December 11, 2006

When to go Wide

by psu
Wide angle lenses, roughly speaking, are lenses that for a given image size, provide a wider than "normal" field of view in the final picture. For 35mm cameras, we generally consider lenses with a focal length of 35mm or less...
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Posted by psu at 07:20 AM | Comments (2)

November 08, 2006

The Camera I Want

by psu
Back in 1998, I was shooting black and white film and printing in the darkroom and generally talking trash about how crappy digital capture was at the time. I put the digital takeover at least ten years out, although later...
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Posted by psu at 07:30 AM | Comments (1)

October 09, 2006

Just use sRGB

by psu
Color is confusing. This is a fundamental truth in the photographic universe. You can't count on color to be a reliable constant. The film and the CCD capture color differently than you see it, turning scenes which look perfectly fine...
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Posted by psu at 08:04 PM | Comments (4)

June 12, 2006

I Shot Bambi

by peterb
Nature photography can be frustrating. It's typically very hard to get close to wild animals. Hardcore nature photographers thus often use tripods, blinds, and very long lenses. This combination lets them create images that seem impossibly close up from hundreds of feet away. I'm too cheap to buy any of these lenses. They usually cost thousands of dollars and are too heavy to lug around casually. So the only animals I can usually get closeups of are either dead, domesticated, or exceedingly stupid. In the "exceedingly stupid" category I would put the wild turkeys that have decided to live on Negley Avenue in the middle of Pittsburgh. I regularly walk (and drive) within a foot of these things, but unfortunately have never had my camera with me. But yesterday's lucky find makes up for my lack of turkey luck. I managed to get within 6 feet of a recently born fawn while carrying my camera and a reasonably long lens. It sat perfectly still while I took photographs of it. It was practically suffering fear-induced cardiac arrest. Had this been a full-grown deer, I never would have gotten within 40 feet of it.
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Posted by peterb at 12:04 AM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2006

DaNGer! DaNGer!

by peterb
I decided to try Adobe's DNG converter for the same reason that I can't help picking at scabs: I'm always curious about how a new workflow will feel.
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Posted by peterb at 10:03 PM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2005

Available Light

by psu
In an earlier article, I advised that if you needed to use a flash, there were no good pictures to be taken anyway. I realize now that anyone who has spent time reading the wankier photo forums, especially those related...
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Posted by psu at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2005

Adjustment Layers

by psu
Most of the background I have in producing my own pictures came in the black and white darkroom. As most people know, when you do black and white printing, there are a wide variety of manipulations that you can...
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Posted by psu at 07:56 PM | Comments (2)

September 08, 2005


by peterb
Here's a little theory called peterb's postulate of preoccupation: "For every possible topic on which one may wank, there will exist a community of wankers that wanks upon it in the most obsessive and self-absorbed way possible." And yes, I am well aware that this very weblog is, in fact, perhaps the paradigmatic example of obsessive and self-absorbed wanking over videogames. Believe me when I say that it hurts me more than it hurts you. Today's subject is photo equipment wanking.
Continue reading "Measurebation"
Posted by peterb at 06:17 PM | Comments (3)

September 01, 2005

Wow Your Camera Takes Really Good Pictures

by psu
I like to think that in my time on Earth I have occasionally taken a good photograph. Once in a while I get a really nice one and show it to people, and if that person is Pete then...
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Posted by psu at 10:19 PM | Comments (1)

August 10, 2005

False Nostalgia

by psu
I had a feeling of nostalgia come over me a few weeks ago and got out the old manual film camera to shoot a roll of black and white and send it to a lab I found that does...
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Posted by psu at 09:40 AM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2005

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Psu

by peterb
Yesterday's article by psu about the importance of only showing your best photos really struck a note with me. That's why I have added a Tea Leaves™ Decisive Moments™ photostream to the sidebar. This will let us subject you to unedited garbage share the immediacy of our vision with you. First up: three weeks of cat pictures. Tally-ho!
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Posted by peterb at 09:14 PM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2005

Curse You Cartier-Bresson

by psu
Henri Cartier-Bresson has a lot to answer for. Renowned for a photographic style that brilliantly balances meticulous composition with apparently split second timing, Bresson brought hundreds of iconic images into the photographic literature. Unfortunately, his style and artistic rhetoric...
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Posted by psu at 08:19 PM | Comments (2)

June 14, 2005

Black and White Blues

by psu
Back when I shot film, I had evolved to shooting almost 100% black and white. There were various reasons for this, but ultimately it was just because I liked the look and I liked printing. One place I especially liked...
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Posted by psu at 06:33 PM | Comments (2)

March 02, 2005

How to take Good Pictures.

by psu
The two best books that I've read about how to take pictures are Mountain Light by the late Galen Rowell and On Being a Photogapher by David Hurn and Bill Jay. The first is a book about landscape photography, while...
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Posted by psu at 08:28 PM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2005

Workflow Adjustments

by psu
It's been about a year, and every new year it's a good time to evaluate your digital picture workflow and try to streamline it. Well, that is, if you are a complete dork. Anyway, I test workflow tools so you...
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Posted by psu at 05:04 PM | Comments (7)

November 15, 2004


by peterb
If you're able to borrow someone's child for a few hours, you should visit the Pittsburgh Children's Museum. Although their web site is vile, the installations at the museum are nothing short of superb. Nearly everything in the museum is interactive, interesting, and playful in visual, aural, or tactile ways. There's a studio space where you, can make paper, silkscreen prints, paintings, or pottery. There are interesting interactive visual exhibits like the one pictured to the left. There's a floor with large pools, fountains, and lots of PVC pipe plumbing equipment to let you build little microinstallations of your own. There's my favorite section, the garage, with a car, some kinetic sculptures, a million switches, dials, and lights, and a small workshop with intermittent demos and lessons in woodworking and electronics.
Continue reading "Participation"
Posted by peterb at 08:16 PM | Comments (3)

October 07, 2004

Film and Digital in 2004

by psu
I have a book by the late great Galen Rowell called Mountain Light. The book is filled with breathtaking landscape photographs from all over the world and the stories of how the photographs were created. Rowell worked with a series...
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Posted by psu at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

The Nikon D100 and D70

by psu
In an earlier article, I outlined my general thoughts on digital cameras. In that article, I noted that digital cameras fall into two basic categories: point and shoot cameras, and digital SLRs. At the time, my main camera had...
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Posted by psu at 08:11 PM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2004

Digital Picture Workflow

by psu
One of the digital photography web sites recently published an article on how Sports Illustrated manages its digital photographs. The piece described the process of shooting and editing 16,000 pictures during the Super Bowl. After reading it, I realized that...
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Posted by psu at 12:12 PM | Comments (1)

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