news, announcements and articles

Canon iPF Pro-4000 Review

Canon has taken a great leap forward creating a whole new generation of their aqueous pritners that have some exceptional features. Now that the Canon Pro-4000 has just started shipping, I thought I’d highlight a few features that I found significant.

Roll Feed Unit and Paper Handling
The optional roll feed unit can be used as a take up real as we’ve seen in printers before. But this roll feed unit can also act as a second roll feeder with it’s own unique paper path to the printing area. With this unit we essentially have double roll support that allows users to keep two different rolls installed simultaneously. What’s even more surprising is that the printer can quickly switch between these rolls automatically without user intervention. The leading edge of one roll is kept at the printing area while the leading edge of the unused roll is kept a few inches back in a holding area, ready for use. When a roll is loaded you specify which media it is and the printer keeps track. When you want to print, just select the media in the driver accordingly and the printer knows which roll to print to. Select ‘Luster’ as your media in the driver and it prints to the luster roll, or select ‘Matte’ as your media in the driver and it prints to the matte roll – there’s no need to specify roll 1 or 2. Since Canon printers don’t have the awkward photo and matte black ink switching that Epsons surprisingly still have, this means you can make prints to a matte roll, prints to the luster roll and back to matte extremely quickly without any user intervention (paper loading) at all.


The Pro-4000 has a similar cut sheet loading process that the previous Canon iPF printers had, along with the same curved paper path. While this makes the use of rigid materials impossible, I’ve been able to use large sheets of heavy papers (more…)

New Stack-A-Matic script now optimized for night photography image stacking

image stacking example

Night Photographers use a process called “image stacking” that allows us to (among other things) make extremely long, 1-8 hour exposures that would otherwise be impossible due to overexposure. We take several images that are “stacked” or combined into a single, composite image. Over the years I’ve used a variety of applications to stack these images together including Keith’s Image Stacker, Startrails,exe, LR/Enfuse, “Open in Photoshop as Layers” and older versions of Dr. Brown’s Stack-A-Matic script. Limitations of these processes were frustrating and super slow which made it difficult to teach at workshops.

A few months ago I emailed Russell Brown (AKA: Dr. Brown) with a list of (more…)

Night Photography Book Announcement

Book Covers
Lance Keimig and I are proud to announce that Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark by Focal Press, is now available in bookstores. The book combines Lance’s 20 years of night photography experience, and my 20 years of digital imaging training to create the most expansive and comprehensive exploration of night photography available. At 280 pages, it includes contemporary and historical night images, creative inspiration, how-to tips and detailed discussion on a variety of techniques, including light painting, image stacking, HDR, working with star trails and much more. I was the editor and contributed content throughout the book. The book also includes contributions from Dan Burkholder, Cenci Goepel, Steve Harper, Tom Paiva, Troy Paiva, Shawn Peterson, Christian Waeber and Jens Warnecke.

“For most of us, when the sun sinks below the western horizon, we pack up our cameras and head for dinner. But it needn’t be that way. Lance Keimig and Scott Martin have teamed to provide the most comprehensive instructions for photographers willing to explore the beauty of the night. Just published by Focal Press, “Night Photography: FInding your way in the dark” includes a history of night photography from the earliest practitioners using glass plates to contemporary artists using the latest digital equipment. The book covers topics from basic subjects such as determining exposures and photographing by moonlight to more exotic topics like high dynamic range imaging (HDR), light painting and star trails. One section details the techniques of a workflow that is applicable for both day and night digital imaging. For photographers bewildered by the increasing problem of keeping up with digital files, this alone is worth the price of the book. Keimig is uniquely qualified to guide both beginners and professionals in the subject of night photography. He has photographed at night for over 20 years and teaches at New England School of Photography in Boston. In addition, he and Scott Martin, a digital photography educator and fine art photographer, conduct a series of workshops in night photography around the American Southwest.” – Bill Wright

Although the book is available at a variety of bookstores including Amazon, I recommend buying a signed copy direct from Lance. Not only is it nice to support the author, his signed copies are under retail and have an option of including a print of the cover image.

Lightroom 3 beta 2 released (updated with commentary)

LR3beta2 is out! Here are some noteworthy points:

  • • Speed is greatly improved.
  • • Importing has been improved and refined.
  • • Tethering for popular Nikon and Canon cameras is now supported.
  • • Watermarking is improved (although still not ideal).
  • • Luminance Noise Reduction has been added to complement the new demosaicing and color noise algorithms.
  • • New Vignette styles.
  • • Adjustment Brush and Gradient tools can now be stacked to strengthen the effect.
  • • New Print Layout capabilities with Rotate to fit and Rotate Cell options.
  • • Video files can now be imported from DSLRs along with still images.
  • • The X key conveniently toggles the orientation in the crop tool.
  • • Perspective Control and Soft Proofing are not in this beta (but are in development for future release).
  • • While LR3beta1 catalogs can be updated for use in LR3beta2, LR2 catalogs still cannot be. This is after all, a beta release that is not intended, nor recommended for production work.


The biggest thing for my own workflow is the speed and overall responsiveness of this release, which is better than any 1.x or 2.x  release. When I upgraded to the 21mp Canon 5Dmark2 I’ve been frustrated with the responsiveness of Lightroom ever since – until now. It’s pretty hard to go back to 2.6 for production work. On high resolution 20+ megapixel files, LR3beta2 is far, far faster – sometimes more than 20 times faster when lots of localized adjustments are used. (more…)

Lightroom 3 second public beta to be announced today

Adobe is releasing the second public beta of Adobe Lightroom 3 today. LR3beta1 users won’t be disappointed as there are a significant number of noteworthy features in the new beta that were not in the first. You will be able to download it from the Adobe Labs Lightroom 3 Beta2 page for details. I’m going to play nice and hold my tongue on the new features until it’s officially released.

Checkout Adobe’s video demonstrating the new features in LR3beta2.

Apple gets hip to night photography (updated 2x)

You know night photography has become mainstream when Apple uses a night image for the default background image on their newest device. Note the star trails near the top! I would guess this is a ~25 minute exposure not too long after sunset considering the daylight glow along the horizon and gentle lighting on the foreground. If anyone knows who’s image is used on the iPad, please let me know.

Update: The iPad background image is licensed from RIchard Misrach.

Update: See this in-depth article about the image and Misrach at ARTINFO
iPad with night image

Dan Burkholder Pioneering iPhone Fine Art Photography

My good friend and mentor Dan Burkholder is boldly blazing a new path in a way that only he can. Dan is shooting exclusively with an iPhone and is making and exhibiting some serious fine art prints from it. Don’t laugh – Dan’s not just snapping low resolution images and applying filters to them, viagra sale he’s capturing sometimes dozens of frames, order stitching them together and using half a dozen applications to develop the images to his liking. His final results are fairly high resolution files that make for nice prints. His images are made and developed completely on the iPhone.

Two Bridges at P

In his own words these images are "Untouched by Mac hardware or Adobe software. It’s liberating in so many ways. For the first time we have both camera and darkroom in the palm of our hands." Dan has, at the moment, four "iPhone Artistry" workshops planned around the country that focus exclusively on iPhone based image capture and development. Visit to see more images.

Dan is also credited for inventing the digital negative for contact printing process, pigment over platinum and pigment over gold leaf printmaking.

In-camera AutoHDR

This review provides a little insight into what will surely become a standard feature in all DSLRs in the future: Auto HDR. Sony currently combines only two exposures (+/- 3 EV) which Pentax combines three.

Auto HDR simulation