You can hit the high notes—and some of the low ones, too—at two multivenue photo exhibitions documenting the behind-the-scenes goings on of some of rock ‘n’ roll’s legendary performers. “Backstage” offers a glimpse into life on the road with the likes of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Mötley Crüe.
Imagine undressing, showering, putting on sterile robes and slippers, and disinfecting your equipment, all to see...a ferret! Photographers Susan Middleton and David Littschwager endured this and more to get the images they wanted for WITNESS: The Endangered Species of North America, a pro ject to draw attention to 100 North American plants and animals in danger of extinction.
The shots are hardly the stuff of glorious nature calendars: Slightly fuzzy point-and-shoot snaps of tigers, poorly composed, nearly every one with the worst greeneye you could imagine. But these shots are as important to the preservation of tigers as any number of gorgeous coffee-table books.
Last year, Peter Menzel produced a stunning book, Material World: A Global Family Portrait [April '96, page 81], that portrayed families around the world. Menzel noticed, though, when doing interviews that the majority of women were practically ignored by the men and often stayed silent.
Every time photographer Miles Boone steps into a camera store and looks at the boxes of Ilford enlarging paper for sale, an image of his four-year-old son comes to mind. Why? Because the tyke’s image (above) is right there on many of the boxes he sees! Miles (and six others) successfully competed in a recent picture contest sponsored by Ilford’s Ilfopro Photographers’ Association.
“Your Best Shot” Entry Rules: You may send up to 20 of your best shots (transparencies or prints no larger than 8x12) along with a daytime phone number and any pertinent technical data (such as camera, lens, exposure, film, filters, tripod) to "Your Best Shot," POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, P.0. BOX 1247, Teaneck, NJ 07666.
Yashica's Easy-to-Like Big Zoom (in a Small Package)
Yashica Microtec Zoom 120
Easily one of the most common questions we’re asked is “What’s a good zoom point-andshoot for about XXX dollars?” Sure, it’s fun for us to report on high-ticket exotica and unobtainium-bodied cult cameras, but what most real people are looking for in a point-and-shoot is that bread-and-butter zoom, what we sometimes call the “family camera.”
Cameras that are really things other than cameras have been popular since, well, cameras were invented. There have been camera lighters, camera paperweights (and some real cameras that should have been paperweights), camera fridge magnets, and of course tons and tons of camera jewelry.
We’ve finally reached the point where that littlest of lithium canister batteries, the CR2, is generally available wherever photo stuff is sold. And lots of cameras now use them, in good part because they have allowed cameras to shrink even further.
Teleconverters, telextenders. multipliers, doublers: here's an update on the pros and cons of increasing your lens' focal length with them.
Nicely matched teleconverter-lens combos do well
Can you really get good, pro results with a telextendcr these days or is it merely a moderate-cost, compact but inefficient gimmick to increase focal length while losing contrast and sharpness? First, let’s deal with terminology. Flow do teleconverters, telextenders, multipliers, and doublers differ? They don’t.
Have you noticed that desktop computers are faster— and cheaper—than ever, but photo retouching programs like Photoshop are still fetching $600-$800? That’s a bit steep for most photographers who want to dabble a bit with digital retouching.
For over 30 years, Bob Schwalberg was the technical engine that made POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY go. Yes, he respected the niceties of lab-tested shutter speeds, exposures, and lens performance, but for Bob, practical photography was his lab and what he saw on negative, slide, and print yielded his most trusted tests.
All creatures crawly and creepy: think big about shooting small
To Tripod Or Not To Tripod
Balance flash and daylight
Tim Davis & Renee Lynn Small creatures fill your everyday life. From the fly that’s annoying you while you’re reading this column, to the frog that is hopping through your garden or nearby park, insects, reptiles, and amphibians surround you each day—and are spectacular photographic subjects.
Think the shots here are strictly white bread? Wait 'til they go throuqh Mitch's electronic sandwich shop!
New York-based Mitch Funk for the past quarter-century has honed a look in magazine, corporate, and stock photography that emphasizes color as a powerful graphic element. Typically, he has achieved this with the aid of filters to intensify or add color (Funk’s basic field kit of filters can number 100 or more).
This was a pretty close contest, with opinion on “Tyke Meets Tractor” almost evenly divided on its merits. A surprising percentage of respondents saw the image as fit for a safety poster warning against kids playing around farm machinery, and most readers who reacted to this element of incipient danger cast negative votes.
Prizewinning accounts of camera dropping and misadventure from our readers
Alas, where has my Distagon?
Blast that Kodak folder!
The last laugh
announced what we believe to be the world's first and last camera-dropping story contest, complete with cash prizes for the three most engaging, true-life narratives of camera battery. Since the contest originated as an informal, spur-of-the-moment event, with no rigidly defined rules, we have adopted a loose interpretation of what constitutes a “camera-dropping story" as these winning tales of bashed, crashed, and flung photo gear painfully illustrate.
Should the anchor or meeting house dominate? Or should they have equal prominence?
Pros Lou Jawitz and Ed Bohan don't see alike or shoot alike. Here's how each "saw" Mystic Seaport. Which do you like better?
Buddy Up on Lenses!!
Foglike soft "glow" or sharply detailed waterscape?
Details; Did Jawitz and Bohan handle them differently?
Trees frame in daytime and evening
You can look through windows and shoot reflections from them
Three ways to see the same subject
Looking for the right viewpoint:
Shooting a building differently:
You’ve seen it happen. A snapshooter sees an interesting picture possibility. No sooner does he take the picture than other camera-carrying tyros race to the exact same spot and take exactly the same photograph. But even when shooting alone, many amateurs will unthinkingly home in on the most common vantage point, lighting, and composition that is used by others.
How do you make a 30x50-foot photo of the Olympics opening ceremony? Shoot it on 120 rollfilm and crop it down to size!
Veteran Olympics Photographer Don Cochran, on assignment from Kodak to produce a whiz-banger Olympics opening shot, arrived in Atlanta five days early to scout out the territory. Armed with a stadium diagram, he examined all possibilities, angles, and heights allowed to photographers plus alternatives.
How good is the world's first and only film plane-focusing AFSLR???
QUICK GUIDE TO WHAT'S IMPORTANT
FEATURES AT A GLANCE
EXPOSURE ACCURACY AT FILM PLANE
AUTOFOCUS & TIME LAG
SHUtTER SPEED ACCURACY
AX Viewfinder: Great screen, lots of info
What's on the LCD?
Conceptually and technologically, the Contax AX is an amazing machine. It is certainly the only 35mm SLR in the world that autofocuses by moving the film plane back and forth rather than using AF sensors in the body to control the focusing mechanism in the lens.
Will AX auto focus closer if you set 300mm lens to 80 ft.? Not really.
To get a handle on the AX’s ability to focus swiftly and accurately with moving subjects, we set up a simple, straightforward test procedure and pitted it against a worthy, fast-focusing rival that we'd previously tested, namely the Canon EOS A2.
Hands on: Extremely well finished in satin black with very legible white-on-black aperture, focal-length, and metric distance scales, orange-on-black footage scale. Broad (1¼inches wide), grippably textured zoom/focus collar operates very smoothly, with welldamped action, holds settings well.
Hands on: Just as light, small, easy-to-operate as its nearly identical predecessor (reviewed April ’93, page 57), but now with internal focusing and two aspherical glass surfaces for improved image quality and closer focusing at all focal lengths.
If our February '47 “après ski” cover pic looks staged, it’s probably because Hollywood pro C.A. Peterson used a 4x5 Ansco View camera and three-flashbulb setup, including a red-gelatin-covered Wabash 40 behind Liz McLean, who “had just returned from a moonlight ski excursion.”
In your September ’96 “Help” column [“Wishy-washy backgrounds,” page 2001, Charles Forbes complained that in his landscape photos, “Distant mountains quite often seem washed out, while the foreground is of satisfactory brightness.”
Each month, thousands of our read buy merchandise from our m Order advertisers without any prd lems. However, we do receive lette from readers who are having diffic ties, in some cases due to store p sonnel, in other cases due to misu derstandings.
Meeting in the middle: Is medium format displacing 4x5 and 8xl0 as the SOLE studio format of the digital era???
What’s the first equipment casualty of the digital era? If you ask me, it’s the large-format camera. At recent trade outings, like last fall’s Photokina in Germany and Viscomm in New York, there were no new 8x10 cameras in sight. Indeed, you had to search to find an 8x10 camera at all, with most pro-oriented action confined to the medium-format arena.
That light above Scandinavia? It’s not the aurora borealis; it’s sparks flying from Hasselblad’s R&D department. My main story tells of recent action in medium format, and of all rollfilm camera manufacturers, probably none has been hotter than the Swedish marque, which introduced a half-dozen significant products within the last six months.
Black & White Photographic Printing Workshop, by Larry Bartlett with Jon Tarrant. Silver Pixel Press, Rochester, NY; 160 pages; softcover, $29.95. If you’re a black-and-white printer who’s ready to advance from proficient technician to accomplished craftsman, this book can show you the way. Teaching by example, the authors start with dozens of okay, acceptable images, each of which they elevate into photographic works of art using darkroom techniques perfected over decades by British master printer Larry Bartlett.
Handy as your camera’s built-in or shoe-mounted flash may be, if you want to get the least bit creative with flash lighting you have to move that flash away from the camera. The most direct way to do this is by using a sync cord. “Sync” is short for synchronizing—which, indirectly, is what a sync cord does.
CALIFORNIA Dana Gluckstein: World Portraits; through Feb. 25. Paul Kopeikin Gallery, 170 South La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 213-937-0765. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Milt Hinton: Jazz Photographs; March-Junc. The Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St.
Will Kodak's new brew blow D-76 out of your darkroom forever? We test their latest: Xtol.
Xtol or D-76, that is the question!
Xtol at a glance
About our tests
Xtol vs D-76: the facts
Ever since the 1930s, Kodak’s D-76 has been the black-and-white film developer against which all others have been compared. Introduced for use with motion picture films, D-76 has enjoyed unflagging popularity with still photographers by providing fine grain, sharpness, controllable speed, and predictable contrast, in addition to stability and reasonable cost.
Honest, forthright answers to your most probing questions
f/32 and not there
I recently purchased a Canon EOS Elan IIE, and while there are advantages to the camera, there are also things that are confusing. For example, when using the portrait PIC mode, isn’t it sort of silly to have continuous motor wind—there is absolutely no movement when taking a portrait.