Monthly Archives: March 2013

Wacom’s new Cintiq 13HD

This is such great news.  Wacom has had the most awesome pen displays and now a 13 inch model.  What can be better for flexibility.   Work with it on your lap or desktop.

It has many of the features of it big brothers the 22D and 24HD like customizable ExpressKeys, the Rocker Ring, and the Home Button for easy shortcut access.

The screen is a high res 1920 x 1080 LED display with nearly a 180° (178 to be picky)  viewing angle and renders 16.7 million colors.

The stand can be detached and adjustable to three different working angles or use it flat on your lap or desktop.

It comes with a new Pro Pen in a care with 9 nibs.  It has 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.

Slated for availability in April at $999

Click here for more info.

Posted in Photography

While waiting for the Aurora

Saturday March 16, 2013 – Predictions for a great Aurora Borealis were excellent.  The solar activity promised the Aurora to display all the way South in Massachusetts.  Being a big fans of this phenomenon my wife and I made reservations at  an inn in Caribou, Maine.  7 1/2 hours later we were scouting out for good locations.  The skies were clear as can be and the excitement escalating.  We had dinner and drove out to the planned location.  To cut a long story short, 14 degree temperatures were not going to stop us from photographing the Aurora.  5 hours later it is 3:00 and there is no sign of the event.  We packed up and went back to the hotel.  BIG MISTAKE – 4:30 the lights turned on and by 5:00 AM some of the most spectacular images were being captured but the lucky photographers while we slept soundly.

While waiting I decided to take some short time lapses.  Did one with the camera pointed at Polaris. This was a short 20 minute capture resulting in few seconds of video.  The individual images were then stacked to create a star-trail.

Here is the video:stars1

The stack looks great – the glow in the lower half is light pollution from some homes and towers in the distance.  Click on the image for a larger view.

Stacked Star Trail – March 17, 2013 Caribou Maine

 

Posted in ISO 3200, Night Photography, Noise Reduction, Photography, Stacked Image Tagged , |

thinkTank Photo Products

We are proud to have been accepted as a thinkTANK affiliate.  Please use this link to browse and purchase any thinkTANK product.  For any purchase of $50 or more you will receive a free (valuable) gift from thinkTANK. You may also use the link from the products page on this website

 

 

If you like street photography the Urban Disguise is for you.

Posted in Accessories, News, Photography Tagged , , , |

My favorite sling straps for my cameras.

If you never tried a sliding sling strap, you are in for a wonderful experience.  We are all familiar with sling straps on camera bags and some back packs.  Sling straps are worn diagonally across your body to move the weight of your gear from your neck to your shoulder – resulting in a significant improvement in comfort.  

Sliding Sling Straps differ from sling straps in one important feature.  Sliding sling straps have a fitting that slides along the strap.  The fitting in turn connects to your camera.  That means that the camera, which is attached to the fitting, can be brought up smoothly to your eye without pulling your clothing – the strap, which is a loop, does not need to move!

Sliding slings trace back to 1885 where the slider was connected to a rifle http://www.rollanet.org/~stacyw/us_1885_carbine_sling.htm.  The first commercial application that I found for cameras dates back to 2004.  The product (still available), called simply “The Strap” is sold by a company called Leicagoodies, http://www.leicagoodies.com/strap.html.  This sliding sling uses a detachable connector attached to a split ring which slides along 1” wide loop strap.

There have been many embodiments of the sliding sling strap for cameras since 2004.  The most popular are the Black Rapid straps and the California Sun Bounce Straps.  Many smaller companies also produced sling straps.  In 2007, Black Rapid applied for a patent on the sling strap.  The patent was granted in November 2011.  Black Rapid immediately moved to eliminate competitive products that used the sling concept for cameras.  A letter notifying infringement of a patent and threatening legal action was sent from the president of Black Rapid to the manufactures of sliding sling straps and to camera dealers who sold competitive product.  One manufacturer immediately stopped production of their strap; others modified their design to avoid an expensive patent infringement law suit.

A relative newcomer, BosStrap, dropped the original design and took a different approach and completely different strap. Introduced in June 2012, the BosStrap Generation 3 Sliding Sling Strap is truly “unlike anything else” as BosStrap claims.  I recently had an opportunity to try them and used two of them on my two 7D and 5D MkIII bodies while doing my workshops in Iceland.

This product really is different from others.  Careful engineering resulted in an elegant, functional design.  To begin with, BosStrap uses a unique, double lock, patent pending attachment to the camera.  This USA made product is different from other sling straps in that it attaches to the left strap lug on the camera, not to the tripod socket as virtually all other sling straps do.  When hanging from the left strap lug, the camera rests in a much more natural way with the lens directed downward and backward allowing your camera nestle against you with your hip between the front of the pentaprism and the top of the lens.  Hanging in this position tends to stabilize the camera when walking, yet keeps the camera grip at your hand for instant access.

When you want to move to a tripod, you simply release the Generation 3 Tail strap from the slider.  You do not need to unscrew anything from the camera, and you can continue to wear the light-weight sling strap without the camera.

BosStrap has completely freed the camera’s tripod threaded socket from a strap connector.  Your tripod mounting plate never needs to be removed from your camera.  BosStrap claims that Nikon and Canon do not recommend carrying the inverted weight of the camera and lens by the tripod socket because of the possibility of internal seals being stressed in a way they were not designed for.   There is also concern about the ability of the tripod socket to carry the inverted weight.

You won’t find a shoulder pad on a BosStrap.  I was skeptical about this lack of cushioning at first, but after trying it with my Canon bodies, I was convinced that the 1-1/2” wide strap really offers the same comfort that a bulky pad would provide.  BosStrap works with an L-bracket too.

I like to do street photography and have the need for a lot of flexibility and be inconspicuous.  With a BosStrap, I can conceal my camera under my open jacket and not have a large lump from a shoulder pad showing.  My camera is partially concealed under my jacket until needed – very unobtrusive and it is an excellent theft deterrent.  An added benefit is that the strap can be wrapped around the lens when putting your camera back in the bag.

A BosStrap is simply an efficiently engineered product that does precisely what it is supposed to do – provide very quick accessibility and support your camera in a comfortable, safe manner.  Most important they are very reasonably priced.  You can get them directly from Boss Strap, LLC  or one of the many stores they have listed on their site.

You can a;sp order them from Hunts Photo Video at http://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com

Posted in Accessories, News, Photography, Tips Tagged , , |

Time-lapse Photography Workshops – Details available

Join me for a one day educational and hands-­‐on Time-Lapse Photography Workshop.

A time-lapse video essentially compresses time into a smaller space, creating some exceptional and evocative results.

In theory, time-lapse videos are easy to create – after all you simply take a few hundred photos, one after another, line them up in a video application and you are done. Not true, if you want to create a stunning, seamless, flicker free time-lapse video.  There is a lot more involved than setting up a camera and capturing the sequence.

With digital cameras we have infinite possibilities to capture time-lapse sequences and create exceptional video woth even the simplest digital point and shoots to DSLR’s. This intensive 1-day workshop provides the knowledge necessary to create advanced time-lapse videosfrom capture to the use of a well structured post-process workflow.

We will split our time between shooting sequences and working through the post-process workflow.  This includes importing images to exporting videos using applications like Lightroom, LRTImelapse, Quicktime Pro, Adobe Premiere Elements.

We start the workshop with a formal presentation looking at the many uses of time-lapse imagery.

Like in most of my workshops I will show you that you do not need to spend thousands to achieve awesome results.

We will cover the following topics in detail:

  • Equipment overview
  • Camera settings
  • Intervalometer settings
  • Settings based on the speed of activity
  • Hyperlapse will be discussed briefly

 

We will record two sequences and return to the classroom and use Adobe Lightroom to import, adjust, and export our first sequence. Next, we bring everything into QuickTime Pro to assemble the initial movie and move it to iMovie to add titles and other effects.  Optionally we will use Premiere Elelments for MAC and Windows users (this will be based on what participants would prefer.

Next we will cover in more specifics

  • Day to Night / Night to Day or the “Holy Grail” of time-lapse
  • Post Production Workflows (Win & Mac)
  • Editing audio
  • Final Movie Creation

This workshop is designed for the serious amateurs, hobbyists and emerging pros.

Click here for details

Click here to register

 

Posted in Photography

Please disregard my last post about NiK HDR Efex Pro 2

There was an error in the NiK broadcast – NiK HDR Efex Pro was launched last year.

BUT you can still use the link to buy or upgrade – this or any other NiK product.

 

Posted in Photography

HDR Efex Pro 2 Released

The new HDR Efex Pro 2 introduces a host of new and some much needed features.

You can get your copy or upgrade your existing software via this link

Here are some of the new features.

New tone-mapping engine – Enjoy improved color rendering, more natural results, and simplified controls

Unified workflow – Users in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture will all have the same experience the same features and functionality

Updated merging interface – Previews of each exposure and the ability to enable Smart Objects streamline the merging process

Improved ghost reduction and alignment – New algorithms and the ability to select a reference image dramatically improve the initial merge results

Chromatic aberration reduction – New controls to reduce unsightly purple & blue fringes where dark tones meet light tones

Updated tone mapping and enhancement panel – Completely redesigned controls for enhancing images make crafting superior HDR images fast and easy

Depth control – Overcomes the flat dull look that so often accompanies HDR imagery

Posted in News, Photography, Software

A very pleasant surprise

Last week while doing a one-on-one photo lesson, I hear the UPS driver honk in my driveway.  I was not expecting any delivery but went out to see what he was delivering.  You have a big package and it’s marked fragile so I will bring it in for you, he did.

No indication on this big box as to the name of the sender except where it had been packed and shipped from.  On opening it I got the biggest surprise.  One of my wonderful Iceland Workshop participants had done an oil painting on canvas, had it framed and shipped out to us as a thank you – WOW – I thank you to Barbi.

A painting that captures every element and the very essence of our trip. It will bring back memories of the wonderful trip and all the awesome places Iceland offered.

I love all my workshop participants we have a good time and learn from each other.

This small rendition does this painting very little justice but I had to photograph it and post it on my blog.

Iceland – all of it.

Posted in Photography