It's a cow! It's a camera! It's "Cow-Cam"! What, you might ask, is a cow doing in the pages of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY?! Well, this is a special cow. While prowling the streets of New York to view the CowParade, a citywide public art exhibit of painted cows, we encountered a most apropos specimen—complete with bellows, flashbulbs and reflectors (for ears!), "photographic" spots, and lupes (for eyes!), as well as a camera of its own, resembling an old 127 box camera, hanging from a neckstrap.
The bald eagle, a symbol of America since 1782 and a favorite subject of nature photographers, has long been on the endangered species list. Their habitats threatened and numbers decimated by DDT, fewer than 50,000 of them remain, mosdy in Alaska.
When reader Dean Gibby recently had a stroke, he didn't let it quash his photographic passion. Gibby now needs a wheelchair to get around—but he has outfitted it with at least a half-dozen handbuilt picture-taking contraptions that have let him keep on shooting.
Joel Meyerowitz, a photographer of international stature, is perhaps best known for his minimalist land-and seascapes, shot on large-format cameras. But many don't know that in the '60s he was an influential street photographer who used a Leica M2 to capture images in the genre of Cartier-Bresson and Garry Winogrand.
Ever wonder what your family photos would look like if you digitally enhanced them a bit? Maybe you have, but we bet you haven't seen a comic strip on the subject! The inspiration for Michael Fry's silly strip came from his own family: "I was about to get a digital camera for my wife, and was thinking about how easily digital photos can be retouched.
Painterly? Reflective? Dreamlike? Surreal? Whatever you call them, these winning images transcend the ordinary.
1st ($300) Classical hybrid: Trevor Britton of Durham, England, describes this image as a "hybrid—a bridge between conventional and digital photography." It started out as a standard studio portrait, taken with a Nikon 401 (European version of the N4004) and 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Nikkor lens (exposure not recorded; film, Kodak Gold 400).
Unique, incredible, and wonderful are some words to describe Minolta Maxxum 7's new features
Virtually all new AF SLRs from Canon and Nikon are principally distinguished by their new autofocus systems. But the AF system in the Minolta Maxxum 7 is just one innovative item in an incredible list of unique and useful features never before found on any SLR.
If Denmark's a piece of cake for cameras, Copenhagen is pure candy for the taking. There sure isn't anything rotten in Denmark. This small country, sitting at the crossroads of Scandinavia and the rest of Europe—and recently connected to the Swedish mainland by the world's longest bridge—is probably the most civilized, hospitable, and altogether fun place I've ever visited.
We get sociable with Yashica's (oops, Kyocera's) lovable little Socius
And the latest winner in the Weird, Strange, and Peculiar Names For APS Cameras Sweepstakes is. . . the Socius! Rhyming with precocious, this little (and we mean little) camera is the latest in APS from Yashica. (It's one of several models now badged with the overall corporate moniker Kyocera.)
You may have noticed, near the beginning of this column, an offhand reference to a film format from the swirling mists of the past—110. We're waxing nostalgic, though not about this erstwhile cartridge-loading system—it was pretty good, but not great, for snapshooting—but about the shape of the cameras.
Canon's Elan 7 and 7E AF SLRs cherry-pick features from recent EOS cameras, and add exciting tricks of their own!
Canon's mid-line Elan IIE was beginning to look a little long in the tooth after the camera maker's hotshot entry-level SLR, the Rebel 2000, made its debut last year. The Rebel's seven CMOS AF sensors looked much sexier than the pricier Elan's three CCDs.
A sea change for film processing When divers shoot C41 film and get the prints back, it's usually disappointing. Automated printers aren't calibrated to correct for the blue and green tints of the underwater world, and the result is that reds and yellows are drowned. Sharpness is often out of the picture, too. Kodak is trying to fix this with a service it calls Kodak Sea Processing. Available through select dive shops in North America, and performed by Dale Labs in Hollywood, Florida, Sea Processing digitally sharpens and conventionally color-corrects negatives exposed underwater. The improved underwater images can be delivered as conventional prints, but also as image files on a Kodak Picture CD. For a list of the participating dive shops, visit Kodak's Web site, (www.kodak.com)
Metz's silver-clad 50MZ-5
Hi Ho Silver! In this age of metallic-finish camera bodies, it's no surprise that metallic-finished flash units should spring up. The first silvery-clad big gun is Metz's handle-mount cannon, the 50MZ-5 ($1,080). According to Metz, the change makes functional as well as cosmetic sense. The silver-bodied flash is said to resist overheating when used outdoors in direct sunlight, something cruise-ship photographers (among others) have complained about. The metallic-finish 50MZ-5 promises cooler operation and extended flashtube life. The 164 GN (in feet; ISO 100; 50mm) unit features a motorized zoom (24mm to 105mm), a secondary fill flash, an illuminated LCD control panel, and a pulse-flash modeling light. (Bogen Photo Corp., 65 East Crescent Ave., Ramsey, NJ 07446-0506; 201-818-9500; www.bogenphoto.com)
One bag fits all RoadWired is a new line of bags and carryalls available for all sizes and styles of electronics, from laptops to APS cameras to personal pagers. The centerpiece of the line is the 36-compartment MegaMedia bag ($179.95), the closest thing we've seen to a portable office/studio. Measuring 15×12×7 inches (L×H×D), it has compartments specifically designed for a camera, PDA, MP3 player, laptop computer, and memo recorder, as well as space for batteries, film, and accessories for such equipment. The bag features front panels that fan out like file drawers, each with elasticized organizers and mesh pockets designed for specific products. Unusual features include a hidden compartment for valuables, a removable travel-document pocket, and an oversized shoulder strap with four-layer ergonomic padding. Made of heavy-duty nylon, with metal hardware, the bag has distinctive neoprene trim panels for a soft, touch-friendly feel. (Three Point Ventures, 235 Middle Rd., Henrietta, NY 14467; www.roadwired.com)
Slik's new travel-pod
Travel-pod The U2000 tripod ($47.95) is Slik's new travel-pod sporting an unusually sleek titanium-anodized finish. Designed for compact cameras and camcorders, the U2000 has center leg-braces for stability, a gearless lift-and-lock center column, a 3-way pan head, oversized leg locks, and non-scratch, non-skid rubber leg-tips. Maximum height of the 33-oz. pod is 45 inches, and it contracts down to 18¾ inches. It's sort of short for eye-level finder cameras and camcorders, but a little knee-bending is good exercise. (ToCAD America, 300 Webro Rd., Parsippany, NJ 07054)
Calumet's new 3D studio reflectors
Star Wars Studio Looking like something from the Studio of the Future, Calumet's new 3D studio reflectors are claimed to create both directional and diffused lighting. These equally desirable yet often mutually exclusive qualities are said to be made possible by the reflectors' high-tech design and reflecting surfaces. The reflectors come in three sizes (31×41, 44×58, and 60×86 inches) and offer four reversible fabrics that should help users achieve a variety of lighting effects: gold/white, gold-silver/white, silver/black, and all white. Conveniently, photographers can reverse the fabrics without removing them from the reflector, or the reflector from a lightstand. Like conventional softboxes, the 3D reflectors can be dismantled for transport. Prices range from $59.95 to $339.96 (Calumet Photographic, Inc., 890 Supreme Dr., Bensenville, IL 60106)
It had to happen: autofocus Zeiss lenses on a Contax 35mm AF SIR
Kyocera, the maker of Contax cameras, has long wanted to make a 35mm AF SLR with autofocus lenses. Shortly after Minolta's sensational introduction of the first integral Maxxum 7000 AF SLR in 1985, Contax, at a trade show, showed the press its own AF SLR in preproduction form.
If your appetite for transforming a favorite photograph into a digital painting is hearty then a computer loaded with the appropriate software could satisfy that hunger. All it takes is a little practice and a lot of imagination to enter a world of expression once limited to the brush and canvas.
Digital painting is not an entirely new concept; it has been around since the 1980ss. Back then it was done on a system called Paintbox, which was like Scitex with painting tools. The system resided in a mainframe, so unless you had access (and training, too) you did not have the privilege.
Everybody's favorite nature shots? Animal portraits, of course! Here's a primer on outdoor studio sittings...
I'm feeling smug, sitting comfortably on a ledge far up the mountainside in Oh-be-joyful Pass in the Raggeds Wilderness of central Colorado. In front of me is one of Canon's 500mm f/4L Image Stabilizer lenses supplemented by a 1.4X converter.
Have you thought about moving into the wonderful world of digital photography but feel lost and confused when it comes to buying a computer system? You're not alone. The good news is that in today's market, dropping prices and the rising power of home computers mean you don't have to take out a second mortgage to finance your digital imaging system.
Better AF, more features, smaller, lighter, about same price as replaced N60. And more Nikkor lenses!
Highlights of the N65 include: five-sensor dynamic 3D autofocus with close-focus priority or user's selection of sensor, central cross sensor and four linear sensors (like big brother N80), auto pop-up flash in five Vari-Programs (portrait, closeup, landscape, sports, night scene) and Control Program modes, depth-of-field preview, ±2 EV bracketing, optional wireless release up to 16 feet, built-in quick lever-controlled diopter correction.
We used the photos below to illustrate a particularly effective combination of focus-related Custom Functions in POP'S test report of Canon's EOS-1V (Sept. 2000, page 102). Alas, the images printed so dark that it was impossible to decipher their intent.
Honest, forthright answers to your most probing questions
In your test of the new Nikon N80 SLR (July 2000), you make the following statement: "Manual-focus lenses can still be used on the N80 in manual exposure mode, mind you, just without TTL metering. We judged this a minor shortcoming, as most users of the N80 will likely use autofocus lenses exclusively on the camera."
The chain of Lowe's Home Improvement stores carries a foam-padded, sturdy metal case that is ideal for customizing a camera and equipment case. It measures 17×12×5 inches inside. The foam is scored, and is easily removed for a custom fit.
Street graphics are everywhere; it's a subject any photographer could cover. Just point an automatic camera at posters and graffiti and you've done it. Of course, this isn't quite true, because what my work communi cates is how I see the world, or more specifically, how I perceive the world and what I determine are street graphics.
Warren Faidley's incredible pictures of extreme weather have launched his career as a "Cyclone Cowboy." Here's what happened—and how it happens.
If you think that shooting the amazing photos of lightning, tornadoes, and ominous thunderheads featured on these pages entailed a measure of risk-taking, you're quite right. Indeed, Warren Faidley's first message to all potential amateur storm chasers is to value self-preservation first and make picture-taking a distant second.
Hands on: The allure of a single zoom that will replace all of a photographers lenses from 28mm to 300mm is powerful indeed. One of the most desirable features of such lenses is the ability to close focus at all focal lengths. This feature was added first by Cosina (1966) under the Vivitar and Phoenix brands, then by Tamron (1998),and now Sigma.
Hands on: Average in size and fairly lightweight for this focal-length range and speed. Nicely finished in matte black with legible silver aperture, focal length, and metric distance scales. Footage scale is hard to see in dark blue. Zoom collar is wide, grippably textured, and operates smoothly with good damping.
Hands on: For its focal-length range, Sigma's 28-135mm zoom is quite compact and reasonably light. Nicely finished in satin black. Ribbed, rubberized zoom ring provides good grip, and turns very smoothly but is slightly underdamped. Very slight zoom creep occurred with lens pointed straight up.
The pert redhead adorning our October '50 cover was posing for an eye-makeup and lipstick ad when the photographer, Peter James Samerjan of Los Angeles, was inspired to add "a glittering touch" by having her hold a pair of Christmas tree ornaments.
The graphic image of a blue butterfly on our October '75 cover was taken by Richard Tomlinson when he was studying at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. To make the shot, he placed the butterfly on a sheet of ⅛-inch Plexiglas and sprayed its back with water to create a rainywindow effect.
DeLaney's very readable book is filled with personal insights and nuggets of information. You'll find exercises on understanding yourself, your interests, and your skills. And there's a fine chapter on what it takes to be a photographer.
Louise Dahl-Wolfe: The American Image and Couples: Photographs by Mariana Cook; through Nov. 26. Center for Creative Photography, Univ. of Arizona, 1030 N. Olive Rd., Tucson 85721; 520-621-7968; creativephotography.org. CALIFORNIA John Gutmann: Culture Shock; through Nov. 5.
Twinkland: A Kid's World ($19.95, Ipso Facto, 96 pp) is a collection of photos taken by children from all over the world. It showcases 80 color pictures that reveal a purity and directness of vision unhampered by the preconceptions and constraints often evident in photographs taken by adults.