Tag Archives: Photography

Fred Iobst


Curious, tenacious, playful are the words that best define Mr Iobst, Fred is by many standards one of the best digital photography and retouching men I have ever met. Fred attended Boston college in 1973, then later earned a Bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Penn State University. Fred Iobst was born  in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1955 and   moved to Danville Pennsylvania at the age of 7

Since 1972 Fred has worked with black and white photography. In 2005 Fred ventured into digital photography and retouching where he has continually pushed the envelope of digital manipulation. Fred has been at the forefront of photo manipulation for four decades. Many of Fred’s images capture a dream like essence, and engage the viewer’s  mind just a bit further into the meaning of the image. For retouching work Fred uses Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 5, a Wacom Graphire 3 Digital Tablet Stylus and an RPG Keys keypad for Photoshop and Lightroom shortcuts. Now for the kicker, Fred  uses a Kodak Easyshare DX7630 Camera to produce these amazing pictures. In our recent interview Fred explained that when it comes to  photo retouching, like hitmen and counterfeiters, it shouldn’t be noticed, when done right.

Influenced by eastern culture, Fred Iobst is a practitioner of Tai Chi and has been for many years. When asked about his philosophy about the martial art, Fred replied “RELAX, RELAX, RELAX and then, relax some more.”

Fred is also a professional magician. A few days before this post my family and I where grocery shopping at a local market.  My two young sons ages 4 and 5 where tired and cranky. After restocking a shelf that the boys destroyed, my wife and I where debating whether to quit and go home. Along came Fred, and seeing our predicament,  reached into his pocket and produced a rather large coin, he started to entertain the children. For the next 10 minutes, the kids and I were mesmerized by  Fred’s coin tricks.  Fred performs tricks of illusion and sleight of hand for audiences all around the region. Magic has been a part of Fred’s life since he was four. Fred began his  Professional magic career in 1979





Sensor size and pixels


Digital cameras record images on what is called a ‘sensor’ – it’s a bit like a piece of electric film. Tiny elements, called pixels, on that sensor pick up the details of whatever you are photographing. You might think that the more pixels the sensor uses the more detail it will be able to record, and in theory you’d be right. In real life though that is only part of the story. More pixels does not always mean better pictures, as camera engineers have to balance the number of pixels with how small those pixels have to be made to fit on the sensor (sensor size). Small pixels are like small hi-fi speakers – they can be a bit tinny. In general, compact cameras use very small sensors, and very small pixels. DSLRs use larger sensors, and so the pixels don’t have to be made quite so small.
In digital photography, the image sensor format is the shape and size of the image sensor.
The image sensor format of a digital camera determines the angle of view of a particular lens when used with a particular camera. In particular, image sensors in digital SLR cameras tend to be smaller than the 24 mm × 36 mm image area of full-frame 35 mm cameras, and therefore lead to a narrower angle of view.
Lenses produced for 35 mm film cameras may mount well on the digital bodies, but the larger image circle of the 35 mm system lens allows unwanted light into the camera body, and the smaller size of the image sensor compared to 35 mm film format results in cropping of the image. This latter effect is known as field of view crop. The format size ratio (relative to the 35 mm film format) is known as the field of view crop factor, crop factor, lens factor, focal length conversion factor, focal length multiplier or lens multiplier.
The more pixels, the more details a picture can have. We want sharp pictures, so we need lots of pixels; Megapixels. One MegaPixel = 1,000,000 pixels. But how many MP is enough? For high quality snap shots, about 8 MP is more than enough. Professional photographers may need much more depending on what they are working on. For many jobs 8 MP is fine too, but when the result might be a huge sharp print, much more pixel are needed.
To double the resolution of a 1MP sensor, the amount of pixels both length and width must be times two. So: (1*2) * (1*2) = 4 MegaPixels
To double the resolution, the amount of MegaPixels must be times 4
To double the resolution of a 4 MegaPixels sensor, you’ll need 4*4 = 16 MP
To double the resolution of a 16 MegaPixels sensor, you’ll need 16*4 = 64 MP
To double the resolution of a 64 MegaPixels sensor, you’ll need 64*4 = 256 MP
So, when having an 8 MP camera, buying a 10 MP camera will not give you much sharper pictures, you’ll probably not notice the difference in your photography




Berenice Abbott



Berenice Abbott was born in Springford, Ohio, in 1898. After graduating from Ohio State University she moved to New York to study journalism, but eventually decided on sculpture and painting

Abbott - East Side PortIn 1921 she moved to Paris to study with sculptor Emile Bourdelle. Abbot also worked with the surrealist photographer, Man Ray (1923-25), before opening her own studio in Paris. She photographed the leading artists in France and had her first exhibition at the Au Sacre du Printemps Gallery in 1926.

Abbott returned to the United States in 1929 and embarked on a project to photograph New York. In 1935 she managed to obtain funding for this venture from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and its Federal Art Project.

In 1936 Abbott joined with Paul Strand to establish the Photo League. Its initial purpose was to provide the radical press with photographs of trade union activities and political protests. Later the group decided to organize local projects where members concentrated on photographing working class communities.

Abbott’s photographs of New York appeared in the exhibition, Changing New York, at the Museum of the City in 1937. A book, Changing New York, was published in 1939. She is also published a Guide to Better Photography (1941). In the late 1950s Abbott began to take photographs that illustrated the laws of physics. Berenice Abbott died in Monson, Maine, in 1991.

Each Abbott photograph radiates an aura of enduring discovery. Whether a spinning wrench, a shadowed canyon on lower Manhattan, or the weary countenance of Eugène Atget, her way of seeing is clear, objective and realistic. Lacking pretension, her photographs possess an intense overall clarity of vision. In a long life filled with creative endeavor of the highest order, she remained true to her art. Her philosophy can be reduced to twenty-one words: “Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.” Like the photography she loved, she often walked alone, but at the end of the walk, her life was a triumph.

Photography: Digital Camera Troubleshooting Guide


Z. PerryYahoo! Contributor Network

The following is a set of useful tips for troubleshooting your digital camera and/or an external flash unit you may have attached to it. First, look for the title which best describes the problem, then follow the steps below it…


1. The batteries may need replacement. Some digital cameras continue to function when their battery power is low, but produce grainy photos with incorrect coloration. Make sure you aren’t using Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries, which are generally not recommended for cameras.
2. For the best picture quality, make sure the camera is set to its highest resolution. This may have been adjusted by accident. The process for doing this varies greatly among different digital cameras. Keep in mind that fewer photos will fit in the camera’s memory and it will probably take longer to transfer them to the computer, at a higher resolution.
3. Digital photography tends to be more prone to blurring (caused by slight movement of the camera while the photo is taken) than 35mm film, especially with very small or lightweight digital cameras. To remedy this, try using a tripod and/or the camera’s timer, if it has one. Adjust the camera’s shutter speed if possible.
4. If colors are too pale, using an image editing/viewing program (such as PictureWorks MediaCenter) to increase the Saturation level may be helpful. If the camera has produced colors which are entirely wrong (everything is in shades of black and purple, for example), you can turn the saturation all the way down so that it becomes a black & white photo.
5. The lens may need cleaning. Make sure you use a cleaning material which will not scratch the lens. If possible, refer to its manual for specific cleaning instructions.


1. Make sure the data transfer cable is securely connected to the computer and camera.
2. If the serial cable was connected to the computer while it was on, you may need to shut it down and turn it back on again. This does not apply to USB cables.
3. If you have the choice to use a serial cable or a USB cable, try switching to the cable type you haven’t already tried. For example, I have an older digital camera which can use a USB cable in Windows 98, but only works with a serial cable in Windows XP.
4. Make sure the camera’s auto power-off feature didn’t turn it off before you tried to start downloading the photos. Most digital cameras will not activate this feature if they are connected with a USB cable, but some will when using a serial cable.
5. If possible, try using the digital camera with a different computer and/or a different camera with the same computer, to help determine which piece of equipment is problem’s source.


1. If it is attached to the computer with a cable, detach it and try turning it on again.
2. Try powering it through a USB cable or an AC adapter, if it has one. If this works, it probably needs new batteries, unless the battery compartment is corroded.
3. Replace the batteries. Try to avoid this if it has photos stored on it and is a camera which loses them when the batteries are removed. If the batteries were recently replaced, make sure they were inserted in the proper direction.
4. If the temperature is very hot or cold, try it in an area with a more normal temperature.
5. Some digital cameras have a feature which automatically turns them off after a second if the batteries are low. This allows them to retain enough power to store the photos and transfer them to the computer when necessary.


1. On some digital cameras, photos currently stored on the camera may become scrambled or have multi-colored streaks across them if the batteries are replaced before they are downloaded.
2. Check the camera’s LCD before taking each photo to make sure it has not run out of memory or activated its auto power-off feature.
3. Turn the camera off, power it on again, and try transferring the photographs again.


1. Make sure the flash unit is correctly seated in the flash port (a.k.a. “hot shoe”) or its sync cable is securely plugged into both the flash unit and the digital camera. Confirm that none of its settings have been accidentally adjusted (it might not fire if it is in “auto” or “computer” mode and it determines there is already enough lighting) and the batteries are fresh.
2. Press the flash unit’s test button. Most flash units have one of these on back of them, below the other controls; it is usually a clear or red-colored button, occasionally having the “Ready” light built into it. If the flash fires, it is more likely to be a problem with the camera or the connection between the camera and flash.
3. Try testing the flash unit on a different camera to help determine the source of the problem. Basic 35mm cameras with “hot shoe” flash ports can be purchased rather inexpensively at eBay.com, thrift stores, and some yard sales. Some expensive model- or brand-specific flash units will not fit on these cameras, however.

If none of these steps solve the problem, there are a number of potential problems with the camera and/or computer which could be causing it; some possibilities include that the computer’s serial or USB port card may not be properly installed, the camera driver or software might be incorrectly configured, the camera could be damaged, or the computer’s operating system may be incompatible with the camera. While the problem could be expensive to fix, on the other hand it might still be as simple as changing a setting on the computer or camera. It is probably best to contact the digital camera manufacturer’s technical support; check the camera itself, its instruction manual, the manufacturer’s website, or the camera’s original package for a telephone number.

Dorothea Lange An artist’s Biography (Photography)


Dorothea Lange, 1885-1965, recovered from a bout of childhood polio but was left with a weak leg and a limp. After studying photography, she moved to San Francisco and began as a commercial portrait photographer there. Her early work included images of Native Americans made during her travels to the Southwest. When studio work seemed limiting and static, she took her camera to the streets, to the breadlines, to the waterfront strikes, and to desperate people. She is best known for her work during the Great Depression, when she photographed the tragic suffering across the country for the Farm Security Administration, including the impoverished migrant farm families looking for work.

During World War II, she documented the effects of the war on the factory workers, ethnic people and the Japanese-Americans in relocation camps. Her images were so critical of the Japanese-American policies that the Army impounded them during the war. She also cofounded the photographic magazine Aperture. Dorothea Lange’s photographs humanized the tragic consequences of the Great Depression and were influential in the development of modern documentary photography. She is especially remembered for the photograph shown here, Migrant Mother, which became the symbol of the migrant experience.tmigrant

Richard Avedon An Artist’s Biography


Richard Avedon

  • 11 MAY 2011

Richard Avedon said of his photography: “A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he’s being photographed and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks.”

• Born in New York on 15 May 1923, Richard Avedon was in possession of a Kodak Box Brownie camera by the age of 12
• Having studied philosophy at Columbia University in the late Thirties, Avedon went on to study photography under Alexey Brodovitch at the Design Laboratory of the New School of Social Research
• Richard Avedon shot the Paris collections for almost 40 years, and was staff photographer for Vogue from 1966 until 1990
• Richard Avedon became the first ever staff photographer for The New Yorker in 1992, at the age of 69

From the start of his career, Richard Avedon’s name became synonymous with fashion as well as portraiture. He photographed everyone from Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Parker and the Duchess of Windsor as well as a lot of “unknown” people. Known for bringing the fashion models of the day, including Suzy Parker and Sunny Harnett, to life, Richard Avedon injected a previously unseen vibrancy into the medium of fashion photography.

Richard Avedon married twice and has a son. Perhaps the most poignant set of photographs Avedon ever produced were those of his dying father. He died in 2004 of a brain haemorrage.

The Rule of Thirds. (in photography)

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If you are taking photographs for your own pleasure, as I assume you are, then you only have to come up with pictures that please you. You may be able to overlook the huge empty spaces or people with their heads cut off but no-one else will. That cute kid looks really cute it’s just a pity that you need a magnifying glass to see him. Producing pictures that are pleasing to someone other than yourself will make your photography much more rewarding.

The Rule of Thirds. 
fig1One of the most popular ‘rules’ in photography is the Rule Of Thirds. It is also popular amongst artists. It works like this:
Imaginary lines are drawn dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect. I’ve even made a little diagram for you (fig 1).

As well as using the intersections you can arrange areas into bands occupying a third or place things along the imaginary lines. As you can see it is fairly simple to implement. Good places to put things; third of the way up, third of the way in from the left , you get the idea. Duff places to put things; right in the middle, right at the top, right at the bottom, away in the corner.

Using the Rule of Thirds helps produce nicely balanced easy on the eye pictures. Also, as you have to position things relative to the edges of the frame it helps get rid of ‘ tiny subject surrounded by vast empty space’ syndrome.
One last thing about the Rule of Thirds for the time being. Once you have got the hang of the Rule of Thirds you will very quickly want to break it ! This is fine. As I said earlier these ‘rules’ are best used as guidelines and if you can create a better image by bending or ignoring rules then fire away.

The Rule of Thirds is fairly structured but there are a great many methods you can employ which rely on your ability to ‘see’ things and incorporate them into your composition. Next up we will look at some, but by no means all, of them.

Nature Photography for Beginners

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written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Amy Carson • updated: 4/6/2011


Want to learn how to take nature photographs? This nature photography for beginners tutorial helps you learn the business. It also teaches you about needed equipment and techniques.

  • How to Start Taking Nature Images

    Nature photography captures the beauty of the world around us, and many people want to break into this field. But, there’s more to this field than simply snapping photographs of flowers, animals and mountains. This nature photography for beginners’ tutorial reviews common nature photography techniques and needed equipment.

  • Type of Nature Photography

    First of all, you need to consider what types of things do you want to take photographs of. Nature includes animals, plants, insects, waterways, sunsets, etc. So, you need to think about what you want to specialize in. Most professional photographers have one Pink Flamingospecialty.

    If you don’t know what you want to focus on, start by taking pictures of everything. Then, figure out what you really like to do. Then, learn all the techniques connected with that particular field. You can, however, always take photographs of anything that you see. But, it helps to have at least one specialty. You need to remember safety matters even with photography

  • Equipment

    Now, it’s time to start purchasing your equipment. A good digital SLR camera is a must. Try out a few to see which one you like the best. Feel the weight. Do you like heavier or lighter cameras? Are the menu items easily accessible? Does the camera have enough features? Research research research then compare prices A few resources are http://www.dpreview.com/ , http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ and of course http://www.amazon.com/

    Once you decide on a camera, purchase lenses. Start off with both a wide-angle and telephoto lens. You will need both for nature photography. Landscape photography usually uses a wide-angle lens, and telephoto lens is required for animal photography. Buy some lens filters, and experiment with them to see the effect that they have. Do not overlook the kit lens that comes with you camera. some awesome shots can be delivered using the 18-55mm lens.

    Next, get to know your camera. Test it out, and learn the different menu settings. You’ll need to use a variety of settings. Read your manual, and learn how to change the ISO, exposure and shutter speed. You need an extremely fast shutter speed for animal photography. ISO is an alternative way to the flash. For example, you don’t want to use the flash for sunset photographs as it will dull the image.

  • Subject of Your Photographs

    Shadows on the Water A good way to get your creative juices flowing is to look at what other photographers are doing . Take a look at http://www.jungledragon.com/ Think about the subjects that you want to take. If you want to capture flowers, think about when they are in bloom, and where you will find these flowers. If you want to capture wildlife, go to where they are, and figure out when they are the most abundant. Generally, this is either in the early morning or late afternoon. But, you may be able to capture them at a water source as well.

  • Experimentation

    Experiment with angles. A straight-on photograph is not very interesting. Think about ways to make your photography standout from the crowd. Think about foreground and backgrounds. A foreground image in the lower left- or right-hand corner provides depth. A tree hanging over a lake frames it out.

    The rule of thirds works very well. Break up your image into nine different quadrants, and place the subject of your photo where these quadrants meet.

    Above all, experiment, and have fun. Take plenty of photographs, and always have a ton of memory cards on hand.

  • References

    Africa-Nature-Photography.com, http://www.africa-nature-photography.com/nature-photography-equipment.html

    Tkaczyk, Filip. “Nature Photography for Beginners”, http://www.wildernesscollege.com/nature-photography-for-beginners-article.html

    Image Source: Author

The History of Photography


The History of Photography


Early cave paintings attest to the fact that man has always wanted to record himself, his activities and the environment around him. This art, until very recently, has been reserved for the talented individuals, not the everyday, ordinary person. Painters of great renown abound throughout the centuries and have left remarkable pictorial histories of our journey through time. While the camera was not invented until the 19th century, the two basic elements of a camera had been well known for hundreds of years.

The first element of a working camera known by the ancients is the effect of a lighted area separated from a dark area with only a pin hole opening between them. An inverted (upside down) image of the lighted area will be produced on a flat surface in the dark area. As early as the 1400′s it was documented that inserting a lens in the hole would produce a crisper, clearer image. This technology, called “camera obscura” was often used by artists to sketch objects more quickly and ease the difficulties of depth perception. The image was allowed to be projected on a piece of paper inside a dark box and the artist would trace outlines of the projected image.

The second known element of a working camera was the existence of materials capable of permanent change when exposed to light. These light sensitive chemicals were experimented with for centuries but were not used to coat a flat surface until very recently.

Putting these two pieces of knowledge together proved difficult. Early in the 1800′s, the first experiments took place attempting to make images on paper surfaces that had been coated with light sensitive material. The process worked, but a lot of logistical problems needed to be solved. The first major problem was making the captured image on the chemical coated surface permanent. This problem was finally solved with the Daguerrotype image and made a huge impact on the world when it was announced in 1839. However other difficulties remained to be solved.

The Daguerrotype image would appear and the exposure process arrested, but the image was easily lost as the surface chemicals could be damaged. Additionally, the exposure time was longer than practical for common portraiture, which was much in demand. As with all new ideas promising great fortunes, minds work furiously on the glitches preventing practical use.

Photography took many twists and turns as people experimented with chemicals to make the image capturing more practical. As the rage for Daguerrotype reigned, the discovery was being made that latent images in reverse color were revealed to be present after only short exposures. These paper negatives could then be washed, chemically treated and used to make positive paper prints.

This was a major turning point in the development of the photography processes. No longer did people have to make do with the results of a one time process which took up to a minute of sitting absolutely still. Now, the implications were plain to those excited few who realized the possibilities. Exposure time was cut down dramatically and multiple copies of any image could be produced as easily as the first. If multiple copies of a Daguerrotype were desired, then multiple sittings were required.

When this process was perfected enough for common use, for the first time ever, portrait studios popped up all over the place. For a very small cost, people could get their portrait made. Finally we begin to see photographs of poor and working class people who could now afford a family portrait once in a while.

The well known stereotype of the photographer buried in his portable dark tent had its start around the time of the Civil War, or mid-1800′s. This tent not only consisted of the camera equipment, but a portable dark room as well. The photographers had to process their photos right on the spot. The portable dark rooms, with the chemicals and equipment, were easily collapsed into moderately large suitcases. While this allowed the propagation of professional photography, the amateur still had to wait for further improvements.

By the 1870′s, the wet developing process gave way to a new innovation called the gelatin dry plate. No longer needed were the chemicals on site in the now famous photographers tent. Treated plates could be taken out to the field, exposed, and brought back to a dark room for later processing.

The camera mechanisms themselves were also going through a revolution. It was becoming possible to have the exposures take less time. The shutter releases were mechanically rigged instead of manually opened.

It was during this time of dry processing that Muybridge perfected processing of action images and mechanically rigged cameras to take his pictures. He could not have put his rows of cameras into action if each had to individually be processed on the spot.

The final revolution of the 1800′s took place when a man named George Eastman developed the idea of converting the preprocessed plate into rolls of sheets that were mounted on a roll holder inside of the camera. After each exposure, the roll would be forwarded by a special key, and after the roll was fully exposed, the whole camera was mailed or brought back to his plants for development. This camera was called the “Kodak Camera.” Now every man, woman and child could become an amateur photographer!

The innovations which have evolved from this point on have made picture taking easier, improved the ability of professionals to specialize, and of course, include the introduction of color photography. Every man, woman and child can now take pictures with confidence, knowing that good quality cameras do as much of the work as we want them to, and developing labs can do the processing for us. We all have the option, however, to do the processing ourselves.

Photography : Understanding White Balance


Perhaps one of the most important camera settings that beginning digital photographers don’t understand is white balance. In this article, we’ll introduce the basic concept of white balance as well as a few photography tips for managing the white balance within your images.

What is white balance?

Put simply, white balance is the color of the lighting in your images. It might seem like a strange concept at first to think that light has color, but various types of light produce different hues which are reflected in your photograph. For example, indoor fluorescent lighting commonly produces a bluish hue, filtered or indirect natural sunlight produces a cool blue tone, and other natural forms of light like a fire produce a very warm tone within the image.

While these variations may not be visible to the human eye since our eyes adapt to compensate for them, in a digital images they can be very noticeable and can produce vastly different temperatures within your photograph. Therefore controlling for and adjusting the white balance in your images can change the feel of a photo completely.

How to manage white balance

Most digital SLR cameras come pre-programmed with a range of white balance settings. These commonly include:

Auto: This setting will work well for many settings as the camera will automatically adjust for the appropriate lighting.

Fluorescent: Useful when shooting indoors under fluorescent lights to compensate for high levels of blue.

Shade: Again, this setting will warm up cool, dark hues in shaded areas by adjusting accordingly.

Cloudy: This is a very useful setting for warming up an image on cloudy days where the dark skies might produce elevated levels of blue.

Sunny: This setting may go by different names according to the camera manufacturer, but in essence it makes very minor adjustments on most models to adjust for direct outdoor sunlight.

Tungsten: Programmed for shooting indoors under incandescent lighting, this will adjust for the high levels of yellow produce by most indoor light bulbs.

Flash: This setting will adjust the white balance to mitigate against the harsh lighting of a flash.

Most DSLR cameras will also have manual white balance setting which we will discuss in more detail in a follow-up article. This process involves “teaching” your camera what you want the lighting to look like in an image, so we’ll discuss this setting alone. However, most of the settings listed above will allow you to capture great images making only one setting adjustment.

With these white balance photography tips, you’ll be able to capture the lighting you want for your photograph regardless of where you’re shooting.