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.

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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

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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.

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Wildlife 101: Portraits are Pretty – But Action Shots are Awesome

January 7th, 2010 by Rick Sammon

Here are two of my favorite pictures from one of my Botswana workshops.

I like the portrait of the lion; the side lighting adds a nice sense of depth and dimension to the image. Remember: light illuminates; shadows define.

Lion Portrait

How To Protect Your Camera — from a Camera Repair Shop Perspective

January 5th, 2010 by Scott Wyden

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.

AquaTech Sensory Gloves in Rocky Mountain National Park

December 31st, 2009 by Theodore Stark

Winter photography presents its own set of challenges. These extend beyond the technical aspects of getting your shot. Staying warm while still having the ability to access your gear is of vital importance. By having the right gear to keep yourself warm, you can focus your attention on the photography.

When it comes to gloves used by photographers, winter challenges multiply, as bulky gloves do not allow you to perform simple tasks like removing a lens cap or using your camera's controls and buttons.  Additionally, many of us now use mobile devices with touch screens. Nothing is worse than being in the field, having your phone ring, and having to remove your glove(s) to answer the call.

Enter the AquaTech Sensory Gloves.

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Video Review of the Mongoose M3.5b Gimbal Tripod Head

December 30th, 2009 by Juan A. Pons

I recently had to opportunity to test and review the Mongoose M 3.5b Gimbal Tripod Head for super telephoto lenses. The first thing I have to say is that I am very impressed with this compact and lightweight gimbal head. Very lightweight and packs easily.

Craftsmanship is superb, and you can tell the folks at 4th Generation Designs really paid close attention to detail.

Check out this short video review.  You can see all of the wonderful 4th Generation Designs line in the OPG Store here.

Make sure and visit the entertaining and informative site and blog by Rick Sammon and Juan Pons, the Digital Photo Experience.

Let It Snow, Let it Snow: Top Tips for Cool Snow Shots

December 29th, 2009 by Rick Sammon

Taking pictures in the snow is cool, literally and figuratively speaking. However, snow scenes present certain photographic challenges.

So let’s chill out with some cool shooting in the snow photo tips. To illustrate the tips, I’ll share some photographs that I took of polar bears in the Sub-Arctic. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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