few old cameras sitting in a drawer, closet, or on a basement shelf. Well, dust them off and pack them up because they are wanted! Witness, a campaign that provides human rights groups with the equipment of mass communication, urgently needs your old 35mm, Instamatic, and video cameras.
Whether your shots are carefully planned or spur of the moment, you can't take 'em if your camera's in the bag!
1st ($300) Tortuous trail of tail-lights: While the body of a seemingly careening car has vanished, the long exposure captured the sinuous streak of its zigzagging, red brake lights. Taken at dusk on San Francisco’s Lombard Street, called the “crookedest street in the world,”
TIRED OF BIG, CLUNKY POINT-&-SHOOTS? HONEY, THEY SHRUNK THE ZOOMS!
FOR SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO SECRETLY ADMIRE POINT & SHOOT CAMERAS
“Compact camera” is very much a misnomer when applied to big, bulky zoom point-and-shoots. But in one class—the popular 35-70mm range—camera makers are now aggressively pursuing a smaller-is-better policy. Here’s a quick look at some of the mini-2X-zooms, including two trailblazers and two newcomers.
See if you can solve this mystery: You shoot two rolls of the same kind of color print film—same brand, same speed, same emulsion batch. They go through different cameras, both of which are in good working order, including the exposure systems. You shoot precisely the same scenes and subjects, at the same time, with the two cameras in the same position.
Canon stunned the photographic world last year with the introduction of the EOS A2E, the autofocus SLR that follows your eye movements to focus where you’re looking in the frame. And guess what, kids? Canon’s not limiting this Eye Controlled Focus (ECF) technology to SLRs.
North Carolina's Outer Banks: Where surf, sunsets, and shorebirds combine for great photography!
What to bring?
Robert R. Yandle
The Outer Banks of Dare and Hyde Counties in North Carolina are probably four-fifths Atlantic Ocean. The remaining fifth is a thin sliver of windy shoreline that stirs the imaginations of thousands of shutterbugs who flock there annually.
Are unusual tools of the trade the secret behind these eerie images?
Michael J. McNamara
Most photographers view the mounted slide as a final symbol of their skillful photographic efforts, but a few, like Brazilian-born Valcir Fernandez de Siqueira, treat it as a new painter’s canvas. By using his unique vision, a steady hand, and unusual tools of the trade— pliers, torch, needles, and steel wool— Siqueira manipulates the very fabric of a 35mm color slide in a process that adds spectacular colors and special lighting effects.
Anyone watching a heavily laden SLR enthusiast fuss with changing lenses and attaching a flash unit can well understand the attractions that a compact, all-in-one SLR holds. There have been three attempts at providing just such a combination: the Ricoh Mirai, the Chinon Genesis, and the Olympus IS-1.
Photographers turn to POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, not only for practical information, but also for glimpses into the unusual. They certainly found both in our March 1943 issue. The oddest item was a report on a discovery made by a scientist who was studying the way light darkened TNT.
You’ve shot the serious stuff: vacation trips, birthday parties, the birth of a baby; now how about having some crazy fun with your camcorder? For instance, why not make things appear, disappear, or change into something else? These may be the oldest of special effects, but they’re fun to watch, and your friends and family will have a ball being part of the production.
A showcase for spectacular images and how they were made
I made this photograph by accident one evening while I was out trying to shoot something else. This sequence often happens to me. I wish there was some way to control or predict it. The Tucson summer is a good time for chasing clouds, and that’s exactly what I was doing on the day I took this photograph.
You say these don't look like flash shots? Now you've got the picture!
Remember when “flash” was a bad word to photographers? Perhaps no device has undergone such a major transformation in the minds of photographers: from a nasty battery-eating monster whose harsh burst obliterated any distinction between party portraits and police lineup shots, to a marvelously controllable magic light whose automatic bounce and fill abilities are seamlessly integrated with— or even built into—fast-handling multimode cameras.
FOR BETTER INDOOR LIGHTING, TRY SMALL STUDIO FLASH
Studios in a box
Studio flash demystified
How to light a deep subject
How to light an ultrawide-angle portrait full of shiny objects
How to light a macro subject
How to light a close-up portrait with a distracting background
How to light a classic pose to get a flattering portrait
How to photograph an oil painting? Don't use flash!
Control panels: What's behind the light source, and how does it work?
Beyond silvered umbrellas: a compendium of light modifiers
Multiple flash on the cheap? It's the totable alternative.
A dedicated TTL multiflash system: the best option yet?
Handheld flashmeters: budget or bank busting?
Mark R. Williams
Do you like the control over lighting that flash gives you but not the results you get with the on-camera variety? Do you shoot a significant portion of your photographs indoors, or would you if you could use your favorite superslow, super-color-saturated daylight films inside as well as outside?
popular PHOTOGRAPHY 1993 SHOE-AND HANDLE-MOUNT FLASH DIRECTORY
Nondedicated shoe-mount flashes
Dedicated shoe-mount flashes
Dedicated autofocus flashes
Nondedicated handle-mount flashes
Dedicated handle-mount flashes
In your quest for better flash photography, it helps to have the right stuff. Shackled to a portable strobe that’s too simple, too complicated, too weak, too heavy, or too large, you’re not likely to use it to its fullest potential—if, indeed, you use it at all. Selecting the right blitz rig starts with deciding on the brand.
Hands on: Good-sized and heavy, but about average for a fast wide-angle and very solidly constructed. Balances well and provides easy reach to controls on PZ-series cameras. Unusual satin silver finish is nicely done but shows scratches readily.
Hands on: Solid, well made, excellently finished in handsome rubberized matte ZEN material. Controls are convenient to grasp. Generous half-inch-wide, ribbed manual focusing ring turns smoothly, with just the right drag. Large, easy-to-read, very complete depth-of-field scale.
The types and sizes of batteries that fit cameras and flash units seem almost endless. Which should you use for your own equipment and why? Read on!
The lowdown on AA cells
Popular alkaline AA cells
Cheapie carbon-zinc or "heavy-duty" AA cells
New! Lithium AA cells
Rechargeable nickel-cadmium AA cells are not all the same
Rechargeable nickel metal hydride AA cells are rare
Ubiquitous button cells
Alkaline button cells
Silver button cells
Lithium button cells
Mercury button cells
Small cylindrical cells
Large cylindrical lithium camera batteries
How to test batteries
Selecting a battery tester
Battery do's and don'ts
How to store batteries
COMMON PHOTOGRAPHIC BATTERIES
If your camera, meter, or flash unit stops operating, what's the usual cause? Battery failure. There's hardly a modern camera or flash unit that isn't dependent upon batteries. And even the hardiest all-mechanical camera with meter must be flown blind if the battery stops functioning.
In your introduction to the “40 Top Cameras Annual Guide ’93,” (Dec. ’92 issue), you state: “In all, it’s been a pretty amazing year . . .” I'll say. Further proof is found in the same issue: an SLR (Canon A2 and A2E) that autofocuses where your eye is looking (page 32); and a camera with a transparent metal lens—“The sharp 38—90mm power zoom lens is made of very rigid metal, encircled by a lubricated seal that ‘squeegees’ water off as the lens zooms.”
Think rare and unusual cameras have to be expensive? Try these.
Two minor snags
One lonely weak spot
I despise form letters, especially the kind that strain to be cheerful, personal, and chummy. So when you send me handwritten notes exulting over your grandpa’s ancient folder, which must be a rare and valuable classic because it says Feb. 3, 1896, inside, I take Parker 51 in hand and scribble you a laconic but personal reply.
For how long a period is it practical to store film in a refrigerator? William Kostellic, Granville, IL We bet you’re expecting a short answer to your question; unfortunately, it’s not possible to give you a specific amount of time that refrigeration will extend the film’s useful life past its marked expiration date.