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′
Using a sunshade might seem like extra trouble and hassle, but I find there are definite advantages to using one, especially when they work properly. Check it out the article below and see if one might help you with your drone projects. Why Do I Use a Sunshade? For me, the bottom line is that it helps me see the tablet or smartphone screen more clearly and easily. That translates into better videos and photographs because I can see what is in focus and out of focus and what's in the frame. This clearer view of the screen also lets … [Read more...] about Becoming a Better Drone Pilot: Display Sunshades and the One I Use
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
Docking your MacBook to a screen at your home or office gives the best compromise between portability and performance! I've been docking my MacBooks to monitors at my home office since my first MacBook Pro from 2010! So, why wouldn't you? The MacBooks are fantastic little machines that can pack a punch while being so portable-- but the 13" or 15" screen can leave one desiring more real estate to play with. So why not get the benefit of having a desktop setup with a laptop and bump up the performance while you're at it with a SVALT Dock? Things … [Read more...] about Dock & Cool Your MacBook for Max Performance!
Recently, my friend and fellow Photofocus author, Levi Sim, called me up and asked me about how I print my photos for my clients. We discussed the options I have and where I like to have them printed and he asked me if I had ever used acrylics. I shared with him that truthfully, I didn't really enjoy acrylic prints. I find them to be a bit too much "in your face" with their super reflective nature. I always found that the acrylic got in the way of the viewing experience. He proceeded to tell me about what ArtisanHD is doing with a new product … [Read more...] about A New Kind of Acrylic: TruLife
The Basics Okay, so awhile back I was asked to test and review the Angler Silverbox 18" Softbox and at first, given I have the Profoto version of this as well as the Beauty Dish, I was wondering just how useful or good this guy could be. Given it was 1/2 the price, (or less), of the Profoto version I was used too, I was pretty sure the quality would be less than great and i'd try it once, and throw into a corner never to be seen again. Well...lets just say I was pleasantly surprised! Check this out; Above is a shot I took using JUST … [Read more...] about Angler Silverbox 18″ Softbox Review
I have loved Platypod from the very beginning. In fact, up until recently, it was my only tripod of sorts. I couldn’t even afford a tripod so I used my Platypod everywhere. I honestly didn’t need anything else. I was excited to use the Platypod Max on a TV show I was invited to be on to discuss my expertise in shooting night sky photos. What better way to showcase one of my already favorite tools on an international level? The day before shooting we were scouting locations and I didn’t bother taking any BTS as the BTS I wanted would include … [Read more...] about My (Un)Typical Review Of The Platypod Max
There are many photo-editing products available for processing images in conjunction with Lightroom. Many of these products are third-party plugins which can be used directly from Lightroom or as stand-alone applications. Other products provide presets or brushes used within Lightroom. Presets actually move the Lightroom sliders, creating enhancements that affect the entire image. Brushes are used to selectively brush in adjustments through the Lightroom adjustment brush or the gradient tool. Recently I began incorporating Sleeklens presets … [Read more...] about Lightroom Brushes and Presets by Sleeklens
I don’t use a monopod often, but when I do I want it to feel good in my hands. It should provide stability no matter what size lens is attached to my camera, and be convenient to use—easy to open and close. I have tried several monopods through the years. Some unscrewed from a leg of a tripod, some were free standing. I never felt terribly satisfied. A couple of the monopods seemed flimsy. One did not twist open easily. Another was too heavy to carry around for a full day. I sold them all. Finally, I recently found a monopod that works for me, … [Read more...] about The Oben CTM-2500 Carbon Fiber Monopod
I know, I know...Frequency Separation is a VERY hot & loaded topic to bring up, and no, you don't _have_ to use it. It's pretty easy to go way too heavy handed with F.S. and end up making your portrait client look like a plastic doll. But when it's used right, it's pretty much going to be your go-to tool for perfecting your clients' images. A lot of professional full-time retouchers, love it or hate it, use Frequency Separation on nearly everything, so let's ignore the arguments about what can go wrong with F.S. and just go into why this … [Read more...] about Frequency Separation for the Next Generation
A photographer is always looking for new camera bags, but there always seems to be a new one on my mind. I was looking for a camera backpack that I could keep a camera body and lens attached while carrying a few extra lenses and accessories. I don’t use a backpack often, but I have the ThinkTank Shape Shifter and it works well, but I can’t fit a body with a lens attached into that backpack. I had the chance to try out the new Ruggard Thunderhead 35 DSLR & Laptop Backpack courtesy of B&H. The Ruggard Thunderhead 35 is a small camera … [Read more...] about Ruggard Thunderhead 35 DSLR and Laptop Backpack Review