The Fine Print

(C) 2005

It’s always in the details. This weekend finds me printing and reprinting comparison pix, looking at differences between methods: between digital and medium format film cameras, and between different ways to print their results.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve found myself increasingly dissatisfied with prints smaller than 8×10”, printing 11×14 and preferably larger. The Epson will deliver a predictable solid 12x18 from 35mm format digi, or 12x12 from a MF negative. And even that seems small a lot of the time…

3 min read

Heap

Palo Alto 2005 (C) K.Bjorke

Sometimes journal entries gestate for a bit, maybe they just ferment. Or rot. This one’s been in the mulch for three weeks, even as other entries came and went. Maybe it could be several different posts. This is what I have tonight, rambling and ranting.

At the last Bay Area Photologgers event over at Cafe Reverie, there was some talk about the Creative Commons Copyright. I’m not a big fan of it, it seems to be just one more bit of legal grease for the ongoing zero-cost transfer of all creative rights to the hands of publishers. What’s wrong with the existing laws, why is Creative Commons needed? Are people that desperate to feel validated by commercial publication?

Call me jaded, but it doesn’t work for me. Especially when you know just how much commercial image theft goes on already. Don’t believe me? Try this news tidbit on for size: SAA Trial Reveals High Rate of Commercial Misuse of Getty Images Online.

6 min read

Famous

Famous

A new surprise among library books: Famous Photographers Course, in three oversized volumes.

Yes, it was published by “Famous Photographers School,” which apparently is now completely defunct after being absorbed a while back by Al Dorne’s Famous Artists School (which doesn’t offer anything about photography at this point, AFAIK). These books were published back in 1964.

What attracted me to them initial was the list of “faculty” instructors, including Bert Stern, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstadt, Irving Penn, Philippe Halsman…

1 min read

Fastest Thumb in the West

Contax G2 the RIGHT way

AF, MF, VF, SAF.

After having to answer this over and over again, and by request, I’m making a permanent entry here on the subject of fast accurate focusing with the Contax G2. The next time a Leica collector starts up about “slow AF” (this from a guy with no AF), I’ll at least be able to lean back and type a URL to them with a smooth, authoritarian air.

So here goes:

8 min read

GPU Gems 2

GPU Gems 2

It’s here! Today I had a copy of GPU Gems 2 in my hand, newly back from the printer. Like new cars, freshly-printed books have that Special Sellable Smell all their own. Sweet. You’ll find a teensy print of this photo inside the front section, as I’ve reprised my section-editor role from the previous edition — though this time I’ve stepped back to let other people write more of the book content proper.

My section, titled simply “High Quality Rendering” covers innovative uses of GPUs in image processing for movies like SpiderMan; in high-end compositing programs like Apple Motion and rendering programs like Gelato; and a handful of other push-the-envelope imaging methods aimed at getting the best quality images possible from a high-speed GPU pipeline. You can get a glimpse of them by checking out the Visual Table of Contents that’s printed inside the book’s front cover. We think this new edition is even better than the first best seller.

You can order Gems 2 from Amazon or just show up at the Moscone Center for the Game Developers Conference 2005 where there are sure to be copies on-hand and on sale. Last year’s conference booksellers sold as many copies of Gems 1 as the printer could ship!

1 min read