Author Archives: ELLIOT STERN




If you are using your smartphone for video or stills this is a product worth looking at.  It can be used as a stand alone device or work along with the smartphone using it as a monitor.

It truly can slip into a shirt pocket, pants pocket, any pocket pretty much and the image quality is incredible.  It can be as auto as you want or as manual as you might need.

This little device is with me all the time.  It truly represents a photography/video instrument that can be with you no matter where you go or what you are doing.




Movie Shot On iPhone By Oscar-Winning Director Premieres At Cannes

The latest movie from Claude Lelouch has just opened at Cannes, and he described the iPhone as allowing the director to go further than ever before. And that Orson Welles would have loved it.
— Read on

Smartphones have advanced at an incredibly rapid pace as have the accessories that turn them into professional video cameras.

In this article about Claude Lelouch you can read about his love of using an iPhone with a variety of inexpensive accessories to make full length films.

I hope you enjoy the article that was published in Forbes.

Nizo: iPhone app dreams of Super 8 and aims to simplify the art of filmmaking by Jose Antunes – ProVideo Coalition

I have been messing around with different video apps for the iPhone and for that matter all Smart Phones. A few of them are Filmic Pro, Moment, and Nizo.

Filmic Pro is probably the most popular and the most featured and the most complex within it’s manual operating structure. It also has auto mode.

Moment is a newcomer to the filming area and what they started out as was the manufacturer of some of the highest quality lenses in the Smart Phone business.

Nizo is a whole different breed. Their concept is that making a video should be just as simple as picking up that old super eight camera and filming away. A big difference with this filming app is that you can select a load of film emulation film presets from days of old and you can edit them right within the app. The concept is that the videographer should be left free to create art. Keep it simple, create, edit simply and if necessary move it on to another editing program.

It truly succeeds, at making things simple and creative.

I was going to write a full overview of the Nizo program, but I was fortunate to come across this article about the app. I have to admit that the app is a work in progress, but where it is, is quite good, especially for a person starting out with video like me.

Nizo: iPhone app dreams of Super 8 and aims to simplify the art of filmmaking by Jose Antunes – ProVideo Coalition
— Read on

Has Hitler Been Reborn In The Body Of Donald Trump?

Last night, July 18th, 2019 as I listened to a cable news station broadcasting the Trump Rally in North Carolina, I sat in shock and dismay as I said to my wife that it reminded me of the old news reels of Adolf Hitler addressing the German people as they cheered in adoration of one of histories most disgusting mass murderers. This was the facist movement that led up to one of the worlds most terrible wars as good and decent peoples rose up to defeat the filth that facism had created.

Donald Trump, no matter how you feel about him, since before he came down the escalator from his ivory tower was a racist as was his father and as are his children.

If the American people to not turn against this hate and do something about Donald Trump and his corrupt family and administration will be swept into a terrifying downward spiral until our constitution, our declartion of independance are burned in Donald Trumps hell.

George Conway: Trump is a racist president – The Washington Post

If you care about your country then read this. This truly is Conway Vs Conway. How he can be married to the witch is beyond me. She is beyond the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz and even more distasteful.

I thought he was an equal-opportunity bully. No more.
— Read on

You Have To Give A Damn – Damn it

A very close and dear friend had posted what is below on Facebook and I decided to copy this part of the conversation because it is so important for all decent Americans too stand up and be counted in a protest to the Washington establishment that what Donald Trump and his supporters are turning our country into.

It has become the pits of hell for so many Americans and for those who are seeking refuge from places of hate. The sad part is that they have run from hate into more hate perpertrated by our President and his followers and the whole republican political establishment. If you care about your future and the future of your country then you must act NOW.


Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how . . . it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough.’’

These remarks came not from some barstool conversation but the President of the United States. These comments are racist, white nationalist, xenophobic, and un-American. They are dangerous and immature. Our fore fathers allowed for foreign born citizens to be elected and govern, because they were foreign born, as was most of our country. Immigration, leaving poverty and oppression for a better life is deep in our soul as a country. (BTW 3 of these Congresswomen were born here, and 1 is a naturalized citizen)

What could be worse than this? Silence. Silence from the Republican Party that is deafening. I don’t care what your political persuasion is, this, THIS is immoral. And you can not rationalize or justify this away because you like some of what he is doing or you want to WIN. You may win, but we – all of us, will lose that which is most dear – our soul, our country and our democracy.

For the love of God, open your mouths, don’t defend, don’t rationalize, don’t normalize this behavior. IT IS RACIST! And if you allow it to happen, then I have the right to question whether you are too.

Everyone, please not only vote, but write and stand up in anyway you can. Write to Republicans that are in your state or district. Write to your democratic reps and senators as well, both at the state and federal level. They need to know and hear from others than his base. They need to know what they stand to lose or my real fear is he can win in 2020. I was someone who was not surprised he won in the last election and I am very concerned he can win again. Please, please, don’t be complacent!! This is too IMPORTANT.

I have always felt that an image, a single image must produce a emotional reaction. For me images done in black and white have always done that.

Of late I have been delving into trying to learn simple video through the use of my IPhone XR and my Fuji X pro 2. Because of that I watch videos done with this kind of gear and watch tutorials on how to edit.

Truthfully, I find still imaging a lot easier to do but of course I have done that all my long life.

This video, according to the artist was done with a Fuji Xt3, and was shot and edited in one day. All I can say is I am inspired by what I see.

6 Influential Female Photojournalists from LIFE Magazine’s Heyday – Artsy

WOMEN,WOMEN,WOMEN. Do not ever forget that the creative talents of women and they are many, have been applied to photography before most of us were ever born and it for sure continues on in our lifetime and beyond. HURRAY TO WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHY PROFESSIONALS AND ARTISTS.

Out of Life’s 101 staff photographers from 1936–72, only 6 were women. Despite the endemic sexism they faced, they helped define modern photojournalism.
— Read on

Thorsten Overgaard’s Photography Pages – The Story Behind That Picture 202 “What is Sharpness in Photography?”

Great article.  A few years ago I watched a video on how a Leica factory approaches the design of a lens.  Having come from the world of Nikon and always touting how “sharp” Nikkor optics have always been I was surprised at Leica’s approach.
Their approach was to go through the process of making a very sharp lens perhaps with the aid of computers and then in the end backing off the lens formula so that the lens was not 100 percent “sharp.”  After listening to the video I was sold on the fact, based on images I have always admired from Leica glass, the so called “Leica look.”
A friend of mine sent me this article from Thorsten Overgaard, a photographer that I truly admire, who explains the Leica look overall and it really hits the nail on the head.
It is well worth reading it.
I would love to purchase Mr. Overgaard’s books, but they are way out of my retired life’s budget.

Thorsten Overgaard Official Homepage Since 1996 – Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator and photo compeition judge. For specific photography needs worldwide, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail. Some photos are available as signed prints and limited editions via galleries or online.

— Read on

Somethings must be seen to loved and appreciated-

This was sent to me by my friend Mike, who always sends me great things to view and it is about an 83 year old street photographer whose passion is street photography and life as it happens. As he says photography is for his soul and he has had another job to sustain him.

I hope you enjoy this as much as did and do.

Apple’s Approach To Photography

It almost seems like Apple and other Mobile Phone manufacturers but most certainly Apple’s IPhone team  figured out how to make their in phone camera and camera app understood by their users.

Phone cameras and their supporting softwares have come a very long way in a very short time frame and as an original nay sayer have to admit that I am truly enjoying to convenience of having a great camera in my pocket all the time to capture everyday moments as they happen, instantly and in the spur of the moment.

Take a look at some of the educational  material Apple supplies. Here.

In the next couple of months I am going to be using the IPhone XR primarily and different raw processing software to create images of every day life around me.  Stand by.

For Some Reason It Seems The Contributions Of Women In Photography From Years Past Are Overlooked

I have been fortunate in my various careers in photography to been honored to work with incredible women photographers and came across this article which you should take the time to read and learn from.

Women Photographers

This article speaks to the accomplishments of female photographers through history but lest we forget there are thousands and thousands of women photographers in our midst today.

The Reasoning Behind Using Raw Data Files To Process Digital Images

Excellent explanation of raw and jpeg files. Nik bhatt (1) who is the creator of “Raw Power” and was an essential player at Apple in regards to imaging, not once mentioned his software which is a raw processor and jpeg processor for Macintosh computers and Ios devices. I have been using this program since it hit the market place because it afford continuity between the devices I use to process my image files. The programs have both been adding important processing features and DAM capability in a relatively short period of time.

What has remained consistent however is the incredible image processing that the program is capable producing in a very precise yet simplified manner.

I love this program on my Ipad Pro 10.5 and really like the fact that it is running on the Mac and Ios platforms with exactly the same controls and capability.

I do use Capture One Fuji Pro for tethering and processing in my studio but that that does not replace what I use “Raw Power” for. It is a creative, elegant, accurate and a delight to use.

It is a very inexpensive processor but would be well worth the investment at a much higher price.


(1)”Nik Bhatt spent 14 years at Apple, first as a Senior Director of Engineering on the Aperture and iPhoto teams. Later he served as the CTO of the Photo Apps group, working with the Core Image and RAW teams before founding his own company, Gentlemen Coders.

His first app, RAW Power for Mac, built on his knowledge of Apple’s Photos and iCloud frameworks to provide a robust RAW editing workflow as a Photos for Mac extension and a standalone app. RAW Power for iOS brings all of the features of the Mac version and more to your iPhone and iPad.

Nik Bhatt spent 14 years at Apple, first as a Senior Director of Engineering on the Aperture and iPhoto teams. Later he served as the CTO of the Photo Apps group, working with the Core Image and RAW teams before founding his own company, Gentlemen Coders.

His first app, RAW Power for Mac, built on his knowledge of Apple’s Photos and iCloud frameworks to provide a robust RAW editing workflow as a Photos for Mac extension and a standalone app. RAW Power for iOS brings all of the features of the Mac version and more to your iPhone and iPad.”

Photography – The Journey Never Really Ends – Chapter One

I just finished writing way too many words and I have deleted every one of them.  While I reference a journey, I found that I had written hundreds of words about my journey in photography from the time I was five years old.  That is really more than anyone needs to know.

What you should gather from this blog article is that I have been involved in photography for a  long time and in that very long period which is about 70 years I have worked as a professional freelance photographer, worked for wholesale camera companies such as Nikon and Berkey Marketing (long gone), worked retail, taught photography, and did a stint as a military photographer in the United States Coast Guard.

One might think as I approach my 76th birthday that I would be pretty much done with all things about photography but that is not the case.  I am as passionate about the art of photography, and the storytelling that photography provides as I was when my dad put my first camera in my hands.  My dad was a professional photographer at one time in his life.

I have been fortunate to work with some extraordinary photographers, used some of the most wonderful photography gear and had the pleasure of passing on my knowledge and adventures to those who had a desire to learn more than they already know.

Photographers know what they know and do what they do quite well, but in reality, I have never met a photographer who knew everything.  The reason for that is simple.  As photographers, we tend to move towards a specific type of photography and that might be landscape, portraits, street, industrial, etc.  While the rules of dealing with light remain consistent,  how a photographer gets from point A to point B with lighting varies quite a bit.

For years, having worked for Nikon and being with Nikon when they first introduced their incredible flash system I came to rely on that flash system and camera metering to virtually handle all my lighting needs pretty much, automatically.  I had gone from loving ambient light for many things and manual flash for other things and found myself using more auto flash control to manipulate lighting for my images.

When I talk about a journey never really ending I feel that in time photographers can and should revisIt things they have not used or done for a long time and photographers who have stuck to a favorite way of shooting and never learned beyond that favorite way of shooting should open their minds to learning new things. Sometimes, we  do just that because certain things happen in life that might cause us to adjust how we deal with our photography.

That is what happened to me. Back injuries and age wound up taking its toll and I found myself somewhat limited in doing the more adventurous types of photography I loved and suddenly, even though I carried a camera bag with a minimal amount of gear all the time, I was not reaching for it. I was not reaching for it because the shot I wanted to take required more than I could do physically to capture it. What to do?

I decided that there was no way I was not going to produce images, create “art” or tell a story and if working outside was too limiting for me then I would move inside. I set up a studio in a bedroom that was 10 x 10 x 7.5 feet, purchased some inexpensive Godox and Flashpoint studio lighting and Glow lighting modifiers, and spent literally hours watching educational studio lighting Youtube videos. I practiced daily, step by step what I was learning. I learned a lot from the instructors on the Adorama educational channel. They were Gavin Hoey and Daniel Norton.

What you hopefully gather from this first chapter is that there should virtually be nothing that stops you from doing some form of what you like and nothing that would want to make you stop learning something new every day.

Chapter two coming soon. The Studio







No Need To Spend A Lot Of Money On Professional Quality Flash Anymore.  Go Beyond Camera Manufacturers Flashes For Less….

On camera flash, over the years has evolved into virtually automatic systems providing acceptable control of light.  A whole industry has been built up around the flashes that camera manufacturers provide for the cameras.

For a while, this was the best you could get for doing your flash photography unless you were willing to go to metering your flash and setting things manually for very precise personal control.  Everything that was available was outrageous when it came to price.

Today there are Chinese companies that several years ago I would have snubbed my nose at. That is no longer the case.  One company, whose strobes I own have proven to have jumped ahead of the camera manufacturers in technology and features is Godox.  Their range of flash is extensive and for most brands can be TTL or manual and wirelessly controlled.

I spent my early years as a photographer which now seems to be so very very long ago hardly ever shooting flash with the exceptions of things like weddings. Even then I did more available light than flash.  It was not until much later when I was working for Nikon and Nikon introduced their excellent flash systems did I begin to use more and more flash.  But I became so dependent upon TTL (which is acceptable) that I no longer tried to manually control these light sources.

The article I reference in this blog may well help you change your mind and take the time to learn just how flash can change your photography.

Not About A Particular Brand – But An Overall Reasoning About All Our Gear Choices

This is a very good video from a professional photographer that is worth listening too.  Try to put aside one’s own brand loyalties and come to understand it is not what about what you own that determines how good you are as a photographer.  It is not about switching but really about what works for the photographer as opposed to what impression your gear leaves.


Raw Power by Gentlemen Coders – Evolved To A Level Of Perfection

I know I write about a lot of different softwares and honestly quite a few of them are pretty darn good.  Some are not quite so good.  I can write about them because I own them or subscribe to them and I do that because I have the time to do that which a lot of other wonderful folks do not.  So while I find almost everything I use helpful in furthering the look of my raw and / or Jpeg images, every once in a while one program will stand out as exceptional.

What makes a program or app exceptional in my mind is the quality it brings to an image and how simple it works to achieve that quality.  While some programs are the perverbial kitchen sink, others are meat and potatoes and truthfully working with the down to earth meat and potatoe software and app without feeling I have to dive into all the multitude of effects and layers which usually result in less than desirable image quality or image looks.  However that does not mean I do not mean that I shall not use features of other programs once I have established a really good base image.

But for the everyday meat and potatoe processing of an image I now have one program that fits the bill.  It lets me make incredible adjustments that bring me to a finished product quickly, simply, and elegantly without spending needless hours.

That product as I am sure you can tell my the title of this blog post is Raw Power and I have watched its development for over a year now for both my Apple Macintosh and Apple IPad 10.5 and have to say that right now, today, Nik Bhatt, formerly the developer of Apple Aperture has announced the birth of version 2.0

The additions he has added to an already incredible processing engine or way beyond expectations and has now made this program one of the easiest to use, most powerful raw and other format processor at the top of the image processing game.

Just to be clear I have no business relationship with Gentlemen Coders or Nik Bhatt or for that matter even a personal relationship.  I am simply a customer of the company and have taken the time to use and watch and enjoy the development of this software.


Gentlemen Coders Logo

RAW Power 2.0 for iOS and Mac Now Available

Edit on Mac, continue on iOS. Same adjustments, same exceptional RAW processing.
On Mac, view multiple parts of your disk at the same time with the new tabbed file browser. Edit multiple images at the same time too!
Presets come to iOS, along with five new adjustments for both Mac and iOS. New space-saving design on iOS allows you to collapse and reorder adjustments to make the most of your screen.
On iOS, work with multiple images at once. Apply presets and adjustments, revert your edits, or make high quality JPEG previews for RAWs.
On Mac, you can also batch apply presets or adjustments. In addition, export multiple images with custom size and naming options.

New RAW Power 2.0:

  • Free update. iOS includes a new in-app purchase for some of the new adjustments.
  • Demo videos of the 2.0 features on YouTube
  • Tons of other improvements including:
    • Improved sharing on iOS to the Photos app
    • Additional Metadata on Mac including a map for images with GPS
    • Full Dark Look on macOS Mojave
Learn more on our website



Portrait exhibit casts light on women’s underrecognized military service – The Washington Post

Grounded by injuries, an Air Force combat photographer turns her lens on fellow veterans.
— Read on

Celebrate women every day. Remember and admire their contributions to the world we live in and learn everything you can about too many unrecognized achievements.

RAW Doesn’t Make You Better

This is a pretty spot on article about raw vs. jpeg images.  It does not say not to use raw but it does take the position that jpeg files today are a lot better than when the digital age became a part of our imaging lives.

It is an interesting read.


I read something yesterday that bothered me. A really talented photographer, who has a blog that I like to read sometimes, posted an article stating that the number one thing you can do to improve …

Source: RAW Doesn’t Make You Better

She Was A Great And Perfect Example On Fighting To Live A Life

This was Calise, our beautiful Calico Cat.  She was about 21 years old and she arrived at my wife’s parents house when she was about 6 months old on Halloween.  As candy was being handed out to the neighborhood kids she was on the front steps with them but no one claimed her so she was instantly adopted by my in-laws, who have saved cats and dogs from danger for years.  Calise immediately became the Alpha cat, taking control of the other cats and dogs.

She had medical problems like diabetes and she got insulin twice a day for years and she had debilitating arthritis in her back legs and hips but she was a trooper and a wonderful example of doing everything to live her life.  She managed to work through all of her problems with the goal of bringing happiness to all of those who were fortunate enough to engage her.  When my father in law had passed away we adopted their cats including Calise.

Just the day before she had managed to summon the strength to come out to the living room where she got into her little pink bed that had her favorite toy in it and eventually made her way back to the bedroom where she stayed.  She had a whole bedroom to herself.

We did what we could to make her last days comfortable realizing that her time was near.  She had placed herself a little bit under a bed in her room and there she stayed. Ramona covered her with a small blanket to keep her warm.  Our Jack Russel, Ginger had crawled under the bed to be with her and I laid on the floor nearby letting her know I was there.  When she passed Ginger gave out a low cry and moan and stayed with her for quite a while.

All of us, Ramona, Ginger and I will miss this superstar.  We love you Calise and now you are with Ramona’s parents and free from all your ills.