Category Archives for "REVIEWS"

Hands-on Review: c’t Digital Photography Magazine

A few months back I was sent Issue 7 (Spring 2012) of c’t Digital Photography magazine to review. The magazine’s tagline is “The in-depth quarterly for the photo enthusiast,” and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s a very in-depth magazine that reads almost like a series of well-written and illustrated “mini books” by people who truly know and take time to research the topics they cover. The magazine is published quarterly by Rocky Nook and is available in print form, as well as via an iPad app and


Below are just a few of the topics that are covered in detail in Issue 7 with some of my comments below in quotes. You can see a full overview of the issue (and all of the issues printed to date) on the company’s website at, or in its entirety in low-res prior to purchase via its iPad app or on

Portfolio: Martin Stranka: “An outstanding body of work by Martin Stranka, and a great Q&A with the artist.”

The Making of Times Square by Bert Monroy: “I had a chance to see the 300 inch wide (7.62 meters) Times Square backlit print at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC in 2010 that took Bert Monroy four years to produce. It was output on an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 and Epson’s DisplayTrans film. Jaw-dropping is the description I would use for the amount of detail and clarity in the image, not to mention the scale of the piece. Many short video tutorials by Bert Monroy, showing examples of how different sections came together are also on the issue’s DVD.”

Gigapixel Images: “Just an incredible overview of gigapixel photography, from double-page spreads of amazing imagery, to techniques and equipment (some affordable, and some costing as much as a car!)”

Your iPad Assistant: “A very-well written overview of a very complex topic. I’ve used an iPad as a wireless “Polaroid” and it is amazing once you have the right SD card or other wireless transfer solution, once all the right apps are downloaded, and once all the settings are properly set on the iPad.”

Pseudo DRI and Pseudo HDR: “Another incredible article that digs deep into a complex topic. I was truly amazed at how much information was included on how to get amazing detail from a single exposure. Shooting tips and specific step-by-step tutorials for the Photomatix Lightroom Plug-in and tips for using Adobe Photoshop’s CS5/CS6’s HDR tool were also covered. They even included some presets for Photomatix on the DVD, which will be welcomed by anyone who owns the application.”

Light Art Performance Photography (LAPP): “This was over-the-top amazing. If you’ve ever wondered how people create spheres of light or other amazing effects with light on film or by using digital cameras, Joerg Miedza and JanLeonardo Woellert, co-authors of the book “Painting with Light” go into detail about how it’s done, including specific information about what lights work particularly well, and how to build a “Performance Stick.” Also, the imagery in the book and in the e-book is stunning; even if you have no interest in learning the techniques, you should take a look at the images.”


System Camera Test: “I’m sure that this in-depth review of high-end and mid-range mirrorless cameras took a lot of time and effort (when you see the charts full of specs you’ll see what I mean!). I think they did a fantastic job testing these five cameras: The Nikon 1 V1, Olympus PEN E-P3, Nikon Coolpix P7100, Sony SLT-A77V and the Sony NEX 5N.”

Free RAW Processing with RawTherapee: “This was an impressive overview and tutorial of a free piece of software for converting RAW images.”

The Lightroom Workflow: “An excellent guide to getting started in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, with many tips for importing, organizing, developing, exporting and presenting your images. Lightroom 3 is used since that was the shipping version when it was written, but the vast majority of the information will pertain to Lightroom 4.”

I found something of interest in every article, and thought that the e-book alone that is on the enclosed DVD for Issue 7 entitled Painting with Light (Rocky Nook, 2011) was worth the $14.99 cover price (US/CAN) or $9.99 per issue for the iPad version. The DVD download for each specific issue is also provided when you purchase the specific issues via the magazine’s iPad edition, and according to the information on, “As of Issue 8, the free DVD supplied with the print edition is available for download to purchasers of the Zinio edition.”

I highly recommend c’t Digital Photography magazine and will be subscribing soon (probably to the Zinio edition, but the printed edition looked so good that I might go for the ink on paper option instead). Decisions, decisions…


Quick Lightroom Library Module Tip and “Top Five” Newsletter Content

I recently sent out my “Top Five” Newsletter for June, 2012 and thought to myself: “Self, why not share the content with readers of”

But many people who receive the newsletter also receive my blog updates via e-mail, so I’m adding a quick, but very powerful tip for Lightroom users. The tip is…

How to quickly increase and decrease thumbnail sizes in the Library Module of Lightroom without using the slider in the toolbar


Here’s how: Most people use the slider in the bottom-right corner of the Toolbar (circled in blue, above) to adjust thumbnail sizes. However, there’s an easier way to achieve the same result. When you are in the Library Module in Lightroom 1, 2, 3 or 4, just press the “-” or “=” key (located in the upper-right hand part of your keyboard, next to the “0” number key). You will then magically see the thumbnails get larger “= key” or smaller “- key.” It took me more than a year of using Lightroom to discover this.

It’s especially useful when rating and viewing groups of images since you can hide the toolbar and get more room (press the T key to hide/show the toolbar).

And now for the “Top Five” recent newsletter content, which includes links to recent articles I’ve written, as well as some upcoming workshops I’m conducting in NJ, and that others are conducting in NY. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, published about once per month, you can sign up at the bottom of the page, or just send an e-mail to

“Top 5 List of Photo Links Worth a Look,” for June 2012

by Andrew Darlow

#5: Getting Started in Lightroom Workshop in Iselin, New Jersey – June 20th from 10:30am-3:30pm, plus a special 50% off private consulting offer.

I’m very excited to announce an upcoming five hour Lightroom workshop being held at a very nice restaurant in Iselin, NJ on Wed. June 20, 2012. It is geared primarily toward those just starting out with Lightroom, but I think it’s ideal for even some intermediate to advanced users primarily because I will also cover, in a step-by-step fashion, the process that I’ve developed to download, organize, import and back up your images so that you’ll never see another question mark in your catalog again (and if you do, you’ll know how to fix it!).

Many of my clients have invested $500-1500 for me to work with them one-on-one to help them organize their collections and to teach them the tips that I will be sharing. The first 12 people to register will receive a $20 discount, as well as a 20 minute follow-up phone consultation with me (a $50 value). 

For those who are interested in the workshop but who can’t attend, I also added a ticket option for 50% off of your first hour of consulting with me via phone. I can also view your screen and control your mouse with your permission. The experience is almost as good as working together in person.

For more information or to register, visit the workshop page here.

#4: Recent Article with three Q&A’s on Lightroom in Rangefinder Magazine

I recently wrote an article covering 3 Q & A’s from my Lightroom Printing workshop at #WPPI 2012 in Las Vegas back in February. In one of the Q&A’s I go into great detail about how to make PDFs from the Print Module.

Visit this page to read the article.

#3: Article on Keeping Competitive in the Photo Business in Rangefinder Magazine

I recently contributed to an article in Rangefinder Magazine on keeping competitive in the photo business, and one of my photos of a happy pot-bellied pig was used for the story:

Visit this page to read the article.

#2: Upcoming Long Island Photo Workshops August 6-9, 2012

I just learned about this upcoming four day workshop being held in Hauppaugue, NY. The instructors are all outstanding, and you can choose from courses focusing on everything from fashion to weddings to sports and Lightroom. It’s definitely worth a look:

THE LINK to learn more about the Long Island Photo Workshops.

#1: Many New Links Added to My Updated Facebook Fan Page

Since February of 2010, I’ve been adding links that I find interesting on a frequent basis to my Facebook Fan page (along with some personal comments). I’ve added over 1000 links so far, and many of the recent ones have covered the topics of Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4 and new Nikon and Canon cameras. You can see my comments and links here:

THE LINK to visit my Facebook Photo and Printing Tips page.

All the best!
Andrew Darlow
Editor, The Imaging Buffet
Author, 301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques:
An Essential Printing Resource for Photographers –
Pet Photography 101:
Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Dog or Cat –


BONUS: Receive a tip a week for 12 weeks from my book, 301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques, plus a Resolution Chart and info to help determine file sizes for printing:
300 InkjetTips Book Resizing Chart

Adobe Announces Photoshop CS6 Beta (Now Available for Download) Plus Video and Web Links

Many (including me) have been anticipating the release of Photoshop CS6, and it has officially arrived as Photoshop CS6 Beta. That means you can download it for free from this link on Adobe’s website (the download is 984 MB for the Mac OS, and 1.7 GB for Windows). There are quite a few new features, as well as a new interface (that came as quite a surprise to me, and I’m slowly getting used to it). This important note about the Beta from Adobe’s site is worth highlighting:

Photoshop CS6 beta includes all the features in Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CS6 Extended. Take this opportunity to try out the 3D image editing and quantitative image analysis capabilities of Photoshop Extended*, but note that—while these features will be included in the shipping version of Photoshop CS6 Extended—they will not be included in the shipping version of Photoshop CS6.

Until I have more time with the Beta, I thought I’d share some impressive videos and helpful links to more information about it. First, below is a fantastic 10 minute video by Russell Brown of Adobe, who covers six new features of PSCS6:

Next, is this page with great information (including videos and screen shots) on Photoshop CS6 Beta by Colin Smith of PhotoshopCAFE.

And last for now is NAPP’s excellent coverage of Photoshop CS6 Beta (free for members or non-members of NAPP):

What surprised me most about Photoshop CS6 Beta? The video capabilities. Russell Brown’s video shows a quick overview, and I’m guessing you’ll be surprised as well when you see what’s inside.

And while you’re learning more about Photoshop, I have a number of Lightroom 4-related workshops coming soon in New Jersey and New York City. Links for full descriptions and registration information can be found below:

Using Lightroom for Inkjet Printing and Color Management
Location: Calumet Photo, New York City – Date: Sat., March 31, 2012

Lightroom 4 Workflows: How to Organize, Retouch & Print Your Images
Location: du Cret School of the Arts (NJ) – Date: Sat., April 7, 2012

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