I'm always jealous of those photographers who are also musicians — and there are many of them. Me, I can't carry a tune in a camera bag and I'm practically tone deaf. But the power of music is undeniable and it's a wonderful tool for sculpting the mood while making pictures. Most studios have music going all the time, and people like Matthew Jordan Smith testify that music is an essential part of a great shoot. But what about when you're not in the studio? I've seen people using smartphones with the volume turned all the way up in order to … [Read more...] about Gear Review: NstaJam Bluetooth speaker
Skylum Software is releasing the much talked about photo editing tool, Luminar 3 on Dec. 18, 2018. Luminar 3 is an all-in-one photo app designed to offers everything a modern photographer needs for photo editing. That sounds great, but what makes this version special is Skylum has added the number one most requested feature from users; the ability to organize and view their images. This added feature is a game changer for experienced users looking for an alternative to their current editing tools and it’s a simple solution for photographers … [Read more...] about First look at the new Luminar 3 with Libraries
Normally, I'd read the entire book before writing a review, but this can't wait. I've skipped around and read several sections and the writing is good and engaging — almost as engaging as the photographs. This is a book you should buy for every photographer you know and probably everyone else, too. But you should have it dropped shipped to the recipient because if you get your hands on it, you won't be able to put it down. An actually famous photographer There are almost no famous photographers, especially this century when photographs come … [Read more...] about Book Review: “Steve McCurry: A Life In Pictures,” by Bonnie McCurry
Editor's Note: We welcome Gevon Servo to the Photofocus team. Gevon is a corporate photographer for a major transportation company, lover of coffee and Photowandering. He takes real-world situations through his corporate work and offers actionable advice through the content you see here. In what seems like an eternity ago, a Kickstarter started. It was for the "digiFilm camera by 'Yashica'" and it was ‘supposed to have a soul of a film camera’ with some digital help. I, along with a LOT of other people, was drawn to it like a moth to the … [Read more...] about The Yashica y35, an unexpected digiFilm P.O.S. but…
Peak Design has done it again: The company has broken Kickstarter with its new product. I think these people get together and say, "What can we make that will cause people to lose their minds and buy it with wild abandon?" The company makes quality stuff and designs it very well. The latest offering is the Travel Line, and it I think it'll meet the expectations of all the people who funded the Kickstarter with $5,206,611. Yeah, five-point-two million dollars. The Travel Backpack There's no doubt that this is a well-made backpack. It's got … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack
A set of v-flats is one of the most versatile — but not often talked about — light modifiers a photographer can have in their studio or home studio. Usually constructed of foam core, v-flats can be used to block light (known as flagging), to bounce or absorb light, or as a background. Most studio photographers use them so much, they forget to talk about them because they assume all photographers know their value. I admit I fell into this trap until a set of V-Flat World’s portable V-Flats appeared on my doorstep. I called my buddy Richie and … [Read more...] about Modifying light with versatile, extremely portable v-flats
As I kept on playing with the Illuminati instruments incident and color light meter I'd been given a few weeks ago, I discovered that I love putting the color meter to the test. I am always in situations where colors in my camera can get a little crazy - whether I'm in a gym, outdoors or even in front of a white wall. In this article, I test different environments and lights, both with my camera's automatic white balance and the Illuminati's color meter. I also explain how to use the device to get a perfect read on color — every time. Unlike … [Read more...] about Fixing your white balance: The ultimate solution
I was surprised when I was approached about reviewing this product, but the more I use it, the more I like it. Eyeforcer is a pair of glasses that sense when your head is tilting and activate a light to remind you to lift your head back up. In fact, if you ignore the blinking light by your eye for too long, it'll send you a text message. Is it necessary? I've heard on the news several times over the last few years that people are having neck and back troubles from using their phones and tablets. The problem comes from tilting your head too … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Eyeforcer Glasses
K&F Concepts was incredibly nice and sent me their Small DSLR Camera Backpack for Travel Outdoor Photography. Now I know what you're thinking, "You are not an outdoor photographer." This is true, however, this backpack has been such a great addition for me and my tiny gear. At the beginning of 2018 when I made the switch to mirrorless, I was struggling to find a bag to replace my VEO 37 from Vanguard. I had used that bag for a couple years and really loved it, but I felt like it was too big for my mirrorless system. I was getting … [Read more...] about Gear Review: K&F Concepts Small DSLR Camera Backpack for Travel Outdoor Photography
Sigma first unveiled their new series of lenses series at Photokina in Cologne, Germany last September. This new collection includes five new lenses to their three Global Vision product lines: Art, Sports and Contemporary. As a sports photographer, I was really intrigued by the announcement of their highly anticipated 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens. I made sure to stop by their booth at PhotoPlus Expo to get more information about this new high-performance telephoto lens. 10 exclusive low-dispersion glass elements What in the world is a … [Read more...] about Could this lens possibly become the best 70-200mm f/2.8 on the market?
(Editor's note: Photofocus is proud to add Rocky Nook as a vibrant contributor for our readers. Rocky Nook is a small — seven-person independent publishing company. Their commitment is producing high-quality books written by pros for photographers who want to learn more about their craft. Over the next several weeks, Photofocus features a series on multi-shot photography excerpted from "The Enthusiast's Guide to Multi-Shot Techniques" by Alan Hess.) Image stacking in Photoshop is commonly used in the field of astrophotography, which involves … [Read more...] about Enthusiast’s Guide: Image stacking for astrophotography
A Lume Cube is quite a package. Most of all it's a lighting instrument that just wasn't possible a few years ago. Let's look closer, but first... Visit Lume Cube at Photo Plus Expo, October 25-27, 2018 Lume Cube is at Booth 768 at the Jacob Javits Center. Here's a link to savings on a conference pass and a free expo pass courtesy of Lume Cube. Unboxing Lume Cubes come packaged similarly to GoPros. They are in a box with a clear, thick, solid plastic cover. The cube itself is attached to a black base by a 1/4-20 bolt. The base is solidly … [Read more...] about Quick Look: Lume Cube — tiny powerful lighting that’s waterproof too!
The Timpani LED light from Luxli is the deep bass kettledrum of portable AC or battery powered lighting. This multi-talented instrument brings much more to the photographic game than does its one-note per drum percussive namesake. This is a deep dive review of the features of this multi-featured although at first glance, a somewhat pricey light. As a matter of full disclosure, I was given a pair of Timpani lights and batteries a few months ago in exchange for writing this review. In the interim, I have put them through their paces. What follows … [Read more...] about In-depth: Luxli’s Timpani LED ultra versatile luminaire
In this article, I'm going to show you how I use Lutify LUTs in Capture One Pro 11 (CO 11). These LUTs will work in any software that supports LUTs like Affinity Photo, Luminar 2018, Photoshop, and Lightroom. The package you choose will determine whether it supports the RAW image for that product. Also, I contacted Lutify directly and was provided a free version of these LUTs for this review. As always, I will give you my honest review of the product. Lutify is kindly offering a 10% discount coupon for Photofocus readers on any of their … [Read more...] about A better drone photographer – Using Lutify LUTs with DJI DNG RAW files in Capture One Pro 11
(Editor's note: Photofocus is proud to add Rocky Nook as a vibrant contributor for our readers. Rocky Nook is a small — seven-person independent publishing company. Their commitment is producing high-quality books written by pros for photographers who want to learn more about their craft. Over the next several weeks, Photofocus features a series on multi-shot photography excerpted from "The Enthusiast's Guide to Multi-Shot Techniques" by Alan Hess.) Once you have a set of images loaded as a stack in Photoshop you can apply some of the other … [Read more...] about Enthusiast’s Guide: How to use Photoshop’s image stacks to remove people from a scene
My new Fuji X-T3 just arrived. I am so excited. The camera was only just released last week. I have barely used it and I am already "in love." Of course I am a tried and true Fuji fan, having walked away from my Nikon D800 a few years back. So I am probably biased. Time will tell if the camera truly lives up to its hype. 1. A newly developed fourth generation sensor — the X-Trans CMOS 4 I am clueless what the upgrade to the sensor actually means in technical terms. The sensor is now back-illuminated — I read that a back-illuminated sensor … [Read more...] about Ten reasons why I love my Fuji X-T3
I smiled so much, my cheeks are still hurting after watching Kaylee Greer’s interaction with dogs on NatGeo's new show Pupparazzi. Watching the show was entertaining and educational. Here's why every photographer should watch Pupparazzi. A quick overview of the show The show starts out with Kaylee and her fiance driving to a shoot for an ad campaign. On the way, they stop to visit an animal shelter filled with rescue dogs from puppy mills. They tour the facility looking for one dog to photograph that will represent the shelter to raise … [Read more...] about Why every photographer should watch Pupparazzi
I recently got my hands on the Oben CT-3451 Tripod and I couldn’t be more grateful. At the first of this year, I made a big change from Nikon to Lumix and was super frustrated with the fact that my Manfrotto tripod was massive compared to my mirrorless camera. I felt weighted down and not interested in hiking much this summer till I could find something to replace it. Then, in walked the Oben CT-3451 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-113T Ball Head and I was ready to hit the trail again. Weight This entire tripod weighs just 2.5 pounds and … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Oben CT-3451 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-113T Ball Head
Canon unveiled the Canon EOS R camera system today and it's truly amazing. I had the chance to try out a pre-release version of the camera and really explore its uses. The camera is Canon’s response to Sony’s A7 series and a much stronger release than Nikon’s recent Z series. The camera is appealing to many different types of users. Those looking to switch to a full-frame workflow will love the quality and performance. Those who already have invested in Canon lenses can bring them over very easily. And video shooters will see a lot to … [Read more...] about A detailed (hands-on) look at the Canon EOS R
B&H Photo provided Photofocus the Pelican MPD40 40L Duffel bag in return for a review. I was one of the first authors to volunteer — thinking it was a camera backpack. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was, well, er... a backpack. My views changed after a visit from my cousin Mary Ann. Here are my thoughts on how a photographer can use this backpack to travel light and have their camera gear too. Her overseas trip to Paris meant packing light As I mentioned to my cousin Mary Ann — who happen to stop by to borrow a camera bag for her … [Read more...] about How to travel light AND have your camera gear too!
Earlier this month I received Wacom's entry-level tablet, the Intuos Pen Tablet. While that's a great tablet for beginners and light photo editors, the Wacom Intuos Pro really takes it to the next level. I received a review unit shortly after the Intuos Pen Tablet, and have been testing it out for the past couple of weeks. Appearance and specs The Wacom Intuos Pro comes in two sizes — a Medium (13.2 x 8.5 inches) and a Large (16.8 x 11.2 inches). Both are 0.3 inches thick and are completely black. They come with built-in Bluetooth … [Read more...] about Wacom Intuos Pro offers precision and speed for photo editors
When Rudy Guttosch from Illuminati Instrument Corp sent me this intriguing device, I wasn't really sure how I was going to use it. I don't particularly enjoy having to bring extra stuff at photo shoots. Still, for the purpose of this article, I gave it a try and took it with me on location. Well, I have to admit it, I've been quite fascinated by all what my new buddy could do for me for less than 62 grams of weight. First things first: what is that Illuminati thing? The Illuminati light and colormeter does exactly what its name says it … [Read more...] about The Illuminati Meter: What is that?
I've long been a user of a keyboard and mouse, even for my photo editing. But over time, as I used Lightroom and Photoshop for more precise edits, it became more and more cumbersome. Enter the Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet, a new entry-level pen and tablet offering from Wacom. I received a review unit from Wacom, and after a couple weeks of using it, I must say I'm impressed. I put my mouse away and have been using the Intuos exclusively. Appearance and specs The Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet is Wacom's entry-level tablet and features four … [Read more...] about Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet a great entry-level tablet for photographers
(Editor's note: Photofocus is pleased to announce a partnership with Rocky Nook. Rocky Nook publishes great books about photography by photographers. Coming soon we'll be featuring excerpts from "The Enthusiast's Guide to Multi-Shot Photography" by Alan Hess. Stay tuned!) After my trip to Ireland last summer, I didn't want to stop traveling. Since then, I've been traveling to places like Las Vegas and Toronto. And I wish I would have read Jordana Wright's book, "The Enthusiast's Guide to Travel Photography" before then. There's a lot that … [Read more...] about “The Enthusiast’s Guide to Travel Photography” gets you geared up for your next trip
I recently had the chance to try out the Google Clips camera. To be honest, I hadn't heard anything about it. However, I am not all that techie and don't stay up on all of the latest gadgets. I quickly jumped online to do some research and read some reviews to see what it was all about. It turned out to be a little camera that is supposed to take pictures of people it recognizes. Which sounds super, super creepy now that I am saying it out loud...in my head. :) It works by linking to your Google photos and a technology called "machine … [Read more...] about Google Clips: I don’t hate it, but I’m not sure I love it — yet!
When I first received my Google Clips unit for review, I was curious. How would I use the small, portable camera in my workflow? While Google Clips has some really cool technology and is a sign of what the future might bring, it's also a tad bit creepy. How it works Google Clips connects to your phone via a private Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth, and automatically records short video clips (which are really just fast-capture still images put together) when it detects faces. There's no sound recorded at all. You can also click the shutter button … [Read more...] about Google Clips: The future of cameras?
Everyone needs a camera backpack, and this one from Ruggard is a good choice. It's well made and will protect your gear. It's a medium-sized bag with room for lots of tools. The carry straps and belt are well padded. It'll even carry your laptop. It's not a stylish bag, but it's a straightforward simple design that has proven effective. More specs and details right here. https://youtu.be/eyiHLezwhu4 … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Ruggard Thunderhead 35 Camera Backpack
A holster bag is a terrific addition to your camera bag quiver. In fact, it's a very good choice as a first camera bag. You'll always find uses for it, even when your equipment needs outgrow its size. I have far more gear than will fit in this bag, but I use it as a convenient bag for keeping a camera and lens handy. It sits next to me in the car, it goes inside another duffle bag or backpack and I attach it to the belt of my backpack when hiking. In this video, I show you the 65, but it comes in various sizes, including a larger bag which … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Ruggard Hunter Pro 65 DSLR Holster Bag
The right tripod head makes using a tripod a joy, and the Vanguard Alta GH300T is just such a head. It's a grip head, which means you can make adjustments with a single hand, but unlike other grip heads, it doesn't require you to squeeze a handle. A single lock at the thumb loosens and tightens. It is Arca-Swiss compatible. It also has a trigger built-in which can trigger your shutter with an included cord (includes cords for Canon and Nikon). I like this head very much, and I think you'll enjoy it, too. I'm showing it in this video attached to … [Read more...] about In Depth Video Gear Review: Vanguard Alta GH300T Tripod Grip Head
Collapsible backdrops are great for location shooting and small studios — even large studios use them for convenient and inexpensive options for backdrops. The video below shows the 5x7' chroma key backdrop. You can use chroma key backdrops to replace the background in your photo or videos, but Angler also has other colors with the same build quality. This is a well-made backdrop that should last a very long time. Even the carry bag is better made than most others that cost a lot more money. I use this kind of backdrop on location every week. … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Angler Collapsible Backdrop, 5×7′