Digital Innovations Shortly after I moved into my former home, there was a knock at the door. Standing in front of me was an 8-year-old girl who lived down the street. “I’m selling note cards,” she told me, “I made the pictures.” A second look showed subjects a kid might shoot but others demonstrated that she was thinking about the photographs before making them. I bought several note cards and asked about her camera, which turned out to be borrowed. With her grandmother’s permission I gave her an old, unused digital point-and-shoot.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom The Galaxy S4 Zoom is what you might call a “multi-personality” device. Phone, camera, Browser, game device, gateway to all the Android apps, GPS, mapper, email connector--it’s all of that and more.
I say “multiple” because while the initial face of the unit looks like half point and shoot camera/half phone, one pasted atop the other, there is a lot more going on under the hood.
Photoflex TritonFlash When I first saw the battery-powered Photoflex TritonFlash at a pro show I was impressed as much by its power output and flexibility as its tiny size. Available in a kit that includes one of the company’s light banks along with everything—except a light stand—the setup can get you started making portraits in the studio or on location with nary an electrical outlet in sight.
F&V K4000 LED Studio Panel Portrait photographers are constantly looking for new lighting gear that will make their lives easier and produce great results. And while flash photography has been the studio standard for many years, it’s always been more difficult to previsualize the final effect since the image you see using the modeling lights is not always the same you see once the flash fires. The instant feedback of digital cameras has lessened that worry some, but you can still be in for some surprises.
Cold Comfort Chances are you won’t be photographing in the negative numbers of extreme cold that Layne Kennedy often encounters—we’re talking -15 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Personal Project A few years ago I was reorganizing a closet and discovered cardboard boxes tucked into a dark corner. Much to my surprise, I found dress boxes and shoeboxes filled with photographs from the 1940s and early ’50s.
Life Lessons Early this year I received an e-mail from Cheryl Zibisky, adjunct professor in technical photography at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Personal Project Gerald Hill has been involved in photography for over 37 years and often explored creative work while employed in the aerospace industry in Wichita, Kansas.
The Phottix Odin is a radio frequency-controlled system, or simply radio remote. The basic package includes two units: a transmitter and a receiver. Additional receivers are optional. You only need one transmitter to sit in the camera’s hot shoe and trigger compatible i-TTL strobes, but you need a receiver for each off-camera flash. And recently, Phottix introduced a new combo pack that includes one additional receiver—perfect for my two-speedlight setups. The unit tested here is for Nikon and I worked with my Nikon SB-900 speedlights.
During the year I look at thousands of websites, selecting the ones that eventually appear here, and one of the most problematic design aspects I see is the Contact page. Believe it or not, some websites don’t have one! More than once this year I found a photographer with huge amounts of talent and no way to contact them about appearing in Web Profiles. Some sites have requirements that all data, including a phone number, must be provided before contacting the photographer. If a potential client wants you to have their number, they will call you. I prefer not to have visitors jump through too many hoops to contact me but had to implement an “enter the text” form—Captcha, a free WordPress plug-in—because spam robots overflowed my mailbox. The bottom line is your bottom line and you should make it easy and convenient for clients to contact you.
MeFOTO™ has announced the immediate availability of the MeFOTO WalkAbout, a monopod that can also be used as a walking stick available in 8 colors. Each WalkAbout monopod includes a compass making it ideal for outdoor photography and hiking. The WalkAbout monopod also provides extra mobility and allows for quick setups when photographing sports, weddings or events.
MacMate, the popular Mac-friendly cloud service, has revamped their packages and now have a free 10GB Disk version, which pits their service directly with other popular cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. MacMate Disk (www.macmate.me) also includes its easy-to-use filesharing feature with upgrade options right up to 2TB - and a free iOS App for accessing your files on the move.
Photo District News (PDN) has released its extensive list of educational seminars during the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo -- October 23-26, 2013 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. More than 90 seminars, keynote presentations, and symposiums will be presented by the world’s foremost experts on the trends, technology, and creative techniques in the fields of photography, video, post-production, and business development. In addition, many of this year's seminars and symposiums will celebrate the 30th anniversary of PhotoPlus Expo with topics supporting the show theme, "Honoring the Past, Envisioning the Future."
The Pentax K-50 is, in its basic specifications, identical with the company’s new K-500 model. Both cameras offer a 16MP sensor, a built-in stabilizer system (based on sensor shift technology), all standard exposure modes of a modern SLR system and a very large and bright optical SLR viewfinder. The optical viewfinder offers a 100 percent field of view, which is a very uncommon feature in this SLR class. The only difference between the K-50 and the K-500 is the sealedbody of the K-50. This allows the user to work with the K-50 even under challenging conditions, such as heavy rain.
When this old pebble balanced there by the Ice Age thousands of years ago in the Garden of the Gods Park near Colorado Springs, Colorado, tumbles from its perch, it could be the end of the world. I used a slow shutter speed to get this shot as the old boulder wasn’t shaking at the time. But who knows?
Tether Tools and Phase One have announced a special Pro Tether Kit with Capture One Pro 7 that provides photographers the optimal tools for professional tethered capture. Together, the Tether Tools photo workstation and Capture One Pro 7 provide an exceptional workflow configuration for photo capture, camera control, processing and output, whether the shoot is in the studio or on location.
Anansi was designed on safari, but perfected in the forests and deserts of North America and refined in the studio. Precision handcrafted materials and careful attention to detail make Anansi the premium multi-purpose sack capable of stabilizing a lens, a tripod, or giving your light stand or boom some extra weight. The hourglass shape reduces the amount of fill required without sacrificing the surface area you need for stability. Anansi can be configured flat or in half.
LEDs may represent the future of studio lighting but a number of the currently available options come with a caveat or two for the new professional or aspiring pro. Some LED solutions are affordable but may be too physically small for efficient use in a studio, or they may be large enough but too expensive for the shooter who just wants to dip their toes into the LED waters. Measuring 14x7.5x2.75” and costing less than $200, Flashpoint’s 500C LED Light appears to be a good solution for the LED newbie who wants to see what all the fuss is about.