Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Last Christmas For Britain’s Free Press?

Happy ChristmasSO ANOTHER YEAR PASSES, and over the Christmas Turkey, Christmas Pudding, wine and port we can all reminisce about the last twelve months and just how long it took for us to break our last New Year Resolutions.

Fortunately, I did not break mine; because I did not make one. I am much too long in the tooth to believe that leopards can change their spots; and, in any case, I am perfectly happy with my own coat, which I judge to be both warm and silky.

I am aware, of course, that many of those whom I write about do not share the same opinion. They would rather I report their numerous fine words – without comparing what they say to their actions. But such is the quest of journalists, seeking to portray facts to their readers rather than engaging in their subjects’ public relations spin.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Why Permit Someone Else To Process Your Valuable Work?

bjp4I ADMIT IT: I am a perfectionist, and it is not unknown for me to miss an important deadline because I think one or more of an article’s accompanying photographs could be improved with an appropriate crop – especially when I am informed that space is scarce. I have little trust in many photographic editors to crop or modify my work, and I would certainly never hand-over my DNG files to anyone else for post processing; so I was particularly interested to find this article in the BJP’s online magazine about some photojournalists whom do just that.

Now, it must be difficult for a digital lab; because they have to take a view of the client’s image and decide if the underexposure (exhibited in the examples provided) was intentional or not. Should they attempt to recover the detail? Or should they use their experience to interpret the mood and improve upon it if possible?

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Choosing A Digital Camera

Relative print and image sizesIT WAS SO MUCH EASIER to choose a camera in the days before digital appeared on the scene. The choice of format was already decided for you by the market you were supplying; but, these days, many photographers base their camera purchasing decisions.upon the size of the pixelated image – often in the expectation that more pixels result in bigger and better images. Few, it seems, consider the fact that the sensor size determines the overall image quality – just as format defines that particular attribute in film.

The other mistake, which is easily made, is to believe that the pixelated image achieved from the camera, and which exceeds the size of most computer screens, will be the same size as a print. Unfortunately it does not work like that; because a large, glossy, magazine photograph is viewed by reflected light, and does not transmit it like a computer screen. Under transmitted light, the individual pixels that make-up the image tend to blend together because of the brightness of the screen; but, in a print, there is no transmitted light to create that effect, and the individual pixels are seen more easily. In order to resurrect the image and maximise its contrast and sharpness, pixelated images need to be printed at some 266 dots (pixels) per inch.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Brighton Rocks

Grand balcony in rainAS CHRISTMAS APPROACHES I cannot help but feel rather satisfied with myself this year. I closed the Canvey Beat file to concentrate on a more lucrative project; took a long break at Brighton’s Grand Hotel to be fed and pampered by their admirable staff while my girlfriend and I recharged our batteries – and finally transferred all my remaining transparencies and negatives to digital when I returned home.

Friday, 9 December 2011

No More Nightmares

ClickFree C6COLLEAGUES will know that I have never been too fond of the Windows operating system, which has always left me stranded at the most inappropriate times. My worst experience was back in the nineties when I was revising my first book, and it is that memory that continues to haunt me whenever I have a deadline to meet. I distinctly remember the dark screen, the whirring of the hard drive, and the complete failure of my emergency floppy disk to bring the hardware back to life.

I had thought that things were getting better in the Microsoft camp. I have been running Windows 7 for some time now, and have been suitably impressed at its ability to recover from the odd glitches that still appear at times; but recently I was forced to reinstate a system image when a Belkin mini Bluetooth adaptor failed to properly install -- and somehow managed to corrupt Outlook. (Needless to say, the MS Office Repair feature did nothing to cure the problem).