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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online
AOL Problems - Yet Again 
Since the latest AOL "upgrades" we've gotten a steady stream of email from readers having problems receiving either their monthly copy of the magazine, their daily photo tips or both, yet they still receive unwanted SPAM. The problem appears to be AOL's buggy email filtering software. We're working to find a solution that works for all AOL subscribers.

AOL problems have figured prominently in these pages since our first issue. There are other options out there folks.  - Jim McGee 

The War in Iraq 
Why haven't you mentioned anything pro or con about the war in Iraq in your editorials? You guys are always pretty outspoken I'm surprised you haven't.


We've received a few emails like this one. The simple answer is that we're a photo magazine, not a political or news magazine. While each of us at Vivid Light has strong opinions about the war we feel that looking to a photo magazine for political advice makes about as much sense as actors thinking they actually have a clue about the real world.

Emazing Tip of the Day 
Until about a month ago, I'd been receiving regularly the photography tip of the day. However, for some reason, these tips are no longer coming to me. I always found them of interest, and would like to start receiving them again.

Dick McLane

This is another subject we've gotten a lot of mail about. Emazing has been sold. At present we don't know what the future holds for them. We are talking with the folks there about getting the photography mailing list so that we can continue the popular "Photo Tip of the Day".

For your travel section - I would like to see an article on the Canadian Rockies. The area to be discussed would be Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.

Paul Herson I really enjoy the articles you guys do on our national parks. Some of the overseas stuff you've done like Ireland and Africa and Tibet are cool to read about, but the national parks are places I actually get to go to. Please keep 'em comin'


I'd like to see articles on Ireland. Specifically the southwest and central Ireland.


Each summer my husband and I travel to the United States and spend two weeks in one of your national parks. We read as much as we can about each one before we travel there. The articles are priceless in helping us choose where to go and what to look for when we get there. Please keep writing about them.

Thank you, 

We were surprised at how consistent the responses were to our travel survey. While there were some truly wild destinations mentioned including Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and a serious suggestion about an article on how to photograph ghosts (we don't know how), by far Ireland and the national parks in the U.S. received the most requests.  Other topics that received quite a few votes were more sports photography and more model photography.

I have some feedback about the Yellowstone article, and other articles. I just finished reading the Yellowstone Park article, and while it had a lot of good info in it about wildlife, and nature, it didn't really say much about photography. It had lots of spectacular photographs included with it, but as someone who comes to this website looking for professional information about photography, I feel it would benefit everyone a lot more if things were included with the article and pictures like film type, film speed, what kind of lens was used, what filter was implemented, and why you choose to do that. Technical details like that may seem unimportant to you while you're writing the article, but as the reader, I find myself starting to "skim" the text looking for photographic information. Such info is why a lot of people come to a professional photographic sight, and not to a sight based on wildlife.

Just thought I'd put in my two cents, 
Nathan V Jones

Many, if not most, of our articles contain technical information. But there's more to photography than knowing what shutter speed or film was used to create an image. 

Travel articles are among our most popular every month, and knowing about the wildlife you're photographing, and where to find that wildlife in a certain location can add to the experience of being out there. Some photographers tell us they don't care about the technical stuff. All they want to know is where to go in a national park to find a certain animal to shoot. We try and include articles that appeal to both types of readers.

A Day at the Zoo 
One of the most enjoyable days I spent at the zoo was a cold November day. It was a bright day, but about 25-30 degrees, and I just about had the zoo to my self. The zoo keepers were bored and went with me to help get the animals to be active, gave me the feeding schedules etc. one trick they showed me was to rattle a ring of keys, this makes the animals perk up, they think they are going to get feed early I guess. This worked well on the bears which are a favorite animal for me. It was one of the most fun days I had had at the zoo.

Stephen L Lundine

What a great contest idea! I hadn't been to the zoo since I was a kid. At the end of the day I had shot 11 rolls of film! It was a blast. I'll be going back in different kinds of weather and I've already got ideas on better angles to shoot some of the animals.


Digital Prints 
Digital cameras and prints. I take my digital pictures to COSTCO to get a print of the shoot. I would need a $1000 printer to equal the results I get from them.

Al Johnson You really hit the nail on the head about digital prints. I've gotten digital prints done at Ritz Camera on a couple of occasions and I haven't been very happy with the results. I can print them myself on my Epson but it took quite a few tries to get it set up so that the colors and contrast were correct and printing on the Epson costs a lot when you figure in paper and ink (which is outrageous) and it's a real pain to load all the images in and print them. I find myself being very picky about what I print because of the cost and hassle and frustrated with my 995 as a result.

Greg Lacey

I don't understand how Mr. McGee can compare a mature technology like film to an emerging technology like digital photography. Of course some things will be harder in digital but it is unfair to compare them that way. Isn't the ability to do your own printing one of digital's advantages.


McGee responds - Why is it unfair? Both technologies are about making images. I would agree that the ability to do your own printing IS one of digitals advantages - if you know how. But someone buying a point and shoot camera is buying it for convenience. So they want convenient easy ways to print. The article wasn't an attack on digital. It was actually praise for the industry for addressing one of digital's drawbacks.

There goes McGee on an anti-digital rant again. Can't you guys find someone who actually gets the fact that film is dead? Does this guy even know what a computer is? You need to find an editor who's not afraid of technology.

Mike Rowan

McGee responds - I've been around the Internet since 1986 and have a background in computer engineering so fear of technology isn't an issue. If anything being around it so long has made me hold new technologies to a higher standard. There's always a "great new technology" and it's easy to get caught up in that. I want to know how I can use it, does it work, and what are its limits. I'm always a little surprised that some people get so incensed by the slightest criticism of digital photography - especially in an article that was pro digital.

The Minds Eye 
Thanks for the great "The Minds Eye" article. I am teaching a class in "Learning Photography" to a mixed class including art teachers of all ages and high school students. Your article reinforces what I have been talking about. I down loaded the PDF file and plan to print a copy for each of the class members.

Thanks for a fine story. Keep up the good work. Sam Tobias

Gary really hit the nail on the head with "The Minds Eye". I go to his column first every month.

Ed Heatherton


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