If you haven't downloaded this already, you're going to want to check out the Mutt and J...er, no, sorry, the Jeff and Michael show.
What is it? Only six hours and forty minutes of two of the world's leading experts on digital printing, Jeff Schewe (left, above) and Michael Reichmann (right), taking you on a guided tour of pretty much everything pertaining to photographic fine printing circa 2007. Set in Michael's studios in Toronto and filmed by Chris Sanderson, the series of video downloads, called "From Camera to Print," only cost about as much as a middlin' technical book (US$35). Unforeseen and very heavy demand for the program is apparently putting a lot of strain on L-L's servers, so you're asked to download only one part at a time, as you're ready to watch it.
It's good. I haven't watched the whole thing yet. But it's good.
Using some of the profits from the video as "seed funding," Michael Reichmann and The Luminous Landscape have instituted The Luminous Landscape Endowment, a not-for-profit foundation that will call for proposals for funding from fine-art photographers worldwide. A small independent panel will review applications and award grants to deserving projects. Michael has promised that administration costs will be kept to an absolute minimum and that virtually all of every donated dollar will end up in the hands of beneficiaries. Details about how to apply will be announced soon.
How viable a source of funding for photography the Luminous Landscape Endowment will become depends on many factors, but it's very heartening to note that L-L readers have stepped in with significant voluntary contributions already to augment the fund. Keep checking in at L-L for future news.
Compared to other arts and other disciplines, the amount of grant money available to photographers is relatively paltry, and competition for traditional grants can be fierce. Let's hope that the Luminous Landscape Endowment will become a significant player among institutions supporting photography worldwide.
Featured Comment by Ken Tanaka: "Although I am not a landscape photographer, per se, I enjoy Michael's "Video Journal." It's unique, generally entertaining and nearly always informative. Speaking as an 'old' filmmaker/videographer, Chris does an excellent job of shooting and editing the material particularly considering the sometimes challenging locations and subjects. Yes, some of Michael's videos can be just a bit too much Michael and not enough subject, but hey he's not a "professional" interviewer. I have not been quite as keen on Michael and Jeff's "tutorials" (example: their Lightroom series) for a few reasons. They have a rather amateur, 'winging-it' appearance, with long stretches of footage locked down to show nothing but Jeff and Michael sitting in front of their computers yakking. These fellows also have very healthy egos, which is fine. But it sometimes oozes through as a condescending, self-important style of presentation, particularly from Jeff. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that their previous tutorials just don't get to the damn points in a concise manner. Ramble, ramble, gee look at what I did, yak, yak...oh by the way if you click this button it opens up an alternate UNIVERSE! Gleaning anything useful can be an Easter egg hunt. (Michael Tapes' free Lightroom tutorials on RawWorkflow are much better for orienting new users.)
"That aside, I purchased their new "From Camera to Print" series and have watched a few chapters. Yes, it suffers from some of the characteristics I noted. Yes, there is a lot of relatively low-value banter. But it seems a bit more structured than the usual Mike 'n' Jeff show and contains some useful pointers. So I recommend buying this series if a) you are an avid photo post-processor and printer of late-beginner / intermediate skill level and b) have access to a very good broadband connection to the Internet. The downloadable files for this 6+ hour series are quite large. As Mike noted, the cost of $35 is really on par with a computer book and I don't know any such book that has as grand of a beard as Jeff Schewe's. (Supporting Michael's new grant foundation with this purchase may make you feel good, but it's really a bit of a red herring.)"