Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looking For An After Christmas Deal On A Pocket Camera?

US1 Camera has the best price I've seen on one of the best pocket cameras currently available, the Canon G10. Call before ordering to make sure you're getting a new camera with a US warranty. To check out the order page click here. I nor Visualville have any connection to or receive any compensation from US1 Camera or Canon, I wish we did!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nikon Kicks It Up With The D3X And The Beat Goes On!

Last week Nikon Inc. announced their latest entry into the ever expanding D-SLR format the D3X which features:

  • 24.5 megapixels!
  • 14 bit full rez files captured at up to 5 frames per second!
  • Dual CF card slots!
  • Virtually noiseless capture at 1600 ISO!

For more in depth info check out by clicking here.

Texas Goes After 2 Online Camera Retailers!

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged two well known online camera retailers in an alleged "Bait & Switch" scheme. Broadway Photo and Starlight Camera & Video of Brooklyn, NY could face civil penalties of up to 20,000 per occurrence. To learn more click here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Toshiba Kicks It Up A Notch!

Today Toshiba announced the launch of a 16GB microSDHC card. The largest capacity micro SDHC currently available. At the same time, the company extended its range of memory card solutions by adding ultra fast read/write 8GB and 16GB SDHC cards to its line-up. Mass production of the new SDHC cards will start in December, with production of the new microSDHC slated to start in January 2009 .

All of the new SDHC memory cards comply with the SD memory standard Ver. 2.00, and the two new SDHC cards announced today support class 6 ultra fast read/write speed --- a maximum write speed of 20MB per second, delivering high performance for continuous shooting of still images and recording video images. The new microSDHC can be used with an adapter that allows it to be used in SDHC slots.

No word yet on pricing. For more info click here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Leica Kicks It Up A Couple of Notches!

"Leica Announces 37.5 Megapixel DSLR"! When I read the headline my first thought was "that's got to be a misprint they meant 17.5 or maybe, maybe 27.5, but 37.5 no way! Well, to quote Wayne of Wayne's World fame... WAY!

The S2's sensor is actually very large. Larger, in fact, than a standard 35mm frame, at 30 x 45 mm. That's 56% bigger. The S2 is essentially a medium format camera shoe-horned into a 35mm DSLR-sized body, and Leica is promoting this idea in its press releases.

The body contains a standard focal plane shutter, but the new lenses also have leaf shutters. allowing for very high flash sync speeds.

The CCD sensor is made by Kodak and the Maestro processing chip produces a very low amount of noise at very high ISOs. The body is acctually smaller than, a Nikon D3.

The price? What's the old saying if you have to ask.... $45,000 USD. For more info click here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sony Kicks It Up A Notch!

Available next month is Sony's full-frame 24 Megapixel Alpha DSL-A900. The camera's launch is no surprise as they showed the sensor and a model of the camera at PMA this January where the announcement was arguably the biggest of the show. The specs and features of the new A900 are definitely aimed at the pro market: 100% viewfinder coverage, 1/250th second flash sync, 5 frames-per-second capture rate, AF fine-tuning (AF Micro Adjustment) for up to 30 lenses, and the huge 6048 x 4032 pixel image size. The A900 has a magnesium alloy skeleton and weather sealing to protect it from the elements, and Sony’s SteadyShot built-in image stabilization that works with any Sony or Minolta Maxxum mount lens. The A900 is the first full frame DSLR to have sensor-level image stabilization.

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 will be available in November and should cost just under $3000. For more info click here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eight Exceptional People Remembered - A Repost

It's hard to believe that 911 was seven years ago. I want to share with you, once again, the story of eight of the 3000 people who perished that Tuesday; eight exceptional people, Joe Ferguson, (photo), Ann Judge (photo), James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Sarah Clark, Asia Cottom, Hilda Taylor and Bernard Brown. This is their 911 story.

"Two staff members of the National Geographic Society, along with three Washington, D.C., teachers and three students they were traveling with, were among the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States on Tuesday, officials of the Society announced on Wednesday.

Ann Judge, director of the Society's travel office, and Joe Ferguson, director of the Geography Education Outreach Program, were accompanying the three teacher-student pairs on an educational trip to California.

They were all killed along with the other passengers of American Airlines Flight 77 after it was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon at about 9:45 Tuesday morning.

Teacher James Debeuneure and student Rodney Dickens were representing Ketcham Elementary School; teacher Sarah Clark and student Asia Cottom were from Backus Middle School; and teacher Hilda Taylor and student Bernard Brown were from Leckie Elementary School. All the students were 11-year-old sixth graders.

They had been selected to participate in a program at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary near Santa Barbara, California, as part of a Society-funded marine research project known as Sustainable Seas Expeditions."

"Through our educational outreach program, Ann and Joe were going to make geography and the environment come alive for these committed, talented teachers and their star students by putting them into the field with scientists and researchers," said John Fahey Jr., the Society's president and CEO.

"The D.C. School District has lost six extraordinary people, and we at the Society have lost two treasured colleagues," he added.

Today our thoughts and prayers are with all the victim's families, and this commitment we make to them, we will never forget.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Adobe Releases Lightroom 2.0

On Tuesday Adobe announced the immediate availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 2 software, with new enhancements such as dual-monitor support, radical advances in non-destructive localized image correction, and streamlined search capabilities. Lightroom 2.0 Adobe’s first application to support 64-bit for Mac OS X 10.5 Macintosh computers with Intel® processors and Microsoft® Windows® Vista® 64-bit operating systems, Lightroom 2 also provides improved memory performance for dealing with large scale images.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 is available now through the Adobe Store at in English, French and German with the Japanese language version planned to be released at a future date. The estimated street price is USD$299 for new users with an upgrade price of USD$99 for registered users of qualifying Lightroom customers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Interview With PhotographerJay Sauceda

Click Here to go to a very interesting interview by Don Giannatti of photographer Jay B Sauceda.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nik Silver Efex Pro Kicks It Up A Notch!

Nik is one of my favorite companies. I met Michael Slater, Nik's CEO, more than 10 years ago at a trade show in LA. I was immediately impressed and that continues to this day.Year after year they turn out elegant and affordable software that really meets the needs of a broad range of photographers. Nik is also home to two of our industries top talents Janice Wendt and Tony Corbel. I haven't tried the software yet but I can tell you that if Nik makes it... it's real good software! So without further adieu, here's a few excerpts from todays press release.

"Nik Software
today announced the new Silver Efex Pro photographic plug-in for use with Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture, the most advanced, complete, and straightforward black-and-white solution. Silver Efex Pro uses a range of advanced imaging algorithms that protect against unwanted artifacts, a comprehensive collection of 18 emulated black-and-white film types, and a state-of-the-art grain engine that truly mimics the silver halide process and creates the highest quality black-and-white images possible from scanned or digital color photographs.

With Nik Software's patented U Point technology, Silver Efex Pro provides easy-to-use tools for direct on-image control of tonality, contrast, and structure. Precisely controlling specific areas of a photo can be achieved easily using just a few mouse clicks without the need to create complicated selections and layer masks. Silver Efex Pro combined with U Point technology offers users unprecedented control over selective tonal and contrast adjustment in black-and-white images.

"For many photographers, black-and-white is their preferred outlet for creative expression. Previously available tools often required acceptance of a one-size-fits-all solution or complex conversion techniques and endless fine tuning," said Michael J. Slater president and CEO of Nik Software. "Silver Efex Pro is truly a comprehensive and easy to use software product that is specifically designed to address the challenges that photographers face when converting images to black-and-white."

Working seamlessly within Photoshop and Aperture, Silver Efex Pro begins by presenting photographers with a basic "neutral" conversion of their color image to black-and-white. One-click adjustments can be made from a choice of over 20 preset styles from nostalgic processes like the ambrotype and tintype to classic artistic renderings, trendy high contrast, soft focus or grainy images that emulate the most popular film types and shooting styles.

This initial set of creative options can be used as is or as a starting point for photographers who wish to create and even share their own customized black-and-white styles. In addition, color filters, variable toning controls (includes sepia, selenium, split-toning and user-defined colors for maximum flexibility), vignettes, and more only add to the number of advanced stylistic effects photographers will enjoy with Silver Efex Pro. Additional sliders for global brightness, contrast, and structure, as well as Smart Filter compatibility within Photoshop and multi-image support in Aperture provide the ultimate level of control. With U Point powered Control Points photographers have the flexibility to specifically fine tune tonality, contrast, and structure and create stunning black-and-white images.

Pricing and Availability, & Promotion with Gekko-brand Fine Art Papers--Silver Efex Pro is available now for electronic delivery directly from Nik Software. Boxed versions will be available from Nik Software and through specialty camera retailers in August 2008. A complete list of resellers may be found at

Through September 15th, 2008, every copy of Silver Efex Pro sold in North America will include a free sample pack of the Gekko Fine Art Collection of papers from Pictorico. Designed especially for black-and-white prints and for use with inkjet printers, the sample pack has a retail value of $15.99 and includes two sheets each of 4 paper types: Gekko Green (Glossy) winner of the 2008 DIMA Award for best black-and-white print from a color inkjet printer; Gekko Blue (Luster); Gekko Red (Cotton); and Gekko Black (Matte)."

The suggested retail price of Silver Efex Pro is $199.95. Silver Efex Pro installs as a plug-in for either Adobe Photoshop or Apple Aperture 2.1 and is available for Windows and Macintosh operating systems, including Vista and Leopard. For more information about Silver Efex Pro, including video tutorials showing the software running within Photoshop and Aperture and a free 15-day fully functional trial version, visit

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Great Week At West Coast School!

Each year, for as long as I can remember, professional photographers have gathered on the campus of the University of San Diego for a week of continuing education known as West Coast School. For ten of those years I have been privileged to be an instructor.

Special thanks go out to the WCS Sponsors! Without their generous support the school would not be possible. Thank you
Bay Photo Lab, (for sponsoring my class and others), along with FujiFilm, H&H Color Lab, MAC Group, Calumet and Nik Software.

Others deserving special thanks include the
incredibly hard working staff and the students who give up a week of their life not to mention some cash in order to improve themselves and our profession.

It's never too early to sign up and next years instructor list is loaded with heavy hitters including Tim Meyer, Suzette Allen & Ken Sklute. For more info click here.

Thanks for another great WCS experience, you guys are the best!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Epson Kicks It Up A Notch!

Epson has announced a June launch date for the Epson Stylus Photo R2880, a new professional printer designed for digital photographers. Incorporating the same technology as the Epson Stylus Pro printer line, the 13-inch Epson R2880 features a high-performance print head for professional photographic output, as well as Radiance Technology that smoothes color transitions and optimizes highlight and shadow detail. The Epson R2880 replaces the Epson R2400 as the flagship of Epson's 13-inch printer lineup.

According to an Epson press release, the R2880 affords photographers and fine artists creative control, allowing the user to explore their creative options. Epson's advanced black-and-white mode, included within the printer driver, enables precise control for neutral or toned black-and-white prints. Photographers can choose from one of four preset menus -- neutral, warm, cool or sepia -- or further fine-tune images with custom slider bars and the color wheel.

The Epson R2880 will be available for an estimated retail price of $799.99. For more information click here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Richard Avedon & Charlie Rose

Every student of photography should study this interview. You are privileged to spend an hour with Richard Avedon, arguably the most influential photographer of the twentieth century.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Loris Paris Kicks It Up A Notch!

Normally I don't run ads, unless I'm shamelessly self promoting, but in this case I'm making an exception. Pierre Michel ads aren't really ads; He demands total control of the project from concept to output and gets it, probably because he produces truly original and visually spectacular work on a regular basis. For more info on this particular project click here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Avedon Talks About Kinski And The Snake!

For those who may have missed Richard Avedons' show at the Norton Gallery in the Phoenix Art Museum we'll be running a series of videos that showcase some of his more famous works. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Data Robotics Kicks It Up A Notch!

Recent events have once again proved the proverb that in the world of digital images redundant archives are the road to restful sleep. If you are looking for an easy and powerful archive solution at a very reasonable price, it doesn't get any better than Drobo. We give it $$$$$, definetly worth the dollars. For more info click here. Install a Drobo and sleep well tonight! As always, Visualville receives no compensation from the companies whose products we review, in this case Data Robotics, although if they wanted to send me one that would be OK, :-)

Is That A Space Bar In Your Pants Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Designer Erik De Nijs, has stitched together this eye catching pair of jeans, which appear to be the perfect solution for Googling quick exits while running from the fashion police. Built into the knees are a pair of crotch rocking speakers, around the back you have the added convenience of a back pocket for your “mouse”, and for you gamers, there is a joystick controller located just behind the front zipper. Yes, you read that correctly.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Few Good Creatives!

I don't care who you are... that's funny!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lightroom 2.0 Beta Now Available!

On Wednesday, Adobe rolled out Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 beta, which is a general preview of the latest and more enhanced functionality to be delivered in the next major launch. Lightroom is the professional photographer’s vital toolbox, offering one application for managing, adjusting and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. The all-new Lightroom 2.0 beta version will include improvements such as dual-monitor support, localized dodge and burn correction and will be the first Adobe application to support 64-bit for Mac OS X 10.5 Intel Macs and Microsoft Vista 64-bit operating systems. To learn more click here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Check Out The Short Films of Hillman Curtis!

Hillman Curtis is the Principal and Chief Creative Officer of, inc., a digital design firm in New York City. His design solutions have garnered him and his company the multiple Communication Arts Awards of Excellence, the One Show Gold, Silver and Bronze, the South by Southwest Conference “Best Use of Design” and “Best of Show”, the New Media Invision Bronze, a Web Award, How magazine’s Top 10, and multiple Webby Awards. Hillman was named as one of the top ten designers by the IPPA, included in the “ten most wanted” by IDN magazine, and as one of the “Worlds best Flash designers” by Create Online.

I stumbled onto Hillman Curtis's short film series by chance and was really impressed by what I saw. Most of his films are documentaries of designers and other creatives. While they might be a bit of a detour from the normal fare posted here they give a wonderful insight into the thought processes of many visually creative people. Click here to go to the site and view more of his movies.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Photoshop Express Beta Now Available!

This week Adobe announced Adobe® Photoshop® Express public beta, a free Rich Internet Application (RIA) available to anyone who wants to store, sort and show off digital photos with eye-catching effects. During the public beta period, Adobe will solicit Photoshop Express user feedback on product features and functionality, which will continue to evolve over time. As the newest addition to the Photoshop family line, Photoshop Express has taken much of Adobe’s best image editing technology and made it simple and accessible to a new online audience. Photoshop Express allows users to store up to 2 gigabytes of images online for free, make edits to their photos, and share them online in creative ways, including downloading and uploading photos from popular social networking sites like Facebook. Did I mention that it's free! Click here for more info.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Check Out Lighting Essentials Magazine!

One of the best new resources for photographers is Lighting Essentials Magazine. A beautiful layout, easy navigation and a ton of useful information make this online mag a weekly must see, and best of all it's free!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Joe McNally Does It Again!

I think Joe McNally is probably the best all around photographer working today. He works in all areas of our industry, editiorial, portraiture, advertising, name a specialty and Joe has been there and left a very high mark. This video gives you a small glimpse into how he continues to redefine himself as a photographer and in the process set a very high bar for those that follow.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" - Photographers Who Make A Difference

I just recently learned of this amazing and wonderful group of photographers. If you are looking for a way to make use of your photographic skills to help others you should visit their website.The following is excerpted from the website.

Maddux Achilles Haggard was born on Feb. 4, 2005, with a condition called myotubular myopathy that prevented him from breathing, swallowing or moving on his own. On the sixth day of his young life, his parents had to make the excruciating decision to take him off life support. But before they did, they called Littleton, Colorado photographer Sandy Puc' to take black and white portraits of them cradling their son. Puc' photographed the couple with Maddux at the hospital before he was removed from life support and after — when he was free from the tubes and the wires that had sustained him.

“That night was the worst night of my life. But when I look at the images, that’s not what I’m reminded of. I’m reminded of the beauty and blessings he brought,” Cheryl Haggard (Maddux's mom) said.Those tender photographs documenting Maddux’s eternal connection with his parents inspired Cheryl Haggard and Sandy Puc' to found a nonprofit organization that has provided thousands of families of babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns with free professional portraits with their baby.
Sandy and Cheryl founded the organization in April 2005 and called it Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep after the children’s bedtime prayer. To date, The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation has nearly 3,000 affiliated photographers worldwide.

Check Out Parker Pfister!

Saw Parker Pfister's work at a recent Ed Pierce Seminar... wow, I love the images! To see more work click here.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Check Out The Seattle Flickr Roundup!

People showing up, setting up equipment and making photographs just because they love photography! How cool is that!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

PNY Kicks It Up A Notch!

PNY Technologies has announced several new 16GB and 32GB flash cards for cameras and video camcorders.

The 32GB SDHC card can keep up with high-definition video captured at 9 megabits per second, and the Optima Pro CompactFlash card, has a 266X transfer speed, or 40 megabits per second, using a UDMA interface.

Both cards will be available in the second quarter of 2008. The SDHC card should street price around $250 and the CompactFlash card about $400. For more info click here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Eizo Kicks It Up A Notch!

Eizo's ColorEdge CG301W lets you see the BIG picture with the first 30" monitor for grapic arts and printing to support hardware calibration. Native resolution is 2560 X 1600 with a contrast ration of 850:1, and a color gamut that reproduces 97% of the Adobe 1998 color space! No word yet on the street price but look for something in the $3000.00 neighborhood! For more info click here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Check Out "Another Country" by Scott Strazzante

Scott Strazzante is my newest hero! "Another Country" is such a wonderful example of what Photojournalism can be. Click here and check it out... it just doesn't get any better than this!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Richard Avedon - My Heroes Revisited

Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence

Phoenix Art Museum Norton Photography Gallery
January 12, 2008 – April 13, 2008

If you live in the Phoenix area and have any interest in photography then you must make time to view the work of Richard Avedon. This exhibition includes his early fashion work for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar as well as later portrait work of actors, politicians, artists, writers and intellectuals. Avedon’s career as a fashion and portrait photographer spanned nearly seven decades in the 20th century and just into the 21st, leaving an indelible impression on American culture. For more Exhibition information click here.

To see my previous Richard Avedon post click here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Check Out!

One of my favorite photo blogs! Very cool images... Click here to see more.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Your Invitation To West Coast School! June 15-20

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this truly wonderful annual event let me quote from the website. "West Coast School, founded in 1956, is operated by the Professional Photographers of California, Inc. and is part of the PPA Continuing Education System." That's the official version, here's mine... West Coast School is a week long time of learning, sharing and breathing new life into my life long passion, photography. It's held on University of San Diego campus, the most beautiful college campus I've seen, and operated by some of the best people in our industry.

Check out the instructors list. There is something for everyone and with some of the best in our business. Go to the website and sign up early as classes fill quickly. Oh, and plan to have an amazing time!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Olympus E-3 Begins Shipping!

The E-3 announced in October of last year has now begun shipping according to Olympus. The 10 mega pixel Prosumer SLR boasts, a water proof body, "the world's fastest autofocus" , advanced image stabilization and sonic dust cleaning and all for only $1700.00

To learn more check out DPReview.