Monday, January 28, 2008

Pre-PMA rumors: Nikon rangefinder? Full-frame Leica?

I'm heading to Las Vegas tomorrow for the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) trade show, and should have the answers to such questions as: Is Nikon really getting ready to announce a digital rangefinder to go head-to-head with Leica? And is Leica going to unveil the M9, a full-frame (35mm, not APSD) digital rangefinder? Is ANYBODY making new 35mm film cameras?

And will there be any new film? I have a meeting with Kodak where they promise something, er, emulsional.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Henry Froelich, former Mamiya Chairman, dies

If you've ever used a Mamiya camera, please give a moment of silence in memory of Henry Froelich, who as Chairman of Mamiya for several decades guided the company into a 35mm and medium format camera powerhouse of its day.

My condolences to Henry's family, especially his daughter Carol, who was on my team of "secret shoppers" at Modern Photography Magazine in the early 80s.

Read the obituary on

Friday, January 25, 2008

Can it be? A new medium-format FILM camera?

Interesting tidbit buried in a Fujifilm press release today. The press release is an overview of what Fuji will be showing at the Photo Marketing Association trade show next week in Las Vegas:

"Medium-Format Film Camera

"In a special exhibit, Fujifilm will feature a prototype of a new portable medium-format film camera. Even as the company innovates in digital imaging technology, Fujifilm remains true to its heritage and to the acknowledged superior image quality delivered by professional photographic film products. Fujifilm is committed to further expanding the world of imaging whether in digital or analog technologies."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Outtakes from the Magic Kingdom #3

Photo copyright 2008 by Mason Resnick

Outtakes from the Magic Kingdom #2

Photo Copyright 2008 Mason Resnick

Outtakes from the Magic Kingdom #1

Photo Copyright 2008 by Mason Resnick

Been on the road this week, that's why there haven't been any posts. Spent some time in Orlando and have a bunch of new street shots...

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Featured Photo on Black & White World!

Robert Johnson's gritty Americana street photography kind of reminds me of Robert Frank's work. It's timeless, and although not captioned seems to cover several decades. That's why he's our new featured photographer.

Check out Black & White World!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Random street photo #2

New York City, July 2002. Photo © Mason Resnick

Want to learn street photography? Sign up for my next class at the Perfect Picture School of Photography, Street Photography: Finding Order In Chaos. It starts on Feb. 15.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kodak PROFESSIONAL T-MAX 400 Film Receives 2008 Hot One Award from Professional Photographer Magazine

Marks Second Straight Year that Kodak Receives Hot One Award for Its Professional Films
ROCHESTER, NY and TAMPA, Fla, Jan. 7 -- For the second consecutive year, Eastman Kodak Company has received the Professional Photographer’s Hot One award for its professional films. This year, Professional Photographer awarded KODAK PROFESSIONAL T-MAX 400 Film the “Hot One Award” for black-and-white films. The new film, utilizing Kodak’s patented T-GRAIN emulsions, delivers finer grain and higher sharpness. T-MAX 400 now stands alone as the world’s finest grained and sharpest 400-speed black-and-white film, offering photographers a level of clarity normally only available from a 100-speed film. T-GRAIN emulsions, first introduced 25 years ago, remain the gold standard in the photographic industry. This award follows the 2007 Hot One Award given to KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 800 Film, part of Kodak’s iconic PORTRA family of films, for color negative films.

The Professional Photographer Hot One Awards honor the photography industry's best new products for professional application. The mission of the awards is to provide Professional Photographer magazine's readership with a compendium of the newest, hottest, most innovative products available. A panel of 18 judges, all practicing photographers, voted on products that ranged from film, digital cameras and inkjet printers to educational resources.

“It’s thrilling to receive this award for TMAX 400 Film from the very professionals we’re committed to supporting,” said Mary Jane Hellyar, president, Film, Photofinishing, and Entertainment Group and executive vice president, Eastman Kodak Company. “The nature of the category alone highlights the relevance of film in today’s professional photography industry. It also motivates us to continue the Kodak tradition of making the best products available on the market, and to ensure that professional photographers continue to have choice when deciding on the best tools for the job.”

“As the Hot One Awards continue to expand, the competition for each category has heated up accordingly. For the 2008 awards, we had more than 220 total products entered in 58 categories by nearly 150 companies,” said Jeff Kent, Hot One Editor, Professional Photographer magazine. “That makes the 2008 Hot One Awards one of the biggest, most comprehensive photographic product competitions in the industry. Winners of a 2008 Hot One Award should be proud that they have achieved recognition in such a competitive and high-profile award process.”

About Eastman Kodak Company
Kodak is the world’s foremost imaging innovator. With sales of $10.7 billion in 2006, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy focused on helping people better use meaningful images and information in their life and work. Consumers use Kodak’s system of digital and traditional products and services to take, print and share their pictures anytime, anywhere; Businesses effectively communicate with customers worldwide using Kodak solutions for prepress, conventional and digital printing and document imaging; and Creative Professionals rely on Kodak technology to uniquely tell their story through moving or still images.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Random Street Photo

Photo Copyright 2008 by Mason Resnick

6th Avenue, New York City, summer.

"There's something in the air"

I'm going to take a moment here to go off topic and talk about Macworld (it's actually not that far off-topic, as many photographers, myself included, convert their scans and digital images to B&W using a Mac).

This afternoon Steve Jobs gives his annual keynote speech, and rumors abound. However, a big hint can be found today on Apple's homepage, which says "There's something in the air." What, oh what, could it be?

Here are my guesses, based on a combination of stuff I've read and my own warped mind:

1. A new or improved WiFi standard
2. A faster wireless phone standard (any iPhone users can tell you that this is much needed)
3. A bigger push for Apple TV
4. The Apple iPlane, which is never late, has ample legroom, and genious flight attendants, but can only land at four airports.

Me? I'm rooting for the plane. The airports will catch up.

10 Biggest Apple Rumors (that never came true)

UPDATE: while #3 was in the mix, the big news is the MacBook Air ($1799), which is so thin it fits in a manilla envelope, the thinnest laptop in the world. Pretty cool!

Thanks for the link, Ilford!

Black & White World has made it into Ilford Photo's recently revamped web site, part of a list of publications described as a "treasure-trove of information."

Thanks, guys!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More girl's basketball

My daughter is in a local basketball league, sponsored by the public school athletic program, which gives me the opportunity to home my sports skills and combine them with a street shooter's approach.

The challenge is a technical one: Some of the courts are well lit, but in this instance, the lights were dim and in order to stop action I had to boost my camera's ISO to 1600. Very grainy results!

Friday, January 11, 2008

School's In

My first online Street Photography class starts today. I'm teaching an online class, called "Street Photography: Finding Order In Chaos" at the Picture Perfect School of Photography and I'm excited about this project!

If you're interested in taking the class, don't worry. It'll be repeated in February and possibly beyond. Go here to find out more about this and many other online photography classes.

Uh, Mr. Adams? You can't take pictures here.

Moonrise over Hernandez, New Mexico, by Ansel Adams

"Uh, sir? I'm sorry, but we can't let you set up a camera and tripod here. Move along."

"What? I just need a minute, officer! The sky is perfect! Lookit that moon! The sun's about to set and the photo will be gone"

"I'm sorry sir, but you can't take pictures on public land. It's against the law."

"But what about the first amendment, freedom of speech and all that?"

"Sorry sir, but we can't risk that camera of yours being used for terrorist activities. We live in dangerous times, you know."

"Wait officer, don't take my camera away, I'm just trying to create a beautiful picture!"

"Sir, this hurts me more than it will hurt you."

"Aw, man! The moon's gone, the light's changed. That shot's gone forever. Wait--what are you doing? Owww! HEY DON'T TASE ME, BRO!"


And check out the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is Photo Overload setting in?

The beauty of digital photography may also be its undoing: it's so easy to take a picture and store it digitally that the value of individual photos is diminishing.

We are being bombarded with millions of photos on Flickr, PicassaWeb, Photobucket, and numerous other photo sharing sites, as well as low-resolution cell-phone photos, and I am wondering if we're starting to suffer from photo overload. It's a simple case of supply and demand. We are oversupplied with digital photos--way too many for anyone to absorb--and as a result, the average viewer is being overloaded and spends less time appreciating a photo.

Heck, there isn't enough time to devote enough time to really studying pictures that deserve to be noticed.

There needs to be a better way to filter out pictures that don't meet your interest, and with all the agorithms out there, perhaps this is something some creative computer genious can work on. In the meantime, keep sending in your favorite photo sites and if they are really good, I'll feature them on Black & White World.

One of the ways I create black & white photos is to shoot on color film (I like the latitude on most color negative film better than what I can get with B&W film), scan the negatives and convert them to B&W. This book offers a good step-by-step tutorial that shows how to convert color images into beautiful monochrome!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Stop the Megapixel Madness: Bravo!

Thanks to Photo News Today for pointing us to, a site devoted to stopping the current megapixel madness. With compact cameras squeezing 10-12MP onto a sensor about the size of the tip of my pinkie, the site shows, dramatically, the relative effects of high- verses modest-resolution compact cameras.

Here's a blow-up of a picture taken with a high resolution camera, with on-board noise suppression. As you can see, it doesn't work:

To quote:

"A digital camera with 12 million pixels is better than one with 6 million. ‘That is correct’ is what you would probably say because you’ve always heard more pixels are better.

"It’s not true(!!!), we have to say when it comes to compact cameras. We, the staff of Image Engineering which is an independent testing laboratory that, amongst other things, tests digital camera for the German magazines Color Photo and c’t. Quite a while ago we noticed that the image quality of digital cameras was getting worse instead of better. The reason is that today’s sensors are divided into more and therefore smaller pixels. We want to clarify the consequences on this website."

Read the rest.

Manufacturers, are you listening?

Shooting hoops

Shot over the weekend, at my daughter's first competitive basketball game run by the local public schools.

Tech data: Canon 20D, 18-55mm lens, at shot at ISO 3200 so I could stop action at 1/500 sec. and f/3.5. A bit grainy, though!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Featured Photo in B&W World

Dominic Rouse reminds me of Jerry Uelsmann--he works using a combination of digital and darkroom. His images are visual fantasies, accomplished seamlessly. And that's why his "Tea Party" is Black & White World's current Featured Photo. I'm working on an online interview with him...coming soon!

He's a good Ladd

Jeffrey Ladd's street photos have always tickled my funny bone. His photo gallery is currently featured on, the best darn street photography site in the world. Check it out!


He's moved on...

Rob Gardiner is a very talented photographer whose web site comes up first when you Google search for Black & White photography. And yet, he's moved on, saying blogging is "so 2004."


Here's one of his shots. It's a really good site, but how did it get ranked so high?


Monday, January 07, 2008

I called him Burt

Burt Keppler, my friend, advisor, and mentor--and the first person to give me a job in the photo industry--has died. I knew the end was close when I learned a several weeks ago that he had taken ill and hadn't been in the office in over a month. Knowing how important Burt felt it was to keep working every day, over a decade after most people have retired, I realized something serious was up. On Friday night, his heart finally gave in after too much of the wrong medicine and several heart attacks over the last three decades...

Read the rest of my personal tribute on the Adorama News Desk.

It's been a rough weekend.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Rest In Peace, Burt Keppler

It is with a heavy heart that I must report the death of Herbert Keppler, former publisher of Modern and Popular Photography magazines.

I have just posted an obituary on the Adorama News Desk.

It is a very sad day for me personally as Burt was my first boss and gave me my big break in the photo industry at Modern Photography in 1983. For the photo industry, it marks the end of an era. But I have lost a co-worker and a good, loyal friend.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our first Featured Photo!

Photo copyright Mark Polege

Congratulations to Mark Polege, whose photo of an abandoned car in a field of tall grass was selected as the first Featured Photo to appear on Black & White World's homepage since the site's relaunch on Jan. 1.

You, too, can submit your photos for consideration as as Featured Photo, and get the glory, fame, and traffic that comes with being a Featured Photo! Get details.

Call for Entries: Leica Oskar Barnack Award

In our efforts to provide items of interest to black & white photographers, we present the following unedited press release:

Leica Press Release

January 2008 - Leica Camera AG announces new “Leica Oskar Barnack Award“ and “Leica European Publishers Award for Photography” photo competitions in 2008

Leica Camera AG, Solms is now inviting entries for its next international “Leica Oskar Barnack Award“ (deadline January 31, 2008) and “Leica European Publishers Award for Photography” (deadline March 21, 2008) competitions for professional photographers. The entry forms can be downloaded as pdf files at in the Culture section.

The annual Leica Oskar Barnack Award is given to the photographer whose sure powers of observation most vividly express man’s relationship to his environment in a single photograph or photo story consisting of minimum 8 up to 12 pictures. The competition is held in memory of the inventor of the Leica, Oskar Barnack (1879 – 1936), who took more and more photographs from 1914 onwards with his prototype, today called the Ur-Leica. The history of photo reportage is closely linked to his invention, as the handy and mobile Leica cameras available from 1925 enabled new forms of expression in photography.

Either of 35 mm slide copies or enlargements may be submitted (min. 7 x 9 inches, max. 9 x 11 inches). To qualify, entries must either be series of photos taken in 2007 or long-term projects with at least some of the photos dating from 2007. The winner will receive 5,000 Euros or a Leica camera of the same value. Entries should be marked “Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2007“ and sent to: Leica Camera AG, Oskar-Barnack-Straße 11 in D- 35606 Solms, Germany.

The “Leica European Publishers Award for Photography” has been one of the culture projects of Leica Camera AG ever since it was first conferred in 1994. This annual photographic award is one of the most prestigious photo book prizes in Europe. To be eligible for entry, photo projects must be completed, unpublished and in the form of a book. The winner’s project is published in a circulation of 5000 copies by the participating publishers in their particular country and language.

The ‘European Publishers Award for Photography’ is now in its fourteenth year. The prizewinners so far were Dario Mitidieri – “The Children of Bombay’ (1994), Shanto Rao – ‘Pictures of Women’ (1995), Bruce Gilden – ‘Haiti’ (1996), Tony Catany ‘Photographs’ (1997), Dean Chapman ‘Karenni – Guerilla in Burma’ (1998), Jeff Mermelstein – ‘Sidewalk’ (1999), Alfons Alt ‚Bestiae’ (2000), David Farrell ‘Innocent Landscapes’ (2001), Simon Norfolk ‘Afghanistan‘(2002), Haris Kakarouhas ‘Buena Vista Cuba’(2003), Harri Hallio, ‘The Dodo & Mauritius Island: IMAGINARY ENCOUNTERS’ (2004), Lorenzo Castore ‘Paradiso’ (2005) and Ambroise Tézenas ‘Peking’ (2006) and Paolo Pellegrin ,As I Was Dying’ (2007).

Online Street Photo Class Starts Jan. 11!

Just a few more days to sign up for my online class, Street Photography: Finding Order in Chaos, at the Picture Perfect School of Photography. Thanks to Russell Hart at American Photo for this nice blog post about the school, including a big plug for my class in the second to last paragraph:

"If we were to sign up now, we might go for Street Photography: Finding Order in Chaos, taught by former Popular Photography managing editor Mason Resnick. Some of Resnick's lessons/assignments include "In Your Face," which will ask students "to walk up to total strangers and take their pictures while looking through the viewfinder," and "Work a Corner," in which students "will be assigned to choose a city intersection with lots of pedestrian traffic and spend an hour taking pictures" there."

Thanks, Russell! I'd love to have you in my class!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thinking about Herbert Keppler

If you've read this post on Herbert Keppler's Pop Photo blog, you know he has been "sidelined by a conflicting regimen of medications that has temporarily left him unable to make it into the office."

(Keppler, when he ran Modern Photography, was my boss and gave me my first big break in the photo industry; we worked together again from 2000-2005 at Pop Photo and I still consider him a friend and mentor).

Unfortunately, after a call from a mutual friend I must report his health has not improved since that post, and in fact has had several setbacks. So in addition to sending cards and letters, as suggested by Pop Photo, let's have Burt in our thoughts and prayers for a full, speedy recovery.

Photo of Herbert Keppler at right by Mason Resnick shot in 2004 for Popular Photography.

Overheard on the PopPhoto forums...

"Fairly new photographer, I would like to learn how to add one color to a converted B & W photo. I can convert no problem but now Iwould like to keep one flowere in its original red.....I am editing in this possible with this program or just in cs3?"

Read the rest of the thread

Film is dead? Ha!

In case you missed it, there's a new film on the block: Kodak Tmax 400 Professional. Claimed to have grain that rivals its ISO 100 counterpart, it is said to be the world's sharpest, finest-grained 400-speed B&W film.

Kodak's Tmax 400 Pro info page

Buy it here.

Digital Photoshop filters from Tiffen

Tiffen has announced the Dfx digital filter suite of digital filters to complement that company's well-known line of optical filters. Boasting ease of use and extensive creative control, the Dfx suite is said to be the first and only software to provide filter effects that parallel the company's optical filters, and which match Kodak Wratten filters. Over 1,000 filter effects are built in. The application will be available as an Adobe Photoshop plug-in for $299.95; a stand-alone application will retail for $99.95.

Read the rest at the Adorama News Desk.

Converting a Digital Color Photo into Black and White

Actually, there are many ways. Here's an article that summarizes them...

Converting a digital color photo into black and white goes beyond simply desaturating the colors, and can be made to mimic any of a wide range of looks created by using color filters in black and white film photography. Conversion which does not take into account an image's color and subject of interest can dilute the artistic message, and may create an image which appears washed out or lacks tonal range. This section provides a background on using color filters, and outlines several different black and white conversion techniques-- comparing each in terms of their flexibility and ease of use...

Read the rest!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dust off for the digital age

Here's a good article about preventing dust when using a digital SLR. If you're plagued by dust, read this!

Six Steps to Banish Dust from Your Digital Images

Written by Stanley Leary
Monday, 31 December 2007

"Dust has been a source of frustration for digital SLR users from the beginning. Those little specks are like blood clots in the digital workflow -- slowing you down or even ruining your best work. Sure, you can remove imperfections in Photoshop, but when those specks get on your sensor, every single photo will need to be fixed until the problem is addressed.

"You're much better off preparing on the front end, aren't you? Here are six steps to ensure a dust-free photo shoot..."

Read the entire article.

Masters of Photography - Clarence H. White

Here's a good video of photos by Clarence H. White, a key influence for mid-20th century photographers such as Stieglitz, Bourke-White, Lange, and others.