Saturday, November 18, 2023

Let's Have A Show Of Hands

Once upon a time I was a photographer for a cutting-edge children's performing ensemble which combined singing, dancing, and precision sign language.  My story appears after a few announcements.  

Also in this Issue:

  • Another possible travel opportunity
  • The Return of the Seminars
  • Streaming Seminar is on sale!
  • Announcements

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

How Long do Inkjet Prints Last?

These inkjet prints are 26 years old!

Also in this issue:

  • Announcements
  • Come join me on an African Photo Safari!  November, 2024
  • The Amazing Mark Stewart

How Long do Inkjet Prints Last?

We all know the popularly-held wisdom: Inkjet prints will fade.  Maybe they'll last 5 years, whether behind glass or not.  The only way to get lasting inkjet print is to use pigment-based inks (along with special papers) which are quite expensive but can last up to 100 years.

That's conventional wisdom.  Now let me share with you my own data point: I have framed and displayed inkjet prints dating back from 1997, and their colors are still strong - I estimate they faded perhaps 3% over the years.

What ancient printer produced such astounding and expectation-busting results?  It was HP's very first photo printer, the PhotoSmart (tm).  HP was a pioneer in inkjet technology, coming out with the very first ThinkJet (THermal INKJET) printer in 1984 as a quiet, lightweight printing technology for their portable computers.  In 1997 they produced the first printer that could actually make images that looked and felt like real photos (right down to the glossy surface and the thick paper stock) for a whopping $500, cheap by high-end printer standards of the day.  And of course I bought one. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

My Worst Trip Ever

Establishing shot in Windhoek

In this issue:

  • Announcements
  • Next Time in Cameracraft Magazine
  • My Worst Trip Ever

  • Sony A6700 Ebook is just a couple of weeks away from being completed!  You can pre-order your copy at a discount before it's released.  It will be available in all the usual formats.
  • Version 2.0 of the Friedman Archives Seminars will be hitting the road soon.  (More details next month.  Let me know if your local photo club would like to bring me over at no cost!)
  • Wanna use your camera on an African Safari?  I'm currently looking into arranging a photo safari for November 2024.  Come give your high-end equipment something to do and shoot with me!  (Email me for more info... Gary at Friedman Archives dot com.)

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Full-Frame vs. Smartphone (don't laugh...)

Probably my most influential blog post in the last 18 years - the one where I got the most number of people to re-examine long-held beliefs about what they thought was true - was the "Full Frame vs. Small Sensor (don't laugh)" post from 2017, where I pitted my 42 megapixel Sony A99 II against the tiny 20 MP RX100 V point-and-shoot.  When enlarged to poster size and scrutinized, nobody could tell which camera took which image.  

I was reminded of that when I started putting my new smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, through its paces.  This phone's two claims to fame are optical zooms on two of its lenses, and a whopping 200MP sensor on a third.  Check out these shots of the replica of the Mayflower ship taken at 200 MP resolution from far away (as always, click on any image to view larger and sharper):

And the 100% crop of the above:

Yowza!  That's pretty incredible for a phone.  I wonder what the quality difference would be if I pitted this new engineering marvel against my other engineering marvel, the Sony A7R V?

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The *NEW* New Studio

A good start.
Our Story So Far

It seems like only eighteen months ago when I finished the new studio in our new townhouse and was cranking out content.  Since then we moved to a new house and we started finishing the basement again.  This time we set aside space for the grandkids to hang out in, and used the rest of the space for a craft area for Carol and a functioning studio for me.  In this case "functioning studio" meant "Lots of open space".  

Below is my first project done in the studio.  I wanted to make a youtube video aimed at beginning photography students who are learning how to use film (*).  Here I walk through how to use the classic Minolta SR-T series cameras:

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Minolta's Full Circle

This story has many beginnings…   (Click on any image to view larger and sharper.)

Phil Bradon taught me how to get this
result using only ONE flash and one reflector! 

Beginning #1 Back in the late 1980's, I was an avid Minolta shooter. And every Minolta shooter in the U.S. who ever called their tech support line in Ramsey, New Jersey would end up talking to Phil Bradon, the guy who showed the world how customer service should be done. Unlike all the sales and marketing guys there, Phil loved photography and he truly loved the Minolta products. He even spent four years in Japan working alongside the engineering teams. He built prototypes of vertical grips and battery adapters in his home. You get the idea. I learned everything I know about wireless flash from Phil. Generously spending hours on the phone with me, he’d patiently explain the communication protocol and even walked me through how to get ratio lighting AND a hair light using just one flash and a reflector. 

We all know what happened to Minolta. The story was they hemorrhaged money because of a lawsuit with Honeywell Corp. regarding autofocus patents. I shared this story in the book I wrote about the Konica Minolta 7D camera. 

Beginning #2
Back in the early days of the internet, Yahoo! was a thing, and Yahoo!Groups usurped Usenet as the premiere online discussion platform for normal people (as opposed to the Geeks and the Nerds who made up the entirety of Usenet). I was mildly active in the Minolta forum, and I suggested we all send a group “Thank You” to Phil Bradon for his stellar level of customer support. I created a framed award and sent it to him, signed by the most active members of the group. Phil later told me that he’s only received two awards in his life; this was one of them. It graced his office wall until Sony bought Minolta, at which time Phil left. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

How to Create Time Lapse Videos with Pan and Zoom

In This Issue:

  • How to create Time Lapse videos with Pan and Zoom
  • 20-second Photoshop Tips
  • Shooting in Cold Temperatures
  • The Usual Announcements
  • A new Zoom lecture for Photo Clubs

How to create Time Lapse Videos with Pan and Zoom

Have a look at the time lapse video below:

Time lapse videos like this are produced by placing your camera on a tripod, taking a series of pictures at regular intervals (in this case 217 images taken every 10 seconds), and then turning those single images into a movie using video editing software later on.  But notice that in this brief clip, the camera is panning left-to-right.  That usually requires an expensive motion control rig that I don't own.  So how was it done?

The ability to pan after-the-fact in a video like this is possible thanks to the relatively small size of video files compared to the large number of megapixels modern cameras can capture.  For example, in the illustration below, the green square represents the image size in pixels of the Sony A7R V, where the pink square represents the size in pixels of an HD video:

Saturday, April 1, 2023

My Short-Lived Acting Career


Once upon a time, in my youth, I was a magician.  Hold onto that factoid for a moment.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

10 Things you Can't Do with a Smartphone

This was the final image seen in the movie, "The Shining".  It was taken with something called a Banquet Camera.  Read on for why I'm even showing this to you.

Also in this Issue:

  • 10 Things You Can't Do with a Smartphone
  • Sony A7R V - Little-Discussed Features of Note (youtube video)
  • Announcements / Next Time in Cameracraft Magazine
  • Adding Detail to Old Photos

10 Things You Can’t Do with a Smartphone

Smartphones are taking over, and the gap in image quality continues to shrink.  (See my lecture about Computational Photography given to the Royal Photographic Society for more on this topic.)  But there are still areas where the big cameras are essential.  Below is a short list (click on any image to view larger and sharper):

1.  Olympic Sports / Nature Photography / Horseback Riding

This is the first example most people think of.  Anything requiring a telephoto lens and subject tracking will remain the domain of mirrorless cameras (and to some extent DSLRs, although the mirrorless camera bodies have eclipsed the DSLR's legendary tracking abilities).

Monday, February 27, 2023

AI - Why Humans will Need a Label

In This Edition:

  • Can ChatGPT write code?
  • Humans need a Label

Can ChatGPT write code?

Continuing on last month's sermon about these new "AI" machine learning tools used to generate images, I also thought I'd give ChatGPT a chance to help me with a programming need.  I had a folder with 500 images in it of various sizes and formats, and wanted to shrink just some of them and save them to a different directory using the original file type.  You can't use Photoshop actions for this because it lacks the ability to do an "IF - THEN".

So I asked this question of ChatGPT and my jaw dropped when I saw its response: 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

AI: The Alarmists are Worried about the Wrong Thing

AI-generated imagery from the series "Poverty's Got Talent" by Lulian Barbulescu

(Click on any image to view larger and sharper.)

Last month I took a deep dive into the emerging field of AI Image Generation tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DALL-E 2 for an article in Cameracraft Magazine.  (Here's a downloadable copy of that issue.  You're welcome. :-) )  At the end of the article I concluded that these tools are in their infancy, and the following things need to be fixed before they can be truly useful: