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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online

Big Changes At Vivid Light

I want to thank everyone who took the time to write us about the planned changes. There were far to many to publish on this page but we've included a sampling below. The overwhelming majority of emails were very positive.

I'm excited that you are expanding your magazine. I so look forward to it each month and the prospect of having new material throughout the month is just great. I learn so much from the technical articles and really rely on your reviews of new equipment. Keep up the good work.

Bob Roach

I love where you are headed !! You guys are the best...just honest & straightforward information. Keep up the great the photo contest. So glad Fuji continues to be a sponsor.

Cheers and Good Luck with your new direction.
Valerie Bishop

I love your site, keep up the good work. I think you are going in the right direction. Looking forward to posting some photo's as are a lot of people (I hope) Thanks to your review of Sigma's 20-40mm lens I bought one and I'm not disappointed.

Tom Whitehurst

Go for it -- Do what you have to to keep it running.

J. Donald

I think that I've been with you from almost day one and have eagerly awaited each issue. If the changes that you are making are what it takes to survive and please the readers, then you have my vote of approval. You've done a good job so far; why should I expect anything otherwise in the future.

Sam Senter

The changes sound good to me. I'm looking forward to the OPC! Good Luck!

Kim Tucker

A few folks were cautious

If you feel the new stuff is an improvement, I'm willing to go along and withhold my comments until I see the final product.

Jerome Davis

I just wanted to say that your magazine is the only one that I have kept. I have looked thru many photography sites and magazines and consistently go back to yours. I might not always have a chance to look at it immediately when I get it in the email, but I will always go back to it. Very informative and a generally easy site to navigate. Thank you and keep up the good work! I am very excited to hear of changes, but hope it will not ever affect the quality of you magazine.

Tabitha Fabian

"I'm OK with this"... I understand it, and probably understand why it is necessary. However, a word of caution. I like Vivid Light because it is a magazine. It is a good magazine (the content is compelling to bring me back each month). I also belong to other communities and critique forums. They are good at what they do too. Make sure you focus on what you are good at, what differentiates Vivid Light (i.e. content in a magazine format). Be careful not to lose that in a rush of other things like critique groups and discussion groups and buy / sell boards that others do well. A cluster of services not done particularly well, will be far worse than a focused magazine (pun partly intended) done well. Good luck, I'll look at the changes with interest.

Nick Kirkland

Don't like the idea of ads and especially pop ups but will reserve my judgment 'til when I see what appears. The OPC sounds good as does the changes in items for sale. I think things will sell better with the pictures.

Mary Coyne

You are doing a real good job. A tree must bend with the wind, but please don't lose your identity.

Thanks for all your efforts. 
Arthur Australia.

There's always one curmudgeon

I really, really, really hate ads on the Web. But I understand you have to do it. What the hell, that's why I have a pop-up blocker.


And Several People Suggested

Did you consider creating two versions of the magazine each month? One with ads for free and one without ads for say $20 or $25 a year. I would be willing to pay for the version without ads.

Sharon Clauser

Unfortunately there are very few people who are willing to pay for any kind of subscription on the Web right now - certainly not enough to justify two separate editions of the magazine. 

But as those who've been with us for awhile will attest we are constantly changing to keep up with what is going on online and with what readers want. So if enough people request this optionů

There's One in Every Crowd

**GM Photo Store ** "...has vehicle photos from every GM division dating from the turn of the century to the present."

From the "turn of the century", that's only 3 years worth of vehicles : )

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

Loved the article on mini-labs and what really goes on behind the scenes.



Flea collar. That's too funny


Down boy

I liked the news item: Minolta Announces New Line of Digital Cameras empty...

As always, all of us that bought Minolta still wait for a DSLR body while cannon ships one < 1000$ (and nikon on the way as well). Shame, shame...

BTW, you can leave this news item for as many months as you like, It's not going to change soon...

Gadi Eidelheit

Mea culpa. There should have been a line saying "look for complete coverage of the new models shortly", that seems to have been carried off by elves.

As for a digital SLR from Minolta, well, your guess is as good as ours...

What Do You Say to a Naked Model - Part II

Rya Raines is absolutely beautiful! What are my chances of shooting her?

Eric S.

Our guess is slim and none.

You did a great article by Joe Farace. Very good advice!

Michael Barron

I recently shot some nudes of a friend just using window light at her house. I thought they came out really good and her husband loved the shots but she just focused on the flaws in her body. Since most women are really self conscious about their looks do you find that the women who come to you are just really comfortable with themselves or are you only working with models who don't worry about those sorts of things?

If a woman has a noticeable flaw in her body how do you let her know that you want to shoot around it without making her more self-conscious?

Amy S.

Joe responds: Everybody has flaws; Cindy Crawford has flaws.

To answer your question: If a model says she has a big butt or small breasts you do everything in your power to make her breasts look larger or her butt look smaller. For example, the attached image was made with a model that has an A cup. Doesn't look it because I had her loosen her bra, crunch her shoulders together and push her breasts together with her arms. She loved the shot.

The secret is you DON'T tell models you are going to shoot around their flaws. But that is exactly what you do. I promise models that I will "make them look as beautiful as I can." To that end, I use different focal length lenses, soft focus filters and high and low camera angles to accomplish that goal. Also the kind of lighting used is critical; shadows can hide flaws while highlights accent good features.

Please e-mail me one or two pictures from the session and I will give you some specific tips on how I would approach the model.

Canon i9100 Photo Printer

RE: Canon i1900 printer article questions: 1) How does this printer compare to the Epson 2200? 2) the canon inks, how archival are they (compare to Epsons "70 year" chrome inks).

Jim Gale

In your review of the new Canon printer you failed to mention whether the ink is archival quality(100+ years) or just the usual 2-3 years of most ink jet printers.

George M. Henke

Jack Neubart responds: According to Canon, the prints are listed for 38 years under glass.

Having said that, image permanence depends on how the image is displayed and stored. If an inkjet print output on glossy photo paper is not displayed behind glass, it may not last even months before it starts to fade. If prints lie around unprotected and exposed to the air in a smoke-filled room, don't expect them to last long.

Finally, it's not just the inks. It's also the paper. The inks might be said to last a million years, but if the paper isn't matched for permanence, it's a moot point.

For the ultimate authority on the subject of image permanence, please see

Aftermarket Battery Packs

In Ref: to Jack Neuburt's article on the Minolta 7Hi he stated in his didn't like section no option for a lithium battery pack. I own a 7hi and bought a Powerex Power Bank from Maha Group. I have two of these and used them instead of the regular batteries on a recent trip to Ireland. These work great.

Frank Glow

Jack responds: Any time you use replacement batteries, make sure the voltage is correct. If the voltage is too high, it could blow out the device it's used in.

Saguaro National Park

Nice Piece. I liked your tight shots. I live near the parks in Tucson. The colors out here are truly great. If you didn't get to see and/or photograph any of our colorful sunsets, you should come back just to shoot them. This time of year the lighting also lends itself to spectacular shots.

God bless, 
Pete Schlegel

Great article on Saguaro Park. I live in Arizona and have visited that park many times. The author caught the essence of the place with his words and his images. I hope he will do articles on other great locations in Arizona.

Chuck Williams

Bug Portraits

This is a very well written informative and interesting article. I love macros and find much of the equipment discussion confusing. The beautiful examples and matter-of-fact conversational tone encouraged me to think while enjoying myself...great stuff.

Chuck Fuhrman

Monitor Calibration

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for your explanation of adjusting your monitor and printer. I've read a couple of articles on this that made it all sound very complicated and I've been fighting with my printer and digital camera for six months trying to get everything to match. After reading about it in the Q&A column I had everything matched up in a half hour!

Thanks again, 

Choosing a Mini-Lab

Your article about mini-labs was OK but how about some thoughts on finding a good specialized lab that does printing of slides. I have been disappointed by labs that do sporadic work. One order is fine and the next is not. Apparently most of these labs are going to digital scanning which adds additional cost, which is OK as long as the work is good. Maybe you can cover this subject at a later date.

Chuck Borneman

I sent some film out one time and asked them not to cut the neg. they sent them back to me with a note saying they could not process my film because I didn't want the negs. cut I did find another lab that will process my film and not cut the neg.

Edelene Ferguson

Contest Rules

I would like to know if the Self-Assignment Contest is open to Canadian residents?

Thank you for your time. 
Gary Dimitruk

Folks from Canada are more than welcome. Actually we've had quite a few winners from outside the States. Good luck.

Blasts from the Past

Regarding articles Demystifying Flash Guide Numbers and Understanding Lighting Ratios It's easier than you think by Chuck McKern.

I've been looking for this sort of info on the web for days now. Both articles were easy to read, written so lay folks may understand, and gave just the right dose of needed info without the unnecessary technical details.

Thank You. 
~Jacque Dufrene

I was reading through the back issues online and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Tibetan Travels & Tribulations by Clement Salvadori. I try and squeeze in at least two photo trips a year and I really enjoy reading travel columns for ideas on exotic places to go. Motorcycling over the Himalayas sounds like one heck of an adventure !


What's the Big Deal About a Full-Size Chip? Good article - lots of good points except one error.

You said "If they switch to a full frame chip, shoot with the same lens, and crop the final image they'll still have the same quality because they're doing the same thing!"

This is wrong because when they do this they will be cropping pixels and will have a lower resolution image by a factor of 1.6.

I think the correct analogy has something to do with setting up your slide projector and then someone switching the screen to one that was too small and you loosing all of the stuff on the edges. The center image looks the same with either screen you just lost everything on the edges.


Jim Responds: Not to slice hairs but that would only be true if the both the full frame and partial frame chip had the same resolution. As a rule full frame chips have a higher resolution, so in general terms the example will hold. 

For example the D60 was 6.3 Megapixels and the 1Ds was/is 11 Megapixels. 6.3 x 1.6 = 10 Megapixels. So in the example a photographer would actually get slightly more image information from the cropped full frame shot - though in reality you would never be able to see the difference.

But I was really trying to make a more generalized point that going to a full frame chip adds image data rather than subtracts it. At the time that article was written there was a lot of buzz among photographers (including many pros) that they'd be losing the "magnification" that the smaller chips gave them, when in reality there is no magnification at all.

I was really surprised. The column popped up in an online discussion forum and really seems to have generated some controversy - 10 months after it was originally published.

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