Get a Head Start When It Comes to Shooting Portraits

Get a Head Start When It Comes to Shooting Portraits

For many photographers, shooting people is where it's at, or at least where we'd like to be.  Even if we prefer nature, or landscapes or wildlife, we all need to be able to make great portraits of people, even if only our friends and family.  After all, we do have a really good camera, right?

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A Superior Tool for Cutting Masks

I recently taught an Introductory workshop for Photoshop on Layers and Masks.  While most of the attendees found the workshop very useful, the general consensus was that making selections for masking would take a lot of practice and that while Photoshop does a good job, the user interface can be complicated and some of the tools cumbersome.  I tend to use a third party tool for this myself and was reminded of its efficacy by a webinar delivered by my fellow educator #BlakeRudis.  The tool I advocate is called Remask and until recently was available only as a plugin for editing applications from the folks at Topaz Labs.  That changed with the recent update to Remask 5.

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REVIEW : Limelite Mosaic LED Panel by Bowens

REVIEW : Limelite Mosaic LED Panel by Bowens

Over the last couple of years, some peers have started referring to me as the Light Whisperer.  I choose to take it as a compliment because I love working with light, be it the big source in the sky, flash or continuous light.  I started doing this stuff back when continuous light meant tungsten bulbs that were hot and somewhat unwieldy.  Later came fluorescents, either in the form of the big curlicue bulbs such as those used by Westcott in their excellent Spiderlite systems or the non-flickering perfectly balanced tubes in my beloved Kino Flo lights.  LED panels were initially super expensive and fairly dim so you needed a lot to get a little.  That's changed and a killer offering in the LED space comes from Bowens in the Limelite Mosaic.

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Quick Look : Canon 5DS - Current Megapixel King (35mm Full Frame at Least)

Quick Look : Canon 5DS - Current Megapixel King (35mm Full Frame at Least)

Despite reasonable arguments to the contrary, there's still a very strong perception that more megapixels are better, even when comparing on the same size sensor.  It means that each individual photo receptor is smaller, and that means less light sensitive but the theory is that this is balanced out by increased detail and sharpness.  Canon, as of this article, currently rules the megapixel roost in 35mm full frame with the Canon 5Ds and Canon 5Dsr cameras.  The questions to ask are what does 50 megapixels bring you, and what do you give up?

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Book Review - Shooting in Sh*tty Light

Book Review - Shooting in Sh*tty Light

No, I'm not kidding,  That's the title, or more correctly the first part of the title, "Shooting in Sh*tty Light : The Top Ten Worst Photography Lighting Situations and How to Conquer Them".  The book is written by Lindsay Adler and Erik Valind.  Both are professional photographers, Lindsay known for fashion and Erik for lifestyle.  Both are respected educators and I have taken classes with both of them.  Given their expertise, I was curious about what the book would reveal

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You Need This Book in your Photographic Library

You Need This Book in your Photographic Library

Folks who know me, know that I support my friends.  They also know that I don't "spin" stories to suit a desired outcome.  Those things clear, I am writing this post to tell you that you WANT and NEED to get my friend Rick Sammon's book called Creative Visualization for Photographers.

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REVIEW : The Manfrotto 420B MIGHT be the only light stand you need

REVIEW : The Manfrotto 420B MIGHT be the only light stand you need

At some point, all serious and emerging photographers realize the need for a light stand.  So we head into our local camera store or go online in search of the one solution to myriad problems.  After all, we don't have tons of space to store kit, and we've all been down the road of buying something that looked perfect and actually, wasn't.

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REVIEW : The Profoto B2 Off Camera Flash System

REVIEW : The Profoto B2 Off Camera Flash System

When hot shoe flash just doesn't have enough oomph, photographers go to studio strobes.  The challenge with strobes has always been availability of power.  Most major strobe vendors have developed high output battery pack systems so AC is not always required, but these packs have been in most cases heavy and expensive.  Profoto released the self-contained B1 series a while back and they have been very successful.  Now available is the B2 system which uses an external generator pushing 250ws.  It's pricey so let's have a look.

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Studying EXIF IS NOT Helping You

Studying EXIF IS NOT Helping You

I've been a photography educator for a long time and a photographer for much longer.  On a saddeningly regular basis, I meet folks working hard to improve their photography trapped in what I call the Well of EXIF.  There are schools of thought that say studying other people's EXIF can help you make better images.  I violently disagree.

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QUICK LOOK : Hahnel CAPTUR Remote Triggers and Timer

QUICK LOOK : Hahnel CAPTUR Remote Triggers and Timer

For a number of years, my go to wireless remote system was a Hahnel Giga T Pro.  It worked very well, but I was often perturbed because the user interface was not very intuitive and I always had to go back to the manual when some time had passed without me using it.  The Giga T Pro has been replaced by the Captur system.  Let's see if it improves on things.

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Lenses for Sony Mirrorless Systems

Lenses for Sony Mirrorless Systems

Let's cut to the chase here.  Sony makes brilliant sensors.  They understand video at a level not found in many other places.  While the company struggles in other lines of business, Sony's photo business continues to do well.  Despite false starts like the failed smart phone clip on lens/camera, Sony gets Compact System Cameras (CSC)  Continued evolution of their lines has produced a series of winners.  Recently they released the A7 Mk II, a mirrorless with high megapixels and superb dynamic range.  So why isn't the world going to Sony?

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Which REBEL are you? The Canon Rebel T6i vs the Canon Rebel T6s

Which REBEL are you?  The Canon Rebel T6i vs the Canon Rebel T6s

When it comes to consumer level DSLRs, no branding is better known than the Canon Rebel line.  Potential buyers still walk into stores and say "I want a Rebel".  Good on Canon for getting the marketing right and remaining consistent in their messaging.  With the latest release cycle, the Rebel lineup forks, so it's worthwhile to take a look at what's happening.

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TUTORIAL : Merging Catalogs in Lightroom - From Laptop to Desktop

TUTORIAL : Merging Catalogs in Lightroom - From Laptop to Desktop

More and more, I encounter photographers who want to work while mobile, before they get a chance to get back to the "main" computer and import the images into Lightroom.  They want to upload to a laptop daily, do some edits, may be even post some work, but not have to duplicate everything when they get back home nor have multiple catalogs and try to remember where everything is and which version is current.

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The DXO ONE - has a great company lost their mind?

The DXO ONE - has a great company lost their mind?

DXO is well respected for their lens analysis tools and their excellent DXO Optics post-processing software.  So I was quite interested when I started getting seed emails saying the DXO was going to change the face of photography.  Was it some new amazing software?  A new way to process RAW images?  A new way to correct for lens issues?  Umm.  No.  It's a camera that you stick to your smartphone...

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