Monday, June 30, 2008

Blog of Note - Nathan's Favorite New Flavor

About Me

My Photo
Nathan Marx
Family photographer extraordinare and all around good guy! This blog is about sharing photos that I have taken mostly of the family, but other things as well. The new thing is about sharing tips and techniques that I have learned about photography to those (especially my family) who may be interested in learning how to better their photo taking experience. I am only a hobbiest and have limited experience so take my tips with an iceberg sized grain of salt. This hobby started when I bought a Nikon D40 in April of 2007...See it Here

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Demystifying D-SLR Sensor Cleaning

We have put this site together to help educate the consumer on how to clean the CCD/CMOS sensor in their Digital SLR Cameras. With so much disinformation out there along with some trying to scare you into buying their supplies, we are here to clear the smoke and demystify the subject.

The difference between this site and others is:

  • These instructions are written by a Certified Photographic Consultant & Professional Camera Repairman, Curt Fargo, and Camera Repairs most published author, Larry Lyells
  • Developed from real world experiences and written in layman's terms
  • We are a regular business with a store front
  • With an appointment, we will even show you in person how to accomplish this task (free of charge)
  • We want you to be able to clean YOUR sensor no matter where you have bought your supplies from
  • We don't offer information on only one method, we offer information on ALL major methods
  • We don't represent any one manufacturer and we sell no advertising to help keep our information unbiased.

  • ..Best one that coves ALL the ways...Here

Anonymous Innerstrife said...

I'm looking forward to your advice! I was taking some shots yesterday using a couple different lenses and discovered that the same "artifacts" are showing up on every photo, but I have no idea how to clean the camera.

Thanks for making the site!

February 7, 2008 9:41 PM

Anonymous Bazzen said...

Thanks a lot for posting this up. Now I can do my self-cleaning, no need to pay the camera shop a hefty sum anymore for the cleaning.

May 5, 2008 6:02 PM

How To Read and Understand a Histogram

How To Read and Understand a Histogram

By Ellis Vener

“The map is not the territory” – Alfred Korzybski

What is a histogram and what does it tell us about a photograph?

A histogram is nothing more than a bar graph. It shows how the luminance values in a in a digital or digitized photograph are distributed...Full Article Here

Getting The Sharpness You Paid For

Your brand new lens just arrived, and you can't wait to try it out. You rush out to capture a few images, expectations high and visions of sugarplums dancing in your head. With an afternoon of shooting captured in the camera, you rush home, download your images, and your head drops low. What happened? You used a tripod, your exposures were right on, composition looks good, but the images lack the sharpness you were expecting. Has this ever happened to you?

You just paid out several weeks of take-home pay for this optical marvel only to come away depressed after it's first use. You curse the lens, or lament the fact that somehow you must have gotten a lemon.

Well, before you write that letter to the manufacturer or return the lens, you owe it to yourself to check it out first. Actually, checking a new lens for sharpness should be the first thing we do when we purchase it, but all too often we just want to run out and shoot a few images first...Full Article - Here

Flickr Group Spotlight - DoF group

About DoF

DoF group's current featured pool submission:
(As of 22nd August 2007)

bubbling over

Depth of Field - For the Technical and Artistic.


- Don't necessarily have to be a very shallow depth of field, but there must be a clear focus point, and a clear field of de-focus.

- Photos where everything is clearly in focus won't be allowed: this is a group to showcase the use and control of Depth of Field to acheive a particular result.

- No "faked" depth of field please! (i.e. the depth of field must be an entirely natural consequence of the aperture and not created or altered [exaggerated] in photoshop) Absolutely NO HDR.

- No photo compositions - single photos better portray good DoF.

-No large borders/added text titles. - these distract the eye from the DoF in the photo. It also makes the photo far less discernible at the small size in the pool. The pool is therefore supposed to be a good representation of DoF.

-No group spamming/ Pool dumping - this is defined by any one photo being added to more than 20 groups. This is especially important if your photo does not meet any other requirements of the group; in this case you will be removed without warning.
We like the DoF pool to be somewhat unique on flickr.

- Lets try and keep the super close flower macros to a minimum! They have their place in DoF but with all super close macros there will be a very shallow DoF and there are lots and lots of groups for Flower Macros out there.

- ONE PHOTO A DAY. No spamming please.

- Showcase your cleverness - do you feel particularly *smrt* that you decided to focus on one aspect of a scene and ignore the rest?


- Your techniques: how do you like to get the results you do?
- Nerdiness encouraged! Any mathematical formulae, equations or calculators pertaining to Depth of Field or Focal length ratios?
- The merits of Depth of Field in art.
- Everything related to Depth of Field, Aperture and Focal length.

Have fun! Don't forget - nerds and artists can co-exist here!

Additional Information

This group is public This is a public group.

  • View the group rules.
  • Members can post 1 photo to the pool

See them - Here

(ASHOTAPART) - Audio Tutorials on Photography

The following are three audio/interactive tutorials on three core basics of digital photography, exposure, histogram, and white balance. On each tutorial the goals are:

• Demystify a lot of the terms and vocab
• Learn by experimentation, not passive reading. The audio guides you along as you adjust your camera and go on little mini shoots
• Knowledge of topics discussed will help any photographer in any context, from artistic photo shoots to casual vacation photos
• No prior knowledge is assumed or needed
• Additional links are included to visual examples to help reinforce points
• Go through the sections in order at your own pace are....Here

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aperture Foundation web site


> Click here to see a snapshot history of Aperture (PDF 1MB).

Aperture—the premier not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to advancing fine photography—was founded in 1952 by six profoundly gifted individuals possessed of lofty ideals and high ambition: photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall. With scant resources, these prescient artists created a new periodical, Aperture magazine, to serve the medium, and photography users and fine art lovers worldwide.

For more than fifty years, Aperture magazine has been unrivalled in its excellence and critical acclaim. And, as photography and the medium grew, so too did the Aperture Foundation, expanding to include the subsequent publication of books, limited edition prints and portfolios, traveling exhibitions, and an educational program that includes lectures and panel discussions with artists, curators, and other key players in the field of photography.

With profound respect for the integrity of the viewer’s experience and the artist’s vision, Aperture presents to the public the finest photographic images that are faithful to the artist’s intent and to the truth of the subject. These images are conveyed as intended by the artist, uncompromised by commercial motive, marketplace trends, or external censorship...Here

Back to Basics - Aperture

Aperture is one of the three main controls you can use when you are taking a picture. Along with shutter speed and ISO, aperture controls how light will hit the sensor..Full Tutorial - Here

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR - My New lens Sweet !

With the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G DX selling for US$1199 and with some worried that the appearance of the FX frame size meaning fewer high-end DX bodies in the future, a lot of D200 and D300 shooters are looking for a lower priced alternative that's optically as good. The US$449 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is the usual suspect, and the subject of this review....Here

I was wanting the Sigma 18-50 EX HSM macro but was never in stock so alot of reading and this is just as good if not slightly better IQ wise.

I'm happy with it so far.

45 Best Freeware Design Programs

Some of them are pretty decent alternatives, not only for those who are not willing to spent some big Bucks, but also for those who need some specific tasks done, like resizing a batch of picture without needing to run the almighty Photoshop. Full List....Here

Available Light Close-Ups

The way in which a close-up is taken can range from a simple grabbed hand-held shot of a dew drop on a blade of grass to setting up the camera on a tripod and using a diffuser as well as a reflector to enhance the available light for a static subject...Full HowTo - Here

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Flickr Funny Pic of the Day" - Neither Rain nor Snow nor Baby Fence

Power User's Guide to Firefox 3

You already know about Firefox 3's marquee new features, but now it's time to dig deep and unearth the shortcuts, tweaks, and even Easter eggs that Mozilla marketing doesn't mention. In honor of today's official release of Firefox 3—at 10AM Pacific Time—let's dive in past Firefox 3's most talked-about feature-set into its lesser-known power uses, tricks, and customizations.
..Full Article Here

Fastest-ever flashgun captures image of light wave

Researchers have found a way to generate the shortest-ever flash of light – 80 attoseconds (billionths of a billionth of a second) long.

Such flashes have already been used to capture an image of a laser pulse too short to be "photographed" before (see right).

The light pulses are produced by firing longer, but still very short laser pulses into a cloud of neon gas. The laser gives a kick of energy to the neon atoms, which then release this energy in the form of brief pulses of extreme ultraviolet light.

The trigger pulses fired at the neon cloud are themselves only 2.5 femtoseconds, billionths of a millionth of a second, long, says team member Eleftherios Goulielmakis at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany...Full Article Here

D40 "Photostream of the Week" - kukkurovaca's

See His Photostream...Here

A "Super-Wide Angle" Lenses Shootout

The APS-C sensor in Nikon digital SLRs has a “crop factor” of 1.5X. Wildlife shooters immediately liked the idea of their 200mm lens having the same angle of view as a 300mm lens.

While the gains in apparent focal length on telephoto lenses were praised by nature shooters, the downside of this “crop factor” was that now your 17-35mm lens lost its “super-wide” ability and became a pedestrian 26-52mm lens.

Many early adopters of digital flocked to their local camera shops to purchase the large (and rather expensive) 14mm Nikkor lens. At least then they had an effective focal length of 21mm; wide enough for some, but not truly “super wide” on a DX format body...Full Shootout...Here

Improve Your Photos 60 Seconds at a Time

Some Good stuff...Here

Back To Basics - Exposure Demostrated

As a solid base for demonstration, I chose to display and discuss a bit about a rule know as the "Sunny Day 16" rule. I guess that this rule is known to film photographers, and is of little use nowadays when all the cameras have built in light meters. But we can explore this rule and learn something about exposure from it...Full Article - Here

Resources for Nikon's SB-800 Speedlight

  • Nikon's full color booklet showing various SB-800 portrait setups. (Download and save this file - Nikon could take it away at any time.) Nikon's SB-800 Collection of Sample Photos (PDF)

  • Nikon's SB-800 Instruction Manual. I hated this book at first-- and it took me a long time to actually make sense out of it. It is so laced with acronyms and product codes that it is not very approachable at all. I downloaded the PDF version of the manual and printed it on letter sized paper and put it in a binder. That helped.

  • Nikon SB-800 knowledgebase

  • Nikon School Guide to Creative Lighting. This is a 58 page booklet that has some interesting things... including some details on Joe McNally's shot for National Geographic that utilized 18 SB-800s! I got my copy free by attending Nikon School.

  • Joe McNally's The Speed of Light This is an excellent DVD. I saw one review of it that dismissed it as a marketing piece for Nikon -- I couldn't disagree more. It's very high level -- you won't get into the technical nitty gritty here. It's about vision -- visioning what you can do with the system by traveling light and working fast. In one section he stares right at the camera and says that you have to read the manual -- and that he always carries it with him in his bag. My take is that this DVD is for people like me that need a broad understanding to give context to the minutiae. The details without context are next to impossible to learn well without that. (It's also fun to watch a master at work!)

  • Nikon Imaging's See What Speedlights Can Do. Looks like a new promotional flash presentation -- and some clever how-to virtual setups to demonstrate light ratios.

  • Nikon's SB-800 sales flyer....Full List...Here

Free Adobe Lightroom Presets

I have decided to share my set of black and white presets that I use in Adobe Lightroom.

The set has 3 black and white presets and then 4 split tone presets for each black and white preset, making a total of 15 presets which I am giving away free...Get them Here

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Nikonians Resources

A wealth of information in our articles knowledge base ....
Resources at Nikonians®

Nikon Capture NX Tutorial

Typical Basic Image Edit Work Flow Tutorial

Welcome to Gadget Infinity

Gadget Infinity is a Hong Kong based eShop dedicating to providing high-quality accessories for digital and communication products.

With the advance in technology, we believe the possibility that can be achieved by your electronic gadgets is unlimited.

Our mission is to expand the performance and possibility of your electronic gadgets that truely reflects the sophisticated design of every tiny invention...Check them out Here

Jump to comment form
Blogger Dan said...

I've only ordered the Cactus Triggers from them for my D40 & SB-600, and I have to say, they arrived pretty quick to my doorstep in Milwaukee from Hong Kong (about a week or less).

So, I figure you could call that a good experience.

June 20, 2008 4:24 PM

A Page of Their Own

A new online forum provides a space for women photographers...Here

Using Flickr to teach computers to identify pictures

To get a computer to approximate this capability, the authors needed to provide it with a large database of outdoor scenes that have geographic information associated with them.

That's where Flickr came in. At the time of the research, it contained roughly 20 million images that had both geographic and textual tags.

Full Article Here

Jeffrey’s Autofocus Test Chart

If you suspect that your modern SLR or SLR lens has autofocus problems, you can use a chart like the one offered on this page to perform some tests....Check it out Here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

D40 Blog is now 6 months Old !...Happy Birthday!

Well I am happy to announce we made it to the half-a-year mark.

With close to 450 posts and Total Visits at : 80,500 round down my posts counts and daily blog visits to 78,000 not counting me and that comes to 13,000 hits a month.

So Happy Birthday and thanks to all that helped when I was having Health problems and contributed to the blog. And hope to keep bringing you Informative,Helpful, and Entertaining info on the world of Photography and Nikon D40.

Thanks much,
Orlin is a news blog dedicated to news and information about all things Lightroom...Here

National Geographic Photographer Brings Her Kids to Work

Annie Griffiths Belt's latest book highlights her dedication to both her family and her photography.

June 3, 2008

Balancing work with a social life can be a challenge even for single photographers, but adding a husband and two kids to the mix can lead to disaster, or worse, a desk job...Full Story Here

Firefox 3 has been Released..!

Just made available to the masses.

Get it Here!

1 Comment

Close this window Jump to comment form
Blogger Dan said...

And, while you're at it, why not download the Opanda Exif viewer for Firefox 3?

I'm still trying to figure out if it's handy or not, but there have been some images I've found online that intrigued me, and having that exif info helped me to take similar approaches here and there. Then again, not too many images have their info available. So, I'll let you decide.

June 17, 2008 8:52 PM

Flickr Threads How do you get those Buddy Icons

It adds name_reply and icon_reply links at each of the comments under your photo. When you click on the link, the buddy icon html code will be added into the Add your comment box, where you can show nicely who your replies are directed at. Experiment with preview and you will get the hang of formatting your replies in no time. (Should work on photo and discussion thread pages).

It skips over deleted accounts and only offers the name_reply link if the contact has no personalised buddy icon. Unfortunately this might conflict with other GM scripts that you have installed and I have no time to test them yet.

You need to be running Firefox Web browser install GreaseMonkey Extension and and the script from flickr thread.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Flickr Funny Pic of the Day" - well locked bike

well locked bike, originally uploaded by random dude.

70-200 mm f/2.8 G ED IF VR Nikkor Reviewed

Old review on a classic Lens

Back to Basics: DoF

Full Article...Here

Digital Photography For What It's Worth on Filters

Why Optical Filters?

Optical filters function in digital photography much as they do in film work. Properly used, they can condition the light entering the camera in favorable ways—often in ways that post-processing can't easily duplicate.

I find it useful to think of optical filters as a kind of image pre-processing. As with post-processing, optical filters can foster maximum photorealism, maximum visual impact or various things in between. Mounting filter increases your risk of flare, among other downsides by no means unique to digital cameras.

But when you find yourself face to face with a photographic challenge nicely addressed by a particular filter type, the cost/benefit ratio is usually more than favorable. In fact, it's not uncommon for filters to make otherwise difficult or impossible shots feasible.

..Full Article - Here

Nikon D40 Shutter Life Expectancy Database

Nikon D40

Direct link to this page: nikon_d40

Average number of actuations after which shutter is still alive: 12,291.2

Average number of actuations after which shutter died: 104,944.2

Update: The database is out of whack due to an idiot in training he summited the following:

114) Submitted by 888
Clicks: 8,388,607
Shutter still alive: No

I emailed site author and ask him if he could remove entry.

Grand Theft Photo

Watch out! Chances are, someone is ripping off your pictures. Here's how to protect your creative property.

February 2008

When Robert Burch discovered that an online travel agency was ripping off four photos he'd shot in Ghana, he didn't just get mad. He got a court order. Last summer, a federal judge in New York awarded the Quebec-based photographer $64,866 for the unauthorized use of his copyrighted images. Collecting that money, though, may be impossible. And don't even get Burch started on the 535 websites (his latest count, as of late November) that have used his images without permission....Full Story..Here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Flickr Funny Pic of the Day" - Huge!

Huge!, originally uploaded by daisybaxter.

01 - natural looking flash from Planet Neil - Tangents

Making flash not look like flash:

I’m a heavy user of flash - most of my photos have flash one way or another. But I try and hide that fact.

I nearly always have an on-camera flash, but I try to diffuse it or bounce it wherever possible. I use as little direct flash as I can, except outdoors where I try and use available light, and use flash only to lift the shadows and reduce the contrast.

However, sometimes it is just best to overpower the ambient light with flash - but still try to make it look natural, ie, not like flash...Full Article Here

Nikonians Discussing Bags

Forum Discusions on Bags Here

Nikon D40 Blog - Amateur Hour

Straight from a point and shoot to a new Nikon D40!

Hello, I'm a complete beginner to the DSLR world and very overwhelmed at everything there is to learn and do. I've read the books and watched the DVD's and surfed the net. Now I need a one stop site to review it all. Thus, the creations of this Blog. Everything Nikon D40. Lenses, Books, Web Sites, Tutorials and much More. All D40 owners are welcome to add comments and information at any time. "It's amateur hour, Let the learning begin"...Check it Out Here