Lives in United States Norwalk, CT, United States
Works as a Photographer
Has a website at www.jimkphoto.com
Joined on Jul 31, 2008
About me:

Life-long photographer, full-time pro for many years, now part-time. Day job: photo research and offset printing image prep for calendars and coffee table books.


Total: 18, showing: 1 – 18

Let me get this straight. A photo buyer goes to Getty and using its resources, purchases a license for a public domain image. I can understand Getty charging a fee for using its services; researching the LOC is an uncomfortable experience. The Getty site is far more accessible and user friendly. But how can it charge a licensing fee?

What I find troubling, though, is Getty suing for the use of the image not licensed from its site. How is that possible if the image is public domain?

Link | Posted on Aug 3, 2016 at 16:32 UTC as 9th comment | 1 reply

Photographs are not the truth. The verisimilitude of photographics seduces the audience. Thoughtful viewers understand this. We can never know what came before or after or what is not included in the frame. It's like a river: it's never the same. That there is so much hand wringing over manipulated images is absurd. Few images straight out of the camera can be published without some processing: should we not brighten the shadows or darken the sky, or remove dust and scratches or spots from the sensor? NGM should not be faulted for altering the image to fit the format. It's an illustration from a moment in time. There's an aesthetic imperative to make it fit. The IDEA that the image conveys has not been corrupted; in fact the idea has been enhanced. Photographers should never be reprimanded or lose their jobs because they processed an image--or added or removed details that better conveys the message. When was a photograph anything but an opinion?

Link | Posted on Jul 5, 2016 at 19:12 UTC as 48th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

FantasticMrFox: Just out of interest, how much better does this actually work than Lightroom's built-in noise reduction? I've always found the Nik and Topaz plugins appealing, especially Nik Silver Efex and Topaz Denoise, but do the $50 really give you so much cleaner and detailed images than what Lightroom can do on its own? How big is the difference?

Would love to get some feedback on that.

With OMD ISO 1600 to 6400 (I haven't used hight), TDN6 does a MUCH better job. I've found that LR leaves a black grain-like pattern in the shadows. It may be I'm not using LR correctly. However, TDN6 rendering is quite slow, impacting the workflow; whereas in LR, you can go to another image and render when the photo is needed by an external application or further editing in Photoshop. The presets for the OMD EM-1 are quite effective and I imagine will work with other OMD models as, I think, the processors and processing engine are the same.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2016 at 18:59 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7S Review (496 comments in total)
In reply to:

armandino: Question to Mirrorless experts:
I recently considered to add to my cameras collection a mirrorless but I could not find out how you can keep your lens wide open while setting a small diaphragm. In other words, when I work in studio, I do not want to preview the exposure but set the exposure for the flashes, to say f11 while having a bright image on the screen with the modelling lights. Can all mirrorless do that? which ones do?

I've been using the Olympus OMD for a little over a year, switching from Nikon--and will not go back. There is a setting to turn off exposure preview so the EVF stays bright, even though the exposure is for the flash and the subject is lit with modeling lights or the room light many stops lower.

The first time is used the camera on assignment, I didn't know how to change this setting and the view finder was almost completely dark. I was guessing my compositions, but I pleased the client--and that's what really counts.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2015 at 18:06 UTC

I tried it last night on one sample image Affinity supplies and one of mne. To replace Photoshop, it has a long, long way to go. For instance, no eye-dropper for color samples in HSL adjustments, no rotate, flip and scale for stamp tool, plus various bugs that are to be expected in a beta version. Also, only a partial list of current camera RAW file compatibility; though you could convert to DNG and import that way. No image browser. Despite this, the feature set seems adequate and yes, I barely scratched the surface.

Yet, for me to seriously consider Affinity Photo, it has to have near-parity with Photoshop--at least all the tools I use. The developer seems ambitious with a huge catalog of Windows imaging and web apps and a road map for key Mac apps aimed directly at Adobe. They are reasonably priced and a tempting alternative to the Creative Suite subscription. Adobe could be vulnerable.

I will be keeping my eye on this software, and cheering them on.

Link | Posted on Feb 10, 2015 at 20:40 UTC as 58th comment
On article Olympus Stylus 1s camera announced in Japan (94 comments in total)

I, too, had the Stylus 1. After about 300 clicks, a fresh battery started to deplete after only 20 or so exposures and the control wheel started to bind. Back it went for a refund. I would have replaced it, but I saw rumors of the Stylus 1s, then unnamed. The rumor had the right image for the camera, as it matched the one here. No clam-shell lens cover, which I thought felt flimsy, waiting for a clumsy move to puncture and render the camera inoperable.

I really liked using it. Great compliment to my OMD system; almost pocketable with respectable image quality. The improvements stated here will be worth the wait until a similar product is introduced in the USA.

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2014 at 17:10 UTC as 12th comment
On article Fujifilm X-T1 Review (656 comments in total)
In reply to:

Scott Eaton: I'm comparing the studio samples of XT-1 -vs- the entry level Canon and Nikon offerings, and would like to know why everybody is raving about the image quality?

Entire swaths of color detail are missing in the XT-1, edges of detailed objects look like they are being over-processed with grain reduction techniques, and the image quality is mushy, non-distinct, and looks synthetic. While the XT-1 does a good job with noise reduction, it looks no different than Nikon / Canon sensors with luminance reduction cranked to some absurd levels in post.

DPR can rave about skin tones all they want. Pretty much all skin tones I'm looking at are identical because of the low color sensitivity of the sensor. What ever attraction this camera has is likely due to the name on the front, or some other intangible nostalgia.

I'm wondering how the in-camera processing is set. I have an OMD EM1 and out of the box the jpgs, and RAWS interpreted from the jpgs settings via LR were really degraded. I set turned off all in-camera noise reduction and the image quality was vastly improved. Is the same thing going on here with the XT-1?

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2014 at 17:56 UTC
On article AP cuts ties with Pulitzer-winning photographer (166 comments in total)
In reply to:

LeitzKameraAktion: Nick Ut's famous 1972 Vietnam image of naked 9 year old Kim Phuc running down a road, after being burned by Napalm, looks far more dramatic and scary when seen in its familiar cropped version, which eliminates almost half the right side of the image. The full image lacks the intensity and concentration of the cropped version, because the figures on the right seem uninterested and unconcerned about the drama taking place just ahead of them. Cropping the image focuses one's attention on the traumatised children, and their anguished expressions. For me. Contreras' manipulation was done in much the same spirit; to eliminate distracting detail in order to focus one's attention on the essentials. While the end result might not be literally accurate, it does not falsify the reality or authenticity of what's being depicted - the core-truth if you like. Suppose Contreras had physically removed the video camera BEFORE taking his shot; how is that morally different to doing it electronically?

Cropping is often essential to fit the layout. Sometimes the background needs to be expanded to make the picture fit the frame.

Link | Posted on Jan 24, 2014 at 18:10 UTC
On article Adobe expands Photoshop and Lightroom offer (628 comments in total)

Don't criticize Adobe for creating a way to protect its investment. They employ an army of coders to build Photoshop and at one time PS was the most pirated software on the internet. Software as complex and powerful as PS is not free, and Adobe is entitled to make a profit, especially if it supplying tools that others use to make a profit. Hence the Creative Cloud business model.

As a professional user of Photoshop, I have always purchased the upgrades as they were released. I also use some of the other tools available from Creative Cloud, so the cost of the subscription is really a bargain, especially when compared with the prior prices of boxed versions. It's the cost of doing business.

Those users who would select less capable software, mostly out of spite, are giving up a competitive advantage.

Link | Posted on Nov 22, 2013 at 15:23 UTC as 65th comment | 14 replies
On article Nikon Coolpix P7800 real-world samples (82 comments in total)
In reply to:

108: Very nice camera, nice samples. Now the american Amazon retail price new is 546.95 usd, whereas on Amazon germany and france it sells for euros 561. At today conversion rate ( 1.35 dollar for 1 euro ), that puts the" european" 7800 at 757,35 usd equivalent. Given all the talk about free trade and fair treatment to all nations, anyone can explain to me this discrepancy ? Assuming some kind of adjustment for whatever economic/standard of living reason, let's say a 1.15 conversion rate to be nice, that's still 15% more than US retail price. What are we european customers ? Idiots to be milked dry by austerity measures while our american counterparts continue enjoying better prices for the same goods paid with paper printed at will by the FED ?

VAT is 19% in the EU, hence the price difference. Which makes the base price lower.

Link | Posted on Oct 2, 2013 at 17:09 UTC
On article Pro DSLRs, Pro Photographers (126 comments in total)

Great. Today's top of the line pro cameras can crank out thousands of tack-sharp, perfectly exposed images. But, what's the percentage of keepers?

When I started as a stringer for AP in Boston, I brought in 4 rolls from the assignment. The editor flipped: "I don't want to look through 120 images to pick one," he screamed. "If you can't get it on one roll, I don't want to see it." I don't think that has changed with digital, though it's easier to see the images on a monitor than squinting at negatives on a light box.

Over-shooting doesn't guarantee the font page shot. Sports and news photography requires pre-visualizing and anticipating the moment. How else did Catrier-Bresson get those great images with a manual film advance Leica? Though I guess that could be changing with high frame rate, high resolution video capture--if you have time to go through all those pictures.

Link | Posted on Mar 13, 2013 at 18:14 UTC as 28th comment | 3 replies

I don't care what others say. I bet the new processor solves the moire problem. Look at the results at normal viewing distance--that's what counts. I pre-ordered mine yesterday from BH.

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2013 at 19:46 UTC as 8th comment
In reply to:

Ivan Azzopardi: I dont think about real or fake as i do not agree with photo editing software unless it is traceable.Some people say it is creativity but i still dont agree. Thats what comes out you cannot determine real from fake not even in competitions magazines and even newspapers. Photography is ruined with photo editing software. Good luck digital artists !!

All photography is fake. It's a two dimensional rendering of three dimensional objects in a moment of time. Its verisimilitude has seduced viewers since it was invented.

Link | Posted on Nov 5, 2012 at 22:02 UTC
On article First Pictures by Joel Sternfeld (35 comments in total)

Others in this thread asked how does Sternfeld's images differ from the average snap shooter? Why is a dull, gone-to-seed urban image art? A baby in a laundry basket--why is that art? Cut-off the mother's head could be just sloppy photography; had I made the shot I would have included the mom. The girl in slippers and jump rope in cheesey pose, perhaps this is a social comment; but is it art? Why are these images centered? The self-appointed "experts" declare a body of work "art," and their visually illiterate sycophants concur. The rest of us puzzle and wonder what is the photographer seeing that we should see? In photography, documentary can be mistaken for art. If an image informs, but does not uplift can it be art? Wegee's gritty news pictures 80 years later put on the wall get called art. Zoe Strauss's recent show at the Phily Art Museum was a disturbing document that left me depressed; it wasn't art for me. Compare these images to those by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliot Erwitt.

Link | Posted on May 3, 2012 at 21:38 UTC as 12th comment | 3 replies

This whole image integrity thing is a bunch of BS. A photo is an opinion, not the truth. It's a 2-dimensional, cropped impression of a moment in time/space. How photos can be conflated with truth is beyond me. It's no different than the reporter who edits a long quote to fit the space. And, what about the moment before or after the published picture was made? What about the small crowd that can appear large if the image is cropped from the top in camera? What about the man crying in one frame and laughing in the next? Which is "true." There isn't a photo on earth that does not need some processing to prepare it for publication. Oh, and publication? What does the 65 line screen on cheap news print do to the dynamic range of an image? Hey, people, get real.

Link | Posted on Feb 3, 2012 at 21:31 UTC as 145th comment | 4 replies
On article Interview: Tetsuya Yamamoto of Nikon (194 comments in total)

People who haven't used the Nikon 1 system shouldn't comment on the camera. Having just returned from a week in Istanbul, I found the camera a worthy substitute for my D300. IQ: I placed an image in a 2013 12" x 12" calender; so we see the future of camera technology that defies physics. I have used cameras with only three controls: aperture, shutter speed and focus. I carried a hand-held light meter. They used film, which I had to process if I wanted any kind of quality. The 1 series can be used without the fancy auto settings Nikon provides the point and shooters, and without custom settings, buried in endless menus. OK, for ISO adjustment, there's a trip to the menu. But if you leave the ISO the last function accessed, it's there up front for the next time. If the auto ISO selection is too slow, use manual. No big deal. Here's a link to my images, a quick edit of the 1750 I made. File names beginning with HG were made on a Nikon D60: http://www.jimkphotographics.com/istanbul2012/

Link | Posted on Jan 31, 2012 at 19:23 UTC as 20th comment | 6 replies

I use LR3, Photoshop CS5 and Expression Media, in a professional environment. EM can render previews in thumbnail view in real time and compare up to six images at a time, with individual or grouped pan and zoom--a far better way to compare similar shots, like in a portrait sitting. But the biggest disappointment is Lightroom's inability to open multiple files, as EM can do. No need to cram your whole catalog into one file. EM can easily copy/cut and paste between open databases and search among open catalogs. For my workflow, I make selections in EM and edit in LR. On to Photoshop for additional retouching, HDR and compositing. There is no killer app.

Link | Posted on Jan 20, 2012 at 01:29 UTC as 7th comment
On article Variation Facts and Fallacies (230 comments in total)

Roger confirms my intuition on equipment build quality--a "broad" range of tolerance. I went through a quest with two copies of a Nikkor 16-85 zoom. I told tech support that images were "soft" at short focal lengths and with distant subjects the lens never hit the infinity mark. They looked at my samples and said they were within tolerance. I disagreed and they serviced the lenses without improvement. I sent them back with the camera body, a D300, again failure. So, I took equipment to the Nikon repair station in Melville, NY and pleaded my case to the techie. I even shot a series of images of the Nikon headquarters to demonstrate the problem. When the equipment was returned, lo-and-behold, the lenses were sharp. I don't know what repair was performed. As I understand it, a lens calibration with the camera is only good for one focal length; useless on a zoom. Oh, and the lenses still do not hit the infinity mark on distant subjects and short focal lengths. So much for zone focus.

Link | Posted on Nov 28, 2011 at 23:06 UTC as 24th comment | 1 reply
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