The Digital Journalist

The June issue of The Digital Journalist is online with an impressive collection of articles ranging from the innocuous woes of shooting high-school sports to the ponderous woes of the people of Sudan and Iraq.

This diverse collection of articles gives absorbing insight into both the photojournalists and the stories they are covering.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A100

Sony today announced its first contribution to the DSLR battle with the DSLR-A100. The camera boasts a 10 megapixel sensor, image stabilization built into the body, sensor dust reduction and hardware-based dynamic range optimization.

Digital Photography Review has a hands on preview of the new offering with a detailed feature set and photos of the camera’s parts.

Digital Camera Resource Page also has a detailed preview with full images of the camera and their account of using the camera.

Tornado Photographs

Because photos of tornados are always always impressive, check out this fine collection of storm images featuring the work of storm photographer Warren Faidley.

Simon Norfolk Photography

Simon Norfolk has a diverse collection of images ranging from supercomputers and recreations of English paintings to the highlight of his site, the landscapes of war zones. Check out his Flash-based site here.

How to Photograph Sunrises and Sunsets

Digital Photography School has published another photography tutorial, this time on how to shoot sunrises and sunsets.

Off the top of my head, the only thing I would add to this article is to be a little careful about looking directly at the sun when you’re shooting through a an SLR or DLSR. Particularly if you’re using a telephoto lens to shoot, the effects of looking at the sun through a camera can sometimes be even worse than looking at it with the naked eye.

Miscellaneous Photo Links has a roundup of their picks for the best cameras in each consumer class that’s worth a look if your planning on doing some shopping.

The Small Object has a step-by-step guide on how to measure and cut a matte. A good do-it-yourself guide for photographers and artists.

World War I Color Photos is an interesting collection of very early colour photography. From the site: “Although color photography was around prior to 1903, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, patented the process in 1903 and developed the first color film in 1907. The French army was the primary source of color photos during the course of World War One.”

And lastly, something ridiculous: a Flickr set of squirrels with cameras. No these aren’t just run-of-the-mill photos of cute backyard rodents, these critters appear to be amateur shutterbugs.

Trackback Problems in WordPress

If anyone has sent any trackbacks to this site, I apologize that they have not made it into the comments here. WordPress seems to be having some issues with trackbacks. I’ve tried everything I know to try, but I have had no luck so far.

I have posted in the WordPress support forums where you can read more about my issue. If anyone has any recommendations, suggestions, help, or even sympathy, they will be much appreciated.

It’s a shame this is happening since trackbacks are one of the reasons I redeveloped the site and chose Wordppress to power it. Hopefully, with some brilliant programmer’s help, or some blind luck, I can get this sorted out.

Photos of Dubai’s Rapid Development

This Flickr slideshow of Dubai’s massive development projects is pretty amazing. The scope of construction in the city is astonishing.

From the site:

“In many areas, it is not easy to see Dubai’s sky without at least one crane in your view; Industry experts cautiously estimate that 15 to 25 per cent of the world’s cranes are in Dubai. Some US$ 90 billion are on-going in Dubai alone.”

WordPress 2.0.3 Easy Upgrade

Mark Jaquith has a more convenient way of upgrading for users of WordPress 2.0.2. Check out his page with updates to only the necessary WordPress files. This update worked perfectly for me.

Photos of a Shinto Shrine in Nakasato

Not content to have yesterday’s gorgeous weather pass me by while I stayed inside and worked all day, I was compelled to visit one of my favourite places in Ichonoseki, Japan: the shrine on top of the hill in Nakano district.

The cedar-forested hill is as peaceful as you can imagine – the only hint of movement is the slowly undulating shadows on the forest floor as the light passes through the gently swaying tree tops. At the base of the hill is a small garden where a butterfly landed on my cheek as I approached – evidently, with my fully-sprouted beard, I now resemble lichen.

Long stone steps begin at the entrance to the forest and lead up to the shrine. Less than halfway up the steps is a group of miniature stone houses where spirits undoubtedly live. A red-bibbed Jizo statue also chooses this isolated location to loiter.

The shrine itself isn’t Japan’s largest, most beautiful or most holy, but it certainly gets high ranks for peacefulness. During my whole time there yesterday, I only saw one other person willing to hike up the plentiful steps to reach a piece of privacy. I can only imagine the experience of visiting some of Kyoto’s temples in such solitude. If it was ever possible, lonely visitors to those places were lucky.

I took along my camera despite the harsh midday light. Here are my three favourite shots of the visit:

Stone Spirit House

Jizo Statue

Rope on Tree

WordPress 2.0.3

Since my blog uses WordPress, I feel I should mention that WordPress 2.0.3 has just been released. It’s a security and bug fix and it has been recommended to all users to upgrade to this new version.

A Camera Lens Made of Ice

An interesting experiment with some nice results, Matthew Wheeler has created photos shot through a lens made of ice. It’s obviously not the sharpest or fastest lens, but the results are actually worth a look especially considering the lens was probably melting while he was taking some of these shots.

From Wheeler’s site:

“Matthew Wheeler took his first picture through an ice lens in response to a challenge by Scientific American and CBC calling on listeners to light a fire with a lens made entirely of ice. Too easy by far – Matthew took it one step farther and started photographing the natural beauty of his surroundings through the ice lenses he made.”

Time-Lapse Photography

Check out wonderful time-lapse photography at Some of these nighttime nature shots are lovely and watching the stars spin over mountains is a fantastic sight.

Loading up the large images can take some time, but it’s worth the wait.

Photographers Are Poor

The Online Photographer has an article linking a number of sources whose overall point says that being a photographer will not earn you much money. Though I suspect that the National Geographic quote might be a little inaccurate, the other numbers seem realistic.

There is also some worthwhile commentary on this article over at

Nikon D2xs Preview and Info and have paired up to provide a preview of the new Nikon D2xs. Some of the highlights for the company’s flagship camera include a larger (2.5 inch) LCD monitor, longer battery life, black and white mode, and additional high ISO settings. There are a number of other upgraded features, so be sure to check out the article.

For more information including a list of all upgraded features and the official Nikon press release, check out’s look at the D2xs.

New Issue of the Travel Photographers Network

The May issue of Travel Photographers Network is up and worth a look. The June articles include a guide to shooting Scotland’s lovely Isle of Skye and a good portrait series from Rajastan, a review of Adobe Lightroom and other worthwhile pieces.

Timing for Better Night Photography

Ken Rockwell has written a good article on waiting until just the right moment to get the best lighting for your night photography. The quick summary of his piece is that you need to wait until the artificial lights on the ground are balanced out with the fading light of the sky. And trust me, he’s exactly right.

Tips for Better Candid Photography

Digital Photography School has an article about taking better candid photographs. There are a few good reminders here for when you’re shooting without the subject’s knowledge.

Recently, however, while travelling, I have been getting away from candid photography. I have preferred approaching subjects and getting to know them a bit more before taking their photo. If I’m lucky, the photos appear candid because they have become comfortable with me and my camera. I find the results have a greater intimacy to them and I get the added bonus of interacting with some great people.

These close-up candids are a extremely different from raising a long lens at someone from across the street. The skills required are just as much interpersonal as they are photographic. The fact that most of the people I’m dealing with are from foreign cultures whose language I don’t speak and thus, the challenge is even greater. By no means have I mastered the techniques involved, but as I travel, I’m gaining more of the courage needed to continue trying it.

Of course, surreptitious shots can have their value too, and for those occasions, have a look at the article mentioned above.

Storm Chasing Photos

Ryan McGinnis has some gorgeous storm chasing photos on his blog. It’s great stuff that makes me want to check the weather reports so that I might try to find something even half as pretty.

Before and After Photo Retouching Examples

Brian Dilg has an interesting gallery of retouching examples that show the before and after of a photo and his thorough adjustments to the original image.

These pictures remind us that in this age of ubiquitous Photoshop trickery, what you see is no longer what you get.

As a side note, this site doesn’t seem to load up properly in Safari, so you might want to check it out in another browser.

100 Photographs that Changed the World

The Digital Journalist has a page featuring 100 Photographs that Changed the World. Of course, not all 100 of the photos are present – they are an excerpt of the 100 photos available in the Life book of the same name.

Nonetheless, the heights and the depths of humankind’s place on earth (and beyond) in the last century are succinctly summarized by this small collection of images. More information about the book is available here.

Top Photoblogs

If you’re a photographer lacking inspiration, check out some of the top sites on this list of the best photoblogs. Maybe the work of others can get you going.

And of course, if that doesn’t do the trick, there’s always my article on Breaking Shooter’s Block.

Top Ten Stock Photography Cliches

I just found this guide to the Top Ten Stock Photography Cliches and had a chuckle. A couple of my favourites are ‘The Handshake of Synergy’ and ‘The Flirty Customer Service Gal.’

It’s a mixed blessing that I’ve never shot a photo that would fit under any of these umbrellas. On the one hand, I can be proud of myself for eschewing these all-too-common images. On the other hand, people buy these photos. Frequently. Maybe I should go find a multicultural group of business execs to pose on some starting blocks…

A Guide to Concert Photography

DIY Photography has an article about concert photography. One of the people commenting on this article mentions the rules change when you’re in a smaller venue and I agree.

When I’ve had the chance to shoot shows with small, independent bands, I like to play around with the flash. Particularly, for more vivacious acts, I like to fire off a flash burst combined with a longer shutter speed. The Flash gives definition to the subject, but the longer exposure catches a lot of the ambient light – those stage lights don’t go to waste. When the band is especially energetic, you can often get interesting streaking in the photos. It captures a lot of movement and truly conveys the vitality of the show. This can also sometimes have the benefit of allowing you to work with lower ISO settings or slower lenses without having to worry about blur.

All this makes me wish I was back in a country where I could see some bands play. I miss rock.