Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Now this is a camera strap.

Those who know me know that I don't use a neck strap much. I do have one, the OpTech POTN (Click Here) strap which is the best I've found, and while it is always on my 40D I don't use it nearly as much as I use my E1 handstrap. Why, because I don't like the weight on my neck and am not happy with how the camera bounces around when I walk. I have come to accept that I would rather just carry the camera in my hand.

This has not solved the issue that I would like the camera on me and quickly accessible while giving my hand a rest. I have tried hanging it via the strap off my shoulder but find the camera getting twisted as it spins when I walk, making access slow. Yes, I'm hard to please.

Anyway, I think I have found the thing which can take care of this for me. There is a new device/stap which may address this issue for me. There is a new strap called an R-Strap which slings the camera across your torso and puts it in the perfect position for quick access. Further, the strap is designed in a way to make access fast and easy. At least that is how it looks. I have ordered one of these and will post a review once I use it for a bit.

Below is a video of the R-Strap in action. Give it a click. Perhaps I'm just a geek who is easy to please, but I think it is pretty cool.

Finally, below is a link to the R-Strap site. Take a look, it seems very cool...but only time will tell.R-Strap Website (Click Here)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Product Comparisons & Reviews

As you may have picked up already I like to use this blog to share information. Below are links for product comparisons. Just click the links and you will be taken to the sites. I will add to the list as I find new resources.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hosting Photos

I hear this question quite a bit. People always appear to ask where is the best place to post their pics, which is best, which is cheapest, yada, yada, yada.

I'm going to try to answer this question, but will say this. Go to the link below from the Photography-on-the-net forum, a Canon forum I frequent. This thread has a great review of the different options and how to use them. If you wan't to assess your options click below.

Where to Host My Photos - From Photography-on-the-net.

Now with that said I do have a preference.

I use Zenfolio and love it. I find the interface to be clean and professional, my users like the presentation. Further, I am allowed to sell prints, etc., etc. All of this added up, with their affordable price to make a good package for me. My recommendation is to take a look at Zenfolio, they have many different package options and outstanding customer service. There is even a 30-day free-trial you can use to give it a whirl. Finally, if you end up subscribing use the code below and save $5.00. Below are also some links which include the main Zenfolio site as well as my Zenfolio site so you can see it in action.

Feel free to let me know if there are any questions.


This will be an ongoing process/task, but I thought it might be useful to create a list of tutorials which I have found useful. Right now there isn't too much here but I plan to flesh this out with everyone's help


Flash Photography 101 - From Photography-on-the-net

  • Chapter 1: Beginners Guide (Click Here)
  • Chapter 2: (Why) Should I Get a Flash Unit For My Camera (Click Here)
  • Chapter 3: A Systematic Approach to Bounced Flash (Click Here)
  • Chapter 4: Guide Numbers and High Speed Sync (Click Here)

ETTL Wireless Config - From Photography-on-the-net

  • Part I: Working with a single remote flash (Click Here)
  • Part II: Working with multiple remote flashes (Click Here)
  • Part III: Working with remote flashes in Manual Mode (Click Here)

Strobist Tutorials

Scott Kelby Lighting and Gear Week

Misc Tutorials:

  • Shooting Large Groups - From Chuck Gardner at Super Nova (Click Here)
  • Evaluative vs. Average flash metering (Click Here)
Post Processing:

  • Aircraft Post Processing - From Photography-on-the-net (Click Here)
  • Black & White Conversion with Layer Blend Modes - From Photoshop Essentials (Click Here)
  • Brightening Eyes - From Photography-on-the-net (Click Here)
  • Skin Smoothing - From Ferradas Photography (Click Here)
  • Using the Unsharpen Mask - From Photography-on-the-net (Click Here)
  • Getting That Cool Gritty Look Right in Camera Raw and Photoshop or Lightroom - Scott Kelby (Click Here)
  • How to perform soft proofing - From TechTutorials (Click Here)

Note: Should you have any you would like to share feel free to post a comment.

Recommended Books

I love books, I like to read and learn and have been no different when approaching photography. Therefore, below is a list of photography related books I have found useful. I will attempt to keep them grouped by category as best I can.

Should you not see a book you know to be good please post a comment with your recommendation.

General Reference:
  • Best Business Practices for Photographers: Second Edition - By John Harrington (Find it on Amazon)
  • Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography - By Stephen Johnson (Find it on Amazon)
  • Vision Mongers: Making a Life and Living in Photography - By David DuChemin (Find it on Amazon)
  • Ansel Adams: An Autobiography - By Ansel Adams (Find it on Amazon)
Image Editing & Management:
  • The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers - By Scott Kelby (Find it on Amazon)
  • The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers - By Scott Kelby (Find it on Amazon)
  • The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers - By Peter Krogh (Find it on Amazon)
  • Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting - By Fil Hunter, Steven Biver & Paul Fuqua (Find it on Amazon)


  • Understanding Exposure: Revised Edition - By Bryan Peterson (Find it on Amazon)
  • Understanding Shutter Speed: Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 of a Second - By Bryan Peterson (Find it on Amazon)

Note: I'm sure some of you are seeing that I am a bit of a Scott Kelby fan. His books are sometimes accused of being recipie books and while I do agree with this to an extent I find them providing me the base I need to go forth and learn on my own. I rarely need another book once I've reviewed his. Photoshop Elements 5 is the best example of this. I had the purchased 2 books prior to Scott Kebly's, each claiming to be the definitive resource and it was not until I read his that I became empowered enough to work in this app on my own.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Plug for Natural Light

Take a look at the picture below. I would like to use to make a plug for natural light. This was taken in a hotel room in Guatemala during the afternoon sun which was shinning through some white curtains which covered the windows.

This was a pure opportunist shot, taken while my wife was playing with my 4-month old daughter. Granted I got lucky, granted, but I wanted to share as it acts as a means to illustrate to not miss the moment and work with the envionment you are given. Everything came together true, but hey, if I hadn't ignored the urge to take out my flash I would have missed this.

Hope you enjoyed the shot, it brings me joy each time I look at it.

Update: The light was coming in camera left going through some soft white curtains which gave it a great feel.

Who'ed a Thought...

Needed to share something that dawned on me this evening.

I am not a guy that follows or is intersted in sports. In fact, I find them boring. I am notorious amongst my friends for falling asleep during a Chicago Bulls game back when they were winning the championship every year and Jordan was still playing. Many say this behavior is a genetic defect, however, I'm not sure.

Well, with the above said, it has come to pass that I am now shooting more sports than I know what do with. Baseball, basketball, volleyball and even football...I've been shooting it all. Now I do get some income from this activity which can be called its own motivator, but that is not the astonishing thing. The thing is, I enjoy the heck out of it. Make me sit and watch a game from the stands and I am bored as can be. Give me a camera and place me on the sidelines and I'm off and enjoying myself.

Needless to say this confuses my friends even more than my nature not to follow sports. But hey, who am I to complain, I found something new and exciting to do with my hobby. Perhaps I should just shut up and accept it.

No real relevance to anything, I just wanted to share.

Current Equipment

So what am I using now? Good question. As I am a bit of geek and like all things geeky (as my wife says) this list can and will change and grow over time. I will do my best to keep it up to date.

Note: All items are links to the item on the appropriate retailer should you want to learn more.

Supports & Support Accessories: