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The version 2.6 of the free image editing software Gimp has been released.
Gimp is a powerful and free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It does not support all of Photoshop’s features but is still capable of many advanced image manipulation tricks.
The biggest disadvantage is that Gimp does not yet support full 16bit editing, but the new Version already has a library (partly) integrated that supports 16bit editing, so future versions of Gimp will provide full 16bit support.
Unlike Photoshop it also runs on Linux. Versions for other operating systems (incl. Windows) are also avaialble.
After the Sony Alpha 900 full frame digital SLR was announced yesterday, it has generated quite some discussion among digital photographers.
Today a first field report was published at Luminous Landscape by Nick Rains.
It’s a very interesting read and also compares Sony’s new DSLR to the Canon flagship model, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III.
If you are not sure which tripod and tripod head to buy, check out the following article by Italian nature photographer Juza:
It is a very good and detailed article about the various choices you can make when choosing a tripd and a tripod head.
Be sure to also read the rest of Juza’s articles. They contain a lot of useful information – and many awesome pictures
Some photographers have pretty strong opinions about equipment. Some say that equipment does not matter at all and others tend to think that only with the newest and most expensive equipment can they get really god pictures. Both is nonsense!
Let’s say you own a Nikon D60 and a 4/300 mm lens and you are mostly interested in bird photography. You might be tempted to think that if you buy a Nikon D300 (which is much better than a D60) and a 4/500 mm lens you will automatically get better shots.
Success in photography, in that example in bird photography is influenced by many things, for example your knowledge of light and composition, how much you know about your subjects and it’s biology (very important in wildlife photography), your experience and how much time you devote to your hobby or profession.
If you have a Nikon D300 and a 4/500 mm lens and know nothing about birds and only go out shooting once a month you surely will not get as many good bird shots as a guy that owns a D60 and a 4/300 mm lens but knows a lot about birds, spends all his free time out in nature trying to get the best shots and has years of experience.
If you want to be good at photography, nothing comes easy. It’s hard and dedicated work that leads to success. That’s way more important than equipment.
That said, equipment does matter. Let’s take the example from above and let’s assume that the guy with the D60 and the 4/300 has saved some money and finally bought himself a D300 and a 4/500 mm lens. He devotes as much time to his passion as before, now with better equipment. The 500 mm lens will allow him to get more frame filling shots of birds. The much better autofocus of the D300 and the 8 frames per second will help him get more sharp flight shots. The D300 has full weather sealing, which allows him to get more shots during bad weather (which often can reward you with unusual and great images).
A hard working photographer who knows everything about his subject and has many years of experience will use the best equipment he can afford. This combined with all his knowledge will give him the best results.
There is a reason why, for example, most successful bird photographers own either a 4/500 mm or 4/600 mm lens and a good camera.
If you are currently not satisfied with your equipment and can’t afford something better, think about all the other areas you can improve your photography like improving your knowledge about your subjects, learning about the usage of light or studying the work of other photographers.
If you can afford better equipment and you are sure (after reading what I just wrote) that it will indeed improve your changes to get better shots, than it might be time to buy it.
After I got my EOS 40D and my EF 4/500L IS from Canon my bird photography improved compared to the shots I took before with my old EOS 10D and my 100-400mm lens. The 4/500L (+ 1.4x extender) allowes me to get the bird much bigger in the frame. The images were sharper and the AF of the 40D together with the fast 4/500 was much better than what I had with the 10D and the 100-400. The 6.5 frames per second of the 40D also helped me to get more good action shots than the only 3 frames per second of the 10D.
But if I hadn’t spent time out shooting, learned about my subjects or always tried to learn more about bird photography, my pictures wouldn’t have improved much.
It’s both, the photographer and the equipment that matter.
Photography expert Bob Atkins has just published a very interesting article about exposure, called All About Exposure.
If you are still wondering what f-stops, shutter speed or the “Sunny f16 Rule” are all about, then read Bob’s article. It’s very interesting and easy to read.
John Esberg has written a great post on his blog with a very interesting list of features that are new in Lightroom Version 2.
For me, the new Adjustment Brush alone is worth the upgrade, but if you are not sure if the upgrade is also worth it for you, check out John’s list. After reading it, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Another great ressource is this post by Scott Kelby.