Last summer I was fortunate to have some unusual visitors to my back yard. We had a cicada invasion, and the insects were crawling up out of the ground and making their usual racket. Siting in my office, I thought I saw a dog run across the clearing. On further inspection, it was Great Horned Owl! To add to my surprise, two juvenile owls waddled out of the underbrush. All three were after the tasty morsels emerging from their sleep.
Seeing a Geat Horned Owl around these parts is rare, and having two juveniles on the ground in one's own yard even rarer. I knew I had to get to work, for this might be a fleeting moment.
"Before that Nat Geo spread you could have this whole place to yourself … now just look at it!"
Our friends at Digital Photo Experience, Rick Sammon and Juan Pons, have judged the best caption for our contest, and picked Tom Twigg's caption above. Lucky ( and creative) Tom gets his choice of NEOS Overshoes!
We're leaving all the entries up for your reading pleasure. This contest was a blast, and we'll repeat it with a new image in the future!
Congratulations to Tom, thanks to Rick and Juan, and thanks to Martin Bailey for such a fine image!
The spot removal tool in Lightroom has to be one of my favorite features. With Adobe adding this tool, I can now spend more time in Lightroom than in Photoshop, increasing my workflow and my productivity.
The spot removal tool looks like a big O with an arrow pointing to the right. It can be found in the Develop panel, in between the crop tool and the red eye tool. When clicked, you will see an option to Clone or Heal the spot. You can also adjust the size of the area and the opacity you want to use for the removal. Typically I use "Heal" and adjust the other sliders to match the spot. The really nice part of this tool is that Lightroom will try to fix the spot on its own by finding a matching area! However, if the fix is bad you can just drag and drop the matching area to find one that works. Simple, right? It really is!
Go on any photowalk, attend any workshop, or just put several photographers in the same room, and inevitably, what happens? Fanatical debate and banter on subjects such as gear (camera bodies, lenses, tripods), workflow (Lightroom vs Aperture, CS3 v. CS4), or philosophical topics (Is photography art?, to HDR or to not HDR, convergence between video and stills) and so on.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for all of these topics. Nevertheless, sometimes we as photographers become so entrenched in our position and defense thereof, that we lose focus (pun intended) of more important matters.
With the winter upon us on the northern hemisphere I am always looking for ways to stay warm while being able to operate my camera effectively. Recently I have been using these new gloves and they have quickly become one of my recent favorite photo accessories. The Sensory Gloves from Aquatech are comfortable, waterproof and have a breathable outer shell, but they have one very innovative feature that make them perfect for the photographer. Watch this quick video review to find out.
If you are interested in getting your own pair, head on over to our store
Think back to when you were a kid, heading to school in the snow or rain.
Your mom dressed you up to look like that poor little kid in Christmas Story, including horrendous, floppy black galoshes. You just knew that the other kids would make fun of your big floppy rubber boots.
Things have changed dramatically today. Galoshes, renamed overshoes, have gone hi-tech. Gone are the slippery soles, the big ugly buckles and the floppy rubber. Modern material, grippy soles and a tight fit take their place. New overshoes fit like shoes, are easy to walk in, and most importantly, keep your feet warm and dry.
The best overshoes we’ve seen are made by NEOS, a company that makes both consumer and industrial footwear. Their “uppers” are made from waterproofed Denier nylon (think high-end backpacks) and their soles are lugged just like your favorite hiking boot. They are pretty snazzy-looking too!
NEOS come in insulated and non-insulated styles. The non-insulated overshoes at 20º of warmth to your feet and the insulated styles add 40º. The NEOS Navigator even has a 5” gaiter you can extend out of top of the boot for deep snow.
These new NEOS overshoes are high-tech and dare we say, even fashionable. You won’t have the big kids teasing you anymore with these.
You can check out the NEOS overshoe line in the Store here: NEOS
This past Sunday I drove down to Nashville to take in Imaging USA, the PPA's (Professional Photographers of America) annual photo expo. I was fortunate to have the show so close to home. Unlike the CES and PMA shows which cater to photo dealers, this show is for consumers, namely professional photographers.
I went to the show as a dealer, looking for new products to carry (found some good stuff–you will see it in the store soon) and to meet with suppliers, but I also went as a consumer, as all the big boys were there–Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji etc. As a Canon shooter, I was in consumer mode as I got to try out the 1D Mark IV.
I found it interesting that some of the big camera manufacturers like Canon will not be at the dealer oriented PMA, but were still at the consumer oriented Imaging USA.
When December rolls in the cold weather here in the north I start getting excited to shoot abstracts in ice. The first ice is when these abstracts form. I find small streams in the woods where I live and follow the edges in search of this interesting artwork. It happens in the first ice formations at the edges of the streams. As the ice starts to thicken you lose the patterns. I shoot these using a longer focal length macro lens like the Tamron 180mm. You will be shooting from the bank and need the extra reach of the longer focal length. I shoot these in the highest f/stops to bring in all the details. Very cool stuff.
Scott Wyden works for for Mack Camera & Video Service, and has seen his share of interesting repairs. Scott lends his repair perspective in this article about camera protection.
How should I store my camera? Is an expensive bag worth the money? What if I get caught in the rain?
All of these questions are things you may ask yourself after buying a new camera or going on a shooting trip. I'm here to speak from the point of view of the repair part of the photography industry. I believe that you get what you pay for! But, purchasing a high end digital camera with weather seals does not necessarily mean that your camera will be totally safe from the environment. A small amount of rubber here and there will not keep your baby protected from the sand and water. Protecting your camera from the environment is the first step in caring for your camera properly.