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iPad Pro: First Impressions

Monday, November 30th, 2015

The iPad Pro could be the perfect tool for a graphic designer or photographer.

First Impressions

  • It’s big. The iPad Pro may not be your first choice for carrying around town but the extra screen real estate is perfect for doing some serious work.
  • Even though it is light for its size, holding it one handed isn’t something I would want to do for long. Sitting with it in my lap is best.
  • Fingerprint recognition works from both a horizontal and vertical position.
  • The display is bright and sharp.
  • Apple didn’t make the camera a pro feature. As with iPhones and other iPads, the camera is auto only. Yes, it has some nifty new features such as slo-mo but I had hoped for manual control.
  • Battery life is great.

Look for upcoming posts for the Apple Pencil and Keyboard. I’ll also review various apps for photography, drawing, and painting.


CameraAddiction.biz

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Canon EOS T4iI’ve launched a new camera store called CameraAddiction. This camera store could become your #1 source for camera, photography, and video equipment. It is filled with over 9,000 products and includes categories for best sellers, most wished for, gift ideas, and our picks. You’ll find film and digital cameras, camcorders, and surveillance equipment. Where possible, each product has links to video reviews to help you make a informed decision.

If you are shopping for a mobile phone, try MobileAddiction. Like CameraAddiction, it is packed with products and video reviews.

PhotoTube: Tutorials and Videos for Photographers

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

PhotoTube.info is a website dedicated to photography videos containing tips for producing HDR, infrared, landscape, portrait, flash, macro, night, and product photographs. It is a relatively new website but already contains hundreds of instructional videos. Here is a list of some of the most viewed videos:

  • phototubeDSLR Tips: Night Photography
  • Strobist Preliminaries
  • DSLR Tips: How to blur backgrounds on portraits
  • DSLR Tips: How to blur water for a dreamy effect
  • Merge to HDR in Photoshop
  • Long Exposure Turorial
  • DSLR Tips: Using polarizing filters
  • Secrets of Amazing HDR Photography
  • Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark
  • HDR Photography
  • Strobist Softbox Technique Tutorial
  • In-Camera HDR Using Multiple Exposure
  • Photoshop Tutorial: Creating an HDR Image from a Single RAW File
  • Canon T2i 550D HDR Tutorial
  • Shooting the Moon
  • Landscape Photography Tips: Creative Composition
  • 20 Essential Things for Landscape Photography

It is easy to see which videos have been Recently Added, Most Viewed, and Top Rated as well as many categories. PhotoTube is definitely worth checking out! Oh, by the way, it is completely free!

Review: Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball HeadSummary: The Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head works great. I selected this ball head because it can also pan without releasing the ball head itself.

Review: I had been using a Manfrotto 322RC Joystick head with a Panosaurus panoramic head but the trigger of the 322RC would sometimes show in my shots so I needed a ball head with a smaller footprint. It is easier to level a panoramic head if it is mounted on a ball head. The Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head has proven to be a perfect choice. The build is light and solid. I have also used the 498RC2 with a variety of lenses and have not experienced droop, i.e. when you lock this ball head, it locks. The quick release plate is the same kind of plate that is used on the 322RC. Click to continue »

Video: Getting the Most from Canon Speedlites

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

“Canon Speedliting with Multiple Flashes” is a two hour video by Syl Arena uploaded to YouTube by B&H Photo Video Pro Audio. Many of the concepts in this video apply to any flash setup that you might have whether you use Canon, Nikon, or studio flashes.

Key Concepts

  • Master/Slave
  • Groups
  • Ratios
  • Enabling/Disabling Master
  • Channels

In this Canon-specific video, you will learn the how and why of using multiple Speedlites off-camera. The emphasis is on the wireless system built into Canon Speedlites but Syl mentions how Nikon flashes differ from Canon flashes throughout the video. He explores the settings on both the master and slave Speedlites as well as the in-camera settings that can be made by recent Canon cameras that can act as the master for Speedlite flashes. Click to continue »

Review: Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Summary: I highly recommend Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are at all interested in landscape photography, get this book! Digital Landscape Photography covers cameras, lenses, exposure, composition, HDR, and panoramas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Landscapes are Everywhere
  • Chapter 2. Cameras and Accessories
  • Chapter 3. Choosing and Using Lenses
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Exposure
  • Chapter 5. Techniques for Sharp Images
  • Chapter 6. Light on the Landscape
  • Chapter 7. Composing Pleasing Images
  • Chapter 8. Special Subjects
  • Chapter 9. High Dynamic Range Images
  • Chapter 10. Panoramas

Review: The chapter on cameras and accessories emphasizes investing in a camera system not just the camera. The authors recommend Canon and Nikon cameras because both brands have an excellent selection of lenses and accessories. This is the same advice that I give my students. The book is filled with excellent tips such as how to use a back button to auto-focus rather than having the shutter button initiate the auto-focus function. 34 out of 36 customer reviews on Amazon, give Digital Landscape Photography 4 stars and above with 26 5 star reviews. This is an outstanding book that is clearly written and informative. Click to continue »

Photoshoot: Spanish Monastery (Preparations)

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The Cloister’s of the Ancient Spanish Monastery is extremely popular site for weddings, receptions, and quinceañera’s in South Florida.

History of the Cloisters

The Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was built in Sacramenia, in the Province of Segovia, Spain, during the period 1133-1144. It was originally dedicated in honor of the Blessed Mother and named the “Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels.” Upon the canonization of the famous Cistercian Monk, Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading influence in the Church during that period, the Monastery was renamed in his honor. Cistercian monks occupied the monastery for nearly 700 years. The Cloisters were seized, sold, and converted into a granary and stable due to a social revolution in that area in the mid-1830’s. In 1925 William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the Monastery’s out- buildings. The structures were dismantled stone by stone, bound with protective hay, packed in some 11,000 wooden crates, numbered for identification and shipped to the United States. Click to continue »

Review: Manfrotto MBAG80PN Padded Tripod Bag

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Summary: The Manfrotto MBAG80PN Padded Tripod Bag is roomier than expected. Not only does it hold my Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Tripod with a Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head on it but I can also store two more heads in the bag. This bag is really heavy duty!Manfrotto MBAG80PN Padded Tripod Bag

  • Recessed zippers
  • Comfortable carrying handle
  • Easy access even with the bigger video tripods
  • Thermoformed padding

Review: As I stated in the summary, the bag is very roomy. At first, I wasn’t so sure that my tripod and head were going to fit because I have the optional Manfrotto 204SPK3 Retractable Rubber Spiked Feet attached. Click to continue »

Review: CowboyStudio Photography 10 X 12ft Black, White, & Chromakey Green Muslin Backdrops with Background Support System and Carry Bag

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Summary: The CowboyStudio Photography 10 X 12ft Black, White, & Chromakey Green Muslin Backdrops with Background Support System and Carry Bag works extremely well but don’t expect the zipper on the included storage bag to hold up — the zipper broke the first time I used the bag. Luckily, the bag also has straps that help hold in the stands and cross bar sections.

Features

  • Two (2) High Quality Tripods, One (1) 3 -sections Cross bar
  • One (1) Carrying Case
  • One (1) 100% Cotton 10’x 12′ white Seamless Muslin Backdrop
  • One (1) 100% Cotton 10’x 12′ Black Seamless Muslin Backdrop
  • One (1) 100% Cotton 10’x 12′ Chromakey Green Muslin Seamless Muslin Backdrop

Manufacturer’s Description: The Cowboy Studio photography background support system and backgrounds is a great addition to any studio. The 2550 backdrop support system is our most popular background support and is ideally suited for studio use. This system is useful both in the studio and on location due to its compact travel size and ease of setup. Making adjustments to the height and width is simple. The black finish is durable and professional. This product is ideal for creating a variety of scenes for photography or video production with the muslin backdrops and background support system. Backgrounds are useful in photography for providing a professional look to your photos. Chroma Key backdrops are also useful in digital photography for background replacement. This kit includes one white, one black, and one green Chroma Key muslin backdrop. Click to continue »

Best Digital SLR Cameras

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Best Digital SLR Cameras is a new website that I have created dedicated to spotlighting Amazon’s best selling DSLR cameras. The cameras are broken down into entry level, enthusiast, and professional categories. If you are in the market for a new DSLR camera, this is the place to shop!

Shop for the Best Digital SLR Cameras.