Tips for Using a Monopod

February 10th, 2010 by Juan A. Pons

You may have heard me say that I shoot with a tripod 95% of the time. More accurately what I mean to say is that I shoot with some sort of support for my camera 95% of time.

This can be a tripod, a bean bag, or even a monopod. A monopod can be a very very effective as a support for your camera, but often people get frustrated when using a monopod.

In this short video I will give you a few tips on using a monopod effectively. If you'd like to see a selection of monopods and monopod accessories check them out at the OPG Store

Gitzo Ocean Traveler Video Review

February 3rd, 2010 by Juan A. Pons

Recently I had the opportunity to test and review the newly released Gitzo Ocean Traveler tripod. Here is a short video review.

The Ocean Traveler is an extremely compact and lightweight tripod specifically made for use in the ocean and in harsh conditions. Tripod is made from Gitzo's 6X Carbon fiber and a specially treated stainless steel that repels any corroding agents, truly making this a durable tripod.

The tripod is pretty pricey, but when you need your equipment to survive harsh conditions, there is no substitute.

If you are interested in one of these tripods, check out the product detail page for the Gitzo Ocean Traveler

Be Ready For The Second Shot

February 1st, 2010 by Chris Klapheke


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.

We Have A Winner in the Snow Monkey Caption Contest!

January 29th, 2010 by Matt Dennison

"Before that Nat Geo spread you could have this whole place to yourself … now just look at it!"
–Tom Twigg

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!


Snow Monkey Caption Contest

Lightroom Spot Removal Tip

January 29th, 2010 by Scott Wyden

Lightroom Spot RemovalThe 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!

Lightroom Spot Removal

The Struggle To Remain Focused

January 27th, 2010 by Theodore Stark

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.

Quick Video Review of the Aquatech Sensory Gloves

January 22nd, 2010 by Juan A. Pons

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

These Aren't Your Mother's Galoshes!

January 20th, 2010 by Chris Klapheke

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

Imaging USA Nashville Report

January 12th, 2010 by Chris Klapheke


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.

Winter Ice Abstracts

January 10th, 2010 by Mike Moats

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.