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REVIEW : Nissan MF18 Ring Flash

mf18_mdling_2Close up and macro work usually also means some form of supplemental light for adequate depth of field and shutter speeds that don’t last until the next ice age.  I was kitting up to do a Macro Photography seminar at Henry’s Newmarket and asked Store Manager Chris Atkinson if he could bring in some ring flashes for demonstration and potential sale.  I specifically asked about Canon’s MT-24EX because I like the idea of positionable heads.  Then I saw the price tag, and that rings to fit my lenses would be special order because they don’t come with the unit and I just gave up.  I already knew the MR-14 EX II and it’s ok but overpriced.  I own a Sigma EM-140 that is getting long in the tooth and is not exactly intuitive.  Chris surprised me by getting the Nissan MF18 for both Canon and Nikon. Continue reading

Opening Up Your Eye

I often hear from photographers, who are typically strong individualists, that they are stuck, or have hit a wall.  Yesterday I led my third #Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk in my town.  Based on feedback it was a great success for the mid sized group of folks who came out.

One of the most telling things I saw was the breadth and scope of images that were being made by the walkers.  Many commented that they made shots that they would not normally have considered doing, but by simply being out with other photographers, they were encouraged to get out of a comfort zone, to try something new, and to shoot subjects that they would not normally consider.

Yes I did plan the walk and knew where we would go and had some information to share, but I really think that it was the people getting out to shoot together that made the day successful.  Certainly we had great weather, and we had the surprise opportunity to shoot the fire truck helmed by Anne of the McCaffrey Street Fire Station, but everyone who came out really played off each other.

So if you think you are getting stuck, gather a few folks from your local camera club, or photographer friends and just go somewhere to shoot. It may amaze you what you see and discover, and the doors that this kind of thing can open up.

I am very grateful to the hard work done by the folks at KelbyOne to make the worldwide walk happen, and I really feel for them as the registration system let them down in the last few days.  They do great work, but you don’t need a global initiative to go do a walk, just go, but go with other photographers to see the possible.

Crayons after Piccure+

REVIEW : Piccure Plus

You might remember me writing several months ago about a tool to help correct camera micro-shake called Piccure.  I had questions and the manufacturers got in touch right away.  While other options, such as Photoshop, have a camera shake filter, I found that Piccure did a better job.  It was more demanding on the computer CPU because of the complex math, but that complex math ended up doing a more consistent job.

What if the folks who do Piccure made it even better?  What if they added robust distortion correction, without having to buy a dedicated, albeit excellent, tool like DxO Optics Pro?  What if they “added” Lens + to Piccure and called it Piccure  Plus?  They did and it is superb.  Want to learn more?  Then read on neighbours… Continue reading

The Father's Desk - after correcting for shake caused by moving floorboards

Flex : Long Exposures in Wooden Buildings

Last weekend, I ventured to Sainte Marie Among the Hurons with my friend Bryan Weiss and some of his Daytripper Photo customers.  The re-creation of the habitat of the Hurons and Jesuits is very well done, and the facility is perfect for photography, so long as one is prepared with a tripod and willing to go with longer exposures.  But I did discover a problem… Continue reading

Beat the Wind Topaz Van Gogh II

FIRST LOOK : Topaz Impression

Yes, yes I know, there are ten zillion tools for post processing and really who needs another one?

Maybe I do.  I’m not an artist with a pencil or brush but my buddy from Everyday HDR and the Digital Zone System #Blake Rudis is.  Blake sent an email out today and he is pretty enthused with a new plugin / standalone app from the folks at Topaz Labs called Impression.   I am a Topaz Labs customer and I do like their tools very much.  Will I spend $$ on Impression?   Let’s find out… Continue reading

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REVIEW : Tamron 16mm-300mm f:/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD

This is the first of what I hope will be three different reviews of what photography writers like to call “The One Lens”.  We’re not speaking of something Tolkeinesque or the unicorn of lenses, we’re speaking of the one lens that you would carry with you when you only wanted to carry your DSLR and one lens and have that lens be useful for pretty much everything. Continue reading

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Perspectives on Photoshop World 2014 Las Vegas

So straight up, I am a huge believer in the work that the people at KelbyOne do when it comes to photographic and related software training.  They have been in my personal experience, unfailingly supportive, friendly and consistently deliver great content.  I just returned this morning on the red-eye from Las Vegas and wanted to get my thoughts down before I fell asleep (again). Continue reading

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REVIEW : Wacom Cintiq 13HD Drawing Tablet / Display

Some folks really struggle working with a Wacom tablet.  They find it difficult to relate the position of the pen on the tablet to the work that they want to do.  I have students who bought a tablet but gave up on it pretty quickly.  Sad because when you invest time, they can become indispensable.   A quicker route to success might be a tablet that is also a display Continue reading

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