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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online

Mea Culpa

I don't understand...last month the contest said no black and white i didn't enter....but a black and white won second place? How can that be?

Same with this months black and white......will another person who doesn't follow the rules win again? 

Tess Campbell

About the last contest "Create a signature image"..I thought it was to be color photos only no B&W....why is it that a B&W photo was one of the winners? What's the point of rules if you are not going to stick by them?

Vicki Mclead

You're absolutely right. No excuses. We screwed up. We're blaming it on inhaling dark room chemicals for too many years.


I've been reading through some of the back issues and I see you guys refer to "consumer lenses" and "pro lenses" in your equipment reviews and I'm not sure I understand exactly what the difference in sharpness is. Can you give me a real world example?

Mark Simpson

Imagine you're shooting a model sitting on the beach. You shoot the image with a good quality consumer lens and with a high quality pro lens and print both as 8x10s or 11x14s. The image shot with the consumer lens will appear sharp, have good contrast and no noticeable softness. In the same image shot with a good quality pro lens the colors and skin tones will appear a bit more saturated and realistic due to the optical coatings and higher quality glass. Look more closely and while both images will appear sharp you'll be able to see the individual hairs on the models arm and in her eyebrows. Her eyes may appear more striking as well since the sharpness of the lens captures more subtle detail. These are small things, but together they add up to create a more striking image.

But print both as four-inch standard prints and you may not see much difference at all. Those details get lost in the smaller sized print. Pro lenses are more rugged, built to take more abuse and typically have larger maximum apertures than consumer lenses; f2.8 vs. f5.6 for example. They are also significantly heavier and more expensive.

When we evaluate lenses we do so based on their intended use and market. A lens that is high quality and sharp as a consumer lens might only rate a "fair" rating if it were compared against pro lenses. But then that would be an unfair comparison.

Please Don't Go There!

Hey if you guys really want to make money you should add an "adult page" to your site. It seems like there's a big demand for that on the Web :-)

Big Mike

We thought about it but the woman in the photo lab became violently ill when she saw the nude photos of the editorial staff. We took that as a bad sign :-)

But Seriously Folks…

What I like best about your Web 'zine is that you don't take yourselves too seriously. Have you ever read some of these news groups and magazines? You'd think some of these people were saving the world with their pics.

Cheers! Colin

You mean we don't come across as serious?

Long Handheld Exposures

Excellent article on getting sharp with handheld - there is an alternative to ever having to lug a tripod around though - image stabilizer where's that loan company when you need one...they ain't cheap!

Dave Bradley

There's a better solution for long handheld exposures. Don't do it! I'm never without a tripod if I'm in or around national parks or other areas where a sudden shot might pop up.


Two Words. Vibration Reduction. Once you try it you'll never go back.


Re: Long handheld exposures. Canon 28-135mm IS, Canon 100-400mm IS, Provia 400f and an Elan 7.  Light, small, bulletproof, and it's amazing what you can shoot. 'nuf said.


Um, isn't a 300mm lens and a 2x tele-converter 600mm?


You mentioned that you used a 70-300mm lens and a 2x converter to get an effective focal length of 900mm. I often use that same combination of equipment when shooting. However, I was under the impression that the effective focal length would be 600mm.


Guys, you're forgetting the 1.5x factor of the D100. That gives you an effective focal length of 900mm.

Digital & Photoshop Stuff

Thanks. You saved my life.

I've been working on a photo site and processing the photos "intuitively". Not always successfully.

Having had your tutorial will make a huge difference. 

JoAnne Borne

Hi! Thanks for this article on Handy Photoshop Tools!!! I am only beginning to use a scanner to archive old photos to pass on to family members per photo-CD. All three tips will save me a ton of work. Your magazine is always informative and an absolute treasure trove, even for the rank amature. Thanks again. 

Sincerely, D. C. Langelage 
Lower Saxony, Germany

Hi. These are comments on my thoughts( no suggestions at present). 30 years ago I had my first SLR a Zenith that had been built I think to judge by the weight in a tank factory, I lugged that thing all over the content on a host of different motorcycles, and spent lots and lots on film. Then 20 years ago I moved to Canada and gave the camera to my older sister thinking to get a newer one once I had sorted out life in a new place, 1 year ago my wife got me a Nikon 2500 my first camera since moving to Canada( I do not have a clue as to where the 20 years went with no camera to record the passing time !!). I was rather derisive of this digital point and shoot, but as the year has passed and there are CDs with 900 or so images on them I have been reminded that it is the image that is important in the end, about 2 months ago I found your mag on the web and found it to be one of the most inspiring webzines.

Today I have picked up a new Nikon 5700 and hope to have as good a time as the past year, I will carry on reading

Steve Forrest.

Do Your Homework!

Gary, I am planning my honeymoon to Napa Valley and Yosemite...besides taking pic's of my new wife, I am taking your advice and heading to a bookstore to find photos of national parks and, of course, Yosemite. I firmly believe in your approach of "visualization," and I want to be prepared for different scenes, waterfalls, Sequoias, etc. and the unexpected. Thanks again from an avid reader of your column and Vivid Light.

Roger W. Shoemaker

Gary responds: I'm pleased that you enjoyed the article on doing your homework. My wife Pam and I were newlyweds this past year and honeymooned in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Both of us are serious photographers so it was a great excuse to do a lot of photography. We did quite a bit of research prior to the trip including the checking of road conditions in Yellowstone so that we would know what roads would be open or closed during our stay.

Thanks again, and congratulations.

Do homework before photo trips! Next you'll be telling me to learn math and clean up my room. Just when I thought you guys were fun. :-(


Friends and Fans

Great site, guys. I was up till late last night working my way through it (and Light-Chasers). By the time I got stuck into the back issues it really was after midnight!

Thanks for providing the dynamic link for pasting onto our own homepages too. That is a really great idea and really appreciated. Whenever I log onto my own site, which is fairly often, I'll be able to see immediately that there's a new issue of your magazine (which means that any reason I've logged on for will just go by the by and I'll spend the following hour on your site instead!) Cheers, Julianne (Australia)

Hi, this is the first time I have been motivated enough to send some kind of feedback on something I have seen on the web. Motivation by good or bad...? Actually, SUPERB! I don't have time at the moment to expand because I have to get on with a job (deadlines, my favorite things!) but I did want to say I have added Vivid Light to my 'favorites' and will be reading all when I get the time. Many thanks and keep up the excellent work.

Yours sincerely, 
Colin Smith 
(a sad and lonely commercial photographer with bags under his eyes!)

Don't forget there are a ton of back issues out there. Just click on the "Back Issues" tab at the top of any page. There are over 650 articles to read through. Then you're really have bags under your eyes!

Wow! Today was my first visit to your website, and I must say that I am very impressed. I have a couple of photography books and subscribe to a photography magazine, but I am always looking for more tips and information. I visited many sites, some offering free tips and some not, but yours is tops. It looks professional and the tips are great! I was absorbed for hours!

Thank you! 
Anthony Farr

I LOVE you guys!


Thanks Aunt Sandy, we'll be by on Sunday with the kids.

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