I’d never really thought about visiting China’s Guilin prefecture—until I saw this photograph by Chris McLennan, which appears on our subscriber cover. It does everything a travel photo ought to do, giving a glimpse of a landscape and a way of life that seems entirely unlike the familiar scenes of home.
REVERSE THINKING June Aubrey R. Young, an avid photographer from Quezon City, Philippines, mounted the 18-55mm kit lens backward on her Nikon D3000 using a reversing ring to get this extreme close-up of a silk moth. She made a diffuser from a KFC bucket to soften her hot-shoe flash.
Canon’s new top-of-the-line entry-level camera gets much of its tech from the EOS 7D
CANON EOS REBEL T2i
CANON CONTINUES the Rebel charge with the most powerful version ever—and the most powerful DSLR in any “entry-level” line—its EOS Rebel T2i. Typical of Rebel intros, this newcomer boasts technology from a higher-level model, in this case the EOS 7D.
NIKON SHOOTERS looking for a truly high-end, ultra-fast, wide-angle prime didn’t have many options—until now This pricey new Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED AF-S lens fills a hole in the company’s catalogue, offering a truly big aperture and an angle of view that can take in the whole scene.
RECHARGEABLE batteries are greener than disposables, but they usually give fewer flashes per charge than alkalines. PowerGenix’s new NiZn (nickel-zinc) 1.6-volt rechargeables, however, more than match the 1.5 volts you get from disposables, and the company says they can be recharged up to 1,000 times.
The award for Least Expected Camera Introduction of 2010 (so far) goes to the Fujifilm GF670 Professional, a folding, medium-format film rangefinder. Yes, you read it right: film. This modern take on a 1930s Zeiss Ikonta will go for about $2,200.
Scientists have long known that Nickel (Ni) and Zinc (Zn) work together to make an excellent battery. But until now they hadn’t been able to come up with an electrolyte that didn’t degrade the zinc electrode. PowerGenix’s patented electrolyte solves this, making it possible to create the first-ever NiZn rechargeable batteries.
SANYO’S NEW Xacti VPC-CG102 Dual camera is accurately named—the vertically shaped shooter is almost as much a still-image shooter as it is a video-making machine. Switching between two internal lenses, it has a 12X zoom range equivalent to 40-80mm.
WHEN YOU’RE shooting with a big telephoto lens—one of the monster f/2.8 and f/4 varieties— you need a gimbal head. They’re indispensable for following birds or wildlife at a distance with ease. The problem? Gimbals can cost a bundle. Now Induro has stepped in with a model that won’t break the bank.
While Apple built Aperture (www.apple. com; $200, direct, for Version 3) with its eyes on pros, it seems to have found a niche among Mac-loving enthusiasts graduating from iPhoto. The latest version has features that should appeal to that crowd, including a beefed-up adaptation of Faces, the face-recognition tool in iPhoto, and the excellent Places, which uses the GPS data prevalent in ever-more cameras to place photos on a map.
On its new EOS Rebel T2i, Canon put into action something we had wondered if anyone would try: The company calls it Movie Crop mode. When making standard-def video, you can opt to shoot with the center of the sensor for what looks like a 7X zoomed-in picture—without appreciable data loss.
TWO OF THE newest ultrazoom cameras out there—Fujifilm’s FinePix HS10 and Olympus’ SP-800UZ, at 24-720mm and 28-840mm equivalents, respectively—have the broadest ranges (30x) we’ve seen yet. So you’ll be able to capture the whole extended family in a wide-angle vacation shot, or close in on the soccer player all the way at the other end of the field.
Netbooks have long appealed to photographers—traveling shooters with already heavy gear appreciated their compact builds. But Lenovo’s ThinkPad X100e series (starting at $450, www.lenovo.com) does netbooks better. Starting at less than 3 pounds, these have lots in common with bigger laptops: full-size keyboard, optional dual-core AMD processors, and room for up to 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive.
A small camera with big reach takes aim at travelers
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7
PANASONIC’S NEW 12.1MP Lumix DMC-ZS7 ($400, street) isn’t your run-of-the-mill compact—it’s got more zoom range and does more sophisticated internal image processing than most. But it’s not exactly an advanced compact, either— it’s smaller and lighter than Canon’s G11, for instance, and it doesn’t shoot RAW, give you an optical viewfinder, or sport a hot-shoe for accessories.
Kodak’s inkjet printer head sprays millions of dots
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY is so dependent on image processing that we can sometimes forget that what makes it possible are mechanical devices— an inkjet printer head is a perfect example. The one seen here, used in all current Kodak inkjets, can fire up to 90 million 2.7 or 6.5 picoliter ink droplets per second from 3,840 individual ejectors.
A teenager evokes a sense of kinship with a caged gorilla
EXT PHOTO CHALLENGE
DUSTIN STOLL, 18, shoots sports events for Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where he’s a student. And, he says, “my favorite photography is macro, especially bugs.” But he had only really photographed in color— until he saw our January 2010 black-and-white Photo Challenge.
What you see here isn’t what you get in the big picture
“I USED TO do street photography,” Adam Magyar says, “but my photos always revolved more around a theory of urban space than a single image. And so it occurred to me to make that theory an image.” Magyar’s ideas about urbanity are what inspired this project, Squares.
CAT PORTRAITIST SEEMS LIKE AN UNUSUAL CAREER. I only know of six or seven people who do it professionally. HOW DID YOU TURN PRO? I’ve always loved cats—we have four. I’d often photographed them, but when my husband Ken gave me a digital camera in 1999, it changed everything: I instantly saw what I was doing wrong.
I WAS FASCINATED by the article “Breaking Point” (You Can Do It) in your February 2010 issue and decided to try my hand at high-speed photography. I built a Schmitt Photogate-Delay Unit kit purchased from HiViz.com ($18, direct), and recently I used it to photograph falling drops of water.
Q I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel camera that takes CompactFlash memory cards. My television has an SD slot. How do I convert my CF card to SD? Ted Igleheart Shelbyville, KY A Get a $20-$30 multicard reader. Most card manufacturers (Kingston, Lexar, SanDisk) make them.
This month’s winners keep the focal point just off the center of the frame
MONTHLY PHOTO CONTEST
3rd Place $100 Prize JACK LEVY, 58, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, WESTON, FL “One very sunny day, a buddy and I went to Monkey Jungle, a South Miami habitat. Walking in one of the outdoor areas, we noticed this large iguana sitting in a tree, and I started to photograph it from different angles until I found one I liked.
Paul Mobley brings big production values to his personal work
PROS KNOW the secret to sustaining creativity over a long career. It’s called “personal work,” and New York commercial photographer Paul Mobley (www.paul mobleystudio.com) sums it up as “the joy that reminds me of why I became a photographer.”
YOU CAN'T be fussy with grab shots. Jamie Lee of South Hadley, MA, captured this scene in pouring rain, through her car’s windshield, at an equivalent of 432mm on her handheld Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2. The murkiness of the photo doesn’t bother us—it adds to the atmospherics.
MYTH: If you double the number of pixels on a sensor, you double its resolution. TRUTH: You’d increase resolution by only about 40 percent. To double the resolution, you need four times the number of pixels. WHY: Image resolution is measured as a linear quantity—so many pixels per inch or centimeter.
HAVE YOU ever seen a compelling landscape you just can’t capture at its best? Photographer Alan Nyiri knows just such a scene—an apple orchard on Mendon Mountain in Rutland County, VT, near his Vermont Photographic Work-shop in Poultney (www.vermont photoworkshops.com).
TO ESTABLISH OWNERSHIP of your photography, we recommend adding your name and copyright information to the metadata of all your images as you import them. Users of Adobe Bridge CS3 or CS4 (included with Photoshop) have a great tool for this.
SD CARD LOCK TAB When engaged, the lock or “write protect” tab prevents the saving or deletion of files from an SD memory card. It’s what makes a Secure Digital (SD) card secure. Where it is: On the left-hand side of an SD card. How it works: The switch is mechanical, placing a plastic buffer between contacts and thereby preventing data transfer. To avoid inadvertent writing or deleting of images, move the switch from the unlocked position (up) to the locked, write-protect position (down).
YOU DON’T NEED tons of cash to own effective lighting tools— often you can make them yourself. Skip Caplan, a New York product and advertising pro (www.skipcaplan.com), produced a soft, delicate facsimile of window light for this Dutch Masters-style still life by bouncing two strobes into a home-made reflector called a V-card.
Maximize studio space because they easily fold up and prop against a wall when not in use. Save time and money on portrait backdrops. As Irving Penn often proved, in a pinch V-cards can make quick and easy backgrounds. Caplan popped two 2400 watt-second Comet strobes into his V-card at full power.
A precise and easy way to fix contrast and color with Levels
A POWER TOOL for fixing low-contrast photos, Adobe Photoshop’s Levels can add natural-looking contrast and remove color casts, simultaneously and in a few steps. Rarely are such hardcore, histogram-based corrections as this one so simple to do.
THE BEST HIGH-dynamic-range (HDR) composite images are usually those you can’t immediately tell are HDR. That’s why we like sports photographer Chris Park’s work so much. As the Associated Press contract shooter from San Diego (www.cparkphotography.com) proves with this three-image composite from a 2008 Padres/ Rockies game, HDR doesn’t have to look silly or surreal.
WITH THE HEAVY rain and snow that fell across much of North America over the winter, this spring and summer promise some of the best wildflower displays in years. If your camera has been in hibernation, wake it up and head into the field to capture this burgeoning show of color and form.
TOP TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHERS REVEAL THEIR FAVORITE DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD
India: Kerala and Rajasthan
20 FAVORITE DESTINATIONS
Isle of Man
Machu Picchu, Peru
Montana: Flathead Reservation
Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
Wyoming: Grand Teton Park
WHERE TO TAKE your camera next? We asked more than two dozen professional travel photographers to tell us their favorite places in the world to shoot and why Their top 20 picks, listed on page 63, include some you’ll find on any traveler’s list, plus a lot of surprises.
IN THE COURSE of interviewing more than two dozen professional travel photographers, we picked up some advice. Here are their best hints for the journey—and photos—of a lifetime. Learn as much as possible. Start with the tourism website of the destination that you will visit. Read the Lonely Planet guide for your destination, then try to avoid the must-see places it recommends. They will be swimming with tourists.
Olympus looks for mainstream appeal with its newest Pen
Handling and Controls
When Size Matters
THE THIRD TIME’S the charm With the Pen E-PL1 ($600, with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens), Olympus has finally gotten it all together in a Micro Four Thirds camera: plenty of pixels, attention-grabbing size and styling, and a built-in flash that lets you add light to your scene even when using an accessory electronic viewfinder (EVF).
FOR WHEN YOUR BOTTOM LINE DICTATES THE BOTTOM OF THE LINE
Handling and Controls
In the Lab
YOU CAN GET a lot of Nikon for your money—the $780 (body only) D90 pops readily to mind as a near-unbeatable deal. But what about the lowest-price entry point into the Nikon system, the D3000 ($550, street, with 18-5 5mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens)? Despite the obvious savings, it’s not nearly as compelling a deal.
TALK ABOUT popular: In mid-February, Sigma was offering three different versions of a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 full-frame zoom, including this new Optically Stabilized model ($400, street). It’s one of the few zooms that let Sony and Pentax shooters choose between lens-based and camera-based stabilization.
THIS HIGH-SPEED digital only ultrawide ($650, street) upgrades Tamron’s nonstabilized 17-50mm f/2.8 ($460, street). Like the earlier lens (which remains in the lineup), this version uses an Extra Refractive (XR) element, two elements of low dispersion, and three of compound aspheric glass—adding up to a remarkably compact yet sharp and mostly distortion-free f/2.8.
GET AN AMAZING RANGE OF TONES WITHOUT LEAVING REALITY
How It Works
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
What We Advise
HDR PHOTOSTUDIO 2
HDR PHOTOSTUDIO 2
A STANDALONE program from Unified Color, HDR PhotoStudio 2 ($100, direct) helps you create beautiful high-dynamic-range images that look more like what the human eye sees. Why does this matter? Since the technique combines multiple exposures into an image that has greater dynamic range than a single exposure can capture, you have far more data to work with.
Andre de Dienes, who built a highly successful career photographing women both in and out of their clothes, shot this cover featuring model Dorothy Sparkman. He used an 8×10 Ansco Universal View Camera with a 12-inch Goerz Dagor f/6.8 lens.
WE HAD BEEN commissioned by Condé Nast Portfolio to photograph the Dodge factory in Detroit in 2007. It was the first time we’d been to a car factory, and we were thinking it would be very sterile. But it felt more Americana—antiquated, with guys smoking cigarettes on the line, and noise and sparks flying everywhere.