Bowens Mosaic LED Light Panels These days it seems that using LED lighting systems for studio portraiture is like puppies and kittens—everybody loves them, and why not? All you need to do is turn on an LED light panel and shoot, right? While there’s obviously more to it than that, the WYSIWYG nature of LED lighting is especially helpful for new or aspiring pros who want to get up and running quickly or in applications where the lighting needs to be consistent so lots of portraits can be made in a short amount of time, something event photographers will take to heart.
Olympus E-P5 The Olympus E-P5 has a classic viewfinder camera design but doesn’t have an optical or electronic viewfinder. It does have a swivel monitor which can be folded up- and downward and offers very high resolution (1,037,000 RGB dots). Its 3:2 aspect ratio shows additional information on both sides of the viewfinder image, which has an aspect ratio of 4:3 when taking images in the highest image resolution setting. By pressing the “OK” button in the center of the control field additional parameters are shown as overlays on the right-hand side of the live view image.
Nikon Coolpix A The Nikon Coolpix A is an unusual camera with a very robust, retro design and a body based on a magnesium-alloy chassis. It is extremely compact but has a 16.2MP DX-format sensor (Nikon’s version of the APS-C format). It also incorporates Nikon’s EXPEED 2 image processor system.
Under Construction With jAlbum There are many ways to share images these days, from social networks to clouds to full-fledged e-commerce platforms. For some, simple online albuming will do, but for others it can become an involving project that puts your images on the Internet in a very engaging way. It’s not only in the personalization of the look and feel of the wrapper around your image content that can separate your site from the crowd. It’s also the ability to work cross-platform, include an e-commerce component, and allow for a “translator” that can make your site accessible to folks and even clients around the world that can add to its attractiveness and functionality.
Locations The arctic sun was just about to make its brief dip below the mountainsto the north when I arrived at a cluster of strange monolithic rocks on the ridge.
On The Road I’ve seen my share, and I expect you have too, of people who basically spray the area hoping to get a keeper.
Web Profiles In a previous column I offered a few ideas on creating Contact pages with built-in spam protection. Littleton, Colorado’s Tim Mosholder sent me a tip for WordPress users.
Picture This! Our assignment this month was Stacking, the lingo used to describe the optical effect that makes subjects at some distance from one another seem closely packed together through the use of a telephoto lens.
This year has seen many new introductions in lighting gear for all photographers. Auxiliary and accessory lighting can make a big difference in your work. Here, reporter Jack Neubart gives us a sampling of products he found at trade shows that caught his eye. For more information on the companies whose products he mentions we encourage you to explore their websites to discover their full offerings in this category plus check www.shutterbug.com for lighting gear tests. We’ve provided a full list of contact information at the end of the article.—Editor
Designed for creativity, the new Intuos®tablet line addresses a wider customer base with choices to fit the creative input needs of virtually every artist, designer and photographer. From hobbyist or enthusiast to the seasoned professional, there’s an Intuos tablet to help guide digital content creation. Some of the Intuos’ new ergonomic and technical features include a slimmer design, improved multi-touch functions and wireless capabilities.
Adorama recently launched its brand new photography diffusion and accessories line, Glow by Flashpoint. Adorama’s brand new line of professional studio and on-location lighting modifiers employs advanced technology designed to create perfect editorial and product still life images. Glow by Flashpoint offers softboxes (more info) in varying shapes and sizes, including the Grand Softbox in two different sizes, and unique HexaPop products (more info), which combine the flattering diffusion of a softbox with the soft focused light from the reflective, curved surface of an umbrella. All Glow lighting accessories are completely heat resistant and are designed with superior construction and materials, including a super-strength, silver, gridded fabric lining the interior surfaces of the box that adds a crisp quality to the output. Made in Korea, these new lighting accessories from Adorama are available now exclusively in the Adorama store, located at 42 West 18th Street in New York City, and online at Adorama.com at highly competitive prices.
LPA Design, manufacturers of PocketWizard Photo Products, announced the immediate availability of the new hot shoe to miniphone cable (HSFM3). This three-foot cable, which has a basic (non-TTL) hot shoe on one end and a mono miniphone connector on the other, allows photographers to slide any speedlight style flash into the shoe to avoid using the sometimes unreliable or missing PC port. The miniphone end plugs into either a Plus® radio (PlusX, Plus III, Plus II or Plus Receivers), MultiMAX Transceiver orFlexTT5 Transceiver. With another PocketWizard radio on the camera, photographers now have the most reliable triggering setup possible.
Mary and I have fond memories of using early generation Bowens monolights; they were our first really “good” lighting system when we set up our studio in 1982. We loved shooting with those big, black, paint-can-shaped 800B monolights because they were inexpensive, dependable, and powerful. From what I can tell from my tests of their two-light Gemini 400Rx Kit that continues to be the case.
I learned photography in the film days, and when the huge change to digital came along, I changed not only my gear but the way I see. I used to have to see in terms of very specific criteria of what would work within the ISO range of my film and what the film could record in terms of light and shadow. Low ISOs meant I couldn’t get enough depth of field, or a tripod was needed, or I had to light something because there wasn’t enough information in pictures that had incredible shadow detail. High ISOs often meant an unacceptable level of grain and bad color rendition. As a result I passed up a lot of situations that got my attention but were beyond the capability of my film to capture.
Rick Sammon has a new iPhone and iPad app that will help you find the best light for the best pictures - day and night. It's called Rick Sammon's Photo Sundial and is on sale for $2.99. The app not only shows the sun's position and where shadows will fall, but it also displays the phases of the moon, a five-day weather forecast, a sun compass, a shadows meter and 25 of Rick's favorite sunrise/sunset images with tips.
The versatile new Sony α NEX-5T compact system camera combines a stylish, ultra-compact design and the creative capabilities of interchangeable lenses with large-sensor image quality, speedy Auto Focus (AF) and the convenience of NFC (Near Field Communication) one-touch for easier Wi-Fi connectivity.
“Look Ma, no cords!” That’s right; the Priolite does not have a power cord. It is run strictly off battery power. Each unit has its own interchangeable and removable battery, plus a built-in receiver to work with a Priolite transmitter. And, unlike most monolights, it has a usable modeling light even on battery power.
Here are a few ABCs of web design to keep in mind when working on your site. A) Add something new each week. This is doubly important for blogs because search engines look for regular activity; the more and regular activity there is, the higher it will move the site in rankings when people look for photographers. B) Bigger is not necessarily better. Large file sizes cause a page to load slowly and, as I mentioned before in this column, the longer it takes, the more likely a person visiting the site will bail. Big file sizes also means it takes longer for a search engine spider to crawl your site. C) Colors should be simple, avoiding a strong graphic or photographic background. What works in print doesn’t always look good on a backlit monitor. A site’s focus should be on your photographs, not its design.<