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On Filters
I wish I had seen Moose Peterson' s article on warm polarizers before my trip to Maine last year!  I ordered mine from B&H as soon as I finished the article.
Harry Pierce

I read Moose Peterson's and Jim McGee's articles on filters with despair and a heavy weight upon my heart.  Nature is beautiful.  Why do we feel the need to artificially enhance it with filters and saturated films?
Name withheld by request

Good articles on filters, will you be doing anything on portrait filters in upcoming issues?


I love sunsets.  Keep them coming.

There's been some discussion about your sunset article in a photo chat group I frequent.  In your article you talk about using more then one filter at a time.  Some folks in the chat group say that this is a bad idea because it will hurt the quality of the image.  What do you say?  I've only been into photography a short time and these guys really seem to know a lot about the details of lenses.

The old line goes "every piece of glass you put in front of the lens degrades the quality of the image."  Bull!  In this issue's travel story on Maryland we were faced with heavy overcast, rain, and lowering skies. In the shot of the St. Michael's lighthouse the lens was fitted with three filters: Polarizer, 2 stop ND, and 2 stop ND grad (all Tiffen) to get a saturated image without reflections.  The slide is tack sharp.  With a 22x loupe you can clearly see the grain in the boat's mahogany in the foreground and the peeling paint on the railing at the top of the light house.  You can stack filters without degradation if you're using quality filters.  The caveat is that you need to watch for lens flare if shooting into the sun and vignetting at the edges of the image.  This piece of old time wisdom is just flat wrong given the quality of today's filters.

Black Light Photography
I'd like to try and duplicate Chuck's blacklight nudes but I'm worried that the lab won't print the photo's for me.  Do you need to use a special lab for printing nudes?  Is there one you'd recommend?

Most labs will draw the line at pornography and anything illegal, but will process "fine art" nudes without blinking an eye.  That said, it's always a good idea to check with your lab to see if they have a policy on printing nudes before you drop off your film.  

What's pornography?  It's hard for most people to come up with an ironclad definition but anything that involves a sexual act would certainly fall into that category.  Only extremely conservative folks would find Chuck's work offensive.

My hat's off to Chuck on his blacklight photography.  I've done a lot of blacklight work in clubs and exposure is a bitch.  I've had to do a lot of major corrections in printing and had to discard a lot of images because of exposure.
LA Club Photo

We too had to make corrections for printing the final images.  You'll always have some corrections with this type of photography.

Really cool.

Op/Tech Straps
I agree with most that you wrote about Op-Tech Straps, and have been using them for about 12 years. They formerly had a model designed to hold two cameras at different levels, and with enough camera strap length to easily permit using either camera.  The Op-Tech people in Montana are very helpful and eager to please, so if you have any special needs, you might call them. I have been amazed how individually they provide service.
Stanley Sizeler

I am using Op/Tech straps for several years and love them! I think you are wrong to criticize Op/Tech!  This is a great product! A person who wears a camera over their shoulder instead of around their neck is a stupid person, it's just not smart.  If I am wearing two cameras and need to wear one on my shoulder I should wear a photo vest with a strap you can put it under.  Jim McGee should apologize to Op/Tech! You should not be so critical of good products.

I agree that Op/Tech makes a good product.  I even mentioned in the article that I had bought their straps for all my cameras - but when working with a heavy tele lens off my shoulder I've found a strap with a rubberized pad to be a little more secure.  I keep one of my old straps to swap out for just that purpose.  As far as an apology, I think it's our job to point out what's both good and bad about products.  Every design is a compromise by necessity.  Knowing both the strong and weak points of a product helps readers to make buying decisions that are the best for their needs.

On the Magazine
I thought I'd drop a line to say how cool your site is. I get a couple of the "popular" mags but there's very little real information in them. The opposite is true with your site and I don't have to worry about the mailman ripping my issue to shreds before he delivers it.
Leland Isley

I can't read the magazine when I get it by email.  It looks like Greek? What's going on? I'm using AOL 5.0.
T. Morelli

We've received a number of responses like this.  We contacted AOL and their response was that there are problems with reading HTML email in version 5.0 and that they recommend that all AOL version 5.0 users upgrade to version 6.0.  Folks please take upgrade complaints to AOL.  There's really very little we can do to help.

Just found the site. Some nice stuff, but... Someone please tell Jim McGee that if he's going to write for a publication that "it's" is a contraction for "it is" and "its" is the possessive. It's not optional, it's not his choice. Please.
Bill Schmidt

I plead guilty having been grammatically challenged in this case. Thank you for noticing - Jim McGee

I stumbled onto your publication strictly by accident. I must admit that it has been one of the most fortunate accidents that have occurred to me in my lifetime. I am employed as a high school photography instructor teaching students who are in the eleventh and twelfth grades. I also teach an adult night school class in photography twice a year. Each session of the adult school class lasts for eight nights. I found my initial exposure to your magazine to be both insightful and informative. I definitely intend to recommend it to those students of mine who are truly serious about their pursuit of photography either for personal use or as a possible profession. I greatly appreciate the well rounded approach you have taken to this subject. I look forward to reading the future issues of your magazine. Keep up the good work.

Rich Lefferts Sr

Photos that Lie
The first article I've read in a while that inspired me to go out and shoot.

Interesting article but parts of a small landscape still can't compare with the sweeping vistas you find in places like Zion.

Digital Darkroom - Using Layers
There are a lot more options than dodge and burn for combining layers.  Why didn't you talk about them?

In our digital darkroom articles, we try and keep it simple and cover a single task, in this case correcting an image that had a greater exposure latitude than the print could hold.  The idea is to try and clearly illustrate that technique rather than to try and be a reference book.

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