Thursday, April 20, 2006

Luminous Landscape

There are many resources on the internet that could be of interest to night photographers, even though their content is not specifically directed at night photography, abandoned buildings or evading security guards.

(photo: Michael Reichmann)

I think the most useful all-encompassing photographic resource on the internet is Michael Reichmann's Luminous Landscape website. I've been checking this site almost every day for the past five years, and I never get tired of his personal photo projects, workshop updates, featured columnists and (for all you gear-heads out there) product updates. Although most of Michael's photography involves either landscapes or nature, he also has a background as a documentary photographer. Unlike equipment-oriented sites (such as DPReview), Michael's equipment reviews focus on real-world usability (how does the equipment feel? is it responsive? are the menus easy to navigate? what do the prints look like? how many pixels are enough?).

It's no secret that Michael prefers digital to film. He took a lot of heat when he first declared that 35mm-class digital cameras produce superior images to 35mm film cameras. In fact, it was Michael's review of the Canon D60 back in the Spring of 2002 that convinced me to take the plunge and move over to the "Dark Side". Specifically (and, now back to night photography...), I was waiting for a digital camera that could take exposures at least four minutes, which is the minimum exposure length to record a decent single exposure under a full moon. The D60 did it four years ago, and I still use that camera for all of my night work, today.

Lately, Michael has been reviewing the state-of-the-art medium format backs, which are now producing on the order of 40 megapixels. These reviews make for great reading, although they are well out of the price range of most photographers. He has even gone so far as to compare these digital back with large-format film, and (gasp) he has even hosted articles by other photographers comparing the Canon 1Ds-MkII with large format film!


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