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 / Photography
Popular Photography

Popular Photography January 2016

Popular Photography brings you step-by-step secrets of the pros for taking their most amazing shots. You’ll discover the best equipment at the best prices, get comprehensive comparative reports on cameras, lenses, film, digital equipment, printers, scanners, software, accessories and so much more. Get Popular Photography digital magazine subscription today.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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2 min.
a fresh start

For instance, some of you may remember a promise I made to scan and share my family’s old photos. Still not done. A suitcase stuffed with my dad’s slides sits waiting. But optimism reigns, at least as the New Year begins. So in 2016 I swear I will scan all those old photos. But I have another resolution: Inspired by Peter Kolonia’s feature, “Find Your Voice” (page 64), I’m going to start a fresh photo project. I won’t tell you what it is now, but I plan to follow his advice to shoot a subject close to home and show my work in progress to a few helpful critics. I’m not the only editor here making photographic resolutions. “Mine is to get all my old photos into my new catalog and backup…

1 min.

All in the Timing Down to his last sheet of 8x10 Fujichrome Astia 100F film, Rodney Lough Jr. was about to capture one of the geysers in the background of this Yellowstone National Park scene, which was going off full-force. Then he heard a spurt to his right. He swiftly moved his tripod-mounted Arca Swiss 8x10 F-line with a 300mm lens (about a 40mm equivalent on this large-format camera) back a few feet, recomposed his shot, and managed to catch the peak of both the near geyser and the sunset. (We cropped the image, which he calls “Lion’s Heart,” slightly at top and bottom to better fit this page. You can see the original at rodneyloughjr.com.) His spurof-the-moment exposure was 4 sec at f/64.5. Lough opines on truth in nature photography…

1 min.
gift picks

Benessimo! ZENELLI CARBON ZX GIMBAL HEAD The Ferrari of gimbal heads claims that its new carbon fiber model, at just over 2 pounds, is the lightest of its kind. Rated to hold up to 154 pounds of equipment, this is no featherweight, though. Panorama enthusiasts should dig its central focal-point alignment and built-in spirit level. $1,480, street; zenelli.it Stick ’Em Up PODO CAMERA Leave your regular compact at home and stick one of these adhesive 8MP cameras on virtually any surface for group photos or selfies. With eight LEDs ringing its lens and offering 720p video, the PODO won’t miss out on the action. Its 1.8-ounce body stores up to 4GB of fun, and it comes in blue, red, black, or white. $99, direct; podolabs.com Less is More ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 14 Not ready to pull the trigger…

2 min.

File Fitness JPEGMINI PRO BY BEAMR Slim down your jpegs with this imagecompression software. As a stand-alone app or Lightroom plug-in, it reduces image file sizes by up to 80 percent. It works with JPEGs up to 50MB on PC or Mac. $149, download; jpegmini.com Fast Glass ROKINON 21MM F/1.4 Exclusively for the crop-sensor crowd—in mounts for Canon, Fujifilm, Micro Four Thirds (Olympus and Panasonic), and Sony—this wide-angle lens should deliver nice bokeh when stopped down courtesy of its rounded, nine-blade aperture. It’s manual focus only, but there’s nothing low-tech about its optical design: One extra low-dispersion and three aspherical elements work to fight chromatic aberration. $499, street; rokinon.com Domestic Digitizer PLUSTEK OPTICFILM 135 This wallet-friendly, dedicated 35mm film scanner will turn your negatives and slides into digital image files in less than 3.5 minutes. To boot, its…

2 min.
bigger picture

IF THE RED line decorating Canon’s new imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 reminds you of the company’s L-series lenses, it’s no accident. Canon clearly wants to remind photographers who trust its DSLR systems that photos aren’t finished until they’re printed. The Pro-1000, which prints on paper sheets up to 17 inches wide, offers some plusses for small studios and serious enthusiasts. Weighing 70 pounds and selling for $1,300 (street), it’s heavier and pricier than a desktop inkjet but delivers results that aren’t possible with smaller printers such as Canon’s 13-inch Pixma Pro-1. The new head has 18,423 nozzles (50 percent more than the Pro-1) and can lay down 32 million droplets of ink per second. Canon rolled out a new 12-tank Lucia Pro inkset, too. Along with the usual pigments (cyan, photo cyan, magenta,…

2 min.
baryta day

REMEMBER THE RICH tonal range and texture of fiber-based darkroom photo paper? A key ingredient, Baryta (also called barium sulfate), helps turn that regular fine-art paper into a bright substrate. The same stuff that helps inkjet paper makers bring such qualities to digital prints. Here are six, some new, that we think are worth a try. (All street prices are for a 25-count box of 8.5x11-inch sheets.) 1 Red River San Gabriel SemiGloss Fiber $24 Red River released this Baryta paper a few years ago with the aim of making high-end fiber affordable. A lightly textured surface and slightly warm tonality give it a natural look. HOT: It contains no optical brightener agents (“OBAs”). NOT: Unless you live in Dallas, you’ll have to order online—Red River doesn’t do retail sales. redrivercatalog.com 2 Innova…