every so often everyone needs to move away from the norms of their lives and take a break – here is a break you should not miss
Every once in a while I use my computer for things that are not photography related and this video below happens to be one that my wife directed me to. I watched this very young and talented young lady and she absolutely mesmerized me.
In the end I not only watched this video but quite a few of her in other videos performing very diverse acts with very diverse characters and voices. I just could not stop watching and I have to say, she made my evening.
So stop looking at images for a while. Shut off the TV set and spend some time with this young lady. Not only should you watch this video but the others of her that get streamed on Youtube.
Apple announced High Sierra, the next version of their macOS, at the Worldwide Developer Conference last week. The final version will be available later th
*About the author: Thom Hogan is a photographer and author of over three dozen books that combined have sold over a million copies worldwide. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work and words on his website. This article was also published here.
I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have smashed my camera and lens against something. I have had zoom lenses stop zooming, prime lenses get stuck on my camera, and even worse I have seen lens mounts bend and / or go out of alignment. All of this because I wanted to always have my camera and lens at the ready so I would not miss the shot.
Of course like most other people I had a camera bag or backpack and when the day started out the camera gear I wanted to shoot with for the day was safely tucked away until I got to where I wanted to go. It could have been the streets of Washington DC or a local forest like Prince William Park or Shenandoah National Park or sometimes even at a studio shoot. When I got to where I was going I would pull the camera and lens choice, sling the combination across my chest so I could easily grab them to get the shot. And there is where it stayed for the duration.
It was always without fail that as I hiked through the woods that my camera would slam against a tree. It was always without fail that while getting into my car the camera would be slammed on when I closed thecar door. It was always without fail that as I walked the city street and decided to go into a store for a coffee that I would slam the camera into the door jamb.I knew better so why did I not do better. Having worked for Nikon I used to hear the stories told my pro photographers (photo journalists) who were running through the halls of congress or in the white house getting their great gear slammed into door jams and some even described the shock and awe of seeing their lenses in pieces lying on the floor next to them because the lens separated from the mount. These are real facts. Too often I got to see the end and expensive results. Impossible to repair lenses and expensive lens mount replacements. And let’s fave facts. Nikon cameras were built like tanks but most cameras today are not.
Over the years I have tried way too many camera bags and carry solutions. I have invested tons of cash on bags and straps of all types from a great many manufacturers but virtually none of them really provided me with the safety my expensive camera gear deserves while still giving me the ability to quickly get to my camera, get the shot and put the camera back in a place of relative safety. That is until I came across a not very well known company called Cosyspeed that was founded by a German entrepreneur named Thomas Ludwig.
Camslinger bags come in several shapes and forms but the overall concept is the same no matter which version of the bag you decide to purchase. I have the Streetomatic Pus which was designed with the street photographer in mind or for that matter the urban dwellers. The video is about a new bag that is coming to market in July.
The CAMSLINGER Outdoor is a camera bag designed for quick, one-handed access just like the Streetomatic. “You need just 1 hand & 1 second to open the bag and grab your cam. It’s almost as quick as a sling strap, but provides the safety of a bag against bumps and rain. This 1 hand/1 second concept makes the CAMSLINGER the fastest camera bag in the world. You can wear the CAMSLINGER Outdoor super comfy at the hip or as a sling bag over your shoulder. It fits all kinds of Mirrorless Cameras, mid-sized DSLRs and Superzooms.”
If you like to go hiking, climbing, cycling, motor biking, horseback riding or simply traveling. And you want to have your cam at the ready within a second, but safe against rain and bumps at the same time? Then the COSYSPEED CAMSLINGER Outdoor is without any doubt in my mind the perfect camera bag for you!
Put in your Mirrorless, mid-sized DSLR or Superzoom and hit the trail. The CAMSLINGER Outdoor is incredibly fast when it comes to getting out your camera and lens for the perfect shot you should never have to miss. Quick accessible, super comfy and super safe.
If you want all the details about this great carry method then click on this link. Link
Manuel Martel has created some very educational tutorials on how to use Picktorial software there truly show you how easy it is to use and just how powerful it can be if you need it to be. There are four individual videos on this blog
At one time, not long ago Apple had a pretty great program called Aperture which due to unknown reasons Apple discontinued. Loyal users have continued to use the program but as systems change for Apple, the support for Aperture is rapidly disappearing.
Fortunately other developers have stepped up to fill the void. Some are just so so and others are okay, but one has come to the forefront and is proving itself to be exceptional. The name of that program is Picktorial 3.0
What is it?
Picktorial has its own raw processing engine that works with a lot of raw formats from a great many different manufacturers. (to date 536 cameras are supported) If it does not yet have a specific camera represented in its own raw engine (which I have not found yet)it can use those provided within the Apple system software.
I like software that does not get in my way. Picktorial does not get in the way. The more simplified the interface the better and Picktorial does not disappoint. Everything you need is at your finger tips and with just a click can be opened or closed depending on what you need to do. This keeps the interface very clean and simple.
There are the standard universal adjustments
That means there are sliders for all the tone controls including white balance, exposure, contrast, clarity, black, whites, shadows, and highlights. They are all extremely accurate with very effective micro movements for precise adjustments. There are tone curve adjustments which are really easy to use, as well as color adjustment sliders for adjusting hue, saturation, and luma of each individual color. All of these adjustment are extremely smooth and accurate.
There are also additional features that allow the use of overlays, frames, that have opacity sliders and transitions. There are also controls for activating a large variety of presets.
Local adjustments via brushes, gradients, called “retouch” include:
All tone controls, smoothing, sharpening, defocusing, denoising and patching. What does local adjustment mean? it means that I can work on very specific areas of a photo and apply any of the above from the smallest spot to the largest area. One of my favorites for portraits is called smoothingand that allows you to do perfect skin retouching.
All of the retouching options get applied as a mask using a brush, linear gradient, or radial gradient, so you can work on specific areas of an image as opposed to simply using universal corrections. It is a learning process but I can tell you after working with all kinds of other software that the learning curve takes minutes as opposed to hours.
An interesting feature of the retouch control panel is when it comes to sharpening. Most programs I have used have a separate drop down slider control for applying universal sharpening. In the case of sharpening of Picktorial you can sharpen individual areas or you can apply a full image mask which acts more as a universal sharpening technique.
Other programs I have used have a feature called layers. This does not exist to my knowledge within Picktorial. What is allowed however which is similar to a layer is that to during retouch you can click on a plus marker which allows doing a variety of areas in an image to accomplish a specific set of tasks. It is actually very efficient. Truthfully if I have been able to master it any one can.
This program is most certainly designed for all levels of photographers and it should be noted that it is not only for raw files. It works quite well on all types of files. I have even tested it with my Iphone files and it did an exceptional job. I will state again and again that a great deal of effort has gone into this software to work with Fuji X files which have been challenging for other software and Picktorial has truly perfected the processing of these types of files.
A final note is a compliment to the owner and staff of Pictorial for their ability to respond pretty much in one day or less to consumer questions and possible issues. Kudos to all of them.
Again simplicity. The root file system of the Mac handles your files. Using the built-in structure is something that all Mac users know how to use. You can import just one image or a folder of images and all you have to do is drag and drop it to the left side window of the program and all of your images will appear at the bottom of the program for fast easy selection. No magic here. It just works.
Raw files when saved have an .xmp file created with all of the changes made to an image and can travel along with images right in the same folders. If a jpeg is saved then all of the data is embedded in that jpeg file. So whenever you go back to an image all your changes are there.
Me and My Canon Selphy 1200 Printer – And How It And I Got Together To Create A Memorable Relationship
As some of you know I have written several articles (some say too many) about how important it is to make prints of some of the wonderful images you have been fortunate to have captured that in some ways represent your own personal life. I am not just talking about pictures of friends and family. I am also thinking about the places you have been and the things you have done for which you created some kind of photographic record.
It seems like it was a very long time ago that I began making prints from digital images. Sure I had a darkroom where I developed films and then printed from the negatives, but that was different. it was different because the record was either a negative piece of film that really did not say a lot and of course there were transparencies (slides) which had to be projected to be seen or held up to a light source. But digital images opened up a whole new say of seeing our images, our memories. We could see them on our computer screens and because images are ones and zeros can store a lot of them on our computers, our phones, and other devices. The problem is for most people, they will probably see them two or three times and then they will be forgotten, A picture, a memory on some form of paper that can be looked at, touched, hung on walls, stored in albums, walked past as the picture sits on a table or hangs on a wall will be there to bring back happy times, people, memories.
When I began to print digital images I was working for Nikon. Because Nikon as well as other companies had brought to market “affordable” digital single lens and point and shoot cameras did not mean that consumer photo labs were ready to print them. They were not. So Nikon gave all the reps Epson printers to demo at camera stores and at lectures to show how easy it was to print your own photographs right at home. We were printing 8×10 prints (8.5×11) in store and helped to create a huge market for Epson and Canon printers. Later on I bought large format printers (13×19, 17×20, 16×20 etc) and was able to bring my handy work to camera stores to show just how large and just how high resolution large format prints could be and you could do it at home.
Now let’s jump ahead. Like so many other folks out there in this day and age you can get digital images printed almost anywhere. You can get really big prints from many labs. I have been known to go to great camera stores like District Camera in my neighborhood and load images into a kiosk and get back incredible prints, inexpensive prints of a whole days shooting.
But there are days when I do not want to make that trip to the store, especially if I only have two or three images I want to print. I no longer care about large prints because let”s face it, there is only so much wall space and really all I want to do is have a picture of something that had meaning to me at the time I shot it.
Enter stage left or stage right is the Canon Selphy printer. It is small, wireless but can be usb connected, prints 4×5 prints with great color and sharpness. You can also get a battery for it if you want to be totally portable. It can print from your phone, your computer and virtually through any software. What I like the most is how handy it is and how fast I can set it up. The prints are more expensive than those you’ll get from a local lab but for the immediacy it is worth the few extra pennies.
This printer gives me the opportunity to print images that I can put hands on so easily, hang on walls, put them in albums and preserve important memories. I am over joyed at how good the color is and how fast I can get a print.
Stop dumping everything into the digital world where you upload and then forget the good times of your life because you never really go back to access them. Nothing replaces the esthetic value of a print on paper.
Make your memories something that you can not on look back on but something you can also share with others without searching the digital universe to find them.
This is sad. The video from Cnn reports a very serious issue that didn’t just happen. Those of us who have visited this wonderful place have been aware of the problem for a long time and have watched the island “disappear” over the years. The same holds true for Smith Island which is a nice boat ride away and is known for the best crab cakes in the region.
I was first introduced to Tangiers and Smith Island byBill and Linda Lanewhen I went on my first photography workshop. Later on after retiring from Nikon I took students of my own to Tangiers for workshops as well. I am so glad the Lanes introduced me to these great places and the great people who live there. They are still doing workshops on the island and I strongly recommend you take it.
The only way to get their is chartering a boat or taking a wonderful ferry ride. It is a lot less expensive going by Ferry and based on my experiences a lot more relaxing but slower. If you wanted to get to Smith Island you would also need to take a boat.
I should note that Tangiers does have a small airstrip as well
Below is a video from Bill and Linda Lane’s workshops.
and a video from some of the islands folks. Great listen
A CNN crew visits the tiny island of Tangier, Virginia, which could be washed off the map within the next two decades. Less than 100 miles from Washington D.C., rising sea level and erosion are placing this island and its 450 residents on the front lines of climate change.
What Happened To Turn Your Really Great Camera Into A Piece Of Crap – in your mind?
Actually more than likely not a darn thing
Before I even get started I shall admit to everyone that I too am a part of the problem and that there truly is a problem. Guilty. Myself and many others always want the shiniest and most advanced products being offered and can easily justify why they have to drop big bucks in order to be “ahead of the curve” what ever that curve may be,
I certainly understand why we all tend to think that newer is better. I understand that technological advances in camera sensors and computer technology in the cameras can make differences in performance, but I have to question just how much of a difference makes a difference in the overall photography that the majority of us do.
Just to be clear, I am not against purchasing the latest and greatest and I have friends who do just that. Perhaps if was still making 16×20 or larger prints like they do, which I used to do often, I would be overjoyed at owning a very high megapixel camera that would allow pulling details from a file for such larger prints much less painful. Perhaps if my personal images were very poorly shot (and they are not) and I needed to do major cropping and tonal corrections I would find higher megapixel a benefit. Or maybe I would need an incredibly high frame rate if I was a sports photographer or wildlife photographer or a photo journalist desiring to capture the most decisive moment of the action in the scene. This all speaks to very specific needs and to fulfill those important needs in many cases the technology advances in cameras for some are a must.
But for the majority of people involved in photography either as a profession or a hobby or for simply recording everyday moments of their lives it is my personal opinion that most technology is of no benefit to the final image and will not make a significant difference. That goes for all kinds of imaging devices whether they be a dSlr, mirrorless, compact, or phone. Perhaps one point of clarity is that the better the glass in front of the sensor the better the imaging sensor will be able to produce a more refined image.
I wrote above that I was guilty. In the past, but not anymore I was one of the great many people that had to have the newest and the greatest. It cost me and others a lot of money to keep up with the technology and perhaps when digital cameras first appeared as a consumer item there was a reason for that. I think the same was also true when it came to owning the latest and greatest computers. The more power the better. 🙂
So how did I get to the point of writing this blog article? I have reached a nice stage of life where what I own I consider sufficient to do the things photographically that i want to accomplish whether that be printing large, enhancing an image, or stopping action as it happens. Today I went for neighborhood walk. I strapped on my Cosyspeed Streetwalker plus + camera bag which hold my small Fuji Xt1 with an 18-55 zoom attached and a prime lens next to it, a couple of cards and a couple of batteries and my iPhone 6 plus. After walking a couple miles with one of my best friends, my Jack Russel named Ginger, and having shot about twenty images I uploaded the SD card to my computer and processed some of those images. I can honestly say that I am not able to see where these images are any better or worse than what I could shoot with my 24mp sensor camera (Fuji X pro 2).
I have three cameras that I work with. A Fuji X100s fixed lens camera (actually given to me recently), a 2014 Fuji Xt1 (16mp) and a Fuji X pro 2 (24mp) If there is a question in your mind as to why I kept the 16mp Xt-1 after buying the more advanced Fuji X pro 2 it was to have a back up body available should something go wrong with the Fuji X pro 2. Having a back up camera has been one of my “things” for as long as i can remember, and in this case also led me writing this article. There are megapixel as well as structural differences between the X Pro 2 and the Xt1 and the one that is most important to me is the articulating monitor on the Xt1 which was a feature left off of the X pro 2.
Had the X pro 2 never been introduced with the 24mp sensor I would not have missed it. Knowing what I know today, for my shooting and processing purposes i would have not traded up to the X Pro 2. I love the X pro 2 and hindsight is just that. The X Pro 2 remains my primary camera because I own it and the XT1 has actually resurfaced as a primary camera as well because it is terrific.
But what you have to think about before putting down big bucks for an updated camera body is whether or not it is necessary for your photography pursuits. If it just to make you feel all warm inside of having the latest and greatest then take a deep breath before performing the act. Maybe you would be better off with a better optic, a more advanced electronic flash unit, or maybe putting the cash towards a terrific photography workshop. If it not going to truly enhance your photography because it is more technically advanced then you probably can do without it.
As many of my readers know, Picktorial 3.0 has become my main image processing software for my Fuji X files on my Mac computers. The video below is how to use Luminosity along with normal editing to achieve incredible results.
For the sake of your images and your time spent in getting them to look they way you want I cannot stress enough how easy it is to work in Picktorial 3.0
Being a Fuji X photographer, I find myself drawn to other’s who have the same passion as I do for the Fuji X pro series.
Adam Bonn is one of those photographers that I have been following for a couple of years and have found his blog which is about photography and primarily his experiences with the Fuji X Pro camera models inspiring and educational and quite honest. I say honest because sometimes getting an honest appraisal from a fan boy, which Adam is not, is hard to do.
Adam truly gets down to brass tacks and his likes as well as his dislikes are evident in all of his articles. As a person who had worked for a major camera company for over 30 years and who kept on honest perspective of the gear I represented, I can appreciate Adam’s Blog. His blog is a deep breath of fresh air. He can get technical at times but for the most part he is pretty down to earth. 🙂
And by the way, you can find Adams full blog here – Adam Bonn
For those of us who made the very early investments in Nik Software and paid about 600.00 for it should not be surprised. When the assholes at Google first bought the Nik technology it was pretty obvious that all they really wanted was “Snapseed” which was a image editing app for Ios and Android.
For me at least and I am sure a great many other users there was no doubt that the future of Nik’s incredible software was doomed.
Like other tech companies that are out there, the purchase of a company like Nik is to get the rights to their software because it competes with their own products. So buy the company, suck it dry and then dump it.
And here we are. If you have it then get the most you can out of it before it no longer works on our favorite platforms and hope that other companies come along to fill the gap. But I doubt we shall see another product with control point technology which made localized image editing so easy for those of us who are not Photoshop gurus.
While this was anticipated from Google, I have to admit that they kind of took their time in ending it. So kudos for the extended time Google offered and fuck Google for sticking it to the all of us who loved the product.
According to its website, Google will stop providing updates for its Nik Collection suite of plug-in photo editing tools. Read more
Like many others who love photography, when something new, different, but not that different comes along the excitement level elevates and the must have buttons get pushed and only intense self control saves your relationships. In the case of medium format that I shot years ago when film was everywhere, the larger size negatives were pretty desirable.
But with Medium format digital, a photographer really has to think a lot more than just twice about the many thousands of dollars that a system would cost. I mean some folks could by a nice Harley, or small car for the same amount of money.
This opinion article from a pretty respected author really breaks down the why and why not of making a medium format decision. As much as I love my Fuji X system gear, and as much as all my buttons got pushed heavily with the introduction of the Fuji GFX medium format gear, common sense prevailed as well my budget and now I am even happier about that after reading this article.
But it is not just about Fuji medium format. It is also about all the others that are out there as well.
I hope you find the author’s article as enlightening as I did.
Recent medium format digital announcement has turned a lot of heads, and for good reason. However, some of us are less excited than others. Technical Editor Rishi Sanyal explains why he’s not quite convinced. Read more
It can hang off your belt and is always ready to record your life and the world around you and it starts at $400.00 smackers. It is tiny but packed with science fiction technology. WATCH THIS WHOLE LONG VIDEO.
DJI is promising “something huge” at this morning’s “Seize the Moment” event in New York City. More than likely, that big thing will come in a small package. The often secretive drone…
Picktorial, as so many of you now know is my favorite raw processor especially for my Fuji X raw files on my Macintosh computers.
Picktorial as a stand alone program has incredible power but like other programs also has the ability to use great plug in apps like those from Google Nik.
Watch this video to see just how easy it is to use in programs of your choice such as Lightroom, Photoshop, On1, and so many others. By simply accessing the software you can make changes, save changes which automatically go right back into Picktorial as a separate and new version of your file.
This article from DPREVIEW helps to break down the complex nature of electronic shutters and their interaction with sensors. For those who care this reference material can be very educational and explain some of the issues that affect your images both still and video.
Whether you’re syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or getting strange images from your camera’s silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. Here’s what happens when you press the shutter button. Read more
Nikon’s Year: Digging Into the Latest Financial Results in 2017 – Article by a man who truly knows Nikon – Thom Hogan, the man Nikon should have been listening to
There were a small number of years where Nikon disappointed me when I worked for them. 33 years They were always at the top of their game when it came to camera and lens technology and were no slouches in the medical end of the business. They were a technologically ahead of the curve and really understood what their customers wanted and while like any other smart company were able to balance their customers needs with profit needs.
But the report from ByThom is indeed very dark and upsetting for a company that so many looked up to for so many years.
I think the customer base, which is far from small looked on in shock at some of the products Nikon has been delivering or failing to deliver. They had some terrific fixed lens cameras which they abandoned and I personally feel would have sold at least to a good portion of existing customers. They had their 360 degree fiasco which they should have never been involved in and they refused to recognize another small but growing segment of the camera business called mirrorless.
…… It seems to me that they were getting the WRONG ADVICE, mainly from their USA arm of management who were not in tune with a changing market place like they used to be many years ago (personal opinion). it used to be that the USA arm at one time had their finger on the pulse of their customers and future customers and steered Nikon Tokyo in smart directions.
Here’s the crazy corner Nikon is in: they can claim a modest 7% increase in operating income for the fiscal year that they just finished, but had far lower
Adam writes a great blog on his experiences with Fuji X cameras but this one barely mentions Fuji. Instead it as an essay with some great images that might just inspire you to go take some creative images at a place you may have not visited in a very long time. It sure worked on me.
Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story: Part 47: The X-pro-2 Review: The Magic of……
I have been practicing photography on both a personal and professional level for over 50 years. Notice I said practicing. Each time I log into an educational piece presented by knowledgeable photo I learn something new, or get reminded of something I worked at a bunch of years ago. But one should never stop practicing, exploring and learning from others. I always can learn something pretty much every day and I worry about those who cannot. To often people carry an attitude that they know it all but you and I know that it is never the case.
So I hope you enjoy this video and learn perhaps just one thing that will make your life in photography more creative.
Always remember that your film camera or digital camera does not see the way you do and those great photographic instruments can always use your help.
Thank you for opening your home, your life, your heart to these children.
Formerly homeless, Mariuma Ben Yosef now operates Shanti House, which provides temporary housing and long-term support for homeless and at-risk youth ages 14 to 21. The program has helped 46,000 young people so far.