Archive for April, 2008

Bumba Meu Boi

April 28, 2008

Every June, the Bumba Meu Boi in Parintins pits two famous Brazilian Samba schools, the Caprichoso and the Garantido, against each other. The town comes alive with music, dance, and a colorful parade as the rival schools each enact their own version of the story of the death and resurrection of the Boi (an ox).

Take a look at “Parintins 2” by Flavio Bacellar, our Photobird Photo of the Hour. It features three young residents of Parintins, perhaps taking in the festivities. was designed for you to easily share photos with friends and family, and the Photobird Photo of the Hour is your opportunity to share your best photos with the rest of the world. If you want to submit a photo for the Photobird Photo of the Hour, simply view the photo from your photo album and then click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos that you can submit.

Read about how to get more storage space when your photos are chosen for the Photo of the Hour, and how to keep your photos private.

Discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.


Camera of the Week: Canon PowerShot SD1000

April 25, 2008

This uber-small point-and-shoot camera, the Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH, is currently the best-selling digital camera on I bought one for myself and I have to say I’m really happy with it. It’s small enough to tuck away in your shirt pocket or clutch bag between shots. The SD1000 features Canon’s award-winning face detection technology with automatic color-corrected exposures, even in low-light conditions. It has a 7.1-megapixel image sensor, a 2.5-inch high-resolution LCD screen, automatic red-eye correction, and a pets and children mode for working with less-than-cooperative subjects. And it retails for under $250. said the SD1000 “Easily earns my recommendation”. called the SD1000 “Wonderfully simple and produces great images.” said the “Value for money is surprisingly good…” and called the SD1000 “An excellent choice…”.

For all these reasons, we’ve chosen the Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH as our Photobird Camera of the Week. If you’re in the market for a new tiny point-and-shoot digicam, this one should certainly be near the top of your list.

You can read more reviews of the Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH and similar cameras in the Photobird Digital Camera Buyer’s Guide.

Discuss this camera in our Canon forum.

Buy this camera at B&H Photo.
Buy this camera at

Before you buy a Canon digital camera or anything else at, please click one of the links anywhere on, including this blog post. For each product you buy on after clicking an link, we receive a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish this blog and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your continued patronage!

Wine and Chocolate

April 25, 2008

A good wine and chocolate pairing can bring out the rich flavonoids of each in a distinctive blend of bitter and sweet that will set your taste buds soaring. Try your favorite Napa winery’s California Zinfandel with some squares of Ghirardelli or Scharffen-Berger dark chocolate and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Now it can finally be said that the same rules of pairing can also apply to the world of digital photography: is currently running a promotion for the Fujifilm FinePix Z5fd, a 6.3-megapixel tiny point-and-shoot digicam on sale for under $130 with free Super Saver Shipping. This camera is available in both Chocolate Brown and Wine Red. I can’t help but think that the two together would make for a perfect “his and her” pairing for any couple’s photographic expedition across California wine country.

Before you buy wine, chocolate, or wine and chocolate colored cameras at, please click one of the links anywhere on, including in this blog post. For each product you buy after clicking an link, we receive a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish this blog and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your continued patronage!

A Mountain (McKinley) of Camera Costs

April 24, 2008

Mt. McKinley photo by Bill Brophy

Interchangeable lenses are the strongest selling point for buying a DSLR camera. The wide availability of situation-specific lenses allows you to cover all your bases and deliver the best shots no matter what conditions you’re shooting in.

But this freedom comes with a price. “How much?” you ask. Well, Thom Hogan has worked out the higher costs of ownership in McKinleys (that’s the five hundred dollar bill, to you and me) in this article entitled “Tip of the Iceberg”. It’s a good primer if you’re considering moving up to a digital SLR camera and want a “worse case scenario” of the associated hidden costs of ownership.

I don’t think Thom intended this to read as a shopping list, though it might in fact be exactly what he’s spent so far on equipment — or what he’d like to spend. Instead, I read it as a plausible warning on how someone, who may be conscientious when it comes to budgeting, can quickly incur a lot of debt if they’re not extremely careful when entering the exciting world of digital SLR photography.

You see, in addition to lenses, there are other accessories which in total will also end up costing a lot more than your initial outlay: tripod, camera plates, memory cards, and so forth. It all adds up.

Thom wisely advises his readers to keep their receipts, any calculations, and his article out of the sight of your spouse.

We would also like to advise our readers, should you insist on making such extravagant purchases, to at least buy with a credit card that offers cash-back rewards or other incentives or protections instead of paying outright with McKinleys or other large cash denominations.

At Close Range

April 24, 2008

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a photographer for National Geographic, meet Joel Sartore, a devoted husband and father of three, who feels he just might have the best job in the world — or the worst.

Joel is the subject of a fascinating spot-on documentary entitled “At Close Range with National Geographic”, which offers an engrossing look into both the personal and professional life of one internationally-acclaimed wildlife photographer.

I happened to catch the program on PBS last week while channel surfing. In it, a documentary crew follows Joel into the field where he spends eight to twelve weeks at a time, subject to bad weather and local maladies, while in search of the perfect shot. Joel’s anecdotes about close encounters with Brazilian anacondas and a pack of wild wolves, both of whom of course considered him prey, will stay with you long after you’ve seen this film, as will the touching scenes with his wife and young kids as he strives to find a meaningful work/life balance in this most untraditional of careers.

You can watch a free video preview of the documentary here. Check your local PBS affiliate to find out when it’ll be on next in your neck of the woods or purchase the program at I highly recommend it!

Sand and Foam

April 23, 2008

Wow, check out the rich detail of those cresting aquamarine swells in Richard Deadmond’s “Surf’s Up”, a picture Richard took near Laguna Beach, which we’re now featuring as the Photobird Photo of the Hour. Those gnarly waves look warm and inviting. I might just have to throw on my wetsuit and unearth my boogie board.

Check out other photos on that we’ve written about here. And, while you’re at it, why not submit your photos for possible inclusion in Photobird Photo of the Hour? It’s easy to do: simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos that you can submit.

Read more about how to get your photos featured on Photobird Photo of the Hour and how to keep your photos private.

Discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.

Go One-on-One with Alain Briot

April 23, 2008

“Monument Valley” by Alain Briot

How much would you pay to work one-on-one with noted landscape photographer Alain Briot of

Alain has set up a one-on-one consulting service on his website which offers a limited number of opportunities to work directly with him in a highly-customized program uniquely designed to meet your photographic goals. This would be a fantastic opportunity for any up-and-coming landscape photographer with professional aspirations. You can choose to work with Alain over the phone or in person by visiting him at his Beaux Arts Photography Studio in sunny Arizona.

Alain offers world-class advice on printmaking and print review. You can send selections of your photographs to him for review. You can even work with him over the course of seven one-hour sessions geared toward a long-term project, the marketing of your photography venture or other serious improvement, which would indeed be an ideal fit for anyone who would like to get started selling their own photographs.

Each one-on-one program is fully backed by Alain’s unique, no-pressure, money-back warranty, so you can stop the sessions at any time if, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied and get a full refund for all unused sessions. To learn more about Alain’s one-on-one consulting and to find out if such a program would be right for you, you can contact Alain via email or call toll-free at 800-949-7983. Be sure to mention you heard about the service on

…In With the New

April 22, 2008

As vendors clear store shelves to make way for the latest wave of digital SLR cameras from Nikon, Sony, Canon, and Olympus, you can expect to save lots on older models, while supplies last. If you don’t need the fancy new features or you’re willing to make that trade-off in order to save big, this is a great way to finally break into the brave new world of D-SLR photography without busting your bank account.

I really enjoyed reading Zach Honig’s piece about this on Zach gives us a quick run-down of five of the best-selling D-SLR camera models that are in the process of being usurped by newer and fancier models, including two popular favorites, the Canon Digital Rebel XTi and the Nikon D40.

The only draw-back to the article is that Zach is trying to measure “body only” prices in order to do an apples-to-apples comparison of old and new camera models. This is a perfectly legitimate way to do it, but please be sure to factor in the price of a lens or purchase a kit in order to have a lens, if you decide to purchase one of these cameras, either old or new.

Zach not only tells us what new model is being introduced by each manufacturer, but also what new features each new replacement camera is promising, as well as how much these new features will cost you if you opt to buy the new camera model over the older one.

In terms of the best overall savings, it would appear to come from the Canon model, the Canon Digital Rebel XT, which can be purchased (body only) for as low as $379, a savings of 53% over the new Canon XSi. Among other things, what you will be giving up by not buying the XSi is a larger LCD with new live-view support and an additional 4.2 megapixels; the XT is an 8-megapixel camera and the XSi is a 12.2-megapixel camera. If you consider these to be the main improvements, you may be perfectly happy with purchasing the older model and, by doing so, happier still to be saving yourself a lot of money: $421.

150 New Camera Models for 2008

April 22, 2008

The weather’s gotten nice and it’s time to get into the great outdoors. Why not pick up a new camera to document the arrival of Spring in all its bounteous colors? now has over 150 new models available from top brands like Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

Click here for more details on current camera and camera equipment promotions.

Before you buy anything at, please click one of the links anywhere on, including in this blog post. For each product you buy within 24 hours after clicking an link, we receive a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish this blog and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your continued patronage!

New Life in Spring

April 21, 2008

Ah, spring has finally arrived. How do I know? Well, it’s warmer outside, for one, and the birds are chirping, and it stays light outside longer and longer each day. Baseball season has started up, and so have my springtime allergies. Must be all that pollen in the air!

That’s what I really like about Tom Vogt’s “New Life”, a recent entry in our Photobird Photo Contest for April: Shot with a Nikon D200 with a 20-200mm zoom lens, Tom has captured an incredible amount of detail in this macro shot of a flower. You can practically make out each individual speck of pollen grouped around the stamen. And the highlights on those waxy petals are both supple and tactile; you feel like you can reach out and touch it. Which I would if I didn’t have this pollen allergy; oh, and if I knew it wasn’t just a photograph.

There’s just a little over one week left now for you to enter our Photobird Photo Contest for this month. The contest is free to enter. The theme for April, if you haven’t already guessed, is “Spring”. If you want a chance to win, we need to get your best photo of Spring before the end of the month. You can’t win if you don’t enter, so enter today!

The contest is free to enter and each month we choose one Photobird Award Winner for the best overall entry of the month, while your votes will determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award, the most popular entry of the month.

Each of our winners will receive the following fabulous prizes:

Photobird account with 500MB storage
• 1GB SanDisk Ultra II memory card
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

Be sure to read more details about the monthly contest here.

Oh, and be sure to vote for your favorite entries and ask your friends and family to vote for their favorite entries as well. These votes will determine the People’s Choice Award.

If you have any questions, please ask in the Photobird forums.