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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online

The Doo Doo that Birds Do

I just found your magazine and I love it! Especially that all the old issues are online. I haven't gotten a whole lot done at work this week reading through all the articles.

But I did notice that your photo editor missed something in your article on the Nikon VR lens. In the picture of the top of the chapel, if you look closely, you can see that there's bird doo doo on the roof. Yuk!

Shouldn't someone have taken that out with Photoshop?

Keep up the great work,
Sharon Cozen

Well, I went back and looked - you must have a BIG monitor to see that! In the interest of umm, ah, journalistic accuracy, yeah journalistic accuracy, our travel photos are published unedited so that if you go there yourself you'll know exactly what to expect; and that includes the doo doo that the birds do!

Fall Foliage

Please don't ignore the West. While places like Utah are too dry to provide the expansive color seen in the East and upper Midwest, their fall stands of yellow aspens flowing among the dark green of the high country pines in majestic mountain settings can be as stunning--maybe even better!

I agree the West can be stunningly beautiful. We just didn't find many good Web sites with information on foliage out West. But we'll be happy to post them if anyone can find some!!!

I really enjoy your How-to articles. Getting your magazine via email is quite a nice diversion from time to time. It makes me stop working and take a momentary time out to read about things I enjoy. I especially enjoyed today's article on Fall colors and photography. It actually made me change my weekend plans!

Thanks and keep it up!
Jim Burton

Nice update - I've enjoyed your fall color section. Thanks for building it!

Thanks again,
Mark Peterson
Ames, Iowa

Based on your foliage page I convinced my girlfriend that we should do a scenic drive up through New England. It was pretty cool. Through the links on the page we were able to find scenic driving routes and two bed and breakfasts. We're going up through New Hampshire and Vermont the weekend of October 26th based on when one of the sites says the foliage should be at it's best. Do you think I'll get lucky?


Well that depends on your girlfriend - oh right, you were talking about the leaves!

Elan 7

You guys need to fix your glasses or maybe get a pair! You said in your review of the Elan 7 that the meter was accurate. My Elan 7 consistently underexposes by about a full f-stop.

Bill Stein

We can only report what we see and our slides were exposed properly. It sounds as though your Elan 7 may need an adjustment. Take it to a factory authorized service center for a checkup. If you're out of warranty and you've had this problem since the camera was new take along some sample slides to show this. It will give you some leverage to get Canon to consider covering the problem.

I agree with your assessment of eye control focus on the Elan 7. I have it on my camera and leave it turned off. It's a worthless feature.

Keep up the good work,
Ed Fegley

I read this month's review of the Elan 7 and was gratified to see that you thought so highly of the eye focus feature. I love it! It's really handy for shooting my kids ballgames and soccer games.

Great article,
Andy Campbell

Glad to see we all agree!

Glad to see some Canon gear in the magazine!
Big Mike

You should like this month. This issue is packed with digital info.


Shooting Captive Wildlife

Dr. Lennie Lee Rue, thank you for the great article. Being an amateur, most of my "wild" animal pictures have been taken with captive animals (not snow leopards or wolverines so far unfortunately!). I feel proud of many of them, not because I endanger my life... but because me and my family like them.

I also agree that taking my pictures on captive animals, besides reducing my personal risk, also reduces the risk I will disturb the natural environment of those creatures. Not being a trained biologist or a seasoned wildlife photographer, there is a good chance I will do some harm without knowing.

My hat is off, or course, for the great professional wildlife photographers that go into the wild to catch great pictures, but for us amateurs, that's either impossible or terribly expensive.

Thank you again,
Roy E.

Shoot captive "wildlife". What a waste. I don't care if I go our five trips in a row and don't get a usable frame. For me it's getting out there that makes the difference. Captive photos give people the wrong impression about what they can expect to see in the wilderness.


Mr. Rue,
As always, thanks for telling it like it is. You are, first of all an ethical and caring human being, and your "no secrets" approach to writing is very much appreciated.

Dan Cogan

Cruising the Chesapeake

Glad you enjoyed Annapolis. I thought it was a little pricey. There are a lot of great little towns on the Chesapeake that have the charm of Annapolis with a more reasonable price tag.

Agnes Meehan

Capt. Rick

I recently spent two weeks sailing the Chesapeake. In addition to some wonderful photos I have some wonderful memories. I will say that I enjoyed Annapolis and St. Michaels more than Baltimore though. The former are wonderful quiet quaint places. There are some interesting things in Baltimore harbor but you sail through a lot of industrial landscape to get there. Now if you could just write about sailing the Caribbean and give me some ideas on places to go I'd be a happy sailor.

Great magazine,
Sue G.

On Digital

Very helpful and insightful article by Mr. M. Peterson regarding the impact of digital technology on photography. I too remember the excitement of making my first images in the darkroom 20 years ago at age 14. I now have the control to produce images the way my mind's eye saw them and like Mr. Patterson, it produces the same wonder and excitement. I just have to get over the sadness of no longer holding my perfectly exquisite F-100.
Many thanks for the musing,
Greg Glatz

Anything more automated than an original Nikon F is sacrilege and not real photography!

Just kidding. I really enjoyed Moose's digital article.


Great article by Moose. He put it all in perspective. Just tell him to stop calling media cards film. :-)

I am now working on getting good digital prints at home. When I succeed I will mount an exhibit and sell prints from the ink jet printer. I may be looking for a digital camera by year's end. All this from someone who wouldn't touch the stuff 2 months ago.

Charlie Loeven

Jim McGee's article on Digital's Dirty Secrets was great. I shoot a F100 and have no intention of going digital. Just recently I printed some of my wedding pictures of 50 years ago. The Kodachrome 64 slides look just as good as ever. Will images from digital memory cards be retrievable 50 years from now?

I'm not against digital. My daughter uses it in her sled dog tours to give her customers prints at the end of the tour. But as a serious amateur shooting not for sales but personal enjoyment, I don't need prints immediately and so opt for retrieval longevity. Besides, I don't have the $$ for trying each new fad. I'm staying with conventional film.

Haines, AK


I liked the TLC article. It gave me some ideas to use when teaching the 4-Hers I work with.

I was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Galen Rowell and his wife. His work is always inspiring and top quality.


Gary Stanley's writing style has an interesting balance. It's quite informative but also quietly reassuring in a human sort of way when he shares, by self-deprecating remarks, some of the difficulties he's personally experienced. We can learn effectively with the interplay of mistakes to be avoided, choices made and the wisdom of experience. That's why I always look forward to his articles.

Don Crasco

Lighting Artwork

I especially loved the article on lighting. I am also a painter of watercolor and Pastels. Photographing my artwork is always a problem. Mostly have to get things ready for shows in a hurry and have glass on them. As president of an Artist group I wish to pass on the correct info. Find your vivid light articles priceless. Can anyone help me with glass? or Shine on things. Working on an angle to photo shows distorts work.

Thanks! Your magazine is great!
Helen O'Keefe

Excellent article on lighting, a good place to jump from if this is a needed skill.

Thank you for your fine publication, A regular stop for keeping informed on the net.

Gary Pumplin

80-400 VR

I just got the 80-400mm VR lens and tried it out yesterday evening for the first time with my relatively new D100. I am amazed at this lens. I have a couple of pictures of a Great Blue Heron taken at 600mm - one at 1/20 and the other at 1/60 at f5.6. The 1/20 is acceptable and the 1/60 is tack sharp. It will fit my type of photography perfectly. I usually walk the woods and fields with no particular subject in mind.

Thanks for your review.
Bob Roach

Bob, funny you should mention it. We have staff that walk the halls here with no particular subject in mind - but they're not carrying a camera…

Pop Ups

Did you know that Mozilla (another Windows browser) has an option to get rid of popups? It's called "disable unrequested windows".

Just thought I'd let you know.
Keep up the great work!

Rob Chandler

With regard to your article in the September issue, feel free to forward this E-mail to the IAB if you wish. I have ceased going to some web sites that have pop ups, have tried to E-mail other sites that I *must* use (when I can find E-mail addresses) to complain about pop ups and have set my cookie filter to permanently exclude Double Click because I hate pop ups and other Double Click antics so much. I have friends with exactly the same feelings and who have taken exactly the same actions.

Pop ups are some of the most hated features of web sites, as are whatever the ad tags are called, that track people around the web.

V.M. Straus

Creatures of the Night Stalk the Halls of Vivid Light!

Does Jim McGee ever sleep?

I sent him an email at 6am and got an answer back from him fifteen minutes later. Two nights later, on a Saturday night no less, I was reading the magazine and sent him a comment at around midnight. The next morning I saw that he had replied to me at around 1am! You guys are working him way to hard.

Thanks again for the help and a great magazine,

McGee's not really a zombie he just looks like one! Well, maybe more like a werewolf…

Love your mag. I am 62 years young and have been making photographs since 1958. I shoot more film today than I ever have. I have been a CAD designer for the past 15 years so a computer isn't new to me. I sit in front of one drawing 7-8 hours a day. I am scanning my film taken with one of two N90s Nikon's into my LS-2000 film scanner and then printing on my Epson 870. I will be moving up to the Epson 2200 whenever they do hit the street.

I am just saying I am not new to photography and I like what I read here. Keep up the great work. I read your magazine as soon as it gets here, and I will be passing the address on to friends. I am not sure when I will move to a digital camera.

Chuck Pike


Today is September 11th. I didn't feel like doing much at work so I was reading through back issues when I came across what you wrote in the news page in September last year:

"Our deepest sympathies go out to all of those who have lost family and friends to this cruel and cowardly attack. The bravery of the fire fighters, police, and rescue workers in New York has been nothing short of awe inspiring.

History has shown that in times of crisis Americans put aside their differences and pull together in unprecedented ways. That has happened.

For those who have done this no place on earth will ever be safe again."

How prophetic. The stories of just how brave the fire fighters and police were have come out over the last year. Americans have truly pulled together and a year ago it was impossible to envision how decisive and quick our victory would be in Afghanistan. But the line that struck me most was "For those who have done this no place on earth will ever be safe again." How right you were.

Alan Meeks

Odds and Ends

It costs me a bloody fortune to print 125-145 pages. Will your magazine be worth it?
Now I'll go subscribe.<Grin>

Ronald Duncan

I certainly hope it's worth it! This month it's up to 178 pages :-)

I go to Utah often because my daughter and her family live in Salt Lake. What a place! Canyons and Rockies grandeur. Winter is spectacular--my shots at the Olympics were just plain fun. My son-in-law and I hiked up to the Olympic rings, the city was surrounded by snow capped mountains, and it was just a great time. People don't associate fall with this region, but if you look at some of the legends of photography doing yellow aspens surrounded by the deep green of pines, it matches anything in New England and I lived in New England 26 years. I really think your site is terrific. I hope you can continue it.

Best wishes,

Bruce, Great memories! That's what photography has always been about for me. I've never understood the guys who'll spend hours arguing over which 50mm lens is best when they could be out shooting!

Just read Musings and are a kindred spirit. I like your attitude

Bob Scherer
serious amateur picture maker

You guys are great....... This is a very welcome resource and very appreciated service. The information is insightful, and the ideas that you inspire are awesome. It's like sitting down and having a chat with some professional photographer buddies. Excellent all around.

Keep up the great work,
Ricky Knack

Jim McGee: Thanks for a high quality online magazine. I especially liked the positive comments on travel. Remembering the 911 folks and the piece on Galen Rowell. (Thanks) I am not into digital photography yet but try to always mention it to members of our photography club who are. Keep up the great work.

Thanks again.
Art Heiny

Great magazine! I look forward to receiving it and read every article at least once. The individuals who contribute to your magazine should be commended for their professionalism, exceptional quality, and devotion to photography. You have orchestrated the input in complete harmony providing us with an exceptional magazine. Thank you very much for sharing your magazine with us.

Keep up the good work!
Peter Noyes

Could someone make sure we get a checks out to these guys?

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