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Nikon Z9 ‘Dual-Stream’ Tech Records and Displays Images with No Lag

Nikon Z9 'Dual-Stream' Tech Records and Displays Images with No Lag

Nikon has published a short video that further explains the “Dual-stream” technology in its upcoming Z9 flagship camera, which it says will always assure an accurate reality-to-viewfinder experience.

The Dual-stream technology is part of Nikon’s technology for what it bills as a “real-live” viewfinder experience in the Z9. The company says that the tech is only made possible thanks to the combination of the newly-developed stacked CMOS sensor and the EXPEED 7 image-processing engine, which allows photos to be displayed on the electronic viewfinder or LCD monitor (whichever is being used to monitor capture) as well as record that still-image data to a memory card at the exact same time.

Nikon says this differs from other “blackout-free” shooting experiences from competitors as other implementations have some kind of a delay between what is seen and what is captured.

“Unlike conventional blackout-free shooting that displays the same frame to prevent interruption of the finder image, this viewfinder continues to display the actual movement of the subject within the scene, so that every single moment can be smoothly and continuously confirmed with no skipped frames or loss of view,” Nikon claims.

“Because this is achieved even when continuous shooting is repeated over a short period of time, it is ideal for scenes in which tracking of quickly moving subjects is required, such as during sports, allowing users to reliably capture the finest moments without missing any shutter opportunities.”

The video above shows that the pixel array captures image data and moves it through to the camera’s circuitry and simultaneously then streams that data to two separate outputs, one to the viewfinder or LCD and one to the memory card.

Nikon Z9 'Dual-Stream' Tech Records and Displays Images with No Lag 1

“Dual-stream technology processes data for live view and recording separately and in parallel, which makes the Real-Live Viewfinder possible,” the company further explains.

The company says this particular implementation delivers a smooth view that reveals every single moment of the capture, including those previously missed by conventional electronic viewfinder systems or those that block the view due to a mirror in DSLRs.

The video also shows a “competitor” camera that skips and repeats some frames side by side with Nikon’s implementation, though the company does not state which camera it is comparing the Z9 experience to.

The Nikon Z9 features a 45.7-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor, 8K video capability, and is the first professional full-frame mirrorless camera to be released without a physical shutter. It is scheduled to become available to purchase by the end of the year for $5,500.

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How to photograph steam train light displays

How to photograph steam train light displays

November 16, 2021

Michael Topham reveals how he sets up his camera to capture a light show with a difference


The cold, dark and dreary winter evenings can be an uninspiring time to get out with the camera. If only there were steam trains which ran during darkness that were entirely lit up by thousands of coloured lights for us to photograph. Well, as you may or may not be aware, this is exactly what has started happening at many preserved steam railways up and down the country.

The idea of dressing up a steam train and all its carriages at night with lights and putting on a moving light show along the line with colorful lit-up dioramas has become an incredibly popular seasonal experience with young children and adults alike.

It’s quite something to be onboard, but it’s another thing entirely when you stand back and watch the illuminations pass you by in the dead of night, or attempt to photograph them.

steam train lights

The first time I witnessed it myself was by coincidence as I drove past by my local preserved railway at the same time the train trundled passed. The sight of vibrant lights through the steam and the way the embankment was illuminated by the passing train was mesmerizing.

I have made countless visits to railways during the hours of darkness since to improve my technique and learn what’s required to photograph the spectacle.

Research required

First things first you’ll want to carry out your research. A good place to start is to work out the preserved railway that’s closest to you that’s running a steam lights event. Next, you’ll want to find out the departure time so you know where to be at what time.

Try to avoid the station where passengers are due to board as it can be incredibly busy, hard to access and difficult to get a clear view for a clean shot. You’re better off trying to find a bridge or footpath that’s close to the line, but also at a safe distance to shoot from.

steam train light display

You may find a step ladder useful to gain extra elevation and a torch to see where you’re walking in the dark is essential. It’s important to remember to turn the torch and your camera’s AF assist beam off in advance of any approaching train so as not to blind the driver’s vision.

Many preserved railways tend to run a couple of steam light services each evening with an hour or two between them. The good thing about this is that if your first few shots aren’t a success you get a second opportunity to refine your exposure settings, change your composition or try a new location.

Camera settings

When the train is stationary in a station, you’ll have time to setup on a tripod and use a longer exposure than if you’re at the lineside. If you’d like to capture the train on the move with impressive steam effects similar to the opening image, you’ll find shooting handheld (or with your camera supported on a monopod) with a fast shutter speed is the best approach.

Start by checking you’re shooting in Raw. This will offer better latitude when it comes to refining exposure and applying noise reduction later during post processing. As a starting point I set the camera to around ISO 12,800 in manual mode with a shutter speed of around 1/160sec.

steam train light display

Although the train will be moving, it’s unlikely to be travelling much faster than 10-15mph so this shutter speed should be adequate to freeze the train with no motion blur. An aperture of f/4 is then dialled in, which helps create a depth of field that’s not too shallow with reasonable edge-to-edge sharpness.

Next, I check in-body stabilisation (or lens stabilisation) is switched on and set the camera to its burst mode so I can fire off as many shots as possible as the train approaches and passes. With regard to focusing, I’ve found Single AF mode to be most effective.

The bright illuminations can cause some cameras to hunt for focus when set to continuous AF. As the train approaches, I let it creep into the frame before I start shooting and am fluid when it comes to shooting orientation.

If there is lots of steam, I often switch to shooting in the portrait orientation. Some of the most striking images are those of steam drifting over the length of the train after it passes so be sure to take shots as it disappears into the distance.

steam train light

Don’t give up

If you don’t at first succeed, try and try again. The more you attempt to photograph this challenging subject the better images you’ll get. It took three or four visits to my local railway to find the best location and get the shots I was after.

Despite being free to photograph I always make a point of dropping past the station on my way home to give a donation. A few pounds is a small price to pay for the privilege of photographing such an amazing sight and it’ll hopefully allow events like these to continue for years to come.

Where to find the best steam train light events in the UK

Different preserved railways call their winter light events by different names. The Bluebell Railway in Sussex for example call their event Steam Lights while the Watercress Line in Hampshire and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway call their events Light Illuminations and Light Spectacular respectively.

There are many other preserved railways dotted around the country that run their own festive steam train light services including the Swanage Railway in Dorset, The Poppy Line in North Norfolk, the Severn Valley Railway that runs through Shropshire and Worcestershire and the Dartmouth Steam Railway in Devon.

steam train light display

The dates between which the railways run their steam lights trains varies widely so it’s worth checking their websites to avoid disappointment before you visit.

Some preserved railways like the North Yorkshire Moors run their services for a period of a couple of weeks in October, whereas others like the Bluebell Railway run their services extensively into January.

Before visiting a new railway for the first time I’d recommend carrying out some image research on the internet to find out good locations from which you might be able to shoot from. Once found, you can refer to a map to find out how best to access the location.

It’s worth remembering that trees, bridges, cuttings, embankments and water with reflections can make images all the more dramatic.


Kit list for steam light displays

Headtorch

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A good quality torch will ensure you make it safely to your location and can prevent a trip or fall that results in injury. It can also make it easier to setup your camera in the dark.

Wellies

How to photograph steam train light displays 3

If you’re going to be trudging across fields and footpaths you don’t want to be waiting around to photograph the train with wet feet. Pack your wellies or walking boots before you set off.

Monopod

How to photograph steam train light displays 4

A monopod can help take the weight off, particularly when working with longer, heavier lenses. It also gives you the ability to move more freely than when it’s fixed to a tripod.

Spare battery

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I always make sure I have a spare battery at the ready in my warm pocket. Keep an eye on the battery percentage level and swap over to a fresh battery if you’re nearing 15% or less. Batteries will deplete faster when working in cold environments.


Michael’s Top Tips for steam train light photography

Preparation

Once you know which preserved railway you’re going to visit and at what time the trains are running you’ll need to find a suitable location. I tend to use www.streetmap.co.uk with the zoom control set to 1:50,000. This helps me find public footpaths, bridges, cuttings and embankments close to the railway.

How to photograph steam train light displays 6

Arrive early

I always make a point of arriving and getting into position 30 minutes before the train is due to arrive. You’ll find your eyes adjust to working in darkness quickly, but you don’t want to find yourself having to rush to your location and frantically trying to setup your camera as the train approaches.

light display on trees

Push the ISO

If you’d like to capture shots of the train on the move with impressive steam effects but without motion blur, you’ll need to raise the ISO on your camera high. Don’t be afraid to push the sensitivity to ISO 6400 or ISO 12,800. I don’t tend to let my shutter speed drop much below 1/160sec.

How to photograph steam train light displays 7

Noise reduction

Some cameras are more effective at handling noise at high ISO than others. If your images are prone to noise, or you’d like to reduce the impact of it, you’ll find it beneficial to apply some noise reduction to the raw image. I also find myself tweaking the White Balance and Saturation at the editing stage to accentuate the warmth in an image.

editing steam train image

Share your shots

If you capture images you’re particularly pleased with, make sure you share them for others to see. If you’re on Instagram don’t forget to use the tag #appicoftheweek and tag the preserved railway you took the image at. You never know they may contact and want to use some of your images.

steam train light display bluebell railway

Experiment

The settings I’ve suggested in this article are a good place to start but there’s nothing to say you can’t experiment with different ideas. You might want to setup your camera to shoot a long exposure like the image above, which was taken on a tripod with the settings 60sec at f/16, ISO 160.

light display long exposure


Michael Topham

How to photograph steam train light displays 8

Michael is based in the South East of England and enjoys documentary, landscape and railway photography. He also shoots Weddings and his work can be found at www.michaeltopham.co.uk on Instagram @michaeltophamphotography


Further reading

Low light photography tips

Best lenses for low light, from just £129

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5 Top Tips On Photographing Shop Signs & Window Displays For A City Photo Project

5 Top Tips On Photographing Shop Signs & Window Displays For A City Photo Project

Shop Sign

 

Previously, we’ve spent some time looking for interesting shop fronts to photograph but now we want you to lift your eyes a little higher in search of a good shop sign and pay more attention to what’s actually on display in the windows. 

Displays in shop windows are designed to grab our attention and steer us towards the entrance of the shop in hope we’ll part with our money. Some stores, particularly at Christmas, spend hours planning and then preparing their window displays. A lot of thought goes into how to use the space, what colours the mannequins should wear and how they should be posed making them an interesting photographic project as you walk down the High Street.
 

1. What Gear Do I Need?

A medium zoom lens will get you close to the signs without you having to borrow some ladders off a window cleaner and it’ll also work for capturing shop windows too. You’ll also need to carry a tripod if you plan on returning later in the evening when the neon’s get switched on. It’ll also help if you have a camera that performs well in low light and if you don’t want the street reflected in your shot take a polariser along as well.  

 

2. Have A Walk Along The High Street

There are lots and lots of shops on the High Street which means you don’t just have to settle for the first shop you come across. Spend some time really looking at the displays paying attention to the colours, poses and other items they use to really make the window stand out. Remember, a more interesting display will give you a better-looking image so a short observation walk is worth it. See if you can find shops that aren’t chains. In Sheffield, there are several retro clothing stores and a joke shop which always have unique and sometimes entertaining window displays. Fancy dress shops are another one that’s almost guaranteed to have a loud and amusing window display to photograph.

 

3. Minimise Reflections

Unless you want a photo that shows the display as well as what’s happening on the street, which can work well sometimes, you’ll need a way to minimise the reflection. Stepping further away from the window and using your zoom lens to fill the frame can help but the simplest and if you’re on the edge of a road also the safest way to do it is to fit a polarising filter. This will reduce the reflection and give you a clear shot of what’s inside. If you find the sun causes glare just move your feet to remove the problem or if that doesn’t work come back later on when the sun’s changed position.  

 

4. Work From A Higher Level

When it comes to signs when you stand on the street and look up at them, it’s fine when you’re looking for the nearest bakery but in your photos, it won’t always work. To combat this, just step a little further back or better still find something to stand on that will give you a little more height. You could try holding the camera above your head but this won’t help you with framing unless you have a camera that features a vari-angle LCD screen. 

 

5. To Zoom Or Not To Zoom? 

If a sign’s particularly interesting or amusing zoom right in and fill the frame with the sign. Or are you going to put them into context showing some of the street or the shop front in the shot? If you do include the store pop on a polariser so you don’t catch your reflection in the windows. This works particularly well with old buildings or with unique stores that have displays that will add to the image.

Standing at one end of the High Street quite close to the buildings looking up will give you the chance to capture several signs all in one shot or try waiting until the sun’s began to set and photograph the many neon signs that decorate our streets. Just watch for camera shake as you’ll be using slightly longer exposures and take a look around your image to see if there’s any flare from some of the lights. Having said that, this can work well sometimes, especially on wet evenings.  

In busy towns and cities, you’ll find plenty of signs, often grouped together, along the tall buildings that line the streets. If possible, find a higher spot, as you do when shooting a cityscape, and use a wider focal length to capture the signs and buildings in one image. They can look busy, but the bright signs and bustling surroundings will really sum up the feeling of a busy city. 

 

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ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives

ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives

ASUS premiered a live launch called “Create the Uncreated” and announced a whole new batch of ProArt products. 

ASUS’ ProArt line is one of the most reputable tech product lines that are designed and built for professional photographers, filmmakers, designers, 3D artists, and everything beyond and in between. 

ProArt Station PD5

ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives 9

Topping the list is the ProArt Station PD5 which is a pre-built Workstation CPU for heavy graphics tasks. It can be loaded with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or NVIDIA RTX A2000 graphics. It comes with ISV certification, ergonomic and sleek LED indicators, a convenient control panel on top, and a tool-free HDD tray design. 

ProArt X570-Creator WIFI Motherboard

Second on the list is a ProArt X570-Creator WIFI motherboard with an AMD AM4 socket ready for Ryzen 5000/5000-G, 4000-G, 3000/3000-G, or 2000/2000-G CPUs. This features a 14+2 power stage and PCIe 4.0 multi-GPU support along with a new comprehensive thermal design and extensive connectivity. 

ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives 10

New ProArt Displays

Of course, included are 3 new professional ProArt displays. First is a 32-inch mini LED backlight with 4K HDR, 10-bit color with quantum-dot technology with 99.5% Adobe RGB and 98% DCI-P3 color space. This PA32UCR supports HDR-10 and HLG and features a Delta E rating of <1 for color accuracy. 

ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives 11

The PA32DC is an outstanding 31.5-inch 4K HDR Pure RGB OLED display that brings true 10-bit color with 99% DCI-P3 and Delta E <1 rating. It features 1M:1 contrast ratio and 0.1ms response time. It has a built-in motorized colorimeter for color calibration without having to purchase any additional hardware. 

ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives 12

Third is a nice and handy mini display called the ProArt PA147CDV which is a stand-alone version of the screen seen on ASUS’ Zenbook Pro Duo 15. It is a 14-inch 32:9 10-point touch display with 100% sRGB and Rec. 709 with pre-calibrated Delta E<2 color accuracy. 

ASUS Announces New ProArt Creator Series Computers, Displays, and Peripherals for Professional Creatives 13

Other notable products in the batch announcement includes a color accurate professional projector, the ProArt Projector A1, a ProArt mouse and mouse pad, and a refreshed line of Zenbook, ExpertBook, and VivoBook laptops that now also come with OLED screens. 

Images from www.ASUS.com

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Why Can’t Anybody Compete With Apple’s Displays?

Why Can’t Anybody Compete With Apple’s Displays?

Apple’s Thunderbolt Display was discontinued in 2016, and we haven’t seen anything quite like it since.

Rumors of a new monitor from Apple have been swirling around for a while, but why can’t another company get ahead of this obvious need? I still see the old “Thunderbolt Display” in high-end offices and even some post-production houses (not for color-critical work, of course). It’s clearly a prolific monitor that was happily adopted by the creative industry.

What Set the Cinema Display Apart

The Cinema Display, later renamed Thunderbolt Display, was a sleek addition to the Mac ecosystem. In my eyes, it offered two great advantages. First, they used premium materials like metal and glass. Secondly, if everybody uses the same display, then creatives have less variables to account for across their pipeline.

It wasn’t a perfect monitor. The Thunderbolt Display would only work with Thunderbolt-enabled computers, so no HDMI or Displayport options. A glossy screen might not be everyone’s cup of tea either. It doesn’t cost nearly as much as a Pro Display XDR though.

The Market Is Hungry

The above image tells us that users Googled “best computer monitor” as the pandemic broke out more than ever. However, if you want to know how thirsty creatives are for an affordable Apple monitor, just look at on-screen product photography.

Brands are mocking up their own versions of what looks like a future Apple display, rather than use an actual display. It’s significantly more effort to do this. This is all due to the lackluster alternatives.

Current displays are plastic, with names like VP2785. I feel like it’s no longer acceptable to treat your product like a 2000s Microsoft marketing team might. I’m also beginning to see why Apple thought they could charge $999 for a monitor stand, when most of the competition is trying to win the hearts and minds of accountants.

I’m surprised that companies like Atomos have come so close and haven’t yet capitalised on this market gap. Their Neon series builds upon Apple’s old aesthetics. Why not dumb down the display from a 10-bit to a 8+2bit FRC display like their Sumo, then kill the fancy I/O, and sell it for under $1,200? From experience, their Sumo monitor is too small to use as a second monitor, and I’m not entirely convinced the Neon is fit for its high-end purpose either. I’d absolutely buy a reasonably priced Atomos monitor that works on a desk as well as on set.

The New iMac

I actually considered buying a new iMac, just to use it as a display and to occasionally render out projects in the background. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to support Target Display Mode from my MacBook. In fact, no iMac has supported this since 2014.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with my BenQ PD2700Q. It’s color accurate, though not a true 10-bit monitor, but it’s inexpensive, and I can’t complain. Still though, I’d happily pay more if the screen was as flush as the iMac, the chassis didn’t look like every PC monitor for the past 20 years, and the buttons didn’t feel like they belong on a CRT television.

Conclusion

I don’t think that sleek, well-built displays are out of fashion. An everyday “Pro Display XDR” could soon become the next standard. It’s just frustrating that Apple still has a lead in the market, five years after leaving it. Perhaps we’ll see more displays like this if Apple returns? I can only hope this sparks more competition.

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Apple Releases Calibration App for its Pro XDR Displays

Apple Releases Calibration App for its Pro XDR Displays

Apple Releases Calibration App for its Pro XDR Displays 14

Apple has announced the Pro Display XDR Calibrator along with Firmware version 4.2.30 that allows for in-field recalibration of the Pro Display XDR for specific color workflows that may require custom calibration.

Apple says that every Pro Display XDR undergoes a factory display calibration process on the assembly line to ensure the accuracy of the P3 wide color panel and the individual backlight LEDs. In addition, the factory calibration process enables sophisticated built-in algorithms to accurately reproduce a variety of color spaces used by media workflows today, including sRGB, BT.601, BT.709,​ and even P3-ST.2084 (HDR).

What that means is that for most, the calibration of the monitor is perfect right out of the box. Up until this point, however, in-field calibration was not possible. Thanks to this latest firmware update and new software, however, those who require a custom calibration for a specific project now have that option with one of the most expensive (albeit also one of the nicest) monitors on the market.

For those who need it, they can fine-tune the calibration of (or recalibrate entirely) the Pro Display XDR.

Apple Releases Calibration App for its Pro XDR Displays 17

If this is the case for you, you’ll need to be using macOS Catalina 10.15.6 or later as well as Display Firmware 4.2.30 along with one of the following supported third-party spectroradiometers: Photo Research SpectraScan PR-740, PR-745, or PR-788 or the Colorimetry Research CR-300.

To calibrate the monitor, download the Pro Display XDR Calibrator and follow the remaining instructions here to complete the process, which can take up to two hours to complete. While slow, it is rather straightforward.

To return the display to its factory calibration, open Pro Display XDR Calibrator, click Reset Calibration, then click Reset.

This is a pretty niche tool for a particularly niche subset of Apple’s Pro XDR customer base (which in itself could be also argued as niche). The Pro Display XDR starts at $4,999 (with an additional $1000 if you want the Pro Stand), and spectroradiometers are also expensive (just one of the compatible spectroradiometers noted above can retail for nearly $13,000 used). Still, adding more possible features to Apple’s top-tier monitor can only be seen as a good thing and will allow those who need it to get the most out of their displays.

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Photo Series of Incredible Home Christmas Displays is a Perfect Encapsulation of Americana

Photo Series of Incredible Home Christmas Displays is a Perfect Encapsulation of Americana

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Photographer Danelle Manthey spent ten years traveling across the United States as part of her project (and now book), American Christmas. The series documents home Christmas displays and captures them from the perspective that their creations are examples of modern American folk art.

Manthey photographed, interviewed, and spent time with the creators of these widely diverse displays as part of her project. She found that the creators are entirely self-taught and often do not view themselves as artists. Still, they build incredibly elaborate, site-specific annual installations and Manthey argues that they should be recognized for “their transcendent, highly skilled craft.”

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It’s All About Jesus! | Daniel Baughman, Prosper, TX
Photo Series of Incredible Home Christmas Displays is a Perfect Encapsulation of Americana 26
Bringing Mom Home | Teresa Stellingwerth, Sioux Falls, SD
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A Great Escape | Mike “Greeley Grizwald” Medhurst, Greenley, CO

“I first became fascinated with Christmas displays as a child in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where my family had a tradition of driving around town in search of houses covered in lights,” Manthey says. “Later, I realized I wasn’t as intrigued by the lights as I was by the people behind them. In my photography practice, I aim to capture my subjects in shrines of self-expression. Through this project, I reveal what makes these displays so special—the creators’ artistic vision, homespun passion, and ability to share happiness.”

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To Scale | Garrett Mauser, Babylon, NY
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Choo Choo! | Terry and Sharon Miller, Westminster, CO

Manthey argues that those who create these Christmas displays are modern folk artists, as the term applies to those with no formal training and did not study an art form academically. The Christmas decorators’ creations appear like utopian spaces, a common theme among folk artists according to Manthey. Many of the selected displays feature region-specific motifs as well as handmade decorations. This tendency, coupled with the traditional imagery and decorative nature of the displays, also lends credence to the belief that these installations are a form of contemporary American folk art.

Photo Series of Incredible Home Christmas Displays is a Perfect Encapsulation of Americana 38
That was cool | Kielawa Family, Huntington Station, NY
Photo Series of Incredible Home Christmas Displays is a Perfect Encapsulation of Americana 41
It’s More than the Lights | Karen Vaught, Broomfield, CO

“The truly amazing thing about these American grassroots artists, all of whom became bitten by the pine-scented Christmas bug, lies in the diversity of their motivations,” explains Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, Founder and Director of the American Visionary Art Museum when asked to discuss Manley’s series. “Some had simply miserable childhood Christmas memories, so much so that they devoted their adult selves to a rectification by building some ideal Christmas Nirvana. Others were blessed with splendidly precious holiday memories, embodying emotional peaks of familial joy. All over the world, the single most common theme of visionary artists who create an artistic environment is some Eden-esque Utopia, and Christmas, especially since World War 1, has been at the top of the American concept of earthly paradise.”

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75° | Bill Vanderslice, Port Charlotte, FL
Photo Series of Incredible Home Christmas Displays is a Perfect Encapsulation of Americana 47
This is for you Mom | Ed Rombeiro, Novato, CA

Manthey’s decision to photograph the displays with their creators brings a new angle to these images that are not often seen, even by those who partake in an annual tradition of viewing their local displays. Americans will often see decorated houses, but not juxtaposed with those who spend hours crafting them. If there was ever a project that perfectly encapsulated winter Americana, this is it.

Manthey shot these images on medium format film to, according to her media team, “mirror the creative process of her subjects.”

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Every day is a Saturday | Gil Gerard, Kenner, LA

Danelle Manthey is a photographer based out of New York City and Upstate New York by way of South Dakota. She has participated in multiple art fairs and been exhibited by multiple galleries in New YOrk, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and others. You can view more of her work here and order her book American Christmas here.

(via Creative Boom)


American Christmas is a new book by photographer Danelle Manthey that examines Christmas displays, and the people behind them, through the lens of American folk art. Through portraits and interviews, the book features the stories of over 40 families and individuals across 12 states. It includes text by Marlene Friis, a foreword from Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, Founder and Director of the American Visionary Art Museum, and an introduction by Mark Sloan, Curator and Chief Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.


Image credits: Photos by Danelle Manthey and used with permission.

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HP Debuts Latest Generation of Color-Critical HDR DreamColor Displays

HP Debuts Latest Generation of Color-Critical HDR DreamColor Displays

HP Debuts Latest Generation of Color-Critical HDR DreamColor Displays 53

As part of the Adobe MAX creative conference, HP has announced a set of new color-critical HDR monitors under its DreamColor line. The company touts the Z25xs G3 and HP Z27xs G3 DreamColor Displays as “the world’s first color-critical HDR monitors with one-touch brightness adjust.”

Earlier this year, HP released three “studio” laptops with DreamColor displays aimed directly at artists, and today’s announcement follows in those footsteps. HP says its new Z displays are curated specifically for creative professionals and are compatible with all devices and platforms thanks to a USB-C display connection.

USB-C is not the only port available with these monitors, however. The DreamColor displays have multiple connection options including a single HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.4 out, a DisplayPort 1.4 in, as well as two USB-C ports capable of display, with one offering 100W of power and the other 15W of power.

HP Debuts Latest Generation of Color-Critical HDR DreamColor Displays 56

HP’s claim of “world’s first” is tied to the one-touch brightness adjust feature, which the company says will allow a creator to simplify “workflow with the ability to increase screen lighting in a single movement.”

Aside from that feature, the monitors can project over a billion colors via a PANTONE Validated color gamut with “flawless” color accuracy out of the box. HP says that its Vesa Certified Display HDR offers up to HDR 600, while Dell only offers HDR 400.

The DreamColor displays will be available in both 4K (3840×2160 pixels) in a 27-inch format and QHD (2560×1440 pixels) in a 25-inch format, the former for $749 and the latter for $599. The 4K monitor does boast slightly better peak brightness at 450 nits, while the QHD option reaches 400 nits.

In October, Dell announced its own color-critical monitor that featured a built-in Calman colorimeter, but the asking price for that monitor was a significantly higher $5,000. These HP monitors are a lot more affordable, albeit slightly smaller, for a similar promise of wide color gamut with high accuracy. If Dell’s built-in colorimeter seems like overkill, these HP monitors might be a more appealing option for the cost-conscious.

HP Debuts Latest Generation of Color-Critical HDR DreamColor Displays 59

The DreamColor displays are two of eight monitors HP announced today with availability for all starting early next year. The other monitors are in HP’s Z line, and have varying features and prices depending on your needs. You can read more about those displays and the two DreamColor monitors here.

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City Photo Project – Shop Signs & Window Displays

City Photo Project - Shop Signs & Window Displays

Previously, we’ve spent some time looking for interesting shop fronts to photograph but now we want you to lift your eyes a little higher in search of a good shop sign and pay more attention to what’s actually on display in the windows. 

Displays in shop windows are designed to grab our attention and steer us towards the entrance of the shop in hope we’ll part with our money. Some stores, particularly at Christmas, spend hours planning and then preparing their window displays. A lot of thought goes into how to use the space, what colours the mannequins should wear and how they should be posed making them an interesting photographic project as you walk down the High Street.
 

Tokyo

Photo by David Clapp

 

What Gear Do I Need?

A medium zoom lens will get you close to the signs without you having to borrow some ladders off a window cleaner and it’ll also work for capturing shop windows too. You’ll also need to carry a tripod if you plan on returning later in the evening when the neon’s get switched on. It’ll also help if you have a camera that performs well in low light and if you don’t want the street reflected in your shot take a polariser along as well.  

 

Have A Walk Along The High Street

There are lots and lots of shops on the High Street which means you don’t just have to settle for the first shop you come across. Spend some time really looking at the displays paying attention to the colours, poses and other items they use to really make the window stand out. Remember, a more interesting display will give you a better-looking image so a short observation walk is worth it. See if you can find shops that aren’t chains. In Sheffield there are several retro clothing stores and a joke shop which always have unique and sometimes entertaining window displays. Fancy dress shops are another one that’s almost guaranteed to have a loud and amusing window display to photograph.

 

Minimise Reflections

Unless you want a photo that shows the display as well as what’s happening on the street, which can work well sometimes, you’ll need a way to minimise the reflection. Stepping further away from the window and using your zoom lens to fill the frame can help but the simplest and if you’re on the edge of a road also the safest way to do it is to fit a polarising filter. This will reduce the reflection and give you a clear shot of what’s inside. If you find the sun causes glare just move your feet to remove the problem or if that doesn’t work come back later on when the sun’s changed position.  

 

Work From A Higher Level

When it comes to signs, when you stand on the street and look up at them, it’s fine when you’re looking for the nearest bakery but in your photos it won’t always work. To combat this, just step a little further back or better still find something to stand on that will give you a little more height. You could try holding the camera above your head but this won’t help you with framing unless you have a camera that features a vari-angle LCD screen. 

 

To Zoom Or Not To Zoom? 

If a sign’s particularly interesting or amusing zoom right in and fill the frame with the sign. Or are you going to put them into context showing some of the street or the shop front in the shot? If you do include the store pop on a polariser so you don’t catch your reflection in the windows. This works particularly well with old buildings or with unique stores that have displays that will add to the image.

Standing at one end of the High Street quite close to the buildings looking up will give you the chance to capture several signs all in one shot or try waiting until the sun’s began to set and photograph the many neon signs that decorate our streets. Just watch for camera shake as you’ll be using slightly longer exposures and take a look around your image to see if there’s any flare from some of the lights. Having said that, this can work well sometimes, especially on wet evenings.  

In busy towns and cities, you’ll find plenty of signs, often grouped together, along the tall buildings that line the streets. If possible, find a higher spot, as you do when shooting a cityscape, and use a wider focal length to capture the signs and buildings in one image. They can look busy, but the bright signs and bustling surroundings will really sum up the feeling of a busy city. 

 

   

You’ve read the technique, now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition  

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