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Is it time for a new camera?

Rationally, I know my camera (a Nikon D70) is excellent. It takes wonderful photographs, it still works great after 50,000 shots, and 6.1 megapixels is all the resolution I can use right now. And yet... how nice it would be to upgrade.

These graphs from Flickr's Camera Finder don't make it any easier to resist the urge to upgrade. The Camera Finder offers a unique way of browsing cameras and photographs taken by those cameras (based on the EXIF data uploaded with each photograph). Thoughtfully, Flickr also serves up a graph of this year's usage of each camera model. If you own a Digital Rebel, XT, EOS 20D, or Nikon D70 the data is clear: our days are numbered. :-)

This year's camera usage by model (data provided by Flickr as of March 12, 2007). Read 'em and weep:

Canon EOS Rebel
Canon EOS Digital Rebel

Canon EOS Rebel XT
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

Canon EOS Rebel XTi
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

Canon EOS 20D
Canon EOS 20D

Canon EOS 30D
Canon EOS 30D

Nikon D70
Nikon D70

Nikon D200
Nikon D200

Nikon D80
Nikon D80

Nikon D70s
Nikon D70s

D50
Nikon D50

Playtime!

Some days are rushed, but others present a perfect opportunity to play with your camera. Last week, a friend gave me a bouquet of daffodils. They looked so bright and springlike, that I decided to shoot some pictures of them.

The hour was early, and light came in only one window. First, I stood by the window to shoot the flowers, which jumped out against the darkness of the room behind. Later, though, I tried other positions, such as standing in the room and shooting toward the window. Then I wondered how the flowers would look in my upstairs room with the skylight, so I dragged the bouquet up there to shoot some more.

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The Zen of Letting the Image Find You

[Please welcome Jim Crotty to Photodoto. Jim is a pro photographer with a studio in Dayton, Ohio, called Picture Ohio, LLC. He shoots using Canon EOS digital, both the 5D and 1D Mark II, as well as Canon L lenses. His personal and stock work involves nature, landscapes and wildlife. Like many photographers, he started young, developing prints in a black and white darkroom. His work can be viewed on his site at ohiophoto.org or on his Flickr account under username jimcrotty.com. -- JW]

I have finally gotten around to writing my first article for photodoto.com. I'm thrilled to be part of such a talented online community of photographers.

Rather than starting-off with an article that has to do with the more technical aspects of photography, I thought I'd talk a little bit about artistic approach.

Nature and landscape photography is the type of work that I find most enjoyable and represents the foundation of my photographic career---a foundation that I still try to stay actively involved with while becoming more involved in commercial photography.

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The “Beauty Function” For a More Beautiful You

Beauty FunctionYou just can't believe anything you see these days.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have created a computer algorithm that "beautifies" a photograph of a person's face by making subtle adjustments to ratios that correlate with an objective definition of beauty. As a photographer, you are probably familiar with some of these mathematical formulas (The Golden Ratio) although you may not have thought of applying them to human faces.

It's inevitable that software like this, for better or worse, will find its way first into products like Adobe Photoshop as a plugin and then eventually into digital cameras. One day, you may even ditch your old-fashioned glass bathroom mirror for a self-esteem boosting all-digital model.

Check out the before and after photos and read the full article at Israel21c.

(via Kottke.org)

Silhouettes: An Old Art Form Made New

Silhouettes were a popular art form in the early 1800s. Film did not yet exist, but skilled artists could look at subjects and then cut out remarkable likenesses using black paper and sharp scissors. People had silhouettes made of loved ones and framed them like portraits. The fad declined in popularity after cameras became more universally available.

Still, silhouetted images can be striking. They are also remarkably easy to create with digital cameras and worth mastering. If overdone, they can be tiresome, but when well done they can be fun.

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