Posted by: David Vernon | October 1, 2009

Non-PSW Linkage – It Does Exist

Some Other Less Important Tree but A Tree NonethelessSome things I did not know (okay – and a few I did) – in this week where the world photographic blogosphere is all PhotoShop World:

§ Okay – this first link is slightly self-promoting but we all know that has never slowed me down. Did you know that Illinois has an official “Seven Wonders”? Apparently the Illinois Bureau of Tourism conducted a contest about two years ago to let the locals come up with the certified list. And now the same IBOT is having a photo contest to capture images of these seven attractions. And it’s self serving because I am one of the judges for said contest and it would be cool to see your interpretations of these items. Turns out I’ve actually been to four of the seven so I still have some work to do but I’m guessing you guys will have it all covered. The contest is open until November 6. The judging panel will narrow down the field and then the public will pick the winners.

§ Classes are starting up soon at the Peoria Art Guild – you have just a little time left to sign up. The “Lighting with Small Flashes” class has just two spots left as of yesterday and there are probably just a smattering of spots left open for the other photographic classes. Head over to the class schedule to see what whets your whistle.

§ Speaking of the Art Guild… there are going to be a couple of upcoming exhibitions relying heavily on photography. “A Contemporary Look at Lincoln’s Visits to the Peoria Area” plays on the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 2009 and features the work of numerous local shooters, including David Zalaznik, Doug and Eileen Leunig, and Ann Conver. At the same time, artist Larry Kanfer will present a collection of photographs from his new book, Barns of Illinois. The images document historic and modern structures and chronicle an evolving way of life in communities across Illinois. Alaina Kanfer recounts the stories, which describe the barns’ distinctive imprint on the land and on people’s lives. The shows run October 16 to November 14 with an opening reception on the 16th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

§ I know there are a number of lomo fans out there and if you’ve never gone and played with the Lomo/Diana toys because it’s so film-centric, then I might have an interesting and economic solution for you. There are a ton of clever and fun Diana lenses out there – built of course to go on the toy Diana cams. But NOW (Sunday! Sunday!! Sunday!!!) for a very reasonable price, you can buy an adapter for Nikon and Canon mounts so that you can take these Diana lenses and put them on your DSLR.  Let the interesting imagery commence.

§ You guys know I’m always trying to give you opportunities to spend some money right? Well let me give you another chance while expanding your horizons – filter-wise. Almost everyone has a polarizer of some kind, right? Most of us carry a circular polarizer. Today’s picture in fact had a polarizer on the lens when I snapped it – it played up the sky and it saturated the yellows and greens a little more. Very valuable little tool. Filter maker Singh-Ray produces a couple of unique polarizer products. Their Gold-N-Blue polarizer ($190 – sorry) does exactly what you think it should – it really emphasizes the golds and blues in an image. Their Warming polarizer ($210 – I know)  aims to cure any blue cast caused by the filter and leave you with rich and saturated tones. Canadian photographer Darwin Wiggett – who I just mentioned here a few days ago – gives his justification for using a warming polarizer:

“Many photographers know that a polarizer is useful for making blue skies richer and removing reflections from water, but a polarizer does so much more . . . for example, on overcast days every wet leaf, blade of grass, and stone reflects light from the sky. These reflections mute the colors significantly. Adding a polarizer will tone down these bright highlights and increase color saturation.  Most polarizers have a slightly blue color cast to them,” adds Darwin. “To avoid getting the blues, look for a warm-toned polarizer which combines a warm (slightly yellow/red) filter with a polarizer.”

§ And since I know there are still a few beginners out there who are crying out for some help on how to take better pictures, I leave you all too soon with this lovely little tip video on “How to Take Better Pictures” – the Halloween edition.

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