Patience, perceptiveness, and an uncommon slant on familiar subjects will make your shots winners.
1st ($300) Aquatic portrait: Newlyweds Carole Chervin and Adam Belanoff of New York City were spending the waning days of their monthlong honeymoon at the Casa Morgano in Capri. Intrigued by the bright blue tiles that lined the bottom of the resort’s pool, Chervin convinced her hubby to lie underwater for an inspired honeymoon shot.
Most people visit Walt Disney World in Orlando and take pictures of their children with Mickey. But while your kids are riding the Flying Dumbo, you can be learning about portrait or landscape photography from the likes of Eddie Adams, Bob Krist, or Art Wolfe.
More strange adventures in focal lengths and apertures that are but aren’t.
Three ways zoom designers provided close focus.
Tamron uses ingenious internal close-focus design
A case of decreasing focal length
How the SX-70 and 690 work
In last March’s “SLR” column I wrote that no one seemed outraged by the differences between marked and true lens focal lengths. For instance, I noted that a 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom we had tested actually measured 69.12-200mm. We had published this fact (as we do for all lenses tested) and hadn’t heard so much as a peep of protest from POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY readers.
If Ansel Adams had concentrated on the urban landscape, something like Plowden’s images would have been the result. Plowden started in 1959 as an assistant to noted railroad photographer O. Winston Link. He moved on to grain elevators, factories, houses—the interiors and exteriors, the parts and the whole, people at work—evidence of the clash of man with nature in urban and rural landscapes.
From the groundbreaking original Infinity, which helped make point-and-shoot cameras respectable, to the Stylus, which helped make them cool, Olympus has often produced cameras that manage to playfully skew mainstream sensibilities without sliding off into the fringe.
Seeing the shape of things: train your eye to capture natural patterns.
Check depth of field!
Those subliminal! patterns
Even without caption information, any person thumbing through this magazine can easily tell that one picture in this story is of a powerful, man-eating animal. The only identifier necessary? A small patch showing the pattern of its skin.
Think the exultant net-jumping tennis player on our October ’47 cover was shot with a strobe? Nope. Dave Peskin did it the hard way, opening up the 6½-inch f/2.5 lens on his 4x5 Speed Graphic to f/2.7 and using “two on-camera flashbulbs, one at each side.
How serious enthusiasts integrate photography into their lives.
TISCHLER AT A GLANCE
Selling photos on the web
Photography part of his lifestyle
When asked if he’s got any advice for his fellow POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY readers, dentist Michael Tischler of New York State doesn’t skip a beat: “Get out of bed!,” he nags with a laugh. Like most of us, Tischler is on the job about 9:00 A.M. He dons the green surgical scrubs of a dentist, a profession that requires a multitude of “left brain” technical skills, from medicine, anatomy, psychology, and pharmacology to business administration and accounting.
In the August ’97 “SLR” column, an illustration for “Going where no macro has dared to go before” [page 20] contains an historical error. The portrait on the Russian 500 ruble note is identified as Alexander the Great. It is Peter the Great, not Alexander.
Digital imaging magic lets you print photos on everything from ceramics to T-shirts—at home!
How it's done:
The bigger picture
Printers, Printers, Everywhere
FARGO PRIMERA PRO
EPSON STYLUS PHOTO
EPSON STYLUS 3000
FARGO PRIMERA PRO
EPSON STYLUS PHOTO
EPSON STYLUS 3000
Michael J. McNamara
Tired of viewing your photos in the same old picture frames and photo albums? Why not put them on table tops, metal plaques, clothing, or anywhere you’d like? This hasn’t been a problem for darkroom enthusiasts. For years, they’ve been mixing up their own silver-sensitized black-and-white emulsions (or better yet, buying them in a bottle), and applying them to just about anything that could fit into the darkroom.
The EK name is nowhere on the box, but it’s Kodak budget-priced print film being test marketed. How good is it? Here’s the scoop.
We found the film in Texas
Worth the savings?
Have you ever wondered who really makes those colorfully boxed, cheapo store-brand films carried by big discount, photofinishing, photo and convenience chains? Answer: Agfa, Konica, Scotch, and recently Fuji. Kodak? Oh, not Kodak. They’re above that.
Here it is again, our giant annual How To section, a reader-friendly collection of single-page mini articles designed to tell you precisely how to perform a number of specific photo-related tasks. Our basic aim is to make your picture taking easier and more rewarding and, in some cases, to expand your photo horizons to new subjects or locales.
The existing light is very low but flash would destroy the picture’s mood or just won’t cover the subject width or distance. There’s no place for you to rest or prop your camera and you’re already loaded with the fastest film possible. You don’t want to risk having the film push-processed for higher speed.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take beautiful underwater photos on your next tropical vacation without spending a fortune on scuba lessons, expensive equipment, and all the hassles that go along with learning to dive? No problem; with the right techniques and equipment, you can get fantastic fish photos within a short swim of most tropical resorts and beaches.
Suspicious your Advanced Photo System negatives are sharp, detailed, and properly exposed, even though your processed prints aren’t? (Yes, it happens.) Can’t locate the index primframe in which your subject’s eyes are shut? Is not being able to examine APS negatives holding you back from buying into APS?
Photographing a large and luminous moon together with the landscape below can be a frustrating affair. In normal pictures, the moon often seems less luminous and large than you’d like. And getting a balanced exposure that does justice to the landscape below and the moon above can be difficult, even impossible: If the moon is well exposed, the scenic is usually too dark and underexposed.
For a budding photo enthusiast, the typical tech-data caption might as well be written in Hittite. Here’s a rundown on terms appearing in this caption: Canon EOS-1N, 28-70mm f/2.8L lens: A pro model of Canon’s autofocus single-lens reflexes (SLRs), and an expensive, heavy optic.
There are three grades of AF SLR systems based on autofocus sensor complexity: A) Simple single central AF sensor (the viewfinder’s AF area is outlined by a smallish rectangle or brackets). B) More sophisticated multiple sensors covering an appreciably large central area of the picture (with multiple finder rectangles or an enlarged central sensitive rectangle or brackets in the viewfinder).
Did you know some films won’t let you make long exposures? And do you know how much extra exposure you need with a color-correction filter? The answers are easily available in your film’s tech data sheet—just a phone call away. Why bumble blindly along testing a new film yourself?
Among the many birds found in North America, wild hummingbirds are perhaps the most difficult to photograph. Their speed, small size, and unique acrobatic skills (including the ability to stop on a dime in midair or fly backward) make it almost impossible to catch them on film even with a fast autofocus SLR.
Glop ranging from simple dust to awful greasy fingermarks inevitably finds its way to the front and rear surfaces of lenses. Talk to five experts and you may get ten different opinions on how to clean up and with what. We’ve cut through the palaver and nostrums to give you three simple ways to clean: 1) When you’re on the run; 2) when you have no cleaning materials; 3) when you are at home and have all the time and paraphernalia necessary to do the job as thoroughly as possible.
Our favorite photos are often the casual portraits of family members and friends. We usually do take fairly good ones, but they can be bettered. Here are a handful of techniques to help you along: • Try bounce flash: If your TTL accessory flash pivots to allow bounce lighting, try ricocheting the flash burst off a low white ceiling or a nearby white wall.
The most fundamental choice facing color-film shooters is whether to use slide film or print film, bur before we get into the pluses (and, by implication, minuses) of each of these major film types, it may help to state the obvious. Most people, including the overwhelming majority (around 99 percent!) of snapshooters choose print film because what they want is color prints to carry in their wallets, put in albums or shoeboxes, and pass around and send to relatives and friends!
No ordinary event transforms the landscape so relentlessly, so quickly, as a few inches of snow. But it can he a chilling experience for photographers. The single greatest problem you will encounter, whatever your camera—point-and-shoot or SLR, manual or automatic—is exposure.
Here’s a nifty quick reference chart to let you compare focal lengths from one camera format to another. It’s simple. Just find the degree of coverage for any lens in one picture format, then locate the lens with the same degree of coverage for the other format.
Ever wonder if the great footage you captured with your camcorder could be turned into photos for your album, or even framed? It can! With the newest digital accessories for your computer, or a video printer, you can capture stills from video and print them at home for much less than you think.
Graduated-density filters (more properly, gradient-density filters) are clever accessories that look like little tinted windshields and let you use filtration in just one selected area of your picture. Most typically, these are used to reduce exposure in a too-bright sky so that the resulting picture holds tones in top and bottom.
There’s no way to break this to you gently. You know that actionstopping 1/8000 sec shutter speed you like to brag about? It’s the worst way possible to portray action. With few exceptions, fast shutter speeds make moving subjects look very, very static, precisely because they "stop action."
Today’s autoexposure (AE) cameras, especially SLRs with multipattern metering, provide a high percentage of accurate or pleasing exposures—all you have to do is raise the camera to eye level and press the shutter release. But there are times when you’ve got to go off autopilot if you really want the best possible exposure, especially if you’re shooting narrow-latitude slide film.
Although most of us won’t admit it, there is nothing we love more than comparing our camera against others; for fun, or just when we’re in a buying frenzy. Our camera tests allow you to make direct comparisons and give you hands-on experience and analysis.
Win prizes for your pictures while saving the environment!
What’s the most powerful weapon in nature conservation today? “Without question,” answers John F. Martin, “it’s photography.” To prove the point, this South Texas environmentalist recently announced the third running of one of America’s richest photo competitions, the 1998 Valley Land Fund Wildlife Photo Contest.
There are hundreds of models to choose from. And one of them may just have your name on it.
SINGLE FOCAL LENGTH
DUAL FOCAL LENGTH
If you took every model of point-and-shoot camera—35mm and APS—and laid them end to end, you’d get... something that looks pretty much like the typical camera display in a specialty or chain store. Just look at all those cameras! How in the world could anybody sort them out?
Hands on: Solidly made but lightweight, well designed with perhaps the most legible scales of any macro lens. Macro image ratio scale in yellow visible through plastic window; separate second window for large and clear green footage and white meter scales.
ALABAMA Dr. William M. White: Nineteenth Century Portraits of Watkinsville; through Oct. 29. Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 Eighth Ave. N, Birmingham, AL 35203, 520-254-2565. CALIFORNIA Selected by Adams: Images from the Polaroid Library Collection; through Oct. 26.
This small volume speaks volumes when it comes to understanding digital photography, both taking pictures with a digital camera and manipulating any photograph you scan into your computer. The book won’t take the place of a manufacturer’s instruction manual, but it is a fine introduction to this up-to-the-minute branch of photography.
Honest, forthright answers to your most probing questions
Goodbye 35mm film?
Give that meter a hand
What’s in a word?
Burned up on entry
I read an item from the Dow Jones News Service that Fuji will replace 35mm with the Advanced Photo System by the year 2000. Tell me it ain’t so! Eleanore Avery Dallas, TX Kodak predicts that by 2000 about 80 percent of cameras sold will be Advanced Photo System models.