Archive for the 'Photo Review' Category

Oct 15 2008 slideshow

Published by under Photo Review,photography

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Aug 21 2008

Photo expedition to Sydney

Published by under Photo Review,photography

A few days ago I got my mitts on one of the new Nikon D700 full-frame DSLRs*. So, I loaded up a fresh battery and a blank CF card and went picture taking in Sydney…

The D700 turns out to be a lovely camera to work with. I was up and shooting without so much as a glance at the manual. And the image quality… wonderful!

For those of you interested in the tech stuff, I was using AFS Nikkor 24-120mm lens.

*I’ll be reviewing the D700 in due course, but if you’d like to learn more, then check out Margaret Brown’s comprehensive report on the Photo Review Australia website.

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Sep 03 2007

Photo Review Australia, Issue 33 out now!

Published by under Photo Review

Photo Review Australia, Issue 33

Well, we’ve wrapped up another issue of Photo Review and by now it should be at better newsagents everywhere.

My thoughts are now directed to next issue and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, here, to give you some of the flavour of issue 33, is my editorial from same:
Making Choices

There’s never enough room in an issue of Photo Review Australia as far as I’m concerned. Without exception I always want more pages for pictures than could ever be commercially sensible. But of course if you’re in the editor’s chair, it’s your job to discriminate, to sift and to weigh the options.

In my happy career as editor of this fine publication, there are two stories that have been for me particularly gratifying. The first was the series of interviews I was privileged to conduct with the wonderful artist and raconteur, Lewis Morley (published in our Autumn 2007 issue). The second, dear reader, concerns the ten pages of the current issue we’ve devoted to the quite extraordinary work of one E.O. Hoppé. Never heard of him? Well, nor had we, but thanks to a man named Graham Howe, a most astounding collection of images from Hoppé’s single trip to Australia in 1930 has now come to light. Howe was so impressed that he mortgaged his own home to help rescue these and thousands of other images by the German born British photographer.

Just as it was impossible to pick out a representative selection when we were preparing the feature on Lewis Morely’s vast treasure trove of previously unpublished work, so too was it a special kind of agony to narrow the choices down for the Hoppé pages.

Regular readers of these columns will know that when I interview a photographer (or in this case a curator and editor), my practice is to ask them to pull together 15 or 20 of their personal favourites. Then I choose a subset of these that is still larger than the number we can publish. The reason is simple: I want our very talented layout artist Darren Waldren to have enough material to really be creative. Sadly, though this invariably yields terrific pages, it also means that at every step of the way, truly wonderful images have to be left unpublished.

Happily in the case of E.O. Hoppé, it is possible to see the full range of pictures we had to choose from. All you need to do is leaf through a copy of E.O. Hoppé’s Australia. The book should be in better shops a week or two after this editorial sees light of day and I can’t recommend it too highly. I may subsequently be proven wrong, but in my view many of Hoppé’s pictures vault straight from obscurity into the uppermost ranks of Australian photography.

And, speaking of uncovering great talent, ace writer Steve Packer has now moved to Western Australia where only weeks after arriving, he came across the work of Louise Mann. You might think that we’ve pretty much uncovered everything a camera can do, but Ms Mann’s work demonstrates in beautiful fashion that it’s still possible to push the boundaries.

Meanwhile, our man in Victoria, the perspicacious Keith Shipton has news from Australia’s most ambitious photographic event, the Daylesford Photo Biennale. A monument to passionate volunteerism in the service of photography, the scope of Daylesford must surely make it one of the biggest festivals of imaging in the world.

Technical editor Margaret Brown is not only Australia’s leading photography equipment reviewer, she’s also a pretty dab hand with the microphone and notepad. Her interview with image permanence expert Henry Wilhelm, will leave you much the wiser about the state of play with modern inks and papers (hint: you get what you pay for!). As for the technology, well this issue you’ll find out what Margaret thinks about the Canon’s new EOS-1D Mark III DSLR, the freshly launched Olympus E-510 Four Thirds system DSLR and half a dozen other new releases. I should note too that our tireless Tech Editor maintains a constant stream of product updates and photography news on our website which is, of course, to be found by pointing your browser at

Keep shootin’!

-Don Norris

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Jul 05 2007

5 online slideshow tools reviewed

Summary: The most difficult to use slideshow is slideroll but it was also the best in my view because it gives you the most control over the final results. For ease of use and good transition behaviour, the offering from is best. For ease of use for posting to social networking sites, I’m giving the nod to Photobucket.

I created this slideshow with an online application called Slidez [LINK TO SLIDEZ] and then embedded the code in this post. Because it needs to fit this layout, you can’t see the images at full screen size. To do that, you need to CLICK HERE to visit this gallery on the slidez site.

Slidez has a very web 2.0 interface, ie clean and quite straightforward to use. The site was in public beta when I tried it out, so things may have changed when you check it. Registration is free and you aren’t charged to keep your slideshows on the site. I also liked that it created a unique sub-domain for me (mine is and that it offered a number of editable display options. You can re-arrange the order of image, add labels and captions and email friends about your latest show, or embed it the way I have in this post.

All pictures were taken with my Nokia N95.

I’ve had a bit of a play with it, but cannot see how to embed a slideshow in this post. Instead, I can only link to one here

Here are some thoughts on the experience…

Slide has one of those slightly frenetic looking homepages that could be described loosely as adhering to the conventions of social networking sites in both appearance and functionality. It is quite easy to select and organise a slideshow, which is as it should be. There are any number of slideshow modes to choose from and you have a variety of customisation options. There is a limited music library from which you can choose a suitable soundtrack for your images. The biggest plus is that slide makes it very easy to add your slideshow to the most popular social networking sites (eg Friendster, Bebo, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc). However, it does not appear to provide code for embedding in sites other than those listed. Instead, you are left with the less than satisfactory option of linking to your slideshow. What’s more, it would seem that the site aggressively compresses uploaded images (there is no way to control how the images are processed after uploading). The shots in the example show a fair amount of degradation from the originals.Click here to see how it works.

The most popular photosharing and hosting site of all. Very good user interface. Clean, easy to follow and quite versatile. In addition to uploading images from their own computer, users can also upload from mobile phones and web addresses (for instance you might have a picture in another location like a blog that you’d like to add to a slide show). Once images are uploadedl they are displayed album style with direct links helpfully shown below each picture (to make it easy to add them to an email, a post in a forum or a personal blog). Edting your slideshow is straightforward and there are a range of display options to choose from. One may link to a completed slideshow or grab the necessary code to include a show in a blog, forum post or ordinary web page. A remix mode alllows you to create slideshows from stills images and short video sequences. Easy to see why this is so popular. Images did not show compression artefacts. Easy to see why this is so popular. About the only niggle was not being able to pause a show or control how long images displayed. However, if you use the remix facility, it’s possible to set the ‘dwell’ time of an image from 1-10 seconds. Interesting note too, the remix part of the site is powered by Adobe’s Premiere Express. Professional users may want to spend USD25 a year to get 50 image slideshows instead of the lower resolution, 10 image limit that applies to free users.

Imageshack slideshow created on their site:
ImageShack has become extremely popular with the social networking crowd in large part because it makes posting your images to your social networking accounts comparatively easy. This is really more of a general purpose online photo storage site than a specialist slideshow builder. The slideshow tool [click here to see a screen dump] is a pretty basic affair. You can only upload one image at a time, you only have three size choices, and more importantly there do not appear to be any controls over the timeline or the Ken Burns panning-zooming effects. You can choose from a short list of transition effects. Uploads seemed to be pretty slow as well, but there were no compression artefacts visible in the slideshow. Free users have a maximum file size of 1.5MB.

What seems to be a much better idea is to go into the tools menu on the site and to download and install their image toolbar for IE or Firefox. This has a better interface for assembling slideshows in my view, and there is nothing to stop you editing your slideshow later once the images have been uploaded to ImageShack

A tip: they apply a bit of compression to your images, so you can overcome this by setting the slideshow to 640×480 (their largest setting) and then when you get the code for pasting into your blog, dig into it and change the height and width settings to something smaller – presto smaller, but better res. If you just choose the smaller options, it seems the compression is still visible (see below)

ImageShack slideshow created using their toolbar for Firefox

Go to ImageShack® to Create your own Slideshow

Slideroll is the least user-friendly of the slideshow creating sites I’ve looked at – however, it also offers users the greatest versatility. The slideshow workspace [CLICK HERE to see what it looks like] is somewhat complicated and a bit idiosyncratic, but once you’ve pushed the learning curve (tip: save after every step), you find you have considerably more control over the display options. For instance, Slideroll allows you to set the amount of time each shot is shown, and to control those zooming-panning effects much beloved by online slideshow makers. Once I got to grips with the control options, I found it quite amusing to play with. There are tools to help you post your slideshows to various of the social networking sites, or to blogs such as this one.

For another round-up of interesting online photo editors, check this on mashup

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