Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gallery Opening at Penn Camera Laurel - James Roy

Join us!
Gallery Opening for Photographer James Roy
Penn Camera Laurel
Friday, January 15th
5:00pm - 7:00pm

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Photographer James Roy will be exhibiting a variety of fine art images in his gallery opening on the 15th.

“There are artists who transform the sun into a yellow spot, and there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow dot into the sun” (Picasso). Photographer James Roy is such an artist. His work provides viewers with glimpses of new meaning into everyday experiences and makes the ordinary extraordinary. James Roy has the unusual talent of creating fine art from many different types of subject matter. In this Penn Camera Gallery exhibit, he displays a variety of fine art images, including wedding, panoramic landscapes, cityscapes, architecture and The Carnival of Venice, Italy.

A sampling of images from the show!

James’ photographic work reflects over 25 years of professional and personal experience. His formal training is recognized through membership in the Maryland Professional Photographer’s Association (MDPPA), Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and American Society of Photographers (ASP). He has received numerous MDPPA Best-In-Show prints, PPA loan collection prints and Fuji Masterpiece and Kodak Gallery Awards. He holds the following internationally recognized PPA degrees: Masters, Craftsman. He also holds the prestigious title of PPA International Photographer of the Year in 2008. His wedding images have been published and featured on the covers of various regional wedding journals and in PPA’s “Professional Photographer” magazine. His fine art images are part of many private and public collections in the United States and Europe.

While servicing three years as a bilingual US Army NATO Liaison officer in northeastern Italy, James began the first of a series of photographic fine art portfolios. Over the past 25 years, he has had numerous solo fine art photo exhibits, including a 4-year exhibit in Venice, Italy. He continues to make annual pilgrimages to Italy, the Caribbean, and the American west. He has a rare talent of creating photographic art from diverse subject matter, and he has amassed numerous world class, eclectic fine art bodies of work including:

The Carnival of Venice, Italy
Staircases of the World
Landscapes of the American Southwest
Reflections Around Us
Weddings as Fine Art
Cityscapes & Architecture of Italy
The Beauty of Butterflies
Flowers in the Wild
Dazzling DC
“The Fine Art of Portraiture”

Join us for this electic exhibition! See more or James Roy's work at http://www.jamesroyphotography.com/.

Would you like to host your own Gallery at Penn? Highlight and exhibit your, or your student's finest artwork with a Gallery at a Penn Camera store. High School students, College students, Amateurs & Professionals welcomed. Email us for information.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photographing Holiday Lights

Here is an article written by a great photography resource, Elliot Stern from Blue Ridge Workshops. So tonight, bundle up, and take advantage of the beautiful holiday light displays your friends and neighbors have errected. Happy Holidays!

by Elliot Stern, Blue Ridge Workshops

Holiday lights and decorations always provide us with wonderful seasonal subjects to photograph, but how to photograph them can be a challenge for a lot of people so I hope this short list of things to do will help those who need a push in the right direction.

A tripod is a must. That is all I am going to say about tripods.

My recommendation is a camera that allows adjustments of shutter speeds and apertures, with shutter speed being most important. This can be a Dslr, Hdslr, or a Bridge type camera that allows these adjustments. There are some point and shoots that give you control in this area too.

The best time of day for shooting lights and displays is while there is still a little bit of daylight left. Shooting in total darkness is not at all recommended. Just before sunset is a good idea, but remember that the lighting will change very quickly. Shooting at this time of day allows you to silhouette the background, giving an identifiable background.

For available light photography (no flash) a good starting point is probably around about ½ second, lens wide opened and then work from that speed to achieve the effect you like. Probably the best general setting for iso is your cameras base iso 100,200 in most cameras, but as good as your cameras are at higher iso’s I would not stretch to far beyond this limit. Noise can still be an issue in very dark or close to dark situations no matter how well the spec numbers appear in the literature. There is also a provision in some cameras which is high iso long exposure noise reduction. This allows you to shoot long exposures at high iso and get rid of noise issues to some degree, but it takes a long time in camera to process. It is not good if lights and decorations are blowing in the wind. Another method which is available in a lot of cameras today is the ability to set in the menus, a dynamic range increase providing detail in highlights and shadows. In Nikon it is called D-Lighting, in Olympus it is called Graduation, and in Canon it is Highlight Tone Priority and Automatic Lighting Optimizer.

If you have an adjustable type of camera then it is more than likely that you have a provision for controlling the flash on your camera, or with an add on flash called SLOW SYNCH. In this mode the camera is permitted to go to very slow shutter speeds to record the ambient light in the background. The flash fires to record the foreground and then the shutter stays opened long enough to record the background light. It is great for doing portraits or groups in front of the lights and decorations. REMEMBER, SLOW SYNCH MEANS YOU MUST BE USING A TRIPOD.

One more word about flash is if you are in a home setting, and your ceiling is no more than 10' high, you should consider using bounce flash. Even better, use a Gary Fong flash accessory for a nice even soft light. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON THE GARY FONG ACCESSORIES and CHECK WITH PENN CAMERA WHICH WOULD BE BEST FOR THE EQUIPMENT YOU OWN.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

EXTENDED HOURS - 12/22 and 12/23

The snow storm this weekend knocked us all off course for finishing up our Christmas shopping. So, to help you get back on track, Penn Camera is extending our hours, today and tomorrow only.

All suburban stores - Open Until 10pm 12/22 and 12/23
DC stores - Open Until 7pm 12/22 and 12/23

Also, on Christmas Eve, suburban stores are open until 6pm, and DC stores are open until 5pm.

We want to give you a little more time to find those final gifts (or for some of you, to give you a chance to get started.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Olympus E-P1 (the “Pen”)

The Olympus E-P1 (the “Pen”) digital camera gives you the portability expected in a compact digital camera along with the great picture quality of a DSLR. Somewhere in between, the E-P1 is an interesting camera choice for photographers of all levels.

The E-P1 reminds me of a DSLR in many ways, but lacks a key feature – a viewfinder. A problem? Not really. The Pen has a large display for composing your shots without the need for viewing through-the-lens. If this is a feature you feel that you really can’t live without, Olympus introduced the second generation in this series, the E-P2, that includes a detachable electronic viewfinder. You will be paying a premium for this feature, so buyers will need to decide for themselves if this is a must-have. Having the option, should you need it, is definitely a plus!

You’re not going to miss out on image quality either – 12.3 megapixels ensures that the E-P1 is robust as many other mid-range digital cameras. Other helpful features – interchangeable lenses, cool artistic filters built right into the camera, and a slick design that reminds me of classic rangefinders.

Overall take – this camera is really fun to use. While it isn’t the all-in-one solution for everyone, its flexibility and compact design makes this is a great option for location scouting, vacations, and maybe even the casual photo blog you keep thinking about starting. Need to get your hands on one? Come down to the stores and try one first hand. This one is definitely going on my wish list this Christmas.

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We're back!

After a bit of delay, the Penn Camera blog is up and running again! In the next few weeks, we'll be sharing camera reviews to help you get to know some interesting gear. First up - the Olympus E-P1.