Category Archives: Technology

Frosty Vignette

It’s been cold here in Marin — well, California cold, meaning below 40 at night. Yesterday, morning brought a crunchy layer of white frost over the deck, a coating, that with the cool-blue, pre-sunrise light, made for a nice picture.

The scene also illustrates a continuing issue with my D3, a camera I otherwise love. It vignettes most of my lenses when they are wide open and have a hood on them — which for me is often. This is shot with 28-70mm, 2.8 Nikon, a crispy sharp lens known as the Beast. At 2.8 with a hood, it vignettes on the D3, as does my 70-200mm VR (even without the hood) and my 17-35mm, 2.8. This didn’t happen with my D2Xs.

For this kind of shot, I don’t mind the vignette, but for editorial work — my bread and butter, it’s a pain and not something art directors want. I have to spend time Photoshopping it out. Any suggestions (other than switch to Canon or stop down?)

Smile — or Don’t Shoot

There’s a new technology out for point-and-shoot cameras (and no double some day soon fo DSLRs) that’s not going to make David Hobby very happy — it won’t snap the shutter until the subjects are smiling.

Yep, no grin, no grab.

Today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription only) has the story about FotoNation, the California company whose red-eye reduction technology took the the demon-from-Hell look out of millions of snapshots, and its new software that recognizes when a photo subject is not smiling or has her eyes closed.

It’s all too Stepford-like for me, but that sound you hear is the bar being lowered again — the one that’s squeezing the knowledge out of making a good image. Get ready for robo-camera.

More about the company here and here.