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 color meter 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′
Fractals, people, are the new must-haves in my camera bag. I was introduced to Fractals at WPPI. My friend and fellow photographer, Kathy Mukhopadhyay, bought a set and mentioned that they were doing live demos throughout the trade show if I wanted to check them out. I snuck over briefly to see what all the fuss was about and let me just tell you, their booth was packed! People were jammed into their little area just to see what all the talk was about. Sadly by the time I had gotten up front they were already sold out. That's how hot this item … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Fractals (Your New Must-Have)
I've been using gimbal heads in my photography for as long as I can remember. Gimbal heads are simple devices that support long, heavy, lenses. They help photographers move big lenses around while tracking fast moving objects in the distance. Weightless balance Their primary feature is the ability to balance the camera and lens within the tripod head and use tension controls to simulate a "weightlessness." The camera can be moved freely but stays in place when not being moved. The gimbal allows for easy tracking along the vertical and … [Read more...] about Gear Review: Oben GH-30 Gimbal Head
While Olympus and Panasonic are the big players in the Micro Four-Thirds space, Sigma has recently released a few lenses that are on par with their full-frame counterparts. I had the chance to try out the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, and there's nothing "third party" about this lens — it stands its own in the increasingly competitive Micro Four-Thirds world. With a quick look at the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, you'll see a very familiar style to Sigma's DSLR art lenses. Providing a 60mm frame of view, the image quality is superb, providing a creative and … [Read more...] about Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Gives Micro Four-Thirds Shooters a Budget-Friendly Portrait Option
Since my switch to micro four-thirds, I haven't been able to pick up a Sigma lens. When I checked out Sigma's new offerings in their global vision contemporary series — the 16mm f/1.4 and 30mm f/1.4 — I was intrigued. And after spending a few weeks with the 16mm f/1.4 (full-frame field of view at 32mm), I must say that it opens up a lot of possibilities. I took the lens on a photowalk last week to check out its capabilities. Wide open at f/1.4, this lens can only be described as dreamy, capturing the main subject with tack-sharp focus and a … [Read more...] about Sigma 16mm f/1.4 for Micro Four-Thirds Captures the Artistic View of the World
(Editor's note: Photofocus welcomes back our founder Scott Bourne. Scott will be contributing articles and reviews periodically. We are very happy to have him return to the site. His thoughts and insights have been missed. Have you missed Scott? Please leave a comment.) What is a "Gnarbox?" Gnarbox is a tiny combination of a hard drive and a computer that is packed in a shockproof and waterproof case. You can store and edit your videos and images on the go using your mobile device as a wireless screen. No computer is necessary. It's about … [Read more...] about Gnarbox 128 Review
In this article, I review the new Brother AirScouter WD-300C Head-mounted Display, that I have been using for the last 3 weeks. In much of my commercial drone work, I am a single operator drone pilot. That means I am having to control the drone and the camera simultaneously. That translate into looking down at my tablet and back up to the drone, so I can fly safely and still get the shot. I am finding that using a headset even helps me do a better job when I am piloting and have a second operator controlling the camera because I can see what … [Read more...] about Becoming a Better Drone Pilot: Brother AirScouter WD-300C Head-mounted Display Review
As traveling photographers, we all wear many hats—landscape photographer, bird photographer, portrait photographer, food photographer, etc. We may feel comfortable in some of the hats we wear, and some hats just don’t seem to fit well at all. I had my roots in landscape and nature photography then moved on to cityscapes. Photographing people on the streets in the places I visited always seemed a tough fit. So I pushed hard--taking a class, watching videos, reading some books, and making lots of pictures--to figure out how to get good shots … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Photographing People: Guidelines
For the past four years, I've photographed an event for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids — the Laughfest Signature Event. It features a highly sought-after comedian with the ultimate goal to raise money for cancer support. This year, Comedy Central's Trevor Noah (from The Daily Show) graced Grand Rapids with his presence for the event. While photographing comedians is a blast, being in the back of the room means you have to be creative in terms of how you're going to capture it. The first year, I was completely unprepared and had to rely on a much … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 Offers Superb Build Quality & Reach
I recently added a Nikon D850 to my arsenal, and more recently, had the opportunity to test it out with the addition of a Vello BG-N19 battery grip. The battery grip was provided to me by B&H for the purposes of this review. What is a battery grip? There are generally two different types of battery grips, one built-in (e.g. Nikon D5) and the other an add-on accessory. A battery grip allows for near seamless transition from landscape to portrait orientation, with a redundant set of camera controls and more battery power. The battery grip … [Read more...] about The Vello BG-N19 Battery Grip for Nikon D850
I just got Aurora HDR 2018 and I couldn't wait to try it with different shots. What does it do? How do I feel working in this brand new environment? Here are my thoughts on my first hands-on experience with the software! Landscape I was pretty excited to edit some of the pictures we'd taken in Vegas last week. The sunrise was amazing and so was the scenery. I had an issue at the location: I forgot my tripod! That meant bye-bye to the standard three-or-more-exposures-merged-to-HDR technique and hello handheld camera. Since I wasn't in the … [Read more...] about My First Aurora HDR 2018 Experience
Editor's note: This is a guest Post by Ugo Cei. See his work right here. In recent times I haven’t been making much use of filters in my photography. I would occasionally use a polarizer and that’s all. As a consequence, when faced with landscape scenes with a lot of contrast, like when the sky is bright, but the ground is in shade, I would normally resort to bracketing and then merging the resulting shots to HDR or doing some kind of blending. Graduated Neutral Density (GND) Filters When creating HDR photos, I always strive to produce … [Read more...] about Gear Review: NiSi Medium GND 100x150mm Filter