Posted on April 29th, 2009
Chances are, if you like to take pictures, you also like to show them off. It’s certainly not uncommon to have photos framed and on display around the house, and many familys preserve memories in this fashion. Consider how many framed photographs one might have around the house. It’s a good bet that there are old and new pictures in these frames, but one thing that these frames can’t do is change out the picture without your help – or display a picture that you captured just moments ago.
It might be that time of the millenium to look into a digital photo frame or two. If you’re a minimalist who isn’t very fond of cluttered tables and shelves, all you need is one digital frame, which can display numerous images you’ve captured with your digital camera. If you like the clutter, perhaps you can hang on to all those traditional framed photographs from when your children were young, but have a few digital frames that cycle through more recent image captures.
Another feature some of the Internet savvy folks might be interested in is the ability to email pictures straight to the digital frame, which many do offer. Even without direct email-to-frame functions, it’s easy to plug the frame into your home computer and transfer the images. Many digital photo frames have a myriad of effects that can be applied to transitions, including the amount of time each image stays on the screen, the order in which to show them, what time of day the frame will be on (in the interest of saving energy), and more!
Check out 42nd Street Photo to see what we have in the way of digital photoframes.
Posted on April 20th, 2009
When it comes to putting together a portfolio of your work, the photography of your body of work can be as important as the work itself. 42nd Street Photo knows what it takes to capture clean, well-lit images, and assuming that not everyone can afford a top of the line camera, here are four basic tips to photographing your artwork with a point-and-shoot digital camera.
- Composition – How your art fits into the frame can make a big difference. For sculpture and other three-dimensional works of art, centering the piece in the frame with about 20%-30% empty space around it will usually look right. It may also be preferable to set up a scene around it. If your art is something that one would display on a dining room table, feel free to set the table around the piece. If it’s something that would be displayed on a bookshelf, then set it up on location. As long as your piece is irrefutably the focus of the image, and the center of attention, it will look right.
- Lighting – Most point and shoot cameras have a built-in flash, and the default setting for the flash is usually auto. 99% of the time, you will want to turn the flash off and get as much indirect lighting as you can. Be mindful of the types of light you use, as well. Natural sunlight will always be the best source, since it is powerful and contains all colors of the specturm. With artificial lights, bulbs, spots, etc., certain colors will be more dominant. Whatever your situation, the key is to get as much indirect lighting as you can, since there is a greater dispursion from reflected light than direct light. If you absolutely must use your flash (and we mean if it’s night time, only one light in your house works, and you need these pictures now!), then it’s a good idea to use the highest resolution setting on your digital camera, step further away from your subject, and capture it closer to the corner of the frame, so the flash does not wash out the piece. Later, you can crop the photo the way you want, but for the initial capture, you want indirect flash, which if yours is attached to your POS camera, you need to aim it to one side or the other.
- Stability – If you’ve taken a lot of pictures before, you may have noticed that darker pictures (aside from just being hard to see because they’re darker) tend to be more blurry than a well lit photograph. So, when photographing artwork with no flash (so as not to wash it out), having the camera still is a must. If you have a tripod, then your set, but if you don’t have one, you may have to get creative. We’ve found that a tall stool, or a pile of sturdy books atop a table can do the trick. Just be sure to place the camera closer to the edge, so you don’t get a blur of the edge of a book or stood in the bottom of your frame. Also, if your camera has a self-timer feature, use it. This will give you plenty of time to snap the picture and step away from the location.
- Post-Capture – It is very rare that you will take a digital photograph that can’t be improved upon in some way. Take advantage of the fact that you’re using digital technology instead of film, and don’t be afraid to do some post-capture editing to your image. A lot of times, simple brightness/contrast adjustments can make a world of difference. Also, a lot of photo-editing programs have auto-fix features, that work the best on a well captured image. Feel free to use these first, and try various combinations of these filters in different orders. WHen all is said and done, you want to have a picture that is sharp, balanced and accurately dipicts your art.
Posted on April 13th, 2009
When it comes to quality, medium to high-resolution image captures, most DSLR’s on the market can handle the task, but there are very few that can do so, and fit into your pocket for easy portability. While many professional and amateur photographers alike enjoy toting around a big bag of accessories, lenses and bodies to show off their plans for the day, others will prefer to be more modest, and carry their tools with ease before they get to work. The Leica D-LUX 3 is just what this brand of photographer needs.
Comparing the D-LUX 3 to it’s rival, the Panasonic DMC-LX2, the perks are clear. The D-LUX 3 generally comes bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 and a variety of manual options that the DMC-LX2 does not. However, quite similarly to its Panasonic counterpart, the sensor is optimal for taking shot in 16:9 apect ratio. Basically, with a 4:3 ratio, 16:9 shots can be taken, but the camera will only be utilizing a fraction of the sensor to acheive these dimensions, while a camera that is equiped with a sensor already optimized to take 16:9 shots can still take 4:3 shots, without losing as much of its sensors capability.
The Lecia D-LUX3 has also been known to snap pictures with much reduced noise on all ISO settings. This accounts for the less than super-fine quality of the image being displayed on preview, but these images will print just as well. We thought we would make it a point, so you won’t be too surprised when you’re under the impression that the lens isn’t working correctly.
All in all, the D-LUX 3 is a finely crafted camera which offers its perks at the price of a few drawbacks, but like we always say, since everyone has their own preferences, you might find that this camera is the perfect one for you. You can check it out on our site at 42photo.com, or by visiting the 42nd Street Photo digital camera store in New York City.
Posted on April 8th, 2009
If you’re a more-than-casual photographer looking for the package deal, the SONY Alpha DSLR A 200K just might be the perfect camera for you. From a company known for finely crafter electronics and superior quality, a single-lense reflex digital camera with all the features should be a no brainer, but in case you’re still not convinced, we’ll give you all the details.
This DSLR from the Alpha series by SONY comes paired with a 18-70mm zoom lense, which will come in handy for those far shots. With a 10.2 megapixel resolution and a 2.7″ clear LCD screen, along with on-board shooting info and histogram display for confirmation of an image well shot, knowing that you have captured your perfect shot is much easier. Add in a center-cross 9-point autofocus with SONY’s exclusive Eye-Start activation, which automatically focuses when you look through the viewfinder, and you’ll be taking professional quality digital photographs in no time.
All DSLR cameras run the risk of dust contamination between lense changes, it’s just a fact – however, the Alpha DSLR A 300 lens (available for purchase separately) employes a built-in self-cleaning sensor system to keep shots clear and free of grit. Additionally, pictures are perfectly balanced by an advanced D-Range Optimizer, which automatically adjusts lights and darks for a beautifully balanced image.
As you can see, the Alpha A 200K comes standard with a load of features which increase the quality of your photos drastically over any point-and-shoot digital camera, as well as beyond that of many DSLR’s in its class, plus the option to upgrade your lenses is alway nice. Feel free to stop by the 42nd Street Photo website to view the complete list of accessories available, or simply visit the 42nd Street Photo store located in New York, NY.