www.nikonians.org Nikonians Newsletter
In This Issue: 09-JUN-2005 
•   Helgoland workshop smashing success
•   News Bits
•   Book review: Fine Art Flower Photography
Helgoland workshop smashing success
The Helgoland wildlife tour taking place April 25-29th in Germany was a smashing success according to the participating Nikonians. Not only did the Nikonians flag wave proudly over the participants, but over 10,000 birds presented themselves in front of the eager photographers, getting many chances to capture birds and seals using big Nikkor glass and carbon tripods.

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One of the members said: The individual tutoring that was given not only to me but to all the participants became the most important part of the workshop. In addition to the individual tutoring there were several classroom type learning opportunities. The manner in which the "critiquing" was done on a daily basis, became quite evident as the workshop progressed. You could see daily improvements in the images that were captured by all the participants. [...]

Nikonians annual tour this year in South Dakota
We are getting closer to the community's 5th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Tour (ANPAT). This year we are in South Dakota, USA, October 9th to 15th. It is now possible to reserve your seat. As always, it is first come, first serve. More ANPAT 5 details at Nikonians

Read about the members Helgoland experiences and see their photos

Nikonians raising the Nikonians flag on Helgoland
News Bits
Nikonians Teleconverter Chart Now Available
The Nikonians Teleconverter Chart is now online providing the most comprehensive summary of Nikon-compatible TC and lens combinations.
More at Nikonians

Nikon new DK-17M magnifying eyepiece
Nikon introduces a M-type viewfinder eyepiece for F6, F5, F4, F3HP, D1 and D2 bodies.
More at Nikonians

News on your desktop
Subscribe to the Nikonians RSS feed and get frequent updates from the Imaging and Photo Industry with a Nikonians touch. The news system is located at blog.nikonians.org and you find the RSS 2.0 feed at www.nikonians.org/index.xml

Nikonians Reference Library
Our resources now include a new section with educational material and reference documents from our sponsors. First to be listed is Adobe - many more to come!
Nikonians Reference Library

New D70 firmware available
Nikon has announced the release of V2.0 of the firmware for the D70 digital SLR. Downloads are available from the various Nikon national sites.

See the Nikonians News for latest updates

Book review: Fine Art Flower Photography
Fine Art Flower Photography: Creative Techniques and the Art of Observation by Tony Sweet

This book made me reconsider some of my fundamental feelings about art and photography. For example it made me consider the distinction between non-representational and abstract art. I realized that non-representational art has no counterpart in the world. Abstract art might have such a counterpart, but it is more concerned with line, form, color and other indicia as such than with the subject itself. I also realized that just because a photograph must start with something in the real world doesn't mean that it can't be abstract and concern itself with indicia rather than the subject.

All of this is by way of saying that "Fine Art Flower Photography" is a book of abstract art that starts with real flowers, but which has as its subject line, form and color. And it is a terrific and inspiring book.

By using a variety of photographic techniques, Sweet is able to divorce line, form and color from their subject and present them in a pure manner that delights the eye. In fact Sweet was so effective in doing this that he transformed my vision of other abstract art and its value.

Sweet accomplishes this task by manipulating depth of field, multiple exposures and camera movement to present us with a view of flowers that we would never see with the unaided eye. And these views are surprisingly striking, evoking deep, non-rational responses in the viewer. I have never believed that aesthetics was simply the province of the beautiful, but these pictures certainly can be used to support such an argument.

I've long had a feeling that manipulating a photograph in the camera in a way that one could not see in a peek through the viewfinder was somehow not real art. Sweet makes it clear though that he starts with a visualization of his final image and then takes the steps to make that vision come true, which of course is exactly what all the great photographers have done, and which is certainly a process that leads to art.

This book could stand on its own, as a set of beautiful images, but expert photographers will also find valuable lessons here. Sweet's comments are pithy, but for a person who understands the photographic process, they can suggest the technical steps that will allow the photographer to follow in Sweet's footsteps. My question is whether Sweet has set the bar so high that no one can exceed him. But perhaps these same techniques can be applied to other forms of photography to make different statements that are as beautiful.

Although Sweet has used film as his medium, digital photographers will be inspired to apply his same techniques, either in camera or in post processing.

You find more of Nikonian Conrad Obregon's reviews in our book and magazine section

Images from the book at Tony Sweet's site

Soft Dwarf Iris
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