Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Luckily no people were anywhere close underneath me. Looking over the railing, I was surprised to see the phone still in one piece. Even more surprising, the screen was still shining. How could that be??? I had the phone in a Griffin Clarifi case and it actually took the impact, cracking off one small corner of its plastic case, but completely protecting the iPhone itself. The screen displayed white only, so I couldn't see my icons, but the case wasn't scratched in the slightest.
That evening I took the phone to my local Apple Store and within 3 minutes, the tech replaced the screen and my phone was back working again. No lost data, just like nothing had happened. Thank you Griffin and thank you Apple. It makes all those dropped calls somehow more palatable now.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Review: EzMats Designer (Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives)
Monday, November 23, 2009
This looks to be a very interesting camera, with some tremendous specifications:
- 10.0 Megapixels with large 1/1.7 inch CCD sensor
- Optical image stabilization
- Face and blink detection
- Really fast F/2 lens
- 28mm wide angle
- ISO3200 speeds and higher
- 3.8x Optical zoom
- Shoots RAW and JPEG
- Up to 1-1/2 hours of 640x480 30fps video on an 8GB SD/SDHC card
For those times you don't want to carry your big DSLR, this looks very promising.
Here's a short video on the S90.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Since its got HD video capabilities, now everyone is coming out with accessories to turn it into a serious video shooting machine. Take a look here at the rig I got to try – a prototype shoulder/chest support rig by Red Rock Micro and Rode microphone with a wind-control fuzzy. What a combination!
Under the “cute; but, probably-not-this-time” category was the Coolpix S1000PJ camera/projector combination. The idea is very cool as I reported earlier this month, but the projected image is not going to wow any serious photographers. I just don’t think many people will find dark enough environments to actually use the projection features. Yes it does work, I used it, but I wouldn’t rush out to order one.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Just look at some of what I think are dynamite new specs:
- expanded ISO equivalent settings up to a staggering 102,400 are available, enabling photographers to create images previously thought impossible.
- The Nikon D3S adds the extra benefit of an Image Sensor Cleaning function to reduce instances of image degradation resulting from dust accumulation on the optical low pass filter (OLPF) in front of the image sensor. [That's what I love about my present D300 - it really works.]
- the amazing ISO range of the D3S can also be applied while recording HD video clips to give unprecedented low-light ability for movie clips. The refined D-Movie mode for the FX-format offers smooth 1280x720 video at a cinematic 24fps.
- the D3S can capture up to 4200 shots per single charge of the camera’s Lithium-ion battery
- the D3S also features a Quiet Shutter Mode which substantially reduces the sound of the camera’s mirror-down cycle, which is perfect for shooting in sensitive environments, such as movie sets, meetings, ceremonies, or while photographing wildlife.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Now, the world's leading photo editor is available for your iPhone. Okay, so maybe you don't get layers and curves, but there's a whole lot more to love.
You can take photos right inside the app or you can load one of your previously taken photos. You can make basic adjustments to exposure, tone and contrast. Cropping is a snap, as is flip and rotate. Convert to black and white, add a soft focus or apply a number of color effects and add a border.
After you're done editing, you can save to your phone or upload to your free 2GB sharing site on Photoshop.com if you've registered (it's free also.) You can even upload all your previous photos to the free sharing site and regain hard drive space on your phone. 2 GB of storage should handle 1,500 photos or so. That works both ways as well. Put your best shots on the sharing site (no matter what camera took them) and then review them for your friends on the iPhone.
It's a great app, it's free....what's not to love.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here's a collection of some really great techniques you can use to get a "Wow!" from some "hohum" pics.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Okay, the D300S is my new go-to camera of choice, but this may be the ultimate replacement for the Sony T-200 I carry in my pocket. This new camera, due out September 29th actually includes an internal Pico Projector capable of projecting your photos and video onto a wall - up to 40" across.
It also boasts 12.1 MP resolution with a 5x optical zoom and up to ISO6400 sensitivity. Can't wait to see it....the Nikon S1000pj.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The new D3000 offers an incredible opportunity to get into DSLR cameras with a price tag of only $599.00 including the 18-55 VR lense. Unheard of!
Check them both out here.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
It will also resize images, flip them, rotate them or invert them. And it's all free and quick. Give it a try.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Three lucky winners who attend this free webinar will win one of three Prize Giveaways of the National Geographic Earth Explorer Large Shoulder Bags (NG 2477), a value of $140.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Now thru 12/31/09 you can sample this training by visiting http://photovision2009.com. Just enter the promo code subscriber and get the first four hours of training for only $4.00.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Also check out www.ngm.com/infinite where your photos and those of others make up what's known as an infinite photo - really a mosaic image made up of thousands of smaller images. Submit your photo and it could be featured as part of their next photo.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
You notice I packed the night before....and there's a good reason. Try as I will to take everything I think I might need, and leave everything behind that I probably wouldn't use, I'll still think of something else before I go. That way I've still got time to pack it before I walk out the door in the morning.
In the old days I packed right before leaving and invariably a couple hours later I would think of something I should have added. Back then though, I was already on the road. This works so much better. Try it.
Monday, July 6, 2009
From the onOne site: "DSLR Camera Remote is the next-generation cable release for your Canon EOS DSLR camera. Just connect your camera to a WiFi enabled computer and the DSLR Camera Remote software enables you to use your Apple iPhone or iPod touch to wirelessly adjust cameras settings, fire the shutter, review images, even get a live viewfinder preview. DSLR Camera Remote is a must-have for remote shooting applications like high or low angles, self portraits and children. With its advanced timers it makes remote monitoring a snap. No internet connection required!"
The app even lets you review the shot you just took, to confirm you got what you wanted.
Two versions are available - lite for $1.99 and professional for $19.99. Both are available through the iTunes Store.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
When shooting parades, I like to get down low and shoot up at the performers, or get a high vantage point and shoot down. I noticed the official Cleveland Art Museum photographer brought out a 10' foot step ladder and got all his shots from this comfortable "above-the-crowd" perch.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Unfortunately, from my point of view, while it's a good shot from the point of symmetry, it doesn't tell much about the building's abundant use of brass everywhere. For that, you need a closeup.
By moving off to the side, and recomposing the shot, I was able to feature one of the beautiful brass light posts. You'll also notice that I'm up close enough where you can actually see much of the detail in the post.
From my perspective, I think this tells a much more compelling story of what this historic building is all about.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
- The most common cause of this I believe is people using flash from too great a distance from their subject. I see this time and time again at high school sports such as basketball games. People are 100 to 200 feet away from the action and they are trying to take pictures with their small digital cameras or camera phones. Just about all digital point and shoot cameras have flashes that extend maybe 20 feet at best. The only cure for this situation is being able to change your ISO ( film speed) rating to 1600 or 3200 if your camera has that option. (Be prepared however, for some very grainy looking photos.)
- Shooting in one of the program modes (Program, Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority) your camera may not have a slow enough aperture/shutter combination to adequately capture the image. (i.e. the light level may call for a lense opening of f1.2 at 1/5 of a second, and if your lenses maximum opening is f5.6 and your maximum shutter speed is 1/30 of a second, you will get a dark image.) Suggested cures for this situation would include: use a flash if you are close enough to your subject or turn on more lights in the room if possible. If you are shooting with a SLR or DSLR, get a faster lense for these situations.
- Another situation that will always cause darker images than you expected can happen no matter what type camera you are using, and that is when you take pictures of very light colored subjects. Taking a picture of a white piece of paper (i.e. your company's letterhead) would fool the light meter in your camera. So would a beach scene with lots of white sand on a sunny day. Similarly, taking a picture of a white kitten on a white blanket will probably look very grey in your original photo. In all these cases, your light meter is expecting a subject with 50% grey tonality and it will adjust your exposure to try to deliver that image. When shooting very light scenes (without a balance of light and dark tones) anticipate the wrong reading from your camera's light meter and add exposure with your +/- exposure compensation dial if you have one. By adding one or more stops of exposure, you will overcome this problem and be much happier with your results. For those who want more precise results, use a light meter or a grey card and set your exposure manually.
Hopefully these suggestions will help solve a great majority of the "dark image" problems so many of your were experiencing.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
To help the effort, PMA has put together some guides that cover a variety of topics. Today's guide covers camera selections, how to improve your shooting angle, how many pixels does it take to print an 8x10, and much more.
Click here to download your free guide. It's a 5.7 MB download. Enjoy.
Come back later this month for a guide to cell phone photgraphy.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Nikon announced that the Technical Image Press Association has bestowed their 2009 honors for Best Professional DSLR and best Advanced DSLR to the D3X and D90.
The D3X is phenomenal in low light with its large, full-frame sensor. Low noise at low light levels is its claim to fame.
The D90 has the same great response from its CMOS sensor as the D300, but at a much lower price. The D90 also has the advantage of offering high resolution video capabilities - the first in Nikon's line of SLR's.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Enter the Tactical Camera Assault Long Range Stock. Slap this accessory on your SLR and benefit from it's ergonomic bracing capability.
It's not something you'll find in your local Ritz Camera store. Want to see it in action? Visit the official website at 230Grain.com.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Being at the right place at the right time, when the light is right and the planets align....that's when you can get photos like these. Oh yeah, one other thing, make sure you have your camera and tripod with you!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
In the fourth row, directly behind the president, you can see Hilary taking a short cat nap. Further back, look at the number of congressman taking digital pictures of the event. You can see others checking their Blackberries.
The news now is that the manufacturer, GigaPan Systems, is now out with their second model, the GigaPan Epic 100. With this new model, larger cameras can be used, not just point and shoots.
The Epic 100 can accomodate Nikon D40, D60, D80 and the D90, as well as Canon Rebel 400D plus many others of similar size. The astounding part to me, is that it sells for only $449.00, including the stitching software. You can spend that amount for stitching software elsewhere and not get any hardware included, so I think that price is a steal.
Now I'm looking for that "just right" project to pick one up. (Send in your suggestions.)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
All my other past images were from standard eye height. Literally putting my camera on the floor gave me a couple advantages.
First, having it rest right on the floor eliminated the need for a tripod. I was able to brace the body on the floor. I clenched a fist and held the lense tight against it to elevate the front of the camera just slightly.
Having a steady platform is essential for getting sharp images in low light situations and believe me, this was low light.
Secondly, I gained a great reflective image in the foreground by being so close to the floor. I obviously lost some height by aiming lower, but I consider this a worthwhile tradeoff.
In most any situation, you'll be surprised by the interesting new perspective of shooting from ground level. Give it a try.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
If you can't stop shooting... if you want your images to do more than fill your harddrive... if you want to have more fun while reading fewer manuals - you've come to the right place.
In the weeks to come, I'll be sharing the wealth of information available for photographers and videographers who want to do more than take an occassional birthday shot. I'll be covering industry news, gear and accessories, new product introductions and even events where you can improve your skill or get inspired. In short, if I think it might be helpful, I'll be including it here.
This isn't a beginning photographer's blog, but we aren't aiming for the professionals either. You know who you are - the non-professionals who strive to make your shots every bit as good as the professionals do. That's not too much to expect, and you've arrived at the right place. I'll try to help you meet that goal. So let's dive in....
If you take hundreds of photos per shoot, invariably you'll have lots of reviewing to do selecting the keepers. Keeping every shot you take can fill your hard drive in no time. While disk space is getting cheaper all the time, it still makes sense to keep your archive down to a manageable size. I've tried numerous software tools to review my days shoot, grading them as keepers or not. My hands-down favorite tool for the job is Adobe Lightroom version 2.
Lightroom version 1 was good, but it really came alive with version 2. If you haven't upgraded, you'll be glad you did. If you've never even tried Lightroom, download the free 30 day trial version from Adobe. If you have version 2 already, be aware they have released version 2.3, available now as a free upgrade for version 2 users.
HARD DRIVE BARGAINS
Speaking of hard drive space, you can't have too much storage. No matter what you have now, it tends to grow exponentially. I've tried many hard drive brands over the years (they all will fail eventually) but my choice now for best value and dependability is Iomega brand drives. They offer a great small form, metal cased unit that's great for backups while traveling.
I'd also suggest signing up for their newsletter. You'll get probably one email a week but that's the only way you'll see some really incredible sale items. I recently just bought three 1.25 Terrabyte drives from them for a mere $159.00 each. They work great, look good and bring storage prices down to an amazing 7.8 gigabytes for only $1.00.