Introducing Tenba Black Label Bags

August 27th, 2010 by Matt Dennison

The Tenba's Black Label Collection of camera bags features exquisite tailoring details, including double-needle pleats, sculpted curves and massively yet meticulously reinforced stress points.

But the Black Label beauty is far from skin deep. Black Label bags draw on Tenba’s 33-year reputation as the ultimate professional bag, with rugged durability, working pro design, and serious practicality. And while they honor the heritage of those decades of leadership, Black Label bags are crafted from the first stitch to the last, for today’s image makers.

Check out Tenba Black label features:

Check out the Tenba’s Black Label Satchels and Shoulder Bags here.

To celebrate the arrival of this new line, we’re offering a discount code that will save you 10% off any item in our Bags & Cases category.  Just use code BAG10 at checkout.  Combined with our Free Shipping, you can save quite a bit! Code good through Tuesday, August 31st.

Storm Chasing On a Time Budget

August 25th, 2010 by Royce Howland

Editors note:  We are proud to welcome Royce Howland to the OPG blog!  Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Royce is a consultant in the IT industry and is an accomplished wildlife and landscape photographer.  Look for more articles from Royce soon in the areas of HDR and the digital darkroom.  You can learn more about Royce and view his spectacular images at his website:  Vivid Aspect Photography.

A joke about being self-employed goes like this — "Thank God it’s Friday! Only two more working days until Monday." Another one was pointed out to me by a friend — "Being self-employed, you get to work half-days. And you even get to choose which 12 hours you work!" Ha ha, only serious. As somebody with a non-photography day job and doing photography on the side, I don't always get to spend my time the way I would choose. Two serious pursuits to fit into each week, each with challenging and necessary ways to spend a lot of time… well, there are only so many hours. It's easy to get bogged down in the work of it all. But it's also important to preserve some time to focus on creativity.

On a recent weekend, I had a ton of work to accomplish and was busily chipping away at it as one of a series of powerful storm systems blew through Calgary. After taking a break to visit family on Sunday evening, on the drive home my wife and I watched huge cloud formations surrounding the city. I was tired, it was getting late, I still had more work to do, and so I figured I’d lost yet another chance to photograph some incredible stormy weather. But when we got home, I decided to set my work aside and try to do some image making given the opportunity created by the weather.

Selling wildlife photography; cute sells

August 24th, 2010 by Paul Burwell

When I was first getting involved in professional wildlife photography, one of my mentors told me something I’ve made a point of remembering. What he told me should be obvious, but like much of what should be obvious, it isn’t always that obvious until someone points it out to you. And what was this pearl of wisdom and insight that I received? It was simply…

Don’t Leave Home Without a Reflector, Diffuser or Flash

August 23rd, 2010 by Rick Sammon

Travel photographs © Rick Sammon. Fashion photograph © Vered Koshlano

This post started out as just an observation: people all around the world paint their faces. In Brazil (bottom left), the Tarino Indians paint their faces so that when they go into the rain forest, the spirits recognize them and protect them, and help them with their hunt.

My point of that post was going to be that people are basically the same all over the planet – and that experiencing different cultures is a fascinating, rewarding and wonderful learning experience.

In looking at the photographs, however, I remembered that they all had something else in common: catch light in the eyes.

Catch light helps to draw our interest to the eyes. It makes the eyes “sparkle.”

We can add catch light with a reflector or a flash – or by carefully positioning the subject so that sunlight catches the eyes.

Now you know why I never leave home without a reflector or flash.

Explore the light,


See the diffusers, reflectors and other light modification tools in the OPG Store here.

Keep up with Rick at the Digital Photo Experience.

Hoodman HoodLoupe Quick Review by Hal Schmitt

August 20th, 2010 by Juan Pons

Hal from the Digital Photo Experience gives us a quick review and recommendation on the Hoodman HoodLoupe.

See all the Hoodman Products in the store:  Hoodman

Learn more about Hal and his workshops at Light Photographic Workshops.

Video with your DSLR: Why use a Digital SLR to shoot video, The Bad

August 19th, 2010 by Juan Pons

Yesterday I wrote about some of the advantages of shooting videos with DSLRs, which hopefully gave you an idea why they have become so popular.

There are two sides to every coin, and video on DSLRs is no different. Some major drawbacks exist as a result of where we are in the evolution of these new hybrid camera systems.

Video capable DSLRs are first and foremost designed and engineered for taking still images, with video being a secondary function.  As such, you can expect manufacturers to prioritize functionality and design accordingly. Also expect any compromises that inevitably need to be made, to be made in favor of still photography.

So here are some of the areas that I feel are most challenging when shooting video with your DSLR.

Video with your DSLR: Why use a Digital SLR to shoot video, The Good

August 18th, 2010 by Juan Pons

I am amazed that there is a debate still going on about why anyone would want to use a DSLR for shooting serious video. The arguments remind me of the early days of digital photography, where many out there would argue that images NOT taken on film were not real photos. Today we know differently.

To this end I want to share with you why I shoot video with a DSLR, what I find the be the advantages and disadvantages of using what many are now referring to HDDSLRs (I personally prefer the term Video DSLR).

In this first installment I will talk about what is great about shooting video with DSLRs. Tomorrow I will follow-up with what I consider to be the shortcomings of such systems.

Think Tank Photo Modular System – Ben Wilmore

August 12th, 2010 by Matt Dennison

If you've never used a modular system for carrying your camera gear, check out this video courtesy of Think Tank Photo and presented by photographer, Photoshop author, trainer and guru of Ben Wilmore.  Ben explains how you can become more efficient, lighten your load and make taking photos while on the go, much easier.  Sweet!

You can checkout all the modular belt system options here.

If you'd like to learn more about everything Think Tank Photo has to offer you can check it out right here

Photo Editing with Less Clutter

August 6th, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of Workflow Tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

The perfect mono conversion…its so subjective and down to personal taste does it even exist? Here is my quick 3 step process to having a go.

Editing with minimal screen furniture

Editing with minimal screen furniture

Desaturate? Channel Mixer? Greyscale?

Of course there are many different ways to do a mono conversion and none of them are right or wrong. Some of you may have better or faster ways but this is the way that seems to give me the most pleasing results in a reasonable amount of time, especially for portraits.

Panoramics – when one image just isn’t enough.

August 5th, 2010 by Richard Peters

This week we're running a series of workflow tips by pro photographer Richard Peters.  Check back each day for a new tip!

When I was taking the shot below I only had my Nikon 200-400 VR with me, which even at 200mm was so long I could only get a section of the scene in frame. So, to solve the problem, I took twelve shots and stitched them together! Lets find out how I turned the mess below into something worth keeping.

All 12 shots side by side.

12 RAW shots ready to be stitched

Step one: Manual settings for all shots & overlaping each frame

The first step to creating a panoramic image is making sure the camera is set to manual so ALL the photos have the same exposure, aperture, shutter speed, white balance and focus. I have the camera in aperture priority so I can control the depth of field, I then look through the viewfinder at my first shot, use auto focus to get it where I want it (then switch it straight to manual and leave it) and check the shutter speed for my chosen aperture. I then switch to manual metering and dial in the settings the meter reading had given me. You may want to take a test shot and check your histogram to be %100 sure no exposure compensation is needed.

When you take your shots make sure you overlap each frame by around %20-30. The more overlap the more the software will have to work out the joins later, so you can do less or more but I find this amount works well. Also try to take the images in portrait orientation…its quicker to do landscape, yes…but you’ll get a higher resolution capturing the same photos needed in portrait.

You will notice the shots above have a colour miss-match. I did not have white balance set to manual as I put my hand up to being lazy and alter the white balance back on the computer. If you can use a tripod to make sure your images are %100 straight and lined up to each other then do, these were taken handheld so I had to take a mental note when doing the second row of roughly where each overlap should be.

Step two: preparing your