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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.


PhotoBuzz.biz

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

A Social Network for Photographers

I just launched a new site for photographers. PhotoBuzz.biz is a full-featured site for members to upload photos, contribute to forums, post ads, and submit articles, news, and links to other sites as well as create your own blog entries.

Help create a community for photographers

PhotoBuzz.biz: A Social Network for PhotographersThe content of the following sections of PhotoBuzz.biz will be up to the members:

  • Forums (Current Topics)
    • General Photography
    • Landscape Photography
    • HDR Photography
    • Infrared Photography
  • Photos
    • Create Albums
    • Upload Photographs
  • Ads (Current Categories)
    • For Sale
    • Jobs
    • Services
  • Blogs
  • Sites (Links to Other Photography Websites)

In order to prevent spamming, content must be approved before it will appear on Photo Buzz. The only exceptions will be photographs and comments. I have also implemented four spam filters to prevent Photo Buzz from being overrun  by spammers. Anything identified as spam will be automatically rejected.

Join PhotoBuzz.biz today!

 

Use Panomonkey.com to Stitch 360×180-Degree Panoramas

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Join Panomonkey.com and stitch 360×180-degree panoramas for free. Well, mostly for free:

Creating panoramas can be absolutely FREE on Panomonkey. Every successfully stitched panorama can be downloaded and shared to Twitter and Facebook or embedded to your website. The FREE version of the panorama is 3000 x 1500 pixels and can be viewed up to 100 times.

Hign-resolution panoramas of up to 6000 x 3000 pixels can be purchased for $2.50 / €1.80 (that’s “one banana” in Panomonkey language) and can be viewed up to 1,000 times.

Additional views of the hign-resolution panorama can be purchased in bundles of 10,000 views for one banana ($2.50 / €1.80).

The free version of your panorama will display a watermark along the bottom of the image. I’m assuming that you have to purchase the stitched image to get rid of the watermark. I haven’t purchased an image, yet, because my tests didn’t stitch properly.

For my tests, I uploaded photographs that I had successfully stitched together using Hugin or PanoramaPlus. The results were less than stellar. To be fair, PanoramaPlus also had problems with one of the sets of images, too. Neither Panomonkey.com nor PanoramaPlus have the ability to manually add control points, Hugin does. Click to continue »

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 »

Review: HDR Efex Pro 2

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Summary: HDR Efex Pro 2 is a major improvement over the original version. Not only is it much faster, the presets are usable right out of the box. Finally, Photomatix has competition. I highly recommend upgrading. If you already own HDR Efex Pro, the upgrade cost is only $49.

Review: I seldom used the original HDR Efex Pro. It was deadly slow and, quite frankly, I hated the presets. Version 2 fixes all that and more. I could now find HDR Efex Pro 2 my go-to program for HDR. The new presets are extremely usable and the program is now speedy. Click to continue »

360cities.net

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

360cities.net is a fantastic website filled with 360×180-degree panoramas.
 


BIG EGG Tokyo Doom 1988 in Tokyo 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 »

Review: Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark is a amazing book that has many examples of fantastic night photographs as well as step-by-step instructions for how to get the same kind of results.


Click to continue »

Review: Crafting Reality: Painting with Light

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Captain America and 3-D BoyCrafting Reality: Painting with Light is an inspiring eBook by Eric Curry. The photographs in the eBook look like HDR images but they are created in quite a different way. Small sections of the subject are illuminated from different directions then merged together with Photoshop. Eric goes into detail about how to take the photographs and the settings to use in Photoshop.

Throughout his eBook, Eric emphasizes that you should think and plan your shots.

So often during my public presentations and coaching new photographers I advise them to think in terms of “concepts.” Do not just go out into the environment and photograph neat stuff you happen to see, but take the next step and envision an idea first, then try to create that vision you see in your mind’s eye.

This is good advice and Eric spends a lot of time telling you how to plan a photoshoot. He tells you what he does and why as well as which equipment he uses. Crafting Reality: Painting with Light is an extremely thorough how-to book and I highly recommend it.

You can find more videos about painting with light at Eric’s YouTube Channel and on his website American Pride and Passion.

Review: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Digital Photography Book, Part 4Summary: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4 by Scott Kelby is a worthy addition to his series of digital photography books. It picks up where volume 3 left off and, like the other books in the series, contains many useful tips written in a non-technical, conversational style.

Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book(the best-selling digital photography book of all time), is back with another follow-up to his smash best-seller, with an entirely new book that picks up right where volume 3 left off. It’s even more of that “Ah ha, so that’ s how they do it,” straight-to-the-point, skip-the-techno-jargon stuff people can really use today, and that made volume 1 the world’s best-selling book on digital photography.

Click to continue »