The Tools I Use; What’s In My Gear Bag And Why Page 2

If you're a regular reader you already know I work with Adobe's Photoshop CS3 and use compatible plug-ins to tweak my image files because they enhance my productivity. Whenever I tell somebody about a new plug-in they sometimes tell me they "can do that in Photoshop" but when I ask them how long it takes, the subject often gets changed. To tell you the truth, plug-ins such as onOne Software's PhotoTools and Nik's Color Efex Pro 3.0 let me accomplish effects I could never do manually. Similarly, PixelGenius' PhotoKit is hands down the best way I know to add burning, dodging, or sharpening to an image without overdoing it. I like PhotoKit's toning effects, too. For color correction I love PictoColor's iCorrect Portrait and iCorrect EditLab Pro and find them indispensable in correcting color accurately and speedily.

My favorite tool for correcting skin tones is PictoColor's iCorrect Portrait Photoshop compatible plug-in and while it would be nice if they updated the interface design (and provided a re-sizable window), it does a great job in correcting color.
© 2003, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved

The single most important imaging tool I have is onOne Software's PhotoTools that lets me create dramatic images that I would not be otherwise able to produce. It was used extensively on image files, such as this one, that appear in my new self-published ( book, Puerto Rico: The Island of Enchantment.
© 2007, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved

And The Bags To Put It All In
I have eclectic taste in camera cases and use products from many different manufacturers, with a sentimental preference for classic bags from Domke and Lightware because I personally know the designers. That doesn't mean I don't have others, including the Joe Farace Reporter backpack from Adorama and bags and cases from Billingham and Lowepro. I prefer soft-sided bags that let me cram in lots of gear and I tend to have certain cases dedicated to specific camera systems, so when I go out shooting I can just grab one or two bags and they'll have everything inside that I'll need, including earplugs (for racing), shower caps (great to keep your camera dry during a shower), and Swiss Army and Leatherman tools.

How I See & Shoot

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is versatile and I used it here in Acapulco's Botanical Garden to photograph this blue flower. Exposure with the EOS 5D was 1/200 sec at f/5.6 in Program mode, which is often my Exposure mode of choice when traveling.
© 2005, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved

Even more important than what I use is how I use it. Years ago at FOTOfusion one of my seminar attendees asked, "How did you think to make that image?" The truth is that when attracted to a specific subject we all see the same way but what happens next is the difference between the way I work and how some others might approach the same situation. First I shoot what attracted me, refining the composition by cropping, either by moving my body or zooming the lens. Exposure is tweaked with plus or minus exposure compensation adjustments. Once I've gotten that out of my system, I rethink the image. Sometimes, it's just "that was a dumb idea to start with," while other times I'll change my lens going wider or longer and look for lower or higher camera angles to give something other than normal perspective to the image. All this happens fast--I'm a shoot and scoot kind of photographer and I can bang off 20 or more shots of a subject in the time it took you to read the last few sentences. The main point I would stress is that the first shot of a given subject is not the last shot, it is the beginning of an exploration to discover the best possible way to capture that image. You may see it differently but you'll never know until you try. Viva la difference.

Adobe Systems Inc.
345 Park Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 536-6000

Adorama Camera, Inc. (Flashpoint, Pro-Optic)
42 W. 18th St.
New York, NY 10011
(800) 223-2500

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 996-1010

Bogen Imaging, Inc. (Gossen, Manfrotto)
565 E. Crescent Ave.
Ramsey, NJ 07446
(201) 818-9500

Booth Photographic (Flash Waves)
1145 Nicholson Rd., Unit 3
Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 9C3
(905) 830-6036

Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Plaza
Lake Success, NY 11042
(800) 652-2666

Digital Color Solutions (ColorVision)
5 Princess Rd.
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 895-7430

Hasselblad USA Inc.
15209 NE 95th St.
Redmond, WA 98052
(800) 367-6434

Hewlett-Packard Company (Compaq)
3000 Hanover St.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(800) 752-0900

Leica Camera Inc.
1 Pearl Ct., Unit A
Allendale, NJ 07401
(201) 995-0051

Life Pixel Infrared Conversion Services
13024 Beverly Park Rd., Ste. 203
Mukilteo, WA 98275
(866) 610-1710
(425) 355-9159 (International)

Lightware Inc.
1329 W. Byers Pl.
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 744-0202

Lowepro USA
1003 Gravenstein Hwy N, Ste. 200
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 827-4000

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
(800) 642-7676

Nik Software, Inc.
7588 Metropolitan Dr.
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 725-3150

onOne Software, Inc.
15350 SW Sequoia Pkwy, Ste. 190
Portland, OR 97224
(503) 968-1468

PictoColor Corporation
151 W. Burnsville Pkwy, Ste. 200
Burnsville, MN 55337
(952) 894-8890

624 W. Willow St.
Chicago, IL 60614

RTS Inc. (Billingham)
40-11 Burt Dr.
Deer Park, NY 11729
(631) 242-6801

Tamron Lenses USA, Inc.
10 Austin Blvd.
Commack, NY 11725
(631) 858-8400

The F.J. Westcott Company
1447 N. Summit St.
Toledo, OH 43604
(800) 886-1689

The Tiffen Company (Domke)
90 Oser Ave.
Hauppauge, NY 11788
(631) 273-2500

Carl Zeiss MicroImaging, Inc.
One Zeiss Dr.
Thornwood, NY 10594
(800) 543-1033