Introducing Vulture Equipment Works!

August 3rd, 2013 by Clay Cook

The biggest and the baddest military grade camera straps on the market today. Designed to carry insane loads far outside camera and lens weights, it may resemble more like rock climbing gear then a camera strap. But, just know that your camera is secure and isn’t going anywhere. This is Vulture Equipment Works. Here is a quick look into the A2 and A4 Camera Straps!

Phottix Mitros TTL Flash for Nikon Review

July 30th, 2013 by John Adkins
Phottix Mitros TTL Flash for Nikon

There is a new kid in town, the Phottix Mitros TTL flash and if you’re in the market for a good, TTL flash for your Nikon (or Canon) camera and don’t want pay the equivalent of a high-end car payment, then this is definitely an option to consider.

Ever since Phottix released the Mitros for Canon, I’ve been frothing at the mouth to try the Nikon version out which is now on the market.  Why?  Because (as many of you may know) I’m a die hard Nikon fan, especially their flashes and CLS system, so when another flash came out on the market claiming to work seamlessly with the CLS system for considerably less cash, I’ll admit my curiosity peaked.  The good folks at Outdoor Photo Gear got a few in and gave me one to run through the ringer, so this is my review…

Macro Shadows – Don’t Forget To Look Up

July 29th, 2013 by Mike Moats

If you would like a few unique close-up images, just keep your eyes looking upwards into the leaf canopy of the trees on a sunny day. Most macro photographers are to busy scanning the ground for subjects while all kinds of these macro shadows are waiting to be photographed over head.

This first image is of a nice alignment of Sycamore leaves. I spotted the shadow on the large leaf, and then looked up a little higher and saw the small leaf that was creating the shadow. The small leaf also had some nice backlighting which made the veins pop.

Using Keywords in Lightroom Effectively

July 23rd, 2013 by Robert Rodriguez Jr.


Last week I got an email from a major magazine editor looking for a very specific image of a Hudson Valley location. They needed it that same day since it was their deadline for publication. I knew I had several images they could use, but had no idea when I had shot them, nor did I have much time to search manually. But, I did have the specific location keyworded – Poets Walk – a Scenic Hudson Park. A quick search brought up a hand full of images, and I was able to select and send 4 for consideration.

The whole process probably took me 10 mins tops. Not only did they choose and use an image, but they also were impressed with my quick and efficient response. And similar scenarios have occurred many times over the years, so I’m a firm believer in taking the time to keep my archive organized.

While there are many different ways to organize and keep track of images in Lightroom, one of the most powerful is through the use of keywords. Similar to tags in other applications, keywords are single words or phrases that you assign to an image that allow you to sort and find your images in the future. This increases your efficiency and helps manage your catalog, especially as it continues to grow.

5 Essential Photo Apps for Your Phone

July 18th, 2013 by PetaPixel

5 Essential Photo Apps for Your Phone IMG 3279

The smartphone has not only revolutionized the way we live but also completely altered the landscape of modern photography. If you have any doubts just go to a concert and try to see past the ocean of glowing screens snapping shots or filming their own shaky and out of focus rendition of the show.

Yes, pretty much everybody on the street has a camera on them at all times thanks to their phone. But accessibility is just the surface. If you truly want to see how phones are changing the world of photography you have to look at the apps.

People Are Amazed At This Macro Shot!

July 17th, 2013 by Mike Moats

When I exhibit at my art shows each weekend, I have one image that I place in an area of the booth toward the front, so customers passing by with not miss it.  This macro image of dew drops with a flower inside of them always draws a crowd of people in amazement, and the big question is, “did you Photoshop the flower into the drops?“.

How To Photograph Woodpeckers – Video

July 16th, 2013 by Clay Cook

 In this second installment… from the setup to the snap of the shutter, Alan Murphy provides some handy tips on how to capture amazing imagery. This time, its all about the Woodpecker!


Hi, I’m Alan Murphy. I’m in a backyard in Kentucky, doing some woodpecker photography. I’d like to share with you my tips and tricks for getting some great images. We’re going to be going over where within your property do you set up. We’re going to talk about the backgrounds in relation to the sun angle. We’re going to be looking at how you choose the right perch and what foods to use to control the situation and attract the woodpeckers to come in. So come join me as I show you how to set this all up so that we can get some great images of woodpeckers.

An important part of good backyard bird photography is going to be the quality of your perch, so what we’re going to be looking for is something that has character, such as lichens, moss, mushrooms, fungi, or some interesting bark. These are typically found in some dark forest areas on the ground, usually in areas that have been flooded or have some moisture to them. We’re going to go find one now, so why don’t you come join me and we’ll go do that.

Okay. So I found a couple of perches that we’re going to bring out and take a closer look at, and I think these will work really well. All right. So I found a few different options here. We’ve got different diameter stumps. We’ve got this kind of medium diameter, which is going to be great for Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers, and you can see that there are a lot of moss and lichen growing on this one and lots of little nubs and little branches sticking out, so this is going to work out great. Now, we also have a larger diameter stump that has a lot of beautiful moss growing on it, and got these little ferns growing on here, and this is going to turn out to be a beautiful woodpecker stump. And, of course, then we have something completely different, that we have more of a bare branch, but this has a lot of lichens on it and some fungi, and this can also make a

Eight Principles of Nature Photography

July 12th, 2013 by Robert Rodriguez Jr.


I’m at the Omega Institute teaching a sold out week long workshop “Nature Photography and the Art of Seeing.” This is truly a privilege for me as I have always wanted to combine the concepts of mindfulness and photography—how what we focus on and what we’re aware of at any given moment shapes our approach to photography. This is especially true in nature where all that matters is you and your thoughts.

As part of my opening remarks to the students, I explained my 8 principles of nature photography which I recently put together. Of course this is not an authorative list for all situations and all photographers, but for the purposes and goals of the workshop, I think it was important to share. And most of all I truly believe in and try to practice each of these daily in my own photography. I hope they provide some insight and perspective for you.

How To Photograph Finches

July 11th, 2013 by Clay Cook

We’ve all seen the awesome imagery that Alan Murphy creates. In this special video, from the setup to the snap of the shutter, Alan provides some handy tips on how to capture the perfect shot. His subject? The American Goldfinch.


Hi. I’m Alan Murphy. I’m here in a Kentucky backyard doing some goldfinch photography, and my goal is to try to get some goldfinches on something as pretty as this flower or perhaps on this teasel. So I’m going to share with you some of my tips and tricks to do that. So come join me. All right. So we’re at our setup now, and as you can see, this looks like a mess. But there’s a reason. I’m going to go through this with you. First of all, we chose this location for the background. If you can see, we have these distant trees right out there which are going to be a nice, beautiful green setting for the birds landing on our perches.

So the first thing we want to do is we want to remove any hanging poles that you may have. So we don’t want our birds landing up there. We want to completely control where they’re going to land. So we want to support the feeders from underneath. So you can use anything, a tall box or a ladder, as I have here. It’s not pretty, but it’s not going to be in the image, so I don’t have to worry about that. What’s very important is the height of the feeders in relation to the perches. So in this case, you really want your perches to be a little bit lower than the actual food source. Because what’s going to happen is the birds are going to come in. They want to get to the food. We’re going to control that, and they’re eventually going to flutter around and hopefully pop down on our flowers that we have set up. So that’s a very important thing.

The next thing we do is we tape off all the feeder ports, and what I’ve used here is just some Scotch tape. I’m just taking some strips. So it’s still visible, so the birds can see the seed, and they think they can get to it. But we’ve taped it off so they can’t get it. But you want to leave

Mastering Lightroom Catalogs Part II – Mobile Catalogs

July 8th, 2013 by Robert Rodriguez Jr.

One of the most common and useful functions of Lightroom catalogs is using them to create temporary or mobile catalogs that you use while traveling. For example, when I go on a photo trip, I will create a new catalog on my laptop that I’ll use to import, rate, keyword, and develop images that I shoot while on the trip. When I return home, I usually want to add those images back to my main or master catalog, but retain all of the editing work I’ve done on the laptop.

Exporting and Importing Catalogs

The easiest and most complete way to move images from one catalog to another is to use Lightroom’s ability to export and import images as complete catalogs. This also works if moving from Mac to PC or visa versa. Here are the steps to follow to move images from your laptop back to your main computer. You’ll need some type of portable storage like a USB Drive or hard drive to make the transfer. (IF you used a portable hard drive with your laptop while on your trip to store your catalog AND RAW files, this is even easier, and you can skip steps 1 and 2.)

  1. In the mobile catalog on your laptop, select “Export Catalog” from the File Menu.
  2. In the next dialog, choose a name for your new temporary catalog, then choose your destination – either a portable hard drive or USB drive.
  3. At the bottom of the window, make sure to uncheck “Selected Files Only”, BUT check “Export RAW negative files”. This is critical!