December 2008

This is our second annual Masters Special issue of Digital Photo Pro, and like last year we’ve pulled together a collection of outstanding photographers for the magazine. The term “master” means different things to different people. To me it means someone who’s constantly looking for new ways to be creative. The quest for new imagery never ends, and in a world full of visual pollution and noise, it gets harder for the most interesting imagery to get seen and noticed. The din of the crowd often drowns out the lone voice. It’s our goal to bring some of the best work possible into this special so that lone voice has an opportunity to be heard, or in this case, those photographs can be seen.

Compiling the list of photographers that we feature is no easy task. As in last year’s issue, we collected input from a number of photographers as we built the selection, and also like last year, we wish we could have included more, but with a finite amount of space in the magazine and a large volume of incredible work, we couldn’t get everyone into the issue.

In addition to the 50-plus pages of inspiring photography from this year’s masters, there are a couple of articles in the issue that will be of great interest to any professional. In “A Milestone In Time,” Brian Valente discusses a profound innovation in D-SLR cameras: HD video. As of this writing, there are two D-SLRs that have HD video capability, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Nikon D90. These cameras are at the vanguard of a wave of technology that we expect to sweep through the professional space in the near future.

The ability to use a D-SLR to create HD video will change the way many still photographers work. Right off the bat, we see some incredible potential for photojournalists and sports and nature photographers. In an era of shrinking budgets for still images and photo essays, the market for multimedia stories that include sound and video is growing hand-over-fist. A photojournalist now has the option of shooting still frames, then immediately switching to full HD video and back in a matter of seconds without changing so much as the framing of the shot—and the image quality is stunning!

If you haven’t already seen the Vincent Laforet short Reverie, you can find it on his website at Laforet used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II to do the entire shoot, and it’s impressive, particularly in the low-light conditions of shooting in the city after dark. It’s a cool video, but it only hints at what’s possible for still shooters. Having HD video in a D-SLR will fundamentally change the way you think about crafting a visual story.

In a similar vein, check out “RED’y For Takeoff?” by HDVideoPro editor Neil Matsumoto. In high-end film and video circles, the RED One camera has been all the rage since its pre-introduction two years ago. Fresh from its many triumphs in video, RED is looking to develop a professional-level still/video camera, and while details are still scarce, the company is adamant about having a working model in 2009.

Photography is changing. Hang on for the ride!

—Christopher Robinson, Editor

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