Sunday, May 20, 2007

P&S Article at has posted an interesting and useful article by Simon Joinson concerning high ISO settings with point & shoot cameras. This goes a long way towards counteracting the inflated marketing claims of camera manufacturers. The upshot of the article is keep the ISO at the lowest setting for the best results, except for one or two camera models. Check it out here.

Portfolio: Bloomsday 2007 Photos

Once again, my mom (Lavelle Joyner, age 82), Kathy and I walked Bloomsday, a 12k race. I brought along a small point & shoot camera and took some snaps. The farther back in the pack, the less formal things are. These pictures reflect that, plus all along the way bands and other entertainers set up to encourage the runners, walkers, and strollers along. It was a fun day for all.

Hermon Joyner

The Gorilla & Rabbit Band near the finish line.

Belly dancers and strollers.

People posing with the Bloomsday vulture near the top of Doomsday Hill.

Inflatable cat with guitar.

Tail feathers.

Discarded clothing in the trees.

A gorilla ready to run.

A pair of hearts.

Monday, May 14, 2007

News: Amazon Acquires

One of the largest online retailers,, has just acquired one of the biggest destination photography websites, Digital Photography Review was started in 1998 by Phil Askey and has become one the most popular sites on the web for digital camera enthusiasts. Their camera reviews have become the benchmark for reviews and feature the most detailed information and objective feedback possible. Amazon is a Fortune 500 company that sells new and used products of nearly every description, though they got their start as an online bookseller. has always been a dependable site for unbiased reviews of digital cameras. It seems to me that it could be problematic for them now that such a big retailer owns them. I hope they can continue delivering the same level of objective reviews, and don’t become simply another selling tool for Amazon. On the other hand, maybe this will give them the resources to publish more reviews than they usually do. For some time, it’s been hard for them to keep up with the torrent of new cameras that pours out of the manufacturers. Perhaps this is just what they need to take it to the next level.

Visit dpreview's site here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Commentary: Why We Buy Stuff

I’ve been using the same 6-MP SLR for a few years now and, while I wasn’t tempted by the 8-megapixel models that replaced it (not enough difference, in my opinion), I am now starting to look at the newest 10 to 12-MP models. All this looking around and tire-kicking has prompted me to consider why anybody buys anything. Why do we buy stuff? Is it always driven by actual need? (Obvious answer: No.) Or is it more than that? (Likewise obvious answer: Yes.) Like any type of human behavior, it is always a complex situation and answer. (I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, boy.)

Okay, this is the way I see it. Here are the main reasons we buy anything, whether we’re talking about a car, a stereo, computer, musical instrument, or camera:

1. It gets the job done and that’s it.

2. It makes it easier to do the job.

3. It does a better job than other tools.

4. It creates an enjoyable experience in and of itself.

5. It makes me feel better about myself or increases my prestige.

For myself, getting a new camera is probably a mix of reasons 2 and 3, with a tiny little bit of 5 thrown in. Honestly, shooting with a 6-MP SLR sometimes makes me feel a bit out of the loop, although I can’t really complain about the results I get. Well, I’m trying to deal with these feelings. I’ll let you all know how this all turns out. Cheers.

Hermon Joyner

Eloquent Nude: The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston and Charis Wilson

This isn’t a full review, but I wanted you to know about this exquisite new documentary, “The Eloquent Nude” by director Ian McCluskey. Charis Wilson was the subject and model for some of Edwards Weston’s most famous nude studies. She met him when she was 19 and he was 48. First she posed for him, but eventually they fell in love and later married. They became partners in his photography when she wrote the journal entries for his famous Guggenheim trip exploring California. “Eloquent Nude” is a documentary about Charis Wilson and her relationship with Weston.

At the time of the filming, Wilson was 91 years old, physically frail and mostly blind, but still filled with the same fire and strength of intellect she had when she met Weston. The interviews with Wilson are sometimes insightful and spirited and at other times turn wistful and poignant. It’s easy to still see the person that inspired, encouraged, and contributed to one of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century. “Eloquent Nude” provides much needed context for both Wilson and Weston, their relationship, and those early years of photography. The recreations of their photography sessions and trips with actors portraying Wilson (Christine Bernsten), Weston (Barrett Rudich), and Ansel Adams (Eric DiIlio) are fascinating and, speaking as a photographer, mostly authentic.

If you get the chance, please see “The Eloquent Nude.” At the moment, it is playing in extremely limited release, but should eventually be released on DVD. Bear in mind, however, that because of the subject matter and the actual Weston photographs, there is full-frontal nudity in this documentary, though it is never salacious or gratuitous. If you get the chance, don’t miss this documentary. It is a beautiful and sensitive film about a fascinating and dynamic woman.

For more information about the documentary and upcoming screenings, click here.

Hermon Joyner