The Photographer’s Eye, by John Szarkowski, was one of two books Ansel Adams suggested I read before attending his workshop in Yosemite Valley, many years ago when I was a young and inexperienced photographer. The book is a classic. Published in 1966 and based on a 1964 “landmark” exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, it is filled with black and white images photographed over the span of nearly a century and a quarter by both recognized masters and unknown photographers. Many of you are probably asking who is John Szarkowski and why this … [Read more...] about Book Review: The Photographer’s Eye
The Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro lens has an equivalent focal length (EFL) of 14-28mm and is part of the Olympus Pro line. While I usually don’t prefer zooms I have decided that this one is a great compromise when I want to go super wide, but still be able to shoot a more normal wide angle like 28mm. It’s a solid lens made of metal, with a rubber seal around the mount. Attached to a weatherproof body (like the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II) it is weather tight. It has super fast autofocus on the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II … [Read more...] about Olympus M. Zukio Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro Lens First Look
Okay we admit that throughout the years we have been a bit ambivalent about memory cards. We buy them, we use them and we don’t think much about them. All the major card makers do a good job these days. But all of them also eventually fail. When they fail we're unhappy and may grouse about it for a while but at the end of the day everything man-made will fail. Generally, we have no specific evidence (after buying and testing more than 100 different sizes, types and brands of memory card) that any of the major brands are more or less prone to … [Read more...] about Lexar Professional 128 GB 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II Mini Review
It's the age old question since we've started to shoot digital. How can I make my workflow faster? More efficient? Or more importantly, how can I get more free time and peace of mind? Well, here's where I hopefully can help out a little. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the DROBO 5D with a couple of Seagate 2TB SATA HDD's to do some long term testing for my photo and video production workflow...and the short answer to the question? As much as we can get our hands on! The Nitty Gritty / Tech Details The Drobo 5D is a USB3 and Dual … [Read more...] about How Much Speed Does a Photographer Need
(Micro Four Thirds Just Took A Big Step Up) DISCLAIMER: Crop factor and the associated focal length multiplier only affects field of view. I prefer to reference this as effective focal length but others use FOV. Feel free to use whichever term you like. --------------------------------------------- I love small, lightweight, inexpensive, powerful cameras. I became interested in the M43 format in the Summer of 2009 when these cameras first started shipping. By 2010 I had purchased my own Micro Four Thirds system and over the ensuing … [Read more...] about First Look – OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II – Micro Four Thirds Camera
Back in 2014 I first reviewed the Drobo Mini and now I’d like to write an update that discusses the unit from a more long-term view. As a refresher - the Mini holds up to four 2.5" SATA I/II/II drives and one mSATA SSD. This is in effect a fusion drive (similar to the technology used in iMacs from Apple.) The connectivity on the Mini is provided using both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. The BeyondRAID technology allows for redundancy, meaning if you have one drive go bad, you can replace it and the unit will self-heal with no data loss. … [Read more...] about Drobo Mini – Long Term Review
So many of us started photography with black and white processing and the love of monochrome has stuck with us. Adams and Weston still haunt my dreams with black skies over Yosemite and pleated peppers. Digital black and white photography is even better because we have more control, far more options, and our fingers don't smell like Rodinol. There are several terrific ways to make your pictures black and white, but the most powerful and my personal favorite is by using Macphun's Tonality. Tonality has an intuitive interface, presets that make … [Read more...] about Mini Review: Tonality (Spoilers: It Makes Great Black and Whites)
It’s no secret that bird, wildlife, and sports shooters need big glass. It’s also no secret that big glass can cost an arm and a leg. If there’s anyplace in the world that third-party lenses are important it’s in the big glass arena. Tamron have been producing affordable, quality lenses for a long time and I’ve used both Tamron and Sigma third-party lenses (in addition to the big Canon glass) either as back up or supplement. I've even used these third-party lenses as primaries because they are often nearly as good (or in some ways better) … [Read more...] about Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 First Look
Pretty much everyone reading this is all too familiar with JPEG's and the creation of large, small, printable, social media sized, etc images for clients. If you're like me and tend to shoot a fair number of weddings and events with LARGE, (sometimes obscenely so), catalogs of images, the delivery of these files to your clients can often be an absolute nightmare. Sharing online takes forever to upload and download....sometimes they want them on a Hard Drive or Thumb Drives and you just can't fit everything. Compile that with YOUR personal … [Read more...] about JPEGmini – Secret Weapon of The Photographer on the Move!
It’s been a pretty great December. I received an early Christmas gift of an iPad Air. I have owned iPads before and found them very useful for a couple of things such as watching a movie on an airplane, listening to music when I am traveling, or using it as a teleprompter and also as a photo portfolio or presentation device. It works extremely well for all those uses. But what if you want more? The iPad has been something I’ve always considered to be great at helping me consume media, but not so great at something I'd use to … [Read more...] about The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 For Photographers
ThinkTAPLearn has released a new training title with Joe McNally—Location Photography: On Assignment with Joe McNally. You’ll have a chance to watch over Joe’s shoulder as he works his magic on the set of a dance shoot. An industry legend, McNally began as a photojournalist and has worked for publications like Life and National Geographic. Joe continues to work on assignment today, producing amazing images and inspiring photographers. Watching him work is a treat. Who’s this course for? To get the most from this course, you’ll want to have … [Read more...] about Location Photography: On Assignment with Joe McNally
A friend of mine took the plunge and pre-ordered, sight unseen, a fully loaded Microsoft Surface Studio with an Intel Core i7 chip, 2TB storage, 32GB RAM and 4GB GPU. The price for this beauty? A whopping $4199! But hey they throw in the puck thing! (That is if you order before December 1.) As a photographer I was immediately intrigued by the new all-in-one, so when my friend offered me the chance to come play with his Surface Studio I jumped at the chance. I was immediately impressed. It is every bit as beautiful as it appears online. … [Read more...] about Microsoft Surface Studio From A Photographer’s POV – First Look
My pal Trey Ratcliff has done it again. He’s worked with Peak Design to take the advanced features of his Everyday Messenger Bag to a backpack. If you’ve seen one of the original Everyday Messenger Bags you will have a good idea of what to expect in the Peak Design Everyday Backpack model. Both bags were some of the most popular ever on Kickstarter being seriously over-subscribed in a matter of hours. Millions of dollars in orders later, I am not prepared to listen to criticism along the lines of “Nobody will buy that bag - it’s too … [Read more...] about Peak Design’s New Everyday Backpack
Editor’s Note: It’s time for something new. In the past, Photofocus has made it a practice of acknowledging a specific camera and/or lens as the “camera/lens” of the year. This year several of us are putting together a list including camera and lens choices along with a few other pieces of gear that we think you’ll like. While it’s not designed specifically as a holiday gift guide, this list does happen to be a resource for photographers (and their friends/family) who want to get the ball rolling on their holiday shopping. A few things … [Read more...] about Photofocus Products of the Year – Levi Sim
Editor’s Note: It’s time for something new. In the past, Photofocus has made it a practice of acknowledging a specific camera and/or lens as the “camera/lens” of the year. This year several of us are putting together a list including camera and lens choices along with a few other pieces of gear that we think you’ll like. While it’s not designed specifically as a holiday gift guide, this list does happen to be a resource for photographers (and their friends/family) who want to get the ball rolling on their holiday shopping. A few things … [Read more...] about Photofocus Products Of The Year – Kevin Ames
There's a new box on the block! It is a whole lot more affordable and all of what we'd expect in terms of quality from Drobo. Bottom Line: The 5C is an affordable, super simple and easy to use, expandable, directly-attached storage device that can hold up to five 3.5" drives of various brands and capacities for computers that may or may not use USB-C. This magic black box is purposefully featuring a USB-C port for all those who are early adopters, but also features backward compatibility with USB 3.0 over USB-A as well as many other … [Read more...] about The Drobo 5C’s performance, from a budget conscious perspective.
If you'd like to make a real impression next time you're out with friends and family, then the Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer may be just the thing for you. Polaroid has long been synonymous with immediately sharing memories with friends, and this Zip printer carries on the tradition. I recently brought one to my family reunion and it was a hit, and I used it at the Photofocus Party at Photoshop World with great success. Let me show you how it works and why you might like it. It's Handy This little printer makes a tangible, real life … [Read more...] about Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer Mini Review
I’m old enough to remember the days of the Polaroid. But I’m young enough to appreciate the benefits of a digital medium in photography. The brilliant Fujifilm Instax SP-2 Printer blends both worlds perfectly. It takes the fuss and pixel peeping tendency out of digital and puts tangible little business card sized prints in your hot little hand. The printer brings good simple fun to photography. Overview This latest model, the SP-2, brings improved resolution, a rechargeable battery and a choice of colors. But to get hung up on the specs is to … [Read more...] about Reviewed: Fujifilm Instax SP-2 Printer
Black and white photography is a passion for me which I actively pursue. I've just read a good book on the subject by Chuck Kimmerle called, Black and White Artistry, The Creative Photographer's Guide to Interpreting Places and Spaces. Kimmerle's made a living in pictures first as a photojournalist at several papers and then as a staff photographer at a college and always as an artist. This book emphasizes that art and creativity are subjective. He doesn't try to teach elementary principles like form and pattern and texture by describing them … [Read more...] about Book Review: Black and White Artistry, by Chuck Kimmerle
I just wrapped up installing a Seagate 2TB FireCuda gaming hard drive into a 2012 27" iMac, and boy is it worth it! The reason I chose this specific hard drive is due to the technology that this drive uses. Seagate, back in 2010, launched one of my favorite affordable upgrades for laptops-- a hard drive line called Momentus XT. This hard drive differs from the usual hard drives by combining the then new technology of solid state storage with the larger, more spacious, traditional platter hard drives. This combination drastically improved … [Read more...] about Do it! Put a Seagate FireCuda in your 27″ iMac!
https://youtu.be/Pw_IqRbCpWU Photoshop CC's New In-App Search allows you to quickly search Photoshop tools, panels, menus, Adobe Stock assets, help content and tutorials from within Photoshop using a new search panel that’s right at your fingertips. You can either hold down CMD+F (or Ctrl+F on Windows) to launch it, or click on the new search symbol in the upper right corner of the application frame to enable this new feature. Here's an additional video from Adobe Evangelist (and friend of Photofocus) Julieanne Kost explaining how she … [Read more...] about Photoshop CC (November 2016) Adds New In-App Search Tool
Lots of camera backpacks. That’s the first thing people see when they look into my closet. You can never have too many of them. And these days, there are more types and styles of camera backpacks than ever. Recognizing that “style” is more important to today’s camera bag buyers than it used to be, several companies are trying to cater to the photographer who needs to carry their kit but also wants to look good doing it. The Brevitē Rolltop features a removable camera-carry system that allows the backpack to be transformed from a camera … [Read more...] about Brevitē, Camera Backpack Rolltop First Look
https://youtu.be/yaMjHn-RJYA Adobe has announced a new member of the Photoshop family, Project Felix. Project Felix gives designers easy-to-use 3D tools to help them create high quality images with photo-realistic effects without time-consuming workflows or 3D expertise. In the video above you can see the very easy workflow. In a nutshell, Project Felix delivers in 3 key areas: Easy access to assets. Project Felix comes with a library of models, materials and lights to help you get started the moment you open it on your desktop. Its … [Read more...] about Adobe Announces Project Felix
I’m a sucker for camera bags. I don’t think of them as fashion statements, but you wouldn’t know by looking at my gear room. I’ve got a wide range of bags for all sorts of purposes, flying, studio work, street photography, backpacking, and more. The folks at Orca sent me.a new bag to review, which I’m always game for… so let’s jump in. Let's take a real-world look at the the ORCA OR-11 Rolling Suitcase for DSLR Cameras. Is it Sturdy? What I like about this bag is it seems well-built. Let’s go from the bottom up. Durable wheels. The … [Read more...] about Real-world Review: ORCA Carry-On Wheeled Suitcase
Adobe Portfolio, free with a Creative Cloud subscription, is a real gem. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your website, I recommend taking a look at it. For me, it’s a been a perfect tool to publish a broader selection of work while maintaining the narrow focus of my primary website—headshots. I’m of the opinion that you must be known for a specialization within photography. The website on your business card or in your Facebook Ads must make it very clear what you do. But marketing your speciality doesn’t mean you can’t publish other work … [Read more...] about Adobe Portfolio: Initial Impressions
Adobe Spark Page is an amazing story-telling platform. It can be used as a travel journal to share adventures, a means to display a portfolio, or as a marketing or training tool. I am just getting my feet wet, having created a couple of on-line journals to share with friends, and am very excited by future possibilities. In a nutshell, Adobe Spark Page allows you to blend together different communication tools--photos, text, videos, links, and “glideshows," in one presentation on a “Page”. Once your Page is completed, you create a link to … [Read more...] about Adobe Spark Page Adds a Sparkle to Your Storytelling
My nea rnGoPro Hero5 Black just arrived in the mail and the first firmware update has dropped as well. This made for the perfect time to start testing my camera. I headed out to an aquarium and science center for an afternoon with the kids to test out the camera’s lowlight, burst, and specialty modes. This is a make or break update for GoPro, which saw their stock tumble due to recent errors. The product line has been streamlined to effectively just two cameras. The GoPro Hero5 Black ($399 USD) and the GoPro Hero5 Session. … [Read more...] about Is the GoPro Hero5 Black any Good for Photography?
Just under three months ago I was exposed to a new product called Plotagraph. The founders (Troy Plota and Sascha Scheider) spent time with me and the rest of the Photofocus team at Photoshop World in Las Vegas. We got a much deeper dive into the Plotagraph software and all I can say is WOW. As much as I was initially impressed I am even more so now. In the weeks since the company has moved from early BETA to nearly fully released software. Even when the product was officially in BETA status it was so well developed that it was really more … [Read more...] about An Update On Plotagraph
We have written here in the past about portable light sabres - specifically the Westcott Ice Light. These lights can be very helpful in a variety of situations for both stills and video shooters. The problem with the Ice Light is that it costs nearly $500. Many of you have asked me about a less expensive alternative. For a while I found a Chinese knock off that I liked but as is often the case with the products from China, they come and go. But now there is a reliable alternative and it’s called the Polaroid BrightSaber. At $149.99 it’s a … [Read more...] about Polaroid BrightSaber First Look
I’m not one to rely too much on third-party plug-ins. I try to keep things simple, and usually stick with Lightroom and Photoshop. Macphun’s Intensify is an exception. I use it regularly in my workflow. A plug-in for Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Apple Aperture, it is unfortunately only for Mac users. I use Intensify for three reasons—at times it is quicker than me figuring out similar enhancements in Lightroom or Photoshop; it provides greater controls over adjustments than other plug-ins I have experimented with, and … [Read more...] about MacPhun’s Intensify: Taking Images to the Next Level