Tuesday, July 8, 2014


The technology news reported recently that the Apple Mac OS will have a new and different kind of Photo App next year with the next version of the Apple OS. Everyone reading this news, which at best is sketchy, has been very critical. Is it that they will miss iPhoto and Aperture, or is it just people don’t like the idea of change and having to learn something new and different?

But don’t blame Apple for making this change you may be apprehensive of, the real culprit is Intel. What they have done is make the next generation of processing chips which combine both CPU and GPU processing functions int an open environment. No longer will graphics be dependent on a separated processor function with all the inherent limitations of Open GL. Exactly how this will work with photographic functions has not been detailed in any understandable manner, Just generalizations as I have repeated. But you can be sure if Apple will be using this new processor with combined CPU.GPU processing, Microsoft will be offering new operating systems and some very different PC configurations will follow shortly.

Sadly a lot of the comments on this news were worries and concerns photographers would be pushed into switching to Lightroom or some version of Photoshop, and there present workflow is threatened. Sadly they are not aware there have always been very advantageous additional options I have been writing about for some time now, including the easy automated Organic Imaging 2.0; as well as the many versions of Lasersoft Imaging SilverFast software for all aspects of image editing and organizing. These two will also be able to take advantage of the new processing facilities of Intel chips making their advantages even more attractive very likely.

Hold fire, don’t abandon ship or decide you will have to make changes, the rats have not left the ship yet. So let’s all wait and see and maybe the future will look a lot different knowing what will actually be once this new Intel capability is made real in software that will be available next year.  

Friday, April 18, 2014


The HP Dreamcolor name has been around for some time but it has not been a display I have suggested to my readers because most of you don’t have deep, deep pockets and waste what’s in them on overpriced dreams. But even if the name is the same a list price of $599 for their new 24 inch LCD display with a wide Adobe RGB color spectrum puts this HP Dreamcolor along with the few others I can recommend.  And like them this version is as new with an LED backlight and a second generation IPS screen with a size of 1920x1200 pixels. An added feature is a built-in color calibration engine attuned to a customized X-Rite i1 Display Pro accessory add-on.

The physical attributes are the same as other 24 inch pro-graphics displays, with a stand that supports vertical adjustment as well as screen angle and rotation. Built-in features include mode switches that include sRGB, Adobe RGB, native and a video spec alternative, as well as customizable modes. A full array of connection receptacles including DVI, display port and HDMI are part of the physical package. These features extend to an OSD (on screen display) that visually advises the user of the current function status of the display.

Now I’m just waiting until samples of this new HP Dreamcolor display are available. Shortly after that all the primary on-line dealers will be advertising this new affordable HP Dreamcolor Z24 and we will see if their prices put it in the same ball park as the Dell U2413 and Asus PA249Q models.


Just as the month of April 2014 began the news circled around the web that Getty Images had just made some 35 million of its images free to the public. Yes you can go onto the Getty web site and find any one of their millions of images held on file for sale for photographers and artists and many can be downloaded into a web page at no cost now. So what does that do to the value of the image for the photographer who made the image? Virtually it reduces the value of those 35 million images Getty has given away to zero for each of the creators. That is a massive loss to many independent photographers if their individual portfolio of images for license through Getty Images has so drastically been reduced to nothing for the creator photographer.

No its not an April fools bad joke, it really happened. Can the photographers on the loosing end sue Getty? Not really, if you cannot prove you have actually lost anything, how can you convince a court to award you value when the image no longer has any worth. Maybe what this says is if there are so many images photographers have made to choose from, maybe they are not worth much individually any more except for a few rare exceptions. Maybe Getty made them free because it is no longer worth the cost of listing or supporting all those millions if most of them are not in demand and being paid substantial fees for their use. But of course making a gift to user of images sure can’t hurt Getty Images reputation with media users.

I am a photographer so this news about the Getty giveaway was shocking, but for me it just confirmed what I have learned being involved in photo magazine publishing since 1975. There are now many more thousands of photographers active than when I began working as a photographer back in 1952, and the result is they have produced countless numbers of images. There isn’t much today of interest that hans’t been photographed. So I wouldn’t want to be starting out again fresh at it today, and I sure wouldn’t expect that doing stock photography would afford much in future profits. 


It’s called a new image licensing marketplace, called pixels.com. What it makes me think of is when I was a child growing up in Canada, my father worked for what then was known as the world’s largest cooperative. Hundreds of farmers were members and used the cooperative to a large organization capable of selling wheat, oats barley, flax and all kinds of grains to the world’s markets. So each farmer maintained independence and individual freedom to farm in their own way, while the cooperative acted as every members sales agent for the products grown and harvested by the entire cooperative membership.

To some extent pixels.com is just that, it allows each individual to participate in a large group web site along with many others attracting media buyers by its size and diversity, while preserving each participants identity and ownership of the images free to set their own prices to license their images. Pixels.com suggests it has 10 million visitors which would bring it close to the volume of agencies like Getty Images.

Now that pixels.com is open and operating  I visited to look it over and found that it offers a variety of services a photographer can advantage even if their interest is just offering a fine arts image for printing, or to participate in social media image sharing. In other words many of the internet functions of interest to photographers of all kinds can be met by one of the many features that have been brought together by pixels.com. And most important, unlike private business agency representation, each photographers individuality and independence of image ownership remains in their individual hands. You don’t lose control of what happens to your images, they are not taken over and controlled by a business, but remain the sole property of each photographer who can set the fee and terms of usage that is provided to purchasers. Unlike what happened for many photographers by Getty Images giving rights and use of image away free, because if you join pixels.com your image ownership remains in you the photographers hands and cannot be given away. www.pixels.com

Saturday, August 10, 2013


For photographers who need color managed computer editing and processing, a new class of professional grade displays has arrived. This was confirmed to me that NEC’s PA242W is an LED back-lit 24 inch LCD display offering a color range width of 99.3% of Adobe RGB. At a list price of $1,299 in todays market it better be more than good.

For the rest of us, Asus has a 24 inch LCD monitor with 1920x1200 resolution and an Adobe RGB color range that is selling on-line for just over $500. Very soon after receiving an Asus PA249Q for testing and an evaluation report I had it installed on my newest Mac mini. Adjusting, calibrating and profiling with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro resulted in the closest match to my selected aim points I have achieved with any recent display.

This new Asus reproduces digital photographic images with accurate color, smooth tones and very fine detail. It made a number of portrait images easy to retouch manually with Photoshop, with the efficient clean up and correction of complexion errors were effortless to produce finely glamorous images to print. Land and city-scapes were equally easy to edit the image values to obtain an ideal balance of highlight to shadow detail, with a range of colors true as my vision could recall and imagine of the original scene. 

With this new LED backlight just introduced to professional level LCD displays, I was a bit skeptical as this form of backlight, even though it uses less electric power and generates less waste heat has been thought to also reproduce less accurate visual colors. But the RG Phosphor setting selection type the current i1 Display Pro software offers results in a profiled display screen that is a match to some of the best recent CCFL backlight displays I have used. The products from doing edits from high resolution raw scan files proved to me I can obtain an accurate visual perception of image values and adjust to an ideal I cannot improve on.

This technology world we live in keeps changing leaving us lost at almost every turn. But this latest Asus brought me back to where I needed to be to get the visual evidence on screen I require to do justice to photographic editing. Sometimes with new things we get more PR-speech than proof, and the change is just another pain where it hurts most. I cannot imagine doing professional quality photo editing with an iPhone, but that is the latest claim I read in my news today. No wonder many of us are wary of this new world we get as each day passes. It is re-assuring Asus understands the essential parameters that must be met to obtain good professional graphics on-screen reproduction, They set about providing it with no fuss or feathers, the PA249Q monitor is easy to deal with and provides what is needed, a very good quality LCD display at an affordable cost in today’s world many of us can afford.

If you have any questions or comments send David B Brooks an e-mail at goofotografx@gmail.com

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I have been subscribed for a long time to Google’s news service for information on photography and technology. Usually what I get each week are references to stories I have already been aware of to some extent, so seldom exciting until this week. Google news service did a compilation of at least a dozen articles about digital camera sales in America and elsewhere. There was a great contrast with some news that mirrorless system cameras only have 2% of sales in the USA, and five times as many, 10% in Japan.

Google was circumspect about why Americans are not buying these new, technically capable but much slimmer and lighter camera packages, indicating Americans don’t think they are “real”. I’ll not be quite so indirect by saying what I read between the lines in what enthusiasts say to me in e-mail is that dSLR cameras are attractive to them because they have an obvious look and feel to their previous 35mm film counterparts. And , that the new mirrorless system cameras are just fancy point-and-shoot cameras they do not see any serious photography enthusiast being seen with one and being respected as a photographer. In other words it doesn’t matter what technology has accomplished by putting as much performance in a smaller, lighter mirrorless system camera, it does not resemble what they recognize as a serious camera.

America, I have to assume is still a major part of the world camera market, so if camera companies cannot sell but a very small part of what they develop for the future in the USA, and the rest of the world remains in a recession; this rejection of mirrorless system cameras could be a very large loss to camera companies other than Canon and Nikon who have been late and put little into their mirrorless system offerings. But I’ll not venture any predictions on how this will play out ahead. Maybe like me, other photo enthusiast will also get tired of lugging a large heavy bag of gear around. When I changed the mirrorless systems were not available, but a very small but high resolution Sigma DP1 replaced my dSLR. Would I have chosen one of the new mirrorless system cameras instead? Probably not as the cameras that interest me currently are the Fuji X series, a step in a slightly different technology direction. Photographers won’t follow any trends set for them, it’s just like trying to herd cats. 

What I wished for in days past before digital, was the time and resources to go out and make photographs with my 8x10 inch field camera.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


After the LaCie 324i was discontinued there have been few affordable LCD displays to choose from, with Dell’s Ultrasharp U2413 the remaining choice at about $500. 
In the last week two new Adobe RGB wide gamut LCD displays with all the specifications photographers and pro-graphics users require have been announced. 

The first of these new professional-graphics LCD displays  is the LG PrimeColor 27EA83-D model that is already on some store shelves. However, it is a large 27 inch model priced at just under $1000, a very modest amount for that large a screen. And, unlike all previous pro-graphics models, this new LG has LED backlight which had been avoided for continued use of CCFL by all previous makers including NEC and Eizo. But that difference may be minor if the display is accurately adjusted, calibrated and profiled, it should still reproduce a superior quality of reproduction of photographic images. The important capabilities that it can be reduced in white luminance brightness to 80.0 CD/m2, and has a 10-bit processor for smooth tone gradations, using an IPS screen, puts this new LG with an LED backlight in an equal category of performance with the much more costly established brands and models of pro-graphics LCD’s.

The second new premium pro-graphics LCD display with an LED backlight is a 24 inch model from Asus called the PA249Q that is not yet being delivered but is listed by many stores and on the web for just over $500 competing in price with the popular Dell Ultrasharp U2413. The performance specification of this new Asus are almost the same as the LG PrimeColor model with an Adobe RGB wide color gamut and being capable of adjustment in white luminance to 80.0 CD/m2 so it will be capable of supporting color managed printing without dark prints.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


What is life but a trip through time? Time is the one thing we cannot influence or control. As individuals, what was before can never be restored, because what went before is now a part of who we are, and restoration is just adding a new branch onto the tree that has become you and me. We do choose the journey somewhat if only by opening the doors of opportunity circumstance and others put in our faces to unlatch or pass by. The one opportunity I have usually opened doors to explore new paths, is photography.
I tried many other doors along the way, and with good luck learned more about myself, and the world I was living in. But now after 60 years of travel, I have settled to not opening any new doors, I’m road weary. So it is maybe a time, as long as I can do a little, to look back on my journey to understand where I have been and what that road now means to me, and maybe a few who travel parallel paths.
Of course because anyone reading this has a parallel interest in photography, that has to be the main focus of my thoughts. Because without subjects there is no photography, it necessarily complicates the story. Because for me photography was not just making pictures, but engaging in the adventures in living that involved my subjects. A lot of exploration and occasionally some adventure if not knowing much about your subject requires a lot of learning.
Of course being based in Hollywood to do my photography the one natural subject there are the many beautiful and interesting women in town for a variety of reasons. The challenge is always to what extent the interests and intentions of women as subjects coincides with my interest in photographing them. A challenge always, as the relationship was never much more than a guessing game because very few of my subjects made it simple. And when they did, very often the photographic potential suffered. Complexity is a mystery very often worth exploring. It’s much richer than mutual exploitation to fill simple, particularly common needs.
Hollywood is also a place that needs dilution and counterpoint. So the fact getting in a car usually and seeking picture adventures with distinctly diverse subjects was essential to both my work and perspective. I learned this early when I was a reluctant military person stationed in Alaska. The people I knew there were mostly indifferent or impossible challenges to get along with. But free time off base was a land full of challenge I now wish I had the skill then to capture photographically, much better than I was able to do.
But in the early 1950’s just learning how to do all of the photographic process was a thousand times the challenge it is today. Yes I accept, but resent the advancements that have made photography easier, because today due to easy there are many billions of mediocre images of almost every corner of environment, and kind of human, this planet contains. The results seems to me that photography no longer attracts much serious interest as a way to express a creative talent, so few do that. Is that a reason for me to be cynical and negative about the democratization of photography?
No for many reasons, but the most recent to come to mind arose from this year’s carnival season. From just one magazine I read, The Atlantic, I was able to enjoy quite fine photography from Rio’s Carnival. Besides the mind boggling display of creativity captured in the pictures; to know so immediately that the joy of life is so well celebrated in Brazil, provides much more hope than despair about this world today. It also reminds me that the change from analogue to digital that began for me in 1989, afforded a new opportunity to learn and explore; and to acquire new tools to better perform the skills I have been developing for most of my life.
One might suggest it is all the result of attitude, and for a photographer it is an attitude of an open and exploring vision. You can only make photographs of what you see in your mind’s eye as a picture. The way life and things looked yesterday may be very different in tomorrow’s world. So, how people are looking and seeing today may suggest those new attitudes of vision. That does not mean the obvious of taking up and doing photography with an iPhone or the camera in the latest tablet computer. But how does having a camera integrated into one’s daily living tools affect how we see life from moment to moment. This was so readily illustrated by a one in a century meteorite which struck earth in the Russian Urals near a city and was captured in its flight across the sky by many different cameras, some stationary, some in vehicles and in the hands of people. So now everyone in the world can see some of what that experience looked like, and maybe it will be another century before a meteor strikes again, but now we all know what it looks like.

             Daydream -2000